Secrets of the Dead
Part detective story, part true-life drama, this series unearths evidence from around the world, challenging prevailing ideas and throwing fresh light on unexplained events. Using the most up-to-date science in the laboratory and in the field, scientists and researchers examine the missing pieces of each puzzle, completing the picture of what had been merely an assemblage of suppositions.
Ben Franklin's Bones (#1401) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TV14 (Secondary audio: none)
In November 1997, when the skeletal remains of at least 10 bodies were unearthed in the basement of an elegant townhouse, police feared it was the work of a serial killer. But when research indicated the bones actually dated to the mid-1700s, the implications became even more dramatic. This was no ordinary house: 36 Craven Street was the former residence of Benjamin Franklin.
This program reveals some questionable practices in medicine. In the 18th century, private anatomy schools were set up across London to give medical students the opportunity to learn anatomy by dissecting human cadavers. But supply lagged behind demand. Anatomists needed many more bodies than the ones of hanged murderers, which were the only bodies legally available at that time for their study. This created a business for body snatchers, also known as "resurrectionists," who exhumed corpses from graves to sell to the anatomists.
The Alcatraz Escape (#1503H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: DVI)
The three convicts who escaped Alcatraz in rafts in 1962 were swept out to sea and drowned, according to conventional wisdom. Now, a team of scientists believes the escapees could have made it to dry land-but only if they left at a specific time.
Teotihuacan's Lost Kings (#1504H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: DVI)
Follow a team of scientists exploring royal tombs beneath the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan. After decades of research, these imperial burial chambers may reveal clues about the long-lost Teotihuacan culture and its mysterious people.