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The Case of the Viper and the Dead Doctor

Mystery teasers are little stories where you need to figure out what happened based on the given clues.


Puzzle ID:#21477
Fun:*** (3)
Difficulty:*** (2.15)
Submitted By:Mysterious*us****
Corrected By:Mysterious




It is a scorching afternoon in the piercing Texas sun when Detectives Sloan and Penter arrive at the scene of a fatal car accident. It is a one car accident. They are here to gather the facts and to submit a report as to what happened. At this time, there are no witnesses.

The accident has happened just outside of the small town of Springs Crossing on Hwy 128. The car is a brand new Viper and inside is a very lovely but dead young woman. The car is embedded into a tree, and the victim's head is against the steering wheel.

Upon checking the scene, the detectives make some interesting observations. Here is a list of observations and findings that they have included in their report:

Crash scene details:
Victim identity: Dr. Rachel Wells of Springs Crossing, Texas. The cherry red car was purchased two weeks before from Regency Dodge in nearby Dallas, Texas. Very few items are found in the car with the victim.

Inventory of Viper:
Trunk contents: Spare tire, car jack, exercise workout bag, small suitcase packed for a short getaway - possibly to the beach, and her work briefcase. Inside the briefcase, they found patient medical files, a partial box of Elidel samples, an Epi Pen, a partial box of Benadryl, seminar materials and ticket stubs for an allergy conference from last month, a pocket medical reference book, and a pocket drug reference book.

Car interior contents: victim's purse (usual purse contents plus Epi Pen and box of motion sickness patches), white Dr. coat with name badge, open tin of gourmet chocolaty chocolate chunk cookies with a signed gift tag attached from Fran's Gourmet Bakery "To: Rachel - My apologies! Jealousy and bitterness are hard to get over. Enjoy! Try my newest creation - I made them just for you!! From: Fran". Cell phone is plugged into charger in the car.

When the detectives checked the cell phone for messages, they found the following new messages all from 2 days ago:
Message 1: From Dr. Greer of Springs Crossing Family Medical Practice: "Rachel, quit stealing my patients! I don't care that you are a local gal and know everyone. I have been in this town for the last 10 years, and you better not even take one more of my patients or else!! I was the Dr. here when you were still in Med. School. Go away or you will be sorry!"

Message 2: Fran, owner or Fran's Gourmet Bakery:
"Rachel, Hi. Well, I guess that you are back in town after all these years. Have you heard from Jon in all these years? I still can't believe that he broke our engagement to chase you. You always were so beautiful - all the guys loved you! You would think I would have known that he could not resist. I have known you since kindergarten. A lot of good it did Jon! If he would have chosen me, he and I both would have a family by now. Well we need to bury all that from the past. Call me, please, Fran"

No skid marks of any kind are present on the roadway. The car appears to be in good mechanical condition with no pre-accident damage to the tires or brakes. The Dr. was not taking any medications, and her toxin tests have come back clear. Dr. was not a diabetic or epileptic and did not have a heart attack or stroke. Falling asleep at the wheel was an unlikely cause of accident. Cause of death: impact of head on dashboard during accident.

When the Chief of Detectives read their findings, he turned purple with anger. "You bumbling idiots! How could you miss something so obvious? It is right here in black and white. GET OUT and call in Blake and Jones. Your department is through with this case!"

Why is the Chief so angry and what did Sloan and Penter miss in their investigation?

What Next?


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Mar 12, 2005

that was so stupid. they didnt mention anything about any stupid nuts how were we supposed to figure that out. gees
Mar 13, 2005

The clues for this teaser were in the car inventory. The majority of people know that anyone carrying a prescription Epi Pen is deathly allergic to one or many things. An allergy to nuts is one of most frequent causes of severe allergic reactions. Further clues were the Benadryl and the notes from the allergy seminar she had just attended. Also, Elidel is used to treat Eczema and the majority of patients with that disorder also have allergies. Also, nuts are in cookies the majority of the time. Lastly, Fran obviosly hated her from the phone message; and Fran would have known about the allergy since she knew Rachel for so long.
Mar 14, 2005

i agree there is nothing about nuts and i don't eat cookies or brownies or fudge with nuts cus i don't like it and how did she not SEE the nuts?? hmm??
Mar 14, 2005

Good one! Kinda long, but still a good one!
Mar 15, 2005

what the? it never said anything about nuts! epi pens are also used for bee stings... so how could you have known? and what about the OTHER docter... he had a motive to.
Mar 15, 2005

This teaser is a mystery. In a good mystery, you are never just given the answer. You must think and figure it out for yourself.

The presence of nuts is a given in a gourmet bakery. It would have been redundant to tell you about the possibility of nuts or nut residue in the cookies. Check a package of plain M&Ms and you will find that their is a warning that the candy may contain peanuts!!

People carry Epi Pens for lots of reasons including such allergies as those to latex, sulfur, and tons of others. Some people are so allergic that they can simply be in the same room with an allergin and they go into respiratory difficulty.

The only suspect that had something tangible and potentially deadly in the car inventory was Fran. The good Dr. Greer had motive but a phone message never killed anyone.
Mar 16, 2005

Hoes any one know wat a anyphysithingy is? I know I sure didnt! I mean come on, I figured poisened cookies but nots? COME ON!
Mar 16, 2005

*sorry* im not in typing mood today, you can figure out wat that was supposed to say....right?
Mar 17, 2005

How could the cause of death be head hitting the dash if she died of anaphylatic shock? Anaphylactic shock would cause a swelling of the lips, tongue and eyes noticeable to the coroner, also there would be no severe edema at the forehead from impact if there was no blood flow during the crash as she was already dead, ergo, no heartbeat to pump blood.
Mar 17, 2005

Either you don;t like this person or are just sour that it took you AGES to work out. I thought it was an excellent teaser
Mar 18, 2005

That was a great teaser. I thought it had to do with the Epi Pen, however, I didn't know what an Epi Pen was. Do now!
Mar 19, 2005

boo for me i didnt know what epi pen was.. oh well
Mar 19, 2005

i have 2 read all that!!!!!!!!!
Mar 19, 2005

I think that the greatest weakness of this riddle is the lack of a coronors report. The police would have had this information, and the Detective at the scene should have had enough understanding of forensics to recognize the symptoms of anaphylactic shock. The simple presence of these drugs and tools are meaningless on their own since she could very well have been a doctor specializing in Allergies or been an Ear/Nose/Throat specialist.

The statement referring to a "beautiful" woman in the Viper could also be contrued as misleading as this statement would tend to make most people believe that there were no physical defects in the victim. While the lack of skid marks, and the phone message in conjunction with the cookies did make me suspect foul play, without a coroner's report or physical description of the victim there was nothing conclusive.

The hint could have been better. Rather than referring us back to the car the author could have added additional information for those that missed (or misunderstood) the clues left in the main body of the story.
Mar 20, 2005

Way long!!!!!!!!!! Quite good
Mar 22, 2005

Yay. I got it right! It was hard though.
Mar 23, 2005

Mar 28, 2005

Kimmy 3771 hit it on the head. If she had some major allergic reaction, why were there no signs and wouldnt that have killed her instead of the steering wheel. The lack of information about the nuts was a major piece of information left out. If you would have just said something like, "Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Nuts, i would have considered this a great riddle.
Mar 28, 2005

Hi. To answer your comments, I am offering a response and further explanation. Anytime something is mentioned more than once in a mystery, one must consider it very important and pay attention to it. The Epi Pen was mentioned twice meaning it was very important. If you didn't know what it was, you could have done an internet search to find out. Combined with that information and the information about Fran, enough clues were provided to solve this mystery. Also, when someone has a deadly allergic reaction, the swelling can be internal in the airways and not affect physical appearance. A coroner's report would have made the teaser even longer and in my opinion very boring. Thanks for reading and when solving a mystery please pay attention to even the smallest clue.
Mar 28, 2005

man yall people need to shut up talkin bad about da teaser! i thougth it was awesome! and yall h8ers ruinded it!! the answer isnt s'posed to be obvious, geniuses!!!!!!! DUH! WHATEVER!!!
Mar 28, 2005

I recall a tv show called CSI

In that Show, all the investigators are well informed of each chemical thing with those doctorish names and always know about and where in the domestic area is used. Good to watch, but using only logic you are not able to solve any riddle!

So, I propose it to the trivia section
Mar 31, 2005

I thought this was good...worth the whole read seeing as i got it right. I think including information regarding the nuts would have made it too easy. It was slightly obvious anyway, the Dr. obvioulsy had an allergy to something and i fail to see how it was anything but blindingly obvious that it could have been anything but nuts!
Apr 02, 2005

I figured out that she died from an allergic reaction to something due to the presence of Epi Pens in purse and trunk, the Elidel and Benadryl. Since she was eating the cookies in the car, I also figured out that the cookies contained an ingredient of some kind that caused the reaction. Fran still harbored ill feelings against her (i.e. phone message) and the cookies came from Fran. Also Fran's remark "I made them just for you" told me they contained something they shouldn't have. I also figured out that the new detectives being called in were homicide - therefore she was murdered. Fran did it. But, the nuts completely flew right by me. Very good teaser.
Apr 09, 2005

Two things.
First, being a doctor, she would have known how to spot the symptoms of shock and could have easily pulled over to give herself the shot.

Second, a Viper, being a fairly new car, should have had air bags. Since a deployed air bag is not listed by the detectives, I think her car mechanic had something to do with it!!!
(user deleted)
Apr 23, 2005

sorry but i did not see any clues about being alergic to nuts
Apr 26, 2005

This is almost on the verge of being a Situation puzzle. Or could be with less details in the actual teaser itself. But the fact that she carried an epi-pen in her purse made it clear she had allergies. and the fact that the tin was open made clear that she had to have been eating them recently. otherwise they would have melted in the "scorching sun". with any kind of experience with mystery puzzles, the answer is obvious.
May 04, 2005

hello I totally thought this one rock. okay so I didn't know what a epipen was. I added this one to my fav list. Okay it's like 2 in the am I got to get some sleep.
May 18, 2005

I'm an EMT who lives in Texas and I thought it was a good one. To elaborate why I'll provide a few facts. A peanut may be called a nut but it is really a legume. A legume allergy is one of the deadliest allergies out there. Look on a can of nuts or even a bag of sunflower seeds. There will be a disclaimer about the possibility of peanut products because they are canned in the same factory. Peanut oil or even peanut dust is enought to set off a reaction. Schools ban peanut products from their cafeterias when just 1 student has this allergy. Respertory arrest would start almost immediatly and if you were driving it would be easy to wreck a car. And to the comment about swelling, swelling is a late symptom in this kind of shock.
May 18, 2005

I'm an EMT who lives in Texas and I thought it was a good one. To elaborate why I'll provide a few facts. A peanut may be called a nut but it is really a legume. A legume allergy is one of the deadliest allergies out there. Look on a can of nuts or even a bag of sunflower seeds. There will be a disclaimer about the possibility of peanut products because they are canned in the same factory. Peanut oil or even peanut dust is enought to set off a reaction. Schools ban peanut products from their cafeterias when just 1 student has this allergy. Respertory arrest would start almost immediatly and if you were driving it would be easy to wreck a car. And to the comment about swelling, swelling is a late symptom in this kind of shock.
May 18, 2005

You know, Kimmy's right about the Ear/Nose/Throat specialist thing, HOWEVER, I think that the combination of allergy medications/pamphlets, chocolate, and the whole "I made these specially for you" think pretty much gave it away. Good job though.
May 19, 2005

How about people like me who luckly are not allergic to anything??? I had no clue what Epi Pen meant. Too bad for me. Although, I guessed it was the cookies who killed her. I thought the cookies had some sort of tranquilizer and then she died from the accident. I was close!
May 22, 2005

Hello! How about makin a shorter version.
May 23, 2005

I thought it was a good teaser. Although, I did have a problem with no airbags deploying.

All naysayers - If the note had mentioned nuts, the doctor wouldn't have eaten them.

As peanut / nut allergies are very common, I assumed nuts in the cookies. I had to look up Elidel, which means I also learned something.

Thanks, Mysterious. Oh, btw, I just joined today. Love the teasers!
May 24, 2005

i figured it had something to do with allergies
Good One!
May 28, 2005

I thought she had taken a lethal combo of drugs (one of the allergy drugs and maybe something in the cookies). Regardless, i knew that fran did it--"I made these especially for you" gave that one away Keep the mysteries coming--I really enjoy yours because they require some actual thought to solve!
Jun 09, 2005

For all of you who found no clue that she was alergic, Nobody carries an epi-pen unless they are deathly alergic to something.

The cookie make knew her forever, and was jealous.

It seemed obvious to me that there was something "I thought nuts" In the cookies.

I thought it was great.

And what is up with complaining about the length. That wasn't that long.

Good job.
Jun 19, 2005

Good job! I guessed it as soon as I read about the cookies being open. I carry an Epi pen in my purse and have gone into anaphylactic shock a few times myself, so it was a no brainer for me. Oh, PLUS, the packet of Benedryl was partially used, which was another clue that she had allergies. Doctors don't carry around partially used meds to hand out.

p.s. I agree with the comments about the lack of airbag deployment!
Jun 19, 2005

Ok ppl airbags dont always deploy they have a sensor and if the impact isnt in the right spot they wont deploy or if its a low speed impact. I figured that Fran did it because of her message and that she put some kind of allergen in it. The doctor was probably looked down for her pen and was going slow therefore no bruise.
Jul 02, 2005

good teaser, i kinda agree w/ some of the ppl here, you'd have to be educated on the subject of food allergies(like nuts)to think of that 1st hand-to some ppl that's the last thing on their minds
Jul 03, 2005

well i did not know what a epi pen wwas but i thot and thot maybe the cookies were poisened never wood have thought of nuts becuz i wood see nuts in the cookie and for people how wont read a riddle because it is to long dont rite a comment ur just LAzy!!!long ones r usually really good!!
Jul 11, 2005

I thought maybe the cookies were just poisoned and the poison made her suffocate. I figured she had the epi pen in there for one of her patients, and could have tried to reach for it to open up her breathing passages. That's basically what an epi pen does, doesn't it. Anyway, I figured she was reaching for the epi pen and crashed. I would have never thought of nuts!!!! Great teaser!! I really enjoyed reading this one, though I don't really like the ones in present tense. I guess it kind of confuses me!!!
Jul 16, 2005

I love how serious you Braingle-ites are about the teasers, with all these super-scientific answers/rebuttals to a simple makes me giggle. Maybe lighten up a little bit?
Jul 23, 2005

I think it was a good one. People if you don't like the teaser please keep it to yourself
Sep 07, 2005

Great teaser! I knew it had somethign to do with the Epi Pen-I just didn't know about the nuts thing....
Sep 21, 2005

It was a very interesting and well thought out mystery.

I tried it first without knowing what all the medicine items meant, and I concluded it was poisoned cookies sent by Fran that made her lose driving ability and crash into the tree. After reading the solution and meaning of those item, it was quite easy to understand.
(user deleted)
Dec 01, 2005

except that the cookies weren't poisoned.

the coroner or pathologist should be fired for calling the COD to be blunt force trauma from the DASHBOARD.

last time i checked, the driver cant hit her head on the dashboard because of a hard, round device that turns a car left and right.
Dec 02, 2005

Gregmatic, You need to reread the teaser and you will see that the teaser neither contains a pathologists report nor a coroner's report. The report only contained the findings of the detectives at the scene of the crash. It was their ovservations alone.

Also, the Doctor was not poisoned, but she had a deadly allergic reaction. For people with extreme allergies, sometimes even breathing the allergen can send them into a deadly reaction.

Also, the Doctor had been leaning over trying to reach the medicine in her purse. Her purse was in the passenger seat and not her lap. It would be very possible for her to hit her head on the dashboard in her car and not the steering wheel.

Next time, you might want to read a teaser more carefully. When we read them too quickly and not carefully enough, we miss important details.
Feb 06, 2006

Myst, great mystery story. Of course you don't need me to tell you that. A great teaser will make folks think and your teaser did just that!! KUDOS!!!!
Jul 16, 2006

Woh. I didn't get it. Nice one.
Oct 02, 2006

well i liked the teaser. I didn't know what an epi pen was, i just assumed it was a form of writing pen

"and inside is a very lovely but dead young woman" that phrase made me laugh, heh
Dec 04, 2006

Interesting teaser. A little long. I thought it was obvious that it was a deadly allergy of some sort. I guessed either bee sting or nuts in the cookies (not poison, because the "toxin test was negative"). My only question is this... wouldn't the victim, being a doctor and knowing how fatal a peanut allergy is, KNOW not to eat something like cookies without being sure of the ingredients? That stretches the logic a little bit for me.... otherwise, good effort.
Mar 01, 2007

long teaser but quite easy for someone with my brain power(iu gave too many hints about bakery and allergies)great job bud
Sep 05, 2007

This was an excellent mystery!

Some of you people are acting crazy!

1. Fran has known the doctor her whole life (since Kindergarten) and would know her allergy, but of course she isn't going to add NUTS to the label! Duh, then the doctor wouldn't have eaten them. She ground them up small so they WOULDN'T be noticed and the doctor would eat a cookie!

2. "I made them just for you" implies it was murder rather than accidental.

3. Epi pen in the trunk AND in the car indicates an allergy (bees or food).

4. Doctor has an attack and wrecks trying to dig for her EPI pen-- no time for swelling before she hit the steering wheel and died, stopping blood flow and therefore stopping swelling. The doctor didn't die from the allergy... she died from the circumstances of trying to get the pen (blunt force trauma with a steering wheel). Yes, she would have swelled and died of the allergy if she hadn't wrecked her car and killed herself.

5. Yes, the airbag should have gone off.

6. Yes, she should have stopped the car WHILE grabbing for her EPI pen.

I don't have any allergies, but I know of EPI pens. This was an excellent teaser... way better than most of the mysteries I've read.

Thanks for a fun teaser!
Mar 03, 2008

I got it after the contents in the purse and the note from Fran, a little too easy in my opinion
Nov 15, 2008

that was interesting . it was kinda long but very ineresting! lolz i didnt get it
Jan 30, 2009

I thought it was stupidly obvious that she had an allergic reaction to something, but it's still too much of a leap to assume that it must be nuts and that they must be in the cookies. She was a doctor, for darn's sake, so she would that anything out of a bakery will have some amount of nuts in it. If she were that allergic, she wouldn't have eaten them.

By the way, never use the abbreviation Dr. except as a title with a person's name -- Dr. Jones or Dr. Sue Smith. If it isn't with the name, always write it out.
Dec 01, 2010

good 1
Feb 27, 2011

Relax. It's just a teaser.
Jun 15, 2011

Before I read this, I was in a bad mood, but this teaser really cheered me up!!! I love it and am adding it to my favorites, no matter what anybody says.
Jun 27, 2011

This was a wonderful teaser!

What is your secret? I always try to submit a wonderful teaser, but it ends up being a repeat EVERY TIME even though I came up with it myself. I sit down for like two hours coming up with a mystery, and somebody's done it. I do love solving them and I solved this one quickly, so I am not like square-brained. How do you make them so well?
Aug 29, 2011

swimmer4life292 you ought to calm down. It's not hating, it's feedback.
Jan 24, 2015

I love how many people didn't get it because they didn't know what an Epi Pen is. XD You could look it up!

My only complaint is, I thought the given clues made it far too obvious it was Fran. There wasn't enough misdirection.
Oct 27, 2015

I'm a bit confused. Didn't Fran try to hint Rachel that the gift was intended to do her harm?

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