Features Peter Lorre. Peter plays Herman, a professor of biology who is digging in the basement to prepare his devils garden, a type of orchid garden. His wife is upset over the whole idea. She is a bit of a nag who pushes him along in her plans, and to get ready for their trip to America.
The henpecked and slightly absent minded man has had enough. He flirts with a sales gal over some books he ordered on orchids. The man begins to undermine his wife’s plans to make their trip, and be back for Christmas. As he pursues his love interest on the side, he puts into motion events that cause his wife’s death.
A few friends stop in for a last minute farewell. He has his own plan to kill his wife, and drop her in the hole in the basement. He makes the sea voyage, claiming his wife is too ill to leave the cabin. Once in New York, he meets his new love interest, they marry and travel as man and wife. Now with no plans to ever return, he enjoys his life and freedom to live on the spur of the moment.
His freedom comes to an end as his dead wife’s tightly woven plans comes to haunt him. He gets a telegram, as though from the grave that proves that he will indeed be back home for Christmas.
To listen to this episode without the added comments,
Download the Original audio file here.
ook review: Thunderstruck. by Eric Larson
The author takes great detail in the background to the murder that shocked the world of 1910. He sees the real hero of the story.. as being the wireless radio.
Detailed background is given on how Marconi invented and developed wireless communication. He was plagued with troubles in competing with telegraph companies. His business was filled with triumphs and tragedies. Even matters of political affiliations, personal and marital ordeals, etc. are not left untouched.
Radio made it possible for ships at sea to communicate. Among various news events covered in the book, , radio saved crews and passengers in trouble. It allowed a sea captain to recognize suspicious people, connect them to a murder, and report on the killer. It was what tipped off the authorities, and allowed them to close in, and bring justice.
The actual murder involved:
A man who heavily poisoned his wife. He chopped her up, dismembered her, deboned her, and buried her in his basement. He took a trip to the USA, with his girlfriend disguised as a teen age boy.
At his request, she cut her hair short, gave up her dresses and petticoats, for men’s clothes. A fashion choice that she didn’t entirely enjoy. How can men stand to wear such confining clothes as pants and shirts with stiff collars? I guess women got used to it over the decades. The thing that got them noticed was their unnatural show of affection between a man, and a boy. The ship captain was tipped off, and it was the beginning of the end for them.
Raymond Chandler, Author of Philip Marlowe, was fascinated by the case. He felt the killer was intellectual in attention to detail. Should he have fled? Some say he might have been off the hook after his interview with Scotland Yard. Chandler was one in this train of thought. However, for all the detail the cool intellect took, he overlooked so many details that easily linked him to the missing wife, and tied him to the murder.
He was easily convicted and hanged. She had to change names several times and move, to flee from embarrassment, to keep in hiding, and to keep her secret. In later life, she agreed to be interviewed by a novelist, but refrained to reveal her past. When asked if things could be different, and her lover hadn’t been convicted and hanged, would she do it all over again? Would she run off with him? The author states her answer came quick, but he didn’t say whether it was a yes, or no.