What clue put Sergeant Cash on the trail?
Everyone Cash questioned said pretty much the same thing: Larry Conroy was not very familiar with a circus and how it operates.
The chances are, then, he wouldn’t know that circus clowns are called Joeys. And if that was true, Clyde Birdie made up the story of Conroy’s dying clue.
Birdie actually killed Conroy himself because Conroy had discovered Birdie was cheating the circus out of large sums of money. In an attempt to throw suspicion elsewhere, Birdie made up the “Joey” clue because he knew Conroy had been checking into the clowns’ expenses.