Senior Psychology major kidnaps underclassmen for thesis study

Lee Thomas, I don't know who I am

Illustration by Paloma Link.

Whitman senior Jackson Harding is on academic and legal probation following the kidnapping of nineteen Jewett residents and eleven Stanton students. The week before spring break, his pleas for participation in his psychology senior thesis study went unanswered on the student digest, so he decided to take more drastic action. His academic advisor claims no knowledge of the plot.

“It’s April already,” Harding told The Wire, “I had three participants for my eye-tracking study on disgust and I need ten times that much for some sort of statistical significance. So I had the genius idea to change my research topic from disgust to fear.”

Harding allegedly posted handmade flyers inside underclassmen living halls promising participants pink frosted sugar cookies and a hit on the dab pen in the basement of an abandoned building in town at midnight on a Tuesday.

Apparently, Jewett and Stanton residents were the only ones to fall for it. What they ended up encountering in that basement was a setup worthy of its own film in the Saw franchise: chains, chainsaws and printed out screenshots of missed calls from the subjects’ parents were hung up on all the walls; spikes and Organic Chemistry textbooks littered the floor; TV screens were playing a video of a threatening man in a mask displaying missing Canvas assignments. The students were rescued after one finally escaped at three in the morning and alerted police, putting Harding in custody and on Juli Dunn’s Naughty List.

“I’m not alone in this experience,” suspect Harding expressed. “All of us psych students are desperate for participants. One kid tried to post an ad saying she would provide proof of God’s existence if they participated. Student digest blocked it, though–run by atheists, I guess.”

“Unfortunately, senior thesis panic does not allow for unethical studies and human rights violations,” some guy from the APA ethics board said in response to the situation.

The fate of Jackson Harding’s graduation eligibility and possible jail sentence remains undetermined.