Alright detectives, we got a good ol' who dunnit here.

Notes given to you by the department before you begin your examination of the place:

  • May.
  • Unclear Reasoning.
  • During Evening.
  • Raining. Dreary.

You approach the house, seems relatively new, your buddy motions over towards a group of adults. They appear to be the parents so you walk over to ask a few questions.

After a difficult conversation, many apologies, and tears, you look down at your notepad and look over the notes you made from the parents. You learned that these 7 kids were all recent graduates, they built a device that you could strap to the bottom of a shoe and create a force strong enough to lift you up slightly, almost like anti-grav!

They got a huge grant from a lab in the city to work further on the project so that they may eventually perfect the device, and maybe someday make rocket shoes. So all 7 of them have been staying in this house together since they have quite enough money together now.

Specifically about the kids you found out that, in fact only 5 are a part of the project.
One guy, Macario was just a good friend who they invited to stay, I was told he often cooked them dinners for fun.
A girl named Ranait supposedly left the project but continued to stay with them with new work in mind.
Ellia was supposedly a spunky, pink-haired girl who was the business mind of the team, she made all the financial decisions.
You also learned that Rasmus was a tiny guy with a big personality, he was responsible for the patent in the early stages. He had short hair.
Drake also had short hair and was the writer of the core code.
Daila graduated with a BA unlike most of the others.
Unika was the only one who graduated with a 4.0.

You walk up to the porch, taking a good look around before walking in. You noticed a small blood trail on the ground, but no bodies were marked out front here. You shrug if off for now and continue inside.

The first place you enter to your right is the dining room. You see a body laying on the ground by the table. Plates are scattered everywhere, even some food and silverware. It looks as though a spoon is lodged in the neck of the victim, who has noticeably black hair.

Next up is the kitchen. And what a horrible looking scene it is, with chairs strewn about and water everywhere. The body is still backwards up against the sink. It appears as though their hair was sucked down into the garbage disposal and the water was run until they drowed. They are wearing a shirt with lots of math symbols that appear to make some sort of clever line. Who knows, you're no engineer.

You make your way upstairs as you're told two died up here. First of the two is a bedroom. The body lay still, the head was wrapped up in a pillow case, and you could see hair clearly coming out the bottom. The sheets still laid nicely as if they were just made.

Leaving the room and turning down the hall you notice a big theater room. You leave almost as quickly as you entered. The one who died in here was clearly first and had been in there for a while. Phew. At a quick glance you barely see the back of a body upright in the seat, neck limp and slumped over to the side. No signs of blood anywhere either.

You make your way back downstairs and head out through the garage before checking out back. Immediately greeted by the most gruesome scene thus far. You see a blonde haired individual on the groun in a pool of blood, the neck with a jagged cut across it. Noticing a red tinted saw on the table gives that away. Next to it you also notice some blueprints, but they look nothing like the shoe device.

Finally you make your way out back, they had a small swingset and a trampoline, but you notice the last body by the swings. As you get closer you notice mulch everywhere, one of their shoes came off, and a business card for the grads. They had the chains of the swing twisted up and tied around their neck.

You leave the scene and walk back out front. You know what happened here and you promptly tell the chief. He thanks you and you are on your way, hoping they hunt the last student down and bring them in.

Things I want to know:

  • Who is the killer? (If you come up with a reason why, go for it, but not needed)
  • Give a description of each person, which can include their role in the group, hair style, and whether or not they put up a fight.
  • Where did each one die and how did they die?
  • Bonus points if you can tell me how to solve it with only the clues given by the parents. (There are a couple ways you can do this, but in the end I want a full solution)

Hint: Murder references are not all that significant. A logic puzzle grid solves this pretty handily.

Big hint: Here is the grid that makes up the entire scene.

  • $\begingroup$ leaning towards it being Rasmus but as I'm always wrong I'm wrong :P $\endgroup$
    – user34009
    Mar 8, 2017 at 0:06
  • $\begingroup$ This feels like American Horror Story. R is for Rory. $\endgroup$ Mar 8, 2017 at 0:14
  • $\begingroup$ "7 built a device ... only 5 are a part of the project. One guy...was just a good friend...he often cooked them dinners". Yep! that's me in most of the college projects. $\endgroup$
    – Marius
    Mar 8, 2017 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ Does BA mean Bachelor of Arts? We don't get much information about the last three and I'm trying to work out how/why/if it's important. $\endgroup$
    – LaniKate
    Mar 16, 2017 at 23:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you. Working with the grid you made now. Hopefully I'll get there shortly. $\endgroup$
    – LaniKate
    Mar 18, 2017 at 23:39

3 Answers 3


Started out as a partial answer, now complete and hopefully correct

The blueprints next to the body for the saw murder outside indicates that this student is Ranait as she was working on something else.
The business card at the swingset indicates Ellia was the one murdered here (she was the business mind of the team).
From what I can tell Rasmus is too short for his head to be visible above the seat in the theater room, he also has short hair which excludes him from the kitchen, the bedroom, and since the swingset and saw murders are both already taken, that leaves the dining room.

I tend to think that either Daila or Drake is the murder because the first letter of each of the student's name makes MURDER and an extra D. I'm sure this isn't a coincidence considering that May, Unclear Reasoning, During Evening, Raining, also spells out MURDER. (This has been revealed to not be relevant).

And as to who put up a fight and how they died:
Dining room murder was a struggle as there was food and plates strewn everywhere and I'm guessing punctured artery resulting in blood loss.
In the kitchen there appears to have been a struggle with chairs and water everywhere and the cause of death was drowning.
Bedroom wasn't a struggle because the bed looked freshly made, and I am yet to determine cause of death (surely you can breath through a pillow case).
Theater I assume there was no struggle but I have no reasoning to back it up and I am thinking his/her neck was snapped (limp neck).
The obvious cause of death for the person outside with the saw next to them and the cut across their neck is blood loss from having their throat cut and I can't determine whether there was a struggle there.
Whoever was killed at the swings definitely fought as they lost a shoe in the process and died from strangulation.

I have done some more work on this and have come with this (with shaky reasoning):
Dining Room - Rasmus - Struggle - Spoon blocking airway/Blood loss
Kitchen - Macario - Struggle - Drowned
Bedroom - Unika - No Struggle - Unsure
Theater - Daila - No Struggle - Snapped Neck
Out the back - Ranait - No Struggle - Throat cut with saw
Swingset - Ellia - Struggle - strangled with swing chains
Drake - Murderer - no idea why

My reasoning includes (following on from earlier logic), Macario is most likely to have been in the kitchen and is not specified as having short hair.
Daila is more arty than the others so maybe she was in the theater.
This leaves murderer and bedroom left for Drake and Unika and Drake has short hair, so he couldn't have been the one murdered in the bedroom, so must be the murderer.

With the grid supplied by n_palum and the clarification that I had Macario and Rasmus in the wrong places, I have this final and hopefully correct answer:
Macario – Black Hair – Struggled – Cook/Friend – Dining Room – Spoon stabbing
Ranait – Blonde hair – Didn’t fight – Left Project – Garage – Saw cut
Ellia – Pink Hair – Struggled – Business Lead – Backyard – Swing Strangling
Rasmus – Short hair – Didn’t fight – Team Leader – Theater – Neck Snap
Drake – Short Hair – Murderer – Code Writer – Porch – Murderer
Daila – Long Hair – Didn’t fight – Engineer – Bedroom – Pillow case suffocation (corrected by n_palum)
Unika – Long Hair – Struggled – Designer – Kitchen – Drowned in sink (corrected by n_palum)

  • $\begingroup$ I am having trouble with the spoiler block. So sorry! $\endgroup$
    – LaniKate
    Mar 8, 2017 at 1:53
  • $\begingroup$ it's okay, I know it can be tricky. Just edited to make it work, which is slightly weird given how my answer is the same. $\endgroup$
    – Xenocacia
    Mar 8, 2017 at 1:55
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for that. What was the problem? $\endgroup$
    – LaniKate
    Mar 8, 2017 at 1:59
  • $\begingroup$ I think the syntax <p> doesn't work in this site. Also, it seems each new paragraph must have a new >! syntax to encase it in spoiler block. I'm far from proficient at this too. :/ $\endgroup$
    – Xenocacia
    Mar 8, 2017 at 2:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ thanks so much. I enjoyed your puzzle heaps. I forgot about that bit. I think it got mixed up because of the two long hair ones and I saw a completed grid without taking that into account. Whoops. $\endgroup$
    – LaniKate
    Mar 19, 2017 at 6:52

Working answer-in-progress:

The notes provided by the department spell out MURDER (May, Unclear Reasoning, During Evening, Rainy), which suggests that the initials of the people involved are important.

Sure enough,

The seven parties Macario, Unika, Ranait, Drake, Ellia, Rasmus and Dalia have names which spell MURDER, barring either Drake or Dalia who seem like the odd ones out.

  • $\begingroup$ Everyone assuming the D named people.. Hmm.. Could just be slang - Murder'd (When people pronounce murdered the second e tends to be dropped).. But who knows $\endgroup$
    – n_plum
    Mar 8, 2017 at 2:39

Attempt with only the info from the parents

Macario is the murderer. He wanted the shoe prototype for his own profits.
No info on X hate Y etc. was given, so this amazing prototype is the only thing I can see as a motive. All 5 members of the project had very little to gain by killing the others. They could multiply their share of the profits by 5, but would be immediately become number one suspect, and they would not be able to finish the project on their own ensuring full payout.

One of them left the project voluntarily so is probably not interested in the profits from the shoe project.
Which leaves only Macario, which conveniently is the cook.
There is no way that Macario, who is probably the dumbest in the house could outsmart and kill so many people in such brutal ways in such a short amount of time in a confined space without anyone noticing, fighting back or running away. Unless they got poisoned and then plucked out one by one, making it look like random and brutal murders.

Bonus info from the house search

One victim with black hair died after putting a fight(Plates are scattered everywhere) in the dining room.(Not Ellia)

One victim died in the kitchen after putting up a fight(chairs strewn about). The hair must have been long to get stuck(not Drake or Rasmus). Was wearing a math shirt so must have been quite nerdy. So possibly Unika(Highest grade of them all)

The person found dead next to the unrelated blueprints must be Ranait since she was working on different projects and considering the pool of blood, she must have died right there in the garage.

  • $\begingroup$ Your guess based off the parent info would not be correct. Still lots of info left from the house search :) $\endgroup$
    – n_plum
    Mar 8, 2017 at 2:35

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