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Walla Walla, WA
Friday, December 8, 2023

Shirley H. and the Connected Crimes

October 19, 2023
Cameron Fowler

Encore Eradication Part 2

Cameron Fowler

Shirley and Caiaphas entered the main area of the Allegro Club. The Hamview Police Department had filled the area, taking photographs, acting as guards, and handling the few suspects apprehended before Shirley arrived. These few included a tall, broad man and a much smaller fidgeting one, who kept rubbing his hands together. Since she hadn’t met them the night before, Shirley assumed that they must be Xander the bodyguard and Erickson the technician. 

As she walked towards the main congregation of officers, Shirley pulled a cadet to the side. “Please do me a favor and check around Kaisa’s body for anything…metallic.” The cadet nodded and made his way over to the covered body while Shirley completed her quick journey to the officers. 

“Miss H!” Erickson called out as Shirley approached. “Please tell these cretins to let me go! I’m innocent you hear, innocent!” Xander rolled his eyes at Erickson’s outburst, eliciting some chuckles from the other officers. 

“I don’t think I will be doing that,” Shirley responded curtly. “Especially since you’re my number one suspect.” Erickson’s face paled and the officers began to murmur under their breath. “Allow me to begin by eliminating the other possibilities.” 

“The easiest person to clear of murder would be Kaisa’s siblings: Andrus, Hala, and Varro Lawson. I’ve seen people fake being sad or in mourning to divert attention away from themselves. But I’ve also felt that sort of loss before. I can see it in their eyes and the way Andrus held her instrument, that they’re truly mourning the loss of their sister.” 

“A similar reasoning is why I’m going to clear the other bandmates of suspicion. They too, are mourning the loss of not only a bandmate, but also a close friend. I would be willing to bet that if you asked them, they might even say that she was like family. The Cacophony Symphony will never be the same from here on out.” 

“That leaves us with the two men in front of me, and all the remaining clues point towards you as the culprit, Erickson.” Before Erickson could retort, Shirley continued. “The band pointed me towards a trash can full of love confessions, all of them made by you, for her, which she rejected. You were attracted to her, and she rejected you. You most likely had a mindset, then, of ‘If I can’t have you, no one can,’ and decided to snuff out her life.” 

“You used the sickness of fellow technician Zhane to give yourself a surefire way to be there on the night of the murder. The band mentioned you giving a drink to Kaisa who pawned it off to Xander. You utilized her distrust for you to drug Xander so he would fall asleep, giving you an easy way to escape. After that you did all the normal routine checks to prepare for the evening.” 

“When the concert started, all you needed to do was to sneak back up the rafters and begin loosening the lights. As the technician, you would’ve known where the lights must have been to create the best-looking performance for the band. All you had to do was wait for Kaisa to step into position, then wrench loose the last bolt and wait for gravity to do its job. During the following commotion, you just needed to leave. You could then craft an alibi by claiming you left after your job was finished and walk away scott free.” 

Erickson’s face had further paled throughout Shirley’s description of the crime, his face sweating and his hands trembling. He made a motion like he was about to defend himself, when the cadet came rushing back. “I found it Miss Shirley!” The cadet beamed proudly, “I found a nut and a bolt by the body!” 

Caiaphas, who had been watching this all play out, began to clap. “Let’s give a hand to my sister, who has once again solved another case!” A few of the officers hesitantly clapped, unsure if they should follow what Caiphas was doing. Erickson’s face shifted from fear to burning anger. 

“YOU! YOU DON’T GET TO SAY ANYTHING!” He spluttered, face turning red with anger. “I’LL RUIN YOU; I’LL MAKE YOU REGRET BEING HERE!” He exploded, pointing his finger at Caiaphas.  

Caiaphas scoffed. “Take him away gentlemen, it’s clear from my sister’s logic and his reaction that he is guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt.” The officers nodded before dragging a kicking and screaming Erickson away. Caiaphas turned to his sister, smiling. “Do they always act like that?”  

Shirley scoffed and turned away. “Not until you showed up. Now, I’m going back to my apartment, I don’t want to see you anymore.” 

Caiphas tutted. “Well, if you so insist, I’ll leave you be. After all I’m only going to be here for a short while. I came to Hamview to visit one of its famous bars, the art gallery, their historical clock tower, attend a commoner’s rock concert, dine out at their most lavish restaurant, maybe meet some important people, and end my visit at the seasonal carnival. Since I’ve done most of that, you won’t see me much.” 

Caiaphas walked by Shirley before stopping. “Oh yes, I found something for you, since I know you like to acquire useless dust collectors.” Caiaphas proceeded to hand Shirley a blue goat-shaped lighter. As Shirley examined it, Caiaphas walked out of the Allegro Club, leaving Shirley alone. 

Shirley basked in the silence for a moment before pocketing the lighter and following suit. She just wanted a week to relax where nothing bad could happen. Shirley brought out her phone to look up reservations at a nice restaurant, thinking about how she’d treat her close friends to a nice night out to thank them for sticking with her through a new wave of odd crimes. As she put in her reservation, she hoped desperately that this time nothing would go wrong. 

If only that hope was enough. 

Encore Eradication – Case Solved. 



  1. Rockstar. Another mystery, another lighter. Photo by Andy Pinaria on 
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