This is a great culminating activity to use at the end of your Evidence and Investigation unit. All the unit work will need to have been completed beforehand in order for the students to put their skills to use. The teacher sets the stage by tracing a colleagues body on the floor of a 'not so busy' work area. I use masking tape to roughly outline my victim. I also used coffee cream and rubbed it onto the tread of the prime suspect's shoe to make the footprint. Tape down the hair strands of the prime suspect on the floor where the right hand would have been. Put red paint or fake blood by or on some of the hair and on the floor where the back of the neck would have been. Drop some red paint or fake blood along the hallway - just a couple of drops off to the side from where it happened to where the body was hidden. Put small cards that say Sample #1, #2, #3, etc next to each piece of evidence.
Read the police report to them in class and then take them to the crime scene. Tell them that the police have taken the body and left the evidence for us. Take them to the scene and allow them to go and look in pairs, to take pictures and write down what they saw. Bring all the evidence to the classroom in an organized manner and display it. Return to the classroom and have them reread the police report and then pick their suspects. Before they are allowed to gather evidence they must formulate their questions for each of their four suspects. The students must find out who killed the victim. They must use their detective skills of fingerprint matching, hair sample matching, and shoe print matching to solve the mystery and write a fact-based inference. The police have been there and left their police report with you, the teacher. The following pages will guide the student through the process of gathering facts and evidence. The teacher and students will need the handout, complete with the police report, questioning sheets and record keeping sheets, at least 2 ink pads to gather fingerprints, magnifying glasses to study the hair samples and a sheet of manila-tag to tape hair samples to, and record fingerprints of each suspect. Students must organize this "hard evidence" in a chart form to be handed in with the handout. The staff members that you have as part of the police report must know the end result, which is found at the end of the Answer and Samples section. They must also be able to be questioned by the students (hopefully during class time) and be willing to provide hair samples, their fingerprints and show their shoe treads upon request. With this resource, everything is ready for you to use. Everyone will have a great time with this 'Who Done It' and you'll be prepped for years.