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Mysterious Crime at Restek

12 May 2011


Michael B. Goslings arrived at work on April 27th in the early morning and died again. Of course the cause of death is different from year to year, but it always requires some kind of analytical work by our team of young investigators.  This year’s Bring Your Kid to Work Day put the investigation in the hands of three teams of kids and the grownups in the Innovations Group acted merely as assistants to these sharp detectives. They used 2 GC/MS systems; Shimadzu QP2010plus and a Perkin Elmer Clarus 500 to analyze blood, stomach contents, vitreous, saliva, white powder and soil samples. The Instrument Innovations Team, designers of our flow meter & leak detector, helped these detectives examine fiber and small metal fragments found at the scene of the crime using a stereomicroscope. The three teams were given specific tasks. The material science team examined white powder, saw dust, and metal fragments found either at the scene of the crime and/or in the suspect’s offices. Our forensic chemistry team tested the victim’s body fluids, while the Analytical team tested suspicious liquid found in suspect #2’s office, and ran the white powder by HS-GC/MS. What they found shook these young scientists to their core…..it was murder! It turns out that mysterious

liquid found in suspect #2’s office was cis-1,2-dichloroethene (c12DCE) which was also found in the victim to include the vitreous sample. Other solvents were found at trace levels, such as isopropylether and isopropylacetate by the analytical team but not in the body fluids. Each team carefully logged their results and presented them in the auditorium. Mysterious fluid found in suspect #2’s office turned out to be c12DCE. Metal fragments found on the victim match those found in the suspect’s office.  The investigators then recommended to the district attorney that suspect #2 Barry Berginski be sent to the grand jury for capital murder. These young future scientists did an outstanding job of carefully reviewing the case, running the samples and presenting their findings to a group of their peers in the auditorium.

I would like to thank the following people who were critical to making this a success:

Jason Thomas, Corby Hilliard, Amanda Rigdon, Sharon Lupo, Mike Goss, Matt Lininger, & Jerry Johnston.