Admiral Oliver Oak was the victim in Doom Service (Case #47 of Mysteries of the Past).


Oak was a military admiral. He had gray pompadour hair, brown eyes, and a mustache. At the time of his death, he donned a standard admiral suit adorned with a variety of medals and badges.

Murder details

Admiral Oak was found in his hotel bathroom, with an expression of fear on his face. According to Dick, Admiral Oak was literally frightened to death. It was revealed that the admiral had a weak heart, and was drugged with a hallucinogenic substance at the time of his murder, which made him see everything in a distorted fashion. That combined with his heart ended up resulting in a fatal heart attack. The substance was something that Dick had never seen before, which meant the killer had pharmaceutical knowledge.

Relationship with suspects

Admiral Oak was a permanent resident of the Claiborne Hotel. According to One-Eyed Jill, Oak often went to the bar without drinking. Jill had sent him a funeral wreath as she heard the hotel "saying" that he was next to die. Admiral Oak had pestered writer Johnny Torrents, wanting him to write his biography despite him going to the hotel for some peace and quiet for his novel. Admiral Oak had been playing gin rummy against his long-time friend, Gregory Stravinsky, but he refused to pay Gregory after his losing streak. George Okamoto wanted to have Admiral Oak evicted as he occupied the hotel room that George wanted to study and refused to vacate it. Admiral Oak often sexually harassed Fleur Stone, groping her and then eventually spying on her in secret.

Killer and motives

The killer turned out to be Johnny.

Upon admitting to the murder, Johnny said that he wanted to test if someone could really be frightened to death because he wanted one of his characters to die from fright as well. He swapped the Admiral's medication for his weak heart for hallucinogenic drugs. He then covered a dog in phosphorescent paint and released him in the room. Because of the drugs, the Admiral thought he was seeing a demon, and his resulting fright caused him to have a heart attack. Judge Lawson sentenced him to life in prison.

Case appearances



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