Sherlock Holmes: Lonely Gambler Mystery

By: Juliana Moore

A man identified to be Roger Whitely, a 36-year old compulsive gambler and restaurant owner was found dead in his flat in the early hours of the morning from an apparent heart attack. All the exits were locked and there was no sign of forced entry, nor was there an attic or basement or any hidden exits anywhere in the entire flat.

The post-mortem divulged that the man was in excellent shape- the veins on the back of his legs were bulging from the muscle mass due to strenuous exercise, suggesting he was a runner at one time. His cholesterol levels were even, and he had the heart of a 20-year old. Not only that, but a look into his family history revealed no heart trouble of any kind.

Forensics also did nothing to shed light on the cause of death- as there were no marks on his body, traces of poison, or other substance to be found that would have resulted in his death. The murder weapon was never found.

Police interviewed many witnesses claiming to have talked with the victim or had contact within the last 48 hours. They consisted of his friends, co-workers, and family, but all had rock-solid alibis except for Lanice, his 60-year old mother who lives alone, Jane, his 36-year old wife, who was out of town at the time of the murder, Andy, his 50-year old gambling partner and best friend, and Anna, his 25-year old maid- a friend of the family who stayed with him the entire time whenever his wife would leave town.

The baffled police then turned to Sherlock Holmes and gave him all their assets and resources. Sherlock then interviewed the witnesses directly from his flat, each individually.

Lanice: "This is terrible! My boy is dead. How is this possible? I only saw him last night at dinner. He seemed to be in good spirits... he told me about his work and his wonderful loving wife; she's a lawyer with the local law-firm who had gone out of town on a business trip two days prior and hadn't been back for 4 days. I thought that was too long for a business trip, but Roger assured me that she made these lengthly trips once a month to other law-firms around the country. I don't actually own a key to his flat, he was a grown married man who didn't need his mother barging in at awkward times. Please do all you can to find my boy's killer."

Jane: "How can my husband be dead? And you're telling me that you don't know what killed him. How can you not know? I was only out of town for 6 days and I rushed home immediately after I received a phone call this morning that my husband was dead. Can you imagine finding out in such a horrible way? He seemed so sad when I left him, but then again he always is. He really missed me when I left, but I didn't have a choice. One time I asked him if he wanted to come with me, but he just shook his head and told me he would be waiting for me. And now I have nothing left now but my job at the firm. My only love is dead. Find my husband's killer and bring him to justice. Don't let his death be in vain."

Anna: "This is truly awful! Who would want to kill my boss? He was such a good man. Sure, he gambled a lot when his wife left town, but he told me that was just to fill the void she left him every month. I did my best to keep him away from it though. Made the best meals I could, kept him company with friendly conversation-just to keep his mind off missing his wife. His wife instructed me to do so every time she was away, so I know she doesn't mind. Of course I own a key. I have an early shift and that's the only way to get in. Please do all you can to find who did this."

Andy: "I've known Roger since the third grade. He was a good guy, never a bully. He would always be flirting with the girls, but he stayed true to his high school sweetheart. The poor sod eventually married her, knowing her busy schedule. And he was an absolute wreck when she left, leaving me to pick him off the floor. But he was my best friend, so there was no question where i'd be when he needed help. Yes, I own a key to his flat, just as a safety precaution though. He could be forgetful sometimes. I saw him just last night at the pub, we played a short poker game with stakes of 50 or 100 pounds. That was the only way to get him to play, the more money bet, the better. He was an adrenalin junky, always looking for the next rush. I wouldn't be surprised if that's what killed him."

At the end of the testimonies, Sherlock asked all the witnesses one question, and found the murderer. Who was the murderer? And what was the question? Explain your reasons thoroughly.

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