The A.

B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie is a fiction narrative about a consecutive slayer on the loose, who murders his victims, and in locations in an alphabetical order, therefore the A.B.C rubric. He foremost murders Mrs. Ascherin in Andover who is an old adult female, followed by a immature miss Betty Bernard in Bexhill, the 3rd slaying being Carmichael in Churston and the 4th slaying being George Earlsfield alternatively of Downes in Doncaster ( Christie, 1936 ) .

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The liquidator sends teasing letters to the celebrated detective Hercule Poirot to publish presentments about the day of the months and locations of the slayings, but with planning and executing of the violent deaths, the liquidator is ever in front, go forthing behind a similar intimation of ABC Railway guide..With the trail of intimations left after every Rubia tinctorum and warning letters bespeaking the slaying marks and locations, detective Poirot adopts unconventional methods to understand the motivation of the violent deaths and to track down ABC. In seemingly loose narrative, Alexander Bonaparte Cust who a traveling salesman is suspected to be the consecutive slayer after initial probes indicate that he travelled to all of the slaying locales on the twenty-four hours the offenses transpired ( Christie, 1971 ) . For all the slayings, there are important similarities and unsimilarities that this paper seeks to analyze

Similarities in the ABC Murders

The first slaying by A.B.C is Alice Ascher, who is a little baccy store proprietor.

Probes by the sawbones reveal that the manner of killing was that the adult female was bludgeoned or hit down by a heavy blow on the dorsum of the caput in her ain store, possibly while she was making down for a package of coffin nails from the shelf behind the counter. This means that the adult female must hold turned her dorsum to the liquidator before she was struck to decease. The arm used in the slaying is nevertheless non found at the site. Prior to the slaying, detective Poirot received a cryptic warning missive from an unknown individual merely identified as ABC, claiming that he will perpetrate slaying in Andover on 21st of the month ( Christie, 1936 ) .

Poirot became hard-pressed and informed inspector Japp about the day of the month the slaying was planned to happen, but the couple failed to halt the slaying.At reaching, detective Poirot found the door of the store unfastened, and descry the huddled-up organic structure of the Ascher nest to the counter. No indicant of larceny or robbery is noticed, but fortunately the constabulary and Poirot finds an ABC ABC railroad usher that was left as a intimation by the liquidator, demoing the Andover location. As probe continues, it is found out that Archer was non in good footings with her hubby Franz who is a rummy, and who had threatened to kill her in more than one juncture. This disclosure makes him the lone suspect in Alice ‘s slaying, though detective Poirot subsequently exonerates him with concluding that he ne’er had the needed encephalons to perpetrate her slaying as a consecutive violent death. On the other manus, the probe given from Hastings ‘s diary gives a description of Alexander Bonaparte Cust who works as a going salesman merchandising stockings ( Christie, 1983 ) .

The first slaying portions a batch of similarities with the 2nd slaying affecting Betty Barnard in Bexhill one month subsequently. The consecutive slayer besides wrote the presentment missive to detective Poirot about the day of the month and location he intended to perpetrate the slaying. Both the first and the 2nd victim are females, likely directing the message that the consecutive slayer finds it easy to slay females. A major similarity in the first two slayings is besides about the intimation left behind by the consecutive slayer. He leaves an A.B.

C railroad usher under the organic structure of Betty as he did in Ascher ‘s slaying ( Christie, 1983 ) .This convinces both investigators Poirot that the consecutive slayer must be the same individual. Both slayings take topographic point closer to the victim ‘s topographic point of work. Alice was murdered inside her baccy store while Betty at a beach following to Ginger Cat, the little tea-room where she worked as a waitress. Equally, the lone suspects in the first two slayings are the victim ‘s considered close Alliess. Franz Alice ‘s hubby and Donald who was Betty ‘s boyfried are considered the suspects because of their personal properties.

The 3rd slaying that involves Carmichael Clarke besides portions a figure of similarities with the first two slayings. ABC besides sends a missive to detective poirot bespeaking that he intends to perpetrate another slaying at Churston after neglecting to halt the first two. This was a similar game to tease the celebrated investigator. Similarly, ABC leaves his usual intimation ; the ABC railroad usher on the dead organic structure ( Christie, 1936 ) . The manner of killing in the 3rd slaying resembles the first, where the victims are found to hold been hit at the dorsum of their caput by a heavy stuff. It is besides noted that Betty ‘s and Clarke ‘s slaying take topographic point at dark. The lone suspect in the 3rd slaying is Franklin who is the merely brother to Clarke. Harmonizing to analysis, he subsequently turns out to be the consecutive slayer who wanted to inherit Clarke ‘s wealth, but kills others in a screen up mission by doing it appear as consecutive violent deaths affecting people non connected to his mission.

This is besides the motivation in the 4th violent death at Doncaster to make more confusion ( Christie, 1971 ) .The 4th slaying is at Doncaster. ABC uses the same technique by composing another missive to poirot.

Poirot anticipates uncloaking ABC on the Doncaster St. Leger race class. However, ABC attacks in a film hall, slaying George Earlsfield utilizing a knife alternatively of Roger Emmanuel Downes, a logical victim sitting merely two seats off. He besides leaves the ABC railroad usher on the floor between the legs of the victim ( Christie, 1971 ) .It is imperative to observe that consecutive slayer besides chose his slaying victims carefully.

He merely chose victims who had publically known personal differences with their close relations or confederates to hide his engagement or be suspected. For illustration, Alice had a drunkard hubby Franz who had threatened to kill her ; Betty besides had a dissension with her fellow Donald. This attack was to guarantee that the spouses become the suspects ( Christie, 1972 ) .However, before constitution of the existent consecutive slayer, Alexander Bonaparte Cust who works as a going salesman is suspected in all the histories to be the liquidator. When his house is searched, boxes of ABC railroad ushers similar to those left as intimations after every slaying, packages of stockings and a typewriter used to type all the warning letters sent to Poirot are found.

After intense questions, it emerges that Franklin, brother to Clarke was the consecutive slayer who bought the typewriter, ABC railroad ushers and the stockings before directing them to Cust addressing himself as a ‘firm ‘ . Detective Poirot informs him that his fingerprint was found on the typewriter keys, motivating him to try perpetrating self-destruction, which is besides foiled by the intelligent investigator ( Christie, 1983 ) .

Contrasts in the ABC Murders

The ABC slayings besides contrast significantly from each other.

Looking at the manner or violent deaths, Alice and Clarke are murdered through hitting the dorsum of their caputs with a heavy stuff, while Betty is strangled utilizing her belt at the beach and George Earsfield stabbed by a knife inside a film hall in Doncaster. ABC cleans the bloody knife utilizing Cust ‘s arm and so slides it in Cust ‘s pocket to implicate him ( Christie, 1983 ) .In the first, 2nd and 4th slayings, ABC mail the letters to Poirot utilizing the right reference. However, he intentionally misspells Poirot ‘s reference during his warning refering the 3rd slaying doing the later to detain by three yearss, likely to hide the decease of his brother at Churston who has been his premier mark in his killing fling ( Christie, 1983 ) .ABC besides sends assorted signals by killing people across different socio-economic position. Alice is an old adult female running her little store in the poorer category subdivision ; Betty is a immature miss merely get downing life ; Clarke being a really rich individual merely lasting with one married woman enduring from malignant neoplastic disease, and Bernard who is a Barber. For the first clip in the 4th slaying, ABC kills a incorrect individual he had non planned, unlike in the first three cases where he murders by purely following the alphabetical order rule in footings of name of the victim and the location.


ABC slayings as depicted in the narrative expresses a really intelligent, good planned consecutive slayer on the loose in England. The slayings are similar in many ways including ; same killing methods for first and 3rd slaying, publishing warning letters bespeaking the day of the month and location of the slayings in all the instances and leavings intimations of the slayer through the ABC railroad ushers common in all the instances. Two of the slayings take topographic point at dark, while two during twenty-four hours clip, although the forst slaying takes topographic point between 1730-1800 hours Christie, A. ( 1983 ) . In all the four slayings, the victims close relations or friends are considered as the lone suspects.

These slayings besides contract from each other in a figure of ways ; ( 1 ) different killing methods for 2nd slaying through choking and 4th through stabbing, ( 2 ) get offing the warning missive to Poirot utilizing right reference for three instances except the 3rd slaying and ( 3 ) killing an unplanned individual in the 4th slaying.


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