Forensic expert from Tulsa travels the world to read bones

Saturday, April 13th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Internationally renowned forensic expert and Oklahoma resident Dr Clyde Snow testified Friday in a local murder trial. Dr Clyde Snow of Tulsa is a type of bone doctor, a man courts and coroners call in to read a victim's bones.

"Looking at skeletons, basically trying to figure out who they are and how they died." He learns their history by their skeletons. "Fascinating, the stories the bones can tell us."

He even reads the bones of people lost long ago, hidden by the years and sometimes forgotten by families. Recent duty called him to Argentina, and then Peru and Guatemala to learn the stories of the indigent poor pushed into mass graves by criminal warlords. "Thousands of people disappeared, we call that diso-bodio cias, men women and children, and their bones wound up in graves scattered throughout Argentina." A military tribunal heard the evidence he found.

It’s a dangerous job for anthropologists. But, he says, the dead need a voice. Once discovered, the bones give their own defense. "The best witnesses are the skeletons, they don't forget, and they're hard to intimidate. Silent but eloquent."

Dr Snow leaves for Ethiopia Sunday to examine some bodies found in a freshly turned mass grave.