MURDER BY MASQUERADE
PART ONE: CRIME STORY
Randy Roberts was known for the wildly entertaining Halloween parties he hosted in his private ski cabin on Mt. Nelson. The seclusion there allowed his guests to party boisterously all night with no hassles from nearby neighbors. Each year his guests arrived in more outlandish costumes and a good time was had by all. This year was to be no exception. It was the evening of October 31st and Randy’s guests began arriving early. By 8:00 PM a MUMMY, WITCH, GORILLA, NINJA, and DRACULA were mingling and making merry throughout the ski cabin. At this time Randy excused himself and went to his upstairs bedroom to change into his costume. He was dressing as the LONE RANGER, complete with two real Colt 44’s. These were loaded with blanks to create a few surprises later at the party. Randy was in his room for nearly an hour before his guests began wondering why he had not returned downstairs. At about 9:00 PM they decided to find out.
They charged through his bedroom door, intending to sweep him back to the party. Alas, they made a grizzly discovery. Randy Roberts, disguised as the LONE RANGER, was dead on the floor. It appeared as though he had been fatally shot with one of his own six shooters.
Some murderous fiend or friend had obviously replaced one of the blanks in Randy’s gun with a real bullet and shot Randy in the back from close range. The killer had held a pillow over the gun’s muzzle to muffle the sound of the shot. The bullet had pierced Randy’s heart and he had died instantly. The police were called and arrived shortly after. They determined the following:
A killer would have had to enter the ski cabin through the main door. However, between 8:00 PM and 9:00 PM no one could have passed through this door without being noticed by some of the guests already inside the cabin. The only other possible entrance was a glass sliding door leading from the living room to an open sundeck overlooking the ski slopes on Mt. Nelson. A killer would have had to climb eighteen feet up to this deck and enter the cabin unnoticed. The police felt this was almost impossible. The window in Randy’s bedroom was too small to climb through. Hence, the only way to get to his bedroom was from the staircase leading up from the main floor.
There were no signs of a struggle in Randy’s bedroom. The police deduced Randy had let his killer into his room and was probably unaware of the killer’s intentions. The police found two drinks on the night table. One was rum and cola, Randy’s favorite. The other was a tall scotch with a long drinking straw in it.
The police concluded that the murderer had to be one or more of the five masqueraded guests at the party: the MUMMY, WITCH, GORILLA, NINJA, or DRACULA. Any one of them could have slipped unnoticed up the stairs during the hour Randy was in his room and killed him with his own gun.
But who had a motive? A statement was taken from each suspect. The first was the MUMMY. Her story will be told in PART TWO…