Model "Slip or Trip? Argument
4th Period, IB Survey Literature, 2005

Did Charles get murdered in the hall with the candlestick by Ms. Margaret? In “Slip or Trip?” there are plenty of clues to suggest that what happened is much more serious than a board game. One evening, Margaret stormed out of the house after having a fight with her husband Charles. After spending a few hours with some friends, she went home, inviting her friends to follow her. When they arrived, Margaret was emotionally distraught and claimed that her husband had just had a terrible accident. While many people might find the sight of a sobbing woman in an evening gown convincing enough to conclude that indeed this was a terrible accident, I believe that Margaret’s dramatics are just that: an act. There is hard evidence and proof of motive, opportunity, and method to establish that Charles’ unfortunate demise was caused by Margaret’s murderous actions.

First, Margaret had a devious motive. Earlier that night, Margaret and Charles engaged in a verbally abusive argument which caused Margaret to furiously storm out of the house. This fact gives Margaret reason to kill her poor, innocent husband Charles. She is a suspicious character in an equally suspicious “accident.”
Additionally, 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. This, along with her motive, is just too convenient a coincidence, and I believe that she had an ugly hand in this “accident.”
Furthermore, Charles’ position on the floor definitely indicates that this could not have been a simple accident. Charles was found lying face up with his feet on the stairs and his head away from the stairs. Yet Margaret deceptively said to police that “Charles slipped and fell on the stairs. He was coming down for another drink.” If you fall while going downstairs, you will: 1) fall on your face, 2) fall backwards and land with your head on the stairs, or 3) fall forward, roll, and land with your head on the stairs. Since Charles was found lying in none of these possible positions, Margaret must be lying and trying to hide something. Therefore, she must be guilty of foul play.
If that wasn’t enough, the unbroken glass found in Charles’ left hand puts the final hole in Margaret’s performance. If you were to fall down the stairs, you would drop what you’re carrying to try to stop your fall. That tiny, little glass PROVES that Charles couldn’t have fallen the way Margaret said. Once again, Margaret seems to be lying through her teeth, and why would she lie if this was an “innocent accident?” The only explanation for her lying is that she is a malicious killer.
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 fragile, mourning widow of a man who had a “terrible accident.” She is a vindictive murderess who deserves no sympathy nor mercy. Arrest her and prosecute her to the farthest extent of the law!