National Museum of Crime and Punishment – Washington, D.C. - Atlas Obscura
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Washington, D.C.

National Museum of Crime and Punishment

America's Most Wanted's set resides in this tribute to the history of crime and punishment. 

Sorry, National Museum of Crime and Punishment is permanently closed.

Update: Closed in October 2015

Since Washington D.C. is where most of America’s laws are created, it’s no surprise that the city contains the nation’s premier museum focusing on the history and future of crime and punishment.

The National Museum of Crime and Punishment was started by attorney John Morgan who, on a visit to Alcatraz Island, realized that the country did not have a comprehensive facility that could both examine the history of crime and honor the law enforcement professionals who try to keep it off the streets. The sprawling facility features hundreds of interactive elements and displays which allow visitors to try their hand at everything from working in a high-tech CSI lab to practicing shooting in a fake FBI shooting range. Their are also exhibits highlighting the history of famous ne’er-do-wells such as pirates, mobsters, and serial killers. 

In addition to the one-of-a-kind interactive educational experience, the National Museum of Crime and Punishment houses the working set of the television show America’s Most Wanted. Morgan worked with host John Walsh to create the set and the museum also features a display relating Walsh’s personal history. Visitors can even have their children fingerprinted during the experience, although this could lead to the kids being included in a future display if they choose a life of crime.