*How To Use it*
When Beyond Birthday committed his third murder, he attempted an experiment. Namely, to see
if it were possible for a human being to die of internal hemorrhaging without rupturing any
organs. Specifically, he drugged his victim so they fell unconscious, tied them up, and proceeded
to beat their left arm thoroughly, being careful not to break the skin. He was hoping to bring
about enough hemorrhaging to cause death from loss of blood, but this attempt ended, sadly, in
failure. Blood congested in the arm and it turned purplish red beneath the skin, but the victim did
not die. They simply shook, convulsed, and remained alive. He had been convinced the blood loss
incurred by this would be enough to kill someone, but apparently he had underestimated the
matter. As far as beyond Birthday was concerned, the actual method of murder rated fairly low on
the amusement scale, and it was never more than an interesting experiment. It did not
particularly matter to him whether it succeeded or not. Beyond Birthday simply shrugged, and
took out a knife...
No, no, no, no, no.
Not this style, not this narrative voice-- I'll never manage to keep up this arch tone all the way
though. The harder I try, the more bored I'll get, and the lazier the writing will be. To put in terms
Holden Caulfield (one of history's most famous literary bullshitters) might use, detailing what
Beyond Birthday did and thought does not suit my purposes (even if, in my position, I have a
great deal of sympathy for him). Explaining the entirety of his murders in carefully phrased
sentences does not in any way increase the value of these notes. This is not a report, nor is it a
novel. Even if it happens to turn into one of those, I will not be happy. I hate to use such a
hackneyed line, but I imagine that the time anyone lays eyes on these words I will no longer be
I hardly need to remind the reader about the epic battle between the century's greatest detective,
L, and that grotesque murderer, Kira. The instrument of death was a little more fantastic than a
guillotine (for example), but all Kira accomplished was another reign of terror and a pathetically
infantile way of thinking. Looking back, I can only surmise that the gods of victory smiled on Kira
for their own amusement. Perhaps these gods actually wanted a blood-soaked world of betrayal
and false accusations. Perhaps the entire episode exists as a lesson to teach us the difference
between the Almighty and the Shinigami. Who know? I, for one, have no intention of wasting
anymore time about this most negative series of events.
To hell with Kira.
What matters to me is L.
The century's greatest detective. In light of his staggering mental abilities, L died an unjust and
untimely death. In the public record alone, he solved over 3,500 difficult crimes, and sent three
times that number of degenerates to prison. He wielded incredible power, was able to mobilize
every investigative bureau in the entire world, and was applauded generously for his efforts. And
during it all, he never showed his face. I want to record his words as accurately as possible. And I
want to leave them for someone to find. As someone who was given the chance to follow in his
footsteps...Well, I may not have been able to succeed him, but I want to leave this behind.
So what you're reading now are my notes about L. It's a dying message, not from me, and not
directed at the world. The person who will most likely read this first will probably be that big-
headed twit Near. But if that's the case, I will not tell him to shred or burn these pages. If it causes
him pain to discover that I knew things about L that he did not, then that's fine. There's also a
chance that Kira might read this...and I hope he does. If these notes tell the murderer, who only
got by with the help of a supernatural killing notebook, and an idiot of a shinigami, that he was,
under any other circumstances, not even worth the dirt beneath L's shoes, then they have served
I am one of the few people who ever met L as L. When and how I met him...this is the single most
valuable memory I have, and I will not write it here. But on that occasion L related to me three
stories of his exploits, and the episode involving Beyond Birthday was one of these. If i drop the
pretense and simply refer to it as the Los Angeles BB Murder Cases, then I imagine many of you
will have heard of them. Obviously, it never came to light that L- and more importantly Wammy's
House, which raised me till I was fifteen- was deeply connected to the matter, but in fact, they
were. L, on principle, never got involved in a case unless there was more than ten victims or more
than a million dollars at stake, and this is the real reason why he belatedly, but aggressively,
involved himself in this little case, which only ever had three or four victims. I will explain further
in the pages that follow, but for this reason, the case of the Los Angeles BB murders are a
watershed event for L, for me, and even for Kira. It was a monumental event for us all.
Because this is where L first introduced himself as Ryuzaki.
So let us skip past all the tedious descriptions of what Beyond Birthday thought, of how he went
about killing his third victim, since I have no interest in that at all, and while we're at it, let's skip
the second and first victims, make no effort to look back at the earlier murders, and adjust the
clock's hands to the morning of the day after, the glittering moment when the century's greatest
detective, L, first began to investigate the case. Oh, I almost forgot. In the event that anyone
besides big-headed Near or the deluded murderer is reading these notes, then I should at least
perform the basic courtesy of introducing myself, here at the end of the prologue. I am your
narrator, your navigator, your storyteller. For anyone else but those two, my identity may be of no
interest, but I am the old world's runner-up, the best dresser that died like a dog, Mihael Keehl. I
once called myself Mello and was address by that name, but that was a long time ago.
Good memories and nightmares.
While it is now referred to as the Los Angeles BB Murder Cases- a rather catchy title- when it was
actually happening, right in the middle of the whirlpool, it was never called anything so
impressive. The media called it the Wara Ningyo Murders, or the L.A. Serial Locked Room
Killings, or all kinds of other ghastly names. This fact was undoubtedly a source of great
annoyance to Beyond Birthday- the perpetrator of the murders in question- but frankly, I think
those names provide a more accurate description of what was actually happening. Either way, the
day after Beyond Birthday carried out the third of the murders, August 14, 2002, 8:15 a.m. local
time, the FBI agent Naomi Misora was lying dazedly on the bed in her apartment, having just
woken up. She was wearing dark leather pants, and a matching leather jacket, but it would be a
mistake to assume she customarily slept in this outfit. She had spent several hours racing around
on her motorcycle the night before, in a vain effort to burn off stress, and when she finally
returned to her apartment she had fallen instantly into a slumber without bother to shower or
undress. Much like the name of the case, Misora has now entered the public consciousness as the
one who would eventually cracked the Los Angeles BB Murder Cases, but the truth is that when
these events were unfolding in real time, she had been suspended from her duties as an FBI agent.
According to the official records she was just on a leave of absence, but his is purely because she
had absolutely no ability whatsoever to stand up to the pressure from her superiors and
colleagues. Suspension, leave, summer vacation. I don't think we need to go into the reasons for
her suspension here. What is certain is that this was America, she was Japanese, female, very
good at her job, and the FBI is a large organization...which ought to be enough information.
Obviously, she did have colleagues who has a high opinion or her, which is exactly why she had
been able to work in the organization so far, but a month before, just before the Los Angeles BB
murders, Misora had made a major blunder, so major even she could not believe it -which led
directly to her current situation. This was not the kind of problem that could be alleviated by
racing around in the middle of the night on a motorcycle.
Misora was seriously considering quitting the FBI, casting off her entire life, and moving back to
Japan, Obviously, part of her was sick and tired of all the nonsense that came with the job, but
even more than that was the guilt she felt over her own mistake, which hung upon her shoulders
like a dead weight. Even if there had been no pressure from those around her- not that this
hypothetical was even remotely possible- Misora would have asked for time off herself.
Or even resigned.
Misora slowly peeled herself off the bed, intending to shower away the sweat of the night before,
but then she noticed the laptop on her desk was, for some reason, on. She had no recollection of
turning it on- after all, she had just woken up. Had she hit the switch on her way in last
night? And then fallen asleep without shutting it down again? She didn't remember doing that,
but since the screen saver was working, there seemed to be no other explanation. One would
assume that if she had enough energy left to turn on her computer, she would have enough energy
left to undress. Misora peeled off her jacket and pants, and with her body feeling much lighter, got
off the bed, moved over to her desk, and jiggled the mouse. This was enough to clear the screen
saver, but at this point Misora became even more confused. The mail email program was running
and flashing a 'new mail' message. It was possible she'd fallen asleep with her computer on, but to
fall asleep with in the middle of checking her email? While she was still wondering about that, she
clicked on her inbox. There was one new message, from Raye Penber. This was the name of
Misora's current boyfriend, also an FBI agent. He was the most obvious example of the agents
who had a high opinion of her (not that this stopped him from begging her to transfer to a less
dangerous department every time something happened). Since her leave was almost over, this
might well be just business, so Misora went ahead and opened the message...
I apologize for contacting you like this.
I would like to request your help in solving a certain case. If you are willing to assist
me, please access
the third block of the third section of the Funny Dish server on August 14th at nine
a.m. The line
will be open for exactly five minutes (please break though the fire wall yourself)
PS: In order to contact you, I took the liberty of borrowing your friend's address.
This was the simpliest and safest way to
contact you, so please forgive me. Regardless of whether you agree to help me or
not, I need you to destroy this computer
within twenty-four hours of reading this message.
When she finally finished reading, Misora immediately reread the entire message and finally
checked the senders' name again.
She might be suspended, but she was still an FBI agent, and obviously she recognized the name- it
would have been unforgivable had she not. She briefly considered the idea that Raye Penber, or
someone else, was playing a practical joke on her, but she found it hard to believe anyone would
be so bold as to sign their name as such. L never revealed himself in public or in private, but
Misora has heard several horror stories about what had happened to detectives who had tried
passing themselves off as L. It was safe to say that no one would dare use his name even in jest.
"Aw, dang," she grumbled, and proceeded to take her shower, washing away the exhaustion of the
night before. She dried her long black hair and drank a cup of hot coffee.
But she was only pretending to consider the matter- she did not really have a choice. No FBI
agent, particularly a low-ranking one, could ever consider turning down a request from L. But at
this time Misora did not have a particularly favorable opinion of the great detective L, so she had
only pretended to hesitate, if only to make herself feel better. If you consider Misora's personality,
the reasons for this are clear. It seemed obvious that the reason her laptop had been turned on
was that L had hacked it, and she was more that a little depressed that she would now have to
randomly destroy the new computer she had just purchased a month before.
"I don't mind...I mean, I do, but..."
She didn't have a choice.
At just past 8:50, Misora sat down in front of her laptop, which now had less than twenty-three
hours left to live, and began following L's instructions. She was not an expert hacker, but she had
been taught the basics as part of her FBI training.
Just as she successfully gained access to the server, her entire screen when white. Misora was
momentarily alarmed, but then she noticed a giant calligraphic L floating in the center of the
screen, and relaxed.
"Naomi Misora," came a voice from the laptop speakers, after a brief pause. It was obviously a
synthetic voice. But this was the voice recognized as L's by every investigate department in the
world. Misora had heard it several times before- but this was the first time it had ever addressed
her directly. It felt weird, like she was her name on TV- not that she had ever had that experience,
but this was what she imagined it would be like.
"This is L"
"Hi," Misora started to say, but then realized how pointless that was. Her laptop did not have a
microphone installed, and there was no way for him to hear her.
Instead, she typed in 'This is Naomi Misora. It's an honor to speak to you L' If her connection was
sound, he should be able to receive this.
"Naomi Misora, are you familiar with the murder investigation going on in Los Angeles as we
L got right down to business, without acknowledging her words at all. Presumably this was
because he had to complete this communication my 9:05, but his manner and attitude rubbed
Misora the wrong way. Like it was a given that she would cooperate with him-which is true, but
acting like it showed no respect for her pride. Misora allowed herself to bang on the keyboard
'I am not so skilled that I can keep track of all the murder investigations happening in Los
"Oh? I am"
He'd returned her sarcasm with a boast.
L continued, "I'm referring to the serial killings- the third victim was found yesterday. I believe
there will be more victims to come, HNN news is calling it the Wara Ningyo Murders"
"The Wara Ningyo Murders?"
She had not heard about it. She was on leave and had been deliberately avoiding that kind of
news. Misora had lived in Japan until she graduated high school and was familiar with the term,
but hearing it pronounced in English gave it an edge of unfamiliarity.
"I would like to solve this case," L said. "I need to arrest the killer. But your help in this matter is
vital, Naomi Misora"
'Why me?' she typed. This could be taken to mean either "Why do you need my help?" or "Why
should I help you?" but L took the first meaning without a moment's hesitation. Sarcasm
appeared to be lost on him.
"Naturally, because you are a skilled investigator, Naomi Misora."
'I'm on leave of absence...;
"I know. Isn't that convenient?"
Three victims, he'd said.
Obviously, it depended on the victims, but from L had told her this case had not yet reached the
kind of scale required for this FBI to get involved. She would normally have assumed that this was
why he had approached her instead of going through the FBI director, but this was much too
sudden. And she had been given almost no time to think things through. But it had been enough
time for her to wonder why L would be involved in a case too small for the FBI to notice. She did
not imagine he would answer that question over her computer, however.
She glanced at her clock.
She had one more minute.