It wasn’t a page from the city’s latest homicide scene, but the beginning of the Institute of Global Commerce and Government’s third annual Camp CSI.
Put on by the IGCG’s Academy of Business and Law, the four-day camp followed the mock crime through its investigation and conclusion with a mock trial. The crime-scene portion of the camp was scripted by Jennifer Interiano, a senior at the school.
It unfolded in the school’s parking lot, where a man was knocked unconscious during a brawl. His body was stuffed for concealment into a bakery oven, where he was burned to death when workers turned on the oven for the morning’s cupcake baking.
Visiting eighth-graders from Williams and Monte Vista middle schools and Bella Vista and West Valley Christian academies watched and then joined in the investigation process, as high school students took turns playing roles from victim to investigator.
Angel Diaz, as an inmate awaiting a court hearing, gazed at the crowd taking notes outside the wooden jail bars.
“Yesterday, I was the guy who got burned in the oven,” Diaz said. “It was awesome.”
Watching the flow of students and keeping a wary eye on her prisoners, Brizje Hampton enjoyed her role for the day as sheriff, booking the homicide suspect into jail.
“I like the different roles — more entertaining than just sitting around,” Hampton said.
Most of the young actors had never been to a real crime scene. Instead, their Camp CSI preparations involved a visit to San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp, and they are scheduled to attend a future courtroom trial in Stockton.
For most, the camp was a good learning experience.
Mock murder suspect Josh Shepard said the best part was beating his victim, played by Allan Desousa, even if it was just make-believe. Reflecting on the experience, Shepard said, “It kind of shows how the criminal justice system works, but not how Hollywood portrays it. It’s more realistic.”