Bad news to report - I've been convicted by a crack group of crime scene investigators, many of which have not yet reached their 12th birthday. The group was investigating the theft of a backpack from the Robert R. McCormick Boys & Girls Club of Chicago. Plenty of evidence was left at the scene: fiber, blood, fingerprints, and a ransom note.
The kids used state of the art techniques to put the case together - microscopes to analyze hair, fiber, and fingerprint evidence, chemistry and DNA analysis on the blood, and paper chromatography to figure out what kind of pen might have been used to write the ransom note.
All was part of an after school science engagement program for middle school youth I run with Carolyn Jahn and a group of very talented & dedicated graduate and medical students (Unmesh Jadhav and his group are in the pic above). Mike Anderson, site director at the B&GC and former Purdue football player, was the victim of the "crime."
Mysteriously, his "stolen" backpack has turned up on Ebay. Check it out. It's a bargain at $500!
Yesterday was the big mock trial, where the group presented all the evidence. Rabiah Mayas, from the wildly-successful Science Chicago initative, served as judge. Judging by the smiles on the kids faces (and ours), it was a big hit.