The Case of the Desert Caper

It was a long and almost unbearable drive out into the desert as the hot sun beat down on Detective Nose’s face. As luck would have it, his air conditioning had broken down only two days earlier and despite having all the windows open, the heat was simply excruciating. As the inspector sipped on some of the water that he brought for the trip, the thought that he may have somehow missed his destination was beginning to penetrate his mind. Just as he was about to turn around and head back, a small sign appeared that read “Ross Expeditions Here”. With a silent sigh of relief, he turned his car towards the small cabin that could be seen in the distance.

As Nose reached the front door, Jason Ross introduced himself and motioned for the detective to come inside. The interior of the cabin consisted of one very large, but cozy room. In the right-hand corner, all the camping supplies were piled including an axe, one five-liter jug of water, some canned food, a lantern and other various pieces of camping equipment. To the back of the room was a small fireplace, and a wooden table with a couple mismatched chairs.

The most notable item in the cabin could be seen in the middle of the floor; a body, evidently lifeless, sprawled on top of two sleeping bags that were casually laid there. The cause of death was not obvious.

“Can you tell me what happened?” said Detective Nose.

“I wish I knew,” Jason said quietly. “I run a desert camping expedition business, providing tours to a variety of people. I have been trying for years to get my brother to come and join me, but being the city person that he was, he would always scoff at the idea. He used to joke that if he wanted to be without the convenience of phones, running water, or electricity, he’d simply skip paying his bills. Anyways, last week we were having a few drinks together, and we made a silly bet in which if he lost, he would have to spend a week out here with me. As you can see, he lost.”

Jason then paused for moment and took a long deep breath before continuing.

“I woke up early this morning and since my brother was still sleeping, I decided to do a little dirt biking. I was gone for about two hours. When I returned, I found my brother dead in the middle of the floor. I really do not know what happened. Other than his wallet that was on the table, nothing seems to be missing.”

“I think you may know more than you’re telling me!”

Why did Detective Nose suspect that Jason was not being completely honest?

ANSWER: Had Jason really intended on camping out in the desert for the week, he would have brought more than five liters of water. Remember, Jason ran an expert camping business in the desert, and he would have known that five liters of water was not nearly adequate for the week.

How Online Criminals Steal Your Financial Information

June 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Crime Prevention

Online predators across the world are using phishing or fake emails to millions of internet users to get their user ids and passwords of the financial institution they bank with. Hackers create a look-alike copies of the financial institution’s website and prompt the users to enter their user ids and passwords.

They prompt you to enter the information by telling you that your account has been locked, or there is an error in your account, or that an unauthorized activity has been notices in your account. They then prompt you to enter your user id and password to check the account details. At times, they also prompt the users to change their passwords. The users are cheated into entering the details at a fraudulent site without realizing that the information provided by them may make them the victims of phishing scams or fraud.

Online predators collect the financial information of the people in this manner and use it to steal money from accounts, make financial transactions from your accounts, or even to withdraw cash from your accounts. At times, the hacker also creates identical accounts with the information that you feed in the fraudulent sites and they become the owners of your bank accounts or credit cards. The hacker may also indulge in identity theft using the information provided by you and create scams that portray you as the main mastermind.

To protection against such fraudulent activities, you must collect all the information about anti-phishing measures and take necessary actions. To ensure phishing protection, you must never click a link that is provided in the email. This is the foremost and most important rule that every user must be aware of and follow it religiously.

The first way is to check for the email address of the sender. If the mail is a fake, the email address will appear as [], even if the subject line of the mail mentions the name of some financial institution. Another way to detect the fraudulent mail is to check for the website address of the link provided in the mail. In case of a fraud, the website address would be different from what is mentioned in the link provided. To check for this, you must manually enter the link name in the browser tab or search for the name in one of the search engines. Finally, if you happen to click the link inside the mail, the address that appears on the browser will be different than what is given in the link.

Scott Cantroll is computer security specialist dedicated to educating parents and computer users about computer and internet safety and security. My goal is to share everything I have learned over the last 15 years about computer safety and security with you. I have created a website where parents can learn more about cyberbullying, viruses, antivirus software, spyware, social networking dangers, and identity theft. The site also shows you how to stop viruses, spyware, cyberbullying, and identity theft. Learn how to protect you kids and yourself online today visit us at

Case of the Murdered Husband

“It was terrible,” Mrs. Johnson was saying to a uniformed officer as Detective Nose arrived on the scene. “I had just got home from the grocery store and was coming in to ask Steve to help me get the groceries in. I could tell something was wrong the minute I opened the back door, but before I could do anything, someone slapped something over my mouth and nose. The next thing I knew, I was waking up on the kitchen floor. Steve was stabbed to death in the living room – there was nothing I could do, so I called the police right away and waited out here for you to get here.”

“You haven’t touched anything in the living room at all?” the detective asked Mrs. Johnson. She shook her head firmly.

“I knew that if I touched anything, I might disturb clues, and I really want you to catch the scum that killed my husband!” she said fervently.

“I’m sure we will,” Detective Nose assured her. He started into the living room to look over the scene of the crime. As he entered, he noticed the victim’s feet sticking out from the other side of the couch, and noted that he was in his stocking feet. It wasn’t until he walked around the end of the couch that he could see Mr. Johnson, lying on his stomach on the floor. Two uniformed officers stood by, waiting for him to arrive.

“Help me turn him over,” Detective Nose told one of them. The man was definitely dead. The bloodstain had seeped into the carpet, and soaked the kitchen knife that was hidden under his body. Without a word, he turned and headed back into the kitchen.

“Mrs. Johnson,” he said, “I’m ready to arrest the scum that murdered your husband. Please stand up and turn around,” he added, unhooking the handcuffs from his belt.

How did Detective Nose know that Mrs. Johnson had killed her husband?

More Two Minute Mysteries

Case of the Accidental Drowning

I was not quite sure as to why I was being called down to investigate an accidental drowning at Sandyside River but fortunately, it was a sunny day and I could not think of a better place to be. Who knows, maybe once I was done, I would get a little fishing in.

When I arrived, there were a few police officers and a small gathering of onlookers. Two of the officers were standing on the public docks talking to what looked like an extremely well tanned gentleman who was wearing a bathing suit. Next to them in the water was a canoe that looked like it had seen better days.

After approaching the trio, I introduced myself to the tanned fellow, who was looking very upset, and asked him what had happened.

“It’s simply terrible Inspector! My friend Jim and I were out canoeing when I suggested that we give the Sunnyside rapids a go,” said the distraught man as he pointed in a southern direction towards the rapids. “Jim was a little concerned as he had never been in a canoe before today but I told him there was no need to worry, I would steer, all he had to do was paddle. Unfortunately, the rapids were a little more difficult than I remembered. I‘m not sure exactly what happened or when he fell out, all that I know is that when I got to the end of the rapids, I turned around and he was not there.”

I looked down at the canoe and observed that there were a couple of lifejackets and one wooden paddle with a large crack within the blade. I was just about to inquire as to how the paddle became damaged when the man stated, “Hell, I didn’t even notice that. My paddle is broken. I guess I must have cracked it on one of the rocks while I was traversing the rapids.”

“Yes, that is possible, “ I said. “But it is more likely that it cracked when you used it to hit Jim!”

Why did Inspector Nose suspect that Jim’s drowning was not an accident?

More Two Minute Mysteries

Forensics Clues Quiz – Video Quiz

May 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Detective And Logic Puzzles

Presented in a video style format are 5 different crime scene items. Look at the crime scene evidence and determine what the clues tell you.

How many of these crime scene clues can you decipher?

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