October 18, 2018

Murder Mystery: An 1850s Whodunnit

by Science Vs

Background show artwork for Science Vs

It’s 1849, and a gruesome murder has just happened at Harvard. As body parts turn up, the science of the day is put to the ultimate test… to find out: who did it? We speak to Prof. Paul Collins, who tells us how this morbid mystery unfolds. 

Check out the transcript right here: http://bit.ly/2BntpNU

Selected references: 

Archival images from the case:

Some of the bodily remains discovered during the investigation:

From the US National Library of Medicine

Layout of Harvard Medical College, showing the dissecting vault and room:


This episode was produced by Kaitlyn Sawrey with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Rose Rimler, Meryl Horn and Odelia Rubin. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell, with help from Caitlin Kenny. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to Jessica Murphy and the team at the Harvard University Archives, plus Lars Trembly and Matthew Nelson, Frank Lopez, Joseph Lavelle Wilson and the Zukerman Family.

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