Whodunit? (Part 2)

Shekhar prodded Hasmukh for his thoughts, as they both descended to the living room.

“I have a few ideas, but I don’t know who committed the murder, yet. I do find the flower bed and the window very interesting.”

Exasperated, Shekhar asked, “What the bloody hell is so interesting about the window? There was glass on the flowerbed, from the broken window above. A clear sign that somebody came in from outside.”

Hasmukh smiled, “Exactly, there was glass on the flower bed.”

Shekhar knew Hasmukh was upto his old tricks. Hasmukh gently chided Shekhar, “Shekhar, you’re a fine officer; yet, sometimes you do miss the details that I think are too obvious.”

Sam walked into the room as Hasmukh finished his thought. Her eyes were red from tears. Shekhar instinctively felt bad for her, she was obviously upset with the loss of her aunt.

Hasmukh pointed to the seat across both from him and Shekhar, “Sam, please sit down. Commissioner and I have some questions for you. I’m assisting the police in solving the murder of your aunt. She was your aunt, right?”

Sam nodded, while sniffling, “Yes, but not a close relative. My mother was a long distance cousin of aunt Usha. I started visiting Udhgam after my mother’s death a few months ago.”

Hasmukh asked Sam about her movements from last night. Sam dutifully recited that after dinner, she went upstairs to read a book and went to bed shortly after 11pm. She didn’t hear anything. Of course, it was hard to with all the guest rooms on the other end of the floor, or on the first floor, away from Usha’s room.

With nothing more to ask, Shekhar asked Sam to leave and asked her to send Neha in. One by one, all the guests came and interviewed. Same questions were asked, there was the obvious grief on part of Amit, Ashit and Avanish on losing their mother. They clearly had been shaken.


Hasmukh and Shekhar compared notes. Everbody had gone back to their room after dinner, nobody heard or saw any stranger enter the house. Amit heard a noise outside his room, and saw Sam walking towards the stairs (Sam hadn’t mentioned that). Neha saw John around 12 moving about the landing, but knew that was part of his routine. Amar refuted Amit’s story that Sam was moving about, he claimed that being next to Sam’s room, he would have heard her first. Ashit and Avanish provided no information. That was the gist of the interviews with the guest of the house.

Shekhar was frustrated, “Well, the least these guys could have done and come up with a consistent story. Sam and Amar say that Sam wasn’t out, yet Amit swears that Sam was out and about the house. Somebody is lying.”

Hasmukh walked around the room and was absent mindedly looking over the pictures on the mantelpiece. A picture caught his attention. He looked at it in stunned silence. An idea just occurred to him; it couldn’t be true, could it. It’s the only theory that fits the facts so far. There was a smile, a reaction that was out of place, it didn’t belong to the person, rather it shouldn’t have belonged to the person.

John walked into the room just as Shekhar got Hasmukh’s attention.

“John, How long have…had you been with Usha?” asked Shekhar

“Right after Nitin’s sir’s death. I was in between jobs, and one’s of Nitin’s sir’s colleague recommended me to madam. She was very grief stricken. What a horrible death for Nitin sir. A new car and the brake failed. Horrible, sir”

Shekhar interjected, “How did you know the brake failed? Police report says that he lost control of his car, and brake’s were just fine.”

John looked surprised, “Oh! That makes more sense. I guess madam wasn’t very sure of what happened.”

A few simple queries later, John was sent out of room. He added no new information to what Shekhar and Hasmukh already knew.

Finally, Hasmukh gave Shekhar a piece of paper, “Shekhar can you find more information about these two people. I suspect they aren’t who we think they are.”

Shekhar looked at the names,”Are you sure? What do you have in mind?”

Hasmukh puffed up his chest and proclaimed, “I know what happened here last night, but I have no proof. And for that I need your help.”

[This is the end of the story. A little underwhelming, perhaps. But I never intended to reveal the murderer or the MO, rather just the clues through which I came about the solution. Solution maybe forthcoming, if enough people are interested, or even if there are enough people to begin with. Guesses are more than welcome in the comment box.]


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Mitali Vasavada on June 4, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    My guess is its John and Sam. John is not really a servant and he was also responsible for Nitin’s death. I think he’s involved with Sam and Sam isn’t really Usha’s niece. How right am I ?


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