The Whistler was one of radio's most popular mystery dramas, with a thirteen-year run from May 16, 1942 until September 22, 1955. If it now seems to have been influenced explicitly by The Shadow, The Whistler was no less popular or credible with its listeners, the writing was first class for its genre, and it added a slightly macabre element of humor that sometimes went missing in The Shadow's longer-lived crime stories. A total of 692 episodes were produced, yet despite the series' fame, over 200 episodes are lost today.
At night, glowing car radios illuminated dashboards, and drivers traveled dark highways while the Whistler began his ominous narration: I am the Whistler, and I know many things, for I walk by night. I know many strange tales, many secrets hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. Yes, I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak. That opening was intoned along with the echo of footsteps and Wilbur Hatch's haunting theme, whistled weekly by Dorothy Roberts for 13 years.