Inner Sanctum Mysteries: The Death Laugh

The Death Laugh is a story of revenge from beyond the grave.

When a jury sentences a killer to life in prison the Judge, Richard Thornton, overrides their decision and imposes the death penalty. The prisoner, John Spencer, begs for mercy, but when his pleas fall on deaf ears Spencer tells the judge that he won’t always be on top. One day he will be where Spencer is now. When that day arrives Spencer hopes they throw the book at the judge and when they do, wherever he is, Spencer says he will be laughing.

When the judge arrives home, his wife, Laura, calls him into her room. Laura, who is eleven years older than the judge, has a heart condition and she needs him to explain the duties to the new nurse. The nurse is called Margaret Cummins and the judge is sure that he has seen her somewhere before, but he cannot remember where or when. He asks Margaret about this but she refuses to enlighten him and, over the next few weeks, she turns it into a kind of game: “Don’t you remember yet?”

Margaret is a lot younger than the judge’s wife and when Laura sees how well the two are getting on together she becomes jealous of her nurse and tells the judge to dismiss Margaret. The judge does dismiss Margaret, but he also tells her that he has fallen in love with her and requests her address so that they can meet. That same night he hears the dead man, Spencer, laughing at him.

The next time the judge sees Margaret he asks her if she would marry him if his wife were dead, and all too soon his wife does die. In fact, she dies almost as soon as the judge arrives home. What a guy! But don’t worry, no bad deed goes unpunished in this story and he who laughs last laughs best.

Inner Sanctum Mysteries: The Death Laugh

(Listen to the Full Episode)

(Listen to the Full Episode)

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