The Mystery Of The Locked Room – II

The Mystery Of The Locked Room

II. The Suspects

After their conversation got over, the two of them went to the place of the incident to have another thorough look. Jack looked around the area. The surrounding area had been cordoned off for about 10 meters on all sides from the house, so that, no public could enter the crime scene.

“Did you get the list of suspects?”

“Yeah! There are 4 of them!!!”

“Wait a second! You said the old man lived on his own and his maid came everyday to cook. Where did the other three come from?”

“Well, it seems Mr. Portman, that is, the old guy, had some friends who live in the neighborhood  even though his two sons stay abroad. So, they used to meet regularly everyday to have chats and evening tea parties. The shocking thing is, all of them have motives for killing him!!!”

“How is that?”

“Well you see, Mr. Portman was a loan shark! He was a rich person and lent money to his friends but used to charge a very steep interest!”

“I see…so they all had loaned money from him and were pressurized to give huge amounts of interest!”

“Yes!  All except  for  the maid!”

“Guess that leaves the maid without a motive to kill!”

“Not exactly!  The maid , Mrs. Prescot  couldn’t pay her interest, so, he made her his maid till she worked her debt off and was not allowed to take even a day off to visit her family next town! So, even she has a motive!”

“Hmmm…this really is a tight case! How  about their alibis?”

“Well…. The three gentlemen came over to Mr. Portman’s place at about 6:00 in the evening and left at about 7:15 PM!.The three gentleman were Mr. Polski, Mr. Samuel & Mr. Dalton. Mr. Polski had to go out to buy groceries at the market, so he left early at about 7 PM. Mr. Samuel and Mr. Dalton left at about 7:15 together. The maid came at about 8 PM”

“Could anyone testify their alibis?”

“All of them! Mr. Polski reached the market at about 8 PM because his car broke down on the way. The car mechanic who repaired his car testified that he came pushing his car over to the mechanic’s place at about 7:45 PM! And the vegetable vendor also testified that Mr. Polski bought vegetables at around 8:10 PM!

Mr. Samuel and Mr. Dalton stay on the same street, so they went together to a fast food joint nearby before going home and the receptionist confirmed it with the receipt . They reached there at about 7:30 PM and left at around 8 PM. It usually takes 15-20 minutes from Mr. Portman’s place to reach there. So, they have a proper alibi.

Mrs. Prescot left her rented place at about 7 PM and was shopping for groceries till 7:30 PM and reached home at about 8PM. The seller testified that he saw her and identified the bill as well. I also verified it myself that it takes about 30 minutes to get to the market from here by walk”

“Hmmm…….so all of them have very solid alibis. This really is a confounding case! No wonder you came to me!” exclaimed Jack.

He looked around the house and found no abnormalities in its surroundings. The surroundings were clearly made of cement with amazing decorations on the window railings as usual. Jack was amused by the beauty of the house before he was interrupted by his friend, Brian “Shall we go inside?”

Nodding his head, Jack and Brian stepped inside into what was a really enormous house filled with many ornamental designs all over the place. A drawing caught Jack’s attention! It was a drawing of a Stork in a field of rice, raising its one leg and looking towards the observer! He touched it and felt the beautiful white canvas’s roughness. Brian led Jack into the room where they had found Mr. Portman’s body. It was a gigantic room of enormous height! The door had gaps neither from the outside nor the inside!

“When you first told me about the height of the room, I thought – how can an old man hang himself from a fan at this height? But now, it makes sense” said Jack.

The room was enormous. But the window was placed at about 10 feet above the ground. It was only about 2 feet in height and width making the ceiling at about 12-13 feet! Since the ceiling was so tall, the fan used was a long fan, the ones usually used during the 80s! It was about 2-3 feet long hanging from the ceiling. Mr. Portman was about 6 feet tall, the rope used to strangle Mr. Portman was about 1 foot in length  and the chair was about 2-3 feet tall. Thus, all added up to 12-13 feet!

“How do you open a window at that height then?” asked Jack

“Well…there is a switch near the side of the wall; beneath the window used to open it. It is an electro-mechanical switch. Once you remove your hand from the switch, the window comes down on its own!”

“What if the switch doesn’t work or  the  electricity  goes  off? “

“Mr. Portman had that figured out and also had a lock installed below the window. And the key is along with the room key. You need to unlock and then push it up. And once you let go of it, it locks by itself again! But it hasn’t been used so far, according to the maid, since there is always a backup generator for power!” replied Brian.

Brian showed him the place where they had found the key lying and also the place where the papers pieces were strewn. Like Brian said, all the items were neatly arranged inside the room including the computer desk and mouse!

“Hmmm…It really IS strange that such a disciplined man would just throw away the key like this!” mused Jack. Suddenly something caught his eye! The side of the computer, which had a LCD monitor had dust everywhere  except at one side where a very thin line of clean surface existed as if cleaned by a very fine outline brush! Jack wondered what it could be.

Jack then began investigating the place where lots of paper pieces were found. He asked Brian “Was there anything else other than paper pieces that you found?”

“Well. There were lots of shredded pieces of chart paper and there were a few tapes used to hold the sheets together. Nothing other than those.” replied Brian.

“How many sheets of chart paper would the pieces make approximately?”

“Hmm … never thought about that. There were lots of them. Maybe about 10 sheets! What difference does that make anyway?” retorted Brian.

“Well, just a count. That’s all!” smiled Jack.

“Where are the suspects now?”  asked Jack.

“At  the nearest station. I’ve detained them saying –  I need to bring someone for further questioning! They are really angry and stunned at the same time! Better get going if you have seen whatever you want here.” replied Brian in a rather worried voice.

“There is just one more thing I need to ascertain. Just give me the location of the testifiers of all these people. I need to ask them something. You be on your way.” Said Jack as he took the note prepared by Brian and both left their separate ways.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

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15 thoughts on “The Mystery Of The Locked Room – II

  1. Awesome!!! Felt like readin a real detective novel !! going pro, bro!! 😉 …I’ve got 2 theories…One ends wid the maid n the other wid Polski…FB pe batata hu…wouldnt want to post a spoiler here 🙂 … …The LCD thing is a bit tricky tho 😛 …cya on chat later

  2. Okay, you wanted my deductions…Here they are:

    1. The key was used to open the window and escape from the room. The killer could not take it with him coz it would confirm it’s a murder. So he threw the key as he ran out. The window came back up and out he went.

    2. Samuel and Dalton were at the house from 6 to 7.15pm. It should take 15mins to reach a fast food joint. They reach at 7.30pm, stay there till 8 as per the manager of the joint. So they’re in the safety zone. There is a point that they left the house last, so they could have killed and left, as the murder happened between 7 and 8. They had 15mins alone after Polski left. But since there are only three of the friends and all in the same situation, it is unlikely that only the two united and planned the murder and left only a single person out. So that is unlikely. So, I guess I’ll leave the two fellows alone, out of the suspects list.

    • hmmm…Impressive deduction…But, How did the killer go out? The window was 10 feet high! And there was nothing to use that tall…well? think about it.

      Regarding the second case, well..it could be like u say that they did so..but, how did they get out in the first place? If both went out of the door, how could they drop the key inside?

      Irrespective, a really good guess though 😀

  3. So, we’ve two remaining: It’s either Prescot or Polski.

    3. The LCD brush stroke, I think, is just to erase the fingerprints left by mistake. The killer had to type the letter. So he probably brushed out the keyboard and he might have accidentally touched the screen, which he cleaned up. This is a long shot. I could not think of any other explanation for this till this point. The bits of paper, also, I’m still blank about that.

    4. The neatness of the room is, I guess, just to divert the concentration to the maid. She had cleaned the room in the noon, so that’s quite obvious. So, at first, I thought she should not be in the picture. But however, she knows every detail of the house, especially how the switch works, which makes her a prime suspect, atleast for escaping efficiently. So, I think that brings her back in the picture.
    However, she was shopping till 7.30pm. So she could not have had much time, less than 30mins, to be accurate, even if she lied about reaching at 8:00, she could not make it before atleast 7.45pm. So the window of opportunity for her killing the man is quite narrow. Also, being a woman, she could not have managed to hold the dead body up, make it stand on a chair and tie the rope. So, I’m leaving her out. too. Though, this task, I think, would require more than one man. So, we can go back to Samuel and Dalton too, I think. But, okay, we’ll leave that possibility for now.

    5. Now, the main suspect, Polski. He left at 7 and even if his car broke down, I’m assuming the place is a town and a car repairman should not be hard to find. It took him 45mins to find one, that’s less likely to be true. He had the largest window of killing the guy. He purposely left early and waited outside till the others left, that’s around 7.45pm. Since these are old friends, he knew maid will be coming at 8pm. So he managed to kill the guy, make it look like a suicide, type the note… He did have something less than 30mins to do all the work.

    • 3. I said d brush stroke was very THIN! now, to erase a fingerprint, u need a BROADER brush to fit your entire finger!

      4.Ok. so You think the maid couldn’t do it. Hmmm…. maybe …just maybe…you are right. Samuel and Dalton already replied to that below… 🙂

      5.hmmm…good thinking..But, I forgot to mention that it takes about 30 mins again to reach the mechanic as well by walk…so pushing the car wud’ve taken 45 mins…quite reasonable..wanted to mention that in the 3rd part…, But, oh well…no harm done if I write it as a reply now. 😀

  4. (P.S. Read the comments bottom-to-up…)

    So, I still have doubts coz the data is incomplete, but as for now, I’m gonna point at Mr. Polski here…
    Introduce the killer in a separate part, after all the data has been released, and I’ll try harder.
    Stop the next one right at “the killer is… (to be cont.)” and let people comment.
    Quite eager to fill in the blanks when you give out the next part…
    It’s fun….Thanks for the puzzle 🙂
    Let me know when you post the 3rd one..

    • In fact, the data is complete! Sure…suggestion noted…will need to elongate the story then! Not a problem! But dat is a really nice suggestion… 🙂
      N ofcourse, I’ll let u know 😀

  5. I liked the part where there is a switch too open the window.
    Oh! This old guy has a back up generator too! Unbelievable!
    And lastly an LCD monitor. Was it touch screen?
    Wow this guy must be some high-fi old bhudda!
    LMAO! 😛

    • hahahahaaahaahaa 😀
      Ya..well, he was a guy who had a computer, so an LCD monitor was not new… well… d switch is a little hyped up but just added to increase the mystery…. n NO! The LCD was not a touch screen! Apparently he didn;t save dat much to buy one! 😛
      N ya…d backup generator does sound quite cheesy! But oh well…at least it lightened up the atmosphere(pun intended!) 😀
      Dats my type of Budda! LOL! 😀

  6. Oh!
    So apparently he couldn’t save enough to buy an LCD touch screen monitor. But he used to lend money to his friends & charge high interest so that they could have motives to kill him!
    *believe me I can make u forget ur story*
    LMFAO! 😛

    • Well…IT is BCOZ he lent money to his frnds…that he didn’t have enuf to buy a touch screen! (LAME excuse! 😛 )
      Maybe he thought “all this techno stuff is enuf for me now…else I won’t luk like an old man for the story!” LOL! 😀

      YA! I almost forgot my story now!!! LMAO 😛

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