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Woman from Hell


The suicide of a renowned actress raises several questions and a private investigator is hired to look into the case. He learns about the last project she worked on, as well as her conflict with a witches coven after reading her personal journal.



Air Dates

  • First Run - July 25, 1975
  • Repeat - December 2, 1975





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18 Responses to Episode 0315

Excellent episode! Best line of the episode: "Don't you know?! I have a direct HOTLINE TO HELL!"


A private investigator is hired to investigate the alleged suicide of a beautiful actress. She recounts in her diary her role in a movie and her battle with a coven of witches.

Leonardo Enverga

An inquiry into the apparent suicide of a movie diva. The secret society called the Walpugis Club is mildly interesting.

Ian Cary

THis play is the other pairing of Rose and Hecht I've heard thus far, complemented by Mandel Kramer, Nat Polin and Joan Lovejoy, the latter with a pretty accent which makes her less whiskey-voiced than she often sounded (probably on purpose). Rose plays "Lawrence Ducot", whose actress wife Jenny has just overdosed from sleeping pills. He meets up with a detective, played by Hecht, right after a press conference in which he (Rose's character) announces that he doesn't believe his wife killed herself. Very few people knew Jenny Ducot was married. The detective doesn't say who's hired him but says his client thinks the death is suspicious as well, but says he personally believes she overdosed on purpose. Rose digs deeper, and finds out his wife (who, though married to him kept at long distance and believed, apparently, in the 70s concept of an open, sexually "free" marriage) was apparently terrified of something from her past. Visiting with her former lover in Greece (whoops, there's that country again) he confides that his wife: A) told Msr. Ducot to "trust no one", and B) kept a diary. Ducot learns that the lover was the one who hired the private detective, and is admonished that despite his wife's warnings he's already trusting people who may not be deserving of it. Rose tells us in narration that he's not told him everything, though...he thinks Jenny gave him clues as to where the diary will be. Going to Paris (where he's nearly killed by a car) he goes to an old friend at a Flower shop his late wife loved. The diary is there, and right as he's leaving, so is the detective, who tries to catch the car that almost ran Ducot down. Later, they go to a hotel room where Ducot starts reading the diary. He learns his wife, in the early days of her career, joined the "Val Porges (sic?) club", which essentially was a coven of witches with members throughout the entertainment industry and elsewhere. She launched her career with the director (who recruited her for the coven) of the movie "Woman from Hell"...which she got the lead role in. From her diary, it's apparent that Jenny Ducot is very uneasy with the coven's members, noting that even if they've not got supernatural powers, they believe in these Satanic rituals, and that people who believe like this "can be dangerous". That fear seems to be borne out in her diary when she learns that a woman who threatens to expose the club is killed in a car crash... Tremendous casting, and tremendous use of RMT music in this one, on a par with "The hand".

Conrad P.

A Hollywood actress is found dead after an apparent overdose of sleeping pills. Her husband is not convinced it was suicide, nor is her agent, who has hired a private investigator to look deeper into the matter. Reading between the lines in messages and letters, the husband learns of a secret diary she kept and tracks it down wherein lay the truth of her life, and death.


...and I love this one. First question: I wonder if "Anton Kryzewski" was supposed to be a knockoff of "Roman Polanski"?

Franc N.

According to Anton, Jennifer's "insolence" and "beauty" made her perfect for the part. Were these the same qualities that Polanski saw in his nubiles?


"Claude Hooper Bukowski Finds that it's groovy To hide in a movie Pretends he's Fellini And Antonioni And also his countryman "Anton Kryzewski" All rolled into one One Claud Hooper Bukowski..."


"Now that I've dropped out, every Cleary, dreary- cleary, Timothy Leary theory...'


"I'm no expert, but don't most suicides leave a note?", asks Lawrence, Jennifer's husband, over coffee in a restaurant to private investigator Jones. "No, not all of them," replies Jones, "but more do than don't." This little fact, which seems plausible, is very important because it increases Lawrence's (and our) suspicions. But is it true? I located one (old) reference at a CDC webpage to the rate of suicides that leave notes. A 1963 study shows "... only about one third of persons who commit suicide leave such notes." Sometimes fact-checking diminishes my enjoyment of these stories but in doing so I always learn something. Overall, a very good episode.

Marc T.

It was a good episode, but no Rosemary's baby. The acting was good. I guessed the twist.


Good episode, although I wasn't sure why the coven would wait so long to get rid of Jenny when they felt she had betrayed them. They did away with the other woman quickly. It also seemed strange that the ex-boyfriend went to the trouble of hiring the p.i. yet was pretty much out of the action.

Elli Isaac

Franc N., that's exactly what I thought. I played the clip of him talking on the play for my then-middle school aged son to hear, and later when we'd make a mistake we'd both joke: "No, no, no, it is all WRONG!" ">) On a much more serious note, the death in a fiery Los Angeles car crash of journalist Michael Hastings brought me here today. While no one is suggesting (out loud, at least) that our government contains a coven of witches (interesting how we never quite new whether this was criminal or criminal/supernatural, even with Anton Krzewski claiming he had "a hotline directly to Hell"), this play, also, had a (female) journalist dying instantly in a terrible car crash in the Los Angeles area. Very well done show.

O Tamandua

A fairly decent story with an ending I didn't quite expect, but did to some small degree. I did want to thank Marc T for getting those statistics as stories like these like to assume that 99% of all suicides write notes - some people want others to know, others are just so depressed (or whatever) that they just don't care. I'm sure from a psychological standpoint that there could be a study here, but I'm not a psychologist.


Not for Harry Potter fans. There is an article on Wikipedia about the Walpurgis mentioned here. Not quite the German Halloween, but the night before May 1st was believed to be a gathering of witches night until Walpurga repelled them. In some locations, people still light bonfires to ward off witches on this night. Since someone already posted a complete summary, this is one of the rare CBSRMTs (at least in the episodes up to this one. I am listening to them in order, so maybe after this, the series gets darker, a la Suspense post WW II), which not only doesn't have a "happy ending," but there is also no retribution. Hmmm.


So what happens at the end?


A Rosemary's Baby rip off, the ending was predictable and rushed.

Mr. Silva

As a Wiccan, I get annoyed at the witches = Satan worshippers plot lines, but this story was at least engaging and contains one of the best CBSRMT quotes... "You seem to be pretty 'buddy-buddy' with a lot of your wife's lovers." "Well we had a lot in common."


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