Open Hung Out to Dry

Known Aliases
Spring-Heeled Jack,
It was hot, oppressively so, earlier in that July day in Florida. The thermometer peaked at 106 with plenty of humidity to back it up. Now that night had fallen, the temperature was finally starting to drop back down into a more livable range, but there was one person who wasn't alive to enjoy the change.

The police and Inspector McGuire had been there since 9:30 P.M., about 20 minutes after they had received word that someone had been found dead inside the two-story upper-middle class home they now were at. The inspector looked in again at the body through the double-doorway that led into the living room where the folks from the forensics lab were now doing their stuff. They had since gotten down Mr. Roger Stilson, age 53, from the rafters where the noose that he was hanging from had been tied. He had been discovered there a little after 9 by his niece, Joanne Stilson, and her fiancee Tim Greene.

Inspector McGuire was resisting the urge to step out for a cigarette (a habit he was trying to break), and glanced around the room again. Items that stood out to a trained investigative mind like his abounded. First and foremost, there was the fact that there had been no stool or chair underneath the rafter where Mr. Stilson had been hung. Given that the tips of his toes were still easily above the floor by at least six inches, the inspector supposed suicide was still possible by jumping, grabbing the rope, and pulling himself up to get his head through the noose, but it seemed unlikely for a man of Roger's rather flabby physique. He was about six feet tall and probably weighted about 180 pounds, but by the looks of the body very little of that was muscle. There also seemed to be signs of a struggle in the room. A few books had been knocked from a bookshelf on the near wall just inside the door, an old padded chair beside the shelves had fallen on its right side, and an electric blanket had been pulled out from where it had been stored underneath a long coffee table, likely dragged by the weight of Roger as someone pulled him along the floor, judging by where it was now. On that coffee table beside a side window now rested a large bottle of scotch, two-thirds empty, and two glasses, each still with the remains of condensation on them. Both glasses were empty, save for some water left in the bottom of each, likely from melted ice. On the floor by a corner table by the patio doors an old box-style TV had fallen onto its face and smashed. Finally, the patio doors on the far side of the room, made of glass, had a broken, gaping hole in the bottom of the left door, large enough for an arm to get through and ending high enough to be able to reach the handle, though there was no blood on the glass to leave evidence as to who had broken it.

Leaning back against the hallway wall, the inspector once more played out what the pair who found him had told him. They had, as well as Joanne's mom and her other uncle Stephen Stilson and his kids Margaret and Danny, been invited here by Roger as a family reunion. Stephen was a single dad, recently unemployed and living in Virginia. He and his two kids, a girl of 17 and a boy of 15, were theoretically going to be showing up at some point soon, as they had gone on a day-long scuba-diving trip. Her mom had said she was going to spend the day relaxing at the beach, but would be back for the barbeque. Joanne owned her own beauty salon in Texas, and her fiancee Tim was an aspiring country-music singer. They had just gotten back from Pier Park, a shopping and entertainment district nearby that Roger had suggested they check out while he got everything ready for the big backyard barbeque he was planning to treat the family to when night fell. Of course neither of them could imagine anyone wanting to hurt Uncle Roger, though Joanne did mention that Roger had confided in her two things. One, that he felt like he was being watched, and second, that he was going to have someone over for lunch to help him with the cooking, so she and the rest of the family shouldn't feel bad about going out.

The crime scene guys had finished their work, and would bring him the information they had once they made sure it was logged correctly. The coroner's report should be available soon, as well, so Inspector McGuire decided to walk the room again while waiting for the others he wanted to talk to. Just before he did, though, a policeman escorted Stephen, Margaret, and Danny inside. Sighing inwardly, the inspector took out his pencil and notebook, ready to write down notes about how these people also didn't know anything...

((Alright, here's how this works. There's the basic setup for what has happened, though as I'm sure the astute among you have noticed, it doesn't have nearly all the information it could. RP a personality or not, it's your choice. If you want to, you can just ask a question or ask for clarification on a point. If it's something you'd ask a person, I'll give you their dialogue as an answer. If it's about any sort of inanimate object, I'll either just tell you or have one of the crime scene guys tell the inspector. You'll get the coroner's report eventually, if/when it seems pertinent. When you have a guess that includes Who killed him, How, and Why, PM me and I'll let you know if you're wrong. If you're right, I'll announce it and give you an as-yet-undetermined amount of points. Any further questions regarding the rules, PM me!))

((Going around from the door (kind of) in a clockwise-ish fashion: Walls, then a chair, then the coffee table with the two glasses and the scotch by the window, with the electric blanket pulled out somewhat from under it, then the table with the old tv on the floor in front of it, then the glass patio windows, then a sofa with a trash can by it, then the chair that is actually tipped on its right side but I couldn't get the program to do that, a floor lamp, and the bookshelf with a few books in front of it. On the floor there is a rug, and that weird circle-square floor lamp represents where Mr. Stilson was hanging from the rafters. There is a ceiling light hanging between where the body was and the main doors, and between where the body was and the patio doors.))

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Sometimes we are so focused on the treasure we are seeking, that we fail to see the one right in front of us
Joe Kerr wrote on Patty's profile.
Is it weird that when someone said "things that glitter" my first thought was you?
At times, when we're so focused on 'who' we are, we forget 'where' we are.

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