(Image credit: Flickr user Sean Lamb)
Stan Rogers winced at the flesh wound in his left shoulder, feeling lucky to be alive. "My partner and I were delivering a payroll to the logging camp," he told the officers at his hospital bedside. "It was late at night when the car broke down. I pulled over. Benny got out but I stayed inside. Those are the rules.
"A minute later, a passing motorist stopped to help. Benny and this guy checked the engine, fiddling with the connections. A couple times it almost started. I couldn't see their faces because they were standing right in front and the headlights were slung low. But I saw when the guy pulled the gun from his jacket.
"He shot Benny in the chest, just like that. Benny stumbled off to the side and collapsed. The guy came around to the driver's side. Me, I kept trying to start the engine. He must have known about the payroll 'cause he opened the rear door and grabbed it right off the backseat. He slammed the door and was coming up to me when the engine finally turned over. I slipped it in gear just as he got a shot off." Stan winced again. "Gee, if I hadn't run into you guys I might've fainted or bled to death."
The highway patrol brought in two lone motorists whose cars fit the description Stan had given of the killer's vehicle. Neither suspect had the payroll bag, and the murder weapon was found back at the scene, wiped clean of prints. The only hope for an arrest lay in Stan's memory.
The first suspect was tall, with a blond crew cut and a small spider web tattoo on his right wrist. The second suspect was shorter and left-handed. His hair was also short, but dark. Stan examined photographs of both clean-shaven men, but could not make an identification.
The senior officer led the way out of Stan's hospital room. "From what he told us about the attacker, I think it's clear who it was."
Whodunit? And what gave him away?
The whodunit above was provided by American mystery fiction author Hy Conrad.
In addition to his work in mystery and crime puzzles, Hy was also one of the original writers for the groundbreaking TV series Monk.
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