Monday, June 27, 2011

A crime for Dr. Christine Myers

Hey, look--another post about writing!

I have been involved in some Christine Myers-related work lately, including coming up with some interesting crime scenes for her to unravel. She's an ace, so it has to be more than just a dead guy bullet hole.

But the "unsolvable" crime scene doesn't have to be fantastic. For instance, I came across this real-life example of a potential novel: Deaths at Dyatlov Pass.

Here's the scenario: 10 young Russians, experienced outdoorsmen, go hiking in the mountains in 1959. One of them becomes ill and turns back--just like he would if Hollywood were writing his story.

The remaining nine push on through the cold and snowy mountains. They set up camp about 5 p.m. on a mountainside after realizing they had gone slightly off course.

The hikers set up camp.

And sometime that night, they all died.

The search for the hikers began about a week after they missed their target date to return from their trek. Their campsite was quickly found. And that's where the Myers-like skills are needed... because the evidence is bizarre.

The tent at the campsite is empty and has been ripped open from inside. Several of the hikers were found about a kilometer away from the campsite... dressed in their underwear and not wearing shoes. Some had tried to return to camp but died of exposure along the way.

The remaining hikers were found months later and, unlike the others, had died of various trauma, including fractured skulls and internal injuries. One woman was missing her tongue.

There were only enough footprints around the site to account for the hikers; it seemed unlikely that enough attackers to kill nine people could have come and gone without leaving tracks. There was no sign of an avalanche; the tent and the initial batch of dead hikers were found uncovered by snow.

So what caused nine experienced snow-trekkers to flee after dark so quickly that they didn't get completely dressed and ripped the tent fabric rather than using the door? Why were some of them physically unharmed and others badly injured?

These questions haven't been answered in more than 50 years of trying. Do you think Dr. Myers could do it?

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