Perry Mason: Season 4, Episode 20

The Case of the Barefaced Witness (18 Mar. 1961)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 70 users  
Reviews: 3 user

When a man jailed for embezzling from his bank is released, a girl he knows returns to their hometown to have him clear her name. She asks Paul to back her up so when the man is found murdered, Perry is called in by Paul to defend



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Tragg (credit only)
Josephine Hutchinson ...
Miss Sarah McKay
Alfred Needham
W. L. Picard
Dan Southern
Enid Jaynes ...
Iris McKay (as Enid Janes)
Russ Conway ...
Fred Swan
Eloise Hardt ...
Marta Wiltern
Lewis Martin ...
Tom Fadden ...
Charlie Briggs ...


Three years ago in Pinion City, Fred Swann was caught, having embezzled from his bank. The money wasn't found, and people figured that Iris McKay, whom Fred had dated a few times, of knowing where it is. The weight of this suspicion caused her to move to L.A., but now she has received an anonymous tip that Fred is back in Pinion City, so she goes there to confront him. There, she sees various people in an unsuccessful attempt to find Fred, but she finds clues that might lead to the stolen money including a package Fred may have given her aunt. She calls Paul who is out so Parry takes her call to look for a package in her apartment her aunt sent her. Perry finds the apartment ransacked. Paul, called in to help, has trouble tracking down Iris, and eventually finds local reporter Dan Southern standing over Fred's corpse and Iris's bicycle outside. Iris is found at a nearby home and eventually arrested for murder when her fingerprints are found on the tire iron used to kill Fred. To save ... Written by arthurblock

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

18 March 1961 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Most of this episode involves an out-of-town investigation conducted by Paul Drake, whereas the hearing involving Perry Mason is quite short. Thus, William Hopper has more screen time than Raymond Burr (but Burr still has more lines). See more »


Quite a few of the male extras peopling the streets of Pinon City do not have beards; it's a little hard to believe that so many Pinon City residents are indifferent to the prospect of being fined and mugged. See more »

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User Reviews

Great guest-cast and mystery makes a good watch. (Sideburn Alert)
9 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Three years ago Fred Swan was a banker in Pinion City until he embezzled money and then faked a robbery to cover up his bad deed. He was soon convicted but the money, $33,750, was never found.

The entire town believed that his girlfriend, Iris McKay, knows where the money is located. The pressure was so great for Iris that she left the small town and moved to LA.

While in LA, Iris used the Paul Drake Detective Agency in order to clear her name. But the investigation never really lived up to the hopes of Paul or Iris.

Now Iris has received a note advising that Fred Swan had returned to Pinion City. She believes if she can talk with Fred she maybe able to clear her name. So she takes a trip back home and will be staying with her aunt Miss Sara McKay (played by the wonderful Josephine Hutchinson) to try to find out the truth about the missing money.

When she returns to Pinion City, she learns that Fred may be staying at a local campground but cannot find his true whereabouts. But she did learn that her aunt, a few years ago, had sent her a sealed folder to her LA apartment. Iris calls Perry's office, searching for Paul, in order to go to her apartment and retrieve the folder. When Perry and Paul get to the apartment the place has been ransacked and the folder missing.

Paul goes to Pinion City to meet Iris. While searching for her, he finds that Fred Swan has been murdered. And all the evidence gathered by the local police points to Iris as the suspect. She is soon charged with murder and Paul calls Perry to help defend her in the small town.

With an all-star guest cast that includes; Ms Hutchinson, Adam West, Malcolm Atterbury, Roy Roberts and Paul Fix-- along with good script-- we get a good mystery that when the credits roll we have more than one crime solved by the cross-examination from Perry Mason.

Even though the courtroom confession was rather typical, the storyline and the acting was first class. A good watch for any viewer.

NOTE- Watch the sideburns of Adam West and Roy Roberts. During the early part of the show, the sideburns are far below the ear. (Elvis style) But near the end of the show the sideburns are normal.

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