Journal Posts

Tag: kenneth_branagh

The Denmark Royal Family Case
With the “John Wright Murder Case” having gone so well, I decided my next case will be my last case as a cold case detective. I will retire and I would like to work as a consulting detective. I have put a decent amount of thought into this decision.

After my short-lived vacation, I received a letter from INTERPOL, regarding a case. A playwright to be wants to create a play based on the the “Denmark Royal Family Incident,” with as much authenticity as possible. This case was not entirely solved. All the answers that we had was based off the story of a survivor, and the story was pretty vague, concerning details. INTERPOL regarded this case as a challenge and wanted to test my investigative skills.

The letter from INTERPOL read as follows:

Dear Detective L:

We were recently contacted by a playwright earlier this week. The young man wanted to create a play based on the “Denmark Royal Family Case.” The playwright did not know in detail of what had occurred. He had hoped to gain information from us; however, that case was never fully solved and had been put on the shelf for quite some time. We here at INTERPOL have heard great praise for your investigative skills. We decided that this would be a splendid way of testing your abilities ourselves. You should have received a ticket and a passport for Denmark in this letter. Travel to Denmark and solve the entire incident and uncover the full history of this case. If your skills are admirable then we would like to offer you a position as an international consulting detective. We here at INTERPOL look forward to your investigation.

Sincerely, President Mireille Ballestrazzi

I felt honored to have received a letter from the current president of INTERPOL. I accepted the case that was given to me. The “Denmark Royal Family Case” is an excellent case for me to end my career on.

Considering the fact that there is not too much information I can gather here, I decided to go ahead and fly to Denmark. On the flight there I figured I would pull up some documents on my laptop and gather what I can find. The incident occurred back in the 1960s. All the information that is known comes from a witness who survived the incident. His name was Horatio, and he is no longer alive today.

According to Horatio, King Hamlet was murdered by his brother Claudius. The new King married the old Queen. Young Hamlet wanted revenge for everything Claudius had done. Polonius was accidentally murdered by young Hamlet. Ophelia committed suicide. Queen Gertrude was poisoned by King Claudius, which was meant for Hamlet. King Claudius is then killed by Hamlet. Hamlet and Laertes had killed each other in a dual using a poisoned blade.

A great deal had occurred during this incident. The Norwegian prince Fortinbras had fortune with the incident and managed to get Denmark back. With the royal family all dead, it was an easy matter for him.

After the plane landed in Denmark, I decided I would check out the genetics database. This allowed me to find the family of Horatio. I got permission from his family to visit his home and ask questions. While I was there I learned that he had wrote a book based on the event, in memory of Hamlet. I asked if I could keep the book, and the family had no real attachment to it. Also, Horatio apparently kept the poisoned blade that was used during the dual. Of course the poison had deteriorated by now. I decided to keep hold of the sword. It might be able to tell me something.

The book was rather detailed on the events that took place. It started from where the previous King had died from a poisonous snake bite to the ear. Hamlet learned that his father was actually poisoned by Claudius. The poison that was used was henbane, also known as Hyoscyamus Niger. This plant was toxic but not exactly deadly, it causes hallucinations and seizures,or when it is given in lethal doses it causes a slow and painful death. According to Horatio’s book, Hamlet discovered the real cause of his father’s death, by meeting his dead father’s ghost. His ghost apparently asked Hamlet to avenge him. Soon after Hamlet’s discovery he demonstrated insanity; although, according to Horatio, was all an act. Hamlet managed to test his Uncle’s guilt by using actors to act out the death of the previous King. When Claudius couldn’t take the sight of the play, he proved to Hamlet his guilt. After the play Hamlet goes to speak with his mother Gertrude. Polonius, the King’s Chamberlain, was hiding behind the tapestry at the time. When Hamlet started getting out of hand with his mother Polonius began to scream for help. Thinking it could have been the king, Hamlet screamed “A Rat! A Rat!” and then stabbed Polonius with a dagger. Hamlet did not know who it was he murdered until after the fact. After this King Claudius decided that he would send Hamlet to England. Claudius gave Rosencrantz and Guildenstern a letter for Hamlet’s execution. Hamlet sent Horatio a letter explaining what caused his journey to England to fail. The ship was targeted by pirates, and Hamlet was the only one captured. According to Horatio, Hamlet learned of the letters and then he replaced them with letters to kill Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. While Hamlet was away, Ophelia had gone mad after the death of her father. She had caused her own death by drowning. When Hamlet finally returned, it was during the burial of Ophelia. He had gone mad at the sight of her burial and remarks of her brother Laertes. Soon after Osric tells Hamlet of Laertes’s challenge and the King’s wager. During an intermission of their fight Queen Gertrude drinks out of the glass the King had set aside for Hamlet. She later dies from poisoning after the fight between Hamlet and Laertes had ceased. During the fight Laertes had struck Hamlet with a poisoned blade, and as the battle continued Hamlet had gotten a hold of Laertes’s poisoned sword and struck him with it. After the queen passed away, Laertes spoke the truth of the poisoned blade and poisoned wine. Laertes told Hamlet it was the kings fault. Upon hearing this, Hamlet struck the King with the blade and then forced him to drink the poisoned wine. After this incident Fortinbras and his army came crashing in. Horatio told Fortinbras that he will tell him everything and that upon Hamlet’s last speech, he approved of Fortinbras taking the throne.
I decided to use Horatio’s story as a basis for my investigation. I would try and prove what all I can from the book.

I began by asking some of the older folk, what they know about the incident that occurred years ago. After asking around town I visited Elsinore, where it all took place, in order to investigate. First I investigated Polonius’s death. I went up to the Queen’s room and looked around where the murder should have taken place. Using a Nova Torch Light Kit, I was able to see where blood had been, even though several years have passed. I found a fair amount of bloodstains from the tapestry and followed a trail to the main hall upstairs. If I remember correctly, this is where he had the body set before speaking with Claudius.

After this I investigated Ophelia’s suicide. I have reason to speculate the cause of her death. According to the stories I heard from a few of the the townsmen, the only one to know about her death was the Queen and she had a fair amount of knowledge of the scene. I find it strange that she could describe a scene with so much detail. This would mean that she was there long enough to save Ophelia. Instead, the Queen just let her suffer. I went outside to where the willow leans over the brook. According to some of the townsfolk, the Queen found Ophelia making wreaths here. The kind of fabric used during that time could get heavy real quick when soaked. Having a large dress made of this fabric did not help Ophelia’s situation.

During my investigation I came across a shocking discovery. I found evidence that hints that Gertrude could have had something to do with Ophelia’s death. Queen Gertrude stated that Ophelia sang little hymns until she was pulled under. However, I have found small tears of silk in the mud on the bottom of the brook. This could be from the fall, but some of the tears were from a different dress. There could very well have been a struggle between Ophelia and another presence. I took it upon myself to further investigate this possibility. A few of the tears of clothing belongs to a dress style typically worn by noblewomen. One of the other tears turned out to be similar to what the Queen would normally wear. This could mean that the Queen was trying to help Ophelia, or she was trying to kill her. This possibility is plausible. The Queen could probably have thought that it was Ophelia's fault that Hamlet lost his mind. Horatio’s story mentions Hamlet’s love for Ophelia. In Horatio’s story, the Queen grabbed the poisoned cup, and the King yelled her name and asked her to not drink, she drank anyway and had this look on her face as if she knew what was in it. She could have drank the poison on purpose due to her guilt, or she could have drank it because she was in denial of Claudius being “evil.” Unfortunately I do not think I can find enough evidence to back this theory up.

Once I was finished outside I decided to head to the location of the epic duel between Hamlet and Laertes. Using the forensic investigative tools, I could see that there was blood spilled here. According to Horatio, Hamlet and Laertes were only slightly wounded. However, the poison from the blade eventually killed them. As far as the King goes, he was wounded when Hamlet tossed his sword and impaled him. Using the chandelier to keep the King in his throne, Hamlet forced the King to drink the poisoned wine. After I collected the sword from Horatio’s family’s home, I used a microscope and found small traces of inactive poisonous compounds. They were inactive thanks to the deterioration over the years.

After my investigations in Denmark, I decided to travel to England in order to further my investigation. There I checked records for the murders of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. According to the records, once England received the letters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were beheaded. After their beheading an ambassador was sent to Denmark in order to tell the King that his wishes were carried out.

I looked up the passenger list for the ship that Hamlet was supposed to arrive to England on. I then checked to see if any were alive. After doing so I learned that there are three passengers that are still alive, two of which still live in England. I paid them a visit and asked them questions about their trip. According to both of them, they were indeed targeted by a pirate ship. One of them even spotted a passenger get off of their ship and get on the pirate ship. After this occurred, the pirates eventually stopped tailing them. These stories match the one story in Horatio’s book. This proves Hamlet’s claims to having been “captured” by pirates.

Once this was finished I traveled over to Norway. My reasons for traveling here were to see if I can validate the happenings between Denmark and Norway. Looking through the Royal records, (this was possible due to my INTERPOL security clearance badge)learned that Fortinbras planned an attack on Denmark but was thwarted at first. His uncle stepped in and prevented this from happening after his uncle had received a letter from Claudius, the King of Denmark. Fortinbras then took the initiative to continue his plan of attack, but with his uncle and Claudius believing that he was going to invade Poland. After Fortinbras arrived in Denmark to carry out his plan he learned of the internal affairs that ended the Royal Family in Denmark.

After my investigations I deducted that most of what Horatio told Denmark that day had to have been true. There are still parts that we can never really learn about. So whether one believes this piece of history or not is based on the individual. I’m sure the playwright can come up with a decent play with the knowledge I have come across.

Since the case was finished, it was time for me to head back home. I typed up my report and sent it to INTERPOL. After this I prepared my resignation letter. A few days later I received a reply from INTERPOL stating that they were pleased with my work and look forward to my later investigations. This was my final journal entry as a cold case detective. From now on I will be serving as an international level consulting detective.
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