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WARNING -- This page contains the solution to THE RAVEN: PENDULUM,

followed by the CONCLUSION to the mystery.


To solve THE RAVEN: PENDULUM mystery experience, you must first identify your goals by reviewing the Assignment Letter from the FBI. The letter states:


“The victim in the most recent killing by the Raven is none other than August O’Neal. Was O’Neal was framed for the previous killings? Did someone else kill O’Neal and assume the identity of the Raven? Your role in this investigation will be to examine the clues and evidence to answer these questions and uncover the true identity of the Raven."

The letter further states that you should "analyze the evidence and eliminate suspects based on your findings until only one suspect remains who must be the Raven."  Six suspects were identified by the Raven himself in his letter. Your goal is to use deductive reasoning to eliminate the suspects based on the evidence until only one suspect remains who must be the killer.


You should begin by building a TIMELINE from the documents and evidence provided to you. Add the important events to your timeline in chronological order. You will use your timeline to rule out suspects as you uncover facts that provide alibis for some of the suspects. For example, the FBI Homicide Report indicates that the body of August O'Neal was found at 11:55 pm on Nov. 25 by Father Dominic Lorenzi at the Basilica of St. Michael. The coroner placed the time of death between 9:00 and 9:30 pm on Nov. 25.  Place these date and times on your timeline and then add other information as you discover it.

The Raven has given you the names of six suspects, but no other information about them. You must create SUSPECT PROFILES as you investigate the case. A sample FBI Suspect Profile Form was provided as a template for you to use as you build profiles for each of the six suspects. The six suspects are: Henrik Grey, Robert Downing, Evan Alvarez, Robert Ansell, Iskender Faust and Gavin Diaz. As you discover information about each suspect during your investigation, add it to their Suspect Profile.


As you begin analyzing the evidence and eliminating suspects based on the facts you uncover, you should also solve the Raven's puzzles.  


The first is the LETTER GRID puzzle consisting of a grid of letters in different colors and fonts. It was left behind by the Raven beside the corpse of August O'Neal. There are three messages hidden within this puzzle. The key to solving the puzzle is to focus on the color of the letters. Ignore the color of anything except the letters themselves. Starting in the upper lefthand corner, spell out the first sentence using only those letters that are in red: "Quoth the Raven Nevermore."  Spell out the second sentence using only the letters that are black: “He is not the Raven!”  Spell out the third sentence using only the letters that are in green: "Catch me if you can."  

The second of the Raven's puzzles is the JIGSAW PUZZLE that the Raven gave to journalist Sandra Goodman. To solve this puzzle, you will also need the paragraph of text left behind behind by the Raven at the O'Neal crime scene. Assemble the puzzle pieces from the puzzle tin to reveal the image depicted. To read the message, you will need to fill in the blank spaces. The letters to insert into the blank spaces can found in that page of text left by the Raven at the O'Neal crime scene. The text is an excerpt from the Edgar Allan Poe story "The Pit and the Pendulum."  While most of the text is written in lowercase letters, some of the letters are in uppercase. Insert the uppercase letters (in order) into the blank spaces in the text on the jigsaw puzzle to reveal the hidden message: "The Raven's pendulum swings beneath the stony ground."  If you have never read "The Pit and the Pendulum," you may wish to take the time now to read it.  Doing so is not necessary to solve the mystery, but it will provide interesting backstory and insight into the mind of the Raven as you begin to understand his methods of murder.


HENRIK GREY can be eliminated as a suspect using two pieces of evidence. First, an article in the Forrest City Observer states that an artist known as Alonzo was at the Hutong Jade restaurant on Nov. 25 from 7:00 to 11:00 pm painting as a guest artist in full view of the restaurant's patrons. Second, a flyer from the Aventura Gallery identifies Alonzo as the pseudonym used by Henrik Grey.  Since the FBI Homicide Report establishes that August O'Neal was killed between 9:00 and 9:30 pm on Nov. 25 and then moved to the Basilica of St. Michael, Henrik Grey could not be the killer since he has an alibi: Grey (Alonzo) was painting at the Hutong Jade during that time period. We can therefore eliminate Henrik Grey as a suspect.

ROBERT DOWNING can be ruled out as a suspect based on the two pieces of evidence. First, an FBI Incident Report describes a body that was found on Nov. 26 in the woods to the north of Forrest City. The Report states that the deceased had been dead for at least 96 hours before he was found. No identification could be made due to the state of the corpse, but the FBI was able to obtain a fingerprint from the body.  Second, a fingerprint card provided to you shows the fingerprints of each of the six suspects.  By comparing the fingerprint of the corpse found in the woods to the fingerprints on the fingerprint card, you can identify the body as Robert Downing.  Since Downing died at least 96 hours prior to his discovery on Nov. 26, Downing was dead long before the murder of August O'Neal.  It is therefore very unlikely that he could be the killer.

EVAN ALVAREZ can be eliminated as a suspect based primarily on the FBI's Interview with Kim Jansen. In the interview, Jansen states that she was with her boyfriend (the owner of the Nautilus Bar) at the Grantham Hotel on the evening of Nov. 25. Although the boyfriend was acting suspiciously, he was with Evans until she left at about 10:45 pm.  To identify the boyfriend, we must visit the website for the Nautilus Barl and read the "About Us" page that contains a bio of the owner, Evan Alvarez. We find the address for the Nautilus Bar's website on the postcard flyer for the Nautilus provided as part of the evidence in the case.  Even though Alvarez's behavior seems suspicious, the interview with Kim Jansen gives him an alibi during the time of the murder.  Since he was at the Grantham Hotel when August O'Neal was killed and moved to the Basilica of St. Michael, it is very unlikely that Evan Alvarez could be the killer.

ISKENDER FAUST can be ruled out as a suspect because he has an alibi for the time of the murder of August O'Neal. In an article in the Forrest City Observer, we learn that Faust gave the keynote address at a recent Alumni Foundation Dinner for Drake University.  An invitation to that dinner provided as evidence in the case reveals that the dinner occurred on Nov. 25, and the key note address took place at 9:00 pm.  Since Iskender Faust has an alibi for the time of the O'Neal killing, it is unlikely that he is the murderer.

GAVIN DIAZ can be ruled out as a suspect because he was at the premiere of his new movie, Can You See Me? at the time of August O'Neal's murder. An article in the Forrest City Observer describes the movie premiere event and states that the director of the film was present at the premiere and took questions from fans after the film screening was over. The screening began at 7:00 pm.  We know from the movie poster on the back page of the Forrest City Observer that the length of the movie was 125 minutes. The poster also conforms that Gavin Daiz was the director.  Given that the movie ended at 9:05 and Diaz took questions from fans afterward, he has an alibi for the time period of August O'Neal's murder.  It is therefore very unlikely that Gavin Diaz could be the killer.

ROBERT ANSELL does not have an alibi. Although there is an article in the Forrest City Observer about the "Senior Engineer" for Minecor, and we can assume that Ansell is this engineer based on his employee ID card provided as part of the evidence in his case, the facts do not give Ansell an alibi for the time period that August O'Neal was killed.

Since you have ruled out the other five suspects based on the evidence, you must conclude that ROBERT ANSELL is the Raven.  The conclusion of the story follows below ...







FORREST CITY -- Acting on a tip from a consulting investigator, the FBI conducted a pre-dawn raid at the residence of Robert Ansell, a Forrest City resident and senior engineer at Minecor.  Ansell had been listed as one of six possible suspects who could be the true identity of the serial killer known as the Raven in a letter that was left by the Raven near the corpse of August O'Neal at the Basilica of St. Michael.

   When FBI agents discovered and entered a hidden basement room  that had been carved into the stony soil beneath the foundation of the house, they found Robert Ansell's corpse tied down to a bed. His abdomen had been flayed open by a series of long, deep wounds nearly identical to those that caused the death of August O'Neal. Lying on Ansell's chest was black feather. Nearby on the bed was a pendant necklace bearing the image of a raven.

      Above the bed, attached the ceiling by a series of bolts and screws, was a bizarre mechanical apparatus. A metal frame supported a long pendulum attachment that ended in a curved, metal blade. By flipping a switch attached to the device, the pendulum could be made to swing back and forth in long arcs above any person lying on the bed.

     A timer on the device was set to trigger another mechanism attached to the pendulum in five minute increments. Every fix minutes, gears on the device would ratchet the entire pendulum assembly down one more inch from the frame attached to the ceiling. As the pendulum continued to swing back and forth above a person on the bed, this ratcheting motion would bring the blade one more inch closer to the body of the person lying beneath it.

     One can only imagine the horror experienced by Robert Ansell and other persons executed by the device as the swinging pendulum ratcheted down ever closer over agonizing hours until they finally felt the bite of the blade. Many strokes of the pendulum would have been required to finally bring death as the victim bled out from the repeated cuts of the blade.

      Robert Ansell's murder by the pendulum device confounded FBI agents until they discovered a letter left beneath Ansell's pillow.  It read:



I imagine you must have felt a great sense of victory when you correctly determined that Robert Ansell was the only person on my list of suspects who did not have an alibi for the murder of August O'Neal. How smart you must have felt! Did you give each other salutations and engage in celebratory reverie when you reach the conclusion that poor Robert Ansell was the killer? I imagine that you did. Bravo!

It would now be proper for you to thank me. Why? Because I allowed you the illusion of victory for at least some small amount of time before I revealed the truth. Our pendulum perhaps did not have quite the style of Edgar Allan Poe's, but it did have its own simple beauty. 


As they say, history has always been a series of pendulum swings. Ansell's time as the Raven was done, and it was only fitting that the pendulum served as the means of his departure. Don't feel too badly. The Raven is as ethereal as a wisp of smoke. The Raven passes from one to the next like the swings of the pendulum. 


And so the game goes on. I suppose I could end this missive with the entreaty: "Catch me if you can." But perhaps it would be more appropriate instead to ask:


Can you see me?



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