Bloody fingerprints covered the surfaces of the back room of the law library. The murder weapon, a chrome-plated Swingline stapler, lay abandoned on a countertop. Victim Alyse Willett drooped in her chair, held in place by bungee cords. Red pools formed underneath her, oozing along the floor. Murder, most foul!
This was the virtual crime scene created by the UNT Dallas College of Law Legal Educational Technology (LET) Department in August 2018. Based on a request from a law professor, LET staged a murder scene and used a 360 degree camera to take photos of the scene. When combined with high definition close-up photographs of the ketchupy “evidence,” LET was able to create a scene that can be viewed via web browser or in a 3D headset. The viewer can navigate through the scene, examining evidence that they find in detail. More scenes are underway.
The LET department was officially recognized for their work in this new area of legal technology on April 23, 2019 when the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) announced the winners of the Innovations in Technology Award. The team, which consisted of Director Jenny Wondracek, Assistant Director Mike Pearson, student workers Jared Giles and Gerardo Mata, and Counselor Alyse Willett (a.k.a. the murder victim), will receive their award at the AALL Annual Meeting in July 2019. Special thanks goes to the Law Library for allowing the scene to be recorded in the technical services area.
Disclaimer: No counselors were harmed in the making of this scene.