The Westing Game

by Ellen Raskin

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What is Crow like in The Westing Game?

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Crow, whose full name is Berthe Erica Crow, is described as looking severe. She has very pale white skin, wears black clothes, and is rather gaunt. Mrs. Crow, a cleaning lady, is a religious person who is the only Westing heir to pray. Crow is 57 years old, and her mother died when she was young. She was raised by her father, who is now dead. She had one year of high school education and married a man named Windy Windkloppel at sixteen and divorced at forty. She had chronic problems related to alcoholism when she was young and had three arrests for vagrancy. She turned to religion to beat her alcoholism, and she opened the Good Salvation Soup Kitchen on Skid Row. She is now the cleaning lady for Sunset Towers and lives on the fourth floor of the building.

Towards the end of the book, it is revealed that Crow is the former wife of Samuel W. Westing. Their only child, a daughter named Violet, drowned the night before she was to be married. It seems at first as though Westing is trying to get revenge on Crow, but, in the end, she is not the answer to the game Westing has set up in his will. At the end of the book, Crow is united with Otis Amber.

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Crow is the maid in Sunset Towers.  She turns out to be Sam Westing’s ex-wife.   Her real name is Berthe Erica Crow.

Crow lives in a tiny apartment.  She is constantly talking about religion and sinners, but she is really devastated by her daughter Violet’s death right before her wedding.

Crow’s clothes were black; her skin dead white. She looked severe.  Rigid in fact.  Rigid and righteously severe. (ch 3, p. 11)

Crow is not a very social person.  She tends to bumble around, and does not communicate with anyone but Otis Amber.  Most of the inhabitants of Sunset Towers ignore her because she is a batty old woman and the maid.

Crow is paired with Otis Amber, the ancient delivery boy.  At one point, Crow is suspected and even arrested.  She says she is the solution to the Westing murder, which makes the others assume that she murdered Sam Westing.  She did not.  No one murdered him, because he is still alive and in hiding.

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