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Julia Nielsen

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Tricks of the Trade: Part Three
By Julia Nielsen
Saturday, June 28, 2008

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The questioning begins


O’Shay walked into the forensics laboratory on McClintock Boulevard. Kari Masters looked up from the microscope, smiled a perfect set of white teeth, grabbed her silky, chestnut hair and flipped it down her back. He smiled back; he liked Kari. She was a damn good forensic specialist and not bad looking either. She wore a white coat over her slender petite frame, black nylons and a black skirt. O’Shay thought she looked sexy as hell.
"Hey Rick, got the bag?" He handed her the precious evidence, the only thing they had. She donned on white gloves and took the bag. Carefully taking it out, she placed it under the microscope. Peering in, she turned the dial.
After a few seconds, she looked up. "Well, it looks to be some kind of thin, but heavy string, but I’m not sure. Let me test it." She took it over to the Energy Dispersive X-ray Detector and turned on a switch. A bright glow illuminated from the table. It was amazing to O’Shay what they could do nowadays. The things they could identify were huge advancements in technology and crucial to crime investigations. After a few minutes, Kari came over, taking off her protective glasses.
"Well Rick, the test shows gardening string. Where did you say you found it?" 
"It was in front of the door. Why would gardening string and paint be by the door?" He was mainly asking himself.
She shook her head. "I don't know Rick. I just identify the stuff; you have to solve the crime." She smiled smugly and then laughed. She was right. Now, O’Shay had to find out why.
O’Shay thanked Kari and then left with Sampson.
They got in the car, and O’Shay sat there mulling over everything in his mind. A man is murdered; the door is bolted shut from the inside; string is found by the door... An idea came to him.
"Sampson, go back to Mr. Neely's place."
"Which one?" Sampson asked.
"James Neely's apartment. But before we go, do we have any string anywhere in the car?" O’Shay scoured the seats and glove compartment, while Sampson scanned under and to the sides of his seat.
"Didn't find anything." Sampson said.
"Me neither. Maybe we’ll find some at Mr. Neely's apartment.
They arrived at the building. O’Shay seemed pumped up, as if he hit on a major deal going down. Once inside the apartment, O’Shay searched for a piece of string, anything. He found a piece of floss in the bathroom drawer and took it to the door. He crouched down, opened the container of floss and looped the string around the bolt and brought both ends around the door to the other side. He then pulled on both sides, which made the bolt slide. The next thing that happened was eureka for O’Shay. The door turned and locked. O’Shay and Sampson stared at it.
"I can't believe it. The murderer used a piece of gardening string to bolt the door from the inside. He must have stood right here," O’Shay said as he looked down,     "looped the string around the knobby part of the bolt, and then holding the two ends of the string took it around the door and closed the door. He then pulled the two ends. The bolt slid across, bolting the door." 
"How did you figure that out?" Sampson asked O’Shay.
"Back at the academy, we were taught about rope and how it could be used to not only tie something, but to slide through things, if it was tight enough. Also, when burglars get into a house, they use this technique to bolt the door, so as to go undetected. Gardner’s string is strong, but who uses it and who would want to kill James Neely?" 
"Whoever killed Mr. Neely was mighty clever," Sampson said. O’Shay let out a deep breath and nodded. 
He got up and went to the window. "The windows were locked already, before the murderer came in. They bolted the door from the inside to make it look like no one had been in there and would think that he committed suicide," O’Shay said.
"Right. Now comes the hard part: who killed James Neely?


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