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Murder on the Orient Express

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S: Murder on the Orient Express

FC: Murder on the Orient Express Case File | TOP SECRET CLASSIFIED | Written by Agatha Christie Made by Ben Ravetz

1: Case Summary The Murder of Ratchett (Cassetti) Winter-1925 Where: A train called the Orient Express from Istanbul to London. Hercule Poirot, a detective, boarded the Orient Express on route to return to London. While purchasing his tickets, he sees an old friend of his named Bouc. Bouc makes space for him on the train, but because it is crowed he must sit in coach. While waiting to board the train, he spots a man named Ratchett. Ratchett has an evil past and visibly looks like bad news. Ratchett sees Poirot and urgently approaches him. He asks if Poirot will act as a body guard for him because he believes he is in danger. Knowing that Ratchet is not a trustworthy man, Poirot declines his offer despite the money he would have received.

2: Once the train was fully boarded, Bouc agrees to move to coach and allow Poirot to have the first-class cabin. This is very important because this is where the action takes place. After Poirot meets a few people on the train, he goes to sleep. He is awakened in the early morning by a scream that comes from Ratchet’s cabin. After the conductor knocked on the door, a voice responded saying “It is nothing. I am mistaken” (in French). However, Poirot cannot fall asleep right away. He has the feeling that the train has stopped. The conductor says that they have hit a snow bank, but it is later revealed that Ratchett has been murdered and stabbed 12 times. Knowing this is what Poirotfor a living, he is asked to investigate the crime because the killer must still be on the train.

3: Poirot accepts andinvestigates the room for clues. He sees a handkerchief on the floor, a pipe cleaner that was not Ratchett’s, a window left open, and a charred piece of paper with the word “Armstrong” on it. Poirot feels that the window was left open to make people think the murderer escaped because there are no tracks in the snow left behind. He also realizes what the word “Armstrong” means. A few years earlier, a little girl was kidnapped for ransom. After the family paid the ransom, the girl named Daisy Armstrong was killed anyway. The Armstrong family had been in the papers because the man responsible, Cassetti, got away. After thinking of plausible explanations for the murder of Ratchett and the reason for the charred paper, Poirot concluded that Ratchett is Cassetti.

4: Prime Suspects Mary Debenham-Daisy Armstrong's governess. Mary Debenham seems like a kind and nice woman, but she was one of the main people behind Ratchett's murder. Poirot suspects Mary from the start because she is told by Colonel Arbuthnot to not fight now. “Not now. Not now. When it's all over. When it's behind us” Mrs. Hubbard-We later discover that she is Linda Arden, famous actress and grandmother of Daisy Armstrong. Mrs. Hubbard Mrs. Hubbard's room is next to Ratchett's and she throws Poirot off the case with her stories of “what happened”. Colonel Arbuthnot-Father of Daisy Armstrong. Princess Dragomiroff- A Russian princess and seems like an old grumpy lady. She owns the handkerchief found in Ratchett's room. Hector McQueen-Ratchett's personal secretary. Hector secretly conspired with the Armstrong family.

5: Countess Andrenyi -She is the sister of Sophie Armstrong, but did not commit the murder. She is young and beautiful. She also blackened out her luggage tag because it had her true identity. Antonio Foscanelli- Antonio was the Armstrong's chauffer. Greta Ohlsson-Daisy Armstrong's nurse who is very frail and pale. Hildegarde Schmidt-Hildegarde acts as Princess Dragomiroff's assistant and maid, but is but is revealed to be the Armstrong's chef. Pierre Michel-When Daisy was killed by Cassetti years ago, Daisy’s nursemaid committied suicide. Pierre is the father of the nursemaid and is the Conductor of the Orient Express. He was not considered a suspect until the very end of the investigation.

6: EVIDENCE: ITEM 1 | EVIDENCE: ITEM 2 | This is the handkerchief that was found in the room where the murder took place. This had a Russian letter on in and belonged to Princess Dragomiroff, connecting her to the murder. | There was a pipe cleaner and matches different from the ones that Ratchett typically used. This meant that the murderer had to be a smoker.

7: EVIDENCE: ITEM 3 | EVIDENCE: ITEM 4 | The window was open is the room Because it was winter, he knew that Ratchett would not have opened it. He realizes that this was a fake clue trying to show that the killer escaped out the window. This clue is disregarded because there are no snow tracks. | After several interviews, Poirot hears that there was a woman in a scarlet kimono walking through Ratchett's hall most of the night. After looking for who owned it, he finds it in his own bag. Whoever wore it was part on the murder.

8: EVIDENCE: ITEM 5 | EVIDENCE: ITEM 6 | Armstrong | On the floor where Ratchett's body was found, there was a small peice of paper with the word "Armstrong" on it. This paper connects Ratchett with his true identity Cassetti, the murderer. | "Ce n'est rien. Je me suis trompe" | This is French for "It is nothing. I am mistaken" These words come from behind Ratchett's door after a loud noise came from his room. This is an important clue because Racthett's assistant tells Poirot that Ratchett didnt speak French, which meant he knew that it was part of the case. This made his a suspect.

9: EVIDENCE: ITEM 7 | EVIDENCE: ITEM 8 | "Not now. Not now. When it's all over. When it's behind us" | These were the matches that were found in Ratchett's room. These matches were different from all the other ones in the room which meant the murderer must have brought them. The murderer was a smoker. | These words are said from Mary Debenham to Colonel Arbuthnot in Ch. 1. When the murder happens, he assumes that was the event that was "over".

10: EVIDENCE: ITEM 9 | EVIDENCE: ITEM 10 | xxxxxx | Countess Andrenyi puts grease on her luggage tag to hide her real name, Armstrong. | Because of this time period, a lot of stress is put on social class. The classes are so separated that because the murder took place in first class, the murderer must be living in first class. This is important when choosing who to interview because it eliminates 3/4 of the train as suspects.

11: Conclusion | After a series of interviews with the members on the train, poirot discovers several pieces of evidence. During the time of the murder, there was a man in a Wagon Lit jacket and a woman in a red kimono. No one admits to having any of these items. After further interviews, Poirot sees that there are people connected with the Armstrong family on the train. Poirot discovers Countess Andrenyi is the aunt of Daisy Armstrong. She wet her luggage label and blocked out her name to conceal her identity. Mary Debenham was Daisy's governess, Antonio Foscanelli was the Armstrong's chaffer, Masterman was the valet, and Greta Ohlsson was Daisy Armstrong's nurse. Princess Dragomiroff also tells Poirot that the handkerchief found was hers. After thinking of the possible solutions, he determines that all of the Armstrong family and friends were in on the murder, which explains the twelve stab

12: wounds. In defense of the Armstrong family, Bouc and the conductor try to argue that a stranger could have come on the train and committed the murder. Because Poirot does not think that the family was wrong, he agrees to tell the secondary theory to the police and let them figure it out.


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  • By: Ben R.
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  • Title: Murder on the Orient Express
  • Independent reading project for Mr. Gabriele's 4th period class.
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  • Published: over 9 years ago