the stolen diamond
The CRYSTAL HEART DIAMOND was found stolen from its glass casing in the museum at 7 am, having last been seen at 3:30 am that night.
Three suspects were listed on suspicion...
1) LADY ELIZABETH UPPERTON: obsessive love for jewellery; lives in a big mansion.
2) GARDENER GUMPASS: Elizabeth's gardener; rumoured to be madly in love with her; hates dogs.
3) OLD GRAN ARIANNE: owns several small and highly trained dogs; wants a big house for them; angry with Gumpass for chasing one of them away.
What were the clues?
- A note was on the case where the diamond was stolen, saying: 'For my love of—' (the missing word could have been 'jewels', 'lady', 'dogs', etc). Seems suspiciously ambiguous...
- The only way into the tightly-locked room was a cat flap (for the security guard's cat).
- A pair of garden shears were left outside the cat flap, which had been unlocked from INSIDE the room.
- The wires were cut by something sharp. Perhaps a knife? Garden shears? Or a dog's SHARP TEETH? The wires were located INSIDE the room.
- The security guard was absent during the time of the crime, because he was looking for his cat Tibbles – who he found 'TERRIFIED' up a tree.
- The diamond was found in Gardener Gumpass's closet, while he was cleaning up some animal urine he'd found on his floor.
Who was the culprit?
old gran arianne
It was this sneaky pensioner all along! She carefully plotted a scheme to FRAME poor Gardener Gumpass, and cause the police to suspect that Lady Elizabeth put him up to it. She played on rumours of Gumpass's love for Elizabeth. Her goal was to make it look that Lady Elizabeth had taken advantage of Gumpass's love and made him steal the diamond for her, in promise of rewarding him with marriage.
How she did this was clever. We know she has MANY highly-trained small dogs as her beloved pets, and we saw in the comic that they were capable of performing complex tasks like standing on each others' heads and pouring a cup of tea for the police. Arianne sent one of her dogs to chase the security guard's cat as a diversion, so that the guard would go looking for it. While he was away, she sent her dogs through the cat flap with GARDEN SHEARS. No human would be big enough to get through, but a small dog would.
They used the shears to unlock the door: they are as good as a sturdy knife when it comes to picking a lock. She also got her dogs to chew through the alarm wires, so that no alarm would go off once the doors were open. Then, once through, she stole the diamond, and left a vague note with the last word ripped off on the diamond case so that the police could fill in the blanks with their own suspicion. She then left the diamond in Gumpass's closet (unlocking his front door), but didn't leave until she let one of her dogs pee on his carpet, as vengeance for the time when he had chased off one of her dogs for peeing on Lady Elizabeth's lawn.
Why did she commit this crime? Revenge for Gumpass was not the only motive, as she has a deep love for her dogs and always wanted a big house for them. If the police sent Gumpass to jail that would be a victory, but if they found Elizabeth guilty too as the culprit for putting Gumpass up to the theft, then she might go to jail also. If Elizabeth went to jail, her big MANSION would go on sale, and Arianne would be the first in line to buy it for her dogs.