Stanstead Mur­ders Solved

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Made­line Mul­hol­land Stanstead

Stanstead’s lo­cal Ur­su­line Con­vent has been silent and still for so long, but Fri­day evening changed all that. The many se­niors presently liv­ing at the Manor were treated to a so­cial event like no other. The ball­room was packed with ap­prox­i­mately 150 guests who were treated to din­ner and an art auc­tion.

The evening started off qui­etly enough, but as Ross Murray, the evening’s Mas­ter of cer­e­monies, be­gan his in­tro­duc­tion, guests be­gan to re­al­ize that this may not be an or­di­nary din­ner event af­ter all. Mr. Ross kept mak­ing cryptic ref­er­ences to pos­si­ble mur­ders that may or may not take place dur­ing the course of the evening. Strange that an MC would feel the need to men­tion that sort of thing…..or was it?

The evening be­gan to heat up as the Colby sib­lings dis­cov­ered their il­le­git­i­mate sis­ter, hail­ing from Paris, was pos­si­bly go­ing to mus­cle in on a cut of their in­her­i­tance. Then a paint­ing from the Colby’s pri­vate col­lec­tion, which was to be auc­tioned that evening, was found to have been swapped with a worth­less paint­ing. The reporter from the Stanstead Jour­nal (not a real one, you un­der- stand) started ask­ing a lot of ques­tions and the Po­lice In­ves­ti­ga­tor pre­vented any­one from leav­ing the room.

It ap­pears Mr. Ross’ in­tu­ition served the vis­i­tors well, ex­cept for two, that is. The two mur­der vic­tims that night may have been well ad­vised to heed his dire warn­ings. It ap­pears that a help­ful fel­low by the name of Chad, friend to Mr. Colby, was the first

to fall. He was found in a back room with a gavel wound to the tem­ple. Poor sod! The guests, in a ghoulish frenzy, all left their meals to come have a look be­fore the coro­ner ar­rived to claim the corpse.

As the evening evolved, the Colby off­spring squab­bled while the vis­it­ing art critic be­laboured the point that the new pro­fes­sor at Stanstead Col­lege had nei­ther the for­mal art train­ing, nor teach­ing cre­den­tials, he should in or­der to hold such a po­si­tion. When his en­gage­ment ring to the young and spoiled Ms. Colby turned out to be a dud, eye­brows be­gan to be raised over whether the chap was who e claimed to be.

As the Stanstead Jour­nal­ist started to un­ravel the mur­der, get­ting closer to iden­ti­fy­ing the per­pe­tra­tor, he sud­denly fell dead in the mid­dle of the ball­room. Poi­son, it ap­pears. The Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tor, not quite so adapt at ques­tion­ing the guests, did ul­ti­mately de­duce who in fact had com­mit­ted the mur­ders and stolen the Colby art­work.

Ap­par­ently the young Mr. Colby had con­tracted his friend, the im­pov­er­ished younger brother of Dr. Bant­ing, to pro­duce a forgery of the paint­ing some time be­fore. Colby had sold the orig­i­nal for profit. Not want­ing his sib­lings to dis­cover the theft, he made the paint­ing dis­ap­pear be­fore the vis­it­ing critic could dis­cover the de­cep­tion. Sadly, his friend Chad, who knew of the theft, threat­ened to di­vulge Colby’s se­cret, so he was dis­posed of in a back­room with the auc­tion­eer’s gavel. The jour­nal­ist dis­cov­ered the crime. His most likely source of in­for­ma­tion came through ques­tion­ing the ine­bri­ated and self­pro­claimed forger, Mr. Bant­ing, who was close friends with Mr. Colby. When the reporter dis­cov­ered the mo­tive and per­pe­tra­tor, he was un­cer­emo- niously poi­soned by Mr. Colby, we later dis­cover. The night ended with the ar­rest of the mur­derer and ev­ery­one re­sumed their so­cial pleas­antries for the re­main­der of the evening.

The ac­tors in the skit were very dra­matic and funny. Nat­u­rally there were a few other dis­grun­tled and eclec­tic char­ac­ters thrown in the mix to make the mur­der more com­plex and dif­fi­cult to solve. The story was funny and cer­tainly in­tri­cate enough to have most guests scratch­ing their heads for a good part of the evening. Ac­tors vis­ited each ta­ble, com­plain­ing of one an­other and di­vulging clues as to the na­ture of other char­ac­ters. At the end of the evening each guest was given a list of ques­tions they were to an­swer to see who could guess the cul­prit. The mys­tery was solved and the mur­derer’s iden­tity di­vulged at the end of the meal.

On the whole, this dra­matic din­ner event was a great idea. Pa­trick Gau­thier, co­or­di­na­tor of the Stanstead Re­cre­ation and Cul­tural Cen­ter, should be com­mended for pulling the whole pro­duc­tion to­gether. Guests also helped make the evening feel authen­tic, as the ma­jor­ity of them were dressed in 1920’s at­tire. The evening was un­doubt­edly a suc­cess and there is no doubt next year’s tick­ets will sell out very quickly.

Photo Made­line Mul­hol­land

Manoir Mur­der actresses.

Photo Made­line Mul­hol­land

Manoir Mur­der ball­room din­ner.

Photo Made­line Mul­hol­land

Sec­ond mur­der vic­tim poi­soned, Stanstead Jour­nal reporter got too close to the truth.

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