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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

How To Get Away With Murder: A Forensic Website Helping Students Plan the Perfect Murder

How To Get Away With Murder: A Forensic Website Helping Students Plan the Perfect Murder

In the spring semester’s first forensic club event, How To Get Away with Murder, students worked together to plan and execute the perfect crime. The club’s first interactive website, developed by vice president Jomaly Ruiz Sierra ’23, offered 12 victims’ profiles with different backgrounds and belief systems to help students achieve their perfect murder plans. 

The purpose of having diverse profiles of victims came from Ruiz Sierra’s desire to have students collaborate and share their thoughts on how to commit the perfect crime, despite their different interests and cultural beliefs.

Ruiz Sierra said, “Bringing people with different backgrounds to try to solve the cases creates this dynamic where people would consider other pieces of evidence that people did not. In a way, it is to create a community, to help and make each other better.”

The website was created to show students how planning the perfect murder is somewhat unrealistic. 

Ruiz Sierra said, “A lot of people have this conception that creating the perfect murder is easy, especially because TV shows and movies have made it this way. In reality, creating a perfect crime during this time is very hard.” 

When watching those true-crime shows, some students have firm beliefs that they could have done a better job committing the murders that they’re watching. Ruiz Sierra points out, however, that people don’t take into account that forensics keep evolving, which is why they end up getting caught despite their best efforts.

Ruiz Sierra said, “There is a lot of information that you can get from phones, internet, and even from a GPS that ties people to a crime, which are things that people don’t think about.”

During the event, students worked in pairs to share their forensic expertise to plan the murders. The website involved the victims’ social media, phone messages, addresses, schedules, car license plate numbers, and deleted items that could be found in the trash sections. 

As Ruiz Sierra describes it, the characteristics added to the victims’ profiles were meant to guide and misdirect students and make them think deeply about what they suggested when sharing their murder plans.

“We wanted to create some difficulties when creating the website. Some victims were easier than others, as some had more media presence, making them easy targets for students,” said Ruiz Sierra. 

The students were given 30 minutes to an hour to devise their plans. After submitting their plan, a panel took place where the club’s executive members advised students on why some of their suggestions would have gotten them caught, thereby making them not get away with murder. 

Lexi Jackson ’24, the secretary of the Forensic Club, states that despite the dark nature of forensics, the event was also intended for students to have a good time. 

Jackson said, “Forensics is very stressful for people who are in the major and minor. We wanted to give people a creative mindset in forensics without all the stresses from the classes that it brings on them.” 

Agreeing with Ruiz Sierra, Jackson says that although they wanted to create a fun and safe environment for students to collaborate with each other, they also wanted to debunk the claim that forensics and solving a murder is an easy task. 

“One of the things that we’re trying to stay away from is glamorizing the murders and serial killers because it’s not right. We wanted to show that it’s hard to plan a murder and actually get away with it,” said Jackson. 

On the website, Ruiz Sierra left a message for students to know that the website was created to pay homage to the victims who lost their lives to violent crimes. 

The message read, “Dedicated to the memory of all victims of violent crimes. May we always remember the broken hearts of the victims’ families and friends.” Ruiz Sierra said the message was added so that peers would not forget the victims. 

She said, “Oftentimes, the victims are the ones that are always forgotten when we are talking about crimes. Especially in television shows, they always pay attention to what they did and not what they did to the victim; if you notice in a whole episode, they will only mention the name of the victim once.”

Ruiz Sierra affirms that the victims are the reason forensics exists and why individuals in forensics do what they’re doing. 

“It’s to bring justice to the victims and their families, which is why I thought it was important to add this in there, as when the students were going to create the crimes, the victims would be forgotten,” said Ruiz Sierra. 

If you could not attend, the forensic club executive members intend to hold it again next semester. The organization has noted that everyone is welcome to attend any Forensic Club event, regardless of their major. 


Featured Image Courtesy of Lexi Jackson.

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How To Get Away With Murder: A Forensic Website Helping Students Plan the Perfect Murder