# A murder in Manchester

Harrison and George are best friends, they both live in Manchester.
One day, Harrison goes to George's house to visit him, but after opening the door, he finds his friend dead near the desk, with a hole in the head. There are many items on the desk, including a ream, a half-consumed pencil, an old-clock stuck at 9:03 and a cassette tape player with a cassette already in it. Harrison decides to listen the cassette, so he pushes the "Play" button. The audio isn't very clear, but he can distinguish a male voice speaking. Here's the message:

I'm George. I've just received a phone call, they said that somebody is coming now to kill me and he will be here within 2 minutes. I hear footsteps... someone is opening the door... oh no!

Harrison is shocked, but after thinking for a while, he realizes that the message wasn't recorded by George, but by his assassin!

How could Harrison know this?

Because

the tape had already been rewound to the start, which George couldn't have done if he was dead.

• Assuming the question is 'how did Harrison know that the Assassin recorded the message', I'm guessing this is the answer. Although I can't see why the assassin couldn't have just rewound the tape on his behalf anyway. Commented May 1, 2015 at 9:22
• @Humphreythehater I am wondering the same thing Commented May 1, 2015 at 9:26
• Was this too easy, or you already knew this puzzle? Commented May 1, 2015 at 9:49
• @leoll2 well what is easy, is it easy when i know it the minute I read the story? I am usually a bit slow in figuring things out, but i think this type of mystery has been used a few times, i have at least seen it somewhere else. So yes it might have been too easy. Commented May 1, 2015 at 9:51
• I'd say it's weird for the assassin to have rewound the tape either way. Commented May 1, 2015 at 17:12

Well, to give 3 other possibilities than the ones given:

the message starts with I'm George, why would George start a message with that, you don't start a message stating your own name.

second

if George had 2 minutes he could have called the police, run, do what ever he could in 2 minutes, he wouldn't record it he would fight for his life.

3th

if he had 2 minutes and he states I've just gotten a phone call, how can in less than 10 seconds he hears footsteps, that would mean already 1 min 50 has passed, the text would not take many more that 10 seconds to say.

• The first point is definitely a good clue, it'd be pretty suspicious to start a message that way. Commented May 1, 2015 at 9:42
• Also, they're best friends, so you would think Harrison would recognise that it wasn't George's voice. Commented May 1, 2015 at 11:53
• When I leave a voice-mail, especially for someone I don't know, I typically start with "Hi, this is Brian" Commented May 1, 2015 at 15:13
• 1) He started with "I'm George" just in case Harrison didn't recognise his voice (remember the audio isn't very clear). 2) Maybe he was resigned to his fate for whatever reason. 3) The OP doesn't say how long a pause there might be between successive sentences; also "within 2 minutes" means in 2 minutes or less. Commented May 1, 2015 at 15:42

If George heard his killer coming, he wouldn't have pressed the button to stop the recording, and so his murder would have been recorded too.

• Classic George. Commented May 1, 2015 at 9:42

I can envision such a scenario.

Harrison knew it was the assassin because he had a Liverpool accent, not a Manchester accent. Towards the end of the message he could hear him singing the Beatles in the distance, but George preferred Oasis.

Alternatively,

The stopped clock and pencil/ream show that George was unable to handle technology to the extent of not owning a computer or being able to change a battery. When Harrison noticed this he realised George couldn't have used the tape recorder.

But also I'm thinking

It was the postman, because there's no post on sundays.

• Where do you get sunday? xD Commented May 1, 2015 at 11:56
• Remember Harrison needs to think for a while after hearing the recording to know it wasn't George. Commented May 1, 2015 at 15:43

Because it wasn't George's voice. Being best friends, he would recognize his friend's voice. Or accent.

• The audio isn't clear, he can't recognize the voice Commented May 1, 2015 at 12:14

Harrison knows it must not be George because

George is deaf. When the voice on the recording says he "hears footsteps," Harrison knows it must not be his friend.

The assassin obviously did not know this detail about George.