Are you like most people and fascinated by unnatural death? “Of Dolls and Murder” is a documentary that looks into the subject.
In the 1930’s and 40’s, heiress Frances Glessner Lee had plenty of time on her hands and a keen interest in the forensic sciences. She created lifelike dioramas called The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death.
These miniature crime scenes were designed to help and even train homicide detectives on how to read clues. They are still used to this day.
The film not only explores each diorama individually, it also has plenty of interesting facts about Lee and how she was welcomed into the brotherhood of crime solving. In her day, there were very few, if any, women actively involved in the forensic arts.
The filmmakers also take you on a side trip to the Body Farm, a forensic anthropology site in Tennessee where bodies are deliberately left in the open to rot.
“Of Dolls and Murder” is narrated by John Waters and manages to both entertain and inform today’s CSI crowd. Grade: B+