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Murder in a Lab

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


Puzzle ID:#36397
Fun:*** (2.99)
Difficulty:*** (2.41)
Submitted By:scallioAus*****!
Corrected By:cnmne




Detective Wingate was called to Lab Tech Industries to investigate a murder. Lying on the floor of Lab D was Violet Robinson, dead from an apparent gunshot to the head. There were two drops of blood on her right shoe, her lab coat was missing one button, and the latex glove on her left hand had one small tear; but other than that, nothing seemed too noteworthy about the body. A small puddle of blood around the entry wound and a decanter on its side at the workstation were the only things out of place in the otherwise spotless laboratory. Lab supervisor James Bensen had found her at 7:42 am.

Upon arrival of the CSI team, Detective Wingate directed his attention to the employees that had worked with Violet the evening before. Each was interviewed separately from the others.

James Bensen was the first to be taken to the employee lounge for interrogation.
James: "I worked with Violet in Lab A last night for about 45 minutes. We completed our assignment, and she left. I assume she went back to Lab D where she usually works. That was at like 6:00 o'clock. I swear I didn't see her again until I came in this morning and found her laying there dead."
Detective: "When did you leave last night?"
James: "I left around 8:07 after my shift ended. I thought I was the last one out. The lights were all off."
Detective: "Why were you in so early this morning if you'd worked so late last night?"
James: "I am filling in for Adrian this week. She's our boss, and she's on vacation until Friday. I'm responsible for opening and closing the lab each morning and night. I can leave in between if I want, but we've been making some pretty important breakthroughs in endocraniological disorders; and I didn't want to miss any of it. If you have helped work on a project that has a major break-through, it can make your career."
Detective: "Do you guys always wear your lab coats and masks?"
James: "Yes. We must maintain a perfectly clean environment or our work could be contaminated by outside influences. We don't take them off unless we're in the employees' lounge or have exited the building."

Next, Detective Wingate spoke with Meggy Riddle, a janitor for Lab Tech Industries.
Detective: "Tell me what happened last night."
Meggy: "I had been cleaning in Lab D earlier in the evening, but when Violet started getting territorial around a project, I left. That was at maybe 7:15 or so. Dean went in after that, and I saw them arguing; at least I think it was Dean. I went to Lab F, which is kitty-corner from D, so I couldn't see perfectly. I cleaned in F until about 7:50 then cleaned G until 8:00 and left for the night. When I walked by the other labs, only Dean and James' lights were still on. They're in A and B. I was sure Violet had already gone home."
Detective: "How was Violet territorial?"
Meggy: "She got all weird about me being near her endocraniological diatrope testing. She started getting snotty, so I left. She and I don't get along very well, but that's no secret around here. She doesn't get along with most everyone."
Detective: "Tell me about the argument you witnessed between Violet and the other individual."
Meggy: "I could see them arguing through the window. Violet got so mad she picked up a heavy decanter and tried to hit him over the head with it. He stepped back, and she ended up missing. Then he just blew her off and went down the hall toward his lab. When he came out the doorway and turned to go down the hall, that's when I saw him, and I'm sure it was Dean."

When Dean Falcone was interviewed by Detective Wingate, he was adamant that he had not set foot in Lab D.
Dean: "I worked from 3:00 to a little after 8:00 without a single break. I didn't work with Violet last night and didn't even talk with her other than to say hello when I passed her once in the hall. I was never in Lab D. I don't know what Meggy is talking about. When I left, only James was still here."
Detective: "I heard you and Violet sometimes butt heads."
Dean: "Only because she gets so possessive about the projects. She thinks she should get all the credit in a major discovery. I have argued with her a lot, but not since last week; and certainly not last night! I swear it."

When the CSI completed their investigation of the crime scene, they called to tell Detective Wingate that Violet's prints were found on the decanter in Lab D. The decanter was otherwise clean. Was Meggy telling the truth about the confrontation between Dean and Violet? Detective Wingate didn't think so and ordered the arrest of Meggy Riddle. Why?

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(user deleted)
Apr 24, 2007

that was way to long. almost noone in the right-mind would read this
Apr 24, 2007

Is that true?
Apr 24, 2007

I'm glad I knew who did it before I got the answer... Still didn't get it tho
Apr 24, 2007

I hope Meggy is put away for a long time.... Good mystery, keep 'em coming Scallio
Apr 25, 2007

To jjj055:
No... this is not a true story and nor is it based on any true facts. I made the whole thing up.

I hope you enjoy my teaser!
Apr 25, 2007

way too long...
Apr 25, 2007

I got confused along the way because it was too long, but this is still one of the best mysteries on the site! Keep em coming!
Apr 26, 2007

too long.
couldnt even read it all.
way too long
try to make it shorter next time.
Apr 26, 2007

too long.
couldnt even read it all.
way too long
try to make it shorter next time.
Apr 28, 2007

That was not to was a great lenght..I enjoyed it..keep them coming
Apr 30, 2007

sorry that was too long so idecided not to read it
May 01, 2007

Once you start reading though, it's a fun read. I liked it because I had to sift through a lot of details to lift the important ones that helped me solve the case. The one burning question I still have is...what happened to Violet's mask? I let myself get distracted by that red herring for quite a while. :-)
May 02, 2007

Smeraldina-- sorry I didn't mention the mask when describing the dead body! I didn't think of it. I was trying to make it clear in the story that the deceased would obviously have been wearing a glove in order to make the finger print on the decanter seem very wrong.

It's more difficult to write one of these mystery teasers than you might think! At least for me.

I think up a rough story then fill in the blanks. I try to make it interesting without being too obvious.

Apparently a bunch felt this one was too long... shorter next time it is.
May 04, 2007

i don't think it was too long. most of the shorter mystery ones end up being way too easy. this was long enough to be a challenge. great job.
May 05, 2007

I didn't think it was too long. But then again, I just finished reading Gone With the Wind (1024 pages and very tiny print)
May 05, 2007

That was an awesome teaser! I love it! Keep 'em coming!
May 08, 2007

Great teaser!

Two things: The mask was supposed to be on the face for everyone, at any time in the lab. That means 1- Violet didn't have the mask and 2- Dean's face may not be recognizable so easy.

Second thing is that wearing the glove doesn't blame directly. That is, anyone would place the decanter. And placing it doesn't put Dean in the lab either. Thus it makes no sense. The missing button and the missing mask, and someone recognizing Dean without a mask would lead me to think the victim was killed outside, then dressed up and placed in the lab (button was missing and the mask forgotten), and Dean taking off his mask to be actually seen talking to the victim and leaving her alive in the lab!

That is great, many possibilities! I know writing a mystery is hard, I had done some myself. I like much more this kind than others that are put under mystery bu are word or number puzzles instead.

Great Job!
May 14, 2007

I didn't think it was too long.yes there were a few flaws that others mentioned, but overall great job!
May 16, 2007

wonderful i enjoyed it keep them comming! and i agree the length was just right.
May 19, 2007

we can easily find the answer. but it is some confusing
May 30, 2007

Scallio that was coool!!!!!!!! I really liked it a lot it was kind of long but I like to read so it's all good. Nice story how did you think it up???? I could have but it would have taken a while
Jun 07, 2007

It wasn't too long. And it was a challenge, but pretty easy. Kkeep up the good work!
Jun 16, 2007

that was cool
Jun 21, 2007

i liked the end. You made it actually sound like a real detective case! good job!
Jun 25, 2007

ok that was SO WAY to long! i couldnt stay focused!
Jun 25, 2007

ok so i re read it. wow! now that is one good teaser! and the ending seemed like a real detective story!
Jul 03, 2007

... But latex gloves do leave fingerprints -- they are thin enough to to mold to the ridges in the fingers.
Oct 07, 2007

there are just far too many possible answers to this teaser
Oct 08, 2007

I knew it was Meggy! (:
Nov 08, 2007

I enjoyed this one, and I disagree that it was too long! I got it, but needed the hint lol
Nov 14, 2007

I really enjoyed reading it--didn't think it was too long at all! Lots of clues to sift through makes for more fun
Nov 15, 2007

I am the worst at these types of teasers--and that just makes it all the funner!
Nov 29, 2007

I really enjoy your attention to detail, It was just like a short story :]

Which I loved about this one.

Very good riddle
Dec 09, 2007

This was a really good teaser! I needed the hint to work it out though! It wasn't too long, it was an interesting read. Keep them coming!
Feb 18, 2008

It was way too long
But, other than that good job
Mar 10, 2008

I loved it. 'Twas very well written and, though rather simple, loads of fun. It's for teasers like these that I hang around the Mystery section.
Mar 31, 2008

Jun 19, 2008

TMI TMI TMI TMI --- SourDough thinks you gave out TMI... and that's the bottom line!

The truth is out there, and this parody of sorts was a bit redundant for reasons unbeknownst to me!

Jul 08, 2008

i thought it seemed funny that the cleaning girl knew the correct terminology for the testing that was going on..that seemed odd to me but i didn't notice the thing about the finger prints...definitely a good one!
Jul 19, 2008

nice...keep it up
Nov 11, 2008

wow that was really long. i didnt get it though so... lol. you said what Meggy was wearing. where did it say whe=at meggy was wearing? dont u mean the victim?
Sep 04, 2009

?WHO did it?
Jan 04, 2010

Great! really liked it
Mar 10, 2010

It was a good story but very long and detailed. You should make it into a book.
Jun 10, 2010

I thought the same as carawilson.
Oct 01, 2010

I thought it was excellent.
Dec 31, 2011

when's the funeral?
Nov 08, 2012

That's pretty long, I'm gonna read it though, and since most of the ones under 3 gears, even up to 2.5, I can solve, I expect to get it correct.
Jun 13, 2013

If someone feels this was "too long", then they aren't really interested in mysteries to begin with. It was a fine length.

The real tip off for me was when the janitor started talking about "endocraniological diatrope testing". Sure, we don't know her background, but it is highly unlikely that she would be able to reference it so easily to the police being in such disparate job. Even if she had heard the term at some point, it would be difficult to recall or pronounce the term so quickly when not in the field. Not conclusive evidence, of course, but a good starting point for reviewing the details again.
Feb 07, 2015

I enjoy this quite a bit. For people who think they're too long, perhaps you would enjoy the situational teasers better. I find more enjoyment with the mystery teasers, though. Maybe that's because I'm a writer and I like to read into things. Very good work!
Oct 27, 2015

Ok. So far, meggy altered evidence by planting the decanter with the prints in the lab. But why? According to the story, she didn't do this to throw suspicion away from herself. She did it to consolidate a premeditated testimony, which was in turn fabricated against Dean to throw suspicion away from herself. But if that's the case, then why is it necessary for her to plant a decanter? I think she would rather want to plant evidence that would IMPLICATE Dean, then make up a good story to match the false lead. The decanter planting doesn't seem to fit properly into this story. It creates more problems than it solves.

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