Cracking the case: Writing Center event turns students into detectives


elli Keyhoe’s remains were found in a milk cart.

Now, the question is: who did it?

Murder Mystery Night, hosted by the Oakland University Writing Center, invited students to crack this case, along with three others. The cases were true mysteries at Oakland or in Michigan.

 “We thought it would be fun to go through the library and associate our murder mystery with reading and writing,” said Ashley Cerku, operations coordinator for the Writing Center.

Attendees, split into four groups, investigated the different cases. Clues to each case were hidden throughout Kresge Library.

Kasandra Gallagher, English as a second language (ESL) lecturer, brought her academic communicating class to the event.

“It’s a great, fun way for them to learn how to use the library better,” Gallagher said.

One case was that of the Bath School Bombing.

Andrew Keyhoe was a treasurer of an elementary school in Bath. The school was going to build a new school, which upset Keyhoe because it would increase his property taxes. The school was built, however, and Keyhoe planted dynamite in the basement, blowing up the school and killing 45.

Keyhoe then called the superintendent over to chat and got out of the car to shoot a keg of dynamite, blowing up himself, the superintendent and two bystanders.Keyhoe also blew up his farm and house.

The police then went to search for his wife, Nellie Keyhoe.

Two officers noticed a pile of burnt jewelry in a milk cartw. This is where they found the remains of Nellie. After examination police discovered Keyhoe hit her over the head, killing her, after which he proceeded to burn her and her valuables.

Students said they enjoyed learning and solving the cases.

“I wasn’t a history major – I was an English and writing double major – but I always liked history,” Cerku said. “It was fun researching this.”