The people involved

The officials

  • Detective R."Bob" Loring
  • Detective M."Max" Peterson
  • The list

  • Melissa Conrad
  • Arnold “Arnie” Olsen
  • Sally Olsen
  • Captain Sam Clements
  • Peter Strauss
  • George Magnuson
  • Stephen Reynolds
  • Beth Reynolds
  • Michael Philips
  • Susan Martin-Philips
  • Mark Spiegel
  • Barbara Spiegel
  • Anika Werner
  • Vanessa Van Chou
  • John Paul Swanson
  • Alpha Import Export Company building

    So let's begin ...

    It's 4 o'clock in the morning and I'm still working on the Alpha Import Export murder case.

    It's been seven months, six days since the case began, at approximately 4 am. The investigation has included for me, 60 gallons of black coffee, 420 meals - some half eaten, and about 880 hours of sleep. In the early days of the investigation, we had clues, suspects, and some general motives to play with but as time progressed our facts changed. Maybe you can help us sort out this mess.

    Let me give you the general information we collected at the scene when we arrived.

    Shooting reported at 4:00 am April 14th,
    Address; Alpha Import Export Company, 102 Water Street.
    Message came in via phone, 555-515-3645
    Caller did not give name.

    Arrived on site at 4:15 am April 14th
    Responding Officers: Det.R.Loring, Det.M.Peterson


    Outside Temperature: 50 degrees, Foggy, streets wet. Lighting is poor, only one street light working down three storefronts to the east, no direct lighting on 102 Water Street, front door in dark alcove without light. Adjourning buildings share common walls on both side of building. Lighting in the back of the building consists of a couple of outdoors lamps, both turned off. The back of the building has two doors, a roll up door for deliveries, and an access door. Rear of building shares a common riverside pier with all other buildings along this block. Several boats are moored along this pier.

    A houseboat – “The Sally Ann”, home for Arnold “Arnie” and Sally Olsen, ages 56 and 27 respectively. Mooring space lease from Alpha I/E. woke them up.

    A sailboat, “ My Delivery” owned by the Alpha Import Export Co., uninhabited.

    A tugboat, “The Impressive Sue” registered in New Orleans, operated by Capt. Sam Clements for the Third Coast Transportation Co.

    The pier is wide enough to allow truck traffic to the back of the buildings.

    102 Water Street is a three story brick building built in 1910's, with a storefront on the first floor. A dilapidated sign in need of repainting spells out the company name hangs off the building over the door.

    There is no sign of forced entry and all doors are locked. There is light burning in a inner room inside the building on the first floor, the door is ajar, and it's dim light illuminates some of the first floor.

    There appears to be no signs of any activity inside the building.

    Attempts by the office to contact the owner of the business, has resulting in having their groggy office manager arrive with a key to get into the building.

    We turned on the lights as we entered. The salesroom in front is approximately 20' by 20' with a couple of salesmen's cubicles along the west wall and what appears to be dated displays of various products artfully arranged throughout the rest of the room.

    The off white walls are in need of repainting and the gray industrial carpeting is worn. Alpha Import Export Company does not appear to be doing much business.

    The inner room, the one with the light on, seems to be a conference room. There's the required table, the chairs, the conference phone, a side table with a coffee maker, a refrigerator, the smell of spent gunpowder and the body of very pretty but very dead young woman, no id. The body is fully dressed, face up, and except for the vacant clouded stare of her eyes, her color, and the blood, she appears to be asleep.

    They're going to have replace the carpet, the blood pool has ruined this one. We can't see any holes in the walls. We can’t find a weapon.

    We called in the medical examiner (ME) at this point.

    While we waited for the ME to arrive we looked around the rest of the building.

    Behind the conference room we found a loading dock that was accessed by the roll-up door, pier access.

    We found access to the basement, second and third floor via a service elevator located in the northeast corner of the loading dock.

    The basement was for the most part a storeroom; shelves of various products filled the space with just enough space between the shelves to access them with pallet lifters.

    On second floor we found eight modern offices, filled with file cabinets, computers, and paper shredders.

    On the third floor we found a luxury apartment, complete with a Van Gogh, a spa, an exercise room, kitchen and bedroom.

    The office manager has an office on the second floor, northeast corner with a set of windows that look out on Water Street. Her name is Melissa Conrad, age 32, and single, worldly, smart. Melissa has worked for Alpha for 8 years, degree in world studies.

    Peter Strauss, age 27, and single, smart, occupy the next office on the east side. He's been with the company for 2 years. Degree in international studies. Specializes in Southeast Asia.

    George Magnuson, age 25, single, average, occupies the next office on the east side. He's been with the company for 1 year. Degree in international studies. Specializes in China.

    The northwest corner office belongs to Stephen Reynolds, age 45, married to Beth for 23 years, experienced. He's been with the company for 15 years. Degree in business. Specializes in market trends.

    The southwest corner office belongs to Michael Philips, age 56, married to Susan Martin-Philips for 30 years, very smart. He's been with the company since the owner. Degree in international import/export law. Lawyer. Mark Spiegel occupies the next office on the south side, age 36, married to Barbara for 10 years, smart. He's been with the company for 12 years. Degree in international studies. Specializes in Korea.

    Anika Werner, age 41, and single, smart, occupy the next office on the south side. She's been with the company for 10 years. Degree in international studies. Specializes in Hong Kong.

    The southeast corner office belongs to Vanessa Van Chou, age 28, and single, very smart. She's been with the company for 4 years. Degree in international studies.

    The owner of Alpha Import Export Company, John Paul Swanson, 49, is away at some trade conference. His office occupies the third floor. Ms. Conrad gave the employee information to Det.Peterson.

    The inner room:

    entry door leading to the front office, a door to a hallway on the north wall, and hidden door to the back of the building behind a rice paper screen.

    On the walls were elegantly framed maps of the Pacific Rim, Africa, the Middle East and China. The locations of apparent trading partners were marked with orange circles.

    What we identified as the smell of gunpowder was actually coming from the residue in some sort of incense burning nude statue placed on the side table. There were rice paper screens, with lighting fixtures behind them, set around the room that gave the illusion of windows.

    The floor of this room appeared to be highly polished teak wood with a very expensive looking Persian rug almost covering it completely.

    Sitting off-center on the rug, a mahogany Conference table with what appeared to be a flat panel computer monitor built into the middle of the south end of it. This is the head of the table. The monitor was a touch screen controller. The maps on the wall showed on the screen. Touch on to the orange circle on any of the maps on the screen and the corresponding map on the wall change to a view of a conference room at that location.

    The body lay next to the mahogany conference table, half way between the front and side doors. She was Asian, strikingly fine featured, about 5’3” , 105 lbs.
    She was dressed in a tailored dark business suit, off white silk blouse, with a golden lotus lapel pin half way up her left lapel. A bullet hole in her blouse next to the pin. She lays in a small pool of blood. Curious, there really isn’t that much blood.
    There’s no sign of struggle, no look of surprise or agony on her face. She is wearing a diamond studded ankle bracelet, an Omega watch, and red-soled high heels.