Mock investigators (from left) Hannah Creary (15), of Wellington, Aoife Picken (15), of Dunedin, Anna Cooper (16), of Dunedin, Alicia McKean (14), of Dunedin, and Georgia Ross (14), of Dunedin, at a New Zealand International Science Festival workshop on forensic science in the Lindo Ferguson Building last night. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, CSI: Dunedin.
The 15 mock forensic investigators, aged between 13 and 17,
bagged evidence last night from three crime scenes in the
Lindo Ferguson Building to reveal a criminal.
Workshop co-ordinator Dr Angela Clark said the New Zealand
International Science Festival workshop, The Anatomy of a
Crime Scene, revealed how forensic science helped bring
criminals to justice.
Dr Clark said a Campus Watch member heard a crash in the
building at 5am yesterday and found a backpack, notebook and
computer mouse on a stairwell.
The investigators dusted the mouse for prints, searched the
bag for fibres and compared the notebook with handwriting
samples given by four suspects - retired lecturer Sally,
builder John and students Jack and Louise - ''all people who
have a legitimate reason for being here'', Dr Clark said.
The second crime scene, where a laptop was stolen, had blood
on broken glass, a fingerprint on a burger wrapper and a
footprint in spilt pot plant soil.
Investigator Rachel Irvine (13), of Mosgiel, said the team
had massaged plaster of Paris into the shoe-print.
Finally, a laptop and bones found at a beach by a dog-walker
''They have to identify if they are animal or human bones to
see if this is a more sinister crime,'' Dr Clark said.
The suspect's shoes and samples of handwriting, hair and
fingerprints were analysed in the lab.
The investigators used glue fumes to reveal a fingerprint on
the foil burger wrapper and profiled DNA with the strands of
The forensic workshop would be held again on Friday, so the
identity of the criminal could not be published in the
Dr Clark, a human remains researcher, said places in the two
workshops filled quickly and she hoped to hold more at next