Program for Residents Interested in True Crime, Forensics, and Mysteries

It’s a combination of morbid curiosity and problem-solving, with a natural inclination for rubbernecking thrown in for good measure. 

The true crime genre of books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts has become hugely popular over the past years, and the residents at Friendship Village senior living community in Schaumburg are no exception to the fascination.

Friendship Village has launched its Cold Case Detective Club, a program in which residents are provided information about true cold cases, discuss what’s known and what isn’t known, and make possible deductions about the complete story. Annie Campbell, the lifestyles activity coordinator who introduced and runs the Cold Case Detective Club, said the residents had expressed interest in true crime, forensics, and mysteries. “Everyone likes a whodunit. The Cold Case Detective Club sparks interesting thoughts and creative thinking with conspiracy theories sprinkled in,” she said.

Despite the inherent overwhelming tragedy of all the cases they discuss, the club tries to acknowledge some good that may have resulted from the event. “We talked about the Tylenol murders, which all the residents remember happening. While it was a horrible story, we talk about how we now package medications securely as a result,” Campbell said. “I make sure to gloss over any unnecessary details.”

The residents take their roles as pseudo-detectives seriously. “They want to see the coroner’s report and DNA evidence. They ask very pointed and astute questions. Even though I do a lot of research before our meetings, I don’t always know the answers. We have to speculate. They would like it if I called the police for more information,” Campbell said.

Chuck Glomski is an enthusiastic participant in the club. A resident of Friendship Village since 2021, he said, “This program is very different and very interesting.” He believes that by serving as multiple fresh sets of eyes, he and his fellow club members might be able to unearth some salient circumstances regarding the crimes, that have been overlooked. “Maybe someone will come up with an idea,” he said. 

The creative thinking and the problem-solving involved with the club are essential to the program’s success. “It makes things interesting and…fun,” Campbell said. “While many of our residents enjoy activities that might seem more traditional for senior living, most also enjoy new, innovative and more groundbreaking programs. We have bingo, but we also have a program called Booze and Tattoos. We offer travelogues but also have our cold case detective class. We have speakers who talk about great historical figures, but we also had a recent guest speaker on forensic psychology. We are proud that we offer programs that are traditional, trending, and everything in between.”

Click here to read the story as it appears in Daily Herald.

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