Student sleuths solve murder mystery at University Programs dinner

Student sleuths solve murder mystery at University Programs dinner
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

About one hundred students-turned-sleuths worked in teams to solve the murder of Johnny Diamond Thursday night. Jealous groupies, indebted doctors and rejected rockstars were among the list of possible suspects in the investigation at the University Program’s Murder Mystery Dinner. Students got to test their detective skills as they searched for clues to solve the murder with help from a cast of actors in a truly immersive theatrical experience. 

Before the dinner started, the lively characters running the show made themselves known, swirling around the room and introducing themselves as well as the rules for the evening. Binders at each table provided each group a unique clue to assist them in their quest to solve the crime. A select few attendees were selected to carry out roles in the production, taking on personas to assist in the search for clues to the teams of amateur detectives. Student involvement only added to the appeal of the experience and transformed the evening into more than a chance to get free food .

“I like that the audience members are able to interact by becoming characters,” said Brianna Kasper, freshman accounting major. “Making us get up from our tables instead of sitting here and eating is really cool.”

Once the murder of Diamond was committed before the audience, the search for the truth began. Attendees were introduced to an array of characters, ranging from an eight year old with a knack for electronics, to a gambling addict doctor, deeply in debt to the deceased. 

Through bribery and pointed questions during the designated investigation times, teams of students were able to assemble a list of suspects and collect information to target the perpetrator. Some attendees had never been to an event of this nature and it was a welcome change from the mundane cycle of course work.

“We’ve never been to a murder mystery dinner before,” said Chris Jarmon, sophomore aerospace engineer. “It’s a good escape from thinking about calculus and differential equations.” 

More was revealed and less was certain as the evening came to a close, with character revelations, confessions, and another murder. Suspect lists were put under a microscope as each of the groups pulled together a final suspect, motive, and opportunity to kill. 

Participants were surprised by how hands-on this event was. Riddled with classwork and outside stress, the dinner gave students the opportunity to let loose and challenge themselves beyond the bounds of academia. 

“It made us think more than we thought we would,” said Parker Olive, sophomore mechanical engineering major. “It was a good escape.”

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