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Frank Bender
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (June 16, 1941-July 28, 2011)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Forensic sculptor
    Made facial reconstructions of unidentified crime victims
    Also made busts of fugitives to show how they were likely to look years after they were last seen
    Co-founder of the Vidocq Society, a group of forensic scientists that attempts to solve cold cases (1990)
    Featured in the books 'The Girl with the Crooked Nose' (2008) and 'The Murder Room' (2010)
    Died of mesothelioma at age 70
    The New York Times wrote that with his bald head and Vandyke beard, he 'looked like a pocket Mephistopheles.'
    In addition to his wife, at any given time he had anywhere from one to five girlfriends.
    He made a plaster cast replica of one girlfriend's vagina.
    He described himself as a 'recomposer of the decomposed.'
    He received skulls in the mail; since some were not properly cleaned, visitors to his home sometimes found one in a pot of boiling water on the kitchen stove.
    He was self-taught in forensic art.
    He had an amazing knack for intuiting the details of a subject, such as, in his most famous case, deducing the type of glasses that fugitive John List would wear.
    America's Most Wanted host John Walsh said, 'When I get the tough cases, I call Frank.'
    In addition to his forensic work, he created monuments for the African Burial Grounds in New York City, a memorial for slain police officers in New Jersey and a Holocaust obelisk in Ontario.
    An Esquire interviewer noted, 'Nor does he seem particularly dark or brooding, which seems even more surprising given the grisly world in which he works. On the contrary, he seems quite content, well-adjusted. Sunny, even.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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