Can you solve this mini-mystery?


A WINTER MURDER


By Richard Ciciarelli



Police Detective Janice Cauldwell eyed the single set of footprints in the snow that led from the road to the front door of the ranch house and straight back again.

"Have these been photographed, Wayne?" she asked an officer.

"Yep. And measured, too. It's okay to walk up there now."

Cauldwell followed the footprints to a mailbox that sat on a pole half way to three steps leading to the front door. She peeked in. A key rested at the bottom of the mailbox.

"Why do people leave spare keys where anyone can find them?" She shook her head.

Following the tracks onto a porch and indoors, Cauldwell noticed water spots on the floor leading to a bedroom to the left of the entrance.

"So someone comes up from the road," Cauldwell mumbled, "uses the spare key to get in, and goes into Theodore Link's bedroom."

"Where Link was asleep."

Cauldwell was startled to see Wayne had followed her.

"Then the intruder used Link's own hypodermic syringe to inject him with a cyanide solution," Wayne continued.

"Link had syringes lying around?"

Wayne nodded. "He was a severe diabetic. Had to have insulin injections regularly. Ask his live-in housekeeper/nurse. She'll tell you."

"Yes," the nurse said later when Cauldwell asked her. "I gave Mr. Link his insulin shots twice a day."

"You didn't hear anyone come in last night?"

"No. I go to bed early and watch television in my room. It's in the back of the house and I keep my door closed."

"What if Mr. Link needed you?"

"We were connected with an intercom. He'd use that."

"Who would want Mr. Link dead?"

"Probably his relatives. Two nephews and a niece. Mr. Link was very wealthy, you know, and I'm sure they were all in his will."

Cauldwell got the names of Link's relatives and called them to police headquarters.

"Yes, we're all in the will," Jake Link said. "I'm uncle Ted's attorney. I drew up the will."

"What's in the will?"

Jake shrugged. "After a few bequests to charity and a one hundred thousand dollar gift to Mrs. Mayfield, his nurse, my cousins and I get equal shares of what's left."

"How much would those shares be?"

"At a guess, two or three million dollars each."

Cauldwell eyed Theodore Link's relatives, "Did you all know about the key in the mailbox?"

"Yes," Mary Link said. "I'm the one who suggested Uncle Ted put it there. He was always locking himself out of the house and calling me to help him get in. I got tired of that."

"I haven't heard from you yet," Cauldwell said to the remaining relative.

"I'm Harry Kenyon. Uncle Ted appointed me to take over his business when he got too ill to work. Of course, he kept close tabs on everything I did."

"Have any of you ever handled a hypodermic?" Cauldwell asked.

"I have," Mary said. "I'm a nurse. I give shots to patients all the time."

"I've never handled a needle," Jake said, "but I've seen Mrs. Mayfield give Uncle Ted his insulin, so I have an idea what to do."

"I hate needles," Harry said. "I almost pass out when I get my annual flu shot."

Later Detective Cauldwell sat at her desk, poring over the evidence.

"Any idea who may have killed Mr. Link?" Officer Wayne asked.

Cauldwell smiled. "Yes. How could I have missed it? It's so obvious."


WHO DOES CAULDWELL SUSPECT?

Please click here to reveal the answer.


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