October 2, 2018: Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen, resident of the U.S., and Washington Post contributor, enters the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. His fiancee, waiting outside the consulate, later phones friends that he never emerged.
October 3: Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman says that Khashoggi left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after about an hour there and went to the beach. He provides a photo, in which, he claims, one can see Khasoggi in a red-and-white striped jersey:
October 12: A Saudi team is dispatched to meet with Turkish officials. The Saudi consulate provides a photo of the team arriving at Istanbul airport:
October 15: A Saudi spokesman denies Turkish claims that a Saudi hit squad had arrived in Turkey on/about October 1 to kill Khashoggi, saying they were simply Saudi tourists. As proof, he provides a photo of their arrival at Istanbul airport. In response to journalists’ observation that this is the photo of the Saudi team that arrived on October 12 to meet with Turkish officials, the spokesman claims that could not be the case, pointing out that this arrival space is clearly much smaller:
October 17: Turkish authorities search the Saudi consulate. They find no body, but praise the Saudis for their hospitality:
October 19: Saudi authorities acknowledge that Jamal was killed in a fistfight and provide a confirming photo, offering as proof that Jamal is still wearing the red-and-white striped jersey he wore to the beach. They explain the odd image on the right as an appended, up-close shot of the badly wounded, stitched arm of one of the Saudi officials. They offer no explanation for the red-and-white circle above the stitched arm, nor the word MENU, below it:
October 27: Turkish officials publicly press the Saudi’s for information on the location of Jamal’s body. The Saudis decline, but rumor begins to circulate that he is buried in a castle north of Istanbul, and thousands flock to the presumed site. Local press provides a photo of the scene, but reports no conclusive results as yet:
October 28: Turkish and Saudi officials meet to discuss a possible resolution to the diplomatic standoff. Noting that the Khashoggi story has riveted the entire world, the Saudis suggest that, given a decent interval, it could be made into a series, with books, games, puzzles, possibly even a Netflix series. This could be as big as “Where’s Waldo,” one official comments. Now, what the hell should we call it? The two sides agree to work on that, and to meet again soon for further exploration.