A/N: Yes, there is another "you solve the case" thing out there, but this is different than that one. I promise.
Disclaimer: I sadly don't own L.
Crime has been slow lately, so, in his immense boredom, L hired you to be find crimes for him to solve. You are his eyes and ears. Can you solve the case before L?
As L's agent, everything you see and hear is being transmitted directly to L. In your ear is a tiny speaker allowing L to convey his instructions. Clipped to your shirt is a miniature camera so L can view the evidence with you. Good luck, and remember: everything's a clue.
Case 1: Water in the Wound
Case 1: Water in the Wound
For your first case, you are in a small town in Alabama. A Mr. James Edmunds was recently murdered in his home. You were drawn to the case due to its baffling lack of clues. No fingerprints other than the victim's and his wife's were found at the scene. The murder weapon is also MIA. In fact, no one can figure out what the murder weapon is at all. Here's what you do know:
Victim: James Edmunds
Cause of death: blood loss due to a single stab wound to the chest
Time of death: Monday, 3:00 PM
You are currently riding in a state issued police truck with the sheriff on your way to the murder scene. The truck is sweltering, and the windows magnify the brutal summer sun so that you can practically feel your skin burn. The sheriff is chatting about the quaint little town, and you listen half-heartedly. Your ears are perked for possible clues, but you are currently occupied with fidgeting in the unbearable heat. You curse L under your breath. You are sure he is sipping on some cool sugary drink in his plush air-conditioned suite while smirking at your discomfort.
When you finally arrive at the scene, you gaze at the old, slightly run-down house. The shingles seem to be in disrepair, and you sympathize with the brown, parched lawn. The sheriff escorts you into the house, which seems to lack air conditioning you note sadly. Fans buzz in every room but do little to dissuade the heat. The inside is as expected: in a state of disrepair matching the outside and slightly messy. You follow the sheriff into the kitchen where the body was found a few days earlier.
"Well, this is it," the sheriff says, gesturing to indicate the room. You nod and examine the room, making sure to give the camera clipped to your shirt a full view.
"May I see the crime scene photos?" you ask politely.
"Oh, sure." The sheriff opens the file he was holding and pulls out a few photos which he hands to you. You examine the photos carefully, angling them for the camera.
Eventually you reach the picture of the body. James Edmunds was found supine on the kitchen floor, a gaping wound in his chest. The wound indicates a circular tapering object was used to stab the victim. In other words: a cone of some sort. Well, you can see why the police have found this case puzzling. What cone-shaped object could be used to stab a person?
"The blood," L's voice buzzes in your ear. Your attention is drawn to the blood in the wound. There is something odd about it. The color maybe? Is it a little to light to be the color of blood? You can't put your finger on it.
"What's wrong with the blood?" you ask the sheriff.
The sheriff nods. "It's diluted with water."
"What?" you ask. "Why would someone pour water into the wound?
"Yeah," he replies, "we can't figure it out either."
"Anything special about the water?" L asks. You voice his question.
"Nope. Just your regular city tap water," the sheriff answers.
You take one last look at the photo before the sheriff takes you to meet the suspects.
The first suspect wasn't hard to find. She was in the next room.
Suspect 1: Susanne Edmunds, victim's wife
Occupation: salesperson at Willie's Shoe Emporium
Motive: took out a big life insurance policy on the victim a week before his death
You immediately note that Mrs. Edmunds is a sour woman, if her facial expression is anything to go on. Her dyed blond hair is coarse and she is wearing way too much make-up. Her dark red lips purse when she sees you.
"Hello, Mrs. Edmunds. I'm sorry for your loss," you say politely.
"I'm not!" she snaps.
"Now Susie," the sheriff says, mildly reproachful. "We're just here to help."
Her face becomes pinched as she glares. "Don't try to act all friendly-like! I know I'm a suspect!"
"Okay. Be mean," L commands. You pause. As if reading your mind L says, "It's what she wants."
You decide to compromise: you'll be stern. "Okay," you begin your interrogation. "Where were you when you husband was killed?"
"At work," she spat, her pinched glare turning to you.
"Can anyone verify that?"
"I clocked in at nine in the morning and clocked out at seven that night. Check it."
"Your work isn't far from here. Can anyone verify that you didn't slip away for a few minutes around three in the afternoon?"
She ground her teeth. "I don't know. You're the detective you check it."
"I don't like her," L says in your ear. "Her cosmetics make her resemble a clown."
You ignore L's commentary and continue your questioning. "Why did you take out an insurance policy on you husband just before his murder?"
Mrs. Edmunds made a rather unpleasant sound in her throat to show her distaste. "I believe she is coughing up a hairball. Perhaps you should assist her?" L suggests. You contain your laughter well.
"I took out that life insurance because Jim just got a motorcycle, and every night he and his drunken friends would ride that death trap around town doing all sorts of dangerous idiotic stunts to impress the other drunken idiots." Her scowl deepened. "I didn't have to kill him. He would have been dead in a month."
After you finished with suspect one, the sheriff takes you to see suspect two.
Suspect 2: Lenny Osborn, victim's neighbor
Occupation: owns Sal's Dairy
Motive: hired victim to fix the plumbing problems in his shop, victim was less than helpful
"Well, hello there!" Lenny Osborn exclaims as you enter his shop, which is blissfully air conditioned. He's a large, jolly man with a laugh lines creasing his face. "Ice cream?" he offers.
You hear a thump through your ear piece, as though someone had fallen off a chair. "I want some," L whines.
"No thanks," you reply, smiling to Lenny.
Lenny's smile falters. "You're here about Jim, aren't you?" You nod. Lenny nods morosely and gestures you over to a table. You, Lenny, and the sheriff each take a seat.
"I suppose you've got questions, huh?" Lenny doesn't seem angry like Mrs. Edmunds. Instead he seems rather melancholy.
"Ask him why it's called Sal's Dairy," L says. You ignore him.
"Where were you when Mr. Edmunds was murdered?" you ask instead.
"Here," Lenny responds.
"Can you verify that?"
Lenny shrugs. "So many people come in and out of here; it's hard to keep track of it all. I'm not quite sure who you'd want to talk to about my alibi."
"Ask him why it's called Sal's Dairy," L says again. You ignore him. Again.
"I hear that Mr. Edmunds did a bad plumbing job on your store?"
Now there is a hint of annoyance, if not anger, lacing his voice. "Jim's been my neighbor for years, and he's always bragging about how amazing he is. I should have known it was a bunch of bologna since he's always broke, but when my pipes started to leak, I hired him anyway. That man ruined my pipes! At first they were a little drippy, now there's water leaking everywhere. Everything in my freezer is now coated in ice! Half of the ice cream became inedible! I have to let the ice melt from around the tubs of cream before I can sell them!"
"You seem pretty angry about it," you say.
Lenny turns his hard gaze to you. "It's a hassle, sure. I hated Jim for doing it, sure. But I didn't want him dead. I think that's a bit of a steep punishment for a bad plumbing job, don't you?"
You nod, contemplatively. "Thank your for your time."
You stand to leave, but L's voice stops you. "Ask him why it's called Sal's Dairy," L insists. You finally concede to his request.
"Excuse me, sir." Lenny turns back to you. "Why did you name your shop Sal's Dairy?"
Lenny shrugged. "I bought it from a guy named Sal. Didn't feel like changing the name."
"Ah," L says. You resist the urge to roll your eyes.
You are now at the home of the third suspect, Mr. Edmunds's friend and yet another disgruntled customer.
Suspect 3: Mark Sanders, victim's friend
Occupation: mechanic at Mike's Mechanics
Motive: victim's plumbing job cost Mr. Sanders thousands of dollars in repairs
The sheriff follows you up the driveway where you find Mr. Sanders at work under the hood of his car.
"Excuse me, Mr. Sanders?" you say, attempting to get your suspect's attention. Mr. Sanders slowly pulls his head out from beneath the hood of the car and turns your way. His face is smeared with grease and he's sweating profusely in the hot sun.
He eyes you warily before setting his wrench down and wiping his hands on a rag. "Can I help you?"
"Yes," you reply. "I would like to ask you a few questions about the death of your friend, Mr. James Edmunds." He nods in acceptance.
"Where were you when Mr. Edmunds was murdered?" you ask.
Mr. Sanders narrows his eyes. "Where anyone else is at three in the afternoon on a Monday: at work. No, no one can verify that." He beat you to the punch. "Mike's Mechanics is a small place. I was the only guy at work that day."
You nod. "Is it true that you hired Mr. Edmunds not too long ago and the work he did subsequently cost you a sizable sum of money in damages?"
Mr. Sanders sighs. "Sure, I hired Jim. He was a friend of mine, he needed money, and I had some bad pipes. Next thing I know, my bathroom's flooded. It did cost me a lot of money, and I was pretty angry at Jim. Angry enough that we didn't talk much after that. But angry enough to kill him? Not a chance."
As you leave the third suspects residence, you consult L. "So, L," you whisper to him. "What now?"
L responds, "I want you to arrest…"
Have you solved the case? Review and answer these questions:
1. Who is the murderer(s)?
2. What is the murder weapon?
3. Where is the murder weapon?
The solution will be posted in a week. And remember: everything is a clue.