This murder mystery
(Book of Mormon)

Instructions for set up:

This activity should be set up in groups of eight. In each group you will have one youth to represent each character and an adult leader to read the clues. And we put an eighth chair at each table so that if a youth showed up late we put them at a table and let them read the clues and the adult leader stayed and helped. (They will need help).  Make up a set of character name tags for each table. As the kids come in give them name tags and seat them so you will have one "set " of suspects at each table.  Copy the clues for each table. Cut the clues apart and put them in corresponding envelopes. All clue #1 (one for each character) in one envelope labeled clue #1. All clue #2 (one for each character) in a second envelope labeled clue #2. And all of clue #3 in a third envelope labeled clue #3. In other words, if you think you will need five tables, you will need to copy and cut up five pages of clue #1, five of clue #2, and five of clue #3. Don't give out the clues until you are instructed to later in the activity. When the adult hands the clues to each character (at the appropriate time) they should not show them to each other.  The murder mystery is set around a three course dinner

Round 1- salad course    or maybe chips and salsa
Round 2- main course    or maybe taco bar
Round 3- dessert course

Pre assign someone to set the scene and reveal the murderer. They will need to so some preparation to be ready to do this, so assign them ahead of time so they can be prepared. We had our bishop do it.  Now you are ready to begin-  Have someone read this introduction:  You are about to become a murder suspect and so is everyone else involved in this activity. You can prove your innocence only by proving that someone else is guilty. The people at your table must work together to solve the mystery. As the evening progresses, each person will receive an outline of their character and pieces of information that will be known only to them. You must be sure to clearly and accurately reveal all the facts that you know about yourself and the other suspects in each round. You may not lie about the clues you are given. When someone reads a clue that places suspicion on you, then you need to read your clue which will change the subject and raise suspicion on a different character.

This activity is divided into three rounds.

Round 1- first meal course and clue #1
Round 2- second meal course and clue #2
Round 3- dessert and clue #3

Do not go on to the next round until you are told to do so. (All tables should stay on the same schedule of staring and finishing). At the conclusion of the three rounds, you should decide as a table who you believe is the murderer.

The solution will be revealed after the final round.

Remember, you are out to catch a murderer.  Be inquisitive! Be aggressive!

Be suspicious! 

Now, set the scene:

The scene is the home of Judge Jones, a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. On this Tuesday evening (or whatever evening you are meeting) Judge Jones was found murdered. He had multiple stab wounds and was found lying in a pool of blood. There are six suspects, all with a motive for the murder. They are: (Have the youth stand as their characters are called)  Mr. Enn-- He has always been a fine, upstanding member of the community  Judge Black--A very high ranking, but corrupt judge. He hates Mr. Enn and would like to see him behind bars, but he fears a public outcry.  Sean Jones, J.D.-- He is the brother of the murder victim, Chief Judge Justice Jones. He is also a powerful attorney.  Mr. Mult-- An average citizen who is a friend of Mr. Enn.  Mr. Fife- Works for Chief Justice Jones (the dead man) and Judge Black.  Maid-- Works for Chief Justice Jones (the dead man)  Give the adult leader at each table the envelope labeled clue #1

Tell them to pass them out to the appropriate character. Have them choose one character to go first reading their clue. Their clue will accuse another character. Then that character can read their clue to try to cast suspicion at a different character. Have them continue in this manner until each character has read their clue #1  Each table will play the game at the same time, but separately.  As soon as each table is finished you can serve your first course of food.  After all the tables are finished eating-------  Give the adult leaders at the tables the clue envelope #2. Have them read them just like the last clue. As they finish, serve course #2,  After all of the tables are finished eating-------  Give the adult leaders at each table clue envelope #3. Have them read them just like the last 2 clues. As they finish, serve dessert.  While they are eating their dessert have each table decide who they think is the murderer. Have them choose one person as a spokesman and have them stand and tell who they think did it and why.  Now, have the bishop (or whoever you choose) reveal the murderer.

Clue pages:

Clue #1 for Mr. Fife:
I know that Mr. Mult knows that there is a great deal of animosity between Mr. Enn and Judge Black. I know Mr. Mult is a great friend of Mr. Enn and would do anything to help him.  

Clue #1 for the Maid:
I know that the judge's brother, Sean, was always jealous of  Judge Jones position as Chief Justice. He always wanted the position for himself.

Clue #1 for Mr. Enn:
I have discovered that Judge Black is part of a secret group who are striving to put themselves in power. I know he has been covering up crimes for his friends.

Clue #1 for Sean Jones:
I know my brother was always very hard on his employees and that his maid was fed up with the poor treatment she was receiving. She feared Judge Jones and was tired of his abuse.

Clue #1 for Mr. Mult
I know there are a lot of bad feelings between Mr. Enn and Judge Black. Judge Black is angry that Mr. Enn is in the process of exposing him and his corrupt group of friends. I believe Judge Black would do anything to get revenge.

Clue #1 for Judge Black:
Mr. Fife has been a trusted employee of myself and Chief Justice Jones. Mr. Fife has access to the homes and offices of us both.
  --------------------------------------------------------------------------- --- ----------------------------------------
Clue #2 for Mr. Fife
I saw the maid running out of the house screaming "the judge has been murdered!", as I was approaching the house.

Clue #2 for the Maid
I found the body lying in a pool of blood.

Clue #2 for Sean Jones
Tuesday evening I issued a press release announcing that my brother, the Chief Justice, has been murdered.

Clue #2 for Mr. Mult
I found Mr. Fife lying unconscious next to the judge's dead body when I entered Judge Jone's home. I had him arrested and charged with murder.

Clue #2 for Mr. Enn
At the press release you saw blood splattered on Shawn Jones’ clothing.

Clue #2 for Judge Black
Tuesday afternoon I heard Mr. Enn say that the Chief Justice had been murdered. I sent Mr. Fife to see if it's true.  --------------------------------------------------------------------------- --- --------------------------------------

Clue #3 for Mr. Fife
I believe that the maid is the murderer. I saw her running out of the Chief Justice's house as I was approaching it. I know she hated her boss. I believe she ran out screaming that the judge had been murdered in order to throw suspicion from herself.

Clue #3 for the Maid
I heard Judge Jones confront Judge Black about his involvement in a group conspiring to oust him from his office. I know Judge Black is corrupt and wants to be more powerful than he is. I believe Judge Black killed Judge Jones so that he could have his seat and also to prevent Judge Jones from exposing and punishing Judge Black and his group. (Try to convince everyone that Judge Black is the murderer!)

Clue #3 for Mr. Enn
I knew how badly the judge's brother, Sean, envied his position as Chief Justice. I know he always wanted the position for himself. I believe he killed him so that he could have position and power for himself, thus fulfilling his life long dream. I believe the blood you saw on his clothing was his brother's blood. (Try to convince everyone that Sean Jones is the murderer!)

Clue #3 for Sean Jones
I heard Mr. Enn say that Judge Jones was dead before the press release has been issued. I believe the only way that he could have known that he was dead prior to its being made public in the press release was if he was involved the murder himself. I believe Mr. Enn hires Mr. Mult to kill Judge Jones and since Mr. Mult was the "hit man" I believe Mr. Mult should be charged with murder!

Clue #3 for Mr. Mult
I found Mr. Fife lying unconscious next to Judge Jones corpse. I believe this proves that he killed him. Why else would he be there? (Strive to convince everyone that Mr. Fife is the murderer.)

Clue #3 for Judge Black
I heard Mr. Enn say that Judge Jones was dead before the press release had been issued. I believe that the only way that he could have known that he was dead prior to the press release was if he was involved in the murder himself. The problem is, he was with me at the time of the murder, so I know he couldn't have actually stabbed him. I figure he hired someone else to commit the actual murder, but because it was all his idea I believe that Mr. Enn should be charged with the crime of murder!

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THIS PAGE IS TO BE SEEN ONLY BY THE PERSON ORGANIZING THE MYSTERY AND THE PERSON CHOSEN TO REVEAL THE MURDERER.

This murder mystery is taken from the Book of Mormon. But none of the participants will realize that. Study Helaman 8 and 9. At the conclusion of the murder mystery dinner, use your scriptures and relate the story in Helaman to solve this murder.  Mr. Enn is Nephi (Helaman 8 and 9)

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Judge Black is all the other judges (Helaman 9:13)
Sean Jones, JD, is the murderer, Seantum  (Helaman 9:26)
Mr. Mult is the multitude  (Helaman 9:19)
Mr. Fife is the 5 men who went and saw the dead man (Helaman 9:1-6)
The Maid is the servants who ran  (Helaman 9:6)

After each table has identified who they think the murderer is and why, the following drama is acted out :


Narrator:
This story is actually a true story that comes from one of the greatest books of all time.
Many of you have probably read it at least once.
Did anybody recognize the story? Let me tell you the story in a little different way.

There was a prophet a long time ago named Nephi. This Nephi was the son of Helaman and had at one time been a judge of the land. But because of the extreme iniquities of the people, Nephi gave up the judgment seat and spent all of his time preaching the word of God and trying to get his people to repent. Of course, most of the people would not listen to Nephi. The Gadianton robbers were becoming more numerous and eventually took over the Nephite government. The people were "ripening in iniquity" as we hear it said in the scriptures. But Nephi did not give up. He continued to try to teach his people and warn them about their wickedness and the wickedness of their leaders. There were many corrupt judges at this time who were part of the Gadianton robbers. Knowing that what Nephi was saying about them was true, and being fearful to do anything to Nephi themselves, they tried to incite the people to anger against Nephi. "And it came to pass that thus they did stir up the people to anger
against Nephi, and raised contentions among them; for there were some who did cry out; Let this man alone, for he is a good man, and those things which he saith will surely come to pass except we repent" (Helaman 8:7)
Those who were against Nephi were afraid to do anything to him because of those who supported Nephi, and so Nephi again began to preach to the people and to warn them.
 
(Nephi walks out and says)
Nephi: " behold, ye have rejected the truth, and rebelled against your Holy God; and even at this time, instead of laying up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where nothing doth corrupt, and where nothing can come which is unclean, ye are heaping up for yourselves wrath against the day of judgment. Yea, even at this time ye are ripening, because of your murders and your fornication and wickedness, for everlasting destruction; yea, and except ye repent it will come unto you soon. Yea, behold it is now even at your doors; yea, go ye in unto the Judgment seat, and search; and behold, your judge is murdered, and he lieth in his blood; and he hath been murdered by his brother, who seeketh to sit in the judgment seat. And behold, they both belong to your secret band, whose author is Gadianton and the evil one who seeketh to destroy the souls of men." (Helaman 8:25-28)
 
Narrator:
So it happened, that after Nephi had said these words, five Men who were there decided to go to the judgment seat to see if the words of Nephi were true. (Five men mingle together and say)

Man #1:
Now we will know of a surety whether this man be a prophet and God hath commanded him to prophesy such marvelous things unto us.
Man #2: We do not believe that he has, yea, we do not believe that he is a prophet.
Man #3: Nevertheless, if this thing which he has said concerning the Chief judge be true, that he be dead, then will we believe that the other words which he has spoken are true.

(Five men act part as Narrator tells story)
Narrator:
So the men ran with their might to the judgment seat, and Sure enough, they found that the chief judge had fallen to the earth and was lying in his blood. "And now behold, when they saw this they were astonished exceedingly (act astonished), insomuch that they fell to the earth (fall to the ground) for they had not believed the words which Nephi had spoken concerning the chief judge. But now, when they saw they believed, and fear came upon them lest all the judgments which Nephi had spoken should come upon the people; therefore they did quake, and had fallen to the earth." (Helaman 9:4-5) Now let's back up in the story a little bit. Immediately after the judge
Was murdered, and his servants discovered it they ran and told the people. Meanwhile, the five men came, saw, and fell to the ground. Now let's pick up the story again.
(Group of people gather on stage; act out according to narration) "And behold, the people did gather themselves together unto the place of the judgment seat - and behold, to their astonishment they saw those five men who had fallen to the earth." (Helaman 9:7) Now the people didn't know anything about the group across town who
had been with Nephi when he prophesied the murder of the chief judge. So think of it from their perspective. The servants run out and tell everyone the chief judge has been murdered. The people run to see, and find these five men lying on the ground. What would you assume? "They said among themselves: These men are they who have murdered the judge, and God has smitten them that they could not flee from us." (Helaman 9:8)
 
And so they grabbed the men, bound them, and cast them into prison. (grab men, tie rope around hands, and take them to "prison")
A proclamation was sent forth telling everyone that the chief judge had been slain, and the murderers had been caught and cast into prison.(Big crowd of people including wicked judges)

Narrator:
The next day, all the people came together to mourn and fast at the burial of the great chief judge. Among those gathered were the wicked judges who had been with Nephi the day before. They began to inquire among the people, saying:

Judge #1:
Where are the five men who were sent to inquire concerning the chief judge to see if he was dead?
Person #1: We don't know anything about those five of whom you speak.
Person #2: But there are five who are the murderers, and we have cast them into prison.
 
(Act out according to script)
Narrator:
The judges asked the people to bring the five men to them. And they were brought and behold they were the five who were sent; and behold the judges inquired of them to know concerning the matter, and they told them all that they had done, saying:
Man #1:
We ran and came to the place of the judgment-seat, and when we saw all things even as Nephi had testified, we were astonished insomuch that we fell to the earth; and when we were recovered from our astonishment, behold they cast us into prison.
Man #2:
Now, as for the murder of this man, we don't know who did it. We only know that we ran to see as you desired us to and found that he was dead, just as Nephi said he would be.
Narrator:
The judges, still trying to find some way to get rid of Nephi, cried out against him.
Judge #1:
Nephi must have agreed with someone to kill the chief judge so he could supposedly prophesy it and try to convert us to his faith!
Judge #2:
: Let's make him confess and tell us who the true murderer is!

Narrator:
The five men were let go, but they did rebuke the judges in their words against Nephi for they believed him. Nevertheless, the judges caused that Nephi should be taken and bound and brought before the multitude, and they began to question him in divers ways that they might cross him. But Nephi said to them, Nephi: "O ye fools, ye uncircumcised of heart, ye blind, and ye stifnecked people, do ye know how long the Lord your God will suffer you that ye shall go on in this your way of sin?""(Helaman 9:21) Behold, I say unto you: Go to the house of Seantum, who is the brother of your chief judge, and ask him if I have conspired with him to kill his brother. Behold, he will tell you No! Ask him if he murdered his brother. He will stand with fear, and will deny it and shall declare his innocence. But if you examine him, you will find blood upon the skirts of his cloak. When you ask him about this, he will tremble and look pale, and then you will know of his guilt. And then will he confess that he indeed is the murderer. And he will tell you that I, Nephi, know nothing of this matter save it was given unto me by the power of God.  And then shall ye know that I am an honest man, and that I am sent unto you from God.
Narrator:
And it came to pass that they went and did, even according as Nephi had said unto them. "And behold, the words which he had said were true; for according to the words he did deny; and also according to the words he did confess. And there were some of the Nephites who believed on the words of Nephi; and there were some also, who believed because of the testimony of the five" (Helaman 9:37, 39). Now how do the characters of our game relate to the story you've just heard?


Mr. Enn is Nephi (Helaman 8 and 9)
Judge Black represents all the other judges (Helaman 9:13)
Mr. Mult is the multitude (Helaman 9:19)
Mr. Fife represents the 5 men who went and saw the dead man (Helaman 9:1-6)
The Maid represents the servants who ran (Helaman 9:6)
Sean Jones, is the murderer, Seantum (Helaman (9:26)
How many of you guessed correctly?


We are told to "liken the scriptures to ourselves" or to try to apply the lessons learned to our own lives.

One of the questions we might ask ourselves relative to this true story is "Do we listen to our prophet better than the people listened to Nephi? Are we heeding the
things that he tells us to make sure that our lives are in order to be able to return to our Heavenly Father? What does our prophet tell us? Refer to September '99 General Women's Broadcast -

Sis. Sherry Dew, challenge & call to arms and then bear testimony of the importance of listening to and following our prophet.