Monday, 21 April 2014

The Corpse Quartet (part 4)

It was strange. Usually at this point in a crime, I'd have all my potential suspects go into a room and then me and Robin, with a mixture of witty banter and genius observations, would reveal who had committed the crime. But now all four of my suspects were dead, hundred per cent, definitely dead.
"How can that be Mr Lee?" Faron demanded.
"Have them both taken to the mortuary and meet me and Robin in the main reception in an hour. I think I may have solved it." I replied.
Me and Robin retreated to the safe confines of my sofa. Robin pulled out a notebook and her pen. "How did Lee's body get to her room?"
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Mr Lee was shot yesterday with a twenty eight calibre gun and then taken away to the mortuary. This morning he was discovered in Miss Ro's room." Robin replied.
"But they weren't the injuries from yesterday." I replied.
I explained everything as I saw it and she agreed. 
"One thing though." I added. "Why was there a blood splatter near the corpse of Guo?"
Robin thought for a moment. "I think I know. Is blood different depending where it comes from in the body?"
"I don't think so." I replied. 
"Well I can't prove it then." She replied. "But I've got a wee theory."

We arrived in the main reception and discovered the policemen waiting, with all the weapons displayed. I smiled, greeting Faron. He shook my hand and said, "Lodsbury tells me you're quite theatrical. I'd be grateful if you could just get to the point."
I nodded and told him we'd have to be theatrical, as we'd written a script. 
Robin began. "Hello! I'm Robin Greenhouse and this is Gabriel Rathbone and, if you don't already know, we're reporters for the 'Rathbone Investigates' column of Pavilion Post. We, using our deductive capabilities, think we've deduced the identity of the murderer."
"Or should I say murderers." I continued. "You see, this case is a story of two businessmen. Or should I say, business people, as one of them is a woman. In a quite a contradiction of our usual style, we'll start with the unveiling. Our two murderers are:"
"Miss Ro and Mr Lee." Robin announced.
Bemused whispers echoed around the room.
"But how, you may ask?" I continued.
"Mr Sol was quite obvious to work out. Mr Lee, who we'll get to in a second, took a shot gun, the same as he used to kill Mr Guo, and shot him, blasting out a large chunk of his chest, as a shot gun would. But how did Lee shoot Guo?" Robin asked.
"And more importantly, where did he shoot him?" I added.
"Well that's quite obvious as well, when you think about it." Robin began. "You see, the crime scene you found wasn't for the crime that was Lee's death. It was for the crime of Guo's. Mr Guo went into the room and was shot with a shot gun. It blew out a large chunk of his chest and decorated the back wall with his blood, and more importantly, the shot gun pellets. Mr Guo fell backwards and his head cracked open on the edge of the floor boards, in the architectural gap between the floor and the wall. The shot gun pellets and a lot of his blood went down there, but some remained on the edge of the floor boards. Lee then took two spent 28 calibre shells and dropped them on the floor, to make it look as if a 28 calibre gun had been used."
"Then some paid off staff members came in and took Guos body away. The rest cleaned away the blood on the edge of the floor board, as Lee was much shorter than Guo and wouldn't have smashed his head where Guo did. They were going to clean the blood splatter up when they heard other staff members coming, having heard the gun shots, so they discarded their cleaning stuff and set about pretending to worry that Lee was dying. They sent him away on a fake ambulance and had a fake pathologist, who was actually Chinese and was putting on an accent, call us up later to collaborate the 'evidence' that had been found. Meanwhile, the paid off staff members were installing a fake suicide scene upstairs."
"The blood splatter is from the open wound left by the shot gun. But we need proof." I said. "Which is exactly what we've got. Inspector Faron, please can you call the pathologist and put her on speaker phone."
Faron did so. "Hello." Said the pathologist who had called up about the finger prints on the shot gun.
"Hi." Robin replied. "I called up earlier about some last minute research."
"Of course." The pathologist replied. "How can I help?"
"When I called you earlier, I asked you to do a DNA test on the blood splatter from the first Mr Lee crime scene. Who did the blood belong to?"
"Mr Guo."
There were a few gasps.
"The fingerprints on the trigger of the gun in the Mr Guo crime scene belong to?"
"Mr Lee."
Another few gasps.
"The blood splatter in the Mr Guo crime scene is different to the other blood splatters how?"
"It wasn't fresh."
"Thank you." I said, cutting off the call. "But in the most shocking turn of all, a second murderer steps up."
"It's logical to presume," Robin explained, "that Mr Lee took the two spent 28 calibre bullets from an actual twenty eight calibre gun, and it's logical to presume that he left it lying around somewhere. What if Miss Ro found this gun and, knowing her time on this earth was limited, took it to defend herself from Lee, when he finally came from her."
"As Lee entered, she shot him twice, hence the two bullet wounds in him. Then there was a long pause as Ro considered what to do in the end. And sadly, she shot herself in the abdomen, bleeding to death as she threw away the gun. But what was the motive?"
"Well that's slightly more complicated." Robin began. "You see, Ro and Sol admitted that they were planning on becoming an alliance. But Sol worked in the same market as Lee, and sold much more reliable products. But together, Ro and Sol were going to buy the rights of an impressive new product that would blow companies like Lee's out of the water. But do you know who owned the rights?"
"Guo. He dealt in rights and stocks and shares and was willing to sell the rights to Ro and Sol. Lee had to stop him, as he was planning on buying the product itself, so he killed him. But the truth was, Lee's business was going bankrupt, he owed so much money that it made more sense to give up the business and go into hiding. But what's the easier way to go into hiding?"
"To fake your own death! So that's what he did. Faked his death and killed Guo to stop another company over taking them. But then Ro and Sol decided to go on with it. So he risked being caught and killed his main opponent. But Ro was going to continue without Sol, so he decided to kill her as well. But in the end, she killed him, and then herself, out of feelings of guilt."
Me and Robin stuck around to answer a few more questions and then went home to write the case up. A week later, as we were finishing off the article I suggested a title to Robin.
"The Corpse Quartet!" She exclaimed. "That's rubbish. Tetraphobia would be much better."
"What even is tetraphobia?" I replied.
"The fear of the number four in China and that area."
"Why would someone be scared of the number four?" I asked.
"Because in Mandarin number four is SÍ, in Japanese it's Shi and in Korean it's Sa. There's a word in Mandarin that's similar. It's SÎ. The Japanese equivalent is Shi and the Korean is Sa. And do you know what that word is?"
"What?" I asked, picking up my cup of tea.

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