Katarina's Kidnapping: A Brain Teaser with an RP Contest

PRIZES! Today I'm bringing you a brain teaser in a return to one of my oldest series. There is an RP prize involved if you manage to solve it or produce a logical and plausible answer :) So stick around and see if you can solve the case of:

 Katarina's Kidnapping

"I know we should have called the police," Cassiopeia Du Couteau admitted as she nursed a bump on the back of her head. "But the kidnapper said he'd kill my sister if we did. And it's not like we couldn't afford the ransom." 
Katarina Du Couteau, the elder daughter of Noxian General Du Couteau, had been missing since Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, a lone kidnapper telephoned the mansion and made his demands. The younger Du Couteau daughter, Cassiopeia, was to bring gold ingots in a bag. She was to take a specific route from the mansion, carrying the bag through several alleys to a drop site near the Demacian border. 

The normally cheap General Du Couteau was frantic and willingly agreed to the terms. A midnight pay-off. Ten thousand ingots. And no police. "I was halfway through the alley," Cassiopeia testified, "when I heard footsteps. Before I could turn around I was hit on the head. I fell down. I could see his back by the light of a street lamp. Never got to see his front. He was quickly running away with the bag. A tall guy wearing a dark cardigan. Sorry I can't be more specific." In the case's one lucky break, a police officer came across Cassiopeia shortly after the attack. He called in the crime and a patrol car responded immediately. An ever elegant Sheriff Caitlyn stepped out and got on the case.

She threw out a net over the area and two suspicious-looking characters were apprehended in the vicinity, both resembling Cassiopeia's description. "So, I was running," Graves said angrily. He had been found two blocks from the attack and started running as soon as he saw the patrol car. Graves had a string of priors, all misdemeanors. "I'm on parole," he admitted, "And I was carrying a knife -- for my own protection at night. That's a violation. Can you wonder why I ran away?" 

The second suspect was Twitch, a homeless drifter. "I wasn't even wearing this sweater," he protested as he unbuttoned his moth-eaten cardigan. "I picked it out of the garbage just before you guys pulled me in." "We didn't find money on either one of 'em," Caitlyn told General Du Couteau. "And we didn't find the gold bag either. But I got a pretty good idea what happened. Don't worry. We'll get your daughter back." 

Who kidnapped Katarina Du Couteau?

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  • #124 UConn_Avocado

    So to logic-ify this case, some assumptions must be made:

    The case is from Caitlyn's point of view, so we only know what she knows - and she has enough information to solve the case.  Things to keep in mind:  the kidnapper is not necessarily the same as the attacker, and Caitlyn "got a pretty good idea what happened" - she never says she knows who the kidnapper and/or attacker are.  A list of information Caitlyn is given:

    • From Cassiopeia

      Cassiopeia knocked out from behind
      Saw the back of attacker (slightly tall, wearing cardigan, fast)
    • From Twitch

      No money, homeless
      Wearing old cardigan (found it)
      Doesn't know who Cassiopeia is

    So from here there three paths to take.  The first is the most straightforward: assume everyone is telling the truth (which is what most users did).  From this, the obvious choice would be Yorick - the lantern seen by Cassiopeia revealing the attacker (and presumed kidnapper), the dirty cardigan, and the height all match up.

    However, and this might be completely beyond the realm of this contest (but hey, I have nothing better to do!), but one must consider that Graves, Twitch, or even Cassiopeia are lying.  We can look at what the implications of each mean.

    First off:  Graves.  If he is lying to Caitlyn, then he was not running from parole, but from a crime he had committed with a knife that was on him.  He certainly fits the description - a tall man wearing a cardigan (think Mafia Graves).  But why the knife?  I would imagine a blunt fist much more potent a weapon to knock out a simple caster than a knife.

    If Twitch were lying, then he did not find the cardigan, and he knows who Cassiopeia is.  Seeing as Cassiopeia is from a well known Noxian family, there is certainly something smelly about the situation (huehue).  However, Twitch's lore tells a tale of a tail who came from nothing, spawned by the overflowing magic of Zaun.  It is entirely possible that a rat knows nothing about the royalty of another nation.

    And lastly, we have Cassiopeia.  If she were lying, the whole tale would be flipped (turned up-side down).  Let us assume she is lying.  Could she theoretically have taken the money along the route to the drop site, knowing well that she would be attacked and have the money taken from her?  Could she have orchestrated the entire kidnapping for personal gain?  Let's say she was the culprit.  Perhaps she had the whole thing planned from the start.  She would bring a cardigan along the "planned" route, and plant it in a trash can.  When questioned for a suspect description, she would spill everything about a man wearing a cardigan who had gotten the better of her serpentine senses.  Knowing well that she was in an area of... particular sensibilities, would not the taking of the cardigan place the blame on another?

    But then... how was she knocked out?  From the data given to Caitlyn, there were two possibilities - Twitch and Graves.  Could Cassiopeia have hired Graves (a man who would not hesitate to do some dirty work for cash) to knock her out and make her look the innocent?  Plausible.  But could Twitch, a small mutant rat have knocked Cassiopeia out?  Probably not.  So perhaps Cassiopeia and Graves together (along with their mystery man who called home to Mr. Du Couteau) were in on it together.  Graves' motivation?  Money.  Cassiopeia?  Perhaps also the lure of money, but more likely to regain her father's trust once more, and to show a weakness in her beautiful sister Katarina who allowed herself to be kidnapped.

    Here's the clincher:  how can you tell if someone is wearing a cardigan if you see them from behind, running away?  The only difference between a cardigan and say, a woven v-neck is that there are buttons - on the front.  There is no way she could have known that it was indeed a cardigan if Cassiopeia "could see his back by the light of a street lamp. Never got to see his front."

    Sheriff Caitlyn, from the data she was given, determined that Cassiopeia could not have known the man was wearing a cardigan (and liars always give too much detail...), and knew Graves to be a ruffian outlaw type with no qualms about hitting a woman for money.  Together, they faked a robbery of Cassiopeia and planted the cardigan to throw off suspicion onto another.  Notice how Caitlyn spoke directly to the general?  

    She wasn't about to confront the kidnapper Cassiopeia before she had some MR, now was she?



    (oh jeez I spent way too much time on this, and I haven't written anything remotely close to fiction in a while so... >_<)
  • #125 nilof

    Actually, bulkier cardigans are often belted and cut long enough cover the upper half of your ass(like a suit jacket), while v-necks and sweaters in the vast majority of cases are not. If it's one of these chunky cardigans it should've been easy to recognize from behind.

  • #123 apfelmaul
    As its called a "dark" street, there cant be lanterns. So the thied has to have a lantern himself. Possibiltys here are jax and yorick as they both have a lantern, but at first jax carries his lantern in front of his body which makes it impossible for cassiopeia to see his back lighten up by the lantern. In addition jax does not wear a cardigan. Yorick has a lantern on his back, which perfectly matches with the fact that cassioopeia saw the back lighten by a lantern. Also yorick wears some kind of old rotten cardigan(as far as i know) so even cassiopeias description was right. Also it fits perfectly that he hs a shovel. Graves cannot have used the knife as cass would be hurt way more and there would be blood. So yorick slapped her with his shovel, he stole the bag and the lantern on his bag allowed cass to see his bag.
  • #122 user_312674

    Im going to go with Yoric here, as he is pretty much the only one who has everything needed. The lamp post in the alley, a blunt spade to knock cassiopeia over. The Knife i will admit is unclear, but as it does not say graves picked it up he could just be holding it

  • #121 hawxwatcher

    Clearly has to be Lux, she wouldn't take kindly to the rumors of Garen and Katarina be involved with each other, so she wants Kat to disappear.

    We know Lux used to infiltrate noxus for information, so she would know her way around very easily, that plus her ability to bend light and make herself invisible would make it easy to get Katarina in the first place, and would also explain why there was a light in a dark alley.

    Lux's lore states that 'she could make people see things that did not actually exist,' she knew graves would be in the area, so she dressed in a way that she could be confused for him using the old cardigan later found by twitch, and used her abilities to finish the illusion. 

    The request for gold was to throw people off, make them think a ransom is wanted, when she really just wants to get rid of Katarina to end the rumors about her and Garen.

  • #120 RelativelyNub

    Okay, so, let's observe a few key points, following the assumption that most things stated by champions are, in fact, true:

    1. Katarina has been missing since Tuesday. Wednesday morning (the next day) the ransom call occurs. Cassiopeia is told to come a specific route, bringing gold.

    From this, we can discern that the ransom was not requested until the kidnapper was most likely in a location he/she felt safe. Also, we can discern that the motive behind this crime was gold. Finally, we can assume that the kidnapper knows the streets of Noxus well, given that a specific set of alleyways is detailed.

    2. Cassiopeia was knocked out and injured, leaving her with a head bump. She recalls hearing footsteps, and that the attacker was quickly running and wearing a dark cardigan.

    Now, we can see that Cassiopeia was hurt - not too hard to do, as she is a relatively more fragile champion. The attacker presumably used a blunt object, to leave Cassiopeia with a head bump rather than a slice or more significant injury. The attack was also likely intended to solely stun, rather than to kill, as it is not hard to finish off an already crowd controlled Cassiopeia. Also the attacker had audible footsteps, and was wearing a dark cardigan, distinguishable characteristics of many league characters.

    3. Graves has a knife, and ran when he was found.

    Though on parole, why would Graves have a knife? He is a ranged AD carry, and should know better than to have a knife on parole. Perhaps he just carries one? Realistically, the logical deduction to make is that Graves found a knife, and that when he got flashed by Officer Caitlyn, he panicked after having picked it up, because he knew he shouldn't have it on parole.

    4. Twitch is wearing a moth-eaten cardigan he claims to have found in the trash.

    Please recall, the attacker was described as wearing a cardigan. Obviously an important connection, but to face facts, the attacker Cassiopeia also described as tall, and Twitch hasn't a penny to his name. Logically, we can assume that the cardigan was discarded.

    So, putting these facts together, and after a bit more logical reasoning, here's the culprit: Talon.

    So, I'll cite league wiki here a moment: "the clink of stolen gold and the security of a wall at his back are all the kinship he has ever craved. Kept alive only by his quick wits and deft thievery, Talon scraped out a living in the seedy underbelly of Noxus." Basically, Talon grew up in the sewers and back alleys of Noxus, and knows the area quite well, and would know the best alleys for ambush, and has an attraction to gold and money. This justifies the gold ransom, as well as the specific directions Cassiopeia was given.

    Skipping to point 3, we stated that Graves most likely found the knife. Also, recall that Caitlyn quickly sent out a net to look for suspicious activity after Cassiopeia was ambushed. As such, a logical explanation follows that after Talon ambushed Cassiopeia, he used his Shadow Assault to get away, leaving Caitlyn unable to track him, but unfortunately one of his knives fell, and he was unable to retrieve it.

    Looking at point 4 and 2, we can assume that Talon does not regularly wear moth-eaten cardigans, nor does he have a blunt weapon. However, recall that Cassiopeia said the attack was quick, and that she could see him by a street lamp. But why would there be a street lamp in the dark alley? And what relevance did the cardigan pertain? Well those are two separate questions with two separate answers, but Talon is key to all of them. 

    To be a clean criminal, you must leave no evidence. Thus, when you have a signature weapon, such as Talon, you must be creative about how you attack. Given that Cassiopeia recalled a street lamp's light in a dark alley where there shouldn't be one, it can be assumed that the attacker used the streetlight to hit Cassiopeia, leaving her with the wound from a blunt weapon. By stealing Jax's lamp post, Talon successfully diverted the attention of the blame by implanting the image of the lamp post in Cassiopeia's memory, while eluding blame, given that he uses a sharper tool. By doing so, Talon has also easily incriminated Jax.

    In a similar attempt to divert suspicion from himself, Talon found one of the most rank items in the league, Yorick's cardigan. Looking at Yorick's splash art, it can be discerned that he is wearing some kind of cloth that has rotted with him in his eternal quest to continue burying. A cardigan like that would draw any attention away from Talon, and would be easy to discard in a trash after the crime. 

    Also recall that Cassiopeia described the attack as quick. Certainly, a champion with a base movespeed of 325 such as Talon could be considered quick.

    Now, for the final piece: A motive. Why has Katarina been kidnapped out of all people?

    Talon is close to the Du Couteau family. With ease, he could kidnap Katarina. Why? Well, the answer is obvious, really. Talon's ego and pride after joining the league and receiving nerfs has left him upset - the upcoming Katarina rework was the final straw. Recall if you will, Katarina's thoughts upon Talon entering the league: "The three deadliest blademasters in all of Valoran are bound to the house of Du Couteau: my father, myself, and Talon. Challenge us, if you dare." Talon has since fallen out of favor since release, and Katarina was about to receive changes that would leave her deadlier than ever. By doing so, Katarina would easily surpass Talon as the number 1 assassin. Similarly, with a title like 'Grandmaster at Arms', Talon felt overshadowed by Jax, and wanted to incriminate him. Don't forget the fact that Talon is still interested in gold, but by ambushing Cassiopeia he managed to prevent Katarina from getting buffed, and kept the gold for himself. Finally, Talon just hates Yorick, because Yorick can just use his ultimate on any squishy that Talon chooses to target, and Talon just got sick of how OP a top lane pick he was, and wanted to get some kind of revenge on him.

    Gentlemen, arrest that man >:o

    (Also I had an alternate explanation where Talon is really just eloping with Katarina and they're stealing the money, but I like this one a little more).

  • #119 legendv

    The culprit was none other than Garen, The Might of Demacia.

    Katarina and Garen were always lovers between two warring nations similar to how Romeo and Juliet are. How can they possibly meet up? Simple, by running away by faking a kidnapping. They made it seem as though Katarina got kidnapped and created this whole scenario to get away. Garen created this ransom in order to get money for them to live their new life together as they ran away.

    Remember how Cassiopeia states "when I heard footsteps. Before I could turn around I was hit on the head. I fell down. I could see his back by the light of a street lamp. Never got to see his front. He was quickly running away with the bag" (Paragraph 3). Garen's decisive strike allows him to move 30% faster and silences the enemy. He could easily run up to Cassiopeia while hiding in the alley, similar to brushes because of the invisible like properties they give, and attack Cassiopeia instantly once she was close enough. Then, as he silences her, he runs away using his incredibly high movement speed. Let's also remember that she said a man, Garen is clearly a male.

    Another important piece is the fact that Cassiopeia also states " A tall guy wearing a dark cardigan. Sorry I can't be more specific" (Paragraph 3). Garen in his Rugged Garen skin has clothes similar to a dark cardigan. One can also assume that since he almost never takes off his armor, underneath he has a dark cardigan, indicated by his black clothing around his armor parts that aren't as fully clothed. Garen  is also a tall guy compared to other people in the models.

    Cassiopeia was to take a specific route from the mansion, carrying the bag through several alleys to a drop site near the Demacian border. Why the Demacian border? Simple, Garen couldn't be caught near the Noxus border or else he can be caught and be thrown into prison because he is Demacian. 

    Also, why Cassiopeia rather than the General himself? It's simple, Decisive Strike silences opponents, making mages almost useless compared to other bruisers.

    It's simple to see why Caitlyn knew what happened, the only possible suspect is Garen.

  • #118 Yuhek

    The police officer did it. If he organized the meeting, he could align the exchange with his patrol hours, making it seem coincidental. 

    He disguised himself with a cardigan to meet Cassiopeia for the ransom. He knocked Cassiopeia unconscious. As planned, he would have plenty of time to throw away the cardigan, hide the money, and go back to the crime scene to report it. The officer would try to find a scapegoat. He chased down Graves, a well known fugitive, knowing that a criminal like him would be easy to blame. However, it doesn't make much sense to attack using your hands when you have a knife, which leads me to believe that he is innocent. 


  • #117 thehateisstrong


    "I could see his back by the light of a street lamp."

  • #116 Barajou

    It doesn't make sense for Graves to have taken the gold because, even though he is a criminal, his crimes are just misdemeanors. I don't think he would have violated parole for this. Plus, if he was going to take Cass's gold, why not shoot her too?
    It can't be Twitch either, because Twitch is short, and his cardigan is barely a cardigan. 
    It's Jax. He has a lamp post for a weapon, which explains the lamplight. Jax has a shirt that could be mistaken for a cardigan. Jax is pretty tall too. I think Jax hit Cass with his lamp post, jumped out of range of the net, and ran away with the gold.

  • #115 DanGrenade

    The answer is Graves. He said he was carrying a knife around for protection at night, however the incident occurred in the morning.

  • #114 ElCidd

    There is one important detail being missed. There aren't street lights in dark alleys. She could see the back of the attacker, which was lit up by a street lamp. The attacker was one of two people: Jax, whose weapon of choice is a lamp post. He is also a skilled enough warrior to be able to sneak up silently on a dangerous prey. Jax's clothes are dark, which matches the description of the attacker. He also possesses skills that make him expert at dodging attacks such as Caitlyn's net. Jax was known to be a soldier for hire before his joining of the League, which leaves whether Jax was the mastermind or the pawn.

    The other option is Yorick, who has a lamp tied to his back. His shovel would also make a prime weapon. The fact that he is undead could contribute to the poor quality of the cardigan Twitch discovered.

  • #113 kokoro250

    Cassiopeia is the kidnapper.

    Here is my reasoning: 

    How could she know that the attacker was wearing a cardigan if she only saw his back? The attacker could be wearing almost any type of jacket because they all look similar from the back, especially in the dark. My guess is that Cassieopeia either kidnapped Katarina and made up the attacker in order to keep the money, or Katarina is a co-conspirator in the kidnapping and this is a ploy for them to get money from their "normally cheap" father. 

  • #112 Zero000x000

    Cassiopeia is the most suspicious.  Given the fact that she manage to see the kidnapper even though she was hit on the head from behind in the middle of an alley.  She was hit on the back of the head before she even had a chance to turn around see the attacker.  Unless she had the sack of gold ingots strapped on her back, she would have fallen forward.  Her vision would either be blocked completely (falling face into the ground) or obscured (head to the side).  In the first case it's impossible to see anything.  In the second case it would be impossible to identify the person as a "tall man wearing a dark cardigan."  Height differentials cannot be judged correctly from the ground.  And cardigans can't be identified from behind.  So Cassiopeia must have either made up this description or saw this supposed other individual at some other point.  Either way Cassiopeia is in obvious suspicion.

  • #111 Andonaeus

    Cassieopia is in on the kidnapping herself, with her father being the most likely co-conspirator. I will go into details why below:

    The ransom was for 10,000 gold ingots. Cass claims she carried them, alone, into an alley by the Demacian border. But one gold ingot is heavy; 10,000 of them would be impossible to carry. Since her father claims that was the ransom amount, he must be in on it as well. That or he is exceedingly gullible and Cass was able to dupe him out of a ridiculously large amount of gold.

    It is plausible that the kidnapper was Katarina herself, and that she was the one attempting to ransom all of the money from her father. She could have planted the cardigan, and, being quite tall, she could have been what Cass saw walking away.

  • #110 supportking

    Katarina is mia cuz she went to get a rework expect her to be back by tuesday. 

    logic at its finest

  • #107 SaneDane

    casseiopia she  hates her sister

  • #106 Lavinicus

    The kidnappers are Cassiopeia and the might of Demacia himself....Garen.

    Motive: Cassiopeia is out for revenge, her duty to her house is what eventually lead to her transformation from beautiful temptress to hideous monstrosity. Garen is out for justice, with one strike he has been delivered his greatest rival and dealt a massive financial blow to one of Noxus's most powerful houses.

    How: The kidnapper demanded a route that took Cassiopeia near the Demacian border, which leads to a Demacian co-conspirator being involved. Cassiopeia took the money to Garen who then sapped her to add credibility to their ruse. The story Cassiopeia told is obviously false do to not being able to identify a cardigan from the back. Garen planted a cardigan near the scene to tie the story together and escaped detection by hiding in a near-by bush.

    Twitch is not involved due to not fitting the "culprits" description, hes not a tall man, he is a short rat. Graves is most likely not involved because his behavior is to be expected given his priors. He is a cunning con-man, and would not lend himself to be caught so easily so close to the crime scene, more likely a case of wrong place/wrong time.

  • #108 fuzzythinker

    Er, then why did she even join the League in the first place?

  • #105 Haruho

    The solution to this brainteaser couldn't be any easier. When searching the vicinity for the culprit, the kidnapper was already miles away from the crime scene.

    The kidnapper, Twisted Fate the card master, is known to have tricked many people out of their money, never leaving as much as a trace behind.

    The cardigan Cassiopeia noted was just misdirection, as to be expected from a professional magician. Even though one cannot differ a cardigan from a regular sweater from behind, he tricked her into believing a cardigan was what she saw, all in order to cast suspicion on Cassiopeia.

    Unexpectedly, however, his accomplice was no other than lovely Katarina, the victim herself. Fed up with her father's avarice, she decided to increase her funds for the upcoming shopping tour at Noxus' most notorious leather goods store. 

    On a side note, the involvement of Twisted Fate also explains the presence of Graves in the vicinity of the crime. As we all know, Graves is on an eternal quest to take out his revenge on Twisted Fate for conning him in the past. After many years, he had finally tracked down the card master; the knife he was carrying was, in fact, not meant for self-protection, but to finally satisfy his bloodthirst and fulfill his nemesis' destiny.

    Destiny, however, didn't mean for this to happen. It was destiny itself that allowed Twisted Fate to forsee the upcoming  assassination and flee to a remote place.

    With that, two of the mysteries of this case are solved. The presence of a plague rat cannot be explained rationally, however rumour has it that Twitch, who has recently undergone excessive training and changed his job from an assassin lurking through dark forests towards heavy artillery, was trying to adopt a few useful tricks from flavour-of-the-month heavy-hitter Graves.

    Last edited by Haruho: 8/8/2012 6:11:38 AM
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