But I did accomplish one thing - I solved the mystery of the disappearing kitchen knives.
It was almost entirely a matter of deduction. As Sherlock Holmes said, "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." I then zeroed in on the one remaining possibility.
In our front closet, there was once long ago an ancient burglar alarm. I removed it, and that left behind a small square hole in the drywall.
I intended to patch it, but it was in an out-of-the-way spot, and no one could see it that easily, so I just kept putting off the job. I wondered...could James have dropped things into that hole, and so between the walls? I tried to find out by lowering magnets into the hole, but they would always be pulled aside by nails in the studs, and could never get to the bottom.
Finally, I decided to take a chance and open the wall down at the floor level. If there was nothing there, all I'd done was put another little hole in the wall, and I could fix that pretty easily. I picked my spot, avoiding the stud, and started to cut with my drywall knife. I quickly encountered resistance - so much so, that I couldn't actually saw through the drywall. I had to proceed by just poking the knife through one half inch at a time.
Eventually I'd opened a 2" space, and could pull out a square plug of drywall. Sure enough, I could see metal blades in the hole - they were packed in so tight, they were blocking the progress of my saw. With great care, I began pulling them out. This is what I eventually retrieved from the space between the walls:
I patched the hole the same day, so I hope he abandons this pastime, rather than finding some OTHER place to hide stuff.