Take one gingerbread house, paint it in thick layers of frosting, embellish it with shimmering candies and confections, and wait for curious children to appear. And they will, in droves, lured by the sweet, spicy, colorful siren song of sugary treats. Consider the original cookie cottage: that fabled cabin in Hansel and Gretel was the home of a cannibalistic serial killer who met her end at the hands of two would-be victims. Self-defense, of course! We know what happened, the fairy tale is as notorious as any recorded by the brothers Grimm. But what conclusion would someone unfamiliar with the facts of the story reach when investigating the scene? Would they piece together the clues—the bite marks on the house, the bones strewn about, the ashes in the stove—and come to the correct solution?
While marveling at the intricately crafted dollhouse crime scene mysteries in our exhibition Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, puzzling over the clues and searching for solutions, several of us at SAAM have contemplated creating their own diorama. And yet. Not everyone has the patience and dexterity to knit tiny socks on minuscule needles. No, instead of wood and paint, cookies and gumdrops are our chosen medium.
Show Us Your Delicious Diorama!
Want to join the fun? We invite you to put on your detective hat and channel your holiday creativity to fabricate your own gingerbread—or rather, Gingerdead—house. Send us the photographic proof by tagging your social media post with #GingerdeadCSI. We’ll pore over each scene for clues and feature our favorites on our social media channels.
One clever baker-turned-detective will receive a prize for his or her creation!