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Black Museum

Based on Otter Log dated Aug 31, 2004

The information from this log is taken from Walt Pattinson's Black Museum Page, found here. Thanks to Walt for letting us reprint the information here.

The Black Museum was a "Towers of London" production broadcast over Radio Luxembourg in 1951. It was syndicated for broadcast in the States in 1952. Hosted by Orson Welles, we are given a tour of Scotland Yard's "Museum of Murder".

There were 2 primary openings for the show, with minor differences the wording:

Show Opening
This is Orson Welles, speaking from London [Big Ben sounds].
The Black Museum. A Repository of Death. Here in the grim stone structure on the Thames which houses Scotland Yard is a warehouse of homicide, where every day objects - [list of objects] - all are touched by murder. [signature trumpet fanfare]

Story Introduction
Announcer: From the annals of the criminal investigation department of the London Police, we bring you the dramatic stories of the crimes recorded by the objects in Scotland Yard's Gallery of Death -- The Black Museum

[music up full]
Orson Welles: Well, here we are, in The Black Museum. Scotland Yard's museum of murder...
Welles is heard in the echoy museum, describing the layout, and pointing out various objects until arriving at the object of tonight's story.

The show was a reenactment of a homicide in which each item was a key piece of evidence, as enacted mainly from the inspector in the case. The episodes describe how they arrived at clues, the step by step gathering of evidence, the unglamorous waiting and watching, until the police finally zero in on the culprit.

The Black Museum actually exists. check out this link to the Crime Museum, which was given the nickname The Black Museum in 1877.

Tony West, a historian of "British crime, murder and mayhem from the past," has researched the episodes of The Black Museum and matched the many of the Black Museum Episodes with the actual case histories. The results of his research are recorded below, together with the rest of the episode information. There are a few instances where multiple Black Museum Episodes were based on the same actual case, but rewritten. These will be noted below.

Title : The 22 Caliber Pistol
Episode Number : 1
Available : YES
Opening Items : skillet, screwdriver, photograph
Opening : Here's a .22 calibre pistol. It's a familiar object. You've seen one, or its picture. Never touched one. An elegant little weapon -- blue steel, mother of pearl inlay grip -- beautiful in its dainty snubnosed wickedness...
Intro Items : odd looking ashtray
Introduction : Ah, here we are, the little blue .22. It's silent now...
Actual Case History : The Shooting of Michael Scott Stephen by his lover Elvira Barney on May 31st 1932 in Belgravia London. She was found not guilty of his murder.

Title : The Center Fire Bullet
Episode Number : 2
Available : YES
AKA : .32 Calibre Bullet
Opening Items : kitchen knife, roller skate, violin string
Opening : Here's a 32 calibre bullet. It's a familiar object. Brass cartridge case. Snub leaden nose. Not very pretty to look at...
Intro Items : jeweled ring, bathtub
Introduction : The 32 calibre bullet. Even here lying so quietly, so somberly, it's ugly. This object was made for killing. Which as a matter of fact it never did kill...
Actual Case History : This was the murder of Alec D'Antiquis on April 29th 1947 by Christopher James Geraghty aged 21, Charles Harry Jenkins aged 23 and Terence Rolt. Geraghty and Jenkins were hung. Rolt was under age and was imprisoned.

Title : Bathtub
Episode Number : 3
Available : YES
Opening Items : piece of wire, chemist flask, silver shilling
Opening : Here's a bathtub, a familiar object. It's an old fashioned one. A ball and claw footed bathtub without plumbing connections... [low volume]
Intro Items : wine glass
Introduction : Here we are, here's the bathtub. So innocent, even comical. Basis for a thousand jokes, foundation for laughter, circa 1910.
Actual Case History : "The Brides in the Bath Murders", the murders of Margaret Lofty in Highgate London, Alice Burnham, Bessie Mundy at Blackpool during 1914 commited by George Joseph Smith who was executed on August 13th 1915.

Title : The Black Gladstone Bag
Episode Number : 4
Available : YES
Opening Items : package of cigarettes, length of string, linen napkin
Opening : Here's a gladstone bag. It's a familiar object. Every railroad train carries several. Inevitably useful, compact, and expandable. They always hole more than they seem. Perfect for vacations. Perfect also for...
Intro Items : camera, briar pipe
Introduction : Here we are. The gladstone bag. A piece of luggage for a man. It looks so commonplace, so much as if it belonged to a travelling salesman. Not to Jim Hudson...
Actual Case History : The murder of Emily Beilby Kaye by Patrick Herbert Mahon on April 15th 1924 at The Crumbles, Eastbourne, Sussex.

Title : The Blood Stained Brickbat
Episode Number : 5
Available : YES
Opening Items : cigarette boxes, appointment books, hat rack
Opening : Here's a brickbat. Coarse grained. Rough edged. Familiar. Perhaps your home is built of bricks exactly like this one. In this case, however, no home was built by such a brick. Rather a home was destroyed by it. Destroyed forever...
Intro Items : hatrack
Introduction : Here's our brickbat. Of such bricks are garden walls built. Later the ivy or some such creaping vine grows over them...
Actual Case History : The murder of architect Francis Rattenbury by their 18 year old handyman, George Stoner, during March 1935. Francis Rattenbury's wife Alma was also implicated but acquitted at trial. Three days after the trial Alma Rattenbury commited suicide, Stoner was sentenced to hang but was reprieved by the Home Secretary. Francis Rattenbury was the architect who designed the Provincial government buildings in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Title : The Brass Button
Episode Number : 6
Available : YES
Opening Items : candle stick, china doll, broom
Opening : Now take this button, this brass button. The symbol of a barracks parade ground...
Intro Items : medicine bottle, kitchen knife
Introduction : The brass button. It's an innocuous, ordinary brass button. This was found near the dead body of a woman...
Actual Case History : The murder of Joan Pearl Wolfe by Native Indian French-Canadian soldier August Sangret at Hankley Common near Godalming Surrey in September 1942. Sangret was hanged at Wandsworth prison April 2nd 1943.

Title : A Can (or Tin) of Weed Killer
Episode Number : 7
Available : YES
Opening Items : goldfish bowl, automatic gas range, child's perambulator
Opening : Here's a can of weed killer. It's a familiar object. Every suburbanite with a patch of garden has used this. Or something very much like it...
Intro Items : arrow, chalice
Introduction : Here's the tin of weed killer. Dried up now, it's contents are forever uselessfor any purpose...
Actual Case History : Harold Greenwood of Carmarthen Wales was found not guilty at trial in the poisoning death of his wife Mabel who died June 16th 1919. He was arrested and charged with her murder on account of village gossip!

Title : The Canvas Bag
Episode Number : 8
Available : YES
Opening Items : hammer, suitcase, shirt button
Opening : You take this canvas bag...
Intro Items : gold trophy, knitting needle
Introduction : Here's the canvas bag. It was once a bag used to hold provisions in a North Hampton grocery store
Actual Case History : Not yet matched with case history

Title : The Car Tire
Episode Number : 9
Available : YES
Opening Items : pin, garden hose, handbag
Opening : Here's a car tire. There were three others. All attached to a sedan. They were removed...
Intro Items : electric wiring, card
Introduction : Here's the tire. It's an ordinary car tire, once it belonged to a sedan that stood in a garage on the South End...
Actual Case History : The murder of Police Constable George W. Gutteridge on a lonely country road between Ongar and Romford in Essex on September 27th 1927 by Frederick Guy Browne and William Kennedy. They were hanged May 31st 1928. The Black Museum Episode titled "The Gas Receipt" was also based on this case history.

Title : The Champagne Glass
Episode Number : 10
Available : YES
Opening Items : man's necktie, woman's glove, boy's schoolcap
Opening : Here's a champagne glass. That's a familiar object. Long stemmed, delicate curve, shining crystal. This fragile object belongs to New Year's Eve, to weddings, anniversaries...
Intro Items : iron skillet
Introduction : Here's the champagne glass. It's well designed, graceful. You could place it with a companion on a silver tray...
Actual Case History : Major Herbert Rowse Armstrong executed at Gloucester prison on May 31st 1922 for the murder of his wife in February 1921 at Hay-on-Wye South Wales.

Title : A Claw Hammer
Episode Number : 11
Available : YES
Opening Items : sugar bowl, ashtray, portable radio
Opening : Here's a hammer. A hammer, that's a familiar object. Everyone's used one at some time...
Intro Items : length of wire, cigarette lighter
Introduction : It's a claw hammer with curved blades designed for pulling nails. It's heavy, well balanced, a perfect tool. One Saturday morning it rested in a canvas bag. The owner rang a doorbell in Oxford...
Actual Case History : The murder of Annie Louisa Kempson by Henry Daniel Seymour at Oxford on August Bank Holiday weekend 1931. Seymour was hanged Dec. 10th 1931 at Oxford prison.

Title : The Door Key
Episode Number : 12
Available : YES
Opening Items : skipping rope, glass, iron stepladder
Opening : You take this key...
Intro Items : spoon, oar
Introduction : Here's the key. An ordinary key. The kind used to open most of the front doors in London...
Actual Case History : Not yet matched with case history

Title : The Faded Tartan Scarf
Episode Number : 13
Available : YES
Opening Items : fountain pen, cufflink, highheel shoe
Opening : Here's a scarf. Torn, ragged, a faded tartan. A cheap reproduction of the honorable colors of the Stewarts. Red with green & blue crossings and a double over-check of white & yellow. This scarf belonged to Walter Hoffman...
Intro Items : scent spray, brass candlestick
Introduction : Here's what we're looking for, the faded tartan scarf. s I take it out of the showcase...
Actual Case History : Not yet matched with case history

Title : Four Small Bottles
Episode Number : 14
Available : YES
Opening Items : earthen pot, silver shilling, typewriter ribbon
Opening : Four small bottles. They're familiar objects. Medicine bottles, shining glass, cork stoppers. The labels in neat, clear handwriting. Such bottles are in the medicine cabinet of almost every home. But these were found...
Intro Items : kitchen mop
Introduction : Here are the four small bottles. Three of one ounce capacity, one holds two ounces.
Actual Case History : The poisoning of Edwin Bartlett by his wife Adelaide Bartlett on January 1st 1886 at Pimlico, London. She was acquitted of the murder.

Title : A French-English Dictionary
Episode Number : 15
Available : YES
Opening Items : parchment, lampshade, automobile tire, canvas tarpaulin
Opening : Here's a dictionary. It's a familiar object. French into English, English into French. Every high school student knows what these books are like...
Intro Items : feathered darts
Introduction : Ah, here we are, the dictionary. You want the Engish for a French Word? Here it is. Or the French for a word in English?
Actual Case History : The poisoning of Alfred George Poynter Jones by Jean Pierre Vaquier at Byfleet, Surrey, March 29th 1924.

Title : The Gas Receipt
Episode Number : 16
Available : YES
Opening Items : brass lamp, nail file, lady's hatpin
Opening : I have here a receipt of payment for 10 gallons of gasoline. A familiar object. You've had them many times yourself if you drive a car. But this particular receipt...
Intro Items : (none mentioned)
Introduction : Here's the reciept I told you about. Settled it says, paid in full
Actual Case History : The murder of Police Constable George W. Gutteridge on a lonely country road between Ongar and Romford in Essex on September 27th 1927 by Frederick Guy Browne and William Kennedy. They were hanged May 31st 1928. The Black Museum Episode titled "The Car Tire" was also based on this case history.

Title : Glass Shards
Episode Number : 17
Available : YES
AKA : Frosted Glass
Opening Items : paperweight, woolen muffler, old fashioned hatpin, drinking glass
Opening : Here's a bit of frosted glass. It's a familiar object. You've seen such glass before in the upper panels of the doors of older houses. Perhaps the one in which you live...
Intro Items : pacifier, pair of andirons
Introduction : Here we are, the glass shards. They're sharp, pointed. Dangerous to life and limb even in themselves
Actual Case History : Not yet matched with case history

Title : The Hammerhead
Episode Number : 18
Available : YES
Opening Items : picture frame, coat hanger, file folder, baby buggy
Opening : Here's a hammerhead. Made of cast steel. Well shaped. Extremely familiar. The front end blunt, solid, designed for driving nails. The clawed prongs at the rear for pulling nails. They're practical. Very, very, very familiar. And so very, very, very lethal...
Intro Items : calendar
Introduction : Here's the hammerhead I told you about. It's an efficient tool, this hammerhead...
Actual Case History : Known as the Brighton Trunk Mystery. The murder of Violette Kaye on May 10th 1933 at Brighton Sussex. Her lover Tony Mancini (real name Cecil Louis England who also used the aliases Hyman Gold and Jack Notyre), was found not guilty.

Title : The Jack Handle
Episode Number : 19
Available : YES
Opening Items : simple glass, piece of rope, woman's handkerchief
Opening : You take this iron bar. It's a familiar object. The handle of a jack. If you own a car you know the jack handle. And you've used it, but never, never I trust, like this...
Intro Items : small white box, tiny pistol
Introduction : A jack handle. It's intriguing. Once, according to the casebook, yes, that's the story. A tale which begins innocently enough when London lived in the blackout
Actual Case History : The murder of George Heath by U.S. soldier Karl Gustav Hulten and Elizabeth Maud Jones, alias Georgina Grayson, at Staines London Oct. 7th 1944. Hulton was hanged Mar. 8th 1945. Jones was also sentenced to death but commuted to a prison term, she was released in May 1954.

Title : A Jar of Acid
Episode Number : 20
Available : YES
Opening Items : silk scarf, length of twine, child's toy
Opening : Now this jar, ... cheap stained glass container, the type you'd find in a laboratory. What's in it? A colorless fluid. Water, perhaps? A cleaning spirit? No...
Intro Items : hypodermic syringe, umbrella
Introduction : Here's the acid jar, sealed and somber looking in it's place on the shelf.
Actual Case History : The murders of Mrs Olive Durand-Deacon, Mr & Mrs McSwann and their son, Dr & Mrs Henderson and possibly others by John George Haigh during the period 1944 to 1949. He was hanged at Wandsworth prison Aug. 6th 1949. (You'll notice that in Britain there is no lengthy appeals process, his last murder was commited less than six months before he was executed)!

Title : The Khaki Handkerchief
Episode Number : 21
Available : YES
Opening Items : teapot, sewing needle, folding camera
Opening : Now here's a handkerchief. A khaki handkerchief. A soldier's handkerchief. A common enough sort of thing, during the war...
Intro Items : garden hose, German mauser
Introduction : Here it is, the khaki handkerchief. Originally it was intended for camoflage, fairly shouted for recognition at the right time in the wrong place.
Actual Case History : The murders of Doreen Hearne & Kathleen Trendle by Harold Hill at Penn in Buckinghamshire in 1941.

Title : A Lady's Shoe
Episode Number : 22
Available : YES
Opening Items : teacup and it's saucer, lady's parasol, surveyor's chain
Opening : Now you take this lady's shoe. It's a familiar object, high of heel, neat cross straps, dainty desigh on the toe. An execellent example of the art of the modern bootmaker
Intro Items : gardener's clippers, revolver
Introduction : A shoe. Oh, a pair of them, of course. Charming, delightful, it's the type of fragile footware a lady of some means would be expected to own.
Notes : This episode has the same opening as The Mallet
Actual Case History : The murder of Camille Cecily Holland by her common-law husband Samuel Herbert Dougal at Saffron Waldon, Essex on May 19th 1899.

Title : The Leather Bag
Episode Number : 23
Available : YES
Opening Items : phonograph record, desk pad, flashlight
Opening : Here's a leather bag. It's a familiar object. A doctor carries a bag like this. Or a bank messenger. Or a payroll clerk. Neat, compact, light. Not the kind of thing to carry the weight of death...
Intro Items : cymbal, revolver
Introduction : A leather bag. Part of a puzzle, a jigsaw puzzle involving life and death and greed which was never quite completed.
Actual Case History : The murder of John Innes Nesbit, a wages clerk, on a train near Newcastle by John Alexander Dickman, March 18th 1910. The Black Museum Episode titled "Tan Shoe" was also based on this case history.

Title : A Letter
Episode Number : 24
Available : YES
Opening Items : magazine, cigarette lighter, student's lamp, paper weight
Opening : Here's a letter. A familiar object, hand written, on good bond paper. No imprint on the top, merely a date and a single, simple initial for the signature...
Intro Items : baby's pacifier
Introduction : Here's the letter, the letter I told you about. The letter of today's story. This one begins innocently enough, in a bank.
Actual Case History : Barrister fraudster James Townsend Saward (alias "Jim the Penman" to the criminal fraternity), crimes of fraud at Yarmouth England during 1857, sentenced to penal servitude in Australia.

Title : The Mandolin String
Episode Number : 25
Available : YES
Opening Items : crumpled newspaper, lighter fluid, small radio
Opening : A mandolin string, a familiar object [pluck strings og a mandolin]
Intro Items : spoon, oar
Introduction : Here, this mandolin string. Just a coil of rust spotted wire now. The string from a mandolin. A relic of another era. An era of polished carriages, well groomed horses, simple and sedate living.
Actual Case History : Not yet matched with case history

Title : Meat Juice
Episode Number : 26
Available : YES
Opening Items : packet of matches, coffee pot, paring knife
Opening : Now here is a pint bottle, labeled Meat Juice . Perhaps you've seen one of these...
Intro Items : small mirror
Introduction : Here it is, the bottle labeled Meat Juice. Obsolete, archaic type of writing on this label replete with flourishes and shading.
Actual Case History : The Murder of James Maybrick by his wife Florence, May 11th 1889 at Liverpool. Florence Maybrick was born Florence Elizabeth Chandler in Alabama. She was sentenced to death but reprieved three days before her execution date. She spent fifteen years in jail, released in January 1904 and died in poverty in Connecticut on October 23rd 1941.

Title : The Notes
Episode Number : 27
Available : YES
Opening Items : phonograph record, post card, color photograph, simple statuette
Opening : In two scribbled notes, bits of paper with three words scrawled across them, a slogan known around the world, a slogan you recognize...
Intro Items : typewriter
Introduction : Here are the notes. Notes scrawled on lined paper such as children use, children who are just learning to write.
Actual Case History : On 2nd October 1922 Percy and Jessie Thompson were on their way home along the Belgrave Rd, Illford, Essex, after a trip to the theatre when a man rushed out of the darkness and stabbed her husband, Percy, to death. The assailant was heard to shout "Why don't you get a divorce you Cad". Edith was heard to cry "Don't oh Don't". Edith told police that she had no idea who the attacker was, but her neighbours told the police about the affair that Mrs. Thompson had been having with Freddy Bywaters. He was duly tracked down and taken to Ilford police station. In Freddy's locker they found no fewer than 83 letters from Edith, 49 of which were eventually used as evidence at the trial. Some of the letters discussed poisoning Percy, and one even discussed the fact that Edith had put ground glass into his food. One of the letters from Edith to Freddy said "be jealous so much that you will do something desperate". They were hanged at the same time, 9am on 9th January 1923. Freddy at Pentonville, and Edith at Holloway, she had to be drugged and dragged to the gallows.

Title : The Old Wooden Mallet
Episode Number : 28
Available : YES
Opening Items : teacup and it's saucer, lady's parasol, surveyor's chain
Opening : You take this mallet. It's a familiar object. Wooden mallet, worn, with a wooden head, marked. Nicked with all it's uses...
Intro Items : woman's handkerchief, heavy chain
Introduction : The mallet. The little white card says in part Guy Falkes day -- bonfire night. Guy Falkes day, that's November 5th. It's an old English tradition.
Notes : This episode has the same opening as Lady's Shoe
Actual Case History : One of the most famous of all the English murder cases, the murder of an unknown tramp by Alfred Arthur Rouse on the evening of November 5th/6th 1930, near the village of Hardingstone, Northamptonshire. November 5th is an English custom called Guy Fawkes night or Bonfire night.

Title : The Open End Wrench
Episode Number : 29
Available : YES
Opening Items : ink bottle, child's raincoat, silver pillow
Opening : Here's an open end wrench. It's a familiar object. If you own an automobile, you own one of these. Or at least you've seen a mechanic use one.
Intro Items : cardboard matchcover
Introduction : Here's the open end wrench. It's a common tool among mechanics. Even among non-mechanical types -- bookkeepers, clerks, teachers. No sign of violence or death upon it, merely a bit of shaped patterned steel...
Actual Case History : Not yet matched with case history

Title : The Pair of Spectacles
Episode Number : 30
Available : YES
Opening Items : portable typewriter, jack for an automobile, ice pick
Opening : Here's a pair of spectacles. It's a familiar object. Neat, not too large, tortoise shell frames with gold top...
Intro Items : mandolin string, French novel
Introduction : The spectacles. Rather pathetic spectacles, the lenses are cracked, the frame twisted and bent, the gilt tarnished.
Actual Case History : The murder of Elsie Cameron by Norman Thorne at Crowborough, Sussex in Dec. 1924. The Black Museum Episode titled "The Wool Jacket" was also based on this case history.

Title : A Piece of Iron Chain
Episode Number : 31
Available : YES
Opening Items : glass ashtray, porcelain vase, electric fan
Opening : Here's a piece of an iron chain. It's a familiar object. Might be a bar on a gravel driveway. It might rest in an emergency truck for use in towing an automobile.
Intro Items : (none mentioned)
Introduction : The chain. Chain. Now what do you associate with the word, with the sound -- chain.
Actual Case History : Not yet matched with case history

Title : The Pink Powder Puff
Episode Number : 32
Available : YES
Opening Items : carbon paper, tin ashtray ,broken teacup
Opening : Now here's a woman's powder puff. Faded pink. We'll open the glass case and take it out. There you are, sir. Perhaps madam would like to take it. Ah, you draw back. The lace, it's pitiful and torn. Across the puff itself is an ugly stain...
Intro Items : matchbox, nail file
Introduction : But our objective now is the powder puff. As it lies on the palm of my hand, let's turn back the clock and mee the man who used it for a grim purpose.
Actual Case History : The Murders of Margery Gardner at Notting Hill London and Doreen Marshall in Bournemouth during June and July of 1946 by Neville George Clevely Heath. These were quite sadistic and perverted murders the details of which are not accurately portrayed in the episode. Heath was hanged on Oct. 26th 1946.

Title : The Post Card
Episode Number : 33
Available : YES
Opening Items : dictionary, stenographer's notebook, clothes hanger
Opening : Here's a post card. It's a familiar object. Slightly soiled in its passage through the mail. The usual cancellation of the stamp. An ordinary address -- 29 St. Paul Road, London. The message, oh yes...
Intro Items : typewriter, child's toy
Introduction : Now here we are, the postcard. The postcard with the drawing of a rising sun. It's clear at once that a skilled hand drew this tiny picture.
Actual Case History : The Murder of Phyllis Dimmock at Camden Town, London on Sept.12th 1907. An artist-engraver Robert Wood was charged with her murder. He was found not guilty at trial, the murder remained unsolved.

Title : A Prescription
Episode Number : 34
Available : YES
Opening Items : milk bottle, woman's hair net, bit of flypaper
Opening : Here's a doctor's prescription. It's a familiar object. You don't think twice about it. You have a cold, a sore throat, the doctor comes, gives you a prescription, a piece of paper with symbols scrawled on it...
Intro Items : stiletto
Introduction : Here's the prescription. Scrawled, almost uninteligable. In the traditional corkscrew of a doctor's penmanship, and marked in the chemist's writing filled
Actual Case History : The murder of Ada Baguley by Nurse Dorothea Waddingham on Sept. 11th 1935 at Nottingham. Waddingham was hanged Apr.16th 1936.

Title : The Raincoat
Episode Number : 35
Available : YES
Opening Items : woman's shoe, tiny white box, quilted robe
Opening : You take this raincoat. It's a familiar object. Waterproof cloth, rayon lining. Collar you can turn up against stormy weather. Here in London it's called a macintosh
Intro Items : mallet
Introduction : Ah, the raincoat. Here we are. Stained. Charred, too, around the edges.
Actual Case History : The arrest of William Wallace for the murder of his wife Julia, Liverpool 1931. Sentence later quashed by criminal court on appeal and he was freed.

Title : The Sash Cord
Episode Number : 36
Available : YES
Opening Items : briarroot pipe, dingy white glove, lump of twisted ceiling wax
Opening : This length of sash cord, quite commonplace. Might see something like this in any window frame...
Intro Items : (none mentioned)
Introduction : This sash cord. A short piece of rope. Grimy, frayed at one end. Not remarkable in itself, yet it came from the stage of a famous theater in the city of Brighton.
Actual Case History : Not yet matched with case history

Title : A Service Card
Episode Number : 37
Available : YES
Opening Items : lightbulb, broken mirror, stained blotting pad
Opening : Here's an auto service card, issued by a garage to show that a certain mototcar was oiled and greased when the speedometer reading was 15001...
Intro Items : glass funnel, spectacles, powder puff
Introduction : The buff colored service card. As I open the showcase and take it between my fingers, I ask you to come with me back to 1947.
Actual Case History : The Murder of Mr & Mrs Giffard by their son Miles Giffard in November 1952 at Cornwall.

Title : The Sheath Knife
Episode Number : 38
Available : YES
Opening Items : carpenter's saw, manicurist's orange stick, ten-penny nail
Opening : A sheathed knife. It's a familiar object. Maybe your son, if he's an outdoors sort of kid, has one.
Intro Items : boot, hypodermic needle
Introduction : Here's the sheathed knife I was telling you about. Leather sheath, Sheffield steel, bone handle. It's a pretty instrument in it's way.
Note : Is the title Sheath or Sheathed?
Actual Case History : Not yet matched with case history

Title : The Shopping Bag
Episode Number : 39
Available : YES
Opening Items : cotton reel, tobacco pouch, boot lace
Opening : Here's a shopping bag. Faded green canvas. Square in shape. Large enough to envelope a human head...
Intro Items : death masks
Introduction : We've arrived at the shopping bag. One killer. Stanley Haines. Five victims, including his wife who was his second on the list.
Notes : This episode has a similar intro as Two Bullets
Actual Case History : Not yet matched with case history

Title : A Shilling
Episode Number : 40
Available : YES
Opening Items : flower pot, coffee cup, curtain rod
Opening : Here's a shilling. This is a familiar object, a shilling. A coin of the realm.
Intro Items : small radio
Introduction : Here's the shilling. The subject of our story. Some tarnish, still it's gleaming silver. Without a doubt it passed through many hands, reposed in pockets and purses, and then one day...
Actual Case History : Not yet matched with case history

Title : A Silencer
Episode Number : 41
Available : YES
Opening Items : woman's purse, man's glove, child's shoe
Opening : Now this silencer. Made to fit an army rifle. Made for a killer. For striking unseen and unheard. In the dark, perhaps.
Intro Items : elephant gun
Introduction : The silencer. Metal tubes within tubes. Small and stubby. Designed to swallow sound
Actual Case History : Not yet matched with case history

Title : The Small White Boxes
Episode Number : 42
Available : YES
Opening Items : woman's necklace, pair of spectacles, iron ladle
Opening : These small white boxes. They're familiar objects. They might have contained sleeping pills, or a mild sedative, or aspirin. But no, they contained arsenic...
Intro Items : filing spike
Introduction : The white boxes, a little bit yellowed with age. The neat, spidery penmanship on the tiny labels fading now. But still legible.
Actual Case History : The poisoning of Emile L'Angelier by Madeleine Smith on March 23rd 1857 at Glasgow, Scotland. At her trial in Edinburgh Scotland on June 30th that year the case was found "Not Proven", a verdict that is unique to Scotland whereas in the rest of the British Isles the equivalent verdict would be Not Guilty.

Title : The Spotted Bedsheet
Episode Number : 43
Available : YES
AKA : Bengal Tower Bedsheet, Bedsheet
Opening Items : tallow candle, mounted cat, andiron
Opening : A bedsheet. That's a familiar object. You see them every night except on rare occasions when you're roughing it. Linen is the usual material. Sometimes they're made of silk. This one's linen. It bears the imprint of the steamship Bengal Tower
Intro Items : chemist's flask, bicycle
Introduction : The sheet. A common everyday bedsheet stammped in one corner SS Bengal Tower. That's a luxury liner on the route between Cape Town and South Hampton.
Actual Case History : The murder of minor actress Gay Gibson by James Camb aboard the liner Durban Castle, cabin 126, off the west coast of Africa, October 18th 1947. James Camb was sentenced to death but reprieved owing to a suspension of capital punishment.

Title : The Straight Razor
Episode Number : 44
Available : YES
Opening Items : picture frame, wicker chair, telephone directory
Opening : A straight razor. It's a familiar object, straight razor. Perhaps your father used one like this. Mine did. Straight, keen edged bit of steel, beautifully sharpened and stropped to remove a man's whiskers or...
Intro Items : steel filing cabinet, book of jokes
Introduction : The razor. One of a set of seven. They used to come in wooden cases. You remember, the seven straight keen blades marked one for each day of the week?
Actual Case History : London 1903, George Chapman murdered three women and believed by some to have been Jack the Ripper.

Title : The Tan Shoe
Episode Number : 45
Available : YES
Opening Items : broom, vase, lamp shade
Opening : Now this tan shoe, it's a brough, good leather, expensive make. But the dark stain on the heel wasn't put there by the manufacturer...
Intro Items : birthday card, glass
Introduction : Here's the tan shoe. A left foot shoe. The darkish stain near the heel inside and out couldn't be disguised with polish.
Actual Case History : The murder of John Innes Nesbit, a wages clerk, on a train near Newcastle by John Alexander Dickman, March 18th 1910. The Black Museum Episode titled "The Leather Bag" was also based on this case history.

Title : The Telegram
Episode Number : 46
Available : YES
Opening Items : piece of washline, medicine bottle, electric lightbulb
Opening : Here's a telegram. It's a familiar object. Usually says "Happy Birthday", or "congratulations on your wedding", or "will arrive 10 o'clock train". This telegram was an urgent request to die...
Intro Items : oil lamp, ribbon
Introduction : The telegram. Here we are. It's a slip of yellow paper with familiar type pasted in stripes across its face. Urgent. A summons.
Actual Case History : The murder of Irene May Wilkins by Thomas Henry Allaway at Bournemouth, Dec. 22nd 1921.

Title : A Trunk
Episode Number : 47
Available : YES
Opening Items : briefcase, medicine bottle, carpenter's rule
Opening : This old fashioned trunk. It's a familiar object -- brass bound, well made in a previous generation sort of way. Perhaps you've one like it in the attic or storeroom...
Intro Items : gasoline can
Introduction : The trunk. It's easily handled. Empty, now. But once upon a time, oh yes, this is the tale, for our intents and purposes it begins in Charring Cross Station in London...
Actual Case History : The Murder of Minnie Bonati by John Robinson in London 1927.

Title : Two Bullets
Episode Number : 48
Available : YES
Opening Items : pocketbook, rag doll, paperweight
Opening : Look, here in the glass case. We'll open it up and with the permission of the curator we'll take out two small objects that speak directly of violence and sudden death.
Intro Items : death masks
Introduction : Here are the two bullets. One fired in 1944 when London shook under Hitler's onslaught of V-1s. The other fired during the uneasy peace of '47 when anxious eyes were turning eastward.
Notes : This episode has a similar intro as Shopping Bag
Actual Case History : The Murder of Police Constable Miles by Christopher Craig and Derek Bentley at Croydon London, Nov. 2nd 1952. Craig was only 16 at the time and was sentenced to be "detained at Her Majesty's pleasure" and was released in 1963. Bentley at age 18 was what is termed "feeble minded" with the mental age of perhaps a 12 year old and was executed. There was a recommendation for mercy from the jury which was ignored by the judge and he was hanged whilst 5000 people demonstrated against the sentence outside the prison.
This was one of Britain's most controversial executions and after 50 years of campaigning by his family and public figures he was just recently given a posthumous free pardon. It should be noted that Bentley had been in police custody for twenty minutes BEFORE PC Miles was shot dead by Craig and there is a strong rumour that the bullet that killed the policeman was fired by another policeman! It was never produced in court and there was no ballistics match done on the fatal bullet. There is a movie that can still be found at some video stores titled "Let Him Have It" which is about the Craig & Bentley case.
As a point of interest I picked up Christopher Craig's older brother Niven in my taxi way back in 1973. He was a small time gangster during the 1950's whom Chris Craig strived to emulate.

Title : The Walking Stick
Episode Number : 49
Available : YES
'Opening Items : salt shaker, pair of scisors, umbrella
Opening : A walking stick. Black wood. Silver mounted. Maybe it's real ebony. A stick which might have belonged to your grandfather.
Intro Items : plaster cast of heel print, steel file
Introduction : The walking stick. It came from Glascow more than eighty years ago. 1865. It's owner was a Dr. Richard Martinson, an interesting fellow...
Actual Case History : Dr Edward Pritchard murdered his wife and his mother-in-law in Glasgow Scotland during February and March of 1865. He was hanged four months later.

Title : A Woman's Pigskin Glove
Episode Number : 50
Available : YES
Opening Items : cigarette lighter, young girl's diary, broken perambulator
Opening : A woman's glove. That's a familiar object. Hand stitched, soft leather, the gauntlet type. But this glove -- this glove touched death...
Intro Items : pen
Introduction : The glove. Dainty, isn't it, this little glove. It was made for a tender hand, made to grace the costume of a lovely woman who's come to tea.
Actual Case History : The murder of Mrs Dorothy Fisher and her 19 year old daughter Freda along with their maid Charlotte Saunders, at Matfield in Kent on July 9th 1940 by Mrs Florence Iris Ouida Ransom.

Title : The Wool Jacket
Episode Number : 51
Available : YES
Opening Items : paperweight, broken wine bottle, shaded lamp
Opening : You take this jacket. Woolen, hand knitted, a baby's garment, dusty with age and only half completed...
Intro Items : nail file, length of cord
Introduction : The jacket. Mottled, dusty. somewhat inconspucuous in it's place on the shelf. A tragic relic of passion and violence
Actual Case History : The murder of Elsie Cameron by Norman Thorne at Crowborough, Sussex in Dec. 1924. The Black Museum Episode titled "The Pair of Spectacles" was also based on this case history.

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