Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, September 28, 2017


Crime Classics was CBS radio's anthology series that focused on true crime stories.  The docudrama ran for a year, from June 15, 1953 to June 30, 1954.  Classic Crimes was the brainchild of Elliott Lewis, who produced and directed the series.  The series was co-written by Morton Fine and David Friedkin.  The narrator was "Thomas Hyland" (actor Lew Merrill). 

Webster (1793-1850) was a professor of chemistry and geology at Harvard Medical College and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He accused of murdering  Dr. George Parkman, of whom he owed money, on November 23, 1849.  The case, one of many notable ones called "The Crime of the Century," for the early use of forensic evidence in identifying the body, which had been partially cremated.  There was some controversy as to whether Webster actually did the deed.  Webster could not testify in his own defense (per Massachusetts law of the day), his lawyers appear to have done an inadequate job, and the principal judge was a close relative of Parkman's and instructed the jury to come back with a guilty verdict.  Webster was found guilty and later signed a confession.  He was hanged on August 30, 1850

"The Terrible Deed of John White Webster" aired on July 13, 1953 and featured the voices of Herb Butterfield, Jay Novello (as Webster), Jean Howell, Junius Matthews, Paula Winslowe, Larry Thor, and Martha Wentworth.

If you are fascinated by true crime, this should be just your cup of tea.

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