Suspense's "The Dead Alive" was adapted from the short novel of the same name by Wilkie Collins, which was first published in 1874. According to Collins, the idea for his tale came from the true story of Jesse and Stephen Boorn, who were accused of murder in Vermont in 1812. You can read more about America's first wrongful death conviction case on the Northwestern University School of Law website. The original text of Wilkie Collin's story, The Dead Alive is available at Project Gutenberg.
As the episode opens, Phillip Lefrank has been informed by his doctor that he requires rest. So, he decides to leave England and visit his cousins in America. Their country farm seems to him to be an ideal place to avoid excitement.
Upon arriving by steamer in New York, Phillip then travels to Morwick Farm, the home of his cousins, the Meadowcrofts. Aside from his family, there is Naomi Colbrook, who also lives in the house. Phillip is taken with her, but he isn't the only one.
Phillip also meets John Jago, the overseer of the farm, who causes friction among the Meadowbrook cousins. Cousin Lettie is fond of Jago, but cousin Silas wants to run him over with his carriage. When Jago suddenly goes missing, the blame appears to fall on the most obvious suspect, but things aren't what they seem...
"The Dead Alive" was adapted for radio by Sam Rolfe and produced/directed by Elliot Lewis. Herbert Marshall starred. Also appearing were Mary Jane Croft, Lamont Johnson, Jeannette Nolan and Joseph Kearns. This episode aired on March 9, 1953.