AAHS Glyphs (May 99) is now on line For ASU anthropologist Charles Merbs, every day is like Halloween. He makes his living studying the dead. In 1957, Merbs helped identify the owners of human remains stolen from graves by Ed Gein, a small-town Wisconsin handyman who inspired both the character Norman Bates in Psycho and the elusive serial killer in Silence of the Lambs. Merbs also helped identify the remains of women possibly murdered by Gein. Merbs says that few people, except maybe his mother, think his interest in bones is morbid. More so, people are fascinated by and want to learn about skeletons. "We all have one inside us, and itís doing a lot of things," he says. "But itís completely covered by skin, so itís a mystery. And by the time it becomes visible, itís too late."

TEXAS There is no law in Texas to protect human remains that are historic or prehistoric. It is handled on a case-by-case basis. Some landowners rebury the remains at or near the site where they were discovered. Others donate them for research.