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?


Wednesday Super Sleuth: Sticky Hands

It was late at night when the robber entered the gas station with what appeared to be a gun under his shirt. The cashiers were positive he was using his finger so they pressed the silent alarm and decided two could play at that game, insisting that they didn’t have any cash in the register.

Knowing he had no way to seriously threaten them–a finger only goes so far, folks–he made a mad dash as sirens wailed in the distance. Behind the counter lied one of three things. Can you guess what he grabbed that sealed his fate. If his sticky fingers hadn’t gotten greedier, he might have been able to escape before police arrived.

A: A pack of Camel cigarettes

B: Scratch-off lottery tickets

C: A multi-pack of Juicy Fruit

What say you? 


photocredit: freedigitalphotos/iamnee

Super Sleuth Wednesday: TellTale Sign

What exactly was our criminal trying to steal from a Lowe’s store? We don’t know the answer to that. Of all the place to rip off, I’m not sure why anyone would choose Lowe’s? The thief was male so maybe that’s why I can’t understand. Men. Tools. Home Repair.


But the attempted theft went awry. He was caught with his hands in the nuts & bolts jar. He fled the scene of course. And was caught by police. How? What was the telltale sign that this guy was the culprit?

A. He fled the store, jumped a fence and landed right in the middle of a group of women holding a baby shower. PS It was twins!

B. He fled the store, jumped a fence and landed smack dab in the middle of a nudist right in the middle of a nudist Spa & Resort. PS They frowned upon his pants.

C. He fled the store, jumped a fenced and landed squarely in the middle of a  group of die-hard Star Wars party  (at least 4 dressed like Chewbaca alone), celebrating the release of The Force Awakens. PS They did not invite him to participate in their movie marathon.

So what’s your guess? Which telltale sign tipped off the police this guy was out of place!

photocredit: freedigitalphotos/StuartMiles

Super Sleuth – You Can’t Do That, photo by Theresa Fisher, photo by Theresa Fisher

A few years ago Randolph had a very bad day. Angry and upset, he planted a fake pipe bomb on a table along with a few hand-written notes scribbled in red pen. His note said that his delivery was an explosive. He scribbled, “It’s a bomb” and “Boom.”

The recipient of the look-alike bomb and threatening notes immediately called the police. The bomb squad was called out, and they quickly identified the bomb as a fake with no explosive substances. But it looked real enough to cause concern.

The police tracked Randolph to a nearby fast food restaurant and asked him why he planted the fake bomb. Randolph said he was upset and asked, “What, is that illegal?”

It is. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, planting a hoax bomb, and resisting arrest.

So what do you think set Randolph off, and who do you think was the target of his poorly planned lash out?

  1. His soon-to-be ex-wife. In the midst of a nasty divorce battle, he grew very upset with his wife and left the bomb on her kitchen table.
  2. His soon-to-be ex-landlord. Frustrated that he was about to be kicked out of his rental property, Randolph tried to show his landlord just what he thought about the eviction notice.
  3. His former best friend. When his best friend stole his girlfriend, Randolph was extremely upset and lashed out at his former friend with the threatening notes and fake pipe bomb.

Who do you think was the target of Randolph’s fake bomb? Leave your guess in the comments for a chance to be this month’s Super Sleuth!

Super Sleuth Wednesday – In the Wrong Place, photo by Grahame Treasure, photo by Grahame Treasure

A few years ago, two armed men entered a club in Australia. Planning to rob it, they were armed with a rather unusual weapon: machetes. Imagine two men wielding giant, razor-sharp swords. You’d think these guys would get just about whatever they wanted.

But they hadn’t planned on what they’d find when they entered the club. Both would-be-robbers ran for it, but one was quickly apprehended on the premise, and the other was quickly caught.

What do you think the criminals saw when they entered the club that made them turn-tale and run?

  1. The club was being used by a biker gang. When the criminals saw about fifty burly bikers, who were not impressed with the machetes, they ran. One of the bikers caught up with a criminal in the parking lot and detained him until the police arrived.
  2. An exotic animal show was in the club. When the criminals entered, a large tiger broke loose and cornered one of the criminals. That criminal gave away the location of the other to the police who had quickly arrived.
  3. The club was hosting a law enforcement weapons convention. One would-be thief was taken down by a baton, which a local officer was testing out. The other thief ran into the parking lot and and quickly taken into custody by arriving law enforcement.

How do you think these unlucky thieves were caught? Leave your guess in the comments for a chance to be this month’s Super Sleuth!

Super Sleuth Wednesday – Unlucky Cyclist, photo by Phillip Collier, photo by Phillip Collier

Do you all remember Encyclopedia Brown? In the early 1960s Donald J. Sobol began a book series about a 10-year-old detective and his spunky side-kick Sally Kimball. Leroy–as only his mother called him–could solve any crime for 25 cents, no crime too small.

I used to devour these books. Not only did I love the idea of kid detectives, but I always learned something new with the solving of each crime. Encyclopedia’s nemesis was Bugs Meany, who always got caught stealing another kid’s pizza or prize. No criminal was as unlucky as Bugs. Which is why today’s story reminds me of him.

In San Francisco, a thief on his bike peddled up to a woman holding an iPhone. He snatched it out of her hand and took off down the street. But he didn’t get far. He picked the wrong woman to rob. Why?

  1. She was demonstrating the phone’s newest device: GPS tracking. She quickly tracked him and the police easily nabbed the crook and returned her phone.
  2. She was a self-defense instructor with a black belt in karate. And she immediately used her moves on him, sending him flying off his bike. Then she calmly picked up her phone and went on her way.
  3. She was using a live-streaming service when the phone was stolen. The thief looked into the camera, and hundreds of people saw him and identified him to police, who returned the woman’s phone to her.

How do you think the unlucky thief was caught and the woman’s phone returned? Leave your guess below for a chance to be this month’s Super Sleuth!

Wednesday Super Sleuth Challenge – Black Friday Crime


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA ~Photo by Caroline Hoos

It is almost that time of year where some of us spread sales ads in front of us. We strategize those items we need to buy. We map out our course. We prepare to conquer.

Black Friday is a love it or hate it type of event. As for me, I enjoy the adventure of it. I try to avoid those crazy customers and help other moms shopping for their kids.

With that many shoppers out to get the best deals in a short number of hours it is inevitable that some crimes will occur. It is merely a matter of numbers and percentages.

How savvy are you about Black Friday Crime?

Whether you are out with the masses shopping or home on the couch watching football, now is your chance to be a Black Friday Crime Super Sleuth.

Which of the following Black Friday Crimes did NOT occur?

A. A phony bomb threat forced the complete evacuation of a Walmart. Bomb sniffing dogs were called in to clear the threat and people were allowed back in 2 hours later.

B. A shoplifting customer at Kohl’s was shot by a police officer.

C. A Target customer was shot in the leg close to his home when the TV he’d purchased led to an attempted theft. He wrestled with the thief resulting in the shooting.

D. Two Walmart customers got into a fight over a parking space, resulting in one of the men being seriously knifed.

E. A man tried to shoplift a large-screen TV by using a receipt his wife got from purchasing the same item earlier.

F. A customer pepper sprayed the crowd to have an unfair advantage in reaching the item she wanted to purchase.

G. At a Toys R’ Us a woman threatened to shoot customers who did not allow her to cut in line.

Which of the crimes listed above did NOT happen?