Welcome back to the second half of your Armchair Detective course from Hollywood University. I hope you enjoyed your break, looking cool in the quad, drinking in the campus pub and running up Mom and Dad’s “this is strictly for emergencies” credit card. If you’re a transfer student and missed the first part of the course, please feel free to take notes from Hollywood Armchair Detective Part I.
Otherwise it’s time to get back down to business. Crime waits for no one.
- Long, salon-styled hair should be worn down and will absolutely not contaminate a crime scene. I might leave giant tumble weeds of hair everywhere I go, but crime scene investigators have super follicles that never release their grip on their over-processed charges. And when you think about it, who would want to put their hair up in a bun or unattractive shower cap thingy when they took the time to blow dry and style their hair? The fact that they do their hair at all is especially impressive when you think about their exhausting work schedules and the amount of personal time they spend solving crime, as well as being shot at, kidnapped and buried alive. Sometimes I don’t even take a shower and I can’t remember the last time I was buried alive.
- The obvious suspect is never the guilty party. If there’s a guy covered in blood, standing over the body of a person he hated, with a knife in his hand, you can rest assured that he didn’t do it. More likely, he was returning home from his job as a sous chef, when he slipped, fell, rolled in the blood and then stood over the corpse of his enemy, trying to remember if he filed his taxes. However, if one of your suspects has a really good agent and has been seen on television or in commercials, they are most certainly your killer.
- When in a stand-off, an experienced police officer will let a volatile criminal wave a gun around without shooting them. In fact, said officer will even give up his/her own weapon in the interest of a peaceful resolution. And if for some reason the criminal has to be killed because they were about to shoot the detective or Little Orphan Annie, the detective will cry and lament over the lost life. You see, police officers love all gangsters, pedophiles and sociopathic killers and are optimistic about our justice system and its ability to rehabilitate criminals. They trust that criminals won’t get off because of clever attorneys or be paroled early due to a lax parole board. This unbridled optimism is impressive but perhaps not practical when you think of all the poor lab technicians who will be shot at, kidnapped and buried alive by the sociopaths at a later date.
Higher ranked officers do all of the grunt work. It’s quite common for an entire task force to be made of Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains and Commanders. They interview suspects, canvas the neighborhood, kick down doors, get the coffee, wax the police car. They even train new recruits. And then apparently the new recruits are shoved into a closet until they earn a rank prestigious enough to be seen on the city streets or they are promoted right to Sergeant or they spend their time cleaning the toilets. I’m not entirely sure what happens to them but the important thing to remember here is that the upper echelon are not slackers. So the next time you want to file a loud music complaint or fight a traffic ticket, ask for the Chief. He’ll love taking your report.
Officers can run around with their finger on the trigger of their gun without accidentally shooting off their toe. Probably because they don’t have a round in the chamber. Why be prepared to shoot your weapon when it would rob everyone of hearing that really cool racking sound and seeing you look like LL Cool J in SWAT? And you don’t really need to be ready to shoot your weapon at all, since you’re just going to give it up when the first criminal asks you to anyway.
Congratulations! You’ve officially earned your MAD (Masters in Armchair Detectivery). Feel free to begin solving mysteries with the feeling of self-importance that comes from earning a degree about which nobody cares and that will never earn you any money.
I know that feeling well.