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Family Entertainment: The Murder at Heureka exhibition turns visitors into crime scene investigators

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Heureka’s new exhibition, Murder at Heureka, opened on Saturday, 30 January 2010. The exhibition gives visitors the task of finding out who is guilty of murder. Visitors will act as criminal investigators while gathering clues, learning about laboratory analyses, and recording their results and observations in a notebook provided. The tasks in the notebook lead the visitors through the exhibition. The objective is to find three conclusive pieces of evidence and determine who is the guilty party. The Murder at Heureka exhibition is intended for visitors older than 8 years of age.

“The purpose of the exhibition is to teach visitors about the methods and tools used in crime scene investigations. Regardless of the topic of the exhibition, there will be nothing brutal on display. The age recommendation is in place primarily because the exhibition requires that visitors be able to read and focus on assigned tasks, ” explains Jaakko Pöyhönen, Exhibition Manager.

The introductory video at the beginning of the exhibition tells about a young woman who is found murdered in her home and lists the three suspects in the case. Next, the visitors continue on to the Scene of the crime, where they are provided with clues (signs of a struggle, blood stains, the murder weapon, etc.). From the crime scene, visitors move on to the Autopsy room, where they gain further clues through the findings of the autopsy. Then the visitors may freely select their route through five different laboratories, in which the clues are examined further.

The Biometrics lab introduces visitors to dactyloscopy (fingerprint research), helps to determine which of the suspects had been in the victim’s home on the night of the murder, and analyses the threatening messages left on the victim’s answering machine. The Ballistics lab examines the murder weapon and the shoeprint found outside the victim’s home. The Chemistry lab clarifies whether the victim drank alcohol or used other intoxicants prior to death. The DNA lab studies the hair and skin found under the victim’s nails and on her watchband. The Fibre analytic lab studies whether the foreign fibres on the victim’s clothing originated from one of the named suspects.

Based on the lab experiments and clues, the visitors may reach a conclusion as to the identity of the guilty party. If the conclusions are wrong, the visitors may return to the labs to continue their investigation. If the visitors’ conclusions are correct, they move on to listen to the confession of the guilty party.

The exhibition also presents Finnish criminal cases and the highlights of Finnish crime investigation throughout the years. Additionally, visitors can learn about the work of crime lab researchers by watching several taped interviews. In the interviews, the researchers tell a little about their own background and how they decided to take on their current job.

The domestic partners for this exhibition include the Forensic Laboratory of Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation and MTV3 Oy. The exhibition was originally produced by the Montréal Science Centre under the title C.S.I. – Autopsy of a murder. Heureka has hired the exhibition from the Museon science centre in the Netherlands.

The exhibition opened at Heureka on Saturday, 30 January 2010 and will remain on display for approximately one year. During that period, you can also try your hand as a crime scene investigator in the virtual exhibition found at www.heureka.fi.

For more information: 

Jaakko Pöyhönen, Exhibition Manager, tel. +358 (0)40 9015 218, jaakko.poyhonen@heureka.fi
Mikko Myllykoski, Experience Director, tel. +358 (0)40 9015 244, mikko.myllykoski@heureka.fi

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