DALLAS — Just as one murder was solved, another one happened.
That’s the cliffhanger the Dallas Downtown Association’s murder mystery left players with on Saturday.
About 110 people followed the clues during the event, a fundraiser for the DDA that took over downtown Dallas for the afternoon. Players went shop to shop in search of characters and clues.
Seventeen people correctly named the murderer — and soon to be victim — Drew Golden, a jealous Moon Shadow Playhouse stage hand played by Elaine Ginter.
As it turns out, her thwarted acting ambitions had nothing to do with the reason she resorted to murder, said mystery organizer Eddie Nelson.
Performers wasted no time coming up with a body on Saturday, revealing the dearly departed moments into the opening act of the event.
That unfortunate and unloved soul was none other than Ashton Jade, actress and aspiring TV news anchor played by Rachel Phelps.
“Everyone had a reason to hate Ashton,” Nelson said of the character in the murder plot.
Golden’s motive was a classic: Money. Golden and Jade are cousins, and before taking Jade’s life — and meeting her own end — she convinced their 95-year-old great-grandfather to cut Jade out of his will, leaving Golden as the beneficiary.
Greedy Golden also poisoned her great-grandfather with night shade.
As she confessed at Pressed Coffee & Wine Bar during the big reveal, the bartender Ava Lime — who also works for the mob — sent her a drink.
Golden took a sip.
“After she drank it, she became woozy and slumped in her chair and died,” Nelson said.
Next year’s murder mystery will start there, with the same cast of characters and players trying to identify a new killer.
Nelson said the actors did a good job of deceiving would-be sleuths.
“Twenty-five thought the killer was Logan Plum (Mark Brehm), the anti-social electrician,” Nelson said. “He played his role well. He even gave me the creeps.”
Like this year, the 2018 murder mystery event will begin with an optional karaoke party that will double as celebration of life for Golden on the night before the mystery, Nelson said.
“It was fun,” Nelson said. “We can hardly wait to do it again.”