August 27, 2017

"The dollhouse is one in a series of model whodunits used to train generations of police detectives in crime scene investigation."

"Using a tiny paintbrush, Ariel O’Connor carefully applied a compound to preserve the charred wall of a dollhouse featuring a grisly scene: the skull of a body lying in a bed inside peers out, beseeching the viewer to determine whether this was murder.... It is being cleaned, repaired and stabilized to be showcased at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery beginning in October. It is the first time the collection, built about 70 years ago, will be on public display.... [Frances Glessner] Lee was a wealthy Chicago heiress who helped establish a forensic pathology program at Harvard University, earning her the title 'godmother of forensic science.' She meticulously built the dollhouses — with the help of a carpenter beginning in the 1940s to portray homicides, suicides, and accidental and inexplicable deaths...."

A Baltimore Sun article about an upcoming Smithsonian exhibition, "Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death."

7 comments:

john mosby said...

This is just crying out for Laslo. I'm sure he has a secret collection of White Van dioramas...

JSM

rhhardin said...

Helene, the maid, announces that the Helmers’ dear friend Dr. Rank has come to visit. At the same time, another visitor has arrived, this one unknown. To Nora’s great surprise, Kristine Linde, a former school friend, comes into the room. The two have not seen each other for years, but Nora mentions having read that Mrs. Linde’s husband passed away a few years earlier. Mrs. Linde tells Nora that when her husband died, she was left with no money and no children. Nora tells Mrs. Linde about her first year of marriage to Torvald. She explains that they were very poor and both had to work long hours. Torvald became sick, she adds, and the couple had to travel to Italy so that Torvald could recover....

Bill Peschel said...

I wrote a pretty silly review of "The Dollhouse Murders," about these dioramas. John Waters also narrated a doc on these.

Fernandinande said...

National Academy of Sciences sez -

"The forensic science system, encompassing both research and practice, has serious problems that can only be addressed by a national commitment to overhaul the current structure that supports the forensic science community in this country. This can only be done with effective leadership at the highest levels of both federal and state governments, pursuant to national standards, and with a significant infusion of federal funds."

The "serious problems" are that "many forensic tests—such as those used to infer the source of toolmarks or bite marks—have never been exposed to stringent scientific scrutiny."

Laslo Spatula said...

Barbie crime scene.

I am Laslo.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Are defense trial lawyers trained to dig into the methods used by experts for the prosecution?
Isn't science about method after all.
Forensics has to be 'granular' and for it to be any good should not be directed from top.

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