When you’re absolutely sure and 100% ready to learn ALL the answers to the clues for our 1973 Team Building Kit, read on below for the solution.
Before You Continue Reading: Did you visit all five websites? Did you find all four hidden documents in the Fluf Box?
FLUF COMMEMORATIVE BOX
Maroon box with gold detail. One side has the logo for the Darryl Fanton Foundation, indicating that DFF was the body responsible for producing this box.
Auction House Letter Verifying Authenticity
This letter serves as both a certificate of authenticity and a verification of what is included in the auction purchase. This separates what was produced for the commemorative box in 1998, and what was later added to the box from Bobby’s personal collection. The end of the letter mentions that Bobby wanted all funds from the sale to go to the Noah Alexander Memorial Fund.
Novelty Case File
This case file, created to further cash in on Darryl’s murder, contains some relevant information: Darryl’s police record confirms his violent past, his toxicology report verifies he had an overdose of cocaine in his system, and the murder scene description reveals that he was murdered while in a vulnerable position on the bathroom floor.
Collector’s Edition Letter from the Darryl Fanton Foundation
This letter connects the Darryl Fanton Foundation to the sale of the box.
According to the terms of the contract, Sewer Horse maintains rights to record sales for a period of twenty-four years. After that period, sales rights revert to Darryl, because Darryl is “[doing business as] ‘FLUF’” and therefore operating as the legal entity for the band, which is assumed as a trade name in the contract. This means Darryl (or his estate) receives all royalties from the Fluf trademark beginning in 1998.
Custom Commemorative Drum Stick
The drum stick is part of a limited release of Janine Fanton special edition sticks.
Custom Commemorative Guitar Pick
The guitar pick was specially designed with Darryl Fanton in mind.
The album contains information regarding the musicians’ views towards one another. Though Will is heard singing on the majority of the songs, most of the songwriting is attributed to Sally. It’s important to take note of whose perspective each song is coming from. For information regarding the lyrics, see the section under Commemorative Booklet.
The commemorative booklet included with the album details a great deal of information useful to understanding how events unfolded the evening of November 7th into the early morning of November 8th, 1973.
Most evident among the relevant information is the series of statements given to the police by the various band members after the murder. Reading the various statements reveals a timeline of events, according to what the band members said that night:
- November 7th, 1973
- 8:30 p.m. – Fluf leaves the Mojo Lounge. Bobby and Ian take the van with the gear back to the motel.
- 8:40 p.m. – The band arrives back at the motel. Bobby and Ian had already arrived in the van.
- 9:10 p.m. – Sally leaves Darryl in their room and checks on Janine. Janine’s door is locked and she is assumed to be asleep.
- 9:20 p.m. – Will leaves the motel. He sees John Bjorn is in his room. He sees Ian is in his room, but not Bobby.
- 9:30 p.m. – Will arrives at the Mojo Lounge.
- November 8th, 1973
- 12:00 a.m.- Bobby checks on Janine. The door is unlocked and she is seen to be asleep.
- 1:30 a.m. – Courtney admitted to the ER.
- The next piece of information to glean from the booklet is the emotional state of the band and the attitudes of its members toward each other, as learned through the lyrics to the songs.
- “Keep On Fallin,” written and sung by Sally Lowe, is about Darryl’s addiction to cocaine. She refers to Courtney, who supplies Darryl with the drug, as the “siren with the candy” and portrays Darryl as a man who keeps falling for her tricks. Sally harbors a great deal of animosity towards both Darryl and Courtney during the writing of this song.
- “Afterparty,” written by Darryl and Courtney and sung by Will, with harmonies by Darryl and Sally, is Darryl’s ode to partying.
- “Deal with the Devil,” written by Sally and sung by Will, is about Sally’s relationship with Darryl. It’s an introspective look back on how she entered Darryl’s life and quickly became enamored with the idea of running off and joining a band with her boyfriend, only to discover a life full of hardship, drugs, and drama.
- “Supernova Sleaze,” written and recorded by Will without the rest of the band, is about his wistful longing for happier times. In the song, he calls out Sally for cheating on Darryl. The “comet on your tail” refers to John Bjorn Encke (Encke shares his last name with the Encke comet, named for astronomer Johann Franz Encke).
- “Snow Queen,” written by Sally and Will and sung by Will, is a lambast of Courtney, her cocaine habit and, more significantly, her influence over Darryl. Courtney is referenced as the “Snow Queen” in several other documents.
- “Bad Dog,” written by Sally and John Bjorn and sung by Sally, is another song in which Sally reflects on her relationship with Darryl, her resentment towards him, and her desire to be free from the relationship.
- “The Best Show on Earth,” written and sung by Will, takes a look at each member of the band individually and creates a circus character to describe them:
- The New Ringmaster is John Bjorn, who joined the group most recently and, from Will’s perspective, takes over as lead guitarist and as Sally’s love interest.
- The Tightrope Walker refers to Sally, who constantly straddles the line between Darryl and John Bjorn, and always seems to put herself in precarious positions.
- The Lion Tamer represents Darryl, who Sally was in love with. According to the song, he is violent towards Sally and preoccupied with danger — in this case, his drug habit.
- The Trapeze Swinger is Courtney, whose status as a “secret slinger” of drugs is an open secret, and though she’s “flying out of control,” she cannot stop.
- The Burlesque Dancer is Janine, who receives plenty of attention from older men. She performs for that attention, and the “lap in the crowd” is unknown to Will.
- The final character is Will himself, who feels put out by the rest of the band, and makes a threat to get back at them for doing that.
A recreation of the poster from the show the night of Darryl’s death. It verifies the time the doors opened for the show (7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 7th, 1973).
The illustration, by Ian Callow, provides the key to the code hidden in the Fluf t-shirt. The mother owl speaks to the baby owl and reveals a series of stars, each shaded in a different way. The stars are connected in a sequence through streaks in the sky, beginning from the top left and moving to the right and then down. In this order, the stars represent the letters A, B, C, D, and E.
The colored ribbons on the branch next to baby owl indicate a color sequence: white, yellow, blue, violet, and green. These colors, applied to the star shapes, reveals a substitution code for the entire alphabet:
- White: A, B, C, D, E
- Yellow: F, G, H, I, J
- Blue: K, L, M, N, O
- Violet: P, Q, R, S, T
- Green: U, V, W, X, Y
- There is no Z.
A t-shirt designed by Ian Callow. He hid a message in the stars that appear throughout the design, which he intended for Bobby to see. The message, once decoded, reads:
That night I was with the S*** Queen doing drugs and making love.
The “S*** Queen” references Courtney, who was referred to as the Snow Queen on the album for providing cocaine to Darryl.
This statement is Ian’s confession that he was Courtney’s lover, and they were together the night Darryl was murdered, which contradicts his statement to the police.
As an aspiring children’s book author and illustrator, he would not want this information to be made obvious to the public, though he felt compelled to share with Bobby years later.
The website’s most important feature is that the foundation lists Noah’s Song as a philanthropic cause. The DFF’s funding comes from Darryl’s estate, the vast majority of which is comprised of Fluf royalties. NoahsSong.org
According to the budget summary reports, “foundations” (of which DFF is the top benefactor) 4 According to the budget summary reports, “foundations” (of which DFF is the top benefactor) provide the vast majority of funding for Noah’s Song. This funding spikes in 1983 and 1993, when Sewer Horse re-released Afterparty (according to Will’s blog) and again in 1998, when the 25th Anniversary Commemorative Box for Afterparty was released.
Important to compare are the total cash expense and total in-kind expense. Total cash expense is the running cost of the organization, day-to-day expenses, supplies, payroll, etc. The total in-kind expense includes donations from Noah’s Song to other organizations, which is their advertised purpose. The total cash expense is much higher than the total in-kind expense, and over time the amount of cash expense leaving the organization is very high compared to how much is actually being donated.
Beginning in 1983, the “fundraising fees, materials, and products” expense line increases and is consistently higher than the other expenses. Kids Music Wholesale begins to pop up here, and is the top vendor for the majority of the next 17 years.
Janine was purchasing her own instruments since 1983. Between 1998 and 1999 alone, Janine pockets over one million dollars.
Kids Music Wholesale operates as a for-profit wholesale distributor of children’s music.
Will’s website correctly points to some information, though his conclusions are incorrect and based on faulty logic.
Will believes that the shoddy contract agreement between Sewer Horse Records and the band proves that the record company was behind Darryl’s murder. In fact, the shoddy contract deal merely placed the royalties solely in the hands of Darryl.
On this site, Will also discloses the police report from his run-in with the police at the Mojo Lounge the night of the murder, which helps establish the timeline of events and also confirms his alibi. Comparing this report to Will’s statement in the Commemorative Booklet, the following additions can be made to the timeline of events:
- 12:03 a.m.- Police arrive at the Mojo Lounge.
- 12:15 a.m.- Will leaves the Mojo Lounge.
- 12:25 a.m.- Will arrives at the motel and discovers Courtney passed out. According to the map of the motel floor plan, Janine stayed in the room adjoining Darryl and Sally’s room. Will also points out that Bobby had a history of hiding things due to his growing paranoia.
Courtney’s suicide note, in full, is written in a shift cipher with a key hidden in plain sight. The words in parentheses are taken from lyrics in the songs on the album. On the album label, after each listed track title is, in parentheses, the length of each song. These three digits are the key for the shift cipher. By shifting the encoded letters back a number of places according to the respective number in the key for each line, the message may be decoded. For example, in the first line:
(SIREN WITH THE CANDY) K HLFR’W MMON EQASQG
The lyrics are taken from “Keep on Fallin’” which is listed as a length of 2:43. Therefore, the key of 243 will be used for this line.
- Shift K back 2 = I Shift H back 4 = D
- Shift L back 3 = I from here, the key repeats, until the entire line is decrypted.
- Shift F back 2 = D
- Shift R back 4 = N
- Shift W back 3 = T 5 …and so on, until the entire line is decrypted. Then, the next line uses the length of the next song referenced in the lyrics as its key.
When fully decrypted, the message reads: “I didn’t kill anyone. Just me. I’m sorry I got him hooked. They called me the Snow Queen. I couldn’t even be a princess. I deserve to be forgotten, by my friends, by my love.”
With her note, Courtney asserts her innocence in Darryl’s murder, declares her suicide, admits regret and remorse, and confirms she had a love. Linking this with the context of the t-shirt, we can confirm that at the time of Darryl’s murder, Courtney and Ian were in love. Courtney also signed her middle name, Anne. Ian named one of his daughters Leanne, after her.
The last code on Will’s website is the one he suspects of being from EnTeR, the shadowy scientific R&D arm of Sewer Horse Records:
- XU Q OB / GXQ DDD UQK / NNE HNT PIA / IAX Q KYU / INRA EFI IPQK
If he believes it is from EnTeR “after working on it for a few hours,” then he must have discovered some pattern. ENTER has five letters, the same as the first line of the message. So, if XUQOB = ENTER, then what is the key to solving the whole message, when there are no repeated letters in the first line? It is nearly impossible to decode this cipher without knowing that it is written using the Bifid technique, where letters are given coordinates in a 5×5 grid (I and J traditionally occupy the same space) and the coordinates are split and rearranged. However, Will found this note on the ground, and if someone had intended for him to read it, they would have given him some sort of key or additional clue. Will just stumbled upon a random encrypted poem, and saw more in it than was there:
- “Enter / if you dare / No one will / free you / from the dark”
The message is ominous, to be sure, but the truth is that this note has nothing to do with Sewer Horse Records, Will Fox, or Darryl Fanton.
In Mickey and George’s interview with John Bjorn Encke, John Bjorn lets slip that he was with Sally, contradicting his police report and confirming that he and Sally were both away during the murder, which is what Will suspected all along.
Beneath the velvet insert that lines the inside of the commemorative box are several documents, hidden there by Bobby. The lining will have to be cut or torn into in order to get to the documents.
Letter from Bobby to Whomever
Bobby talks about his love of “her” though he doesn’t say who “her” is. He also references Sally in a separate context. Lastly, Will notices Sally’s romantic entanglements and doesn’t mention Bobby. Considering all of this, it can be assumed that Bobby isn’t in love with Sally, and the “her” references someone else.
He says he was asleep during the murder, due to sleeping pills, which contradicts what he told the police in his statement. He mentions trying to “make things right” before the end. This “mak[ing] things right” has to do with the donations he makes to the Noah Alexander Memorial Fund (Noah’s Song).
If Ian was with Courtney, and Sally was with John Bjorn, then the only other “her” could be Janine, which means Bobby lied about checking in on her, and since he was not in his room with Ian, he was in fact already in Janine’s room when Sally found the door locked.
Letter from Sally to Bobby
In this hidden letter, Sally lets Bobby know, unequivocally, that she did not murder Darryl, and he should stop trying to suggest that she may have. She also confirms her affair with John Bjorn, explains that Darryl was “not a saint” towards his little sister, and confirms Courtney is the Snow Queen.
Note from Will to Bobby
Will wrote this note to give Bobby a key to a coded message on Watchful Will. Will references in his blog that he and Bobby played blackjack in Vegas, and they developed an inside joke, “crash the nine,” which Will references in this note. The reference is to remind Bobby of blackjack because the sequence of letters and numbers in the note are all in reference to cards in the game. Will is giving Bobby a key, otherwise known as a one-time pad, to use in the decryption of his code on Watchful Will.
The values in the list (face cards J, Q, and K all have a value of 10, and A can have a value of 1 or 11, though Will only uses 11 according to his blog) are all transformative values that, when applied to their corresponding letter in the cipher on Will’s blog, indicate how many times to shift each letter in order to get the correct original message.
Using this note to decrypt the cipher on Will’s blog, the decoded message reads, “Bobby and Ian were not in their room when I returned,” which contradicts their police statements.
The obituary article for Noah Alexander reveals that Janine had a son. Her son’s birthday is roughly 40 weeks after the night Darryl was murdered. Noah is actually Bobby’s child, which is why he spends so much donating to Noah’s Song.
The information gathered from the above items discloses the following:
- Darryl was destructive and abusive.
- Janine had a rough upbringing with Darryl as her older brother and caretaker.
- Janine and Bobby spent the night together before Darryl’s murder, and Bobby fell soundly asleep from his sleeping pills.
- Janine’s room was locked.
- Janine’s room was adjoining Darryl and Sally’s room.
- Sally was not in the room when Darryl was murdered.
- Darryl received all royalties from the album sales.
- Darryl’s estate, through Janine as next-of-kin, is funneled into the Darryl Fanton Foundation (DFF).
- DFF donates most of its funds to Noah’s Song.
- Noah’s Song purchases a suspiciously large amount of instruments from Kids Music Wholesale.
- Janine owns Kids Music Wholesale. She redistributes all of the “charity” from Darryl’s estate and the DFF into her own pockets, without raising suspicion about her motives and relationship with Darryl.
- Janine is the only one with the motive and the opportunity to murder Darryl.
- Janine is the killer — in one fell swoop, Janine eliminated her brother who was, by all accounts, a violent and abusive individual; disbanded the group so she could return home; and established the foundation for her future financial stability.