An unnamed sixty-two-year-old delivery boy distributes six letters to a select group of people. The letters invite the receivers to rent apartments in the new, luxurious Sunset Towers on Lake Michigan, which includes a doctor’s office and two restaurant spaces. Barney Northrup signed the letters, but he is not a real person. Still, a man using that name guides the prospective tenants throughout the building. He proves a successful, if dishonest, salesperson as he leases all the spaces. The new tenants include one who was mistakenly invited.
The tenants move into Sunset Towers, and James Shin Hoo opens his Chinese restaurant and George Theodorakis opens his coffee shop. A month later, five people gather in the driveway, gawking at the nearby Westing mansion. They are Sandy McSouthers, the doorman who was fired from the Westing paper mill; high school seniors Theo Theodorakis and Doug Hoo, sons of the restaurant owners; Otis Amber, the delivery boy; and junior-high-school student Turtle Wexler. Smoke rises from the mansion’s chimney even though Sam Westing, the owner, disappeared years ago. Some say his corpse still lies inside. Sandy tells about two kids who dared enter the house; one kid is dead, and the other now lives in an asylum. Turtle accepts a bet to enter the house. Watching from a window in Sunset Towers, Chris Theodorakis, Theo’s fifteen-year-old brother who suffers from spasms, thinks about the man with a limp he saw enter the house before the smoke appeared.
In the Wexler apartment, Angela, the pretty older Wexler daughter, is getting fitted for her wedding gown by Flora Baumbach, the elderly dressmaker who lives and works in the building, while Angela’s mother, Grace Windsor Wexler, supervises. Angela sees smoke coming from the Westing house chimney, and then Turtle comes into the room and makes the same announcement. Grace speaks sharply to Turtle, and when Turtle snaps back, Grace must stop herself from slapping Turtle’s face. Instead, Grace speaks of Angela’s fiancé, Dr. Deere, an intern, and beams at the perfect Angela.
On the first floor, Crow, the building’s cleaning woman, is being treated by Dr. Jake Wexler, a podiatrist, when she sees the smoke. She tells Jake that she doesn’t believe Westing’s corpse is rotting in the house and that if Westing is actually dead, he’s likely in hell. On the top floor, in Shin Hoo’s restaurant, owner Mr. Hoo tells his son Doug to stop wasting time with ghost stories and go study. Doug, who is also a track star, jogs down the stairs and exercises in his apartment. Left alone, Mr. Hoo promises that if Westing has indeed returned, he will not escape punishment again.
Sandy greets Judge J. J. (Josie-Joe) Ford in the driveway and points out the smoke coming from the Westing house. Sandy repeats Otis’s ghost story, and Judge Ford says Otis is stupid, a comment she instantly regrets. As the state’s first Black and female judge, she believes she needs to be more careful. Judge Ford owes Westing money and doesn’t know how she will pay him back.
Meanwhile, in the Theodorakis apartment, Chris, who uses a wheelchair, unsuccessfully tries to tell Theo that he saw somebody enter the Westing mansion, but Theo interrupts him with an overly dramatic ghost story about Westing. Chris thinks that Theo is a good storyteller, so he doesn’t want to spoil the moment by explaining that a person with a limp entered the house. Outside again, Sydelle Pulaski, a secretary, returns home to Sunset Towers. She limps through the lobby, thinking that no one pays attention to her other than Chris and Turtle, who just kicks her in the shins as she does all people. Sydelle goes into her apartment and unwraps packages containing crutches, paint, and paintbrushes, not noticing the smoke coming from the Westing house.
The time arrives for Turtle to complete the dare to enter the Westing House. Turtle arrives at the Westing house as Doug, acting as timekeeper, watches from behind a tree. Doug has promised to pay Turtle for every minute she stays in the house. Scared, Turtle enters the open French doors. Eleven minutes pass before Turtle’s terrifying scream pierces the night and she runs out of the house. The next scene moves to Turtle’s bedroom, where she thinks about the corpse she saw in the bed after she followed a whisper to the second floor.
The next morning, Turtle reads a newspaper article announcing that industrialist Sam Westing was found dead in his house. Westing was a laborer who saved his money, bought a paper mill, and built an estate worth $200 million. He loved games, chess, and disguises. His wife left him after their adult daughter drowned the night before her wedding. Westing had not been seen in thirteen years, since his involvement in a near-fatal car accident along with a friend named Dr. Sikes. Turtle feels surprised that the article fails to mention the letter next to his bed or the evidence that she had been in the house. The next day, Otis Amber delivers sixteen letters from Westing’s attorney, Ed Plum. The letters invite Westing’s beneficiaries to a reading of the will.
The heirs assemble at the Westing mansion. Grace, who believes she is Westing’s niece, arrives with Turtle and Angela. In the library, Plum sorts envelopes near an open coffin holding Westing’s body. More heirs arrive: Dr. Denton Deere, Angela’s fiancé; Flora Baumbach, the seamstress; Otis Amber; Doug Hoo and his father; Sandy, the doorman; Theo; and Chris. When Judge J. J. Ford arrives, Grace decides that the judge and some others must be Westing’s former household workers, not relatives. The final two heirs enter: Crow, the cleaning woman; and Sydelle Pulaski, who uses a crutch and claims to have a disease.
Sydelle takes notes in shorthand as Plum reads the eccentric but legal will. Written by Westing, the document explains that he returned to live among his friends and enemies. The heirs are his nieces and nephews, and one of them took his life. As the group expresses anxiety, Plum continues reading. Westing’s heir will be the person who finds something, but the sentence cuts off what that “thing” is. Praising the opportunities of America, the will states that anyone who plays the Westing game may become rich. Judge Ford protests, but the will instructs her to sit down and read a letter from Plum and then directs everyone to say a silent prayer for Westing.
The heirs gather in the game room, where they are paired into eight teams: Madame Hoo (Mr. Hoo’s wife) and Jake Wexler (both absent), Turtle and Flora Baumbach, Chris and Dr. Deere, Sandy and Judge Ford, Grace and Mr. Hoo, Berthe Erica Crow and Otis, Theo and Doug, and Angela and Sydelle. Each team present will receive $10,000 and a unique set of clues, but it’s what they don’t have that counts.
The teams receive envelopes filled with squares with words written on them. Most try to rearrange the squares to make sense, but Sydelle and Angela listen to the others to try to figure out their clues. Otis refers to Queen Crow and King Amber, and Doug and Theo have the word on or no. Plum won’t tell them what they are supposed to find or give them a copy of the will, but the heirs realize Sydelle has notes in shorthand. The will’s final statement declares that solving the game is easy if they know what they are looking for, warns them that not everybody is who they say they are, and tells them to buy Westing Paper Products. Throughout the scene, Theo has played several moves with an unknown opponent on a chessboard that was previously set up.
Back at Sunset Towers, the pairs get to work. Most tenants try to convince Sydelle to share her notes of the will, but she refuses. Chris thinks his clues—FOR PLAIN GRAIN SHED—point to Otis (GRAIN = oats) and Judge Ford (FOR + D from shed), but neither limps like the person he saw go into the Westing mansion. Turtle and Flora Baumbach believe their clues—SEA MOUNTAIN AM O—relate to stock market symbols and the way to win the game is to make the most money. They decide to buy stocks in these companies plus in Westing Paper Products.
Mr. Hoo and Grace look at their clues in Mr. Hoo’s restaurant: FRUITED PURPLE WAVES FOR SEA. Grace recalls that Sandy said something about “purple waves” and Sydelle was wearing a dress with purple waves but doesn’t think she is the murderer. Grace tells Mr. Hoo to ask his son for his clues, but Mr. Hoo complains that Angela didn’t show them Sydelle’s notes, and Grace storms out. Doug and Theo can’t figure out the meaning of their clues: HIS N ON TO THEE FOR. Theo asks more questions about the night Turtle went into the Westing house. He tells Doug about the chess game in the game room, and they decide to figure out which heir plays chess.
Judge Ford thinks about the clues—SKIES AM SHINING BROTHER—while examining the letter that Plum gave her, which certifies that Westing was sane. The letter is signed by Dr. Sikes, who was also in the car accident. Judge Ford mulls over the will: Westing implied that he was murdered, the murderer was an heir, he knew the murderer, and the murderer’s name was the correct answer. As she doesn’t believe Westing was the type of person to get murdered, she deduces that one of the heirs is guilty of some other action against him. Judge Ford determines to find the heir before anyone else to ensure justice, not vengeance, wins out. She calls a newspaper to find out everything she can about the heirs.
In the Wexler apartment, Angela and Sydelle look at their own clues: GOOD GRACE FROM HOOD SPACIOUS. Then they add the words they have deduced from other pairs: KING QUEEN PURPLE WAVES ON (NO), GRAINS, MOUNTAIN (EMPTY). Sydelle wonders if the object of the game is actually “twin” (from “to win”), and they go to her apartment to transcribe her notes. But when Sydelle and Angela get to her apartment, they find the door open and her notebook stolen.
The tenants begin leaving notes for one another on the elevator wall. Sydelle requests the return of her notebook, an anonymous person asks that players gather to discuss sharing clues, and Judge Ford invites everyone to a party. Turtle and Flora return from placing their stock order. Grace tries to convince Turtle to share her clues by treating Turtle with extra kindness, but Turtle refuses to ever share her clues. Angela and Sydelle plan to attend the party dressed alike to find out if anyone is a twin. Grace tries to get Sydelle to share their notes by saying any money she wins will go to Angela. In Judge Ford’s apartment, the newspaperman informs Judge Ford that Mr. Hoo sued Westing over a diaper invention he claims Westing stole.
Although few people seem to be enjoying themselves at Judge Ford’s party, no one will leave because they are afraid of missing any clues. Many heirs watch one another, like Chris, who looks to see who else besides Sydelle limps. Theo talks about chess, and Sydelle keeps bringing up twins. Angela wonders why people only ask about her fiancé and eventually runs to cry in the kitchen, where she finds Crow, who wants to comfort her but only offers a dish towel. The guests discuss a sentence that Flora remembers from the will about God refining gold.
The tenants meet at the coffee shop. Theo explains that his and Doug’s clues don’t make sense; since no sets of clues are alike, by sharing clues they can find the murderer, win the game, and split the inheritance. Sydelle believes she should get a larger share because the will holds clues, too, and she took notes on the document. Unexpectedly, Mr. Hoo pulls out her shorthand pad, saying someone left it at his restaurant. He adds that Grace tried to transcribe it, but the notations didn’t translate into words. Sydelle explains that’s because she takes shorthand in Polish. Mr. Hoo proposes that Sydelle get a larger share, but Judge Ford wants to postpone a decision until all heirs are present. Instead, they ask one another questions. Suddenly, the meeting comes to a panicked end.
Everyone gathered in the coffee shop hears the sound of bangs and screams. Mrs. Theodorakis rushes out of the kitchen covered in tomato sauce. She and her husband think someone set off a bomb. Later, Judge Ford gets more information from the newspaperman: George Theodorakis escorted Violet Westing, Sam Westing’s daughter, to a party 20 years ago. She recalls the other connections heirs have to Westing: Mr. Hoo through the lawsuit; Sandy, who used to work in the paper factory; and herself. Judge Ford looks in the phone book to find a detective and sees a name that seems too coincidental. She dials a number and hears the voice she was expecting.
The scene opens as the unnamed bomber sets a can on a kitchen shelf in Mr. Hoo’s restaurant. Grace, meanwhile, has a new job as a hostess, and most of the tenants are coming for dinner. Grace seats Chris and Sydelle together. Angela and Theo share a table and talk about their thwarted college dreams; Theo aims to get a job to help pay for an operation for his brother, and Angela only attended college for a year before dropping out due to her parents’ desire that she marry for money. Judge Ford and Flora sit together, and Flora says that Angela reminds her of Violet Westing. Jake Wexler joins Turtle, who is listening to a bad stock report on the radio, and Turtle accuses her father of being a bookie. Sydelle asks Chris if he can walk and says being in a wheelchair is the perfect disguise for a criminal, which delights Chris.
Sydelle goes to the kitchen to thank the chef just as Otis enters the restaurant and the bomb goes off. Sydelle is injured, and Jake calls an ambulance, which takes her, accompanied by Angela, to the hospital. The police officer and fire inspector investigate but believe both explosions were due to a gas explosion. However, the bomber is already planning to place the next bomb in the Wexler apartment.
Flora and Turtle go to the stockbroker’s office, where Turtle teaches Flora how to monitor the ticker tape, and Turtle sees their stocks have gone down. Teams begin gathering at Sunset Towers. Sandy has been working on the clues but has come up with six suspects, not one. He can’t figure out why he is an heir. He and Judge Ford agree that Westing seems out to get someone. Crow and Otis are in the Wexler kitchen. Otis thinks Crow lost their clues, but she actually put them in Angela’s bag. Dr. Deere tells Chris he does not want to play the game, but Chris won’t sign the check until he does.
Dr. Deere then takes Angela to the hospital to see Sydelle. At this time, Dr. Deere asks Angela if she wants to get married, but she can’t tell him the truth, which is no, because she feels the need to be perfect. Sydelle’s psychiatrist confirms to Angela that Sydelle made up the wasting disease, but Angela doesn’t tell Sydelle she knows the truth. She looks in her bag to get toiletries for Sydelle and discovers a letter addressed to “my daughter” along with two clues: THY BEAUTIFUL.
Life returns to normal after a snowstorm; the kids go back to school, diners come to the coffee shop, and the adults return to their jobs while Flora goes to the stockbroker’s office. Back at Sunset Towers, Turtle, Sandy, Doug, Theo, and Otis gather in the driveway. Turtle has been telling them about her night in the Westing mansion. She says Westing looked too peaceful to have been murdered. After Otis leaves, Sandy says that the only others who went out that evening were Otis and Crow, who left together.
Inside the building, Judge Ford comes home from work with newspaper clippings about tenants. She and Sandy look at them and discuss the mysterious Mrs. Westing, whom Judge Ford knew long ago. One clipping tells about Violet Westing’s engagement to a state senator, but a picture shows Violet dancing with George Theodorakis; she does look like Angela. Sandy explains that according to the gossip, Violet killed herself because she wanted to marry George instead of the politician. Judge Ford asks if Angela and Theo are secretly dating, but Sandy says “no” and if Westing wished to replay the events of Violet’s death, Angela would have to die.
Angela is miserable at her own wedding shower. As she opens her presents, an impatient Turtle reaches over to peek, but Angela grabs the gift away, and the lid blasts into the air. Fireworks shoot out, leaving Angela with burned hands and a deep cut on her cheek. The police arrive, but the captain believes the explosion is a prank, not a bomb. At the hospital, Angela shares a room with Sydelle and doesn’t remember what happened. Privately, Turtle tells Angela she will have some scarring and that what she did was dumb. Pretending to be asleep, Sydelle realizes that Angela is the bomber.
The stock market drops, and the bomb squad investigates packages arriving at Sunset Towers. Madame Hoo learns English from Jake, who eats lunch at the restaurant and helps Grace and Mr. Hoo. He thinks that PURPLE FRUITED refers to the lawyer, Ed Plum. Sandy shares information from the detective’s reports: Mr. Hoo sued Westing for stealing his disposable diaper invention and settled for a cash payment despite thinking he was cheated. In his apartment, Theo studies his clues and realizes that by moving the letters, he can create the chemical solution for an explosive, NH4NO3, while the remaining letters spell Otis. He believes he has found the murderer and goes to tell Doug but runs into Crow, who pulls him into her apartment to pray.
Flora Baumbach, whom Turtle starts calling Baba, braids Turtle’s hair every morning while getting instructions for the stockbrokers. Meanwhile, Sandy reads information about Flora: She’s sixty years old, her husband deserted her, her daughter had Down syndrome and died last year, and she sewed Violet Westing’s wedding gown. Then Sandy reads about Otis Amber and starts laughing out loud. At school, Theo thinks the previous night with Crow must have been a dream. He tells Doug their clues point to ammonium nitrate, which can be used to make explosives. Doug isn't interested; he knows that if he wins his upcoming track meet, he will get an athletic scholarship. Still, he agrees to spy on Otis after school and follows him around town and back to Sunset Towers.
Then Otis gives Doug a letter from Plum; the heirs must gather on Saturday night. Sandy and Judge Ford meet to review their notes. They have learned nothing new about Otis and Dr. Deere, but Sydelle, the fifty-year-old secretary, has no Westing connection. In the hospital, Angela tells Dr. Deere that they will have to postpone the wedding. Turtle kicks Dr. Deere in the shin. At Sunset Towers, Chris has three visitors: Otis, Flora, and the limping Dr. Deere. Chris says Flora shared a clue, but Dr. Deere wants to take Chris to the hospital to see a neurologist about a new medicine.
The stock market finally turns upward for Turtle and Flora. Crow doesn’t want to go back to the Westing mansion but feels like she must as self-punishment. Otis believes the bomber is Mr. Hoo, and Crow immediately wants to take vengeance on him for scarring Angela’s face. She visits Mr. Hoo’s restaurant, but before she can say anything, he gives her insoles for her aching feet, and she suddenly feels certain he is not the bomber. Judge Ford and Sandy meet to review their list.
The fifty-seven-year-old Crow is divorced from a man named Windkloppel and started a soup kitchen, but her Westing connection remains unknown. Next, they discuss the Wexler family. Grace claims to be Sam Westing’s niece, and Angela and Grace both resemble Violet. Judge Ford makes another connection: Grace’s maiden name is actually Windkloppel, so she may be related to Crow. When they read the investigator’s reports, they also discover that Sydelle was made an heir by mistake; it was Sybil Pulaski who was childhood friends with Crow, not Sydelle. At the hospital, Chris, who is undergoing tests, visits Angela to give her an envelope he found in his bathrobe pocket that he mistakenly believes must be from Theo. It contains two clues: WITH MAJESTIES.
Turtle and Flora sell their stock for a profit, Doug follows Otis, and Theo goes to the hospital after blowing up the science lab while experimenting with chemical fertilizers. Mr. Theodorakis tells Judge Ford about his relationship with Violet. They were childhood sweethearts who wanted to marry, but Violet’s mother broke them up and arranged for her to marry a politician. Feeling trapped, Violet committed suicide. Sandy and Judge Ford conclude that Westing wanted to punish the heir that caused Violet’s death, who must be Mrs. Westing.
Theo implies to Turtle that he knows the bomber’s identity, and Turtle tries to warn Angela against confessing. Theo follows Otis to the soup kitchen to spy. Judge Ford and Sandy review their own information. Sandy lost his pension when Westing fired him. Judge Ford grew up in the Westing household, where her parents worked. Westing paid for her education, which remains an unpaid debt. After another bomb goes off in the elevator, the police find a note from the bomber written on the back of Turtle’s schoolwork. The police take Turtle to Judge Ford’s apartment, and Judge Ford deduces that Turtle is protecting Angela but says nothing. Turtle confesses that she was in the house the night Westing died and that he didn’t look like a real person. Sydelle and Angela review their clues and notes, and Sydelle makes an important realization about the game: the song “America, the Beautiful” could hold answers to their questions.
Turtle posts a notice confessing to setting the bombs. Grace feels terrible anger toward Turtle for injuring Angela, but Jake comforts Grace. When they return to their apartment, they find that Angela has returned from the hospital, but they pay her little attention. Angela and Sydelle talk about whom they should name as their answer at the meeting later that night and pick “Otis.”
Elsewhere, Judge Ford feels nervous that someone is in danger and thinks that Westing might be in attendance that night. Then Dr. Deere brings Chris, who has been helped by the medicine, to Judge Ford’s apartment. Judge Ford deduces that Westing’s former wife must be Crow. She looks at photos and clippings and realizes that Westing suffered facial injuries in the car accident, so he likely has a different face now from plastic surgery. Later that day, Sandy tells Judge Ford that Barney Northrup, the real estate agent, fired him. Judge Ford wonders if Northrup is Westing’s disguise, but Sandy thinks Otis is Westing. They plan to give no answer to the game but protect Westing’s ex-wife, Crow. Meanwhile, Crow and Otis head to the house. Crow believes Westing is looking for Violet’s murderer, and she worries that she is in danger.
The heirs gather in the Westing game room with the lawyer, Ed Plum. They sit at tables with their partners, where an envelope holding another check for $10,000 waits for each pair. Plum begins to read from the will. He welcomes the heirs and asks each to give one answer. Jake and Madame Hoo say, “Boom,” while Flora and Turtle provide the amount of money they earned on the stock market, and Chris and Dr. Deere answer that Westing was a good man. Judge Ford and Sandy give no answer, and Judge Ford gets a note from Dr. Deere telling her that Otis has not had plastic surgery and thus could not be Westing. Grace and Mr. Hoo say “Ed Plum,” Crow and Otis say “Mother,” and Theo is about to accuse Otis but thinks of the soup kitchen and gives no answer. Sydelle sings “America, the Beautiful” and then names Otis for her team’s answer. Crow gets snacks. Dr. Deere tells Judge Ford that no one has had plastic surgery but Sandy could have used some. Theo, who has resumed the chess game, believes he has won. Plum opens the next envelope, which directs them to the library.
Plum reads from another document that proclaims all the heirs’ answers are wrong and the partnerships are canceled. The document instructs them to remember that it is what they don’t have that counts. Then Plum leaves the room and locks them in. Theo suggests they share their clues and the inheritance. Sydelle asks if anyone has a word that is not in the song “America, the Beautiful.” As they turn their clues over to Sydelle, Judge Ford realizes that Sandy is helping the heirs figure out the answer—Crow—so he must be Westing.
Sydelle arranges the clues in song order; the missing parts spell out “Berthe Erica Crow.” Judge Ford reminds everyone they have no proof against Crow. Suddenly, Sandy grabs his throat and falls to the floor. Plum enters with the sheriff and Dr. Sikes, who announces that Sandy is dead. Judge Ford can’t believe that she was wrong. The heirs return to the game room, where Plum reads one more document. Westing, born Windkloppel, says they only have five minutes to win the game. No one wants to name Crow as the murderer, but Judge Ford recalls that Crow gave Sandy a drink before he died. Suddenly, Crow says her own name and that she will split her inheritance between Angela and the soup kitchen.
Crow has been arrested, and everyone else gathers in Judge Ford’s apartment. They debate whether Crow is the murderer, with Theo pointing out that if she is not, then the murderer is one of them. Revelations come out about Sandy; he had a bruise on his shin, but Turtle says the only person she kicked that day was Barney Northrup. Turtle reflects on what people are saying about Sandy: He had a sore shin, he beat Theo at chess, he wanted her to win, and he winked at her before he died. She asks Angela to see a copy of the will and reads it, noticing the name Windkloppel. Judge Ford explains that Crow was married to Westing when he went by that name. She explains Violet’s story and that Westing wants to punish his wife. Based on something Otis says, Judge Ford realizes that just like in chess, Westing had sacrificed his queen, Crow, to distract the other players so he could win the game. But Turtle has an idea and realizes she can still win, so she asks Judge Ford if she can call a witness.
Turtle announces that she will prove that Westing and Sandy are dead but that Crow is not a murderer. She calls Chris to the stand, and he identifies Dr. Sikes, Westing’s friend, as the limping person he saw go into the mansion. She next calls on Otis Amber, in reality a private investigator who worked for Sam Westing, Barney Northrup, and Judge Ford. Westing hired Otis to locate Crow, Westing’s wife, and Otis has watched over her ever since, even when Westing fired him. Northrup hired Otis to investigate Judge Ford, George Theodorakis, James Hoo, Grace Windkloppel (Wexler), Flora Baumbach, and Sybil Pulaski (whom he confused with Sydelle). Otis also investigated all the heirs for Judge Ford except herself and Sandy.
Turtle then determines that the chimney smoke and the spooky story were to get people’s attention so someone would go inside and find the corpse. Next, Turtle calls Dr. Deere to the stand and asks him if Westing’s body could have been a wax dummy. Dr. Deere doesn’t know. She then asks about Sandy. Dr. Deere says Sandy was alive when Dr. Sikes arrived and believes he had a heart attack. Dr. Deere also confirms that Sandy had a bruise on his shin.
Turtle next calls Sydelle, who reviews her notes and confirms that there was an unfinished sentence; no one heard the ending when the will was read because Sandy made a joke about ashes and winds. Turtle realizes that there are many references to winds. She asks Judge Ford for the letter Plum gave her at the first meeting, but when Judge Ford looks for the certificate of sanity, she finds a receipt for $10,000, the cost of her education, repaid through her share of the two checks.
Turtle announces that Westing was still alive, disguised as Sandy, when his will was read. She also shares that she saw Westing write the part of the will stating that all the answers were wrong after they had given their answers. Turtle claims that no murder took place and that when Westing said his life was taken from him, he meant Westing became Sandy. Turtle doesn’t mention Barney Northrup, though she and Judge Ford wonder why Westing had to play both roles. Turtle realizes that since Westing was originally Windkloppel, he actually took on three roles. She thinks about the will and realizes that Windkloppel had a fourth identity too, but she doesn’t share this information with the others. Then Crow enters the room.
Crow is declared innocent after the coroner determined that Sandy died of a heart attack. Plum quits but turns over one last document to Judge Ford, and she reads the final page of Westing’s will. Westing admits to being Sandy and awards joint ownership of Sunset Towers to his heirs and $30,000 to Crow. The will closes wishing the heirs a happy Fourth of July. Outside, numerous fireworks go off and soon burn the Westing mansion to the ground. The next morning, Turtle visits Julian Eastman, the CEO of the Westing Paper Plant. Turtle calls him Sandy and exclaims that she won.
Turtle never tells anyone she won the game and visits Julian/Sandy every Saturday. Crow and Otis get married in Hoo’s restaurant and run the soup kitchen. Judge Ford moves out, knowing she will never solve the Westing puzzle. When Chris visits to say goodbye to her, Judge Ford decides she will sponsor his studies. Sydelle returns to work and goes on a date with her boss. Jake becomes a government consultant, while Grace takes over Hoo’s restaurant to great success. Angela, whose face reveals only a faint scar, breaks off her engagement and goes to college and medical school.
Five years later, the Hoos throw a party in honor of Doug winning an Olympic medal. Sydelle is engaged to her boss. Chris remains in a wheelchair but can speak clearly. Judge Ford has become a federal judge, Theo has become a journalist, and Turtle, now in college, has beaten Sandy at chess for the first time.
In the future, Turtle, now known as T. R., sits by Julian/Sandy’s deathbed. Sandy asks about his heirs. Judge Ford is now a Supreme Court Justice, Sydelle moved to Hawaii, and Grace owns a chain of restaurants. Angela became a surgeon and married Dr. Deere, and they have a daughter. Chris married a professor, and Doug has won more Olympic medals. Turtle has become a businesswoman, lawyer, and millionaire. She and Theo, an author, have married. They decided to remain childless because they don’t want to pass on Chris’s disease, but she promises that should they ever have a child, they will name him or her after Sandy. Flora retired and lives with them. Turtle doesn’t tell Sandy about three heirs who are dead: Crow, Otis, and Mr. Hoo. Sandy asks Turtle to tell Crow to pray for him. Then he dies, and Turtle never reveals his secret. She inherits his stock and leads the company. On Saturdays, her niece comes over to play chess.