18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics (Hardcover)

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By Bruce Goldfarb, Judy Melinek (Introduction by)
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I first became interested in Frances Glessner Lee when I read an article about the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death several years back. The Nutshells are a set of dioramas Lee built in the 1940s to help train medical examiners on how to approach a crime scene involving a death. At the time they were built, there wasn't much education available in the U.S. on how to determine how a person died, how long they had been dead, and whether it was by accident or by murder. Lee believed these were important questions that needed to be answered in a scientific manner in order to prevent the innocent from being wrongly convicted and ensure the guilty went to jail. Using her wealth and influence, she tried to create a Department of Legal Medicine at Harvard and, through her efforts, she helped spread the teaching of modern forensics. Lee’s Nutshell Studies are still used today. This is a fascinating read.

— Amanda

Description


"Eye-opening biography of Frances Glessner Lee, who brought American medical forensics into the scientific age...genuinely compelling."--Kirkus Reviews

"A captivating portrait of a feminist hero and forensic pioneer." --Booklist

The story of a woman whose ambition and accomplishments far exceeded the expectations of her time, 18 Tiny Deaths follows the transformation of a young, wealthy socialite into the mother of modern forensics...

Frances Glessner Lee, born a socialite to a wealthy and influential Chicago family in the 1870s, was never meant to have a career, let alone one steeped in death and depravity.

Yet she developed a fascination with the investigation of violent crimes, and made it her life's work. Best known for creating the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, a series of dollhouses that appear charming--until you notice the macabre little details: an overturned chair, or a blood-spattered comforter. And then, of course, there are the bodies--splayed out on the floor, draped over chairs--clothed in garments that Lee lovingly knit with sewing pins.

18 Tiny Deaths, by official biographer Bruce Goldfarb, delves into Lee's journey from grandmother without a college degree to leading the scientific investigation of unexpected death out of the dark confines of centuries-old techniques and into the light of the modern day.

Lee developed a system that used the Nutshells dioramas to train law enforcement officers to investigate violent crimes, and her methods are still used today.

18 Tiny Deaths transports the reader back in time and tells the story of how one woman, who should never have even been allowed into the classrooms she ended up teaching in, changed the face of science forever.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781492680475
ISBN-10: 1492680478
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: February 4th, 2020
Pages: 368
Language: English