It was about six o’clock in the morning, mid November, the sun partially obscured by the grey clouds. There I was in front of a rundown apartment complex in my wrinkled white shirt, my cruddy overcoat protecting me from the elements. It felt like someone just died. With my bent fedora hiding my bald spot and crusty doughnut in my mouth, I entered the third crime scene this week. It felt like attending a daily yoga class, “up and down”. Yellow tape criss cross the area as I ascended the creaky decrepit staircase. It’s no playground for adolescents. The apartment door gave a sliver of what existed on the other side; I glimpse the victim’s hand dangling from the torn couch hanging like a Christmas ornament. The neighbor next door heard a painful scream and was concerned. A couple elephant ears were already inside writing their report. Mannequins dressed in their crisp blue uniform and shiny badge. I entered, greeted the Bulls getting the situation. I ankled towards the victim and gave her the up-and-down. This older silvery hair broad appears to have bruises on her ankles, wrist and neck. With my camera, I took photos of everything, the victim, her IDs, the couple of pills on the coffee table and her environment. Seems to be drug addict like all the other schmucks. I took one last sweep of the apartment taking any important clues with me before I got into my can as I headed back to my private bureau.
Marie Fitch. Age 58 years old. Single. Blood Type AB. 5ft 3in. The marks on her wrist, neck and ankles matches the victims from previous murders. No Suspect found yet. Media suspiciously silent about these strings of events. Even if they publish these crimes, never trust the mouth piece controlled by the government. Her record shows no sign of misconduct. Pills report received from a my chemist connection. It’s compose of things I’ve have never witness before. The autopsy indicated that the victim was not in a physical struggle with an assailant and cause of death was a mixture of components inside the body. The pills are the key to these strings of deaths. A similar chemical compound had been found at the other places. With a quick look in the database, it looks like the murders tied to these pills are common across the countries. Who are giving these plugs these pills and why were the victims taking them? I popped open some eel juice and got down to work. My attempt to contact the victims’ relatives and close confidants proved to be fruitless. The landlord eavesdrops on Marie and learned she was seeing a Dr. Harbinger at a hospital nearby. A Dr. Harbinger does not exist in any hospital or medical institution nor is there a record of Ms. Fitch checking in. Must be the Dr. giving these weird pills to these people. Recently this case has been closed by the higher ups. They just classified it as death by unusual circumstances, just as with all the other cases they want swept under the rug.
Not satisfied with that reasoning and bureaucracy, I continue my investigation in secret. More victims were found and the same common pattern arose. Bills, Notes, Phone Records, Photographs were all I had to solve this mystery. The Hammer and saws brought in the Feds who took over these cases They are even taking over this neighborhood. What’s with the cover up this? What is the government hiding something from its people?
I no longer feel unassailable pursuing this investigation by myself. The Feds are on to me and need to lay low. I began dispatching evidence to people who might be able to help. With the will of the people, maybe this mystery can finally be uncovered.
- Main: Collecting and Solving Puzzles
The mechanic involves collecting hidden clues placed in newspaper articles, advertisements and flyers hanging around the neighborhood. The messages are parts of information that the private investigator has discovered from his investigation but needs the help of others to solve this mystery. The private investigator created false companies and place advertisements within the print to spread the word. The following are examples on how the clues and messages can be hidden.
The Toblerone icon has a bear hidden in the Matterhorn Mountains, the origin of Toblerone. The Amazon logo has an arrow pointing from the letter a to the letter z indicating it sells a variety of goods more than your average store. It also looks like a smile. In the Sony Viao logo, the wave in the VA represents what a basic analogue signal may look like. The IO looks like a 1 and 0 which represents digital signal. Cattleyard has a few combinations. There are the icons of the various musical instruments representing its business but when place together, they form an image of a cow.
Some hidden clues can be 1s and 0s when scanned will turn into medical data of one of the victims. Another could be a hidden image which is a portrait of the victim’s faces. Each of this advertisement has the website URL hidden also where the participant can enter in their clue. The website, deathreport.com (set up by the private investigator), it is a centralize meeting board for all the participants when they can share the clues with others to see if they can solve it. It is also a place to combine clues to discover the back-story of these victims and the circumstances the private investigator is in.
Deathreport.com is a wiki-like sites where participant can upload evidence, post comments and decide which hypothesis prove to be the most credible for a particular clue. Each clue page has an image of it (taken by the participants), information of what the clue is (victim bio information, a portrait, etc.), where the participant found the clue (in a particular newspaper, location, etc.), a list of participants who have discover this clue and the connection it has to other clues.
Types of Clues: Handwritten letter that may contain a monogram and/or anagram using steganography/cryptography, medical reports, address found on Google Maps, phone logs, hidden video camera footage, Email/Text Messages, Flyers/Advertisements, News Articles written under the detective pseudonym.
In this day in age, the government has a strong leash on traditional media such as television, print and radio however is unable to control the Wild West known as the internet. The Private Investigator Rupert Callowy is trying to uncover these strings of dead occurring across the country. He has already seen a common thread between the deaths in Chicago but has not motive or reasoning behind them.
The participants are the people who regular citizens that the detective needs help from. They are the connection the detective use to help him uncover the larger plot and unravel the secrets. Participants come from various background and intellectual levels where they can bring their fresh perspective on the case. The clues are scattered inconspicuously in advertisements (online and print).
The detective cannot freely travel the country as there are eyes on him. He utilizes the web to interact with the various participants as they collect the clues. New questions will arise from the submission of clues regarding this case. In order to understand what is going on in the country, the individual murders need to be solved by combining the clues and understanding the reasoning behind why the Federal Government is hiding this from the public. They ways to decipher certain clues are solved by other clues that contain the method. The participants are also looking out for suspicious activities by the Feds and post these observations on the forums which changes the type of clues sent to the participants. The sort of deduction is similar to National Treasure and The Da Vinci Code.
The experience is to leverage the internet and technology by the participants to find the clues using QR readers on their cellphones or screen capture on their PC. Message boards are used to foster conversation between participants and for them to bring new insight on the unveiled information. Fingerprints can be found and matched on the detective database. It is to have the participants to understand this dystopian world and question the space they are living in. Nothing is ever what it seems.