"After-Dinner Story" was one of many works by Cornell Woolrich adapted for radio. Suspense presented twenty-two of his stories on their program, but his works were also performed on Molle Mystery Theater and other radio shows. Suspense's "After Dinner Story" was based on the 1938 short story of the same name which Woolrich wrote under his pseudonym, William Irish.
Suspense's version altered the structure of the story a little, but otherwise retold the tale as it was intended. What was left out was the Depression-era setting, and so it lost some of its depth and meaning. The original short story is very tense and the description of the elevator crash is more frightening than on radio. Read Woolrich's story if you get the chance.
"After-Dinner Story" was adapted for radio by Robert L. Richards. Otto Kruger appeared as Mr. Hardecker. Also featured were Hans Conried, William Johnstone, and Lou Merrill. This story aired once on October 26, 1943. Although it never aired again on the Suspense radio program, the television show Suspense aired this story on April 12, 1949. Otto Kruger starred in the same role he had played in the radio version.
(Image of elevator shaft from Wikimedia Commons)