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Witness for the Prosecution By Agatha Christie

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  1. Witness for the Prosecution By Agatha Christie

  2. Leonard Vole • The young man, 27, accused of murder

  3. Romaine Vole • His foreign suspicious wife, in her mid-thirties

  4. Emily French • The murdered woman, 56

  5. Janet Mackenzie • French’s long time housekeeper who dislikes Leonard Vole

  6. Sir Wilfred Robards • Vole’s lead defense lawyer

  7. Mr. Mayhew • Vole’s second council, the lawyer who he originally consulted.

  8. The Mysterious Woman • The mysterious woman who meets with Robards and Mayhew to deliver letters.

  9. Additional Characters • Dr. Wyatt (medical examiner) • Mr. Clegg (forensic expert)

  10. Summary • Though charged with the murder of Miss Emily French, Leonard Vole swears his innocence. He tells his lawyers that his devoted wife, Romaine, will give him an alibi.

  11. Summary • Romaine declares that she hates Vole and that he is not her legal husband. • Vole goes on trial but things are not going too well. There is no real defense and his wife swears under oath that he is guilty.

  12. Summary • Towards the conclusion of the trial, a mysterious woman brings letters to Sir Wilfred Robards that demonstrate Romaine’s intention to incriminate her husband. • In court the next day the letters are presented and Vole is found not guilty.

  13. Summary • Vole is freed. Romaine meets Robards, Mayhew, and Leonard after the trial and reveals how she worked the lawyers and the jury. • Vole tells Romaine that he is leaving her for a younger woman. She stabs him and he immediately dies. Romaine pronounces him, “Guilty.”

  14. Act I • Mayhew, a local lawyer, brings Leonard Vole to Sir Wilfred, a high level defense lawyer.

  15. Act I • Leonard gives his side of the story and as he is finishing up the police come in to arrest him.

  16. Act I • A few minutes later his wife Romaine turns up at the office also to ask how bad is the trouble her husband is in?

  17. Evidence against Vole • Younger man w/older woman • Doesn’t bring wife to see French • Was there alone on the night of the murder • Has handled French’s finances • Only alibi is his wife • No money • No job • Allowed French to believe that he was unhappily married • French left him almost all of her money

  18. How does Leonard refute this evidence? • Doesn’t seem to know that French left him her money • Wife will say he was at home when French was killed • Claims to have a genuine fondness for French because she reminds him of his Aunt Betsey • Volunteered information to the police

  19. What do they anticipated as the problem with Mrs. Vole? • She is a foreigner and won’t be trusted by the jury • A wife isn’t the best witness—bias • She’ll be too emotional

  20. What do we learn about Romaine when we first meet her? • Cold—seemingly unloving • Thinks Leonard, like all men, is a fool • Leonard helped to get her out of the Russian sector of Berlin • Really isn’t married to Leonard—was and still is—married before and Leonard doesn’t know. • Suggests that she is tired of being grateful

  21. What can we conclude at the end of Act I • Leonard is in some serious trouble • Robards, Mayhew and the clerk think he is innocent • They are concerned on how they should treat Romaine

  22. ACT IIWho is in the line of witnesses? • Inspector Hearne (police) • Dr. Wyatt (medical examiner) • Mr. Clegg (forensic expert) • Janet Mackenzie (housekeeper) • Romaine Vole (Leonard’s wife) • Leonard Vole (the accused)

  23. Evidence of Inspector Hearne • Window broken on the inside • No fingerprints other than French’s, MacKenzie’s and Vole’s • Nothing stolen—jewelry still on French • Blood on Vole’s sleeve • Chisel marks on the outside

  24. Refute Inspector Hearne • Wind blew window in and it broke inside • A thief would wear gloves • Thief probably was spooked by French’s death • Vole cut himself with a knife • Chisel didn’t match one Vole owned

  25. Evidence of Dr. Wyatt • French was hit behind her left ear • Died between 9:30—10:00 pm • No evidence of a struggle • Left-handed killer (probable but not necessarily • Blow could have been delivered by either a woman or a man

  26. Refute Dr. Wyatt • Left-handed killer (probable but not necessarily) Leonard is not left-handed • Blow could have been delivered by either a woman or a man

  27. Evidence of Janet MacKenzie • Heard Vole’s voice just after nine • Knew that Vole was aware of the will • Knew that Vole helped with French’s finances • Said French was buying books about older women marrying younger men

  28. Refute Janet MacKenzie • Needs a hearing aid • Knew that the will originally was in her favor • Feared that Vole would change her relationship with French

  29. Evidence of Romaine Vole • Leonard came in 10:10 pm • His sleeve had blood on it • She said he announced ”I’ve killed her.” • Leonard told her to lie to the police.

  30. Refute Romaine Vole • Romaine used Leonard to get out of Germany • She has admitted that she is tired of being “grateful”

  31. The court—Old Bailey

  32. The courtroom

  33. The Judge

  34. Hearne on the stand

  35. Mackenzie on the stand

  36. Myers in court

  37. Robards in court

  38. Vole watches Romaine’s Testimony

  39. Papers follow trial

  40. Mystery woman with letters

  41. Mystery woman’s scar

  42. Romaine watches the verdict

  43. Vole found “not guilty”

  44. Romaine meets Robards and explains her plan.

  45. Romaine surprises Robards

  46. Romaine meets Vole after trial

  47. Romaine, Vole, and the Strawberry Blond

  48. We meet the strawberry blond

  49. Romaine stabs Vole Guilty, my Lord!