Murder at Jefferson FallsInternational Crime Project 2012 Glasgow Caledonian University University of West Florida
The Task• Online project where students from Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of West Florida work together to solve a crime.• Crime in question is the murder of Jack Booth and Angela Castle.• Students worked together in the investigation of the double homicide as well as each having an individual role to fulfil.
Meet the team• SIO – Kyle Knaust• Forensics Team – Lisa Murison – Samantha Ellison – Campbell Booth
Meet the Team• Public Relations • Lisa-Marie Russell • Sarah Brynes• Medical Examiners • Venisha Clayton • Melissa Przybylski
Meet the Team• Internal Affairs – Rhea Jack• Investigation Team – Lucy Malcolm – Michelle Farrell
What I learned from America• Working with international students broadened my knowledge of International issues such as: • gun crime: In Scotland, gun ownership is not permitted. Thus, I had never given gun related crime much of a thought. – There are differences in the US and UK regarding how crimes are both defined and investigated. – I gained an insight into Forensics, a subject which my Criminology degree has not enabled me to explore. – There is no right or wrong answer nor silly question. This project encouraged discussion in order to work together to reach the most logical answer/theory• Moreover, this project demonstrated that there is no right way of investigating crime. – Each country has a different approach in doing so and to assume that your own country investigates crime the ‘correct’ or ‘best’ way is naive.
My role as Internal Affairs Officer• Encouraging students to discuss a complaint made against a police officer with regards to unethical conduct.• Encourage discussion on the appropriate punishment for the officer in question.• Submission of a report on behalf of the team, summarising our main points and outlining the advised course of action.
What we learned• Week 1 – Case studies of murders from our locaities revealed that crimes are defined diffrently. – In addtion to this, it was established that the law and punishment in the UK and the USA differs.
What we learned• Week 2 – Analysis of crime scene photos – Each student had opposing ideas on what happened to the victims – To resolve this we relied on the forensic evidence and our discussion formed the basis of the forensic report which outlined our findings.
What we learned• Week 3 – Suspect profiles were released, which promoted discussion as to who was the likely suspect(s) – The team had opposing opinions however, working through these we came to the conclusion that alibis needed to be confirmed before a decision was made. – In addition to this, the possibility of two killers arose, given that we were having difficulty identifying a suspect who had motivation for murdering both victims.
What we learned• Week 3 cont. – The medical examiners were required to complete a medical preliminary report for each victim. – The team were encouraged to look at the vicitm profiles and the crime scene photos to aid the the completion of the forms. – Our theory of there possibly being two killers was supported by the discovery that there was a significant lapse in time between the time of deaths of both victims. This was a significant breakthrough. – Group discussion resolved some concern surrounding wounds and terminology.
What we learned• Week 4 – The muster report revealed that a police officer had behaved in an unethical manner, thus we had to decide upon a punishment. – Discussion provided a useful insight into the ethical code of Police Officers in America. – Given the limited information we were provided with, the group came to a decision that the severity of punishment could only be decided upon given further information regarding the context of his behaviour. – In order to satisfy public concern and to reinforce the professional nature of the police, it was decided that the Police Officer remain suspended until further investigation. – This information was summarised in the IAD report and the press release was formulated outlining our decison.
What we learned• Week 5 – We were required to come to a final decision on what happened in Jefferson Falls which resulted in the double homicide. – The team, actively worked together in reviewing all the evidence and clearing up any discrepancies. – There had been a previous suspicion that Yuri was the suspect however, reanalysis of evidence revealed two more likely suspects: Jack Booth and Angela Booth. – Each team member contributed their own version of events and this formed the basis of the SIO report.
What we learned• Week 5 cont. – To further support our theory, a muster report revealed that female blood had been found at the crime scene. – The team decided that the next steps in the investigation should involve further questioning of Angela Booth for them murder of Jack Booth and DNA samples taken and compared to the unidentified blood found at the scene.