A Cold Case
There are four clues in the story that implicate or exonerate one of the suspects. With a partner, identify the clues and use reporting language to tell what each of the suspects said – then decide who committed the crimes.
Bryan Durell Grieve Collier Jacques Bourbonne Ruth Majick
Corporal James Prescott of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police leaned back in his chair and looked out the window of his tiny office, located in the rear of the small station house. He almost went snow-blind just glancing at the brilliant white scenery outside.
A weekend snowstorm had blanketed the surrounding countryside in another twenty inches of the white stuff, and the bright sun in ...view middle of the document...
As all of the tracks were clearly visible, and the frozen body was only covered with a trace of snow, it was safe to assume that the murder and theft had taken place after the snowstorm ended on Sunday night, but before the roads were cleared Monday night.
The snowshoe tracks were unique in no way other than their actual depth in the snow, which was rather shallow. And the snowmobile tracks were even less revealing—they merged with a popular snowmobile trail through the woods farther down the road, which had already been heavily used again by Tuesday morning, leaving that trail cold, in every sense of the word.
Still, the RCMP’s investigation over the past three days had quickly narrowed the suspect field down to four candidates. The small population of the town and surrounding area had helped considerably to narrow the search. It would’ve been extremely unlikely that some random stranger to the area would have been out snowmobiling shortly after a major snowstorm, with a pair of snowshoes conveniently handy, and the knowledge of Red Tembeck’s hidden stash of gold coins.
Corporal Prescott thumbed through the investigation file until he came to Grieve Collier’s statement. Collier was an old man, slight and sprightly. His property directly bordered Tembeck’s. The two had once been friends and then become mortal enemies, after Tembeck had chased Collier’s young grandchildren away with a loaded shotgun when they’d accidentally strayed onto his land. Collier admitted that Tembeck had once shown him his gold horde in the root cellar, back in the days when they’d been pals.
The RCMP officer flipped over some more pages to Bryan Durell, physical education teacher at the local school and all-around outdoorsman. A trim, athletic man of thirty-two, he’d only come to town about six months earlier—after leaving behind some serious financial troubles in Toronto.
Durell had no known grudge with Tembeck. But he did admit to hearing rumors about Tembeck’s gold, although he claimed to have no idea where it had been hidden.
A series of expletives in angry Quebecois French...