April 9, 1875|
Pike County, Georgia
|Died||April 15, 1912
Atlantic Ocean - RMS Titanic
|Occupation||Mystery writer, journalist|
Jacques Heath Futrelle (April 9, 1875 – April 15, 1912) was an American journalist and mystery writer. He is best known for writing short detective stories featuring Professor Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen, also known as "The Thinking Machine" for his application of logic to any and all situations. Futrelle died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic.
Futrelle was born in Pike County, Georgia. He worked for the Atlanta Journal, where he began their sports section; the New York Herald; the Boston Post; and the Boston American, where, in 1905, his Thinking Machine character first appeared in a serialized version of the short story, "The Problem of Cell 13".
Futrelle left the Boston American in 1906 to focus his attention on writing novels. He had a harbor-view house built in Scituate, Massachusetts, which he called "Stepping Stones", and spent most of his time there until his death in 1912.
His last work, My Lady's Garter, was published posthumously in 1912. Futrelle's widow inscribed in the book, "To the heroes of the Titanic, I dedicate this my husband's book", under a photo of her late husband.
Returning from Europe aboard the RMS Titanic, Futrelle, a first-class passenger, refused to board a lifeboat, insisting his wife board instead, to the point of forcing her in. His wife remembered the last she saw of him: he was smoking a cigarette on deck with John Jacob Astor IV. Futrelle perished in the Atlantic, and his body was never found.
On 29 July 1912, Futrelle's mother, Linnie Futrelle, died in her Georgia home; her death was attributed to grief over her son's death. 
In popular culture
- Futrelle is used as the protagonist in Max Allan Collins' Disaster series novel The Titanic Murders (1999), about two murders aboard the RMS Titanic.
- Futrelle acts as a supporting character in the Sherlock Holmes novel The Titanic Tragedy by William Seil, assisting in thwarting an attempt to blow up the Titanic.
- The Chase of the Golden Plate (1906)
- The Simple Case of Susan (1908)
- The Diamond Master (1909 — later adapted into the film serials The Diamond Queen (1921) and The Diamond Master (1929)
- Elusive Isabel (1909)
- The High Hand (1911)
- My Lady's Garter (1912)
- Blind Man's Bluff (1914)
Short story collections
- The Thinking Machine (1907),
- The Flaming Phantom
- The Great Auto Mystery
- The Man Who Was Lost
- The Mystery of a Studio
- The Problem of Cell 13 (1918); a reprint of The Thinking Machine (1907)
- The Ralston Bank Burglary
- The Scarlet Thread
- The Thinking Machine on the Case (1908), UK title The Professor on the Case
- The Stolen Reubens
- "The Problem of Cell 13" (1905)
- "The House That Was": The Grinning God, Part II (a literary experiment with Futrelle and his wife, in the which The Thinking Machine provided a rational solution to the seemingly impossible and supernatural events of a ghost story written by May)
- "The Phantom Motor"
- Various other short stories (see Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen and JacquesFutrelle.com for more)
- Marks, Jeffrey A. "No Escape: Jacques Futrelle and the Titanic". Mystery Scene magazine. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
- "Biography: Jacques Futrelle". Encyclopedia Titanica.
- "Futrelle Refused to Enter Lifeboat; His Wife Tells How He Parted with Her on Titanic, Commanding Her to Save Herself". The New York Times. April 19, 1912. p. 6.
- "Futrelle's Mother is Dead; Sinks from Grief Following Loss of Son on the Titanic". New York Times. July 30, 1912. p. 1.
- Colins, Max Allan (1999). The Titanic Murders. Berkley. ISBN 9780425168103.
- Futrelle, Mrs. Jacques & Futrelle, Jacques. "The House That Was". The Grinning God (online ed.).
- Futrelle, Jacques. "The Phantom Motor". Jacques Futrelle.
- "Jacques Futrelle". Contemporary Authors. Infotrac, Gale Group Databases. 2000. Retrieved August 1, 2003.
- "Survivor Says Ismay Ruled in Titanic's Boats; Managing Director Had Charge Of Their Launching, Testifies Karl H. Behr". The New York Times. June 26, 1915. p. 6.
- Wilkes Jr., Donald E. (April 21, 1994). "Georgians Died on Titanic". The Athens Observer.
- Wilkes Jr., Donald E. (April 21, 1994). "On the Titanic: Jacques Futrelle". The Athens Observer.
- Wilkes Jr., Donald E. (April 21, 1994). "May Futrelle Survived Titanic". The Athens Observer.
- Jacques Futrelle Official Homepage at futrelle.com
- Jacques Futrelle on IMDb
- Works by Jacques Futrelle at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Works by Jacques Futrelle at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Jacques Futrelle at Internet Archive