Science Vs
Science Vs
Oct 18, 2018
Murder Mystery: An 1850s Whodunnit
Play • 36 min

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:

Selected references: Paul Collins’ book, Blood And Ivy: The 1849 Murder That Scandalized Harvard The transcripts from the trial against John Webster

Also check out our previous episodes on Forensic Science and DNA and the Smell of Death.

Credits: 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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