First off, I find it odd that while it seems that the action is placed in Chicago, I can't actually find a Peele street (or boulevard or avenue etc.) on the city map.
Additionally, it seems to me like the "red markings" are a red herring of sorts. Given that the body is found at the intersection of Peele and Main there are two main options:
- Either the deceased was not strangled on spot, strangling someone
takes a good while and we're talking about doing it next to the Main
street of a large city. It's possible the markings are a result of,
say, bedtime activities or something similar.
- Or the murder itself took place elsewhere and the body was later moved. This raises the question of why would anyone move a body someplace where it's very likely to be noticed very fast (again, Main street). This could be an option if the killing was meant to send a message (for example, a hired hit), but the messiness of the situation leads me to consider that option less. It's also possible that the body was moved to a public location as a means of humiliation.
Next up, the note. This, again, seems to be a red herring. Leaving aside the contents of the note for a moment, leaving a note would mean the murder was preplanned. However, why would you plan to murder someone on a busy street, there are plenty of better options?
Therefore, either the murder wasn't planned (and the note is a herring) or the body was moved after the murder took place.
Exploring the option of a moved body further, it's possible that the victim was tortured before being killed. At the scene of crime, the only notes of blood are some drops (poodle's blood) which is an awful little for a body with both knife and gun wounds.
From this perspective, it seems likely that the body was moved after the murder had taken place.
Exploring the note itself: "He Deserved It! 1H8H1M"
Firstly, there's an exclamation mark used on the first sentence, but no punctuation on the second half. Hate is generally a very strong emotion and using softer language for that seems off.
This leads me to believe that the second part of the note means something else (not "I hate you"). Others have pointed out it would fit a license plate, but I'm not that familiar with the US system.
If we delve in the math side of things for a moment, 1H8H1M is:
13,723,246 in base 15
23,553,310 in base 27
38,301,352 in base 30
89,414,986 in base 36
None of these seem to reference the rest of the case so I'm considering these irrelevant for the time being.
From the above conflicting nature of the note, it seems reasonable that the note is either: a red herring (unrelated to the case) or a plant (distraction by the murderer).
Analyzing the scene of the crime further we can note that "the knife was clean like it was brand new straight from the box". The knife is in mint condition. This seems to indicate that the knife is not related to the actual killing of the victim itself. It is unspecified whether the blade's shape matches the wounds of the deceased, but using two identical knives isn't out of the question.
This seems to further support the idea, that the body was moved to the scene after the actual murder.
- Either the knife was carried by the deceased, but for some reason the deceased was unable to use it in self defense. This makes sense only if the murder wasn't preplanned.
- Or the knife was not carried by the deceased. That is, someone else related to the murder, possibly the murderer.
So for a timeout recap:
- Either this was not a preplanned murder and everything that could go wrong seems to have gone wrong.
- Or this was a preplanned murder and the body was later moved to the place of discovery.
Coming back to the body of the deceased, namely the gun wounds: there are two of them, both in the left hip. The location of the wounds is crucial. Let's consider two options:
- Either the gun originally belonged to the deceased: regardless of the usual pistol holster types, none of them are positioned in a way that shooting oneself in the hip with the pistol still in the holster is possible. This means the gun should have been drawn.
- Or the gun was originally in the hands of someone else. Landing one shot in a hip can be accidental, but getting two shots in someone's hip means that either the target was not moving, the shots were made at very close quarters, or both.
If the gun belonged (at least at first) to the deceased if a struggle ensued, gunshots would likely follow, even if not hitting anyone (right away). This would surely catch attention (on Main street) and wouldn't leave enough time for the rest of the actions to take place without any witnesses. The gun could have been silenced, but that would only seem reasonable if the other party was carrying the gun, as most every-day carries (police and alike) are not silenced (unless the deceased was in fact planning to kill someone himself).
Therefore the gun seems to have belonged to some other party, however, since there are neither bullet casings nor blood splatters at the scene of the crime, we seem to again arrive at the possibility that the body was moved after the murder. Additionally, if you have a gun and wanted to kill someone, you wouldn't aim for their hip.
So for a second recap:
Currently the most likely option seems to be that the body was moved after the actual murder took place. It seems like the gun wounds are made with the intent of making the deceased unable to move quickly or simply inflicting pain, rather than trying to kill them, since those wounds alone don't seem lethal.
I'll edit this post with more analysis once I have any further thoughts.
Coming to the suspects, namely the homeless man: "I did no murder. I asking for money for food. Hungry, haven't eat couple days."
I think these words are vital. Namely, this leads me to believe the homeless man is in fact either a witness or was close to the scene of the actual murder before it took place. I interpret his words for the time being as "I didn't kill the deceased, I was simply asking him (or someone near him) for money."
Now let's come back to what the twenty-something white man was doing when the murder was reported (note that this is always later than the actual murder taking place): getting some money from the bank.
Most humans can survive quite a while without eating anything (see this article, for example), however not eating anything for a couple of days is generally a great discomfort and it's not far fetched to say one might do things of questionable legality to get money for food in that situation, especially if one's been on rough times for a while (our homeless man is described as "wearing very battered clothing, with long greasy hair and a full beard"). However, I don't think the homeless man was our murderer, as he was described as skinny and unfed.
Instead, I propose the twenty-something white man had made an agreement with the homeless man for some services in exchange of money, for example, moving a body out of a small alley into the street and dumping some random misleading clues next to it to cover his trails. He was getting money from the bank because he had just given what ever cash he had on hand to the homeless man.
Therefore, a third recap:
The white twenty-something man was the murderer. The victim was killed (and possibly tortured prior) somewhere else and the body was later brought near the scene of the discovery. The homeless man was paid to move the body and dump some misleading evidence near the scene to create confusion (as none of the clues reasonably add up).
However, I don't think the case is still finished at this point. We still haven't covered one suspect: the tall blonde woman.
Following the day of the murder she was dressed up to celebrate: "wearing a fancy dress and jewelry like she was going on a date or to a party". While this could be a meaningless fact (a random preplanned event), I don't think this is the case.
During the dumping of the body she goes for a jog nearby to keep an eye on things. People are bad waiters and no one wants to wait blindly. Since she lives nearby it's not a bad alibi for her to be jogging.
The twenty-something man and the woman might have a love affair or other joint interests that lead to the murder and are looking to celebrate the day after the dumping of the body.
Further update to follow.
What's a clue in and of itself is the fact that we have suspects. When picking suspects, police doesn't pick random people off the street, they bring people who are related to the case. And while we're not given the details of why each of our suspects is one, it inevitably leads to the following:
All of our suspects are either related to the deceased somehow or linked with the scene of the discovery somehow.
Starting off with the homeless man, since most homeless people have generally abandoned or lost connections with people close to them it's more likely he's linked with the scene of the discovery. The most obvious link being he was likely seen nearby sometime near the discovery of the body.
Both the twenty-something man and the blonde woman likely have a relation to the deceased somehow, how else would police know to pick up a random jogger and a guy from the bank?
All this together brings me to my final recap:
The white twenty-something man and the blonde woman planned the
murder. They had some sort of a united goal that the deceased was in
the way of (love, money etc.). The victim was killed (and possibly
tortured prior) somewhere else and the body was later brought near the
scene of the discovery. The homeless man was paid to move the body and
dump some misleading evidence near the scene to create confusion (as
none of the clues reasonably add up).
There is no victim's blood at the scene because the body was moved.
The knife is clean because it wasn't used. The poodle's blood is in
circular drops because it was planted manually.
The woman was jogging nearby to keep an eye on things, no one likes
waiting nervously. The man was getting money from the bank because he
had just paid the homeless man to drop the body and needed some for