Profile: Strange Remains

“Death has no power to freeze my heart, jangle my nerves or sway my reason. Death to me is no terror of the night but a daylit companion, a familiar condition, a process obedient to scientific laws and answerable to scientific inquiry. For me, every day is Halloween.“
William R Maples and Michael Browning, Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist
For forensic anthropologists, death and decomposition are not something to fear but an everyday experience during schooling and careers. I witnessed some gruesome cases and studied some macabre history during my studies in forensic anthropology-those experiences inspired me to start this website.
Strange Remains features articles on significant forensic anthropology cases and archaeological excavations, morbid history, gruesome burial traditions, skeletal collections and charnel houses, macabre art work, and human remains in the news.
I am a guest blogger for Atlas Obscura, Defrosting Cold Cases, and Forensic Magazine. If you have any questions or would like contact me for guest blogging, I can be reached at dolly.stolze@gmail.com.
I can also be followed on Twitter (@StrangeRemains) and Tumblr (http://strangeremains.tumblr.com).

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NoteStreams By Strange Remains

The Crime Scene 'Murder Bag' was Created Because of this Murder

A ‘murder bag’ or ‘detectives box’ is a kit used by crime scene investigators that contains protective gear and tools to recover evidence. But it was not until after a particularly gory murder scene in 1924, that a CSI kit did not become an integral part of investigative protocol.
Strange Remains
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Category: Science

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How an Instructor of Frances Glessner Lee’s ‘Homicide School’ Helped Solve the Almost Perfect Murder

Frances Glessner Lee (25 March 1878 – 27 January 1962) is best known as the creator of the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death that are miniature, detailed crime scene reconstructions of suspicious deaths. But Lee’s contribution to the modern era of forensic science is much more than just her “murder dioramas.”
Strange Remains
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Category: Science

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The Legend of Blackbeard’s Silver-plated Skull

After Blackbeard was killed in battle in 1718, his head was placed on a pole overlooking the southern end of the Cheseapeake Bay as a deterrent to any current or future pirates.
The head sat atop that pole for many years until it disappeared. The skull, now lined in silver, eventually showed up again at a pub in Virginia so that it could be used as a goblet.
Strange Remains
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Category: History

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The Corpse Queen of Portugal

According to legend, in the mid-14th century a heart-broken King Peter (Pedro) I of Portugal exhumed the corpse of his lover to have her posthumously crowned queen.
Strange Remains
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Category: History

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Re-animating a Murderer: The Corpse Experiment that Inspired Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

George Forster was hanged at Newgate Prison on January 18, 1803 for murdering his wife and daughter. After the execution, Forster’s body was carried to a nearby house so that Giovanni Aldini, an Italian physicist and professor, could conduct a gruesome experiment that many believe inspired Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Cover image: Cartoon of a galvanized corpse from the Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division. Image credit: Wikipedia.
Strange Remains
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Category: Science

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The Incorruptible Sleeping Beauties

In Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox religions, incorruptibility is the belief that if the corpse of a saint does not decompose it is a sign that God has intervened because of that person’s holiness.
The bodies of Saint Catherine of Bologna, Saint Catherine Laboure, and Saint Betina Zita were judged to be incorrupt when they were first exhumed and can be seen today, hundreds of years after they died.
Strange Remains
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Category: Science

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Halloween Horror Post #2 (2017): The Haunted Bones of the Fighting Fairy Woman

The legends of Joan Wytte state that she was born around 1775 in Bodmin. She was known as the “Fighting Fairy Woman” because of her short stature and even shorter fuse. She was infamous for her bad temper and tendency to pick fights.
Cover image: A Witch by Salvador Rosa (1646). Image Credit: Wikipedia.
Strange Remains
CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Category: History

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Halloween Horror Post #1 (2017): The Curse of Rowland Jenkins

History is full of stories about curses spoken by prisoners, either rightfully or wrongfully convicted, on the way to their execution. The hexes were a prisoner’s supernatural retribution for perceived wrongs dealt them by the court.
Strange Remains
CC BY NC-SA 4.0

Category: History

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A Nightmare at Murder Farm: The Story of one of America’s most Prolific Serial Killers

Children in La Porte, Indiana grow up listening to graphic horror stories about the gruesome murder’s committed by Belle Gunness on her farm at the end of McClung Road. The most disturbing part about these grisly stories is that the gory parts are not fiction.
Strange Remains
CC BY NC-SA 4.0

Category: Science

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The Murder That Instigated the UK’s Most Dangerous Autopsy

There is an ivy-covered grave in London’s Highgate Cemetery that looks no different than the other graves around it. This particular burial, however, holds the lead-lined coffin and radioactive corpse of Alexander Litvinenko, who was subject of the UK’s “most dangerous” post-mortem examination.
Strange Remains
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Category: Science

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5 Historical Figures Whose Heads Have Been Stolen

The graves of famous people have been plundered for hundreds of years. Bodies and body parts have been stolen by guards trusted to keep corpses safe, scientists determined to study them, and even admirers with good intentions (i.e. Thomas Paine).
Skulls are usually the part of the body that is the most sought after because of its scientific value or appeal as a trophy. Recently grave robbers looted the burial plot of the man who directed Nosferatu in 1922.
Strange Remains
CC BY-NC 4.0

Category: History

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Roman Empress Used Forensic Science on her Rival's Head

A soldier presents a Roman Empress with the head of her hated rival, but she is unable to recognize the face. How could she be sure this was the right head?
Strange Remains
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Category: Science

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Beauty to Die For: How Vanity Killed an 18th Century Celebutante

The beautiful Countess of Coventry died at the young age of 27. Could her cosmetics have contributed to her untimely death?
Source and References: Strange Remains
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Category: History

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