“Really boss,” Damo said, scratching his head.
“Oh for sure,” Abby said. “There’s a reason the vic’s voice sounds strange and scratchy on the old tape recorder.” She paused for dramatic effect. “It’s because it’s not him at all. It’s our killer trying to make it sound like he’s all choked up so we don’t realise it’s not Reggie.”
“I see,” Damo said slowly, though clearly he didn’t.
“So, our killer – Mike by the way – has stood outside the grotto, knowing Reggie was in there, whispered the words on the tape then nipped in and shot the man.”
“But how can you be sure?” Damo asked, pushing some dangling tinsel out of the way.
“Because Mike told us when he discovered the body just after the gunshot was heard, all he did was press play on the tape recorder and there was the message.”
Abby crossed her arms as if to say case closed. Damo looked at her with a blank expression, so she continued.
“But if Reggie had just shot himself, who rewound the tape to the beginning?”
Light dawned in Damo’s eyes. “Oh, I see boss. Mike is lying about finding the body. He rewound the tape because he made the recording and killed him.”
“Spot on, Damo. I think this is one elf that won’t be gracing Santa’s grotto next year.”