Laura Bow 2: Leyendecker Detective Guide

lauraMany people wish to be a private eye. But is being a detective is really glamorous as seen in movies or as read in books? How can someone become a brilliant resourceful detective like Sherlock Holmes, Jane Marple, or Hercule Poirot? Below are some rules and hints for amateur detectives to survive the Leyendecker Museum.

  • Always carry your field kit. This includes a notebook, magnifying glass, and water glass.
  • It is advisable to have a “cover story” that may help you to enter various places which are not normally open to the public. Being a reporter seems to be good cover.
  • You are a civilian, not a police officer. You do not “interrogate suspects” — instead, you question witnesses. Be always polite and courteous. Remember that you have no authority to force people to talk.
  • Write down any information you get, even what seems trivial. You can never know when seemingly unimportant remark may turn to be a vital clue. Of course, people may lie to you. It is up to you to determine whether you are told the truth or not. There are people who, under normal circumstances, will not tell you anything, but if you catch them red-handed in an embarrassing position, you may get lucky …
  • Try to appear as inexperienced, harmless, innocent-looking person (see above picture). Smile! That should make people feel comfortable around you, and they probably shall be more helpful. On the other hand, being “Mr./Ms. Know-It-All” only makes people antagonistic.
  • Try not to get caught in life-threatening situations. When the situation becomes tough, don’t play the super-hero. Foolish heroic poses can only get you in serious trouble, or even get yourself killed. Running away isn’t cowardliness — it is the best and safest way to stay alive.
  • For the most part, cops do not like private detectives who snoop around and get in their way. You must learn to work with the cops, not against them, so treat cops with respect. Of course, there are dirty, corrupt cops — better stay away from them!
  • You cannot and do not have to establish a case in court, but you must collect pieces of evidence and question witnesses in order to help the prosecution. Turn over everything you find to the police prosecutor. Usually, you can find only prima facie evidence, and what you hear from others is mostly hearsay, so it would be best if you persuade a material witness to testify on what he/she saw or heard, so the prosecution has conclusive evidence.
  • Always search carefully everything and anything. Eavesdrop at doors using water glass. Look at objects from all angles, with and without magnifying glass. Then try to take it. However, be sure not to mess around with bodies or to remove pieces of evidence from the crime scene. Though the thought of taking all the credit to yourself may seems tempting, interfering with the police work is an offense.
  • When you find a dead body, examine carefully every squared inch of it, with and without magnifying glass. Look at the eyes, mouth, nose, ears, hair, hands, feet, etc. Search the clothes of the deceased. Look for personal belongings, pieces of clothes, hairs, jewelry, fingerprints, footprints, bloodstains, food leftovers, etc. Keep in mind that the deceased, before dying, might have left a message indicating his killer. Take notes of everything you find, no matter how unimportant it looks — even particular smells or food stains may give away the murderer’s identity. Look for the murder weapon. Try to determine the cause of death and the exact place where the murder was committed. The murderer could have moved the body to another location. Remember: the murderer might have planted false evidence in order to mislead you. It is up to you to determine which pieces of evidence are true and which are false.
  • Always remain cool and calm, even at dangerous situation. Clear thinking may save your life, while being frightened and nervous only makes things harder. Use your brain rather than your muscles.
  • If people stop talking when you approach, try to sneak behind their backs and eavesdrop to what they say. You may get some vital information. Try not to get involved in their conversation, even if they become noisy and violence. However, once they notice you — you had better leave.
  • If you happen to know when and where certain people are going to meet, why not ambush them? Though it may turn to be an innocent lovers meeting, sometimes you can catch someone red-handed …