A MURDER MYSTERY

The police were investigating the murder of Jane Doe, recent mathematics instructor for the College. The suspects included three members of her recent mathematics class and the waiter. According to police investigators, three students invited her to dinner after the final examination. They were Terry, Paul and Charlie. Officials believed that the invitation stemmed from the students’ appreciation of the excellent work the deceased did in imparting the wisdom of logic and analytical reasoning.

During the meal, according to the police report, Prof. Doe suddenly struggled to her feet and cried out “I’ve been poisoned”, and fell dead. The police detained the students and under questioning made the following statements, one of which is false for each student:

Terry:

1. I didn’t do it.

2. I was sitting next to Charlie.

3. We had a young waiter.

Paul:

1. I was sitting across the table from Jane.

2. We had an elderly waiter.

3. The waiter didn’t do it.

Charlie:

1. Paul didn’t do it.

2. The waiter poisoned Jody.

3. Terry lied when she said the waiter was young.

The police were stumped, but the other students in the class, using logic and analytical concepts learned from Jane, figured out who the murderer was. The police wanted to see this “proof” in writing. Your submission will include identifying which statement made by each of the three students was false and who the murderer was.

# Annnd I’m back!

Hey everyone! Well, it’s been a long few months, but I’m just now coming out the other end. 2 classes end this Saturday, and the last one ends next Saturday. So, starting today, I’m going to try to get back on schedule and write a post once a week on some interesting topics. I run across PLENTY of really interesting things, so hopefully some of these will be useful to some people.

Meanwhile, one of my six classes this semester was formal logic. This was seriously one of the toughest classes, ever. The final was particularly interesting, so I’ll start off by posing this problem to you (names changed, just in case!):

Simply by using deduction – can you figure out which one statement from each person is a lie – and ultimately who the killer is? This was pretty tricky – and fun to work out. Have fun with it and good luck!

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