I Try To Flex My Detective Muscles

As I write, CSI: is on in the background.  I haven’t watched this in a long time.  However, as tonight’s episode plays out, I feel confident enough to publicly predict who the killer is halfway through the show. 

It’s the dad–the FBI agent who’s hunting for the suspect. 

His wife was shot in a store parking lot, his daughter kidnapped and older son missing.  He’s on the trail of a pedophile with a grudge against him, but I think the guy did it himself. 

Here’s why:

The wife was shot in the right eye.  When the husband storms into the morgue, he dramatically punches out a window.  Why is this written into the script?  Because it shows us that he’s left handed.  Whoever shot the wife was probably left handed. 

He barges onto a crime scene, contaminating and compromising it in his anger.  I suspect it’s an act and he’s looking for an excuse to hide / plant evidence. 

He tries to go vigilante and shoot a suspect.  Why?  My theory is that he wants to frame him, and divert future suspicion from himself.  Nobody takes a fall like a dead man. 

The second half of the show is starting now.  Let’s see how my theory plays out…

UPDATE: I was mostly right.  The dad didn’t take the kids, but he did kill his wife, and that got the older son to take and hide his sister. 

My left-handed clue didn’t really play out, but the rest held up pretty well, I think.

This kind of thinking wouldn’t help me solve murders in real life, which I suspect usually doesn’t follow the neat, predictable conventions of fiction, which is how I figured this out–reading and watching lots and lots of mystery stories. 

When my wife and I saw the movie Taken, and the hero’s daughter goes to Europe with a slightly trashy friend, I told my wife, “That girl’s going to die.”  Halfway through the movie, she does die, and my wife asked me how I knew. 

Simple.  Stories have rules and patterns, and there aren’t even all that many.

I used to think it would be neat to have a show where the hero would solve murders by using the conventions of storytelling, but then I realized it had already been done: Murder, She Wrote.  Oh, well.

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