At the Oklahoma Science Museum Thursday night, either Adam Aldrich, Bruce Benson or Cary Cannon would be found guilty of murder. And it was up to the guests to figure out who the culprit was.

Cracking cases is the premise of the science museum's newest exhibit, "Whodunit: The Science of Solving Crime." The crowd of about 150 people at the exhibit's grand opening, held Thursday, was spotted with guests dressed as characters straight out of a Dick Tracy cartoon. All this set the scene for the look of the exhibit, which science programs coordinator Chris Wilkerson said was modeled after the comics.

Wilkerson said the museum worked closely with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to set up the various steps in crime solving, from fingerprinting to facial recognition to autopsies.

"The exhibit basically takes each forensic job OSBI does and has kiosks do it," said Wilkerson.

When museum guests first enter the exhibit, they grab a newspaper from a newspaper rack which gives the details of the crime at the Memory Diner as well as information on the three suspects. The back of the newspaper is a worksheet that assists guests in solving the crime.

The next stop on the exhibit is the Memory Diner, where guests can listen to eyewitness testimony. The scene of the crime, in the alley behind the diner, follows the diner. Here, guests are asked to search for clues.

The alley leads to a hands-on room of techniques OSBI uses to solve crimes. Moore resident Mark Harris found that room the most captivating.

"I thought it was neat how it was interactive," he said.

The last stop of the exhibit is a hall of heroes, where OSBI employees have been cartoonized. Next to each caricature is a description of the employee's job.

"It was very interesting," said Jessica Brown, public information officer for OSBI, in reference to her caricature.

She said she was glad they left off her braces.

Wilkerson said the exhibit is aimed at both adults and children. He noted that with crime shows multiplying on television stations, it's apparent that adults out there are fascinated by crime solving. As for kids, he said, playing cops and robbers has always been a hit.

Alex Mattison, communications coordinator for the museum, said adults who are accustomed to getting their crime-solving fix from shows such as CSI will be in for a surprise when they see the exhibit. He explained that the techniques used on the show and other shows are not always the most commonly used practices in solving cases.

"It's real crime solving science," Mattison said. "Not CSI stuff."

The exhibit is now open during museum hours. Wilkerson said the exhibit is a permanent fixture.

For more information on the museum, visit sciencemuseumok.org.

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