The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death
Frances Glessner Lee, a millionaire heiress, revolutionized the study of forensics and crime scene investigation. She believed that crimes could be solved by a detailed analysis of visual and material evidence.
She used newspaper reports, and interviews with policemen and morgue workers to create miniture crime scenes(which were extremely detailed) such as suicides, accidental deaths, accidents as homicides and homicide, potentially, as suicides. Of the twenty she made, eighteen have survived and of those eighteen, eleven show violent deaths of women. Everything from the wallpaper to the presence of alcohol and drugs was added to the miniture crime scenes.
This helped investigators train to identify crimes and clues found at crime scenes and left a big mark on the field as we know it today. They were also used in Harvard Associates in Police Science (HAPS) seminars. She called them nutshell cases, a name that was inspired by a detective who told her this:
As the investigator, you must bear in mind that there is a two-fold responsibility—to clear the innocent as well as expose the guilty. Seek only the facts—Find the truth in a Nutshell.
This lady was amazing, I just learned about her today from the Stuff You Missed In History Class podcast. You wouldn’t believe it, but she gave us such revolutionary ideas about crime investigation such as LOOKING EVERYWHERE FOR EVIDENCE AND NOT JUST FOR STUFF THAT SUPPORTS THE THEORY YOU PULLED OUT OF YOUR ASS. Seriously. Look her up, she’s worth learning about.