Police admit: "We haven't a Cluedo"

There was surprise today when police investigating the brutal murder of Miss Scarlet released their only declared suspect, Professor Plum. "We assumed he did it," a police source told reporters "because he had purple hair and liked Victorian poetry. Our ace psychologist pointed out that if you put Miss Scarlet in a wig she would look a bit like Lizzie Siddal. And he had no known interest in women, so there was an obvious sexual motive. Unfortunately it turned out he had nothing to do with it so we had to let him go. We did find a brass candlestick in his flat but try as we might we couldn't find any bloodstains. Frustrating, really, since no-one seemed to like the old git."

Observers had previously noted how closely Professor Plum resembled the type of person who usually turns out to have done it in old episodes of Inspector Morse. Beneath that purple hair was an enigma. He was well-known in the community but no-one really knew him. He was a schoolteacher yet apparently rich enough to own several properties. The Quentin Crisp lookalike had a posh accent and what some described as a pathological distaste for net curtains. He was a Liberal Democrat. And in a chilling coincidence it was revealed the other day that a teacher at an entirely different school, whom Plum had never met, was serving time for a sex offence. Of course, there was no suggestion that Plum had anything to do with these entirely unconnected events, but journalists thought they ought to mention it anyway, just in case.

Outwardly respectable, Plum had a carefully concealed dark side. "Once he told me off when I failed to hand in my homework," recalled a former student. "At the time I thought he was just being a typical teacher, but looking back it seems kind of scary. I mean, him being a murderer and all that. I just got detention, but I could so easily have been hacked to death." Another remembered how the potty professor had been "passionate" about 19th century literature. "It's not normal," he told the Mirror. "If he could get excited about a bunch of dead poets, he could well have had it in him to murder someone. I could give you an exclusive interview after he's sent down."

With Plum in the clear, police are said to be working on a new theory involving one Colonel Mustard, who was observed behaving suspiciously in his garden with a piece of old rope. Asked to explain himself, he claimed that a journalist had offered him "good money" for it.


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