Tuesday, April 3, 2007


The Dog That Didn’t Bite, Or
The Simpson-Goldman Murders Solved

by A. N. Feldzamen

During the night, the dog, who should have barked, was silent. Very few of those who were on the scene paid attention to this, but it was not overlooked by the detective—the most famous detective in the world. It was this curious occurrence that led him to solve the mystery in Conan Doyle’s story, SILVER BLAZE.

What might Sherlock Holmes have made of another criminal mystery, also involving a dog, an occurrence whose importance has also been largely ignored? In this case, also at night, the dog in question was found wandering with blood on his paws. The finder was a passerby out for a stroll. The dog led him to the crime scene, where two bloody corpses were found. A knife wielding murderer or murderers had slaughtered them brutally.

But this dog with bloody paws was not an ordinary breed. It was an Akita, a type of dog nurtured and admired for centuries in Japan, where it is designated as a national monument. While the Akita’s characteristics are not generally known among the American public, this breed does have its admirers here too, and also a club devoted to its special virtues.

The Akita Club of America states these “are large, powerful dogs with substantial bone and musculature. . . Typically the male Akita is substantially larger than the female. The males range in weight from about 100 to 130 pounds, while the females range from 70 to 100 pounds. . . the Akita is very intelligent, extremely loyal, and can exhibit aggressive tendencies. . . [and] a very well developed guarding and protective instinct.

“Akitas also have a high and well developed prey drive. . . . The loyalty and devotion displayed by an Akita is phenomenal. . . Your Akita lives his life as if his only purpose is to protect you and spend time with you. . . Akitas are natural guardians of the home and do not require any training to turn them into guard dogs. When there is a reason to protect family and property, your Akita will act to do so.”

This large, powerful dog, so prized in Japan, is noted as being “dignified, aloof and with a fearless temperament . . . a no nonsense protector of family and home.” In fact, it is a tradition in Japan to award a small Akita statue as a gift upon the arrival of a firstborn child to signify health, happiness, and a long life, or to wish a rapid recovery to someone who is ill.

One Akita is especially famous throughout that country. This dog, named Hachiko, was born in Odate in 1923 and moved to Tokyo two months later. Hachiko’s owner was Dr. Ueno, a professor at Tokyo University. Dr. Ueno passed away when Hachiko was only a year and a half old. But for the next ten years, rain or shine, Hachiko continued to go to the railroad station every evening to wait for his master even though his master had died. He did this for ten full years until Hachiko himself died in 1935. To commemorate this loyalty, a statue of the faithful dog was erected, and is known to all Japanese.

In our double murder case, Sherlock Holmes might have pondered on the time when the roaming Akita was let out of the house. Surely it could not have been let loose or freed from any restraint after the killings had occurred. Why would the perpetrators have done that, released the dog after the brutal murders?

But if this fearsome animal was out and about at the time of the crime, it was likely close to its Nicole Simpson, its mistress, given its protective temperament at the time of the crime. Or at least, not far away. Had an outsider attacked her, surely the dog would have responded with a rapid and ferocious defense. A charging 100 pound Akita could stop any physical attacker.

Why then didn’t the dog act in such defense, when its mistress was being murdered?

There is only one conclusion, one logical answer to that seeming mystery. There is only one reason. The dog could not have acted in defense of its mistress by attacking its master.

But then, what could have been a motive for such an attack? Further research into the relation between the two victims elicits evidence that they had become close, and according to a CNN article, a close friend and confidante of the woman noted that on the night of the killings, the two, Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman, “were giggling that they were going to ‘do it’” because the lady wanted to find out if he “was good in bed.” In fact, the confident had been told that the pair were planning add another woman to their sexual romp, for a classic menage a trois.

Certainly, knowledge of this could have enraged a jealous ex-husband, a noted former world class athlete, a man of great muscular strength and speed, physically capable of committing the crime. And probably the only person in the world, being the dog’s master, to be immune from any sort of attack by an adult Akita, a type bred for centuries to protect its master and mistress.

Elementary, my dear Watson, the great detective might have concluded. This was the dog that didn’t bite. There can be no doubt as to the identity of the killer.

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Dr. A. N. Feldzamen
3 Arrowood Lane, Ithaca, New York 14850-9793