VOL. CIIIL...NO.17 15 May,1996

Dead Man has
Rock in His Head!


A ruby was found lodged in the shattered skull of the murder victim discovered by demolition workers last month beneath the basement floor of the recently razed Sayers Hall. "This jewel in the crown could turn out to be a motherlode of evidence," said Associate Professor of Biology and part-time Cliffton Coroner Dr. Utaka Nomo (Cliff '77), after discovering the cranial clue during his painstaking on-site post-mortem of the still-buried politically-sensitive skeleton. This is excellent news for investigators who have been unable to identify the victim despite the unique dental prosthesis Dr. Nomo uncovered two weeks ago.

Despite a lack of evidence, Native American Student Union members continue their occupation of the site, insisting that the land is an ancient Nez Percé burial ground and should be returned to the tribe undesecrated. As NASU President Running Dog Levenstein put it, "That body is on Indian land. You cannot move it without violating that land. We will not allow our great ancestors to be dissed like that."

Detective Elizabeth Goswell responded that, "I leave it to the courts or Congress or the Department of the Interior... or whomever to straighten out the land rights. All I'm interested in is identifying that body and catching whoever put it there, and that ruby should really help." Detective Goswell had no comment on rumors that the jewel came from the famous "Maltese Falcon," the tribal relic whose mysterious disappearance 23 years ago is still unsolved.

The Maltese Falcon as it appeared in 1972.
Note the ruby eye and other ruby ornamentation.

Cliff College Chief of Security
Dick Francis was less circumspect, as usual: "Ain't no mystery. Everybody knew Virgil [Dubois] took off with the bird back in '73. If that skull's got a rock in his head, Virgil whacked him with the bird. The man was a lousy, fork-tongued sonuvabitch and I wouldn't put murder past him for one iota of a minute. Hell, when we was kids... well, never mind." Francis declined to elaborate.

Nez Percé Chief Dennis Dubois, offered no opinion on his long-lost older brother's possible connection to the murder. "My only interest in this murder case is in how it might impact the present litigation over the land," Dubois said. "We Native Americans must exercise our right to redress for the multitude of historical crimes that have been perpetrated against us."

Cliff College spokesperson, Dean of Students Alice Watson -- who, ironically, was a Cliff undergraduate living in Sayers House with both Detective Goswell and Chief Dubois in 1973 -- was quick to point out that, shortly before his disappearance, then-Chief Virgil Dubois, a star Associate Professor of Anthropology at Cliff, had developed a theory that disputed the Nez Percé land claim. Professor Dubois believed that Nez Percé oral history proved the nomadic tribe had never staged burials in the Cliffton area, but rather, had transported their dead for ceremonial interment to an area known as Nomad's Land in the Cleveland area under what is now the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"Of course Dennis will never admit this," said Dean Watson. "In fact he and Virgil fought like rutting grizzlies over it. But it seems fairly conclusive that there's no one buried in this plot other than that poor, unfortunate murder victim, and it's a crime that the college has to sacrifice precious time and money for a dig that is essentially an archaeological wild goose chase. It's like wasting precious resources to prove that there is no Santa Claus."

Down with the flu, Cliff College Soc/Anthro Chairman McGeorge Archibald, who is in charge of the dig, responded to Dean Watson's comments by releasing a statement through his teaching assistant, Sunny Southern ('97): "Alice Watson is a fine administrator, but her archaeological opinion is a crock of petrified guano."

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