“As far as I’m concerned, it was an admission of guilt when that bastard killed himself, and completely vindicates my investigation,” declares Tom Mulligan, the man dubbed ‘The Tabloid Detective’, upon hearing that he would be facing criminal charges following the suicide of Ron Twassock, who he had accused of murder in a series of articles in The Daily Norks. “Let’s face it, if we hadn’t exposed that monster as a killer, he’d still be free to kill again. We were only acting to protect the public!” The tabloid has been severely criticised for running its own private investigation into the murder of Bristol accountant Wendy Jampott, with local police claiming that it has severely hampered their own enquiries. “Having some tabloid hack knocking on doors in the street where the victim was murdered, asking neighbours which resident they thought was weird enough to have done it, was highly prejudicial,” comments Detective Chief Inspector Harry Choad. “Not to mention bribing one of our forensics technicians to gain entry to the murder scene for a photo shoot with a topless model – I really don’t see how that helped in solving the crime at all.”

The paper’s crime reconstruction – broadcast on its website – also caused outrage. “As if it wasn’t bad enough that all the women were depicted by Page Three girls, with the men portrayed by male strippers, did they really have to actually act out how they thought the murder occurred in such graphic detail?” asked the victim’s obviously distraught father during an interview with the BBC. “Believe me, no parent wants to see their daughter – played by a topless model – being bludgeoned to death with her killer’s engorged penis during a bizarre sex game gone wrong.” It is also thought that it was this reconstruction which finally pushed Ron Twassock over the edge, resulting in him taking his own life. “We just couldn’t believe it when he saw that the actor playing the killer was wearing a mask depicting Ron’s face,” says his friend Amy Drabbing. “It was just the last straw for him – he felt he couldn’t show his face in public after that, for fear of being lynched by mobs of vigilantes.” Nevertheless, Mulligan maintains that his case against Twassock was perfectly sound, based upon overwhelming evidence. “Look, he was the person his neighbours thought most likely to be a sex murderer,” explains the private eye. “Not only that, but when we obtained his phone records, we found that he’d been calling those sex chat lines on a daily basis – the man was clearly a dangerous sex maniac.”

A search of the suspect’s dustbins yielded more damning evidence. “Along with a large quantity of semen-soaked tissues – yet more evidence of his degeneracy – we found a sock, also soaked in semen, identical to one missing from the victim’s body,” says Mulligan. “Clearly, he wiped himself off with the sock after committing his hideous sex crime!” The police have been quick to point out that there is no evidence that the sock allegedly found in Twassock’s dustbin had actually belonged to the victim, or that the alleged semen on it was Twassock’s. “Even if it had, any DNA evidence on it would have been compromised by Mulligan’s handling of it,” Detective Chief Inspector Choad notes. “Let alone the damage done during the shoot for their photo story allegedly explaining how the murderer had foully abused the sock – that male model’s DNA is going to be all over it now.” Armed with his evidence, Mulligan decided to force a confession from Twassock. “There was only one way to do this,” he says. “We parked outside his house and shouted ‘Murderer’ through a megaphone all night.” When this tactic failed, Mulligan decided to play his trump card. “We published the results of our own forensic test, which showed that the semen on the sock was identical to stains found on the curtains in the victim’s bedroom, where she was murdered,” he says. “We backed it up with our reconstruction, which clearly showed him wiping himself off on the curtains when the sock became too sodden. This obviously did the trick – he topped himself the next day!”

Once again, the veracity of Mulligan’s evidence has been called into question, with Chief Inspector Choad drawing attention to the fact that the so-called ‘forensic expert’ used by the tabloid actually turned out to be a pharmacist working at a local branch of Superdrug. Despite such criticisms, Mulligan’s employers are standing by him, with the tabloid’s owners maintaining that his investigations have all been in the public interest. “Our detective is far better equipped than the police to investigate these heinous crimes. Whereas they are hidebound by administrative red tape and the vagaries of the law, our man is free to obtain information from witnesses via the power of his corporate cheque book,” says proprietor Andy Balloff. “Believe me, a couple of hundred quid in a plain envelope can do more to jog a person’s memory than any Crimewatch reconstruction, or tearful appeals by grieving relatives.”

Mulligan, a former supermarket security guard who had previously been employed by the Daily Norks to spy on celebrities, shot to fame when he cracked a series of armed robberies in West London, apprehending the gang responsible red handed in a spectacular photo opportunity at an Ealing bank they were raiding. “It was an incredibly lucky break – he was tapping the phone of some slapper who was being bonked by a bloke on Hollyoaks, when he found that she was also having it off with this bank robber,” reveals Balloff. “He overheard the whole plan for the next robbery and was waiting for them in the vault with a camera crew.” Following this spectacular, not to mention circulation boosting, piece of crime busting, the newspaper decided to employ Mulligan to investigate further high profile crimes. Rivals have been quick to follow suit, with fellow tabloid The Shite unveiling it’s ‘Psychic Detective’, Dorothy Liplock, who claims to be able to solve crimes through communion with the spirit world. “Actually, she’s the woman who used to write our horoscopes,” reveals Deputy Editor Dick Wrench. “But she found that she had this amazing facility for crime solving when she successfully predicted who’d killed Archie Mitchell in Eastenders the other year. It was quite astounding: we had a bra worn by that bird who plays Stacy Slater as the first prize in a readers’ competition, when Dorothy touched it she had a funny turn, foaming at the mouth, pointing at the actress and shrieking something about big busts and going down on Archie! At the time we assumed she was having a fit and dismissed her words as gibberish. I mean, we thought she meant that Stacy had suffocated Archie with her breasts during oral sex – not even those degenerates at the BBC would run a storyline that sensational on a pre-watershed soap.”

Incredibly, a few months later Liplock’s prediction was proven to be eerily accurate when an episode of the popular BBC soap opera revealed that Stacy Slater had killed Archie Mitchell by dropping a life-size bust of Queen Victoria on his head. “We were gobsmacked,” admits Wrench. “We immediately offered Dorothy her job back and set her to work psychically solving crimes.” Whilst initially Liplock’s investigations focused upon rubbing the victim’s underwear on her face in the hope of picking up clues as to the murderer’s identity, with modest results, her most spectacular success came when she used a séance to summon the spirit of a murder victim. “It was brilliant,” enthuses Wrench. “We had all the main suspects around the table and Dorothy asked the spirit to indicate which one had done her in – this glass flew off the table and hit her husband! Then this disembodied voice shrieked ‘Murderer!’. He was so shocked he had a heart attack, and confessed in the ambulance.” The husband later retracted his confession and has never been charged.