Secrets of the Dead: The Woman In The Iron Coffin

Queens, 2011 - construction workers discover female human remains in an abandoned lot in Elmhurst. Who was she? With the help of forensic experts, Secrets of the Dead traveled back to 1800s New York to piece together the life of a young African-American woman, revealing the little-known story of early America's free black communities.

  • 427,000

    The number of views amassed by a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” discussion with forensic archaeologist Scott Warnasch (who was featured in the film).

Complementing The Woman in the Iron Coffin, WNET created a three-part web series Uncovering NYC, which focused on New York City’s 19th century free African-American communities: Seneca Village (now part of Central Park), Weeksville and Newtown (now Elmhurst, where the iron coffin was found).

  • Do you want to solve a mystery? Do you like forensic science? Or black history? Or iron coffins buried in Queens? If you do, then watch PBS tonight for a New York City story 150 years in the making.

    – Office of the Mayor of New York City, via Twitter

Top Image: Courtesy of Impossible Factual