Body farm: Rotting corpses to be studied near a landfill?

As a proud native of Grand Junction and graduate of the city's Mesa State College, I'm not going to joke about the institution's latest gambit -- the creation of a so-called "body farm," where students will examine rotting human corpses.

At least I'm going to try really hard. But I can't make any guarantees.

Grand Junction's Daily Sentinel (which I used to deliver!) has the skinny about the farm.

Earlier this year, Mesa had planned to locate the facility, which is designed to assist in police work, on its 29 Road and Riverside Parkway property. But the area is home to plenty of residences -- some very nice ones, in fact -- and when residents found out their neighbors would be slowly decomposing, they were the opposite of thrilled.

So the college invested in a parcel near the Mesa County landfill -- the idea being that if those in the area can handle mountains of stinking garbage, they can probably deal with cadaver stench, too.

Still, officials aren't taking anything for granted. Yesterday, they reportedly walked door to door to speak with homeowners in the nearest subdivision, approximately a mile away.

No word about their reaction. But Derek Wagner, Mesa's director of strategic initiatives, told the Sentinel that he'd heard from a "handful" of people who were interested in donating their bodies to the program. In other words, people are dying to go to Grand Junction.

Damn it! I almost made it to the end joke-free...

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts