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This morning at 10am, Professor Eyebright was found laying on the floor in his dining room in a pool of his own blood. Unfortunately, he had expired during the night.

The police have five suspects:

  • The wife Terry Eyebright, of course;
  • Their son Thomas Jr.;
  • Harry, Their neighbor who was the one who called the police;
  • Timothy, a graduate student who was his assistant; and
  • Mary, the maid.

The reasons for suspicion include the following:

  • The wife was heard arguing with her husband the day before about Timothy's position. She was not happy to have a live-in graduate assistant even though he was the best in the class and was so valuable to the Professor that he was about to get a promotion.
  • Thomas Jr. was in his room supposedly sleeping at the time of the murder.
  • Harry had a history of aggressive behavior, but had never gotten in trouble with the law.
  • Mary was very kind, although she had a proclivity toward taking various household trinkets; Terry had previously decided to let the matter go and keep her employed.

The only clues to who murdered the professor were as follows:

  • Nearby was a broken lamp which was clearly the murder weapon;
  • The professor's face was covered in blood and his eyes were also covered in blood;
  • The professor's eyeglasses were found smashed nearby;
  • And written in blood was a message that appeared to be the word "HI" with an arrow pointing to himself.

This cryptic message baffled the crime scene investigators, but they took a picture of it and posted it online, hoping that someone could solve this riddle to lead to the killer.

[professor eyebright murder scene]

Using only the clues and information given in the riddle (there are no tricks or unmentioned people), who killed Professor Eyebright, and why? And what does the message written in blood mean?


HINT 1

All clues under "The only clues to who..." are directly or indirectly relevant. All point to the answer of how to solve.

HINT 2

Without the included picture it would be way harder to solve.

HINT 3

Someone asked if it was Harry's initials. Harry's last name is Naborsen. However, I can tell you that this is a cold path. Try another avenue, although I can't say if the killer is Harry or not. It may be, it may not be.

HINT 4

When solved, the killer will be obvious. Look hard at the clues. It will take some creative thinking/work to solve.

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  • $\begingroup$ Will the following link be of any use? I only ask so that I don't spend a large amount of time examining every item on the list. $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Feb 10 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Brandon_J Sure, if you want to you can look at it, but I cannot confirm nor deny if it has any help, at least not at this early stage. :) $\endgroup$ – Riddler Feb 10 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ haha I was afraid you were going to say that. Eye'll see you in a half an hour or so, hopefully with a bright idea ;) $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Feb 10 at 20:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Brandon_J Haha Eye liked how you said "Eye'll" ;) $\endgroup$ – Riddler Feb 10 at 20:49
  • $\begingroup$ Is the realistic-ness of the crime scene image important? Those glasses look a little on the large side, and the lamp shards are in an odd location. $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Feb 10 at 21:44
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I think it was

Timothy

Because

The professor was trying to write the killers name down but couldn't see because of the blood in his eyes. The H is really a t and and i with the t cross too far to the right. The I and arrow are his attempts to write an M without seeing (he was trying for |\/| and some of it was shifted).

The motive

since a lamp was used, it probably was not premeditated. Perhaps the professor told him that he was going to have to let him go because of the argument with his wife and Timothy went off the deep end?


Edit by author: Here is a photoshop illustrating what the professor tried to write:

solution

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  • $\begingroup$ Shoot I gave too many clues! Great job!!! $\endgroup$ – Riddler Feb 10 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ So wait... why did the killer do the deed? @Riddler $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Feb 10 at 21:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Brandon_J edit: yes he got the correct answer for the motive also! You're smart, Steve! :) $\endgroup$ – Riddler Feb 10 at 21:56
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    $\begingroup$ Eye'll give you a +1 for your bright answer - very illuminating! $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Feb 10 at 22:01
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    $\begingroup$ If only you'd said he was working part time as the butler. That would have swung it for me. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Barber Feb 10 at 22:09
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I am building on Brandon_J answer

The killer is Harry

Why

would Harry call the police and not the other 4 who were supposedly in the house? That indicates Harry was in the house. (Unless of course it was a conspiracy with Harry and someone else involved).

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice thought, but this does not solve the puzzle; since it is not solved I can't yet confirm nor deny a Harry answer. HINT: Harry's last name is Naborsen. $\endgroup$ – Riddler Feb 10 at 21:28
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Some thoughts:

That is some nice Rustic Premium Laminate Flooring! Not sure if that's relevant, but ya know.

Immediate suspicion falls on

the maid, since the murder weapon was of the type of item she would like to take/would often be holding.

I just found something else implicating the above person:

Terry let the thefts go, but Mr Thomas Eyebright hadn't. Perhaps he saw a theft, took offense, and was killed with the intended stolen object.

Another POI:

Harry. Are "HI" his initials?(@Riddler says they aren't, so scratch that.) How did he know to call the police if he wasn't doing something he wasn't supposed to? The weapon - a lamp - indicates an unpremeditated murder, matching Harry's bouts of aggressive behavior (which I assume can "flash" on him).

Incorporating the extension from @DEEM

Harry called the police and (presumably) not the occupants of the house. This isn't necessarily a clue against him, but it could mean he was in the house (Professor Eyebright's) when he made the call.

Also,

Professor Eyebright was hit in the eyes with something bright. Not sure if this is important, but noted for now.

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    $\begingroup$ Haha you found the original picture ;P For the record, extending hardwood in photoshop is not easy! $\endgroup$ – Riddler Feb 10 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ HINT: Nice thought, but Harry's last name is Naborsen ;) $\endgroup$ – Riddler Feb 10 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ hmm..that looks like an an anagram, or maybe a homophone of Rot13(Arvtube'f va). @Riddler $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Feb 10 at 21:28
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    $\begingroup$ HINT 1: you are on a cold path with Rot13. HINT 2: Narborsen is not encoded. HINT 3: The killer will be obvious once solved. Look hard at the clues. It will take some creative thinking/work to solve. Upvote for effort though! $\endgroup$ – Riddler Feb 10 at 21:33

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