• Unexplained Deaths

  • How One Woman Changed Homicide Investigation Forever
  • By: Bruce Goldfarb
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $21.81

Buy for $21.81

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

For most of human history, sudden and unexpected deaths of a suspicious nature, when they were investigated at all, were examined by lay persons without any formal training. People often got away with murder. Modern forensic investigation originates with Frances Glessner Lee - a pivotal figure in police science.

Frances Glessner Lee (1878-1962), born a socialite to a wealthy and influential Chicago family, was never meant to have a career, let alone one steeped in death and depravity. Yet she became the mother of modern forensics and was instrumental in elevating homicide investigation to a scientific discipline.

Frances Glessner Lee learned forensic science under the tutelage of pioneering medical examiner Magrath - he told her about his cases, gave her access to the autopsy room to observe post-mortems and taught her about poisons and patterns of injury. A voracious reader, too, Lee acquired and read books on criminology and forensic science - eventually establishing the largest library of legal medicine. 

Lee went on to create "The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death" - a series of dollhouse-sized crime-scene dioramas depicting the facts of actual cases in exquisitely detailed miniature - and perhaps the thing she is most famous for. Celebrated by artists, miniaturists and scientists, the Nutshell Studies are a singularly unusual collection. They were first used as a teaching tool in homicide seminars at Harvard Medical School in the 1930s, and then in 1945 the homicide seminar for police detectives that is the longest-running and still the highest-regarded training of its kind in America. Both of which were established by the pioneering Lee.

In Unexplained Deaths, Bruce Goldfarb weaves Lee's remarkable story with the advances in forensics made in her lifetime to tell the tale of the birth of modern forensics.

This audiobook was originally published in 2020 under the title 18 Tiny Deaths

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2017 Bruce Goldfarb (P)2017 Octopus Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"Disturbing dioramas created by an American millionairess revolutionised the art of modern forensics." (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

What listeners say about Unexplained Deaths

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for EK
  • EK
  • 07-06-20

Could not finish this

So far this has been nothing but a sycophantic history of the Glessner family, not the interesting history of part of the birth of modern forensic science, as promised. I got half way through a partially accurate description of the commissioning of their second family home, and gave up.

2 people found this helpful