The Felix Mystery: Case of the Missing Millionaire Investigated by the 2011 Challenge Class
Background Information • Victim: Felix Navidad • Felix was not very well-liked because he continually criticized everyone and everything around him. • Felix inherited a considerable amount of money. • Felix had just recently bought a two-bedroom one-bath beach house located in a very expensive neighborhood. • Threw a weekend housewarming party for four of his closest friends. • Although Felix considered these people to be his best friends, none of them liked him very much, and they probably only accepted the invitation because he had recently announced that they were all named equally in his will.
Background Information • All four of Felix’s guests are suspects in the case. • When the police arrived, they found no external injuries and no blood on the victim’s body. • The body disappeared on the way to the morgue, before an autopsy could be performed to figure out how he died. • We not only don’t know who killed Felix, if it was a murder, but we don’t even know how he died! • There is even some speculation that Felix is not dead, but staged the crime for his own reasons. Reports that he has been seen at the local bus station have not been confirmed.
Alfredo Fettuccine • Statement: “My name is Alfredo and I am a computer programmer. I saw Felix sitting on the patio, so I joined him at about 2:00pm. We each had a can of cola, but we poured them into cups to drink. I set down my cup of cola and went to the bathroom at about 2:45pm. When I came back 10 minutes later, I found Felix lying dead on the floor, so I called out to the others at about 3:00.” • What we know • Alfredo has a cut on his left hand. • He has a brown felt pen in his pocket. • He plays guitar. • He was wearing tennis shoes and a blue sweater.
Kendra Goode • Statement: “My name is Kendra and I am an artist. I went upstairs to take a shower in the bathroom at about 2:30pm. I think that I heard a woman’s voice downstairs. I came downstairs as soon as Alfredo called out at about 3:00.” • What we know • Kendra has white powder on her tennis shoes. • She has pierced ears
Gene Poule Statement: “My name is Gene and I am an office manager. I took my dog Sasha down to the beach for a walk at noon. After taking off my sandals, I fell asleep with Sasha lying next to me. When Alfredo called out at about 3:00pm, I woke up, and brought Sasha up right away. I never let Sasha come inside or on to the patio.”
Vera Cruise • Statement: “My name is Vera and I am a chemist. I went for a walk at about 2:00pm in the hills behind the house. I came back when I heard Alfredo call for help at about 3:00.” • What we know • A white powder was found on Vera’s tennis shoe. • Vera was wearing a white wool sweater. • She loves candies with brown coatings. • She has pierced ears.
Investigation Steps • Mapping the Crime Scene • Collecting the Evidence • Analyzing the Evidence • Reconstructing the Crime • Drawing a Conclusion
Mapping the Crime Scene • We divided the crime scene into 8 sections and drew all of it. • We paid attention to the details in the crime scene, like footprints, evidence, and the body formation.
Collecting the Evidence Evidence Collected Dog hair Towel Pencil shavings Comb with hair on it Folder Ice cube tray with water in it Body outline Blood drips Nails Alarm clock Hair sunglasses The following items were collected and put in bags: • 2 Coca-Cola cans • Guitar pick • White powder • 2 pieces of string • Snickers wrapper • Dog prints • Human foot prints • Paint brush • 2 cups partly full of a brown liquid • Trash can
Analyzing the Evidence • We used the following tests to analyze the evidence: • Fiber Analysis • Fingerprinting • pH Testing • DNA Analysis • Tape Lifts • Handwriting Analysis • Powder Revealing • Chemistry Reactions • Chromatography
Fiber Analysis • Fiber analysis is the study of fibers. • We looked at fibers through a microscope. We were trying to find out if the fiber was cotton or wool.
Fingerprinting • We compared fingerprints from the suspects with fingerprints found at the crime scene. • The crime scene fingerprints were found on Felix and Alfredo’s cups. • Kendra’s prints were found on Felix’s cup, but not on Alfredo’s. • The fingerprints were revealed by putting Krazy glue in a bag with the cup.
Coca-Cola Test • We used pH paper to test the Coke in Felix and Alfredo’s cup. • We compared it to normal Coke by dipping the pH paper in the real coke then in Alfredo’s and Felix’s cokes and comparing the reactions. • We found out that Felix’s coke was different from regular coke. From left to right: Felix’s Normal Alfredo’s
DNA Analysis • We used DNA analysis to look at a sample of hair evidence and compare it to our suspects. • The hair found on the comb was Felix’s. We know that because it matched the DNA sample of his hair.
Chromatography • Chromatography is when you color on a paper towel or napkin and then you stick the end of the paper towel in water and it absorbs the color and makes it easier to see and tell apart from other inks. • We took a napkin that had black stuff on it and used chromatography to figure out if what was on the napkin was brown food coloring or brown marker. • The napkin had food coloring on it. From left to right: Food coloring, evidence, brown pen
Secret Note • We found a secret note on the folder (evidence). The message was indented into the folder by someone writing on top of it. • We used brown powder to reveal the note. We put it on and brushed it off carefully. We kept brushing and the message came clear. • It said, “Dear Martha, The deed is done. Felix is dead and I’ll be rich soon. Love, Vera”
Handwriting Analysis • The secret note was written in regular handwriting and not cursive. • We took samples of each suspect’s handwriting and found that Kendra’s (suspect) handwriting matched it most clearly. • Kendra must have framed Vera because Vera’s name was on it.
Tape Lift • We did a tape lift on every suspect’s shirt to look for fibers, hair, and other stuff. • Kendra had dog hair and grass. • Vera had a piece of hair in her hood. • Gene had yarn and dog hair on him. • Alfredo had dog hair and maybe grass.
Ice Cube Test • We used pH paper on the ice cube water to compare it to tap water. • We saw that the ice cube water was way different than the tap water. • We think the ice cube water may have been poisoned by Kendra. Ice Cubes Normal Water
Powders Test • We compared powders to see which had been used to create the fake blood in the crime scene, and if the same powder was on Kendra and Vera’s shoes. • We put drops of iodine onto samples of baking soda and cornstarch to compare reactions. • The test showed that the powder used to make fake blood was the same as the powder on Kendra and Vera’s shoes – cornstarch.
Evidence Chart Gene Poule Vera Cruise Alfredo Fettuccine Kendra Goode Felix Hard Footprints Dogprints Piece of string Hard White powder on shoe String Snickers Wrapper Hard Coca-Cola Coke Can Guitar Pick Hard Folder w/ secret note Ripped “KG” Towel w/bodyspray Paintbrush Doghair White powder on shoe Hard Body outline Coca-Cola Soft Comb w/hair
Our Finding Based on the evidence found, we believe that Kendra poisoned Felix. • We believe Kendra poisoned Felix by putting poisoned ice cubes in his drink while Alfredo was in the bathroom. She may have poisoned him to get money from his death because Felix had named each of the suspects equally in his will. • We believe she led the blind dog, Sasha, into the house with the ripped “KG” towel that smelled like a man’s body spray (like the dog’s master) trying to frame Gene. She may have also used Gene’s shoes. • Kendra also tried to frame Vera, writing a note but signing Vera’s name. • The white powder found on Kendra and Vera’s shoes was the same powder that was used to make the fake blood drops found at the crime scene.