Perry Mason: Season 8, Episode 23

The Case of the Murderous Mermaid (18 Mar. 1965)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 52 users  
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Reggie Lansfield is an aspiring actress Paul meets. She is game for stunts that will get her recognized so she is game to fill in for a famous woman swimmer who is too ill to swim. The stunt blows up with the woman killed and her charged.



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Title: The Case of the Murderous Mermaid (18 Mar 1965)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Tragg (credit only)
Wesley Lau ...
Patrice Wymore ...
Victoria Dawn
Bill Williams ...
Charles Shaw
Jean Hale ...
Reggie Lansfield
Jess Barker ...
Doug Hamilton
Ben Lucas
Lee Bergere ...
Dr. George Devlin
Nan Leslie ...
Lillian Keely
Ron Gans ...
Ernie Craig (as Ron Kennedy)
Richard St. John ...


Reggie Lansfield is a beautiful young woman who is prepared to pull any stunt to get recognition and make a bit of money. Paul meets her when he rescues her from a failed parachute jump and later returns a bracelet to her. She's approached by representatives of Victoria Dawn, herself a champion swimmer and someone who made a name for herself by swimming from Catalina to the coast 10 years before. Once they've satisfied themselves as to her swimming ability, they tell Reggie that she is to impersonate Victoria and swim from Catalina. It's all a publicity stunt to get Victoria's name in the papers again. Reggie agrees but part way across the boat that's accompanying her blows up, though the operator, Charlie Shaw, is not seriously hurt. Clearly someone was meant to be killed in that explosion and when Victoria is found dead in her cottage at a rest home, Reggie is arrested. She was seen by a nurse jumping out of Victoria's window after coming to see Victoria to get her pay. Perry Mason ... Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

18 March 1965 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


At one point Paul Drake quotes his standard rate as $100.00 a day. After adjusting for inflation, this would be equivalent to about $725.00 a day in 2012 dollars. See more »

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User Reviews

Great acting makes this episode even better
7 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In this episode it was really not the story that made this a good watch, but the actors which transformed this script into a good show.

The plot of the episode involved an aging famed swimmer named Victoria Dawn (Patrice Wymore). Her star had faded and along with her husband Doug Hamilton (Jess Barker) and her sister Lillian Keely (Nan Leslie) they cook up this publicity stunt where she is to swim the Catalina Channel to in order to put her name back in the papers.

The problem was that Victoria was aged. She was out of shape and my no means able to swim 26 miles. So they cooked up this stunt where they hired a aspiring actress Reggie Lansfield (Jean Hale) to swim most of the way and then Victoria was going to swim the last mile or so.

While the swim was going on in deep fog (this was also planned) Reggie starts to drown and the Victoria's boy-Friday and boats-man jumps in the water to save her right before the boat explodes. The boats-man, Charles Shaw (Bill Williams) and Reggie are picked up by another boat and driven to west coast.

When Reggie believes that Victoria was planning to kill her she goes over to see her. When she enters the home, Victoria is murdered. And now, to make things even worse, she leaps outside a window only to be seen by a male nurse that she has to use her judo skills to get away.

And now she is charge with the murder of Victoria and Perry is there to defend her against Hamilton Burger's complainant.

The story is much more interesting that some of the later shows. But what makes this show come to life is the acting.- Patrice Wymore, who plays Victoria, performs greatly as the aging star. She reminded me of Betty Davis in some of her movies.(Patrice was the last wife of Errol Flynn)-Jean Hale, as Reggie, performance was as beautiful as her looks.- Bill Williams, the boats-man named Charles Shaw, performs his part perhaps better than it could ever had been acted. (Bill Williams is the husband of Barbara Hale (Della))

The acting sets this episode apart from others in season eight. A good watch with an interesting story.

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