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Distillations | Science History Institute

325 EpisodesProduced by Science History InstituteWebsite

Each episode of Distillations podcast takes a deep-dive into a moment of science-related history in order to shed light on the present.

21:28

Disappearing Spoon: The Harvard Medical School Janitor Who Solved a Murder

On this episode of The Disappearing Spoon, Sam Kean talks about a murder mystery that rocked Boston in 1849. Harvard University alum and physician George Parkman had gone missing. The last place he was seen alive was at the Harvard medical building, which had plenty of bodies, but police couldn't find Parkman’s there. That is until a janitor intervened and implicated a medical school professor. The ensuing murder trial was a media circus equivalent to the O. J. Simpson trial. And just like that trial, it also familiarized the layperson with forensic and anatomical sciences.

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Host: Sam Kean Senior Producer: Mariel Carr Producer: Rigoberto Hernandez Audio Engineer: Jonathan Pfeffer

Photo: Wellcome Collection

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