Mental Floss

Armchair Sleuths: The Vidocq Society

Allison Keene

Recently I watched a great TV movie called "The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher," (also a book) based on a creepy and scandalous Victorian murder of a young boy in an English manor. In reading up on the case online I stumbled upon an equally fascinating story of a modern-day crime solving group called the Vidocq Society, whose name comes from an 18th century crook-turned-cop who was perhaps the first famous detective. In fact, Vidocq has a host of familiar fictional characters based upon his traits and fabled talents. How is this not already a TV show?

As for Vidocq Society, check out where these so-called "armchair slueths" were recently profiled in an NPR piece, which explains how "Once a month, the members of the 20-year-old club — mostly detectives and forensic experts — meet at an old Victorian dining room in the middle of Philadelphia to eat lunch and solve crimes that have perplexed investigators for decades." How will you spend your lunch hour today?