The crime solved by a water meter

On the morning of November 22, 2015, a resident of Bentonville (Arkansas, USA), James A. Bates, called 911 to report that he found dead one of his friends, Victor Collins, the hot tub in his back patio. The night before, they both were with several other friends having a nice time. James and the rest of his friends defended their innocence.

The body showed symptoms of drowning and signs of struggle. In addition, detectives found that the courtyard floor had been sprayed down with water and there were several diluted blood spots. He would have been killed that morning, when only James was at home. But the detectives needed something more to point at a culprit… The decisive evidence came from a simple intelligent water meter.

The police learned from it that that morning James had consumed 530 litres of water between 01:00 and 03:00 a.m., a volume that he had never used before and which was suitable for cleaning his courtyard. Quite an Orwellian scene, isn’t it?

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