Umineko no Naku Koro Ni – 6th Move – Endless ways to die – Theorizing the murder weapon(s)

the prosecution demands proof

Today we talk about the murder weapon(s) in the Rokkenjima case – Several murders take place in Umineko. In each arc they present us with a different mystery and a new murder. This we all know, however, the way in which many of them are carried out are similar. Not necessarily where they are found and who has been killed but the murder methods are similar. So the topic of this chess move is to talk about the murder weapons in greater detail and even about those that aren’t mentioned. This is crucial in solving how the murders have been committed and shed a bit more light on how it’s humanly possible to commit them. Furthermore, what interests us here are the following: Who the original owner is? How exactly they are used? How they might give away who the culprit is? Pics from TV series, games, and some taken from RP blog.

Fire weapons

A Winchester (riffle) – The famous saw off custom riffle used by the shotgun moms in Umineko. They can be effective to take care of large group of people. Unlike a gun where the victim may take it away from the culprit if he doesn’t think fast, a bigger gun such a winchester can provide the culprit with a weapon for close combat. A simple hit with the back of the shotgun would be enough to knock off a person. Not that it’ll be smart to use it like that but there are situations in which they may come in handy. Me. I’m more concerned about the potency of such weapon. If powerful enough they could easily blow off half the head of a person, however, there are cases in which the use of fire weapons is hinted yet the faces aren’t destroyed. For example let’s look at 1st twilight of EP4, all of them had their faces half destroyed while in previous arcs even when they got shot in the head their faces would remain almost intact. Either a flaw in the mystery itself or the killer uses different (shells #s) or other additional methods to kill his victims. That I am not sure.

Just about anyone in this show can use them. The only exception would be Maria who is too small to handle one. Where could the culprit have gotten it? I can only think from Kinzo’s place. Riffles take forever to load I’d assume, however the TIPS mentions how this particular piece can be used for rapid fire like pistol. Hmmm The biggest advance of carrying a riffle would be scope which would make head shots easier (we do get many of those!)  A shotgun or a rifle would be too difficult or impossible to hide so the real culprit cannot be walking around the mansion with it.  In case the person isn’t the designated person carrying the only gun like in EP1 or EP2, carrying a gun would make oneself the culprit right away. Similar theories that applied to a shotgun would apply to the Winchester. Although a shotgun doesn’t have a bad range, a rifle is definitely ideal for open spaces where the culprit can snipe the victims from afar at his own leisure (SS) I wonder if the Siesta sister’s phrase that they never miss refers to the ammunition being limited as in they cannot afford to miss. Not that this sharpshooter has missed often. . how come no one has seen the culprit walking around with such large gun? and why only in EP3 the existence of more Winchesters are revealed?

Type: range
Found at: Kinzo’s study
Possible twilights : Supposedly 90% of them. Especially EP4.

A gun (?) – Powerful weapons such shotguns are shown to us to demonstrate how the victims were killed. From a more realistic point of view, it would be extremely more convenient for the culprit to carry a small gun on him at all times. Even better if it has a silencer or suppressor on. That would make things extremely easier for the culprit. After all there has been no real inspection of any of the family members indicating they don’t carry any hidden guns. A normal gun, a pistol, or any small gun of any kind would be easier to carry and to execute most of the killings. Also with the same ease it can be toss off, from let’s say the second floor of the mansion or hidden practically under anything. Even better, it can be given to another accomplice to do his part while the culprit plays innocent.

The  relatively small shots injures in the bodies would make us consider the possibility that the culprit would rather choose a gun/pistol over a shotgun or a riffle. I mean, it would make sense. Where could he have gotten one? The Ushiromiya are rich people, even the servants make enough money to purchase one illegally prior to this family conference. It’s more realistic to think that if this is indeed a well plan thought out by the true culprit he would bring a gun himself so he would not be in the need to rely on guns found in the mansion. I think this claim makes the most sense but there have been no big hints pointing to the existence of additional guns in the crime. It really has not been any indications of anyone bringing a pistol to Rokeknjima. Winchesters and shotguns are the only fire weapons mentioned in the mystery thus far.. Do they even exist?

Type: range
Found at: probably brought from the outside
Possible twilights : Most normal twilights in which there have been no body mutilation.


Sharp objects

Knives – If you recall I mentioned before how one of the servants could easily get a knife from the kitchen.  It just makes sense that that’s the only place a culprit could get his hands on one of them.  So what’s a knife? A knife is a simple cooking weapon that could be turn into a murder weapon in seconds.  Easy to carry. Easy to hide. Easy to wipe off.  It makes a great weapon for close combat. They’re typical used for murder irl too, though most of them probably were attacks of rage, not exactly planned crimes. In Umineko there are many ways in which the culprit could have gotten a chance to pull this off. Pretending to give a hug, comforting the other person or try to lend a hand in general. The second they are not looking the culprit could do them in. Practically, no one would see it coming. The downside of a using a knife would be being forced to finish off said victim with a single fatal blow, meaning slashing the other person’s neck or piercing the heart. The culprit cannot really finish off someone by slashing them randomly. It’s not like he wants them to die by blood loss. All the cuts have been surprisingly consistent too.. with little doubt..

The biggest downside of a knife is that although the weapon is quite versatile, the other person could dodge the attack and disarm the culprit. Not to mention it could easily break if the force used it’s too much. Using a knife seems like a desperate or unplanned move from the culprit. Maybe if it’s the only weapon around it would make sense to use them. I do think that a knife would be used for twilight in which general slashing is required (happy maria) Surprisingly, there have never been reports from Gohda or other servant claiming any missing knives from the kitchen. Does the culprit really not use knives or he just returns them before anyone notice?

Type: melee
Found at: Kitchen
Possible twilights : EP2 (2nd twilight), EP5 (1st twilight) in which it’s doubtful they were killed using fireweapon..

A scalpel – It may be just due to the existence of a physician in the story (though not a surgeon) that previously I mentioned how a scalpel could also be used as a murder weapon. Same attributes that apply to a knife would to a scalpel without a doubt. The biggest difference is that they are sharper and ridiculously easy to carry and to dispose of. I can’t think that a killer would use a weapon like this to fight though. However, it could greatly explain some of the fine cuts in some of the victims. Does that mean the killer has experience?

Demon Stakes – What is a demon stake? They’re old knives with magical inscriptions on them. They supposedly are property of Kinzo. Normally we would be led to believe that they are his property seeing he is so much into the occult. This is probably true. Question is how does the culprit get his hands on them if indeed they are locked in Kinzo’s study? Did he bring them himself to play this farce of a ceremony? I don’t think that Natsuhi or the others ever mentioned that these stakes belong to Kinzo (making Kinzo the biggest culprit since they are his property) therefore we could assume that they’re hidden away in his study. Why? Because that’s where Kinzo feels more comfortable and also he keeps all his occult stuff in there.  So how does this work?

If you’ve seen the design of the stakes you would realize that they are not practical at all. After all hurting the victim in places that are not fatal is neither practical nor logical. If we think this rationally the first blow should be the first that makes all difference, right?  Attacking in a straight line like you would use a spear doesn’t seem to work well with a demon stake unless you put great pressure with both hands like you would with a knife. If you remember the handle of a stake doesn’t seem to be easy to handle unlike a knife’s.  However murder with it is still possible as we’ve seen.

How would you properly use a stake? Well, it’s obvious that they cause injure via piercing. Unlike other devices you don’t slash others with it. Let’s follow this thought, the killer would raise his hand and strike from above with all your strength and fatally injure or kill the other person. Being in a higher ground would make everything easier for the killer as long as the other person is below or in the same ground than him. Having the victim laying on the ground or facing away would be a huge plus. Stab stab. Profit. In general I think that having a stake as a primary tool for murder does not sound practical if you ask me. Not to mention, that carrying one of them immediately makes you a culprit. After all no one knows where they culprit gets them from and none of the stakes are removed from the dead bodies. Yet the culprit carries them with him… or at least get to them before the survivors get to the bodies most of the time. Personally, I believe that they would only be used to follow the ceremony. Funny how I haven’t seen a single one of the break. They don’t look that strong.

Type: melee
Found at: Kinzo’s study (?)
Possible twilights : Most twilights that require them. Especially EP5 (2nd twilight) which it’s believed to be indeed the cause of death unlike past twilights.

OTHER

A rope –The culprit strangulated both Krauss and Natsuhi in EP3. Whether they were killed at the same time or not it’s not possible to be sure, although most likely that was the case. Marks found around their necks are proof that the killer preferred this method instead of using fire weapons for simple reasons. They’re quiet. A rope or a cable could be carried around without many noticing it and even if found the culprit could make up a story to explain it, that is, assuming no murder has taken place yet. Also it can be hidden under just about anything. Additionally, it doesn’t have to necessarily be a rope as long as it has enough strength not break. A nice alternative could be a belt.

As you may have suspected, a rope is ideal for not letting the other survivors know that a crime is being committed, which is a big plus for the real culprit. A rope or a similar device is hinted to have been used in EP3 when Krauss and Natsuhi are murdered by ‘Eva Beatrice.’ In that case, none of the people in the second floor presumably noticed that Krauss and Natsuhi were killed. As we all know, a good amount of strength would be required to make best use of this weapon, no doubt about that. Moreover, it is hard to believe a single person could strangulate more than one person. It’d be difficult (though not impossible) for a woman to do this unless she either has a sure fire way to make it work or have additional help to pull it off. Here we have to wonder how is it possible that neither Natsuhi nor Krauss noticed somebody was sneaking up on them, how quickly they were killed. Not to being dragged outside..

Type: melee
Found at: garden shed (?)
Possible twilights: EP3, EP4

Gardening tools – the first  grotesque murder in Umineko. Cutting scissors were probably  used for this twilight. Mind you, I do not believe that they were the cause of death. Evidence that other parts of the bodies didn’t have any sign or fatal injure beside from the face would indicate that it wasn’t the cause of death. If they were indeed the cause of death than all the victims would have to be strapped down to either a chair or a bed where the culprit could take his time to do his job.  The pain would be insufferable and the victims would bleed to death. This method is messier than using an axe but taking into consideration the culprit has a whole night to work he might’ve gotten a bit too much fun. This… is probably not the case. Doing this to six people is too much for single person. Not to mention dragging them all to the gardening shed after he kill them is also too much work. The victims from the 1st twilight were probably shot in the face or could even been killed in another way not visible to the eye. After they were dead the culprit had their faces rearranged. If you notice in EP1 and in EP5 one of the servants always brings a pair of them to cut open the chain of the guest room where those twilights take place.

In conclusion this weapon is only used after the victim is dead. Same as the axe none of the sacrifices present signs of mutilation therefore we can conclude that the scissors only are used when the victim has been already been murdered. The culprit doesn’t seem to be fan of this method.

Type: melee
Found at: garden shed
Possible twilights : EP1 (1st twilight) only

An axe – (fire hatchet)

Not necessarily the pic above. Actually, I don’t think the use of an axe to kill has been officially mentioned in the game. It has however been used and in multiple situations to break open doors. Unlike a fire weapons an axe or machete could be used for the culprit to slice open with a single swing at the victim. Using an axe could be quite messy. Not to mention that if the culprit fails to finish off the victim in the first strike he or she will attempt to fight back and possibly scream for help. If the culprit were to use an axe his chances would be increased if both the victim and he are in a small room or better yet it’s a surprise attack. The people that had fallen sleep, are tired or stressed out would be easy targets. To make the best use of such weapon the culprit would have to be strong enough to swing it with ease and be able to fend off anyone trying to take it away from him. Based all murders up to this point we can absolutely theorize that the possible use of axes or similar devices are only use to kill the victim in a single strike. Since no one has been missing limbs or any part of the victims have been cut off we can conclude the use of axes is limited to the head and the possibly the neck.

Type: melee
Found at : boiler room
Possible twilights : EP2 (2nd twilight) EP5 (1st twilight)

Random

Cake – you must fear it

Random – the culprit has also made use of the surrounding to kill people. This has not been shown many times. Actually the only time I remember seeing this as an ‘accident’ was in EP3 when Rosa was killed by Eva Beatrice. It was declared in red back then that this was murder not accident. This was one of those times in which force was used rather than using a weapon. Why? Is the killer fully capable of taking out even armed people? Wouldn’t that only be possible if the other person trusts the other person?

Type: ?
Found at: rose garden (the irony)
Possible twilight : EP3 (2nd twilight)

Poison – yeah, you saw it coming. I wouldn’t be surprised if poison was the cause of many of the deaths in this mystery. And no it doesn’t go against Knox’s because they only deal with unknown drugs. For example it’s almost a fact that Maria died due to poisoning in EP4 (game only) What we  don’t know it’s what type of poison and how they get it inside the victims. In the food, water, pills? How long does it take for it to take effect anyway? We cannot know any of that. If more people died before of poison or any other drugs than they would start vomiting  foam like Maria did in EP4, yet we see none of that. Is EP4 the only unique case?

Type: drug
Found at: ?
Possible twilights : supposedly only EP4 (10th twilight )

Burned to death – not a killing method seeing Kinzo is already dead but the culprit never attempts to throw anyone inside the burner (that would be a nasty death) but rather hide the corpses somewhere else. When and who exactly turns on the boiler in the boiler room? Does it have a timer when it should start or something similar?

the real bunnies of doom

In conclusion – assuming the culprit is only one person, he would have to carry any of these weapons to carry out the murders. The major issue is how does he manage to sneak in (or out) being noticed and strike the victims in each arc? Does no one notices him leaving or entering, and furthermore, carrying a dangerous weapon? It could easily be the case that the weapons are planted beforehand. At least on the 1st twilight it’s always very easy to know where they’ll be staying at but what after that? It is fair to assume that the culprit has hidden away the knives, axes, guns in certain parts of the mansion and he just goes back and pick up when he needs them? Does that make sense to you? Certainly, it’s quite possible. He’ll be relying on being in charge of the group or leading them exactly where he wants them to go, however, what would happen if he misses his chance? This is an scenario that culprit would like to avoid. I suspect that he always manages to mess the group and eliminate by separating them or sending them to their deaths.

The idea that the culprit always carries a weapon (no matter what kind) is reasonable enough; though I am sure he does want to avoid being caught carrying one at all cost. Still, I think the murder does carry a hidden weapon, like a small knife or a small gun like I theorized above in cases when he needs to get rid of one of the sacrifices or maybe a traitor in the group. This leads to a second argument. Does he have help? I’ve mentioned several times that I do think he has at least one accomplice in this whole mystery or at least things play out in a way that it’s beneficial to him. I believe that in theory that concept of sharing the murder weapon and pretending to be innocent would work, however ONLY in theory. Let’s think about this for a second. If you were culprit-san, would you give the most powerful weapon (in this case a Winchester) to your accomplice, leaving you open to attacks? I much doubt you or I would. That would require an awfully amount of trust (or control) among the culprit and the accomplice, thing I don’t think it’s that possible seeing siblings, cousins, children and friends are killing each other. It just make more sense he is in charge of the whole thing 100% of the time and when he’s not he’s sitting back pretending to be innocent he is patiently waiting for his chance to strike.

There are many things that could be theorized if one were to be  in the actual scene of the crime. Actually, I thought that in EP4 they would mentioned more about the crime because an actual investigation was conducted in the real world where the October 6 did come, however, the investigation didn’t get anywhere either because they were bribed (or forced) or merely due to incompetence.

To them and the reader still the real culprit is remains a golden phantom. However, rest assured that we’ll stumble upon similar murders in next episodes to come, which this entry should come in handy. Thoughts? Additional weapons or devices that I’m missing? I think I listed all of them but who knows exactly what this mystery isn’t telling us.

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8 thoughts on “Umineko no Naku Koro Ni – 6th Move – Endless ways to die – Theorizing the murder weapon(s)

  1. mm I do not know if this does matter too much but In umineko manga at Ep1 first twilight the murdered people have lost some of they tooth

    Also about the Winchester they do exist. I saw a full show about Yakuza versus Italian Mafia because of it. All for umineko. I remember that they have done some experiment shooting with it and it can broke head bones killing the person easily but destroy the half of a head just with one shoot was too much I think. Also the size of the fire-holes remind the ones from Stakes one they were quite similar in size .

  2. *SPOILER*

    In EP5, it’s mentioned by the Eiserne Jungfrau that the Stakes are actually paperweights from New York. …Those be some daaaaamn sharp paperweights.

  3. The existence of poison has been mentioned a lot, so it wouldn’t violate the Knox rules. It’s the reason why the group only eats canned things and avoids cooked meals. I think poison would be one of the causes of death in EP1’s 1st twilight, provided the cutting scissors are not the murder weapon. The poison must be fast enough to kill people (in less than 24 hours at most).

    The rope coming from the garden shed would mean that the killer has access to it and knows which is the key. If I recall correctly, apparently only the servants know which key is the shutter’s key. In EP4 it doesn’t have a lot of difficulty, but in EP3, the culprit can only either know which is the key or they broke the shutter using force. However this is troublesome if the culprit wants to keep the illusion of the witch.

    The fine cuts, like those in EP5, must be done by someone who knows what he’s doing. If he has some experience, he could be someone who has done something similar like a surgeon or a butcher. Nanjo is a doctor, but we can’t deny he might have some sort of surgical experience. Gohda is a chef and should be good at handling knives and so is everyone that is hinted at being a cook, like Kumasawa.

    Funny thing that the most useful weapon, the gun, which can be hidden easily, is never mentioned at all. People even mention poison, but no small guns.

  4. @moichispa
    I was a bit surprised that the Winchester in Umineko could have a rapid fire mode. I always thought all rifles were slow but this weapon totally contradicts that believe. The potency of the weapons, in this case the Winchester, has always bothered me through the series. I suppose that the culprit could switch to heavier more powerful ammunition (I’m not sure how that works) when he wants. But if he just uses the same weapon then like you mentioned based on that tv show, it’s not possible to actually destroy half a person’s face, like I theorized. All of these leading me back to my theory that an axe or another device could’ve been involved (EP4 i.e).

    @Skyedestiny
    In AMERICA. I wouldn’t put it past those paperweights.

    @Haya
    Good. As usual we’re on the same page. I think the culprit could only pull it off in the first twilights (no one usually eat Gohda’s food after that) but as mentioned we don’t know what poison it is and what other effects it may have. At least the effect would have to trigger after (or during) the family conference among the siblings. Let’s not forget that even if the chef prepared it, any of the servants could’ve messed with it and add an ‘extra’ ingredient when he wasn’t looking. Even if they would bring some food back (sometimes they do that) one of them (who does know it’s poisoned) would just refuse to touch the leftovers. Actually this isn’t a bad theory seeing that all of them have dinner at some point. The only things it has against it how unreliable the effect and timing of the poison are. Also how to make it look like the victims weren’t killed because of it. I think the culprit would like to keep this from the survivors to some degree, making it look like he can get them at any time, even in places he isn’t there -Illusion of the witch.

    Since the rope (at least used for killing) only appears in EP3 I can suspect that the culprit went to get the rope from the gardening shed after he killed Rudolf, Kyrie, and Hideyoshi, that is, after he picked up the shed key from the kitchen/servants place. It’s important to note that no one checked that place after that.

    If this was a regular IRL crime we could theorize if it’s the first time that culprit has done this sort of thing by examining the precision (or lack) of the cuts. Also by it we could assume if he was in a hurry, being professional , or just plain hesitant or even the mood he was in by mere examination. Which leads us to not being sure how much this mystery wants to remain ‘real’ with so many fantasy elements that exist and others being unconfirmed. The fact that the existence of a gun (a very obvious weapon) is never mentioned to have been used to commit the murder is hard to believe. Making it sound like this wasn’t planned at all, but the almost flawless way in which they are committed tells us the exact opposite. So which one is it? Well, that’s the hard part.

  5. One thing you’re overlooking: martial arts training. At the very very start of EP1, Eva shows off a high spinning back kick that she brags could knock a man out with one blow. Battler also lists almost half a dozen martial arts that she’s studied. It’s so early that it’s easy to forget, but it is certainly a Clue that Eva is the most physically dangerous person on the island. And although the scene is deep in the fantasy end, George’s claim in EP4 that Eva trained him may apply as well. His own skills must be suspected.

    • I think even Rudolf was scared a bit there. Also I remember that even in EP5 Natsuhi mentions that unlike Eva she couldn’t fight on par with a man when she is forced to hide in the closet. Overall the culprit would have a difficult time dealing with a martial artist such as Eva (and to some degree George like you mentioned) if the culprit were to be force the others to cooperate with him then Eva would take her chances to disarm/defeat him at some point. Strangely enough even her training doesn’t increase her chances for survival.. or maybe it did in EP3? Yes, it seems that out of everyone in Rokkenjima Eva, George and maybe also Krauss (boxing) are the most lethal Ushiromiya.

  6. If you don’t mind me mentioning, Rosa brought sedatives onto the island for Maria (mentioned in Ep 3 while they were in the guest house – she had taken out the bottle when Maria was getting upset but she discovered it was empty). Those could fit into the drug category you mentioned, whether just to put people to sleep or to have them overdose.

  7. Out of all the weapons you mentioned and all strategies that could’ve been used… how could you forget the most important and most likely of weapons involved?

    SMALL BOMBS!

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