Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Radio Murder Plot - Dressed to Kill

Occasionally, many years ago I would find myself in my car driving at night.  Every evening at 10pm a local radio station had a new episode of "Radio Mystery Theater".  I am not old enough to remember the golden age or radio mystery drama going back into the 30's but these modern stories were fun.   Well modern for the 70's.  Here is the Wikipedia description of CBS Radio Mystery Theater:

CBS Radio Mystery Theater (a.k.a. Radio Mystery Theater and Mystery Theater, sometimes abbreviated as CBSRMT) was a radio drama series created by Himan Brown that was broadcast on CBS Radio Network affiliates from 1974 to 1982, and later in the early 2000s was carried by the NPR satellite feed.

The format was similar to that of classic old time radio shows like The Mysterious Traveler and The Whistler, in that the episodes were introduced by a host (E. G. Marshall) who provided pithy wisdom and commentary throughout. Unlike the hosts of those earlier programs, Marshall is fully mortal, merely someone whose heightened insight and erudition plunge the listener into the world of the macabre (in a manner similar to that of "The Man in Black" on yet another old time radio program.

CBSRMT was broadcast each weeknight, at first with a new program each night. Later in the run three or four episodes were new originals each week, and the remainder repeats. There were 1,399 original episodes. The total number of broadcasts, including reruns, was 2,969. Each episode was allotted a full hour of airtime, but after commercials and news, episodes typically ran for about 45 minutes.

E.G. Marshall was the original host and narrator provided the introductions and segue to the commercials.   

Robert Morse
I always remembered one story, first run May 30, 1974, that involved a down on his luck actor (voice provided by famous actor  Robert Morse) that decided to set himself up of life by killing his wife.  The only problem was that he was not married.  His plan was to take out life insurance, fake his own murder and then become the recipient of the proceeds.   Radio Mystery Theater described it as a bizarre drama.  A little teaser - Mrs. Vincent's voice even works.  A fun story that you will enjoy....

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