1. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Supernatural crime scene

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ManOrAstroMan, Oct 7, 2015.

    My current project is an urban fantasy/mystery, starring a PI who is part supernatural hound. One of his talents is an enhanced sense of smell which allows him to sniff out magic.
    Without going into the whole thing, I've come to a point where my PI is about to interview a potential witness for his case (whose actual name and address he doesn't actually know; he's inferring from things someone else said), and he discovers that the witness might have been murdered.
    Her house is all cordoned off, and the police are doing their thing when he arrives.
    I guess this is my question (keeping in mind that the investigating officer is a contact of his who is aware of the supernatural and the PI's inhuman nature):
    Is it possible (or, an acceptable level of artistic license) that the police detective would allow my PI access to the crime scene for the purpose of identifying the victim as a magical being?
    OR
    Would my PI be denied access to the crime scene, but brought something of the victim's to smell?
     
  2. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    I honestly wouldn't know but I would assume that a PI wouldn't be allowed in a crime scene. Of course you can do some research into it.
     
  3. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    I'm inclined to agree that the PI wouldn't be allowed onto the crime scene or given access to any items, unless he was a) with the police, b) working under their official direction, or c) associated with the victim.

    But there's a loophole, if the police detective is PI's friend:
    Detective handles various items belonging to the victim, then goes to the edge of the crime scene and shirt-collars the PI.
    "I thought I told you to stay away! Get outta here, you troublemaker!"
    PI sniffs his own shirt. "Alright detective, no problem. I owe you a beer."

    That could also work with a non-friendly detective, especially if they're unaware of PI's super-smell. Maybe PI sees detective handling things and goads him/her into physical contact (might be tricky if there are other police officers around though).

    If you have an angle for category b) from my first paragraph, I can perhaps offer limited insight from a rare couple of personal experiences.

    Hope that helps :)
     
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  4. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    I had considered having the police lieutenant bring out something with the victim's blood on it (there's plenty of it spread around) for the PI to sniff, and not actual evidence.

    The lieutenant would be interested to know if the two cases are connected. There would be Implications. He may not be comfortable with magic, but doesn't want to go into a situation unprepared.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Nope. Your PI is not allowed in the crime scene. Have I seen this kind of license before regarding crime scenes? Sure. But, seriously, no one is allowed anywhere near a crime scene who doesn't officially and legally belong there until the scene has been completely worked and the investigators are done with the scene. Your PI is a "contaminant". If you want him/her there, and you care at all about procedural realism, that character needs to be someone with legal cause to be on the scene. If the defense attorney gets a whiff of the fact that someone was at the crime scene, snooping about, without legal cause to be there, the case is fucked for the prosecutor.
     
  6. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Yeah, I knew the PI wouldn't be allowed to just enter the crime scene, even properly gloved and bootied and whatnot, not realistically. That's where the "acceptable level of artistic license" came in.
    So, it's looking like--since the lieutenant would also like to know if there's a connection to the PI's case--the lieutenant would give him something to smell. The killer was very enthusiastic, and none too tidy, so there would be a lot of bloodied items in the room.

    And, I am, of course, open to other ideas, if anyone has suggestions.
     

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