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  1. #1
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Criminal Justice students helped investigate Chandra Levy case

    For more than a year, the criminal justice students jotted details of Chandra Levy's final movements onto a huge timeline taped to a classroom wall, culled the Internet and public records for scraps of information, and pored over the model skeleton laid out on a table in their lab at Bauder College in Atlanta, Georgia.

    They spent hours with the slain intern's mother, Susan Levy, who flew from her home in California to Atlanta just to talk to them. Chandra Levy had studied criminal justice in college, too.

    They began with a list of five suspects, then narrowed it down to one. On December 28, they mailed their findings to the police chief in Washington, D.C. They never heard back.

    But on Saturday, the text and phone messages began to fly. There's a suspect, they told each other with excitement. An arrest is imminent.

    "It completely validates 15 months of work," their teacher, Sheryl McCollum, said that Saturday morning. "We knew this case was solvable. There was no reason for it not to be solved." Meet the members of the campus crime club

    A week ago, the police chief in Washington, D.C., called Levy's parents and told them a suspect in the 2001 slaying soon would be arrested.

    "I got a call from the Washington police department, just to give me a heads up that there's a warrant out for the arrest," said Susan Levy, the victim's mother. She added that police did not provide a name, but sources later identified him to CNN as Ingmar Guandique.

    Guandique is serving a 10-year prison sentence for two assaults in Washington's Rock Creek Park that occurred around the time of Levy's disappearance. Levy's remains were found in the park.


    For the Bauder College students, the break in the case was no cause for self-congratulations. They can't disclose their findings to the public.

    It's part of the deal they make at the start of each investigation. Even though they couldn't name their suspect, or even discuss details of what they found, they didn't carry themselves like people who had missed the mark when they met with CNN on Monday.

    There were big smiles and, in more reflective moments, small tears.

    Antonio Wilson and Jennifer Gosdin, two students who last year shared logs of their progress with CNN, said they hoped Levy's mother, father and brother can now find some comfort and peace. If they were able to help the Levys in some way, they are glad.

    Wilson, who hopes to be a probation officer, said he got more out of the experience than he ever expected. "It's not my area, but I loved it," he said.

    "Once you get involved in it, it becomes personal," Gosdin agreed.

    For Naomi Barkley and La-Shawn Bates, the case got personal when they met Susan Levy. "You could see the hurt in her face," Bates recalled. "You can't help but want to make it right for her.

    McCollum was in Florida with her family when the news of a suspect broke. She was on the phone with Susan Levy before the sun came up in California. Yes, Levy said, it's true, adding that she was grateful to the students for keeping people focused on her daughter's case, McCollum recalled.

    McCollum worked as a victims' advocate in the criminal justice system in Fulton County, Georgia, for 25 years before taking a teaching job at Bauder College. In 2005, she launched the Cold Case Investigations Research Institute. It's a fancy name for a campus crime club.

    The students aren't graded, and they don't receive class credits. But the payoff for the hours they invest includes hands-on experience working real cases and access to experts and criminal justice professionals.

    Using real-life cases is the best way to groom the next generation of crime-solvers, McCollum believes.

    Many of the 850 students at Bauder College juggle full-time jobs and families with their course work. About 80 of them are members of the crime club. They are joined by students at two other campuses: Auburn University-Montgomery and Faulkner University in Alabama.

    Auburn students examined crime scene and geographic details, while Faulkner students delved into the victim's profile. The Bauder students focused on the suspects.

    Past cases include Tupac Shakur, the hip-hop artist gunned down in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Wayne Williams, the man convicted in the Atlanta child murders case. Students found the Williams case solvable, but Shakur's slaying was ruled "undetermined."

    The Levy investigation was deemed "solvable." It seemed to carry special meaning for the students.
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    "With Chandra, she was a criminal justice major at one time, and she had aspirations of going into the federal government; a lot of our students do as well," McCollum said at the outset of the project.

    "The students became completely dedicated once they met the family members of the victims," McCollum said. "The victims are real people, the cases are real cases, and the research is real investigative work."

    By Ann O'Neill
    Students narrow suspects in Levy case to one - CNN.com

  2. #2
    Ryan's Avatar
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    Wait, I thought CJ students were arrogant, stupid and had no knowledge of the law? Interesting...



    Sounds like a hell of a class project and good for them for sticking with it and at least helping out.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks Jenna that was interesting, what a great group of students, it has to be very rewarding for them also.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
    Wait, I thought CJ students were arrogant, stupid and had no knowledge of the law? Interesting...
    Where was it you got that idea?
    I'm your huckleberry...

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  5. #5
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    I hope the Levy's will get justice for their situation. Yet another local case for me that has gone nationwide. Condit used to be a big name here in Ceres, CA for they used to reside here and they still have family in the area. As do the Levy's. Robert Levy is a oncologist at a local hospital here.

    IMO what did Condit in was not so much the affair but the fact that he lied and then tried to cover it up. When all of this broke loose, it was like the town of Ceres didn't even know him.


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    Morris is offline Chief Wheaties Pisser
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    Actually, CJ students can be some of the biggest pains in our asses, akin to third year law students. But much of that is driven by the instructor cadre, less so by the student.

    I actually had on CJ student years ago tell me on a ride along that my approach on a stop would get me killed. Shortest ride-along I can recall, after I booted his scrawny ass to the curb.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    Where was it you got that idea?
    I got it from the questions and responses from CJ students on another forum. Some are okay kids, but a lot of them are arrogant and annoying.

    For a while, we had some interns working in detective division. They were helpful because we had them doing data base work. I don't think it was what they envisioned when they showed up, but a couple of them really got into it and came up with some good info.
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

  8. #8
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retdetsgt View Post
    I got it from the questions and responses from CJ students on another forum. Some are okay kids, but a lot of them are arrogant and annoying.

    For a while, we had some interns working in detective division. They were helpful because we had them doing data base work. I don't think it was what they envisioned when they showed up, but a couple of them really got into it and came up with some good info.
    I guess some of them are.

    I try to take each one individually - I get put in charge of the interns here a lot.

    Quite a few of them have surprised me with an "outside" perspective or idea that I thought had merit.
    I'm your huckleberry...

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    Ryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    Where was it you got that idea?

    I don't feel that way at all. That seems to be the consensus opinion of most of the cops I know personally as well as many that post online.
    "The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of its blessings; the inherent vice of Socialism is the equal sharing of its miseries." -Winston Churchill

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
    I don't feel that way at all. That seems to be the consensus opinion of most of the cops I know personally as well as many that post online.
    I think the consensus opinion is more aptly described as follows:

    Criminal justice students are learning theory that they have not seen applied, nor have they had to apply it. They lack experience, not intelligence. At times they are tragically overconfident in their knowledge because they have no means to have measured it against reality.

    Personally, I see this sort of exercise as an excellent way for them to apply their theory and gain some experience.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  11. #11
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    The interns that came to work with us were pretty good, but I suspect someone told them right off not to be dispensing their wide knowledge.

    The Internet makes a lot of people just a bit too brave.


    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    I think the consensus opinion is more aptly described as follows:

    Criminal justice students are learning theory that they have not seen applied, nor have they had to apply it. They lack experience, not intelligence. At times they are tragically overconfident in their knowledge because they have no means to have measured it against reality.

    Personally, I see this sort of exercise as an excellent way for them to apply their theory and gain some experience.
    We have some good interns, some decent ones, and some lazy ones. The good ones tend to eventually get hired, especially if they have prior military/LE experience. We did have one, however, who managed to track large mud prints up the stairwell and on the new carpet of our newly renovated field office. He didn't tell anyone he did it either, and when one of our crime scene unit guys took impressions of his tracks we knew it was him. I don't think that intern ever told anyone about doing it (not that he had to at that point), but his reputation will still be in place if he ever applies to us for a job.

    We've got one now that brings fresh donuts from his parents' bakery... we all agree here he should get hired!
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  13. #13
    Five-0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    They lack experience, not intelligence. At times they are tragically overconfident in their knowledge because they have no means to have measured it against reality.
    The best experience you will get is having your knowledge and theory turned completely on its head by crazy that often finds it' way into reality.

    Experience and knowlege > theory and knowledge.

    I was an intern at one time too. I did my free time with the Secret Service. Having interns, rookies, and veterans that are willing to learn all they can is better than having all three that already know it all.

    Now, go get me a coffee....two splendas.


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