Love turned out to be the culprit in this year’s Langley Mystery Weekend event.
On Feb. 25 and 26, sleuths scurried around downtown Langley in search of a murderer during the annual tradition, which is now in its 38th year. They thoroughly examined clues and spoke at length with the costumed characters around the city.
This year’s mystery was called “The Herd Shot Round the World” and involved a fictional herd of miniature, genetically modified cattle that were about to be launched in a rocket. The course of the cattle-laden projectile, however, was disputed by delegates from two different areas – pirates from the United Islands of the Kithless Archipelago and the duke and duchess of Freedomskia.
Somewhere along the way, character Werner von Tanner – a promising young man overseeing the launch project – got done in during a scuffle at Langley Park.
Michael Hill, the main writer for this year’s mystery, played Riley Rhodes, a gadget sales rep who revealed the murderer’s identity after a solid two days of sleuthing in the Village by the Sea. He was assisted by writers Loretta Martin and Rachel McDougald.
His “ACME Criminal Detection Device” lighted on Professor Ariani Falcon, who had the murdered man’s DNA on her lips and clothing. She was dismissed, however, because the only thing she had done was fall near the victim and kissed him on a separate occasion.
The device next pointed out Ali Bauhba, who also had the victim’s DNA on her. She was discovered to be in possession of a stolen USB drive, which was confiscated. Another character, Rocky Roads, spoke up to say that Ali Bauhba was innocent and it was in fact him who rubbed “Wonky Weed” juice on the victim’s neck, face and mouth, causing an unexpected and deadly allergic reaction.
The announcement about the reveal of the murderer states that “It was not politics, nor meat lovers, nor vegans which caused Werner’s death. It was young love!”
Langley Chamber of Commerce Director Inge Morascini said Mystery Weekend was a huge success this year, with a total of 2,800 participants. One retailer proclaimed that it was as good as the day before Christmas. Morascini pointed out that the event adds approximately $1 million to the local economy at a time of year when it is much needed.
Rain or shine, the mystery goes on, and this year’s sleuths were not scared away by the shifting circumstances.
“We had every weather condition during the weekend, ending with a hail storm that dropped 3 inches Sunday afternoon,” Morascini said. “But, nothing would deter the slew of detectives who came to solve the mystery and, even though they were soggy, entries were coming in right up to the deadline at 4 p.m.”
She added, “We now know that Rocky committed the crime. And, the cows? Who knows. Perhaps still circulating in the atmosphere.”