Few stories from the first decade of the 21st century are better known than that of the disappearance of Professor Brian Thrupiece whilst attending a Culinary Bioethical Conference in Geneva, Switzerland in the spring of 2004. Countless volumes have been written about it (even a children’s book) and hardly a month passes without some sensational story or other appearing in the press; written more often than not by opportunists happy to make a fast buck out of what remains a tragic story and - let us not forget - an open and still unsolved "crime" ((Swiss Police Case ZB200008C/b(ii)4(nasal)(pending).
Yet for all the fame - and infamy - surrounding the case, few facts are known with certainty and confusion continues to surround significant aspects of the case. What for example of the professor’s body? Conflicting reports state either that it was present in his Cornarvin Hotel guest room when Swiss Police first arrived or that it was already missing and its location unknown. Three inquests have been opened by Swiss Authorities (L’Autoritées Suisse) and each has concluded without recording a verdict. Then there is the issue of the Professor’s last known whereabouts as well as rumours of meetings (planned or accidental?) with FIFA officials known to be registered at The Hotel Cornarvin at the time; not to mention subsequent sightings by more and less reliable witnesses including a "manifestation" recorded by English clairvoyant Doris Bicycle-Spokes who claims the Professor’s shade reported him alive and well and living in a beach hut near Panama City in 2015. So what do we really know of the final days - if that is indeed what they were - of the world’s most famous yet elusive Professor?
Perhaps only two “facts” have never been disputed: the presence in his hotel room of an electrical device variously reported as “faulty” and “of interest to Swiss Police” (a small electrical appliance of the same manufacture (a Type C (2000-2008) nasal clipper made by the Flyco Company [Shanghai, China]) is displayed in the Professor Thrupiece Memorial Cabinet in The Hornimint Hall of Fame, Toller Fratrum, Dorset); and, as significantly, a note left by the Professor for a young acquaintance - Ms Shelley-Lulette Sizemore - with whom the Professor had been seen on several occasions prior to his alleged demise. The note - innocent enough in itself - was quickly suppressed by Swiss Authorities (L’Autoritees Suisse) but a facsimile of it appeared as an Appendix in The Thrupiece Papers published by The Threadbone Press in 2016. Much weight has been placed on this document - the Professor’s last known communication with one of the last people to see him alive. Ms Sizemore, whose subsequent (and perhaps prior) career does not suggest a woman shy of the public spotlight has always remained reticent in the matter and - despite any number of inducements - has steadfastly refused to “gain and explain”. That is until now.
Hot on the heels of sensational autobiographies by Celia Notso-Pointy and Brenda Oats, comes 2017s most sought after title: “Scene of the Crime” by Shelley Lulette-Sizemore. Teasingly subtitled “Only those who know can tell”, this hemi-demi-semi-autobiographical account of the “disappearance of a famous academic - Professeur Byron Trueponce - from a hotel in South West Sudetenland” is, publishers, The Threadbone Press, insist “a half true account cast in fictional form”. With an introduction by none other than Inspecteur Cherché La Femme (Chef de Police Suisse and leading investigator at the time of the Thrupiece disappearance), Ms Sizemore’s book - to be serialised in the Alton Pancras Sunday Mercury - is likely to be a huge Easter seller with online retailer and digital portal orinoco reporting unprecedented pre-sales figures.
So is the mystery of Professor finally to be part to bed by one who has, at her own admission, been “putting men to bed for more than two decades”? Only time will tell. As Inspecteur Cherché La Femme states in his Introduction: “Peut etre oui ou puet etre non. Mais je ne retiens pas mon souffle”.
The hemi-demi-semi autobiographical "Scene of the Crime" has broken all orinoco pre-sales records and may or may not finally solve the riddle of Professor Thrupiece's demise.