Monday, 21 February 2011

When murder isn't murder.

There are questions in mathematics which even Jewish mathematicians can't solve. The question I want to address today is are there murders whose solution defies even the most brilliant detective? Take the following case-

Sauntering down the Arcade on a summer's evening, I stopped at a burrito van and purchased the special. The operator of the van moaned about the wind and the hail as he got busy with the hot plate. A passerby stopped to listen. The burrito guy asked hopefully if he wanted to order something.
'No', says the passerby, 'I recognize your voice from the messages you left on my wife's voice-mail. My name is Diego Vasquez. You and me got a score to settle, buddy.'
"I don't want no trouble,' says burrito guy. "I broke it off when she told me she was married. Is that a gun you're holding? Don't please... fuck!"
The noise of the pistol going off was quite deafening. I suppose I went into shock. By the time I'd recovered, the other man had fled. After some time I gathered myself sufficiently to go to the police station on the other side of the square.
Though the detectives I spoke to confessed their inability to procure for me the burrito I'd paid for,  they were very interested in what I had to say. They asked me to accompany them to the burrito van. It was empty but the smell of cordite and some blood stains inside the van convinced the police that a crime had occurred.
Back at the Station, I learned that Diego Vasquez had a criminal record. He was a member of the dreaded Los Ninos gang. I was able to identify him from his mug-shot.

From c.c camera footage, the police became convinced that Vasquez had murdered the burrito seller and returned to the scene of the crime with two accomplices to remove the body.
Later that week, Vasquez was detained at Stanstead while attempting to board a charter flight . I was informed that I would be a witness in his trial for murder. This put me in a real bind.

You see, the fact is, I knew who had murdered the burrito guy. It wasn't Vasquez. Yes, he had motive, means and opportunity. Still, when he fired his gun, the person who deftly picked up the bullet with his chopsticks, as it emerged from the muzzle or the pistol, and conducted it into the body of the victim was none other than Iain Duncan Smith. True, I didn't actually see him do it. But that's the thing about I.D.S. No one notices him. Not till it's too late.

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