The new National Museum of Crime & Punishment, which opens tomorrow, is another in Washington’s growing supply of museums that aspire to be a blend of theme park and TV show. It’s even produced in cooperation with the long-running Fox hit “America’s Most Wanted,” which will be taped in the museum’s basement television studio. The museum is more fun than annoying, says the Washington Post. But not by terribly much. For $18 a ticket, visitors get to shoot a gun, drive a police cruiser and appear in a police lineup.
The crime museum was created by Orlando lawyer John Morgan, who got the idea after trying to visit the island prison of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay, only to find that tickets were sold out eight days in advance. “I slipped the guy a couple of hundred bucks, and he let me on the boat,” he says, “and I realized, if America is so enthralled with crime that they’d book eight days out to see an empty prison, that’s something pretty strong.”