After indulging in a three-course meal at Rosie’s Juice Joint - a colorful salad, a thick piece of pecan-crusted chicken over a bed of rice, and the classic ol’ derby pie – Notorious Nick Nemetz, the North Side mob boss, stood up and made an announcement: he was marrying the local sleaze, Molly Mol. Such an announcement caused quite a roar, particularly by Nick’s sister, Natalie, who thought Molly Mol was, in her very own words, a “hussy.” To further stir the pot, Natalie Nemetz revealed her own shocking secret: she was dating Southside Sal, South Side mob boss and Nick’s archrival. Chaos ensued, and before anyone could gather their thoughts, the lights suddenly dimmed. What is going on, I thought. Before I could connect the dots, several rounds of bullets rang out, accompanied by screams of terror. When the lights returned, there lied Notorious Nick on the floor, dead from several gunshot wounds. No one knew who fired the fatal shots, but it was everyone’s job Saturday night to find out.
The night began with a grieving Rosie Marie, owner of the Juice Joint, welcoming all of us to her establishment. She had recently lost her husband, Louie Marie, whose body was found floating in the local river. Little did we know that someone else would get the axe that night. As a savvy flapper, I had the privilege of sitting next to some of the city’s heavy hitters, including the city's most beloved politician, a revenge-minded Anna Marie (Rosie’s daughter), Natalie Nemetz, and good ol’ Southside Sal - to name a few. It was an interesting sitting arrangement with sly Sal being quite the hoot.
After the murder, everyone had their own suspicions, but it was up to us to dig up the dirt on our own (and cough up the right amount of money). There was a lot of bribery, blackmail, and extortion that night, but nothing out of the ordinary for the Juice Joint. There were even some threats made, and no, I’m not very proud of it. Thankfully, we didn’t have to do all of the work, as a private investigator on the scene collected and compiled the evidence for our review. As I took a look at Exhibits A-D, my self-proclaimed detective skills were put to work. And surprisingly, I knew exactly who murdered Notorious Nick.
Chief Cameron. The police chief, who had ties to Nick’s henchman, Cy Ramsey, and Southside Sal, was the culprit, despite being listed on Nick’s payroll and possibly running for governor. It was a surprise for many and an unsettling reality for some. Either way, that night at the Juice Joint, we were all reminded that it can be a very, very cruel world.
But we were also reminded of the good in humanity at the heartfelt Beauty for a Benefit event. The Murder Mystery Dinner was a huge success, and I don’t say that lightly. From the cash bar that kept drinks flowing to the photo booth that captured some of the night’s most memorable moments, there was never a dull moment. A packed event with about 80 people in attendance, the Murder Mystery Dinner united guests together for a night of fun, and most importantly, a night of charity.
Upon our arrival, my friend and I posed on the red carpet in our best 1920's wear before transporting back into the Roaring Twenties. The Brown/Collins room at the Galt House, known as the Juice Joint that night, was beautifully decorated, providing the ambience of a 1920's speakeasy. Each table was ornately adorned with candles, gold coins, and signature feather boas, featuring various infamous gangsters to help us find our table. Bugsy Siegel, Al Capone, Lucky Luciano all made appearances – in case you were wondering.
With good vibes all around, it was clear that everyone, including myself, enjoyed their evening and for a good cause. Those involved with Beauty for a Benefit and Omagi Salon Spa - both led by Wes Auberry - put on a fantastic event that will undoubtedly aid the Home for the Innocents through the proceeds raised. The event was such a roaring success that Mayor Greg Fischer sent a proclamation, declaring October 13, 2012 as ‘Beauty for a Benefit and Home of the Innocents’ Day.' With such a special honor, the night was definitely one to remember.
In front of the Juice Joint, there stood a large tri-fold poster of three smiling faces. They were faces of children getting another chance at life, thanks to the Home of the Innocents. As everyone laughed and enjoyed a good night of mystery, those faces were never forgotten. Thanks to Beauty for a Benefit and Omagi Salon Spa, those faces simply couldn’t be forgotten. There is more work to be done for the Home of the Innocents, as Beauty for a Benefit has more planned for this year’s beneficiary. But for that moment, innocent children across Kentuckiana were honored, celebrated, and praised, even at the Juice Joint.
For more information on Beauty for a Benefit and their upcoming events, please visit http://www.beautyforabenefit.com .
Photo: Erika Clark