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Curious Case of Harold Griffin

The untimely death of Harold Griffin put his entire family in a state of shock. What maligned his death was that a healthy, wealthy and otherwise wise man had committed suicide in the subway rail tracks in the busy office hours; this didn’t go down too well with anybody who had known him a slightest bit. Police Department started the investigation. I was consulted in my limited capacity of a Private Detective. I could not just proclaim this as a murder, although I knew deep within, it must have been so. We detective have a habit of viewing patterns, reading between the lines, deducing conclusions and always smelling a rat. But I must not generalize, the Police Department colleagues did not resonate my sentiment. It is their job to over-simplify situations to fit their needs. What is apparent will often be purposely overlooked by them to quickly close a case. For me, these unclosed cases keep me up at night.

His wife wouldn’t talk, his kids were far too small to make a statement. He had no real close friends, and that was completely understandable. He never was passionate about anything in particular. It’s important to bear in mind that it takes a certain degree of courage and passion to commit a murder, and for suicide there are other factors on top of that. He did not come across as someone who owned himself and his life, what you do not own, in you are not even courageous, you will not harm. CC TV footage showed him plunge on the track just as the train arrived. There was something peculiar about his timing. He wasn’t dragging himself onto the track; he jumped well ahead of time, he did it on purpose, he killed himself.

We inquired a host of things about him. Did he ever come across as a maniac, a psychopath? Did he have violent tendencies or suicidal intent? Was he at peace at work, at home and on road? Did he remain preoccupied? Was he a sports lover? Did he have any affairs? Was there a shameful secret that he might have been hiding? Was he likely to have a criminal background? Was he in financial crisis, or any other person whom he might want to help? How well was he insured? Was there anything suspicious about him? Was he a good worker? Did he cast his vote in the recent election? When did he last wear his best suit? How frequently did he shave and if there is any break in the pattern? How did he spend his free time? Was there any signs of anxiety, chagrin, shame, and wrath?

Curiously, Griffin had a normal life, and had every intention to maintain so. There was no break in the pattern. When he died, he had a bag with himself. The bag had his tiffin, some banal vouchers, some medicines, a half bottle of water, a comb and a pack of cards. People such as this carry all sort of stuffs in their bags. Nothing really stood out.

While investigating, we got no leads, we found no loop holes, no break in the pattern. Why would a person about to kill himself follow the regular pattern of life? This consistency represents a continuity of life. This was back in 1999. Fifteen years have passed, but no solution had surfaced, the investigation was suspended and the case was forgotten. Then suddenly, more than a decades later another man kills himself in the very same fashion. He had the exact same life style, same age and physical build, same nature and even the same belongings in his bag. It was uncanny. This is anything but a co-incidence.

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About Aami Aabir

Aabir Basu is a North Kolkata-bred bearded and spectacled Bengali Bhodrolok. He has a master’s degree in Business Administration and is currently employed in some IT company. Aabir writes blogs about life, religion, photo-blogs, politics, short stories, one liner quotes and everything else. Please share your feedback with your comments. Click here for more

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Aabir Basu is a North Kolkata-bred bearded and spectacled Bengali Bhodrolok. He is on the right side of his thirties and is married to his teenage sweetheart. He has a master’s degree in Business Administration and is currently employed in some IT company. Aabir is an artist at heart: cartoonist, photographer, painter, movie buff, poetry enthusiast, lullaby story-teller, bathroom singer, religious philosopher and photo manipulator. He believes in creativity and breaking out of the cliché. Aabir's life is characterized by trying to spend a peaceful life while doing what he loves or trying to love what he does (that's too many trying in one sentence). Aabir writes blogs about life, religion, photo-blogs, politics, short stories, one liner quotes and everything else.

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