He sat quietly in the corner of the University library, never speaking to anyone, as was his custom every day.
About noon, two men entered the library and closed the door. He had often seen them in the library where they read quietly, talked with friends or researched a class paper. They lived in the dormitory and attended classes at the university. Today, the men argued about which of them should take a particular woman to the New Year’s Eve Dance. They were so engaged in their argument, they did not see him sitting in the corner.
The argument escalated until the larger man struck his rival. The victim fell, striking his head on the corner of the library table. He lay dead on the floor as his attacker rushed from the room.
He sat motionless in the corner, horrified by what he had witnessed. It had happened so fast, he was powerless to stop it. Greatly troubled by the day’s events, he said to his companion that night. “I saw what happened. Should I tell the police what I saw?”
His friend begged him to keep silent. “You won't be able to make them understand what you saw. They make up their own minds about these things. Please, just stay out of it. I fear for your life if you tell.”
The next day, the newspapers decried the murder and shortly, the son of a wealthy family was arrested. The townspeople were violent in their reaction toward the accused and screamed for vengeance, as they hated the rich family.
The community was surprised when the rich man’s son was released from jail and Gordon Jacobs was arrested.
A newspaperman came to the police station to obtain the details of the arrest. The detective indicated that the arrest was made on the basis of an eyewitness to the murder, whose irrefutable testimony had come to light only that morning. “Come with me and I’ll show you. You’ll have a story to end all stories.” He took the newspaperman to the scene of the crime, the University library.
There in the corner of the ceiling, with the afternoon sun glinting through the stained glass window, sat the witness in the center of a giant spiderweb, where he sat on the morning of the murder and so many mornings before. Ingeniously woven into the center of the web that stretched from one corner of the room to the other, were the words, “I saw the murder. Killer was Gordon Jacobs.”