Sherlock Investigates Man In Elevator Pt 2

Flight 2313 begins its’ approach into Portland International Airport. Sitting in seat 12A Sherlock Miller looks out the window as he questions his impulsive decision. Why does a dead body in an elevator have to do with the couple who discovered it? Why does he have the feeling the couple has killed before? Sherlock has learned to trust his senses as taught to him years ago. For over 90% of the time, they have proven accurate.

Obviously, the man in the elevator had received a haircut, shave, and dressed before being placed in the elevator. When Sherlock kneeled down close to him, Sherlock smelled the sickening sweet smell of marijuana. The man did not have a dark tan associated with a homeless person being out in the sun all day. The man’s clothes fitted like they belonged to him. Sherlock reviewed the facts as he knew them, trying to find a motive for the man’s death.

“I need to question the couple who found the body.” Sherlock thought to himself. “What they told the officer didn’t fit.” He Rice hoped to receive more information from Detective Rice had received a phone call from Detective Mike Miller before he landed. That phone call would give him more clues to the man and his death.

The plane connected to the runway and proceeded to slow and taxied to Gate B4. Passengers disembark and head to the baggage carousel. Detective Rice observes a passenger anxiously waiting for their luggage to appear on the carousel. She reads a text message for a third time. She scans the recently arrived passengers as they grab their bags and head on to the next leg of their journey.

Detective Rice feels a warm breath on her right ear. She hears, “You should place your back against the wall. You never know when someone will sneak up on you.”

Detective Miller grabs her service revolver and spins around. The business end of her Glock heads for Sherlock Miller’s nose. Both palms of Sherlock’s hands clamp onto the weapon and pull down to his right. The sudden motion takes the weapon from Detective Rice’s hand, leaving Sherlock holding it by the barrel. Detective Rice’s face turns from tan to pink and to a dark shade of red.

“Sherlock, stop sneaking up on me. I am going to shoot one of these days.”

“You don’t have to worry about shooting me if you stop leaving you back exposed for someone to sneak up on you.”

“You are the only one I know who will sneak up on me at the airport.”

“That you know about.” Then Sherlock’s eyes widen as to say, “You should listen to me.”

“Okay, Sherlock. Mike filled me in on what he could. Why do you think a dead man in an elevator in Boise has to do with us here in Portland?”

“How about you give me a ride over to The Kenworth? We can fill each other them. I want to secure my room before it gets too late.”

“I thought you didn’t like riding my old Chevy truck.”

“I will put up riding in your old truck for thirty-minutes. Besides, I want to find out what Mikey told you.”

“First off, you should give your older brother a little more respect, considering what he has accomplished. You know how he hates you calling him Mikey.”

“He tormented me growing up. This is my way to torture him as an adult.”

“At least while you are here, can you refer to him a Mike or Detective Miller?”

“I’ll try, but I can’t think of my older brother other than the kid hanging me by my feet on the jungle gym. Oh well, down to business. What has Detective Miller learned while I was in the air?”

“Your initial assumption was incorrect. The man in the elevator actually was not homeless and dressed in a high-end suit. They were his normal clothes. Someone with little experience cut the man’s hair and shaved his beard, as confirmed by the medical examiner.

“Who was he?”

The two climbed into Detective Rice, old pickup truck. Sher pulls out a notebook and flips four pages. “The man in the elevator is Ronald Rittenhouse. His legal residence shows he lived just outside Portland. He went to Boise to lobby some of your state representatives to legalize marijuana. Mister Rittenhouse is named as the CEO of a marijuana distribution business. From what Mike could find out, Mister Rittenhouse met with several state representatives. He had brought with him a large sum of cash to help convince them making marijuana legal would be profitable.”

“Did Mikey, I mean Mike, give you the names of the couple I came to question?”

“I did some checking. The airline records show a Richard and Jane Harper arriving from Boise. But not them flying onto San Francisco.”

“Can you check with the hotels in the area for any couple in their mid to late thirties getting rooms recently?”

“Sherlock, I don’t have access to that information without a search warrant.”

Sherlock stares at her.

“I got a phone call from your brother. He thinks you have really gone off the rails this time.”

“So did this Rittenhouse have a beard and long hair before the Harper’s got hold of him?”

“You nailed that one. The hotel staff didn’t recognize him because he checked in with a beard and hair down to his shoulders. It wasn’t until they ran his fingerprints did, they find his identity.”

Sherlock sits quietly as Detective Margaret Rice takes her truck onto the freeway.

“What is it? Does my driving scare you?”

“I have this cringing feeling in my gut. I fear this couple will kill again here in Portland.”

“Are you sure it is not my driving, giving you the cringing feeling?”

“We really need to check for couples checking into local hotels today.”

“Do you know how many hotels there are in Portland?”

“I surmise there has to be at least a hundred.”

“That’s right, and most of them will ask for a warrant before divulging their guest list. Besides, you don’t have any factual evidence that the couple killed and will kill again?”

“I have four things. The man in the elevator had his appearance altered so that the police would waste time finding out who he really was. Jane Harper convinced my brother and other officers that she was upset after finding a dead body in the elevator. Three: The couple opened the elevator on the second floor to find the body. Their room was on the third floor. I think some other hotel walked by saw them, thus forcing the Harpers to say they discovered the body. Four: Everything speaks of planning down to the name they gave my brother and hotel clerk. I don’t believe Richard and Jane Harper are their real names.”

“What makes you think Richard and Jane Harper are not their real names?”

“You need to go on the internet and look up the movie Fun with Dick and Jane.”


“The movie is about a suburban couple who turn to a life of crime and enjoy it.”

“You really think these Harpers’ enjoying what they are doing?”

“Yes, but I haven’t figured out for what motive yet.”

“Where shall we go from here?”

“Have you informed your captain that I am back in town?”

“I’ll let him know in the morning. I figured it was best to let him have a good night’s sleep before giving him the news that you are in town.”

“In that case, drop me off at The Kenworth. I want to check in before getting some dinner. Would you like to join me for dinner? My treat.”

Detective Margaret Rice smiles.