"Horrific Crime Scene Revisited" Event

Horrific Crime Scene Revisited, an annual educational exhibit where visitors explore a real-life, re-created murder scene and make their own determinations based on the evidence at hand, is returning to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Forensic Investigation Crime Scene House on Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 30-31. No admission is charged, but donations are welcome. HCSR is recommended for mature audiences only.

Organizing this year’s event are UW-Platteville Criminal Justice Department colleagues Diana Johnson, Dana Cecil, Dr. Sabina Burton and Danelle Bemis.

“This is a great way to showcase the facilities at the FICSH, while also providing a unique experience for the Halloween season,” said Johnson, UW-Platteville assistant criminal justice professor who started HCSR with CJ instructor Cecil last year.

The reconstruction team said this year’s case, which they are keeping top secret until the event doors open, involves one victim and has interesting and intriguing physical evidence. They are also working with Austin Glendenning, a fine art major from Darlington, and Peter Flanary, UW-Platteville art instructor and sculptor from Mineral Point, on a project that will enhance the HCSR experience.

When arriving at the exhibit, which is re-created as accurately as possible and modeled to have a museum-like feel, visitors first enter the basement where case details including key pieces of evidence and information, as well as a video, timeline and model of the location are available.

After viewing as many of the background details as they choose to, or none at all, visitors may then proceed upstairs to the re-created crime scene. Those who would rather not continue to the second part of the exhibit will have the option to exit the basement at any time.

Giving visitors a more accurate depiction of a crime scene than what they might see on television is a key part of the event, said Burton, UW-Platteville associate criminal justice professor.

“Crime scene investigation is all about understanding the mind of the killer,” said Burton. “Looking at pictures or watching a video is different than walking through a crime scene and seeing it up close from the perspective of the perpetrator.”

Cecil added that the main goal of HCSR is to allow students an opportunity to experience what processing a crime scene would really be like. “It is also a venue for those observing the scene to learn about the details of a high-profile case,” she said. “We’d like to thank all of you that supported last year’s event, and look forward to seeing everyone again this year.”

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