June 25, 2013


Frances Glessner Lee (March 25, 1878 – Jan. 27, 1962) was a millionaire heiress who revolutionized the study of crime scene investigation. She founded Harvard's department of legal medicine, the first program in the nation for forensic pathology.

She was inspired by a classmate of her brother, George Burgess Magrath, who was just getting his MD from Harvard Medical School and was particularly interested in death investigation. They remained close friends until his death in 1938. Magrath became a chief medical examiner in Boston and together they lobbied to have coroners replaced by medical professionals. Glessner Lee endowed the Harvard department of legal medicine (in 1931, the first such department in the country), a chair in the field, the George Burgess Magrath Library, and Harvard Associates in Police Science, a national organization for the furtherance of forensic science, one division of which is the Frances Glessner Lee Homicide School. The Harvard program influenced other states to change over from the coroner system. Magrath became the department's first Chair.

Through the 1940s and 1950s, Lee hosted a series of semi-annual "Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death." 30 or 40 leading crime scene investigators would be invited to a week-long conference, where she would present them with an intricately constructed diorama of actual crime scenes, complete with working doors, windows, and lights. They would have 90 minutes to study the scene. The week culminated in a banquet at the Ritz Carlton. The 18 dioramas are still used for training purposes by Harvard Associates in Police Science.

For her work, Lee was made an honorary Captain in the New Hampshire State Police in 1943, the first woman in the US to hold that rank.

More here and here

June 6, 2013

I Dare You

Peter Murphy @ Milano, Magazzini Generali (May 27th, 2013)

Somebody uploaded the whole gig here and I’ve watched it 50 times already. Obsessive personality, especially when it comes to music. I missed tracks like “Mask”, “Crowds”, “Spy in the cab” (nag nag nag) but the performance itself was great.