The Hoot | 23
The two victims, William Wallace, the judge,
and Seth Thompson, the bailiff, are members of
another one of Ahsens’ classes and volunteered
to help. Other volunteers included Allie Malone
and Ashley Dameron, who took turns acting as the
murderer trying to escape.
The CSI class divided into groups of two or three
and signed up for a one-hour session during
which they would investigate the crime scene.
They were tasked with finding fingerprints,
locating the weapons used in the murder and
documenting blood splatters on the victims and
around the room.
Anything else suspicious, such as the cell phone
found in the bushes outside the court room, was
bagged and tagged” as well.
It was intimidating having to work a designed
crime scene because of all the details that must be
addressed,” Boulanger said. “There is a significant
amount of procedure that goes into crime scene
investigation. Having to recall all the little details
of how to properly collect different types of
evidence, along with how to properly document
the scene creates for a strenuous task.”
Students used real crime scene investigation
kits, which were funded through a Creative
Development Grant applied for by Peggy
Nickerson, assistant professor of paralegal studies.
The grants are made available from a special fund
sponsored by the academic dean to cover creative
projects that directly impact student learning in
We’re planning to utilize these kits as much as
possible to prepare our students for the American
Criminal Justice Association conference April 21-
in Valley Forge, Pa. They actually have a crime
scene investigation setup at the conference in
which students compete,” Ahsens said.
Most of our students who take this class are
criminal justice and pre-law students. The interest
in criminal law has started growing; therefore,
I believe it is vital that we continue to offer our
students real-life scenarios so that they have the
necessary skills when they leave the classroom and
venture out into their careers.”
This semester, Ahsens is teaching a criminal
investigations course that concentrates
on several skills, including interrogation
methods, surveillance, report writing and
testifying in court.
Shannon Garcia (top left and top right), Ashley Dameron (bottom left) and Caroline Boulanger (bottom right) investigate the
crime scene. The photos show several elements of the investigation, including photographing and documenting evidence and
using the investigation kit. (
Photos courtesy of WWU