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In this episode, George Castle (Joe De Santis) plays a role where he is
liken to a 1930's mobster. He is tough, rude and will do anything to
advance his bank account even to the means of breaking the law. So when
he is murdered I can bet that no tears were shed. I think justifiable
homicide is more of a proper charge than murder.
Anyway this shady character is trying to shake down Stephanie Faulkner (Peggy McCay) by making her sell some Las Vegas property for far below value in order to pay for her dead father's debt. (Oh yes, He killed her father).
George Castle finally meets his end at a local motel just minutes before a visit by Stephanie. And for some silly reason, she just happens to have the murder weapon in her apartment when Lt Tragg makes his rounds.
She got the gun from a friend Michael Gavin Sr (Lyle Talbot) when he gave it to her for protection from Mr Castle. But there is a problem. Mr Gavin Sr owns three identical guns that he gives away like penny bubblegum. Thus Perry is left to defend Stephanie from the evidence presented by the district attorney's office.
While watching this episode you have to concentrate on the guns. At times it can be difficult but keep all eyes and ears open or you will not find the ball under the cup.
This episode needs more attention than most so it is not an easy watch. But if you 'hold-the-rope' till the end you will see one of the sweetest courtroom confessions in the entire 'Perry Mason' series. Not to mention the 'Harold and Maude' ending.
An unusual opening for this Perry Mason where gambler/racketeer Joe
DeSantis murders Russell Thorson. Raymond Burr's eventual client Peggy
McCay suspects DeSantis of killing her father and when DeSantis winds
up dead it's only natural that the police suspect McCay. They even find
a gun in her possession. Plus the fact that DeSantis was squeezing
Thorson pretty heavily for gambling losses in Las Vegas.
It's pretty obvious who murdered DeSantis as a motive is given with the character that's clear as a bell. The real trick here is that the weapon used was one of three identical revolvers that car dealer Lyle Talbot has in his possession. When we figure out who has the weapon and how one of them came to murder Thorson the mystery is solved.
But not one of the better mysteries.
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