Opened on May 23, 2008, The Crime Museum is dedicated to providing the public with a comprehensive perspective on all aspects of the crime and punishment process, including law enforcement, forensic science, and crime scene investigation.
John Morgan, an entrepreneur and attorney, had the idea for the museum while visiting Alcatraz in San Francisco. The former federal prison’s preservation as a national park and its success as a tourist destination inspired Morgan to create a museum exhibiting the history of crime and punishment. He partnered with the host of America’s Most Wanted John Walsh to found the museum. The museum consists of the following five galleries: A Notorious History of American Punishment, Punishment: The Consequences of Crime, Crime Fighting and Crime Solving: The Technology of Crime Fighting, and America’s Most Wanted: John Walsh’s Personal Story.
While the museum mostly focuses on aspects of crime and punishment from American history, it does include some information on crime around the world. In an effort to analyze and display how crime has changed through the centuries, gallery one includes information on crime as far back as medieval times.
In addition to providing general information about the museum, the website also contains educational resources. One of these resources is a crime library—a database containing information on topics such as the justice system, forensic investigation, mass murder, and international crime, to name a few. The public is invited to make suggestions for additions to this database via the website, encouraging interaction and education. The museum itself also offers various educational resources and programs, including forensic workshops taught by actual forensic scientists. These workshops are taught on a wide variety of topics, including arson, firearms and ballistics, and bones. There is also a traveling forensic workshop that allows this museum program to travel to schools and other community centers.