Early the morning of the April 4th, the body of Reginald Masters, 64, Professor of Medicine, was discovered in his rooms at Balliol College. Dr. Arthur Smith, Master of Balliol, told the Times that "Professor Masters was a valuable and much loved Fellow who will be greatly missed as a professor, colleague, and friend. Our thoughts go out to his surviving children and their families." While most declined interview, several of the college's fellows described Masters as a genial and highly competent doctor and professor who was liked and respected by all.
The manner of the professor's death is as yet officially unknown, but it has come to light that the death was not a natural one. Inspector Peters of the Oxfordshire Constabulary, placed in charge of the investigation, has stated that inquiries are being continued with all diligence, but has declined further comment. The Times, however, has learned from several sources that there are some baffling aspects to the professor's death that seem very bizarre indeed. Extensive damage to the second floor window of the Professor's bedroom, indicating entry through that window, was visible until University workers covered it up on the evening of the 4th. Furthermore, witnesses to the finding of the body have stated that they believe that the Professor was attacked by some sort of large animal in his rooms, although no sightings of such a beast in the area has been reported before the event or since.
While unconfirmed by police, the Times has learned that respected Doctor of Zoology Sir William Stevenson has been called in to consult on the case. When contacted for an interview, Sir Stevenson confirmed that he had both studied the body and the professor's room. "I have never seen anything like it. Were it not for the death of Dr. Masters, I would put this down to some sort of elaborate student prank. While I cannot go into details, I will say that the size of the wounds to the late Professor is far greater than anything I have seen in the wild, and that no reptile that I know of has ever had a scale the size of the one found on the scene."
When asked by this newspaper about the possibility of a dangerous wild animal being on the loose, Inspector Peters declined to comment or to issue a warning to area residents, but stated that anyone who possesses any information regarding the death of Dr. Masters should contact the Oxfordshire Police immediately.