Classic Jonathan Creek Cases

They were impossible crimes that flummoxed the finest legal minds – until some bloke in a duffel coat showed up to show everyone how the villains did it. Here’s our spoiler-free look back at just some of Creek’s most curious cases…

Classic Jonathan Creek Cases

The Unlikely Suicide

The Unlikely Suicide - Jonathan Creek

Jack Holiday, a washed-up comedian, was found dead in a disused nuclear bunker with a gunshot wound to the head. He'd recently learnt that the man convicted of murdering his wife years before was being freed from prison, so had Jack's frustration and despair led to suicide? You'd think so, except for the inconvenient fact that Jack had such severe arthritis that he couldn't peel a banana, let alone shoot himself in the head. But if it was murder, how could the killer have left the bunker locked on the inside? Jonathan had an idea, and it had something to do with a small hole in the floor where a toilet was going to be installed...

The Impaled Doctor

The Impaled Doctor - Jonathan Creek

Scientist Dr Elliot Strange lived up to his name - he owned a pet gorilla with a penchant for chewing the mail. There was also the manner of his death. Sitting alone in his study one day, Dr Strange was heard to scream and throw books around, as if fighting off an assailant. He was then discovered on the floor with a samurai sword stuck through him. The sword was part of a suit of armour in the corner of the room, but how did it end up inside his chest? The study was locked from within and the only fingerprints on the sword were his own. Oh, and a little later on, his gorilla went berserk for no good reason. Could it be a case of ghostly possession? Clue: no.

The Disappearing Killer

The Disappearing Killer - Jonathan Creek

Jonathan faced a real conundrum when he looked into the death of horror writer Emma Lazarus. Here are the facts: she getting ready for bed one night when a person in a skeleton costume entered her room and shot her. Emma's daughter Lorna rushed in and was promptly knocked out by the murderer. Moments later, the killer was seen scurrying into the garage with Lorna draped over his shoulder. When police finally got the garage door open, they found Lorna alive... but no killer. How could he have just vanished from the enclosed space? And were the empty paint cans in the garage remotely significant?

The Absent Painting

The Absent Painting - Jonathan Creek

Sylvester Le Fley may have been a pompous theatre critic, but he was fine with letting school groups take a tour of his grand old manor house. After all, it contained so many art exhibits, including a priceless painting by El Greco which was stored in its very own room. One day, a group of pupils were shown through the room's ornate wooden door to admire the El Greco. They then shuffled out, the door was closed, and 30 seconds later another group was led in - only to find a blank space on the wall where the painting was just half a minute ago. An impossible theft? Not quite, as Jonathan was to reveal...

The Terrified Clairvoyant

The Terrified Clairvoyant - Jonathan Creek

When Jonathan met a lady called Heidi at a party, he thought his luck was in. Instead he become involved in the weird visions of her aunt Audrey, who had a dream of a foreign businessman's murder which came true. Audrey then had another dream, in which someone called R.P. came to a sticky end. Sure enough, a local woman with those very initials had a fatal car crash soon after. Shocked at her own accuracy, Audrey was understandably petrified when she then had a dream about her own death, but Jonathan had a feeling Audrey's interest in Greek myths was the key to her sudden soothsaying...

The Strange Strangulation

The Strange Strangulation - Jonathan Creek

Coppers and lovebirds Heather Davey and Ted Parnevik were on the trail of a serial strangler. The stakes were raised when they were shot at while filming a reconstruction of one of the murders. While it was odd for the killer to change his M.O. from strangulation to firearms, the police took no chances when they cornered him in a gymnasium. Decked out in her flak jacket, Heather entered the gym to find it empty. Then, suddenly, the doors were locked and the lights went out. Her fellow officers found her moments later, strangled to death. But how did the killer get in and out? It was a scenario that stumped even Jonathan. For a while, anyway.

The Time-Lagged Model

The Time-Lagged Model - Jonathan Creek

A saintly lady named Kathleen Gilmore, well known for her honesty, was recovering from an operation at the home of her pal Vincent Rees, a TV cameraman who was distraught about his wife leaving him for another man. Bedridden and isolated, Kathleen was probably glad of the company when she had a chat with local vixen and ex-model Jacqui Jordan one evening. Except she couldn't have, because Jacqui had been critically injured in an explosion earlier that very day. Kathleen was adamant that she DID see Jacqui that night, and why would she lie? Perhaps someone else was telling porkies...

The Painful Alien

The Painful Alien - Jonathan Creek

Maddy was contacted by UFO expert Professor Graumann who showed her a glass case containing an apparent alien skeleton. Not only did it look eerie, but anyone who touched the silver bones would be painfully burnt, as if by acid. Before Maddy could so much as take a photo, a crew of American military types turned up to confiscate the alien, putting it into a secure, padlocked crate. But when they opened the crate later on, the alien had vanished. How? Where to? Graumann said it was something to do with the planets of the solar system, which may have been a clue. Or not. Either way, the truth was certainly out there.