Okay, let's brainstorm. Here's the setup:
Det. Sattler sat with the file spread before her. Her single desk lamp was the only bright spot in her darkened house. Her coffee had long gone cold and her back ached from sitting so long. This case was going to be the death of her. Cold cases were tough by their very nature, but this one was off the charts.
Tom, a homeless town man with a talent for finding secrets in the trash cans in a swanky neighborhood had been found dead ten months ago next to his favorite Dumpster, shot with a small caliber firearm. It was suggested by the news media that there were more than a few good citizens who wondered if their secrets died with him. Det. Sattler’s gut had her wondering if one of those secrets may have gotten him killed, but it was difficult to know where to focus the investigation because the man had so much bad karma it was a wonder he hadn't been killed sooner. She had dozens of citizen statements from people who had known him and not one had a good word for Tom.
Who had the most to gain by his death? Det. Sattler began sorting through the information and making piles. His two ex-wives hated him. Everyone at his old job hated him. His brother hated him. He was suing his manager who had fired him. And all the tenants in his old cop-op signed a petition and got him evicted. How he really ended up on the streets wasn't clear, but if you had the nerve to ask him he'd tell you he liked living like a bum, that he finally had peace, and all the SOBs could take a hike.
Besides the assorted collection of junk that he had picked up the day he died from the streets and out of the rubbish, Tom had had a receipt in his pants pocket for a luxury suite at the most expensive hotel in town. An odd thing to have when one is homeless. The name was difficult to read as it had gotten wet in the garbage. Someone had paid a lot of cash for one night.
The receipt had been tagged into evidence and mostly forgotten but Det. Sattlerhad a hunch it was connected to Tom’s death.
We have a lot to work with here. Who do you think killed Tom? And why?