"On Twitter there's a Legal Bates team" -Brendan Coyle
The investigation of Anna Bates nee Smith was a lengthy one. As the wife of the accused, we wanted to make sure all basis were covered. She was very cooperative though. Her past history of suggesting to “fight fire with fire” concerned us greatly. Was Anna so determined to marry Bates that she decided to take matters into her own hands and get rid of Vera? Nope. Not her style. Plus, she would have never done anything that could potentially jeopardize Mr. Bates. We have ruled out Anna in the Conservatory with the Poison.
We interrogated Lady Cora. As an accomplice in the Pamuk coverup, she had a vested interest in keeping Vera quiet. How would it look if the fact the Countess of Grantham helped move a dead body out of her unmarried daughter’s bedroom got out into society? Was that motive enough to commit murder? No, it wasn’t. It required too much effort. We have ruled out Lady Cora in the Parlor with the Needlepoint Needle.
Since the scandal directly involved her, we took our time investigating Lady Mary. She of all people would suffer if Vera leaked the Pamuk scandal. Was Lady Mary worried enough about not only her reputation, but that of her family and what Matthew would think of her if the story broke in the papers? Turns out no. Lady Mary may be cold but she is not a coldblooded murderer. As such, we have ruled out Lady Mary in the Bedroom with the Riding Crop Eyebrow Pencil.
We have concluded questioning of Daisy, the loyal, gullible, and impressionable sidekick to Mrs. Patmore. Daisy has proven in the past that she is willing to do anything to help a friend. She has always been fond of Mr. Bates, even referring to him as a romantic figure. Would she have killed in order to see him happy? The answer is, of course, no. While Daisy was willing to lace a stew for a friend, she was not capable of committing murder. As such, we have ruled out Daisy in the Servants Hall with the Stew.
We have concluded questioning of Lady Sibyl. A sweet but very political and opinionated woman, Lady Sibyl definitely knows her mind. Her stubborn streak and fierce loyalty to those she holds dear made us wonder what she was capable of to keep her family safe. Turns out, other than annoying her father by marrying the chauffeur and partaking in questionable fashion decisions, not much. As such, we have ruled out Lady Sibyl in the Drawing Room with the Harem Pants.
We have finished questioning Branson, the Irish radical ex-chauffeur. As Lady Sibyl’s husband, then fiance, he would have had a vested interest in keeping her family safe. Having failed once before at an attempt to make an anti-war demonstration, did he up his game and go from protester to murderer? The answer to that is no. It is true that, whatever hard feelings may be between them, Branson wishes only the best for his wife’s family but was not willing to kill to make that happen. So, we have ruled out Branson in the Garage with the Dipstick.
We have concluded our interview with Lady Edith. As we all know there is no love loss between her and her sister, Lady Mary. Lady Edith admitted that she was the one who wrote to the Turkish Embassy for the purpose of ruining her sister, but never meant to bring shame upon her entire family. This, and her lack of a hobby after the war, definitely gave her motive and opportunity to murder the late Mrs. Bates. Alas, she is innocent of the crime. We have cleared Lady Edith in the Courtyard with the Tractor.
It took awhile but we have finally ruled out O’Brien in the Servants Hall with the Curling Iron. I know many of you were hoping for a different outcome but facts don’t lie. Yes, she is a nasty piece of work, and it was her fault that the late Vera Bates found where her husband was, but she isn’t a murderer. Oh, wait, er, well… Moving right along then.
We interviewed Isobel Crawley. While a well-meaning woman, her no nonsense and sometimes abrupt demeanor made it a difficult session. Bottom line, she didn’t do it but she will spend hours telling you her theories about who did and keep calling herself the ” Bucking Up Brigade.” So, we’ve cleared Isobel Crawley in Crawley House with the Nutcracker. You know, to crack your nuts…
The question of why we didn’t confiscate the Dowager Countess’s walking stick was asked. The simple answer is that we did try to take the walking stick for forensic testing but every time we went to remove it from her, she fell over…
We interviewed the heir to Downton, Matthew Crawley. As Lady Mary’s love, he had plenty of motive to stop Vera Bates from spreading her story. Plus, though he claims to be a “quite good” solicitor, he did nothing to keep Mr. Bates out of prison. Did he kill the late Mrs. Bates and set up Mr. Bates to take the fall? Apparently not because we have ruled out Matthew Crawley in the Village with his Bicycle.
Mrs. Patmore was questioned and several items were confiscated from the store cupboard for taste, er I mean, forensic testing. Questioning was slow and Mrs. Patmore was uncooperative, blaming everything on “that bloody Daisy.” After several long days, we cleared Mrs. Patmore and the salt, “Good God!”
Mrs. Hughes was questioned and her keys were weighed and submitted into evidence. The creepy doll Joe Burns gave her was also taken to be tested for voodoo. Mrs. Hughes was kind enough to let Mr. Bates use her sitting room to speak with the late Mrs. Bates. Did Mrs. Hughes feel responsible for the events that occurred as a result of that conversation? Maybe, but not enough to commit murder. She was cleared. Oh, the doll was clean but we got rid of it anyway. I;m sure it was following me around with its eyes…
The Butler Did It! Or did he? We interviewed Mr. Carson, Lady Mary’s fiercest supporter. The wine, silver polish, and cheesecloth were confiscated for forensic testing. After several days of questioning, in which the surprisingly chatty butler waxed on about the honor of Downton, Mr. Carson was cleared.
The Dowager Countess was questioned. As Lady Mary’s grandmother as well as the matriarch of the family, her Ladyship had a lot to lose if Mrs. Bates sold her story. The Dowager Countess was cleared, however, she is wanted for questioning by local authorities about the disappearance of some of Mr. Molesley Sr.’s prized roses.