November 4, 2007

Dead dolls

Long before CSI, , a New England socialite and heiress, dedicated her life to the advancement of forensic science. Frances Glesser Lee also helped establish the Department of Legal Medicine at Harvard University.

She also became a captain in the New Hampshire State Police, the first woman ever to hold such a position in the United States.  She had a most inventive way to teach her students about scientific crime detection.    Using her passion for dolls and dollhouses, she created eighteen miniature crime scene dioramas packed with tiny but detectable clues for her students to analyze.  She called them Nutshell studies of Unexplained Death.

 Diorama Francis Glesser Lee

Some of these Visible Proofs are now on exhibit at the National Library of Medicine along with other forensic views of the body.

Said Earl Stanley Gardner, a close friend who wrote the Perry Mason mysteries, "A person studying these models can learn more about circumstantial evidence in an hour than he could learn in months of abstract study."

Scribal Terror has more about Death in a Nutshell

Posted by Jill Fallon at November 4, 2007 9:04 AM | Permalink