Who Killed Will Cortlandt?
Greedy. Opportunist. Bastard: all words used to describe the dastardly evil Will Cortlandt. Not many people in Pine Valley mourned the young Mr. Corltandt when he was discovered bludgeoned to death in his apartment in 1992. Will had transformed from naïve small town, Pigeon Hallow native to a ruthless corporate stooge that gave even the likes of Adam Chandler chills.
Will’s death and the trial that ensued was the headline on all the papers in Pine Valley. Everyone in town had a reason to want Will dead, but only one person could have committed the crime.
Take a look at the major players and slowly unlock the mystery behind Who Killed Will Cortlandt?
Will Cortlandt: Will Cooney grew up with his loving sister Dixie Cooney in rural Pigeon Hallow, West Virginia. After the death of his mother, Will and Dixie packed their bags and landed in Pine Valley in search of their Uncle Pete. To their surprise, Pete was millionaire electronics tycoon Palmer Cortlandt.
Palmer took a quick liking to Will and he quickly climbed the ladder at Cortlandt Electronics. The quick change in social status corrupted Will. Palmer recognized Will’s transformation, even becoming fearful that his nephew was slipping him poison. Palmer cut Will out of his life and corporation.
But it was too late. Fueled by anger, Will was determined to show his uncle he could make a name for himself. He got a job at Enchantment Cosmetics from Palmers old friend Erica Kane, and slowly plotted a takeover from within.
Will knew the only person Palmer hated more than him was Adam Chandler. Will seduced Adam’s naïve daughter, Hayley Vaughan, getting her drunk and eventually eloping. This was the last draw for Adam and Palmer, who jointly offered Will a settlement to leave town and never look back.
In a drunken stupor, Will attempted to consummate his marriage to Hayley; but, she was having second thoughts. Fearful of her husband, Hayley barricaded herself in the bathroom. As Will struggled to get to his wife, an unknown assailant bludgeoned Will to death with a crowbar.
The Good Guys:
Edmund Grey: Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Edmund Grey came to Pine Valley determined the crack the case. He soon realized he could not trust anyone he met in the small town. They were all suspects in Will’s murder.
The investigation into Will’s death took a back seat to the mysteries of Edmund’s own past. Edmund had been raised in Pine Valley, the son of the servants at Wildwind. With Dimitri Marick, the castle’s prince, a suspect in Will’s murder, Edmund struggled to come to grips with demons from his own past.
Livia Frye: Livia Frye was appointed as defense attorney to Brian Bodine, the prime suspect in Will’s murder. Livia was a relative newcomer to Pine Valley. She realized that people in the little town were not as they seemed. Based on the rumblings around town, she knew her client was innocent.
Brian Bodine: Brian Bodine was discovered standing over Will’s dead body, holding a bloody crowbar. He was taken into custody as the prime suspect in Will’s murder.
Brian and Hayley Cortlandt has been high school sweethearts. To everyone in town it was clear that they were destined for the aisle. But, after a blowout over Hayley’s controlling father, Adam Chandler, Brian broke things off with Hayley.
When Brian married AnLi Chen to help her get a green card, Hayley reacted by marrying Will. Will fueled Hayley’s alcoholism. Brian tried to warn Hayley, but she pushed him away.
One night, Hayley frantically called Brian: Will was going to rape her. Brian rushed to Hayley’s apartment, determined to do anything to save the woman he lived.
Adam Chandler: Adam Chandler had already seen Will ruin one of his daughter’s lives, and was not about to let him do it again. Adam knew Will married Hayley solely for business purposes. He wanted her shares in Enchantment for a hostile takeover of the company.
But it was the alcoholism that Will had driven Hayley to that concerned Adam. He did the unthinkable and turned to longtime rival Palmer Cortlandt for help. Palmer and Adam decided to offer Will a settlement to leave town forever. But Will was not about to be bullied.
Desperate, Adam was willing to go to any means to save his daughter.
AnLi Chen Bodine: AnLi Chen knew Brian Bodine only agreed to marry her so that she could get a green card to stay in the country; but, she could not deny her blossoming feelings for her husband. AnLi was determined to seduce Brian even though it was clear that he still harbored feelings for his ex-, Hayley Cortlandt.
AnLi grew impatient with all of Hayley’s cries for help. AnLi recognized all of them stemmed from her loveless marriage to Will. In her mind, getting rid of Will would end the need for Brian to rush to Hayley’s rescue.
Opal Cortlandt: Opal Cortlandt was among the many suspects in Palmer Cortlandt’s poisoning. Will was determined to implicate Opal so as to finally cut her out of Palmer life, and most importantly, his will. Though both were exonerated for the crime, Will continued his machinations to get Opal kicked out of Cortlandt Manor.
Opal was now pregnant with Palmer’s son. Will’s accusations put doubts into Palmer’s mind about the paternity of her child. Opal was willing to do anything to protect her son. He deserved his birth right as the Cortlandt heir.
Palmer Cortlandt: Will had long been the apple of Palmer Cortlandt’s eye. But, his heir apparent had become his greatest liability. Will was a public relations nightmare for his questionable relationships and failed business investments.
The final draw came when Will tried to implicate Dixie Lawson’s new husband, Craig Lawson, as the culprit behind some missing funds at Cortlandt Electronics. Palmer had become especially protective of the emotionally fragile Dixie over the last year. To teach Will a lesson, he disowned his nephew and fired him from Cortlandt Electronics.
Adam turned to Palmer to finally end Will’s reign of terror. They decided to offer Will a settlement to drive him out of town. But Will was not so easily bought. Will was planning a takeover of Enchantment Cosmetics, hoping to rival Palmer’s business interests in Pine Valley.
Palmer was afraid of the demon he had created. Palmer knew he had to stop Will before he was too late.
Trevor Dillon: Trevor Dillon was uneasy when it came to his niece, Hayley Cortlandt’s, marriage to Will. Hayley had sunk into the alcoholism that had plagued her mother, Arlene Vaughan. Will fueled Hayley’s addiction. He was using her for her shares at Enchantment Cosmetics.
Arlene told her brother of Adam Chandler and Palmer Cortlandt’s plans to buy off Will. But when news came that the bribe attempt had failed, Trevor knew he had to take matters into his own hands.
Erica Kane Chandler: Erica Kane was already trapped in a loveless marriage with Adam Chandler. She was not about to loose her company too.
Erica offered Will a job at Enchantment Cosmetics after Palmer Cortlandt disowned him. Erica hoped that uncle and nephew would one day reconcile. In the meanwhile, she wanted to give Will a way to get back on his feet.
Will knew Enchantment was a major part of the Chandler Empire. Hayley Vaughan had significant shares in this interest. Will got Hayley drunk and eloped with her. Using her shares as leverage, Will was posing to launch a hostile take over.
Erica was determined to save her company. She was not about to loose her only possession to an inexperienced upstart. Will had to be stopped.
Craig Lawson: Conman Craig Lawson was on easy street since marrying rich widow Dixie Cooney. Only one man compromised his meal ticket. Will had tried to oust Craig by implicating him as the culprit behind some missing funds at Cortlandt Electronics. Luckily, Palmer saw through Will’s machinations and fired him instead.
But now, Will was armed with the knowledge of Craig’s past. Craig was not Tad Martin’s friend from California, he was an opportunist after Dixie’s money. Craig was accustomed to his new high standard of living. He was not about to go back to streets because of one man’s inability to keep his mouth shut.
Dimitri Marick: Dimitri Marick returned to Pine Valley with ambition in his eyes. Wanting to settle in his childhood home, Dimitri sought out viable investment opportunities. None looked better than Enchantment Cosmetics.
Will turned to Dimitri with his plans for a takeover of Enchantment. Dimitri already had an interest in the company, but not enough to lead a takeover alone. Will was willing to offer him shares. Dimitri wanted Enchantment, but it was unclear just how far he was willing to go to get it.
Gloria Marsh: Gloria Marsh was an outcast after her affair with Craig Lawson was discovered. She went to a bar to drown her sorrows. There, she met Will. After a night of drinking and dancing, all Gloria wanted to do was go home. But Will had other plans.
Will raped Gloria. Based on her history as a con-woman and adulterer, she knew she would have a hard time convincing a jury about what Will had done. Gloria had to take justice into her own hands.
Arlene Vaughan: Arlene Vaughan knew she had failed as a mother. She had lied about her daughter Hayley Cortlandt’s paternity for 18 years, and spent most of that time nursing the hangovers from her daily alcoholic binges. She wanted to make things right.
She knew Will was using Hayley only for her Enchantment stock. Adam Chandler assured her he had the situation under control. But when Will laughed in his face after Adam attempted to bribe him to leave town, Arlene was going to take matters into her own hands.
Desperate times, call for desperate measures.
Hayley Vaughan Cortlandt: Hayley Cortlandt was trapped in a loveless marriage with Will. Though they were married on paper, Hayley refused to consummate her marriage. Will’s patience was growing thin.
When Will had enough of Hayley’s games, he attacked her. She barricaded herself in the bathroom and begged her husband to calm down. As she drank herself into a stupor, she prayed that the lock on her door would be enough to stop Will.
When Hayley woke up from her blackout, Will was dead on her apartment floor.
Janet Green: Janet Green had built up in her mind the image of her perfect world. It did not matter that Janet was facing a lifetime in prison for kidnapping her sister, Natalie Hunter. It did not matter that the only reason she was pregnant with Trevor Dillon’s daughter was because he thought she was Natalie. She and Trevor were destined to live happily ever after with their daughter. But something was making Trevor very unhappy.
At Pine Valley Hospital, Janet overheard Trevor lamenting his niece’s, Hayley Cortlandt, marriage to Will. Janet knew Trevor would never be happy until Hayley’s marriage was over.
Janet stole Trevor’s overcoat and slipped out of the hospital. She arrived at Will and Hayley’s apartment. Will was alone in the living room. Armed with a crowbar, she struck him. She continued to bludgeon Will until she was sure he was dead.