Here it is at last: the conclusion to the 1920s Murder Mystery Game! Sorry if anyone doesn’t like the ending, it’s my first one 🙂
Hélas! It was John Torrio who ruthlessly murdered Robert Kingsley.
When Robert went downstairs to sign for the food catering he caught Torrio carrying away some of the food boxes. A gentleman at heart, Robert didn’t call out to Torrio, feeling that it was none of his business and returned to the party.
When Elizabeth sent him down again to actually go get the food, Robert sulked for a bit, all the servants and even the doorman was on vacation. Out of curiosity, he watched Torrio. Instead of picking up a box, Torrio left the group into his garage. Robert followed Torrio into his office garage where he suspected man was going to work on the car that Elizabeth had totaled, perhaps a high-end party like this one was too much for poor old Torrio.
There was no one in the garage. Robert found this odd and stepped inside to take a look. Walking around to the other side of the car, he saw instead of Torrio, the boxes containing not food, but bricks of dehydrated grapes. The instructions attached to the outside of the box read:
“WARNING do not dissolve the brick in a gallon of water, add sugar, shake daily and decant after three weeks. Unless the buyer eschews these processes, 13%, wine will be produced.”
This was very strange, not to mention illegal. As a war veteran for the United States, Robert took it as his duty to confront Torrio to make him see the light about the evil nature of alcohol and the well-meaning, although inconveniently placed prohibition act.
What Robert didn’t know at the time when he made that poor life decision was that John Torrio was in fact THE John Torrio of the Chicago outfit! One of the top gangsters and very dangerous.
“Torrio!” Robert shouted, “Come out here and explain yourself!” A dark outline emerges from the doorway, apparently Torrio had known he was being followed.
“Torrio, this is illegal and you know it!” Torrio grimaced at this, perhaps a false attempt at a smile and advances.
“It’s a shame you couldn’t have left things alone, I was going to bring some of it to your dinner party.” Torrio took an empty wine bottle and pressed it up against Robert’s back. Thinking it to be a gun, Robert stiffened and walked forward when Torrio pushed.
They walked into the now empty lobby area where Robert turned around. As he did, Torrio raised the wine bottle and bludgeoned Robert’s head, again and again until the bottle shattered and Robert fell lifeless to the floor.
In a slight panic, Torrio rushes up the elevator carrying the last of the boxes to the penthouse where all the guests were gathered. No one suspected a thing. The only aspect Torrio didn’t account for was the large snowstorm. Of course he will be put on trial, but several months from his imprisonment, a mysterious power outage will occur and Prisoner 209 will have escaped with no one around to see him.
Farmers could profit from alcohol made out of grapes and fruit (Blocker). The government didn’t want the grape industry to fail so fruit juices were still legal (Slavicek 56). Farmers sold their harvest in fruit blocks, often called bricks: dehydrated fruit that could easily be turned into alcohol (Slavicek 56). In fact, warning labels that came with the fruit explained how to do so (“Prohibition: Wine…”)
Section 29 of the Volstead Act was the farmer’s price for supporting Prohibition. Under that clause he was permitted to continue making his own applejack or blackberry wine on the legal fiction that it was a non-intoxicating fruit-juice for home consumption.
Soon shrewd vine-yardists seized upon Section 29 to supply the wine wants of city folk. Virginia Dare Vineyards, Inc. promised to ship a grape juice that would ferment into champagne in the home and thus be quite legal (TIME, Aug. 6, 1928).