Mystery Weekend 2018 – In Review
A Whale of a Tail
The killer of Merlin Mariner was his long forgotten cousin Ashford Gris.
Ashford resented Merlin for many reasons.
Because Merlin was a rich snob
Because Merlin wanted to sell drilling rights to Langley tide lands to which Ashford Gris felt his side of the Ahab Mariner family tree also held the rights.
Because the Gris side of the Ahab Mariner family tree had long been people who worked off the land and sea while Merlin’s side of the family used other people’s money to increase their own wealth.
But the main reason Ashford killed Merlin was that he suspected Merlin had discovered the existence of the Langley branch of the family and had been planning for six years to kill them off so Merlin could control any assets Ahab had hidden be they mineral rights or buried treasure.
Ashford came to that conclusion after discovering Merlin had secretly been to the area six years ago when Ashford’s younger brother, Grayson, was killed. Ashford suspected that it might have been one of Merlin Mariner’s Japanese whaling boats which sunk Grayson’s fishing boat that year.
For these reasons Ashford told a very depressed Merlin that the Gris side of the family would never sell the mineral rights and tide lands to Red Herring. It was then that Merlin knew Red Herring was bluffing when he did not accept Merlin’s selling price and said they would get Ashford to sell.
Merlin quickly went from sad to happy and immediately met Red Herring and his minions to sign over the mineral and drilling rights for the selling price Merlin had originally asked.
But as Merlin celebrated his new fortune with more drinks, Ashford left the theater with the Gris family, walked home, put his grandson to bed then snuck out of the house, returning to town where he crept up on his drunken, sleeping cousin and bashed him over the head with the mallet the Whale Warriors had left at the park for whale sightings.
Upon his arrest Ashford claimed self defense saying
that Merlin had killed his brother, Grayson, and planned to kill the rest of the Gris family.
COMMENTS IN NEWSPAPER ARTICLES AND CLUES GATHERED AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS SHOULD HAVE LED TO THIS CONCLUSION.
The Saratoga Inn
Fair Trade Outfitters
Saltwater Fish House and Oyster Bar
Rob Schouten Gallery
Port of South Whidbey
and newspaper article titled, “Skeleton’s Descendant Dead”