Wednesday Super Sleuth Challenge: Catching BTK

crime-scene-1452689-640x480Welcome back Super Sleuths! Today you have the opportunity to try your crime solving skills to determine what method of detection was used to nab the villain in the following case.

The location is Wichita, Kansas. The timeline is 1974-1991. A killer was on the loose that killed more than 10 victims during this 18 year span.  Fifteen years had come and gone since his first murder. The BTK killer was no technological slouch.

The public was in a panic. The case had grown cold, but with the same anguish the ruthless deaths weighed on the conscious  Then something unexpected happened in 2006 that gave the police the break they had been looking for.

What break in the case allowed the Police to catch the culprit?

A. DNA evidence left at the crime scene on a cigarette butt was now able to be processed and the killer was caught.

B. Another body was discovered that appeared to be the first BTK’s victim. The killer was more reckless with his first kill and they found evidence linked to him.

C. A new way to process DNA on the victims’ clothing lead to the BTK’s arrest and conviction.

D. They traced evidence of his location from a floppy disc and verified his identity from comparing a group of handwritten letters to his handwriting.

What method do you think the Police used to catch BTK?


Super Sleuth Wednesday-Can We Get Any Dumber

man-40134_1280Hello, Super Sleuths! Can you believe we are into December?? I have no idea where the year has gone. So let’s get right to this week’s Super Sleuth!

There’s been an uptick in bank robberies in the past few years. There’s also been an uptick in some of those bank robbers being really stupid. Here’s a great example:

A man successfully broke into a bank after hours but he was easily apprehended. Was it because:

  1. He left his iPhone on the floor where the safe deposit boxes are located and listed himself under the In-case-of-emergency number. When the police called, he readily claimed to be the owner.
  2.  He stole the bank’s video camera. While it was recording. Remotely. The police had a nice photo of him and quickly traced him by the camera’s location.
  3. He gave his girlfriend a diamond necklace from one of the safe deposit boxes. And she promptly took a selfie of the two of them and put it on Facebook. Which the drew the attention of the police…
  4. He bragged to a friend about his haul, and his friend turned him in when a $5,000 reward was posted for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons who robbed the bank.

So, which one is it?

 And, here’s a recap and answer of the November 16th Super Sleuth:

Riddle me this: What did he steal?

A: A 24lb turkey (the legs for Tiny Tim).

B: 8 boxes of Stove Top Stuffing (You know, instead of potatoes).

C: A turkey fryer (Because it just wouldn’t quite fit in the French  Fryer).

And it’s….C. He stole a turkey fryer!

Super Sleuth Wednesday – Pressing His Luck, photo by Nick Cowie, photo by Nick Cowie

It takes a lot of chutzpah to commit a crime. Or maybe just not a lot of smarts. But either way, criminals know that when they break they law, they’re risking fines and/or jail time. But some criminals just can’t help but press their luck and tempt fate. And when they do, sometimes they get caught. Sometimes they don’t.

Thus was the case of a young North Carolina man. The police force had been investigating several cases of breaking and entering, and they had been looking for a certain suspect for several weeks. When they tracked him down at his home, the cops were in for a big surprise. They knew the man.

Where did they know him from?

  1. He had visited the police station several days before, attempting to claim reward money for turning in an accomplice. The police had sent him away empty handed, not realizing that he was also on their suspect list.
  2. He had attended an anti-crime event the day before and beaten several officers at a doughnut-eating contest. He claimed his prize and left before officers realized who he was.
  3. He worked at the officers’ favorite diner and had served them on several occasions.  Because he used a coworker’s name tag, they never knew him by his real name.

Where do you think the police recognized him from? Leave your guess below for a chance to be this month’s Super Sleuth!

Super Sleuth – He’s got a what?

Before we dive into today’s Super Sleuth Challenge, did you guess the correct answer to last week’s?

On Friday evening, a burglar and an accomplice allegedly broke into a home and made away with money, jewelry and a gun.

But the suspects’ plan hit a snag when:

3. One of the burglars accidently butt-called 911 during the robbery and the police dispatcher overheard them talking about the robbery and where  to sell the stolen merchandise

You can read about the ordeal here., photo by Julia Borysewicz, photo by Julia Borysewicz

Now for this week’s challenge. In Washington state a young man wrecked his car into a large rock in the front yard of a house. Witnesses say that the driver wasn’t injured and jumped out of the car and began to run away. But before he got very far, he turned around and ran back to the car. After picking up what he’d left behind, he took off again.

But bystanders were able to give the police a good description of the young man and what he was carrying. So the police quickly tracked him down and arrested him for leaving the scene of an accident. They called his mom to pick up the item he’d gone back for. What do you think it was?

  1. A monkey, which he carried on his back.
  2. A potted palm tree, which he could barely lift.
  3. A toad, which was in a giant aquarium.

Leave your guess in the comments below. Good luck!

The Case of the Missing Woman

moonThe Super Sleuth question last week: So what do you think set Randolph off, and who do you think was the target of his poorly planned lash out?The answer to last week’s Super Sleuth is #1 – his soon-to-be ex-wife.

The answer is #1 – his soon-to-be ex-wife.

Now for this week’s Super Sleuth:

In September 1961, the mother of a daughter was at her home in British Colombia. She was not seen the next day. Or the next. Or for the next 52 years.

For one reason or another, she was not reported missing until four years later. Obviously, this raised questions, and suspicion fell on her husband. Police even dug up the husband’s backyard in search of a body, but they found nothing. Decades passed, Marvin died, and there seemed no hope of solving the case. Then police got a break and the disappearance was solved.

What do you think happened?

  1. Marvin killed her, and detectives found his journal that detailed how he’d gotten away with murder.
  2. The mother was found alive and well, and had run away because Marvin abused her.
  3. Marvin had hired two men to kidnap and murder his wife when she threatened to leave with the daughter. One gave a deathbed confession.

Leave your guess in the comments section below and check back next week to see if you are correct.


The Case of the Stolen Goods


Free Digital Photos

Last week’s Super Sleuth and answer:

A woman reported her car as stolen, and by evening the police had found the thief and the car. How?

Answer: #1. She mentioned that there was a car phone in it. The policeman taking the report called the phone and told the guy that answered that he had read the ad in the newspaper and wanted to buy the car. They arranged to meet, and the thief was arrested.


Now for this week’s Super Sleuth crime:


A thief decided to help himself to some items in the trunk of someone else’s car. Unfortunately, he was caught. Which scenario do you believe happened?

  1. He tried to sell the good on the street and the owner of the car was his second customer who called the police.
  2. While he was rummaging around in the trunk, it slammed down, locking him in. When he was heard yelling and banging, the police were called and he was arrested.
  3. He broke into an unmarked police car, setting off the alarm and the detective rushed out of the house and arrested him.

So, Super Sleuthers, which one is it? Let me know in the comment box.


Crime Doesn’t Pay!

Answer to last week’s Super Sleuth:


Three men broke into a local burger joint and stole the cash register, along with the establishment’s entire surveillance system and a large bowl of macaroni salad.

By noon, they had been apprehended because…2. They left a trail of macaroni salad like Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumbs.

Now for today’s Super Sleuth:

Photo by lckidwell

Photo by lckidwell

Five crooks were arrested  for a series of break-ins of vending machines at convenience stores in the area. One of the crooks used different kinds of tools to unlock the vending machines and take the money while the other four stood around and blocked the view of what was going on. Finally, police caught up with them while they were in the act of stealing the money one of the stores. When police arrived the crook doing the lock-picking hid the tools amongst grocery items but they were found by one of the officers and he was handcuffed, all the time denying the tools were his. How did the police make the arrest stick?

Finally, police caught up with them while they were in the act of stealing money from a machine in one of the stores. When police arrived, the crook doing the lock-picking hid the tools among grocery items but they were found by one of the officers, and he was handcuffed, all the time denying the tools were his. How did the police make the arrest stick?

  1. His fingerprints were on the tools.
  2. His friends ratted him out in exchange for a lighter sentence.
  3. When an officer challenged him to break out of the handcuffs, he said, “I can’t, you have my tools.”

What do you think? Leave a comment with your answer! Shadows of the PastAnd don’t forget, Shadow of the Past is FREE in digital form at Amazon and B & N!