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A Murder in London

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The date was April 25th, 1874.

Somewhere in the city of London, England, a girl is murdered in the middle of the night. No one hears her screams and no one comes to help.



The next day, I, Sir Charles Morris, is at the scene, examining the poor girl lying on the ground before me. After all the years I have been a detective, seeing the people who had been murdered never gets easier.

“Kay-Leigh Grace, age twenty-five,” my partner, Marcus, says, reading from a small notebook. “She was reported missing three days ago by her potential husband. She was found this morning by a maid. After that, four other people came to check on the body before we showed up.”
I look at my partner who is now closing his notebook. Then I look back at the girl and squat down next to her. She has three stab wounds; two in her chest and one in her abdomen. Her black dress is now dyed a deep crimson.

“Who were the other four witnesses?”

“A butler, a cook, the gardener, and chimney sweep. Each of them came running after the maid had screamed. They each say the same thing, that when they came in, the maid was sitting on the ground next to the girl, looking faint. We have not been able to talk to the maid as of yet on the account that she has fainted. I will get her account when she has awakened.”

I nod and move some of the girl’s hair. She is pretty, with red-gold hair, and a fair complexion. I do not understand why someone would have wanted to kill this girl.

When I hear someone come into the room behind me, I stand up and turn around. The young maid is being brought into the room. I walk over to her and lead her out of the room so she won’t see the scene again.

The room is torn apart. The curtains are in tatters and so are the bedclothes. The carpet is stained with the girl’s blood, and all the furniture is turned over. It is obvious that there has been a struggle.

As I walk with the maid outside of the room, I think about what I am going to ask her. Then it comes to me.

“How long have you known Kay-Leigh, miss?” I asked.

The maid looks at me and says, “Not long, sir. Only for about a month, when she moved into this house to stay with her cousins and her aunt. She moved in when her fiancé started courting her. A few days ago, no one could find her, so her fiancé reported her missing. Then this morning I found her here.”

All through this, I remain quiet. I am slowly starting to develop a theory about Kay-Leigh’s murderer. All I need is a few more statements.

I leave the maid to calm herself down, and walk over to the victim’s fiancé.

“James Alder, I presume?”

James turns to me and nods. No one is allowed into the room now except for me.

“Do you know anything yet, detective?” he asks me.

I exhale and say, “Not entirely, but I am close.”

James nods.

“Where were you last night?” I ask James.

“Here, worrying about Kay-Leigh. I was wondering where she was.”

I nod and ask him a few more questions. All the pieces of my theory are coming into place. James tells me that a day or two before Kay-Leigh had gone missing she had told him that she felt like she was being followed. Then the next day, Kay-Leigh had told James that she had been confronted by a man in black. She had been walking through the park. She didn’t know who the man was, but he did seem familiar. He had a slight limp, and he had one blue eye and one brown eye.

I know of only one man with eyes like that, but I push my suspicions to the side so I can interrogate the other four witnesses. I decide to talk to them all at once, so it would save time. This technique has worked well for me in the past. Talking to the witnesses all at the same time gives them less time to check up their own stories, so they are forced to tell the whole truth.

As soon as I get to the other four, the chimney sweep looks nervously at the other three.

“You, young man,” I say to the chimney sweep.

“Yes, milord.”

“How long have you been here?”

“Only for ‘bout three hours. The others of my group are ‘ere as well.”

I nod and ask the other three.

“For fourteen years. But I was out last night visiting my brother, sir,” says the butler.

“Same as the butler, milord. I was with ‘im as well. I made some cakes fo’ his young brother,” says the cook.

The other two give much the same answer, as they were all with the butler’s younger brother for the night.

My theory is almost complete, but for the time being, I have to leave the scene. I walk down the streets of my city and think about the whole thing. Who would want to kill this girl? Why was it her?

These questions have no answers. Then it hits me. I know the man who killed this girl. I run home as fast I can. I open the door and slam it behind me. I sit down at my desk and write the man’s name down.

As soon as I finish writing I seal the letter and address it to my partner.

Then it all goes black.


The next day, Marcus walks into Charles’ apartment. As soon as he does, he sees the blood and then Charles lying on the floor, still in last night’s clothes. In his hand is the letter he had written to Marcus the night before.

The rest of Marcus’ team walk in and examine the scene. Marcus takes the letter and opens the seal.

“Brandon Mitchell, lawyer.”

Marcus understands why Charles wrote this.

Brandon Mitchell is a lawyer with a hot temper. He works with the church and grants marriage licenses. He wants Kay-Leigh for himself. When he finds out that Kay-Leigh is marrying James, he murders her.

“Go arrest Brandon Mitchell.”

The others don’t give it a second thought. They go and do Marcus’ bidding.

Marcus squats down next to Charles and says, “Well, old buddy, you solved the case. Too bad you weren’t able to see it happen.”




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