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Thr prelude to "Air Cargo -- Dial For Murder" involved Jerry Turner
receiving a telephone call to divert a package from Ramp 3. The plan
was to divert the item off the ramp without a hitch. Without warning,
an employee from Asiam Air Freight moved the lever from the pulley and
crushing Jerry Turner to death ... all from the weight of the boxes on
the lift. The death was believed as an industrial accident. Arnold Cook
-- in theory -- believed the death was the result of murder.
Arnold Cook spoke to Steve McGarrett about the situation. From his recollection, Jerry Turner was employed as a cargo employee -- for which he had a fake prison record. Jerry Turner did not report about his undercover work for fear of someone trying to kill him. Meanwhile, Chin Ho Kelley had traced the number -- Apeili-79247 -- to find out the recollection of the telephone call. Eric Ling arrived at the airport and assumed the death was an intentional act. Steve McGarrett told him not to assume anything about Jerry Turner's death.
Next, the Asiam Air Cargo offices were busy with workers making transactions with items being insured for specified amounts over the telephone. Anita Putnam received a telephone call for a freight bill on a shipment of Glucagon -- which was insured for $130,000. Hal Sullivan's ulterior motive in this episode was to protect the company's image and profits. Eric Ling did not know murder was involved in the death of Jerry Turner; therefore, he wanted to walk away from the business free and clear. Eric Ling would eventually be found dead in a commercial garbage bin at the Tokyo International Airport.
Five-O and their detectives were still examining Jerry Turner's notebook at the time of his death -- particularly when they were reviewing some past freight transactions in his notebook. They found Anita Putnam's name in the notebook. Kono contacted the bank about Anita Putnam's transactions over the telephone; and her payments were made solely in cash ... in amounts of $200, $300, $400, and $500. Steve McGarrett had a discussion with Anita Putnam at her home. Her claim that she received the payments as the result of child support from her ex-husband ... when he had remarried in Maryland. She was told to start talking or she would end up being booked for obstructing justice. Her reason for the payments: her daughter was in deep trouble with drugs. He would tell her that a patient died in a hospital because of her negligence of sending a supply of Glucagon one day late. Steve McGarrett demanded ... "The New Number?" ... from Anita Putnam as Koiena-20699 over the telephone.
Che Fong formatted a tape recorder and telephone hookup system to record messages involving air cargo transactions from Asiam Air Freight in his laboratory. He corroborated with Steve McGarrett to make copies of the telephone recordings with an interceptor as a means of obtaining fingerprints as evidence -- with the approval of a court order. Steve McGarrett would tell him to obtain the duplicate copies of the voices of the workers for evidence in court. This plan would eventually lead Five-O to implicate the suspects involved in the theft ring of uninsured packages over the telephone. The plan would eventually work in Five-O's favor.
Anita Putnam cooperated with Five-O and provided the officers with a jade shipment insured for $243,000. Towards the end, John Malcolm was the person responsible for killing Jerry Turner in that "accident." Mr. Porter rigged the box with dynamite as a means of revenge for his wife's death. Hal Sullivan received the package at his home. Detectives Williams and McGarrett would barge onto Mr. Sullivan's home and arrest him on a charge of first-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. A Suspenseful 10!! An Intriguing Episode From The 1971-1972 Television Season!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Up until late in this show, I was pretty excited. After all, the plot
for the episode was amazingly novel. It seems that there's been a
private investigator at an airport cargo company investigating the
disappearance of shipments. However, somebody must have figured out who
he really was, as the show begins with him having a huge load dropped
on him. You tend to take notice when guys are squished at the beginning
of a show! So, it's up to Five-O to figure out who is behind this ring
as well as how they are doing this.
Things take a sad turn when one of the shipments is diverted by the thieves. A life-saving drug that SHOULD have gone to the local hospital is "lost" and because the replacement shipment takes a couple days, a lady dies. An interesting twist--especially because this is now the third person killed either directly or indirectly by the gang. Unfortunately, the whole grieving husband angle gets very, very dumb when he decides to send a booby-trapped package--hoping to blow up the baddies! Seeing McGarrett storm in to grab the package and throw it--only to see it explode seconds after is totally dopey and all attempts at realism are out the window! Too bad, as up until then it was pretty interesting.
By the way, look for a younger Marion Ross playing a member of this theft ring. She's a bit younger than in her "Happy Days" years and was quite a looker--and a brunette. Also, while you probably won't know his name (Michael Strong), the grieving husband, for all you Trekkies out there, was the guy who played 'Dr. Roger Korby' in one of the earliest episodes of the original "Star Trek" (he was Nurse Chapel's bionic ex-boyfriend). And finally, James Hong is the guy who is the human popsicle in the show. He is still quite alive and doing a lot of voice-over work for cartoons (like "Mulan" and "Kung Fu Panda"). I loved seeing his familiar face in the show--even if his death was 100% obvious before it occurred. I have learned on cop shows that if one of the villains is scared and talks about "wanting out" that he'll be dead within minutes!! Duh!
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