Just the Facts

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic


It might be a "Who Done It", or a guessing game. It is anyone's guess.

Submitted: May 29, 2018

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Submitted: May 29, 2018

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The truth is always subjective and given to individual interpretation; that is, if one chooses not to look at hard evidence.

What is hard evidence? You know, what they call, "Just the Facts." 

Seven people had just finished dinner and gathered in the Parlor on a stormy night. 

Suddenly the lights in the room went out, as if a power outage had taken place. Then there was a terrible moan, and a thud, then the lights came back on.

Near a large oak chest, which was at the rear of the room, was the lifeless body of a woman; Andrea Carrillo. Her body was on the floor with a letter opener sticking out of the chest.

 

Who could have brought such a bloody and quick end to the Mistress of this house?

Two of the seven people in the room thought that it was the Butler, because everyone knows that it is always the Butler that commits such crimes.

Two others felt that it was the woman's adopted son, Clyde, who must have wanted his inheritance from his Mother's estate.

Andrea Carrillo's half-sister, Natasha, said that it was the dead woman's husband, Fredric, because he had the most to gain by her death.

The Butler, being logical thinker, felt that Natasha must have killed her sister because she was the only one close enough to the victim to complete the crime so quickly.

These are all good answers, but all are assumptions and not the facts.

The butler noted that he couldn't have done it because he was carrying a tray of drinks and he had just entered the room, far from where the woman fell.

The woman's husband, Fredric, made a good point in his own defense. After gaining his composer he stated that he was sitting on the sofa and that he was still in that position when the lights came back on; just a moment later. Fredric noted that it would have been impossible for him to complete the murder in such a short amount of time and still get back to his seat, with drink in hand.

Clyde, the adopted son, made the same argument after wiping tears from his eyes. He, too, was seated on the sofa and had not moved.

The problem was that no-one remembered where anyone else was, mainly because everyone dashed to the body as soon as it was seen. So each person's word about their location could not be substantiated by any firm witnesses.

However, the Butler was the one exception. Almost everyone remembered him entering the room because, upon entering he asked, "Who ordered the Vodka, Neat?"

And, of course, everyone laughed and pointed at

Natasha; she is the only one in this group that drinks Vodka.

Natasha was standing near her sister just before the lights went out.

(So, who really killed her? Take a guess if you think that you know.)

The detective assigned to the case, Detective Facts, always uses the classic Elimination by Logic Approach.

After some discussion with the family lawyer, the good Detective soon discovered that the Husband had no part of the woman's estate due to a prenuptial agreement.

And in addition, according to the household staff, the two were getting along wonderfully.

Further information found that the adopted son was a wealthy businessman and had no desperate need for his Mother's mining bonds and mutual fund holdings; all of which he already controlled because he was her stockbroker and her accountant.

The dead woman had left her home and the bulk of her cash estate to the care and well being of her dog, Fee-fee. 

The medical examiner found that the letter opener was not a letter opener at all; it was a professional throwing knife.

The official household letter opener was found by police inspectors when they search the house; it was located in a desk drawer, and in the Study.

A big break came by way of one guest's smart phone. The police had confiscated them and searched them for any evidence that might be of help.

The house was just packed with antics and the owner of the phone was a big fan of that type of furniture, so she had taken pictures of every room she entered.

Well, it just so happened that she had taken a photo of the room just before the lights went off. A photo that gave evidence to the fact that the victims husband and step-son were seated on the couch, just as they said they were, and that Natasha was standing close to her sister, and the Oak Chest.

 

(Have you changed your mind about who killed Andrea?)

After having extensive background checks done on everyone at the murder scene, the Detective found that the Butler once worked in a circus.

And wouldn't you know? He was the blindfolded knife throwing act known as, "The Unbelievable Blade."

And if that wasn't enough, hidden in the floorboards of the Butlers room was a set of throwing knives; and one was missing from the set.

Finally, the fact that the Butler was named in the woman's will as Fee-fee's guardian; he would have full control of the woman's finances for as long as the dog lived.

 

Now you would have thought that this would have been enough for our super-sleuth, our seeker of the truth for justice's sake, but there was a problem.

The only fingerprint on the weapon was that of the dead woman's sister, Natasha; it was smudged but still recognizable as a match.

 

(Are you still with the person you feel is the killer?)

In his defense, the Butler claimed that Natasha was his secret lover and that she knew of and had access to his knives. He was very convincing, stating that it was Natasha who stabbed her sister and from the beginning had plotted to pin the murder on him.

He even showed Detective Facts a copy of the will and it stated that if the Butler was not fit to care for the dog, then Natasha would become the dog's guardian.

 

(Have you changed your mind yet?)

 

Natasha protested and at the same time she told a different story. First of all, she stated that she had no wish to care for her sister's little monster and had never agreed to being the dog's guardian.

Her late husband had left her a bundle, therefore she had no need of her sister's money.

Also, she said that she had never had any such relationship with the Butler. "She does not fraternize with the Help," were her words.

As a point of fact, she said that if the Butler knew her as well as he claimed to then he would have known that she was having arthritic problems with her hands and wrists.

She said that her Doctor would be happy to testify that she was hardly able to grasp a glass, let alone to stab someone with a knife.

As for the knife, she claimed that the very same knife was on the top of the desk in the Study, and it had been there for over a week, maybe more.

And of course her fingerprint was on the knife, which she thought to be a letter opener and had used on several occasions.

 

(Have you changed your mind yet, or again? We are about finished.)

The detective was suspicious about the fingerprint too. Why were no-one else's prints on the knife? After all, it was seen in the Study, by the household staff, for some time. Surely others used the knife from time to time.

The explanation soon came to light when a housekeeper told the detective that she polishes such items at least once a week. She was embarrassed to say that she must not have done a very good job on the knife.

 

Still, the detective had a prime suspect right from the start of this case. But did the suspect have a partner in the murder? That was the only question left to solve.

Yes, there was a simple fact that told the detective that the Butler had a hand in the murder right from the start. But what was the fact that led to that conclusion?

 

(Do you know?)

 

With all the other evidence taken into consideration, it was the final detail that would convince any jury that the Butler was the killer.

(This is your last chance to decide.)

The only person in that room that was anywhere close to the light switch was the Butler.

Only the killer would have to distract everyone from looking at him, so he asked a question that he knew everyone would respond to. "Who ordered the Vodka, Neat?"

That distraction gave him the opportunity to turn the light off, simulating a power outage, as well as throwing the knife and turning the light back on.

And of course, a good butler always wears white gloves; gloves that don't leave fingerprints on the Serving Silver, or a murder weapon.

 

(Well, did you get it right?)

 

 

D. Thurmond / JEF

05-27-2019


© Copyright 2018 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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