I’d heard this one before. A riddle that only psychopaths/sociopaths can answer. I actually thought the answer was obvious. Does that make me a psychopath? Maybe I’ve just trained myself to think like one. You know that TV show CASTLE on ABC? I never watched it; I’ve caught bits and pieces of it from time to time. It stars Nathan Fillion of SERENITY fame. The intro involves Fillion, as castle, doing a voiceover. “There are two kinds of people who lay awake at night trying to figure out how to kill somebody. Murderers and mystery writers.” I’m sure I’m paraphrasing, but you get the gist of it. I suspect I think like a psychopath because I try not infrequently to write like a psychopath. Fascinated as I am by serial killers and deviant psychology, such people are often the subjects of my work. Then again, the answer to the riddle may be obvious to anybody, and its value as a predictor of psychopathy significantly less than it is purported to be.
Oh, but you want to know the riddle, don’t you? Sure. Here it is.
While attending her mother’s funeral, a woman meets a man she finds charming, handsome, and in whom she quickly becomes romantically interested. She neglects, however, to get his name before he leaves, and none of the people she asks can tell her, or tell her how to get into touch with him. A short time later, this woman murders her sister. Why?