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Murder Mystery On Train Not So Fun In Real Life

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Report: Someone Needs To Get Chips And Dip Away From Area Man

EDISON, NJ—Repeatedly emphasizing that the ruffled potato chips and accompanying French onion dip were just too good, a report released Thursday confirmed that someone needs to get them away from local partygoer Ian Ashcraft before he eats the whole thing.

High School Nurse Getting Pretty Good At Spotting Morning Sickness

FAIRFIELD, ME―Having seen more students than she can remember come into her office with complaints of nausea and vomiting over the years, Fairfield High School nurse Sarah Bromti told reporters Wednesday she’s getting to the point where she can identify morning sickness without much trouble.

Grandmother Palms Grandson $10 Like She Fixing Boxing Match

NEW BEDFORD, MA—Waiting until her daughter and son-in-law were occupied getting drinks in the kitchen following a family dinner at her home Sunday, local grandmother Ellen Sullivan, 72, is said to have palmed her 11-year-old grandson Jason Tucci $10 like she was fixing a heavyweight boxing match.

5 Months Of College Research Outweighed By Weekend Visiting Friend At Penn State

HAGERSTOWN, MD—Noting that the large public university had suddenly emerged as the high school student’s top choice for the fall, sources confirmed Wednesday that a single weekend spent with a friend who attends Penn State completely superseded all of graduating senior Tyler Pince’s college research over the past five months.

Boss Wants Friendly, Relaxed Company Culture In Place By Friday

SAN MATEO, CA—Warning of severe consequences if he didn’t see results, Pantheon Digital Consulting COO Daniel Abelson, 59, told employees Monday he wants a relaxed, friendly company culture implemented by the end of the week, sources within the organization confirmed.

Everyone In Coffee Shop Can Tell Trainee A Goner

KIRKLAND, WA—Shaking their heads as they watched the man struggle to make correct change and overheard him botch back-to-back orders, every customer at local coffee shop The Daily Bean confided to reporters Friday they could tell the store’s newest trainee was a definite goner.

34-Year-Old Man May As Well Keep Pursuing Dream At This Point

OMAHA, NE—Admitting he wasn’t really qualified to do much of anything else after all this time, local 34-year-old Ryan Wells told reporters Wednesday that, at this point, he might as well just keep following his dream of someday becoming a successful musician.

You To Still Die One Day

Did You Forget About That For A Minute?

WASHINGTON—Saying that despite the possibility you may have briefly been able to distract yourself from the incontrovertible fact by browsing the internet, hanging out with friends, reading, working out, or via some other diversion, sources confirmed Friday that you are still going to die one day and there is nothing you can do to prevent it.

Teacher’s Lounge The Site Of 5 Separate Emotional Breakdowns Today

CONWAY, AR—Noting that the space hasn’t gone more than two consecutive periods without being filled by the sound of soft sobbing or a sharply uttered series of curse words, sources at Conway High School confirmed that the teacher’s lounge has been the site of five separate emotional breakdowns so far today.

Alignment Of 6,071 Completely Independent Variables Necessary For Man To Feel Okay

PHILADELPHIA—Listing off an extensive set of prerequisite conditions ranging from various aspects of his physical health to the volume of the ongoing construction project outside his apartment, local man Shane Lambert confirmed Thursday that 6,071 completely independent variables must be in perfect synchrony at any given moment for him to feel okay.

Area Dad Stares Longingly At Covered Grill In Backyard

‘I Haven’t Forgotten You,’ Father Softly Whispers

EUCLID, OH—Placing his right palm against the glass of the sliding back door as he softly whispered reassurances to the device, local father Paul Chesney, 48, spent nearly an hour Tuesday gazing longingly at the covered grill in his backyard, family sources reported.

Breaking: Adam Got A PS4 For Christmas

He Got ‘Battlefront’ Too

DANVILLE, CA—Saying that the 10-year-old was so freaking lucky, sources in Mrs. Burnett’s homeroom class confirmed Monday that local 5th-grader Adam Samuels got a PlayStation 4 for Christmas and Star Wars Battlefront, too.

Grandma In Nursing Home Starts Adorable Little Sexual Relationship

PHOENIX—Saying it was nice to know their grandmother had found a companion to spend time with, the family of Desert Spring Assisted Living Home resident Barbara McGann reported Wednesday that the 78-year-old had begun an adorable little sexual relationship with another of the facility’s residents.

Grin Slowly Spreads Across Mom’s Face As Meal Revealed To Contain Healthy Ingredients

‘The Mashed Potatoes Are Actually Made With Cauliflower,’ She Announces

VERONA, WI—Having waited until everyone at the table had finished their dinner Monday, a knowing grin reportedly spread across local mother Angela Hopkins’ face as she announced to her family that the mashed potatoes had in fact been made using cauliflower as a healthier alternative.

Sudden Death Of Aunt Creates Rupture In Family Gossip Pipeline

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA—Grieving family members of local aunt Laurie Shelton confirmed Monday that the 48-year-old woman’s unexpected death had caused a major breach in their gossip pipeline, suddenly disrupting access to the latest dirt on all their relatives.

Man Really Letting No One Have It During Exit Interview

SPRINGFIELD, MA—Keeping his voice at a measured volume and holding everything back, departing employee David Hughes was really letting no one have it during his exit interview Monday, sources at local accounting firm Grier and Associates confirmed.

Conceptual Genius Goes As Self For Halloween

‘He Himself Is The Costume,’ Say Amazed Onlookers

SHERMAN OAKS, CA—Brilliantly subverting the very idea of a costume, conceptual genius Mark Richards, 27, reportedly stunned his fellow partygoers Friday when he announced that he had dressed as himself for Halloween.

No One In Gym Class Volleyball Game Willing To Set Ball

LITTLE ELM, TX—With neither team having completed more than two hits during a rally before sending the ball back over the net, sources confirmed Wednesday that no one in Jefferson High School’s third-period gym class was willing to set during a volleyball game.

Impressive New Hire Figures Out Bare Minimum Of Work Job Requires On First Day

MILWAUKEE—Marveling at his extraordinary ability to learn the ropes at the technology firm and quickly fit right in with the rest of his colleagues, sources at Starpoint Solutions confirmed Thursday that impressive new hire Eric Myers has already figured out the bare minimum of work his job requires on the very first day.

45-Minute Phone Call To Credit Card Company Goes Great

FORT WAYNE, IN—Grinning with contentment as he reminisced about the call he placed earlier in the day, 31-year-old accountant Greg Schulhoff told reporters Thursday that his 45-minute phone call with MasterCard regarding late payment fees went “really great.”

Mom Keeping Tabs On Coyote Situation

WAYZATA, MN—Regularly updating her husband and children on the frequency and location of sightings around the neighborhood, local mother Dana Salisbury continued to keep close tabs on the coyote situation this week, sources confirmed.

Teen Coming Out Of Shell Giving Bully Lots Of New Material To Work With

SCOTTSDALE, AZ—Claiming he “hit the jackpot” when his victim began displaying an increased level of confidence and expressing his personal interests, local bully David Macomber told reporters Tuesday that he has had loads of new material to work with since 14-year-old Andrew Reid started coming out of his shell several weeks ago.

Boss Able To Seamlessly Blend Constructive Criticism With Personal Attacks

SAN JOSE, CA—Marveling at the ease and deftness with which he communicates the two messages simultaneously, employees at local advertising firm Wavelength Solutions told reporters Tuesday that their supervisor Eric Crowell has a unique ability to seamlessly blend constructive criticism with cutting personal attacks.

Neighborhood Starting To Get Too Safe For Family To Afford

CHICAGO—Explaining that the sense of unease she felt walking to and from her home had declined markedly over the years, Humboldt Park resident Kirsten Healy expressed her disappointment to reporters Thursday that her neighborhood was becoming too safe for her family to afford.

Area Dad Informs Busboy He’s Ready To Order

NASHUA, NH—Raising his arm into the air while leaning outward from the table in a bid to command attention from the other side of the restaurant, area father Walter Bierko called over a busboy at DiCapri’s Italian Eatery to inform him that he was ready to order, sources reported Wednesday.

Winning Argument With Aging Parents Less Satisfying Than It Once Was

CINCINNATI—After firmly telling them that she was okay paying city prices and that she would not move back to her hometown just because it was cheaper, local woman Ellen Wallace, 40, confirmed Thursday that winning an argument with her parents has become much less satisfying as they have gotten older.
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Ugh, This A Place Where Bartenders Wear Bow Tie

PITTSBURGH—Saying they should have known from the moment they walked in the unmarked speakeasy entrance and spotted the extensive wood paneling, customers confirmed Friday that, ugh, this is one of those places where the bartenders all wear bow ties.

Holidays

Murder Mystery On Train Not So Fun In Real Life

TOMAH, WI—An ongoing murder investigation aboard a cross-country Amtrak passenger train has not been the thrilling, suspense-filled journey of intrigue and ingenious subterfuge that was initially anticipated, travelers said Monday.

A plucky crime-fighting police dog is recalled from the murder scene when investigators determine his services are not necessary.

"It seemed like an open and shut case," said accountant Louis Simms, one of 129 passengers aboard the train. "No arcane clues or cryptic poetry or 'perfect crime' aspirations or anything. A guy got into a fight and got stabbed."

The victim, identified by police as 34-year-old Paul Satterwhite, was found dead of multiple stab wounds in the dining car of the Empire Builder in the early morning hours of Monday, nearly two hours after the train's departure from Chicago. Passenger excitement upon the discovery of the slaying was soon dashed when local police dispatched to the scene decided to hold the Oregon-bound train outside the small rural community of Tomah indefinitely.

"I can't believe they stopped the train at the next crossing," telemarketer Joe Stimpson said. "I thought this sort of thing was supposed to slowly unfold while we were still moving, not drag on forever in some middle-of-nowhere cornfield."

A sort of confused monotony defined the next several hours, as bleary-eyed passengers were first ordered off the train and crowded into Tomah's tiny train station, then put back on again when concerns about flight risk on the part of the still-unknown perpetrator were voiced. The police, reportedly inexperienced with murder investigations, again removed the passengers when it was determined that the crime scene had not been properly secured.

<p>"One idiot stabbed another idiot. Snore."</p> <p>&#8212;commuter Joe Tyrn</p>

The arrival of FBI agents shortly after sunrise prompted a stir of excitement among the travelers, but this was quickly suppressed when they were ordered back on the train and told to remain in their seats. Because this meant that no one but people carrying badges was allowed to sleuth, several passengers questioned whether proper police procedure was being conducted.

"How are we supposed to gauge one another's reaction to the murder if we're not all allowed to crowd around the body at once?" dental assistant Lynn Gallen said. "Who's going to solve the mystery if plucky amateurs are not allowed to snoop around and spot clues the professionals are too dull and complacent to notice?"

"Anyhow, I heard the guy was stabbed with an ordinary switchblade, not something cool like a rare Mayan obsidian dagger," Gallen continued.

Many also expressed a strong dislike of the lead investigator on the case, Agent Bernard Larson.

"That man has got to be the least memorable person alive," electrician Raymond Mercado said. "He has no interesting quirks or foibles, looks neither eccentrically shabby nor fastidiously dapper. He doesn't even smoke. And he wasn't coincidentally on the train when the murder happened, either. They just brought him in later."

Passengers also criticized the repetitive questioning by police, the lack of verbal updates about the situation, and the fact that the body had been discovered out in the open and hadn't tumbled from a luggage rack or been crammed into a large steamer trunk. While several bald, middle-aged fat men were present on the train, none are reported to have worn black suits or carried bass fiddles.

Riders were further let down when, by midday, Chicago resident Nathan Van Dyck, 28, was taken into custody. A kitchen worker reported seeing Van Dyck heatedly arguing with the victim shortly before the body was discovered.

According to police, Satterwhite was a divorced auto mechanic who allegedly lacked a shadowy past involving deceit, murder, and treachery that would have motivated an act of violent retribution. Nor did Satterwhite and Van Dyck appear to share any apparent dark secrets.

Even the resolution of the case left travelers cold, as Van Dyck's arrest enabled the train to resume the journey without incident. While most dozed, a few returned to their knitting, Sudoku puzzle books, and mystery novels.

"This whole experience hasn't been the least bit fun or fascinating," podiatrist Floyd Rose said. "In fact, I'm starting to think what happened here was kind of awful and scary."

A few expressed disappointment that the only somewhat interesting passenger, an impeccably dressed gentleman with an eye patch and a German accent, hadn't been seen on the train since he was spotted leaving the dining car shortly after the murder was thought to have occurred.

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