Nutshell Studies #3: Red Bedroom

R ead the witness statements below, then scroll over the image to see the evidence.

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Date: June 29, 1944

Deceased: Marie Jones, prostitute

Witness: Mrs. Shirley Flanagan, landlord

“That morning, I passed the open door of Marie's room and called out ‘hello.’ She didn't answer, so I looked in and found room as you see it. Jim Green, her boyfriend and client, came in with Marie the afternoon before. I don't know when he left. I found her body and called the police.”

Witness: Mr. Jim Green, boyfriend, client

“I met Marie on the sidewalk the afternoon of June 28, and walked her to a nearby package store where she bought two bottles of whiskey. We went to her room and sat smoking and drinking for a while. Marie sat in the big chair and got very drunk. Suddenly, without any warning, she grabbed my open jackknife—I used it to cut the string on the bottles—and ran into the closet and shut the door. When I opened the door, she was lying there just like that. I left immediately.”

A text description of this Nutshell is available.

1. The Rag & Bottles
The bottles are knocked over. The rag appears to have blood on it. It should be collected, tested and typed for identification. Jim's blood type should be taken for comparison.

2. The Candy
Jim never mentioned buying candy. Are any missing? Do the contents of her stomach prove she had eaten them? Jim should be questioned about them.

3. The Body
Are those bangles or were her wrists bound? The angle of the wound on her neck will determine if it was self-inflicted. The Medical Examiner should test her blood alcohol to corroborate Jim's story.

4. The Bureau & Glass
All her dresser drawers are open. Are they empty? The presence of a glass randomly in the middle of the floor is strange.

5. The Suitcase
Coupled with the open dresser drawers, it appears she was trying to leave in a hurry. What is in the suitcase?