clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Halloween Mystery Present

My scary story this year :

Fellow shot in a deer blind. He's hit with something huge and custom. 620 nitro express according to ballistics.

His name is Frank McCarthy. He's white, 52 years old, recently married. He has a small import business that  acts as the NA distributor of wheels manufactured in Thailand for custom shops around the mid-west. He resembles in all respects a middle-aged former auto-exec who branched out on his own.

Why kill him and why go to so much work ?

Ballistics says that is is completely a custom job. Only the trigger may be stock but everything else points to one-off custom murder weapon. Also, why the massive overkill ? A 620 nitro would be heavy for Cape Buffalo. Frank took it in the upper left torso and it almost blew him out of the well-built plywood blind. He'd have died if the bullet hit anywhere on the torso. He'd have lost the limb if it hit an extremity.

The place the shooter stood is found. It's 85 meters from the deer blind slightly to the right and slightly below elevation. The killed stood behind an 20" oak tree and used the trunk as a leaning side-rest.

Background shows Frank didn't exist until eight years ago. Prior, he was Walter O'Malley - priest.

My detective begins to craft a theory. Of course, it has to be shattered. It's a scary story. Walter wasn't  a pedophile as far as anyone can tell. He was a diplomat of sort. Walter was a natural polyglot in Asian languages. He traveled all over Asia as a special envoy.

Walter was an expert on the rite of exorcism.

The metallurgy is in on the bullet fragments the M.E. pulled from ribs. Copper jacket, most likely. Also, gold. The ballistics guys think the core could be gold as well. Plausible from the ballistic performance but why ?

The detective gets a call. A local priest has something for him. One of the deputies on the scene found something and took it. His conscience got him and he wanted to see the detective got it even though it is ruined as evidence for conviction. He used his local priest as the means to "turn it in."

It is a gold medal. St. Michael. It's 6 mm thick and a little over a half inch in diameter. The priest says the deputy saw it on the leaves downrange of the deer blink opposite the direction of the shot. He though it was unrelated since it wasn't really "in" the crime scene but he was worried it might have meaning.

The ballistics guy has a look at the state crime lab. It's actually two full medals of St. Michael and part of a third fused into one wafer. They've been glued with an epoxy. It could be to create a composite fused core for the bullet that killed Walter.

So, an ex-exorcist and envoy from the papal see is murdered in a deer blind in Baldwin, Michigan by an unknown killer who used a weapon never commercially produced. His bullet was designed to kill without finesse or sophistication yet he had gone into the woods presumably before Walter.  The killer stood downrange within eyesight of a man who was actively scanning the woods for a deer. The target was armed with a 30-06. He was killed with a single bullet from a weapon that itself would have cost the equivalent of a nice new Honda at its cheapest. He was killed with a copper-jacketed bullet filled with gold St. Michael medallions.

The detective misses a phone call. There's a message. It's from his former partner in Atlanta. It tells him to let the case go unsolved.

The detective calls back. Voicemail. He tries later in the day. Same.

The next day when calling the department he learns his former partner is missing. The day following that the partner is found dead in a dumpster at a church.

Our detective is worried. He's also scared.

So am I, by now.

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