Twins and Siblings

Here’s a story very thin on details:

Atlanta police detectives were investigating a homicide at a house in the 1500 block of Mims Street Saturday morning.

Police were called to the area shortly after 8a.m. on a report of two people down and unresponsive.

They say both victims and the canine had been shot.

Police have confirmed the two male victims are brothers. They have been identified as Marcus Peek, 37 and his younger brother Ras Aole JaJa Peek, 32. Both men lived at the home.

Family of the brothers consoled one another as investigators looked for shell casings and fingerprints to help solve this murder. Right now, they have few leads and no one has stepped up to say what they saw or heard.

I’m not going to comment on the Peek brothers’ death; let’s just be respectful to their family. But in mystery fiction, siblings and twins come up all the time: it’s a worn-out cliché at this point to have a twin brother nobody new about, or two twins who switch places, etc. I’ve always wanted to do a story with fraternal twins or siblings who look very much like each other and pretend to be twins, and confuse the cops that way.

Here goes: Brother 1 gets mixed up in a murder. He has a twin, Brother 2, and it’s presumed that they’re identical twins: everyone believes this, they say so, they look alike, etc. But they’re not; they’re fraternal twins and so have different DNA. There’s also another brother, Brother 3, who’s distantly in the picture and is sketchy in some way.

So the initial red herring in the investigation is that the detectives sort out through DNA that Brother 1 and Brother 3 are covering for each other, because the DNA on the scene indicates that a brother of Brother 1 was there. So they track down Brother 3, sort out that he’s sketchy, try to convince him to confess, but of course he didn’t do it—even funnier, while he IS sketchy, he had no idea any of this was going down and probably would have offered better advice to his brother(s).

Second red herring is that there’s a fourth brother, Brother 4, who nobody even knew about: he’s the eldest, the one his parents gave up for adoption way back when. He’s also kind of sketchy but equally unaware any of this was happening—even funnier, he’s always assumed his adoptive parents were his birth parents, and never even knew he had any brothers.

So now the detectives are really stymied. Brother 2 has some superficially workable alibi, plus he’s the dang identical twin, and the only one who’s not sketchy, so it doesn’t even occur to the detectives to DNA test him until the very end of the story.

Version B of this story has Brothers 1 and 2 not themselves knowing that they’re not identical twins.


Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: