The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

Book - 2004
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The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death offers readers an extraordinary glimpse into the mind of a master criminal investigator. Frances Glessner Lee, a wealthy grandmother, founded the Department of Legal Medicine at Harvard in 1936 and was later appointed captain in the New Hampshire police. In the 1940s and 1950s she built dollhouse crime scenes based on real cases in order to train detectives to assess visual evidence. Still used in forensic training today, the eighteen Nutshell dioramas, on a scale of 1:12, display an astounding level of detail: pencils write, window shades move, whistles blow, and clues to the crimes are revealed to those who study the scenes carefully.

Corinne May Botz's lush color photographs lure viewers into every crevice of Frances Lee's models and breathe life into these deadly miniatures, which present the dark side of domestic life, unveiling tales of prostitution, alcoholism, and adultery. The accompanying line drawings, specially prepared for this volume, highlight the noteworthy forensic evidence in each case. Botz's introductory essay, which draws on archival research and interviews with Lee's family and police colleagues, presents a captivating portrait of Lee.
Publisher: New York : Monacelli Press, 2004
ISBN: 9781580931458
Branch Call Number: 363.25 Botz
363.25 Botz
Characteristics: 223 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 28 cm
Additional Contributors: Lee, Frances Glessner 1878-1962

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Jul 11, 2018

The Nutshell Studies have fascinated me since I first heard of them, so I was happy to find a book that delves so deeply into the subject and provides both FGL's life story as well as details on the Studies.

Jun 12, 2018

Mrs. Lee was an amazing and creative lady who built these miniatures with exact detail of actual crime scenes to help police see details and interpret facts.
They are still being used for that purpose!
These were the inspiration for the CSI The Miniature Killer.
The detail and the work that was needed is truly amazing.
Here is the dedication Erle Stanly Gardner wrote in his Case of the Dubious Bridegroom: To Mrs. Frances G. Lee Captain, New Hampshire State Police. And one of the few women who ever kept Perry Mason guessing.

Jan 13, 2016

I love everything about this book! I bought it because it brings together so many things I enjoy: murder mysteries, puzzles and detective work, and miniatures. So when I found a book about tiny murder scenes used in old-timey police training programs, I had to get it and read it. I love this book so much I bought my own copy and re-read it often.


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