The Crime in The Adventure of Speckled Band and Sadie When She Died

Categories: Murder

I have chosen two stories i.e. ‘The Adventure of Speckled Band' by Arthus Conan Doyle and ‘Sadie When She Died' by Ed Mc Bain.

The Plot of the Stories

'The Adventure of Speckled Band' is the eighth story in the collection Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, it was published in strand Magazine in February of 1892.(the_speckled_band,n.d., para.2) In this story, Helen Stoner, a boom to be bridge, is characterized as a victim who fears of her death.

She suspects that her father, actually her step father will kill her, like her elder sister was killed shortly before her marriage. To protect herself from the murdered, she turns to Sherlock Holmes, a detective who solves criminal cases with his intelligence and smartness.

On the other hand, ‘Sadie when she died' was published in the year 1972. This was published in the 26th series of police procedural novel named as 87thPrecinct. (Ed McBain,1972, para.1) In this story, Mrs. Fletcher is killed in her apartment.

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Her husband, Mr. Gerald Fletcher calls police for the investigation. Detective Steve Carella, Defective-Lieutenant Byrnes and Detective Meyer reaches the crime spot for investigation of the crime. In this crime story, criminal misleads the police, but he was caught in the end by the police.

The Victims

Basically, both stories resolves around crime scenes, but in the story ‘The adventure of speckled band' victim (Helen Stonex) herself fears of her murder and seeks help from Sherlock Holmes, a detective and in the story ‘Sadie when she died, Mrs.

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Sarah Fletcher was stabbed to death and police was being called by Mr. Gerald Fletcher, husband of victim.

Victim "Helen Stoner' in the story ‘The adventure of speckled band' turns to Sherlock Holmes for help because she knew that she will be killed by her step father. Detective Holmes solves her case with his intelligence. Helen Stones was so scared that she was shivering in fear when reached at Mr. Holmes apartment which is clearly mentioned in the story: ‘It is fear, Mr. Holmes. It is terror'. She raised her veils she spoke.

Victim ‘Mrs. Sarah Fletcher' is the story ‘Sadie when she died' was initially stabbed by Ralph Corwin. Ralph Corwin was the burglar. He stabbed Mrs. Fletcher in fear of getting caught by police. He clearly mentions in the conversation with D.A.'s assistant that he would not have harmed her and go out but insisted her to remain quiet. This is mentioned in the story as:

Ralph Corwin: - I told her to keep quiet, that I wasn't going to hurt her. But she get out of bed and I saw she was reaching for the phone. Then, I grabbed her hand before she could get is. I pulled her off the bed, away from the phone. Then she started screaming. I was beginning to panic. And, I stabbed her.

This clearly depicts that Ralph Corwin stabbed her first to save himself. He confessed his crime without hesitating. But Steve Carella still suspected Mr. Gerald Fletcher as the criminal because of his statement: My wife was so good, and I am delighted someone killed her.

The Work of the Detective

‘Sherlock Holmes' solved the mystery of ‘Speckled Band' with his genius mind. He helped Helen Stones and saved her from death. But her step father was died in the investigation and Sherlock Holmes has no regret about it. He says, I am no doubt in directly responsible for Dr Grimesby Roylott's death and I cannot say that it is likely to weigh very heavily upon my conscience. Dr. Grimsby Roylott wanted to kill Helen Stoner in the greed of money. He wanted to acquire the property of her step daughter.

Mr. detective Steve Carella conclude the root mystery of ‘Sadie when she died'. He, by his intelligence, proved that Mr. Fletcher is the real criminal who stabbed Mrs. Fletcher to death. He also found that Mrs. Fletcher introduces herself to other men as Sadie Collins. Mr Fletcher while conversing says " I did not kill Sarah. I killed the woman She'd become; the shut I's forced her ti become. She was Sadie, you see, when she died."

‘The Adventures of Speckled Band' was written approximately so years ago than ‘Sadie when she died' but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle depicted his story for better than the story of Ed McBain's ‘Sadie when she died'.

In this latter story, it has turning points, but its climax is monotonous whereas the former story entertains the reader and grabs the attention of reader.

The Crime

Helen Stoner as a victim was lucky whereas Mrs. Sarah Fletcher was not lucky. Helen Stoner followed the voice of her conscience and consulted detective sherlock Holmes to protect her life. She belongs to higher class of society. Her mother was rich and widow. Dr. Grimsley Roylott marry her mother. He killed twin sister of Helen Stoner days before her marriage. Though he left no witness behind the crime of her sister, but Helen knew that her step father killed her. Now he wanted to kill Helen to acquire their property Fortunately, Helen stoner come to know it and rushed to detective Sherlock Holmes for solving the mystery of ‘Speckled Band' - last words of her sister before dying. Author Arthur Conan Doyle clearly depicts the destiny of victim Helen Stoner in the story. At the end, Helen was saved but her step father was died when his own plan of killing Helen Stoner reciprocated at him. He thought Helen a weak lady due to her gender. But destiny supported her, and her life was out of danger.

Mrs. Sarah Fletcher did not follow burglar Ralph Corwin. He insisted her to keep quiet. He said that he will leave her apartment without harming her. He did not come with the intention of killing anyone, but Sarah did not obey him and to protect his life, he stabbed knife in Mrs. Fletcher's stomach. Before stabbing knife, he repeatedly asked Mrs. Fletcher to remain quite but she kept on screaming. She even tried to call police but Ralph Carwin stopped her by doing so. In the story, there was a turning point. Mrs. Fletcher was only injured when Ralph Carwin stabbed her. She could have been saved by Mr. Gerald Fletcher, her husband, who entered just after the incident took place. But instead of saving her, he pushed the knife inside her stomach and killed her and he has no regret about it because according to him, he killed Sadie Collins. Mrs. Sarah fletcher introduced herself as Sadie Collins to other men. Moreover, she kept her marriage hidden in front of all those men.


To sum up, the stories although have murder cases but they different ways of solving crimes. Also, the cases happened are for different for each other. Victims are treated in a different manner in the stories. The big difference noticed is ‘The Adventure of speckled Band' revolves around a crime which is still to be happen. Victim Helen Stoner is alive in the story whereas the story ‘Sadie when she died' revolves around a crime scene in which victim Mrs. Sarah Fletcher was stabbed to death by the criminal. ‘The Adventure of Speckled Band' is a story in which mystery is solved in one go by Sherlock Holmes but it took turning point in the story ‘Sadie when she died'. Detective Steve Carella solved the mystery and found the real criminal who misleaded the police.


  1. The_Adventure_of _the_speckled_band(n.d.). Retrivedfrom _the_speckled_band
  2. Mcbain ed, e.m(1972). Sadie when she died. Retrived from
Updated: Feb 22, 2024
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The Crime in The Adventure of Speckled Band and Sadie When She Died. (2024, Feb 22). Retrieved from

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