Who Broke Into The Museum?

I could not update yesterday so instead of a mystery question on Friday I decided to make it a teaser. I hope you enjoy it,try and answer the teaser before reading the answer. X

Private Eye Sam Horowitz sat in his dingy
office, watching the paint peel off the walls.
He hadn’t had a customer all month, and soon
he would be out of business if things didn’t
pick up. That was before she knocked on the
door, and entered his office with a flourish.
She was a classy dame, looked wealthy too.
Her lips were painted bright red, and pearls
were sewn on to her red satin dress. Slight of
build, standing only five feet tall. As she
entered his office, she exuded an aura of
“My name is Erika Von Doran, and I need
your help Detective,” she said as she sat down
in the chair facing his desk. “My father owns
the art gallery Galleria Romana, and
yesterday we were robbed; all our priceless
paintings have been stolen. I am so upset, I
haven’t slept since last night! The local police
are stumped.”
“Two Monet’s, four Picasso’s, and a Rodin
sculpture were stolen. The guard was found
taped to a chair at the scene; he claimed that
the thieves knocked him out. The janitor was
found unconscious on the floor in the office,
he claims to remember nothing. Thank
goodness we have insurance,” sobbed Erika.
“Well,” said Horowitz, thinking of the steak
and lobsters he would eat when he was done
with this case, “I can help, but my fees are
high. I am in quite a demand lately. I will
meet you and your father at the scene.”
“Yes, detective, of course! My father will pay
anything you ask; I will have him meet you
there,” exclaimed Erika. With that she swept
out of his office, her blue eyes sparkling like
sapphires with hope.
When he arrived at the Galleria, Erika and
her father, a large stately man in a pinstriped
suit who stood at least six feet tall, were
already there. Horowitz saw as he walked in
that the janitor and guard were there too. “Welcome, Detective Horowitz!”
Mr. Von
Doran boomed as he strode over to Sam and
shook his hand. His grip could have broken
Horowitz’s hand, he was obviously a man of
great strength.
“Mr. Von Doran, hello. I will have a look
around,” said Horowitz, trying to subtly
remove his hand from the bearish man’s

“By all means, Mr. Horowitz. I have gathered
the evidence and copies of the police reports
for you to look at, and I have called back the
staff that was here last night when the
robbery occurred. Feel free to talk to them. I
hope you can find who did this to our family.”

Sam was led to scene of the crime. He noted
that each painting and the sculpture had been
protected in a case behind glass with a lock.
The glass had been smashed, and shattered
pieces covered the floor. He saw from the
police reports that prints of the janitor were
found on the cases of all the paintings, and
also on what was left of the case that once
contained the Rodin sculpture. On the wooden
base the sculpture once sat on, there seemed
to be crack in the wood, something white was
poking out the slightest bit. Horowitz pulled it
out with a pair of tweezers. It was a note,
which read

“Raucous Elephants Dream,
Helping Everyone Realize Romana Is No

Horowitz set the note aside, and went back to
searching the base with tweezers in hand and
his trusty magnifying glass pressed to his eye.
Stuck in the crack where the note had been,
was a shiny red cloth fiber. Horowitz moved
on to the chair where the guard had been,
fifty feet from the cases. He examined the pile
of duct tape used to secure the guard, and
noticed a strange greasy red stain on the torn
end of the tape. As he moved on to the police
evidence bag, he noticed that a piece of glass
was stuck inside the collar of the Blue uniform
the guard had been wearing. There was
nothing odd about the janitor’s green
uniform, though.
Horowitz called to the Von Dorans, the guard
and the janitor. When they were gathered
around him he said, “Now, tell me exactly
what happened last night.”
The guard, a large man who towered over
even Mr. Van Doran, said, “I was walking by
the Picasso, and then some one hit me on the
back of the head, and I woke up with the
police here and the art was gone.”
The janitor, a stout greasy little man, said, “I
was in the supply closet, when someone put a
rag over my mouth, and I lost consciousness.”
Erika said, “I was at home when I got the call
from Daddy, who said the museum had been
Mr. Von Doran said, “I was out to sushi with
friends when the police called me.”
Horowitz then showed them the note left at
the base of the statue. “I think the thief is
trying to tell us something,” he said, “but
clever as this thief is, I have determined who
took your painting Mr. Van Doran, and the
culprits are in this room

This teaser was written in the style of old
“pulp” detective novels with a forensics twist.

The janitor cleaned every case in the museum
daily, so his prints had reason to be there.
After finding the red fiber and the red smear,
Horowitz knew Erika was one of the culprits.
She was the only one wearing shiny red
clothing, which she has been wearing since
the robbery. When she leaned down to place
the note in the base of the statue, a thread
from her sleeve stuck in the crack. She also
didn’t think about leaving a red lipstick smear
on the duct tape when she ripped a piece off
with her teeth after she restrained the guard.
However, Erika had to have an accomplice,
the guard. The chair he was in was fifty feet
away from the glass, yet there was glass on
the inside of his collar. This means that he
was free and near the glass when it was
smashed. He was also much too tall for a five
foot tall woman to hit on the head; he had sat
in the chair while she secured him with the
duct tape.
For the meaning of the note take the first
letter of each word and put them in a row.
They spell RED HERRING, which was a
popular term in detective novels meaning a
fake clue to lead you off the trail.
“It was Erika, and the guard.” said Horowitz.
“But why, Erika? Why come to my office and
ask for my help, if you knew I’d catch you?”
“Alright, I admit it, it was me, and I am in
love with a security guard,” cried Erika. “If I
could sell the art my beloved and I would be
able to run away together and be happy. I
came to your office Mr. Horowitz, because
Daddy was about to hire a good Private Eye. I
looked for a Private Eye who had no other
business. I thought if I found an incompetent
one I could cover my crime. I’m sorry Daddy!”
Erika began to sob.
Sam Horowitz stood there watching her torn
between feeling insulted and waiting for a
moment to ask about his fee. Insult or no,
steak and lobster sounded good tonight.

Have a Fantabulous Weekend !


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