Idea No.

19351

CSI Crime Lab Party -16yr- The Stolen Cake

Award

Date

February 2009

From

Lea in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada

Special Mention

Mystery Party

My nephew was turning 16, and I wanted to throw him a sweet sixteen" party as his gift. He likes the CSI shows on t.v. so I used that as starting point. Guests included four friends and about 10 family members.  

INVITATIONS: The invitations were in the form of an internal memo from Lt. Horatio Caine regarding an upcoming training seminar/birthday party for Detective Darren. It read-- Memo. To: All CSI Detectives. From: Lt. Horatio Caine. Date: Jan. 3 2008. Re: Training Seminar/Birthday Party. Be advised that the upcoming training seminar/birthday party on Saturday January 12 2008 will be held at our satellite lab at ## Freemount Drive from 1:00-3:00 p.m. We will provide a light lunch in honor of Detective Darren's 16th birthday. Please RSVP to public relations specialist Barbara (Darren's mom) at ###-#### or to lab supervisor Lea at ###-####. I regret that I will not be there in person as I am presently working on a sensitive case. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to call the Lab Supervisor. And tell Eric not to eat all the cake. -- I found a CSI logo and made a header for the memo and put the invitations in a regular envelope.  

DECORATIONS: Lots of black and green balloons and streamers. Green tablecloths and black napkins. Green utensils and plates. The bathroom was marked with a sign that read "Urinalysis Lab and everyone thought it was rather amusing. A sign on the deck read: Welcome to Miami-Dade County FL and inside they were greeted with another sign that said: CSI Crime Lab." The punch table (black punch--see party snacks) had a sign: Toxicology Department. Next to the punch was a sticky note that read: "H found this liquid at crime scene. Unidentifiable. Tell toxicology to dispose of it immediately. -Eric" All the signs were printed on green cardstock paper. I did a body outline on the floor by having my niece lie flat in a "dead" pose and tracing around her with white painter's tape. Some of the kids had their pictures taken on it later. The cake table and gift table were cordoned off with yellow "Danger" tape I'd picked up at Halloween. The cake table was the crime scene (the cake was "stolen") and so it only had crumbs on it and some on the floor. I have a cork board that I decorated with printouts from the computer: a diagram of a bullet a skeleton in the ground blood spatter analysis data fingerprint close-ups and firearms diagrams. The boys enjoyed looking at these.  

ACTIVITIES/GAMES: The boys were all given CSI Detective badges upon arrival (see costumes). The detectives had to solve a murder/robbery case. Someone at the party had stolen Darren's birthday cake and killed the cake delivery man. I had 6 family members agree to be suspects. The detectives would use forensic dentistry forensic toxicology and fingerprint analysis to eliminate suspects. Before the birthday boy and friends arrived I set the scene and gathered evidence from them. Forensic Dentistry: Four of the six suspects bit into a thick slice of cheese to get good top and bottom teeth prints. Each slice was layed on a paper plate with the suspect's name on the under side.

The detectives took paper plates folded in half and had the six suspects bit into them to get top and bottom prints. They had to match these to the cheese evidence. With a bit of help they were able to eliminate 2 suspects. Fingerprint Analysis: Before the party I had two of the four cheese biters put fingerprints on a smooth glass. I used a bit of hair gel (not too much or the fingerprints smear) to make the finger greasy enough for a print. The thumb worked best. Detectives lifted fingerprints from the glass by using a clean make-up brush to dust on baby powder then applying clear tape and lifting away. The tape was applied to black card stock so the fingerprints would show up. The four remaining suspects were fingerprinted (thumbs only) and the matching eliminated two more. Forensic Toxicology: Detectives had to collect a white powder (flour) from the crime scene and they had to identify it. I had 10 white powders in clear sandwich bags with a thin strip of red electrical tape along the tops marked Evidence. The boys had a blast trying to identify them from look and smell. They even unscientifically tasted a few!

The powders I used were flour baby powder white sugar Splenda corn starch laundry powder baking powder salt  baking soda and tapioca. The last one really stumped them. Once they identified them all they matched the one at the crime scene and then searched the remaining two suspects who were each found to have a sandwich bag with a white powder in their pockets. They identified one of the powders as flour and arrested the suspect. The powder identification game wasn't really a necessary step but the boys really enjoyed it. And they had a great time arresting the guilty suspect and finding the cake which I'd hidden  in the basement. We also had a just-for-fun game of Guess the Chocolate. I gave them different chocolate covered treats and they had to eat it in one bit and guess what it was. I had chocolate-covered cherries ginger coffee beans jujubes blueberries bananas raisins peanuts etc. The winner got a giant jawbreaker.  

COSTUMES: I wanted to wear a white lab coat and/or have them for the boys but couldn't find any. So we made due with CSI badges. I used green card stock and they were about two inches wide by three inches long. I found a Florida police badge photo on the web and pasted it onto the badges. Above the photo I printed: Miami Police Department. Miami-Dade County FL. Underneath I printed Crime Scene Investigator. Specialty. CSI Level 3. Boy's Name. And then a bar code underneath that. Specialties included: Arson and Explosives Specialist Ballistics and Firearms Specialist Hair and Fiber Analyst Blood Spatter Analyst DNA Analyst Fingerprint Expert and Trace Evidence Expert. These were clipped to shirt collars pockets or belts as the boys arrived.  

PARTY SNACKS: A light lunch of hot dogs and nachos was served. The punch was a toxic black mixture made of: 2 envelopes unsweet grape kool-aid mix 2 envelopes unsweet orange kool-aid mix 2 cups sugar (or more to taste) 3 quarts cold water and 1 liter of cold ginger ale mixed in just before serving (serves 10).  

CAKE: Chocolate Brownie Crime Scene Cake. I box of chocolate cake mix and 1 box of chocolate brownie mix. I stacked three rectangular layers (one layer of cake one layer of brownie then another layer of cake). This was iced in chocolate then covered with crushed Oreos. I stuck in pieces from a small plastic skeleton to make a crime scene. When the cake was cut the layers looked like different layers of soil. 

FAVORS: The boys were sent home with crime scene bags: plastic sandwich bags with the red tape along the top marked Evidence. I put in skeleton suckers green and black candies and jelly beans and other green and black candies eyeball gumballs gummy teeth and a small magnifying glass. "

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