Students to spend spring break touring historic murder haunts

Sleeping in a haunted castle, standing in the shadows of Stonehenge and sitting down for a medieval meal sounded like a great way to spend spring break to 19 Fort Hays State University students and their two sponsors.

Also on the agenda are tours that include Jack the Ripper and the dungeon of Chillingham castle in northern England, which will serve as the group's lodging one night.

"There are still original torture devices in the dungeon," said Dr. Andria Cooper, assistant professor of justice studies and trip sponsor. "It's supposedly one of the most 'haunted' places in the world, so we'll see how the night goes."

The group will fly into Edinburgh, Scotland, on Friday, March 17, and return on Sunday, March 27. Dr. Brian Kinnaird, director of the justice studies program, will also serve as a trip sponsor.

All the students are enrolled in Cooper's "The History of Murder" class.

"Throughout the course we look at how murder rates have changed across time and location, from medieval England to modern United States, since our origins of law come from England," said Cooper. "It looks at the social and historical contexts of murder, both between the government and people and between persons."

The class examines how and why reactions to homicide have changed and how the justice system has dealt with homicide and other capital crimes.

Cooper created "The History of Murder" after browsing through the true-crime section of a bookstore and thumbing through a book with the same title.

Students making the trip are listed by hometown:

Andale: Kenneth Temaat, senior.
Brookville: Nell Shelton, senior.
Champion, NE: Jamilah Bauerle, sophomore.
Grinnell: Tanya Beckman, junior; Neal McNames, freshman; and Ryan McNames, senior.
Hays: Donna Fay, senior; Adam Pfannenstiel, junior; and Kristy Pfannenstiel, senior.
Hill City: Troy West, senior.
Kinsley: James (Rob) Garner, senior.
Lindsborg: Ashley Rhodenbaugh, senior.
Logan: Lisa Glennemeier, senior.
Ness City: April Rowlett, senior.
Paola: Dezerae Foltz, junior.
Pierceville: Samantha Wyatt, senior.
Phillipsburg: Mandy Wallgren, senior.
Victoria: Molly Quint, senior; and Allen Wasinger, senior.

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