Murder Mystery in Langley: Who silenced the mime?

— Created February 21, 2024 by Kathy Reed

By Kathy Reed

For a quiet, quaint, seaside village, the city of Langley seems to have an inordinate number of murders – 39 in as many years, all at about this time. And it’s happened again!

This time, local businessman, Cyrus Lenzio, dressed as a mime and riding a unicycle, was tracked down and run over by a driverless car. It’s a true mystery of epic proportions and there are multiple suspects, but officials from the Langley Chamber of Commerce feel certain the case will be wrapped up and the killer revealed by Sunday afternoon.

If you’re wondering just what’s going on in Whidbey’s Village by the Sea, let us put your minds at ease – it’s simply time for the 39th annual Mystery Weekend, a fun, engaging event designed to bring smiles to the faces of participants – those involved in the story and those here to solve the case.

The sleuthing begins at Mystery Weekend Headquarters (Langley Visitor Information Center) at 208 Anthes Avenue Saturday at 9 a.m. for those who have already purchased their tickets and at 10 a.m. for anyone else who wants to figure out whodunnit. (Go to to buy tickets in advance. Cost is $15.) The fun will continue through Sunday at 4 p.m., when all participating detectives must turn in their ballots. The killer will be revealed Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at Whidbey Childrens Theatre, 723 Camano Avenue.

After 39 years, Mystery Weekend has garnered a large following, said chamber officials.

Photo Courtesy of Langley Chamber of Commerce
Del Orien, Scooter Orien, Ed Sill, and Saffron Meadows discuss Lackey Valet and its mobile app benefits in Langley at the scene of the crime for this year’s Mystery Weekend, happening Saturday and Sunday in Langley. Inset: Lackey Valet App

“About 2,500 people show up, so it’s a big deal for our little town,” said Langley Chamber representative Betty Freeman. “This year we have 48 clues and most of our businesses are participating. One thing this year that is different, is there will be five or six characters distributing clues for businesses who no longer operate from the immediate downtown area.”

Freeman said they have almost 30 cast members this year, several of whom are new.

“The characters are all in town, dressed in costumes,” she shared. “People can find them and interview them to help solve the mystery. I should mention that they can lie and make up a story as they go along. But in reality, the cast doesn’t know who the murderer is, either – only the writer knows.”

This year, the story of “Silence of the Mime” is written by Rachel McDougald with contributions from Loretta Martin and Mike Hill.

“Every year it’s a new story, always with a ton of puns and plays on words,” said Freeman. “So there are many characters with interesting names, like Saffron Meadows, Major Irriten, or Ranger Chase Ketchum. This year there’s a whole group called Buncha Dufus Roofers. They’re all clever plays on words.”

Photo Courtesy of Langley Chamber of Commerce
Ray Lux and Tap Hopper discuss the murder in Langley – they are two of a cast of characters who will help amateur detectives from all over solve this year’s Mystery Weekend crime in Langley, entitled “Silence of the Mime.” 

Mystery Weekend, based loosely on the board game Clue, began in 1984 with just a small cast and was just one day. The Langley Chamber has put on the event every year since, with the exception of 2021, due to the pandemic.

“It started as a way to get people to come to Langley in the winter,” Freeman explained. “Our economy in town is dependent on tourists. The majority of people who participate in Mystery Weekend come from off island. There are a lot of island people who have never played it. But the whole point is to showcase our village and encourage people to come back.”

It seems that strategy has worked well for nearly 40 years and Mystery Weekend has evolved into a major event in Langley – one that definitely draws repeat participants.

“A lot of people have come every year, families come to this every year,” said Freeman. “One fellow, Jay Scott Williams, came to Langley one year and it happened to be on Mystery Weekend. He was walking around town wondering what was going on and inquired about it. The next year he came with his own costume. He wasn’t an official character, but he pretended to be one. He’s been in the cast for several years now.”

Speaking of costumes, it’s not just cast members who dress up, according to Freeman.

Photo Courtesy of Langley Chamber of Commerce
Langley Chamber of Commerce director, Inge Morascini, right, is grateful for Buncha Dufus Roofers’ help at the Langley Visitor Center, just in time for Mystery Weekend, happening Saturday and Sunday.

“Some people come in costume,” she said. “Sometimes it’s related to the theme or they’ll wear a Sherlock Holmes hat or overcoat. We’ve even had dogs in costume. People really get into it a lot. It’s a ton of fun.”

When people purchase their tickets for Mystery Weekend, they receive a program, a ballot for their solution and a copy of the specially printed “Langley Gazette,” which shares background information about the case and characters. When people think they have solved the murder, they can turn in their completed ballots at Mystery Headquarters. The culprit is revealed at 4:30 p.m. Sunday and is “arrested.” All correct solutions go into a grand prize drawing. However,r ALL entries are included in another drawing for other prizes, whether the mystery was solved correctly or not.

All in all, it makes for a grand weekend for lovers of mysteries and good clean fun.

“I think people enjoy it because it’s such goofy fun,” Freeman said. “There are so many creative little puns and things that go into it, it’s just wacky. People who come to play the game are in good moods, they’re excited, and they enjoy it.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, go to