Crime Classics

Crime Classics

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FORMAT: (1) MP3 DVD / (2) MP3 CDS

Crime Classics came to CBS September 30, 1953 and was a neat little series of "true crime stories". This show introduces itself succinctly: "A series of true crime stories from the records and newspapers of every land, from every time. Your host each week, is Mr. Thomas Hyland -- connoisseur of crime, student of violence, and teller of murders. " Thomas Hyland is played by Lou Merrill, although you'd never know it was an "actor" doing the part. The great Elliott Lewis, actor, producer and director of Suspense, Broadway is my Beat and On Stage is in charge of this very intelligent and enjoyable show. Composer Bernard Herrmann duplicated authentic music of the era being dramatized, and Morton Fine and David Friedkin were the writers. Lewis and his writers collected and developed true crime stories expressly for Crime Classics.

Thomas Hyland's delivery is measured and mild-mannered, as if giving a college lecture. Would that all professors were this interesting! The actors in the stories themselves are uniformly. Sensitive orchestral scores by the great Bernard Hermann, who did Orson Welles' Mercury Theater radio show and then Alfred Hitchcock's films, give the stories sophistication and mood. So do the tasteful sound effects. There is a wry, cool-blooded tone to the proceedings.

Cases ranged from seventeenth-century murder to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Each and every story, however bizarre, is actually based on fact. For example, the show on the Younger Brothers of the American West has some very interesting background details concerning Quantrell's Raiders and the Kansas Jayhawks. In the story of "John Hayes, his Head, and How They Were Parted," we hear the tale of a glassblower who blows glass perfectly and completely surrounding the severed head of a unknown deadman. Then it is placed in a museum where it remained pending identification. Thus his killers were found out by the dead man, using his head.

This show is a good companion to other old time radio shows that are historically-oriented, such as Cavalcade of America, You Are There, and American Trail. For science and research, the shows Science Magazine of the Air and Adventures in Research are very good.

Episode List For This Collection

The Crime of Bathsheba Spooner (Audition)
The Crime of Bathsheba Spooner
The Shockingly Peaceful Passing of Thomas Edwin Bartlett, Greengrocer
The Checkered Life and Sudden Death of Colonel James Fisk, Jr
The Shrapnelled Body of Charles Drew, Sr
The Terrible Deed of John White Webster
The Death of a Picture Hanger
The Final Day of General Ketchum, And How He Died
Mr Thrower's Hammer
The Axe and the Droot Family, How They Fared
The Incredible Trial of Laura D Fair
The Alsop Family, How It Diminished And Grew Again
Your Loving Son, Nero
The Torment of Henrietta Robinson, And Why She Killed
The Bloody, Bloody Banks of Fall River
The Hangman and William Palmer, Who Won
The Seven-layered Arsenic Cake of Madame Lafarge
Billy Bonny Bloodletter, Also Known As 'The Kid'
John Hayes, His Head And How They Were Parted
Raschi Among the Crocodiles, And The Prank He Played
Blackbeard's Fourteenth Wife, Why She Was Not Good For Him
The Triangle on the Round Table
The Killing Story of William Corder and the Farmer's Daughter
If a Body Need a Body, Just Call Burke and Hare
The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
John and Judith, Their Crime And Why They Didn't Get To Enjoy It
Coyle and Richardson, Why They Hung In A Spanking Breeze
The Younger Brothers, Why Some Of Them Grew No Older
How Supan Got the Hook Outside Bombay
Madeline Smith, Maid or Murderess, Which?
The Boorn Brothers and the Hangman, A Study In Nip And Tuck
The Incredible History of John Shepard
Twenty-Three Knives Against Caesar
Jean Baptiste Troppmann, Killer Of Many
The Good Ship Jane, Why She Became Flotsam
Roger Nems, How He, Though Dead, Won The Game
New Hampshire, the Tiger and Brad Ferguson, What Happened Then?
Old Sixtoes, How He Stopped Construction On The B. B. C. and I
Robby-Boy Balfour; How He Wrecked A Big Prison's Reputation
The General's Daughter, the Czar's Lieutenant and the Linen Closet
James Evans, Fireman; How He Extinguished A Human Torch
Cesare Borgia - His Most Difficult Murder
Widow Magee and the Three Gypsies; A Vermont Fandango
Bunny Baumler; His Close Brush With Fame
Mr Clarke's Skeleton in Mr Aram's Closet; The Noise It Made
The Lethal Habit of The Marquise De Brinvilliers
Mr Jonathon Jewett; How Most Peculiarly He Cheated The Hangman
The Assassination of Leon Trotsky
The Death of a Baltimore Birdie and Friend
Ali Pasha - A Turkish Delight
Good Evening, My Name Is Jack the Ripper