Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Bear Facts (A Whoduknit Mystery)

The Bear Facts (A Whoduknit Mystery)

Detective Hugh Dunnit and his brother Howie Dunnit were on a bear hunting trip in Maine. What they stumbled on in the woods, was definitely not a bear - it was the body of a middle aged man dressed in hunter orange, wearing a Yankee cap, lying in a shallow ditch.

An autopsy disclosed that the death had been instantaneous. A bullet had entered just above the hip and lodged in the heart.

The Dunnits assisted the local police in identifying the dead man as James Berroco, from New York City, and yes, sad to say, he was a Yankee fan. They further established that Berroco and a friend Billy Rowan, from Boston, had rented a hunting cabin near where the body was found. Rowan was brought in for questioning. He looked from Lt. Dunnit to Howie Dunnit before finally heaving a big sigh. "All right. I didn't mean to run away - I just panicked. James and I rent the same cabin every year," he admitted. "At night we sit around, drink beer, and watch the Yankees play the Red Sox. During the day we hunt. We've never failed to bring back one bear at least. We had spent a week in the woods, during which time the Red Sox swept the Yankees, and our time was up. It was the last day, and for the first time we hadn't even seen a bear in the woods. I noticed a rock formation and climbed to the top to see if I could spot one. Suddenly I heard James shout in terror in the clearing below me. A bear had got to him. I shot, but only wounded the bear. It reared on its hind legs. Just as I fired again, James got in the way. My bullet struck him and he tumbled into the ditch. The bear disappeared. I panicked, I admit, but I swear it was an accident!"

Lt. Dunnit told the local police to arrest Billy Rowan for the murder of James Berroco. What tipped him off that it was not an accident? And what was the motive?
E-mail me your answer privately ( by Saturday, April 25. Correct answers will be placed in a drawing for a prize from the prize locker.

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