A "tour" in an open house goes horribly wrong.
|"Give me everything you got on the victim," I said, entering the building.
"His name is Harrison Cornen, 43 years old, owns a cafe called The Beaming Dice . He is married to 40-year-old Jennifer Sonile, with two daughters and a boy," my assistant, Jordan Fene, blurted out, while we were inside the building. "He was taking a look in this open house for sale when the blackout happened and a gunshot was heard. The bullet hit his chest leaving him bleeding for two minutes before finally dying."
"Thank you," I said, I moved forward towards the crime scene in the kitchen and spoke with the officer in charge, "Tell me exactly what happened here."
"Yes, Detective Mannor," Amy Anderson answered and started explaining, "The victim was taking a look at the house. The blackout started the moment he entered the kitchen. No more than thirty seconds later a gunshot was heard. Five minutes after that the power came back. The bullet hit his chest which left him bleeding, for what we assume is one minute, before dying. This all happened three hours ago, his estimated time of death was around 7:50, which was the same time the blackout happened, and since it was night time, the entire house was dark, so no one could've seen the person who did it."
"Give me a minute to examine the body," I told her, I went by, showing my badge to a police officer guarding the crime scene so he let me in. The victim, Harrison, was lying belly up on the floor, and he was wearing a blue suit, had black hair, and a tired, worn out, wrinkled face. If in death he has such a stern look, what was he like when he was alive? I knelt down and checked his pockets, they were empty. He was facing the cabinet under the sink. That's a huge clue since usually, the victims would be looking at their killer before they die. I looked at his shoes, they were wet, not with blood, but water. I opened the cabinet under the sink, it was empty, completely empty.
"Do you have any suspects that were in the house the hour that the victim died?" I asked Amy, the officer in charge.
"Yes sir, there were three people that were in or near the house when the blackout happened."
"Take me to them," I said, following her out of the kitchen.
There was an old lady in her 60's, wearing glasses and a long dress; a tall, dark skinned, bald man, who appeared to be in his 30's; and an overweight man wearing glasses and has orange, ginger hair, who seemed to be fairly young, 22 years old maybe. "I'd like to talk with each one of you alone please," I said. I turned around towards Amy and told her, "Set up a room for us to talk alone in." Amy nodded and walked away.
Two minutes later I entered the room, and gesture for the first suspect to come in. It was the old lady, she came in and sat on the chair in front of me. "Oh, hi there. What a terrible thing that happened, the poor man was just taking a look at the house when someone did this horrible thing," She said.
"Yes, indeed, that's why we must know who killed him. Can you tell me what you saw and heard when the blackout happened?" I asked her.
"Well, I was outside the house, sitting on a chair on the porch when the blackout suddenly happened," she shifted in her chair, clearly uncomfortable. "At first I thought this happened to the whole street, but then I realized only our house was out of power. So I stood up from the chair, ready to take a look inside, but then I heard a loud bang, coming from the kitchen. I was thinking two things, either a lightbulb exploded, or a gun was fired. I..." She stumbled as if she regretted what she had done after, "I... I walked outside the house and went to a neighboring house across from here." She finally finished and started crying.
"Miss, calm down, this wasn't your fault," I said, trying to reassure her, "What is your name?"
"Tiffany, my name is Tiffany," she said, wiping away her tears.
"Ok, Tiffany, do you want a glass of water?" I asked her.
"No, no, it's fine."
"Alright, I just have a couple more questions and I'll be done."
"Did you see who left the house after you?"
"Yes, Aster left after me, before the blackout ended. Cando was the one who found the body and called the police and told me to go back."
"Great! Do you personally know Cando, Aster, or Harrison?"
"Ok, thank you for the valuable information. I'd like you to tell the officer at the door the house you went to, and that'll be it."
She nodded and left the room.
No more than a minute later the next person comes in, the dark skinned bald man. "Hello," I said.
"Hi," he replied, sitting on the chair in front of me.
"Are you Aster or Cando?" I asked.
"Great," I said, "so you're the one who found the body?"
"When you found the body, was the kitchen the same as it is now?"
"No, the floor had a bit of water on it."
Hmm, that's interesting. "Have you ever met Aster or Harrison before?"
"No, I haven't."
"Can you tell me exactly what happened after the power came back?"
"I was sitting in the living room, on my phone, waiting for the power to come back. I heard the bang, but I thought it was some sort of bar, or pot, whatever, falling on the floor, which also explained the water. When the power came back I went to the porch to talk to Ms. Tiffany about the blackout, but she was nowhere to be found. I went back in looking for her until I went to the kitchen and found the body. I was scared, so I went outside and found Ms. Tiffany across the street on the neighbor's porch. I called at her to come here and told her everything, then we told the police."
"Excellent, that's enough. I will call you back in if I need to talk to you again, Thank you." I told him, waving for him to leave.
The next person comes in, the young man with orange ginger hair, who must be Aster. "Hello, Aster," I said.
"Hello." He replied, taking a seat.
"I have a few questions for you."
"What were you doing when the blackout occurred?" I asked.
"I was in the bathroom. after a few seconds of the blackout, I washed my hands and left the bathroom in a hurry since I was afraid of dark places. I was almost on the porch when I heard a loud bang, I thought it was a pan falling from the counter or something heavy falling. I remembered that I forgot my phone in the bathroom, so I went back, got it, then I left the house."
I noticed his shoes and pants were wet. "Why are your pants and shoes wet?" His socks were drenched all the way to his thighs, full of water, still dripping, even now.
"Oh, uhh... I accidently sprayed water all over me whilst I was washing my hands in the bathroom."
"When exactly did you come back to the house?"
"Maybe a minute after Cando called for Tiffany to come."
"Alright, that'll be all for now, go sit with the others."
"Ok," he said. He stood up and left the room.
"Officer Amy!" I called.
Amy bursts through the door, "Yes, sir?"
"How long can we keep the suspects in this house?" I said.
"Barely an hour."
"That's more than enough time, I'd like you to go to the house Ms. Tiffany was at during the blackout, and talk to the neighbours, ask them if Ms. Tiffany was actually there at that time."
"On it," she said, leaving the room.
I left the room and went towards the yard. I searched carefully through the grass, it was very dry. I walked towards my assistant on the porch. "When was the last time the water sprinklers turned on?" I asked.
"Excuse me?" He replied, clearly confused.
"The water sprinklers, when was the last time they turned on?"
"Oh, I don't know."
"Well then go find out!"
"Y-yes sir." He ran off through the neighbourhood.
I went to the kitchen, where the crime happened. I turned on the water in the sink, then turned it off again. I crouched to take a good look under the cabinets. I put my hands down there, feeling the floor. It's slippery, wet, almost as if there was water here a while ago, unlike the floor where the victim is laying, which was somewhat dry.
I went to the only bathroom in the house. It was completely dry. I turned on the water faucet, it was not working.
I went back to the room I used to ask the suspects questions. I sat on the chair for 5 minutes, before someone knocked on the door. "Come in," I said.
Amy opens the door, "Yes, Ms. Tiffany was indeed on the porch of the house across the street."
"Good, Tiffany has a confirmed alibi, she is free to go."
"Alright, I'll tell her that right away."
"I asked my assistant, Jordan, about the water sprinklers, did he come back?"
"Yes, he did, he was looking for you, he said the water sprinklers were last turned on at 4:50, about six hours ago."
It's almost too easy. "That's lovely. I'd like you to let everyone meet me in the living room in 10 minutes."
"You figured out who did it?"
"Indeed I did."
Amy murmured her amazement as she left the room.
Author's note: You now have all the necessary info to guess who did it, you can stop and think about it before reading on.
Now it's time to reveal who did it!
I enter the living room. Everyone is there, some with confused looks, and some looked annoyed.
I sit down on an armchair and start talking, "As you all know, 43-year-old Harrison was killed today while he was taking a look around the house. The person who killed him is actually with us right here."
A few people gasp, including Ms. Tiffany, who apparently wanted to stay, since she is the one responsible for selling this house. "We had three primary suspects, but now we have one. Ms. Tiffany, your alibi was proven, you couldn't have had the time to shoot him and move fast enough to get to the house across the street.
"Now that leaves Cando and Aster. None of them have a confirmed alibi when the murder happened. But one of them does have proof on him that only the killer would have.
"It was you, Aster." Everyone gasps and looked at Aster, who acted like he was confused.
"What?" Aster asked.
"You told me you were in the bathroom when the murder happened?"
"And you said you were wet because you accidently sprayed water?"
"Ms. Tiffany, is the bathroom water working?"
"Oh, no. It's been out for almost a week now." Tiffany says.
"So, Aster, why did you lie?" I say, with an accusatory voice.
He stares at everyone, nervous and worried. "Uh, uh, I didn't lie, I just said the wrong thing, I meant I got wet when I accidentally fell in the yard, not in the bathroom, my tongue slipped up."
"Obviously he's lying! Look at how worried he is, and that fake excuse!" An officer says.
"No, that's absurd! what if he's just nervous because the police are suspecting him of murder, he's still so young." Ms. Tiffany replies.
"Shut it, I'm not done yet," I say. The argument stops. "So, when did you slip and fall on the yard?"
"When Cando was calling Ms. Tiffany," Aster says, "I heard him and started running back, but then I fell."
"Where did you fall?"
"Which yard did you fall on?"
"This yard here."
"Are you sure?"
"Y-yeah," he's getting even more worried now.
"Jordan, would you please remind me, when did the sprinklers in the yard last turn on?"
Jordan stumbles for a minute then answers, "At 4:50 Detective Mannor."
"So, Aster, where do you think the water in the yard came from?" I ask.
"I don't know, it just did!" he says, getting angry and worried now.
"But the grass was completely dry when I was checking it."
Aster was running out of words.
"Here, I'll summarize everything that happened," I start, "Aster knew Harrison was going to be checking this house today, in fact, you're probably the one who told him to see it. After you convinced him to go, you asked him when he was going there.
"You went to the house before him, you emptied the cabinets under the sink, found a way to produce a blackout for the house, and then you entered inside the cabinet under the sink with a gun, waiting. You waited until he was in the kitchen, then you caused the blackout, whether by using your phone or by cutting the cable from the cabinet.
"You then opened the cabinet and flashed your phone onto him so you can aim, then you shot him, he tried grabbing onto you but you pushed him back. You then washed the place where you pushed him, so you can hide your fingerprints. after that, you randomly sprayed water throughout the kitchen, to make sure your fingerprints wouldn't be exposed. You then took a towel and started wiping the floor, getting rid of the water. You then ran outside, pretending to be scared, and you threw the gun away, along with the towel you used, then you came back just as Cando was calling Ms. Tiffany and you played along as if you were confused."
"Wh-what?" Aster says, his mouth open with shock.
"The murder weapon is still somewhere in the neighbourhood. I'd like two police teams to search for the gun right now," I order.
Amy and another officer leave to get two search teams to find the weapon. Aster covered his face with his hands, hiding his expression. Tiffany is shocked, her stare felt like she wants nothing more than to cut me up in two, was it because he was still so young?
30 minutes later, Officer Amy comes in, with a gun inside a zip bag. "We found this in a trash can a block away."
"You should find Aster's fingerprints on it. You can also search the last people Aster called on his phone, Harrison might be one of the people. Aster, will you confess now?" I ask him.
"I had no choice..." Aster removes his hands from his face. "I needed the money."
Aster stands up, grabs the gun from Amy's hands, gets the gun out of the zip bag, and tries to aim it at himself, is he trying to kill himself? Tiffany slaps his hand away, dropping the gun to the ground.
Aster sits and completely breaks down, he is sobbing. "At such a young age, you ruin your life... get him away from me!" Ms. Tiffany shouts, her face red.
Two police officers cuff him up and take him to a police car.
"I don't think this house is gonna sell," Cando says, sitting on the couch, sighing.