A Northwest Winter Night: Who Killed Hal Coppone?
The year was 1928. Harold “Hal” Coppone was murdered. Someone was a murderer. Everyone had a motive and an opportunity. Who did it?
We gathered in the backroom of a speakeasy. I, Malissa F. “Scoop” Orrthot, a newspaper reporter, wanted to get there first to observe the other guests but four invitees beat me to the scene. I arrived with Eddie “Socks” R. Gyle still wearing his plus fours knickerbockers and pink plaid socks from the golf course. I’ve always been attracted to a man in argyles.
Scanning the room, I checked out a suspicious group, all drinking liquor in teacups – S. Treighton Harrow, that straight but sleazy D.A., Billy “The Kid” Thrower, a baseball player who knew how to throw a game in more ways than one, Molly M. Awbsterr, a flapper and so-called “socialite,” and Silky M. Adam, whom we knew (and her girls) from the Everlay Club. Windy City blues singer, Anna Maria Carlotta “Torchy” Sassine arrived with Ernie G. Ambler, a bigtime gambler, a few minutes later.
We had all been a little on edge since Hal was released from prison. We all knew him and were shocked, some more than others, when he was found murdered in his own vault. Oh, the blood and bullets! But WHO did it? I had my own motives but wanted to dig to the bottom of these suspicious Chicagoans to get the real scoop.
One of us was well-trained with knives and tommy guns, in spite of her feminine wiles. One got kickbacks from mobsters, who then avoided the legal system. Hal, mobster that he was, had done a number on all of us in some way.
There were a LOT of clues to examine. I scribbled notes in my reporter’s pad but it was hard to keep the facts straight. Some of those yokels even thought that I might have done it. I confess. It’s true that I had my reasons to bump off Hal.
The “iced tea” flowed freely as we interrogated each other through a Shrimps de Jonghe (a Chicago-specialty) dinner. We sorted through way too many clues but finally, one-by-one, each accused a suspect.
I admit it. I got it wrong. (Or did I do it? I’m not saying…) Who did it? You’ll have to do your own mystery dinner party, maybe on a cold, rainy evening like us, to find out…