Detectives stood speechless at the crime scene. There was the body, lying there with a dagger buried in the chest, with nary a clue as to who the culprit was.
“Idiots,” Inspector Smonj uttered after having surveyed the scene. “I know who did it.”
Not only were the detectives unimpressed, they seemed annoyed. Inspector Smonj’s powers of deduction were so keen they seemed robotic in nature. And here he was, not even on the job one minute when he assessed enough evidence to uncover the culprit.
“The floor is still wet,” Smonj said. “I can smell the Lysol. Since the killer didn’t want to leave anything behind, she would have had to bring her own cleaning supplies. Therefore, it was the cleaning lady.”
“Aww, how did you know!” shrieked the cleaning lady.
Moments later, Smonj arrived at another crime scene with a flurry of police activity. Detectives had lined up numerous suspects for questioning.
“Excuse me!” yelled out Smonj. “Who perchance does the gardening?”
“That would be me,” spoke up an elderly man.
“You’re under arrest. This house is so overrun with weeds it’s an insult to think you’re doing any real gardening. You can’t plant anything except the murder weapon.”
Time and time again, Smonj was able to instantly identify the culprit.
Fed up with his abilities, police gave Smonj the ultimate test. An unsolved murder involving the slaying of a police officer over 25 years ago. The case had gone cold with no promising leads to solve the case.
“Let’s you see crack this one,” the sergeant snarled.
“Well, I can see from the X-ray that the fatal shot came from high above the officer’s head. Someone on the fourth floor, to be exact.”
“How can you tell?”
“For every foot away from the target, the bullet’s velocity is reduced by 1/2 micrometer. Compared to a point blank shot which would have completely penetrated the skull, the bullet only went halfway through. The bullet would have been fired from someone standing on the balcony of the fourth floor.”*
Armed with this information, police once again searched the surrounding complex. Sure enough, there was a casing, rusty but otherwise intact, that matched the bullet from the fatal shot, still lying on the balcony. The tenant at that balcony was questioned.
“I tell you, I have no idea where the casing came from,” the tenant explained.
“He’s lying,” one of the officers blurted.
“No, he’s telling the truth,” Smonj corrected. “The decor of this apartment is characteristic of a law-abiding citizen. He can’t have lived here very long.”
The landlord was asked to produce a listing of all the tenants at that residence, and sure enough, the current tenant had only resided at the apartment for 6 months.
Another name was found at the residence at the time of the officer’s murder. A listing at the public records catalog revealed that the tenant had been killed in a robbery gone wrong, a victim of his own crime.
Smonj had solved the case, and this time the police were glad to have had him on their side all along.