Jacques Heath Futrelle (April 9, 1875 – April 15, 1912) was an American journalist and mystery writer. He is best known for writing short detective stories featuring Professor Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen, also known as "The Thinking Machine" for his use of logic. He died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic.
|Born||Jacques Heath Futrelle|
April 9, 1875
Pike County, Georgia, US
|Died||April 15, 1912 37) (aged|
Atlantic Ocean (RMS Titanic)
|Occupation||Mystery writer, journalist|
|Genre||Detective fiction, science fiction|
|Spouse||Lily May Peel (1895–1912) (his death)|
|Children||Virginia Futrelle |
Jacques Futrelle, Jr.
Futrelle was born in Pike County, Georgia. He worked for the Atlanta Journal, where he began their sports section, the New York Herald, the Boston Post and the Boston American, where, in 1905, his Thinking Machine character appeared in a serialized version of the short story, "The Problem of Cell 13".
Futrelle left the Boston American in 1906 to write novels. He had a harbor-view house built in Scituate, Massachusetts, which he called "Stepping Stones" and spent most of his time there until his death in 1912. His last work, My Lady's Garter, was published posthumously in 1912. His widow inscribed in the book, "To the heroes of the Titanic, I dedicate this my husband's book", under a photo of him.
Returning from Europe aboard the RMS Titanic, Futrelle, a first-class passenger, refused to board a lifeboat, insisting Lily do so instead, to the point of forcing her in. She remembered the last she saw of him: he was smoking a cigarette on deck with John Jacob Astor IV. He perished in the Atlantic and his body was never found. On 29 July 1912, Futrelle's mother, Linnie Futrelle, died in her Georgia home; her death was attributed to grief over his.
In popular culture
Futrelle is used as the protagonist in Max Allan Collins' disaster series novel The Titanic Murders (1999), about two murders aboard theTitanic.
- The Chase of the Golden Plate (1906)
- The Simple Case of Susan (1908)
- The Diamond Master (1909) – adapted as a "three-reel photoplay by the Eclair Co." in 1914 and as silent film serials The Diamond Queen (1921) and The Diamond Master (1929)
- Elusive Isabel (1909)
- The High Hand (1911)
- My Lady's Garter (1912)
- Blind Man's Bluff (1914)
Short story collections
- The Thinking Machine (1907)
- "The Flaming Phantom"
- "The Great Auto Mystery"
- "The Man Who Was Lost"
- "The Mystery of a Studio"
- "The Problem of Cell 13" (1905)
- "The Ralston Bank Burglary"
- "The Scarlet Thread"
- The Thinking Machine on the Case (1908), UK title The Professor on the Case
- "The Stolen Reubens"
See Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen and JacquesFutrelle.com for more stories.
- "The Problem of Cell 13" (1905)
- The Gray Ghost (Perth Daily News, 30 September 1905)
- The Man Who Found Kansas (Metropolitan Magazine, April 1906)
- "The Phantom Motor"
- "The Grinning God" (The Sunday Magazine)
- I. "Wraiths of the Storm", by May Futrelle
- II. "The House That Was", by Jacques Futrelle
- Marks, Jeffrey A. "No Escape: Jacques Futrelle and the Titanic". Mystery Scene magazine. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
- "Biography: Jacques Futrelle". Encyclopedia Titanica.
- "Futrelle Refused to Enter Lifeboat; His Wife Tells How He Parted with Her on Titanic, Commanding Her to Save Herself". The New York Times. April 19, 1912. p. 6.
- "Futrelle's Mother is Dead; Sinks from Grief Following Loss of Son on the Titanic". New York Times. July 30, 1912. p. 1.
- Colins, Max Allan (1999). The Titanic Murders. Berkley. ISBN 9780425168103.
- The Diamond Master title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
- During February 1914 Variety reports the 3-reeler done, quoted here (Feb 13, p. 23), and ready for March 4 (Feb 27, p. 22)
- Futrelle, Jacques. "The Phantom Motor". Jacques Futrelle. Archived from the original on 2016-02-26.
- "The Grinning God". Tales of the Thinking Machine, by Jacques Futrelle (ebook). University of Adelaide (adelaide.edu.au). Retrieved June 20, 2019.
A note at the head of Part II implies publication in The Sunday Magazine (undated online):
"Editor's Note. – Mrs. Futrelle undertook to set up a problem which The Thinking Machine could not solve. "Wraiths of the Storm", in The Sunday Magazine last week, presented what she thought to be a mystery story impossible of solution. Printer’s proofs of the story were submitted to Mr. Futrelle, who, after frequent consultations with Professor Van Dusen – The Thinking Machine – evolved "The House that Was" as the perfect solution." (undated).
- "The Grinning God by May & Jacques Futrelle". P.J. Bergman. The Locked Room (blog). April 27, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
- "Jacques Futrelle". Contemporary Authors. Infotrac, Gale Group Databases. 2000. Retrieved August 1, 2003.
- "Survivor Says Ismay Ruled in Titanic's Boats; Managing Director Had Charge Of Their Launching, Testifies Karl H. Behr". The New York Times. June 26, 1915. p. 6.
- Wilkes Jr., Donald E. (April 21, 1994). "Georgians Died on Titanic". The Athens Observer.
- Wilkes Jr., Donald E. (April 21, 1994). "On the Titanic: Jacques Futrelle". The Athens Observer.
- Wilkes Jr., Donald E. (April 21, 1994). "May Futrelle Survived Titanic". The Athens Observer.
- Jacques Futrelle (archived 2005-01-11) – stated official website Futrelle.com; c. 1999–2004 Joe, Robert and Carolyn Futrelle
- Jacques Futrelle on IMDb
- Works by Jacques Futrelle at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Works by Jacques Futrelle at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Jacques Futrelle at Internet Archive
- Jacques Futrelle at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Jacques Futrelle at Library of Congress Authorities, with 16 catalogue records