Journal Posts

Tag: canary

Case #2837: For The Love of Canary
The job of a cold-case detective can sometimes be very difficult. Evidence is harder to find and the only thing I can rely on to solve the case is the file created some time ago and any witnesses that are tied to the case. Today’s cold case was no different. Our local sheriff, Mr. Peters, came to see me with a recent cold case. He was frustrated at the lack of progress with closing this case and asked for my help. I gladly offered my help.

After he left I reviewed the case file. It seems that Mr. Wright, late husband of Mrs. Wright, had been strangled in his own bed by a rope. Mrs. Wright was named the main suspect. Some of the evidence acquired was a rope, and an empty bird cage with a broken door. Though there were no witnesses of the attack, there were a few names of local citizens who knew the couple attached to the file. I decided to interview the list of people in the file.

The first person I called in for an interview was Mrs. Peters. When she arrived I could tell that she was hiding something. I started off by asking her some questions about how she knew the Wrights and what she thought about them. All of her answers were short, like she wanted to say more but couldn’t bring herself to. I decided to bring up the bird cage. “Why was there an empty bird cage in the house?” I asked Mrs. Peters. “She had a canary” she replied. “Where is the canary?” I continued. She looked around nervously before replying, “It’s just a trifle.” “Mrs. Peters,” I said, “no evidence is a trifle. Do you know where the bird is?” She denied knowing where the bird was. “You know, obstruction of evidence is a serious law offense and can be punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Do you want that?!” I asked, frustrated. Her eyes widened and she said, “No! I’ll tell you where the bird is as long as you won’t charge us with anything.” “Us?” I questioned. “Mrs. Hale has the bird,” she continued. “She took it from the house because she didn’t want Mrs. Wright to get in any kind of trouble.”

I had Mrs. Hale brought in, along with the bird. She arrived at my office with a small box; the bird was lying dead inside of it. She had kept the bird for Mrs. Wright because she couldn’t bring herself to throw away what had once made her so happy. I sent the bird down to autopsy to figure out what happened to it. The analysis was strangulation that resulted in a broken neck. Weird, I thought. This is the way that Mr. Wright was murdered. I sent the two women home and had Mrs. Wright brought in for questioning.

Mrs. Wright came in with a nervous look. As we were sitting there she began to cry. “It’s alright, Mrs. Wright. Just tell me what happened.” She began by saying how much she loved her canary. It seemed as though she was comparing herself to the canary. She told me about the times when she used to be joyful and would sing a lot, just like the canary. “What happened to the canary?” I asked. “He…he strangled it,” she replied. “I tried to stop him!” she yelled with tears in her eyes. I asked her what happened to Mr. Wright. Hesitantly she replied, “He deserved to know how it felt. He took my happiness away from me.” I asked her again. “It was me,” she replied, “I killed him. I slipped the rope around his neck while he was asleep, knotted it, and strangled him; just like he strangled my canary.”

It all made sense now. Mrs. Wright saw herself as the canary, and when he killed it she just lost it. She was afraid that since he killed the canary, that he would do the same to her. With a confession from Mrs. Wright, the case is now solved. Mrs. Wright is set to go on trial in the next few months. She should be sent to prison for the rest of her life, unless charged with mental instability.
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Case #3: Canary Case
As I began to finish wrapping up the case of Greasy Lake, I thought I’d be able to take some time off of work. I went to drop off the last of the paperwork from the case, when I saw a file sitting upon my desk. I was almost able to turn away and walk out of there as if I had not seen it, but curiosity had gotten to me. “Canary Case” it had been labeled. I’ve heard talk around town of this case. It was almost three weeks ago that a woman by the name of Mrs. Wright had been accused of murdering her husband, Mr. Wright, by the use of a rope around his neck while he was sleeping. She was sent to jail at first, but they then moved her into a mental hospital. She is scheduled to return back to jail tomorrow.

I asked a fellow detective why they were re-opening this case. It was clear that she had killed her husband. There were traces of her DNA on the rope around his neck, so there is no doubt that she was the murderer. “It’s the canary,” he said, “they found it in Mrs. Wright’s stuff while getting ready to move her from the hospital.” I laughed and asked how a bird could be of that much importance. “Its neck was rung exactly like Mr. Wright’s.” I had always thought the bird had just escaped or maybe a cat had gotten to it. I went to go examine the bird. Sure enough, someone had to have killed it. I asked for the bird to be tested for any DNA that could be found on it.

But how did the bird end up with Mrs. Wright? I remembered the two women the file had noted had brought Mrs. Wright the stuff that she has with her now. They must’ve slipped the bird in when they brought her belongings to her. I called in Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters for questioning. They both looked pretty nervous. I asked them what they did over at Mrs. Wright’s house when they had gone over there a few weeks ago. They said they had gathered some clothes, fruits, and an apron Mrs. Wright had asked for to bring her for her time in jail. I asked what their relationship to Mrs. Wright was. They had both known Mrs. Wright but never saw her as often as they did before she had gotten married. They told me about how she used to be lively and cheerful before the marriage. Mrs. Peter told me about how she had gone over there a few days prior to the death of Mr. Wright and tried to catch up with Mrs. Wright, but she seemed sick. She said that she had gotten pneumonia. They told me their hypothesis of how Mr. Wright must have been so cruel to her and that’s why she probably killed him. I brought up the bird that had been found. They looked even more nervous and exchanged quick glances at each other. Mrs. Peters explained how they had found the poor bird in a box and thought that Mrs. Wright was keeping it because it had once brought her joy. I asked what they thought had happened to the bird. “Mr. Wright killed it,” Mrs. Hale said. I asked how she knew that and she said she wasn’t exactly sure. “He had to have done it. It sang all the time and he probably didn’t like that. He liked the quiet,” Mrs. Peters said.

I then questioned the three men who had gone to search the house. They didn’t provide much help. They were convinced that Mrs. Wright had killed Mr. Wright. Mr. Hale told me about his encounter with Mrs. Wright. “She was plain crazy. All she did was sit there rocking back and forth like she was somewhere far away.” I asked the sheriff if there might have been any evidence that Mrs. Wright was telling the truth about her sleeping sound and not killing her husband. He said all the evidence points to her. “We just don’t understand why she would feel the need to kill him. If she was miserable with him, she could have just asked for a divorce.”

I went to check on the canary. To my surprise, the DNA found on the canary matched only the DNA found on the rope. There was no trace of Mr. Wright’s DNA on the bird. That evidence suggests that the death of the canary was caused by Mrs. Wright. Mrs. Wright now has two murders pinned on her. How could this be? Why would this woman kill her bird? I went to question Mrs. Wright right away. She seemed to be doing better. She didn’t look half as crazy as the others were saying she was. I asked her what happened on the night of the murder. She didn’t say a word. She just stared right through me. I brought up the fact that her fingerprints were found on her canary. She looked at me with anger. I had found something. I asked her why she killed her bird. She muttered something that sounded like “stupid bird.” I told her that if she didn’t start talking I would not be able to help her. “You can’t help me,” she said, “that bird ruined my life.” Puzzled I asked her to continue.

“All I wanted was a family. I had begged my husband for years to start our own family. He bought me that canary in hopes that I would forget about a child.” I told her that I didn’t understand where she was going with this. “One day, he finally agreed that we could start a family. I was so happy. A month later I was pregnant. I hadn’t told anyone yet. A few days later I came down with something. At first I thought it was just normal sickness but it didn’t go away. It got worse. We went to see a doctor, and I was told I had Psittacosis, a rare form of pneumonia. I asked how that was possible. I hadn’t been out much, I was eating good food, and was resting regularly. The doctor told me that it was a disease that could be passed onto humans through birds. I asked if my baby would be okay and he assured me that it would be fine.” I pieced some of the pieces together. She didn’t have a baby, meaning the baby had been in trouble.

I asked her to tell me what had really happened. “It killed my baby. So I killed it. I just busted that cage, grabbed hold of it, and squeezed as hard as I could.” I asked her why she kept the bird in a box. She said that even though she had killed it, it was still a part of her family and that she was going to bury it. I asked what happened to her husband and demanded the truth. “The truth is I did kill him.” I told her that we knew that already from the evidence that had previously been found. “That night he came home and I was hysterical. He told me to calm down. He said it was probably for the best that I didn’t have the baby. He told me how relieved he was and that it was probably by the will of God that I got sick. I knew my husband was cruel but this time I had had enough.” She was crying heavily now. “We argued so much that night. I claimed that he didn’t love me and that he never wanted happiness for me. He just ignored my every word and went on to bed. I knew that if I wanted any kind of happiness, relief, and justice for what had been done to my baby, I would have to get it myself. I went out to the shed, grabbed a piece of rope and knotted it as I had knotted my quilts before. I went to our room and he was asleep. I don’t know how I did it. I just remember that once I had the rope around his neck, I held on for dear life. The next thing I knew, he wasn’t breathing, moving, or struggling anymore. I knew that what I had done was wrong and that I wouldn’t get away with it, but somehow I was relieved inside.”

I explained to her that she would be going to jail for a long time for the murder of her husband. She didn't seem to mind. She seemed more at peace with herself. She went back to the hospital to get the rest of her things for jail. As for me, I finished up the paperwork for the “Canary Case” and went home to start packing for my time off.
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