Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Canada (01/29/09)
TITLE: How Do You Do It?
By Angela M. Baker-Bridge
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Wednesday, February 6, 2009
Museum Crime Update by Matt Day
On January 1, 2009, at 11:00 a.m., Ontario’s Chief of Police Jim Doyle held a news conference in front of the Police Department on South Archibald Avenue, to address a Niagara, Ontario crime.
“I’ve seen many hate crimes during my career,” he began, “but the one at Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks Museum on Victoria Avenue, disturbs me.”
A shivering crowd eagerly awaited an explanation as to why the famous museum closed its doors.
“I personally will lead this investigation, using my knowledge of Criminal Justice from Cal Poly Pomona and California State University, San Bernardino, my training at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA, and my experience with Ontario’s Police Department since 1975.”
Looking directly into the CNN news camera, the Chief’s eyes glared, “I promise, those involved will be caught and punished to the fullest extent of the law. We will not tolerate hate crimes in this city, nor the desecration of our city’s famous attraction.”
“I will briefly attempt to answer your questions at this time,” he continued, “this gentleman on my left.”
“Sir, you referred to the crime as a hate crime. What exactly is the nature of the crime?”
“I’m not at liberty to discuss that at this time…the woman in the front row.”
“Were any of the wax figures destroyed?”
“I’m not at liberty to discuss that at this time…yes, you in the back.”
“Can you tell us if anything was stolen from the museum, and if so, what the item is?”
“I’m afraid that concludes today’s news conference. The department will schedule daily briefings until we arrest the perpetrators. Thank you.”
With that, the chief turned around, and walked back inside, leaving reporters and spectators clamoring for information.
“What the devil kind of report was that?”
“They’re covering up the real story here.”
The crowd shouted derogatory comments to the abandoned microphone. This reporter, determined to conduct an independent investigation, left.
Several sources told me an unidentified female frequented the museum several times a day during the week prior to its closing. Each time she pushed and shoved her way through the crowds, not showing any interest in the wax figures along the way to the Canadian Celebrities room. During several visits, security guards escorted her out of the museum, citing she loitered in front of one particular wax dummy. After each episode, the mannequin’s hands required repairs.
Upon further investigation, I discovered the identity of the dummy to be Toronto’s own Howard Michael Mandel III. Born of Jewish descent on November 29, 1955, Mr. Mandel, the son of a lighting manufacturer and realtor, grew up in Toronto. Northview Heights Secondary School expelled him for impersonating a member of the school board and for contracting a construction company to build an addition to his school.
The young Canadian drifted from one menial job to another until eventually he became a stand-up comedian, television host, and actor. He created and starred in the children’s cartoon, “Bobby’s World.” Best known as the host of NBC’s game show “Deal or No Deal,” he also stars in the show's syndicated and Canadian counterparts. Before his career as a game show host, Mandel starred in the NBC medical drama “St. Elsewhere.”
I assumed the attacks on Mr. Mandel’s dummy were anti-Semitic in nature. However, upon reviewing tapes of Mr. Mandel’s entertainment roles, it became clear to this reporter that he must have a large base of disgruntled fans, any of which might want to harm his dummy. With each interview I conducted, I became more convinced of my theory. Ashamed Canadians wanted their native’s dummy removed from the prestigious Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks Museum. After I alerted Chief Doyle of my findings, he assigned a special undercover detail to the Mandel look-a-like.
Last night, the mystery woman reappeared. Just as undercover agents attempted to grab her, she flung off her oversized sunglasses and blonde wig, shouting out, “This is Howie Do It! And I’m Howie Mandel at Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks Museum in Niagara, Ontario—-where its Canadian police department wanted to show their American-born, California educated, FBI trained Police Chief, exactly Howie Do It here in Canada!”
One guard laughed uncontrollably, two blushed while shaking their heads. The network bleeped another. A humiliated Chief Doyle resigned. An hour later, Jim Doyle became Mr. Mandel’s personal security consultant.
And the wax dummy? It stands inside a glass encasement, preventing visitors from touching its hands.
Editor's note: all names, addresses, and biographical information are true...only the caper is fiction.
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