Scene Of the Crime
The Mad Doctor of South Hill
The Mad Doctor of South Hill. That’s what they called him. And, it fit like a glove.
The story of Rudolph Hahn is like an old black and white Film Noir from Orson Welles, a slow burn that reminds you none of us are getting out of this thing called life… alive.
It was 1924 and the doctor was about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food cake.
And his wife, well, she had a great big dollar sign where most women have a heart.
But, like a tree falling in an empty forest, you can get away with just about anything when everyone is willing to look the other way.
That’s just what money does. It sweetens the world around you, hiding the bitterness you bring until it’s too late.
The Mad Doctor’s wife swallowed her bitter pill in the form of a bullet. A fatal dose that the cops said she delivered to herself. The Luger pistol found in her cold, dead hand.
But, what about all the other bullet holes that riddled the room where she took her final breath?
This wasn’t going to be an open and shut case, and it didn’t look like the doc was going to be much help.
When the gumshoes showed up he was high on the devil’s drink, watching his racehorse graze on the front lawn, like there wasn’t a dead woman lying in a pool of blood just upstairs.
But, to really understand this case we need to go back to the Scene of the Crime and back in time. Before television and radio. Before the world was introduced to the atomic bomb.
Back when a mysterious pandemic was striking down millions of people all over the world. Back when they started wearing masks every time they left their homes, school and work was canceled, and even churches were shut down.
This episode includes information from the book Washington Myths and Legends by Lynn Bragg. We also interviewed historian and author Nancy Bristow who wrote American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic.