Posted by: Hope | November 23, 2009

Princeton University: The Death of Two Researchers

A fiction paper I wrote based off of a Harvard University recently.

Princeton University: The Death of Two Researchers

Officer Sturgis walks swiftly into the main office at Princeton University; his presence demands attention.   He turns to another officer and demands that fingerprints are taken.  Afterwards, he looks around for clues of what could have happened, or maybe a motive.  The body of Holly Jackson was poisoned; her coffee seemed to have had been purposely poisoned with a toxic chemical called sodium azide.

A gentleman walks in unaware of what is going on.  With all of the officers in the office he begins to wonder what has happened.

“Hello officer,” the man says, offering out his hand.

“Hello young man, what are you doing here?” Sturgis replies, annoyed.

“Well, I was simply coming in to finish up some more research.  This is where I do it. May I ask what is going on?”

“Do you know someone by the name Holly Jackson?”

“Why yes sir, I do! She was a classmate of mine.  We’ve been working on the same project for a long time here.”

“She died last night in this office.  It appears to have been a poisoning.  Would you be willing to go in for questioning?”

“Well, I have a lot of work to get done, but if you think it could help, sure I’ll go in.  My name is Jason Daniels by the way.”

“Alright Jason, I’m Officer Sturgis and this is my colleague Officer Sawitzky.  Sawitzky will be taking you in for questioning; I have a lot of things to be getting done here.”

At this moment Jason turns around trying not to show any emotion.  His heart begins to beat faster as he looks back to see Sawitzky escorting him to the police car…

…On the other side of town a man who goes by the name Minnesota, his real name being Aleks Nagel.  Aleks deals with the financial aid office for Princeton University and has close relations with the science department.  You see, Aleks once went to Princeton University, but he failed his third chemistry class and was told to give up.  Aleks didn’t and instead of majoring in Chemistry he decided to major in Accounting.  Now Aleks works for the university as a financial aid advisor.  He tries to keep nice relationships with the current chemistry students just so he feels that sense of it still being “a part” of his life.

Some say Aleks Nagel is bitter of the current students, treating them kindly only to secretly hate them.  Nobody knows if it is true, but they can only assume.  He treats them so well, but every time he turns his back he has this bitter, cold face.  Some think it’s jealousy, others think he just wants to somehow get back at the college for treating him poorly.  On the other hand, other people believe he just truly loves chemistry enough to make him want to do everything he can do to further the university’s research.

Jason enters the police station he begins to sweat.  Before he sits down, he gently pulls on his jacket to keep from sitting on it.  He nears the seat he stands back up again and calmly says, “I want my lawyer.”  Sawitzky looks at him strangely, but of course agrees to allow Jason to call his lawyer.  Jason begins to ponder, “oh shit, oh shit…was that a mistake?  Should I have just sat down and answered the questions?  Now this is only going to seem suspicious…shit…shit…” As he thinks he pulls out his cell phone and calls a good friend of his to come in as his lawyer…

Back in the Princeton lab Officer Sturgis has been digging for objects and signs of what could have had been used for the sodium azide: earnestly fingerprinting vials, doors, and even the coffee cup.  All the while he has multiple officers questioning students, professors, and security.  Things just are not making sense.  The students seem to think that by no means could the chemical have gotten there accidentally, it just doesn’t make sense.  However, they did not have anything to back these statements up with or anyone to blame.

Later in the day, Aleks heads into work.  He has to get some more work done, and would like to stop in to see what Jason and Holly have accomplished.  He is aware that they are in the process of working on the same project, yet not together.  He tried to encourage them to work together, but they refused.  So, now, he can only hope that they will keep a hostile environment out of the picture.  As he enters the parking lot he sees several police cars parked.  He can’t help but wonder what was going on.

Aleks walks into the office, looking around warily for someone who looks like he might have answers for him.

“Uh hello Officer; my name is Aleks Nagel, and I work for the financial aid department here.  Mind if I ask what the trouble is?” Aleks says, stumbling through his words.

“Listen kid, we ain’t got no time for your bull crap.  Unless you have facts, I suggest you walk your butt down to that aid department where you belong,” said Officer Sturgis.

“But sir, with all due respect, I have close affiliations with this office.  I deserve to know what is going on,” Aleks replied.

“Fine. Do you know a young lady by the name Holly Jackson?”

“Yes, yes I do.  I was actually on my way up here to visit with her and Jason Daniels.  The two of them have been working on the same project, but not working together.  I was coming to make sure everything was still running smoothly.  Things here get pretty competitive and I wanted to make sure they were acting fair.  Why? What happened?”

“Mr. Nagel, she was poisoned last night. Would you mind making a statement, on record, of what you just said?”

“Not at all.  I would do anything to help!  You don’t think it was Jason that did it, would ya?”

“Well I just don’t know Nagel.  I’m willing to take a shot at anything right now.”

Back at the police station Jason’s lawyer finally arrives.  At that point the questioning begins.

“Jason, where were you last night from 9-11 pm?”  Sawitzky asks accusingly.

“I was in the office working with Holly.  Everything was fine.  She wanted to stay a bit longer than I did and decided to make coffee, but I had left before she even started the pot. “

“What were you guys working on?”

“We’re working on trying to find a cure for the swine flu.  We aren’t working together, but we are working on the same project.  We tend to be in the office at the same time because of it.”

As the interrogation continued Jason started to get nervous.  He didn’t want people to find out about their secret relationship.  Yes, they were dating.  In fact, they loved each other, but due to professional reasons they never let it out.  And even though she was now dead, he still did not want the news to get out.  It would only hurt him that much more.  It really bothered him that he was a suspect for the murder of his own lover.

“Sturgis!  We’ve got results on some fingerprints on the vial. You need to get over here quickly.”

“What’s the issue Cole?  Who’s do they match?”

“The fingerprints belong to Nagel, sir.”

“No way, why would his prints be on the vial at all?  What kind of chemical did the vial contain in it or was it already rinsed out?”

“Sir it’s not my job to figure out motive, but the vial did contain sodium azide.  I would have to link it to Nagel.  I’ve also had a recent issue with Nagel.  I offered him coffee and he refused. He was having a difficult time keeping his composure as he began to shake, I can only assume he was afraid of what was in that coffee.  We never once told him that she was poisoned by the coffee.  How else would he have known?”

Officer Eric Sturgis calls Officer Sawitzky and asks him to stop the interrogation.  “Get your ass over here.  We need to get Nagel under arrest and now. His fingerprints were found on the vial.  He is the murderer.”

Two weeks later Nagel is sitting in a court room for his trial.  He sits there, annoyed and nervous. During his questioning he becomes offended and irate.  “I did it damnit!  And do you want to know why? Those two love birds were pissing me off.  They were accomplishing so much, and not even working together. Their work was complimenting each other, but they refused to share it.  Yet the bastards were in love.  They didn’t know that I knew, but I did.  And by golly I’m proud to sit here and say that I killed her. I wanted to kill Jason too, but he left before the coffee was even made.  They were doing it all wrong, the complete opposite of what I would have.  Arrest me, I do not care.  They deserved it and it will teach this blasted school a lesson!”

At this point Jason Daniels begins to weep.  He cannot hold back the pain any longer.  The woman he loved was now dead and he was looking the man responsible in the eyes.   Never again will he be able to hold or hear Holly’s voice.  Holly might be physically dead, but Jason was emotionally dead for the rest of his life.

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