"Take her away!" commands the police officer, as two other officers handcuff the blonde woman. "Good work, Detective! I can see why you were named the number one detective. Keep up the great work!". You stand there trying to be mature about it, but deep down you are overwhelmed by the comment, which makes you very happy.

You then remember that after every crime you must write a detailed report and send it to your superiors, so you head back to your office. As you arrive at your building, you park in the designated parking spot, get out of your car and lock it. As you head to the building's front door, you look up to see that there are dark clouds approaching. "Seems like we're gonna have a storm tonight," you say as you enter through the front door.

You head to your office, sit down on your chair, and start writing a report of what happened. You reach into one of your drawers to get a stapler, when you notice a file you have not seen. You open the file to see that this file belonged to a murder case from years ago. You see that the victim's name was Ling O, and she was brutally murdered. They caught the murderer; her name is Bella B. She tortured Ling for several days before police found out. The murder case was solved by a detective named Randy White.

"That name sounds familiar," you think to yourself, and then it hits you: Randy is a detective in the same department as you. "He might have misplaced this file by accident; I will just place it back in the vault with the others," you think to yourself.

As you finish your report, you realise that it is almost time for you to head home. Since this was your first crime solved in Chicago, you decide to celebrate by going to the new bakery not too far from your house. You look out your office window to see that the dark clouds have taken over the earlier sunny day, but you don't think much of it.

You start driving to the new bakery shop, but all of a sudden you get violently cut off. You swerve out of control, but manage to stop safely and don't crash. You look up to see that the other car is also stopped right in front of you. Through the driver's window you see a man with shaggy brown hair, a small nose, and big ears. You give a big sigh. "Not again!"

You see the man get out of his car and walk towards you. You get out of your car as well. Just as you're about to ask if he is OK, the man starts yelling at you: "LEARN HOW TO DRI...." he pauses. "Hey, I know you! you're the one who put my sister in jail! She's innocent!"

The man slowly approaches you; you can tell that he is getting more and more angry. "You put the wrong person in jail! Do you know what you have done to my family? DO YOU?" yells the man. As he is about to get physical, two police officers get between the two of you and separate you. The man is arguing with one of the officers, and does not seem to be calming down.

"Good thing we were patrolling around the neighbourhood; it could have ended badly," says the officer next to you. As you are walking back to your car, the man calls out your name. "YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE LAST OF ME! I WILL GET REVENGE FOR MY SISTER, YOU HEAR ME?".

You take a deep breath and get back in your car. You finally arrive at the bakery and sit down at one of the tables. "Welcome to Niki's Bakery, how may I help you?" says the waitress as she approaches you. You take a look at the menu and choose a couple of snacks. "Ok, I'll be right back with your food," she says. You notice that she is wearing the bakery's uniform, has blonde hair, is very beautiful, and has a name tag that says "Heather".

As you wait, you look around the bakery. In one corner you see a TV, and the news is on. "BREAKING NEWS! An unknown person has left a note at the front door of the police station. Its contents seem to be addressed to the new head detective of Chicago. The letter says, and I quote, 'To the Chicago detective department: I have killed someone, and the body is located somewhere in RuffNear Park. I challenge the head detective to find me. For everyday that you do not find me, I will kill someone else. I wish you the best of luck, because you will never find me! I am invisible like objects in a December storm; you will not see me coming! My story will go down in history! Better watch out for the children, because they will remember this story forever!' End quote. The police are warning citizens to report any suspicious activities, and...."

The TV goes blank, and all you see is the word "Reconnecting...", and then you hear a loud noise: BOOM! You look outside the bakery's window to see that it is raining heavily outside, with thunder and lightning striking every so often. "It seems like the weather has affected the reception," you think to yourself.

"Here's your food," says the waitress. You ask her if you cam take it to go instead. You call the police department, and one of the police officers picks up. "Good afternoon, don't worry about the message and the body; we have already dispatched a group of search teams to search for the body. We will contact you again when we find it." The officer ends the call.

You decide to head home to get some rest. The next morning, you receive a call: RING RING RING RING. You pick up the phone. "Good morning. I would like to let you know that we have found the body. Please come to RuffNear Park by the washroom ASAP." The call ends. You quickly drive over to the location given by the officer. When you arrive, the forensics team is already at work taking pictures and discussing the matter. You take a look at the body. There do not seem to be any kind of knife or gunshot wounds. You notice that the body is lying down as if asleep. The victim has blonde hair, blue eyes, and is skinny. He still had everything with him: his wallet, his cell phone, and his keys; nothing seems to be missing. Checking his wallet shows that the victim is around 5' 1" in height, and his name is Alex T.

You do not see any small yellow cones with numbering around, so you ask one of the officers.

"Nothing seemed to be left behind; the only clue we have is this cloth on top of the victim's face." The officer shows you a ziplock bag with the cloth inside. You take a closer look at the body and find a small puncture hole in the victim's right arm. "It rained pretty heavily last night, it might have washed away some clues and evidence. We are going to bring the body and the cloth back to the forensics lab to more analysis," one of the detectives says. With that, you make your way back to your office.

Soon after, you receive a call from the forensic scientist telling you to head over to the forensics lab for more details on the victim. When you arrive, he says, "Glad you could make it so soon. The victim did not have any foreign fingerprints on him, nor any foreign hair on his clothing. The small hole in his right arm seems to have come from something sharp, like a needle. The cause of death is a very toxic and deadly poison."

You stand there and ponder things for a minute. You call the police station asking if they have found any suspects yet, but none have came up. You know that time is running out before the day ends and the next victim is killed.

With no leads, you head back to RuffNear Park where the body was found. As you arrive, you try to search for any clues that might have been missed by the other police and detectives. You search for hours but find nothing.

You look at the time on your wrist watch; it says 8:32 p.m. It has been more 24 hours since the arrival of the note received by the police, and there have not been any reports of another dead body, so you decide to head home to get some rest. You arrive home, change out of your clothes, go to bed, and close your eyes.

You wake up to a loud sound: "RING RING RING RING RING!" You look at your alarm clock, which reads 6:15 a.m. You pick up the phone.

"Sorry to disturb you so early, but we just got a report of another body found." You ask for the location, and the officer directs you to it.

You arrive at the scene, and, like every other case, you see police and detectives everywhere and a yellow police line around the area, but no yellow cones. You walk up to the body, and, just as you feared, you notice no signs of physical injury on the body; no gunshots, no knife wound, nothing. You check the victim's right arm to find that there is a small puncture hole. "It must be him," you mutter to yourself. You check the victim's wallet, her name is Patricia G., 5' 2" in height. You stand there pondering, trying to find a relation between the first victim and the second victim, but you can't think of any.

The murder case goes on for another four days, and for each day another person is murdered. On the third day, it is a 34-year-old male, Peter L., 5' 2" in height. On the fourth day, a 12-year-old male named Leo E., 4' 9". On the fifth day, a 68-year-old female, Elsa D., 5' 2". The pattern seems to continue, until the sixth day. On the sixth day, another person has been murdered, but this time there is no wallet found on the victim's body, and the same for the seventh day. Forensic scientists confirm that all of the victims died from the same deadly poison in the right arm.

Just when you thought the case couldn't get any weirder, the murders stop after the seventh day. For the next 2 days, there are no reports of any dead bodies, no murders, no notes, nothing. On the tenth day, you receive a call. "We have found some suspects; come down to the police department pronto." The person on the other end of the phone hangs up.

You rush over to the police department. When you arrive you notice that they have a lineup of four suspects. "I hope we can get any new information soon; we are out of ideas," says one of the officers. You noticed that he looks to be a bit out of breath, his eyes looking here and there. You look at the ID badge pinned to the left side of his chest; it says "ID: 7777777 Officer: George Snoe". You ask him if everything is OK. "Yeah I'm OK; I'm just not in the best of shape like I used to be," he replies.

You don't think much of it after that, so you start interrogating each of the suspects. The first suspect is a 25-year-old female, beautiful, with a slim body, blonde hair, and blue eyes. "I didn't commit any murders. I was working every day from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. I teach health and phys. ed.," says Patricia F.

The second suspect is a 34-year-old male, tall, about 6' 9", with black hair and brown eyes. "I couldn't have murdered anyone. I work as a investment banker at the Chicago bank, and after work I have night school. I don't have time to murder anyone," he says. Before you can ask for his name, he receives a phone call. He says it is an emergency, and you let him take the call.

The third suspect is a 41-year-old male, 6' 7" in height, very groomed, with nicely-styled hair and brown eyes. "I am a doctor at the Chicago Hospital. I did surgery on two of the days all day, and on three of the days I was working my usual hours. On the weekend I was with my family, so it couldn't have been me." You ask for his name, and he replies, "My name is Dr. David N. Edle".

The fourth and last suspect is a 24-year-old male. He is wearing a bandana, jeans hanging low, and nice white shoes. Looking at some papers the officers gave you beforehand, you read that he was caught doing all sorts of drugs. He is an addict and also a drug dealer. You asked him where he was during the week. "Nowhere man, just been chillin' with my homies. I didn't do shit, man. You pigs always arresting my brothers and shit man. Been working at the local fast food chain Rocky Ranchy's Burger Joint, just trying to get by. Don't need you poppin' me for doing nothin' wrong man."

You pondered everything for several minutes, trying to put together all the clues and suspects and other information, trying to find the murderer. Then it hit you. "How could I have been so blind?"

Who is the murderer?

  • 3
    +1, I look forward to another murder mystery. I'll have to do it when I'm not so busy. – Kenshin Nov 11 '14 at 13:49
  • 5
    Sorry if my last one was not up to the standards of a puzzle, i promise that this one is deducable and solvable. My english isn't that good so please forgive me if i have made any mistakes – DemonicBirdFlu Nov 11 '14 at 13:49
  • 3
    No worries. This site is about the art of puzzle solving and is a good learning experience for both solvers and writers. – Kenshin Nov 11 '14 at 13:52
  • 5
    I loved previous question, but most of the answers are pretty better solution than real answer. However since you are doing it only by yourself I'm sure we will get better q&a's every other question. Keep up the good work :) – shyos Nov 11 '14 at 14:09
  • 6
    At the current rate of deaths in Chicago (1 in puzzle 1, 2 in puzzle 7), I'd recommend any potential solvers on here move OUT of the city before part 3 is released – Joe Nov 11 '14 at 14:47

You arrest

Officer George Snoe. His badge number of seven 7's shows he has some compulsion towards the number 7 which is how many murders there were. He also admits he is also out of shape which explains why all his victims are all short and light in order to overpower them or to move them. His written note also explains "I am invisible like objects in a December storm" and his last name is Snoe similar to snow which would be what the precipitation would be in a December storm. Being an officer he also knows what not to leave at a crime scene.

Possible motive:

Officer Snoe was up for a promotion before you came into town. He was the officer who commented "Good thing we were patrolling around the neighborhood, it could have ended bad" suggesting you can't handle yourself and don't belong here in the big city. Officer Snoe does not like the fact that you are in town.

Alternative scenario:

Detective White is also upset you are new and getting all the glory he is the one committing the crime and framing Officer Snoe. Since White used to solve the big murders he left the file on your desk so as a passive aggressive attempt to show what you've done.

Also the initials of the 5 victims plus the two from Randy White's file are LOBBATPLEGPLED have tried rot 7 and other variations of forming words but haven't gotten anywhere.

  • "What is the motive?" you will have to think hard about this mystery – DemonicBirdFlu Nov 11 '14 at 14:40
  • This is the answer I was thinking of, and would have looked for more clues to support. I think you can add the mysteriously-appearing file of Randy White's case in here as well, although I've not thought through the exact reasoning yet due to time constraints – Joe Nov 11 '14 at 14:42
  • 2
    Would police officers have any control over the number they get? – user2174 Nov 11 '14 at 17:35
  • @MathiasFoster he could have gained his compulsion after receiving the badge. But i think vacherin's answer is on the right track. – Bozman Nov 11 '14 at 17:38
  • I really hope the accepted answer has a much stronger case. This is all highly circumstantial. +1 still, for the best answer so far. – DiscOH Nov 11 '14 at 19:59

ANSWER:

The murderer is the detective Randy White

Mr. White based everything on the classic Disney movie Snow white and the 7 dwarves.

1) you found the file in your desk, no one else enters your office except for your assistant and other co-workers if they need to talk to you while you are present in the office. Your office is for the TOP DETECTIVE in the department, and other detectives work outside of your office, safe to assume in cubicals and such. Since the file was in your office in your desk (keep in mind that you are still new to Chicago and just moved into your new office not too long ago), it is safe to assume that there was another top detective before you arrived. They tried to clean up everything but might have forgotten a few things. Thus placing Mr. White in the office with his file.

2) Since Mr. White worked there, it is not suspicious if someone saw him walking out/in the front door, thus letting him wait till no one is around then place the note on the front door of the department.

3) the letter says "I am invisible like objects in a December storm", December Storm can be translated to Snow Storm, combined with hs name Randy White will equal Snow White. (Not with officer Snoe, which will be equal to Snow Snow).

4) for all 7 victims Mr. White killed they were short (dwarves), and if you take the First Letter of the first name of every victim, it spells out "APPLE", thus why the 6th and 7th victims did not have a wallet to tell them the victims name.

5) Mr. White used deadly poison to kill the victims like how the evil witch poisoned the apple and gave it to Snow White.

It's just a guess. So please be light on me.

It's David Edle, the doctor. No one but the doctor has access to fine needles and equipments which could be used to make puncture holes. Also as Joe Z. Hinted in the comments, the initials spell out APPLE, and an apple a day keeps the doctor away. The murderer was obviously a lunatic, a psychopath, was trying to challenge the department and these clues might be the clues a lunatic might leave. Also, the five days he committed the murder, he was on duty and was working. The sixth day might have been busy on him, I exactly don't know why the wallet was missing. The banker and the druggie might be out of the scene, as banks and fast food joints are busy at weekends.

You're arrested

Drug Addict. How he did it? Well he's drug addict. Obviously he have needle. And he wear bandana, recall that victim got covered by cloth. Motive is revenge to police, since his friends got arrested. And noticed that he said "Don't need to poppin me". That's a slip. How did he know that his victim are "popped" in the right arm?

  • 2
    That's not what "popped" means. Most likely in this case it means arrested and incarcerated. – Joe Z. Nov 11 '14 at 20:40

EDIT: Just noticed the Disney answer is from the OP, so it's the intended answer. As I have some things going on from that in mine, I'll keep it in.

Even though I like the Disney answer I rather think

it's Learn-How-To-Drive.

Reason:

He knows that the person arrested is the wrong one. HOW does he know? Also he's arrested, but most probably not incarcerated - what accuse could they have? Only one they cannot put open - the protagonist is, from all I understood, undercover. Also, given that the protagonist is undercover, how does he know he's a detective, and particularly the one responsible for that case? And several times (once in each story so far), he crashes with the protagonist, blaming him every time. I would interpret that as threatening him. Also, he seems a pretty little insane, which would suggest he knows where to get needle and venom, as that might come from a minor portion of the venom. Additionally, only someone who knows he's a detective can challenge him personally in the note. The note's style is completely different from how he speaks, but I could imagine he's putting on a mask in either of the styles - probably in speech. Such a capability to mimic a madly driving hothead would make him even more dangerous.

However, what I could also imagine is

the person who is actually after all murders is the boss of both the arrested woman, and of Learn-How-To-Drive.

That would fit even better.

Learn-How-To-Drive kind of ressembles the typical henchman. Also, that would explain the different styles. Mr. Unknown is sending out Learn-How-To-Drive several times to put the protagonist under pressure. In contrast, the woman is much like a high-level mafiosi. That would also explain the message left at the body in the first part - it could have been written by Learn-How-To-Drive. Perhaps Learn-How-To-Drive even did the killing job, while the woman just switched in at the right moment to make a perfect suspect.

I also have backup for the Disney idea:

It would fit with my explanation for the second version if White were Mr. Unknown. Such an effort to confuse the protagonist would suggest a strong personal motive - which White clearly has, assuming that he was top detecive before. Also, still working for the department, he has a source to know from the protagonist is a detective. Snoe's bad condition might be a hint that White is secretly putting pressure on him - which would suit a mafia boss, they always have reasons to put pressure on officials. Perhaps Snoe saw something he wasn't meant to see, and is threatened to keep it in secret?

  • One idea I had later by the way, and I'd like to know it: Is the forename "Elsa" also meant to be a reference to Disney, via the "Frozen" movie? – Egor Hans Jul 21 '16 at 11:00

I think you should arrest

Detective Randy White

The victims fell into a pattern

they were poisoned, their initials spelled out "APPLE", there were seven of them, they were short (they were 4'9" to 5'2", while average is 5'4"-5'9"). Poison apple and the seven Dwarves - means a Snow White theme. This also fits the original message, watch out for the children, that the story will be remembered... it's Disney.

The suspects

None of the official suspects look very good. I didn't notice any names, themes or obsessions that connect to the Snow White theme. Also, three might have pretty strong alibis (depending on the time of death), and the drug addict doesn't seem to fit the profile of a thematic serial killer. Maybe...it's sabotage, which leads to police suspects.

In that case,

Officer George Snoe and Detective White both have names that fit both the Snow White theme, and the killer's message (A December storm means everything's White with Snow). Snoe has a badge full of sevens, and sevens have been relevant to the case - but badge numbers are assigned, so it's only a maybe. Detective White, on the other hand, has some shifty behavior going on - his file somehow ended up on your desk inside your office (seems a bit difficult to misfile it inside someone else's office).

And maybe I'm just shifty-eyed suspicious, but

the juxtaposition of the file and Learn-how-to-Drive's rant made me wonder if his (maybe innocent) sister was the suspect in the file, Bella B., and what that might mean for Detective White's status as a suspect... Maybe he was the actual killer and blamed someone else, maybe he was sloppy (or framed her) because he wanted the top detective slot, but missed it anyway, and the snow white killings are revenge.

So in the end, I recommend

arresting Detective White, and maybe investigating Officer Snoe.

The possible suspects are:

  • Randy White
  • Dr. David N. Edle
  • [Drug Addict]0
But the mis-filing might not have been done by Randy himself, so the updated list is:
  • Randy White0
  • Dr. David N. Edle
  • [Drug Addict]0
Notice how N. Edle is similar to Needle (=N-. E+ee=dle)? The bodies all had a small puncture on their right arm. It was made with a sharp object, like a needle.

But the Drug Addict might also have a needle (we don't know his name, right?), because there are drugs that are taken by injection. However, as a Drug Lord, we would most probably sell drugs, not inject them. Updated list:
  • Randy White0
  • Dr. David N. Edle
  • [Drug Addict]01
Doctors often inject, contrary to Drug Lords, for various reasons. He could have injected the poison.

But wait, the Drug Addict is anonymous, so he might be... RANDY! There exist disguises, there exist bandanas that can be put over disguises. Everything makes sense. So the final list is:
  • Randy White0
  • Dr. David N. Edle
  • [Drug Addict]01
    • Randy White

TL;DR

Dr. David N. Edle

  • 1
    This answer makes no sense. I have no idea what you're trying to say. – Deusovi Jun 20 '16 at 16:59
  • 1
    @Deusovi ??? (read the TL;DR?) Yes, the reasoning is how I got to the final suspect. Which part doesn't make sense? – EKons Jun 20 '16 at 17:05
  • 1
    The entirety of the reasoning. Why does his name incriminate him? (All the other characters in the author's other puzzles are pun names too.) What does it mean when you cross out a name and put a number by it? Why did you cross out Randy at the beginning? Why do you think the drug lord could've been Randy - where's the actual evidence for that? Why don't you suspect any of the other characters? – Deusovi Jun 20 '16 at 19:48
  • 1
    @Deusovi The name is actually a probable coincidence. The number is the priority of suspects to test if you were to suspect alerady crossed out suspects. Higher number -> Higher priority. I cross out Randy at the beginning because the filing might not have been done by himself. The Drug Lord is anonymous and Randy is probably not there when he shows up (disguise maybe?). These are the characters that I chose. Maybe you are returning to Puzzling.SE after a long time?? – EKons Jun 20 '16 at 21:13
  • 1
    No, I come to Puzzling daily. Where is the actual evidence in the story for your accusation? It seems like you've just chosen random characters, claimed that two of them were the same person, and accused a third character. – Deusovi Jun 20 '16 at 22:22

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