"Has anybody here seen Carlos?" said Mark as he made his way across desks in New York police department’s headquarters."I've been looking for him for more than an hour now!"
"He went out again," answered one of the police officers, "He was in a hurry this time; I guess that's why he didn't ask for your permission sir."
"I want him back here immediately!" replied Mark angrily, "I need to have a word with him about our new case."
Then, he went back to his office and slammed the door aggressively behind his back. Mark Fober was a short yet very intimidating man, middle aged, always wearing the finest suites he could get his hands on. He was the chief of department of NYPD. He sat in his desk, made a few calls, and then waited impatiently for Carlos Kunet to show up. After a while, a good looking young man entered Mark's office calmly.
"I heard you were looking for me sir." He said.
"Here you are finally!" said Mark in a sarcastic manner. "I'm extremely sorry about interrupting your wonderful day, you look a bit worn out by all the going out you seemed to be doing lately, come and take a seat in your desk ‘sir’! Oh, wait a minute; it's not your desk it's mine! Because I'm the chief of department of this goddamn police station not you! That's why; you are not allowed to do the slightest move without my permission! This is your dead last warning, is that understood?" "-Yes sir." replied Carlos.
"Now, the reason why I was looking for you is that we have a new case, and rather an important one actually, are you familiar with a business man named David Shawn?"
"Yes, he is the rich man who owns almost all of the hotels in the east side of the city, everybody knows him."
"He was found dead in his mansion this morning, and everything about this crime indicates that it's a suicide, however the victim's wife Mrs. Sandy Shawn refuses to believe so, that's why she personally asked our department to take charge of the investigation and ... precisely you, Carlos" Carlos looked a bit surprised.
"Don't give me that look; you know you've became quite famous since the Robinsons' case. You solved it in a short amount of time during which you've shown great intelligence and outstanding efficiency in solving crimes despite your young age. That's why I'm putting you in charge of this case. So get to work ... NOW!"
Carlos didn't say a word; he just nodded and left the office as calmly as he came in.
He was not very talkative. This created him many problems, back in high school. He wasn't a child prodigy, but he wasn't stupid either. He skipped a number of classes and end up graduating at the age of fifteen year old. He became a detective a few years after that, and made a huge success in the very first case he ever took: The Robinsons' case.
Carlos went out of the police station, got into his 1967 Ford Mustang and drove off. It was a rainy cold day of December. He arrived to the victim's mansion half an hour later. There were policemen and journalists everywhere. He pulled over in front of the house and went inside. At the crime scene, he saw Mr. Shawn lying dead on a sofa inside his luxurious office holding a gun in his right hand, and a bullet hole was in his forehead. Carlos examined the body carefully then he took a look at the victim's desk. He smiled. At that moment, Mrs. Shawn got into the room. "Anything funny detective?" she asked.
"No, not at all, Mrs. Sandy Shawn I presume?" responded Carlos.
"Yes that would be me."
"Pleasure to meet you, Madame, I'm detective Carlos Kunet, I'm so sorry for your loss"
She glanced at him sharply when he said those words. She was a tall skinny and very beautiful blond, who seemed to be very gloomy and depressed. She let a cigarette and then answered him: "Let's just skip the small talk shall we? I'll go straight to the point: can you or can you not prove that my husband didn't suicide and catch his killer?"
"How can you be so sure that he didn't kill himself?"
"He isn't brave enough to do that, plus he loved life and he enjoyed every second he was spending with all the other women he was going out with behind my back ... well, at least he thought so."
"Mrs. Shawn, did you love your husband?"
"Of course I did, in the beginning. He was such a gentleman and treated me like his one and only. But a few years after our marriage, he started ignoring me and always had a bad temper when I'm around. Then I figured out that he was cheating on me ... that bastard ..." Words choked in her throat, so she smoked her cigarette and turned facing the window.
"May I ask you ma'am, why are you interested in catching you husband's killer?" asked Carlos.
"I don't care about who killed him," said Sandy, "I just want to know his motive, because in case if it was money - and it probably is - I want to get that money back. I just want to get every
single last dime of David Shawn's fortune. I was the one who had to take him all these years, so I
guess that's at least what I deserve."
"Okay, I see ... are there any security cameras in this room?" "Yes, there is a couple."
"Why haven't you told me earlier? Can I take a look at the footage?" "Follow me."
Mrs. Shawn led him to a small room in the end of a long corridor. There was a big flat screen showing different parts of the house. Mrs. Shawn took a DVD out of the desk's drawer and put it in the DVD player. Instantly, a video started playing. It showed Mr. Shawn get in his room, sit
on the leather couch, and take a small gun out of his pocket. He shot himself, and it was all recorded by the cameras.
"Are you still insisting that your husband's death wasn't a suicide?" questioned Kunet.
"Yes" answered Mrs. Shawn with a firm tone in her voice, “I don't know how, but the killer must have missed with the security cameras or something."
"Did your husband used to see a shrink?"
"No, not as I know of."
"I would like to have a copy of the security camera's footage please, and that's all, thank you for your time Mrs. Shawn. I'll make sure to inform you personally if there was any breakthrough in the case." said Carlos. After that, he got out of the house, and got into his car. He called Mark and insisted to meet him as soon as possible, because he had important news to share with him about the case. Mark agreed to meet him right away at a nearby café.
When Carlos arrived, Mark was sitting with a gorgeous brunette. She looked twenty two years old, had big brown eyes and short perfectly curled hair. She was Gabriella, Mark's new wife. Carlos saluted them both then sat facing them across the round table. He said: "I have valuable information to share with you, sir."
"Well, go on I'm all ears." responded Mark. Carlos glanced at Gabriella; she quickly understood and excused herself to the bathroom.
"Today I went to the crime scene," began Carlos, "What captured my attention is that Mr. Shawn was very well dressed and clean shaved, not like what you would expect from a man who
planned to kill himself that very day. The shot was clearly a close one because of the burning
marks in his forehead; what is more, there was a thin layer of dust on his desk, unlike what a
busy business man's desk would have. Which means that he hasn't used that desk for a while now, and that could only mean one thing: he hates spending time in his house because of a personality disorder, and with time it made him very anxious yet he always managed to hide that thanks to
an anti-anxiety drug - and blood tests confirms what I just said. He was an addict, and addiction is a sign of weakness. So I assumed that it's impossible for that kind of man him kill himself like that, until..."
"Until what?" questioned Mark, listening attentively to every word Carlos was saying.
"Until I saw the security camera's footage" replied Carlos “It recorded Mr. Shawn when he shot himself. That confused me for a moment, but after watching the video several times, I noticed that his movements were following a certain pattern; just like if he was programmed to do every single move, that's what brought me to this conclusion: he was hypnotized"
Mark looked at him sarcastically and said: "Are you seriously suggesting that our killer is some sort of a magician?"
“A mentalist, actually,” said Carlos, “and trust me sir, you shouldn't underestimate mentalism. I
have taken a few courses in this subject myself, so I know that in order to be hypnotized, you should feel comfortable and relaxed, which means the person who hypnotized Mr. Shawn is someone he knew and trust. And it's more likely to be a woman.”
"You mean his wife Sandy?"
"No, I've spoken to her, she couldn't commit this crime because she isn't as smart or as patient as this murder requires. I think it's one of the girls he's been going out with."
"Are you sure about what are you saying right now?" "Absolutely."
"Then I'm not going to even argue with you about it, just go and do whatever you need to do to get me the real killer. All members of the police station are in your service, but you need to inform me before any arrest, is that clear?"
"Cristal clear sir" said Carlos before he got up and went out of the café.
The very first case he took was an easy one, in compare to this one now. It was about a woman's murder, Mrs. Robinson. Carlos proved that her husband killed her, so, Mr. Robinson was sent to prison for 20 years, and their kids were sent to foster care. He was very touched by this case, because he went through the same suffering as those poor kids when he was a little boy. His father killed his baby sister in the hospital just a few days after her birth, by chocking her with a pillow. He denied that for quite a long time saying that she was already dead by the time he got there. Eventually, he confessed in front of NYPD that he did. He had a lifetime sentence in one of the state's worst prisons. He was brutally tortured and killed there two months later.
Carlos drove his mustang to a pharmacy near Mr. Shawn's home; he entered it quietly and then questioned the pharmacist: "Excuse me; I need an anti-anxiety drug please."
"Sorry son", answered the pharmacist, “You need a prescription to get that kind of medicine." "Oh, okay then, can you be so kind as to tell me where I can get one, I recently moved to this city and I have no idea where to go."
"Sure, you should go to a psychiatrist, and, I personally recommend Dr. Simon, he is the best one in the city."
"Thank you so much, sir, see you later."
Carlos got out of the pharmacy looking satisfied. He went straight to Dr. Simon's surgery and, he asked to see him for an urgent manner.
Carlos got into the doctor's office. He was an old fellow who gives a weird feeling of comfort
and positive energy to the people around him. He greeted him dryly and invited him to sit down. "I'm Detective Carlos Kunet," started Carlos "I'm in charge of the investigation of Mr. Shawn's murder."
"Pleasure to meet you son, I would never guess that you are a detective considering your young age." responded Dr. Simon, "Although I can't exactly work out why you've come to see me about that."
"I know he was one of your patients, sir." "And how can you be so sure?"
"Researches have shown that humans tend to unconsciously trust each other's opinion, so when they have to decide to which doctor they should go to for instance, they choose a popular one, and Mr. Shawn wasn't creative nor adventurer, so he was no exception, and since you are the most popular doctor in the area, it's quite obvious that he came to you."
"You must know that I'm not allowed to tell you anything about anyone of my patients."
"I'm very aware of that, I'm here to ask you if he ever showed up with someone else, a woman perhaps."
"No, he always came alone."
"I know that you have a therapy program that required patients to bring a dear object of their belonging to your hearing sessions, and I would be so thankful if you let me see Mr. Shawn's." "Of course I will, after you bring a judge’s warrant!"
Carlos didn't say a word. He just picked up his phone and made a call. A few minutes later, a police officer arrived with a letter in his hand that he delivered to the detective.
"Here's your warrant, now where do you keep these objects?" said Carlos.
Dr. Simon looked amazed, he opened a drawer in his desk and picked up a small box and handed it to Carlos.
"Where is the key of this lock? I need to see what's inside." replied Carlos.
"Mr. Shawn kept it. No one is allowed to see the object that the patient keeps, not even me." said the doctor.
"Oh, in that case, thanks for your time sir."
Carlos called Mark. He told him about his new lead, and that he was on his way to the police station. Carlos arrived there in no time. He was walking towards the elevator and checking Mr. Shawn's box in his hand when suddenly; a silver Porsche crashed into the building and speeded towards Carlos. He quickly jumped away trying to avoid it, but he fell on one of the desks on the way down. He passed out.
Carlos woke up in a hospital. He asked the nurse to call Mark's office for him. Mark came to the hospital as quickly as possible.
"What happened?" asked Carlos who was looking very confused.
"A silver Porsche 918 Spider crashed into NYPD's headquarters, and it almost hit you," replied Mark "and that's not even the surprising part because you will never guess who was driving it." "Who was?"
"Arian Landay, the famous pop singer! He was killed immediately because of the shock. We
believe that he's lost control of the car because he was driving it incredibly fast, and ended up running into the building."
"Are you even listening to yourself? Lost control in a Porsche 918? That’s absurd! I don't care how terrible of a driver he was, that car grips like hell, because it has four wheel drive and all wheel steering for god sake! Not mentioning the complicated electronic system that adjusts the amount of power sent to each wheel separately. Also, don't you find it a bit suspicious that someone drives his near-million dollar super car so carelessly that he crashed it into a police station? There's something you are missing here, don't you think sir?"
"This is not your case, you understand me? So I suggest you focus more on yours because It's
been four days now and we have nothing on Mr. Shawn's killer no clues, no suspects, nothing!" "What about the box that Mr. Shawn kept? I remember holding it before the accident."
"It's probably still there back at the station, but it's going to be hard to find it because the place is a mess."
Carlos got off his bed and started putting on his clothes.
"You're supposed to stay in the hospital one more day." said Mark.
"Don't worry sir, I'll be better once I find out what's in that box." responded Carlos.
At the police station, Carlos and Mark searched all day long for that box in the rubble without results. They decided to take a look at the security camera's footage, to see if someone has taken it while they were in the hospital, however, there were too many people in the station at that time there so none of them could see a thing.
"Now I am sure that the two crimes are connected." said Carlos finally.
"I can't agree with you more, but I know that no one else is going to believe us. Landay's case is already closed, so if we want to investigate it, we should do it secretly." replied Mark.
"This killer is incredibly smart, so we should be very careful, and no one else can know about
this, sir, okay?"
"Of course, now what are we going to do?"
"I need you to go and find something that Mr. Shawn and Arian Landay had in common, whether it is a club, a restaurant they go to or anything else like that. And I will go to the paparazzi and
see what I can find out about that pop singer. We will meet again here at six o'clock."
Carlos drove his mustang to the head office of the biggest scandals magazine in the city. He presented himself to the chief editor as Adam, a bounty hunter, and offered him 500 dollars in exchange of information about Landay's personal life. The chief editor hesitated for a moment, and then agreed. He gave him some pictures of the pop singer with a beautiful brunette, but they couldn't see her face because it was taken in a restaurant where they were sitting opposite each other and the photographer focused on capturing Landay's face. The woman in the picture reminded him of someone but he didn't seem to recall exactly who. At that moment he got a call from Mark. He told him that they won't meet in the police station anymore because it's flooded with journalists and paparazzi; instead he invited him for dinner at his house.
Carlos arrived there at precisely 6 o'clock, he pulled over in the driveway, and stopped for a minute admiring Mark's beautiful house, before he got out of the car and rang the bell. Gabriella opened the door for him, and then she politely invited him in. He stared at her with a slight shock expression marking his face, however, he quickly managed to hide it with a gentle smile and a few greeting words.
Gabriella led him to the living room where Mark was sitting quietly and watching TV.
Okay! Now you have to guess who the killer is, then continue reading to know if you got it right. Good luck!
PS: you might want to write down your guess.
"Hey man, welcome to my modest house." said Mark cheerfully. "Thank you" answered Carlos, "so, what did you find?"
"I don't really want to talk about that now, let's go have dinner first." replied Mark.
They went to the dining room, and there, they found Gabriella setting the table for dinner. The three of them sat down and had dinner, in a quiet and a bit awkward ambiance. After that meal came to an end, Mark and Carlos went back to the living room.
"What have you got to tell me about the case Mark?" started Carlos.
"Well, the first idea that popped into my head was to track Mr. Shawn and Mr. Landay's movements just a few days before there death, by the GPS of their mobile phones, in order to see if they both attended the same place at some point, however that didn't give me any useful information, so I started looking for all clubs that each one of them was part of, and then I
figured out that they are in the same golf club. And when I went there to get more information on the subject, I was surprised to find that my wife works there! She has never brought that up
before even if she knew I was working on this case. When I asked her why she didn't tell me, she said that that golf club is very private, and that none of its staff had the right to say anything
about its members to anyone. What a relief I felt after I heard her explanation! I was very confused before that."
"Very interesting indeed, by the way, do you know to which college your wife went to?" said
"Of course I do, she attended Adler School of professional Psychology." answered Mark. "Exactly, and did you know that it offered hypnotism courses in its psychology program? What is more, according to the School, Gabriella has taken those courses, and he did quite well at hypnotism ever since."
"Wait, how do you know that?" asked Mark looking very puzzled.
"You know sir, I consider you a very dear friend of mine, that's why I'm going to tell you first, that ... I believe Gabriella is the killer." said Carlos.
"What? Are you kidding me? You can't be seriously accusing my wife of two murders just because she took some psychology courses back in the University!"
"I'm afraid that's not all sir, the paparazzi took a picture of her dinning with Landay just a few days before the accident, here it is." Carlos handed Mark a picture that he kept in his pocket. Mark was so frightened and shocked that he couldn't say a word.
"I know that you can't see her face here, but I'm pretty sure that's her." said Carlos. Mark dropped the picture and sat on a chair behind him holding his head.
"That still doesn't prove anything." he said suddenly with a desperate tone in his voice.
"You are right, that isn't a hard evidence, but I'm sure we will find Mr. Shawn's box somewhere in this house. I mean think about it, the safest place to hide such evidence is in the chief of department’s house, since it's the last place the police will ever think to search." declared Carlos, "And, please, we should try to find it without making her suspect anything, okay?" "How do you want me to act normally around her after all what you have told me?"
"Just go upstairs, pretend that you are having a shower and search in your bedroom and
bathroom, I'll take a look in the garage and the garden, maybe the kitchen as well."
"I can't do this, man!" cried Mark. “We were married less than two months now, she is my new wife for god sake."
"Get yourself together, Mark, if you can't do this I'll just call someone from the office to help me."
"No... I don't want anyone else to know about this until we make sure she is guilty." affirmed
Mark, "I'll do it myself."
Carlos pretended to be leaving and went to the garage, while Mark went upstairs in a hurry, without saying a word to Gabriella - who was cleaning the dishes in the kitchen, and started looking in their bedroom. He went straight to her underwear drawer, and with almost no effort at all, he's found the box. He collapsed on the floor crying like a baby. After a while, he got himself together and went downstairs. However, he couldn't find Gabriella. Carlos came in shortly after. "I didn't find anything in the garage or the garden, what about you?" he asked.
"Neither did I," answered Mark "I searched the entire first floor and I didn't find it." Carlos went to take a look in the kitchen.
"Where the heck is Gabriella?"
"I have no idea, she must have somehow figured out that we knew about her and she ran away." announced Mark.
"Okay, I'll call back up right now, we shouldn't let her get away with this." said Carlos getting his phone out of his pocket.
"Please don't!" shouted Mark "don't tell them, please Carlos, in the name of the friendship we
have, don't make that call"
"What? She is a killer! She might hurt other people." "Wait at least until morning, then go after her, I beg you"
"I don't know what to say... okay I'll wait, however, tomorrow the first thing in the morning, I will make a warrant of her arrest, ... I'm genuinely sorry for all of this , sir" replied Carlos before leaving the house.
The following morning, Carlos went to work very early. And, unusually for that time of the day, he found the police station full of police officers and journalists. He went inside and asked a policeman there what was happening.
"The chief of department, Mark Fober, confessed that he was the murderer of Mr. David Shawn. His neighbors heard him, at about two o'clock this morning, shouting in the middle of the street that he killed Mr. Shawn, so they called us, and when we arrived there we've found him extremely drunk, and he just couldn't stop saying that he killed Mr. Shawn."
"Oh my god, all of this happened and no one thought about giving me a call? Where is he now?" "He is downstairs locked up in a cell, and sir, we have found in his pocket this box." The policeman got a small locked box out of his pocket and handed it to Carlos. "Mark claims that it belonged to Mr. Shawn."
"Thank you officer, for your hard work." said Carlos.
He went to his office, made a quick phone call, and then he went downstairs to see Mark. "Why did you do that Mark?" questioned Carlos.
"I just couldn't bear to see Gabriella go to prison." expressed Mark "I know that this sounds stupid to you but, I loved her. I don't care about what she did; I will always protect her no matter what were the consequences."
"How does it feel?" said Carlos dryly and with a malicious look on his face. "What are talking about?"
"How does it feel to have someone made you confess a murder you haven't committed?" Mark didn't say a word he just stared like a crazy to Carlos who was smiling at him.
“Ten years ago, you have made a man confess that he killed his own daughter even if you knew he was innocent. That poor girl died because of the hospital's carelessness, and you idiot covered for them!" shouted Carlos.
"Did you ... did you set me up? My Gabriella is innocent?" said Mark finally.
"Your Gabriella works for me; I thought you would figure that by now because there is no way a beautiful woman like her, would accept to marry an old man like you if she wasn't getting paid for that! She was just my way to make you confess, and yes, I did set you up, I am the mastermind behind both those murders."
"You can be surprised with what a man can do by mentalism." "How can you live with yourself after what you did?"
"You mean the two murders? David Shawn was nothing more than a scum bag who was cheating
on his wife and destroying poor people's houses and homeless’ shelters to build his fancy five stars hotels, and that Landay guy wasn't any better than him you can take my word for that!" "You won't get away with this"
"Is that so? What are you going to do? Tell them that I hypnotized two well known men to
killing themselves in order to make you confess that you're the killer? Come on Mark! They already think that you are a psycho, and besides, I've told the DA about your confession - which was recorded by the way - , and they found Mr. Shawn's box in your pocket. What is more, when the police officers will search your house, they will find the 'real' security camera footage that shows you clearly shooting Mr. Shawn in his office, technology what can I say!"
"I can't believe I was out witted by a kid!"
"Not just any kid, I am Carlos Kunet, and I just made you taste of your own medicine. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go hunt down your fellow cops who helped imprisoning my father, have a nice time in prison asshole!" said Carlos as he turned around and left the station.