List of possible suspects

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Sergeant Thomas Velie made his entrance into the Queen-saga
with Sergeant Velie as depicted by Frank Godwin for a "Redbook" edition of "The Chinese Murder Mystery".the words "What's up, Doyle?" in The Roman Hat Mystery where he is introduced to us as a tall man in plain clothes. He is addressed by Inspector Queen in a rather fatherly way as "Thomas". While t
he faithful sergeant addresses Ellery as "maestro".
Velie aka
"the tall one with the sledgehammer hands and the rumbling voice.." still has (largely through the Hutton TV-series) somewhat of a cult following.
According to one radio play "The Old Witch"
(02-26-42 or 02-28-42 - episode 75) Velie lived in an apartment and had one daughter!

Above right: Sergeant Velie as depicted by Frank Godwin for a Redbook edition of  The Chinese Murder Mystery.


Howard Smith  -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...
Appeared on radio showHoward Smith 08/12/1893 - 01/10/1968

The first actor to portray the Sergeant in the hour long first radio series (1939). . ... (click on picture for more)

Ted de Corsia  -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...Appeared on radio showTed de Corsia 09/29/1905 - 04/11/1973

During October 1939, he replaced Howard Smith as Sergeant Velie in the Ellery Queen-series before breaking into movies in 1948. ... (click on picture for more)

James Burke  -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...Appeared in EQ movieJames Burke 09/24/1886 - 05/23/1968

Mostly type casted as a cop, usually a none-too-bright one, most notably as Sgt. Velie in Columbia's Ellery Queen mysteries (1940s)  ... (click on picture for more)

Ed Latimer  -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...
Appeared on radio showEd Latimer  02/14/1897 - 1956

Played Sergeant Velie on radio in 1947. He took over from Ted De Corsia sometime between October 1946 and February 5. 1947.... (click on picture for more)
George Mathews  -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...
Appeared on radio showGeorge Mathews 10/10/1911-11/07/1984

George played Sergeant Velie for two episodes in 1947. He took over from Ed Latimer who after two weeks reclaimed the role.  ... (click on picture for more)
Alan Reed  -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...
Appeared on radio showAlan Reed  08/20/1907 - 06/14/1977

The actor who will forever be the voice of "Fred Flinstone" took on the part of Velie on radio in 1947. ... (click on picture for more)
Elliott Sullivan  -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...Appeared on EQ tv-showElliott Sullivan 07/04/1907 - 06/02/1974

When Norman and Irving Pincus first brought The Adventures of Ellery Queen (1950-1951) to the little screen on the old Dumont network, Elliott was cast as Sergeant Velie.  ... (click on picture for more)
Bill Zuckert  -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...
Appeared on EQ tv-showBill Zuckert 12/18/1915 - 01/23/1997

Played Velie in the easily forgettable murder mystery Ellery Queen, Don't Look Behind You (1971) ... (click on picture for more)
Tom Reese  -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...
Appeared on EQ tv-showTom Reese 08/08/1928 - 12/12/2017

Played in the 1975-76 Wayne-Hutton TV series Ellery Queen, probably the finest portrayal of Sergeant Velie. ... (click on picture for more)

Dr.Prouty as depicted by Frank Godwin for a "Redbook" edition of "The Chinese Murder Mystery".Doctor Samuel Prouty, assistant to the Chief Medical Examiner  of New York County. Prouty resembles the popular conception of Mephistopheles smoked his dark, dangerous-looking cigars with furious puffs.1 The authority when it comes down to pinpointing the cause and time of death! 

Right: Dr.Prouty as depicted by Frank Godwin for a "Redbook" edition of "The Chinese Murder Mystery".


Robert W. Strauss  -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...

Appeared on radio showRobert W. Strauss 3/28/1879 - 11/09/1940

Prouty in the first hour long radio series. The actors organized a pool, the winner being the one who unmasked the culprit Ted de Corsia and Robert were the most frequent winners.  ... (click on picture for more)

Charles Lane  -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...
Appeared in EQ movieCharles Lane 1/26/1905 - 07/09/2007

The three first Columbia movies (1940-1941) produced by Larry Darmour featured Doc Prouty played by Charles.   ... (click on picture for more)

Arthur B. Allen  -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...
Appeared on radio showArthur B. Allen 4/8/1881 - 08/25/1947

The second part of the 1st radio series was also the last in which Doc Prouty appeared. ... (click on picture for more)

Djuna, the small gypsy-blooded orphan boy was adopted by
Inspector Queen during his lonely years when Ellery was attending college.1  In "The Lexicon of Persons connected with the investigation" of The Roman Hat Mystery he is introduced as "Djuna, an Admirable Crichton of a new species." And also as "Djuna, man-of-work, general factotum, errand boy, valet and mascot".

"This cheerful young man, an orphan for as long as he could remember, ecstatically unaware of the necessity for a surname-slim and small, nervous and joyous, bubbling Djuna - rendition in Japanese comics of the orphan boy by Jetover with spirit and yet as quiet as a mouse when the occasion demanded —this Djuna, then, worshipped old Richard in much the same fashion as the ancient Alaskans bowed down to their totempoles. Between him and Ellery, too, there was a shy kinship which rarely found expression except in the boy’s passionate service. He slept in a small room beyond the bedroom used by father and son and, according to Richard’s own chuckling expression, “could hear a flea singing to its mate in the middle of the night.”

Right: Djuna - rendition in Japanese comics of the orphan boy by Jet

Djuna pertly, his slim body completely hidden behind an enormous housewife’s apron, with the monkeylike eagerness of his sharp features, had become rooted to his corner ("With the fire roaring, Djuna curled up on the floor in a corner, his favorite attitude.") — there was an alertness, a bright inquisitiveness in his attitude and mien which delighted the Queens.1
Djuna had large black gypsy eyes. 4

Djuna clearly adored the inspector. "Djuna, who had been sitting Turkish wise in his corner, got quickly to his feet and crossed the room to the Inspector’s chair. He slipped to the floor, his head resting against the old man’s knees." Inspector Queen's hand caressed Djuna’s curly head. “Djuna, lad,” he muttered, “never be a policeman when you grow up.”
Djuna twisted his neck and stared gravely at the old man. “I’m going to be just what you are,” he announced . . . ."

Djuna had often pleaded with the Inspector to be allowed to accompany the Queens on their sporadic excursions into the byways of New York. The Inspector invariably refused. And Djuna, who regarded his patron much as the Stone Age man regarded his amulets, accepted the inevitable.
Although later he was granted the privilege of accompanying his gray patron on this last incursion into the Roman Theatre.

He answered the phone with "This is Inspector Queen's man Djuna talking, who is calling please?" Agonizing sergeant Velie on more than one occasion prompting his reply "You son of a gypsy policeman..." which turns out to be playful banter between the two as the following paragraph illustrates: “Let bygones be bygones, Thomas, my lad. Djuna and I visited the Bronx Zoo yesterday and spent a delightful four hours among our brethren, the animals.”“That imp of yours was in his element, I’ll bet,” growled Velie, “among the monkeys especially.”
“Now, now, Thomas,” chided the Inspector. “Don’t be mistaken about Djuna. He’s a smart little whippersnapper. Going to be a great man some day, mark my words!”
“Djuna?” Velie nodded gravely. “Guess you’re right, Inspector. I’d give my right paw for that kid”

He came to the Queens a beaten little creature of Romany origin with no surname, a swarthy skin an a fluid cunning. Valet, excellent cook, housekeeper and on occasion confidant... Black, curly haired and rather silent but interested in sports: "I wish it was baseball season. I want to see Babe Ruth smack'em'..". He played baseball, handball and basketball. He even gets picked as quarterback on the football team at the club. He also patronized the movies.

He addressed Richard and Ellery as "Dad Queen" and "Mr. Ellery", Richard replying with "Djuna, old son 3

The cousins named Djuna after the avant-garde novelist Djuna Barnes. During the 1940s and ’50s, he played a major part in nine children’s mysteries by Ellery Queen, Jr.

Later Djuna is replaced by Annie (
Ellery Queen, Master detective) and Mrs. Fabrikant (King is Dead, A Fine and Private Place). She's sometimes referred to as "Fabby" 47  and her cooking seemed to be infamous ...

JJMcC once told us that Djuna was in perfect health and had recently undergone the stress of a cosmic love affair with a little witch of a country girl. 2
More on J.J.McC. and the importance of his writings you'll find here...

Henry Sampson, District Attorney

"For once an intelligent District Attorney" 1  described as a slender 2, bright-eyed man, deceptively 4 sturdy, powerfully built, still youthful 3 with several silvery hairs 4Almost at the outset of his prosecutor’s career 4.
In the Roman Hat he was dressed in heavy over clothes, a woolen muffler wound around his neck” and ignoring his doctor's orders to stay in bed, “doctors give me a pain in the neck 1. He smoked cigars 3.

Long associated to the Queens he addresses Richard Queen as "Q".

He had Tim(othy) Cronin as red-haired (first) assistant 2 3 4. (In the Roman Hat he was formerly an assistant D.A.). Thin, eager man of middle age with violent red hair 3. Also mentioned in reference to The Roman Hat case in The Egyptian Cross.

The office of the District Attorney was a busy place and even an Inspector of Detectives was treated with scant ceremony in the sacred chambers.

Sampson appeared more prominently early on in the first four Queens until The Greek Coffin.  After that he only made what could be considered "cameo's": 

  • In The Egyptian Cross when Professor Yardley smote his forehead this manner amusingly reminded them of “District Attorney Sampson, that admirable prosecutor associated with Ellery and Inspector Queen in so many of their metropolitan cases 5.
  • He's mentioned in The American Gun as being out of town of briefly of very shortly appears in a police station where Ellery shook his head at the D.A.
  • In the Halfway House when Bill Angell describes the Curry will case as a lucky break Ellery contradicts him by saying: Lucky your foot! I followed it closely. Sampson—the D. A. in New York County—tells me it was the most brilliant piece of legal research in a year...
  • In The Door Between Richard Queen describes Henry Sampson as “the smartest D.A. this town ever had”.
  • In The Dragon's Teeth Sampson and the inspector are working together again but Henry never once addresses the Inspector as Q.
  • Briefly mentioned twice in The Quick and the Dead.


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