Murder Of Roger Ackroyd Essay

472 Words2 Pages
Red herrings are both deceptive and manipulative, but more importantly, they are how Dr. Sheppard almost got away with murder. In The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, a wealthy man is killed in his own estate. There are many suspects, excluding Sheppard. Between fake footprints and the intelligent use of a dictaphone, Dr.Sheppard deceived and manipulated both the police and Poroit, allowing him to no longer be a suspect in Roger Ackroyd’s murder.

In an investigation, clues are key. That is why the footprints that were found near the window of Ackroyd’s study were such a large red herring made by Sheppard. In the novel, shoe prints are found outside the window of the room that Roger Ackroyd was found dead. These prints matched a pair of shoes owned by Ackroyd’s
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In this situation Roger bought a dictaphone early in the book. It was used to record a conversation between Dr. Shepherd and Mr. Ackroyd. This allowed Dr. Shepherd to play their conversation back so it would seem as though Roger Ackroyd was still alive at 9:30 p.m. On one occasion Raymond the secretary states “‘Mr. Ackroyd was certainly alive at half past nine’…‘for I heard his voice in here talking.’”(54&55). This was a successful red herring because it tricked Raymond into believe that Ackroyd was talking to Sheppard at 9:30 p.m. when in reality he was already dead. Further, because people believed Raymond, Dr. Sheppard was able to influence multiple people views on the murder, making him seem even less like a suspect for the murder.

Throughout the novel red herrings are strategically placed allowing Dr. Sheppard to nearly get away with Roger Ackroyd’s murder. Whether or not it was using Ralph’s shoes to leave suspicious footprints, or even the intelligent use of a dictaphone to alter the believed times that Ackroyd was alive, both of these events left Sheppard as no longer a
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