PORT GAMBLE — The “discovery” of Cyrus Walker’s body floating in the Port Gamble Bay drew nearly 80 visitors to historic Port Gamble Saturday afternoon.
The super sleuths were tasked with discerning exactly what happened to Walker in an 1853 version of CSI. The answer shocked those even with the steadiest of nerves.
E.S. Brown, who was contracted to build a sawmill for William Talbot and A.J. Pope, was found guilty at Port Gamble’s St. Paul Church by participants at the March Murder and Mayhem event hosted by the Kingston Kiwanis.
“They all had their reasons for killing him,” said Port Gamble event coordinator Julie McAfee Monday morning. “(E.S. Brown) wanted to run the whole operation with no competition.”
Participants trying to solve the murder were able to visit the town’s different businesses, grill the various characters they came across, and, by process of elimination, discover who killed Walker. The Kingston Kiwanians dressed up as the different fictional characters, and most did their best to mislead as many people as possible.
“We’re getting far more pointed questions than we expected, people are very perceptive,” said Dave Wetter, who portrayed A.J. Pope. “Many of the answers they were looking for we aren’t privy to.”
“Lola is a tart and she lies,” said Silverdale resident Linda Smyth with a laugh. Lola, played by Judy Osborn, helped Walker cheat at cards at the local Blue Ox Saloon. Many of the participants refused to believe what she said, and felt she was untruthful the majority of the time.
In the end, the Kiwanians revealed Brown couldn’t contain his selfish nature and killed Walker the night before. Ten participants guessed correctly, McAfee said, and Kingston resident Terri Heckly had her name drawn for $100 worth of Port Gamble dollars, which can be used at any of the downtown businesses.
“They’re all sticking together,” Heckly said earlier in the afternoon. “I think they’re clinging together with good reason.”
“We are answering to the best of our abilities,” said Henchman Scott Anderson evasively. “We have our credibility questioned a lot.”
Within the story of Walker’s murder, he, Pope and Talbot are the only true historical characters. The rest were based on a script by Ron Lovell, a local mystery writer.
The idea for the event was formulated by Kiwanian Lyn Playle, who felt it would attract a lot of participants with its Clue-like qualities. The Kiwanis fund raiser brought in about $500 for their local causes, McAfee said.
“They’re already signing up for next year to do different characters,” she said. “This is an event we’d really like to see annually.”