iMurder 22: Biking Under the Influence

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Mac paid the check- it was his turn- and they walked out onto a warm July evening.They decided to get in a cab and head downtown.

They sat at a quiet, hushed wine bar in the Embarcadero Mall. They could talk freely here- this would be the last place anyone in the Web 2.0 community would be. It wasn’t a dive, it wasn’t hip, and worse, it’s where “old people” liked to hang out. Even if the dot-commers were approaching 50, none of them would ever admit they were middle-aged. Wait, you say, there’s a difference between the Dot-Commers and Web 2.0. Sure, if you can tell the Cylons apart from the Humans, you can probably tell apart some of the Dot Com infiltrators to Web 2.0.

“OK, why do you think it’s Tom?” Mac asked, as he scooted onto a black leather couch.

“Jelly had no reason to die, we both know that. She had no enemies, she wasn’t involved in anything, well, anything we could see- and it wasn’t a random crime. So then you found out about her amateur journalism, and how she was scooping the GiggleLoop deal. But that was over. Her next article- that’s the thing.”

“Wait, I can’t remember, it’s something she was working with Joe on, right?”

“Yep, it had to do with ValleyIst, and I think Tom’s involved. Anyways, he was doing something at that part- the photos show him talking to that Goth guy- and Jelly saw it, and worse, she took photos and wrote about it.”

“So we don’t really know the full why, but we know that her witnessing something at that party, with Tom and the goth guy.” Mac ordered two pinot noirs from an underage hotel worker.

“I know it sounds weak- but think about Joe Standish. He’s the reason I thought it was Jelly’s blogging- there’s also no remotely reasonable motive to kill him, unless it’s all about an article he’s written. Jelly may get some respect from the community if she breaks something, But Joe? His blog like Daily Kos for tech news. If he broke a story, it’s instantly news everywhere. And you even found evidence that they were collaborating on this new article. We need to get back to your office and find that article- and find out what it was really about.

Mac looked at her and she could almost see the gears clicking. “Right, the disappearing photos as I was downloading them- someone else was in there, in her Flickr account, getting those photos.”

“Destroying evidence.”

“I can’t believe Tom, though, would do something like that. Just for some news article on a blog?”

“Yeah it seems like a pretty crazy motive. But he is kinda weird.”

They tasted their wine. Beth asked if it was OK if she called Sosa from the couch- she was too lazy to move out into the night. Mac didn’t care so she dialed Sosa.

“How’s it going? Watching the Giants?” Sosa bellowed into the phone.”

She whispered. “Um, I’m actually at a wine bar. But Sosa, I have to tell you – I think Tom did it.” She repeated, to him, the same logic she used with Mac. He said he was going to go into the office- and to meet him at the precinct in twenty.

Beth held her wine glass. “I can just have half of this, then head over to the Vallejo precinct. And we need to get into her blog”

“I reset the password- so we can go in from anywhere, I still have it.” Mac said, and finished his wine. “Why only half? Are you worried about showing up at the police with one under your belt?”

Beth got up and started her layers of scarf, coat, purse. “Don’t laugh- you know they just arrested someone for Biking Under the Influence!”

Next: I Confess