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Mock homicide crime scene tape

SOU criminology and computer science students to solve (mock) homicide

Students from Southern Oregon University’s Criminology and Criminal Justice, Computer Science and Theatre departments will work together this week to create and manage something rather horrific – a homicide crime scene.

The exercise will be a cross between a first responder scenario and the Clue board game (think Colonel Mustard and Professor Plum). Four groups from the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department’s crime scene analysis class (CCJ 321) and the Computer Science Department’s computer forensics class (CS 346) will take as long as an hour each to process the mock crime scene and determine if the evidence points to a particular suspect.

Students from SOU’s Theatre Department, meanwhile, will put their skills to use by playing roles and providing realistic-looking blood and wound “evidence” for the homicide scene.

It will all play out for three-plus hours beginning at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3, in the Greensprings D residence hall.

The mock crime scene is being led by Tiffany Morey, a senior instructor in the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department and a former lieutenant with the North Las Vegas Police Department. She often stages realistic experiences for her students, including “shoot/don’t shoot” drills that offer a taste of the split-second decision-making that’s required of police officers.

More than 40 SOU students will use Tuesday’s mock crime scene to test everything they’ve learned in their computer forensics and criminal investigation classes. Each of the four groups will have opportunities to interview witnesses, collect evidence, analyze blood spatters, test for gunshots and process technical evidence.

Each group will finish by filling out a crime scene packet, which asks them to analyze all their evidence “to present to the district attorney” – and to explain who commited the murder.

Story by Blair Selph, SOU Marketing and Communications student writer