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William Cochran, BSI

Rare is the sentence in William Cochran’s (Murray, 1988) interview which does not feature at least one dynamic anecdote or memorable bon mot.  

Bill’s eclectic interview encompasses topics ranging from his early encounters with William S. Baring-Gould’s Annotated Sherlock Holmes to organizing speakeasies during the BSI Weekend with Gordon Speck and Newton M. Williams. It covers the “serendipity” of his Sherlockian collecting to the history and evolution of the Occupants of the Empty House scion (which he founded).

He provides insights into Midwestern scion societies, his favorite BSI Dinner experiences, and the Sherlock Holmes article he is most proud to have authored.

Bill also discusses his unusual connection with the architect and futurist Buckminster Fuller, who attended meetings of Christopher Morley’s Grillparzer Club in the 1930s.  As Bill often observes, “If you’re not having fun, then why on earth are you doing it?” 

Click above to play audio (playback help)

Interviewee: William Cochran 

Interviewer: Joseph Eckrich

Date: May 3, 2019

Location: Carbondale, IL

Description: MP3, 36.1 MB, 86kbps, 58 minutes

Interview Topics

Criterion Bar Association

The Hounds of the Baskerville (sic)

Baker Street Journal

William S. Baring-Gould

Tom and Ruthann Stetak

John Bennett Shaw

Robert C. Burr

Peter Blau

Michael Harrison

Newton M. Williams

William S. Baring-Gould

Julian Wolff

Tom Stix

Gordon Speck

Downstate Sherlockian Competition

Occupants of the Empty House


Explanation of BSI Honours & Other Terms

Related Materials

The 1988 BSI Dinner
William Cochran received his Investiture at this BSI Dinner.

The Baker Street Journal (BSI website)
Cochran was Editor of the Baker Street Journal (BSJ) in 1993.

For an index to all OHP interviews, see our Oral History Project Summary list.

Interviews recently added online (sorted by when recording was posted online)

Material in the BSI Archive may be used by any qualified scholar, subject to the normal rules and regulations of the library. For links to a detailed finding aid and related information, see our BSI Archive page.

Page composed on 11/15/23 by Tamar Zeffren

This page last updated 12/8/23 by Randall Stock