April 25, 2004


Open verdict in death of Holmes expert (Jamie Wilson, April 24, 2004, The Guardian)

The world's foremost expert on Sherlock Holmes was found garrotted in his bed surrounded by cuddly toys and a bottle of gin, an inquest heard yesterday.

Richard Lancelyn Green, 50, had become paranoid in the days before his death, telling friends and relatives that his home was bugged and that a mysterious American was out to besmirch his reputation.

He died from asphyxiation after a garrotte was tightened around his neck.

Yesterday coroner Paul Knapman called it a "very unusual death" and recorded an open verdict. He said there was insufficient evidence to rule whether it was suicide, murder or a deviant sexual act taken too far that had caused the death of the former chairman of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London.

The court heard talk of the "curse of Conan Doyle", where people connected with the creator of Sherlock Holmes seem unusually predisposed to unexpected death, breakdown or unpleasant conflict.

Mr Green was found dead on March 27 in bed at his multimillion pound home in Kensington. A pathologist said the form of his death was so unusual he had come across only one other such case in 30 years.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 25, 2004 11:29 PM

I suppose if you've gotta go, you might as well go in a way that makes everyone scratch their head.

I'm reminded, interestingly enough, not of Doyle, but of Christie. Specifically, the end of "And Then There Were None."

Posted by: Timothy at April 26, 2004 2:05 AM

Seems like the work of Professor Moriarty.

Posted by: h-man at April 26, 2004 5:41 AM

Mr. Green in the Bedroom with a garrotte.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at April 26, 2004 9:42 AM

It was Macavity!

Posted by: Robert Duquette at April 26, 2004 10:57 AM

Didn't Chesterton have at least one Father Brown mystery where the alleged crime scene made no sense whatsoever?

Posted by: Ken at April 26, 2004 12:33 PM

"His father, Roger Lancelyn Green, was noted for his popular adaptations of the Arthurian, Robin Hood and Homeric myths." (from the sherlock holmes society obit) His father also wrote the popular biography of C.S. Lewis.

Posted by: Brian at April 26, 2004 12:52 PM

And his father wrote a biogrpahy of Lewis Carroll that I read avidly as a kid.

Posted by: John Barrett Jr. at April 26, 2004 1:19 PM

Sounds like Kotzwarraism.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 27, 2004 1:05 AM