Precis

It's come to this...

MurderMastery.com

MartinDetection.com

JulietAndrews.com

JimmyGyms.com

MurderisAnnounced.com

MakeaWadofCash.com

SkipSkipAds.com

It's a crazy idea...

Over ten years ago, I came up with an idea that I wanted to call ‘The YouTube Murders’. 

The concept was simple; a series of films, seemingly unconnected, sprinkled across the vastness of YouTube. If found by serendipity, they may stand alone. But by purchasing a backstory and watching them in a certain order (knowing what you are looking for) they begin to make perfect sense. Hidden messages reveal themselves.

I hit a ‘quiet patch’ at the start of 2023 so I thought I’d spend the time figuring out the plot and taking this idea further.

I moved away from the random YouTube films. I couldn’t be sure if permission was required and, once uploaded, there was nothing to stop anyone simply passing on the links. Also, I do so hate that ‘views’ thing. No matter the hype, the fact a video was uploaded 8 years ago and has had 17 views tells you all you need to know.

The Plot

I wanted to control where the viewer goes and I wanted them to tour the internet. But what connects several, seemingly random websites?

I’m not going to tell you, but it took me some time to figure out. 

I was also certain about the first film (you can read it in full – it’s very short). I had the image of a mysterious woman asking a hapless detective to solve a murder. But she fails to say who was murdered and yet hands him a lot of money (forcing him to take on the case). 

Then we discover SHE is the victim.

It took me an age to figure out why she would go to such lengths to set him up knowing she was about to die. Why would anyone do that?

Anyhow, it has no all been worked out. Unlike other stories, a murder mystery takes a LOT of plotting.

I bought the domain names

Foolish? Probably. But I came up with the domain names I wanted. Then, as usually happens, I panicked they may go. So I bought ALL the domains I needed:

The mystery will be housed on my ‘retirement project’ site, MurderMastery.com. The idea is that this site will house various scripts, mysteries, videos I may produce in my ‘retirement’ year(s). WEB will be the jewel in the crown here (it will also house my first filmed mystery, Lockdown Murder Mystery, and my second. Christmas Murder).

Of course, it could also start at other locations (YouTube, for example). The first film is free to watch.

The viewer will then be taken to the protagonist’s website, MartinDetection.com. 

Then there is the list of ‘random’ sites: JulietAndrews.com, JimmyGyms.com, MurderisAnnounced.com (I was amazed that name was available), MakeaWadofCash.com and SkipSkipAds.com.

So…here’s how it works (I’m not giving the entire plot away).

 

Film 1: the hook

You can read this IN FULL here.

Our hero, Sean Martin, is in a police cell, then an interview room, accused of murder.

We flashback to the moment Mandy comes into his office and asks him to search out a killer. She hands him twenty grand in cash and a scrap of paper with her phone number.

He calls it again and again. It is eventually answered by a police detective. Mandy is the victim. Sean is the suspect.

Paywall

I’m up for suggestions (this may not work on Netflix, for example) but the idea is that the hook gets the viewer interested and now they purchase the game.

They will have a set time in which to watch all the films. It could be played alone or in teams.

It can be played on a TV or large screen. It could equally simply be played on a phone.

Film 2: exposition

The longest of the films (at around 20 minutes), this is where we get the bulk of the story and meet the main characters.

We open with Sean on a video call to his sister. She has heard about his arrest and tells him that everyone, including his own mother, thinks he’s a killer. Of course, Sean denies it and wants to find out who paid his bail money.

Next we meet Tony, sean’s neighbour and closest friend. He offers help in finding a good barrister and takes Sean back to his police interview. The interview cannot be considered a success. Sean’s solicitor spends her time flirting with one of the detectives. All are convinced of Sean’s guilt. They just need to prove it.

But the most important character is Cuthbert (not his real name).

Cuthbert is a private detective who offers Sean advice, and gives him a copy of ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Private Investigation.’ But he seems to seek information in return. A secretive character; we don’t ever get to see his face other than in silhouette and his words are voiced by an actor. That actor is David (who, coincidentally, also works for Murder is Announced).

But Cuthbert introduces us to the game by telling Sean about a case he’s been working on. A number of recent murders and disappearances. There is only one thing that seems to link them; in all cases, the night before they were killed, they were called by Sean!

Cuthbert refuses to give further information. However, he has inadvertently left the list of names in the pages of the book. This list sets us on a tour of the websites where the clues can be found.

The websites

There is an opportunity, if anyone wants it, to personalise the game.

This is where the players (either an individual or in teams) get the chance to visit the sites. If, for example, someone had bought the game as a birthday surprise, they could make their own video, upload it to YouTube or their own website, and add it to the list. It will have nothing to do with the game but will add to the fun.

However, in most cases, the players will simply visit the sites.

On each site, there will be a video. There will also be photos and articles, etc. But there is nothing that OBVIOUSLY connects the sites. Finding the connection (other than the mysterious deaths and disappearances) is what makes the game.

However, there are clues within the web videos, along with a few frights.

Juliet Andrews