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Murder Mystery A Hit At Hudson Valley

CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Hudson Valley Community College's mock murder scene was a hit on Tuesday. In a setting reminiscent of "CSI," adjunct instructor Jim Caruso placed a dummy, complete with bullet holes and dried blood, in the Fitzgibbons Health Technologies Center. His "Principles of Criminal Investigation" students then investigated the fake homicide, which included bullet casings and a rummaged-through pocketbook.

Hudson Valley's students investigators also got a lesson in how to deal with the media at a crime scene. Reporters and photographers from the Albany Times Union, the Troy Record, Capital News 9 and WRGB (channel 6) were on hand to witness the students' work.

As news cameras snapped photos and rolled film, students crossed through a door covered with yellow police tape and stumbled into a conference room. There, Caruso's dummy lay on its stomach, two bullet holes piercing her sweater, which was stained with "blood." The students then took in all the various evidence – for example, an empty and discarded purse – measured distances, wrote down information and took photos.

"There are things in there that are totally irrelevant and things that are relevant," Caruso told the Times Union. "What I want to know is, can they identify the things that are relevant?"

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 50 degree and certification programs in four academic divisions: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Business; as well as programs run through the Educational Opportunity Center offering certification programs in workforce and academic preparation. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 11,000 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has graduated more than 55,000 students.