In this series we’ll cover a smattering of true crime and murder in digest form. Here is part 3.
Tony Marino’s speakeasy: a dingy little dump in the Bronx, circa 1932.
In desperate need of funds to keep his establishment afloat, Marino hatched a plan to murder a local and collect on a life insurance policy. Unfortunately, he picked the wrong alcoholic.
Michael Malloy was a regular patron and Marino’s target. Marino attempted to get Malloy to drink himself to death, but he turned out to be a surprisingly resilient booze hound. Just one Solo cup shy of a SoCal sorority girl.
Taking further measures, Marino spiked Malloy’s drinks with antifreeze. No luck. Turpentine. Nada. Horse liniment, rat poison, oysters soaked in wood alcohol, and spoiled sardines sprinkled with metal shavings. Malloy was unfazed.
Marino tried to freeze Malloy to death, and ran him over with a taxi, but only managed to do him in by sticking a gas hose in his mouth after he blacked out.
And to think, he could have just fed him Arby’s.
Marino was caught and convinced in 1934 and got the electric chair.
The sexual tension between Kevin Bacon and Mario Lopez on the red carpet isn’t the only connection between the two lovebirds.
In 2019, Kevin Bacon (alas, a different Vermont Man with the same name), rammed the side of a police cruiser while driving down the highway. Vermont Bacon reportedly fled the scene of the crash with the cops in hot pursuit.
Turns out Bacon was attempting to download an episode of Saved by the Bell to his cell phone and hadn’t even noticed the cruiser. The episode in question was “Screech’s Spaghetti Sauce.”
What Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon score would Vermont Bacon receive?
William Desmond Taylor
William Desmond Taylor was a prolific filmmaker in the silent era.
In 1922, his body was discovered slumped in a populated LA neighborhood. A crowd of rubberneckers appeared, and from that tangled mass emerged a doctor who examined Taylor’s warm corpse.
“Stomach hemorrhage,” Rubbernecker Doc said with confidence.
When the police arrived they discovered a gunshot in Taylor’s back —and the “doctor” has vanished, never to be seen again.
Healthcare today, am I right?
We’ve all received a gift that holds a special place in our heart. A thoughtful memento from Gran. An amusing tchotchke from your slightly pervy Uncle who likes to rub your back without asking. The decomposing corpse of a rat from your ex-husband.
During a half-decade reign of terror, Romney Ellis threatened to set his Floridian ex-wife on fire and routinely sent peen pics, amongst a slew of other misdeeds. He capped it all of with a special delivery including a black rose and a dead rat.
For the rodent et al, Ellis faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
One wonders how the rat feels given the brief maximum sentence.
Having a team that works like a well-greased machine is essential to building a successful business — and team building activities are a great investment towards that goal.
Finding activities that are engaging and exciting to your team isn’t easy. The phrase ‘team building’ itself is often met with stares of disgust. It’s easy to pick an activity that isn’t inclusive enough, or is uninspiring to your workforce.
Team building via murder mysteries are a surefire way to get everyone involved in a bonding experience. Murder mysteries combine both creative and logical thinking with humor to create something truly unique and memorable.
The fragmented workforce that has come out the pandemic is no excuse to put off team building. Virtual murder mysteries allow anyone to participate—and are even designed to be experienced online so your staff won’t feel shortchanged.
Let’s dive into how a murder mystery can fire up your workers.
How do murder mysteries work for team building?
Murder mystery games are a fun social activity that takes everyone out of the office mindset and gives them an opportunity to be playful, and get to know one another in a more intimate way.
There are mystery games for all sizes of teams that balance the needs of the more shy group members with the more outgoing so everyone feels comfortable. Camaraderie is built through a shared unique experience that will surely be one for the books. Team members will hone their critical thinking skills and learn to communicate collaboratively.
Since murder mysteries are hosted by a trained guide, everyone can participate without the pressure of making sure everyone is having fun. Let the experts run the event and just enjoy!
Murder mysteries have attract people of all types
Murder mysteries for team building are an easy choice because they appeal to many different demographics and interests. This creates an experience that is immersive for everyone from start to finish—even if each person is having fun for a different reason.
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, analytical or less systematic in your thinking, there is something for you to enjoy. Those that yearn to be a star of the stage can show off their character building, while those more interested in puzzling out the mystery can work on solving the murder.
Murder mysteries have broad appeal
Everyone loves a good mystery. There’s no wonder that mystery books sell hundreds of millions of copies a year. Use this commonality to bring your team together.
While murder may seem like a questionable topic for the workplace, the craze that is true crime shows us that it’s something people love to bond over. Just take a browse around Netflix or your podcast app and you’ll notice that the trending shows are almost always murder mysteries.
The popularity of a good mystery will bring your team together.
A pandemic must
Our team building during a pandemic article covers some of the reason that online team building doesn’t have to be a drag—in fact it can be a huge boost.
Without the in-person interaction provided at the water cooler in an office, virtual workers don’t always feel like they get to know people more than superficially. Virtual activities, like murder mysteries, provide the opportunity for everyone to take part in activity while staying safe during a pandemic — or just because virtual working is the best choice for your company.
Many team building activities that are go to for in-person sessions don’t work virtually. Even if it Kills Me murder mysteries were designed as virtual first so you don’t have to suffer through something that doesn’t translate online.
Murder Mystery Teambuilding
We’ve covered why team building is essential for a business, and why murder mysteries are a universally liked way to bring people together, foster communication and collaboration, and earn lots of laughs. So what are you waiting for?
Our themed murder mysteries provide an immersive and distinct experience for everyone on your team. They are a a memorable way to build relationships and have fun. Contact us today about how we can work together on a murder mystery event for your team.
In this series we’ll cover a smattering of true crime and murder in digest form. Here is part 2.
So many people dream of unimaginable wealth. Who hasn’t fantasized about living out their own Scrooge McDuck fantasy—coin filled swimming pool to boot.
In 1986, Hrand Arakelian lived out his wildest cash-crazy-duck-in-waistcoat dreams. While on duty in the back of a Brink’s armored truck, the driver braked suddenly causing $50,000 in quarters to topple onto Arakelian. That’s about 2,500 pounds. Needless to say, there wasn’t much coin swimming going on.
Some people watch The Exorcist for twisty-headed scares, others watch it for a brief glimpse of a radiologist with a bottom-heavy perv beard.
Paul Bateman, the actor who took on the role of Find The Demon Technician, was in actuality a real-life radiologist. And a convicted murderer.
In 1979 he killed journalist Addison Verrill and was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison. He was suspected of killing a number of gay men in New York, but those charges couldn’t be proven, though they did later inspire the movie Cruising—which some reviewers called “a movie.”
Have you ever been at a check-up and wondered how the doctor is handling the stress of high-school along with his medical practice? In 2016, 18-year-old Malachi Love-Robinson was arrested after illegally opening his “New Birth New Life” medical center in West Palm Beach.
And this wasn’t the first time. Previously he posed as a doctor for 4 months at St Mary’s Medical Center and was busted in a pregnant woman’s exam room.
Sometimes your day takes an unexpected turn. Teeth brushing, coffee, reading the paper, plopping a melon on your noggin as a DIY face mask.
In May, Justin Rogers entered a watermelon’s birth canal and made a day of it—grocery shopping, taking a joy ride in his Buick (probably), and chatting with drunk (probably) locals.
Things took another turn when this Peter Watermelonhead decided to shoplift booze to kick his vegetable-wearing game up a notch.
A week later, Rogers was arrested and charged with theft and possession of alcohol by a minor. The second individual has not yet been identified, but police are on the lookout for a melon with a hole…a rabbit hole we hope they don’t venture too far down.
It’s the little details that make a soiree special and having a signature cocktail which highlights your party’s theme will wow all of your guests! Having a specialty drink can also save you time and money—-no host wants to play bartender all night long instead of enjoying time with their friends.
Here are a couple of things to think about and help you plan the perfect cocktail.
First things first, how many guests are you expecting? If it’s a smaller party of up to 8 people you should be able to mix individual cocktails easily. However, once that guest list rises, it can be a huge time saver to make a batch cocktail. This way, guests can feel free to serve themselves. Some great batch cocktails are— punches, sangria, Pimms and Bloody Marys. There are so many creative twists you can take with each of these drinks to really
This is the most important factor to think about when planning your signature cocktail! If your party has a specific theme, you want your drink to fully reflect it! In our high school themed murder mystery, Blood on the Bleachers, we provide a recipe for Jell-O shots! It’s so simple, but drinking a Jell-O shot out of a small plastic cup, can bring you right back to high school parties! For an in person high school themed party, adding a beer pong table, or keg to the mix would really highlight your party’s theme.
The color of your cocktail can really set the mood for the your party! During a halloween party, a bright green punch that looks like witches brew is an incredible showstopper! Any other time of year, however, a bright green cocktail might leave you with a bunch of sober guests! For our strip club themed murder mystery, Rubbed Out, we really wanted a brightly colored cocktail to help invoke the neon lights in Las Vegas. With that in mind, we created ‘Sex in the Driveway’ a cerulean cocktail, colored with blue curaçao.
Use flavors that invoke your theme! For our Christmas themed murder mystery, O Holy Fright, our cocktail recipe is a play off of a candy cane! There are many other Christmas flavor that you can play with as well, such as gingerbread, egg nog, hot chocolate or cookies and milk. Keep your theme in mind when choosing your flavor profile.
When in doubt, the classic rule of a balanced cocktail is two parts alcohol, two parts sweet, and one part sour.
The theme you have chosen, time of year, and location of your party will all have a huge impact on what temperature you want your signature cocktail to be! If you are having a winter bonfire outside all of your guests will definitely want a warm cocktail like a hot toddy of spiced cider! Or, in the case of our Hawaiian murder mystery, Trouble in Paradise, we want to evoke a warm, island feeling in your homes! Therefore, we created a frozen Mai Tai. By having a frozen cocktail, it will mentally transport you to your last beach vacation and you can imagine basking in the heat—regardless of the actual time of year and location where you live.
The presentation can make or break your cocktail. In our Boca Raton, bingo themed murder mystery, Bingo Butcher, we suggest a Rob Roy Cocktail (which was incredibly popular in the 1950’s). However, just sitting in a cocktail glass, a Rob Roy might not immediately make you think of a retirement community in Florida! However, using bingo cards as coasters, putting fake dentures on the cocktail table or having inflatable palm trees across the floor will really put your guests in a Boca state of mind!
In this series we’ll cover a smattering of true crime and murder in digest form. Here is part 1.
In 1968, Mary Bell took it upon herself to clear out the gene pool and strangled two young boys in two months. When arrested, Mary replied, “that’s all right by me.” During their trial, Mary’s accomplice appeared distraught during but Mary herself showed zero remorse. Psychiatrists described her as “intelligent, manipulative, and dangerous.” Mary was found guilty of manslaughter.
Did we mention Mary was 11 years old? Thats not even two Honey Boo Boos for anyone counting.
When thinking about the open ocean, few people think “looks runnable.” However, most people are not Reza Baluchi, a so called “ultra-marathoner” who decided to run 1,033 miles from Florida to Bermuda in a giant inflatable hemorrhoid pillow. The five month journey was cut short when he was discovered a few miles from where he started, disoriented and asking for directions. Criminal, maybe not. But certainly a crime against humanity.
If you to love a good Florida Man story, try out Bingo Butcher, our murder mystery set in Boca Raton.
William Desmond Taylor
William Desmond Taylor was a prolific filmmaker in the silent era. In 1922, his body was discovered in a slump in a populated LA neighborhood. A crowd of rubberneckers appeared, and from that mass emerged a doctor who examined Taylor’s corpse. “Stomach hemorrhage,” he said with confidence. But when the police arrived they discovered a gunshot in Taylor’s back —and the “doctor” has vanished, never to be seen again.
Megan Hess and Shirley Koch
Welcome to Sunset Mesa Funeral home. When you’re here, you’re family. From 2010 to 2018, Megan Hess and Shirley Koch took on a mother-daughter bonding project and illegally sold hundreds of corpses intended for cremation. The pair made hundreds of thousands of dollars, and even went as far as extracting gold teeth from the bodies. All that Aqua Net spray really puts a dent in your budget.
At this point in the pandemic, we are all starting to experience fatigue. We miss our friends, crave going out and we are all tired of cooking. Here are a few simple ideas to reintroduce some joy into our days as we start, what feels like, week one-thousand of staying at home.
Build a Fort
This sounds ridiculous, but sometimes you just need to shake things up and have fun again! Build a fort! Hand a sheet off of a bookshelf, and support it with a pile of books or heavy cans. Make sure you put a cosy blanket and some pillows underneath to keep you comfortable.Bonus points are given for snacks, flashlights and ghost stories!
At Home Spa Day
The more decadent the better! Take an entire day and pamper yourself. Have a bath, put on a robe and lounge the day away. You can make cucumber infused water and force your roommate to give you a massage. Do masks together, paint your nails and deep condition your hair! You’ll feel so much better for spending some time on yourself.
For fun, DIY face scrub: Mix together 1/2 cup ground coffee, 1/2 cup yogurt and 1 tablespoon of honey. Massage on your skin and rinse with warm water!
Shake up your regular TV night by having a movie marathon outside! All it takes is a white sheet and a projector! You can hang your sheet on a wall or between two trees and project your favorite movie. Breath in the fresh air, eat some popcorn and enjoy the slight change in scenery.
We recommend Jurassic Park, Jaws and Back to the Future for some outdoor classics!
Online Workout Classes
Make your online workout classes more fun by realizing that nobody can see you!! Wear your best 1980’s inspired workout outfit and pretend you’re Jane Fonda! Dance as hard as you want and don’t worry about following the steps from your class correctly!
Try to bring the excitement back into cooking by having a week of specially themed dinners! Everyone in your household will be incredibly excited to see what sassy surprises await them each night and you’ll be thrilled to have a break from monotony. Some ideas to start you off:
Make your own pizza night
At home renaissance fair
Korean BBQ night
At home picnic
Baseball stadium food
Virtual Murder Mysteries
Let us take care of the planning for you! Have a great time, connect with your friends, and take all the work out of having a creative evening! With a murder mystery experience you can completely forget yourself for a couple of hours and become a zanny suspect in a themed murder mystery! It’s way more fun than another zoom cocktail hour and it’s something you can talk about for weeks to come! More details.
A themed party is all about attention to detail. You want to make sure the entire experience ties together from start to finish so that your guests can get lost in the world you have created!
While a themed party is more work for a host, all of the planning is immensely fun and allows you to be as creative as possible.
A secret perk to having a themed event is that it gives your friends a common thing to talk about. So, even if they don’t know each other, they’ll be able to bond quickly!
Here are the 6 steps to take when planning a themed party.
Choose a theme
This can be tied to why you’re throwing the party (ex: ugly sweaters for Christmas, occult for halloween or your friend’s favorite movie for their birthday) or just something that you find fun! Some great way to think of ideas for this are specific places, a period in time, or an activity that you enjoy.
Before you invite anyone to your party, make sure you have a budget in mind that you’re comfortable with! This will impact the number of people you have at your event, the type or food and beverages you serve, and how you are able to decorate.
This is a step that often gets lost, due to technology, but can make a party so much more special! Instead of blasting out a Facebook invite, email chain or text message, why not send an invitation in the mail. Your card itself can be in theme and it will make your guests’ feel so special to get some snail-mail. Make sure to include time and date, location, the theme, if costumes are mandatory, and any other details your guests may find helpful. When in doubt, remember: who, what, where, when and why!
Find decorations that compliment your theme! Think 3D and incorporate it throughout your house! Make sure you have decorations on all surfaces (floors, tables and walls) and add some in an unexpected place, like the bathroom, to make your guests giggle.
Drink and Food
The food and drink you serve can help set the mood. But don’t limit yourself, you can take untraditional foods and the way you present them can facilitate the theme. For example, if you are having a British tea party, you can make mini PB&J finger sandwiches…not traditional, but adorable! Our number one hosting tip is to make sure you have enough food and alcohol for your guests.
Entertainment isn’t just limited to music that compliments your theme or games you can play. Think outside the box! You can offer spa treatments at a spa party, tie-dye shirt making at a camp themed party or have a gingerbread house competition at a Christmas party.
At an Even if it Kills Me murder mystery party, we take care of all of these steps for you! Once you choose one of the six provided themes we send out invitations, personalized playlists, recipes and costume ideas to help get your guests in the mood! We’ve even created customized, on-theme zoom backgrounds—which is basically the pandemic version of decorations!
You can party at a pageant, hula in Hawaii, boogie down in Boca, holler-back in high school, carouse during Christmas or socialize at the strip club. Each experience will be fully immersive, totally themed out and most importantly no work for you!
In the early 1950s, three policemen—one strait-laced, one barbaric, and one scummy—take on an unsolved murder in Los Angeles. An intricate tale of corruption and Hollywood sleaze.
The plans of a bumbling car salesman in Minnesota fall apart when his henchmen bungle their end of the bargain. Soon, three people are dead and a persistent police person is on the case — heavily pregnant Marge Gunderson.
Three men take refuge from a rainstorm in a former gatehouse. The three recount the story of a murdered samurai discovered three days earlier in a forest grove.
In 1937 LA, private investigator Jake Gittes is hired to expose an adulterer/ Instead he finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder.
The 39 Steps
In London, a man attempts to help a counter-espionage agent. When the agent is killed, seemingly by that very man, he goes the run to save himself and stop a spy ring that is stealing classified information.
Did all this murder get you in the mood for a little investigation of your own? Our murder mysteries are a great way to tickle your crime fantasies.
Making an appearance in at least 85 books, plays and short stories Agatha Christie‘s Belgian detective is likely her most famous and most long-running character. Described as a short 5’4″ tall, but with “great dignity,” Poirot is known to use order and method to get to the bottom of evil deeds.
Created as a female counterpoint to Edward Stratemeyer‘s Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew was an evolving character written over decades, designed to continuously please new, different audiences. Considered a cultural icon, Drew has had an enduring appeal since first appearing in 1930.
Another invention of the prodigious Agatha Christie. Marple is a counterpoint to Poirot in many ways — from her gender and age (she is often described as an elderly spinster), to her methodology for solving crimes. Early versions of Marple painted her as an unkind woman, though she was later written in a gentler and more personable light.
First appearing 1887, Holmes became widely popular as a character over the next several years and is till so to this day. Arguably the most well known fictional detective, Holmes is known for his exceptional ability to reason through problems with logic and science.
This list wouldn’t be complete without this bumbling and incompetent French detective. Regularly a destroyer of property and creator of chaos, Clouseau does manage to find the correct culprits…often accidentally.
Ready to be a detective yourself? Try out one of our murder mysteries. You and your friends can put on disguises like Inspector Clouseau, and reason your way through the investigation like Sherlock Holmes.
Costuming your character doesn’t have to cost any money. By changing your hair style and using a little makeup you can do a myriad of fun, outrageous things that will make your new persona pop and set the tone for your whole experience.
While you can change tons of physical attributes you can change with makeup like freckles, bruises and facial hair we’ve complied some specific tutorials that compliment some of our best selling themes!
This is our favorite tutorial on how to age yourself with wrinkles! This is perfect for our Bingo Butcher Murder Mystery.
This over the top, glam look is wonderful for our Lovely Miz Cowpoke, beauty pageant contestants!
Feel like a sex kitten with this Playboy inspired makeup tutorial! It’s a great look to compliment your character from the Rubbed Out Murder Mystery!
Get into the Aloha spirit with this relaxed and glowing beachy makeup guide which complements our Trouble in Paradise Murder Mystery.
We have a TON of different makeup looks which can be featured for our 90’s high school murder mystery, Blood on the Bleachers. The one featured below is perfect for a Goth character
Old Saint Nick
Finally, for our Christmas themed murder mystery, O Holy Fright, here’s a fun tutorial to transform you into Santa Claus!