(Warning: Heavy reading incoming. I suggest writing stuff down...)

It's now the year 2150, and you're one of the few people who didn't leave earth twenty years ago. Why? A deadly disease overtook the planet, and you happen to have immunity. There are now less than ten million people on the planet - the rest have either died, or left on a voyage to find a new planet to colonize.

Being the workaholic detective that you are, you haven't taken a vacation in years, and your boss has demanded that you use your vacation days or lose them - You decide to go on a cruise trip to relax a bit. Approaching the cruise liner, you see the steward waiting at the boardwalk. You seem to be the only passenger there. Taking a quick glance at the boat, you notice that the boat is very old, but still kept quite nicely. It looks just like the ones made in 2009.

Walking up to the steward, you notice his name tag; Chang, it says. He's dressed nicely, pen in one hand, hologram-board in the other. As soon as you stop in front of him, he starts speaking, "Welcome aboard the C.C.L RuhRoh! You have the great honor of being on her last voyage. This time, we will be traveling for 15 days, making no stops until we reach Australia. This will be a one way trip, and you will be flown back here from Australia at the end of this trip. May I see your ticket, good sir?"

The cheerful tone of Chang really brought your spirits up. "Sure thing," you respond, and you hand him your ticket. "Where are all the other passengers?" you ask.

Chang takes a quick look at his hologram-board, and responds, "They're already all aboard. Our passenger count for this trip totals at 15, including."

Only 15 passengers? Shrugging, you think, Well, it's an older ship, after all. "Oh, alright. I notice that this ship seems to be of an older design. Was it refurbished?"

"You noticed? This was the Seabourne Odyssey from 2009! Not very many people know that. However, all we really did was change the name and give it a paint job. Oh, we added some updates to the balconies. There are now separators spaced on it to provide each room with it's own personal balcony. They're still just as wide as before, great for a breath of fresh air - in fact, in our larger rooms near the front, the balconies have been slightly extended to allow a bit more walking room. We updated the engine as well - the ship now runs nuclear, and everything is AI operated. As a matter of fact, we only have access to the areas that were previously available to the public. Even I can't get into the engine room if I wanted to, so believe me, it's very safe. Luckily for us, the ship hasn't been changed enough for us to create a new deck plan. Here's a copy for you to reference while you are here."

Floorplan of the Cruise Ship

(To get a better view of the floorplan, drag the picture into a new tab - it's a lot bigger than you think it is)

Chang smiles, and leads you inside. "I will take you to the other passengers - right now, they're getting to know each other on Deck 7, at the Seabourn Square. I suggest you do the same, you'll be with these people for the next two weeks. The ship will leave in approximately 1 hour." "And which room do I have?" "You're on Deck 8, room 830. I'll take your luggage up. Have a nice day, sir." With that, you have reached Seabourn Square, and Chang heads off to put away your belongings. Turning towards the square, you head in, looking at everyone out of habit. Here's what you notice;

  • There is a married couple (ring seen on fingers) talking to another male, mid 30s, well built, groomed, and good looking

  • There are 3 30-40 year old males at the coffee bar, in leather jackets, bald, beer gut; you instantly can tell that they're part of a biker gang

  • There are 2 25-30 year old males at one of the tables, socializing with someone who seems to be in his 50s.

  • There is another couple, very rich (evident of the bling they're wearing, and the rediculously massive diamond ring on the wife's finger). They seem to be shopping at the Seabourn Shop with a girl in her 20s. That girl is dressed nicely, but not expensively enough to associate her with the couple.

  • There's a man sleeping in one of the chairs, and a teenager sleeping in a different chair. The teenager is very well dressed, and his shades seem very expensive. The man is well groomed, and well built - he seems to be a very fit man.

Not wanting to wake up the sleeping passengers, you head towards the males at the coffee bar, and take a seat beside them. After chatting with them a bit, you confirm that they indeed are part of a biker gang. Their names are Jack, Jerome, and Julian. Talking with them, they seem to be heavy gamblers, but very kind people. They tell you that the only reason they're in a biker gang is because it helps to deter potential trouble from the streets - "muggers are less likely to attack if you're part of a gang," they say.

Now that you've made friends with them, you head off to the next group. You notice that the rich couple in the shop is still shopping, and the husband is carrying more and more stuff. It's almost as if he's buying anything his wife asks for. You move to the tables, and initiate a conversation with the three males there. Talking a bit with the older male reveals that he is a mathematics professor who goes by Dr. Brofonomo at the I.I.S (International institute of Schooling).

"What about the two of you?" you ask. "What are your names, and what do you do?"

"Well, the department calls us the WTF partners. That's cus we grew up in the streets, and we don't remember our real names anymore. My name is Double You. My partner here is Tee Eff. See, together, we make DoubleYouTeeEff!"

"Ah, but what do you do?"

"If we said we were cops, would you believe it?"

"I don't know, I'd have to see some sort of proof..."

"How about our pieces?" they said rather loudly. They pull back their blazers and you see that each of them is equipped with the standard issue P-139 plasma pistol. It's a superb weapon, and has an effective range of 150 meters. Police versions come equipped with a thermal scope, and the weapon is strong enough to blast through 3 or 4 layers of wall before dissipating. It's hard enough to find one of them in the black market, let alone two, so it's definitive proof that they're cops. You chat a bit more and discover that all three of them are really big gamblers, and judging by the way the cops act, they seem prone to violence (And honestly, unfit to be cops). You disregard that, however, and move away from this group, determined to make the most out of your night.

A glance over at the shop confirms your earlier suspicions. The wife is definitely just picking out whatever she wants, and the husband is buying and carrying everything. Feeling a bit of pity, you walk over and decide to help the poor man out. "Hi there, that looks heavy. Can I help you?"

As he hands you some bags, he says "Thank you good sir. My name is George, how are you doing this fine day? Excited for this trip? I sure am!" Unable to contain himself, he whispers to you,"I have a fetish for neglect play, and my wife promised that she wou-" His wife interrupts him. She isn't wearing a lot of makeup, and it looks like she's in her mid 20's. She points to an expensive antique necklace, priced at about 5 times your yearly salary. Without a second thought, the husband whips out his wallet. You instantly notice that it has a diamond card in it, which is only available to the richest of the rich. Proceeding to pay with it, you glance around, and notice that the wife is in a very deep discussion with the other girl. You ask for her name (The girl), to which you receive "Carol". A bit of chatting reveals that Carol's family all recently passed away in an accident. She went on this trip and brought her families ashes with her so that they could have some "Quality Family time, y'know?" She's a lot more cheery than most people who've just lost all the family they had left... A little too cheery. You reach out to shake her hand, but she gives you a look of disgust and turns back to the wife. Reluctant to interact with her anymore than necessary, you return to conversation with George. He points out his son, Max, who is the younger person sleeping in the chair that you noticed earlier, and mentions that his wife is named Giselle. After a bit more small talk, you leave the group.

Taking in a deep breath, you prepare to move to the next group. Socializing isn't easy, but the night is almost over. Looking around again, you notice that the fit man who was sleeping earlier is now with the couple that was talking to the young man at the tables. Those are the only people you still don't know, so you move over and join the conversation.

Here are the results of your talk with them:

  • The fit man happens to be an exceptional gymnast from Africa (Olympic level), named !Peleh. He seems to be a very smart man, albiet his eyes keep wandering back towards the same spot - Giselle's left hand.

  • The younger guy, Kevin, is a seasoned playboy/pickup artist. The way he talks and walks and the subtle hints he keeps dropping towards the wife in the couple makes it clear to you.

  • The husband, Luke, isn't very bright. It's clear to the outsiders that Kevin is hitting on his wife, Leia, but he doesn't seem to notice at all. Leia is clearly miffed that Luke isn't noticing, and probably hasn't noticed all night.

As the night comes to a close, you make a mental note of each person(s) room keys.

You: Deck 8, 830
Luke and Leia: Deck 7, 724
Kevin: Deck 7, 726
George, Giselle: Deck 7, 700
Max: Deck 7, 701
Carol: Deck 7, 702
Jack: Deck 10, 1016
Jerome: Deck 10, 1018
Julian: Deck 10, 1020
Double You: Deck 5, 536
Tee Eff: Deck 5, 534
!Peleh: Deck 8, 800
Dr. Brofonomo: Deck 5, 533
Chang: Deck 10, 1025

Headed off to your room, you decide to get a good nights sleep.

For the next 3 days of the trip, nothing really happens. In fact it's quite relaxing.

It's now the 4th day of the trip. You decide to head down and see what everyone is up to, but when you get to Deck 5, you hear yelling and arguing from the direction of the Casino. Soon, you realize that Tee Eff and Double You have been gambling with Dr. Brofonomo as well as Jack, Jerome, and Julian. The two cops are accusing Dr. Brofonomo of counting cards, but Dr. Brofonomo denies it.

"How else are you winning almost all the time?" demands Double You, "You MUST be cheating!"

"I insist," Dr. Brofonomo says, "that I am NOT cheating. Just because I can make use of probability more effectively than you two dimwits doesn't mean that I'm cheating."

The argument goes on, and you don't want to be a part of it, so you quickly leave the scene. Stepping outside, you see Kevin and Leia in the pool. They seem to be having a good time. You turn back, reluctant to disturb them. As you head up to Deck 7, you spot Chang relaxing with Giselle and Carol at the coffee bar. Engaging in a bit of idle chit chat, they tell you that George and Max are sleeping in today, and are still in their rooms. Giselle seems to be getting really close to Carol, but the two of them don't seem to mind sharing personal space. As you keep watch over the conversation, you notice that Carol also seems to display disgust towards Chang. Since it's starting to get a bit uncomfortable, you and Chang leave after a little bit, and the two of you decide to take a walk on deck seven.

As you pass by Max's room, you notice that Max's door is slightly ajar. The two of you look inside, and notice that he's passed out, dead drunk with his face in the toilet, and it reeks of vomit. Reluctant to stay, the two of you quickly leave the scene.

"It's getting a bit late now," said Chang. You look at your watch, and notice that it's already 7pm.

"Yea, I think I'm going to hit the hay for the night" you respond. "It was really nice talking with you!" With that, the two of you separate ways and you go back to sleep.

A shriek at 11am shocks everyone on the boat. It seems to have originated from deck 5, and you rush down to take a look. Upon entry of the scene, you notice that there are two dead bodies in the hallway - Double You and Tee Eff. Chang is crouched over, shivering in complete shock against the wall. As the other people start arriving, looks of fear and murmurs start going around. Deciding to take charge, you quickly examine the bodies and give an announcement.

"To the best of my knowledge, the two of them were killed together, by the same shots from their own guns - to which I can't seem to find. They're both gone... " Livor Mortis has not started to set in yet, but Rigor Mortis has completely set in. The bodies are disfigured from multiple plasma shots, and their hands are tied together by their own belts. There's are two shattered cups on the floor, and the liquid spilling out of it seems to be red wine, but you catch a hint of black market tranquilizer - a specific type you have dealt with before. To the best of your knowledge, you remember that the drug is most effective when delivered through ingestion, and it comes in a liquid form. It's strong, and takes effect in seconds. It's also ludicrously hard to get, unless you have connections, or you're rich. You quickly look at who has assembled in the hallway, and you notice that the math professor is missing. "Where's Dr.Brofonomo??" you ask. Nobody knows, so you quickly open his door to find him dead in his room as well - hole in the chest by a well placed plasma shot. As you examine the holey corpse, you notice that both Rigor Mortis and Livor Mortis have set in completely.

The people that are gathered are starting to feel more and more disturbed. Who could have committed these ghastly murders? "Is everyone here?" you ask.

From the middle of the crowd, Jack exclaims, "George and Max aren't here, and Luke is missing as well!"

Immediately, everyone rushes to deck 7, where George and Luke's rooms are.

Luke's room is closest, so you quickly try the door. It's locked, and you kick it down when Chang informs you that only the person with a key can unlock hallway door. You find that he's dead, but his body is still warm - he must have only died recently. Luke died of suffocation. You notice a bottle of sleeping pills on the nightstand, labeled for Leia.

The next room you rush into is Max's - the door is still in the slightly open, but it seems to have been moved a bit. You find Max dead in the bathroom, his belt around his hands, the remains of his head still in the toilet. Death by plasma shot to the back of the head, and by the looks of it, several shots. You find that Rigor Mortis has only started to set in for him, but no Livor Mortis.

Leaving the scene, fearing the worst, you head out of Max's room and head to Georges room, only to find that the door is locked.

"George has the only key!" exclaims Giselle.

Without a second thought, you kick down the door. You find him dead on the bed, a victim of plasma shots as well. His face is disfigured, the remains of a blindfold on the pillow, and you see excessive damage to his torso area, almost as if his murderer was committed with a lot of hate. You also find that his hands have been bound together with his belt. The room key is on the nightstand. A quick scan with your detective watch shows theat there are only one set of finger prints on the card - Georges. This only gets weirder by the minute. At the sight of her dead husband, Giselle breaks down and starts crying. You've never seen anyone as emotionally unstable, and Carol starts to comfort her, patting her back, reassuring her and whatnot. It seems that the situation has been handled here, until you realize that something is off about the room. It doesn't nearly feel as rich as it should, considering the monetary status of the family. You ask Giselle to take a look around, and she mentions that some of the jewelry that she had brought with her was missing.

"I had put out the jewelry on the cabinet and nightstand when I got here, but it was gone a couple days ago - I thought George packed them away, but now I can't find them anywhere!"

As you turn back to take a last look at George, you see that he's got a "rocket in his pocket".

As the situation settles down, you start questioning the events and the people around you.

You start with Giselle, since she's clearly unstable, and you thought it'd be a good idea to get it over with quickly. Boy was it ever a bad idea. She's so unstable that you can't even get a properly pronounced word out of her, so you move on to Carol.

"Where were you all night?"

"In my room, alone. You can check the playlist on my TV. It's been playing since last night and still haven't stopped yet."

You move onto Leia. "Where were you?"

"I was sleeping last night, and then this morning I was with Kevin since 8 o'clock - he treated me to breakfast, what a gentleman."

Kevin seemed slightly confused for a moment, but then he says, "Yea, we had breakfast together. When the scream happened, we both rushed over." He looks like he just woke up from a really nice long sleep.

"Can you tell me why you have a bottle of sleeping pills, Leia?"

"I don't sleep well on boats, so I had them prescribed to me on this trip."

You look at Jack, Jerome and Julian, and before you can say a word they say "It wasn't us, we were playing cards last night in our room, we just got up..." They 3 of them yawn in sequence, and you notice that they're unshaven and they have bed hair.

You turn to !Peleh, and ask where he had been. "Well, I was asleep alone in my room last night. I had an early start this morning, and Chang and I went for a morning run around the boat."

Chang nods, agreeing with him. Chang confirms that after he left you he went straight to his room to try and sleep, but he was kept up by the loud card players across the hall. He mentions that he had woken up early this morning in order to run with !Peleh, which tells you that !Peleh wasn't lying about the run.

You look around, and try to make some sense of the situation. 6 murders have been committed on this trip. It can't possibly get any worse. That is, until you find out that after scouring the entire ship you can't find the two missing plasma guns. You mutter to yourself, "They must've been thrown into the ocean... we're on a damn boat, after all, the perfect way to get rid of a weapon..."

The question: Can you figure out who committed the murders, how, and why?

Bonus: Who stole the jewelry, and how?

Note: Everything required to solve this completely is provided. Small hints may be provided after enough time has passed, or enough tries have been exhausted. My comments on your answers may be very brief, since saying too much may give away the story. First person to get the fully correct answer will get acceptance. Person to get the bonus correct will have a bounty awarded, if I get at least 10 up votes (so I can award 50 bounty).

Note 2: You need to explain the how behind each death, and the motive, or I won't tell you if your answer is correct. This is to prevent blind guesses.

EDIT FOR CLARITY: The hallway door locks are similar to hotel room locks - When it closes, it automatically locks.

Hints below

Hint 1

George was killed near the same time as max; +/- 10 minutes.

Hint 2

There is more than one culprit.

Hint 3

The belt on the victims is a murder signature - but think about what it (the action of tying someone up) represents as well.

Hint 4

There is no justice relationship to the belt.

  • 10
    It was Mr Plum in the smoking closet with the candlestick! – Ian MacDonald Apr 25 '15 at 23:54
  • 1
    Gosh... this is quite the nightmare of a problem to work through... – awesomepi Apr 26 '15 at 3:35
  • 1
    I view this problem and I didn't make it half way through. Yep, the notice at the front was really useful. – the4seasons Apr 26 '15 at 3:39
  • 1
    @VincentAdvocaat It was designed to have a ton of information for the solver to sift through, and for 99% of solvers to have to do a bit of research :P It's completely solvable though, one of my friends solved it in an hour, first try ._. – Aify Apr 26 '15 at 17:34
  • 3
    "C.C.L. RuhRoh?" Rat ran't be a rood rign. – Joe Z. Apr 27 '15 at 6:58
up vote 11 down vote accepted

I think I have a sufficiently good explanation (Warning: Long Answer):



Theft:

(Galatyr already answered this, so no explanation required.) !Peleh

Dr. Brofonomo Death:

Double You or Tee Eff Because a there was a single well fired shot, and they were the only ones to have experience in using the weapon. Also, they seem to be violent, and may have wanted revenge (for the gambling episode).

Luke Death:

Leia She was already annoyed by her husband's attitude and probably wanted to marry Kevin, so she got rid of Luke.
Method: She could have had the key to the room, no indication against that. She had drugged him earlier with sleeping pills.She entered the room , suffocated Luke (with a pillow maybe), and locked it before going away.

Other Deaths:

Carol

She can be convicted by the method of elimination of suspects:

Chang- Cannot be as he got shocked after seeing the dead bodies, and a person who murdered someone just hours earlier cannot get shocked by seeing the later's body.

The Gang- Chang is testimony for their being in their room.

!Peleh- Chang is testimony again. Also, he climbed into George's room to steal, but the death timeline shows that George was killed in the end, and not in the start of the killing spree.

Carol- No Alibis at all....Also, she was not much upset by her family's death, she almost seemed pleased ...(meaning she could have killed them herself by faking an accident, or that she had come to take revenge for their deaths.).

Now to the motives:

Double You and Tee Eff Probably just to get the weapons and test them, or because she did not like them as they gambled(or maybe even because she knew they had killed Dr. Brofonomo).

Carol killed the cops to get their weapons - simple as that.

George and Max I'm not quite sure as to why she should kill George or Max, but it could be because she did not like them, or because they were involved in her family's killing(that would explain why she was happy even though her family had suffered an accident, as she had come to take revenge for their deaths).
Another probable explanation:

She may have wanted to marry Max in order to inherit the rich couple's money. When she was refused(by either Max or George), she became angry and decided to kill them both(she either spared Giselle because she liked Giselle or because she did not get the chance to kill her).

And another:

She killed them so that Giselle might give her the entire money(in her will) as they had a special bond and Giselle had no other family Carol knew of(we can assume that Giselle had told Carol that she had no family other than George and Max).

Carol killed George and Max because she's a lesbian and she's in love with Giselle. We know she's a lesbian because of the extreme disgust towards men. She wanted the massive inheritance to land in Giselle's hands so that the two of them can live happily ever after.

How did she kill them? She drugged WTF (the drug was stored along with the ashes, so no one could have a doubt(that only explains how she hid it, but I assume she somehow managed to get(maybe from Giselle))), then stole their weapons and tested it (weapon) on WTF. Then she proceeded to Max; Door was already open, and Max was already out, so the killing was easy.
Now, how did she enter George's room?
She had the key to room 702. 702 and George's room are connected, so she easily entered the room. Then she killed George and left.(Please Note If the connecting door was locked ,she certainly asked Giselle to open either the connecting door or the main door, and made sure it stayed open.)


But why the belt? The belt exists as both a murder signature, as well as a show of dominance. Being the small framed girl she is, by tying up her victims not only does she ensure they don't accidentally wake up and bash her head in; it also shows her dominance over them, even though she hates them. It's as if she were making the statement, "You're just a lowly slave."

Please Note

I haven't mentioned a few things here-

  • Giselle was certainly not involved directly in any killing, but she may have been the supplier of the tranquilizer for Carol.Also, Giselle did not like Max much , she liked Carol a lot more, so she may have agreed to supplying Carol with tranquilizer so that the latter may kill Max.She may have even wanted this to happen as that would mean George will give all his attention to her.But that creates a new problem-Why didn't she suspect that Carol killed George?
  • Kevin could also be convicted of protecting a Convicted Murderer .





(B.T.W. I forgot one thing, the murderer could be the detective also..... :)-Just Kidding)

  • 3
    "We know she's a lesbian because of the extreme disgust towards men." -- no, we know she's a lesbian because of her implied relationship with Giselle. There's no more of a connection between lesbianism an misandry than there is between misogyny and being gay -- they are completely unrelated. – LindaJeanne May 29 '15 at 18:18
  • 1
    I think the puzzle would be much improved if Carol were made more likable and (apparently) sympathetic, with fewer hints: 1. implied to be sociopathic 2. obvious disdain for nearly everyone on the ship 3. obvious and clear motive 4. attention is drawn to the fact that she has no alibi. And making her a misandrist is just gratuitous -- it makes her more dislikable (and thus easier to suspect) and it doesn't add anything to the sub-plot of the illicit affair with Grisell and greed for the inheritance. Otherwise, good puzzle :) – LindaJeanne May 29 '15 at 18:46
  • 2
    "I think the puzzle would be much improved if Carol were made more likable and (apparently) sympathetic, with fewer hints: 1. implied to be sociopathic 2. obvious disdain for nearly everyone on the ship 3. obvious and clear motive 4. attention is drawn to the fact that she has no alibi." <- In fact, it was so obvious I thought it was a red herring. – Joe Z. Jun 4 '15 at 15:33
  • And as soon as I didn't know why Carol was hanging out with the married couple I immediately suspected she was up to no good. – kleineg Sep 28 '17 at 16:14

Boy this was a long one, but I think I figured a huge part of it out. First off, there is not a single murderer, but rather more of them.

Let's start with one of the more obvious ones.

Luke

Luke has not been dead for long. It seems that Leia and Kevin spent the night together. He caught his wife cheating and swallowed her sleeping pills to kill himself. He seems to have suffocated on his own vomit.

Killed by: Suicide

Dr. Brofonomo

According to the observation that Rigor Mortis and Livor Mortis have kicked in, it can be determined that he was the first one to die. He was killed by a well placed single shot in the chest, performed by someone who has clearly used such a weapon before. He was accused of cheating by WTF. As the night went on, the two policemen, raised on the streets, who seem very prone to violence and probably drunk (indicated by the red wine), had lost enough money to be angered to a point, where they followed Dr. Brofonomo to his room and shot him in order to get their money back.

Killed by: Double You and Tee Eff

Double You and Tee Eff

Here, the real murder spree begins. The two of them were drugged, tied and shot. The question is, why would you tie somebody who is incapacitated, only to shoot him a moment later? The tranquilizer is very rare, and only obtainable by someone with connections or money.

George

George said he's into neglect fetish play and is excited to live out his fantasies during the trip. The blind fold, being tied up, the inflicted wounds and his erection are indicators that he was in the middle of a BDSM-play at the time of his death. This play might have been going on for 2 nights already, because he wasn't seen the entire day, most likely because he was tied up in his room while Giselle was up in the coffee room with Carol. Giselle (or the Killer?) might have been wearing leather gloves, thus the missing finger prints on the key card. He was killed by multiple plasma gun shots, like WTF and Max. A gun with such power that it has a range of 150m and can pierce multiple walls, doesn't have to be fired more than once to kill somebody. Somebody either didn't know that or used the killing to vent their own aggression.

Max

Found lying with his head in the toilet, also tied up. It seems he hasn't moved since the Detective last saw him, passed out drunk. Again, why was he tied up only to be shot shortly after? Maybe he was drugged with the same tranquilizer? He was also shot multiple times.

Who murdered them?

Double You and Tee Eff must have been the first to die out of the 4 previously mentioned, because they where the ones with the guns (which they always seemed to carry). They were drugged, stripped of their guns and tied up. Max had passed out, and was also tied up. George was in the middle of his BDSM fantasy and also tied up.

Something must have happened to trigger the murders, as it would be illogical for them to happen directly after the victims were incapacitated.

To solve this crime, we have to look at the motives:

!Peleh: No mentioned affiliation with anybody of the victims.

Kevin and Leia: Most likely occupied with themselves

Chang: Only Crewmember mentioned on a fully automated Cruiseship from 2009 (which is, at this point 141 years old). Who in their right mind would sail on Cruise Ship that old with things like interstellar travel happening at the same time?

Giselle: If she were with her husband all night, she had to notice something. Her reaction upon seeing her dead husband though seems to be authentic.

Carol: The big question mark. She seems to hate men (at least the detective and Chung) and shows closeness to Giselle. She's travelling with the ashes of her deceased family. She has no real alibi (because a running playlist doesn't need her presence). Maybe George and his family were involved in the accident that cost the lives of her family? Is this an act of revenge?

The Gang: They certainly have the connections to acquire the tranquilizer and are accustomed to a certain degree of crime. But are they cruel enough for murder?

The stolen jewelery

!Peleh was seen staring at Giselles left hand, thats where the big diamond ring is. !Peleh has the room above Giselle and George, and as an athletic olympian, should have no problem to climb down his balcony to sneek into the room and steal the jewelery.

Commited by: !Peleh

Thats what I got so far. Maybe some small detail I have missed?

  • 1
    Luke did not die of suffocation via vomit. That's all i'll say about the main question, there are other flaws and things that are wrong but I can't tell you all of them. I'll grant you a bounty later though, you got the bonus question off the bat! – Aify Apr 27 '15 at 15:06
  • I was thinking it might have been !peleh who stole the jewelry and why he was staring at Giselle's left hand, but I couldn't figure out how he did it. Good job on that! – Joe Z. Apr 27 '15 at 15:33
  • @JoeZ. The map will be key in figuring out parts of the story! It's not there just for story purposes! – Aify Apr 27 '15 at 15:37
  • 1
    I've been trying to use it to figure some things out, but it's pretty hard to remember where each person was sleeping at the same time... – Joe Z. Apr 27 '15 at 15:40
  • 1
    Now, at the same time, Carol being the most suspicious one might actually be a red herring. – Joe Z. Apr 27 '15 at 15:44

This is my first stab at an puzzle on stackexchange, and this sure was a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

I'm going to dive right in with the murders in the order in which I think they occured:

Dr. Brofonomo

The 3 Js, W and TF, and Dr. B were all playing cards in one of the rooms on Deck 10 till late in the night. Around 11, W, TF and Dr. B came back to their deck, where presumably some argument over the card counting came up again. Either of W or TF murdered Dr. B. I say either since only one gun shot is seen on Dr. B.

W & TF then returned to Deck 10 to gamble some more with the 3Js after the murder.

W & TF

This is where the crux of the puzzle is. Due to the belt and the excessive shots, it is plausible that those murders of W, TF, George and Max are committed by the same person.There is nothing linking the 4 people directly, so it is safe to suppose that there is a psychotic element to the killer.

The act of putting a belt around the hands of the victims could be viewed as analogous to handcuffs. 3 of the 4 victims could be said to have committed some sort of crime in the murderer's eyes.

  1. W & TF: Cops who gambled, loved violence more than necessary, murdered Dr. B.
  2. George: Into dirty sex. Considering George's willingness to share his sex life, it is safe to assume the murderer knew about that.

Going over the bios, the only person who comes to mind is Carol, who is described as

She's a lot more cheery than most people who've just lost all the family they had left... A little too cheery.

It seems quite certain that the murderer of W and TF must have had the tranquilizer on them, otherwise it would have been quite difficult to get the cops to part with their guns. And this is where I'm stumped: If Carol was the murderer, where did she get the tranquilizer from?

Anyhow, assuming she did find a way, this is what happened:

Sometime in the night, Carol knocked on George and Giselle's door, and convinced her to leave George in the middle of sex and come away to her room, leaving George tied and blindfolded. She ensures that the George's door is left open.

Carol and Giselle waited in the corridor of Deck 5, along with the drugged wine. When W & TF returned, the ladies gave them each a glass of wine. After they passed out, they took the guns away and Carol shot them. She then tied them up, keeping with the psychotic element of the murders.

The two of them then went up to Deck 7.

Max

This is a departure from my previous answer. Giselle killed Max, possibly in conjunction with Carol. Max was not her son directly, since the ages do not match up. Presumably he's George's son from a previous marriage, and Carol did not like him. This is also evident from her reactions when the bodies are discovered, she has no reaction when Max's body is discovered, and goes to pieces on seeing George's.

After this, she went to Carol's room. Carol put her to sleep, and then went to George's room alone.

George

Carol entered the room through the open door, proceeded to beat him up before blowing his brains out. Motive for the death was her relationship with Giselle, and the violence was caused by some trauma from the sudden death of her family? Either ways, sounds quite disturbing to me.

She also went to Max's room and tied up his hands with his belt too. Either this was to deflect blame from Giselle, or she felt that he also answered to the crime of underage drinking and therefore merited the same treatment.

Luke

Leia slipped Luke a couple of her sleeping pills the previous night, and then went to spend the night with Kevin. Kevin also got a couple of sleeping pills without him getting to know of it, so he slept on till 11. Leia slipped out around 10.30 and strangled Luke. His being under the influence may also explain the lack of any signs of struggle. She also replaced the bottle of sleeping pills in her room. When she got back to Kevin, she told him the happenings, and also fabricated the story of breakfast at 8.

There, I hope I've solved it! The only thing that doesn't make sense to me is the tranquilizer. The only people who could have sourced it are George, the cops, !Peleh and Kevin. My theory is that George had gotten it for the trip as a part of his sex play. Carol got to know of it, and pilfered it when she went to get Carol for the night.

The crack of the robbery by Galatyr was awesome, two thumbs up!

Cheers, and thanks for the awesome puzzle!

Edits: after the comments from the OP, some changes done to the answer. Hope it solves the problem now!

  • Very close! Your explanation for why Carol committed the murders is a bit flawed, and the how is slightly flawed as well. If you can fix those, this would be correct. – Aify May 3 '15 at 16:26
  • You may have strayed a little further with this edit.. hint: There is no justice involved. – Aify May 4 '15 at 17:40

Great puzzle, thanks for sharing. I didn't manage to complete it though, here are some of my reflexions to add to the previous ones :

Locations I arranged the passengers by deck and vicinity :

  • Deck 10 : Chang, Jack, Jerome & Julian
  • Deck 9 : /
  • Deck 8 : !Peleh / the detective
  • Deck 7 : Luke & Leia, Kevin / George & Giselle, Max, Carol
  • Deck 6 : /
  • Deck 5 : W & TF, Brofonomo

Motives

  • Luke : Leia & Kevin are the main suspects, as they seem to have an affair. Kevin seemed to be asleep so he may be innocent. I think Leia, unhappy in her couple, smothered Luke with a pillow (with or without poisoning him with sleeping pills beforehand), and Kevin covered for her. The absence of reaction when she discovered the body of her lover seems to support this idea. I think this murder is disconnected from the others: the process is different (no belt, no gun)
  • Brofonomo : One or several of the gamblers may have taken revenge for their loss. First to die, probably late in the evening, from a unique and well placed shot, without mention of his hands being tied. Probably W & TF as they have the gun and know how to use it. Maybe covered by the 3 Js (why did they go to play in their rooms instead of staying in the casino ?).
  • George and Max : same modus operandi, same time, same place, the murderer seems to be the same, or someone is copying to make it more discreet. The motive seems to be the money, and especially the legacy because the son was murdered too. Carol is the main suspect to me, as she seemed to be hitting on Giselle: she may have killed her husband and son(in law?) in order to marry her and get the legacy? She seemed to have a history of family spree. But somehow I can't wrap my mind around the belt: why would she put it on Max when an accident was so easy to fake?
  • W & TF : here two motives appear: get back something lost in the game (3 Js, because Brofonomo was dead before them) or put their hands on the guns. The 3Js may have the poison, as well as George. Carol may be involved as their hands are tied together like George and Max, and she had interest into having the guns. She could have stolen the poison from George.

Guns movement I think one important thing to raise is that they are TWO guns, so they may have been used by two different murderers.

  • at the beginning of the evening, the guns are with W & TF

  • one is used to kill Brofonomo, before W & TF were dead, but as they were tranquilized they may have been sleeping at this time and the guns stolen without their knowledge

  • one is used to kill W & TF, using several shots : why if they were already sleeping ? The murderer could have taken time to aim.

  • they are therefore used to kill Max and George with violence, especially towards George

Questions

From these developments, the following questions arise for which I can't think of an answer, maybe someone else will :

  • Where was Giselle during the night? Did she sleep with her husband and left early on the morning, or did she never go to the room that night? Did she spend the night with Carol?
  • Has the tranquilizer and/or the sleeping pills been used on anyone else than W & TF, especially the ones who look sleepy (3Js, Kevin) and the dead ones (George, Max - how did the teenager finish dead drunk on his toilet? Who served him this much alcohol? Could this be a result of a drug instead?), maybe so they don't hear anything (the 3Js by Chang for example, as they live on the same deck) or to arrange the murder scene to make believe something else happened (the blindfold for example)?
  • Why were the hands of W & TF as well as those of Max tied, even though they weren't able to fight back? (W & TF were sleeping because of the tranquilizer, and Max passed out because he was too drunk)
  • When a door is "locked", does this mean it is manually locked from the inside or just slamming the door from the outside is enough for it can't be opened without the key?
  • Are the technical details around the guns (150 meters range, thermal scope, can go through 3 layers of wall) just there for the Sci-Fi touch as there is no mention of a hole in a wall or an open space this wide?

EDIT : I gave more thought to the puzzle, even though the first two hints didn't helped much (I had already figured out that). Here is a possible development of what happened that night :

  • The 3Js, W&TF & Brofonomo are gambling on Deck 5. W & TF accuse Brofonomo of cheating. As the situation degenerates, the 3Js drugs W&TF (they always have tranquilizer in case something goes bad) to protect the professor. But they drink the wine too late and shot him before falling asleep. The 3Js put the doctor in his room, tie W&TF with their belts and wait for the morning to tell the others as they don't want to make a scandal.
  • Carol and Giselle are lovers from the beginning. Giselle is an actress and she married George only for the money. They went on the boat only to get rid of them. Carol has an history of murdering people for the legacy. She goes downstairs on the middle of the night to steal the guns of W&TF, only to find them dead on the floor. She kills them, sees the belt around their wrists and think of copying that to accuse someone else. She then goes upstairs and kill Max (she had previously make him drink a lot, that's why he was in his toilet and his door was open). Giselle, who was "playing" with her husband, opens the door to her and they kill him together. The two spend the rest of the night together and cover for each other. Giselle is very good at acting (she married the man without him seeing anything after all) and make up everything, that's why the detective is surprised with her reaction (he must have seen other crying widows after all).
  • Leia drugs and kill her husband as I said previously, she may also have drugged her lover to make him an alibi.
  • The morning after, he 3Js tell nothing, fearing that they can be accused of the murder of Brofonomo as well as W&TF, because they were the last that saw them alive. Chang covers for them so they don't have to worry.

So that's all I can think of without other hints ! I hope some part is near the truth. And sorry in advance for my poor language.

  • Yes, the spechs around the gun are just for a Sci-fi touch. I was going to use it in the actual puzzle but it made it way too obfuscated and confusing... I also couldn't find a way to make it fit without invalidating the entire solution. When a door is locked, think hotel door locks. You close it and it's auto locked. (I'll add this lock point for clarity to the puzzle later) – Aify Apr 28 '15 at 15:03
  • You have some very good points and good observations + deductions, but some parts are wrong :P All I can say is you didn't make use of all the clues provided. – Aify Apr 28 '15 at 15:04
  • So basically we can just treat them as regular bullet wounds? – Joe Z. Apr 28 '15 at 16:53
  • Really really big bullets, but yes @JoeZ. – Aify Apr 30 '15 at 16:07
  • 1
    Wait, Max is George's son? I can't believe I missed that. – Joe Z. Apr 30 '15 at 22:48

Here's some partial information I've pieced out so far. Most likely this stuff is obvious, but it's on the road toward a solution.


Times of death

The shriek happens at 11 AM. W and TF's bodies have already gone through rigor mortis but not livor mortis, so they've been dead for 6 hours, killed at around 5 AM. Same with Max.

Dr. Brofonomo was dead in his room and his body had already gone though livor mortis, so he's been dead for at least 12 hours, from 11 PM last night.

Luke died the latest out of any of them - his body is still warm and rigor mortis hasn't set in yet. Perhaps only up to 30 minutes beforehand.

Nothing is known about George's time of death, but he does have an erection, which indicates nothing about the time of death (other than maybe that livor mortis hasn't set in yet) but more about the circumstances of death, which were already made rather clear in the rest of the description. (An erection from BDSM play isn't likely to stay after death, so something else must have been the case there.) We can probably assume that he died at 5 AM like the rest of the people.

Strange information from the previous days

For some reason, !peleh can't stop staring at Giselle's left hand. I imagine it has something to do with the ring on her finger.

The detective notes that George's body was killed with a lot of hate. I'm wondering if it wasn't !peleh who killed George because Giselle was married to him when !peleh was actually the one who loved her. Either that, or !peleh was the one stealing all the jewelry, as has now been revealed to be the case by Galatyr (although why, I can't imagine, since he's probably gotten a lot of money from his athletic performances already).

Alibis

Jack, Jerome, and Julian were playing cards in 1016/1018/1020, which Chang who was in 1025 can attest to. Given that they have bed hair, they couldn't have killed anyone other than Dr. Brofonomo in the morning.

Carol was in 702, right next to 701 where Max was and 700 where George and Giselle were. She's given the least information out of anybody so far, and leaving a playlist on all night doesn't mean she has to be physically present in the room to listen to it. Carol's ash box could also have stored some black market tranquilizers, not to mention she seemed rather happy despite her family being dead.

The fact that Kevin appears to have just woken up even though Leia says she was with him all morning seems to indicate that Leia is lying, and that Kevin is covering up for her (although it could just be his playboy tendencies kicking in).

Chang and !peleh woke up early. They don't mention how early, but it could have been at 5 AM to kill people.

Multiple murders?

As Galatyr mentioned and I suspected without any evidence myself, these deaths may not have been the work of a single person. Luke didn't die of a laser blast, and neither Luke nor Dr. Brofonomo died at the same time as everyone else.

  • Where did I use Algor Mortis in my story??!!? – Aify Apr 27 '15 at 15:30
  • Sorry, I meant livor where I used algor. – Joe Z. Apr 27 '15 at 15:32
  • However, a body being warm means algor mortis has not set in yet. – Joe Z. Apr 27 '15 at 15:34
  • 1
    I wrote the puzzle with that in mind, so my mental timeline of the events uses the maximum times (hence the "fully set in") – Aify Apr 27 '15 at 16:18
  • 2
    So 6 and 12 hours respectively? Alright. – Joe Z. Apr 27 '15 at 16:24

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