Frances Glessner Lee (1878-1962) created an extremely detailed series of miniature true crime scenes which she called the "Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death." She created these miniatures in order to train homicide investigators to "convict the guilty, clear the innocent, and find the truth in a nutshell." In this video, we get to see inside of her incredible dioramas and learn more about how and why she made them: The dollhouses of death that changed forensic science.
Lee's dioramas helped revolutionize forensics. She was the first female police captain in the U.S., and is considered the "mother of forensic science." Lee began constructing her Nutshell series in the 1940s, and through her artistic talent and meticulous attention to detail, she was able to teach detectives to pay more attention to the detail in homicides and other crime scenes. Lee's miniatures, which are part art and part forensic science, have been shown at the Smithsonian Art Museum.
When I first Saw Lee's miniatures, I thought they were super cool, fictional art pieces. Learning that these are all snapshots of real life events makes them far creepier, but fascinating to look at nonetheless.