The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, Maryland is a busy place. Anyone who dies unexpectedly in the state of Maryland will end up there for an autopsy. On an average day, they might perform twelve autopsies; on … Continue reading →
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is ninety. Nine percent, invisible by roman Mars, quick announcement before we start earlier this year I went to the TED Conference in Vancouver and I gave a talk about flag design. It was incredible experience, and even though there was a little bit of scepticism when I started the talk, you know when everyone learn that it was really going to be about five design. The talk totally one over the crowd and I got a standing ovation. It was real highlight of my career unless with the video is finally released. So I really hope everyone who listens the show we'll go watch it ensure it you're gonna, dig it The good part is it. Let me for form the talk like a rat YO peace instead of the normal TED talk, I'm sitting down and plain audio clips and talking over music, and for once you get to see my face, wanna, do it if you listening to ninety nine percent of us before. While you know that one of the thorns and my side is the city flag of San Francisco, if you're familiar with that flag, you'll see
anybody it's not good. Anyway million p. Has some fans at the company Autodesk Navy? If you dont know Autodesk or you need to know, is this: if thing, you're looking at exists in three dimensions in the real world. That object was probably designed on Autodesk software, so Autodesk has his big office in San Francisco and these the TED Talk, it suggested that we, our dinner together at health plan redesign of the samples your flag, really exciting, we have website sovereignty, go flight. I com, you can watch the tent their sign up. Learning get involved that San Francisco, Dot com, please visit Watch the video show. The link I am trying to Get my TED talk to become the most watched. Ted talk in history, so we do need three million more views to get there interview, who down on the show, watch the video
one. Sixteen seventy times we can make it or. In a shared alone and making friends watch it thanks. So much. This is ninety nine percent, invisible, I'm roman Mars office of the chief medical examiner in Baltimore Maryland is busy place anyway. Dies unexpectedly in the state of Maryland will end up, therefore, an autopsy on it: bridge day they might perform twelve autopsies on everyone they might do more than twenty the building, is six stories tall around eighty p, or employed there. All day long these are coming in and out people are calling Decease love once the press is with inquiries, but there this one room on the fourth floor that sits apart from the as of normal activity in the building,
loser. Katy mingle was just there in Baltimore this room, a bit more like an art gallery because this kind of an art gallery it houses I shall studies which are these in Dollhouse Lake Tire Armas, and each one has a different seen. There's a kitchen log cabin aboard about. There are eighteen, different seeds and each scene has for tiny features, tiny furniture, tiny windows and doors and lamps, and there are also tiny people dolls in each scene, and all of the tiny people in these scenes. Have we thing in common they're all dead. We need in a nutshell, dire Rama, you're. Looking for clues about how the person or persons died, Was it a suicide, a homicide, an accidental duff? the guns area, obviously need a lot of evidence of the gun. So why would someone I came in a martyr them? Why would they leave a gun?
neither that's so I sent a minute ago that the nuptial room is usually a quiet sanctuary in an otherwise busy office, and it is usually but this week there are quite a few people in here. Their mostly police, a few FBI and their here for a week, long seminar on homicide investigation on the other theories- you know, maybe he while there there, the attendees will hear speakers they'll see an autopsy and they'll be. Broken into groups in assigned a nutshell. Dire Roma knows nearly at the end of the week be asked to present their theories of what happened in their dire romas. Second, this group, looking at one of the few multi room until studies, and then he stumbled and hear these cry at this point gets in the bed and enforcement authorities. Then he drank the counter under an emotive thrown off. Now most nationals are just one room and about the size of a shoe box. This one is a little bigger. It has three rooms, plus a porch, its
glass case. So you can look down and see the interior of the house from above him. He doesn't check the round dog comes into the debate, I think that scene is of a lovely well kept suburban home, narrowly stories on the tables flower linoleum in the kitchen and blood everywhere. In the bedroom. A husband and wife are dead from gunshot wounds in another room. A baby has been shot dead, nor crib blood. His spattered all over the pink wallpaper. It's a gruesome seen the neighbours. The images must be a nurse who, as I would have his wife and he wanted the neighbours because he knows near them. The seminar that brought these folks here has been happen. Every year for the last seven years and the prison who started. It is this the person who made the little death seen dire rumors.
Was France's Glass Nerli and her work in the field of forensics has shaped just about everything that happens inside the office of the chief medical examiner in Baltimore Maryland. To tell her story I want to introduce you to a couple of people, but it was a resolve it or you can collar investigations, but remember that Goldfarb and I'm the executive assistant to the chief medical for the sake of Maryland, and this is correct and I am Curran Botz, an artist in photographer and I'm the author of the nutshell, studies, unexplained death cringe spent seven years researching Frances gloves so far, This clause early would have loved the opportunity to study medicine and going to college, but her parents were not supportive of that this was around. Nineteen hundred women were really going to medical school. Her brother Go though, of course, and he brought a friend home once a guy by the name of George Mc Grath, who is it
pioneering medical, examiner, Mcgrath and Lee became great friends and we need come to visit. He tellers stories about cases he was working on issues disturbs me. First, make sure now Lee came from a wealthy Chicago famine She was supposed to be a proper society, lady with Lady Hobbes, like needlework, so interesting, wasn't really encouraged by her family, which meant for years. She quietly studied it. She was a voracious reader, in talking to experts getting first hand experience by going to crime scenes and then came to realize that people are getting away with murder. Literally police would retain we bought investigations. We would concern Kramer scenes move bodies do things that today would be obviously don't do that, but
at the time they didn't know any better, be on that. The police just didn't know how to get information from these scenes. You know they might not realize the significance of you know a pile of c. Rats or the positioning of a firearm and the other thing was autopsies. Either work being done at all or were being done by doctors with no specific training in forensics Eventually Liese parents and her brother passed away. She was in her fifties by that, and she finally had access to the family, money and agency did do what she wanted so in nineteen thirty six she gave a bunch of money, too, for the university to establish the first programme, illegal medicine, to train doctors and make them, but it will examine it and then and nineteen forty five least arts, and presides over these weak long training seminars for police, the ones are still going on. Today. She wanted to eat Among other things. How do I get the clues from a crime scene
worse in terms of the realities in time constraints. They were actually able to visit a crimes in during the seminars. So we decide shall build miniature death scenes for the police to stubby. Each one will be based on a real death, shall call them the nut shell studies of unexplained deaths. Basically, she will come up with their cause. Except in the design and her carpenter would drop them. The blue prints on the scale of an inch to afoot. Please carpenter built, Miss structures frame. The rooms, exactly as you would, a real life size, room, real studs, real doors with real locks that worked Lee handled the figures and textiles, the rugs and drapes and timing clothes on the tiny figures. Final, those society, lady skills were being put to use. She, wouldn't it the stockings with needles. Aside a straight pins using a magnifying glass and of course she could only work for like a few seconds before her eyes with fatigue,
big. The figures in the nutshells also sometimes show rigour mortis, which is a post mortem, stiffening of the body and levity, which is the way the blood pools or settles in the body after death, both pro, I clues as to how and when a person died, the detail, nah Chelles is bordering on obsessive in one an ashtray overflowed with tiny cigarettes made with real tobacco hand, role by Lee herself, each one burned and then stopped out the coffee pot. She has there's a strainer inside in coffee grounds in it the fullest Rynason from because if we were life, is you know you you going to somebody's home? They could have a bag of drugs and a weapon over here, and I have take. It may or may not mean anything this is clearly spare no expense on her die aromas likes you sort of lavished love onto these brutal crimes. Scenes
one took about six months and around six thousand dollars to build that by the same amount of time and money. It would cost to build a real house in the nineteen least out like if the policemen looked at them and saw any fault, and take them seriously. You know they will learn from them. So that's why she felt, like everything had to be done perfectly of course, friends. Glessner Lee was always trying to be taken seriously and we all male world she had entered. She was both respected and adored by the police that she worked with? week long seminars, she led were thought to be the best training homicide detectives could receive, and there drove out of that were actually even today. After friends, clearly died in nineteen sixty two, the programme should funded at Harvard, including the weeklong seminars were ended and in the nutshells were put in store, possibly headed for the trash and then
medical examiner in Baltimore at the time a guy named Russell Fischer, who is a former student of least programmes at Harvard stepped in and said I'll do it will do summoner seminar orders pick it up here in Maryland, and they brought the a charlestown in. So it's been The seminar and the nationals been used here since nineteen sixty eight. The building it houses, the in twenty office in Baltimore is fairly me. It was built in twenty features. Bruce, is giving me a tour of the building. It has pretty unique features, including a full size apartment that investigators can use to stage deaths in behind this regrettable burning earlier Kitchen Bruce the first to it as a life size, nutshell, study and the most violent room in Baltimore is most world where the Baltimore they also have a parking girl
that in an emergency can quickly turn into a huge mark and they the biosafety facility to deal with death from highly contagious diseases or social origin or issues on relations. As we walk around the autopsy floor, the second floor, I'm on I alert, I'm basically terrified and running into something, I'm not prepared to see or smell temporary one step into my arms, absolutely fine, thousand women put together mingle, Beagle an orderly, totally, not being cool, but we go through and that's fine, I mean yes, there are dead. Beats- and I have many existential feelings about that- that I won't share here, but mainly this place
feels like a really clean hospital for dead people. It feels like yeah. This is how it should be Francis believed in science based death investigation need the whole institution top to bottom. I think is probably the fullest embodiment of her philosophy and her This is talking, of course, about Francis Class narrowly. He says. Not only is this building an embodiment of her philosophies but so The whole Maryland system for dealing with death investigation. If you die unexpectedly in the state of Maryland, your death is likely to undergo a thorough investigation, including an autopsy by medical examiner with specific forensic training. But this is not what you get everywhere. Depending on where you die, you can end up
no facility like Marilyn's or you could literally and up on a makeshift table in someone's garage from state to state even county, the county. There can be huge variations in quality and there Definitely no federal regulations, there's a lot of sub standard work, unfortunately being done in that field. It's not like CSI, it's not like what you see on tv. Very often, that's easy terms. He did a bunch of reporting on this for pro public a few years ago, very often its people working under is more conditions. For very little money with very little oversight. When someone dies in the? U S and authority has to issue a death certificate with a cause of death. If you, from an illness in hospital. This is, then you're doctor would do if you die unex by actively but give your murdered or fall down some steps. A deserter is issued by either a corner or medical examiner, Merrill
and is on a medical, examiner system, South Carolina Colorado and several other states are on coroner systems, and many of states our weird mix of both depending on what county or in France's gradually was actually really passionate about abolishing corners in favour medical examiners because well I don't know if she would have put it like this. Basically, the coroner system is crazy. It's bankers and its. Doktor, to be a corridor. That is to be the person who s, use a death certificate with you don't necessarily have to be a doctor to be a corridor that is too The person who issues a death certificate with a cause of death like school graduate in a lot of places. I could just roll out and say I'm runnin per coroner and be
the county coroner now. I would typically work with an m d who would do the autopsies, but I'd be the one who would make the final decision and that's the other thing. The coroner is an elected office. When you medical professionals or even non medical professionals who have to for office based on what begins in the morgue, sets up potential conflict of interest one of the situations where you might see. Conflicts of interest are cases where someone dies in police custody. Asia they did some reporting on this very thing in New Orleans and what you see in New Orleans over and over and over again is that when people died in police custody, When people died in jail custody, there would be pretty good evidence that something unto it had happened, they'd been neglected. They been severely beaten, they'd been attacked,
what was happening was the coroner. There was basically trying to pretend that these didn't happen. He was real deaths to be accidental. That should have been ruled as homicides. His name was Frank Millyard? He actually was a doctor, but he wasn't trained as a medical examiner. He was an beat you I am, and he seemed to have a bias towards protecting the police, maybe because he constantly had the campaign to keep his job? Who does he to endorse, and while he once the police to endorse them, and if he's gotta, expats with the police. Is that going look good for voters, in New Orleans. The F b I finally stepped in and did some of their own investigations, and some police did eventually go to jail for some of those debts, but me It was never fired by the voters or anywhere else. He served this corner for forty years and fun. He retired in twenty forty, so
worth noting when you're talking about incidents involving the police, that if the police shoot somebody the corner, medical examiner is going to say it was a homicide. You can really get around that then the question will be. Is it justified or not, but then there are cases their Alaska and dry and those the ones where an impartial scientific death investigation might matter the most an action while I was in Baltimore one of the cases was playing out. You probably heard about it for a secondary in Baltimore, a demand for answers and to how twenty five year old, Freddy Gray, suffered a fatal. Final cord injury wall in police custody. Freddy Gray sustained his fatal injury on April twelve. He died a week later on the nineteenth four days after his death people protested and waited to see if the stated Ernie Maryland most be, would bring charges against the police involved in the incident and
so he was waiting to she was way to see how the medical examiner would rule the Deaf ass soon ass, she got their findings. She made her announcement the findings of our comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation, coupled with the medical examiner determination that Mr Grace death was a homicide which we received today has led us to believe that we are probably caused a file of criminals, we don't know if the officers charged and forty grace death will be convicted, but they were charge and for a lot of people This was an important first step. I had left boss, By the time the Medical Examiners Office released their findings on Friday Gray, but I have to having just been there and seen the way they do things. I feel pretty confident in their process like their findings, would be based in science and not tied to politics, and I don't think it's a stretch to
that France's pleasantly had something to do with that. If she were to walk around see what we do thing, but two things here. I think should very pleased and you know. She really is believing spirits of this sort of thing, but she is very definitely a presence here every day, At the end of the France's Glass nor Lee Seminar in homicide, investigation detainees, Their theories about what happened in each of their nutshell, studies and then to find out the actual solutions. Was it a homicide stage to look like a suicide or a suicide stage to look like a homicide or something entirely. This is the do that contains the solutions to the nutshells there. The guy that has the answers to these questions might be the most Baltimore guy. I met in Baltimore
yeah hi. My name is Jerry Judge. You have also known as Jerry Day. Sometimes the police will come up with their own solution. Since there are wearing guns, I dont challenges to say: you're wrong. I d say that's not have France's solid, but I do have the yeah. The answers Jerry D is not going to. Let me see the folder or record he tells the solutions. They guard the Nutshell secrets like the recipe for Coke or the code for the Google search algorithm, because there's Oh valuable secrets. As long as the solutions are easily searchable. Nutshells are, the great tools for teaching homicide investigation and that is something that the Medical Examiners Office in Baltimore Maryland takes a very very seriously.
Thanks to everyone at the office and the chief medical examiner in Baltimore Maryland, especially Bruce Goldfarb, for let us come to visit, Grin boxes book the nut. Shell studies of unexplained deaths is full of photographs of the nutshells, some of which can see on our website is nine Olympia, DOT Org, being that this is the same She has anniversary in order to celebrate, we actually had is India and others, challenge coin may recently on the back and organisations on the french Katy France's pleasantly challenge coins when she was there and every is so jealous, makes you're going to museum
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-14.