The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

There is a miniature community of horrors on the third floor of the Maryland Medical Examiner’s Office. A display of 18 exquisitely crafted models of actual crime scenes presents grisly vignettes of violent death.

The models were made in the 1940s by Frances Glessner Lee, a wealthy, eccentric Chicago woman who had been raised on Sherlock Holmes tales and had a lifelong fascination with sleuthing. The studies were based on actual crime scenes, reconstructed from photographs, sketches and statements by witnesses and police. Only names and revealing details were changed. The dollhouse-like models are designed on a scale of one foot to one inch, perfectly proportioned for an investigator six inches tall.

READ MORE ABOUT THE NUTSHELL STUDIES

NUTSHELL STUDIES IMAGE GALLERY

Images from The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death by Corinne May Botz, used with permission.

 


The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death may be viewed by the public by appointment.

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
900 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21223
410-333-3225
info [at] ocmemd [dot] org

10 Comments

  1. dave says:

    is there an email address i can use to organise an appointment for “The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death”?
    I have tried calling the number above but have not had anyone answer.

    Reply
  2. Sally says:

    On a whim, we showed up at the me’s office in the summer of ’11 – the only time we succeeded at getting in to this exhibit. Three more time between 2011 and 2012, I called trying to make a future appointment to see the houses again with other friends. At no time did we receive a call back from the man who was supposed schedule appointments and tours. We tried one last time in the fall of 2012 by simply showing up at the office, which had been so easy the first time. No one answered the intercom.

    Reply
    • Bruce Goldfarb says:

      The person who used to accompany visitors to the Nutshells retired. A new person is doing that now. You can make arrangements for a visit by calling 410-333-3225.

      Reply

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