18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics
Long before the made-for-television, solve-it-in-60-minutes procedurals of CSI, there was Francis Glessner Lee.
Heir to a family fortune, looking very much the part of the grandmother she was, Lee seemed an unlikely candidate to become the early 20th-century godmother of forensic science. But she had a bent for science and an obsession for getting the bottom of suspicious deaths. She drove the establishment of the nation’s first department of legal medicine at Harvard University and a series of intensive police training seminars that continue to this day. For the latter, Lee created a range of intricately detailed, dollhouse-like death scenes – the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death – designed to sharpen skills of observation and deduction.
Bruce Goldfarb, a former journalist who’s now executive assistant to the chief medical examiner for the state of Maryland, spotlights her improbable life and work in his newly released 18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics. He joins Kaite Stover, the Library’s director of readers’ services, in a discussion of the book.
Watch the online event live at YouTube.com/kclibrary.