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Accueil » Toutes les news » Garrick-Steele demande l'exhumation des restes de Fletcher Robinson
Alexis Barquin
Garrick-Steele demande l'exhumation des restes de Fletcher Robinson Juillet 26, 2005

Rodger Garrick-Steele, qui soupçonne depuis des années Conan Doyle d'avoir assassiné son ami Bertram Fletcher Robinson pour lui voler l'idée du Chien des Baskerville, demande aujourd'hui l'exhumation des restes de Robinson pour effectuer une analyse toxicologique. En effet, Garrick-Steele affirme que Robinson serait mort empoisonné (au laudanum) et non pas suite à une typhoïde comme cela avait été constaté il y a 100 ans...

Rodger Garrick-Steele, qui soupçonne depuis des années Conan Doyle d'avoir assassiné son ami Bertram Fletcher Robinson pour lui voler l'idée du Chien des Baskerville, demande aujourd'hui l'exhumation des restes de Robinson pour effectuer une analyse toxicologique. En effet, Garrick-Steele affirme que Robinson serait mort empoisonné (au laudanum) et non pas suite à une typhoïde comme cela avait été constaté il y a 100 ans...

Articles complets :

Did Conan Doyle poison his friend to cheat him out of The Hound of the Baskervilles?
The Telegraph, by Richard Savill, 26 juillet 2005

A team investigating claims that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle murdered the true author of The Hound of the Baskervilles is to apply to exhume a body from a churchyard in Devon.
The six-strong team, led by an author and a scientist, is to ask the Diocese of Exeter and the Home Office for permission to dig up the corpse of Conan Doyle's friend Bertram Fletcher Robinson, believed by some to have written the original.
The author Rodger Garrick-Steele and a scientist, Paul Spiring, have formed the team, which includes a pathologist and a toxicologist, to investigate whether Fletcher Robinson was given the poison laudanum shortly before his death in 1907.
There have been claims that Conan Doyle poisoned his former friend rather than let his plagiarism be discovered.
Fletcher Robinson, a journalist and a barrister, and a former editor of the Daily Express, is buried at St Andrew's Church, Ipplepen, Devon.
The investigators are to meet the parochial church committee next week to discuss their proposal, before submitting a formal application to exhume the body. The official cause of death was typhoid.
"We believe there is evidence that what was put on the death certificate was not true and that the cause of death was much more likely to have been laudanum poisoning," said Mr Spiring, who began his investigations after moving to Ipplepen.
"That raises the question about why he should have been poisoned. We have got what we believe is irrefutable evidence that Fletcher Robinson was cheated out of a considerable sum of royalties because he was much more actively engaged in The Hound of the Baskervilles than was acknowledged by Conan Doyle."
Mr Spiring, a physicist and biologist, and a former policeman, said there was also evidence that Conan Doyle, to avoid being exposed as a fraud, persuaded Fletcher Robinson's wife, with whom he had had an affair, to poison him, possibly without her direct knowledge.
He added that if the exhumation failed to find any evidence of poisoning then the suggestions could be dismissed. However, if poison was found close to the root of Fletcher Robinson's hair then it would mean he had ingested it within a week before his death. "That would corroborate three or four further strands of evidence," he said.
Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts and other literary scholars have dismissed the poison theory but they have acknowledged that Fletcher Robinson's full role in creating the novel has been underplayed.
Fletcher Robinson showed Conan Doyle around Dartmoor, from where inspiration for the tale of the ghostly beast came. Baskerville was the surname of Robinson's coachman.
A footnote to the first edition of The Hound of the Baskervilles acknowledges Fletcher Robinson's contribution: "This story owes its inception to my friend Fletcher Robinson who has helped me."
Fletcher Robinson is said to have enthralled Conan Doyle with the story of the evil squire Sir Richard Cabell, who sold his soul to Satan and was dragged to hell by a pack of hounds.
Heather Owen, of the Sherlock Holmes Society, said the poison theory seemed "highly unlikely and far-fetched".
"It would be entirely out of character," she said. "He [Conan Doyle] wasn't a poisoning kind of person.
"His love life was already fairly complicated. He was faithful and true to his dying wife. He also had an intense but platonic affair with Jean Leckie, who became his second wife. They were happily married for the rest of their lives.
"Conan Doyle wanted the book to be published in joint names but the publishers didn't like that idea because Conan Doyle was the selling point."

Did Conan Doyle kill for Holmes?
The Herald, by Martin Williams, 26 juillet 2005

This is a case that Holmes himself would have relished.
He would have brought all his skills and intuition to bear on the mysterious tale of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Hound of the Baskervilles.
But modern forensic methods are to be used to discover if Conan Doyle was involved in a plot to murder a journalist believed by some to have been the true creator of one of Sherlock Holmes's most celebrated investigations.
Dr Gyan Fernando, forensic pathologist for Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, is expecting to examine the remains of Bertram Fletcher Robinson who, it is alleged, was poisoned almost 100 years ago with laudanum, administered by his wife under the instruction of the Edinburgh-born creator of Holmes.
Dr Fernando will be reporting to the coroner and the police if any evidence of a crime is found.
The catalyst for the investigation is the writer Rodger Garrick-Steele, who claims the real author of the Hound of the Baskervilles, Fletcher Robinson, was killed as a result of Conan Doyle's plot.
Garrick-Steele, from Paignton, Devon, has written a 625-page book, The House of the Baskervilles, based on an 11-year investigation into letters, wills and other circumstantial evidence, in which he claims that Conan Doyle used the plot for the classic Dartmoor tale without acknowledging the contribution of Fletcher Robinson, before orchestrating his death to prevent being exposed.
Garrick-Steele is planning a partial exhumation of the body buried in Ipplepen, Devon, to help prove exactly how the former Daily Express journalist died. An approach has been made to the parochial church committee at St Andrew's Church in Ipplepen to discuss the proposal.
The Home Office would have to give its permission before the team could proceed, but Dr Fernando believes that this is a formality.
He said: "This is being taken seriously and I have been given permission to be part of the team involved. I will be acting under the authority of the coroner and will report to him or her. We will report to the police if a crime is discovered.
"Although there is a long period of time involved, it can still be classed as a crime. It is possible to prove poisoning because you still have the bones which will give very good results when analysed for toxins.
"We hope we will find fingernails and possibly hair. If you have bone, hair or fingernails you can look for arsenic and other heavy metal poisons."
A copy of a document outlining the team's plans and evidence was placed on public show at the village's library.
Experts also expected to carry out studies include Dr Susan Paterson, head toxicologist at the Imperial College in London and Simon Bray, a consultant archaeological engineer, who has carried out more than 2000 exhumations throughout the UK and Europe.
Garrick-Steele's collaborator, Paul Spiring, a former Avon and Somerset police officer who works for the European Civil Service at the European School of Karlsruhe in Germany, said: "Our team seeks merely to ascertain Fletcher Robinson's precise cause of death . . . without Ipplepen and Fletcher Robinson, The Hound of the Baskervilles and indeed most of Sherlock Holmes's novels would never have been written."
Fletcher Robinson died in Kensington, London, aged 36, on January 21, 1907, of typhoid, but was never cremated, which contravened the law of the time, which said victims should be cremated immediately to avoid the spreading of such a contagious disease.
Evidence also suggests Fletcher Robinson died in eight days, which would fit claims that he was poisoned. A letter Conan Doyle wrote to his mother after his first day with Fletcher Robinson on Dartmoor is said to prove he was relying on Fletcher Robinson's own writings.


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