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Heiress Plotted 19 Grisly Crimes. Investigation Underway.

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Published on 14 Mar 2019 / In Entertainment

Heiress Plotted 19 Grisly Crimes. Investigation Underway.<br />This became as clear as a bloody footprint to me last week, as I walked through “Murder Is Her Hobby” at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American<br />Art Museum, an exhibition of 19 miniature crime scenes created by Frances Glessner Lee in the 1940s and ’50s as training tools for police investigators.<br />“If you’re one of the first women,” Ms. Smith said of Lee’s involvement in the field, “you<br />probably had to have somebody — some gentleman at the time — invite you to the table.<br />The Nutshells are not only ingenious devices for the instruction of crime scene examiners, they are a body of imaginative work<br />that would have established any artist’s career and place in art history.<br />The models, meticulously handcrafted by Lee, are known as ‘‘The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death.’’ Nearly all are owned by the Harvard Medical School<br />and on loan from the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, where they live, and continue to teach, some 70 years on.<br />We can all point to that in our careers.” Something of an anomaly when she started out in the 1980s, Ms.<br />Smith now directs a department of 56 crime scene scientists that she estimates is 70 percent women<br />Magrath, who would later become the Medical Examiner for Suffolk County in Massachusetts, showed respect for her interest in legal medicine<br />and forensic science and made important introductions.<br />The husband’s statement: He left on an errand, came back, the door was locked, he<br />saw “what appeared to be” his wife through the window and called the police.

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