CRIME: Laughing Matter

The humorous aspects of premeditated murder are almost identical with those of custard-pie comedy: connoisseurs of both can enjoy the victim's splendid initial innocence, his growing disbelief and alarm, and, finally, his absurd response to the inexorable offices of fate. It takes a trained mind to really appreciate the drolleries of the rubout, however; when the gaudiest murder of the year was staged one morning last week in the barber shop of Manhattan's Park Sheraton Hotel, nobody in the U.S. was as well qualified to enjoy its subtleties as bulky, greying Albert...

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