R.I.P Frank Bender

Frank BenderThe Huffington Post brings the shattering news that Frank Bender passed away.

Bender used skulls from decomposed bodies as the basis for re-creating faces of unknown victims. Among his successes was the case of 18-year-old Rosella Atkinson, whose then-unidentified remains were found behind a city ball field in 1988. Police asked for Bender’s help, and his bust led Atkinson’s aunt to put a name to the face. Atkinson’s killer confessed in 2005.”

Francis Augustus “Frank” Bender (June 16, 1941 – July 28, 2011) was an autodidact forensic and fine artist. He made facial reconstructions of the dead based on their skeletons, and of fugitives based on out of date photographs, with his reconstructions showing how they might look now. He primarily worked in clay and then cast his pieces into plaster and painted them, but he also created age-progression drawings of fugitives using pastels. His most famous facial reconstruction case was that of John Emil List.

Bender’s contributions to solving cold cases are legend since he was one of the founding members of the Vidocq Society.

Rest in peace, Frank, and thank you for all you have done.

Our deepest sympathy to the Bender family.