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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Suspense Sundays (87) The White Rose Murders

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,
Suspense was a radio series from 1942 to 1962.  I have a fondness for "Old Time Radio" as we call it now, and Suspense is my favorite show.  It sets up weird, dark, scary, or intriguing stories with a plot twist in the end, and all in half an hour.  For Suspense Sundays I'll give a short review of an episode.

"The White Rose Murders"
Air date: July 6, 1943
Starring Maureen O'Hara
>>Episodes here<<

A serial killer has been murdering young girls and leaving a white rose in their hand as his signature.  The police believe he's reliving some traumatic relationship from his past and are keen to catch him.  A regular detective, Terry, tells his girlfriend all about it, bemoaning that if they don't catch the killer a demotion is in store for him.  And he would like to marry his rich debutante girlfriend.  His girl, Ginny, has an idea though!  She can use herself as bait to try to catch the killer.  Mistake much?

I believe this is a great classic Suspense episode, with a surprising twist in the end that even though it should have been obvious, it totally was not.  It was a glaringly obvious mistake for Ginny to attempt to attract potential murderers, but her plucky resolve and determination is very endearing.  It would have been nice if she could have handled the situation totally in the end - I think she was a strong enough character.  But I suppose it wouldn't have been ladylike enough for a 40s audience.  And it is interesting that a song is also a trigger for the murderer in the story - the beer barrel polka. It's such an obvious thing now to juxtapose something so happy and innocuous with something so sinister, but I wonder if it was more of a jolt in the 1940s.  Anyways, great episode!

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