The Curious Murder of Lilliane Baldwin

Hannah G. Klenck

Scene One

Narrator:       October 18th. The investigation begins.

                        October 23rd. The autopsy is complete.

                         October 29th. The investigation begins.


The case of Lilliane Baldwin is an odd one, to say the least. In the beginning of the investigation, there were over 53 suspects, and after almost 5 months, the police, along with several private detectives, narrowed it down to three very much valid, and very much possible, murderers.

                           

       (As the narrator says their names, the characters walk on stage.)


  Jason King, Madelyne King, and Eloise Morton.


The lover, the lover’s wife, and the ex-friend with debt. 


(The narrator sighs.)


And then, of course, there was Emilia Wells.


Emilia wasn’t a suspect, no, just the opposite. She was the main investigator on her half-sister's case. She was out for vengeance, and perhaps that’s why she did what she did. She hosted...


(Long dramatic pause)

A dinner party.


Set up for the sole purpose of solving the murder, Ms. Wells’ dinner had been planned since the police department narrowed it down to 12 defendants. 


It was a long time coming, to say the absolute least. 


So, on March 3rd , she invited Madelyne, Jason, and Eloise to her ginormous mansion left to her by Lilliane, and she solved her sister’s case. This is an exact recount of that night.


(End Scene.)


Scene 2


Narrator: No one knew about March 3rd prior to the party except for, of course, Emilia and those she was investigating that night. The suspects for the Lilliane Baldwin case were kept mostly in the dark about the case. Most didn’t even know the full scope of the case, or the total amount of people accused. So, on that faithful night, Eloise Morton didn’t know she was the first to arrive.


(Eloise timidly enters from stage left, slightly hunched over. Emilia enters from stage right)


Eloise: Hullo, Emilia. I-I came early as to not cause a bad impression, but now I see that I am the only one here.


(This line is said choppily and awkwardly.)


Emilia: Oh, Eloise, how silly.


(Emilia smiles tightly. Eloise’s face lifts briefly.)


Emilia: Nothing you can do can erase the permanent mark you’ve left on me.


(Emilia stops smiling. Eloise’s face falls suddenly. She slowly slinks past Emilia and sits. Emilia is watching like a hawk the entire time. We miss a beat.)


Narrator: Perhaps if Eloise was fully informed, she wouldn’t have been such a social disaster. Then again, being a suspect for your best friend’s death is stressful.


(Jason King enters stage left. Jason walks loosely, smoking a cigar, acting very carefree.)


Although, there is no explanation for Mr. King’s behavior. (Some say he was just rude, others blame it on the positively monstrous amounts of cocaine he did. It was a different time.) Though it isn’t very easily understood why he didn’t even cry when he heard Lilliane was dead.

(Madelyne enters from stage left, head high, lips pursed, heels clicking.)

Then there was his wife, Madelyne King, the movie star. In her prime, she was the picture of elegance and beauty. Such a shame that Jason couldn’t see what the rest of the world saw. We’ll never truly know how much his ignorance hurt her. And we don’t have time to figure it out. Emilia has a murder to solve.


(Jason and Madelyne sit. Emilia smiles forcibly.)


Emilia: Now that we are all present, we can finally begin. Sit. 


(This line starts out very sweet and calm, but becomes firm by the end. All sit except Emilia and Narrator.)


All of you know why you are here, I trust no one needs this to be explained to them. 


(Emilia glares at Jason.) 


One of you is going to jail tonight. You know who you are, and you will be caught. 


(Madelyne glances around the room. Jason scoffs. Eloise looks down at her feet.)


Dinner will be served in approximately thirty minutes. Feel free to chat among yourselves. 


(This is said sharply.) 


Narrator: Maybe Emilia hosted dinner instead of having individual investigation because she figured that with four conflicting personalities, someone was bound to confess something. If that was her intention, then she succeeded. 


(Jason, Eloise, and Madelyne murmur among themselves until Jason leans back to make sure Emilia’s out of earshot.)


Jason: Thank god. Dragon Lady’s finally gone back to her lair. She’s so emotional. Wah, wah, wah. She needs to loosen up. 


(Eloise lifts her head. She’s clearly angry and a bit confused with Jason’s words.)


Eloise: You do know her sister just died, right?


(Jason scoffs then smirks.)


Jason: That was over a month ago. She needs to chill out.


Eloise: She’s solving her sister’s murder. 


Jason: Half-Sister. But still, women are just so melodramatic.


(Eloise’s hands are in fists. She stares at her feet. She is clearly fuming with fury. Madelyne laughs nervously. Madelyne wraps a lock of her hair around her finger and plays with it. Eloise looks up.)


Eloise: Jason, may I just say that you are the most-


(This line is said increasingly angrier until Eloise is cut off by Emilia’s entrance from stage right. She’s holding a folder filled with paper and photographs. As she says the name of the item, she throws a picture of it onto the table.)


Emilia: A bloody hammer, bootprints in the mud, a pearl necklace, and a threatening letter. All of these have one crucial thing in common. 


(Long dramatic pause.)


These are all evidence to solve my sister’s murder.


(Jason rolls his eyes once more.)


One of you did it. And by the end of the night, I will figure out which one. And I will do whatever it takes to avenge her. 


(End Scene.)