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Forensic psychology
Forensic psychology

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3 What do you think happened?

Figure 10

Now it’s your turn. You’ve seen and evaluated all the evidence and made notes about what you think is reliable and not so reliable.

After you have constructed your own solution, you will get a chance to actually view the crime and also see how well real police officers managed to solve it.

Activity 3 What happened

Timing: Allow about 1 hour

Work through your notes and write out a description of what you think happened. As you piece together your version of what happened in the armed robbery and kidnapping, bear in mind all the psychological knowledge you’ve gained and see how well it can be applied. Applying it to the crime is an extremely good way of helping to learn it! It really helps to get it ‘into your head’.

All the information you need to produce a very accurate description of what happened has been provided to you. Unfortunately, just as in a real case, you have also been provided with a lot of information that is inaccurate. Can you work out which is which?

The best way of doing this is to look at how the evidence was obtained. Alternatively, you could just trust your instincts …

Here are a few questions that might help you, as they focus in on some of the points that differ between the investigations of DI Bullet and DS Sund:

  • Did the crime start with the car pulling into the street and the four perpetrators jumping out, or did the car reverse into the street towards the end of the robbery?
  • Did the driver grab Liz, or was it someone else?
  • Was the unmasked robber short and overweight, or average height and average to slim build?
  • Was the driver bald and 6 feet 4 inches, or was he of average height and have hair?
  • Was the driver the leader and shouting orders at the others?

There are many other disputed points, including inconsistencies between the descriptions provided by the two witnesses in DS Sund’s investigation.

As well as working out what happened, also try to decide who the perpetrators were. Each detective has provided two suspects. Do you think any of these four is one of the perpetrators, or maybe neither detective has got it correct?