Stooby's case introductions 4

A selection of 4 of Stooby’s case introductions for you to read. Feel free to pass any comments on to Stooby.

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The Subway.

Dreadfuly Familiar.

Times Like This.

The Challenge.

The Subway.

I have always hated the subway. Being underground isn’t something I enjoy at all and being cramped into the constricted area of the carriages with all the other passengers pushed in together was not my idea of fun.

I’m not particularly claustrophobic but I couldn’t understand how anyone could enjoy travelling in this manner.

But there was no denying that it was the quickest way to travel around various parts of the city and I occasionally had to make use of it.

I was on my way to court to give evidence against Barry Scott, a particularly nasty barber with a penchant for kidnapping clients and using his scissors in ways I shudder to think about. The evidence was strong; he was certain to hang, but my testimony was still needed.

I was trying to distract myself with thoughts of ongoing cases. Trying to forget the terrible noise and warmth in here. Trying to avoid the sweaty smell of fellow passengers, avoiding listening to their conversations about daily life…

I was beginning to feel sick with the swaying of the carriage and the rising panic inside of me when I was thankfully distracted by a commotion at the end of the carriage.

I looked up to see a woman collapsing sideways to the floor of the central aisle and the man next to her screaming as he bent over and saw, as I did, the growing pool of blood.

I was too late to see what had happened, but I caught a glimpse of a dark figure fleeing through to the adjoining carriage as I turned around. I was jumping out of my seat to give chase when I felt the train pulling into a station. I knew I’d lose the unknown killer in the crowds before I could even begin to look for them.

A heavy man bustled past me shouting, “Let me through, I am a doctor.”

I had to see the scene of the murder before too many people could disturb any possible evidence. As I pushed the the crowd, the doctor proclaimed loudly, "There is nothing I can do. This woman is dead."

The man that had been next to the victim gave a wail of grief and I found I could not get any closer to the body for the push of onlookers.

Taking a leaf from the doctor's book, I proclaimed loudly, “Let me through, I am a detective.” The crowd parted, allowing me through, and I got a good look at the woman lying on the floor.

“Oh detective you must help me!” cried the man that had been with the victim. “You must catch Heather’s killer before they get away.”

I turned to the crowd behind me and in a loud voice asked “Did anyone see who killed this woman?”

There were several cries, “He was a slim man.”, “No he was a heavy man.”, “No, no it was a slim woman.”…

Sighing, I turned back to the victim’s companion and, as I pulled out my notebook, asked, “Do you know anyone that would want to kill Heather?”

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Dreadfuly Familiar.

I was reading the front page article of the newspaper with a sick feeling. The article was about the murder of Marlena Smith, a well known socialite around town. The story went on to say that she had been found brutally murdered, her body slashed many times with a large bladed weapon, possibly a sword.

All of this not only sickened me because of the brutality of the attack against the woman but also because of the perfect similarity to two ongoing cases I was investigating. One of these involved a young woman named Chloe Smith. She had been found a fortnight ago and her parents, grief stricken, had come to me desperately seeking help in tracking their daughter’s killer.

Then, a week ago, a mechanic called Tim Burton was found in another part of the city. His wife had come and asked for my help. I was horrified to hear the details of the murder from my contact at the mortuary. Tim’s injuries were identical to Chloe’s - Right down to the fact that both of them had the little finger on their left hands severed. Neither finger had been found at or near the crime scene.

I continued reading the article with a sense of dread and found it, after the details of the murder scene. The little finger on Marlena Smith’s left hand had been severed and had not been found.

My conclusion on the first two cases was now confirmed and it seemed the reporter who wrote this article agreed with me; I was definitely tracking a serial killer.

With no clear connection between the victims I knew I had to act quick or more people would die.

I grabbed my phone and dialed the number of a contact I had within the newspaper. He was a photographer and often worked murder cases. He told me that a reward for details leading to the arrest of Marlena Smith’s killer had been offered by Blanche Watson, the victim’s Executor of Estate.

I hung up and dialed the operator and asked to be put through to Blanche Watson.

When she answered the phone I could hear that she was crying. I announced who I was and said I wanted to help catch her Client’s killer. I asked her to tell me anything she could that might help me in my investigations.

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Times like this.

It was a times like this that I wondered why I did this job. Claustrophobia was causing me to panic, the sheer walls closing me in tightly. The air was warm and stale and the odour of rotting flesh was overpowering.

“Yes, she’s down here,” I called out as loudly as I could.

People didn’t always come to us sleuths because they had something to hide from the cops. Other times they came to us because the cops refused to believe anything had happened.

Like now. Stuck down this tiny well, water up to my middle, the rope cutting into me as those above strained with my weight.

By the light of my lantern I could see that the body floating in the small circle of water was Prudence Buchannan; she matched the portrait that my client, Eunice Zirger, had shown me. She was bloated and discoloured but still looked enough like the portrait for me to be confident I had found my crime scene.

Eunice Zirger had come to my office the day before telling me that her Business Partner had been missing for a week. The police refused to take the matter seriously, saying Prudence had probably gone away on a trip. They only made a quick examination of Prudence’s house before closing the case.

My investigations had been much more thorough and the scuffed grass around the well, the scratches around the rim mixed with a small amount of dried blood were enough of a clue to make me take this dangerous trip down the shaft.

I hooked a second rope around Prudence’s body and called out “Okay get me out of here.”

I felt the panic ease as I was pulled up the shaft and as I reached the top gulped in fresh, clean air before climbing out of the well.

I helped pull the body clear of the well before turning to Eunice Zirger and asking “Okay so who might have wanted to kill your Business Partner?”

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The Challenge.

I put down the letter knife and slid the folded letter out of the envelope. I didn’t have high hopes for this to be good news. My post normally consisted of threats from anonymous people to drop a case, threats from killers I had put away, threats from family of those I had put away… oh, and bills. Yeah, threats and bills, that was about it.

So my hopes weren't high as I opened the letter.

My eyes opened wide as I read the brief note in tiny neat handwriting. It said:

"Detective. I want to set you a challenge. Catch me. I think you won't, as I have committed the perfect murder. I will write a book about it and make a fortune. So try and catch me, but you never will. My victim was Zoe Watson. I will even give you a clue to get started. Go and talk to her Servant, Leoni Riggs."

Other than the address of Leoni Riggs, the letter only contained the words, “Good luck, detective, and I look forward to laughing at your failure to catch me.”

Never one to ignore a challenge, I set out to visit Leoni Riggs.

After she let me in, I showed her the letter. She was shocked and outraged and said that I must catch this killer. I asked her what she might know about whoever wrote the letter.

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