Pioneer of Modern Criminology
January 26, 2005 6:37 PM   Subscribe

Unexplained death in a nutshell. In the 1930’s International Harvester heiress Frances Glessner Lee built one-inch-to-one foot scale models of violent crimes.
posted by arse_hat (15 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
arse_hat: I'm somewhat biased, you being a fellow hoser and all and having "arse" in your name, but I can't express how cool this is. It could only be cooler if it were a Massey-Ferguson heiress, but we can't have everything.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 7:09 PM on January 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

Boingboing coverage, which includes this NYT scan.
posted by shoepal at 7:14 PM on January 26, 2005

also an article and exhibit (and another article) via Things Magazine
posted by shoepal at 7:19 PM on January 26, 2005

Pretty much: absolutely amazing.
posted by Jeff_Larson at 7:35 PM on January 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

shoepal, great links. This is when I love Meta. I can share something with others and get something great in return.
Turtles, I went to a couple of agro fairs in SW Ontario this fall it was cool to see the Massey-Ferguson name back instead of the lame Navistar.
posted by arse_hat at 7:57 PM on January 26, 2005

Wow. Just wow. Nothing has made me want to go to Baltimore more than this.
posted by bayliss at 8:57 PM on January 26, 2005

Fabulous post, arse_hat, and great additions, everybody. Here's an interesting review of Corinne May Botz's book, that give a few tantalizing details of Lee's life:
To begin at the beginning, Frances Glessner Lee, our heroine, was born in Chicago to the co-founder and vice president of International Harvester, which means that she was very rich indeed, and very much a part of Chicago’s uppermost crust. But her parents were not exactly like the Marshall Fields and the Armours (the meat-packing Armours, that is). Mrs. Glessner was a "pianist, seamstress, creator of silver jewelry and objects, and beekeeper." The house Mr. Glessner built and loved—designed by the formidable H.H. Richardson—was more like a fortress than a residence. "When it was erected," the author tells us, it "provoked an uproar in the neighborhood …. [S]ome mistook it for an apartment building or a church; others compared it with a fort or a jail." One critic described it as "pathologically private."
I've linked to the cached version, because the regular url turns up the most recent review, and I can't seem to locate this one.

Am I being overly romantic in wondering if Frances Lee's relationship with George Magrath was something more complex than just a shared intellectual curiosity?
posted by taz at 12:16 AM on January 27, 2005 [1 favorite]

taz, thanks so much! I was trying to find that link!
"something more complex than just a shared intellectual curiosity?" That was my starting point but I could not find the old link.
posted by arse_hat at 12:20 AM on January 27, 2005

Superb. Thanks so much for posting this...

scurries off to spend the rest of the morning reading about Frances Glessner Lee...
posted by anastasiav at 6:00 AM on January 27, 2005 [1 favorite]

(this is great)
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:16 AM on January 27, 2005 [1 favorite]

he shot himself and pulled the covers up nice and snug around him? Not likely.
This is great, I want to see them all for real. :)
posted by dabitch at 6:53 AM on January 27, 2005 [1 favorite]

Now she would probably start with the Microsoft Visio Crime Scenes Add-in.
posted by pracowity at 7:37 AM on January 27, 2005

The Corinne May Botz book is a really nice hardcover book with great photographs covering many of the nutshell studies. I own a copy and its always been a great conversation piece. For anyone in San Francisco who wants a copy right now, they carry it at Borderlands books on Valencia St.
posted by vacapinta at 10:25 AM on January 27, 2005

I work in a bookstore and recently shelved this book on our 30% off display... flipped through it and wondered who would buy it. So far, even since we put it on discount, I have not seen anyone come through with it. I think its a neat book, but maybe not the type of large hulking black mass that one wants on their coffee table? Then again, I wouldn't want any black mass on my coffee table... I'm just saying.
posted by dazedandconfused at 6:47 PM on January 27, 2005

so where is your store???
posted by arse_hat at 8:14 PM on January 27, 2005

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