18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Invented Modern Forensics

18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Invented Modern Forensics

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By  Bruce Goldfarb,

Introduction by Judy Melinek

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—now in paperback!

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 dioramas that appear charming—until you notice the macabre little details: an overturned chair, 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.

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 is the story of a woman who overcame the limitations and expectations imposed by her social status and pushed forward an entirely new branch of science that we still use today.

Paperback / True Crime / Forensics / Biography / Science & Technology / Women

1.1" H x 8.3" L x 5.6" W (0.85 lbs) 368 pages


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