Poisoned Cake, Crime Links Lead to Bakery Closures

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From the third issue of the Gotham Times:

Marcus Friarling has closed up his Gotham Heights bakery Sugar & Honey for the last time. Alone among the leftover rolls, croissants, and cupcakes, Marcus doesn't know exactly who to blame for the abrupt loss of business which forced him to shutter the shop he opened five years ago.

"First came the reports of people dying from poisoned cakes, and then the police reports about possible criminal involvement in the bakery business," Marcus said. "We just couldn't recover after that one-two punch."

Police have still not solved the mystery of a rash of poisoned cakes bought at bakeries throughout Gotham. The cakes caused a variety of symptoms if consumed, including spasms, loss of bowel control, delirium and failure of most critical facilities. The Health Department has yet to determine what was in the mystery compound that caused widespread sickness among cake eaters.

"This is terrible, not only for me, but for the whole baking business," Friarling said. "Someone has it out for us and the police aren't doing a thing about it. My friend who runs the Sweet Shoppe in Harlow is also suffering. It's time for bakers to take a stand and put a stop to this insanity."

Police spokesman Travis McFlanagan said the GPD continued to investigate the poisoned cakes. "Rest assured, the Gotham police department is doing everything in its power to discover and arrest the criminals behind the poisonings," McFlanagan said.

Speculation that the poisoned cake incidents were somehow connected to the mob war that gripped the city earlier in the year is not shared by the GPD. "Historically, the bakery business has not been under mob influence," McFlanagan said. "We are investigating all leads, but no sign as of yet points to mob involvement."

GPD insiders suggest that a new group of criminals planted the poisoned cakes, but lack of motivation has left "the police totally stymied," according to one anonymous source. "It all seems so random, like there's no plan behind it."

Even though the rash of poisoned cakes seems to have stopped, the scare and the Health Department's continued warning about eating cake have frightened off customers. Estimates from the Gotham Chamber of Commerce predict that over 65% of Gotham bakeries will be out of business before the all-important holiday season comes around.

"Our business is in a total shambles over this," said Teegan Schlicht, head of the local Baker's Union chapter. "I really hope the police get to the bottom of this soon so we can let Gotham eat cake."