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18 Tiny Deaths : The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics
by Bruce Goldfarb and Judy Melinek




Overview -

A captivating blend of history, women in science, and true crime, 18 Tiny Deaths tells the story of how one woman changed the face of forensics forever.

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.

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...

"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

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More About 18 Tiny Deaths by Bruce Goldfarb; Judy Melinek

 
 
 

Overview

A captivating blend of history, women in science, and true crime, 18 Tiny Deaths tells the story of how one woman changed the face of forensics forever.

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.

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...

"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


 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781492680475
  • ISBN-10: 1492680478
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks
  • Publish Date: February 2020
  • Page Count: 368
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.35 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

Scientific sleuthing: Glimpses of the early days of forensics

In the age of “CSI,” it’s hard to imagine the world of crime solving before the introduction of forensic science. These books transport readers to the birth of the innovative police work that’s still cracking cases today.

In 1932, America was gripped by the headlines coming out of rural New Jersey: 20-month-old Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr., the son of celebrity aviator Charles Lindbergh and his wife, Anne, was stolen from his crib as his parents sat downstairs. His tiny skeleton would later be found on the side of the road, breaking hearts and inciting outrage around the world. The crime shocked the nation and created a ripple effect that echoed through history.

Though certainly the most famous kidnapping of the era, the Lindbergh case was by no means a singular event. In The Kidnap Years: The Astonishing True History of the Forgotten Kidnapping Epidemic That Shook Depression-Era America, journalist and author David Stout recounts the bewildering rash of kidnappings that swept the United States as gangland rose to prominence and much of the country was swallowed by desperate poverty. Interweaving the Lindbergh kidnapping through narratives of lesser-known abductions from coast to coast, Stout examines this wave of crime from many angles: the lives of the abducted, the circumstances of the abductors and the state of a nation in which organized crime flourished because of people’s dire financial circumstances. This movement coincided with the rise of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, and the Lindbergh case itself saw the first flickerings of psychology and forensic analysis, including fingerprinting, being used in criminal cases.

It is surprising, then, that in 1951, Hoover would turn down a visit from a grandmotherly figure who seemed particularly insistent upon gaining an audience with him. An unlikely presence in the world of criminal investigation, Frances Glessner Lee was a leader in the emerging forensic sciences and a staunch advocate for the adoption of the medical examiner system. Best known today as the creator of the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, a series of dioramas depicting homicides in miniature for officers to practice their observational skills upon, Lee is the subject of Bruce Goldfarb’s 18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics. Born to wealth but denied a career because of her gender, Lee employed her considerable curiosity, intellect, willpower and fortune toward the burgeoning field of “legal medicine,” the application of medical sciences toward criminal investigation. The scope of what Lee accomplished in her lifetime is breathtaking, and Goldfarb has written a worthy tribute to the passionate life’s work of a deeply singular woman.

 

BAM Customer Reviews