Hitman 3 Death in the Family: Who Killed Zachary Carlisle?

Hitman 3's best level is a hidden murder mystery that casts you in the role of a Poirot-like detective. So who really killed Zachary Carlisle?

Hitman 3
Photo: IO Interactive

Hitman 3’s Death in the Family mission can be completed in a number of amusing ways, but the undisputed highlight of this assignment is the ability to pose as a private investigator and attempt to solve the murder of Zachary Carlisle. 

You might suspect that a “Whodunnit?” case built into a Hitman game would be somewhat watered down, but the truth of the matter is that Death in the Family’s murder mystery is one of the better examples of this format in video game history (and my personal favorite since the best quest in The Elder Scrolls franchise). In fact, it’s quite easy to miss vital clues and walk away with the wrong impression of who the murder actually is.

So who really killed Zachary Carlisle? Before we answer that question, here’s a rundown of the things you’ll need to do in order to properly close this case. 

Get The Investigator’s Outfit

While we all wish we could solve elaborate murder mysteries in our casual clothes, you’ll need to subdue the actual private investigator that has been summoned to the Carlisle’s estate in order to begin your investigation. 

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Thankfully, he’s a pretty easy target. You can knock him out outside the manor by luring him to the bushes near the bridge, but you will need to surrender your gun before entering the house. Alternatively, you can sneak in through the window to the right of the manor’s entrance and knock out the investigator when he enters this hallway. Not only does this method allow you to keep your gun, but you’ll be able to hide the body in a nearby closet. 

In either case, acquiring the investigator’s outfit will allow you to speak to Mr. Fernsby and Alexa Carlisle and properly begin the investigation. 

Find All The Clues in Zachary’s Bedroom

Don’t let Zachary Carlisle’s lavish bedroom (or, you know, his dead body) distract you from the fact that this room is loaded with clues that you’ll need to discover in order to properly understand what happened. Here are all the clues you’ll need to find before you’re able to leave this room:

  • Use your camera to scan Zachary’s body.
  • Scan the whiskey glass and bottle next to the bed.
  • Examine Zachary’s suicide note next to the fireplace
  • Use Zachary’s laptop.
  • Pull the book near the mirror on the left side of the room to open the secret passageway. 
  • Find the mansion floor plan in the secret passage. It should be next to the mirror. 

Question All of the Suspects

What’s a murder mystery without a host of eccentric suspects who are generally guilty enough to raise reasonable doubt? 

If you want to spend a little time with all of the suspects in the murder of Zachary Carlisle, be sure to speak with the following people:

  • Patrick (in the library)
  • Rosie (in the staff room)
  • Edward (in the dining room)
  • Emma and Gregory (in the sitting room)
  • Rebecca (in the trophy room)

While speaking to these suspects will confirm some of their alibis (thus narrowing down the list of suspects), you’re can’t properly solve this case until you’ve found some additional clues.

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Find The Secret Clues

It’s very easy to miss all of the clues scattered throughout the mansion despite the fact that the mission does a pretty good job of pointing you in all the right directions. More importantly, it’s entirely possible to miss your chance to accuse the right suspect if you don’t find all of the clues. 

Here’s every piece of evidence you’ll need to find to get the job done right:

  • Scan Edward’s speech in the dining room.
  • Scan the portrait of Montgomery Carlisle in the sitting room.
  • Scan the footprints on the terrace by the steps of the sitting room.
  • Scan the Carlisles’ assets documents in the trophy room.
  • Examine Zachary’s half-burnt diary in Mr. Fernsby’s office. 
  • Examine Mr. Fernsby’s list on the desk in his office
  • Examine Mr. Fernsby’s pills in his office.
  • Grab the Master Key from Mr. Fernsby’s office.
  • Grab the letter from Emma’s mother in Emma and Gregory’s room.
  • Take the Greenhouse key chain in Emma and Gregory’s room.
  • Take the Bulldog Cane from Emma and Gregory’s room.
  • Scan the footprints in Emma and Gregory’s room.
  • Find “Montgomery’s Long Lost Letter” in the secret room. To access the secret room, go to the library, check the shelves behind the table with the radio on it, and use the Bulldog Cane to activate the mysterious switch.
  • Scan Rebecca’s notebook in Rebecca’s room.
  • Use Rebecca’s laptop in Rebecca’s room.

From here, you’ll need to work your way to the greenhouse. You’ll need a crowbar to work your way into the interior of the building, but you can thankfully find one near the greenhouse if you didn’t bring one with you. Once you’re inside, be sure to do the following: 

  • Examine the lap equipment in the greenhouse.
  • Scan the book on the bench next to the lab equipment in the greenhouse.

At this point, you’ll have all the evidence you need to identify the murder. However, if you want to name a suspect, then you’ll have to find Mr. Fernsby as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the murderer may make a move to kill Alexa. While that will help you complete the assignment, you won’t be able to properly finish the investigation. 

Make An Accusation

After Mr. Fernsby leads you to Alexa’s office, you’ll be able to accuse one of three suspects:

  • Emma
  • Mr. Fernsby
  • Zachary

For the record, accusing any of these suspects will allow you to complete the mission objectives and receive your rewards. While you’re able to present a compelling argument for any of the suspects, though, there is only one “right” answer…

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Who Really Murdered Zachary Carlisle?

You can accuse Mr. Fernsby of the murder on the basis of the pills you found in his office and the diary that reveals that Zachary planned to confess to the murder of Montogomery Carlisle that he, Alexa, and Mr. Fernsby were involved in. However, he did not kill Zachary Carlisle.

You can accuse Zachary of taking his own life (which proves to be a great way to eliminate Alexa who soon finds she can’t live with the grief), but despite the obvious evidence which suggests the contrary, Zachary did not commit suicide.

No, the real murderer is Emma. It seems that Emma is actually Alexa’s niece and only married Gregory Carlisle to take back the fortune that Emma and her mother felt they lost when Alexa killed her brother, Montgomery. Actually, it’s possible for Emma to kill Alexa during the course of this mission if you don’t catch her fast enough. 

Don’t Forget The Case File

Whoever you choose to accuse, be sure to grab the case file as your reward for your investigative efforts if you want to properly complete the mission. While it’s possible to break into the office safe and steal this file for yourself, this is by far the easiest way to acquire the file without breaking your cover. 

If you’re curious, though, you can open the safe by typing “1975” into the keypad. Just make sure you don’t get caught.

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