Radio Plays - Forensics

The Great Chocolate Murders....2006
R4, 4 Mar 06. Obsessive love, poison, bad drains, royalty, murder and chocolate all feature in John Fletcher¹s play, set in 19th-century Brighton and based on a true story. Christiana Edmunds, an eccentric, 40-something spinster, falls madly in love at first sight with the tall and handsome Dr Beard, a married man. She visits him, complaining of abdominal pains which he must examine at once, and they begin a passionate but brief affair ­ an affair he quickly regrets. (more on John Fletcher's page).


Not sure if this is the whole series: 

961119 - The Black Trunk
961126 - The Camden Town Murder
961203 - A Hint Of Arsenic
961207 - A Death At Christmas
961214 - The Case Of The Green Bicycle

Presented by John Mortimer:

12.11.97 The Case Of The Fire In Room 66
19.11.97 The Case Of The Deadly Nightcap
26.11.97 The Case Of The Spinsters Hoard
03.12.97 The Case Of The Liverpool Poisoner
10.12.97 The Case Of The Dandelion Killer
17.12.97 The Case Of The Villa Madeira

Four forensics docu-drama series presented by Nick Ross

series 1
The Surgeon's Knife 13 Feb 91 (1935, Dr Buck Ruxton)
Cabin 13 20 Feb 91 (1947, James Cann)
The Major, the Scone and the Dandelion 27 Feb 91 (1920, Major Armstrong)
The body in the Trunk 06 Mar 91 (1930, Brighton Trunk Murder)
Sheer Plod 13 Mar 91 (1943)
The New Year Nightmare 20 Mar 91 (1970?)

series 2
The Wheels of Justice 10 Jan 92
Bullets and Ballistics 17 Jan 92
The Perfect Murder? 24 Jan 92
The Bloodstained Handkerchief 31 Jan 92
Murder on the Farm 7 Feb 92
The Bloody Thumbprint 14 Feb 92

series 3
The Fingerless Stranger 5 Mar 93
The Body in the Chalkpit 12 Mar 93
Hitch-hike to Murder 19 Mar 93
The Wigwam Murders 26 Mar 93
Death of the Lord of Life 2 Apr 93
The Use of Maggots 9 Apr 93

Portsmouth, 1943, and the landlady of a busy pub is found dead, ostensibly following a robbery. Harold Luffens is charged with murder, but is subsequently tried an unprecedented three times for the same crime. With Eric Allan, Brett Usher, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Dominic Letts.

In 1946 a man's body is found in a shallow pit, a noose around his neck. Was it suicide by hanging? If so, how did the body come to be in a chalk pit? With Stephen Thorne, Barry J Gordon, Philip Anthony, Geraldine Fitzgerald.

A woman accepts a lift from a lorry driver. Later her body is found in bushes at the side of the road. Detective Chief Inspector Fabian begins the search for the deadly driver. With Barry J Gordon, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Dominic Letts, Jilly Meers.

It's 1942, and a woman's body is found in a mound of earth near an American army camp. Does it have anything to do with a Native American soldier who fell in love with an English girl? With Stephen Thorne, Jilly Meers, Dominic Letts.

The crown prince of Siam is found dead, seemingly after shooting himself. But was it really suicide, or, with the political turmoil, was there a darker motive for a killing? With Philip Sully, Christopher Goode, David Thorpe, James Telfer, David Hold, Steve Hodson.

Two boys discover a body in Bracknell Woods on a hot day in 1964. Can the maggots found on the body tell Dr Keith Simpson anything about the victim or his murderer? With Steve Hodson, David Sinclair, John Church, Rachel Atkins, Jilly Meers.

series 4
Of Fly-papers and Death 15 Apr 94
Admissible Evidence 22 Apr 94
Somebody's had a Bonfire 29 Apr 94
Of Bullets and Life Preservers 6 May 94
A Matter of Living 13 May 94
To the Hangman 20 May 94

A series of five programmes: drama-documentaries of five Victorian murder cases, written by Leo Knowles. Some were narrated by Leo McKern; others by Stratford Johns. The year of transmission is not known. Broadcast by Piccadilly Radio.

1. No Ground For Complaint
Narrated by Leo McKern. Edinburgh, 1857. Outside the High Court, a huge crowd. Inside, a packed public gallery. The prisoner, a young girl, steps from the prison van as if it is a carriage and into the dock as if it is a box at the theatre. In Glasgow, where she lived and where her lover died, public opinion has condemned her in advance. That's why she is being tried in Edinburgh. Her name is Madeleine Hamilton Smith. Cast: Madeleine Smith: Di Mather, Emile Levanjalier: Andy Rashleigh; other parts played by Charles Hagith, Barbara Greenhalgh, James Tomlinson and Chris Gay. SM Pete Baker; directed by Mark Radcliffe and produced by Tony Hawkins.

2. Death Calls At Tea Time
The Sarah Jane Roberts murder case. Narrated by Stratford Johns. The man of the house receives a letter asking him to sell a piece of land. Whilst he is out, and his invalid wife is, as usual, in bed, their maid answers the door to a stranger. When he arrives back, a crowd is outside the house. The maid has been murdered. Sarah-Jane Roberts, the victim, was played by Kate Lee; Mr. Greenwood: Tony Wingate, Mrs. Greenwood: Paula Tilbrook. Superintendant Bent: Peter Wheeler, Robert Hailes: Will Pacey. Other characters played by members of the cast. SM Pete Baker; directed by Mark Radcliffe and produced by Tony Hawkins.

3. The Maybrick Mystery
Narrated by Stratford Johns. The Florence Maybrick case. James Maybrick is the husband of a woman half his age; he is a hypochondriac and on many medications, including arsenic. His wife is having an affair with a younger man. Maybrick begins to experience stomach pains, which become worse and worse. Eventually he dies. His brother thinks he has been poisoned. Florence Maybrick: Diana Mather, James Maybrick: Robert Keegan, Alfred Brierley: James Tomlinson, Alice Yapp: Rosalie Williams, Nurse Gore: Liz Brailsford, Michael Maybrick: Brian Southwood, Sir Charles Russell: James Tomlinson. Produced by Tony Hawkins.

4. Chain Of Evidence
The Herbert Bennett case. Narrated by Stratford Johns. Herbert Bennett: Peter Wheeler, Mary Bennett: Kate Lee, Alice Meadows: Paula Tilbrook, The police inspector and S. Douglas: Tony Wingate, Edward Marshall-Hall: Will Tacey. Produced by Tony Hawkins.

5. Murder By Gaslight
The Adelaide Bartlett case. Narrated by Stratford Johns. Adelaide Bartlett: Eileen O'Brien, Edwin Bartlett and Edward Clark: John Jardine, Edward Bartlett, Sr: George Hagan, George Dyson: Keith Ladd, Dr. Leitch and Court Clerk: Stuart Richman, Doggett and Jury Foreman: Alan Partington, Dr. Stephenson and Sir George Padgett: George Hagan. Series engineered at Alpha Sound Tape Tricks by Steve England and at Smile Studio by Steve Bowley. Assistant producer Mark Radcliffe, series produced by Tony Hawkins.

It is possible that there was more than one series because the information below also reached me:

Wicked Charlie, Innocent Bill....1985
Programme 5 in the Murder by Gaslight series (Piccadilly Radio). Dramatised true story, set in Victorian England. Written by Leo Knowles, narrated by Leo McKern. Cast: Graham Roberts, Delia Corrie, Victoria Hardcastle, Will Tacey, Charles Haggarth(?), Brian Southwood, James Tomlinson, Paul Clayton, Andy Abrahams, Charles Foster, Kate Leigh(?). Engineered by Pete Baker; edited by Mark Radcliffe; produced for Piccadilly Radio by Tony Hawkins. Year given as 1985. (information from Madeleine Midgeley, Bournemouth University; many thanks. This play is not in VRPCC collections. )

Home Service. All presented by Edgar Lustgarten.
1) 05.10.62 Mrs. Pace
2) 12.10.62 Mrs. Hearn
3) 19.10 62 The Gladstone Libel Suit
4) 26.10.62 A.A.Rouse
5) 02.11.62 Doctor Ruxton
6) 09.11.62 Tony Mancini

These all have a postscript by Lord Birkett. Home Service.
1) 30.09.58 The Tichborne Claimant, 1871
3) 14.10.58 Belt v. Lawes, 1882
7) 13.11.59 The Trial of Lady Alice Lisle, 1685
14) 07.01.60 The Ireland's Eye Murder, 1852
17) 28.01.60 The Trial of Steinie Morrison, 1911
18) 04.02.60 The Case of Adolf Beck, 1896

Greg Linden / Nigel Deacon, Diversity website

Above plays in VRPCC collections

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