For 58 years, the identity of the killer has been a closely guarded secret

Wikipedia has finally revealed the secret of one of Agatha Christie's famous murder mystery plays, “The Mousetrap,” by identifying the killer.

For 58 years, the identity of the killer has been one of the theatreland's closely guarded secrets. At the end of every performance, the audience were forbidden from revealing the plot.

Not anymore.

The killer's identity has been published online by Wikipedia, despite protests from the author's family and petitions from fans to remove the spoiler, the Daily Mail reported.

Matthew Prichard, Ms. Christie's grandson, described the decision as “unfortunate.”

Mr. Prichard, who was given the rights of “The Mousetrap” on his ninth birthday, said he would raise the matter with the play's producer, Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen.

Mr. Waley-Cohen has been associated with the play for the 23 years of its record-breaking run in the West End

Mr. Prichard said, “My grandmother always got upset if the plots of her books or plays were revealed in reviews – and I don't think this is any different. It's a pity if a publication, if I can call it that potentially spoils enjoyment for people who go to see the play.”

He added: “From the point of view of the theatre-going public, I think it does spoil the enjoyment of those going to have an entertaining evening at the theatre – one part of which is to guess who the murderer is.”

A Wikipedia spokesman said:

“Our purpose is to collect and report notable knowledge. It's exceedingly easy to avoid knowing the identity of the murderer – just don't read it.

“Asking Wikipedia not to reveal the identity of the murderer is like asking a library to remove copies of “The Mousetrap” book from the shelves because someone could just go and read the end.”

“The Mousetrap” was first performed in London in 1952. It holds the record of the longest initial run by any play, with over 24,000 performances so far.

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