Well known sculptor Frank Bender of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the subject of a documentary about his work assisting police detectives in identifying crime victims. His final case, involving a woman whose body was found in 2001, was included as part of the film. The producer of the film, Karen Mintz, is working to quickly acquire the funding necessary to complete the documentary, because Bender is suffering from pleural mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure that carries with it a life expectancy of generally a year or less following diagnosis.
Bender was also one of the subjects of the book The Murder Room, which looked at the volunteer work of the Vidoc Society. The society worked diligently to help solve cases that had gone cold. Due to his disease, Bender has been unable to continue recreating likenesses of murder victims for police. He now focuses his artistic talents on completing model trolley cars and painting.
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