SCECE Release III: Malik’s Work as Private Investigator


On Friday, October 29th, SCECE held its first Lunchtime Teacher Exploration with Malik Mubashshir, the Upper School Religious Studies & History teacher. Lunchtime Teacher Explorations are a newly-launched monthly SCECE project intended for teachers to impart their knowledge and expertise to students regarding topics of interest that are not covered in our school’s curriculum.

As a start to this project, Malik presented on his experiences learning to be a private investigator and his meeting with the mysterious Vidocq Society, a members-only crime-solving club that meets on the third Thursday of every month in Philadelphia to revisit “cold case” homicides. As students, teachers, and staff hurried into the classroom to immerse themselves in the harrowing world of crime-solving, the room filled up and the boxes of pizzas were emptied within minutes. 

Malik began by introducing the origins of the Vidocq Society and its role in providing pro bono expert assistance to the international law enforcement community. “The Vidocq Society,” he began, “was named after a 19th-century French detective, Vidocq, who had been a former criminal himself.” Malik went on to explain that Vidocq helped the police by using his knowledge of the psychology of criminals and his ability to look at murder from the psychological perspective of the perpetrator to solve homicide cases. The Society’s mission is to further the resolution of unsolved homicides that have gone cold by providing investigators with a fresh perspective. The society consists of seasoned professionals in the field of criminal investigations including FBI profilers, criminologists, forensic scientists, prosecutors, medical examiners, and polygraph examiners. 

Once a case is accepted by the Vidocq Society, the lead investigators are invited to present their case to Society members. Malik recounted his own experience attending one of the Society’s monthly luncheon meetings. As the members began posing questions and offering suggestions to the case at hand, Malik had attempted to offer input, “but only members were allowed to speak, so I asked the lady I sat next to raise the point,” he said. The Society members welcomed his insightful point and agreed that his notion had not occurred to them prior. 

As the presentation came to an end, audience members felt as though they had lived vicariously through Malik. Adam Powley ‘20 says he “really enjoyed the balance Malik maintained between interacting with the students and carrying a steady pace with the topic.”

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from your teachers outside the classroom and reap the benefits of their broad array of knowledge. Be sure to sign up for our December Lunchtime Teacher-Led Exploration.