A Murder-Mystery for you to solve!

A threat to the life of one of our very own tutors in the Computer Science department has been received and needs to be dealt with. Since we dare not trust anyone outside with so valuable a life as one of our dear tutors, this threat is going to be dealt with by you, the reader of this story. Hence, this is a story of a pick-a-path variety, where the decision you make at each stage will either save or kill Tim.

A photo of Tim

The threat was initially received through anonymous e-mail messages that Tim found on Monday morning. Tim was 'spammed' with many messages, each one containing a single letter of the alphabet. When decoded, they formed a couple of expletive-filled sentences, containing phrases such as "make you suffer ... die a horrible death". You get the picture. The time and place that the messages had been sent from had been well hidden. It could only be narrowed down to the University system. The culprit had bounced off a series of servers on campus. Of course, Tim first assumed it was a practical joke. He only began to take it seriously when he returned to his office that afternoon to find a note nailed to his door with a black Swiss Army knife.

A dead rat lay at the doorstep. Written in red ink on the note were the precisely same words that had formed the initial threat. The note was written on the back of a leaf of paper from one of the 123 manuals. What really worried Tim was that the note stated that he had just 33 hours to live. That meant that he had till midnight Tuesday to discover and stop this maniac.

Tim comes to you knowing you are the best person to have on the trail of the maniac. Once Tim actually convinces you that he is not kidding and that time is running short, you get into action. After talking with him, you have a few ideas to work on. First is the Swiss Army knife you found on the door. Tim said that he suspected someone from the printers at ITS was enraged by the amounts of printing that he was ordering from them, especially all of the 123 manuals and modules. You could investigate this. Or, you could choose to trace the pen and paper used for the note. The final option is to find out where the rat could have come from. It is time for your first decision now.

Your options are to investigate the Printers, the Knife, or the Rat.