Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Friday, April 26, 2013

Police Procedural


'This is an error which is repeated over and over again and which has ruined hundreds of important investigations. The police get hold of what they think are definite facts. These point in a certain direction. And the whole search is directed in that particular direction. All other views are stifled or thrown overboard. Just because what lies nearest to hand is usually right, one acts as it this were always so. The world is seething with criminals who have got away with it because of this doctrinaire way of thinking by the police. Supposing someone finds Olofsson now, at this very moment. He's perhaps sitting outside a restaurant in Paris, or on a hotel balcony in Spain or Morocco. Perhaps he can prove that he's been sitting there for two months. Where do we stand then?'
    'Do you mean that we should simply say to hell with Olofsson?' asked Kohlberg.
    'Not at all. Malm was dangerous to him and he knew that the moment Malm was nabbed. So he's the one who's nearest to hand. There is every reason in the world to try to find him. But we ignore the possibility that he may prove to be quite useless for our case, the fire. If it turns out that he just peddled drugs and put false numbers on a few cars, then we're no further on at all. On the contrary, that's a matter which has nothing to do with us at all.'
    'It'll be jolly peculiar if Olofsson's not mixed up in this at all.'
    'True. But peculiar things happen occasionally. That Malm killed himself at the same time as someone tried to murder him, is, for example, a very peculiar coincidence. It foxed me, too, at the scene of the crime. Another peculiarity which clearly no one has thought about, is the following: in will soon be three weeks since the fire and no one has either seen or heard from Olofsson during that time, which has caused certain people to draw certain conclusions, but it is still no less a fact that neither, as far as we know, had anyone had any contact with Olofsson for a whole month before the fire.' - The Fire Engine That Disappeared by Slowall & Wahloo, chapter 18.

I thought this was a well written passage.We have one person attempting to explain a possible flaw in their logic and another person persisting in misinterpreting it. Very realistic, and one of the reasons I tend to avoid people.

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