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It's a story that even the Queen of Crime couldn't have come up with: the mysterious disappearance of the most famous writer in England and subsequent nationwide search, then fifty years later a seance in a glamorous Istanbul hotel and the discovery of a key that could solve the whole mystery.
It all began on December 14th 1926. For the past eleven days England and the rest of the English-speaking world had been up in arms over the disappearance of none other than one of the most famous authors in the world. (1)
Alarm was raised the next morning when she had yet to return. Later that day her car was found in a ditch off the side of the road a few miles from Styles, near the hotel where her husband was going to spend the weekend with his mistress. The car was abandoned and covered in frost, with the lights left on. Inside was an expired driver's license identifying the car's former occupant as Christie, a fur coat, and a small suitcase containing a couple of pieces of clothing. (1)
There were many guesses as to what happened. Some people thought that she had been murdered, others that she had suffered a bout of amnesia. There were several cynics who suspected an elaborate publicity stunt. Several writers wrote articles outlining their elaborate theories as to what they believed to have really happened. As the days passed, more and more people believed her to be dead. (1)
Christie claimed that she was suffering from amnesia. She and her husband went back to their home and told the press that she was coping with memory loss as a result of her mother's death. Despite two doctors examining her and agreeing with this prognosis, the public remained skeptical. Some maintained that it was a publicity stunt, and criticized her for wasting the taxpayer's money. Others believed that she had done it to publicly embarrass her husband as revenge for his adultery. (1)
The workers in Christie's room tore up all the floorboards. In the corner between the door and the wall, they found a small, rusty key. Rand claimed that this key would open Christie's diary and would reveal the secret to Christie's disappearance. The press was ecstatic about the potential of the discovery. But celebration came too soon. The diary key couldn't be taken back to England and tested. The hotel management and the movie studio could not reach an agreement on the price to be paid for the key, so the key never actually left the premises of the hotel, and it remains there today, the last hope perhaps to obtaining the answers to her disappearance. Another key numbered 411 was found in another room in the Pera Palas in 1987, adding further confusion to this mystery.
She claims that on the night that she disappeared, she was hidden away by Nan Watts at their Chelsea home before being put on a train to Harrogate the following day.
"She then just sat there in her hotel room, hiding away...But she had signed the guests' register in the name Neele - the surname of her husband's lover...It was carefully orchestrated...She wanted Archie back...She wanted to give him a shock...If she had had amnesia she would not have signed the register in the other woman's name...My mother helped her because she was distraught. I think she went to my mother because she had been through a divorce. [Mrs Christie] never did it for the publicity. That was the last thing she would have thought of. She was very upset and shocked - it all went rather wrong."
A fugue state, formally Dissociative Fugue (previously called Psychogenic Fugue) (DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders 300.13), is a rare psychiatric disorder characterized by reversible amnesia for personal identity, including the memories, personality and other identifying characteristics of individuality. The state is usually short-lived (hours to days), but can last months or longer. Dissociative fugue usually involves unplanned travel or wandering, and is sometimes accompanied by the establishment of a new identity. After recovery from fugue, previous memories usually return intact, however there is complete amnesia for the fugue episode. Additionally, an episode is not characterized as a fugue if it can be related to the ingestion of psychotropic substances, to physical trauma, to a general medical condition, or to psychiatric conditions such as delirium, dementia, bipolar disorder or depression. Fugues are usually precipitated by a stressful episode, and upon recovery there may be amnesia for the original stressor (Dissociative Amnesia).
Originally posted by LadySkadi
reply to post by SLAYER69
Did Agatha Christie actually communicate a message through the seance?
That's the intriguing question, IMHO.