Investigative skills come in handy for students during CEN’s murder mystery event

Last week, a murder took place close by in Bristol. Not a real murder, however it was CEN’s Murder Mystery event, hosted on Feb. 22 from 6:15 to 9 p.m. at the university president’s house. Meredith Nailor, co-chair of CEN alongside Darien Collado, organized the event, which is hosted at a different location each time.

 Nailor says the last Murder Mystery was hosted five or six years ago. Checking in took place in the Rec Center, from where transportation was provided to the president’s house in groups of 10. The president’s house, which looks a lot like a millionaire’s mansion, seemed like the perfect place to host the event because of its scenery.

Food and drinks were provided both before and during the mystery, in which the victim, detective and suspects were all played by members of CEN. The characters in the story included: “Bob Utz” (The dean of the university — he had invited the students for a party) along with “Barb Utz” (his wife, who he insists he did “not marry her for the money” in a way that implies he did just that), “Xavier Dickens” (a nervous-looking professor), “Holly Shank” (a woman from the Human Resources department, whom Bob seems to be interested in more than his own wife), and “Don Mayer” (a guitarist performing music at the party).

After Bob introduced everyone, Barb’s perfume set off his allergies and gave him a headache, for which she gave him pills to take with his drink. Shortly after taking the pills, Bob starts acting like the pills are killing him. This, in fact, is a joke — until he actually dies. Almost immediately afterward, “Campus Detective Roger Williams” steps in, claiming to have examined Bob’s body. In his examination, he found traces of “Iocane Powder” in his liver: a colorless, odorless poison found in Australia that can take effect through contact, smell or ingestion. 

Detective Williams had narrowed his investigation down to four suspects: Xavier, who gave Bob lemonade, Barb, who gave him the pills, Don, who gave him water, and Holly, who gave him cake. He had not found matches for the poison in these items.

To help him, Detective Williams enlisted the help of the students attending, declaring them members of the “Williams Investigation Team” (WIT). The students were split into eleven teams with colored bandanas, who would interrogate the suspects as they came around. After interrogating all four suspects, the teams were to write down who they thought killed Bob, why they did it and what gave them away. 

Through the interrogations, each of the suspects divulged information that made them all very likely to be the killer: Holly said that she met Bob at a job interview, which is how she got her job in H.R., but that their relationship went no further. Barb said that she and Bob had been married three years and got along well, but that she seemed suspicious of Holly, repeatedly bringing up how “gorgeous” she thought Holly looked. Xavier had hoped that he would become the next dean, that he and Holly had dated for a while and that he liked to surf the internet a lot. Finally, Don said that he knew Bob since he was 14, and that he didn’t get along with him very well, but wouldn’t kill him. He also said he knew Barb for many years, and that he thought Xavier was sketchy.

After each of the teams had interrogated the four suspects, Detective Williams called everyone back into the main room. Upon further examination of Bob’s body, he found that the headache and allergy pills he had taken had actually combined to create the Iocane Powder. As such, he declared that Barb was the killer. She confessed, saying that she committed the deed because she was actually in love with Holly, presumably having taken note of her husband’s interest in Holly and wanting him out of the way.

Several of the teams had guessed this correctly, but the winner was the Maroon Team, who claimed that Barb had killed Bob because she was “tired of her husband’s money-hungry ways.” As the winners, the Maroon Team were given gift cards as prizes and the event ended shortly after. Where and when the next Murder Mystery will take place, no one knows for sure.