National Museum of Crime and Punishment * www.crimemuseum.org * 202.393.1099 * 575 7th St, NW * Washington, D.C. 20004
A fun and exciting museum covering the technology and science behind fighting and solving crimes, with displays of the heroes of law enforcement, and the dark side of the criminal mind from the middle ages on witches and pirates, to the western outlaw, the 20’s mobster, and serial killers throughout time. Learn to understand crime and its consequences through the eyes of the criminal and the crime fighter to the point of solving the mysteries and mentality of cracking the puzzle. Some great artifacts are within the collection, including: Bonnie & Clyde’s Death Car, John Dillenger’s Car, Celebrity Mug Shots, Famous Firearms, Electric Chairs, Guillotine, Lethal Injection Machine, Cold Cases in America, Al Capone’s Jail Cell, 10 Most Wanted List, Interactive crime scene lab, complimentary fingerprinting for kids, Lie detector test, simulated FBI Shooting range, High Speed Police Chase Simulators, Safe Cracking, Computer Hacking, Harley Davidson Police Motorcycle, Police Lineup, Crime photography, Interactive Memory of a Crime, Personal Safety Challenge, Neighborhood Community Watch, and much more. There is a section on the Notorious History of American Crime (solved and unsolved by greed driven pirates, Wild West gunslingers, gangsters, serial killers, and today’s cyber criminal); interactive games and arcades on crime fighting training showcasing everyday heroes from law enforcement and the crime-fighting skills needed to capture the bad guy, with bomb squad technology, police chase simulators, and famous firearms); A walk through Jail and demonstrations on Punishment – the Consequence of Crime with full-scale model police station, booking and mug shot rooms, actual jail cells, and capitol punishment instruments; Patrons also get to wander into the world of Forensics with the CSI Experience – from the role of witness to a new crime investigator of a CSI unit investigating the scene of the crime while learning forensic science technology as fingerprinting, DNA testing, and facial reconstruction. The America’s Most Wanted Studio I didn’t have time to explore, but its an entire level of the museum dedicated to the year-round filming studios of the television program “America’s Most Wanted” where one can experience the personal history of host John Walsh and see how community involvement in fighting crime led to dramatic results of over 1,000 fugitives getting captured because the show. I really enjoyed this museum greatly and highly recommend it as a not-to-miss stop on your trip to D.C. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 2/18/09.