Last year, December 21, 2013, you were awarded the "#1 Detective in the World" for solving more than 50 murders. Your boss gave you a promotion, contingent upon your moving to Chicago. You agreed and took your new position. Your boss told you that you would be taking a plane to Chicago, the ticket and everything already having been paid for by your boss. He also told you that you would be taking off on January 15, 2014.

All of a sudden, all you heard was a loud beeping sound. "BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP", as your eyes open wide. You got up and realized it was your alarm clock going off. 6:30 AM. You turned the alarm off, did a big stretch and gave a big yawn. "Why do I keep having the same dream about the day that I got promoted?" you pondered to yourself. Without giving it another thought, you got out of bed and started getting ready for your day.

You got to work and went straight to your office. As soon as you sat down you heard a knock on your office door. "Come in," you said.

Your assistant opened the door. "You're needed at the intersection of Main and Peele." You weren't surprised to hear this. You quickly got up and drove to the location.

When you got there, there were 3-4 police cars, yellow "Police Line" tape, and a large crowd gathered around the intersection. You got out of the car and walked towards the scene. As you got closer, you could see a body covered with a blanket, and other police and detectives talking and taking pictures.

"Morning. It seems like this man here was murdered," said one of the other detectives.

You lifted the blanket to see that the man had been stabbed three times, had two gunshot wounds to his left hip, and had red markings around his neck. "It looks like he has been strangled with rope as well," you said as you kept on examining his body.

You covered the body back up with the blanket. You looked around and saw that there were small yellow cones with numbers on them, and beside each cone you saw an object. You walked over to one of the cones. It had the number "4" on it. You looked beside the cone and saw perfect circular blood drops. You then walked over to the number "2" cone, seeing a knife with no blood on it. Cone number "3" was beside a piece of paper. On it was "He Deserved It! 1H8H1M". You looked closely at "1H8H1M" and wondered what that meant. You stood there and pondered it for a minute, then moved on to cone number "1". The last cone was beside a shoe print. It was mud which produced the prints. The shoe size looked to be a size 9 men's shoe.

"I've seen enough. I'm heading back to my office" you told the other detectives.

The next day, your assistant told you that the forensics lab had asked you to visit them when you had the chance. You headed over to the forensics lab.

"Hello, you must be the great detective. Nice to meet you!" said the forensic technician. "The results are back. There were no fingerprints on the note. The knife was clean like it was brand new straight from the box. The shoe print was of a size 9 men's shoe. But the most interesting part is that the blood stains are not human. It's animal blood. Specifically from a poodle."

As you pondered the information that the technician had told you, your cell phone rang. You answered it. "We have found a few suspects here at the station. Please come ASAP."

You rushed over to the station. As you drove over there, you got violently cut off by another driver and almost crashed. "Learn how to drive!" the man in the other car yelled as he drove away. You caught a glimpse of a man with shaggy brown hair, small nose, and big ears. You took a deep breath and continued on.

When you arrived at the station you saw that the police had gathered three suspects: a white man between the age of 22-26, short black hair, with a toned build; a tall blonde female, wearing a fancy dress and jewelry like she was going on a date or to a party; and a skinny homeless man wearing very battered clothing, with long greasy hair and a full beard.

The twenty-something man said that he was at the bank getting some money three blocks away from the murder site around the same time the murder was reported.

The blonde female said that she was going for a run around the block as she just lived down the street from the murder site. She made one round around the block, then decided to do another round. As she was jogging she saw the crowd and decided to stop and take a look.

The homeless man didn't speak English well and seemed kinda crazy. "I did no murder. I asking for money for food. Hungry, haven't eat couple days."

You went back to your office and pondered about the clues and information from the murder scene, the forensics lab, and the suspects. After pondering a while you figured out who the murderer was. You quickly rushed back to the police station and told the police to arrest the person.

Who was the murderer?

  • 11
    $\begingroup$ Are you sure these 3rd party edits don't break the puzzle? Just one example - there are a suspicious number of digits. If these are important somehow, can you be sure "22-26" can be safely replaced with "twenty something" as you have done? Without answering my previous comment, can you be sure that any edit is safe? $\endgroup$ Nov 8, 2014 at 13:01
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Even the tense may be important. Since there seems to be no intersection of Peele and Main in Chicago, "the great detective" may not even be in Chicago yet. $\endgroup$
    – SQB
    Nov 8, 2014 at 15:55
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ This question appears too broad. Look at how many answers it has generated, with people providing support for seemingly any one of the characters to be the murderer. $\endgroup$ Nov 8, 2014 at 20:31
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The answer is terrible :p how was the detective meant to deduce all that?! $\endgroup$
    – d'alar'cop
    Nov 10, 2014 at 14:13
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ But that's not really what the puzzles on this SE are meant to be about. There aren't supposed to be many possible answers where the OP just says "Oh, it's this other thing that no-one could have possibly deduced.". It's not clear how the detective came to this conclusion at all $\endgroup$
    – d'alar'cop
    Nov 10, 2014 at 14:23

15 Answers 15


I would have arrested the blonde woman. She did say she was going on a jog, and size 9 men's shoes are not uncommon for women with big feet to wear. Furthermore, someone who is dressed to the nines like her is the most likely to own both a poodle and a leash for said poodle. Leash = rope.

Furthermore, if she was going on a jog and a murder and crowd forming took place in the time it took her to simply go around the block, she would have heard the gunshots and would likely have either gone home or sprinted back to investigate. One does not continue a leisurely jog after that.

The young man probably has a reasonable alibi; cameras at the bank could vindicate him. If he had a gun, he wouldn't have taken it to a bank unless he intended to rob the place. The homeless man is likely either innocent or a victim here; with a rudimentary grasp of English, there's absolutely no way he would have written a note in l33tsp3ak (clearly "I hate him") and, with his tattered and dirty state, not left it or the murder weapon completely clean.

As for how she performed the murder or why... I'm still not sure. I'd get a warrant out for her apartment to find the gun. What is interesting is that the poodle's body is nowhere to be found, but it could serve as a motive... finding its corpse would also probably pin the killer, as its owner could easily be identified.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I agree with this theory. Maybe the murder victim killed the poodle... and she was getting revenge $\endgroup$
    – d'alar'cop
    Nov 7, 2014 at 14:45
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Joe, she hid it because otherwise it would incriminate her. $\endgroup$
    – Kenshin
    Nov 7, 2014 at 14:47
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The answer still leaves the question of why he had both knife and bullet wounds. $\endgroup$
    – Kenshin
    Nov 7, 2014 at 14:55
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ On another note, the gun could have been silenced $\endgroup$
    – Joe
    Nov 7, 2014 at 15:06
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Seeing that this is the accepted answer, I'd say the "very difficult" part in the question title is completely unnecessary. I was expecting something far more interesting. $\endgroup$
    – Etheryte
    Nov 13, 2014 at 18:51

I have a possible solution which no-one else has yet suggested. It has the virtue of simplicity.

The puzzle has no single logically unique answer; OP is a troll (or does not understand that a puzzle should have a specific answer that can be deduced from the question).

My reasoning:

- OP has no posting history here or on linked SE sites.
- So much detail in the story, so many 'clues', Rasputinian Death.
- Flaky grammar in the original post is not consistent with an intelligent OP (counter-argument: OP could have English as a foreign language or have a condition such as dyslexia which allows them to be intelligent but not good at writing in English. Or maybe the mistakes are intentional.)
- No sign of this puzzle on Google, so OP probably came up with it themselves.
- OP: "i just like reading all the answers people come up with"
- I'm a deeply cynical person.

I'd consider the following answers equivalent to my solution (you might not agree):

- OP has a solution but it's no more logical or likely than anyone else's solution.
- Everyone in the story is non-human (they're goldfish and 'Chicago' is the name of the fishbowl, etc etc).
- God / Satan / Father Christmas / aliens did it (deus ex machina).
- It's all just a dream / hallucination / taking place in The Matrix.
- Dead body is not a human or is not really dead.

The OP gets a bounty from me if:

The puzzle is logically coherent and:

- The detective is a ghost ('the Shyamalan' plot twist).
- The detective is the murderer or the victim.
- They all did it ('Murder on the Orient Express').
- The solution involves a time machine or an alternate universe.
- The murderer is one of the minor characters, eg the assistant, the old boss or the forensic scientist ('the butler did it').
- The mangled English is integral to the solution of the puzzle.
- The puzzle is not a murder mystery (e.g message enciphered in the typos).
- The story (with original typos) successfully compiles in any well-known programming language

or if OP's solution consists solely of trollface.gif.

Double bounty if:

The puzzle is logically coherent and:

- The detective is the murderer and the victim.
- The detective appears to be a ghost but is actually a living human pretending to be a ghost pretending to be a living human (the dreaded reverse double Shyamalan).
- The puzzle outputs the name of the murderer when executed by the Perl interpreter.
- The entire puzzle takes place in the Buffyverse.

Update after reading OP's solution: yay! Nailed it. :)

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Sadly, nailed it. $\endgroup$ Nov 11, 2014 at 7:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yeah. I'm being unfair to the OP really, this kind of thing is hard to do well, as the collected works of A. Christie amply demonstrate. $\endgroup$
    – A E
    Nov 11, 2014 at 12:16


The woman was jogging with the poodle around the block.

The "victim" (here on out as Attacker) confronted the woman with the knife and the dog went crazy as any good dog should. Then the attacker pulls out a gun and shoots the dog. The homeless man is witnessing this and comes to the aid of the woman. He is carrying his own knife.

The homeless man surprises the attacker and stabs him and they start wrestling on the ground. The attacker struggles and accidentally shoots himself in the leg as the homeless man wrestles with him and the gun.

While this is happening, the woman starts to strangle the man with the leash. As the attacker gets weaker, the homeless man is able to stab a couple of more times.

Evidence Allocation

- The circular blood stains is from the dog bleeding and being carried.
- The foot print is either from the woman jogging if she has large feet or the homeless man
- The clean knife is the attackers which he never used.
- The gunshots were self inflicted by the attacker struggling.
- The note was written by both or just the homeless man as the woman told him what to write. The "1H8H1M" came from the homeless man meaning "I hate him".


The murderers are the woman and homeless man.

  • $\begingroup$ I can't argue with this. Nice analysis. $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2014 at 18:55
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @generalcrispy Thanks. That note though is still bugging me. 1H8H1M is perfect for a license plate and I keep thinking some other crazy scenario could have occurred. I can see a rich divorced woman having a license plate like that. $\endgroup$
    – TyCobb
    Nov 7, 2014 at 19:19
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ If the dog was being carried away, the blood spatter would not be perfectly circular. Momentum would change the shape. You only get circular blood drops if it drops straight down. $\endgroup$
    – JohnP
    Nov 7, 2014 at 21:31
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnP That is true and perhaps my wording was just poor. Someone was holding the dog. Edited to say "carried" instead of "carried away". $\endgroup$
    – TyCobb
    Nov 7, 2014 at 22:37
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In this case, the killers could easily get off with self-defense, why bother hiding it? They were obviously protecting themselves. There is more malice to it. $\endgroup$
    – Ali
    Nov 8, 2014 at 17:45

It was the road raged driver.
1H8H1M is his licence plate. He is unapologetic about it, since he thinks the victim deserved it (due to bad driving). You see, he is the owner of the poodle. Have you never heard of dogs looking like their owners?
"(...) shaggy brown hair, small nose, and big ears (...)"
The victim had hit his dog, so the owner killed him with the leash. It was the victim's own gun that went off, wounding him in the hip.
The victim wasn't stabbed, those were the stiletto heels worn by the woman.

  • $\begingroup$ I was about to post this, it just pinged in my head while I was out shopping. Bah humbug xD I think you've nailed it with this one. $\endgroup$
    – Joe
    Nov 7, 2014 at 21:45
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Pretty sure you're on the right track, but why would a lady out for a run be wearing stilettos and why would she stomp on a guy with them who hit some random persons dog, and why would a detective be unable to tell the difference between a stab wound and a puncture wound from the heel of a shoe? $\endgroup$
    – Mordred
    Nov 7, 2014 at 22:55
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Mordred, the lady is wearing stilettos the day after the murder, so it makes sense that she changed her clothes. $\endgroup$
    – Kenshin
    Nov 8, 2014 at 1:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Are we even sure it wasn't the poodle driving the car? $\endgroup$
    – Ken Y-N
    Nov 10, 2014 at 5:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @KenY-N I actually considered that, but rejected that since the driver talked. Driving, I can believe, but talking is a bit too much. $\endgroup$
    – SQB
    Nov 10, 2014 at 7:23

I don't think I've got it 100% solved, but here's what I'm thinking...

The suspect interviews are happening THE DAY AFTER the body was found. There's nothing odd about the woman from jogging at 6:30am one day and then being in fancy outfit during business hours the next day.

The murder seems to have happened in the early morning hours. I think the perfectly circular (undisturbed) blood droplets imply they are pretty fresh. If your alarm goes of at 6:30 and the first thing you do is head to a crime scene, that also seems to indicate the murder happened early morning or perhaps late-night.

...Which means the black-haired guy could NOT have been at a bank. They usually don't open until 8am. I suppose he could have been at an ATM, but that transaction would be quite quick and wouldn't be much of an alibi. You'd have plenty of time to swing by the ATM after the murder!

The homeless guy probably didn't write the note, due to his difficulty with English. The near-car-crash is irrelevant, especially if the story takes place in Chicago! Road rage is part of daily life :-)

I also find it puzzling that you're apparently meeting the forensic scientist for the first time on this particular day... Not sure what to make of that. It's important to figure out if this takes place in Chicago or at your prior location. Could this be the first case at your new job?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You got ready to work, got to work and then received the call about the murder. No times were stated for how long that took, but it's reasonable to assume you don't live just round the corner (I'd imagine a normal commute is around 20-30 minutes) $\endgroup$
    – Joe
    Nov 7, 2014 at 16:04
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Good point, the detective probably didn't get to work until about 8am. The murder still probably happened a significant time before that. Most of my information comes from cable tv, but I don't think the detective is usually one of the first to arrive at the scene. Someone called 911 to report the murder, then some beat cops arrived to secure the scene, set up police tape, and begin marking evidence. Then the detective was brought in. $\endgroup$
    – Courtney
    Nov 7, 2014 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Courtney - The dream takes place as a flashback. He is dreaming about the day he "got" promoted, so it is in the past. He is at his new job. $\endgroup$
    – JohnP
    Nov 7, 2014 at 21:29


you, since you're not surprised hearing that you're needed at the intersection of Main and Peele.
But you don't seem to know why you're not surprised. You keep having flashbacks of your promotion, but you don't want to go to Chicago! You like it here in Everetts. That's why you killed your boss, while you were sleepwalking. You approached him from behind, strangling him. He tried to go for his gun, which he kept in his shoulder holster. It went off, wounding him in the hip. You stabbed him, then cleaned the knife and dumped the body, all while sleeping.
The note came from the angry driver, who saw the dead body of a man he hated (don't know why) and left a note.

But what happened to the poodle?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ good thoughts, but you're not surprised because it is a high crime area and you are an in demand top detective. Furthermore, you wouldn't need to "ponder" for a while to figure out who it is. $\endgroup$
    – Kenshin
    Nov 8, 2014 at 12:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ At least an answer that explores the very disturbing elements of the narrative. $\endgroup$
    – coredump
    Nov 9, 2014 at 17:19

The biggest question is, why would a stabbed man, be shot, or strangled. I think the answer lies in three attempts, only one killed him. I would say let's put them in different orders, it might be that all three made an attempt, at different stages.

One used the gun, that didn't kill him. A struggle meant the drop of the note, the lack of finger prints means the person came with intention to kill, left with a struggle. The poodle blood means it was carried, and that it was an unsuccessful attempt. The knife is weird. But it also can mean someone left in a hurry after finding out the victim was already killed. Now the rope! I doubt it was used last, because a gun shot or a stab wound would deter a strangler.

So I would say, the first came and tried to strangle the guy, unsuccessfully (and probably earlier in a different location). The poodle dog was present and it was carried, it got injured. A struggle with the victim yields in gun shots, but not death. The last person to show up is the stabber. I think the knife simply belongs to the victim.

I need to think about the order of events though.

==== First attempt:

Homeless man tries to strangle him for a buck. Not successful. Man meats victim probably for a chat, they both have weapons thought. Struggle, drop the knife, two gun shots, then the man runs. The woman meats the victim half breathed, with the note in her pocket, that probably was given to her by the man, she assumes the worst. Finding him with gun shots, alerted, she stabs him to finish him, and drops the note and runs. Can't place the dog though!


You are the killer, and you are in fact a serial killer - this is why you're not surprised to hear of the murder. All 50 of your previous 'solved' murders were also you. As a result you have become quite proficient at planting evidence. The knife is not the murder weapon, the shoe is not yours, the blood is from a poodle you killed for the purpose of creating a false lead, and the note was designed to make it seem like the victim knew the killer.

The only question is

which of the suspects you will arrest for the murder you committed. Possibly none of them, since you're leaving town and wanted to leave an unsolvable case for your colleagues.


This puzzle is quite hard especially trying to link every clues in the story. Let's try:


-Gun Shot
-Red signs on his neck
-Knife wounds

I would be surprised if a gun shot in the lip would kill. AndMoreover, he assumed he was strangled but we can't be sure. The victim could possibly be that kind of man who revels in pain. Maybe the night before his partner was a bit too rude and that kind of signs have been left on his neck. So I can tell the murderer stabbed him to death.

Now we have the cause of death. Let's analyze the clues we have:


-Blood stains
-Shoe print

According to the scientist, that blood came from a dog. But, where is the fluffy poodle? It could be just a case, and he's suggesting the detective to not focus the blood. Perfect circle blood stains occour when the drop fall down without momentus [ !-shape otherwise ]. A stab, a gun shot, a strong kick on the snout would have not produce that kind of shape. The dog could have been biten by another dog the day before without any reason, they are animals, who can foresee their moves. The next one is the piece of paper. Why should the murderer leave that kind of information on the ground? I can't imagine the dying man took pen and paper and started to write that to help the detective somehow. And, why the "hate part" has a different way of writing? He could have write the entire message that way without problem. I can assume he prepared that piece of paper before the murder, maybe he was waiting someone with that licence plate that looks so strange or some kind of information he would give to someone. The knife, instead, lets me think he was involved in a fight he lost [ of course, he's dead :P ]. By the way, after they met, him and his murdered started to fight and he was stabbed 2 times to death. I will explain the prints after.

Let's talk about the suspects.


According to the description, the homeless would have been too weak to start a fight against the victim. He declared he haven't eaten for 2 days, so he could not handle a fight and kill a man. But I think he sneaked near the dead body to find money to buy food or something like that and he left the mud prints near the victim. He's not well dressed so he can even use shoes that don't fit his feet. I don't think the murderer was the woman. She was jogging and she met a lot of people after her second round. If she killed him, she could hide the knife but she can't hide the blood squirted from the victim. Just talk with a pair of witnesses, and we can confirm this theory. The only one left is the young guy, the only one who did not met anyone that day. I have this theory. If he was gunshot where he was found, anyone can tell they heard the noise of a gun. Even the woman, who is innocent.
Let me think out of the box. The victim and the young man are accompices that are willing to rob the bank [ take some money ]. The victim betrayed and has been shot in another place but he was able to run away because the wound are not that bad. The young man found him and finished him using a knife, the best way to kill fast someone without make a noise.

What happened

The victim and the young man are planning to rob a bank. He victim betrayed and he was shot by the young man because he's afraid that could go to the police. The victim was able to run away for a while but he found him and killed him with a knife without making a noise. Maybe the piece of paper spilled off a pocket during the fight. I can say that was just a motivational reminder to betray the partner. After that, the homeless went near the body, left some prints, took the money [if he found any ] and gone away.


Well, I have some ideas, but I'm still struggling to piece it together. Here's my thinking so far (as much for me as anyone else).

Depending on the rest of the clues, the killer is either...

the apparently-homeless man in the identity parade
The man who cut you up in the car was the real homeless man, the ID parade "homeless man" is actually a normal guy who gave the bum his car keys, then made himself look like the homeless guy as a disguise this explains why you got cut up by a reckless driver: the real bum wouldn't know how to drive


the woman
She is tall (size 9 shoes would fit), dressed for a party but going out running around the block in a fancy dress and jewellery
It's likely she would have worn high heels dressed like that, but obviously couldn't run in them, so if she was actually doing that
A pair of trainers would make sense (which could get muddy and leave the footprint).

The victim...

His dog was killed and used for blood (the poodle blood)
The rope he kept his dog on was used to strangle the victim
The "1H8H1M" note is text-slang for "I hate him", which could be either the woman living down the road who has to walk past him, and/or hear him, or could be the apparently-homeless guy for any reason

I don't yet know

Why the blood stains are circular
Where the stabbing-knife and gun came from, or went
Whether Chicago, Main and Peele have anything to do with it

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It does not make sense that the homeless man was the same person who cut you off on the way to the station. One does not usually drive themselves to a suspect line-up. $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2014 at 15:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @generalcrispy I meant that the guy in the car was a homeless man, who didn't know how to drive. The actual murderer swapped places with him, so when he gets hauled into the parade his alibi is pretty darn rock solid as just a bum in the city $\endgroup$
    – Joe
    Nov 7, 2014 at 15:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I honestly think the road rager is a distraction. Yes, his appearance is described, but it doesn't seem to be linked to anyone in the case. If it does, then not enough information was given here. $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2014 at 15:26
  • $\begingroup$ The knife and gun could have been bought from a weapon store/shop. $\endgroup$ Nov 8, 2014 at 5:58

I will improve and involve all clues in time but here is the my initial thoughts.


  • My main lead on this murder is definetely the wounds. There is 3 different type of wounds. Which means either there were a long fight and victim and killer swapped some tools during encounter or each wound made by another person.

  • Bullet wounds is on victim's hip. Probably he was running from
    someone and got shot from hip or someone shoot him from his hip on

  • Knife is clean. This signs knife is the murder weapon. It is used to kill the victim and cleaned perfectly by killer.

  • Blood of the dog is circular, probably dropped from higher point. I'm assuming it was held and carried by someone (around chest level)
    since its injured(most probably).

  • The note is clearly does not belong to killer. Someone probably wrote the message after s/he saw the dead body.

So here is my scenario:

White-man is a hired killer. Victim was kept and tortured by white-man someplace near to the intersection. Somewhere dusty and muddy. As the killer tries to choke him with a rope, somehow victim got rid of him and escaped. During the escape white-man shoot him twice but bullets hits to his hips. While the victim was running, he accidentally harmed lady's dog and continued running. Lady got her injured puppy on her lap and chased the victim. Few minutes later, killer caught the victim. Stabbed and killed him. Then he quickly cleaned knife and dropped it there. Soon after killer left, lady arrived the point of murder. She saw the body and wrote a note for victim. At the morning, white-guy was at the bank, because he did his job and he was getting his payment for the kill.


There have been several genius answers, but none of them explain where the poodle went. I agree with TyCobb's answer, specifically the part where the poodle is killed. After the poodle died, the homeless man might have offered to take the body and ate it. This might sound implausible but:

  • He says he hasn't eaten in days. I think this is true because I see no motive for lying about this. (But I can seen why he wouldn't admit eating the dog.)
  • Dog is edible. In some cultures it is completely normal, I heard. (I am not sure but I seem to recall this is the case in Japan. Again, this is a vague memory and I have never been there but only heard about it.) Also during food shortages, for example during the winter of '44/'45 when the remaining territory of the Nazi's had an enormous shortage of food, it seems people eat dogs too. (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_meat)

First off, I find it odd that while it seems that the action is placed in Chicago, I can't actually find a Peele street (or boulevard or avenue etc.) on the city map.

Additionally, it seems to me like the "red markings" are a red herring of sorts. Given that the body is found at the intersection of Peele and Main there are two main options:

  • Either the deceased was not strangled on spot, strangling someone takes a good while and we're talking about doing it next to the Main street of a large city. It's possible the markings are a result of, say, bedtime activities or something similar.
  • Or the murder itself took place elsewhere and the body was later moved. This raises the question of why would anyone move a body someplace where it's very likely to be noticed very fast (again, Main street). This could be an option if the killing was meant to send a message (for example, a hired hit), but the messiness of the situation leads me to consider that option less. It's also possible that the body was moved to a public location as a means of humiliation.

Next up, the note. This, again, seems to be a red herring. Leaving aside the contents of the note for a moment, leaving a note would mean the murder was preplanned. However, why would you plan to murder someone on a busy street, there are plenty of better options?

Therefore, either the murder wasn't planned (and the note is a herring) or the body was moved after the murder took place.

Exploring the option of a moved body further, it's possible that the victim was tortured before being killed. At the scene of crime, the only notes of blood are some drops (poodle's blood) which is an awful little for a body with both knife and gun wounds.
From this perspective, it seems likely that the body was moved after the murder had taken place.

Exploring the note itself: "He Deserved It! 1H8H1M"
Firstly, there's an exclamation mark used on the first sentence, but no punctuation on the second half. Hate is generally a very strong emotion and using softer language for that seems off.

This leads me to believe that the second part of the note means something else (not "I hate you"). Others have pointed out it would fit a license plate, but I'm not that familiar with the US system.

If we delve in the math side of things for a moment, 1H8H1M is:

13,723,246 in base 15
23,553,310 in base 27
38,301,352 in base 30
89,414,986 in base 36

None of these seem to reference the rest of the case so I'm considering these irrelevant for the time being.

From the above conflicting nature of the note, it seems reasonable that the note is either: a red herring (unrelated to the case) or a plant (distraction by the murderer).

Analyzing the scene of the crime further we can note that "the knife was clean like it was brand new straight from the box". The knife is in mint condition. This seems to indicate that the knife is not related to the actual killing of the victim itself. It is unspecified whether the blade's shape matches the wounds of the deceased, but using two identical knives isn't out of the question.

This seems to further support the idea, that the body was moved to the scene after the actual murder.

  • Either the knife was carried by the deceased, but for some reason the deceased was unable to use it in self defense. This makes sense only if the murder wasn't preplanned.
  • Or the knife was not carried by the deceased. That is, someone else related to the murder, possibly the murderer.

So for a timeout recap:

  • Either this was not a preplanned murder and everything that could go wrong seems to have gone wrong.
  • Or this was a preplanned murder and the body was later moved to the place of discovery.

Coming back to the body of the deceased, namely the gun wounds: there are two of them, both in the left hip. The location of the wounds is crucial. Let's consider two options:

  • Either the gun originally belonged to the deceased: regardless of the usual pistol holster types, none of them are positioned in a way that shooting oneself in the hip with the pistol still in the holster is possible. This means the gun should have been drawn.
  • Or the gun was originally in the hands of someone else. Landing one shot in a hip can be accidental, but getting two shots in someone's hip means that either the target was not moving, the shots were made at very close quarters, or both.

If the gun belonged (at least at first) to the deceased if a struggle ensued, gunshots would likely follow, even if not hitting anyone (right away). This would surely catch attention (on Main street) and wouldn't leave enough time for the rest of the actions to take place without any witnesses. The gun could have been silenced, but that would only seem reasonable if the other party was carrying the gun, as most every-day carries (police and alike) are not silenced (unless the deceased was in fact planning to kill someone himself).

Therefore the gun seems to have belonged to some other party, however, since there are neither bullet casings nor blood splatters at the scene of the crime, we seem to again arrive at the possibility that the body was moved after the murder. Additionally, if you have a gun and wanted to kill someone, you wouldn't aim for their hip.

So for a second recap:

Currently the most likely option seems to be that the body was moved after the actual murder took place. It seems like the gun wounds are made with the intent of making the deceased unable to move quickly or simply inflicting pain, rather than trying to kill them, since those wounds alone don't seem lethal.

I'll edit this post with more analysis once I have any further thoughts.

Coming to the suspects, namely the homeless man: "I did no murder. I asking for money for food. Hungry, haven't eat couple days."
I think these words are vital. Namely, this leads me to believe the homeless man is in fact either a witness or was close to the scene of the actual murder before it took place. I interpret his words for the time being as "I didn't kill the deceased, I was simply asking him (or someone near him) for money."

Now let's come back to what the twenty-something white man was doing when the murder was reported (note that this is always later than the actual murder taking place): getting some money from the bank.

Most humans can survive quite a while without eating anything (see this article, for example), however not eating anything for a couple of days is generally a great discomfort and it's not far fetched to say one might do things of questionable legality to get money for food in that situation, especially if one's been on rough times for a while (our homeless man is described as "wearing very battered clothing, with long greasy hair and a full beard"). However, I don't think the homeless man was our murderer, as he was described as skinny and unfed.

Instead, I propose the twenty-something white man had made an agreement with the homeless man for some services in exchange of money, for example, moving a body out of a small alley into the street and dumping some random misleading clues next to it to cover his trails. He was getting money from the bank because he had just given what ever cash he had on hand to the homeless man.

Therefore, a third recap:

The white twenty-something man was the murderer. The victim was killed (and possibly tortured prior) somewhere else and the body was later brought near the scene of the discovery. The homeless man was paid to move the body and dump some misleading evidence near the scene to create confusion (as none of the clues reasonably add up).

However, I don't think the case is still finished at this point. We still haven't covered one suspect: the tall blonde woman.

Following the day of the murder she was dressed up to celebrate: "wearing a fancy dress and jewelry like she was going on a date or to a party". While this could be a meaningless fact (a random preplanned event), I don't think this is the case.

During the dumping of the body she goes for a jog nearby to keep an eye on things. People are bad waiters and no one wants to wait blindly. Since she lives nearby it's not a bad alibi for her to be jogging.

The twenty-something man and the woman might have a love affair or other joint interests that lead to the murder and are looking to celebrate the day after the dumping of the body.

Further update to follow.

What's a clue in and of itself is the fact that we have suspects. When picking suspects, police doesn't pick random people off the street, they bring people who are related to the case. And while we're not given the details of why each of our suspects is one, it inevitably leads to the following:

All of our suspects are either related to the deceased somehow or linked with the scene of the discovery somehow.

Starting off with the homeless man, since most homeless people have generally abandoned or lost connections with people close to them it's more likely he's linked with the scene of the discovery. The most obvious link being he was likely seen nearby sometime near the discovery of the body.

Both the twenty-something man and the blonde woman likely have a relation to the deceased somehow, how else would police know to pick up a random jogger and a guy from the bank?

All this together brings me to my final recap:

The white twenty-something man and the blonde woman planned the murder. They had some sort of a united goal that the deceased was in the way of (love, money etc.). The victim was killed (and possibly tortured prior) somewhere else and the body was later brought near the scene of the discovery. The homeless man was paid to move the body and dump some misleading evidence near the scene to create confusion (as none of the clues reasonably add up).

There is no victim's blood at the scene because the body was moved. The knife is clean because it wasn't used. The poodle's blood is in circular drops because it was planted manually.

The woman was jogging nearby to keep an eye on things, no one likes waiting nervously. The man was getting money from the bank because he had just paid the homeless man to drop the body and needed some for whatever reason.


Known Evidence:

1. Victim has 2 gun wounds, 3 stab wounds, and red marking from strangle 2. Artifacts: piece of paper "He deserved it! 1H8H1M" with no finger prints, clean new knife, poodle blood, size 9 men's shoe

Known Suspects:

1. Young white man
2. Tall blond woman
3. Homeless man

Possible Additional or Alternative Suspects:

1. Myself
2. My boss
3. Man who cuts me off in traffic

Ruled out as Suspects:

1. Forensic Team
2. Police
3. Suicide (he couldn't have shot, stabbed, and strangled himself)

My Interpretation:

Tall blond woman is walking her poodle. Her poodle somehow gets unleashed and begins viciously attacking a man (the murder victim) by his leg. The man flings his leg to get the dog to get off, his shoe flies off his foot. In his frustration, the man brings out his pistol and shoots the dog, causing blood splatter on the ground. Woman screams in horror at the sight, loud enough that a young man hears it and came rushing over from the ATM nearby to brawl with the victim over the pistol, so as to prevent the victim from using it on the woman or anyone else. The young man pulls out a knife he had just purchased a few hours ago, and stabs the victim 3 times, one stab through the arm which knocked the gun out of his hands. The gun hits the ground. With more raw strength, the victim begins to overpower the young man for the knife, despite his bleeding wounds. The woman notices this and frantically runs over, takes her dog's rope and wraps it around around the victim's neck. The victim still persists putting up a fight. A homeless man stumbles nearby, glances at the struggle before him, then at the gun on the ground. He picks the gun up, unsure of who he should attack. So he points the gun, closes his eyes and fires. At that very instance, there was a cry from a man and a shriek from a woman, then pure silence. When the homeless man opened his eyes, he saw a dead man lying in the middle of the street, a woman siting and crying near the corpse of her murdered dog, and a young man standing looking fearful with both his hands on his forehead. The woman took out a piece of paper and pen from her purse, while wearing her satin ballroom gloves that match her fancy dress outfit, in pure anger and depression, wrote on the paper "HE DESERVED IT! 1H8H1M", the last portion translating to "I Hate Him". The tall man wiped the knife and gun clean, and removed the dog chain from the victim's neck. The woman and grabbed the corpse of her dog. All three made an agreement to never speak of this again and go their separate ways as if nothing ever happened.

My Synopsis:

1. Who stabbed him? - The young man
2. Who strangled him? - The woman
3. Who shot him? - The homelessman

My Assumptions:

1. All 3 suspects arrived in nearly the same timeframe.
2. The 9 men shoe belongs to the victim

Left Unexplained:

1. Why would a fancy woman would know leet speak "1H8H1M"
2. Why I keep having dreams of the day I was promoted (whether relevant or not)

  • $\begingroup$ Just realized that a man with size 9 shoe is probably a small guy (I'm size 10.5 and only 5'8") and can't possible tango like the guy I depicted in my interpretation of the story. Oh well. Worth a shot. $\endgroup$
    – Lakitu
    Nov 7, 2014 at 20:56
  • $\begingroup$ I wear size 9 shoes. Im 6' tall. $\endgroup$
    – Octopus
    Nov 7, 2014 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Octopus lol. Fair enough. $\endgroup$
    – Lakitu
    Nov 7, 2014 at 22:29
  • $\begingroup$ How could the young man have used the knife for stabbing the deceased when it's noted that the knife was as clean as new? $\endgroup$
    – Etheryte
    Nov 8, 2014 at 1:50

Well after reading the story I ran across this sentence, im going to quote "The homeless man didn't speak english well and seemed kinda crazy, "I did no murder, i asking for money for food. Hungry, haven't eat couple days".". Now this homeless dude is "Crazy", asking for food? Saying he has done no murder? This would lead me to thinking it was him rather than the other two people. The size 9 shoes are for men so he could been the one wearing them. Although there are two guys I still think he's the one judging by what he said.

I also think the Blonde Female is apart of this crime scene too, "The blonde female said that she was going for a run around the block as she just lived down the street from the murder site. She amde one round around the block, and decided to do another round, as she was jogging she saw the crowd and decided to stop and take a look.".

She runs around the block and then decides o do another round and thats then when she saw a crowd of people around the crime scene. She kinda raises some suspicion.

  • $\begingroup$ you miss lots of clue, such as 1h8h1m and others $\endgroup$
    – stormrage
    Nov 9, 2014 at 10:35

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