WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP — A homicide investigation in Luzerne County was only make-believe, held for vocational school students to learn how things really work.
It looked real but it wasn’t: the body in the field behind McCann School in Wilkes-Barre Township is a mannequin. The blood was a combination of corn syrup, cocoa powder, and red dye.
This was to teach McCann’s criminal justice students how to investigate a homicide.
“We’ve been talking about it for a while, but to actually get out here and actually be a part of it is really cool,” said Sean Tate.
Tate was there to gather clues and collect evidence as a student.
Todd Grudzinski is the instructor. His goal: get students out of the classroom.
“You only learn so much in a book. You actually learn when you put your hands in the work and do the job itself,” said Grudzinski.
Grudzinski wants students to understand primetime crime dramas don’t get it right.
Emily Myers got that right away.
“A lot of people would be like, ‘Oh yeah, I seen that on TV,’ but it’s a lot different than TV.
Myers says TV doesn’t show you everything. This does.
The instruction doesn’t end behind the building. Inside, the business students will look at the cost of the investigation and the prosecution, and next week, the paralegals will hold a mock trial as the killer is brought to justice.
And the medical technician students will examine the fake blood and bodily fluid samples as part of their education.
Then the mannequin gets cleaned up, only to be “killed” again for the next class of future police officers and detectives.