Dolly Stolze is the face behind the absolutely fascinating blog StrangeRemains.com Focusing on osteology, archaeology, and news stories past and present, Dolly’s website keeps her readers fascinated with stories of the beautifully bizarre and morbid. We caught up with her for a brief discussion of why human remains and the mission of StrangeRemains.com.
FGN: What prompted your interest in death and the study of human remains?
Why did you choose to study Forensic Anthropology?
Dolly Stolze: Growing up I was a history nerd and I loved archaeology, so my interest in human remains grew out of that. I chose to study Forensic Anthropology because I wanted to combine my love of archaeology with my love of solving mysteries.
FGN: When did you begin your site “StrangeRemains” and why? Why did you
pick that particular title?*
Dolly Stolze: I started StrangeRemains last year to stay current in the field and write
about morbid news and history. The blog started has a hobby that merges my
love of forensic anthropology and writing. I think I was in the bathroom when inspiration for the title struck; that’s where I think I get my best ideas. After writing the blog this last year I
found that “strange remains” is a good way to describe the ways that the
living often treat human remains.
FGN: Where do you find the source materials?
Dolly Stolze: I find source materials all over the place: news sites, forensic
anthropology textbooks, and history books. But there are also some really
great blogs that inspire me everyday: Atlas Obscura, Powered by Osteons,
The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice, These Bones of Mine, and Bones Don’t Lie.
FGN: What has been the most interesting thing you’ve written about since
starting the site?
Dolly Stolze: I think my most interesting post to date was about a 19th century Japanese
painting, Body of a Courtesan in Nine Stages, which depicts a body in
different states of decomposition. The accuracy of the portrayal of the
decay process is really striking in such an old painting.
FGN: Have you ever discovered anything in your research that has frightened
Dolly Stolze: I think I’m disturbed to a certain degree by a lot of the cases that I read
about. Some of the more frightening are the most infamous ones: Ed Gein,
John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer.
The cases that I have a truly hard time writing about are cases that
involve children. I don’t know that I’ll ever get over those.
FGN: Do you ever work with anyone else in the “Death Positive” community?
Dolly Stolze: I contribute to Atlas Obscura pretty regularly for their Morbid Monday
features. I would definitely love the opportunity to do more. I feel like
I’m just getting my feet wet and hitting my stride after this first year.
FGN: What can we hope to see from StrangeRemains in the future?
Dolly Stolze: I hope for the site is that I’ll be able to do interviews with forensic
anthropologists, archaeologists, forensic scientists, and morticians. I
would really like to work on the site full time so that I can produce
videos, keep up with the news, and have guest bloggers. Right now I’m
really limited to what free time I’m able to eek out during the week.
FGN: Where can our readers keep up with your latest happenings?