Locked Rooms and Impossible Murders in the Mystery Fiction
Clash of Locked-Room Lectures : J.D. Carr Vs C.Rawson
John Dickson Carr Vs Clayton Rawson
T I T A N S
The first writer who invented a Locked Room, The Big Bow Mystery, in 1896, was Israel Zangwill, but the first to have raised the issue and the sub-genre narrative, which it took its name, such a level of sophistication to rise to heights of unusually large, was John Dickson Carr. John Dickson Carr, who despite American lived for many years in England, from the beginning of his activity, tried to melt in his works of fiction, most genres: the fantastic, the supernatural, the Gothic, the detective to enigma, creating virtuoso plots whose purpose was to undermine the reader, forcing him first to passively accept a statement of facts that seemed incredible if not supernatural, then dismissing it on the basis of a technically flawless, which provided all the logic holds, so that compose the puzzle and give final shape. His novels, from the first of them, fled from plots are too simple, and focused instead on the classic themes of the “whodunnit”, and especially those of the “impossible crime” (such as The Curse of the Bronze Lamp, in which is ideally linked, in the dedication to Ellery Queen, a radio drama of the latter, The Disappearance of Mr. James Phillimore, broadcast on 14 or 16 January 1943), and even more so in a big way, those of “The Locked Room”; indeed, because of the systematic treatment of all possible variations of a Locked Room, Carr was felt by all, the greatest of all novelists who have dealt with this particular detective genre, in which the central element is not so muchto find whohas committed thecrimeas how thecrimewas committed. Invariably, in all the novels that have a Locked Room, the first impression of the investigators involved in the survey is that the criminal has vanished: it is needless to say how Carr loved this situation of the “impossible crime” and how vanishing into thin air become his obsession (he used to say, “faded into thin air“).It follows, of course, from this, the fact that the solution must be ascribed or supernatural event or instead that it must have a base strictly logic. But, once invented the paradoxical situation of a crime took place inside room locked from the inside, have been established gradually, not only by Carr, but by a large group of writers paid to the problem, all the possible variants: inside the locked room, room whose income is look towards subjects of trust, the room in which there are physical gadgets can create the situation of impossibility, unforeseen situations that trigger the condition of impossibility, “rooms spread” (extensively snow, sand, water), ‘rooms’ different (cars, telephone booths, roofs, stairs), etc. .. Carr, moreover, to confirm the fame that he had been granted from the outside, he tried at one point, to give an exhaustive classification of the room as much as possible, basing it on multiple subcategories.However, I believethat ifCarrhas includedasuch theoretical treatment, in a novelrather thanin another, he must have meant something tohim: Carrhe must havegiven tothe novel(The HollowMan), the seal workbetter, or at leastof the workmost representativeof the manydesigned byJohn DicksonCarr. But it isnecessary to point outthat, in theliterary production ofCarr,that includes everything fromthe two sets ofHenriBencolinandGideonFell andseveralhistorical novels, the kindof “ The Locked Room”is notthe preferred one, because ifit is true thatsomeareexceptionaland evenremarkablenovels(in addition toThe HollowMan,we like to rememberHe WhoWhispersorThe Case of theConstantSuicidesorevenThe Witch ofthe LowTide) is equally true thatthere are othernovels thatdo not contain Locked Roomsalso if they arejust asoutstandinginvoice(i.e. Arabian NightsMurder); and thereforeit seemssignificant that if he haddevised atheoretical dissertationabout the genre of The Locked Room, andplacing itinone of the fewmasterpieces novelssigned withhisname and surname,part of a seriesof novelsin which many novels do not containthis particular situation, should have aspecial meaning: whynot to insert the“Looked-Room Lecture”as partof the series that has like the main protagonistH.M.and signedCarterDickson, justvoted to Locked Room?First of all,The HollowMangoes back to 1935: before it,Carrhad signed withhisname,Hag‘s Nook andThe MadHatterMysteryin 1933, Eightof SwordsandThe BlindBarberin 1934, andDeath Watchin 1935, as well that three of thefour novels withBencolin; while with pseudonymCarterDickson, he had signed The PlagueCourtMurdersandThe WhitePrioryMurdersin 1934, and The RedWidowMurdersin 1935. Now, why did Carrthink well toentrust to Fellinstead to Bencolinand even moretoH.M.the“Looked-Room Lecture”? Meanwhile the novelswithBencolinbefore 1935, although brilliant, aresoakedto the marrowuntil the end byblackandgothicatmosphere (soas to beimbued withgothicmacabreatmospheres – rotting corpses, crypts, walledbodies, etc. – then,later in theliteratureCarr will disappearalmost completely, leaving even thegothic atmosphere, but losingalmostentirelythe connotationmacabre of worksbelongingto the period ofBencolin) thatcontrasts withthat of the established rationality. If you really wanttoanalyzewell, it isnottrue Merrivale’s Locked Rooms haven’ttheirdissertations: in fact, intwo novelswithH.M.of the seriesthat comesat the outbreakof the SecondWorld War,that are,The WhitePrioryMurdersat 1934andThe PeacockFeatherMurders(orThe TenTeacups ) at 1937,there are tworeflections, which, although smallerthan the “Fell’s Conference”, in my opinionare by equal importance. For this reason,I consider it appropriateto compare them withthe more famous,to accentuatethe fact thatCarr,when he putsin the mouthof H.M. the reflections,even ifthey areignored orat leastunderestimatedby critics, they have equal value, emphasizing an aspect thatin thetheoretical treatmentatThe Hollow Manis missing.Let’s startwith the famousdissertation about The Locked Rooms (of whichI will mentionthemost importantstepsfor me), found in The HollowMan(1935):“Most people, I am delighted to say, are fond of the locked room. But–here’s the damned rub–even its friends are often dubious. I cheerfully admit that I frequently am. So, for the moment, we’ll all side together on this score and see what we can discover… A man escapes from a locked room–well?… It’s the escape from the room that bothers me. And, to see if we can’t get a lead, I am going to outline roughly some of the various means of committing murders in locked rooms, under separate classifications.“First! There is the crime committed in a hermetically sealed room which really is hermetically sealed, and from which no murderer has escaped because no murderer was actually in the room. Explanations:“1. It is not murder, but a series of coincidences ending in an accident which looks like murder. At an earlier time, before the room was locked, there has been a robbery, an attack, a wound, or a breaking of furniture which suggests a murder struggle. Later the victim is either accidentally killed or stunned in a locked room, and all these incidents are assumed to have taken place at the same time… “2. It is murder, but the victim is impelled to kill himself or crash into an accidental death. This may be the effect of a haunted room, by suggestion, or more usually by a gas introduced from outside the room. This gas or poison makes the victim go berserk, smash up the room as though there had been a struggle, and die of a knife-slash inflicted on himself. In other variations he drives the spike of the chandelier through his head, is hanged on a loop of wire, or even strangles himself with his own hands.“3. It is murder, by a mechanical device already planted in the room, and hidden undetectably in some innocent-looking piece of furniture. ..“4. It is suicide, which is intended to look like murder. A man stabs himself with an icicle; the icicle melts; and, no weapon being found in the locked room, murder is presumed. A man shoots himself with a gun fastened on the end of an elastic-the gun, as he releases it, being carried up out of sight into the chimney. Variations of this trick (not locked-room affairs) have been the pistol with a string attached to a weight, which is whisked over a parapet of a bridge into the water after the shot; and, in the same style, the pistol jerked out of a window into a snowdrift.“5. It is a murder which derives its problem from illusion and impersonation. Thus: the victim, still thought to be alive, is already lying murdered inside a room, of which the door is under observation. The murderer, either dressed as his victim or mistaken from behind for the victim, hurries in at the door. He whirls round, gets rid of his disguise, and instantly comes out of the room as himself. The illusion is that he has merely passed the other man in coming out. In any event, he has an alibi; since, when the body is discovered later, the murder is presumed to have taken place some time after the impersonated ‘victim’ entered the room.“6. It is a murder which, although committed by somebody outside the room at the time, nevertheless seems to have been committed by somebody who must have been inside.“In explaining this,” said Dr. Fell, breaking off, “I will classify this type of murder under the general name of the Long-Distance or Icicle Crime, since it is usually a variation of that principle. I’ve spoken of icicles; you understand what I mean. The door is locked, the window too small to admit a murderer; yet the victim has apparently been stabbed from inside the room and the weapon is missing. Well, the icicle has been fired as a bullet from outside—we will not discuss whether this is practical, any more than we have discussed the mysterious gases previously mentioned–and it melts without a trace“7. This is a murder depending on an effect exactly the reverse of number 5. That is, the victim is presumed to be dead long before he actually is. The victim lies asleep (drugged but unharmed) in a locked room. Knockings on the door fail to rouse him. The murderer starts a foul-play scare; forces the door; gets in ahead and kills by stabbing or throat-cutting, while suggesting to other watchers that they have seen something they have not seen. –““Steady! Wait a minute!” interposed Hadley, pounding on the table for attention. Dr. Fell, the muscles of whose eloquence were oiling up in a satisfactory way, turned agreeably and beamed on him. Hadley went on: “This may be all very well. You’ve dealt with all the locked-room situations-““All of them?” snorted Dr. Fell, opening his eyes wide. “Of course I haven’t. That doesn’t even deal comprehensively with the methods under that particular classification; it’s only a rough offhand outline; but I’ll let it stand. I was going to speak of the other classification: the various means of hocussing doors and windows so that they can be locked on the inside. H’mf! Hah! So, gentlemen, I continue- There is the hollow chimney with the secret room behind; the back of the fireplace opening like a curtain; the fireplace that swings out; even the room under the hearthstone. Moreover, all kinds of things can be dropped down chimneys, chiefly poisonous things. But the murderer who makes his escape by climbing up is very rare. Besides being next to impossible, it is a much grimier business than monkeying with doors or windows. Of the two chief classifications, doors and windows, the door is by far the more popular, and we may list thus a few means of tampering with it so that it seems to be locked on the inside:“1. Tampering with the key which is still in the lock. This was the favourite old-fashioned method, but its variations are too well known nowadays for anybody to use it seriously. The stem of the key can be gripped and turned with pliers from outside; we did this ourselves to open the door of Grimaud’s study. “2. Simply removing the hinges of the door without disturbing lock or bolt. This is a neat trick, known to most schoolboys when they want to burgle a locked cupboard; but of course the hinges must be on the outside of the door.“3. Tampering with the bolt. String again: this time with a mechanism of pins and darning-needles, by which the bolt is shot from the outside by leverage of a pin stuck on the inside of the door, and the string is worked through the keyhole. Philo Vance, to whom my hat is lifted, has shown us this best application of the stunt…Ellery Queen has shown us still another method, entailing the use of the dead man himself–but a bald statement of this, taken out of its context, would sound so wild as to be unfair to that brilliant gentleman.“4. Tampering with a falling bar or latch. This usually consists in propping something under the latch, which can be pulled away after the door is closed from the outside, and let the bar drop. The best method by far is by the use of the ever-helpful ice, a cube of which is propped under the latch; and, when it melts, the latch falls. There is one case in which the mere slam of the door suffices to drop the bar inside.“5. An illusion, simple but effective. The murderer, after committing his crime, has locked the door from the outside and kept the key.(Selections by “The Locked-Room Lecture” by John Dickson Carr –The Hollow Man, Hamilton, London,1935)As you can see, Carr indicates seven ways toperpetratea crimein a locked room, creating a problemfor anyinvestigators: in reality, the sixth among the sevenmodes, is a variationof other morecomplicated, the fourth.All thatFellpresentscan be saida summaryof thetechnicalinstallation of aLockedRoom; it’s missingin this discussion, however, the explanation of why,according toFell,a possiblemurdererrecoursesto the preparation ofan impossible situation: missing, i.e., the partwho explains thepsychology ofintent. Here, Carris in chargeof this thing, in the cycle ofH.M.,signedCarterDickson. However, the first reflectionof Merrivaleprecedes thatby Fell,a year:“That locked-room situation has got you bothered as hell, ain’t it? Your sole and particular hobgoblin. Seems as though murderers take an especial pleasure in givin.Chief Inspector Humphrey Masters the fits-and-gibbers by refusin’ to keep to the rules of cricket. Only this time it’s a little bit worse. If you had only the locked-room situation, you could carry on with a cheerful heart. Everybody knows several trick ways of locking a door from the outside. Bolts can be shot with a little mechanism of pins and thread. Key-stems can be turned with a pair of pliers. Hinges can be taken off the door and replaced so that you don’t disturb the lock at all. But when your locked-room consists of the simple, plain, insane problem of half-an-inch of unmarked snow for a hundred feet round … well, never mind. There’s worse than that, Masters.”“Worse?”“I was thinkin’ about something to do with John Bohun’s attempt to kill Lord Canifest, when he didn’t succede but thought he had…”In the gloom beside him, Bennett felt the girl stiffen. She stared up at him uncomprehendingly; but he gestured her fiercely to be silent. They were eavesdroppers, but he was afraid to speak up-afraid to move now. He regretted coming down here, when something in Katharine’s restless brain seemed impelling her to talk. He pressed her arm. .“But we’ll skip all that for a minute,” continued H. M. drowsily, “and look at this impossible situation. The first thing is to determine the murderer’s motive. I don’t mean his motive for murder, but for creating an impossible situation.That’s very important, son, because it’s the best kind of clue to the motive for murder. Why’d he do it? Nobody but a loony is goin’ to indulge in a lot of unreasonable hocus-pocus just to have some fun with the police. And there are enough motives for Tait’s murder flyin’ about already without our needin’ to explain the mess by simply saying that the murderer is crazy. Well, then, what reasons could there have been?”“First, there’s the motive of a fake suicide. That’s fair enough. I go to your house, shoot you through the head, and shove the gun into your hand. Say it’s a house like this one, with little panes in the windows. Uh-huh. I lock and bolt the door of the room on the inside. I’ve got with me a bag containing a piece of glass cut just right, I’ve got tools and putty. I remove one of the panes of glass in the window nearest the catch. Then I climb out the window, reach through, and lock it on the inside. Afterwards I replace the old pane with my new little one; I putty it round, smear it with dust so nothing shows, and walk away. And so the room’s all locked up, and they’ll think you shot yourself.”Masters peered at him uncertainly.“It strikes me, sir,” he said, “that you know every dodge”“Sure I know every dodge” H. M. grunted sourly. He stared at the fire. “I’ve seen so many things, son, that I don’t like to think of ‘em at Christmas. I’d like to be home at my place drinkin’ hot punch and trimmin’ a Christmas tree.But let’s sorta poke and prod at this thing. If it’s a new wrinkle in the art of homicide, I want to know all about it”.“First, the suicidefake is barred. Nobody tries to stage a fake suicide by beatin’ a woman’s head.”“Second, there’s the ghost-fake, where somebody tries to make it look like a supernatural killing. That happens seldom; it’s a tricky business at best, and. entails a long careful build-up of atmosphere and circumstances. And obviously that’s out of the question in this murder too, since nobody’s ever tried to foist any suggestion of the kind or so much as intimated that the pavilion’s haunted by a murderous spook.”“Finally, there’s accident. There’s the murderer who creates an impossible situation in spite of himself, without wantin’ to. Say you and Inspector Potter are sleepin’ in connectin’ rooms, and the only outside door, which is to his room, is barred on the inside. I want to kill you and throw suspicion on him. I come in during the night, workin’ my pane-and-putty trick on the window; I stab you in the dark, and get out after replacin’ the pane. Yes. What I forget or don’t observe is that the door connecting your room with his is also locked on your side – and I’ve got an impossiblesituation again. Ayagh!”In essence,Carr,in this firstmention ofa discussionabout theLocked Room, distinguishes three distinctmotivescan pushthe offenderto usea locked roomin hismachination: to believein a suicide; fakingsupernaturalsituation;to believe in a suicideforgetting somethinginsteadcan pushin the direction ofan impossible situation; or imponderablesomething, who getting outof the same will by murderer, creates a conditionof impossibility. But it isn’tthe only wordby Merrivale about themotivethatmay have encouragedamurderesrto usea locked room. The final word aboutthis interestingaspect, in fact, Merrivaledeliveries to reader,four years later(even if the time of Merrivale is less):“Once, a couple of years ago (I think it was in that White Priory case) I made a generalization. I said there were only three motives for a murderer to create a locked-room situation. I said there was first, the suicide-fake; second, the ghost-fake; third, a series of accidents which the murderer couldn’t help. Well, I was wrong. When I was gradually tumblin’ to the way in which this little sleight-o’-hand trick was worked, I saw a fourth motive, the neatest and most intelligent of all. A super-cunning criminal has at last realized the legal value of impossibility; and he’s realized that, if he can really create an impossible situation, he can never be convicted for murder no matter if all the other evidence is strong enough to hang a bench of bishops. He is not tryin’ to evade the detecting power of the law so much as to evade the punishing power. He’s realized that, set beside impossibility, all other methods of coverin’ his tracks are clumsy and uncertain. Look here! An ordinary criminal sets out to commit a murder and cover his tracks – how? Usually with an alibi. He tampers with clocks. He gets on and off bicycles or trains; he fools about with time-tables or steeplejack stunts; he winds himself up in shroud of red tape, doin’ the most dangerous thing of all because every point must depend on somebody else, every point brings complication after complication, every point puts him into fresh danger of bein’ caught in a lie.But, suppose, on the other hand, he can kill his victim in such a way that the police can’t tell how it was done?- a locked room, a body alone in snow, whatever you like? The police may be certain he did it. He may be found with blood on his hands and blood-money in his pocket. If they dare to bring him to court, judge and jury may be certain he did it. Yet if the Crown can’t show how he did it, he must be acquitted. A court of law ain’t a court of probability; it’s a court of certainty. He’s pinnin’ his faith to the whole crux of criminal law-the reasonable doubt.” (Carter Dickson – The Ten Teacups, 1937 – Heinemann, Chapter 19: H.M.’s Way – )Interesting this comparison, is not it? Fellspeaksabout technique,Merrivale about psychology: here becauseCarrbreaks downthe two aspects: he wants to betreated separatelybytwo of hismajor characters, giving importanceto both.Still,the judgment byMerrivale, wrongly, over the years,was underestimated :even more soin the novelof 1937compared to1934, Carrrevealsthe real reasonunderlying theneed to create a lockedroom: it is the only waythemurderesshasto putthe gagto the police. Whoin fact, whilearresting him, will not convincethe judge, exposinga theory that explainsexactly howthe murderwas perpetrated, will be forced torelease him. Because doesn’t serveascluesalbeitverysafe,asabsolute certainty.Then Carrisdefinitely thebest.But inthis case, “best” is notabsolute concept, asrelevant: in fact, if it is truethat the Locked-Room Lecture by GideonFell,and the twointerestingreflectionsbyHenry Merrivaleconstitutea monumenttoall thosewho recognizethe primacy, it is also true that theycan be regarded asacounterbalanceeach the otherextraordinaryLocked-Room Lecture, by ClaytonRawson, a great friend ofCarr.ClaytonRawsoninsertedhis “Looked-room lecture” as part of his extraordinary novel “Deathfrom aTop Hat” (1938), in whichthere are twoextraordinary locked rooms. He,of course,talking aboutCarr,only this timethedialog by Merlini, with the inspectorandother characters, is not limited to a merereflectionorrepetition,but to acritical analysisthatsignificantlyexpandsthe horizons ofdiscussion ofCarr.It should also besaid, thatin a veryoriginal manner, Rawsonpresentsthe comparisonofMerliniwithCarr: Carrmakes himsay thathe was not anoriginal authorbecausehe would havemoved, romanticizing, theexploits of atrueEnglish detective, Gideon Fell. Next,here are someimportant passagesof his Locked-Room Lecture: “…” Then, with sudden seriousness, he asked, “Ever hear of Dr. Fell, Inspector?”Gavigan’s grunt was negative.“Harte?”“I’m way ahead of you. You’re thinking of his ‘Locked Room Lecture’ in The Three Coffins. Right?”Merlini nodded, his eyes twinkling. “Yes. Dr. Fell, Inspector, is an English detective of considerable ability, whose cases have been recorded by John Dickson Carr. Locked rooms are a specialty of his. And, in the book Harte mentions, he outlined a fairly comprehensive classification of the possible methods of committing murder and contriving to have the body found in a sealed room-minus murderer.“He mentions two major classes: (A) The crime committed in a hermetically sealed room which really is hermetically sealed, and from which no murderer has escaped, because no murderer was actually in the room, and (B) the crime committed in a room which only appears to be hermetically sealed, and from which there is some more or less subtle means of escape.”Gavigan puffed at his pipe and I listened carefully.“The first class includes such devices as,” he ticked them off on his fingers:“1. Accident that looks like murder.“2. Suicide that does the same.“3. Murder by remote control, in which the victim meets death violently, and apparently by someone’s hands, but in reality through poison, gas, or at his own hands, being forced to it by outside suggestion.“4. Murder by a long list of mechanical lethal devices, some of which, as they occur in detective fiction, are pretty silly.“5. Murder by means of an animai, usually a snake, insect, or monkey.“6. Murder by someone outside the room, but which looks as if the murderer must have been inside; dagger fired through windows from air guns-that sort of thing.“7. Murder by illusion, or the Cockeyed Time Sequence. The room is sealed, not with locks and bolts, but because it is watched. The murderer kills his victim and walks out; then, when the observer has taken up his place before the only door, he makes it appear that the victim, is still alive. Later, when he is discovered foully done in, it appears impossible.“8. The reverse of 7. The victim is made to appear dead while he is stili alive, and the murderer enters the room just in advance of the others, and accomplishes his dirty work then.“And, finally, No. 9 is perhaps the neatest trick of them all, because essentially it is the simplest. The victim receives his mortal wound elsewhere, in the conservatory or the music room; and then, still traveling under his own power, enters the room in question, preferably a library, and manages to lock himself securely in before popping off.”“They don’t do that when they’ve been strangled,” Gavigan protested.“No,” Merlini agreed. “Sabbat’s murder doesn’t seem to fall in Class A, unless you can conceive of some mechanical contraption that will strangle a man and then evaporate. Icicle daggers or bullets that vanish by melting may be practical, but offhand l’d say a man couldn’t be strangled very efficiently with a piece of ice.”“You forgot method No. 10,” Gavigan added quietly. “Murder by the supernatural, which includes such damn foolishness as homicidal pixies who can dematerialize and Watrous’s theory of strangulation by etheric vibrations. Proceed, professor. Get the rest of it out of your system.”“You’ve got the patter down very well, Inspector.” Merlini grinned. “It begins to get interesting now. Class B, the hermetically sealed room that only looks that way because the murderer has tampered with the doors, transoms, windows, or chimneys; or because he has been thoughtfully provided with a sliding panel or secret passageway. The last contingency is so whiskered a device that we’ll pass it without comment. Doors and windows, however, can be hocused by :“1. Turning the key which is on the inside from the outside with pliers or string. The same goes for bolts and catchcs on windows.“2. Leaving at the hinge side of the door, without disturbing either lock or bolt, and replacing the screws.“3. Removing a pane of glass and reaching through from outside to lock the window, and replacing the glass from the outside.“4. Accomplishing some acrobatic maneuver that overcomes the seeming inaccessibility of a window-hanging by one’s teeth from the eaves or walking a tightrope.“5. Locking the door on the outside, and then replacing the key or throwing the bolt on the inside, after breaking in with the others to discover the body.“Hey!” the Inspector yelled. “Stop it! Just consider I didn’t mention the subject.”Merlini spluttered a bit, then calmed down. “There is,” he announced unexpectedly, “one more class of locked-room flim-,flam. Class C.”……. “What is ClassC?” »“It’s something Dr. Fell didn’t mention, as I remember. Superintendent Hadley was always interrupting him in the most interesting places.”“If this Fell person always had to work up a lather of suspense on his listeners before he carne out with it, I don’t blame the Superintendent. Get on with it!”“Class C includes those murders which are committed in a hermetically sealed room which really is hermetically sealed and from which no murderer escapes, not because he wasn’t there, but because he stays there, hidden-”“But-” Gavigan and I both started to protest.“Stays there hidden until after the room has been broken into, and leaves before it is searched!”“Harte!” Gavigan turned on me. “What about it?” “Not a chance,” I said, and then, almost before my words had traveled a foot, I saw it. I grimaced; it was so ridiculously simple. Our attention had been so occupied with the triplicate sealing of the doors, the locking, boiting, and keyhole stuffing, that we had overlooked the obvious.” (Clayton Rawson, Death From a Top Hat, Dell, N. 69/1945, pag.107-113,Chapter 13, “Designs for escape”)Summarizing the all reported before, Rawson, through Merlini, distinguishes between two different classes of Rooms: Class A which includes those rooms actually closed but from which no murderer has escaped because there was no murderess really into it, and the class B is to which belong the rooms that apparently seem to have been effectively locked from the inside. At the first class (A) belong: incident that seems to murder, murder seems suicide or murder by poison or gas, and inducing the victim to kill; murder caused by lethal gadgets and mechanical; murder by animals, including monkeys, snakes, insects; murder committed out of a room, using an air gun to shoot through the window to make it appear that the murderer was inside; murder using of illusion: there are no doors or windows boarded up, because the outputs are look at sight, and the killer who has already murdered the victim, shows on the outside, calling attention to the fact that the victim is actually still alive and well, so that when the victim dies, it seems impossible; the inverse the previous one: the victim is alive and well and maybe just sleeping, but the murderess doubt creeps instead is dead, and so, rushing for first to place of the false death, kills, creating an impossible situation; finally, the victim is mortally wounded in another room, but perhaps not realizing all or underestimating the wound, he closes himself in his room, and then causes the impossible situation.Clayton Rawson expands so therefore the dissertation by Carr.Moreover, he is the only one to have expanded in an original way, the Conference of Dr. Fell and so he is the only one who can rightly be called the anti-Carr: reasons of deep friendship and professional rivalry, brought Rawson who was one of the greatest illusionists and magicians of America, to confront and look for an alternative or an extension about the Fell’s theory . But the surprises do not end there. In fact, later in the dissertation, Merlini notes that the second class (B), to which belong all those methods that allow you to commit a crime in a closed chamber and then out of it, altering locks, latches, windows, fireplaces, or using secret panels or secret entrances; turning the key from the outside using pliers; removing the door from its hinges, without disturbing the lock and replacing the screws; removing a glass panel window and then putting it back in place from the outside; using acrobatic maneuvers to overcome the height of high windows; or walking on the rope or using gutters; closing the door from the outside with a key, and then replacing it causing those present to break down the door with him (and perhaps I might add, before leaving the room , inserting a key of the other lock in the door, convinced that it is the real key, and then, breaking down the door thereafter, replacing the false key with the actual key with which the room was closed from the outside). But Merlini also adds that there is also a third class (C), of which Fell didn’t speak because interrupted by Hadley: the class in which the murder was committed in a locked room, sealed also, from which the murderer didn’t come out. At a time when there is breaking into the room, he, hidden inside somewhere, readily merges with the others present, appearing as one of those who, by breaking down the door, entered the room first lock.
This is the output of blatant Merlini, the obvious thing that nobody had thought.That’s because Rawson is really the anti-Carr.Pietro De Palma