The initial information: Santa and his elves were having a party at Science World to celebrate a successful Christmas and the promotion of the new head elf. Late that night, the newly appointed female head elf was found dead in one of the galleries. An unidentified elf hat and an epipen were found hidden under an exhibit piece nearby. Santa has been whisked away to safety, unable to perform his post-Christmas duties and the elves are without a leader.
Can you figure it out?
There were 7 teams of investigators. To determine the first ones to see the crime scene, we did a word game (find at least 5 words from electrophoresis). As the first two teams went up to see the scene, the others determined their names (including Detectelves and #sherlocklives). To get through the evidence, we had different stations. To help spread everyone out, there was a memory game and depending what was remembered, people went to different stations. If people were waiting, we had videos of the suspects to review.
I think this style worked – it was a bit of controlled chaos but people seemed to get to everything without too much clumping. In this post, I’ll just present everything linearly but you should see:
- DNA evidence
- Poison Detection
- Text messages
- Interviews (synopsis of those in person)
- Updates from others in investigation
- Interviews (video)
A little more info: Nancy was seen to be very drunk the night of the party. She was celebrating her recent promotion and the end of a successful holiday season. But she wasn’t the only one. As one Science World staff said:
This group was so hard to handle! I tried to keep some form of control but who knew it would be so tough. The dead elf was so drunk and stumbling around the exhibits…sure, we had an altercation but I was just trying to calm her down, get her into a safer area.
Note: If you want to cheat, there is a link to the solution at the bottom of this post.
People got a chance to do their own fingerprints with ninhydrin. After they knew how fingerprints were made, they were given fingerprint evidence from our scene. Two separate prints were found on the EpiPen (EpiPen 1 and 2) and one print was found on Nancy’s bra. Investigators have to determine if there are matching prints from the suspects.
We did a brief recap of DNA evidence – mainly that DNA evidence is just a piece of evidence and can only prove innocence as described in this post.
We had DNA evidence from the hair found on the elf hat and investigators compared it to samples taken from the suspects.
At the crime scene, there was an intriguing bottle found in Santa’s sack. Is it full of poison?
People tested 3 poisons: silver ions, bariums ions and lead ions. They then used these results to identify an unknown poison. The unknown poison turned out to be barium, often found in rat poison.
Nancy’s phone may have some clue but it was found soaked in something – we are hoping it is beer.
Note: the code is the same for all 3 messages.
People had a chance to interview Nancy’s family doctor and the bartender. The main points:
- Doctor: Nancy was healthy although a bit stressed. Nancy was allergic to peanuts, carrots, brazil nuts, sesame at the last test. And these were strong allergies so Nancy carried an EpiPen that she has had to use in the past.
- The bartender had a few more tidbits:
- Saw the boyfriend and husband having lunch and a beer together on the day of the party.
- Santa has been known to lose his temper this time of year; and alcohol makes it worse. Everyone knows not to cross him in November/December
- Nancy was so wasted; she was running around grabbing people and saying something weird ‘epaulette’?
- The vice head Elf and the Toy Store owner were seen having a late night eggnog together two nights earlier at a dark bar in town where the bartender also works
- Boyfriend was crying into his eggnog at the end of the night, looking devastated and distressed.
As the investigation continued, people received the following information:
- Alibis confirmed:
- Drew – out for dinner with pharma reps
- Georgina – dealing with fire dept
- Rat problem confirmed at Santa’s workshop and home
We also had interviews of:
- Drew, husband – upset/grieving. Who would do this? She was such a loving person. Sure, we almost split up a week ago but we are working things out. I’d kill her boyfriend, not her. The shock of her finding other love made me resolve to be a better husband. She provides for our family and I would never do anything to hurt her. Our jobs were both busy at different times of the year so maybe that was the problem. She worked a lot in the winter but as an allergy specialist, I’m mainly busy in the summer.
- Santa – angry. Don’t I do enough? I run a big organization and it’s not always my fault when something happens. Why isn’t anyone focused on the incredible present delivery anymore? That’s the trouble with everyone – take things for granted, blame other, grumble, grumble
We also had some information provided on other videos
So who did it?
If you want to cheat, here is the solution.