News from the Crime Museum: a new exhibition coming up

Publication date 15.6.2023 9.50
News item

The Crime Museum, situated on the premises of the National Bureau of Investigation in Vantaa, has been part of the Police Museum since 2019. The Crime Museum’s exhibition will now be renewed. The exhibition is not open to the general public, but some exhibits of the Crime Museum are on display at the Police Museum in Tampere.

The Crime Museum focuses on Finnish crime history and crime investigation. Originally, the Museum was established as a teaching tool for the police: it illustrated how and what kind of crimes had been made, what evidence was examined and how the cases were resolved. For reasons of security and data protection, the Museum is not open to the general public. Instead, it is intended for police personnel and visitor groups representing the stakeholders of the Finnish Police.

“Crime Museum’s collections include objects related to famous crime cases and murder investigations, as well as investigation materials, crime scene samples, crime scene investigation instruments and devices as well as photographs. In the new exhibition, we present crime history through exhibits and other materials, but we will highlight, more than before, how the items in the showcases always relate to the time they originate from, and its social phenomena,” says Curator Juha Vitikainen from the Police Museum.

Lake Bodominjärvi murder case tent under conservation

One of the items that will possibly be placed on display at the Crime Museum’s new exhibition is the tent associated with the Lake Bodominjärvi triple murder, committed in 1960. The tent has been under conservation, which means that the tent has been examined and cared for by an expert. The purpose of conservation is to ensure that the tent will be preserved in the first place, and not be ruined.

“The condition of the tent is so poor that it almost corresponds to an archeological soil finding, because it is fragile and contains a lot of soil material. For the duration of the conservation, the Lake Bodominjärvi tent was placed in a compartmentalized dust control tent, equipped with an air purification system, to ensure suitable environmental conditions. We cannot be sure yet whether the tent can endure being placed on display at the Crime Museum.”

The tent associated with the triple murders is not only a museum exhibit, but also a part of the pre-trial investigation materials of an unsolved homicide. That is why all measures related to the tent must be negotiated in advance with the head investigator and other experts.

The Crime Museum’s new exhibition will be completed in late 2023.

Museum activities include much more than exhibitions

The Lake Bodominjärvi tent is a prime example of museum activities involving much more than exhibitions open for the general public, and objects in showcases.

“Museum work covers many areas that are not necessarily visible to museum visitors. We keep storage of objects, images, films and other materials. All objects in our collection are not featured in the exhibitions. For example, the Police Museum’s collection includes approximately 15,000 objects and 120,000 photographs,” says Juha Vitikainen.

“The Police Museum coordinates the activities of the Finnish police in the areas of history and traditions, including meetings with police departments’ museum contact persons. Moreover, our curators are involved in the instruction of police students, offering them an insight to the history of the police force and its connections with present-day policing.

A person dressed in a white protective suit and blue gloves examines the brown tent cloth on the table. The person has a respirator on their face.
The tent associated with the 1960 Lake Bodominjärvi triple murder was under conservation at the Police Museum, which means that the tent has been examined and cared for by an expert. The purpose of conservation is to ensure that the tent, which is in very poor condition, will be preserved and not be ruined. Photo The Police Museum

The image bank on the Police Museum’s website includes photos from the Crime Museum’s collection, for example a pair of shoes associated with the Lake Bodominjärvi murders and an executioner’s axe.

To the image bank

Police Museum Tampere