Forensic Science
Shodor > SUCCEED > Curriculum > Workshops > Forensic Science

The Cookie Thief

The Story:

On July 18, 2011, Jenny brings peanut butter cookies to the Shodor office to share with the students who are in the Forensics workshop. She decides to leave them in a fancy glass container by the sign-in sheet so that all of the students will see them on their way in. The two interns at the front desk cannot stop talking about how delicious they look. The class is even interrupted a few times by greedy apprentices asking Jenny if they can have a cookie.

The students spent the entire morning learning how to think critically and scientifically about information and data. They master these skills just in time to learn of a crime that has just been committed in the Shodor office. The peanut butter cookies that Jenny has brought in for them have been stolen! The students must gather and analyze evidence to find the cookie thief and bring him to justice!


Evidence at the Crime Scene

Fingerprints on the cookie container:

A coded note:

Matt Lebedev's fingerprint:

Matt Lebedev's handwriting: (can be found on the sample handwriting slip)

Alec Arshavsky's fingerprint:

Other Evidence

Trey Clarke's fingerprint:

Trey Clarke's handwriting:

Sample handwriting:

Decoded Note:

Forged E-mail:

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: The guilt is killing me!!
From:    "Matt Lebedev"
Date:    Thu, July 21, 2011 6:30 pm


I am so sorry for stealing the cookies. I thought that they were
Alexandra's because she likes peanut butter cookies so much. She has
assigned me so many extra ODAA tesks last week and I was mad and wanted to
get back at her. I didn't know that the cookies were for your workshop
students! Please tell your workshop kids that Alec had nothing to do with
this. I acted alone and then ate all of them myself. I'm so sorry!

Matt aka the cookie monster


The cookies were stolen by Trey Clarke! Trey saw them sitting on the front desk and took them all because they were his favorite. He thought that he had cleaned off all of his fingerprints and left no evidence behind. Unfortunately, the workshop students were too clever for him and began to hunt him down. Trey decided to leave the coded note for the students to try and keep them distracted and occupied. He even went so far as to send a confession e-mail from Matt's e-mail account to try and frame him. He slipped up and said, as Matt, that he stole the cookies because Alexandra gave him so much ODAA the week before. Alexandra knew she did not assign any ODAA to him that week so the students knew it could not have been Matt. After tracking the e-mail through Terminal, the students found the last piece of evidence to bring Trey in front of a judge.

The students gathered all of their evidence and made presentations as expert witnesses to Jenny the judge. Alexandra represented the prosecution and Rachel represented the defense. They both asked questions of the expert witnesses and through the answers to these questions the jury ruled that Trey was guilty. The judge decided to sentence Trey to watching the entire workshop eat cookies in front of him.