Tuesday, July 14, 2009

An Attack of Gas

"Poison gas," the inspector said when her arrived on the scene.  An empty glass container on the table was the primary evidence.

"Pour one chemical on another."  He pointed to the dead flies on the windowsill at the east end of the room and then at the dead cat on the floor.  "In less than a minute everything in the room would be dead."

The body had been discovered by Espy's son (Gerald Espy being the deceased), Melvin. 

"I was out with some friends on my boat.   I dropped them off at about midnight, then motored back.  There were no lights on at the house, but every now and then the moon would peek through.  I figured Dad was asleep.  So I locked up the house and went straight to bed.  This morning, I went to check up.  He was dead."

The last person to admit to seeing Gerald Espy alive was his business partner, Frank Townley. 

"Frank came in here around midnight," the tavern owner testified.  "He and Espy weren't getting along.  Business was bad and they were both threatening lawsuits.  Frank drank down a slew of scotches.  He told me had just been over to Espy's.  When it came closing time, Frank was dead drunk and asleep.  I just locked up and left him there.  He was still asleep at noon-time when I opened up."

"When I left Gerald's house last night, he was alive," the hung-over Townly said.  "Check the time of death."

"I don't have to check the time of death," the inspector said.  "I have a pretty good idea when it was done and who did it."

Do you know who did it?  Let us know in the comments.


  1. Alright:

    So, the Epsy was killed when two cemicals were poured one atop the other--and yet, if someone else had poured them, that someone presumably would have died as well.

    The "primary evidence" was a "glass container" on the table--so I believe that the weapon was a spurious scotch on the rocks. Townley left the pseudo-scotch and rocks with Epsy when he took his leave; and Epsy poured them out himself later, to his great misfortune. This explains Townley's eagerness to discover the delayed time of death he doutbless correctly predicted.

  2. This one is pretty subtle. The flies who were bunched up on the windowsill indicate the sun was coming up in the east, attracting them to the light. That puts the time of death in the early morning. That means the son was the only one who could have done it, since his business partner was locked into the bar.


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