Detective Mick Mace was called to the scene of a beach murder. Two uniformed officers were already there, piecing together the chain of events that lead to the victim’s death.
“Her name is Jina Lange,” the first officer tells Mace, “a 27 year old waitress from ‘Jake’s Palace.’ She was running from someone, but they got her, all right. Knocked her to the ground hard, gashing her head open, and wrapped a belt around her neck. Tried to strangle her to death, but she didn’t die when the perp thought she did. She must have crawled 20 feet or so, but she was going toward the water by mistake. When she realized this, she was probably fading in and out of consciousness, and knew she wasn’t going to make it. Looks like she wrote the word “help” in the sand with her finger, but it has been partially washed away by the approaching tide. See there? The h is half gone already, and the p is missing the stem. We took some pictures for record, though.”
Mick Mace looked down at the woman who lay dead, shuddering as he thought of what it must be like to die at someone else’s hand. What were her last thoughts? What did this woman have to say that someone didn’t want the world to hear?
Suddenly, more cops arrive, with three men in tow. One, they called Jersey, was throwing a fit, his loose pants practically down to his knees in the struggle. “I wasn’t with her! I bought her a drink, but she left without even saying thanks!” The other, older gentlemen, was the club owner. “Name’s Shelby, detective. She was a great lady. This is a tragedy, but I will do anything to help. I saw her leave the club with that guy right there, but that’s all I have.” He pointed to the third man. “Yeah, so? She left with me, but only for a sec, to get some smokes from my car. She came right back, honest!”
At that moment, Mace thinks of a very important clue, and knows exactly who is responsible for Jina’s death. What does he figure out?Show Hint
Obvious clues don’t always point to the answer. Think about it: If you were about to die by murder, wouldn’t you want to let someone know who did it? I think Jina would have too. Mace realized this.
When Mace saw Jina lying in the sand, he knew she had been aware that she didn’t have much time left. So if you wanted help, why not shout out for help? What good does it do to write it in the sand? Wouldn’t she much rather finger the person who did this to her? Mace thought so, and so realized that she had not written “help” in the sand, she had written “Shelby” to finger her killer. However since they found her a bit late, some of the letters had washed away with the waves. Shelby killed her in a fit of rage, when she found out he was stealing money from his own employees at the club.