Everyone likes a good mystery: a whodunit murder … the perfect bank heist … the wanton dumping of buckets brimming with used diapers in Maine’s otherwise pristine wilderness.

“Several bright orange Home Depot 5-gallon buckets of waste have recently been found dumped at multiple locations on Wilson Stream in Wilton and Temple Stream in Farmington,” posted the Maine Warden Service on its Facebook page last week. “To date, more than 24 buckets have been located. Game Wardens are asking that anyone with information contact local wardens at 1-800-452-4664.”

By “waste,” they mean used adult diapers. And by “information,” they mean clues that could actually lead them to the who, what, when, where and, above all, why behind a crime that has understandably captured the local citizenry’s imagination at the height of the winter runoff season.

What the wardens don’t appear to be getting, however, is any truly useful intel.

Instead, if the close to 200 comments on their Facebook page are any indication, they’re hip-deep in a torrent of suggestions, speculation and, alas, suspicion from folks who don’t take kindly to their waterways being transformed into septic transfer stations.

“Nursing home or similar facility within five miles of dumping,” theorized one poster.

“Someone who has hospice care at their home and doesn’t want to pay for disposal!! Sad!!” offered another.

“Painters usually buy these for mixing paint. That is where I would start checking,” said one, failing to explain what a professional painter would be doing with all those used diapers in the first place. No porta-potties on the job site?

Fretted yet another, “I’m wondering if … this is not something more sinister going on like People in captivity.”

Not since the North Pond Hermit has rural wrongdoing so captured the public imagination.

Beyond the profilers (who also include the token “They get government check guaranteed.”), we have the armchair detectives who clearly take their cues from the last rerun of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”

“Go to the Home Depots in that county or online for the local zip codes and ask them for records of all the bucket sales,” suggests one such sleuth. “When you find the specific sales, then you watch the security videos and see who made the purchases. If they paid for them with Credit/Debit, you’ll immediately have a name. If not, that’s the police’s job to find out who they are. Not rocket science.”

“Do DNA testing on the diapers,” instructed a budding pathologist.

Other investigative strategies range from “fingerprints” to nearby residents “with no indoor plumbing or with septic problems” to the all-encompassing “need to do FBI work those orange buckets must mean something.”

Then there’s this voice of reason: “Lay off the crime shows. Running the UPC will only tell you the buckets are from Home Depot. The code is the same at all stores and online. Running DNA would be costly and time consuming. There are currently thousands of rape kits sitting in crime labs because there is no money to process them. As far as fingerprints go, they likely wore gloves. … At least I hope they did since they were handling buckets of waste. Yes, sales that were other than cash could be traced and surveillance footage could be viewed. However, do you realize how many people still pay cash? A lot. It is not uncommon for people to buy a lot of these buckets at one time as they have many legal uses. Also, the person could be buying them at multiple locations as well as online. Perhaps concealed trail cams near the dump sites? Maybe a photo could be obtained?”

Much to ponder there, from the poor guy who innocently bought a dozen buckets at the Home Depot in Waterville (the nearest store, by the way) and now lies awake at night seeing himself on a grainy store security tape, to the sly-as-a-fox perpetrator driving up and down the Maine Turnpike to buy one – and only one – bucket at every Home Depot he passes.

Finally, we have the punishers, who skip all the ruminating and get right to the consequences if (no, make that when) the Diaper Dumper is ever brought to justice and eternal humiliation.

Says one wannabe juror: “I say when caught, the contents should be dumped into (their) homes and made to live with it!!!”

Daydreams another, “I’d love to catch them and bend their fingers way back.”

Predicts yet another, “Now liberals will outlaw 5 gallon pails !!!”

Seriously? Even this is a liberal plot?

It could be worse. Back in 2005, the bus driver for the Dave Matthews Band was crossing a bridge when he impulsively jettisoned 800 gallons of sewage from the vehicle’s holding tank into the Chicago River below.

What driver Stefan Wohl didn’t realize was that at that very moment, the tour boat Chicago’s Little Lady was passing by filled passengers who, as the Chicago Tribune dutifully reported, suddenly found themselves in “a downpour of foul-smelling, brownish-yellow slurry that ruined their clothes and made several of them sick.”

The passengers got refunds. Wohl, upon pleading guilty to reckless conduct and water pollution, got 18 months of probation, 150 hours of community service and a $10,000 fine. And the Chicago Park District got $50,000 from the Dave Matthews Band “to begin the healing process.”

But back to Maine.

Efforts late last week to reach investigating Warden Kris McCabe, who gets my vote for the least lucky law enforcement officer in Maine right about now, were unsuccessful.

But there’s no question the warden service is taking this seriously.

They’ve offered a $500 reward through Operation Game Thief (apparently there’s no reward fund for human waste dumpers) for information that helps them capture and convict whoever’s behind this caper.

Which brings us to one more post from the peanut gallery: “They will probably turn themselves in for $500.00.”

At last. We have a motive.