Nina Burleigh is the author of four critically acclaimed nonfiction books. Her latest, Unholy Business: A True Tale of Faith, Greed and Forgery in the Holy Land (Collins 2008), tells the story of the unraveling of a Bible relic forgery scheme in Israel, and the intriguing world of biblical archaeology and relic collectors.
Previous books include Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt (Harper Collins, 2007), chronicles the first large-scale interaction between Western civilians and Islam in the modern era; The Stranger and the Statesman, (Morrow, 2003) about the mysterious life of 18th Century scientist James Smithson and his bequest to the nation; and A Very Private Woman: The Life and Unsolved Murder of Mary Meyer, (Bantam 1998), the true story of the unsolved murder of an American aristocrat in 1964, set in the bizarre and exclusive world of the wives of the Cold Warriors in Washington, D.C.
Burleigh was born and educated in the Midwest, and began in journalism covering the Illinois Statehouse for the Associated Press. She has a Master's degree in English Literature from the University of Chicago, a Master's in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield, and a B.A. in English from MacMurray College.
In our 6th annual JFK Assassination Special, Ian was joined by a panel of experts for a discussion about who really murdered the late president. In the first half hour, Ian talked with publisher Tim Miller about John F. Kennedy: Assassination Report of the Warren Commission, a new leather-bound edition signed by President Gerald R. Ford and containing his final comments on the JFK assassination. ... More »Host: Ian Punnett
Investigative reporter Nina Burleigh talked about the James Ossuary and other contentious archaeological 'finds' from the Holy Land. Many of the archaeological digs in Israel are being financed and carried out by Fundamentalist Christians, Burleigh said. The person who crafted the James Ossuary played into their desire to find ancient objects that could confirm the validity of Scripture, she noted.Burleigh traced the path of the Ossuary from an anonymous collector to renowned Semitic epigrapher Andre Lemair to Hershel Shanks of Biblical Archaeology Review, who to this day defends the authenticity of artifact. According to Burleigh, the James Ossuary is partly authentic -- it is an ancient bone box. However, scholars performed chemical analyses on the box and found modern materials stuck into the carved phrase "brother of Jesus," confirming the inscription was new. Further investigation revealed the anonymous collector had a workshop where such artifacts could be produced. ... More »Host: Ian Punnett