Crime scene house introduces U of T students to forensic science, with blood and bullet holes

Friday, October 27, 2017 - 2:22pm
Geoffrey Vendeville
It isn’t like Professor Jack Price not to show up for his own class. He was reported missing by a graduate student – days after he got into a heated argument with another professor. It isn’t clear what happened to Price, but clues in his white clapboard house on the University of Toronto Mississauga campus suggest he met a grisly fate.
A trail of blood leads from the kitchen to the dining room, where furniture has been toppled over. The floor of his bedroom is littered with essay pages.
If not for an armless CPR dummy on the bed beside a toy gun, the house could almost be mistaken for a real crime scene. That is the point.
“It's like using a paintbrush,” says Tori Berezowski, a master's student in forensic sciences and teaching assistant. She is showing undergraduate students how to use a wand and magnetic powder to dust for prints on a wine glass.
Although it’s difficult to prepare students for everything they will encounter over a career in forensics, they get an idea from mock crime scenes staged in a house in the woods surrounding the main Mississauga campus. The BSc in forensic science program at U of T dates back to 1995. Graduates have gone on work at the Toronto police and other regional forces, the RCMP, and the province’s Centre for Forensic Sciences.