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Lord Laudmoore: Part 2

by Hans Bluedorn

Last night, Lord Laudmoore was found lying on his study floor, shot through the heart. Next to him was a revolver with one chamber empty.

Constable Dobson, after further investigation discovered:

-- All the doors in the house were locked, and there was no sign of a break-in.

-- Joe, Lord Laudmoore's chauffeur, claims he heard one shot at 1:30 am--the time which was determined to be the time that Lord Laudmoore was killed.

-- There was another bullet (beside the one found in Lord Laudmoore) shot into the wall above the mantelpiece, behind a shattered figurine. This bullet was from the revolver. The bullet in Lord Laudmoore was from an unknown revolver.

-- On the evening of the murder, Lord Laudmoore had two guests for dinner: Dr. Radcliff and Mr. McLure. A security camera above the front door shows Dr. Radcliff leaving the residence at 9:24 pm. David McLure was not seen leaving the residence, but claims he left through a back door at 10:00 pm.

Q: What should Constable Dobson do next?

"Constable Dobson should look more closely at David McLure as he was never seen leaving the residence." --Denise Franklin, Logic Loop reader

DAVID McLURE: Me? Wh…why I only came over for dinner. Lord Laudmoore showed me his collection o' figurines, then I left; that was about ten o'clock. I hope ye' aren't suspectin' me o' the crime. I hardly knew the man. I only met him at an auction. He invited me to his house to see some o' his figurines. I came over to see his collection, that's all.

Meanwhile, Lord Laudmoore's sister, Lucille, has arrived but she doesn't seem very upset.

LUCILLE LAUDMOORE: Oh, so he's dead is he? I can't say I'm surprised somebody killed him. You see, my brother was a very selfish man--nobody really liked him. He was always scheming to get what he wanted--and would stop at nothing to get it.

CONSTABLE DOBSON: Did your brother have any occupations or hobbies?

LUCILLE LAUDMOORE: I suppose he had one hobby. It seemed like all he ever did was collect these figurines; you can see he has them all over the house. The funny thing was, he would buy them and then break them--or shoot them. Nobody knew why he did it; about half the ones he bought he would just break. I remember him once talking about one he particularly wanted but couldn't find. He said it was a statue of a boy with a long nose, he called it "Pinocchio." I don't know what he would do with it--probably just shoot it once he had it.

Q: Do you have any suggestions for Constable Dobson?

"Constable Dobson should question Martha about the presence of the two guests. What did they talk about?"--Susan F., Logic Loop reader

MARTHA THE HOUSEKEEPER: Goodness! I never listen in on conversations of others. That would be most improper. And besides, they didn't talk about anything interesting at all. Stuff about the weather, figurines, and such. Mr. McLure had brought a figurine over and the Lord offered to buy it. Most boring. I would never care to listen to such boring conversations.

CONSTABLE DOBSON: Lord Laudmoore bought a figurine from David McLure?

MARTHA THE HOUSEKEEPER: Oh, I didn't say he sold it to him, Mr. McLure refused to sell. Then Lord Laudmoore came into the kitchen where I was list…I mean, where I was washing the dishes, and told me to take the rest of the night off and go home. So I went. I don't know why he was so excited. It was all probably very boring anyway.

"Constable Dobson should question Dr. Radcliff on what he saw that night."--John P., Logic Loop reader

DR. RADCLIFF: Yes, Lord Laudmoore offered to buy a figurine from Mr. McLure last night. But I don't know if he actually got it because the Lord told me to leave after that. A most rude fellow he is--telling his guests to leave before they've had dessert. I refuse to be considered a suspect in this suicide investigation. It's obvious that this was a suicide. The man should have killed himself.

JOE THE CHAUFFEUR: I tell you, the old man was always quite the conniving one. Always scheming to get what he wanted. He was always sneaking around, and was generally up to no good, too. Why, last evening, about half past ten, before I went to bed, I was just looking out the window when I sees him, the Lord I mean, come out of the back door and unplug the security camera, the one on the back door you know, and then go inside. I don't know why he did it, but he was up to no good if you ask me--unplugging his own security device.

"Constable Dobson should dust the gun for prints and compare to those of McLure and test him for gunshot residue."--Denise Franklin, Logic Loop reader

The Gunshot Residue test is where you test the hands of people for little particles of gunpowder. If someone has gunshot residue on their hand, we know they have fired a gun recently. However, if they don't have gunshot residue on their hand, we can't say they DIDN'T fire a gun--they might have worn gloves or washed their hands afterward.

--A gun-powder residue test revealed that Lord Laudmoore had fired a gun before he died. No one else had any gun- powder residue on them.

Then Constable Dobson went up to the Study with his fingerprint kit.

--The fingerprints of Lord Laudmoore were found on the revolver.

Puzzling developments. But not as puzzling as…

CONSTABLE BLAKELY: Sir, I think you might be interested in seeing this. I just found it out back in the bushes. As you can see, it's a dinner jacket, with an obvious bullet hole--here are the powder burns. I took the liberty of looking at it closely and as you can see the laundry label says . . .

LUCILLE LAUDMOORE: There it is! The Pinocchio! The one I was telling you about, there on the mantle piece!

CONSTABLE DOBSON: What! You mean the broken one?

LUCILLE LAUDMOORE: Yes, but don't you see the long nose, that's just how my brother described it; that has got to be Pinocchio! See, I told you he would break it!


Now it's your turn to solve "The Mysterious Death of Lord Laudmoore."

1. Tell me your theory for what happened last night in Lord Laudmoore's house.

2. Tell me some reasons for AND AGAINST your theory: What pieces of evidence makes your theory possible; what makes it improbable?

3. Tell me what Constable Dobson can do that will help prove or disprove your theory.

Hint: The guilty one is the person who has a motive.

Next time: Part 3 The Solution

Copyright January 03, 2005, all rights reserved. 4203 views

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