Mason’s forensic experts dissect crime dioramas

Investigating murder is more than just a hobby.

The three forensic experts slowly, carefully examined the horrific crime scene. Three bloody bodies: A woman lying in bed, apparently shot to death; her husband face down on the floor next to the other side of the bed with a large crimson stain on the bed; and in an adjacent room, a baby in a crib, also apparently shot to death. If it were real, it would be too gruesome to look at for long, even for these three crime scene veterans.

Renowned former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole and former police crime scene investigators Kim Rule and Emily Rancourt, all now teaching their craft in the forensic science program at George Mason University, toured the exhibition “Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death” and spent close to two hours analyzing the remarkable work Lee did 70 years ago.

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Visit the exhibit “Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death” in the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum through January 28, 2018.