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

The Case of the Missing Laptop

The Story:

Upon arriving at work on Thursday morning, July 12, 2001, Hugh discovers that his beloved, brand new laptop computer has been stolen. Attempting to avoid working from home the previous day, he had left the laptop in the office of Shodor, assuming that it would be safe. Hugh finds himself on the verge of despair when he realizes that the Forensic Science 2001 Workshop is in full-swing. He rushes into the classroom and gives an emotional plea for the students to help in the search for the missing laptop.

During the first day of the investigation, at approximately lunchtime, a Shodor staff member falls to the floor and is taken away in an ambulance. It is later determined by the lab that she was poisoned. Now the investigation must solve a murder as well!

The case is now in the hands of the students. They must not only look for the laptop, but also for evidence that will lead them to the stolen computer. If and when they find the computer, they will examine the evidence they find at the scene of the crime to help in catching a criminal. They must gather data and evidence using the proper channels through the Shodor Judicial System.


Evidence at the Crime Scene

Shoe print found on the crime scene:

ATM statement from the trashcan in the annex:

A note that was found near Hugh's computer in the annex:

A coded note that was found at the crime scene:

Evidence from Garrett's Desk

The keys to the annex that were missing and then found on Garrett's desk:

A coded note that was found in Garrett's desk drawer:

Evidence from Kismet's Desk

University Transcript - evidence that she had bad grades:

Other Evidence

Handwriting sample collected from Garrett:

The lab results on the liquid in the cup the person drank before she was rushed to the hospital, apparently poisoned:

	Warfarin Sodium Clathrate USP
	4-Hydroxy-3-[3-oxo-I-(R,S)- Phenylbutyl]-2H-benzopyran-2-one, 
		sodium salt, 2-propanol clathrate
	C19H15NaO4 · 1/2(C3H8O)
	Mol. Wt.: 330.32 + 30.05
	CAS 67430-45-9

The fingerprints found on the poisoned cup (The lab matched them to Millicent):

Millicent could not be present for the trial, so she swore her testimony out on this affidavit (This can also be used as a handwriting sample.):


Renee says she saw the back door of the annex open when she came in that morning, and she went over and closed it but hasn't seen anything else strange going on.

Ebonee says she saw that Millicent had 2 $100 bills on Thursday morning and that seemed strange.

Garrett gives an alibi that he was very far away from the scene. He says he was at a baseball game with Kim and Suzanne.

Le'Roy says he saw Garrett walking on Shodor grounds around 5:30 and that Garrett mentioned that his computer was not working.

Kismet says that she left Shodor at about 6pm on Wednesday night. She didn't notice anything suspiscious at that time.

Cornelia says that she stayed around the office until 5:45 or 6:00. She left before Kismet, or maybe about the same time that she did.

Kim says that she didn't really see anything unusual on Wednesday.

Millicent says that she can't find the keys to the annex, but nothing else unusual is going on.


Garrett was a hacker and he usually used his computer to hack into a schools computer to change a students' grades. The students had to pay Garrett at least two hundred dollars. One day Kismet decided that she wanted her grades changed so that she could have 3.4 grade point average. Millicent caught Garrett hacking into Kismet's school's computer. In order for Garrett to keep Millicent quiet he gave her two hundred dollars. He also delivered a threat to Millicent, saying that he was going to get her for blackmailing him.

Millicent originally found out about the situation by finding a coded note and decoding the message. The note let Millicent know that Garrett and Kismet were meeting at the annex to complete the deal. Garrett went to the annex to change Kismet's grades and he had to use Hugh's computer because his was broken. Garrett did not return Hugh's computer, and Hugh did not know where it was so he reported it stolen. Garrett went on with his plan and attempted to poison Millicent in order to keep her quiet without paying, but instead of Millicent drinking the water that Garrett made for her, another Shodor staff member drank it accidentally. The staff member was pronounced dead the following morning.

The coded note found at the scene of the crime read:

	Be at the annex at nine tonight and i will have what you need two in cash.
	Dr. Love

The coded note found in Garrett's desk read:

	tieuq peek ot derdnuh owt tnaw i gniod neeb evae uoy taew wonk i

Or, without the typos and in the correct direction it reads:

	I know what you have been doing. I want two hundred to keep quiet.