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v · d · eThe Bungled Burglary
Case2Title
No.002
RequesterFlorence Sich
Difficulty
Previous CaseFile No. 001: The Hand Sandwich
Next CaseFile No. 003: A Murder Staged

File No. 002: The Bungled Burglary is the second case in Layton Brothers: Mystery Room. It features the death of Jack Potsby during an attempted burglary of his home.

Plot Edit

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Florence Sich entered the Mystery Room office and called for Inspector Alfendi Layton but found no response. Lucy Baker came up to her instead, with Sich being informed that Alfendi would have a young woman in his office. Sich introduced herself as a forensic analyst but Alfendi soon came up and joked about her being on time this time. Sich found the joke unfunny and learned that Lucy had started working at the office.

Sich mentioned a case she wanted them to look into as she already sent the lab report over to them already. Alfendi found it odd that Sich would request them to look into a case as she described it as relatively clear. The case involved a burglar breaking into a flat and murdering one of the tenants. The main suspect however was suspicious and made a statement, which she thought would have more to it than meets the eye, so she sent the case to the Mystery Room since she didn't want the case to be closed before all the mysteries behind it were solved. Sich decided that if they didn't solve the case, she would refer to Alfendi as 'Prof' forever. Alfendi immediately decided that they must solve this case.

An ordinary studio flat was broken into and a male tenant was murdered, as seen by the blood and broken glass found near his corpse. There were three suspects, whom one of them Lucy recalled had employed a clever trick to kill the tenant. However, Lucy remembered the case well because it was the first time the other side of the inspector was shown.

The facts about the murderEdit

The male tenant who was murdered when his flat was broken into was Jack Potsby, a loose cannon who was murdered a few days ago just after midnight. His wife, Goldie Potsby-Mahn, was in the middle of taking a shower when she heard her husband scream and quickly ran out of the bathroom to see what was going on. She saw her husband lying on the floor and the culprit, whom she described as a muscular man dressed entirely in black, running away.

At the time of the murder, Chase M. Downes, the concierge of the block was on duty heard the sound of glass breaking and immediately ran upstairs to Potsby's door. The wife informed Downes of the intruder, causing him to quickly conduct a search of the premises around the apartment. Around the rear entrance near the gardens, Downes apprehended a petty serial burglar named Buster Nicks.

Nicks claimed that around the time of the murder, he was planning to break into a ground-floor flat but called off the plan when he heard the sound of glass shattering. In his statement, he didn't see anyone coming down from Potsby's balcony. Lucy reasoned that the culprit was him and he was simply lying to cover for himself but Alfendi argued that if he really was the culprit, he would have told them he saw someone run off. Lucy admitted the inspector was right but Alfendi confessed that Nicks's statement made the case very complicated.

Alfendi started to introduce the three suspects of the case. The first was the burglar, Buster Nicks. The second was the Chase M. Downes the caretaker. His actions didn't seem suspicious at all as he did caught a criminal although Lucy suggested Downes could have orchestrated the events of the murder. Finally, there was the wife, Goldie Potsby-Mahn. She claimed to have been showering and heard her husband scream so she was the supposed discoverer of the body.

After Lucy told Alfendi about her gut feeling on who the culprit was, Alfendi responded by suspecting Potsby-Mahn as the culprit with a 96.4% chance. The remaining 3.6% of uncertainty must be removed by speaking with the suspect herself. Although her history is officially not part of the case, Potsby-Mahn had a worrying history of three previous marriages, all of them ending with the husband dying. She now lived an elegant life with the life insurance she gained. Of course, there was seemingly no foul play as the police and insurance companies did investigate it. Lucy suggested that she was just unlucky although Alfendi suspected that Potsby-Mahn already knew she was being suspected of the murder.

Clearing up the loose endsEdit

As they finished talking, Potsby-Mahn entered with a man wearing a collar. Potsby-Mahn introduced herself and the man as Bingo, her new boyfriend whom she nicknamed "Bing", with him growling at the investigator. Lucy asked why she would date shortly after Potsby died, with Potsby-Mahn seemingly didn't care about his death. She had bought the collar for Bingo, with Lucy annoyed at Bingo's treatment. Potsby-Mahn ignored her concern as the police had no right to interfere with their dating life although Alfendi kindly requested for Bingo to leave the room since he was a third party unrelated to the case. Potsby-Mahn initally refused as they both apparently share all the secrets between themselves but ultimately complied and ordered Bingo to go home and wait for her under the porch. Bingo was confused at her orders but quickly followed them after she sternly said so.

After Bingo went home, Alfendi and Lucy introduced themselves to Potsby-Mahn. She asked them what htey wanted with her since she already gave her statement and thought Nicks was obviously the killer. Alfendi agreed she is likely to be right but they wanted to clear two issues, the circumstances when the murder happened and the intruder's method of entry, regarding the case before taking Nicks in for questioning. Potsby-Mahn quickly brushed off the issues as she supposedly saw the intruder herself exiting through the window but Alfendi insisted of getting the details ironed out first. Potsby-Mahn agreed to if it helps arresting Nicks for murder.

Potsby's body showed he was stabbed in the back with an unknown weapon but Nicks was searched and didn't carry anything that resembled the murder weapon. Lucy concluded Nicks could have hidden the weapon somewhere in the room, with Potsby-Mahn shocked they didn't even know what was used to kill her husband. She suggested that the balcony could have some clues. The kitchen knives and glass shards were found to have no traces of blood and the shape didn't match with the wound so they were ruled out as possible murder weapons. Since the police already searched her home and the whole area, Alfendi suggested to look at the body instead. As there were no signs of obvious physical trauma, the victim didn't struggle with the killer, which was unlikely if the killer was Nicks. Potsby-Mahn justified it as Potsby often drifted off while watching the television so if Nicks did break in, Potsby would not notice him.

They found that the door could be another method of entry although Potsby-Mahn ruled it out since the doors lock by themselves and the key was inside the flat at the time and neiither of them had ever personally knew Nicks so they wouldn't let him in. As the door was ruled out, they decided to investigate the window more carefully. The window was broken from the outside as the glass shards are found inside of the flat and a blood-stained towel was found outside on the balcony. Potsby-Mahn thought it was obvious Nicks used it to clean the murder weapon and threw it away afterwards. Alfendi disagreed as Nicks was an experience serial burglar who was known for his swift getaways so no burglar would break in and alert everybody of his intrusion. Potsby-Mahn brushed it off easily as Nicks had no choice but to break in the locked window. She also retified her statement by including her hearing the sound of the window breaking while she was in the shower.

Now that the two issues were seemingly explained thoroughly, Potsby-Mahn suggested that Nicks be arrested and agreed to cooperate again if they happened to encounter some awkward issues. After she left, Alfendi knew she was being suspected for Potsby's murder so the investigation wasn't going anywhere with her presence. He suspected she hid the murder weapon somewhere in the apartment as there was not enough time for her to dispose of the weapon outside before Downes arrived so she must have set the apartment to appear as a scene of burglary. However, Potsby-Mahn's story had a few inconsistances such as the glass found on top of the victim's body when it should be underneath instead. They found the clock to be the ideal space to hid a weapon as the clock hands were slightly bent. Alfendi had forensics look over the clock hands to find any traces of blood.

While all the loose ends are tied up theoretically, there was still not enough proof to arrest Potsby-Mahn. Nevertheless, they decided to call in Potsby-Mahn for questioning.

Conclusion to the caseEdit

Potsby-Mahn entered the office with Bingo again, with Alfendi asking him to leave again. Potsby-Mahn ordered Bingo to wait for her in the car as the trunk was open since she thought they wouldn't take too long. She asked them why they bothered to call her in as it was around time for her to walk in the park with Bing and they should have arrested Nicks by now.

To her surprise, it was now certain that Nicks was innocent of murder as the victim was stabbed in the back and a burglary would have alerted him to Nicks. Potsby-Mahn explained that her husband had the tendency to fall asleep while watching TV but if that were the case, even he would have noticed the sound of Nicks breaking the window. Potsby-Mahn tried to explain this as her husband apparently was quite exhausted that day so even if Nicks did break the window, Potsby wouldn't notice him. As she insisted that it was Nicks who did it, Lucy figured she was lying since the broken glass found on top of the body shouldn't exist if the window was broken first.

Potsby-Mahn decided to retract her statement about hearing the glass breaking first as she apparently couldn't remember the order of events well anymore as Nicks could have entered the flat some other way then smash the window to escape. However, since both the door and the window were locked, the culprit must have Potsby-Mahn. Since the window was smashed after the murder, it meant the culprit could not have entered from outside. Potsby-Mahn, angry at the accusations, asked them if and where they found the murder weapon as she never left the apartment to dispose of it. Lucy claimed the minute hand was used to kill Potsby although forensics soon reported they failed to detect any traces of blood from the hand.

Potsby-Mahn told them she had to fill out her husband's life insurance papers as Potsby loved her enough to set up live insurance for her. All of a sudden, the inspector changed into a more "psychotic" side and claimed she killed Potsby not for his cash but for the kick of it. Lucy asked the inspector if he was acting alright but Potsby-Mahn refused to listen to him as he didn't even find the murder weapon. Alfendi explained the murder weapon no longer existed as it melted in a cooking pot for pasta. She denied the allegation but Alfendi told her not to mock him as the table didn't even seem to be prepared for eating pasta. After Lucy suggested the weapon was a knife of ice, the inspector turned back to his normal self. Since the knife was long gone, the mould used to make the knife must have been a damp scrap of paper found in the bathroom. If the paper was folded back up along the creases, the shape would resemble a knife.

Potsby-Mahn declared it as a coincidence but the towel used to wipe the blood off was found on the balcony and it was possible she didn't wipe off every trace of blood off. The pot could have the victim's blood detected when examined by forensics. Once the pot was being examined by forensics, Potsby-Mahn still insisted she couldn't have done it, even if the knife was made of ice. However, as the doors and windows were all locked, only somebody who was already inside the flat could have killed Potsby. It could have only be Potsby-Mahn as she stated herself she never left her apartment. Potsby-Mahn was speechless at his reasoning and demanded to see her attorney before she was questioned even more.

Back at the office, Lucy thought they almost lost her when the clock hand was confirmed not to be the murder weapon. Alfendi agreed with her and admitted that claiming the pot had traces of blood left was a bit of a gamble but in the end, he was sure Potsby-Mahn would confess to her crime. Sich entered the room and revealed she had admitted everything and killed him for his life insurance. Alfendi recalled her speaking about the insurance during the questioning. Sich also revealed Potsby won a huge sum of money around last year and that was around the time he had met Potsby-Mahn. As Potsby spent money like water, she was worried his debts would match the insurance payout so she had to kill him before he spent even more money. Alfendi figured that Potsby-Mahn's previous spouses were covered up better but rushed to kill Potsby.

Alfendi decided to go home once Lucy mentioned his Jekyll-and-Hyde moment during the questioning and told Lucy to close up the office when she leaves. After he left, Sich told Lucy she was safe around with the 'other' Alfendi as long as there was a criminal around since he was only interested in criminals and wouldn't think of hurting her in that case. Lucy suggested he had a vendetta against criminals but Sich mentioned he actually liked criminals and the more evil they are, the more he does. Sich advised her not to be alarmed about the 'other' Alfendi but told her if it was only the two of them in the same room, she would run like the wind.

Case Files Edit

PeopleEdit

Victim

Suspects

EvidenceEdit

  • Clock - An antique-style grandfather clock with a large pendulum.
  • Door - A door leading out of the flat. Fingerprints belonging to the victim, his wife, and the warden were identified on the handle. The key was kept inside the flat.
  • Fridge - A medium-sized, domestic refrigerator. Very little in the way of food is inside. It is stocked largely with cans of beer.
  • Kitchen - A simple, narrow, galley kitchen that looks highly impractical. It doesn't appear to have had much use.
  • Cooking Pot - A very large kitchen pot in which it appears pasta was boiling at the time of the incident.
  • Swing Bins - A rubbish and a recycling  bin standing side by side, with lids to prevent unpleasent odours. They are mainly empty and contain nothing of relevance.
  • Kitchen Knives - A set of three knives stowed in a cupboard under the kitchen sink.
  • Chairs - Small, cheap chairs made of laminated wood. Despite the low-cost materials, they are very well constructed.
  • Table - A wooden table with several empty beer cans on it. They appear to have been drunk by Potsby.
  • Window - A French window that opens out onto the balcony. Broken glass from it is scattered on the floor inside. It was unlocked, and all fingerprints have been wiped off.
  • Broken Glass - Shards of glass that exploded all over the flat when the window was smashed. Considerable force must have been used, throwing pieces on top of the body, even.
  • Corpse - The victim's dead body. He was fatally stabbed in the back. No other signs of external injury are in evidence.
  • Bed - A large bed on which a pair of pillows are in place. It appears the couple slept together here.
  • Television - An analogue television shit placed on a small wooden cupboard. At the time of the incident, a drama starring popular actor Roscoe Strapping was airing.
  • Wardrobe - A closet containing the victim's clothes and those of his wife. Its contents appear to be in a complete jumble.
  • Memo Pad - A pad of paper with several phone numbers scrawled upon it, all of which have proved to belong to various takeaway food establishments.
  • Telephone - A touch-tone telephone. The phone records show that on the day in question, it was used only to call the police after the incident occurred.
  • Washbasin - A snug little sink next to which is a cup with a pair of toothbrushes inside.
  • Toilet - A regular toilet, apparently not regularly cleaned. It is extremely dirty.
  • Scrap of Card - A thick, creased scrap of card. It looks like it was intended for the bin, but fell out. It is slightly damp.
  • Bin - A rubbish bin containing discarded toilet rolls and wrappers and the like. It doesn't appear to contain anything related to the case.
  • Bath Tub - A bath with attached shower. There are indications of recent use, but forensic investigation has revealed no traces of the victim's blood inside.
  • Balcony - An uninviting, concrete balcony. The flat in question is on the first floor above ground level, but a determined intruder could gain entry to the premises this way.
  • Blood-stained Towel - A towel stained with the victim's blood. It belonged to Potsby and his wife, and is normally kept inside the flat.
  • Pendulum - A highly polished and heavy-looking pendulum.
  • Glass Cover - A thick glass cover that protects the clock face wnt pendulum. It appears to open and close.
  • Clock Hands - The metal hands of the clock. The long minute hand is slightly bent at the tip.

Statements Edit

  • Goldie Potsby-Mahn: Statement 1 - "I was taking a shower when I heard my husband scream. I knew something was wrong, so I hurried out of the bathroom."
  • Goldie Potsby-Mahn: Statement 2 - "When I came out of the bathroom, I saw an outlaw running away across the balcony. He was a very muscular man, dressed all in black."
  • Goldie Potsby-Mahn: Statement 3 - "Jack often used to doze off while he was watching the television."
  • Chase M. Downes: Statement 1 - "I headed up to the flat as soon as I heard the window breaking. The door was locked, so I knew the crook would use the balcony. There's no other way out."
  • Chase M. Downes: Statement 2 - "As soon as I heard the crook had done a runner, I scooted round the outside of the block. I caught a dodgy-looking man dressed all in black by the rear entrance."
  • Buster Nicks: Statement 1 - "I was planning on breaking into a gaff on the ground floor. I was just about to the window in, when I heard glass breaking on the floor above. I nearly died!"
  • Buster Nicks: Statement 2 - "I looked up a storey, and saw there was a window broken. I thought it must be one of my lot, but I didn't saw no-one come out. Then the incredible bulk got me."

DeductionsEdit

  • Nature of Attack - Available initially
  • Method of Entry - Available initially
  • Decisive Evidence - After resolving "Nature of Attack" and "Method of Entry"
  • The Murder Weapon - After resolving "Nature of Attack" and "Method of Entry"

Gallery Edit

Trivia Edit

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