A Case for Sherlock

Watching the BBC’s Sherlock Season 2 Finale has me in a crime-solving mood, so I devoured WaPo’s article on the Guggenheim assault. Here are my notes:

  • Despite the paper calling the crime a “howdunit, a whydunit, a whendunit,” it’s highly likely that the crime was committed Thursday evening. That’s when communication from Svetlana Guggenheim stopped. She didn’t pick up the parcels that were delivered Friday. And the evidence in her room (and clothing) indicates that she was settled down for bed.
  • Oddly, the paper does not provide the husband’s alibi on Thursday night. The story intimates that he has evidence that he was out of town for the entire Wednesday through Saturday stretch, but fails to mention his whereabouts at the time of the attack.
  • (Too bad the husband isn’t left-handed as that would also rule him out — Guggenheim’s injuries are on the left side of her face. I trust the paper that he has an alibi though.)
  • The building manager doesn’t remember whether the deadbolt was locked or not when she delivered the parcels. If it had been locked, that would be an incredible clue that the intruder likely had a key. Even if the assailant entered the home through a window, the culprit would probably take the easy way out through the front door — and the only way to lock the deadbolt would be if the criminal had a key. Given the husband’s likely alibi, I’m guessing the deadbolt was unlocked.
  • Clearly Guggenheim did not let her attacker into the apartment because she was found in the bedroom wearing bedclothes. If she had let the attacker in the front door, she likely would have been clothed and attacked in the foyer.
  • I’m no expert in home break-ins, but it seems odd that Guggenheim would not have heard her attacker enter if she had been awake. Perhaps she had gone to sleep, but why hadn’t she called her daughter as arranged earlier that day? Maybe her recent trip had tired her out (though she came home from Chicago — only one time zone away). It would be nice to know who was supposed to call whom and when.
  • Assuming the husband’s alibi holds up (easy to check), then I’m left with three reasonable possibilities: (1) Guggenheim took something to help her sleep soundly, (2) the attacker is very stealthy, or (3) Guggenheim expected the person who entered her apartment to come to the bedroom.
  • Other items left unmentioned in the article that would help me weigh the likelihoods of those avenues:
    • Did no one hear anything? The lack of a scream would be interesting since the bruising on Guggenheim’s arm indicates that she was awake when attacked.
    • What did police make of the crime scene? Did they see signs of a struggle? Or forced entry? (We only get the husband’s opinions on these matters in the article.)
    • What was her nearest means of communication? A landline by the bed? A cell phone in the other room?

I’ll be keeping an eye on how this turns out.

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