Who Killed Nell Cropsey? Try to solve it yourself during the Elizabeth City Legends & Lore Event

Who Killed Nell Cropsey? Try to solve it yourself during the Elizabeth City Legends & Lore Event

February 28th, 2023

Get ready for the classic Murder Mystery game like you’ve never experienced it before – with a true unsolved murder – the Murder of Nell Cropsey over 100 years ago in Elizabeth City

The Elizabeth City Legends & Lore Mystery Event will provide clues in the form of character re-enactments, audio, and pre-recorded video given at 12 locations throughout the downtown business and residential area. 

All locations are actual locations connected with mysteries surrounding Nell Cropsey’s disappearance, murder, trial, and aftermath. 

It’s a thrilling combination ghost story, scavenger hunt, theater, and murder mystery game.

The event is organized in partnership with Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc. (ECDI), Elizabeth City Historic Neighborhood Association (ECHNA), Visit Elizabeth City, Christ Episcopal Church, Arts of the Albemarle, Museum of the Albemarle, Hoppin’ Johnz New South Cuisine and The Mills Downtown Bistro. 

Participants will collect the clues and decide for themselves who they think murdered 19-year-old Nell. Participants will congregate at a local historic cemetery at 4:00 pm, after a day of clue collecting, for an event reception where the “real” murderer will be revealed (based on participant voting). 

Ella Maud (Nell) Cropsey was born in July 1882 to New York parents William and Mary Louise Cropsey.  The family moved to Elizabeth City, NC and settled at 1109 Riverside Drive, at the time a 65-acre plantation on the banks of the Pasquotank River. 

The last time Nell was seen alive was on the evening of November 20, 1901 after a visit with her suitor, Jim Wilcox.

The entire town and law enforcement community searched for Nell for weeks. Thirty-seven (37) days later, two days after Christmas, Nell’s non-decomposed body was found floating in the Pasquotank River.

There are many theories as to who killed Nell.  Her fiancé Jim Wilcox was convicted and sentenced twice (once to be hanged, and the second time to 30 years in prison), only to be pardoned by then Governor Thomas Walter Bickett halfway into his sentence.  

Who do YOU think killed the beautiful Nell Cropsey?

Her father, William Cropsey? A thieving vagrant trying to steal the family pig?

Her sister, Ollie? One of her other suspected suitors, Mr. John B. Fearing?

Or someone else?

Much has been written about this over-100-year-old murder. We look forward to you helping us find the murderer of Nell Cropsey. We encourage you to learn more about the mysterious murder mystery and legendary unsolved murder by purchasing one (or all) of the books written about it or reading/listening to some of the many articles, podcasts, and stories published about it. It was, and continues to be, a story of national sensation.  EVERYONE has an opinion – what’s yours?

Elizabeth City Legends & Lore Mystery Event
Friday night VIP Event, April 21, 5:00-7:00 pm – Social: Arts of the Albemarle, 516 E. Main Street, Elizabeth City NC 27909
Saturday, April 22, 2023, 10:00am – 5:30 pm: Headquarters and Event Start: Museum of the Albemarle 501 S. Water Street, Elizabeth City 

Legends & Lore Event tickets are $25.00 each and include access to the EC Legends & Lore App, printed Clue Card Tickets, the reveal party at the historic Christ Episcopal Church Cemetery, and loads of investigatory fun!

VIP Experience Passes are $100.00 each and include a VIP pass to the Friday evening reception  (April 21, 5:00-7:00 pm, floating with light hors d’oeuvres and beverages, a visit from Nell Cropsey herself, acoustic entertainment, extra clue given at the event, possible author signing (details pending); ticket for Saturday’s mystery event; early packet pickup and check-in (Friday night*) and early start time (30 minute head start before regular ticket holders).

Your VIP Experience Pass also includes the L&L Event Ticket which provides access to the EC Legends & Lore App, printed Clue Cards, the reveal party at the historic Christ Episcopal Church cemetery, and loads of investigatory fun!

For more information, please visit www.elizabethcitylegends.com, contact Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc., 252-338-4104 or elizabethcitydowntown@embarqmail.com 

Links to some (but not all) of the many articles, podcasts, and stories published about The Murder of Nell Cropsey:


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