Utne Blogs > Science and Technology

Baltimore’s Police Learn From Dollhouses

by Elizabeth Ryan 


Tags: Urbanite, Baltimore, police, Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, Utne Independent Press Awards, Elizabeth Ryan,

urbanitemay09Most dollhouses scenes don’t feature miniature corpses hanging from ropes or life-like blood spatters evoking a crime-scene feel in each room. Most probably aren’t used by police officers, either.

The latest issue of Baltimore’s Urbanite features a handful of hidden secrets lurking in the Charm City, which includes a 60-some-year-old collection known as the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. Michael Yockel writes, “In naming her creations [Frances Glessner] Lee invokes a police dictum: ‘Convict the guilty, clear the innocent, and find the truth in a nutshell.’”

All told there are 18 tiny, gruesome dioramas, which are used in seminars to school police in forensics and solving murder cases. Too bad Jimmy McNulty and crew didn’t have these.

The Urbanite is nominated for a 2009 Utne Independent Press Award for its social/cultural coverage.

Source: Urbanite