Murder who wrote?
If you’ve ever wondered how police gather and sift through clues at a murder scene, including fingerprints and DNA, then you should make your way to the new bilingual Autopsy of a Murder interactive exhibit at the Old Port’s bright and inviting Montreal Science Centre. You are the chief inspector handling the case, which begins with a four-minute video introducing three suspects in journalist Sarah Melville’s murder – former con and family friend Antonio Colucci, international author Charles Sinclair, and Melville’s jealous boyfriend Tristan Lambert.
Equipped with a police blotter to take notes, you walk through the crime scene where clearly identified clues refer amateur sleuths to eight appropriate interactive laboratories, such as the DNA lab, the ballistics lab, the toxicology lab, the fibre analysis lab, the biometrics (fingerprints) lab and the visually stunning autopsy room. These labs help one figure out who dunnit through the process of elimination. Each lab also documents the history of each police procedure, with authentic laboratory tools on display.
I checked out the exhibit on a weekday when the Montreal Science Centre was filled with hundreds of schoolchildren visiting the IMAX theatre and other activities. The centre – while engaging – is noisy, and adults looking for a quieter experience should go on the weekend. The exhibit is also designed for ages 10 and up, though I think it’s more suitable for ages 12 and up. Even I had trouble deciphering many of the clues, and what is billed as a 45-minute experience took me well over an hour.
When I stepped into the validation module, I discovered that I nailed the guilty suspect. Problem was I did it without the proper evidence, which proves a hunch is useless without proof to back it up – police work is a fine science.
Autopsy of a Murder exhibit at the Montreal Science Centre, to March 28, 2005