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18 Tiny Deaths by Bruce Goldfarb Read Online (FREE)

18 Tiny Deaths by Bruce Goldfarb Read Online

Read 18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics by Bruce Goldfarb full novel online for free here.





John Jacob Glessner

Sarah Frances Macbeth Glessner—Wife of John Jacob Glessner, known as Frances Macbeth

John George Macbeth Glessner—Son of John Jacob and Frances Macbeth Glessner, known as George

Frances Glessner Lee—Daughter of John Jacob and Frances Macbeth Glessner, known in childhood as Fanny




George Burgess Magrath, MD—Harvard classmate of George Glessner, medical examiner for the Northern District of Suffolk County

Isaac Scott—Designer, craftsman, and artist who made furniture and decorative objects for the Glessners




James Bryant Conant—President of Harvard University, 1933–1953

  1. Sidney Burwell, MD—Dean of Harvard Medical School, 1935–1949

Alan R. Moritz, MD—Chairman of the Department of Legal Medicine, 1937–1949

Richard Ford, MD—Chairman of the Department of Legal Medicine, 1949–1965




Roger Lee, MD—Prominent Boston internist and personal physician of George Burgess Magrath and Frances Glessner Lee, to whom he was not related

Alan Gregg, MD—Director of the Medical Sciences Division of the Rockefeller Foundation, in charge of funding projects to improve medicine

Erle Stanley Gardner—Bestselling author of Perry Mason novels




Judy Melinek, MD



I FIRST ENCOUNTERED FRANCES GLESSNER Lee’s dioramas as a young doctor in 2003, when I traveled to Baltimore to interview for a position at the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The chief, Dr. David Fowler, asked if I had seen the Nutshell Studies. I told him, honestly, that I had no idea what he was talking about. Fowler then escorted me into a dark room and switched on the lights. Pushed into a corner, some hidden under sheets to keep the dust off, were a bunch of little boxes, and inside those, enclosed in plexiglass, I discovered a precious and intricate world of violence and death.

The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death are miniature death scenes. I scrutinized them. In one of the tiny rooms, I noticed the dotted pattern on the tiled floor and the incredibly precise floral wallpaper. Another showed a wooden cabin with a kitchen and bunk beds. There were snowshoes in the attic, a pot on the counter. I played with dollhouses as a girl and would regularly beg my father to drive us to the miniatures store hours away from our home in order to purchase supplies for my own tiny world, but I had never seen dollhouses this sophisticated before. To make plates for my dolls, I would pop out the plastic liner inside bottle caps. The plates in the Nutshell Studies were made of porcelain. Porcelain! The labels on the cans stacked on the kitchen shelves and the headlines on the newspapers were legible. I couldn’t stop peering at the details.

Among those details, of course, were the blood spatters on the wallpaper, the grotesquely charred remains of a body on a burned bed, a man with a purple head hanging from a noose. These were no ordinary dollhouses. This was not child’s play. What was I looking at? Who made these? And the most compelling question: What had happened here, in each of these stories frozen in miniature?