Bates files: The hospital mystery
What kind of person commits a crime in a hospital?” Alfred Bates, the famous detective asks Inspector Davis while entering the building.
“My thoughts exactly!” the inspector replies. “What do you make of the case, Bates?”
“It’s an impossible crime if you think as a layman…” Bates begins his answer.
“As a lawman?” says Inspector Davis, cutting his friend short.
“Well, that’s the difference,” Bates continues. “I see what the facts tell me, and the facts are speaking to me at this very moment.”
“I don’t know how the thief managed to breach the security,” Inspector Davis says as he inspects the crime scene. “There are three levels of security one has to pass through to reach this place.”
“Yes I observed,” Bates replies. “The first is the guard at the reception, the second is an eye-scan and the third is a palm print.
“All this for what?” Inspector Davis asks Dr Rosenberg, the administrator of the facility.
“We keep the ‘near expiry’ medicine under lock and key so that they can be returned for fresh stock,” Dr Rosenberg replies. “Someone broke into the storage facility and took most of the medicines, and will sell it at a low rate.”
“So what’s the issue?” Inspector Davis asks without thinking about the issue.
“We have reasons to believe that the expiry date will be doctored and people might actually get sicker after using the medicine,” Dr Rosenberg explains. “Who do you think is responsible?”
“I have narrowed down the suspects to the three doctors in the shift last night as they had the clearance of all three levels,” Bates explains his methods.
“You mean Dr Barlow, Dr Perkins and Dr Stefanie; I will assemble them for you,” Dr Rosenberg leaves, only to return with the three suspects.
“Will you please answer one simple question for me?” Bates says as he addresses the threesome. “How many kids do you have?”
“Is that relevant?” Dr Perkins asks angrily.
“Why are we wasting our time?” Dr Barlow says, shouting at Bates.
“None,” Dr Stefanie replies calmly.
“Dr Stefanie it is… the rest can go,” Bates tells the Inspector. “Why did you steal the medicine?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about?” Dr Stefanie asks Bates in return.
“I think you do know!” Bates begins to question the suspect aggressively. “The other two doctors knew I was asking them a stupid question, hence you replied to it.”
“I was just trying to be polite, sir,” Dr Stefanie tries to reason with the detective.
“No, you were trying to be smart,” Bates says as he corners the culprit. “The other two are married with kids, and they would think twice before pulling such a stunt. You, on the other hand, live alone, don’t interact with people and consider yourself superior to the rest.”
“How can you say that?” an astonished Dr Rosenberg asks.
“The rest were constantly in contact with their family members as it is late and they were expected home,” Bates says as he clears the doctors. “Dr Stefanie, on the other hand, is wearing a coat that still has its price tag, which would not have been the case had she lived with someone, who would have told her about the tag.”
“Doesn’t interact with people?” Inspector Davis asks for clarification.
“Had she been a social person, someone from the office would have accompanied her to the conference room, because that’s what people do, especially when you are good looking like Dr Stephanie,” Bates does the explaining in his usual style. “Since she is alone here as well, it means she is a loner in general.
“And why does she consider herself superior?” The inspector and the administrator ask together.
“Human nature, my friend!” Bates begins his philosophical explanation. “When you don’t have anyone to talk to or spend your time with, in most of the cases you turn out the way she has.”
“And that is how?”
“Arrogant and self-centred with a superiority complex,” Bates replies. “Am I right, Dr Stefanie?”
“I would have gotten away with it had you not intervened,” Dr Stefanie finally breaks her façade and moves towards the detective.
“I am sure you would have,” Bates says as the inspector handcuffs the culprit. “But I have friends who need my help, and I can’t ditch them.”
“What about the medicines, Bates?” asks the inspector.
“Oh yes, I forgot about them,” Bates says. “Search Dr Stephanie’s office and you will find the stuff in an unlocked drawer.”
“Why in an unlocked drawer?” Inspector Davis asks.
“Because Dr Stefanie thought that the police will not check items in her unlocked drawers, and they will waste their time in unlocking the locked ones,” Bates explains the logic behind the unlocked drawers. “Thankfully, the police have me!”
“Why are you always right, Bates?” Inspector Davis asks his friend.
“Because I want to impress my friends by being right all the time,” Bates concludes the case. “I like it that way!”