Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Taste for Wine.... and Murder....

Barry Underwood had been the owner of a very successful winery and vineyard. With an upcoming wedding, award winning wine, and a close knit group of loved ones – Barry had it all. Unfortunately Barry went missing. 

His friends and family had initially mourned, as there had been no closure, no answers, nothing. The FBI had suspected foul play, but without a body there was no case. It was a dead end mystery and everyone tried to move on. 

Life had continued undisturbed until late in the evening, two nights ago, a tremor in the California Valley at the Underwood Estate popped up one of the floorboards, exposing Barry’s well preserved body. An immediate autopsy was performed, determining Barry had been killed by an incision across the neck with a ring knife.

His friends and family that were with him five years earlier were called back to the estate. Barry had been murdered and one of them had done it. FBI was again called in and an innocent bystander, a murder mystery novelist, was asked to stay as she was the one who found the body. It was a classic tale of “whodoneit” and it was discovered that everyone had a motive – and perhaps Barry had no loved ones at all. 






FBI and Innocent Bystander...


BUD WIZER and BONNY LASS - Irish Murder Mystery Novelist...

As the evening grew late, the accusations began flying. 

Hedy had a competing vineyard that burnt down several years earlier. She had originally accused Barry of the crime but tried to convince everyone that she had changed her mind. Hedy had been friends with Papa Vito who showed her the underground tunnels of the estate, which she frequented while visiting both Papa and Barry. After she rebuilt her livelihood, Hedy suspiciously began making large amounts of money, even though she was only selling a small amount of wine. Turns out, Barry had caught her making counterfeit money.

Otto wasn't from the United States. He had been in town for a wine tasting and had been seen by Barry's friends and family that he had given Barry a large briefcase full of money. A letter had been found next to Barry's body in Barry's own hand that a deal was to take place, and Otto wasn't very happy. Turns out, Barry had discovered Otto stole famous artwork from aristrocrats around the world, and Barry planned to expose him if Otto didn't pay him off. 

Tiny was Barry's exfiance and current owner of the Underwood Estate, Winery and Vineyard.  They were set to get married, but according to Tiny, Barry had cold feet. It was discovered that Barry had interest in Marilyn and Tiny had found out. Tiny also had some secrets in her past - including having been a widow x 2 and having an affair with Barry's cousin, Ralph - whom she later married. Ralph also accused Tiny of admitting to the murder while under anesthesia, and that according to a five year old FBI memo, Tiny had had no alibi and was the top suspect on their list.

Ralph was Barry's cousin. That was, until he died in prison. Turns out, Ralph wasn't even Ralph at all - his name was Mario and had been Ralph's cell mate during his sentence. He claimed that he received a letter, giving him the permission to assume Ralph's identity and persuading him to work at the Underwood Estates after release. There he had had an affair with Tiny, which Barry had discovered. 

Marilyn had been a wine princess of the Underwood Wine Festival. It was her claim to fame which later landed her movie roles. Turns out Barry had discovered that Marilyn had previously had a centerfold in a gentleman's magazine in another country, which could end up getting her de-throned, and returned back to being a nobody if she didn't be with him. Friends pointed out that celebrity magazines had documented her having a vicious temper, which could have lead to Barry's death since she was the last one to have seen him. It was later discovered that the name Marilyn had used in the centerfold, was that of her late older sister who she found out, Barry had killed.

Papa had been a long time employee of the Underwood Estates. Barry had promised him more money and partial ownership of the company, but changed his mind. Papa frequently worked out in the vineyards and was especially talented at using the ring knife. It was disclosed that Barry had caught Papa selling some of Barry's most prized and expensive wine on the internet and was planning to fire him. 

So who did it?

Only three people guessed correctly at the end of the night... and one of those was the murderer himself.



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