Our interactive Murder mystery event work in which you and your guests attend a party where you will all become involved in a murder. You will come to the party not as yourself but as a character in an unscripted play which evolves as the night goes on. One character is the murderer, one the victim, and all the other guests must root through the clues to find the guilty party.
You, your friends, family, and/or business associates can enjoy these games as part of any occasion. It makes dinner parties, birthday parties, Halloween parties, and corporate events into memorable occasions that you can always cherish. You don’t even need a special occasion to enjoy these games . . . they become events all by themselves!
During your Murder Made Merry party, the single most important event of the evening is the murder. This section will make it easier for the person playing the killer character to come up with a feasible way to murder the victim.
This information is for game use only and no real or potentially dangerous item should ever be used.
Basic Forensic Information.
There are several basic types of information that help a forensic pathologist determine some of the facts behind a murder. This information is derived from the general deduction of motives of the human psyche and is in no way one hundred percent accurate one hundred percent of the time. These guidelines are simply good rules of thumb that have helped detectives track down countless murderers.
Weapon Choice: Methods that require a killer to get close to the victim such as stabbing, or strangulation are extremely personal means of murder. They require direct contact with the victim and thereby indicate familiarity or a desire to become familiar with the victim. Poisoning, on the other hand, is indicative of a person who is more detached from the crime and perhaps more cunning. Meanwhile, guns are used by murderers wanting to commit the crime quickly and decisively but without the same level of personal connection as in strangulation or stabbing.
Defensive and Scrimmage Wounds: These two types of wounds prove the victim was fighting back. Defensive wounds are created when the victim tries to block an impending blow. Cuts on the hands and arms are normal in these situations. A victim may even have a bullet wound through the hand if he or she tried to block a bullet. Scrimmage wounds, on the other hand, suggest the victim was actively fighting back. Wounds of this sort may include lacerations on the hand from the victim
punching the assailant, the attacker’s skin and hair under the fingernails, or the attacker’s blood in the victim’s mouth from a bite.
Wound Location: Wounds to the victim’s back implies the victim may have been surprised by the attack while frontal wounds show the detective that the victim may have seen the attack coming. Of interest is when an attack is made to the victim’s front, but no defensive wounds are evident, indicating the victim knew and trusted the attacker. Many wounds on the face and head are evidence that the murderer had a personal vendetta against the victim.
Possible Weapon Types used in Murder Mysteries
Bludgeoning is a method of murder in which the murderer strikes the victim with a heavy, blunt object. Bludgeoning is meant to crush the victim’s skull, so a good deal of strength and a heavy object would be required to commit murder in this fashion.
The victim is rarely killed with a single blow. Though one hit may cause unconsciousness, death generally only occurs after multiple strikes. Murder committed in this way will cause blood to splatter with each impact. Consequently, the assailant will have to take special precautions to avoid bloodstains.
Though guns are by far the easiest method of murder, they are not recommended for most parties. This is because any gun will make a loud report when fired, thus drawing attention to the scene of the crime . . . something the murderer absolutely wants to avoid. Silencers can be used to muffle the noise, but these items are illegal and therefore very hard to obtain unless the character has some underworld connections.
The knife is a good weapon to use at a murder mystery party because it is both quick and silent. There are, however, drawbacks to using this weapon. First, multiple wounds are usually required for the attack to be lethal. Even if a major artery is pierced or slashed the first time, death is not immediate and the killer will find the victim is still standing, or perhaps even fighting, for a short time after the stabbing. The other major drawback to using a knife is that the victim’s blood will inevitably get on the murderer’s clothing.
Strangulation can take many forms, but all of them involve cutting off the victim’s air supply. A murderer can use many items to assist in the strangulation process including rope, garrotte, bare hands, or any other item capable of surrounding the throat and cutting off the airflow. Strangulation is not quick or easy because the victim will be struggling for his or her life.
A person murdered in this manner will have tell-tale bruises around the neck. If a murderer uses some sort of tool to strangle his victim (rope, electric cord, etc.), similar marks may also be found on the murderer’s hands.
Poison as the cause of Murder
Contrary to popular belief, most poisons do not kill quickly or quietly. A person who has been poisoned will know it long before they die, generally allowing them time to seek medical attention. To complicate the matter, almost every poison has a very bitter taste, so someone eating or drinking poison would know something didn’t taste right and might grow suspicious.
For the sake of gameplay, only the very powerful poisons that act quickly have been listed here. For example, while eating certain types of mushrooms could easily kill a character, most take more than 24 hours to be lethal. And who has that kind of time for a game?
Arrow Poison Frog: This deadly poison is excreted naturally as a defense system in several tropical frogs and is sometimes used by tribesmen to coat their arrow and darts. Some of these frogs have toxins that are so poisonous that a single frog can kill up to 100 humans, while the toxins for other frogs are weaker and require 50 frogs’ worth of toxin to kill one human. Once the toxin enters the bloodstream, it immediately begins to slow down the muscles of the heart and lungs. With enough doses, death can occur within 5-15 minutes. Such an exotic poison would probably not be used by anyone who didn’t have the resources or the premeditation to go to the Amazon and have the poison collected for them.
Arsenic: Arsenic can be inhaled or ingested and will take between 30 minutes and several hours to cause death. Arsenic first begins to work on the digestive system, causing stomach pains. As the poison spreads, it kills the red blood cells, making the skin appear yellow. Death occurs from respiratory or circulatory failure several hours after ingestion.
Barbados Nut: This pleasant tasting but can be found throughout the tropical parts of the Americas, from Brazil to Barbados to southern Florida. Because the nut is so flavourful, anybody eating it will want more, thus increasing the amount of poison in the bloodstream. This poison causes severe vomiting, sore throat, drowsiness, and respiratory distress. The first symptoms occur within 15 to 20 minutes of eating the nuts while death occurs within an hour.
Cassava: This tropical plant is a natural source of cyanide. While it may be difficult for a character to get hold of cyanide in its natural form, a cassava plant could be more easily obtained. “Cassava pie, anyone?”
Curare: This poison comes from a tropical plant and is sometimes used by tribesmen to poison darts and arrows. Though it is harmless if swallowed, injecting the sap will cause paralysis of the lungs followed by death. This reaction happens immediately, and death occurs within a minute.
Cyanide: Cyanide can be inhaled, eaten, or absorbed through the skin. Reaction to this white powder or gas is immediate, causing death within 1 to 15 minutes. The poison destroys the respiratory system and causes labored breathing, dizziness, and convulsions.
Digitoxin: Used in the medical field to regulate heart rate, an overdose of this drug will cause a massive increase in the heart rate, resulting in a heart attack. Reaction to this drug, which can be administered by inhalation, injection or ingestion, is immediate.
Hemlock: Socrates’ method of suicide, hemlock slowly causes paralysis in muscles, resulting in slow breathing and heartbeat, blindness, and inability to move. Death occurs from paralysis of the lungs. Unfortunately for gameplay, this process takes several hours to occur, but larger doses could reduce this time.
Monkshood: Like hemlock, monkshood causes paralysis of many areas of the body including the facial muscles and respiratory system. Early symptoms include numbness or prickling sensation in the skin, chest pain, convulsions, chills, and sweating. Death occurs within several minutes to several hours from respiratory failure.
Nicotine: One of the first pesticides ever used, a lethal dose of nicotine will cause burning in the mouth and throat, confusion, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, and paralysis. Death is from cardiac or respiratory arrest. “Smoke up, Johnny!”
Oleander: This poison stimulates the heart, enabling the poison to spread quickly throughout the body. It causes nausea, sweating, unconsciousness, respiratory failure, and death. From start to finish, the poison works in 10-20 minutes.
Pufferfish: This fish is specially prepared and considered a delicacy by the Japanese who enjoy the numbing of the mouth and other pleasurable effects offered by small doses of the poison. When cooked in this manner it is known as fugu. In larger doses or if the fish is not properly prepared, the poison will produce paralysis starting with the facial muscles and then moving onto other areas of the body. When the lungs are paralyzed, death soon follows.
Sleeping Pills: Sleeping pills slow down the respiratory system, thus cutting down the oxygen intake and causing grogginess. Reaction time is generally 10 to 20 minutes. Overdosing on these pills will result in a coma, respiratory collapse, and death.
Sodium Fluoroacetate: This poison is used as a pesticide and appears as a fine white powder. It is one of the few poisons without taste or smell, which is why it is listed here. It causes spasms, facial twitching, irregular breathing, and an irregular heartbeat which becomes progressively worse. Death occurs within 3-6 hours from respiratory failure or heart attack, which can be a problem in a short game. Larger doses of the poison will, however, speed up the reaction time.
Strychnine: Perhaps the easiest poison to acquire, strychnine is found in rat poison. Extremely effective if it is swallowed, inhaled, or injected, the poison will take 10 to 20 minutes to work. Strychnine affects the central nervous system, causing severe muscle spasms that will progressively become worse over time. The victim dies within an hour when the lungs fail.
Tuberin: This pharmaceutical is often used as a Neuromuscular Blocking Agent. It prevents the movement of muscles and is used as an anesthetic in the medical field. An overdose, however, will stop the heart muscle and cause cardiac arrest within minutes.