Saturday 11 April 2020

#BlogTour 18 Tiny Deaths by Bruce Goldfarb

Today it's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour 18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics by Bruce Goldfarb
About the Author
Bruce Goldfarb is the executive assistant to the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland, US, where the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death are housed. He gives conducted tours of the facility and is also a trained forensic investigator. He began his career as a paramedic before working as a journalist, reporting on medicine, science and health.

He collaborated with Susan Marks - the documentary filmmaker who produced the 2012 film about Frances Glessner Lee and the Nutshells titled Of Dolls and Murder.

Follow @bruce_goldfarb on Twitter, on Amazon, on Goodreads, Visit brucegoldfarb.comBuy 18 Tiny Deaths

About the book
18 Tiny Deaths is the remarkable story of how one woman changed the face of murder investigation forever.

Born in 1878, Frances Glessner Lee’s world was set to be confined to the domestic sphere. She was never expected to have a career, let alone one steeped in death and depravity. Yet she was to become known as ‘the mother of forensic science’.

This is her story.

Frances Glessner Lee’s mission was simple: she wanted to train detectives to ‘convict the guilty, clear the innocent and find the truth in a nutshell’. This was a time of widespread corruption, amateur sleuthing and bungled cases. With the help of her friend, the pioneering medical examiner George Magrath, Frances set out to revolutionise police investigation.

Her relentless pursuit of justice led her to create ‘The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death’, a series of dollhouse-sized crime scene dioramas depicting actual cases in exquisitely minute detail that Lee used to teach homicide investigators.

They were first used in homicide seminars at Harvard Medical School in the 1930s, and then became part of the longest running and still the highest regarded police training seminar in America.

Celebrated the world over by scientists, artists and miniaturists, these macabre scenes helped to establish her legendary reputation as ‘the mother of modern forensics’, influencing people the world over, including Scotland Yard. Frances wanted justice for all. She became instrumental in elevating murder investigation to a scientific discipline.

'Follow the evidence where it leads' - Frances Glessner Lee presented facts not speculation. Indeed it is the milestone of forensic science that those investigating ensure they not lead the evidence to where they think it should lead them.

Lee changed the face of crime investigations by creating 18 dollhouse-sized dioramas of crime scenes in order to teach investigators about collecting evidence and using every small detail to come to their possible conclusions.

With all the modern technology advancements in police and forensic science, especially in the last three to four decades, one wouldn't be remiss in thinking that the Nutshell Studies are obsolete. They aren't and never will be. They are not only a fascinating piece of crime-solving police science history they were and possibly still are an irreplaceable teaching tool - well perhaps before the age of virtual imagery.

They are in their own way, each and every one, small boxes of intricate art, which to this day are still revealing new details.

I found it quite paradox that a book about a woman who struggled to make her place in a field ruled by men because of her gender, although it was certainly easier given the position of her family in society, that a lot of this story was about the men in her life and the ones who surrounded her.

Then again wasn't that the way of the world and often still is - that the accomplishments of women pale in comparison to those of the opposite gender. Fortunately her legacy and contribution to forensic science and crime scene investigation will always be part of history, and so it should be.

Buy 18 Tiny Deaths at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Endeavour; pub date 2 April 2020 - £16.99 Hardback (including 16 pages of colour photographs). Buy at Amazon com.

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