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The Informer - My Ghost Story

According to Antique Roadshow a presentation copy of this movie was found while a landlord was cleaning out an apartment left behind by tenants in a bag of books in Wisconsin. This was aired in 2008.

When I was about nine or ten two older ladies lived a few houses down from me in New Jersey. They would call me at my house in the early 70's to run errands for them for change they had (things didn't cost as much then as they do now).

One day one of the women told me this story. She explained that she once had a son, who is now dead that used to be a news reporter that covered alot of legal cases in NY. She told me he used to write movies and gave me a presentation copy of The Informer, exactly as leather bound on the TV show. She explained to me that in appreciation for always showing up right after she would call me to do something for her she wanted me to have it because she and her sister were now very old and had outlived her children and she wanted me to have it.

I took it, thanked her, but never understood what it really was until the internet came along and the apprasial on TV. Her son's name was Dudley Nicols and she also showed me a scrapbook of some type of his newspaper articles, but she did not offer that to me. This is the only reason why I ever heard of this movie because of this.

But it was old, readable, and had hand-written notes in it. Through most of my childhood I collected non-fiction books. I used to collect fiction paperback books also, until I came home from summer vacation one year and they were all missing and no one in my family knew why, about 500 or so. So I stuck to mostly non-fiction in a variety of subjects.

So the day came in the early 90's when I had to store my books and other things for several months in Susquehanna, PA. My brother took me to a storage area and put my things there. Then the day came that I had to remove my belongings but was unable to do so myself so my brother volunteered to leave everything behind except my books. There were really two very important books to me, the first being The Informer presentation copy and the second a German bible, which I would never be able to read but was a family heirloom. I specified every book, every type of printed bound item because I knew he wouldn't know what these things were.

So he brought them to our Mom's house in NJ, in garbage bags, mostly Hefty, some with tears, and some tall kitchen bags. As I was unloading and storing them I found the German Bible. I placed that on my Mom's end table by her couch for the family to review as there were alot of us there that day. By the time I was done, the Bible was gone, and, of course, no one had seen what happened to it but did see it there that day.

After finishing, I couldn't find The Informer. I immediately explained to my brother it was missing and very important to me as it was given to me specially by the author's mother. Of course, never heard of it, never saw it, he made sure he took all my books and brought them to me. As a matter of fact no one had made any interest or gave me any explanation about the movie so I just thought it was one locked up in a vault somewhere forgotten.

Now with the power of the internet I find a presentation copy on Antiques Roadshow exactly as I remember. Found in a garbage bag full of books and aired 2.5 years ago. Is it one in the same? I don't think there's a way to find out anymore than a way to figure out how it would have gotten from Susquehanna PA to Madison Wisconsin.

I don't even know if there was more than one printed. I mean, what are the chances? I looked for it now because after realizing what it really was that she gave me I feel incredibly guilty that I would lose something she cherised in that way.

But I am glad to know that whether it is the same book or not that at least it survived and can take it's rightful place in movie trivia and history. That even in how I failed to hold onto what his mother gave me there is another that exists today.

But if there is a connection I am posting this to explain another part of the puzzle to it's origins, how it dissappeard and came back to life like a ghost from my past.

Thank You.


that is a very touching story


Very interesting story. I wonder how old Dudley Nichols' mother must have been in the early 70s if he was born in 1895? If she was say 20 when she had him that would have made her around 95 in 1970! Anyway, he had a great career and wrote some classic films.

"No! That’s not true at all. Elvis takes fifty percent of everything I earn." Col. Parker


What a great story! Thanks for taking the time.