In Francis Ford Coppola’s film The Conversation (1974) surveillance expert Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) becomes obsessed with a cryptic recording that he believes suggests a young couple is in danger. Similarly, in Brian De Palma’s Blow Out (1981), sound engineer Jack Terri (John Travolta) investigates a mystery by listening to a recording made at the scene of a crime. And even master sleuth Sherlock Holmes demonstrates the importance of audio clues in the story “The Speckled Band” (1892), when a whistle emanating from a closed room leads him to the solution of one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s best-known mysteries.
In each one of these cases, investigators follow clues they cannot see, which brings us to the questions August LaFleur posed at the end of last week’s installment of Prime Stage Mystery Theatre: “What is the alternative to looking?” and “What does one do when one doesn’t see?”
The answers, as LaFleur says, “should be obvious.”
But listening isn’t the only way you can join the investigation. Each episode concludes with a prompt that invites listeners to submit suggestions and comments about the mystery via the contact tab at the Prime Stage website or through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The world is full of mysteries. Here’s one we can solve together.