Suspense – The Story of Markham’s Death

In “The Story of Markham’s Death,” Kirk Douglas stars as a washed-up writer, who tries to pass off Edgar Allan Poe’s work as his own.

As the episode opens, Phil Martin is the subject of gossip. Once a prolific mystery writer, he has lost his talent and can’t write a word.

So, Phil decides that he needs to get away for a while. His clingy and overly-sympathetic girlfriend, Ann Fleming, is concerned, but he promises that he will be back.

Phil travels to London, and while visiting bombed-out houses leftover from the war, he finds something special. One of the houses, was once the home of Edgar Allan Poe, and one of the neighbors mentions that her son just dug up a box of old junk from the ruins…

While examining the contents, Phil finds something Poe left behind many years before. Will it be the answer to his problems?

“The Story of Markham’s Death” was written by Robert Platt and produced/directed by William Spier. Kirk Douglas starred. Also appearing were Cathy Lewis, Jerry Hausner, Raymond Lawrence, and Wally Maher. This episode aired on October 2, 1947.


Suspense – The Blue Hour

Claire Trevor, the Academy Award winning actress and “Queen of Film Noir,” made one of her five appearances on Suspense in the drama “The Blue Hour.” Here she plays Lois LaPaul, a Chicago dancer who becomes a media darling when her wealthy paramour is murdered. Instantly in demand, she accepts an offer to perform at an “extremely chic” nightclub called the The Blue Hour in New York City. At the airport she meets Alec Mahoney, a reporter with whom she shares some saucy banter.

When she arrives at the sparkling blue nightclub she soon discovers that the owner, Anthony LaCada, has no real interest in her dancing talents. His icy interest is in her murdered boyfriend, Jason White.

Not knowing what to do, she turns to Mahoney for help. Together they discover the blue diamond worth half a million dollars that Jason White was hiding.

“The Blue Hour Diamond” at the center of this story was probably based on the Hope Diamond, pictured to the right. This episode was written by Marty Schwartz and includes a number of moments of entertaining dialogue.

“The Blue Hour” was produced edited and directed by William Spier. The music, more prominent and detailed than usual in this episode, was composed by Lucien Moraweck and conducted by Lud Gluskin. At the time Claire Trevor appeared on this episode she was promoting the movie The Velvet Touch. Also featured were Hans Conried, Wally Maher and Sydney Miller. This broadcast aired on September 25, 1947.

Claire Trevor publicity photo for murder-my-sweet


Extra bonus Sunday!

Suspense – The Visitor

In “The Visitor,” a young man reappears three years after he was believed to have been murdered by his friend. But is it really him?

This episode was adapted from the 1944 novel The Visitor by American playwright and journalist Carl Randau and his wife, Leanne Zugsmith, a journalist, writer, and activist. Suspense made a few changes, but for the most part, the story presented is the same as the book.

The episode opens at a lunch counter outside of Baltimore, where a man named Burrell has come to talk to the teenager behind the counter. He was given an anonymous tip that the young man was really Bud Owen, and now Burrell discovers that this is true. Bud disappeared three years earlier, and almost everyone in their small hometown of Edgerton believed that he had been murdered. On that fateful day, Bud had gone to Ocean Isle with his friend Joe, but after a quarrel, only Joe had returned. Although no one could prove a crime had been committed, everyone believed Joe was guilty.

Now, Burrell is bringing Bud back home to Edgerton, but will everyone be happy to see him?

“The Visitor” was produced, directed and adapted for radio by William Spier. Eddie Bracken starred as Bud Owen. Also appearing were Kenneth Christy, Hans Conried, Jeannette Nolan, and John McIntire. This episode aired on May 11, 1944.

Suspense presented this story a second time on September 18, 1947 with Donald O’Connor in the role of Bud Owen. Also appearing were Verna Felton and Wally Maher.


s470911 The Twist

Suspense – The Twist

In “The Twist,” a radio comedy writer murders to keep his writing partner from leaving the business.

Michael-oshea As the episode opens, Gus Green explains that twelve years earlier, he drove a cab for a living and spent his time day-dreaming. Then, he met radio gag writer Van Hauser. The tow of them hated each other right away, but Gus convinced Van to give him a chance as a “situation” writer. The two of them were a hit together but separately they bombed.

Gus was determined to stick with Van no matter what. Then, a problem developed. Van announced that he was going to marry a dancer named Julie Phelps. Gus knew that meant Van would leave the business…and then leave him with nothing! So, he came up with a situation that would rid them of Julie…

How did that work out for him? Not well.

“The Twist” was written by Faith Blau and produced/directed by William Spier. Sidney Miller and Michael O’Shea starred. This episode aired on September 11, 1947.


Suspense – Murder Aboard the Alphabet

In “Murder Aboard the Alphabet,” the crew of a deep sea tugboat fears that their captain is a madman.

As the episode opens, the chief officer of the Alphabet, Mr. Marchland, explains what happened during their voyage from Liverpool to Boston.

The ship was under the command of Captain Walker for the first time, and it soon became apparent that their new captain had intense peculiarities and a maniacal need to organize everything alphabetically. At first he seemed harmless, but when members of the crew began to mysteriously disappear in alphabetical order, they realized that their captain was more dangerous than odd.

“Murder Aboard the Alphabet” was written by Charles Turrell and produced and directed by William Spier. John Lund starred as Mr. Marchland and Joseph Kearns played the captain. Also appearing were Wiliam Johnstone and Ben Wright. This episode aired on August 21, 1947.

Sus 470821_Murder Aboard the Alphabet

Suspense did this story a second time in 1955, but no recordings of that broadcast are known to exist at this time


470814 Smiley

Suspense – Smiley

In “Smiley,” Donald O’Connor stars as a man who has a grudge against all women after being falsely convicted of a crime.

Harold Smythe was a happy guy that everyone called “Smiley.” He had a job as a dishwasher and never caused any trouble. Sure, people thought it was strange that he was obsessed with his pretty hands, but they only teased him about it.

As Smiley was walking home one night, his life changed forever. A woman accused him of following and accosting her. Smiley told the court he was innocent, but they didn’t believe him.

Now, after two years in prison, Smiley returns to his old job as a dishwasher. His hands have been roughened by hard labor, and he has a grudge against all women. Smiley decides that the only way he can have justice is to commit the crime for which he has already served time.

Will Smiley carry out his creepy plan?

“Smiley” was written by Charles Glenn and produced/directed by William Spier. Donald O’Connor starred as Smiley. Sidney Miller, who also wrote and performed with O’Connor in his stage shows, played Curly. Lurene Tuttle played Cookie. This episode aired on August 14, 1947.


sus 470807 Quiet Desperation

Suspense – Quiet Desperation
In “Quiet Desperation,” an employee in a rut takes a chance on stealing his way into a better life.

As the episode opens, Homer Bigelow decides to change his situation. His existence has become an endless routine, and he wants to break free to live a life of adventure. His opportunity comes at work, when he overhears the bank manager describing the plans of his friend, Mr. Vale. He intends to dodge the currency control laws in England by sending his daughter to America to sell negotiables.

Homer had planned to spend the next week on vacation, but when he gets the opportunity to meet Hester Vale and intercept the assets, he takes it. His vacation arrangements make it easier to hide what he is really up to.

Can Homer get away with his plan to steal the negotiables, fake his own death, and move out West? Or will his own desperation get the better of him?

“Quiet Desperation” was written by George and Gertrude Fass. William Spier produced and directed. Walter Abel starred as Homer. Also appearing were Cathy Lewis, Wally Maher, William Johnstone, and Joseph Kearns. This episode aired on August 7, 1947.


This is going to be Suspense week.

470731 Mortmain

Suspense – Mortmain

In “Mortmain,” Jerome Cowan stars an attorney who frames his law partner and then takes over his life.

As the episode opens, a dead body lies on the floor of a kitchen. Sam Boston and the chief of police are waiting for the coroner to arrive, and everyone is looking for for Sam’s law partner, George Perry.

Sam thinks back to how it all began…three years ago…on that day when George breezed into Sam’s office and announced that he was going to be nominated for district attorney. Sam was stunned. He wanted that nomination!

At work, Sam’s wits had won George’s cases and brought him success as an attorney. He had also stolen Alice, the only woman Sam wanted.

George had tried to buy him off with the “what’s good for me is good for you, too, because we’re partners” line…and Sam pretended to agree. The truth was George was becoming too successful on Sam’s talent!

Sam had tried to handle the situation by fair means, but then, he decided it would be better to ruin his partner’s career and marriage.

Will Sam succeed in his back-stabbing plan?

“Mortmain” was written by George Fass and Gertrude Fass and was produced/directed by William Spier. Jerome Cowan starred. Also appearing were Wally Maher and Cathy Lewis. This episode aired on July 31, 1947.