Secrets of the Dead (2000– )
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Ben Franklin's Bones 

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Why were skeletons found in the basement of Ben Franklin's home in England? Scientists investigate the people who lived at the house at the time, including a professor of medicine.


Kate Thomas-Couth



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Episode credited cast:
Márcia Balisciano Márcia Balisciano ... Self - Director, Benjamin Franklin House (as Dr. Márcia Balisciano)
Simon Chaplin Simon Chaplin ... Self - Head of th Wellcome Library (as Dr. Simon Chaplin)
Lindsey Fitzharris Lindsey Fitzharris ... Self - Medical Historian (as Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris)
Melissa Hewson Melissa Hewson ... Self - Medical Historian
Simon Hillson Simon Hillson ... Self - Archaeologist (as Dr. Simon Hillson)
Paul Knapman Paul Knapman ... Self - Coroner, City of Westminster (Ret.) (as Dr. Paul Knapman)
Keith Moore ... Self - Head Librarian, The Royal Society
Jim O'Connell Jim O'Connell ... Self - (Ret.) Metropolitan Police Service (as Detective Inspector Jim O'Connell)
Jay O. Sanders ... Self - Narrator
John Troyer John Troyer ... Self - Centre for Death & Society, University of Bath (as Dr. John Troyer)


Ben Franklin's Bones solves a modern mystery born in the dark fringes of the Age of Enlightenment, showing how illegal grave robbing practices--taking place right beneath Benjamin Franklin's feet--proved invaluable to the advancement of medical science.

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Did You Know?


In 1998, conservationists, looking to convert Franklin's former home in England into a museum, found over 1200 bones in a room under his garden. See more »

User Reviews

Making a minor discovery seem like it will blow our minds...for shame, "Secrets of the Dead"!
10 April 2019 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I enjoy the PBS series "Secrets of the Dead". However, I must acknowledge that sometimes the show was less scientific and educational...choosing to be salacious in order to gain viewers. This is certainly the case with "Ben Franklin's Bones"...a show that throws about all sorts of crazy notions instead of simply reporting the facts.

The story begins in the 1990s. There is a grisly discovery in the basement of a London's filled with thousands of human bones. Coincidentally, for a brief time, Benjamin Franklin was one of many residents of the apartments. So, instead of looking at the mystery, the narrator tosses out all sorts of crazy notions...including 'could Franklin have been a serial killer'!!! It's all complete hogwash...especially because the answer to this perplexing problme ISN'T particularly surprising or unusual! So, be'll hear a lot of stupid tie-ins with Franklin that simply are not appropriate and the show SHOULD have been simpler, less salacious and more entertaining in the long run had they just told the truth.

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Release Date:

28 January 2015 (USA) See more »

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Ben Franklin's Bones See more »

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