Who Stole the Tin Man’s Heart
by Scott Mark
This story takes place on a calm and quiet day, in the magical land of OZ. Where another storm has blown through; however, this storm is not like the last. There were no winds, no rain, and no tornado. There was only a whirlwind of rumors, and fear, as a crime has been committed. The victim of this crime was Tin Man, found frozen in a field by the Yellow Brick Road! Palace Guards discovered the Tin Man’s heart had been stolen, leaving him lifeless, and rusted in place. No one in Oz knows exactly what happened, but they all fear what may happen next. The good people of Oz are left with the mystery of: “Who Stole the Tin Man’s Heart?”
All of Oz is on edge, unsure of what has happened, or how this could be. But all in Oz also know, there is only one who may be able to help! To solve the mystery and hopefully find the Tin Man’s heart before it’s too late. The case is brought to the attention of the great and powerful, Detective Oz.
The people of Oz believe he is magical, and can solve this mysterious crime. When he is made aware, the good Detective is both horrified by the crime, but intrigued by the mystery. To begin his investigation Detective Oz announces: “Solving this mystery, will not require magic” as pauses briefly, looking inquisitively into the air and proclaims “What it requires, will be forensic”
Detective Oz wastes no time moving this investigation to the scene of the crime. When he arrives, palace guards proudly and surprisingly announce they have caught the culprit and solved the crime. Looking at Detective Oz, filled with a sense of pride and elation, they wait for Detective Oz’s response to their update.
Surveying the area, Detective Oz looks over large crime scene, and in the scene, is Scarecrow. He notices Scarecrow looks stunned, confused, and unsure of what happened. Detective Oz continues to survey and looks inquisitively at various signs of evidence at the scene. This tells him there is more going on than the palace guards realize.
Detective Oz politely asks the palace guards to wait for a moment as he speaks with Scarecrow, who tells him quickly:
“I don’t know what is happening! I was out for a walk and when I found Tin Man frozen, I got scared. I screamed and the palace guards came running.”
The Palace Guards all nod and confirm they heard a loud scream, which is what alerted them to the area. And when they arrived, they found Scarecrow as he is standing now. Beaming with pride they assure Detective Oz, he was caught before he could escape, but then their expression changes as they relate to this point their search of the scene has not located the Tin Man’s heart.
Detective Oz swiftly decries that Scarecrow is not the one responsible for this crime. He is simply a witness. Scarecrow only screamed in fear, as others would have, finding Tin Man this way. Detective Oz tells the Palace Guards, there is more evidence to explore before this mystery is solved.
Only a few steps away from where Scarecrow stands, Detective Oz kneels, and calls everyone’s attention to a set of footprints on the ground. With a suddenly astonished look on his face, Detective Oz realizes there is someone he needs to speak to right away. As he stands Detective Oz informs all “these footprints not only show who was there, but that they were running away from the scene of the crime.”
With Detective Oz’s order, the Palace Guards set out to find Lion. It doesn’t take long until they find Lion cowering behind some trees, along the Yellow Brick road. At first, Lion tries to roar, to scare the guards away. But his roar is nothing more than a meek skimpy cry. It sounds more like the whimper of a scared child, than the roar of a lion says the guard. Lion is timid, and frightened when he is brought before Detective Oz, who only asks one question: “Lion, why were you hiding?”
Lion cries loudly before he is able to respond. After a few moments, as he sobs, he quietly says: “I’m sorry I ran away. I was out looking for Scarecrow to play and I found Tin Man. I was scared and didn’t know what to do, so I ran to hide from whatever or whoever did this to him!”
Detective Oz knew lion was running before they spoke. He noticed it was Lion’s distinct footprints, and they were further apart, as they moved away from the scene. Detective Oz remarked how shows he changed from walking slowly to a much faster pace of running. “Lion’s statement fits the evidence” remarked Detective Oz, who continued to describe how Lion has a heart of gold, but this behavior fits the lack of courage Lion often tells others about. Plus, with a heart of gold, Lion has no reason to commit this crime.
“Now, two witnesses have been found, but still no suspects” remarks Detective Oz, as he returns to survey the scene.
Detective Oz returns to the scene of Tin Man’s body. It is then, he notices what he explains has caused Tin Man to freeze the way he is. Tin Man cried and leaked all the oil out of his body. That oil, which is now puddled at his feet, also left a trail behind.
Detective Oz examines the oil drops on the ground and explains “some drops show when Tin Man was moving, and others show when he was standing still”. The first drops Detective Oz points to are round, circular, drops on the ground. Drops like this, he says “show Tin Man was standing still when they fell straight to the ground.”
Then Detective Oz moves along the path and points to a second type, which are close to round, but have a more oval shape to them, with a slight tail at the end. Detective Oz explains “Although these drops are like the others, they show Tin Man was moving when they fell. The fact he was moving is what changed their shape.” As he points to the tail of the drop he exclaims “this is the direction Tin Man was moving when they fell.”
Following these drops Detective Oz explains that Tin Man had moved to the location he was now in, and the oil drops lead back to the Yellow Brick road. On the road Detective Oz notices a few more of the round “passive drops” he says. “This must be where Tin Man began crying, and leaking oil, before he moved off the road” whispers Detective Oz.
He had now found the true scene of the crime. In that scene, there was one specific drop, Detective Oz took a great interest and focus on. “This leads me to another piece of evidence” he whispered. Detective Oz, then explained, “this evidence is a passive drop of oil, but it is on a footwear impression on the Yellow Brick road.” Detective Oz continued to describe how he can see a path of similar footwear impressions leading down the road and away from scene of the crime.
With one look, Detective Oz rapidly knew there are only three people in all of Oz, who wear shoes that would leave this type of impression behind. The Palace Guards were once again sent out to find these three people. Detective Oz told them to not waste a moment, and that he needed to speak with: Dorothy Gale, Glinda the Good Witch, and The Wicked Witch of the West, immediately. Detective Oz explained it is the class characteristics he can see in the impression. These characteristics are the size, shape, and pattern on the sole of the shoe. It is this information, which narrowed down his search to only one type of shoe, that could have left this impression behind. He could tell quickly; it was a magical shoe. The only ones, in all of Oz, who wear such magical shoes, are the Witches and Dorothy. Detective Oz commanded the Palace Guards to “bring them, with their shoes, I need to have a closer look”.
As the guards hurried away, Detective Oz explained how it is not these class characteristics, he needs to look at more, but the accidental ones which will reveal the evidence.
“As a shoe is worn, the bottom over time becomes worn out. It’s the friction between the bottom of the shoe and the ground that causes such wear marks, which we call accidental characteristics. As we all walk a little differently, and in different areas, the friction is unique for each of us. As a result, these marks are different on every shoe. By examining these accidental characteristics, we can determine exactly who left this impression at the scene.”
After only a short while, the first two, Dorothy and Glinda, were found and brought before Detective Oz by the Palace Guard. Both stunned and surprised by the news of what happened to Tin Man. They quickly agree to cooperate as much as Detective Oz requests. Then as they begin turning their shoes over to Detective Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West flies in on her broom yelling:
“Who’s looking for me… is it you?” she remarks, as she points with an evil glare towards Detective Oz.
Before Detective Oz can answer, the Wicked Witch begins announcing she heard what happened, and knows who the culprit is. It was then she yelled “the evil terror is among us right now, and this time it’s not me, Ha-Ha!”
With the attention of all now directed towards the Wicked Witch, her harsh and shrieking voice rings out: “It was the cursed brat… this is just another of her doings… she’ll claim this one was an accident too.” And without allowing another a moment to speak, she continues and says “She’s brought harm upon us all since she came to Oz. Her and her little mangy dog too”
The Wicked Witch begins demanding Detective Oz punish her, and punish her now. “Banish her from Oz, or turn her over to me, and I will punish her for us all!”
Before Detective Oz can respond, Glinda quickly moves in front of Dorothy, to protect her. She doesn’t respond, but politely waits for the Wicked Witch to stop shrieking. Then calmly declares: “We all will cooperate with the investigation. It is not until it is completed that we can know who of us, if any, deserves to be held responsible for this”
After Glinda has spoken, all look to Detective Oz as the Wicked Witch unhappily turns her head away in disgust, but agrees, and hands over her shoes.
After many tense moments, Detective Oz, looks unhappily up and directs everyone’s attention to one shoe. “The shoe that matches has been found” proclaims Detective Oz, as he holds it up in the air. When everyone sees which shoe it is, an eerie silence falls upon the scene.
As Dorothy looks, she sees it is her shoe Detective Oz is holding. With a stunned and surprised look, her eyes fill with tears as she softly says: “I didn’t hurt Tin Man. Really, I didn’t do it”
A brief silence follows Dorothy’s quiet words, as she begins to cry. The Wicked Witch takes this as an invitation to yell, and once again demands Detective Oz punish Dorothy. But before she can continue, Detective Oz begins to speak and the Wicked Witch, like all others, stand quietly to listen.
“The footwear impression at the scene, which had a drop of Tin Man’s oil on it, is from Dorothy’s shoe. However, that only tells us Dorothy had walked on the Yellow Brick road before Tin Man was attacked. It does not tell us that she is the one who attacked him. Until all evidence has been examined, we cannot say we know who is responsible”
Detective Oz continues by asking Dorothy to remain with the Palace Guards, while he continues his investigation. “As all evidence has not yet been examined, I am not ready yet to say who is responsible” says Detective Oz. Both Dorothy and Glinda agree to remain, while the investigation is completed. At the same time the Wicked Witch announces she will not leave until young Dorothy is punished, and cries out “it is obvious who committed this crime!”
Returning to the crime scene, Detective Oz explains there is one important piece of evidence which has not yet been examined. “The Tin Man’s frozen body”. After a few moments of walking around and closely looking at Tin Man’s frozen frame in the field. Detective Oz pauses, leans in, and looks closely again at the open panel on his chest, and a small grin appears on Detective Oz’s face. After Detective Oz takes a few more moments to closely examine the panel, he stands and proclaims to all: “We will know who is responsible tonight. When the sun sets on Oz, the culprit will no longer be able to hide.”
Detective Oz asks the Palace Guards to remain and protect the scene. He needs to leave for a short while, but will be back at sunset. He also instructs the Palace Guards not to let Dorothy or the Witches leave until he returns. “If they attempt to do so, arrest them!” he remarks. The Palace Guards quickly move to guard all three, as they watch Detective Oz walk away. He utters how he needs to go to Munchkin land, needs to go alone, but will be back soon.
All wait and look on, as the sun moves over the daytime sky and Detective Oz disappears in the distance.
After many hours pass and the sun begins to set, a silhouette is seen walking towards them from Munchkin land. It is Detective Oz walking back proudly, but slowly, with a satisfying smile on his face. Once he arrives back, standing next to Tin Man, Detective Oz begins to speak, and all listen.
“With assistance from the munchkins, and all I have spoken to. I have solved the mystery of this crime. As we all watch the sun set, the ability for the culprit to hide will fade away like the setting sun” he exclaims.
Detective Oz pauses, as all stand eager to hear the words he has to share. He looks towards the setting sun, perhaps allowing time for anyone else to speak. But Detective Oz looks as though he is waiting for the sun to leave the daytime sky, before he will speak again.
Once the sun finally disappears, all turn their gazes back towards Detective Oz. It is then, he continues with his findings:
“As I examined the Tin Man’s body, I realized, it was the Tin Man who had all the answers we were looking for. On his chest, the area from which his heart was stolen, is where the answers waited to be found.”
Detective Oz then lifts a magnifying device from his pocket, and places it over Tin Man’s chest “Look closely all, look so you can see… I will show everyone who the real culprit is”. As all look inquiringly at the Tim Man, Detective Oz continues to say “At the top of the bent metal, we can all see marks left on the inside. These were left by the tool used to pry Tin Man open, and steal his mechanical heart.” A gasp is heard in the crowd, as they see the parallel marks on the pried open panel. As Detective Oz continues:
“Now most of us in Oz, do not possess such tools. It is the munchkins who are the builders among us. However, any tool used, leaves a unique marking when it is used. Like the unique accidental characteristics which allowed us to match Dorothy’s shoe to the impression on the Yellow Brick road. We can use these markings to match it to the tool used on Tin Man”
Detective Oz looks to the Palace Guards and instructs them to let Dorothy go. She is not the one responsible. He explains “all of Oz knows Dorothy walked the Yellow Brick road. That is how she found her way here. The footwear impression merely shows she had been on the road. It does not show she was the one who attacked Tin Man, or that she was even there at the same time”
Dorothy smiles with relief, as she wipes tears away, but says she wants to remain and hear what Detective Oz has to tell. Detective Oz thanks her for her patience and continues.
“Now I have gone to Munchkin Land to look at all the tools they have. None match these markings. So, I know it was not a munchkin tool that was used. However, as I examined these markings, I also noticed a faint powder on Tin Man. It was one I could barely see with my own eyes. But when I looked closely, it was there. I took a small sample of this powder with me to munchkin land and have identified it as a magical powder. A powder that only Glinda and the Wicked Witch have access to.”
At this time, both Witches stood still, apparently stunned by what Detective Oz has just said. Detective Oz slowly begins to walk towards them both, as he continues.
“Now this powder cannot be used to identify either of you, over the other. However, it is my guess, with the darkness of the night time sky, will come the opportunity to shine a light on who the real culprit is.”
At this time Detective Oz reaches into a bag passed to him by one of the munchkins that followed him back to the scene. Out of the bag, he pulls a unique looking flashlight, with a green cover. No one had seen this before, and with the quick flip of a switch, the light is on, and an intense clear green light can be seen shining on Tin Man. Detective Oz then pulls out a frame, which has only red glass inside, and places it beneath the magnifying glass and looks through. After a few short moments, he calmly remarks “and there it is … the clue that will reveal the truth”.
With the green light on Tin Man, and red filter beneath the magnifying glass to look through. A fingerprint, glowing on the metal surface, which could not be seen before, was now visible on Tin Man’s body.
Before Detective Oz could say anymore, the Wicked Witch shrieks loudly “it’s a loop, I see it, it’s a loop” she screeches. “It’s a right slanted loop isn’t it” yells the Wicked Witch as she begins to turn with her evil glare at everyone in the area. “Those are on the right hand” she remarks as she reaches out and exclaims “here’s mine, you can see I don’t have any loops on my hand”. As she now directs her evil stare towards Detective Oz, and reaches her right hand out before him.
Detective Oz focuses on her hand, and agrees with the Wicked Witch, nodding his head as he looks “you’re right, loops such as this are most commonly found on the right hand.” And remarks to all that he sees no loop patterns on the Witches hand. When Detective Oz then turns his attention to Glinda, she politely holds out both her hands. All can see the fingers on Glinda’s right hand have the same loop type pattern, as the fingerprint on Tin Man. The Palace Guards, without being asked, move behind Glinda as Detective Oz begins walking over to her.
The Wicked Witch runs over to Glinda, grabs her right wrist and shrieks “So you’re the one who has stolen the rusted man’s heart!”, as she glares into Glinda’s eyes.
Detective Oz, slowly walks over to Glinda, looking directly at her with a stern face. The Wicked Witch continues holding her arm and moves it towards the approaching Detective Oz. When Detective Oz is close enough, he reaches out and places his hand on the Wicked Withes left wrist. All are stunned as Detective Oz gently, but firmly, removes her hand from Glinda’s right arm. While looking towards Glinda, Detective Oz speaks kindly and says “Glinda, thank you for your patience, but you may go”
In that moment, he strengthens his grip on the Wicked Witches left arm, and turns to face her. The Wicked Witch looks at him with stunned surprise, as Detective Oz proclaims: “Yes, right slanted loops are commonly found on fingers of the right hand. However, if not on the right, they can also be commonly found on the left forefinger”. In that moment Detective Oz turns the Wicked Witches left hand over and holds it up for all to see. “And look, you have one, right there” remarks Detective Oz as he points out the Wicked Witch has a right slanted loop on her left forefinger.
A hush falls over the crowd, who all look to Detective Oz as he explains. While he was away, he had not only gone to munchkin land. But he also stopped and checked tools at the Wicked Withes fortress. It was there he found a tool with the unique marks he was sure he saw on Tin Man’s chest panel. Detective Oz looks directly into the eyes of the Wicked Witch as he states “I’m sure the match between that tool and the marks on Tin Man will be clearly visible. Just as clearly visible as your left forefinger will match the fingerprint on Tin Man’s chest panel. Because you’re the one who left the magical dust as you tore out his heart!”
Sure, that the crime is now solved, Detective Oz directs the guards to shackle the Wicked Witch, who yells out “You’ll never hold me!” and forcefully pushes back against Detective Oz. The shackles fall to the ground, as Detective Oz loses his balance in the struggle, and falls backwards, now defenseless at the Wicked Witch’s feet.
The Wicked Witch screams loudly, as she raises her broom to strike the defenseless Detective Oz. With all her might she swings forward, and all Detective Oz can do is put his hands up to try and block the fierce attack of the Witches broom.
But out of the blue, the Lion jumps forward from the crowd of stunned and fearful onlookers, and grabs the broom. Stopping the broom just before it strikes Detective Oz, the Wicked Witch is stunned. She looks towards Lion as he growls more fiercely than anyone has heard before, and Lion yells “I ran away last time my friend needed me, I won’t do it again!”
This stunning show of courage inspires Scarecrow, who is standing behind the Wicked Witch, but is too far away to reach her. Instead he quickly notices and picks up a bucket of cleaning water nearby. Knowing the Witch is allergic to clean water, he has the thought to throw it on her. Although a brilliant idea, Scarecrow stumbles as he tries to carry out his plan and the bucket begins to fall from his hands.
Hearing the commotion behind her, the Wicked Witch turns, and sees Scarecrow falling as he tries to throw the bucket. She laughs and turns away, not fearing Scarecrow or his attempt to stop her. Her intentions now turn directly towards Lion. He acted bravely, but is ultimately left defenseless standing before the Wicked Witch, whose evil stare now focuses on him.
In that brief moment, Dorothy reaches forward and catches the bucket from Scarecrow. She continues the brilliant idea Scarecrow envisioned, and finishes the throw. Once the bucket is in the air, the Wicked Witch is showered with water, as Lion and Detective Oz scramble away from her.
Caught by surprise the Wicked Witch shrieks loudly as steam begins to rise from beneath her clothing and all around her. “You cursed brat! Look what you've done! I'm melting! melting! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?
“Once melted away, all that was left of the Wicked Witch was her cloak, hat, broom and the Tin Man’s mechanical heart. “It must have been hidden in her cloak before she melted” exclaimed Dorothy.
In that moment, Detective Oz stands up, dusts himself off, and thanks Lion, Scarecrow and Dorothy for helping him. “It seems my investigation not only found Tin Man’s heart; but your courage Lion, as well as the brilliant mind you have Scarecrow. Without you both, this never would have been possible” remarked Detective Oz.
While Detective Oz thanked them, Dorothy leans forward and picks up the Tin Man’s heart, placing it back into his chest. And, as she does a few munchkins come out of the crowd, smile at Dorothy, and begin to work on Tin Man. After a short while, Tin Man is repaired, freshly oiled, and loudly exclaims: “Thank You, Everyone”
In the end, magic was not needed to help solve the mystery of who stole the Tin Man’s heart. All that was needed was the help of some very courageous, brilliant, and caring friends, who with the help of Forensics, solved the crime and saved their friend.