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Oct 9, 2007

The murder (Logic Brainteaser Puzzle)

This is the hardest question so far, please try to solve it!!

One evening there was a murder in the home of married couple, their son and daughter. One of these four people murdered one of the others. One of the members of the family witnessed the crime.

The other one helped the murderer.

These are the things we know for sure:

1. The witness and the one who helped the murderer were not of the same sex.

2. The oldest person and the witness were not of the same sex.

3. The youngest person and the victim were not of the same sex.

4. The one who helped the murderer was older than the victim.

5. The father was the oldest member of the family.

6. The murderer was not the youngest member of the family.

Who was the murderer?


Establish what we know about the youngest person first. This person cannot have been either the victim three, the helper four or the killer five. Then work out who was oldest, youngest, etc. After this draw up the various possibilities about who could have been what.


We know from (3) that the youngest person was not the victim, from (4) that the youngest person was not the helper and from (6) that the youngest person was not the killer. The youngest person can only have been the witness therefore. If we make up a chart there are now three possible combinations:

Oldest person (father) H H M

Next to oldest (mother) V M H

Next to youngest (son) M V V

Youngest (daughter) W W W

(H = Helper ; V = Victim ; M = Murderer ; W = Witness)

We can work out from (5) that the father was the oldest, from (2) that the youngest person must have been the daughter. Therefore the next to the youngest must have been the son and the next to the oldest, the mother.

Of three possibilities: the first is impossible (from (3) – the youngest person and the victim were of different sexes); the third is also impossible (from (1) – the witness and the helper were of different sexes). Therefore only the second possibility holds – and the mother was the murderess.


Anonymous said...

oldest person father is the murderer.

Andri said...

Nop, that is wrong..
The oldest person is the father, thats right.

Andri said...

It seems the some of the member in the Yahoo Groups have managed to answer this.

Anonymous said...

the mother is the killer, the father is the accomplice, the son was murdered and the daughter was the witness.

Anonymous said...

yay i got it right!!!

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Dad helped murderer
Son was murdered
Daughter was witness
Mother was murderer

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Anonymous said...

its really easy!.. you just have to fill in the blanks.. start out by finding out who's the oldest!.. if the father is the oldest... and daughter is the youngest (common sense that the daughter is the oldest, if you read the question)..then the mother is the 2nd oldest and the son is older then the daughter... thats the most important part.. then its easy, just read the numbers again... this is how i did it..

murderer(female) Mother
helper (male) father

victim (male) son
witness (female) daugh

oldest = Father (m)
older = mother (f)
old = son (m)
young = daugh (f) (not the murderer)

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