Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
3 user 1 critic

The Fourth Victim 

Dillon has to find and stop a serial sniper in Dodge who has been killing one man per night with a silencer equipped .30 caliber rifle.





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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Price
Ted Jordan ...
Paul Sorensen ...
Bill Saxbe
Woody Chambliss ...
Victor Kilian ...
Homer Jones (as Victor Killian)
Henry Meeker
Frank Janson ...
Jeb Nelson (as Frank K. Janson)
Earl Haines (as Al Wyatt)
Ben Bates ...
Second Matt


Late one night, a man (seen only from the shoulders down or in silhouette) enters the Dodge House Hotel, swipes a room key, lets himself into the room and goes back to return the key. A few minutes later, the room's occupant comes in. As he shuts the door, he looks up and sees the silhouette -- pointing a rifle at him. The slug drills him through the heart, but there is no sound of the shot and he's not discovered until the next morning. Newly thinks that someone could fashion a device to silence muzzle blasts. Matt sends word throughout Dodge and the nearby communities to form a street police force. But the killer strikes again the next night, and the next. Matt's now convinced that the serial killer is choosing his victims for a specific purpose -- most likely because they served on a jury. Matt questions Doc, who's lived in Dodge the longest, about the juries he remembers serving on and whether he remembered the men who served with them and who they judged. From Doc's information, ... Written by Peter Harris

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Release Date:

4 November 1974 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ben Bates, who doubles for Matt in the last scene, was James Arness's double on the show in real life (Arness had trouble walking due to taking bullets in a knee on Anzio Beach) See more »


When the killer leaves his room for the last time to set up his ultimate assassination attempt, he extinguishes the only candle and the room goes pitch black. When Matt smashes down the door a few minutes later, the room is brightly lit. See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best episodes of the whole series!
8 June 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wow! For a series that was 20 years old, "Gunsmoke" was rolling on all four cylinders in this suspense-filled episode in which a serial killer is on the loose in Dodge City. The opening scene sets the mood in a gripping fashion, and from there, it's almost like a small version of Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" as several of the townspeople are either killed or injured by the shooter, who remains unknown to both the town and the viewers until the very end.

I don't want to give too much away so I'll stop right there other than to say that one of the main characters ends up being a target of the killer.

"The Fourth Victim" is a good old-fashioned mystery, western-style and one can imagine how truly dangerous life used to be in the Old West back in the day. As it always seems to do, "Gunsmoke" handles the situation in a flawless fashion, with excellent use of dim lighting and shadows to stimulate a spooky atmosphere. A highly-recommended episode!

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