Detroit News, April 24, 1931. This is situation that landed the lovely Miss Lewis on the front page. Pretty messed up, huh?
Summing up: a self-inflicted gunshot wound that only two and a half witnesses out of five could hear, no gun, no bullet, and posthumous mutilation of the decedent’s head. Fret not: all will be explained in the fullness of time. Sort of.
Philo Vance, you may have gathered, was a popular fictional detective. I’ve never read any of his adventures, but I bet they were a bit more tea-cozyish than this sordid clusterfuck.