The Findings of Dr. John Burns as it pertains to A Study in Scarlet

Consulting Detective Services

John Burns-Consulting Detective

I am currently a consulting detective from London. I am interested in using my observations to solve crimes and inference information. I am not a government detective nor a private one. I am merely a consulting detective who often advises other officials to get them back on the right track. Although I do not receive official credit for many crimes in which I have helped or solved I remain passionate in my field of work. In the past, I have worked on cases such as: the murder of Blair Watson, the murder of Mr and Mrs Evans, and also the murder of Jennie Cramer. I have never found myself in a rut and unable to determine any new information from evidence before me. I consider myself to be very practical and very good and deducing meaningful information from even the most unusual bits of evidence. If you are in need of my service please come to 38B Smithe Street

One of the cases I worked on
Secret Messages
This is a substitution cipher. Use this chart to de-cipher this message:
The message de-ciphered is: the devil makes work for idle hands.

Blood, DNA, and Fingerprints


Fingerprints are often used to identify victims or suspects of a crime. Fingerprints are very reliable because a fingerprint never changes. Your fingerprint can be removed by taking off layers of skin and flesh to reach the dermis layer. This process is very painful so many criminals try different ways to remove their fingerprints. For example some criminals may try to burn off their fingerprints or place their finger in acid to remove it. Although sometimes these methods may work, most of the time they do not. Your fingerprint may also be altered by a surgery that causes deep scarring. Using fingerprints for identification has been used in forensics since 200 BC in China!

Blood Spatter

Studying blood spatters and the behaviour of blood in a crime scene is used often for determining weapon type, time of the crime, number of blows, and for identification through DNA. Blood spatters offer a great amount of information in violent crimes like homicides. Blood can reveal the time at which the crime was committed by the clotting. Blood can also help identify the weapon through the types of droplet spatters it makes on the surroundings. Low velocity blood spatters usually pool around the body and mean this was an injury like a nose bleed or small wound. Medium velocity blood spatter often are caused by a blunt object like a bat or fist and are 1-4 mm in size. High velocity blood spatters are tiny droplets and are usually caused by a gunshot wound, explosion, or power tool. Blood can help investigators determine the position or movement of a victim through the laws of gravity and motion. Blood responds to gravity and motion and usually forms cohesive droplets.


DNA evidence is considered biological evidence. Like other types of biological evidence, DNA is not visible to the naked eye. DNA markers can be found on hair, blood, bone, sweat, dandruff, ear wax, skin, and other body tissues. DNA is sometimes used to identify victims or suspects of a crime.

Secret Organizations

History of Freemasonry

Freemasonry is an ancient fraternity. The organization is so old its origins have been lost. Many people believe Freemasonry developed from the guilds of stonemasons who built castles and cathedrals in the middle ages. This is most probable because many freemasonry symbols are from the middle ages era. Freemasonry may also have been influenced by the Knights Templar who were a group of Christian warrior monks who formed in 118 to protect pilgrims making trips to the Holy Land. In 1717 masonry was created a formal organization in England when the first four Lodges were formed. These four lodges then created a Grand Lodge in England. In the 1700's freemasonry spread its ideas of enlightenment and the dignity of man. By 1731, Freemasonry had reached America and many important men joined this organization like George Washington. John Hancock, and Joseph Warren. During the 1800's and 1900's freemasonry grew greatly mostly due to the lack of a social safety net funded by the government in the West. So people turned to Freemasons who dedicated their time to founding orphanages, homes for widows, and homes for the elderly. Masonry played a great role in the revolutionary war, the constitutional convention, and debates regarding the bill of rights. Freemasonry has now developed a worldwide fraternity which emphasizes personal study, self-improvement, and social betterment.

Core Beliefs of the Freemasons

Freemasons believe any man can join their fraternity if he has an open mind, believes in a supreme being, and exercises self control. Some other beliefs are: temperance, fortitude, prudence, and justice. Many Freemasons also believe in taking responsibility for their actions, obeying government laws, and working to make the world a better place.

Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes as Freemasons

Arthur Conan Doyle the very popular author of the Sherlock Holmes series was a Freemason. Doyle pursued freemasonry because he was dissatisfied with his own religion of being a Jesuit (don't be confused, freemasonry is not a religion). Doyle believed in spiritualism and though freemasonry could help him on his quest. Doyle was initiated into freemasonry on January 26th, 1887 at the Phoenix Lodge in South sea, Hampshire. He was only 27 years old at the time. Arthur completed all three masonic degrees in only three months. This was an amazing feat. After completing the degrees and achieving the status of a Master Mason, Doyle became bored and began to focus on writing novels. He became a less active member in 1889 and didn't attend many Lodge meetings/ functions. Doyle came back to freemasonry in 1902 but then left again officially in 1911. Although Sherlock Holmes is only a fictional character, many believe Doyle intended to make him a Freemason. In the novel " A Study in Scarlet" Gregson tells Holmes, Drebber's ring was masonic. Holmes has no reaction to the mentioning of freemasonry which shows he may be familiar with the organization himself. Also, Holmes has dedicated his life to justice and truth by being a detective. Justice and truth are pillars of the masonic beliefs. Although Holmes is never referred to as a mason nor is it ever mentioned in the books, Sherlock Holmes may have been part of the global fraternity: Freemasonry.


The History of Mormonsim

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka the LDS Church) was founded by Joseph Smith in the 1820s in Upstate New York. Joseph Smith started with five supporters but quickly grew his Church to include 26,000 members. The first Mormon Church was started by Smith in Fayette, New York on April 6th, 1830. Joseph Smith was the first president of the LDS Church and presided until 1844 when he was martyred. During Smith's life Brigham Young joined the LDS Church and was baptized in 1832. Brigham Young was ordained an apostle in 1835 and become on of the Quorum of the Twelve who directed missionary work, settlement and emigration, and some construction projects. From 1838 to 1839 Young directed the removal of Mormons from Missouri to Illinois and served as a missionary in Great Britain from 1840 to 1841. After Smith dies, Young was chosen as the leader of the Mormons and continued as president until his death in 1877. During his presidency, Young did a number of things for the Mormon community. Young directed the migration of 16,000 Mormons from Illinois to Utah from 1846 to 1852. In 1851, Young became the governor of the Utah territory. He also helped establish the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company which helped about 80,000 converts migrate to Utah from countries like Great Britain and Scandinavia. Young also helped direct colonization and development of settlements in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, and California.

The top left corner shows a picture of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. In the top right corner there is a photo of Brigham Young. In the bottom left corner theres is a picture of the vast territory of Utah during the 1800's. In the bottom right corner the photo shows Salt Lake City in the 1800's.

Rules of the Mormon Community

The Mormon Community has many unspoken rules. Some of them include: paying 10% of your earnings to the church, do not question Mormon authority, fully believe in all the teachings and doctrines of Mormonism, wear special undergarments day and night, no smoking, no drinking, no coffee or tea, have many children, get married at an early age and marry another Mormon believer, preach to other non-Mormon people in your life, do not associate with non-Mormons unless you're preaching, and attend all Church meetings. These rules are put in place to aid community members in following Mormon beliefs. Some of these rules might seem outrageous, like not being allowed to drink coffee, but many of their rules are understandable. A few other rules are: follow a dress code for church, wear modest clothing in your everyday life, accept and perform job the church gives you, fast once per month, and leave Sundays for church only. Mormons also believe in plural marriage. Plural marriage is illegal in most countries including Canada and all the states of the United States. Despite it being illegal, this practice is still prevalent in Moron communities. Plural marriage is the practice of a man marrying more than one woman. Joseph Smith, the found of Mormonism, implemented this practice because he claimed god had told him to do so.

The photo in the top left corner shows a Mormon church. In the top right corner there is a picture showing plural marriage. The bottom left photo is the Book of Mormon which holds many Mormon core beliefs. Lastly, in the bottom right corner, there is a picture of Mormon undergarments that women and men of the faith are expected to wear at all times.

Mormonism and John Ferrier

I believe that John Ferrier’s wished for his daughter are justified despite them being against Mormon beliefs. John wants what is best for his only daughter Lucy, and is willing to break the rules just for her to be happy. John and Lucy were brought into the Mormon faith in a time of life or death. Under normal circumstances, I highly doubt the Ferrier’s would have joined Mormonism. Due to this extreme circumstance, John easily accepted Mormon rules to save himself and his daughter from death. Now, John is realizing that following Mormon beliefs will hurt his daughter and is not in his or her best interest. He knows Lucy does not want anything to do with the two men the Mormons have selected for her, let alone marry them. I don’t think John accepting Mormon rules was a sacred promise and therefore can be broken.

A photo of John and Lucy Ferrier.

The Flower of Utah

Lucy’s nickname belittles her to only a label. This label brings about negative attention from men. This label also alienates Lucy from other women in the Mormon community. Lucy’s dilemma is that she must marry either Enoch Drebber or Joseph Stangerson and she does not like either of them. Instead, Lucy is in love with Jefferson Hope, a gentile. Marrying a gentile or associating with gentiles is against the Mormon rules. I think Lucy should leave the Mormon faith to marry who she wants but also to allow her to live in normal society where she is not forced into marriages she does not want.

Lucy, The Flower of Utah

Mormon Women

Women were not treated well during the 1800's in many cultures. Women were mere objects and subordinate to men in society. They were expected to obey their husband's wishes and remain silenced. This was prevalent in Mormon societies too. Mormons practiced polygamy which is the marrying of one man and two or more women. During the 1800's mormon men often had up to 10 wives. This means women were disrespected even more in Mormon communities because they weren't even valued enough to have their own husband but had to share with other women. In a way, polygamy may have brought women together to share their burdens but it was rare to see any member of the Mormon community speak out against the Mormon doctrine. In a Study of Scarlet, Drebber has 7 wives while Stangerson has 4. Both men only saw Lucy as another object to add to their collection of wives not as a real person. This is what other mormon men must have thought as well which means mormon women were most likely disrespected in these communities. At the time of Lucy's death, Hope recounts that Drebber did not display any sadness which means he had no feelings for Lucy. Drebber could care less that he lost one of his many wives. When people enter into a marriage the most likely have feelings for each other and care for each other's well being but this is not the case in Lucy's marriage.


Lucy Ferrier

Lucy, The Flower of Utah

I think a white lilac represents Lucy Ferrier the best. White lilacs symbolize girlhood, innocence, and youthfulness.

white lilacs
Jefferson Hope's Confession

I, Jefferson Hope, confess that I have killed Enoch Drebber of Salt Lake City, Utah. It all happened about twenty-one years ago. I was driving some cattle from the Nevada mountains to Salt Lake City. Salt Lake was a mediocre city, the inhabitants seemed very religious and seclusive. Except for one young maiden, Lucy Ferrier. I saw her on a warm summer morning riding her horse skillfully and gracefully into town when she encountered a herd of cattle. Her chestnut curls billowed in the wind as she pushed her horse onward through the herd. She was desperately trying to stay in the saddle as the horse bucked and kicked, falling would mean death under the hooves. I grabbed her horse and pulled her out of the herd. She looked up at me, and laughed. Seeing her smile and her inert kindness made me immediately fall in love. Lucy invited me back to her house to speak with her father but she had to complete her errand first. I remember watching her ride off, thinking I couldn’t wait to see her again. I was in search of silver to sell in the great Nevada mountains in exchange for work in Salt Lake City but something about Lucy intrigued me greatly. Nothing could ever be of so much importance to me as this young girl. In the next few months, I visited John Ferrier often and gave him insight to the outside world. With each story I shared, I could see John and Lucy becoming more and more fond of me. I was going on a two month trip for work, when I visited Lucy to say goodbye. It was a warm summer evening when I proposed to Lucy with the support and help of her father, John. About 3 weeks had passed in my journey when I received word from John which regarded the visiting of two suitors for Lucy. She was to be wed to a mormon elder’s son, Drebber or Stangerson. My heart couldn’t take it but neither could Lucy’s. I knew she would be unhappy with either of these men.

With only two days left of Lucy’s allotted time to choose her suitor, I came back to save her and wed her. I knew Lucy and John were in great danger but upon my return to their farm I noticed the house was being watched by all four sides. I had to crawl along the ground just to get into the house unnoticed. This is when I realized how much danger Lucy and John were really in. We abandoned everything and left to Carson City, that very night. We took a footpath through the mountains which was dangerously on the edge of a cliff and covered with boulders ready to roll. A few days into our journey, Lucy spotted a figure perched high on a boulder looking over the path. I distinctly remember his booming voice asking “who goes there?” which broke through the tranquility and silence of the empty mountains. The ranger let us pass and we knew this was the edge of the Holy Lands that were controlled by the mormons. We thought we had reached freedom, I know, I could almost taste its sweetness.

We continued through the night, to put as much ground between us and the mormons. I knew we couldn’t rest long for breakfast as the mormons would already be out hunting us. That night we lay down to rest between some boulders. I knew we were about 30 miles from our enemies so we had time to spare. I remember thinking we had really escaped the horrible rule of the mormons because we had not seen any other man along this treacherous path. If only I had known the appalling events to come. Our provisions had run low, so I started a fire for Lucy and John to keep warm while I hunted for our next meal. The last time I saw Lucy, she was huddled with her father by the fire. Her eyes were full of hope for our new life. I shot a bighorn and carried it back to camp. Although the animal was heavy, each step I took brought me closer to Lucy and I knew we would not starve thanks to my luck. When I returned to camp I was met with a frightening sight of John dead, shoved in a freshly dug grave. A stick with a paper with the words: “ John Ferrier of Salt Lake City died August 4th 1860”. Lucy was gone, kidnapped by the mormons and forced into the most unfriendly of marriages. She would be wed to Enoch Drebber a polygamist, who would never appreciate her good heart. On that exact day, August 4th 1860, I pledged my life to revenge on Drebber.

I traversed along the small mountain path back towards Salt Lake City. I looked out on the city and saw a celebration was at hand. A mounted man rode towards me and I asked him for information on Lucy’s fate. He told me there was a warrant out for me, issued by the holy four for helping the Ferrier’s escape. He also told me Lucy was married yesterday to Enoch Drebber which explained the celebration. A horrible pain washed through every inch of my body. I knew Lucy would be stricken with sadness from her father’s recent death and being forced to marry Drebber. I couldn’t bear that she was in pain but alas, I turned back and entered back into the barren mountains. One month later, Lucy died either due to the grief of her father’s death or the hateful marriage she was forced into. Once I heard this news I knew I must avenge Lucy’s death.

I lived in the mountains for a few months trying to get my revenge on both Drebber and Stangerson. A few times I got close to reaching my goal of killing them. When a bullet narrowly missed Stangerson and a boulder just missed Drebber. But Drebber and Stangerson figured I had it out for them and they didn’t go out alone or after nightfall. I came into the city before they buried Lucy and took her ring. I let up on hunting them for a while and moved to the Nevada mine. I gathered my strength and thoughts to devise a plan that would fulfill my need for revenge. I returned to Salt Lake City about 5 years later under a new name to see the mormon church was facing rebellion from young members. Many of these rebellious youth left the Mormon religion to become gentiles. Among these, were Drebber and Stangerson. Upon hearing of their absence I travelled from town to town in the United States to find Drebber and Stangerson. Many years later, I saw Drebber and Stangerson in Cleveland, Ohio but I was taken into custody for a few weeks. Upon my release, I investigated Drebber’s home only to find it empty and that the two men had left to Europe. I had to work for some time to make enough money to find transportation to Europe. I never gave up my lifelong quest to get revenge. I finally got to Europe and tracked Stangerson and Drebber from city to city while I worked menial jobs to finance my man hunt. Each time I reached a city I would learn I was a few days late and they had already moved onto to somewhere new. Finally in London I caught up to Stangerson and Drebber. I took up work as a taxicab driver in London to make enough money to support myself. I grew out my beard so Stangerson nor Drebber could recognize me when I finally got them in my clutches. One evening I was driving up and down torche terrace when they called a cab and boarded it. I followed them in my cab to the train station and then onto a platform. They were then informed the train would not come for a few hours. Drebber and Stangerson were forced to stay in London for a little while longer. Drebber said he had some business to take care of and would join Stangerson later. I knew this was my chance as he was heading out alone.

A few days earlier a man looking at an empty house on Brixton road had left the keys in my carriage. The key was claimed that evening but during the time I had the key, I had taken a mold of it and gotten my own. I devised my plan to capture Drebber and murder him in that Brixton Road house without any interruptions. I followed him to a liquor shop and saw him hail a cab. I followed him all the way around the city to a house. After a little while I heard a struggle going on in the house and out came Drebber and another angry man brawling. Drebber lost the brawl and saw my cab. He hailed me and asked me to drive to the hotel in Liverpool. I slowly drived, trying to decide my plan, when he asked me to pull over while he got more liquor. It was then when I decided to take him back to the house on Brixton Road. I stole some of the deadliest poison which was an alkaloid at York College while I was working as a janitor. The poison was so powerful just a drop meant instant death. I worked this poison into soluble pills and arranged them into boxes with other pills that were not lethal. I kept these boxes so when I finally caught Stangerson and Drebber they would each get a pick from these boxes and God would decide both of their fates as well as mine. It was a dark and rainy night but inside I was filled with glee, I had finally got one of them in my hands. I woke up Drebber and helped him into the Brixton Road house. I led him into the front room and lit a wax candle. I let him guess who I was and I watched as his face lit with horror when his drunken mind realized who I was. He staggered back and began to sweat as he realized his fate. I was so anxious my nose began to bleed as I locked the door. He trembled as I spoke about Lucy. I shoved the pillbox at him and told him to eat one pill and the high God would decide who deserved to die. We started at each other for about a minute waiting to see who would die and who would live. Drebber began to convulse and fell down. Fate was on my side, God had made a choice of two pills one poisoned and the other safe, he chose poison for Drebber. His last sight would be my maniacal face and Lucy’s ring. I then wrote “RACHE” on the wall on a whim. I figured it might puzzle the London authorities and send them on the wrong trail. I walked back to my cab and drove on when I felt in my pocket for Lucy’s ring only to discover I had left it. I drove back to the Brixton Road house but was met with police officers investigating. I pretended to be drunk and staggered along the road to avoid suspicion. I devised a similar plan to kill Stangerson but I had to stab him through the heart in self defense. I then got a friend to collect the ring for me from Holmes. I have no care for my future, only that Lucy’s death has been avenged thus my earthly tasks are complete.

Jefferson Hope being arrested
A Diary By Lucy Ferrier

June 8th, 1860

Today was a little bit unusual. I was going about my usual tasks around the farm when father asked me to ride into town. I was riding into town to deliver the errand when I ran into a herd of cattle. The kindest man, helped me out of the herd. He said he knew my father, so I invited him over. His name is Jefferson Hope. Jefferson has the kindest smile. He's coming over for dinner tonight and I can't wait to see him again.

June 22nd, 1860

I absolutely adore Jefferson and I cannot wait for him to return. These past couple of weeks he's told my father and I stories about his hunting career and life away from Mormon Utah. Life outside this farm seems so exciting, I want to see it for myself. Tonight Jefferson proposed to me. I can't wait to get married but he has to go on a 2 month long trip for his job. I'm counting the days until his return and looking forward to planning our new life together.

June 24th, 1860

Today, father informed of his meeting with Brigham Young regarding my arranged marriage to either the horrible Enoch Drebber or even more horrible Joseph Stangerson. My father told me he would find away around it and not for me to worry. My heart is pained just thinking of being stuck with either of these men for the rest of my life. I can't bear wedding anyone other than my beloved Jefferson. I only have a month to decide which one to marry. I hope father figures out something soon

July 10th , 1860

Father is beginning to grow restless, I can tell he hasn't devised a plan. I'm more than halfway through my month now and I still can't face my fate of marriage to Enoch or Joseph. I've never been bothered by the mormon faith before now. The other people in our community have turned against us and painted numbers on the walls and ceiling of the house. Everyday I see a little reminder of the day growing closer and closer. Father swears he locks all the doors and windows at night but still every morning we wake up to a new number staring sharply at us.

July 20th, 1860

I only have six days left until the decision. It's beginning to seem like I might have to go through with this retched arrangement. The painted numbers have not stopped. I woke up to see a large six scribbled on my door this morning. If I had to get married to either man I guess I'd choose Stangerson. He seems more kind and less arrogant than Drebber. But Jefferson is better than either of them. Father told me he sent a message to my love today. I hope he comes home before my marriage so I can say good bye.

July 23rd, 1860

Last night Jefferson came home. He said we're leaving with my father in the morning to Carson City which is out of the Mormon territory of Utah. We'd have to take the treacherous mountain paths and avoid the avenging angels but it seems manageable. I'm just so happy my love is home and we're finally escaping to start our new life.

July 26th, 1860

We've been travelling through the mountains for a few days now. Our food supply is beginning to grow lower and lower each day. I don't think we'll make it to Carson City with this much food and water. Jefferson is starting notice and so is father. We've barely rested and have been walking almost non stop for three days. I hope Carson City is close.

July 27th, 1860

Last night the Mormons found father and I in the mountains while Jefferson was hunting. I watched as they killed my father and dug a measly grave. At least there's a paper to say who's body is laying there. I don't feel anything. I should be sad for my father and I should be sad because I'm being forced to marry Enoch Drebber.


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