Micheal Fitzhugh - The murder in Beacon Hill.   Posted by Keeper.Group: archive 5
Keeper
 GM, 187 posts
Mon 12 Oct 2015
at 02:30
Micheal Fitzhugh - The murder in Beacon Hill
Check with morgue on loc of body

Micheal makes a phone call. He asks to speak to Brian, the coroner, and fixed an appointment with him at the hospital in half an hour. In theory, Michael would have to contact Sallivan first and provide an authorization, but Brian is an old friend and contact and he usually close an eye when Michael asks to see a body.

When he arrives at the hospital, he finds Brian waiting for him at the entrance, on the sidewalk. Brian is a man in his forties with blonde hair. Brian leads Micheal down to the morgue. The body is still on the operating table covered by a cloth. Brain removes the cloth with a gesture of habit and describes the cause of death. The victim is a young black boy of about twenty years. He has been shot in the head and in the chest. The bullets are those of a common revolver. He was dressing like a peasant, with very old clothes, basically rags. The clothes and the boyīs skin have been found very dirty. There is no sign of struggle, just the two bullet holes. Nothing in the pockets. Just small traces of mud and organic material all over the body. Brain has already made them analyzed. They are residual of wet soil and decomposed plants. The boy had spent some time in a forest or more likely in the swamps. Brian let Michael take a photo if he wish.


Talk to bartender/witnesses at scene - bring camera!

After seeing the body, in the afternoon, Michael heads to the Clerys bar in Joy street. The place is small and crowed. This makes the air warmer, if compared with the cold outside. Michael is the only white man in the pub, but the other customers does not seems to have realized. They seem to know each other and they are talking loud. The bar tender is an old black man and heīs one of that person that loves to talk, he would be talking for hours expecially when he can tell about something incredible he witnessed. That seems to make him feel important.

The night before being killed, the boy had entered the bar to ask for some information. The boy said he had just arrived from outside and wanted to know how to get to Harvard University. He had a strong southern accent, he said he had to speak with a person, but did not say who. That night there were few customers. The bartender told him to come back the day after. He would meet people who work in Cambridge. They could give him a ride. The bartender  noticed something else. The first night he came, the boy was not alone, but there was a white man with him. This man stayed out, he did not enter the bar. He doesnīt look like the man who shot him the day after. He was younger, definitely. They noticed him because, although it was very cold, while the boy was well covered with a coat, this man was dressing a light shirt. Unbelievable.

...call Billy at the paper and ask about any reports on shooting

Billy remembers about the murder in Beacon Hill. He wrote a short article, the article does not say any other details that Michael does not already know. Apparently, there have not been any other shootings in the area in recent times.

Ask hotel owner about boy

The hotel mentioned by Girst, the one in front of the church, is a shabby hotel not far from the scene of the crime. It is two-storey decrepit old building. Some doors and plaster are almost falling to pieces and the rooms are badly heated. Visitors have to keep the coat on when they enter. They are received by a fat rough and sullen black woman, her name is Emma. She looks like someone who does not move his ass from the reception desk all day long. She said the boy stayed in her hotel. The boy and another white man were guests, the only guests. She saw the boy going out the night of the murder. The boy closed his room before going out and the women did not have the chance to open it again. It is not the kind of place where they take care of cleaning the rooms everyday.

That boy did not come back. I was concerned... he had not pay yet. Then, two days after, some cops came. They asked about the boy and asked to see his room. I gave them the key but did go upstairs with them. They came downwards carrying with a dead body in a black plastic bag. They said that the man who was with the boy died in the room while the boy was out. They did not want to explain me how that happened. They just asked me so many questions. They wanted to know if I had heard something, some noise. Above all, they asked me if I smeeled something strange. I said I didnīt know anything. I just wanted them to leave me alone.

Find Jack the janitor & ask about boy

When Michael arrives at the campus of Harvard he finds the janitor cleaning the bathrooms. Jack is a scrawny and crabby man in his fifties. He does not have much to say about the boy. He found him suspicious, for some reason and therefore he did not want to give any information. If the boy had not gone away immediately he would have called the security.

Train sta - ask teller about boy & fam(?)

The teller says he vaguely remembers a black boy accompanied by an white man. They bought two ticket to New Orleans, but he does not remember about the date. He sees too many people every day, hard to remember details.

...check sched for Thib & other ticket buyers
There is a train that goes directly to Thibodaux. Need to take a train to New Orleans first.

Sallivan
Befor this, let me know about any actions/questions concerning the sessions above

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:13, Mon 12 Oct 2015.

Micheal Fitzhugh
 player, 13 posts
 Fast talker
 Fast thinker
Tue 13 Oct 2015
at 01:13
Micheal Fitzhugh - The murder in Beacon Hill
Fitz makes certain to thank Brian for his professional courtesy, and for access to the body. He asks how the family is, how the job's been, and other normal small talk that he can think of to maintain the good relationship he has with the man. He'd never stoop to bribery for the man, though he has on occasion had a bottle of the good stuff sent over by courier, or tickets to a show dropped off at the morgue anonymously. It's as good as a handshake in most parts.

He looks over the body and takes a few pictures, then decides that perhaps he should have used the flashbulbs he left in the car, but doesn't want to be seen coming and going if he can help it, so sticks with what he's got for now and hopes they turn out ok.

He asks Brian if the boy showed any signs of malnutrition or beatings on his body, and if possible what his last meal was, but finds nothing else of interest here and excuses himself when he is done.
[Private to GM: rolled 43/10 on photo so probably not even a good mug shot. :P]
===================================================================================

At the bar, Fitz knows the type of bartender he is talking with almost immediately. There are some who quietly accept that they are the psychologists of the town serving alcohol and listening to everyone's problems with a sympathetic ear...and then there are those like this guy. Fitz prefers the first type.

He will assure the bartender that he isn't interested in finding all the witnesses that were there that night or rousting his clients. He just wants to know about the boy and the white friend. Did they have a car? Did they speak and both have accents, or just the boy? When they got the ride to Caimbridge, did the driver come back and make any comments about the trip out, like odd questions or comments from the boy?

Since the scene of the shooting was the street out front, he goes out and gets a few pics of the front of the building and the street, and when questioned about it by one of the patrons, says he's with the press, but can't seem to find his fake ID that he's normally got in his pocket. The cold has him fumbling and stuttering a bit, and he's forced to exit the area to keep a scene from developing.
[Private to GM: Failed disguise and photography and fast talk. Dangit.]
===================================================================================

Down the road and around the corner is the hotel, and Fitz again takes some pics of the front of the building. After wasting a few more shots before discovering the lens was fogged and frozen over, he walks inside for his conversation with the madame of the place.

Fitz is genuinely intrigued by the information that a second body was brought down from the room, and immediately assumes it was the young white male that was seen with the negro boy. He asks politely if he can go upstairs and look as well, then makes up an excuse for having to take care of any notifications for the next of kin. When it looks like the woman will surely say no, he offers to pay off the charge for the room, pulling out the wad of bills the professor had given him earlier in the day.

Once upstairs, he checks all the usual [and unusual] hiding spots for people in a short-term hotel: behind drawers, inside ceiling lights, behind furniture and under rugs. He checks the room for loose floorboards and cracks in the wall covered by drapes or paintings. He is convinced that there will be something left behind that the local police missed, even if that's only a half-chewed cigar or a wrapper from some deli.
[Private to GM: failed fast talk but less than 10, so bribe! easy success on spot hidden.]
==================================================================================

At the train station, Fitz will ask how many other tickets have been bought for New Orleans in the past two weeks, and if any of them [including the boy and white friend] were one-way or round trip. Also, are there any wall lockers in the station that might have been used by the boy? Fitz gets as much information as he can, which isn't very much unfortunately, and he trips over his tongue trying to think of a way to get the station guard to tell him more about the passengers that come and go, and accidentally insults the man, inferring that he's blind for not remembering a black boy and white man travelling together.
[Private to GM: Another 97 roll for fast talk? wtf! glad it isn't life or death.]

After he's done at the station he will call Brian again and ask about the second body, the young-ish white man, what the cause of death was, and if there are any personal effects that came in with it he could look at. He'll go back the next morning and pick them up if there were any, as he's got to speak with Sallivan about some things anyway.
Keeper
 GM, 190 posts
Tue 13 Oct 2015
at 02:46
Micheal Fitzhugh - The murder in Beacon Hill
Brian says that the boy is skinny, but he has no signs of malnutrition. When he was killed his stomach was empty.

=================================================================================================================

The bar tender makes a big laugh before replying to Michaelīs questions.
"Well, listen to me, those two guys are the strangest couple I've ever seen. I donīt know if they had a car, They came here walking. The boy looked like someone he has never actually seen a car. The white man did not speak at all. He stayed outside freezing and waiting for the boy to exit. He was staying still, out there."

He points the street ouside with the finger. It seems that the visit of these two guys and the murder are the only diversions occurred here around recently.

"Well, I proposed him to meet with my friend, for the ride. But the boy didnīt say nothing about it. He just nodded. He wasnīt a talkative person. Anyway, the next day he didnīt show up. He probably found another way to get there. It seems like he didnīt trust strangers, and maybe he was right... he was afraid of being shot ah ah"
The bartender changes expression
"Sorry, bad joke."

The patrons believe Michael when he says he's with the press. They donīt ask ID. They are curious about his journal. They want to be interviewed and want their name to appear on the journal. Poor people that wish some visibility.

=================================================================================================================

The woman is not happy to have people snooping into his hotel. However, the hotel is still almost empty. Her economic situation really seems precarious. A few bucks are enough for her to let Michael go oupstair in the room.

Upstairs, the room is the one at the end of the corridor. Michael opens the door and enters. The room has just a desk, a single bed and a wardrobe. The wadrobe is empty. The only unusual things are the burnt stains on the desk, on the chair and on the wooden floor. There's a blackness, distributed between the desk, the chair and the floor. As if something connected with these three things had burned recently.

=================================================================================================================

At the train station. The teller says there tens of people travelling from Boston to New Orleans every week, mostly business trip. The boy and white friend purchased a one-way ticket. There wall lockers in the station, but the people working there does not remember having seen the boy and the other man.

When Michael insults him the man gets furious. He responds that it is not his job to take note of what customers the travellers look like and of their reasons to travel.

"Who are you to tell me the way I should do my job!"

=================================================================================================================

Brian says that for the second body the issue is complicated. This time it is good that Michael speaks directly with joseph Sallivan.
The Police Station that serves Beacon Hill is near, it is located in front of the Boston City Hall. Michael wears his heavy coat to protect himself from the cold. It snowed a lot last week and the city is still covered in snow. The street sweepers are still working to remove the snow from the sidewalks. After a few minutes, Michael arrives to the department. He finds a secretary at the entrance, she is seated at the reception desk. She seems the person in charge for directing visitors to different departments. The woman looks busy, involved in organizing some papers and folders. Michael kindly asks to speak to Sallivan. The secretary asks Michael to wait a few minutes while she calls him. Joseph greeds Michael and invites him to come into his office. Joseph is a young man, very resolute in his convictions and very devoted to his institutional role. Normally he has a very evasive and distant attitude towards Michael, he does not like at all that private detectives interfere in his work.

"What is the reason of your visit... Mr. Fitzhugh, If I may ask?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:12, Tue 13 Oct 2015.

Micheal Fitzhugh
 player, 14 posts
 Fast talker
 Fast thinker
Wed 14 Oct 2015
at 14:08
Micheal Fitzhugh - The murder in Beacon Hill
While speaking with the bartender, Fitz would have asked if the white man had also wanted to accompany them to the university, and then would have followed up on whatever answer he was given by asking Jack the janitor if he'd seen anyone matching the white companion's description with the negro youth....or does he recognize someone like that who might be an assistant to the professor, like a grad student that hangs around after hours?

====================================================================================

Before he leaves the conversation with the train station worker, Fitz will turn away and crouch to the ground, making a show of 'picking up' a loose coin on the ground. He will turn and hand the half-dollar [taken from his own pocket] to the man whom he'd unintentionally upset and hand it to him, commenting on his good luck at having someone drop a newly-minted 'Walking Liberty' like that and not pick it up again. He wishes the man a good day and leaves before any protests to his generosity at giving away a 'finders keepers' coin like that can be made.
[Private to GM: Just want him to have a favorable opinion of me if I return with the others]
====================================================================================

At the hotel, Fitz will closely examine the burn marks, checking if they were made by candles, or lamps, or heated pots and pans from the kitchen. He measures them with his hands [or paces, if they are spread that far apart] to get an idea of distance, if he wants to recreate the pattern at a later time, then goes to take a picture and drops his little bulb-carrying pouch, breaking the last of his flashbulbs and ruining any chance of getting shots of the room. [Private to GM: Rolled a 98 for photo? Wtf this dice roller hates me lol.]

He then thinks to himself that the deep south often has strange ways of doing things, and wonders if perhaps this has some connection to the strange melded religion professor Girst had mentioned. Not knowing anything more about it, Fitz makes a mental note to go to the library before the end of the following day, to have some more knowledge on the subject, and questions for the client, if need be. [Private to GM: failed occult roll...]

====================================================================================

At the police station, Micheal walks into the detective's office, smiles, nods, and removes his hat respectfully.

"A pleasure as always, Detective. Hope your holidays were pleasant, with the folks and all. I kept a low profile and tried not to get underfoot this year...my gift to you." He smiles a little more broadly at that, hoping to break the ice with some friendly banter, though it seems if Sallivan was going to crack a smile, it might not be until the day he retires.

"Yeah, well...I've got a new client, you see. Southern man by the name of Girst. Professor at the university, left home before the war and all." Fitz scratches his neck and jaw idly, brushing his fingers against the small scars there. Sallivan knew he'd been in the war, and there was no doubt it was one of the reasons Fitz got any respect from the man; the detective had remained here, stateside, while everyone else got to be a patriot. Fitz occasionally had to remind Sallivan that many died doing what they thought was 'right', and some brought home scars that would never fully heal. Fitz always made sure to tell the detective that he'd done his country a better service by staying here and surviving, to be able to put away more criminals and thugs in the long run. It seemed to work, to a limited extent.

"Anyway, seems he was minding his own business when someone from his old family farm comes up here with some news from home, and the damn kid gets himself mugged. Young negro boy shot right in the street in front of Clerys bar." He paused to see the reaction from Sallivan, if any. The man wasn't without emotion, especially when children were involved, but he might be playing this one close like a poker game.

"Terrible tragedy, of course. Loss of life so young. Wrong place at the wrong time I guess. But here's the thing - he travelled all the way here with a companion, a white male by the name of..." Fitz takes out the piece of paper he'd written his notes on earlier and makes a show of searching for the unknown man's name, "well, I must have put it on a different page in my notes. But he's staying at this fleabag hotel up the road and damned if he doesn't get himself mugged, too. Killed right in his own room. Now what are the odds of that happening to two tourists on the same day, both up visiting from Louisiana?"
Keeper
 GM, 193 posts
Thu 15 Oct 2015
at 03:07
Micheal Fitzhugh - The murder in Beacon Hill
The man accepts the money and strives to make a salute. His anger is gone, but he stares at Michael as he goes away with a suspicious glance.

====================================================================================================================

Michael notices that the burn marks seem to form a kind of continuity. It seems that something big has burned there. Something big enough to be in contact with the floor, the chair and the desk. The strange thing to understand is how something such big could burn without the fire propagating all over the room.

The strangest thing is that Michael about Obeah is that sometimes they make sacrifices with chickens or other small animals. Sometimes they light candles, but that happens in most of the ceremonies of all religions of the world.

====================================================================================================================

Sallivan hears the words of Michael nodding and smiling. When Michael finishes, he laughs and shakes his head. His mood changes. The police detective gets much more cheerful.

Ah Fitzhugh, I'm so glad you came to talk about this case, frankly. I've never been so happy to pass a case to another person. I was really going to forget this thing, but I always have a strange feeling of incompleteness when I leave behind something unresolved. You can take it as a challenge, but I am really curious to see if youīll be able to come up with something. The old Girst doesnīt know the whole story. I decided to omit certain details not to frighten him, but…  if he came to for you to insist in this case, that means heīs not so scared of getting scared. I didnīt tell him about the second body.

The detective's face changes and becomes more serious as to make sure that what is about to say will be not taken as a joke by Michael.

When we went to the boyīs room, as soon as we got upstairs, we began to feel a very bad smell. The smell got stronger as we approached the room. It was an undefined smell of burned organic material. I had never felt something similar before. We needed to cover our noses to proceed. We opened the door and entered the room. The room was dark and the windows were closed. I lighted up a match and immidiately let it fall down with a scream. There was a dead body reduced to a skeleton sitting at the desk. The smell was intolerable.

We opened the windows so to let the sunlight and the air enter the room. The skeleton really seemed a museum piece. It was yellowed, as if it were eroded by time. The skeleton was sitting on the chair. The source of the offensive odor was a residual of greasy and fetid ashes lying on the floor, all around the skeleton. Only the chair, the desk and the floor have been reached by the fire. Just in those points that were in contact with the body. The body seemed to having burned....  from inside.

We found an old suitcase and some old farmer clothes inside the wadrobe. The clothes were similar to those found on the boy killed. Inside the desk drawer we found two unused train tickets,  Boston - New Orleans, 100 dollars in notes and coins, and a revolver with some bullets. A very old model, a Colt 1851 Navy Revolver, a cap and ball revolver. It was designed between 1847 and 1850. It remained in production until 1873, when revolvers using fixed metallic cartridges came into widespread use. Most Texas Rangers use it prior to the Civil War. During the Civil War it was the preferred weapon of the Confederacy.

According to Brian, the only possible explanation is "spontaneous human combustion". Extremely rare, but not impossible. The causes are unknown. Differently from the cases already known, the temperature that burned the body was relatively low, enough to burn flesh and clothes, but not to burn bones. The strange think is.. the skeleton, according to Brian, is.... quite old, it is a corpse that... has at least 50 years!

So, my dear... you want this case... itīs all yours.


Sallivan smiles waiting to see Michaelīs reaction.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:14, Thu 15 Oct 2015.

Micheal Fitzhugh
 player, 15 posts
 Fast talker
 Fast thinker
Fri 16 Oct 2015
at 00:26
Micheal Fitzhugh - The murder in Beacon Hill
Fitz was, as always, relived when Sallivan chose to let him in on his side of the details of a case being worked. It showed a level of trust that wasn't actually spoken aloud, and both men respected the other's intelligence and strategies when it came to working the leads to find all the answers. This one, though seemed...different.

"Right. Burnt up, huh?" He looked at his shoes for a moment, so the detective wouldn't see his eyes darting left and right as he searched his mind for answers. "And the woman downstairs didn't smell the fire? Must have gone up quick, not to let the flames catch anything else on fire in there. Arson, maybe? Did someone slit his throat and then burn him with some sort of lye, like they use on a farm? That could cover a murder and look like an accidental combustion, right?"

He didn't know, though. He hadn't seen the body, and Brian had just told him to check with Sallivan first. Maybe he could swing by there anyway and look at the charred remains. Wouldn't be any different than some of the things he'd seen over in Europe.

"What if...let's say the white guy who shot the boy - who witnesses say wasn't the same one as was walking around with him while he was alive - what if the shooter came to the room, or sent an accomplice. You know, to kill the other loose end, the other young white guy. And when he gets there, the victim is ready, and kills the assassin? Then burns the body so we don't know who it is, and takes off for Louisiana again." It sounded like something from a nickel-fiction book, even to his own ears. "No, not left town. He still needs to get in touch with the professor. They came all this way, it's important that he speaks with Mr. Girst before...what? Foreclosure on the plantation? A sharecropper revolt? Another murder?" Fitz turned on his heel with each guess, and each time his voice rose in pitch ever so slightly.

"Damn this is a clinker! I need to know what information they had that needed to be passed on to Girst, and in person, not written on a note or left with anyone else." He turned to face Sallivan. "People don't usually sit at a table unless they're eating, or reading or writing. Are you sure there wasn't anything else on the desk, or the floor, or in the victim's pockets?"

"And...I'm hearing that the shooter had his face half-covered by a mask. It couldn't have been a hood, like the Klan uses, not in that neighborhood. Anything you can tell me about this?"

Fitz was beginning to think maybe it was a good thing he had asked for the retainer up front.
Keeper
 GM, 197 posts
Sat 17 Oct 2015
at 03:00
Micheal Fitzhugh - The murder in Beacon Hill
Sallivan grins. He nods, smiling, occasionally shaking his head, making it clear to Michael that he also tried to make very similar assumptions, without finding anything convincing.

No, we didnīt find anything else on the table. You are right. It's really very strange that the man was sitting at the table doing nothing. Not only. If the skeleton was really the boyīs companion, he has been locked inside the room. The room was locked. The windows were closed. No sign of forced entry. The only copy of the key was with the boy. If the shooter had gone to the hotel he wouldnīt be able to enter the room without forcing it. The victim might have open it, but how would the killer have closed it again?


No, she did not smell the fire and the fire did not burn anything other than the body and the clothes.
No trace of a fuel that might have started the fire. Not even a trace of matches. Nothing. And then the bones ...  Why didnīt they char? However, I think that skeleton is not the white man who was with the boy. According to Brian, the bones are those of a person died 50 years ago. Brian thinks it was spontaneous combustion and the heat would have consumed the bones somehow and that's why they look old. Most likely, nobody was not killed in that room. That skeleton comes from who knows where. The boy closed it inside the room and staged the occurrence of a fire. Why? I have no idea.


OOC: Iīm already posting the group scene, but if you have other questions for Sallivan feel free to continue this scene as well
Keeper
 GM, 198 posts
Sat 17 Oct 2015
at 03:08
Micheal Fitzhugh - The murder in Beacon Hill
OOC: I just wanted to move the last post here and I deleted the other tread.. shit! Will replace soon, I have a copy somewhere. Anyway, fortunately the investigation messages have not been deleted.
Micheal Fitzhugh
 player, 16 posts
 Fast talker
 Fast thinker
Sat 17 Oct 2015
at 03:28
Micheal Fitzhugh - The murder in Beacon Hill
Fitz racks his brain for something that would account for the strange happenings at the hotel. Was the corpse one of those voodoo zombies that just ran out of juice? Was the little negro boy possessed by something and had to be killed by the masked man? Could this be some sort of ritual sacrifice, done right or gone horribly wrong? He didn't know, and had no idea where to start looking. It wasn't like the Boston public library was anything like the one in New York City, or D.C. even.

"I'm sure any reputable locksmith can tell you that any lock can be picked, and, therefore can be locked as well. A good hitman would have that skill." He certainly didn't want to think that there was a hired goon out there who not only killed the victims by unknown means, but also burning their bodies beyond recognition.

"You don't mind if I go talk to Brian about this smoking corpse, though, right detective? He might have found something else since his report, like cause of death or something to narrow down where the person lived while they were alive." He really wanted the coroner to have found something else out. Too many dead ends would freeze this case.

"It might be useful if someone from your office could have the ticket teller at the train station keep an eye out for any unaccompanied white males buying a ride to Louisiana. Maybe give you a call before they leave town. Might catch a lucky break and find someone with a warm gun." Sure it was a long shot, but he had to put it out there. If the boy's killer thought he'd gotten away with it, he might just make the mistake of walking away when he should keep running. "And maybe have someone check on professor Girst, just to be sure he's still around and not a smoking pile of ash in his own study." He held his hands open and upturned, giving a shrug that was meant to say I'm not trying to tell you how to do your job, I just need some official help on this, please.

"I'm gonna go for a walk. Maybe stop and get a drink, too." He reached out to shake Sallivan's hand with a firm grip and a nod. "If I find out anything more and need someone arrested, you can be sure I'll call you first." He winked, then left the office and headed straight to the morgue to check on the cause of death for the burnt corpse, hoping it wasn't just 'fire'.

Before he completely leaves the precinct area, Fitz also buys a few cups coffee and hot cocoa from a vendor [or 5-n-10 store, or café] and takes them to the girls that work the switchboard for the police station. Fitz had learned very early in his career that these girls heard everything, literally, that was said on every phone call that came into or out of the police station. He always tried to stay on their best side, just in case he needed some inside information on a case, or a particular officer or official.


From there Fitz headed back to the bar, to buy that drink he'd talked about and to ask the bartender a pair of follow-up questions. First, could he describe the mask that the shooter had been wearing? And second, had anyone other than himself and the police been around, before or after the shooting, asking questions about the boy, or the university, or anyone by the name of Girst?

Finally, he ends the day at the library, looking into the part of Thibodeaux that Girst said his plantation was on, as well as anything about that religion he talked about...
Keeper
 GM, 200 posts
Mon 19 Oct 2015
at 04:04
Micheal Fitzhugh - The murder in Beacon Hill
Sullivan replies, his voice seems a little bored. He hoped that Michaelīs visit would serve to finally got rid of the case. He didnīt expect that Fitzhugh would have asked for further involvement.

I understand your concerns about the Professor Girst, but until now I have no reason to believe that it is seriously in danger. The skeleton we found for me is a kind of sham and I doubt they want to burn Professor Girst. My men are busy with other problems right now, as soon as someone is available in the coming days I will let you know.

He gets up to grab a cup of coffee. He offers some coffee to Michael.

Anyway, I want to give you a hand. Today Iīm going to the station to talk to the teller, for him to check whether someone who may be the our man takes a train to New Orleans. And... yes... of course... Brian will make you see the corpse.

When Michael meets his friend Brian, he discovers that the coroner thinks a little differently from Sallivan. The young doctor seems enthused, speaking almost with excitement. The skeleton is the most fascinating forensic puzzle of his career. He really cannot explain why the skeleton is 50 years old. However, he has no doubt that a combustion occurred. The ashes they found are the result of the burning of a human body, in terms of quantity and quality. Brian excludes that the body has been burned by another person. In the room, the traces of burning were minimal. Some dark stains just at the points of contact of the body with the floor, the chair and the table. No one would ever be able to do a job so precise. Especially, because the body would move in pain as he burns. Brian is convinced that it was human spontaneous combustion. Only something that suddenly began to burn from the inside could have produced a similar result. It's as if there havenīt reeally been a fire, but a rapid increase of the body heat that consumed the flesh from inside.


At the Library Michael discovers that the plantations area of Thibodaux has a long history of racial violence.
In November 1887 a violent labor dispute and racial attack by whites against black workers occurred in Thibodaux. It was a massacre. Although the number of casualties is unknown, at least 35 and as many as three hundred workers were killed, making it one of the most violent labor disputes in U.S. history. All of the victims were African American.
The massacre was the direct result of a three-week 1887 sugar strike organized against cane plantations in Lafourche, Terrebonne, St. Mary, and Assumption parishes. The planters appealed to Louisiana Governor who called out ten infantry companies and an artillery company of the state militia and broke the back of the strike.
The displaced black workers and their families concentrated among supportive elements within Thibodaux, and the state militia withdrew.

In August 1915, a sect of the Ku Klux Klan is formed in the neighboring city of Lockport.
During the following months the sect intimidates the African Americans living in the Lafourche Parish, including Thibodaux. The intimidations stopped in 1916, when a disastrous fire destroyed a large part of the business area and several homes in Lockport.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:25, Mon 19 Oct 2015.