In the previous article, we discussed about “motives”. And, considering that we have already looked into so many different kinds of “tricks”, it seems that our study has been quite complete (at least I think so). But, the fact is, once you start to categorize something, the result is due to be imperfect–there always exist some possibilities, which seem to belong to a certain category at first glance, but not indeed when you think twice. Our study has the same problem.

So, in order not to leave any regret, I added this page, so as to introduce those “isolated” possibilities.

(Note: This page doesn’t follow a certain sequence, and you may find the logic a little confusing. Please understand.)

1. Locked-rooms that are open

When you see the word “locked-room”, no doubt you will think about “a room”. But broadly speaking, if there was a scene, which, due to witnesses or objective evidence, appeared to be unaccessible, then in deed, it become a locked-room.

Let’s see two example:

1. Footprints on the snow

Some experienced readers might know, that snow, or dirt, can be important clues, for the fact is, when you step on the snow, you leave footprints. However, some more experienced readers will know, that sometimes, footprints are not telling you the truth.

Let’s look into a simple model: the victim lies in the center of a square, with snow covering around, and only one set of footprints going towards him. Now, the square itself becomes a “locked-room”.

Above all, this is not suicide, because we don’t want to talk about it here.

So, it’s a murder. The next question: how do these footprints form?

First, there’s only set of footprints, so the murderer and the victim didn’t walk on the snow at the same time.

Well then, there’re three possibilities: the victim left the footprints; the murderer left the footprints; something else left the footprints. (We don’t consider the situation that includes a third party.)

  • The victim left: Not very likely. Despite “remote killing”, the murderer would have to walk on the exact footprints of the victim, which would seem to be unnatural–bacause the victim was still alive at that time, and he probably wouldn’t say nothing to this strange behaviour.
  • The murderer left: Very likely. After the snowfall, he carried the body to the center, then walked backwards following previous footprints. Or, he might commit the crime before snowfall, waited until the snow, then created the footprints as illustrated before.
  • Something else: In fact, the murderer doesn’t need to leave the footprints by himself at all! The secret is, salt. When snow meets salt, it melts quicker. So, the murderer just need to spread the salt properly, and a track will form automatically.

There are more similar cases, and we shall stop here.

2. Corner of the many

Testimony of the witness often turns out to be important, but sometimes, looking at things too closely doesn’t make it easier. In this case, the crime is happening right before the witness, but they are fooled by first impressions.

I suggest we start from an example. Suppose there was such a scene: 

You may be quite familiar with this. Yes, it is the T-shaped corridor we have discussed before, but a little different: three men stood at the three ends, watching closely at the door and waiting for the murderer to catch him (as for how they knew the murderer would appear, don’t care so much). It was a dark night, suddenly, the door opened, and the murderer stepped out. Seeing this, the surveillants quickly ran towards him. The murderer first went forward, but was forced to return back. Soon, others arrived, and they rushed towards the murderer, but they caught nothing! One second he was there, the next he was gone! How did this happen?

Of course, there was no magic, the murderer must have hidden himself somewhere, but where? After all, there’re three men watching…

Wait, were there really three men? Well, the two on the left and right of the door could see each other, so that would be fine. But what about the one facing the door? Who knew if he was really there? If you managed to think about this, then the fact would be clear: the one facing the door was the murderer himself. He went out from the window and entered the room. As for why he first went forward…not for he was forced, but finding a chance to take off his cover.

One rule: witnesses are not always honest, especially when there’re many of them.

2. Locked-rooms that are not meant to be

We used to talk about “first impressions”, which indicate, that people’s fixed ideas are used by the murderer to cover their crimes. But, have you ever thought about, that such ideas may lead to the contrary? For example, an accident was mistaken as a murder.

See this: a person is found dead in a locked room, with serious wounds, and furnitures and decorations knocked down. It seems that there’s a murder, but further on, there’s no evidence pointing to it.

You may think: the murderer must have used certain tricks to commit the crime. Well, very likely.

But not always. Think about this: let us suppose that one night, a person X locked the room and went to sleep. But that was not a peaceful night. X had a nightmare, which caused him to perform drastic acts unconsciously, which, as a result, made him fall from the bed, knock into hard or sharp objects, or, if there happened to be a weapon beside him (for example, an old, undependable gun), then we all know what’s going to happen.

Or, if X was a toper, and it happened that one night, he locked the room and enjoyed the alchhol inside, which made him mad, wounding around and knocking into furnitures, leading to the tragedy.

Locking the room is a good habit, but it does not necessarily mean that you are safe.

3. To Our Detectives

1. Do not judge from first impression. (Expect you enjoy twists.)

2. Everyone is a suspect.

3. If it’s necessary, suspect the detective.

4. The more rediculous a thing, the more convinced that there’s an answer.

5. Never believe in things like vanishment, or teleportation.

6. Sometimes, the first possibility you eliminated, is the truth.

This article ends here. Of course, I know that there still exists incompleteness, but I think I must keep the balance between the length and the content. Please understand.

But again, if you find anything wrong or improper, feel free to leave a comment!

In the article, I will make a conclusion to all the articles, so as to end this series.

To be continued.


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