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‘The Skeleton Crew’ by Deborah Halber

The woman found dead along a Kentucky highway in 1968, wrapped in a circus tent, went unclaimed for decades and was buried in a potter’s field with a gravestone that called her, simply, “Tent Girl.” Thirty years later, her identity was uncovered with the help of technology that didn’t exist when she died: mitochondrial DNA testing and, perhaps more importantly, the Internet.

Thanks to a legion of armchair detectives who scour online listings of the unidentified dead for clues to who they are, Tent Girl and others have been buried properly — and their families have been given closure, and occasionally their killers brought to justice — years or decades after their cases went cold.

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