You are currently viewing Tim Chapman wants to Test Your E. K. (Evidence Knowledge)

Tim Chapman wants to Test Your E. K. (Evidence Knowledge)

Tim Chapman is the author of the Sean McKinney series and an editor for LitBop literary journal. You can find out more about him on his website. www.timchapmanauthor.com, or by clicking here, read his last post here, and buy his books here.

Read the following description of a crime and the subsequent collection and analysis of the evidence. Then take the quiz. The answers will be posted in the Blackbird Writers Discussion Forum on Facebook this week.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/266333987835433

The Crime—The Wheels Are Set In Motion

The police receive a 911 call from a woman who identifies herself as Ellen. She says that on returning home from shopping, she discovered her husband, Tim, lying dead on their living room floor. In a subsequent interview with investigators, she states that she did not touch the body or any of the evidence. No gun was recovered from the home.

The Crime Scene—Evidence Is Collected

• The Body (Lying Face Up)

• One Mirror

• One Razor Blade

• Two 9mm Cartridge Casings

• One Clear Plastic Bag Containing White Powder

• One Broken Glass Vessel Containing White Pasty Substance

• Numerous Glass Fragments

• One Plastic Bottle Labeled “Cobalt Thiocyanate”

• Bullet Hole In Wall, Bullet Recovered

• Bullet Hole In Floor, Bullet Recovered

• Stain On Floor

• Stain On Wall

• Possible Gunshot Residue Collected From Victim’s Hands

• Possible Gunshot Residue Collected From Ellen’s Hands

• Glass Fragment From Sole Of Ellen’s Shoe

• Victim’s Hands Bagged To Preserve Evidence Under Nails

• Fingerprints Taken From Both Ellen And The Victim

The Crime Lab —Evidence Is Analyzed

• Mirror—Examined By Trace Evidence Unit, No Trace Materials Found; Sent To Fingerprint Unit, No Fingerprints Found

• Razor Blade—Examined By Trace Unit, Small Stain Found; Sent To DNA Unit, Stain Determined To Be Victim’s Blood; Sent To Fingerprint Unit, No Fingerprints Found

• Bag Containing White Powder—Examined By Fingerprint Unit, Ellen’s Fingerprints Found; Sent To Chemistry Unit, Powder Determined To Be Starch

• Broken Glass Vessel Containing White Pasty Substance—Examined By Fingerprint Unit, No Fingerprints Found; Sent To Chemistry Unit, Pasty Substance Determined To Be Starch

• Glass Fragments—Examined By Trace Evidence Unit, No Trace Materials Found

• Glass Fragment From Ellen’s Shoe—Examined By Trace Evidence Unit, Fracture Match Comparison Shows Fragment Came From Broken Glass Vessel

• Plastic Bottle Labeled Cobalt Thiocyanate—Examined By Fingerprint Unit, No Fingerprints Found

• Stain On Floor Under Body—Examined By DNA Unit, Determined To Be Blood; Compared To Victim’s Blood, Match

• Stain On Wall—Examined By DNA Unit, Determined To Be Blood; Compared To Victim’s Blood, Match

• Gunshot Residue Stubs—Examined By Trace Evidence Unit, GSR Present on Victim’s Right & Left Hands, GSR Present on Ellen’s Right Hand

Author Tim Chapman some years ago

The Medical Examiner’s Office—The Body Is Autopsied

• Gunshot Wound, Entrance In Right-Side Chest, Exit In Center Back, No Bullet Fragments Recovered

• Gunshot Wound, Entrance Under Right Cheek, Stippling Around Wound, Exit At Back Of Head, No Bullet Fragments Recovered

• Lividity Evident On Chest, Stomach, And Front Of Thighs

• Toxicology Shows A Blood Alcohol Level Of ~0.14

Quiz—Now It’s Your Turn

1. Ellen lied to investigators. True or False?

2. The glass chip on Ellen’s shoe is significant. True or False?

3. Cobalt Thiocyanate is used in the identification of: A. Heroin, B. Cocaine, C. Starch, D. Sugar.

4. Gunshot Residue on Ellen’s hand shows she discharged a weapon. True or False?

5. Gunshot Residue on Tim’s hand shows he discharged a weapon. True or False?

6. A Blood Alcohol Level Of ~0.14 Shows Tim Was Legally Intoxicated. True or False?

7. Lividity on a corpse may indicate that the body has been moved. True or False? Why?

8. Based on the available evidence which of the following events are possible? A) Drug Deal Gone Wrong, B) Homicide, C) Suicide, D) Not Enough Information

9. What do you think happened? What’s your best guess?

Tim Chapman

Tim Chapman is the author of thrillers A Trace of Gold and The Blue Silence. You can find out more about him on his website, timchapmanauthor.com/, or follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Laurie Buchanan
    Laurie Buchanan

    Tim — I love what you’ve done here. I will come back and sit with this!

  2. Joy Ann Ribar
    Joy Ann Ribar

    A fun change of pace on the blog! Could be a drug deal gone wrong. Did Tim take the gun away from Ellen or did Ellen remove the gun from the scene (and lie about it)? Was Tim’s body moved from face-up to face-down perhaps? I’m not sure I could pass detective school today. Looking forward to the big reveal, while I ponder this longer.

  3. Avatar
    saralynrichard

    What a fun, ingenious blogpost. Can’t wait for the answers!

  4. Valerie Biel
    Valerie Biel

    I’m with Galit — she’s lying for sure — but I am clearly not qualified to answer these questions well. Cannot wait to follow these answers this week over on Facebook!!

  5. Avatar
    Colleen Winter

    This is a great idea for a blog post. I would say homicide? Can’t wait to find out

  6. tracey64p
    tracey64p

    I’ve read it twice and couldn’t quite figure out what’s going on. My take, Ellen isn’t lying. She walked through the scene and glass stuck in her shoe. She picked up the gun. But Tim was involved in some crazy shiznit. He got himself shot. I’m probably wrong. super fun, though! Thanks for stealing time from my day-LOL!!!

  7. Sharon Lynn
    Sharon Lynn

    I solve Murdles every morning and this is a Murdle on steroids! So cool!!! Thank you, Tim.
    https://murdle.com/

Leave a Reply