Frank Bender dies

Frank Bender, a forensic sculptor, died a few days ago. I was not surprised, as he had been sick for some time and doctors had expected him to die over a year ago. He was 70 years old.

Bender created a number of awesome busts of identified people over the years, as well as busts of mummies, historical figures, etc. In the world of American crime he’s most noted for the bust he did of fugitive family-murderer John List. By the time Bender got involved, List had been on the run for 18 years. But Bender created an age-progressed bust that was a dead ringer for List, and this played a significant role in his capture. I saw the bust when I visited the Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington D.C. in 2009.

Bender also sculpted a bust of the so-called Boy in the Bag, a four-year-old murder victim from Philadelphia who remained unidentified for 13 years, some of the murdered women from Ciudad Juarez (his busts were able to identify three of them).

He had a wonderful talent and will be sorely missed.

Th Philadelphia Daily News
The New York Times
The Bend Bulletin