January 1st, 1955
Johnny Ace accidentally shot himself on Christmas Day of 1954, which is naturally the main story point of our opening session.
Johnny had been drinking and, as he was wont to do, was playing with his favorite .22 revolver. He had playfully pointed it at his girlfriend and another woman when another member of the band mentioned he should be careful waving around a loaded weapon. Johnny cheerfully replied that the weapon wasn’t loaded, put it to his head, and pulled the trigger.
The nation mourned.
Meanwhile, in the meandering city that sprung up around Cleveland, there was a rash of kidnappings going on. Four in nine days, and no real suspects to speak of. As the evidence mounted, a local Mormon by the name of Daniel Waters came to suspicion at about the same time that Bobby Jones, oldest child and only son of one Maude Jones, went missing.
That cold January day also saw Andrew Whitaker take a bullet to the leg during a COMPLETELY LEGITIMATE investigation of Mr. Waters’ home. Harvey Grey, a local socialite and guest at the Policeman’s Ball, assisted the investigation by helpfully pointing the police towards some secondary evidence in the Waters case.
Of course, the fact that Daniel Waters could be placed well outside the area that young Bobby went missing at the time of his disappearance lends to the idea that Mr. Waters is either not, in fact, the kidnapper, or at the very least has an accomplice.
Accomplices who may or may not be Russian…
But seriously. Johnny Ace killed himself in a tragic firearms accident, and that’s far more relevant.