Perry Mason: Season 1, Episode 16

The Case of the Demure Defendant (4 Jan. 1958)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 111 users  
Reviews: 3 user

Nadine, a demure young woman, confesses to her psychiatrist on tape under a truth serum that she poisoned her uncle. Evidence has been tampered with and planted, and Perry is in hot water as the police believe he is responsible.



(based on the novel by), (teleplay), 1 more credit »
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Christine White ...
Nadine Marshall
Capt. Hugo
Fay Baker ...
Marian Newburn
Walter Coy ...
Lester Newburn
Barry Atwater ...
Dr. Robert Denair - Psychiatrist
Sherwood Price ...
John Locke
Alexander Campbell ...
Martin Wellman
Morris Ankrum ...
Connie Cezon ...
Gertie Lade (credit only)
Maurice Manson ...
Dr. Granby


Young Nadine returns home with a gift for Capt. Hugo and a surprise - she is engaged to John Locke. Hugo tells her she should tell her uncle Martin Wellman. The cantankerous uncle tells her she can't get married and has her look at papers he threatens to show her fiancé. Nadine visits Locke in his lab where she steals some potassium cyanide pills while he is distracted. When she returns home, Martin is asking for his nightly hot chocolate. He has just told his other relative Marian Newburn and her husband Lester that they too have been cut out of his will. Nadine takes Martin his drink and is summoned again later to find him dying saying he was poisoned. Nadine goes under the care of a psychiatrist who recorded her confession under a truth serum. She says she poisoned her uncle and threw the evidence in a lake. The doctor takes the recording to Perry who talks to Nadine but soon finds himself the target of the police for interfering with evidence when he has a boy look for the bottle ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

truth serum | lake | doctor | boy | cyanide | See All (16) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

4 January 1958 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The killer's identity is not revealed until the epilogue. See more »

Crazy Credits

The Paul Hahn character is officially credited as 'Ballistic's Man', needless apostrophe and all. See more »

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User Reviews

Good who done it show..
6 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is another good episode from season one and this just happens to be the first show from 1958.

It involves a sweet girl named Nadine (Christine White) who is a niece of a terrible old ogre named Uncle Martin Wellman (Alexander Campbell). When she tells her uncle that she is engaged to John Locke, he becomes upset basically telling her that she was no good and shows her some paperwork (we do not know what is in those papers at that time) but it makes her cry.

Her uncle has made her feel so bad that she is thinking about suicide and places some poison pills in her purse. However the poison gets into her uncle's milk and the old man dies. Later she goes to a shrink that gives her some 'truth serum' and she says she killed Uncle Martin. And Perry is defending her with a wide range of evidence against her.

There are bottles, tapes and lead shots all over the courtroom which makes the case interesting. Just when you think you know who killed Uncle Martin you find out that you were wrong.

This is a good watch for us Perry viewers. Even if we know that a confession under doctor induced drugs could never be introduced into evidence in any courtroom.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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