March 2019, USA:
Star detective Shackle Losmer was sitting in his room when his assistant, Wat Johnson, burst in.
"Hello, Wat," said Shackle, reading yesterday's newspaper while waiting for the current one." Have you seen the news? The new disease is being carried around by cows. All beef is on recall."
"Yes, wonderful, but - "
"Tomorrow's weather is beautiful, Johnson! Your Wacky Wednesday Picnic with your son's class will go just fine! There will be no clouds, so you will have --chuckle-- two sons in attendance."
It must be admitted that the detective was a lover of puns.
"Heh. But, sir - "
"Wat, what is it?
It must be admitted that the detective was a lover of puns that were, frankly, un-entertaining.
"There's been a murder, sir!"
"That's uncommon," said Losmer with a grim smile.
It must be admitted that the detective was a lover of sarcasm, usually funnier than his puns. But on with the case:
"A young lady," said Johnson, with what dignity he could muster, "has been killed."
"Relate to me the facts, Wat."
"Violet Hunter was found dead in a bar yesterday, with a multiple knife-wounds, some 8 inches deep. Security cameras found that two people - two men and one woman were in the bar after Ms. Hunter entered. There was also the bartender, but there is a security camera on the counter the whole time. There's no way he could have left it and killed Ms. Hunter. The four people were around a corner from him, and the bouncer had to leave early. I have statements and brief profiles from each possible murderer."
Alyssa Lincoln: Wearing a fitted blue dress when she entered the bar at 4:23 PM. She ordered at 4:26. She said she went to the bathroom at some point during her time there - she doesn't remember when. She left at 5:49 PM, after flirting with the bartender for a moment or two. She arrived back at the bar the next morning at about 7 o'clock to ask for her purse, which she had left behind. Police examined the bag and gave it to her. Height - 5'7" Weight - 120 lbs. Blond hair, brown eyes. 27 years old. Female.
Gabriel Newton Wearing a green long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans when he entered the bar at 4:45 PM. He says that he was tired and dozed off - he's not sure when, but he did remember Alyssa leaving and didn't remember Michael Hinato arriving - after finishing his burger, fries and beer. He left hurriedly at 8:16 PM to get to his night class at the community college. Height - 5'11" Weight - 140 lbs. Brown hair, grey eyes. 21 years old. Male.
Michael Hinato Wearing a black polo shirt and tan khakis when he entered the bar at 6:21 PM and left at 8:45. Until 7:16, he stayed at the counter and chatted with the bartender over a beer. Michael says that for the rest of his time at the bar he busy reading the New York Stock Exchange portion of the day's paper - he's gained about $3,000 dollars in the past few months with his trading - and wouldn't have noticed a thing. Height - 5'8" Weight - 195 lbs. Black hair, brown eyes. 41 years old. Male.
Shackle turned the page in the document, revealing several images of Violet Hunter slumped over in her back booth. One shot showed the entire booth, one showed the wounds, and the last was a shot taken from above, showing the back of here head matted with her thin reddish hair, her plump, outstretched hands, and a bar menu hanging half off of the edge of the table.
"They have a large variety of dietary options," said Shackle, who was allergic to gluten. "I'm impressed. Perhaps I'll stop by sometime." He turned to Johnson. "Did any of the suspects claim to see Violet at any time?"
"Ms. Lincoln says that she noticed her in her booth when she (Ms. Lincoln) left the restroom. Due to the screen around the top of all of the booths, it's entirely possible that the two men were unaware of her presence."
"Was the murder weapon found?"
"Well, Wat," said Detective Losmer cheerily, "I hope to have the perpetrator in - naturally - shackles," and he grinned at poor Wat, "within a few hours."
Wat looked puzzled. "That's mighty ambitious, sir. Have I missed something?"
"No, you being clueless is obviously a result of perfect observational skills." Ooh. The sarcasm could sting, as well.
Of the three suspects, who is the highly suspicious person? Who is almost certainly innocent? Who do we not have enough information about (other than a more suspicious party) to make a judgement?
Thoughts/partial solutions welcome if you have them.
Note: credit goes to Donald J. Sobol for the style of one of the clues. Also, 7-Second Riddles (Youtube) inspired another clue.