Eisenstein and Cronkhite dominate crime contest


Diane Sarkarati

Just another day at the office for Ms. Sarkarati’s Forensic Science class.

Every year as a part of her Forensic Science class, Ms. Diane Sarkarati sets up a fake crime scene near the entrance to the high school building. The crime scene is closed off by bright yellow police tape, and if you look over the tape, you will see a chalk outline of a body with several pieces of evidence surrounding it. 

On top of asking her class to use their knowledge of forensic science to solve the crime, Ms. Sarkarati sponsors a short story contest. Ms. Sarkarati asks students and faculty to compose a story about what they think happened.

This year, the contest had two winners: Mr. Drew Eisenstein, an English teacher, and Campus Safety Supervisor Mr. Steven Cronkhite. 

Mr. Eisenstein felt a creative observation of the crime scene was needed, so he decided to make the murderer of the scene someone no one would think to write about. 

“I wanted it to sound like a television procedural, like ‘CSI’ or something like that. So I assembled an entirely complicated explanation that said that Sister Celeste was the murderer,” Mr. Eisenstein said. 

“I was amazed at what a well-written, detailed and very reasonable crime scene scenario and backstory Mr. Eisenstein prepared,” Ms. Sarkarati said. 

The other winner of the contest, commonly known as Safety Steve, submitted a story that was short and sweet.

“It was a very forensic interpretation in the sense that he carefully observed the scene, studied all of the evidence and tied the evidence together into a plausible scenario of what happened,” Ms. Sarkarti said. “He also noted that a warrant would be necessary to obtain the cell phone data to guarantee that the arrest of the suspect would be assured. His solution was simple but elegant!”


Mr. Eisenstein’s Story

While this appears to be a complex murder, a murder that could never be solved, with appropriate deductive reasoning, the story of the crime and the identity of the murderer are easily identified. In any murders, we must consider three key elements: opportunity, capability and motive. After careful examination of the crime scene, I have deducted, based on all three elements, that the murderer must be… Sister Celeste.

Now, I’m sure there were a few gasps when you read that. How could our very own Sister Celeste commit such a heinous crime? In order to prove this, I am going to examine each element, and, after explaining the evidence, you will see that my solution is the only valid one.

Sister Celeste has the opportunity to commit the crime. First and foremost, the bodies were discovered not twenty feet from her office door. She could have easily committed the murder and quickly jogged over to her office, none the wiser.  Not only that, but Sister, as principal of the school, has keys and access to the school at all hours. The crime scene was committed overnight; who could access the school parking lot without worrying security other than Sister Celeste? On top of that, anyone who has seen Sister Celeste on Halloween knows that she is a master of disguise, easily capable of deceiving our security personnel through costume and makeup. Clearly, our principle had access to the crime scene, an easy escape route, and a built-in alibi. 

But, you might be asking, don’t many people have similar access? Couldn’t this have been committed by Safety Steve, Ms. Johnston or even you, Mr. Eisenstein? Perhaps. But to believe It was one of the rest of us, you might ignore a key piece of evidence: the box of chocolates. Sister Celeste is a notorious lover of chocolate. But again, couldn’t somebody else love chocolate? This could be true, but that box of chocolate has more to say than just “Somebody likes chocolate and murder.” The name of the chocolate manufacturer was “Moser Roth.” If you unscramble those letters, they read “Mother Ros(e).” If the Rose is a symbol of FSHA (think graduation), who would be the mother of that Rose? There is only one answer: Sister Celeste. 

But what about capability? The crime was committed with a baseball bat. Could all five feet of Sister Celeste actually bludgeon a person to death with a bat? First, consider who could get access to a baseball bat. Though some of the younger students might not remember, our old attendance secretary and dear friend of Sister Celeste, Sister Donna, is a committed Dodgers fan. Couldn’t she have given Sister Celeste a gift of a baseball bat and taught her how to swing the killing blow? And though Sister Celeste is small, one look in her eyes when she catches a student on her cell phone makes it clear that this is a woman when pushed too far has strength far beyond her appearance. 

Finally, though, we must consider motivation. I have already proven that Sister Celeste had the opportunity and capability to commit the murder, access to the murder weapon and implications from the scene of the crime, but what about motivation? What could push our beloved principal over the edge? The answer is to be found, again, on the crime scene: the Blackberry. If there is one thing that Sister Celeste hates, it is students texting during class. Couldn’t Sister Celeste have come upon the victims, found them texting (a prime function of the Blackberry!) and been driven into a homicidal rage? 

Thus, the answer is clear. Sister Celeste found two students texting on campus. She fled to her office, put her disguise, grabbed the baseball bat that Sister Donna gifted her, and bludgeoned the two victims to death. In their death throes, the victims dropped a box of chocolates with the name of their killer disguised in the letters, hoping that we would solve this horrible crime. It seems like they had answered a call… from death!

— Mr. Eisenstein, M.A., B.A, PhD (dropout)


Mr. Cronkhite’s Story

Considering the observation of rose petals, blanket and chocolates, I can make the assumption that a couple (two bodies) were on a romantic date.

The contents of the text can suggest a feud between a best friend or actual sibling.

Somehow the sister figured out the other could have had an affair with her significant other, and likely struck them both in the head with a blunt force object, likely being the bat.

Obtaining the other sister’s alibi would help determine her location, and pinging her cell data (requires warrant) to corroborate her statement.

— Safety Steve