california life and fire - Inductive Reasoning in Sleuthing...

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Inductive Reasoning in Sleuthing Fiction, Pt. II California Life and Fire by Don Winslow I. Jack Wade believes that Nicki Vale is responsible for the fire that burned down his house and killed his wife. 1. Nicki Vale called the California Life and Fire Insurance Company the day of his wife’s death, which was an inappropriate gesture since he should have been grieving. 2. When Jack met with Nicki, he was unshaken about the situation. He was also very insensitive about the circumstances; he told his kids that their mom was ‘all burned up’. 3. Pam had a $250,000 life policy. There was $587,500 worth of personal property destroyed. Nicki Vale would receive $837,500 – motive to kill. 4. During the autopsy, smoke wasn’t found in Pam Vale’s lungs; she was dead before the fire. The autopsy also revealed small, air-filled blood blisters with a lack of rings, also indicating that she burned while dead, not alive. Her low CO level showed that she didn’t die of CO asphyxiation. 5. The family’s dog was out in the yard. The Vale’s neighbor, Howard Meissner, said that the dog ordinarily sleeps inside. In the past arson cases that Jack had detected, pets were always left outside, safe from the fire. 6. Howard Meissner said the flames were blood red, indicating a hot and quick fire.
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