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The Factual Murder

Logic puzzles require you to think. You will have to be logical in your reasoning.


Puzzle ID:#41561
Fun:*** (3.05)
Difficulty:*** (2.3)
Submitted By:pandastampedeAus*****!
Corrected By:2thGirl




There are five people. One of them shot and killed one of the other five. Which man is the murderer?

1. Dan ran in the NY City marathon yesterday with one of the innocent men.
2. Mike considered being a farmer before he moved to the city.
3. Jeff is a topnotch computer consultant and wants to install Ben's new computer next week.
4. The murderer had his leg amputated last month.
5. Ben met Jack for the first time six months ago.
6. Jack has been in seclusion since the crime.
7. Dan used to drink heavily.
8. Ben and Jeff built their last computers together.
9. The murderer is Jack's brother. They grew up together in Seattle.


Observe the clues closely.

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Apr 23, 2008

very good, i got about half of it.
Apr 24, 2008

Good teaser.
Aug 08, 2008

This was a fairly easy logic problem. It was fun, but easy. I must admit that I used a pen & paper to solve this one.
Aug 08, 2008

I really liked this one...most puzzles like this are too complicated and have my brain tied up in knots

This is great!!!!!
Aug 08, 2008

Gonna have to think about this one some more... I thought Jack's brother killed him, and was trying to eliminate who was NOT Jack's brother. I interpreted "Jack has been in seclusion since the murder" as potentially "he's dead; he's in a grave; therefore, he's in seclusion". And I'm not seeing how the murderer had to have grown up with Jack. Just because the murderer is Jack's brother doesn't mean they ALL grew up together. (I interpreted "they grew up together" as "Jack and his brother grew up together", since not all siblings grow up together). Will ponder it some more, if my son stops talking to me!!
Aug 08, 2008

I loved this teaser! I'm proud that I reached the answer. Oddly enough, that mysterious hint calmed me down a bit and made me look at what I had in front of me...which turned out to be enough information . Good one !
Aug 08, 2008

Great teaser!
Aug 09, 2008

Guess I'm not logical. I didn't get it right. Enjoyed it, though. Thanks for postin.
Aug 10, 2008


I did BADLY. I thought Mike was the murderer.
Aug 10, 2008

I liked it. The fact that the murderer had his leg amputated made the answer a "dead" give-away.
Aug 11, 2008

I'm a little confused - how is it determined that Dan is still alive?
Aug 20, 2008

I figured it out in two readings, this the kinda stuff I enjoy. Confusing,but decent.( I am a Columbo fan) You know Peter Faulk? I should have been a detective instead of an ex-convict.
Feb 02, 2009

As far as I can see, Elentir is correct. It is not determined that Dan is still alive and therefore there is no logical way to determine who the murderer is. Am I wrong?
Jun 07, 2009

You think that Dan would run in a marathon if he might've died? It would be hard to spot Dan while Jeff was trying to kill him. I think Dan is alive.
Jun 15, 2009

It doesn't say when the murder happened. Dan could have been killed anytime after the marathon.
Mar 29, 2011

amputees have been know nt orun marathons
Jun 06, 2011

I didn't like the amputee marathon deduction. Six months is more than enough time to acquire a prosthetic leg and learn how to run with it.
Aug 08, 2011

I figure that Ben met Jack for the first time and Ben & Jeff built their last computer together, then it had to be Jeff since he was not ever going to build computers again. He went to jail. Oh well! At least I was right who the murderer was
Aug 08, 2011

The fact that "Mike considered becoming a farmer before moving to the city" does not preclude him from having grown up with Jack in Seattle. Dan having run a marathon yesterday does not preclude him from having been shot, since we don't know when the murder took place.

Tighten those clues up and it's a very good quiz. Also, the instructions should ask "who is the murderer and who did he kill?", and say, "one of the other four", not "...other five".
Aug 08, 2011

I got it all wrong! But here's why:
Hint: Jack has been in seclusion since the crime.
My interpretation: Jack is dead.
Hint A: The murderer had his leg amputated last month.
Hint B: Mike considered being a farmer before he moved to the city.
My interpretation: Mike wanted to be a farmer, but ended up moving to the city to take on another profession because he had his leg amputated and didn't think he'd be up to doing all the farming work with only one leg.
I figured Mike killed Jack.
Aug 08, 2011

I have yet to see any good explanation for how it has been determined that Dan is still alive.
Aug 08, 2011

I used the Sherlock section of my brain, and the answer was pretty obvious. How did you do G?
Aug 08, 2011

I did eliminate everybody as murderer except for Jeff. (Seattle is a fair-sized city; so it seemed clear to me that Mike didn't grow up there and therefore is not Jack's brother).

But I agree with the others that you can't rule Dan out as the victim since all of the references to Dan are in the past tense. (Ben, Jeff and Mike are still alive.)
Aug 08, 2011

I got Jeff as the murderer. But the clues are too ambiguous. Once I realized that some of the clues aren't specific enough, I tried not reading too much into the clues.

Dan running yesterday, does not indicate that he is still alive. No clue is given as to the time of the shooting or the time of death.

My logic went more like this. Once I had eliminated Mike, Jack, and Ben from the list of suspects. That left me with Dan and Jeff. Since Jack and the murderer are brothers I assumed that Jack's parents named both of their boys with names that start with the letter J. It is unusual for this type of puzzle to use the same initial for the names of the people involved.
Aug 08, 2011

Fairly easy, but fun. The clues were sufficient to arrive at the correct conclusion.
Aug 08, 2011

The way I see it, it cannot be deduced if Mike or Dan are alive or dead. As such, either of them could be the victim. That possibility also leaves both Mike and Jeff as potential murderers. So, you have the possibility of Jeff killing Mike or Dan, or of Mike killing Dan. There is nothing to indicate further which way it can go.
Aug 08, 2011

Correction to my last post - You can reasonably deduce that Jeff is the murderer since Mike moved to the city later whereas Jack and the murderer grew up in Seattle. But the victim still cannot be deduced.
Aug 08, 2011

A few reasons why I could not figure this out

1) Marathons are full of people with hydrolic Prosthetic legs. An amputated leg does not prevent one from running

2) Sometimes people do not grow up with their brother. Meeting a brother for the first time 6 months ago is reasonable.

3) Wanting to install Ben's PC next week does not automatically gurantee the existence of Ben.

These among other things, I was unable to assume, and thus unable to Crack the Code.

I like the structure though.
Aug 08, 2011

Going with the simplest things, the clues fit together real nicely. I was easily able to determine who was who and it only took me a few minutes. Sometimes the key to logic is to not over-think things.
Aug 08, 2011

that was..... odd...
Aug 09, 2011

I arrived at the Jeff killed Mike conclusion, and didn't feel the clues were that difficult:

Jack is an instant rule out from the last clue. Easy.

If we assume yesterday was the last day of August and by "last month" being sometime in July . . . possibly the 1st, then the murderer only had 62 days at most in the calendar year to rehab from surgery, adjust to a new prosthetic leg, train, and run in a marathon. However, it's always held in the first Sunday of November, so the killer would have only 5 weeks to rehab train & run - not happening. Dan cannot be the killer.

Like the answer said, Ben met Jack for the first time six months ago, & the last clue says the murderer grew up with Jack. Ben may indeed be a long lost brother, but they only met for the FIRST time (not reunited) six months ago. He's not the killer.

Mike is not the killer, he moved to the city, he didn't grow up there.

Since the final rule out involves verb tense, we can also rule out Jack as the victim through the present tense of the killer IS Jack's brother (rather than saying Jack WAS the murderer's brother).

The final determination as to whether Dan & Mike are alive or not does depend on when the murder occured. If it occured 5 minutes ago, then Dan may have been the victim but reason would indicate at least a modicum of time has passed for Jeff to have been isolated, meaning the murder happened at some point before the marathon wrapped.

If the time of the murder would have been given, it would be all too simple. I liked the way this one played out.
Aug 10, 2011

Rockstar - Yes, it does all depend on when the murder occurred which is why you can't reasonably assume that Dan is still alive. He ran in the marathon 'yesterday', which leaves many hours - possibly even a full day after which he could have been murdered. Assuming the murder happened further back than that is no different or more reasonable than assuming Mike moved to the city yesterday and therefore is the one who lived. We don't have times for either event and making up times is illogical. Simply put, there are not enough facts to determine the victim.
Jun 09, 2012

Got it w/o the clue.
Aug 08, 2014

Another one I did back in 2011. Even though I thought I got the answer right, I am still confused.
Aug 08, 2014

I loved this! Logic problems are great!
Aug 08, 2014

I guess I am not very logical, I never can figure out these puzzlers.
Aug 08, 2014

Lol, seven years later, I still have an issue with this.
Aug 08, 2014

Five years... not seven. Math muscles not up and running full speed yet.
Aug 08, 2014

I got that Jeff was the murderer. But I had Dan as being murdered.

This one took several leaps of logic not necessarily facts.

This case would not hold up in a court of law.
Aug 08, 2014

I'm not the first to say it (and probably won't be the last) but I agree there is no way to tell if it was Dan or Mike who was murdered. This teaser needs some cleaning up. But I like the format
Dec 03, 2014

Why is everyone trying to figure out who was murdered? The question is who was the murderer, not the victim?
Apr 15, 2015

Badly written, there's nothing to indicate Dan is alive. In fact "used to drink heavily" is past tense. I got Mike as the killer with Dan as the victim due to the loopholes.

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