Model "Slip or Trip? Argument
3rd Period, IB Survey Literature, 2005

CHARLES WINTHROP FOUND DEAD! In the case of “Slip or Trip?” Charles’ wife, Margaret, arrived home late one night after being out at her posh country club. When friends she had invited over arrived, Margaret was in hysterics and Charles was lying, dead, at the bottom of the stairs. Margaret claimed that “Charles slipped and fell on the stairs.” The funny thing is that Margaret had gone to the country club after fighting with Charles. Even more “funny” is that she had ten minutes to spare between getting home and when her friends arrived on the scene, and there’s also a “magical” glass still in Charles’ hand. Despite Margaret’s hysteric claims of an accident, we can conclude nothing else than this: Margaret cold-bloodedly murdered her husband Charles.

First of all, we have damning hard evidence against the malicious Margaret in this case. The glass Charles was supposedly carrying was found still in his cold, dead hand. Furthermore, Margaret said that Charles had been “coming down for another drink.” When you fall while coming down stairs, you drop whatever you are carrying to try to stop you fall. Since Margaret said he was coming down for another drink yet poor Charles still has the glass in his hand, we must conclude either: 1) that the glass could not have been in his hand when he fell—it must have been planted; or 2) that Charles didn’t fall like Margaret said. No matter which of these conclusions you believe, it’s obvious there was foul play involved, and Margaret is our prime suspect.
Additionally, we have more than just motive and opportunity to suspect Margaret. Charles’ glass, for instance, is extremely suspicious. When Charles’ was found, there was an unbroken glass in his hand. Also, Margaret claimed that Charles had fallen down the stairs “while coming down for another drink.” When you fall while carrying something downstairs, you will drop whatever you’re carrying to try to stop your fall. Due to this, we believe that Margaret is lying about what happened. There is no way Charles could have fallen down the stairs and still held onto that glass. As a result, we have further reason to suspect the sneaky Margaret.
Furthermore, we know that Margaret had an opportunity to harm Charles. Earlier that night, she went to the country club and visited with some friends who she then invited home with her when she left at 1 a.m. She arrived at home ten minutes before her guests. This shows that Margaret had ample opportunity to commit a heinous crime, like killing her husband. She must be our number one suspect!
Not only that, but the whole reason Margaret left the house to begin with establishes her motive. Before leaving to her club, Margaret and Charles had a heated confrontation that resulted in Margaret storming out of the house. This establishes that Margaret had a motive to hurt Charles. We believe the police should take a closer look at Margaret and consider her a suspect in matter which is no “accident.”
Last but not least, there is the matter of how Margaret managed to do away with her husband. In the coroner’s report, it was found that Charles died of a "wound to the head." Furthermore, when Charles was found at 1 a.m., a frying pan was cooking on the stove. These two facts together suggest Margaret’s nefarious method. We know that a frying pan is certainly sturdy enough to inflict a head wound, and Margaret certainly had access to it. If she used it to hit Charles on the back of the head when he was going upstairs, then that would explain why the glass might still be in his hand—as all he had to do was fall backwards, and it would also explain Charles’ position on the floor. While we'd need further tests to validate this, we conclude that the frying pan is only on that stove for Margaret to destroy evidence of her crime.
In summary, Margaret isn’t the mourning widow of a man who had a tragic, drunken accident. She is an insidious murderess. She deserves to be arrested for her sins.