A former chief of police from a North Carolina town will present evidence from a real criminal investigation and the audience will try to solve the crime in a public program Thursday at the Wilkes County Public Library.

“True Crime Investigations: Crack the Case” is from 5:30-6:45 p.m. at the library, which is at 215 10th Street in North Wilkesboro. Admission is free.

The identity of the police chief won’t be revealed until after the program to prevent participants from researching the case ahead of time and spoiling the mystery, said Wilkes County Librarian Aimee James.

The ex-police chief will describe a real criminal case that he investigated. He will present evidence that his police department collected after the crime was reported and as the investigation unfolded. Participants will be invited to figure out who was guilty of the crime by using this evidence.

Participants work as individuals or couples and are invited to ask the chief any question that might help solve the crime.

The chief might also play a videotape of some of the suspects or have images to display. Those multimedia details hadn’t been finalized as of Thursday.

The police chief said this case is especially unforgettable due to its extreme levels of drama, intrigue and betrayal. The chief put pressure on a primary suspect being interrogated by declaring, “Nobody’s going to believe the cat story any more than the slippery book story.”

The mystery will be solved at the end of the program. A question and answer period will follow. Refreshments will be provided.

Another former chief’s presentation for a similar program at the library last year was very popular, added James. This and last year’s programs were organized by Deborah Beckel, Wilkes adult services librarian.

Last year, the library distributed handouts with basic information about the case with room for notes to keep track of the evidence.

Beckel said she met the police chief when he came to the library a couple of years ago. “After conversing with him for a while and finding him to be so gifted at telling narratives about his professional life, I invited him to present one of his criminal cases at the library. I thought that an interactive program with the audience would be well received, and the chief was happy to oblige. This is a homegrown Wilkes County Public Library program.”

“True Crime Investigations: Crack the Case” is provided through the support given the library by the Friends of the Wilkes County Library.

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