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Old 2009-12-02, 22:37   Link #3841
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The Locked Room Lecture, by John Dickson Carr (In The Three Coffins aka The Hollow Man

A: No murderer escaped because no murderer was in the room
A1. "It is not murder, but a series of coincidences ending in an accident which looks like murder..."
(Examples of this type given by Dr. Fell: Sherlock Holmes' adventure with the Crooked Man, Gaston Leroux's 'The Mystery of the Yellow Room'.)

A2. "It is murder, but the victim is impelled to kill himself or crash into an accidental death..."

A3. "It is murder, by a mechanical device already planted in the room, and hidden undetectably in some innocent looking piece of furninture..."

A4. "It is suicide, which is intended to look like murder..."

A5. "It is a murder which derives its problem from illusion and impersonation..."
Example: victim is already dead in the room. Killer enters the room in a way so as to be mistaken for the victim, then immediately leaves and is identified as himself.

A6. "It is a murder which, although committed by somebody outside the room at the time, nevertheless seems to have been committed by somebody who must have been inside..."

A7. "This is a murder depending on an effect exactly the reverse of number 5. That is the victim is presumed dead long after he actually is..."

Example: Victim is lying in his room, asleep or drugged (occasionally, has faked death as part of a prank). Killer starts making a ruckus, gets the door broken down. Killer manages to get in, and manages to secretly kill the victim without anybody noticing, or after everyone else leaves.

B) Ways to make a door appear to be locked from the inside

B1) Tampering with the key which is in the lock.
(Use needlenose pliers)

B2) Removing hinges without disturbing lock or bolt.

B3) Tampering with bolt

B4) Tampering with falling bar or latch

B5) Killer locked the room from the outside. Later, breaks through the glass and pretends to find the key in the lock.


As for the envelopes: The person / group who mailed the letters a few days before the incident, and who gave Maria Beatrice's first letter (possibly also others) is not connected to the murders. It is only through the coincidence of those murders occuring at the same time that the letters appear sinister.


As for Eva & Hideyoshi's room:

First, how did the killer get in?

1) Killer entered before H&E arrived / ambushed them on their way to the room. (In the manga, they went alone.)

2) Eva or Hideyoshi let the killer in.
George could easily get in; possibly also Battler (Eva said she trusted him at an earlier point). Natsuhi is right out, and Genji, and Kanon are probably out as well. (Or possibly the killer fooled Eva into thinking it was Battler / George.)


How did the killer get out?

- still in the room when group arrived
- left through the door; Kanon and / or Genji lied about the chain being on
- left through the door; used some trick to fake the chain still being on
- left through the window; used some trick to lock the window from outside
- left through the window; locked window from inside after breaking into the room

I favor the window hypotheses, except that:
The only sounds that filled the room were the distant voice of the announcer on the news, which Hideyoshi had left on, and the obnoxious pounding of the rain against the window...
(would have left water under the window, likely)

It was sealed from the inside by the door chain. The window had also been closed from the inside, and the bodies had been in the room.

Did it say "closed from the inside" or "locked from the inside"? (Nobody is mentioned as having checked the locks while they were there.)
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