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An Accessible Evening of Crime at The Natural History Museum

Tuesday, 12th December 2017

One of the best things about living in central London is the easy access to major tourist attractions and to some of the greatest museums and art galleries in the world. One of my favourites is the Natural History Museum. More years ago that I care to remember, I did a Masters Degree in archaeology, so I love seeing the palaeontology exhibits. The visit I made this weekend, however, was about more than just dinosaurs.

I met my friend Nadine for hot chocolate and churros and to watch the ice skating outside the NHM. We’d arrived just after the usual closing time and needed to kill some time whilst we waited for the evening’s special event - The Natural History Museum: Crime Scene Live.

The event allows you to attend the museum late at night and to solve a “crime” using scientific techniques you are taught be real forensic experts. The scenario you are given upon arrival is that a priceless stone has been stolen from the Natural History Museum and a killer is on the loose. Two bodies have been found in the vicinity of the museum and It's up to you to gather the evidence, analyse the facts and carry out experiments to bring the criminal to justice.

You are allocated a particular part of the investigation to cover and your team of sleuths will explore the Museum searching for QR codes to reveal information about the various suspects. You are then given specialist lectures so that you can use the science behind crime scene investigation and detective work to establish when, where and how the crimes occurred.

We were allocated to the team which was working on discovering who had stolen the gemstone, so we were given lectures on fingerprint analysis and tracking. The other teams had lectures on blood spatter analysis and entomology. 

At the end of the night you are asked to submit your conclusions before the solution to the mystery is revealed. 

It was an excellent night and we had great fun. I’d definitely recommend it to others if you can make it. They’re run a few times a year and free carer tickets are available. The price of the ticket includes a free drink from the bar. 

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