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  • Aaliya Ganguly

What Really Happened:

Mr. Albarn was faced with a confusing situation. Seated opposite him was a client, Mr. Michael. In front of Michael lay an open envelope, containing a letter from his uncle. The letter read:

Dear Michael,

You may not have expected to hear from me. I did not think I would have written to you either, but the fragility of life causes one to re-examine one’s circumstances. The walls of this prison have been taunting me for many years. I do not think I will survive any longer. I am leaving my wealth to you. However, I have one request. I want you to find out the truth as to what happened that night, that night which shaped my future and landed me here.

I did not think it would bother me, but the feeling has begun to creep into my mind of late. I do not belong here. I am innocent. Believe that. ‘Clear my name’.


David Jones.

“Are you familiar with the Meister Bank robbery, Mr. Albarn?”

“I have heard of it. Very strange situation. Inside job perhaps.”

Michael nodded. “An employee managed to hack into the server and gain the codes to the vault. The disappearance of the money was only realized hours later.”

“An old case, Mr. Michael. One solved long ago.”

“ Yet my uncle, the convicted criminal who was sentenced to prison, now tells me that it was not him. He asked me to find the truth, Mr. Albarn. I can think of no one better than you to find the solution. Will you help me?”

Mr. Albarn went over his thoughts. A queer situation. The past was brought up again for another man’s closure. Something told him that this would prove to be an interesting case.

“I will help you. However, if I should find that it was indeed your uncle, you must accept it. The truth cannot be changed, after all.”

Mr. Michael looked relieved. He thanked the detective profusely, and requested he come to visit him on Friday, where all suspects would be present. Albarn agreed.

Left alone, Mr. Albarn researched the facts of the case, which he noted down as follows:

The code to the vault was very secure and changed every hour. In fact, even opening the vault took up to 15 minutes! Very few employees had access to see this code. They were- Ms. Leighton, Mr. Coleman, Mr. Freebody and Mr. Jones. All of whom were present on December 14th, 2010, the day of the robbery.

At about 4.30 p.m, when the money was assumed to have been taken, Jones was seen leaving the vault room with a black briefcase stamped with the logo of the bank. Onlookers assumed it was official business.

The missing money was discovered by Freebody at 5.00 p.m, who noticed that the vault had been accessed without prior notice. Suspicious, he went down to look through it, and found that four lockers were lying open and empty. Immediately, he informed the other three, Leighton, Freebody and Jones. The police were called immediately.

On arrival, they found out that the cameras in the vault did not record any footage from 3:30pm. The cameras outside the vault however, were perfectly functional. Seeing that Jones was the last person who exited the vault, the police searched his laptop. It was found that he had checked the vault passcode at 4.20 p.m.

A search was made for the briefcase, but the Police found it empty.

Jones said that Coleman had asked him to carry the briefcase and go into the vault as a security test, but after a brief investigation, the claim was dismissed as an attempt at deflecting the guilt.

On 18th December , David Jones was arrested on charges of theft and robbery.

Albarn sighed. A solution had formed itself in his mind. Only to wait now…

When Albarn arrived at Michael’s house on friday, he was greeted by three bored faces sitting impatiently on the couch.

“Good evening!”, he smiled at them.

They each looked at him with varying faces of disdain, wondering what this old man thought he could understand better than the police.

“You all know of the situation, yes?”

“Why dig up the past now?” Freebody asked.

“For the nephew here. He wishes to have closure, and so he shall. I have a theory in mind already.”

“I now have a question for Mr. Coleman. For my theory to be correct, I must have an honest answer from you. The matter is shut and closed, and everything discussed here will remain within these walls. Did you or did you not ask Jones to take the bag in as a security test?”

Coleman looked nervous. Under the inquiring eye of the detective, he could barely say anything.

“Oh alright. We just thought it would be a good idea to test the security of the vault. We wanted a senior partner, like one of us,to go in with a briefcase, to gauge the reactions of the people around, to see if they would stop a potential theft by a high ranking official. Obviously, we never thought he would use the opportunity to actually rob it!” Leighton said.

“The security check was real?!” exclaimed Freebody.

“It doesn’t matter, Jones did it anyway.”

“But it was not Jones at all!” the detective exclaimed with a dramatic flair.

“Excuse me?” said Leighton. The other two stared at him. Michael stood in waiting silence.

“It is the very fact that Mr. Jones checked the passcode at 4.20 p.m that proves he did not rob it. Any man planning the theft of such a large sum will have to have prepared beforehand!”

Looking at the skeptical faces of his audience, he added, “The vault takes up to 15 minutes to open. However, he was seen leaving at 4:30 by several witnesses. Therefore, it is impossible for him to have managed to enter, take the goods, and leave in barely 10 minutes.”

“But- but- that would mean- “Mr. Coleman could only stutter out his words in shock.

“An innocent man was condemned wrongly, yes.”

“So who did it?” Leighton asked with anxiousness.

“Mr. Coleman was the one who told Jones, is that correct?”

The three nodded.

“Who else was aware of it?”

“Leighton knew, but I didn’t.” Freebody said.

The detective smiled.

“This fits perfectly with my theory.”

“Let me tell you what actually happened that fateful day.

Mr. Coleman and Ms. Leighton formulated the plan for the security test. I do believe it actually was one, however idiotic it may have been to have turned off the cameras.

Freebody was not in on it. When he saw Jones enter the vault, at 4.15p.m which was the earliest possible time, he immediately jumped to conclusions. He was someone who should have been aware of any official business, so seeing the briefcase with the logo did not ‘fool’ him. He genuinely thought that Jones had taken something from the vault. So, he went up to Jones’ office. At 4:20 p.m it was Freebody, and not Jones, who checked the passcode to the vault!”

“So Mr. Freebody, thinking the vault had actually been robbed, went into the vault. He assumed something had already been taken, so he decided to empty three lockers. Whatever he took would be blamed on the first thief. So, the innocent man went to prison, and the guilty one went scott free.”

He smiled at his audience, and quietly left the house.

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