PROFESSOR John Hunter's trowel slowly scrapes through the crumbly soil, gently scratching at what looks like a grey pebble.

"OK," he says. "We've found an elbow."

Minutes later, in the white tent erected around a 4ft deep hole in the ground, John gingerly pushes back the dirt to reveal an arm, a torso and the head of a man.

Police officers standing on the sidelines flinch and cover their mouths at the grisly sight of the decomposed body parts.
But finding the corpse - of a man killed, cut up and buried in a Coventry garden in January 2002 - does not faze its finder. Discovering human remains deep below a suburban backyard isn't unusual or nauseating for him.

Because John is Britain's foremost forensic archaeologist and it's his job to help police unearth buried murder victims . It's an occupation telly fans will be familiar with from Trevor Eve's Waking The Dead where, as cop Peter Boyd, he leads the Cold Case squad cracking long-forgotten inquiries.