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John Openshaw is Sherlock Holmes's client in "The Five Orange Pips". He seeks Holmes' assistance in solving the mystery behind a series of mysterious letters that seem to be connected with the recent suspicious deaths of his uncle Elias and his father Joseph. The letters demand the return of some papers that Elias had burned years ago.

Holmes advises Openshaw to leave a letter explaining that the papers are gone, and Openshaw leaves. After he leaves, Holmes explains that the murderers are members of the Ku Klux Klan, seeking the return of some incriminating documents. Unfortunately, Openshaw is murdered on his way home; his body is found in the River Thames the following morning. Holmes takes Openshaw's death personally, and vows vengeance on the gang.

Holmes eventually uncovers that Klan leader is James Calhoun, a sea-captain, who has unfortunately already departed for the United States. Holmes wires the American police to inform them that Calhoun is wanted for murder; unfortunately, he is unable to bring Openshaw's killers to justice, as Calhoun's ship, the Lone Star, is apparently lost at sea in a storm.

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Trivia[]

  • Openshaw is one of three canonical clients who are murdered in spite of Holmes' intervention.
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