Murder on Skunk Street . Homicide: Life on the Street -- best cop show, ever. CSI (any of them) -- utter trash. . Origins: In my Walls part 2, Other Shannon laid down a challenge -- make a graffiti wall for part 3. The idea intrigued me, but before I could get around to it, he went ahead and did it himself! I knew a good graffiti wall in Lego form was going to be tough to pull off anyway, without the punk setting the bar way up high like that... Any version I created would have to be at least as good in my eyes, and (in the interests of friendly rivalry) hopefully better.
My Walls series so far has been all about repetitive designs, but I figured for the next round I'd attempt a graffiti mural to shake things up a bit. My initial experimentations yielded a passable spatter effect, but using that technique to make a coherent design on a larger scale is going to take a lot of practice. I switched gears, turned my regular red paint spatter to trans-red for blood, and went from there. The scene that evolved around it ended up as more a mini-diorama than a wall study, so I've decided to send it into the world on its own. Isn't a homicide more compelling than petty vandalism anyway?
Our hero: Detective Frank Bayliss. Habitually drunk, unshaven, unkempt, plays by his own rules... but he Gets The Job Done.
Officer Wilbur Porcine likes hassling kids and taking their dope to smoke himself (they all do -- you know it, I know it). But on this occasion he has done his job properly and kept the crime scene clear until the detective could arrive.
The unfortunate John Doe, as yet unidentified because his wallet is missing. Looks like we have a motive... Or so opines Officer Porcine: it's a straightforward robbery-murder. Bayliss would tend to agree, but the detective has to consider that there may be more here than meets the eye.
"Okay, we've got four bullet holes in the wall spaced well apart, and one in our victim. Now, he was shot at pretty close range, so why the wide scatter? What do you think, Will?"
"I don't know, you're the detective. Maybe they struggled."
"Nah, no good. In that case we should have bullet holes high, low, all over. Here's how I see it: Our shooter waits across the street, makes sure John Doe here gets some money out of the machine. Somehow, Doe gets spooked. Our guy realizes he's been spotted too soon, and runs at him, firing. He can't aim while he's running, so you have these wild shots... until he's close enough, and he hits Doe with one. Definitely not a pro -- this has amateur hour written all over it."
"All right, I'll buy that."
"Yeah... But don't you notice anything... a little off, Will? Anything weird?"
"Not particularly. Robbery gone bad, that's how I see it. It plays out just like you said."
"Yeah... maybe. Or maybe there's something else. This whole setup stinks."
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know... the details -- they're all off. Look at the exit wound on this guy's back. It's a perfect square. I've never heard of such a thing, what the hell could cause something like that?"
"Hey, that's for the M.E. to say."
"And these bullet holes in the wall -- look at the size of them! What was our perp packing, a howitzer?"
"Forensics isn't my job either, Detective."
"And then there's this big blank expanse of wall up here. I find that most troubling of all."
"Troubling? I don't follow."
"Don't you think it looks odd? As if it's missing something?"
"Like anything! Like a window, at least."
"Oh, I get you. I don't know, I kind of like the wall as it is. As if it had had graffiti on it but just recently got painted over or something."
"Okay then, how about something really cool, like a message scrawled with the victim's blood: 'I'll be back,' something like that."
"Now that would be cool. But you said it yourself: Amateur hour. The killer probably had no idea how to go about doing that. So instead he just left this guy here by a blank wall."
"Well, let's hope I'm right then... Amateurs are easy to catch, they always slip up. Still, I can't shake the feeling that there's something deeper here that we're missing... Like this was all arranged somehow, and we're just a couple of patsies, blindly following the script... I tell you, I don't like this case, Will. I don't like it at all."