Bosnia’s Million Bones: Solving the World’s Greatest Forensic Puzzle

Christian Jennings. Palgrave Macmillan, $27 (272p) ISBN 978-1-137-27868-5
With cold-blooded, deadly efficiency, Serbian troops brutalized Bosnia’s civilian population and left behind thousands of victims executed in the war-torn country during the 1990s. Attempts by crack forensics teams to identify the victims and bring their killers to justice form the core of this difficult new book by Jennings, a journalist and former communications staffer for the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). According to ICMP estimates, some 30,000 people went missing during the Bosnian conflict. The teams used the latest forensics methods to collect bone samples and develop DNA profiles around mass-grave sites, including profiles of 7,000 men killed in a grisly massacre in Srebrenica. Using the latest facts and figures, Jennings brings to light the horror of the ethnic cleansing, with Serb soldiers killing civilians with assault rifles and hand grenades, and trying to hide the evidence. At the tribunals of the International Criminal Court, a brutal Bosnian past catches up with Serbian butcher Ratko Mladic and his underlings as the grieving families rebury their dead in the book’s startling conclusion. Jennings stunningly renders the process of exhuming and testing the bodies, while highlighting the ICMP’s dogged determination to link the victims to the murderers. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/2013
Release date: 11/26/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-137-40120-5
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