Show Notes: Frances Glessner Lee

Tracy Wilson

View of Fireplace in Glessner House by Henry Hobson Richardson --- Image by © Thomas A. Heinz/CORBIS

We have Frances Glessner Lee to thank for modern methods of crime scene investigation. We also have her to thank for some simultaneously creepy and useful artwork: the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. These are tiny, meticulously detailed dioramas constructed based on real crime scenes, although the point is to learn how to observe, not to solve the crime.

We have two pieces of listener mail. One is on Ambrose Bierce from listener Alan. The other is about the first woman to reach the top of Everest. That one's from listener Kate.

For more knowledge: How Crime Scene Investigation Works

Episode download link: Frances Glessner Lee and Tiny Forensics

Holly's research:

  • "Of Dolls & Murder."
  • Bush, Erin N. "Death in Diorama." George Mason University.
  • Glessner House Museum.
  • Lee, Frances Glessner. "Legal medicine at Harvard University." Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. Volume 42, Issue 5, January-February. Winter 1952.
  • Miller, Laura J. "Frances Glessner Lee." Harvard Magazine. September-October 2005.
  • Ramsland, Katherine. "The Nutshell Studies of Frances Glessner Lee."
  • Sragow, Michael. "'Nutshell' Murder Dioramas Arrive on Film." Baltimore Sun. June 2, 2012.
  • Stamp, Jimmy. "How a Chicago Heiress Trained Homicide Detectives With an Unusual Tool: Dollhouses." Smithsonian. March 6, 2014.
  • U.S. National Library of Medicine. "Frances Glessner Lee (1878-1962)."

You can listen to Stuff You Missed in History Class via iTunes and the Stuff You Missed in History Class RSS feed. Follow us on Twitter at @missedinhistory, and you can keep up with us on the official Stuff You Missed in History Class Facebook page. We're also on Tumblr and Pinterest.