Journal Posts

Tag: poison

Case #4:Tragedy in the Elsinore Castle
In my last case I stated that I was going away for a little while. Denmark was my destination of choice. I had a friend, Sofia, whom I went to university with from Helsingør, Denmark. She would always insist that I visit her and she would show me the best places to eat, shop, and tour around. My flight was about ten hours long, which was just enough time to give me jet lag. I happened to arrive about thirty minutes early. As I am waiting for Sofia to arrive, I watch the news. Two days ago, I learned, the king of Denmark, King Hamlet, was found dead in his garden. The Castle of Elsinore is being investigated at this time.

I received an email notification from my department; apparently the Danish government wants someone from our agency, which is one of the best in the country, to probe the scene and add fresh viewpoints to the investigation. They offer me a place to stay in the castle for the duration of my exploration. As I am reading through their files on what they have already found, I see that the cause of death was due to poison. They believed he committed suicide by ingesting something deadly, but could not figure out why. That’s why I was called in.

After a month of interviewing all of the family members, friends, employees of the castle, I still could not find any conclusion as to why King Hamlet would take his own life. Everyone I talked to told me about how great of a monarch he was and how loving and caring he was toward the people of his country. None of those characteristics points to a suicidal person. It was considered a sin here and if you committed suicide it meant you would not go to heaven. I could only think of a couple alternative explanations for his death. One would be that he was really unhappy and did an exceptional job at hiding it from everyone. Another reason would be murder. Maybe someone slipped poison into something King Hamlet consumed.

I looked for people who might be persons of interest to my murder theory. His son, Hamlet, may have done it. He could have had a greedy attitude to rule and murdered his father for the throne. While interviewing Hamlet the first time, I was told he was away at school in Germany. I checked and his alibi was the truth. He could not be his father’s murderer. Hamlet’s Uncle, Claudius, was my next suspect. He recently proposed to the queen of Denmark, Gertrude. It seems odd that the queen would marry her dead husband’s brother. For me, it adds both of them to the top of my suspects list. Claudius could have murdered his brother because he wanted the throne or because he wanted to be with Gertrude. Gertrude, on the other hand, could have murdered her husband to be with his brother. While interviewing them, both of them denied ever hurting King Hamlet. They said that they just both happened to find attractive qualities in each other and that’s what brought them together now.

One day as I was sitting in my room, reading over and over the files, I heard a knock outside the door. It was Hamlet. Something was up with him today. He seemed shaky and jittery. “I know exactly what happened to my dear father!” he proclaimed. He went on to tell me that he knows it was his Uncle who murdered his father. His uncle slipped poison into his father’s ear as his father was sleeping. I asked his how he got his information and he said I wouldn’t believe him. I asked him to tell me anyway. “My father’s ghost told me.” Curiously I asked him how he saw his father’s ghost and communicated with it. “ I saw him late last night. At first, I couldn’t believe it. I thought I was having a nightmare. He spoke to me. He told me who his killer was and how he ended up dead. It was my Uncle. If you don’t believe me, at least check my father’s ear.” I was skeptical to agree but I haven’t had any luck with this case so I figured it couldn’t hurt.

I called for a reexamination of the deceased. Poison had been found inside his right ear. Puzzled, I have to admit that Hamlet was correct in his explanation of how the poison got into his father’s body. I can’t say, however, who put the poison there. Hamlet could be telling the truth and Claudius may be the murderer, or maybe Hamlet could have could have played some part in his father’s death, even though he was away in Germany. Either way, Hamlet is the only person who knew what happened to his father in detail. It is hard to believe that a ghost just happened to tell him what happened and name his uncle as the murderer. There were no links I could find to tie Claudius to the case. The evidence so far points only to Hamlet. I went to get a warrant for Hamlet’s arrest. Maybe while he is in jail, they can run tests on him to see if he has some kind of mental illness that could explain his “encounter” with his father’s ghost. That would be the only way to try to get him out of jail and prove his innocence.

While going through my list of suspects, one name stood out to me. It was Polonius, the chief counselor to Claudius. When he was being interviewed he was quick to dismiss himself as having any part in King Hamlet’s death. Although he had an alibi that was checked out to be true, he still seemed like he was withholding some information. I called to interview the man again. When he came in, he seemed nervous. I asked him if everything was okay. “I didn’t do it.” was his response. I replied, “I have reason to believe that you did not kill Hamlet. I also have reason to believe that you may know who did. To withhold information that important could have some serious consequences.” He became quite. “If you know anything, then now is the time to tell me. We will find our answers eventually, and when we do, if you had not told the truth, you will be in serious trouble.”

He looked at me for a moment, then looked away, and then looked up, as if looking to Hamlet or God for something. “It seems you have gotten to me. I have answers. Claudius came to me a few months ago with a plan. He said he was going to get rid of the king and he wanted me to help him. I told him that he could not become king that way because king Hamlet’s son, Hamlet, is next in line for the throne. He said that he thinks he can get Gertrude to marry him. I was very skeptical of his plan. I didn’t want to be a part of it, but he offered me great things for when he would become king. So I agreed.” “What happened to King Hamlet?” I asked. “Claudius got a hold of some poison and while the king was sleeping in his garden, he poured it down his ear.” That story matched up with Hamlet’s story. I asked him how we could be sure that he was telling the truth. “Bring him in here and i’ll get him to confess.”

We brought the two together and at first, Claudius denied everything. He was beginning to look foolish with Polonius telling us what he did. He suddenly got angry and began to argue with Polonius. “We had a deal!” “There was no way out of this! They would have found out eventually and there was nothing I could do to protect you.” Polonius replied. I took that argument as a confession that Claudius did in fact kill his own brother and married his sister-in-law to become king of Denmark. He was tried as the murderer of king Hamlet and sentenced to life in prison.
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Tragedien af det danske Kongerige

March 6, 2014

I’ve been debating with myself for a while as to whether or not I’m gonna include the bloody end of the Danish kingdom in my museum. I usually like to put things in here that are somewhat unknown, but lately I’m thinking that this could be too good of an opportunity to pass up. I’ve been reading in the news that the Danes believe that keeping the ill-fated sword and cup in their possession is what keeps all the ghosts haunting their castle, so they’re going to auction them off. I’ve had a friend offer to help me bid on them, and it could be a major exhibit to further put my museum out there for everyone to experience. I’m just gonna have to look into other artifacts that I could use in addition to the sword and the cup. The main story of this event that happened goes like this:

            “The King of Denmark has been murdered, and his ghost haunts the castle still. His wife married her brother in law after her husband was killed. The poor prince, Hamlet, is slowly being driven insane. Perhaps it’s because of grief, maybe there’s different reasons; it’s unclear exactly what the cause is. There was a play performed, which is still performed to this day, and it was greatly upsetting to the King, and it seems to have been a breaking point as all the murders happen soon thereafter. Hamlet soon kills Polonius, a councillor to the King. Hamlet’s lover, Ophelia, was Polonius’s daughter. Driven mad by the fact that her lover killed her father, she commits suicide. By this point, the King has devised a plan to kill Hamlet. Hamlet and Laertes, Ophelia’s brother, will compete in a fencing match, in which Laertes will have a sharp sword edged in poison. If that doesn’t work, the King will have a glass of poisoned wine that he will offer Hamlet a drink from. During the match, Hamlet was cut by Laertes with the poisoned sword. Hamlet got the sword from him and cut him with it as well. During this, the Queen had taken a drink of the poisoned wine, and she then dies. Laertes ends up confessing to the whole ordeal, and Hamlet is infuriated. He stabs the king and then forces him to drink of the poison as well. The king then dies. By this point, the poison has worked its way through Laertes, and he dies from it as well. Hamlet knows he is about to die, and so he tells his friend Horatio (who was a witness to all these events and is the main source of knowledge about the whole story) to live and let everyone know what happened. Hamlet finally dies. The kingdom is shattered, so Norway sweeps in for an easy victory.”

It’s a little bit confusing to keep up with everything, so I’ll probably just highlight the event around whatever artifacts I manage to obtain.

March 10, 2014

Well, my friend and I went to the auction yesterday for the sword and the cup. There was a major competitor for us, and it got a little expensive, but we finally won! A battle well fought. Although I might have to up security as well… but I digress. It’s worth it. Now I need to obtain more pieces to help fill out the exhibit. I’ll have to think about what else I’d like to feature.

March 13, 2014

I found a painting of Queen Gertrude’s remarriage to her brother-in-law, the new king, Claudius. It was a portrait they commissioned of them together standing at the altar.It was at another museum I had gone to for a conference. I might try to buy it off of them, or I might just see if they’ll lend it out for awhile. It wasn’t on display, just sitting in the archives, so maybe they’ll be more inclined to get rid of it. At this other museum, they brought an interesting fact to my attention. They had a wall full of news articles about the Holocaust instead of pictures and artifacts. I think this might be a good idea to show all of the other happenings to see how they were covered in that time period. After all, there were no artifacts to be had from King Hamlet or Polonius’ death. Also, I’ve read articles about Hamlet and Ophelia’s insanity during my studies of this historic event. And what better way to show Fortinbras’ threats and eventual capture of the kingdom? I think it could be a very interesting way to present this information.

March 15, 2014

I’ve killed two birds with one stone. Well, maybe not one stone, but at the same time. As I was finding all of my news articles, I received a call from the museum I had visited telling me that they’d gladly lend me the painting of Gertrude and Claudius for as long as I needed, since they currently have no use for it. I also saw two other interesting mentions of other things that could be useful in my exhibit. I saw mentions of a love letter between Hamlet and Ophelia, and of a legend passed through the Danes of King Hamlet haunting the castle. I’m sure I can find the legend online, and I can mount it on a ghostly background to emphasize the eeriness. I’m probably going to have to settle for a replica of the original love letter as well. So, I suppose that’s what I’ll spend my time on tonight.

March 18, 2014

I had told a close cousin of mine that I was working on this exhibit, and she said she had been to a production of the play that was supposedly the same play performed for Hamlet during the time all of these going ons were occurring, and she bought the film of it. She offered to let me use it as a showing for my exhibit. I might just put it on a projector and keep it on a loop showing in the exhibit hall. I’ve also been searching for something to portray Ophelia’s death, and I found a beautiful portrait by John Everett Millais that I want to buy and put up. I’m in negotiations with the owner at this time, but it seems to be going in my favor.

March 20, 2014

Well, I was able to procure the portrait of Ophelia’s death yesterday. I’ve been putting up the artifacts as I get them, so the exhibit hall is now complete, and I’ll be opening it up next week. I’m giving it a little time to make sure that everything is put up to my satisfaction. I’ve also given some thought as to what I’m going to do next to top this exhibit. I think I might dedicate a large section to Edgar Allan Poe’s life. Of course, I’m also a fan of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s life and writings. Who knows what I’ll get into next?
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