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The Sealed Room Murder


When the town's most disagreeable resident becomes victim of a sealed room homicide, the local sheriff and the county clerk take on the onerous task of solving the crime. In order to find the murderer, they must dig deep into the psyche of the repulsive man.



Air Dates

  • First Run - October 23, 1975
  • Repeat - March 20, 1976





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17 Responses to Episode 0366

Menace vs Virtue? An oft used theme with a Western setting...then CBRMT takes over. Da Silva and Gwynne shine, the mystery heats up and Martin explodes as Doomdorf. A Jewel.

Alexis DuPont

But this is not set in the west it is set in West Virginia. Lol

WV Woman

The one thing no one mentions although they tell how she's 12 years old, turning 13 but the German guy is a pedophile (Ephebophilia).

WV Woman

In the days of pioneers, a native of Mexico settles in a remote area of Virginia and gives people plenty of reason to hate him. When he turns up dead a new sheriff and a judge are left to solve the mystery of his death. Not an easy riddle to resolve is how a man can be killed by a shotgun blast in a room with a bolted door and no other means of entry or exit.

Jesswani A.

A country sheriff and county clerk must solve the sealed room murder of the county's most obnoxious resident. To learn who was the killer, they must delve into the character of this most reprehensable being.

Allen Watson P.

Menace vs Virtue? An oft used theme with a Western setting...then CBRMT takes over. Da Silva and Gwynne shine, the mystery heats up and Martin explodes as Doomdorf. A Jewel.


Everyone keeps saying this is a western setting but it's not, it is set in West Virginia, which is a state that used to be a part of Virginia. Lol

WV woman

An Uncle Abner mystery.


Holy Smokes?!…. Even though this episode ends with a bang rather than begins, when the smoke clears it is apparent we have a gem. This “geminosity’ is due to many factors, such as story line, production and acting. All aspects are unique somehow here. The acting is terrific and provides, along with the story line, an atmosphere that I really enjoy in radio drama. Doomdorf is scary. He is a beast. Abner is trustworthy and wise, particularly wise in the aspect of humanity, or having a soul. These two men are a contrast to be sure. Judge Randolph is the Watson to Abners’ Holmes. Here Abner's reasoning is more naturalistic, and common sense like rather than intense intellectualism. I liked Abner. As a character that is fascinating, I liked Doomdorf. Ian Martin kicked rear end here in adapting the story and acting in it as well in such a marvelous way. The story has the compelling aspects of these attracting characters while turning into a mystery. The solution is simple and ingenious at the same time. It’s “meaning” is up to debate. I like to think Doomdorf could not escape his own “evilness” and ultimately did himself in with drink and leaving loaded guns pointed in his direction. Simple as that. Abner attributes it to the power of god while remaining “down to earth”. His thinking is rational. He recognizes the preacher as being unavailable to this type of earthly reasoning. abner is the salt of the earth. What and why questions in the conclusion is left for us to decide, as the characters do in the story…each according to their own worldview. It is interesting to consider this explanation when thinking of Doomdorf. His conscious was asleep or nonexistent in life and also when he died because of excessive alcohol. Due to this lack of consciousness, he becomes more of a force of impulse, id, nature…what have you, and less of a human being. He's hardly a human being at all! The radio program creates this character magnificently, and contrasts it with a near equally compelling and nicely created character in Abner. Add to this a nice mystery and supporting characters and we have a story to remember. I’ve listened to this about 10 times, always and remarkably finding it satisfying.

Jerome Juggs

Couple of thoughts, as I've enjoyed this one enough to listen to it several times: - Excellent twin performances by Howard da Silva and Fred Gwynne...their voices go well together. - I'm sure she's done better, but when I nominated my "oscars" for the regular RMT performers I thought this one to be Brynna Raeburn's best. Maybe it was slightly overacted, but I was touched by her final scene as "Doomdorf's" enslaved bride. - I LOVE learning things on the RMT...I'd never heard about a "Ducket" before until hearing this episode. - Very interesting that the shaft of sunlight was magnified through a bottle of Doomdorf's peach liquor. - Liked the use of music, especially as da Silva and Gwynne's characters were watching the "crime scene" at episode's end, learning how Doomdorf really died. I could go on and on, but thanks for giving me another excuse to hear this one!

S. Mess

I had just listened to this not long ago and really enjoyed it. It's a very satisfying little mystery. And with Fred Gwynne and Howard da Silva, how can you go wrong?

Stephen D.

There's a book called The Uncle Abner Mystery Collection which I believe, contains a whole bunch of these tales. It makes me wonder if there may be another hidden in the archive of the RMT episodes... hmm. This episode was as wirey and sticky as a briar bush. In typical fashion, it tried to implicate certain characters by method of distraction. The two lead characters, akin to Holmes and Watson, seemed never to really become too distraught by the whole incident. Their involvement was peculiar (ie, when the Judge said, "I think she had money in her saddlebag, but I slipped some extra just in case."), but I guess that was a note to their credibility, as much as the quoting of the Book of Matthew. Of all things, I really enjoyed the immersion of this episode. The way things were described in minimal detail to give us only a partially painted view, leaving the rest up to the imagination (ie, the description of the windows in the sealed room. Frames built into the concrete and covered in dust and cobwebs. Just great!). Off topic, but related: I just finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. With Tim Burton's remake coming out within a year, I wanted to read the real story before seeing his vision. It's one of my favorite films. But like I said in the previous paragraph, this book is so incredibly full of half-painted descriptions, that the imagination can only create an incredible world outside of what's being told. And let me say, if you've never read Charlie, it is very different from the Gene Wilder version! What a treat!  It was very well executed in acting, production, and sound. Though a terrific episode, I did find some of it a tad unconvincing.


I really liked this episode. The idea of a murder in the sealed room had me guessing. I liked the idea of the preacher bringing fire down from heaven or the young girls voodoo doll as possible ways that Doodorf was killed, but the idea of the moonshine magnifying the morning sun onto the shotgun was a real classic so that in a way both the preacher and the girl could claim that they were responsible for the murder. The idea of the bottle of moonshine acting as a magnifier seems rather far fetched, but in farming communities more than one haystack has burned to the ground because a bottle of drinking water that has been left on the shady side of a haystack in the morning, but in the afternoon when the sun gets to that side of the haystack is magnified through the water in the bottle into the hay and starts a fire. As incredible as it seems, I have seen where a fire had beem started by the sun and the bottle of water burst and put the fire out.

Ricky Bolaton

A good mystery tale which I did not guess, other than that the gun must have gone off by itself somehow. The presence of both Howard Dasilva and Fred Gwynne in the cast gives this show a quality which could stand on its own even without the well-told mystery. I rated 4 instead of 5 because of a consistent awkwardness in the locale of the story -- it is in Virginia, but features shady characters from Mexico and other western trappings juxtaposed with moonshining. And Mr. Gwynne's accent just does not fit the role, especially as Mr. Dasilva seems to be trying to effect a more genteel (i.e. Virginia) dialect. But this is a small matter (again, only enough to prevent a 5) and I always enjoy the shows with these 2 actors, separately or together as in this case. I would also like to read the original story (the reference to the author is garbled but I think the last name is Post). I remember some very poetic lines on Dasilva's part, as with a reference to the "man whose name spelled his future", I think I will listen to the show again at some point with an eye to jotting some of them down. A very good OTR.


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This is a mystery of the best kind--no one has to go to jail and it really could have happened! I do love ghost stories, but sometimes a reality check comes in and ruins it for me. Here is one that is like a Encyclopedia Brown 5-minute mystery. The pieces could all be found upon a close listening, I think. The room was sealed, there was a window, a loadaed gun, a bottle, and sunlight. A guy died in there. And somehow we have to figure it out. To think that it was just a series of coincidences. FACSINATING! Of course this guy had it coming but still this could have happened in real life!

Avril T.

A very good listen with Gwynne and da Silva together (whose voices always seem somewhat similar to me, even though they really aren't). I guessed at the ending, but wasn't quite sure how to get there. It all made sense in the end.


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