Suspense The A.B.C. Murders
The Suspense episode “The A.B.C. Murders” was adapted from the 1936 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie, but the radio version bears little resemblance to the original story. In the book, the mystery is solved by private detective extraordinaire Hercule Poirot, but Suspense’s version leaves him out entirely. Instead, the story is condensed and uses only the basic plot from Christie’s book.
As the episode opens, two librarians sit behind the counter and discuss the odd little patron who has just dropped off a book. Suddenly, they realize the man has left his briefcase behind. One of them, Franklin Clarke, catches up to the owner, and returns the case to him. The briefcase has the initials A.B.C. and the owner identifies himself as Alexander Bonaparte Cust. The two chat for a while and find out they have some things in common.
Later, Mr. Cust prepares to start his new job as a traveling salesman. His first stop is Andover, but what he doesn’t know is that the police are in Andover warning the public about a homicidal maniac planning to strike in Andover. The same thing happens in the next town Mr. Cust visits, Bexhill.
He quickly becomes confused. Does he have something to do with the murders? With his terrible headaches, Mr. Cust sometimes doesn’t remember what he does… Originally aired May 18, 1943.
The Mysterious Traveler Behind The Locked Door
Written and directed by Robert Arthur and David Kogan, the radio series was sponsored by Adams Hats. It began on the Mutual Broadcasting System, December 5, 1943, continuing in many different timeslots until September 16, 1952. The lonely sound of a distant locomotive heralded the arrival of the malevolent narrator, portrayed by Maurice Tarplin.
Tonight’s episode, Behind the Locked Door, was a popular, much-requested episode which takes place in total darkness and was repeated several times during the years. Two archaeologists discover a century-old wagon train that had been sealed in a cave following a landslide. When their Native American guide is mysteriously and brutally attacked, the two, now lost in the darkness, conclude that the descendants of the wagon train are still living in the cave. Or are they?
Only 75 of the original 370 Mysterious Traveler episodes still exist. The popularity of the series spawned other supernatural shows, such as The Sealed Book. With scripts by a Mysterious Traveler writer and Tarplin as host-narrator, The Strange Dr. Weird was a nearly identical program which we will air in future MMM shows.