Can you solve this mini-mystery?


By Ryan P. Casey

Lieutenant Melanie Turner arrived at the fifth tee box at the Afternoon Tee Country Club golf course. A few yards away lay the body of a scrawny male golfer sprawled across the grass with a gash in the side of his head. Blood had trickled down his face like rain on a windshield. A golf club, a small putter covered in blood, laid several feet away, near a crumpled towel and a water bottle.

One of Turner's detectives, Geoffrey Blake, immediately came over to meet her, notebook in hand.

"You look a little too excited," Turner told him.

Blake nodded at the body, which was keeping a crime scene photographer busy for the moment. "Don't you know him? That's Sean Barrows — only one of the most famous golfers out there. He was going to defend his championship title this weekend for the third year in a row."

"He was also defending himself against the tabloids, if I recall," Turner mused. "He hadn't exactly been faithful to his wife lately, or so they say."

"You can ask her yourself," Blake said. "She saw the whole thing happen."


"About an hour ago. She was the only other person on the green except for Barrows' main rival, Robert Walker. She claims she saw him kill her husband."

They found the accuser and the accused waiting in the clubhouse with another officer.

"I know this is a difficult time," she told Rachel Barrows, "but I need to know exactly what you saw."

"Sean always got up early on Saturdays to practice here," she said, shredding a tissue as she spoke. "He called me when he got here and told me he had forgotten his towel, and would I bring it to him? He told me to meet him at the fifth tee because it's close to the road. I've been here many times before.

"As I got out of my car, I could see Sean arguing with someone at the tee. They were shouting and making big gestures. And then, all of a sudden, the other guy grabbed the club that Mike was holding and started to beat him over and over."

She dabbed her eyes with the mutilated tissue. "I ran to help him, but by the time I got there, the guy had run off. There was no way I could catch up."

"Did you notice anything about him?"

She nodded. "He had a flannel shirt — "

"Oh, come on," interrupted Robert Walker, who was wearing a blue flannel shirt and khaki pants. "You're making this up."

"So it was just a coincidence you were here today?" Turner asked him.

"I had just as much a right to be here. I like to practice early on Saturdays, too. So what? We saw each other here in the clubhouse, and that was that. I started playing before he did and I didn't bother him at all."

"The starter said the two of you got in a big argument."

"We were rivals, Lieutenant. We didn't always get along."

"So how do I know you didn't kill him?"

"I was searching for one of my balls in the woods," he said, rolling up his sleeves and revealing long scratches up his arms. "Right by the eighth fairway. In fact, I was in there until I heard the sirens."

Turner and Blake thanked them both and moved away.

"I wish there were another witness," she said.

"Slow day on the course, I guess."

"Busy one for us," she said dryly. "Luckily, we've already got our killer right over there."


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