Study Guide

Dead End in Norvelt Chapter 25

By Jack Gantos

Chapter 25

  • It becomes clear what Mr. Greene was talking about, when he publishes an editorial for the newspaper about the dead bodies not getting "proper medical autops[ies]" (25.2). (Um, and we have to say that he might have a point.) The county police are being called in.
  • Since she's the current medical examiner, Miss Volker is not happy with this.
  • She dictates a rebuttal to Mr. Greene, in which she argues that the old ladies have died of natural causes.
  • Jack's mother begs to differ. She thinks her mushroom casseroles are to blame.
  • But this theory is quickly discarded, since her family has also been eating the casseroles, and they're very much still in the land of the living.
  • Whew!
  • Jack's dad takes advantage of the situation (neighbor will be pitted against neighbor because of the deaths) to again suggest that the family move.
  • Jack has another major realization: he still doesn't know why things happen (despite reading tons of history books and knowing tons about historical events).
  • Logically going through events in his mind, Jack identifies possible suspects for the "murders": Miss Volker, Mr. Huffer, and Mr. Spizz. They all are linked to the poison in some way.
  • He's worried that he'll be accused, since out of all of the people he identifies, he is the only one without a legitimate reason for buying the poison—and, of course, when he wakes up after this very stressful night, his pillow is soaked in blood.