On Friday, March 4, 1881, Inspector Tobias Gregson of Scotland Yard informed Mr. Sherlock Holmes of “A bad business at 3, Lauriston Gardens, off the Brixton Road.” There an American named Enoch J. Drebber had been murdered, and no clue -- or no clue apparent to Gregson and his colleague Le-strade -- was present, save the letters “R-A-C-H-E” scrawled in blood along the wall. To Gregson and Lestrade the letters are evidence of a crime of passion, for the victim was quite obviously trying to write the woman’s name, “Rachel,” in his own blood before expiring. To Holmes, who wraps up the entire affair over the weekend, the writing read Rache, the word for “revenge” in German. Watson was overwhelmed, but no more than were the readers of Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887.
KeywordsScarlet Fever Planetary Body Eyewitness Testimony Magical Thinking World Series
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