Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Crimes in the Wild. Check out Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

In 2013, detective Bradley Marr of Louisiana was investigating a murder. Forensic scientist Lauren Pharr Parks and detective Marr share how vultures helped crack the case.

About Lauren Pharr Parks

Lauren Pharr Parks is a forensic anthropologist, and she advocates for the role vultures can play in forensic science.

In her research, Pharr Parks has shown that understanding vulture scavenging can lead to faster and more accurate identification of human remains. Her work has taken her across the country to help law enforcement professionals and researchers. She's helped local law enforcement solve missing-person cases or assisted in data collection and research at national labs.

Pharr Parks earned her doctorate in geography and anthropology from Louisiana State University.

About Bradley Marr

Bradley Marr is currently the District Attorney Investigator and Program Manager at the 11th Judicial District Attorney's Office in Sabine Parish, Louisiana. For 24 years he worked as a detective in the Sheriff's Department Detective Division in Sabine Parish, before retiring in 2019 as Chief Detective.

Marr's career in law enforcement spans over 30 years. He is also a United States Air Force Veteran.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Katie Monteleone and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and email us at

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