DAVID SIMONS

Real Name: David Simons

Identity/Class: Human (World War II era)

Occupation: Research chemist, murderer

Group Membership: Walpole Chemicals

Affiliations: Jenks, Herbert Walpole, Kitty Walpole, Cedricke Waterfield, Emily Waterfield

Enemies: Night Raven, Herbert Walpole

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Walpole Towers (as murderer), presumably in the region of New York City; 1930s

First Appearance: Savage Action#1/2 (November, 1980)

Powers/Abilities: David Simons is an accomplished chemist and researcher.

History: (Savage Action#1/2 - BTS) - Herbert Walpole, wealthy owner of Walpole Chemicals, caught his head research chemist, David Simons, stealing from the company. Rather than prosecuting or firing him, Walpole used the evidence to force Simons to work for extremely low wages.

(Savage Action#1/2 - BTS) - The Night Raven broke into Walpole's study the night before his dinner party.

(Savage Action#1/2) - Simons attended a dinner party held by Walpole at Walpole Towers, his longtime home, which was supposedly haunted by a mysterious phantom. Also in attendance were Walpole's sister Emily and her husband Cedricke, Walpole's personal physician, and his daughter Kitty. As the irritable, self-important Walpole systematically derided his dinner guests and accused them of the break-in, his butler Jenks served the tomato soup. As everyone ate, Walpole suddenly spasmed and collapsed. Dr. Waterfield quickly pronounced him dead, probably of a heart attack.

    Later that night, the body of Walpole was examined by first the Night Raven and then Dr. Waterfield. He called Simons to help him move Walpole's body, then told the assembled guests (as well as Jenks) that Walpole had been poisoned by one of the people in the room.

(Savage Ation#2/2) - Cedricke Waterfield sent Jenks to lock the dining hall until the police could investigate in the morning. Just as the butler did so, the Night Raven swept down on him, telling him to inform the other guests that he knew who had killed Walpole and how and why it was done. Jenks fainted, and awoke with the guests anxiously huddled around him. He conveyed the Night Raven's message, saying that it had been told to him by the Phantom itself.

    Several hours later, David Simons crept down to the dining hall and picked the lock. He entered and was shocked to find the Night Raven inside. The vigilante showed Simons that he had the soup spoon that Walpole had used, and then fired a round into the ceiling to bring the other guests down. When the crowd was assembled, Night Raven forced Simons to reveal that he had murdered Walpole by smearing poison on his spoon. He had thought that, with everyone having eaten soup from the same tureen, the food would not be suspect, and it would be assumed that Walpole had died of a heart attack. Dr. Waterfield then told Simons that he had examined Walpole two weeks prior, and his heart had been perfectly fine. Simons was then left in the custody of Waterfield and the other guests, and was presumably arrested for murder in the morning.

Comments: Created by "Maxwell Stockbridge" and David Lloyd.

The story is called "The Phantom of Walpole Towers", and the Towers are indeed supposedly haunted, so one might expect that the murderer would attempt to pin the blame, Scooby-Doo-like, on the Phantom. In fact, the Phantom is essentially irrelevant; Kitty mentions him, and Jenks and Simons mistake Night Raven for the Phantom, but neither event affects the story or, really, the atmosphere.

It's also not clear to me what Night Raven was even doing in Walpole Towers in the first place. It's strongly implied that he was the prowler who was in Walpole's study, and there is something of an implication that Walpole may have done away with his wife, so possibly he was there investigating Walpole himself, and only stumbled over the murder coincidentally.

It's not a bad murder mystery, though, for a five page story.

Profile by LV!

Clarifications: David Simons has no known connection to

Jenks has no known connection to

Kitty Walpole has no known connection to

Cedricke and Emily Waterfield have no known connection to

The Phantom of Walpole Towers should not be confused with


 

Jenks

Jenks is Herbert Walpole's butler at Walpole Towers. He served the soup that killed Walpole, but was discounted as a suspect by Dr. Waterfield  on the grounds that "the butler only does it in stories". He was then sent to lock the room Walpole was in and keep the key. Night Raven, whom Jenks mistook for the legendary Phantom, used the manservant to pass on his message to the people in the Towers.

--Savage Action#1/2 (Savage Action#2/2


 

Walpole, Herbert

Herbert Walpole was the millionaire owner of Walpole Chemicals. He was heavyset and middle-aged, but still quite healthy and shrewd. He was also an unpleasant man with little family loyalty; he cut his sister out of his will, and may have even had something to do with the death of his wife. He was poisoned by David Simons in retaliation for his continuing blackmail of the chemist.

--Savage Action#1/2


 

Walpole, Kitty

Kitty Walpole is the daughter of Herbert Walpole and his deceased wife. She is quite skittish, and appeared to believe quite strongly in the legend of the Phantom. Her father accused her of blaming him for her mother's death.

--Savage Action#1/2 (Savage Action#2/2


 

Waterfield, Dr. Cedricke

Herbert Walpole's personal physician, and the husband of Walpole's sister Emily, Cedricke Waterfield was present for Walpole's death, and was able to determine that he had been murdered because his physical of two weeks' prior indicated no heart condition. He had a tendency to take charge in most situations, though even his wife thought he had a tendency to be pompous.

--Savage Action#1/2 (Savage Action#2/2


 

Waterfield, Emily

Emily Waterfield is the quiet wife of Dr. Cedricke Waterfield. She is also Herbert Walpole's sister, though their relationship was sufficiently strained as to keep her out of his will. When Walpole collapsed, her reaction was to ask if "the old buzzard" was dead.

--Savage Action#1/2 (Savage Action#2/2


Images:
Savage Action#2/2, p20


Savage Action#1/2 (November, 1980)
Savage Action#2/2 (December, 1980)


Last updated: 01/08/05

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