The Mysterious Murder Of Obadiah Squelch Puzzle - Solution

The Puzzle:

The Mysterious Murder Of Obadiah Squelch
On 15th April 1892 Obadiah Squelch left his tomato processing factory for the last time: inside 200 cans labelled "Finest Tinned Tomatoes". Who had committed this dreadful crime?

The Police brought in the Twig And Leaf Division (Special Branch) to investigate the case. It was a brief case.

Within minutes they had reduced the suspect list to six. After a further two hours they had ruled out suicide, so that left just five. Now they need your help to solve the mystery.

The suspect list:

DIRTY HARRY - The meanest bandit in the West
PERSIL PETE - The cleanest bandit in the West
BRANFLAKE BILL - Always on the go
DOMESTOS DEN - Just kills everything
VLOK SVAGEN - Vorsprung Durch Technic as they say in German

The Police returned to the scene of the crime with three chickens and a cockerel. They were the Four Hens-ic Scientists. Closer examination at the factory revealed a pool of red liquid around the tomato juice extractor. But it was already in the papers. It had been leaked by the press.

The headlines next day relayed the story to the world:

BRANFLAKE BILL AND VLOK SVAGEN RUIN OBADIAH'S DAY
O SQUELCH GOES DIRTY HARRY IN TROUBLE
SUN SAYS DEN AND PETE ARE INNOCENT
WHO CANNED OBADIAH? PERSIL PETE GETS CLEAN SHEET IN TRIAL

In fact, all the papers got it wrong. So who killed Obadiah Squelch?




Our Solution:

The answer lies in the very last piece of information you are given: ALL the papers got it wrong. Let's take each one in turn and see what it tells us.

BRANFLAKE BILL AND VLOK SVAGEN RUIN OBADIAH'S DAY
This suggests that Bill and Vlok did it. The paper is wrong, so we can rule out those two.

O SQUELCH GOES DIRTY HARRY IN TROUBLE
Dirty Harry is therefore NOT in trouble, so it can't be him either.

SUN SAYS DEN AND PETE ARE INNOCENT
The opposite of this is that Den and Pete are two suspects.

WHO CANNED OBADIAH? PERSIL PETE GETS CLEAN SHEET IN TRIAL
The opposite of getting a clean sheet is being found guilty.

So it was Persil Pete!


Puzzle Author: Stephen Froggatt

See this puzzle without solution
Discuss this puzzle at the Math is Fun Forum