The Mystery of the Dala Horse

The Mystery of the Dala Horse

Who Stole the Dala Horse?

SFU has called upon our preeminent EMP Investigators to solve the case of the stolen Dala Horse.  The suspects are swarthy and shifty, each with their own motives and means to steal the Horse, but also with alibis to supposedly prove their innocence. When conducting your investigation, always remember to keep an open mind. There may be false alarms, red herrings, circumstantial evidence, incorrect suspects, incomplete evidence and several shades of truth and lies. Below you will find the background, the experts to be interviewed and, of course, the suspects!  Good luck.


Background of The Dala Horse

During the Siege of Fredriksten of 1718, a secret society called the Guardians of Sweden carved a small wooden statue of a Dala Horse and painted it with copper, silver and gold to honour Charles XII of Sweden’s effort to capture Norway.  However, during the ferocious battle, King Charles XII took a fatal blow to the head.  As a result, Sweden could not take Fredriksten and it remained under Norwegian rule. In the ensuing chaos, The Guardians were driven underground and The Dala Horse was stolen by privateers, and for centuries rumours and legends abounded as to its whereabouts.  Then, in 2014, the immaculately preserved Swedish relic was found on a smuggler’s ship in Vancouver’s harbour.

It was exhibited at SFU’s Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology in 2016.  On September 19, 2017, the Dala Horse was stolen once again.


The Experts

These expert witnesses will be interviewed on October 10 in a podcast by the EMP investigators during the Audio and Podcasting workshop.  

Expert #1: Det. Sgt. Brigid Shun – a local RCMP detective investigating the robbery (on top of the EMP private investigators hired by SFU).

Expert #2: Milton Archer – a local surveillance expert who helped set up new security measures at the museum.

Expert #3: Prof. Joelle Giza –  a New York history professor with a specialty in high profile historical thefts.

The Suspects

These suspects will be interviewed on camera on October 12 by the EMP investigators during the Smartphone Video Production workshop.

Suspect #1: Prof. Brunswick Sanderson

An SFU archeologist and advisor for Cassie Goodman, Sanderson uses controversial artifact transfer practices and has criticized the museum for its handling of the Dala Horse. The swashbuckling Sanderson has spirited away imperiled artifacts from war zones to prevent their destruction in the past, including Greek relics in Croatia in the 1997 and a Roman and Greek artifacts in Libya in 2011.  However, curiously, the gruff professor has downplayed the value of the Dala Horse as he considers it’s cultural and financial worth to be considerably less than Maravillas suggests, while still criticizing the security measures. A defensive Sanderson claims to have been frustrated with his research and went to a movie at  the time that the crime occurred.

Suspect #2: Madalaine Maravillas 

Maravillas is the curator of SFU’s Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology whose charming personality belies her extensive inside knowledge and secrets. She is responsible for the security systems of the museum, and even went so far as to have a new system installed as the Dala Horse arrived. She has had a professional disagreement with Sanderson over the handling of the Horse as she considers the relic to be culturally significant and she wants to see it eventually transferred back to its originators.  However, she may be harbouring a bigger secret as her verbal dodges have indicated during preliminary questioning.  Maravillas claims to have worked late before returning to her apartment in UniverCity when the Dala Horse was stolen.

Suspect #3: Cassie Goodman 

Goodman is an anthropology graduate student studying secret societies under Sanderson’s guidance.  Goodman is a thoughtful, bright student, albeit with a troubled past of thievery.  At age 15, she stole a Roman coin from a museum in Athens, and at age 19, she allegedly stole an medieval lock pick tool from an French museum. However, it is this misguided devotion to artifacts that lead Sanderson to take Goodman under his wing.  Goodman believes that the Dala Horse’s connection to the Guardians of Gibraltar is clear and possibly present at the university.  The quietly evasive Goodman says that she worked in her office at SFU late into the night, before catching the last bus off the mountain at around 2am.

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