Perry Mason: Season 2, Episode 11

The Case of the Perjured Parrot (20 Dec. 1958)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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The only witness to a rich man's murder is his parrot, who keeps repeating the suspect's name. But in court, everyone is surprised at what the bird says next. Perry does his magic at an informal coroner's Inquest in a rural area.



(teleplay) (as Marion Cockrell) , (story)
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Title: The Case of the Perjured Parrot (20 Dec 1958)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Hamilton Burger (credit only)
Lt. Tragg (credit only)
Coroner Andy Templet
Jody Lawrance ...
Ellen Monteith
Dan Barton ...
Richard Waid
Fay Baker ...
Stephanie Sabin
Robert Griffin ...
Fred Bascomb (as Robert E. Griffin)
Sheriff Barnes
Joseph Kearns ...
Criminologist Edward Langley (as Joe Kearns)
Jason Johnson ...
District Attorney Ray Sprague
Maurice Manson ...
Charles Sabin
Pamela Branch ...
Helen Watkins


Charles Sabin is a wealthy investor who has a rather gruff personality. He is leaving on a fishing trip to a remote cabin he owns but as he leaves he accuses his step-daughter Helen Watkins of stealing from him. He has a pet parrot Casanova who does a couple of tricks and parrots some funny answers. As he leaves he gives orders to his secretary Richard Waid to handle some tasks. Sabin is found dead in his cabin with a parrot saying Helen should turn over a gun. Sabin's wife Stephanie Sabin along with Helen visit Perry who handles some of Sabin's legal business for help. Perry visits the cabin where the Sheriff and a local teacher of criminology are interpreting the evidence. Perry notices a library book that leads him to the librarian Ellen Monteith who says she recently married Sabin making him a bigamist. Ellen is arrested while a Coroner's Inquest is called to determine cause of death. Coroner Andy Templet runs a very informal inquest where Perry re-interprets the evidence. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

20 December 1958 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

You'll be dizzy from all the twist in this Perry mystery
25 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A couple of things about this episode that is different from the norm. First the crime happens in a small town named Logan City, the hearing is at a coroner's inquest instead of a criminal court setting and a obnoxious parrot is called as a witness- these things make the episode quite different that we see in most Perry episodes. Then you add a rather confusing ending and the whole thing is more bizarre than ever thought.

It begins rather simple enough when a unlikable man named Charles Sabin blows his wife, Stephine, and his daughter in-law, Helen Watkins, off when they are not ready to go on a trip to the cabin. He is so mad that he says he is going by himself. He even accuses Helen of a crime that we later find out is forged checks. An all around poor guy.

Anyway later they find Charles Sabin dead and the parrot is walking around the room saying 'Helen put the gun down'. So you would think that Helen Watkins is the main suspect in this story. But it even gets more complicated.

Later we find out that supposedly Charles Sabin had just gotten married to a younger librarian named Ellen Monteith. (this would make Charles married to two women at one time) It gets bad for Ellen when they find some of her clothing at the cabin plus it was her gun that was the murder weapon. So Perry will be defending Ellen on what could become murder charges after the coroner's inquest.

During the informal inquest, headed by the country actor Edgar Buchanan, we get to hear some confusing testimony that will leave your head spinning from all the twist the writer tried to place. This was a really good mystery that was made too complicated by trying to throw suspicion on everyone in the cast. Only Perry Mason could have comprehended all the twisted testimony and finally saw one situation that would clear his client.

This episode ended is a way that seemed almost to complex until Perry has the court reporter read a person's testimony back to the inquest. Then the ball drops. But there is also one last twist left that will have the viewer discombobulated- but that is something that you will have to see.

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