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Is Bones Based On A True Story?

If you aren't familiar with the finer details of the show, it would be easy to dismiss "Bones" as just another run-of-the-mill police procedural in the vein of "CSI." Throughout its 12-season run, the series followed Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and FBI Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) as they solved murders and brought notorious killers to justice thanks to the magic of forensics. Sounds familiar, right?

However, there was always more to "Bones" than compelling mysteries and death. The series also provided plenty of laughs and romance to give viewers some respite from the darker elements on display. The show even tackled conspiracy theories by suggesting that a second gunman could have been present when JFK was assassinated. While its main purpose was to entertain, "Bones" was also quite thought-provoking at times.

 "Bones" certainly had its outlandish quirks, but most procedurals are inspired by reality to some extent. With that in mind, did the creators of "Bones" draw inspiration from the real world, or was the show entirely made up from scratch?

Bones was inspired by the real-life experiences of a forensics expert

Some viewers might be surprised to learn that "Bones" is based on the real-life experiences of Kathy Reichs, the author of the books that led to the creation of the series. Outside of writing crime fiction, Reichs is an experienced forensic anthropologist who's worked on several murder cases throughout the years. Dr. Temperance Brennan is essentially the author's fictional alter ego, and a conduit who allows the viewer to get a glimpse into the world of forensics science.

That said, some elements of "Bones" have been exaggerated for the sake of creating compelling television. During an interview with NPR, Reichs revealed that many cases don't get solved in real life, whereas "Bones" wrapped up the investigations with a tidy bow. However, elements of the cases that Reichs worked on informed some of the storylines on "Bones."

It's also worth noting that the science in "Bones" was completely real. As Reichs explained in the aforementioned interview, the technology, terminologies, and methodologies used by the investigators on the series were authentic.