In the late 1880s, the body of a 16-year-old girl was pulled from the Seine. She was apparently a suicide, as her body showed no marks of violence, but her beauty and her enigmatic smile led a Paris pathologist to order a plaster death mask of her face. In the romantic atmosphere of fin de sicle Europe the girl's face became an ideal of feminine beauty.
Lena Baker (June 8, 1901 – March 5, 1945) was an African American maid who was executed for murder by the State of Georgia in 1945 for killing her employer, Ernest Knight, in 1944. At her trial she said that he had imprisoned and threatened to shoot her should she try to leave. She took his gun and shot him. Baker was the only woman to be executed by electrocution in Georgia. In 2005 Baker was granted a full and unconditional pardon by the State of Georgia, 60 years after her execution.