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"Slip or Trip?"
(Materials adapted from: Treat, Lawrence. Crime and Puzzlement 2. Boston: David R. Godine, Publisher, 1982.)

 

Click on the picture to see it at its full-size.


After Margaret and her husband Charles got into a fight, she stormed out of the house and left him at home alone. Margaret drove to her country club where a party was going on. Everyone there complimented Margaret on her dress and how well it fit her slender figure, and this made her feel a little better.

Margaret left just before one in the morning and invited a few friends to follow her home for one more drink. She got home ten minutes before they arrived, but when her friends rang the doorbell, Margaret ran outside, saying, "Something terrible happened! Charles slipped and fell on the stairs. He was coming down for another drink--he still had the glass in his hand--and I think he's dead. Oh my God, what should I do?"

The police concluded that Charles died from a wound on the head and confirmed the fact that he'd been drunk. What do you think happened?

You are a member of the investigative team. You must determine whether this was an accident or a murder. Analyze the evidence in Margaret's story and the picture and look for clues for how and why the incident occurred. Once you've gathered the evidence, make your claim. Was it an accident or murder?