Whoever chained a fake bomb to 18-year-old Madeleine Pulver’s neck must have been well-read. The perpetrator left behind a ransom note that was signed “Dirk Struan”—the protagonist of James Clavell’s 1966 novel Tai-Pan, which told the story of two warring businessmen during the 1842 Opium War, MSNBC reports. Pulver’s father is the CEO of an IT company.
The note's author instructed Pulver to contact him online and not to contact police, threatening to blow up the neck device if his orders weren’t followed. It didn’t actually contain any monetary demands, but police are treating this as an extortion case anyway. Another strange clue: Nestled within the fake bomb was a USB memory stick, though there’s no word yet on what it contained.