Jack Culross decides to fake his suicide to increase the value of his paintings. His wife leaves the country so he is able to finish his unfinished work with the assistance of his agent. His wife returns only to be charged with his murder.
Jack Culross is an artist who decides that the best way to increase the value of his work is to fake his own death. His art dealer and partner in the scheme, Austin Durrant, arranges to buy what bits and pieces are left in his studio from the man's 'widow', Edna as she is moving to her home in Panama. When several months later she hears about her husbands paintings up for sale, she returns with her brother to find a painting hanging in Durrant's gallery of what was at the time of her husband's death an incomplete painting, she assumes fraud and consults Perry Mason. Perry and David Gideon check out the painting which has been sold with a thermocouple which confirms it was finished after Jack's suicide. The case becomes one of murder when Jack Culross' body is discovered after he has called Edna and the fake suicide is revealed. Edna is charged with murder and Perry defends her. Written by
Oh Dr. Kenyon, you were so right! Everything you said in your column was the truth. Culross is so, so chic. I've already bought his "Moonscape" and "Tenement Shadows." Can you suggest a third? You see, the wall will hold three if the frames are small.
Dr. Vincent Kenyon:
Well, I think his "Perspective in Black" might be just the thing. Over there, before anyone else gets it.
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If Francisco Goya had been able to fake his death and stick around for a while with a Swiss bank account for his sales, how rich do you think he could get? Or Picasso, or Matisse, or Toulouse Lautrec? Just simple supply and demand when you're dead the supply ceases.
But Britt Lomond with the help of gallery owner Stu Erwin has a scheme to fake his own death and paint some more pictures and clean up. He may be an artist of great talent, but he's got a character rotten to the core.
It's wife Lori March who thought she was a widow who Raymond Burr has to defend and there's a whole lot of alternative suspects provided in this episode.
Young Karl Held clerking in the Perry Mason law office helps a great deal with a test that can tell how old a painting actually is and apparently can do it within days.
Lomond was an actor who played some nasty characters. He was a bloodthirsty General Custer in Tonka and he was the Commandante of the city of Los Angeles in Zorro and his mortal enemy. He's the equal of those two here.
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