Crime Scene Investigation


“CSI.”  “NCIS.” “Dateline.”  Greater Latrobe law students had the chance to experience what it was like to be a detective. On Saturday, January 20, Mrs. Leeper gathered 15 of her law students and went to Seton Hill University for a student-planned Crime Scene Workshop. The group was split into three teams who visited an old house that nuns used to stay in filled with staged crime scenes. Each group looked at two out of the three of them while investigating evidence without moving or touching anything, and wrote down specific evidence trying to figure out exactly what happened.

The first crime scene took place in the basement, where there was a staged murder of a couple who had died from blunt force trauma to the head. The second took place in a bedroom, where a 10-year-old girl was supposedly kidnapped and a staged note was written saying she was going to live with her mother from now on, along with a rope underneath the bed and a broken lamp. The third and last crime scene was a staged murder of a young woman over drugs and money.

When each group hit their last crime scene, they had the chance to closely investigate the evidence. Students collected what they thought was important. They took fingerprints, blood and hair samples, and then brought the samples back to the lab to analyze them.

The entire experience was overall educational and beneficial. Three Latrobe graduates from the class of 2014, who are now seniors in the Forensic Science Program at SHU, Molly Yesho, Ashley Perillo and Morgan Smith helped create the event with their professor Mrs. Barbara Flowers.

The planners came together with Mrs. Leeper over the summer on two occasions and planned the entire day by themselves completely voluntarily. The three girls had visited the class a few times before to share important information about general information, types of blood spatter, and fingerprinting. “Overall, I was extremely pleased with the experience and impressed with the Seton Hill students. “Last school year I had talked to Molly Yesho about the idea of a Crime Scene Workshop at Seton Hill as I knew she was a forensic science student, ” said Mrs. Leeper.

         “The experience was wonderful, it truly showed me how the crime scene investigation process worked. It was a lot of fun!” said Kethrie Heasley.

Mrs. Leeper has always wanted to have an experience like this one brought to her classes. “For several years, I have been trying to come up with a way to incorporate Crime Scene Investigation into my classes.  I always watched the show “CSI” and thought it would be so cool to bring that into class. I have talked the idea over with some co-workers on how I could do this or how we could make this a joint effort with another class.  However, I still felt like I needed more experience to do it right. I had talked to Seton Hill a couple years ago about the idea and looked online for ideas.”

Law 1 and Law 2 are beneficial classes going into college and the future, with hints of fun experiences.