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Spicywisdom
Spicywisdom

Jan-25-2006 11:58

Hi there,
If one of my detective's skills is footprint analysis and I find, while searching the crime scene, the footprint of for instance a heavy person (so it says...) am I a hundred per cent sure that the culprit is heavy? In other words, is the footprint analysis skill completely reliable?
I had a case where I knew the murderer was heavy and right handed, only one of the suspects corresponded to that profile and when I accused him, it appeared I was wrong and that the real murderer was slim and right handed. I have the habit not to check alibis of suspects who do not match the profile I'm given through evidence. Wrong habit?

Replies

Sleuth Admin
Sleuth Admin
Tale Spinner

Jan-25-2006 12:56

If your skill says the footprint belongs to a heavy person than it is 100% sure that the print does belong to a heavy person.

However, that does not necessarily mean the print belongs to the killer. You can only be sure that somebody is the killer if there is evidence AND no valid alibi. You still need to combination of missing alibi with some piece of evidence.

Colonel Shanty
Colonel Shanty

Jan-25-2006 13:04

There you go, Spicywisdom. The Sleuth Admin knows it all. :)

Yes, I was implying that the Heavy print would belong 100% to a Heavy suspect, but 50% to a killer.

So, you still need alibi evidence to prove someone's guilt or innocence. Otherwise you'll end up accusing the wrong person.

Lady Ruby Caplan
Lady Ruby Caplan
Well-Connected

Jan-25-2006 20:14

50% to a killer??
I only got 57% in School Cert Maths but if you have five heavy suspects that have no alibi and the only unverified PE is a heavy footprint.. then isn't saying you have a 50% chance of it belonging to the killer a bit screwy??!!??


*is so completely confuzzled by Shanty's posts she has gotten a migraine*

Andy702
Andy702
Collector

Jan-25-2006 22:15

I would think the percentage would rely on the number of PE, not suspects.

For example, if you have two PE and one is a heavy footprint and one is a note written with the right hand, there'd be a 50% chance the killer is right handed, and 50% chance they're heavy.

So if 2 PE are found it would be 50% (unless both PE are the same (like two heavy footprints)), since there's no third PE, the chance if they were the same would be 100%...of course this only works if you know for sure you found all the PE.

I believe that's what was meant, or maybe it wasn't and I just thought wrong again (if that's the case, please correct me). I think I got it though, since I use that system to not have to ask alibis of those that fit none of the PE profiles and therefore save a couple questions.

But as has been pointed out, a none/false alibi is still needed since we could do math for a year to narrow a suspect list and still get a false if we accuse someone with a real alibi. :)

cfm
cfm
Nomad

Jan-25-2006 22:35

The easy answer....

Only one piece of evidence is going to belong to the guilty party. The rest will belong to people with real alibis.

reda
reda
Well-Connected

Jan-26-2006 04:35

Shanty - I think you are confusing things a bit. All evidence is reliable!
But every piece of evidence will belong to someone else. Only one of those would be the killer.
So in the example Spicywisdom gave above She said she was looking for a right handed and heavy person.
There is the problem.
Spicywisdom - You should look at all the suspects who are right handed and have fake/no alibi and also all the suspects who are heavy and have fake/no alibi.
So a slim man could still be the killer if he is right handed.
And a left handed heavy suspect could also have done it.
Does that help?

Freyja Tamlin
Freyja Tamlin

Jan-26-2006 12:13

Since this is a newbie thread, I'd like to point out that if you don't have both thread and hair analysis you can't be sure that you have all of the evidence! You may have a note written by a lefty, but your right handed suspects can't be eliminated because there may be threads and hairs that point to them... that you lack the skill to find.

Reda has described a wonderful strategy for using PE, one that I use all of the time. You can use it to quickly eliminate suspects while wasting minimal questions... but it's useless if there is missing evidence.

Spicywisdom
Spicywisdom

Jan-26-2006 14:25

Thanks everybody, your answers have been more than useful

reda
reda
Well-Connected

Jan-27-2006 06:28

Good point Freya! I forgot about that! Thread and Hair were my first skills :P

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