Crime Classics

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Post by Geezer on 1/8/2020, 5:13 am

This True Crime series is something Greybelt and I put together a couple years ago and never got around to posting. Most are encoded at 128 KBPS. We have 15 stories for which both the AFRTS and Network version of the shows are available.

Crime Classics

A CBS series created by "Mr Radio" Elliott Lewis. The 52 episode "true crime" anthology ran from June of 1953 thru June of 1954. Stories of murder and mayhem were presented by the fictitious Thomas Hyland, "connoisseur of crime, student of violence and teller of murders" as portrayed by Lou Merrill. His light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek approach to some deadly serious tales gave the show a different kind of edge. Sort of like a favorite uncle telling a scary story with a slight, reassuring twinkle in his eye.

Written by Morton Fine and David Friedkin using original accounts of the crime, many if not all of which, came from Lewis' own library of true crime cases.

Bernard Herrmann provided the music......no need to say more.

Frequent appearances by Mary Jane Croft (who eventually became Mrs Elliott Lewis -1958), our "shadowy" friend, Bill Johnstone and a wide assortment of well known radio people including William Conrad, Ben Wright, Jeanette Nolan, Paul Frees,Herb Butterfield, Barney Phillips, Joseph Kearns, Irene Tedrow, even a couple of appearances by little Leroy, Walter Tetley and many more familiar voices throughout the series.

For a while this program ran back to back with another Elliott Lewis production, On Stage. John Dunning provides us with this apocryphal story of Lewis linking the two shows by presenting "The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln" followed by the On Stage production of "Our American Cousin" (the play Lincoln attended at Ford's Theater) Quoting Dunning " This was a mistake Lewis admitted years later. Our American Cousin was dull beyond salvation" The following morning there was a note from William Paley on Lewis' desk. "Interesting idea. Don't do it again."


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Post by Geezer on 1/8/2020, 5:22 am

Crime Classics 1952-12-03 00 The Crime Of Bathsheba Spooner (Audition)
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Crime Classics 1953-06-15 01 The Crime Of Bathsheba Spooner (network)
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Wikipedia has a nice write-up of the crime
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The reference section has direct links to Great American Trials Volume 1 which contains supplemental information.

If anyone has the time and the means to find other accounts of this (or any of our subsequent stories) please share.
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Post by eliyahusimlevin on 1/8/2020, 1:24 pm

I really enjoy this show. Thanks!
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Post by Geezer on 1/9/2020, 7:52 am

I do agree with eliyahusimlevin, this is a very enjoyable program

We'll start off today with:
Crime Classics 1953-06-22 02 The Shockingly Peaceful Passing Of Thomas Edwin Bartlett, Green Grocer (AFRS)

It is also referred to(outside OTR circles) as The Pimlico Mystery (NOT an alternate OTR title)

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Wikipedia has a good article on this one too under [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Better still is this link to a British Medical Journal Article (you'll have to scroll down a little to get to the "Adelaide Bartlett and the Pimlico Mystery")

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Post by Geezer on 1/9/2020, 8:12 am

Back to the USA for this next murder for which we have both the Network and AFRTS version.

Crime Classics 1953-06-29 03 The Checkered Life And Sudden Death Of Colonel James Fisk, Jr

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Again a link to a detailed New York Times 1872 account of the crime
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AFRTS
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Network
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Post by Geezer on 1/10/2020, 3:28 pm

Back to Merry Old England for

Crime Classics 1953-07-06 04 The Shrapnelled Body Of Charles Drew, Sr
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More detailed information can be found in the form of excerpts from  “The Bury and Norwich Journal”.
Here's the link
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Post by Geezer on 1/12/2020, 8:11 am

This time mayhem in NEW England

Crime Classics 1953-07-13 05 The Terrible Deed Of John White Webster
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More details can be found at
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Post by Geezer on 1/12/2020, 8:15 am

A trip to the Wild West

Crime Classics 1953-07-20 06 The Death Of A Picture Hanger

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It won't be too hard to find out more about the victim of this killing once you hear who it is.


Last edited by Geezer on 1/12/2020, 8:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Geezer on 1/12/2020, 8:30 am

Heading back east

One again we have both the Network & AFRS versions
Crime Classics 1953-07-27 The Final Day Of General Ketchum, And How He Died (NET)
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Crime Classics 1953-07-27 07 The Final Day Of General Ketchum, And How He Died (AFRTS)
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Post by greybelt on 1/12/2020, 9:06 am

For many of these it's The Big Story but a couple of centuries ago... but the cast and crew had to sit around with their scripts waiting for Marconi and Bill Paley to be born...

Thanks for these, Geez! (rhymes)

Can someone join in and post the historical links for the episodes to give Geez a hand?

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Post by Geezer on 1/14/2020, 5:16 am

Back across the pond.....

Crime Classics 1953-08-03 08 Mr Thrower's Hammer
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The Internet Archive provides us with the full text of Mr Thrower's trial at
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Post by Geezer on 1/14/2020, 5:51 am

Pennsylvania is the scene of the next murder. Again we have both the Network & AFRS versions

Crime Classics 1953-08-10 09 The Axe And The Droot Family, How They Fared (NET)
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Crime Classics 1953-08-10  The Axe And The Droot Family, How They Fared (AFRTS)
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Hard to find info on the Drood murder, mostly because the name was not Drood. It was Francis Shitz. You can guess why it wasn't used.

Here's a contemporary account of the goings on

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Post by Harlow Wilcox on 1/14/2020, 10:53 am

Thank you for posting this series Geezer! Very Happy
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Post by Crunklydunks on 1/14/2020, 2:58 pm

Many thanks!!!

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Post by Geezer on 1/15/2020, 5:50 am

Thanks for the comments. Back when I first went through Crime Classics I found it a most interesting series. Now, as I search out some additional details of the various crimes, it's even more interesting. I wish I had the time (and the attention span) to read the many books and articles related to each program

Only the AFRS version of this show is available as far as I could find
Crime Classics 1953-08-17 10 The Incredible Trial Of Laura D Fair (AFRTS)
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For further study

A Woman's view
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Trial Transcript
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Provides some insight into the trials and Laura's post trial life and that of her daughter, actress Lillian Lorraine Hollis
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Post by Geezer on 1/15/2020, 6:31 am

Jumping back to Merry Old England  

Another program for which both the Network & AFRS versions are available

Crime Classics 1953-08-24 11 The Alsop Family, How It Diminished And Grew Again (NET)
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Crime Classics 1953-08-24 The Alsop Family, How It Diminished And Grew Again (AFRTS)
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Not many accounts that I could find. This one gives more details as to the Coin Clipping which was considered Treason
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Post by Geezer on 1/16/2020, 5:12 pm

Going much further back into history with this one. Both AFRS and Network versions

Crime Classics 1953-08-31 12 Your Loving Son, Nero (AFRTS)
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Crime Classics 1953-08-31 Your Loving Son, Nero (NET)
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There's a quick bio of Nero's mom, Agrippina the Younger, at
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A more detail bio and alternative stories of her death are provided here
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Post by Geezer on 1/19/2020, 10:10 am

Sorry for the slow posting. Just got caught up in a few other matters.

Crime Classics 1953-09-07 13 The Torment Of Henrietta Robinson, And Why She Killed (AFRS)
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Probably NOT her name. Known as "The Veiled Murderess” Radio account is just one of the possible accounts of her life most because no one is sure of who she really was. There’s a New You Time piece from 1905 that supposed to have all the details but you need a subscription to access it

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Post by Geezer on 1/19/2020, 10:12 am

Crime Classics 1953-09-30 14 The Bloody, Bloody Banks Of Fall River
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No problem finding further information for this lady, although it might be a bit choppy

Crime Classics 1953-10-07 15 The Hangman And William Palmer, Who Won
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Arthur Conan Doyle's detective Sherlock Holmes remarks on Palmer in The Adventure of the Speckled Band.

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Post by Geezer on 1/19/2020, 10:13 am

Crime Classics 1953-10-14 16 The Seven-layered Arsenic Cake Of Madame Lafarge
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Crime Classics 1953-10-21 17 Billy Bonny Bloodletter, Also Known As 'The Kid'
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Another figure of abundant historical fact and fiction
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Post by Geezer on 1/20/2020, 8:26 am

Crime Classics 1953-10-28 18 John Hayes, His Head And How They Were Parted
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Multiple detailed accounts of Catherine Hayes life, crime, trial, and execution. Also an explanation of why she was convicted of Petty Treason. Includes the lyrics to “A BALLAD ON THE MURDER OF MR HAYES BY HIS WIFE”  

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Post by Geezer on 1/20/2020, 8:28 am

Both Network & AFRS versions for this one

Crime Classics 1953-11-04 19 Raschi Among The Crocodiles, And The Prank He Played (NET)
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Crime Classics 1953-11-04 Raschi Among The Crocodiles, And The Prank He Played (AFRTS)
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I couldn’t find any historical information for this one
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Post by Geezer on 1/20/2020, 8:29 am

Crime Classics 1953-11-11 20 Blackbeard's Fourteenth Wife, Why She Was Not Good For Him
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I couldn’t find anything to support this story. The only reported marriage of Blackbeard was to Mary Ormand. LEGEND has it that she was “given” to the crew of Blackbeard’s ship by the pirate himself.


Crime Classics 1953-11-18 21 The Triangle on the Round Table
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Arthurian legend
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Post by Geezer on 1/22/2020, 7:50 am

The next two episodes have both the AFRTS and Network versions

Crime Classics 1953-11-25 22The Killing Story of William Corder and the Farmer's Daughter (AFRTS)
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Crime Classics 1953-11-25 The Killing Story Of William Corder And The Farmer's Daughter (NET)
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I’ve only recently discovered the Murderpedia org site. If you are an enthusiast of true crime details, this might be a most interesting site for you. Here’s Mr. Corder’s story
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Crime Classics 1953-12-02 If A Body Need A Body Just Call Burke & Hare (AFRTS)
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Crime Classics 1953-12-02 23 If A Body Need A Body, Just Call Burke And Hare (NET)
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Here’s their article on William Burke
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Post by Harlow Wilcox on 1/22/2020, 8:32 am

Thank you Geezer. Smile
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