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The Lodger


A boarding lodge matron lives in fear due to a series of cruel killings of women in the neighbourhood and a new lodger who she thinks is responsible.



Air Dates

  • First Run - May 13, 1974
  • Repeat - August 2, 1974
  • Repeat - May 5, 1979





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26 Responses to Episode 0090

Don't bother the police chief! If that isn't a tell! lol




George Lowthar may be my favorite of the Mystery Theater writers. However, the fact that he's the writer gives away that the perpetrator isn't the obvious one. Crime thriller, no supernatural elements.


"The Ripper" is on the loose and he's paying visits to divorced women on Thursday nights. A landlady is concerned that one of her tennants is the killer when she finds the rippers telltale calling card.

Denver D.

The widowed owner of a boarding house fears that one of her tenants might be a serial killer called "The Ripper". Twists and turns nicely.

Jardine Delovino

“The Ripper” is on the lose killing young widows on Thursday nights. One such widow runs a boarding house and takes in a reporter for a lodger. After he leaves, she hangs up his jacket and out falls the same colour lipstick that The Ripper uses to scrawl messages on the mirrors of his victims. She is terrified and calls the police for assistance. They promise to send over a detective to stay with her and make sure she is safe. Wasn’t too hard to see where this one was going, but a fun episode nonetheless. Good acting and an ok script. Believable characters.

Martha Martin

I loved this episode, and the way the writers ratcheted up the tens ion level. But I don't understand why the killer referred to "the lieutenant" before the widow had mentioned anything about the police. Is that a plot hole or am I missing something?


A good story, though somewhat predictable. The crime reporter seems to be the most interesting and well-rounded character. The boarding house setting is well drawn out and makes a good backdrop for the story. I can almost see the rooms in my mind. BTW, Hitchcock did a film called, "The Lodger". Old black and white, the Ripper, etc. So I think ole' George lifted a bit of this story from the movie . . . The news clips that frame the story are as interesting as the tale itself. Though it's kind of funny to hear a regional news fellow talk about "his own sources" in the national Watergate scandal. But again, we would hope that a RMT story would stand the test of time on its own merits; no news required. A good encode copy as well. But I guess I prefer the more imaginative tales; scifi or exotic locations or historical settings, etc. RMT did contemporary reality stories, such as this one, as well as any of the older series' ever did. And I do like them as a change-up-pitch, so to speak. But all in all this isn't a favorite story for me. Not that I'm complaining! Far from it!


Interesting choice. This story seems to have floated around a bit. It is also the first story broadcast by "suspense" and the commentary of that particular suspense episode says that Hitchcock and the director chose it themselves. He also makes an appearance at the end of that broadcast. They refer to it as "one of our favorite stories" or something like that. Indicating that it was not a new story then either. I wonder how much of the "lifting" that we all can clearly see is homage. It would also be interesting to find out if this and perhaps some of the twilight zone episodes we have noticed were borrowed from by mystery theater were in the public domain. There is an eposide of the twilight zone where a lady is traveling cross country. She keeps seeing a man gesturing to her. In the end she is dead and this man is death trying to get her attention. This exact story is also one of the suspense episodes (incidentally starring orson wells). It seems the producers, directors, and writers of these shows passed around a few stories that were familiar to them all. I liked this episode though I admit it had more to do with seeing the updated version of a story I was familiar with as opposed to the actual story itself. Like most of the choices here, I liked this one.


The TWILIGHT ZONE that you refer to is called "The Hitchiker," and is indeed the same story that was done on radio by Welles--but that's indicated in the TZ credits, and the original author, Lucille Fletcher, was paid the proper royalties. (She was interviewed on the topic at least once.) Despite the fact that RMT borrwed from Twighlight Zone constantly--as have an number of other shows. As I said in the other post, the writing schedule was so hectic on RMT that it was probably inevitable that this would happen from time to time.

Dwarde M.

Excellent show. I especially liked how the author kept the suspicion jumping between Charlie, Adams, and Bowen. There were just enough subtle hints to keep you wondering which one was really going to be the ripper.

Jeff Lindsey Oliver

Very good show. I had never seen the Hitchcock movie, so I was guessing up until the ending.


Actually, The Lodger started out as a novel written by a female author,Marie Belloc Lowndes, just prior to WW1. I just finished listening to the audiobook version in fact. The novel is sort of a pioneer in the true crime thriller genre, and still holds your interest even after many years. The killer in the novel is known as the Avenger, but is clearly based on Jack The Ripper. Hitchcock filmed it as a silent- and it has been remade two other times. The more famous one is the 1944 version with Laird Cregar. IIRC- and I'm not completely sure on this- the ending varies from version to version.


Fantastic who-done-it. This episode was written by George Lothar. He seems to be a bit ahead of his time. His episodes seem to follow more contemporary themes. One of my favorite parts of Mystery Theater is when E.G. Marshall sums up the episode following the commercial break after the 3rd act. He stated that that Nel and Tony were married and expecting a baby. Well wasn't that special... Great episode including a newsbreak in regards to President Nixon making racial slurs while in the White House. With all of that going for it, how could I not rate this episode a perfect 5 stars.



Gina Schackel

Kim Hunter is excellent in everything she does for RMT.


One of my CBSRMT faves! Great story, great acting, suspenseful ending. Love it!


I really enjoyed George Lowthar's style of storytelling in the CBSRMT episode. It's definitely the kind that keeps you guessing to the very end and learn to know that Death comes in many forms. I also enjoyed the voice talents of Kim Hunter (as Nell Pearson), Michael Wagner (as Tony Adams), Mary Jane Higby (as Miss Mapes), Robert Dryden (as Lieutenant Goldman), and Joe Julian (as Lawrence Bowen). SPECIAL NOTE: Kim Hunter played Dr. Zira from the PLANET OF THE APES films. The music was very beneficial. It was suspenseful at the 9-minute 4-second mark and then shocking at the 20-minute mark. I rate this 4 out of 5 stars because even though E.G. Marshall did help explain the story, however, he did not put much intensity into the Prologue & Epilogue. Check out this Drama-Mystery if you love shocking twists, it's at the 40-minute 7-second mark (SPOILER ALERT)


Enjoyed this one too, similar twist as in The Allnighter from Nightfall radio series (many are rather edgy & spooky . I must admit I did not see the twist coming in this one. I must have been tired.


Enjoyable episode even though I thought the reporter was a red herring from the beginning (as many people probably also thought). I did catch who the real killer was fairly quickly, but for a short period of time I did consider it was Charlie (Dryden). As with all the recordings from this time period listening to the Watergate scandal as it unfolded is interesting.


Oh, this is a good one!


Love this one!


Great episode


Spoiler alert Several kinks in the plot, I did not understand. How did the lipsticks get in the roomers suitcase.. Was Bowen really a policeman?


Rather quite good even if rather formulaic for Lowthar. Spoiler: does the episode actually make any sense?? How did Bowen know that Nellie was expecting a cop? Why did Tony have the lipstick if he wasn't the killer? Is he like J. Edgar Hoover? Why wasn't name in the script just Red H. Herring?


The moment when the women understand that no police officer beside her, but rather the murder ....


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