March 12, 2009
MURDER MOST FOUL
It’s a sad day in the city when one of its most esteemed citizens is discovered to have been murdered. The deceased was found face down in a swimming pool with a noose around her neck, a bullet hole in her forehead and a dagger protruding from between her famous shoulder blades. It’s a dark day when an autopsy of her corpse reveals not only arsenic in her bloodstream but a number of bruises on her neck that could only have been the result of strangulation. The cause of death was eventually determined to be radiation poisoning.
March 12th is a sad, dark day.
Until her Murder Anna Himalaya was the city's most celebrated celebrity. Little plaster of Paris busts of her famous head and bust could be found on most American mantles, virtually all normal American mantles. But after she was discovered murdered the millions of tiny likenesses were stashed away in dark closets or antechambers so not to remind the grieving disciples of Anna Himalaya of her premature demise.
As an ace reporter for the Birmingham Free Press, you, yes you Scoop, have been assigned to investigate the murder. You know that Anna Himalaya was murdered by radiation poisoning. You also know that this is your big break and after years of writing obituaries the upper brass at the BFP have finally given you a cover story. The headline for the March 13th issue of the Birmingham Free Press could read “Himalaya Murder Solved,” with your byline.
Yes that could be the e. But it could just as likely read “Obituary Writer Blows Big Break,” becauseheadlin that’s the sort of petty and vindictive story that has made the Birmingham Free Press the paper that it is today.
Don Stewart's solution to the Anna Himalaya Mystery