Legal History

Shoot a Gun, Drive a Cruiser, Appear in a Lineup at New D.C. Museum


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Image from museum's website.

A new National Museum of Crime & Punishment is set to open this week in Washington, D.C., and according to the Washington Post, it aspires to be “a blend of theme park and TV show.”

A release (PDF) promoting the opening notes that “the museum invites you to emerge from Hollywood fantasy and enter a more fascinating reality.”

Indeed, the museum, which was the brainchild of Orlando lawyer John Morgan, is partnering with the hit FOX TV show America’s Most Wanted, which will be taped in the building’s basement studio.

And ticket-wielding visitors will get a chance to shoot a gun, drive a police cruiser and, yes, appear in a police lineup.

“The museum is more fun than annoying. But not by terribly much,” Marc Fisher writes for the Post. “The crime museum is to the Smithsonian as America’s Most Wanted is to Frontline.”

The Post notes that Morgan decided to open the museum when he learned how popular visits were to the storied Alcatraz island prison. Morgan tried to get tickets to the tour, but found out he had to book them more than a week ahead of time.

“I realized, if America is so enthralled with crime that they’d book eight days out to see an empty prison, that’s something pretty strong,” Morgan told the Post.

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