Poirot; the Anonymous Art, and a Staple Gun

Good day;

So yesterday, you may wish to know, I ran into Monsieur Poirot, and discoursed at the Denver Art Museum together. The conversation was quite long; the beginning discussion was more engaged in out past exploits, but you will find the real interest was in the later dialogue. Here we were engaged in dialogue about our cases, and we came to the common agreement that a missing restoration painter and a strange piece of music blaring out music at the late hour of the night seemed hardly coincidental. However, we struggled greatly to overcome our ‘disagreements of style’, let us say; I was hired to investigate the disappearance of a painter who has worried his family, a case that I regard as worthy against one of a prank. Therefore, I wished to analyze that aspect with the greatest detail, since time on that end is short. Poirot, on the other, seemed intent on focusing on his single evidence since he decided he had the best lead for both parts of the case at hand; he wished to analyze that part in depth, which to me appeared a luxurious treatment of the little time I had. Out of our differences we decided to work on our own aspects to the best of our ability until our aspects join together – which is, perhaps, a polite way of stating that we were unable to come to an agreement over the handling of the case.

As such, I decided to wait until this day, when with permission the curator led me around the unfinished exhibition explaining to me the detail of the restoration artist’s work. Granted, he seemed to think of it as a test run of a tour and explanation, so much of the inspection was doused with tedium as to who they believed was the anonymous painter of the Dutch landscape, or where they got this Portrait of the Magnificent Don Juan, or why they would put on an exhibit on anonymous painters at all. He even led me through the gift shop – as if I was inclined to purchase one of his full-sized posters in tubes when I am in the middle of a missing person investigation! In fact, perhaps I would say that the most interesting thing I found was a device known as a staple gun out of place on the shelves behind the counter of the gift shop. I asked what it was doing in the gift shop. He had no idea; I did however find a clue as to its owner; it was emblazoned with a sticker on the handle for the G’Raj Mahal Cafe, with an address listed in Austin, Texas. Texas? Seems to be rather out of the way from Denver…

Further, written on top of it is a name Melissa Glaser. I asked the curator if he could find any record of a woman known as Melissa Glaser working for the museum. He later informed me that he could find none. Quite curious…

I will tell you if I find out anything else.

Holmes

A New Attitude in Denver…?

Well, there we are; I have found the correct employer – that is the employer that hired Jack Vincent to work on a painting. I have gotten their testimony of his work, that he came in, worked for about a week, and left as of Monday of this week. They do not know where he went from there, but they heard from him personally that he was finished.

Yet even before I spoke to his wife I was thoroughly bothered by it. First of all, the curator’s description of him was as reserved, intense man, focused on his work and concise if eloquent with his language. It does not comply with the affable, goofy and personable man that his wife Lauren described. The curator described Mr. Vincent as having some strong stricture about when and where he worked; the vincent described to me was a much more easygoing man. It does not settle easy with me.

I will give an update to the wife but I cannot speak to her in full confidence that her husband is safe or in sound mind…

Holmes

Denver, Deanna

Hello from Denver, Colorado!

I was able to arrive in Denver late two days ago; I was further delayed in even engaging with the mystery by a vast kerfuffle in the city. I came to find that apparently a major political ‘election’ was talking place. Of this I had little concern beyond its interference with my investigation.

But onto the investigation. I am investigating the disappearance of a Mr. Jack Vincent; he lives in Boulder, Colorado and is by profession a painter who specializes in restoration of canvas works. He let his family know that he was hired for a job in Denver but he didn’t describe where. He said he would call him once he was settled but he didn’t call and he has gone missing since Thursday of last week. I am hired to find him.

This is further exacerbated by my lack of knowledge of the location where Jack Vincent was supposed to work. From my lodgings I was able to visit the Art Institute of Colorado and the University of Denver – all to no indication that either had hired a Jack Vincent to take on a project for them. One did provide me flyer for an upcoming exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, “Anonymous: Paintings of the Unknown” that offered some promise – as I take it paintings on an exhibition of the unknown might need restoration. I will have to go there tomorrow.

I have come upon much news from Washington State; indeed my friend and former colleague Don Quixote met – and ultimately prevailed over – our foe Kenneth Tripky, a.k.a. ‘Kenny Mann’, but not without being scathed. Indeed, Don Quixote was shot and has remained in hospital for the past couple days. Nevertheless he is by all accounts healing well, which is fabulous news. So I send my personal regards to Mr. Quixote, and I would that he have none but the speediest of recoveries.

However, his recovery comes with a much grimmer announcement. Mr. Hope, co-conspirator in the murder of our Tara, was found dead in his penitentiary cell, having apparently strangled himself with his own clothes. It suffices to curdle the stomach already, but there is more; for he scratched on the wall of his cell with crude stone the following death note:

DEANNA WILL KILL ME IF I DON’T DO IT FIRST

SHE’S COMING

This gives me evidence to suspect what I had feared; that Deanna is malevolent. As her connections are quite close to my new acquired friend Don Quixote I must fear terribly for him; what sort of devil is he dealing with?

As I am in Denver I can do naught but wish him the best of luck.

Holmes

Tara Avenged? Almost…

Well, sod it. I have analyzed the fingerprints from the weapon and a suspicion that Mr. Quixote had about Mr. Mann – or, as I should call him now, Kenneth Tripky – was correct. It was Tripky who took the shot, and it was the military man Jeffrey Hope who helped cover up the murder by closing the window. I would have been less surprised by this discover thinking of Hope only as a soldier or soldier prospect and had not seen the considerable nervous behavior that he displayed when the police were moving in to arrest him.

And to whom it concerns (perhaps you, Sicon112?) I had the rifle identified by the ballistics expert as a M1903 Bolt-Action Springfield Rifle with a .30-06 caliber cartridge, fitted with a scope and suppressor. Apparently this weapon was registered for drilling and training use by military recruits, but it was stolen by Jeffrey Hope in the interest of committing this murder. I had a great argument with the ballistics expert on the scene as to whether or not I was correct to call this weapon a “sniper rifle”, though perhaps I would have done well not to question the expert. In agitation we both agreed to look up the weapon, and we found that indeed the weapon was used as a sniping as late as the Second World War. The Ballistics Expert conceded that this made it a ‘sniper rifle’ “if you’re from 1945 or something.” Though I wasn’t keen to announce it, I believe that, for a man from the 1890′s, this ought to mean I was correct in my way, while the expert may have been also.

As to the motive, it seems to be little more than considerable love scorn by two men. Kenneth Tripky, an unsavory criminal and exploiter of women who had a record in the cities of Salem and Portland in the state of Oregon (just south of Washington), appears to have been borne with diabolical, perhaps hereditary tendencies, and for him killing Tara seemed as much about defending his personal ego as to get his base revenge. A considerable manipulator, he managed to convince the normally peaceful but emotionally unstable weak-willed soldier Jeffrey Hope. Given his words to me in the parking lot, I believe that Hope may have tried to be the shooter because of his relative expertise but was too timid and guilt-ridden a personality; therefore Mann intervened to take the shot, despite interference from his left-handedness. He used a cellular phone he purchased in Oregon and used as his “business” contact locally to alert Tara enough to get her to open the window in order to take a shot.

Tripky is still at large, but his door is closing quickly. Mr. Quixote has had a tip about the location of Tripky; I offered to give this information to the police, but he related to me that this was his fight to finish, and I was in no position to stop him. Even if I could involve myself in his fight I am already packing to a new case in Denver, Colorado; my flight leaves tomorrow afternoon.

Poor old doter. Though I have found multiple aspects of his… style to be quite irritating and straining to my method, he did add a little panache to the investigation. And after all, it was a welcome change to do my method with a companion after so many cases done without cohort. Perhaps I will do so again in the future.

I will see you again in Denver.

Holmes

P.S. The remaining loose end of this mystery for me is the identity and intention of this ‘Deanna’. Yet as far as I am concerned I will have to leave it as remains – a non-issue for now. Any future concerns I take to be dealt with by Don Quixote in the future.

Starsight Apartments; The Solution

Yes; the mystery is coming together. A solution is now in sight!

Don Quixote and I met outside Starsight apartments today. With information provided to us we moved up to the apartment under Mr. Mann’s name, and forcibly entered (perhaps too forcefully, Don?). Immediately I discovered there was much to see; multiple substantial clumps of hair which, upon observation, did not indicate balding or a violent struggle. The follicles were carefully and consistently aggravated over a period of time, indicating a nervous twitch.

Don Quixote announced to me an anonymous tip about a curtain rod, which led me to notice – not a curtain rod, but the conspicous lack of one in the wall. Holes in the wall above the window clearly indicated that a curtain rod was forcefully removed not a week ago, and had somehow disappeared. I immediately pondered why; I stood silent in the room, believing there was something missing. That was when I looked out across the road to the Loverose Apartments and saw the window that marked Tara’s apartment; and I saw something that I wish I had seen before, but which I could not because I was investigating inside the room:  a large, profound dark green smudge going down the outside of the window, indicating forceful pressure downward.

And what should the color match but the inside interior of the wall of the Starsight Apartment??

That was when I sent Don on his mission to go to the Loverose Apartments, at the back, and look inside the dumpster. I asked him to find some receptacle device – something that could contain a large segmented pole. While he was away, I looked elsewhere in the apartment, and I saw, in the wall near the door, a large coat of paint substantially fresher than the rest of the wall around it. This led me to enough suspicion to investigate; I tore open that section of the wall and found, with great wonder if little astonishment, a large rifle. It’s serial number, precise build and scope indicated a military issue designed for long range and sharpshooting – I believe the term is ‘sniper’. Don Quixote returned with a duffel bag designed, covered with a pale khaki and evergreen pattern – a decoration he considered hideous, but which I carefully recognized as modern camouflage. And emblazoned on the front was a name Don Quixote recognized: J. Hope. And when I open it up, what should I find? The segmented elements of a dark green curtain rod!

Now the solution to our mystery becomes clear: We now have the names of two men, both critically involved in the plot. Mann, who had the apartment and gave the call, and Hope, a military man who provided the duffel bag and the stolen military rifle. Giving the call to Tara alerted her, and whoever was calling her would have led her to open the window. She did not anticipate that a shooter was waiting for her across, waiting for her ever so patiently to give the opportunity and take the shot. Above her, on the roof, the other man was waiting; having climbed patiently to the top of the roof using the fire escape, he carried with him the duffel bag that contained the curtain rods and then reassembled them on the roof. As soon as the shot rang out he was ready; he took this rod that he assembled and, with some expected struggle, used it to close the window to Tara’s apartment, believing not unreasonably that this would eliminate suspicion that Tara was shot from across the road, and giving them enough time to figure it out for themselves.

All that remains is for us to figure out who was the murder and who was the accomplice. We are collecting prints but in my mind it is the likelier that Hope, the professional soldier of the military, was the one who took the shot, and Mann, the keen manipulator, was the one who closed the window. For now, we may have collected enough clues to bring in the professional bobby; surely they would be competent enough to solve it from there.

Finally, the truth becomes clear. Tara may be avenged.

Holmes

Curses!

My research has yielded conclusively that even a silencing compressor could not explain the shallow wound I saw on Tara! This truly is a closed door mystery – closed to logic as well as physic! Am I bested so?!

I do realize I should not make such a conclusion until I have tried to understand this Mann character; has anybody found information on where this Baskerville Commons Apartment is? And if Mann lives there, what his number maybe?

A Tale, From London

Little progress so far in the case; Don Quixote and I are having some difficulties.

To put it simply, I deduce that our difficulties emerge from a poor sense of authority in our relationship; I require a competent observer and witness, who is humble enough to be subdued when he is ignorant and doesn’t understand – much like my old roommate Dr. Watson. Quixote, on the other hand, seems to require a sort of reverent squire, obedient and who eagerly cares to hear Quixote’s next sermon while being competent enough to keep the man out of trouble. He compares me to some figure named Sancho, a man who apparently fits the role, and whom I must pity terribly. Don Quixote, I must note, is also quite distressed with the murder; right now he has run off to witness the ‘Creatures of the Lord’ at some nearby zoological garden. I do have the benefit of experience to keep sternly to my method in the face of such obscene darkness.

However I have hit something of a dead end, and while I am in waiting I ponder the occurrence with the book. I understand this now as a consequence of being ‘fictional’ by your words, but I am quite curious about it. I realize that because of my unique circumstance I am obliged to provide you with something of a mystery that occurred to me back in London which I have since remained silent about out of fear, confusion and necessity. Nevertheless, now that I am revealed I wonder if you will find some use in it, and if it is related to the phenomenon of the book.

‘Twas back in London, several weeks ago when I was staying with James in the City. I had just begun my detective services and had opened myself up to new cases, being disappointed with their quality, when I received a most absurd message contained in an envelope with my name on it. Well, I say my name; it did not actually have Hugh Hefner written on it but… let’s just say I knew that it was sent to me. Yet it congratulating me on my acceptance to some nonsensical school for witchcraft and, after a list of items and preposterous names, gave me a directional instruction to an entirely made up platform in the real King’s Cross station (the only sensible inclusion I fancied). Yet written on the back was written a dare:

“Well, ‘Just H. Hefner,’ has anything ever happened to you? Anything you couldn’t explain?” Why don’t you come to the aforementioned platform, and find out who you truly are and what you are capable of?

And what should I do? I accept a challenge. So I head out from Blackfriars to King’s Cross, and obviously I head directly to the platforms 9 and 10 per instructions, but what should I find? The blood things are separated by a god damn track! There is no brick barrier between the two, even if one were to believe the nonsense in the instructions. Yet though I must have appeared mad I built up enough courage to ask a guardsman of a platform between 9 and 10. Lo and behold, he rolls his eyes and tells me to go to the western departures by the bookstore, and that I should find what I’m looking for! Madness!

And I go to the western departures, and there is a sign saying – I do not lie – Platform 9 ¾! And next to it, a Watermark Bookstore. But in the pane of the shop I see amidst the multiple books for a character Harry Potter a single leather bound copy of the The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes! I moved to enter the store, but the door was locked. Fortunately, as among my talents is the art of lock picking I had just the materials on me to contrive a device that would allow me to open the door. I put it into the door and I was not surprised to find that it worked.

It was at this very moment that a pain of indescribable intensity rushed through my entire body, devoid of cause, encapsulating my very soul. I staggered to me knees, a victim to its awesome might. And the next moment, I was as before! It was as if my very existence were questioned in the first, and in the second that the pain had almost been some sort of dream. Unfortunately the commotion attracted the attention of one of the guards and I had no time to investigate the mystery further; I had to escape. I managed but my opportunity seemed to be missed. I returned the next day and there was no book; it was gone.

Was it this Cabal that sent me the letter? Or was it someone else? Why? And what opportunity did I miss in not entering the shop that night? And what happened to me outside of the shop? I wonder if I will ever know

Holmes

P.S. I am trying to arrange a meeting with a local Ballistics effort so that I can understand if the mechanisms of a compressor could account for the rather poor power shown by Tara’s body. If nothing comes from this resident of Baskerville Commons, this is what I will have to resort to.

Meeting Don Quixote; Return to the Scene

To update you all;

I have met Don Quixote today for the first time today, though I had committed so much of my time to observing him. He confessed to being Don Quixote, and I feigned interest although I am not surprised to know this as his identity. In accordance I revealed my identity to him, thinking it rather trivial polite introduction, but upon telling him I was Sherlock Holmes he seemed to burst into the laddish capriciousness I may expect of a youth fawning over a girl! He explained to me that he was aware of my work and that he himself was quite a fan. He even went so far as to show me the copy of his book that featured my exploit. It was strange enough to have such sense of popularity in this time, but what was even stranger was when I opened up the book to see what kind of exploit of mine he was describing, the book – I kid you not – was completely blank! I was afraid that the man I was speaking to was completely mad!

Yet the conversation turned more productive; along with the book he provided a video that was left to him by the late Tara which he believed would be useful in our investigation, which I will post soon. I was occasionally bothered by his impoliteness in the conversation – he seemed very keen to do some typing on his cellular device during the conversation (as he explained it was sending a ‘tweet’; I confess I have a poor understanding of this phenomenon). There was something else; he seemed to actually understand my mannerisms, and even some of the principles of my methods of deduction as if he had read some sort of exploit of mine. But the book he brought me was white as a sheet; did he bring the wrong book? Or… is the problem with me?

With some hesitance I allowed Don Quixote to join me at the crime scene today (covertly, albeit), which yielded a new twist in our investigation; these modern-day technologies for the phone allow me to reach the last number used by Tara. 1I used this “*69” and sure enough it provided a phone number; perhaps it is another piece in the puzzle:

(971) 230-5905.

I seldom have time to think of it nonetheless; I struggled to manage Don Quixote anyway, and I truly see no alternative motivation nor practical opportunity for murder by anyone other than Mrs. Loverose, though some details are such I cannot connect them. Don Quixote, however, insists with obscene if idyllic prejudice that it could not be Mrs. Loverose for no other reason than she is a woman! He does not understand that solving a murder is a business built on distrusting, lying and muddying one’s hands with blood. His principles will undo the whole investigation. But oh well; the amateur may concern himself with fanciful theories of Tara being shot through a closed window. Perhaps you, my followers, can help. If you could, please contact me on my email if you can find anything that can help.

Holmes

Tara is Murdered!

Tara is murdered!

For shame; if only I hadn’t been so detained (and literally so) the night before. I know of only one way I may redeem myself – by using my methods as I can.

I arrived at the scene before that damned police did and I did as much as I could to learn the circumstances of her death before the police would push me off of the scene. Luckily in that short space of time I discovered a lot.

Tara was shot in the abdomen, and died within less than five minutes of blood loss – but had about a minute of consciousness before she fainted. What is strange is that despite the numerous threats Tara received the evidence points – almost too clearly – in the direction of someone quite close to her – Mrs. Loverose, Tara’s bitter and ornery landlady, for multiple reasons.

  • By her own admission she had to unlock the door to find the body, which means that the door was locked. Mrs. Loverose and Tara were the only two that had keys to the apartment, and Tara’s keys were on her counter.
  • Loverose had a natural hatred of Tara’s unbridled spirit; she was scorned by an adulterous husband and despised Tara’s promiscuity, which may have been strong enough to be an incentive to kill.
  • And finally, as if it wasn’t enough, Tara decided in her final minutes to write the letters ‘LOVER’ in her own blood before passing out. I imagine there was little else it could spell than Loverose’s name.

I will admit there is one problem that I keep running into that cannot be explained. The bullet was a rifle round, unless it came from a particularly designed revolver. A rifle would have been difficult to carry in and out of a room, certainly, but that is a small issue. The real issue is that, despite the bullet being a rifle round, the wound is unusually shallow. Given close quarters you would expect a stopping power twice the size and an exit wound, but there is nothing of the sort with either. Moreover, a rifle would have had to be terribly loud; I have attested from the nearest neighbors that they heard nothing – absolutely no gunshot – on the night of the murder, nor the rattling of the door; nothing that would imply that Tara was murdered!

I will have to think of it further; if I only wish that I had more time to investigate the room!

Sherlock Holmes

P.S. There was one more interesting detail; her landline phone was off the receiver; she was on a call when she was killed. Perhaps the person on the other line heard something about the murder… if only we were able to figure out the last number who called her that night!

Questioning??

About bloody time! I have just gotten back from an exhausting detainment by the local Seattle police!

That cad Lance Chevalier (or Don Quixote) decided to go after Tara by stealing a damn bobby horse! Believing it imperative that if Lance were Don Quixote – which my research reveals to be quite likely – I had to make sure that he was not detained on a serious charge. So I had to deflect the police operation slightly by giving a police officer false information to mislead him.

Yet in my effort I ended up cuing off enough suspicion to be brought in for questioning at the police station. The backlog was substantial, and the questioning was an utter bore. They simply wanted to know what I knew about the man, and I was able to provide the lighter details of what I knew (though I was keen to censor – to protect him, after all).

Yet even so I experienced difficulty since I told them I was privately investigating the man for a benefactor. They proceeded to ask me whether or not I had a license to be a Private Investigator. A license? To get a license to do such a service? What nonsense! They decided as a result to hold me longer, and consider whether they wanted to process me further. I was beginning to think I was in serious trouble!

But finally they decided to let me off as long as I filed some paperwork and got myself an official license to be a Private Investigator in Washington state. (I will admit, I had to be a little creative on the information; obviously I couldn’t use my name, and I didn’t have much information to provide, but they provided my license without much consideration).

To make matters worth, I was keen to tell them that I believed that a woman associated with Don Quixote – Tara – may be in serious danger as her life was threatened. Yet when they asked for the grounds of my concern, I could only describe a message left on her blog. They said it was not enough grounds for a stake out, only internet-based harassment. If I wanted to file a claim of harassment, I would have had to return the next day because the office was closed; and any further police action would require that Tara request the further action of the police. Miserable!

I wish there was more that I could say but I have had an exhausting day and I need my rest; I will have to check up on Tara and Don Quixote in the morning.

Holmes