The Westing Game

by Ellen Raskin
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In The Westing Game, who killed Sam Westing? Why? How?

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No one killed Sam Westing. He faked his own death to get closer to his family.

Sam Westing was rich, but he led a difficult life. His daughter died, and he left town. He decided to create a murder mystery puzzle to get all of his heirs together. The objective seems to be to allow him to spend time with his extended family.

Turtle is the only one who really realizes what is going on, but Westing is happy about that. She marches into his office and announces that she won the game. He is clearly pleased with this development.

His watery blue eyes stared at her over his rimless half-glasses. Hard eyes. His teeth were white, not quite even (no one would ever guess they were false). He was smiling. He wasn’t angry with her, he was smiling. (Ch. 27)

As Sam Westing, Sandy McSouthers, Barney Northrup, and Julian R. Eastman, he gets to spend a lot of time with his family members. He learns who is genuine and who is not. He is also able to get to know Turtle. Turtle and “Eastman” become good friends. She inherits his money, but does not tell anyone what really happened to Sam Westing.

When Turtle, now T.R. Wexler, sits at Westing’s bedside, we can tell how close the two have become.

“This is it, Turtle.” His voice was weak.

“You can die before my very eyes, Sandy, and I wouldn’t believe it.”

“Show some respect. I can still change my will.”

“No, you can’t. I’m your lawyer.” (Ch. 30)

So you see, no one killed Sam Westing. He dies of old age, with his family by his side. He might not have his daughter anymore, but Turtle becomes a sort of adopted daughter.  She is spunky and intelligent, and the two of them are perfect for each other.

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