Sleuth Kings Case 004 Detailed Solutions/Hints

Note: Sleuth Kings is discontinuing this case as soon as the current supply runs out. If you are unable to purchase it from them, the only way to get it would be secondhand.

The following information is organized by clue item/puzzle. Any items not listed were simply props. Some people have complained online about Sullivan giving away too much when you ask him for a hint. I have tried to create multiple hints for how to solve each puzzle. I hope that this can provide a better experience for fellow Sleuth King subscribers.

At the end of each puzzle section will be the complete “solution”. If anyone found any additional information (or think my conclusions are wrong) from these clues, please comment and let me know!

I have ordered it in the way that I think is the most enjoyable order of going through each puzzle. Sullivan suggests going through the clues in order so I will start with Clue 1. At the very end I will summarize the entire story of the case as best as I can.

Important disclaimer: I will NOT be posting any pictures of the items that are in this case. If you want to experience this case, you must subscribe to Sleuth Kings.

Clue 1: Letter & Note

Clue Background

After Rich’s disappearance, Debra found this letter and note on her kitchen counter along with 4 playing cards (5, 6, 7, 8 of spades).

Hint 1

There is a hidden message in the note. Pay attention to each of the shapes. Do they look familiar?

Hint 2

Look at the small white paper that came with the note, particularly the question. This should give you a hint on what the symbols mean and how to read them.

Ultimate Hint (basically the solution)

Each symbol is a normal letter written over its reflection.

Solution

You can cover up the left half of each column if you’re having trouble with this. The text reads (from left to right):

HELLO DEBRA
I KNOW ABOUT EVERYTHING.
HOW DARE YOU TRY TO STEAL HIM.
JUST WAIT.
YOU AND RICH WILL PAY.
BEV

Clue 2: Letter in Rich’s Office

Clue Background

Following instructions given by Debra, Sullivan went to Rich’s secret office and found a threatening letter on top of the desk.

Hint 1

The letter doesn’t make much sense. Try to view it as not at face value to find a hidden message. Note: The crossed out words don’t matter.

Hint 2

Notice that there are several different types of font throughout the letter. Some words share the same style as others.

Ultimate Hint

Write down all the words of a particular font for each font style. They’ll need to be moved around to make sentences that makes sense.

Solution

Here are the words you get from each font style. There are several sizes of bold words. I will call them “medium bold words” (I see you), “small bold words” (the bookshelves), and “large bold words” (None of it matters now).

  Medium bold words:
    I, SEE, YOU, I, FOUND, NOTE, YOU, OFFICE, KNEW, WOULD, IN, MY, THE
  How we rearranged them:
   I SEE YOU FOUND MY NOTE IN THE OFFICE. I KNEW YOU WOULD.
  (Alternatively: I SEE YOU FOUND THE NOTE IN MY OFFICE. I KNEW YOU WOULD.)

  Larger capitalized words:
    ARE, SURPRISED, YOU, THIS, PLACE, I, KNEW, ABOUT
  How we rearranged them:
   ARE YOU SURPRISED I KNEW ABOUT THIS PLACE?

  Large italicized words:
    I, KNOW, EVERYTHING, ALL, TOO, WELL
  How we rearranged them:
   We didn’t. It reads fine.

  Small cursive words:
   ABOUT, PLAN, THE, CLOSET, CHECK, IF, YOU, WANT, TO, MORE, KNOW, MY
  How we rearranged them:
   CHECK THE CLOSET IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT MY PLAN.

  Underlined words:
   DONT, BE
  How we rearranged them:
    We didn’t. It reads fine.

  Small bold words:
   THE, BOOKSHELVES, THE, PAINTINGS, THE, DESK, THE, CHAIR, I, KNOW
  How we rearranged them:
   We had no idea how to. I’m not sure this one is supposed to make sense.

  Large bold words:
   NONE, OF, IT, MATTERS, NOW
  How we rearranged them:
   We didn’t. It makes sense as is.

  Written words:
   Bev

Putting this together gives something like the following:

I see you found my note in the office. I knew you would. Are you surprised I knew about this place? Don’t be. I know everything all too well. Check the closet if you want to know more about my plan. Bev.

Clue 3: Note in Rich’s Closet

Clue Background

After opening the closet (and having a surprise picture of him taken), Sullivan noticed this paper taped to the wall under the camera. It must say something but he doesn’t know what.

Hint 1

Notice that the note has a picture of a spade at the bottom. The cards should help you with this one.

Hint 2

Notice that on the note, all of the pairs of numbers begin with either a 5, 6, 7, or 8. All end with a number between 1 and 8.

Hint 3

On the 5 of spades there is an A in the top left corner and on the 8 of spades there is a Z in the bottom right corner. (Hopefully your cards were made properly to determine the orientation because my 8 of spades wasn’t. Your card should be right side up in a way that makes the back of it also right side up). Use this to fill in the rest of the alphabet.

Ultimate Hint

After filling out the missing letters on the cards from left to right, use the numbers to find the corresponding letter. For example, 81 would be the letter that corresponds to the first spade on the 8 of spades.

Solution

After matching the numbers with the letter on the corresponding spade, the message reads:

Smile Debra. You have one hour to stop the email by looking diagonally.

Clue 4: Clue to Rich’s Email

Clue Background

Sullivan can’t get into the computer that was in Rich’s office because it is password protected. He does, however, find a reminder note that Rich left himself about his password.

Hint 1

Recall that an hour after Sullivan had his picture taken, the police received an email of the photograph.

Hint 2

You’ll need to use the message from Clue 3.

Ultimate Hint

Start from the bottom right corner and read diagonally upwards.

Solution

Starting from P and working diagonally upwards, the reminder reads

Password is rabbit.

After Finding Rich’s Password (Email Puzzle)

After you email Sullivan the correct password to Rich’s email, he will respond telling you to give him some time to go through the computer. After a few minutes you should get another email from Sullivan. On the computer he found a strange email that he believes has a hidden message. He asks you to figure out what it is.

Hint 1

The message basically makes no sense. Take notice of how the message is formatted. Sentences are chopped strangely.

Hint 2

Take note of the capitalized words. The first sentence should give you a hint.

Ultimate Hint

The first sentence has the capitalized words “First” and “Last. It wants you to pay attention to the first and last words of each line.

Solution

If you read the first and last words of each line, (ignoring the first line) the message reads:

I’m ready to fake my death. Have my new identity finished in one week.

The Back of the Playing Cards

Clue” Background

Though the playing cards are not actually labeled as a clue, you may notice that there are strange symbols on the back of them.

Hint 1

If you haven’t solved Clue 1 yet, do that.

Hint 2

If you haven’t solved Clue 3 yet, do that.

Ultimate Hint

After reading the right half of each symbol, you should get numbers that look like those in Clue 3. Solve this puzzle the same way. The cards should be in numerical order from left to right. The message should read from left to right (across all cards).

Solution Part 1: Decoding the Symbols

Using the same method as Clue 1 of looking at the right half of each symbol you should get.

64 51 72 51 82 82 63 55 61 71 87 55 77 72 74 82 55 71 85 51 64 82 64 73 62 74 73 72 87 73 55 85 64 54 55 73 82 64 82 87

Solution Part 2: Decoding the Message

Using the same method as Clue 3 to convert these numbers to letters, the message says:

I am at the flyer motel waiting on my new identity.

The Full Story (MAJOR Spoilers)

Rich Daughtry worked as a magician (Rich the Magnificent) with his assistant and girlfriend Debra Hartfield. They dated for three years but after finding out that Rich had cheated on her and impregnated a woman named Beverly, Debra left.

Determined that the best revenge was her own success, Debra set out to create her own act, purchasing a feathery costume that she would use for it.

Some time later Rich went missing and after 3 days the police presumed him dead. On top of that, Debra’s costume went missing and in their investigation the police found a bloody feather from her outfit along with several threatening notes addressed to Rich from Debra.

A panicking Debra contacts Detective Sullivan to prove her innocence. Her costume was stolen and she did not send those notes! Further, someone has broken into her apartment and left cryptic notes and playing cards. Originally convinced that Debra was guilty, Sullivan eventually takes the case after interviewing her.

First, Sullivan decodes the note left in Debra’s apartment. It is a message from Beverly (Bev) threatening both Debra and Rich!

After decoding this note, Debra gives Sullivan the location to Rich’s secret office. Upon entering, Sullivan finds another strange note on the desk. This is decoded to be yet another note from Bev to Debra telling her to check the closet if she wants to know more about Bev’s evil plan.

Once he enters the closet however, Sullivan is splashed with fake blood and a picture of him is taken. Under the camera is a coded note that tells Debra that she must hack into Rich’s computer in an hour before that picture of hers gets emailed to the police!

In order to get into Rich’s computer, Sullivan decodes a note next to it that tells him the correct password. Inside, Sullivan discovers a strange coded email that Rich sent to someone telling them that he is about to fake his death and needs a new identity in one week!

Now knowing that Rich is still alive, Sullivan just has to find out where Rich is hiding. On the back of the playing cards that were left in Debra’s apartment is a message that reveals that Rich is waiting at the Flyer Motel. Sullivan travels there to confront Rich and upon successfully finding him, turns him over to the police. Debra is cleared!

So the questions we have now are: Why did Rich fake his death? Who framed Debra? Was it Rich or Beverly?

Turns out, Beverly wasn’t in on the plan. Rich faked his death and wanted Debra to go to jail for it. As a Plan B, Rich planted more documents around his office to frame Beverly in case Debra didn’t go down easily. A remaining question you might have is: why the heck did Rich leave Debra a coded message about his location?

The answer is simple: he got too greedy. He wanted Debra (or worst case scenario: Beverly) to go to jail for his murder BUT he wanted Debra to know that he had gotten the best of her. He left his location on those cards because he HOPED that after he fled with his shiny new identity that she would figure out that he was the one who did this to her.

Okay, sure, but why did he want to fake his death in the first place? Just to figuratively slap Debra in the face?

Well, no one knows for sure, but Debra is convinced that Rich has no idea how to be a father nor how to run a successful magician act with Debra as his competition. She thinks he wanted to run away because he was scared about what his future held.

Anyways, now that she’s been cleared of murder, Debra is ecstatic. Who wouldn’t want to see the amazing act of a woman who “escaped prison”?

And with that Debra leaves you with a mathematical magic trick:

Choose a number
Multiply your number by 2
Add 14 to the answer
Divide the total by 2
Subtract your original number

If you did this properly, your number should be 7 (which is the number on the back of a playing card included in the letter). Magic right!?

Well, no–not really. Sorry to ruin the magic (oops) but this is basically just a roundabout way of dividing 14 by 2. As a fake mathematician I will prove it. Here are the instructions again but this time next to them in red will be what is happening mathematically.

Choose a number   n
Multiply your number by 2   2n
Add 14 to the answer   2n+14
Divide the total by 2   (2n+14)/2 = 2(n+7)/2 = n+7
Subtract your original number   n+7-n = 7

And that’s the end of Case 004: Abraca-Debra! My actual review of this case will be posted sometime tomorrow (hopefully)!

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