GEORGE AND THE VIDEO:
Let's start with the strange actions of George, and how they could plausibly relate to the video.
While the video could have been made in a completely different place, at a completely different time, with a Natsuhi look-alike and a room outfitted to look exactly like the master bedroom in dim light, we don't need to go that far.
Someone could have made that video more simply by:
* Breaking some furniture in the VIP room.
* Swapping it with the furniture in the master bedroom
* Recording the video with Natsuhi faking her death
* Swapping the furniture back.
* On the night of the murder, swapping the broken furniture from the VIP room with the intact furniture in the bedroom.
This solution ensures that there is only one set of broken furniture, and none needs to be hidden from the police. Besides, no sounds of furniture breaking or a struggle were heard from upstairs on the night of the killings.
George had the opportunity to swap the furniture, and carried the key to the VIP room on his corpse. Let's hypothesize that he spent that mysterious hour moving furniture.
This squares nicely with the mysterious "Nanjo" who visited the island earlier. George could have been this Nanjo and staged the initial video then. We know that there were two hours to do it.
BUT WHY A DEATH VIDEO?
The video created an impression of the FACT that Natsuhi died, the TIME of death, and PLACE of death. But did George intend for it to be found so early? It was only found at that point because he died!
Let's suppose that video had been found later - after Natsuhi died... or had disappeared. It would have given a very strong impression of being a true account of her murder. And the location of the murder would have made Krause the prime suspect if he had lived.
And if she weren't dead, but no body could be found, because she or George had moved Kinzo's corpse out of its place and stuck her in a sarcophagus/coffin temporarily, with food and water, moving her as needed to avoid the search for her corpse, Krause would have been in deep trouble, and Natsuhi could run away with George.
(Another video could have been used to create the sound of a scream, though it would have been tricky to do that if other people were watching TV!)
GEORGE'S LACK OF AN UMBRELLA:
Something else that was strange about George's actions on the night of the murder: He was found outside, in the rain, with no umbrella. There were umbrellas right by the front entry. What happened here? Did he not intend to go outside in the rain, or was he forced out by another means?
The window of his room was left open, which is not something one does on a rainy night. And while his injuries appear too extensive for a simple fall, he might been beaten further after landing, hiding the source of his injuries.
Why did he go out the window? Suicide is possible, but it seems more likely that he was carrying out a plan and slipped in the rain. Was he trying to go from one window to another? But why?
He had a key to the VIP room. But to swap furniture, he'd ALSO need a copy of the master bedroom key or a master key if Krause locked the bedroom.
Either he lost that key, or it was stolen from his luggage. We have evidence that someone opened up the envelope in his luggage, too. Either way, he would have needed to open up the master bedroom from the inside... which might have meant trying to get to that window from the outside and either break in or hope that it was unlocked. A risky thing to do in the rain! It worked, and he was able to swap some furniture by a means I'll discuss later. But he also had to escape via the window, too, and that's when he fell.
PLANNING ON A SHORT STAY?
Another clue that seems important - unless the narration simply missed that George had already unpacked his clothes - is that he apparently came with no change of clothes. This makes sense if he already knew that the meeting would not last. Even then, it would be better to pack fully - unless he had no room? We'll see if that goes anywhere.
EVA WAS SUSPICIOUS:
Eva thought her husband was having an affair with someone at the mansion. We know that letters from the mansion are written on One-Winged Eagle stationery, so if she intercepted a letter from Natsuhi to George that did not mention either name, she might conclude that SOMEONE on Rokkenjima was having an affair with someone in her family.
Natsuhi x George is a pretty reasonable interpretation of what we've seen so far. And if we bear in mind Eva's suspicions, it might make sense that she went through people's luggage - or found a worrying video.
RETURNING THE KEY:
The VIP key appears to have been returned.
Suppose there's really only one VIP key. If the returner knew that Battler lost it, there's no clear reason to return it. Why not just leave it there for the police to find? Returning it only risks getting caught. Anyone who knew how Krauss's body was discovered, and saw that the door was not broken down, should have KNOWN that Battler, Sayo, or Genji dropped the key, and would have no reason to replace it.
Okay, what if they saw it on the floor and thought that GEORGE had lost it? But this doesn't work for any living suspects either. Besides, we have the detective's assurance that the timeline is incompatible with any of the living suspects returning it, and the police didn't find it.
We know the key Sayo and Battler carried was real and functional. So either we have two keys, or a presumed-dead person returning a key.
Genji confirmed all corpses as dead, but could conceivably have been fooled by a corpse-double. There are a few reasons to believe in a Natsuhi-double, such as the video, but how would the fake Natsuhi corpse have gotten on the island? Could it have been carried around in the rain? From the VIP room? How would its time of death be made to line up? Would the corpse ALSO need to have no uterus? Is George's suitcase THAT big?
It all seems unlikely, even ignoring the need for a Natsuhi twin.
Okay, what about an unknown person X hiding in the tomb or VIP room? What about no, let's not, seriously, let's not go there?
The simplest explanation for the returned key is a duplicate. It was never gone. Natsuhi simply sent the VIP room key to George, who duplicated it and returned it by mail. Since nobody used the VIP room for months, that wouldn't be hard.
This also gives the culprit a good reason to hide the existence of a duplicate key by picking it up and taking it home/hiding it. Battler's taking the key and then dropping it seems suspiciously convenient, but a Battler Culprit Theory doesn't line up well with George's death, I think.
NO SECRET PASSAGES?:
We are told the architect wanted to make some kind of system by which a demon could "drop down from above" on someone in bed. This would be an interesting trick to play on a guest in the VIP room, which is on floor 2, by someone in the master bedroom on floor 3. All it would require is a trapdoor in the floor of some kind, or even a rotating section of floor.
A rotating floor section that becomes a ceiling would be an excellent explanation of Krause's death. It's very, VERY, VERY hard to hold someone onto a wooden ceiling and neatly pin them there with knives. But a wooden floor?
(Also, note that the gameboard explicitly refers to the wooden floor of the master bedroom and the wooden ceiling of the VIP room.)
However, we are also told that there are no secret passages by two people.
Eva says that two architects looked over the house and confirmed no passages anywhere.
Rudolf says that the floor plans leave no place to fit a passage, and that the walls within rooms can't move.
But the problem here is that the floor plans may show the floors separately, not the spaces between them. A trapfloor/ceiling seems like it would take relatively little space to make. Rudolf's leap to a conclusion is understandable, and not a lie.
And what about Eva? If we accept a secret passage of this kind does exist, either the architects missed it, or someone did a really impressive feat of strength, or there was some kind of crazy knife trap, or she's lying.
Because she is the culprit.
WHY AND HOW:
Natsuhi had plotted with George to fake her death and run away. But Eva learned that Natsuhi was communicating with someone in her household - perhaps she intercepted a letter with a master bedroom key copy. She saw an opportunity to become the family head. She stole the master key that had been sent to George - perhaps that was the letter she intercepted.
(She may have gone through George's luggage and opened the envelope and watched the video, but it's not vital.)
But when George left to move the furniture to set up the faked murder, he was missing the bedroom key. He used the window to get in and used the secret passage to the room below (trick floor) to help swap the furniture. (How did he lift it? Sheet ropes, perhaps? Equipment from his luggage that he threw out the window ahead of him and was hidden by Eva?) He then tried to escape via the window again... but fell.
Either Eva or Natsuhi, on finding the body, disguised the cause of death by stomping a few times. OR the fall was bumpy enough, over rooftops, to bruise him badly. Either way, Eva finally put the pieces together and blamed Natsuhi for George's death.
Now, how does she kill Natsuhi and Krause, when Krause said he wouldn't separate from Natsuhi?
There's a specific case where they would separate. When Krause and Natsuhi reach the master bedroom, they open it and see the scene from the video. Krause immediately tells Natsuhi NOT to go inside, for obvious reasons. He then steps in to search for the killer, leaving Natsuhi to watch the door.
She goes up towards her room with Hideyoshi, who falls asleep, then comes up the stairs. She sees her chance. Quickly, she strangles Natsuhi to keep her from crying out, then catches Krause with a knife to the chest when he returns towards the door. She places Natsuhi's body in the room, closes and locks the window to hide what happened to George, then pins Krause's corpse down to the trick floor with daggers and switches its position to the ceiling of the room below. There are no gouts of blood - as we saw, there was only a slow drip as the daggers plugged the wounds - so she doesn't have to clean up. She locks the door and slips back into her room unnoticed.
The scream - recorded on a video or possibly even produced by Eva (it "echoed through the mansion", but not from any specific place) - then drew everyone to the scene of Natsuhi's death.
Finally, when she sees the last extra key dropped by Battler, she grabs it, thinking George lost it during his plan, and that this is why he was using the windows. By hiding this duplicate, she can hide George's role.
And there we go - a full theory.
Last edited at 17/03/06(Mon)17:58:43