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Student solves campus crime using clues from U of C confessions Instagram

By Frankie Hart, September 26 2019 —

The University of Calgary campus community was shaken up on Sept. 13 when something smelled off in Science Theatres. The source? A rogue turd in the middle of a hallway. The culprit? Unknown, but the offender came to be known as the “Phantom Shitter” on the UCalgary subreddit. Due to other chaotic events that continued into the following week, it seemed like the Phantom Shitter had been forgotten by most.

But second-year student Vanessa Vedere didn’t forget. After the Friday the 13th incident, she became committed to cracking the case of a covert crapper.

“It was hard to investigate,” Vedere said. “There were no direct witnesses, no security footage and worst of all, no support from the biology or chemistry departments to run tests on the sample I collected. I’m sure a lot of helpful data could have been pulled from those tests, but it looks like no one wanted to solve this crime as much as I did.”

On Sept 20., after multiple dead-ends, Vedere stumbled onto a crucial clue while browsing social media. The university confessions Instagram page — @uofconfessions — seemingly posted a confession from the Phantom Shitter themself. It read, “I did it once and I’ll do it again. Craigie Hall will henceforth be known as Crappy Hall. – 👻💩 #iconfess.”

“In that moment, I knew I had to act fast,” Vedere said. “I got to Craigie Hall as fast as I could and started taking the elevator to every floor, keeping an eye out for anyone suspicious. That’s when I saw them. There was one individual squatting in a hallway, but they were surrounded by at least five other people, all with their hoodies obscuring their faces. Once they spotted me, a few of them took off after me.”

Vedere was able to run ahead and take the elevator, closing the doors before any of the hooded figures could reach her. Her plan changed significantly going forward, prioritizing her safety. She decided to contact the admin of @uofconfessions directly to get help backtracking the source of the confession.

“They didn’t explain to me how it works, but they could collect and trace people’s IP addresses from their Google Forms,” Vedere said. “They usually only use it for personal reasons, but said they’d make an exception for my investigation.”

What happened next was something no one could predict — the IP address was located in the administration building.

It was at this point in the investigation that Vedere had a change of heart. She felt that the closer to the truth she came, the more fearful she became of it. Discouraged from what she might find, she decided to hang up her detective hat and start attending classes again.

The @uofconfessions page has not responded to multiple requests for comment at this time.

This article is part of our humour section.

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