Vilnius Alibi. Baltic Sea Crime Fiction Days. 09-12 11 2005
Part 1
Rūta Astrauskaitė, a 25-year old medical assistant working for the Danish-owned pharmaceutical company “Danvaistas” in Vilnius, walks her dog in the park below Gediminas Hill on a cool but clear evening of March the 11th, a few hours after the fireworks of the national holiday. The square is almost deserted, with debris left behind from the crowd.
Suddenly the dog breaks loose and escapes to the construction site of the Dukes’ palace, behind the Cathedral. The dog barks loudly.
Rūta cannot get over the fence, so she looks for help. Kęstas Gedvilas, a 35-old man, just divorced, working as a bartender at a prestigious sports club, is smoking a cigarette nervously at the corner of the Cathedral. As Rūta calls, he hesitates, but then he helps Rūta over the fence, but does not cross over the fence himself.
Rūta finds the dog and something else: a man on the floor in the middle of what will become the grand hall of the Palace. The body is wrapped in a tight white cloth, like a newborn baby, so that Rūta can only see the face. Through her work, Rūta is acquainted with dead bodies, so she doesn’t scream or run away. She examines the face and sees that the man is indeed dead.
Then there is a shock, as Rūta recognizes the dead man. It is Paulius Račkaitis, the famous world-class basketball player, popularly known as “the Duke”, the star player of the “Lietuvos vakaras” team.
Rūta catches her dog and returns to the fence, where she tells Kęstas that the dead body of Paulius Račkaitis is in the Palace. Kęstas does not believe her, so he jumps over the fence. He also recognizes the body. He throws up and Rūta has to help him.
Rūta returns to the fence to look for the police, while Kęstas stays with the body. Rūta sees a police car at the beginning of Pilies Street. She shouts for the officers to come over. The officers don’t bother first, but when they understand that Rūta is on the wrong side of the fence, they demand to know what she doing there. Rūta explains about the body. As Rūta returns to the body with the police, she finds Kęstas very nervous. Kęstas leaves. The police are too preoccupied with the body to prevent this.
The officers call the officer in charge, an ambulance is rushed in uselessly, catching the attention of passers-by and the media, and the TV cameras are on the spot before the police technical crew arrives. There is general chaos, the public pushing through the fence.
The officer in charge, Birutė Pocienė, 45, the only female commander-level officer in the Vilnius police force, unhappily married, mother of three, having a tendency to drink too much, takes charge of the investigation. The case has become a large-scale media issue, and the national police commander demands quick results.
The issue becomes even more complicated when it turns out that Paulius Račkaitis is in Tel Aviv, playing an Euroleague game with his team, alive and well. The body cannot be that of Račkaitis, but this also seems impossible, since so many have already seen the face of the body, and it has been published in the papers and on TV.
(To be continued on October 10)
Part 1
Rūta Astrauskaitė, a 25-year old medical assistant working for the Danish-owned pharmaceutical company “Danvaistas...
Part 2
As the body is examined, a matchbox with the name of the nightclub “Red Square”, situated in Oslo, is found in the pocket of the dead man...
Part 3
The technical examination of the body is completed. It becomes evident that the victim was killed on the construction site of the Palace, the body was found at 21.45...
Part 4
Pocienė and Janutėnas go over the facts of the case. The strongest hypothesis seems to be that the murder has something to do with Saulius.
Part 5
If the killer stole the Makarov from Juozas, the prints of the owner were probably wiped off. Juozas Račkaitis should identify the weapon...
Part 6
Jonas Ambrazaitis and Kęstas Gedvilas are being held at the police station. Paulius and Juozas Račkaitis are flown by helicopter from Klaipėda...
The body in the palace is that of Paulius Račkaitis, not Saulius Račkaitis. Vilma Gedvilaitė kills Paulius for revenge.