Murder of a Music Mogul! Interactive Online Murder Mystery - Week Two
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Murder of a Music Mogul!
Catch up with the investigation so far from Week One at the link here.
Private Detective Jack Diamond continues his investigation into the murder of music mogul Ryan Lowell while under lockdown.
Jack is discovering that the music business can be murder...
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JACK (on the phone): Thank you Tabby, keep me informed.
Hello my band of Amazing Agatha’s and Strapping Sherlock’s, Detective Jack Diamond here. I have some important developments in the Music Mogul case to share with you.
You’ll remember Tabby Bobtail from Wednesday’s video. The dame that’s crazy for cats. Well she decided to look around Ryan Lowell’s mansion for clues and found three vital pieces of evidence.
Firstly, Tabby noticed that the Grandfather clock near Lowell’s study hadn’t chimed properly since before the murder, so took a look inside. Sitting there, blocking the pendulum, was the missing Grammy Award!
After a close inspection of Lowell’s garden, Tabby found two more interesting items in the grass beneath Lowell’s smashed study window. A small, clear, empty bottle, and a bullet! We have no idea what the bottle once contained, but we have now determined that the bullet came from a gun owned by Ryan Lowell. And get this – Wait...
I don’t remember opening that window…
Now where was I. Oh yeah, get this. The coroner has provided me with a post-mortem on Ryan Lowell’s body. It turns out the cause of death was not by firearm; Ryan Lowell died by cyanide poisoning!
Just one more thing…
TO BE CONTINUED…
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE VICTIM
Why do you refer to Mr Lowell as "Arrogant but Shrewd" do you have a particular example? Did you feel envious of your employer in any way?
I’d go further. Obsessional. Delusional. Maniacal. He had all the traits of a great record executive – he was shrewd to launch a TV talent competition called ‘Death Metal Idol’ which has been huge in the States for years. I was envious of his awesome presence on the death metal scene, yes. However, he arrogantly believed he could break into any music industry: classical, country, rock, dance, jazz, pop – you name it, he tried it and left a trail of artists with broken dreams behind him. Just look at what he did to Adriana’s career.
SONGWRITING Did you write many of Mr Lowell's songs & how did he gain the rights to your work?
Were they hits and if so were you adequately paid for them?
Why do you not want to discuss the success of ‘Merciless Gutter Beast’?
I had written several songs by the time I appeared on Death Metal Idol, using my stage name of ‘Artie Clawhammer’, aged just 19. After being voted off, I was surprised when Mr Lowell invited me to his mansion. I was in awe of him, truth be told. He said he wanted to discuss my future in the music industry and popped some champagne.
We got very drunk. So drunk that I agreed to exchange the rights to my lyrics for one of Mr Lowell’s rare LPs. I couldn’t believe it when he and the winner of the show had a smash hit with my song, ‘Merciless Gutter Beast’. That same year he even won a Grammy Award for Best Producer of the Year.
His lawyers proved that I couldn’t be paid a penny for my lyrics because I’d signed this ridiculous letter, however Mr Lowell saw fit to offer me a job which paid handsomely and house me in his mansion. After all I’d been through, I still looked up to him and I accepted his generous offer. That was years ago, all that nastiness was behind us. I was proud to be Ryan Lowell’s butler. Next question?
OVERHEARD ARGUMENT & DROPPING ADRIANA
Did Mr Lowell make reference to dropping Adriana from his record label? Did you hear any particular parts of the argument between Tabby Bobtail and Mr Lowell? Any idea what it might have been about?
Mr Lowell never made reference to me regarding dropping Adriana from his record label.
As for the argument, I believe Mr Lowell was considering terminating Miss Bobtail’s employment as he was generally dissatisfied with her approach to being his PA. Tabby would often spill milk on his private documents and perform dance numbers from the musical CATS in and around his mansion and she was not gelical. Perhaps they argued about that?
MILK Did Mr Lowell often get milk taken to him by Miss Bobtail and was the milk intended for him? Was the milk glass taken away when you delivered the cocktail? Why did you describe Miss Bobtail as ‘dreadful’?
Miss Bobtail often brought an afternoon glass of milk to Mr Lowell who never drank it. I took the full glass of milk away when I delivered the cocktail at 5pm. I had no pets growing up, not even a fuss-free little goldfish. No hamsters, no puppies, no kittens, no birds, no lizards, no sugar gliders. Nothing. For the life of me, I can’t understand Tabby’s dreadful obsession with cats!
ROUTINE & COCKTAIL
Tell us more about your daily routine, your whereabouts on the day of the murder and the cocktail?
I follow a set routine each day: at 3pm I dust the grandfather clock, which has been working just fine by the way, and surrounding area in the first-floor hallway, at 4pm I clean the kitchen area, crockery and cutlery. At 5pm I deliver a pre-dinner cocktail to Mr Lowell and proceed to prepare Mr Lowell’s evening meal, which I deliver it to him at 6pm. I don’t have any background in cocktail making, it’s just my job as butler to do this. Unusually on the day of his murder, at 5pm, Mr Lowell’s wife, Adriana, insisted that she prepare the Negroni cocktail herself and that I serve it to him. I would also normally prepare Adriana’s cocktails, so I noted this as quite strange. I can’t claim to understand why Adriana is saying that I prepared the cocktail, it was her. Adriana visited Ryan at 5.15pm, and at 6pm, I entered his study, carrying a freshly made lobster dish, and discovered his body. I hadn’t heard any gunshots go off since I was in the kitchen.
SAFE & ITS CONTENTS
Did you or any of the suspects know the contents of the safe and the combination to unlock it?
I knew that the safe contained his Grammy award which was his most prized possession, and £50,000 in cash. Most people in the music industry would want to display such an award, but Mr Lowell was paranoid that the local cat burglar would target him for it, so he hid it in the safe. I was the only person he entrusted with the combination number as far as I’m aware, as the cash inside was to be used if there were ever a ransom situation. I have no idea how the thief unlocked the safe.
Did Ryan Lowell own a gun? Do you, Miss Bobtail or Adriana have access to a gun? Did you hear the gunshot?
Ryan Lowell owned the gun and stored it in a locked drawer in his study. He became paranoid recently about the burglar breaking during the lockdown, so he sought to protect himself by any means necessary. We were all aware that he was in possession of this weapon, though I believe he was the only one with a key to the drawer, and the key was found on his person after his death, so it doesn’t appear to have been stolen. I was in the kitchen and I didn’t hear any gunshots.
Do you know anything about the new evidence which has come to light?
Why is a piece of the map missing in the frame above your fireplace and do you currently have a partner?
While Adriana has verified the handwriting on Ryan’s note as belonging to Ryan, I have my doubts. I personally don’t believe that the note was written by Mr Lowell.
I’m afraid my work for Mr Lowell kept me busy around the clock and I haven’t had time for romantic relationships.
As for the map, that is one of my most prized possessions. It is a French map of the UK from 1802, and you know all those fun stories about drummers, like ‘drummers are so stupid’ and ‘drummers are wild like Animal from the Muppets’, they’re not stories, they’re true! When they were getting ready to bring Death Metal Idol to the UK, we were all at my house, having a party and someone said, ‘Hey, we’re going to destroy the UK!’ and the drummer was like, ‘Yeah!’ and he started trying to eat the map. A 200 year old parchment and he just bit a big chunk out of it, so that was fun.
I hope I answered your questions sufficiently and I hope for a swift conclusion to the case!
BACKGROUND & RELATIONSHIP WITH RYAN
How did you become Ryan’s PA, how close were you really and what's your story?
I grew up knowing everything there was to know about Ryan Lowell thanks to the glossy music magazines I liked to read; from his beginnings in the music industry through all the most important dates in his purr-sonal life, his achievements, his hopes and dreams – I dreamed that we’d get meow-rried one day and I longed to curl up next to him. I never told him any of this of course, it was my little secret.
It was incredibly fortunate that I was fired from the West End production of CATS for fur-getting my lines, because Ryan was advertising for a new PA at the time. Thankfully I didn’t cough up a fur ball during the interview. Instead I rhymed off everything I knew about him. I guess Ryan was flattered, you just had to appeal to his ego in the right way, you see. That was five years ago and while our working relationship wasn’t purr-fect, we’d always hiss and make up! I was Ryan’s number one fan, there was no room for any other man in my life!
MOVEMENTS ON THE DAY OF THE MURDER
Explain your movements on the day of Ryan’s murder?
I gave Ryan a glass of milk at 3pm and we had a nice exchange where he winked at me and called me his ‘favourite crazy cat lady’. I passed Jeeves as I left. He was pretending to dust the grandfather clock while eavesdropping on us. Jeeves has been extremely jealous of me since I arrived here, of course. Up to that point, Jeeves was Ryan’s confidante and his closest friend. Ryan never entrusted me with certain things like knowing the combination to his safe, but I still became Ryan’s go-to person and Jeeves behaved like a sour-puss.
As for the butler’s claim that Ryan and I had an argument, well that’s just a cat-and-bull story.
I went straight to my bedroom in Ryan’s mansion and took a catnap at the bottom of my bed. I only left to get a glass of milk from the kitchen at 4.45pm where Jeeves was mixing Ryan’s cocktail under Adriana’s watchful eye.
I was passing Ryan’s study shortly after 5pm when I accidentally overheard in passing Ryan talking to Jeeves about dropping Adriana from his record label.
I went back to bed and must have slept right through the gun going off and the window smashing. I could sleep all day if truth be told! I only wish I’d caught Ryan’s killer in the act, then they’d have discovered that this kitty’s got claws!
What do you know about the recent burglaries? Was the cat burglar stealing cats?
I’ve read in the newspaper that there’s a cat burglar scaling up people’s homes in the local area and entering through unlocked windows. I know that Ryan was so concerned that he purchased a gun, and he made us all aware that it was kept in a drawer in his study. I don’t know if he was stealing cats, that would be purr-fectly awful!
DOUG & EUROVISION
What exactly happened to Doug Rowlands at Eurovision and why did Ryan offer him a job as his gardener?
Hunky popstar Doug regularly appeared in my music magazines for his fur-midable good looks. Doug was the only person associated with Ryan that I was familiar with before I worked here. He sang romantic ballads and had a couple of hits, but he felt he needed an image change; more of an edge, you know. Ryan agreed to take over as Doug’s manager on the condition that Doug take on Eurovision. Ryan then purr-suaded Doug to perform a terrible Death Metal song called ‘Cannibal Zombie Gore’. It was a cat-astrophe and Doug scored nil poi in front of 180 million viewers. His music career was over. The silver lining is that Ryan offered Doug a job as his gardener. He’s been here ever since.
THE CAT SANCTUARY & RYAN’S WILL
Tell us more about the cat sanctuary and Ryan’s Will? Also, did Ryan like cats or milk?
Ryan planned to leave £5000 in his Will to the cat sanctuary where I volunteer which was so generous. Ryan had a softer side, you see, he only did it to make me happy, which it did. I don’t know if he liked cats or milk or who stands to benefit from his Will. A lady called Tricia manages the sanctuary. Hi Tricia!
RELATIONSHIP WITH ADRIANA
Was Adriana jealous of Ryan helping those less fortunate than her?
Why would you not throw water on Adriana if she were on fire?
Yes, Adriana would unravel like a ball of thread when Ryan paid attention to anyone other than her. Adriana didn’t deserve Ryan. Ryan was like a beautiful Bengal cat, highly intelligent and affectionate, whereas she is like a skanky alley cat. I believe she was out to claw all she could from Ryan’s music empire, and she didn’t mind whose tail she had to step on to get there.
Can you comment on the evidence that has come to light?
I hadn’t heard the grandfather clock chime since the day of Ryan’s murder at around 2pm, so I took a look inside and lo and behold, sitting there blocking the pendulum was Ryan’s missing Grammy Award!
I kept it a secret from the others, knowing that one of them must have hidden it there. My curiosity was spiked, so I inspected as much of the mansion as I could for clues. When the sun came out, I decided to take a break and lie in the grass outside. That’s when I saw them – sitting in the grass beneath Ryan’s smashed study window – the bullet and the small, clear, empty bottle. Come to think of it, I’m sure I saw Adriana sneaking some gin into a similar looking bottle when she was in the kitchen just around 5pm.
I hid them both and I phoned Detective Diamond immediately.
I never saw the suicide note and I didn’t recognise the weird numbers on the gardener’s shopping list.
Who sent you the cat card behind you in the video?
Oh, you mean this guy? This was a painting actually, it’s on a canvas that I drew, well painted I guess when I was a kid. It was my imaginary friend, obviously he was a pink cat. I think that’s supposed to be a tail but it does look like five legs but anyway there is my imaginary friend.
Who did you love more, Ryan or the cats?
Well I thought this was a really good question because, you know, as part of my grieving process my therapist said I should maybe make a list and figure it out myself. So who do I love more, Ryan or the cats? Well I guess cats always cuddle me and Ryan never did, so that would be a point for the cats. But then Cats the Musical fired me so that’s definitely a point to Ryan…and Ryan had a nice smile and a nice voice and he was a really good boss and I think I just love Ryan. I just really love Ryan. I’m sorry I can’t do any more!
Thanks for your questions. Catty-bye for now!
RELATIONSHIP WITH RYAN
Did you actually love your husband or was it purely a marriage of convenience?
You said that everyone associated with your husband had failure in common, why was that?
How long were you and Ryan married for and why have you no wedding ring on?
Who paid for your diamond necklaces?
I paid for my diamond necklaces darling, I did have a music career before Ryan. Ryan and I were married for two years. It was love at first sight for Ryan. He said he watched a music video of mine and knew straight away I was going to be his one and only. He wooed me into a quick marriage and an even quicker record deal. I loved Ryan. I did. But here’s the thing. I didn’t know about the singers whose careers he had ruined with his bad decisions – pairing them with the wrong producers for example or forcing them into a music genre they weren’t comfortable with. I only knew about the stars he had created, and I believed I could shine bright like a diamond with Ryan at the helm. You’re right, Ryan should’ve put a ring on it, but I’ve never worn my wedding ring because Ryan said that my fan base wouldn’t like it.
How long have you been on self-imposed vocal rest? Is your career threatened and tell us about the different direction you’d like to take?
What happened to your costumes and who are the buttercups?
I released my album ‘MINX IT UP’ then toured over Spring and Summer last year, so I’ve been on vocal rest since then. I need a new direction to save my music career and I wanted Ryan to realise that he had my heart and soul in his hands. There’s been a whole saga with my missing costumes which I won’t bore you with but it’s been going on for around 10 months. My fans are my buttercups who always build me up but never let me down or mess me around! Hashtag: Buttercups are Best!
MEETING WITH RYAN
Had Ryan consumed his cocktail before you entered the study at 5.15 and do you know who broke the glass?
Did the clock chime?
Did anyone go into the study after you?
How did you know the time of death was approx 6pm?
Your husband was overheard saying he was thinking of removing you from the record label BEFORE you had your meeting with him. Was it his idea or yours?
I hoped the cocktail would have put Ryan in a relaxed mood for our chat, and when I went to his study at 5.15pm I saw he’d drank it. When I told Ryan I wanted to leave his record label, he became so angry that he smashed the glass on the floor by his desk. I was already tearful, but I got a mega fright and ran away to my bedroom at around 5.45pm.
He was ‘strumming my pain with his fingers, singing my life with his words, killing me softly with his song, killing me softly, with his song.’
I never pay attention to the stupid old grandfather clock. I have no way of knowing who went into the study after me since my bedroom is two floors above Ryan’s study, but I didn’t see anyone along the way. The butler reported later that evening that he discovered the body just after 6pm so we think that was the time of death.
JEEVES & THE COCKTAIL
Do you get on with Jeeves?
You say Jeeves mixed your husband’s drink and he says that you mixed it, which is true?
Did you mean to say toxicology or was that a slip of the tongue for mixology? Does Jeeves have an understanding of poisons?
What year did Jeeves come in 3rd on Death Metal Idol and was it for singing Merciless Gutter Beast?
Have you worked with any of the suspects in the past?
Jeeves has a talent for mixicology – the art of mixing cocktails – which is what I meant to say instead of ‘toxicology’. That was just a slip of the tongue. Why would I make a cocktail when we pay a butler to do that? Jeeves prepared then served the Negroni cocktail to Ryan. I don’t know if Jeeves understands poisons, you’d have to ask him. Jeeves was on Death Metal Idol ages ago, pre-Britney’s meltdown, so like 2006. I don’t know what he sang, I didn’t watch it. I’ve never worked with Jeeves, Tabby or Doug in my music career and I get along fine with Jeeves, or thought I did until now!
Did you know the contents and combination of Ryan’s safe?
I had no interest as to what Ryan kept locked away in his safe, he might as well have kept my career locked up in there as it wasn’t going anywhere! So no, I didn’t know the combination. I wish I’d known the combination to unlock his heart!
Did you know that your husband owned a gun and did you hear any gunshots?
Yes, Ryan made a big deal about telling everyone in the mansion that he now owned a gun in case the cat burglar came back. I didn’t hear any gunshots, I was upstairs in my bedroom crying at the time. Have you ever heard the story about Lucky?
And they say
She's so lucky, she's a star But she cry, cry, cries in her lonely heart, thinking If there's nothing missing in my life Then why do these tears come at night?
RELATIONSHIP WITH TABBY & DOUG
Did you know that Tabby was in love with your husband and that the cat sanctuary was listed in Ryan’s Will? Did you suspect that they were having an affair?
Did you know Tabby and your husband had rowed a few hours before ?
Do you know what happened as a result of Tabby being fired from Cats?
Have you and Doug got close?
I didn’t know that he’d included the cat sanctuary in his Will, clearly that kitty cat had got her claws into my husband’s wallet. I heard she got fired from Cats for thieving, though my husband certainly gave her the benefit of the doubt. Who knows where Ryan’s affections lay, certainly not with me. I didn’t know they had rowed on the day of his murder, how intriguing! Doug the gardener is certainly a handsome chap. He’s a bit obsessed with Eurovision though he leaves pretty flowers all around the mansion, including my bedroom which you’ve noticed!
CRIME SCENE EVIDENCE
Was the glass from the broken window in the room or outside of the window?
Was it your husbands writing in the letter and can you explain why he wanted to leave everything to you in his Will?
Do you know anything about the other evidence that has come to light?
I believe the glass was outside, so they say the window was smashed from the inside, bizarrely. Yes, I’ve provided documents which prove that the handwriting is Ryan’s however, the note is unsigned so it’s not legally binding. Ryan’s Will remains as is. In any case, I would reject this last-minute change to the Will, it smells a bit fishy to me. Why would he have a blazing argument with me then minutes later leave me all of his assets? I can’t help you with the other evidence I’m afraid.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
What do you plan to do now that your husband is dead?
My life is completely up in the air. Once lockdown is over I’m going to go away for a while to clear my head, then I’m going to reinvent my music career. After all, I’m a survivor!
That’s all for now Buttercups, ttyl!
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Good luck Detectives!