Perry Mason: Season 5, Episode 16

The Case of the Shapely Shadow (6 Jan. 1962)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 52 users  
Reviews: 4 user

Janice Wainwright is a dedicated secretary to Morley Theilman who becomes concerned when she learns he is being blackmailed. Perry advises her to follow through with her instructions but it results in her being charged with his murder.



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Title: The Case of the Shapely Shadow (06 Jan 1962)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Rockwell ...
Cole B. Troy
Dorothy Green ...
Carlotta Theilman
Elaine Devry ...
Janice Wainwright
Barbara Lawrence ...
Agnes Theilman
Karl Held ...
George N. Neise ...
Morley Theilman (as George Neise)
Fred Carlyle (as James Callahan)
Ray Hemphill ...
Henry Battle
John Dennis ...
Lt. Sophia


Janice Wainwright has been Morley Theilman's secretary for several years now and when she finds a blackmail note in his waste paper basket, she seeks Perry's advice. Theilman asked her to put a locked suitcase in a locker at the bus station and she wants to know if she can open it to confirm her suspicions. Perry agrees and they find $100,000 in $20 bills inside. The case eventually disappears from the locker and Theilman is found dead in a subdivision he had been building with business partner Cole Troy. When Perry tries to find Janice it appears that she disappeared. Paul finds her in Las Vegas where they find her meeting Theilman's first wife and her brother at the rail station. Cole says he saw a shapely woman following Morley near his office who could be Janice, Morley's wife Agnes, or even his ex-wife Carlotta who has changed her appearance. Janice is charged with his murder and Perry defends her but her defense is extremely weak. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

6 January 1962 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is one of the rare cases where Mason has taken the trial to a jury (not a preliminary hearing) and uses that fact to his advantage against Burger. See more »


In the epilogue, it is strongly implied that Henry Battle was having a tryst with Janice Wainwright at the time of the murder. If so, why didn't he offer to testify and provide Janice with an alibi? See more »


Hamilton Burger: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Mr. Mason has indeed surpassed himself. He has created for you a story which is pure poppycock! - absolute and complete nonsense. The defendant in this case is a shrewd, scheming woman. She seduced her employer, she stole from him and finally she murdered him. And as for Mr. Mason's ridiculous theory about a hose, this is an *abandoned real estate office* we're talking about - the water's been shut off there for over a year - how can anyone possibly...
Perry Mason: Your ...
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User Reviews

Hamilton Burger sputtering
13 December 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Although the naiveté of Elaine Devry's character was a bit much to swallow and Perry Mason goes to great lengths to keep her off the stand this episode this episode is historic for one reason. Poor Hamilton Burger is left sputtering over the Mason trickery more than usual.

Devry comes to Raymond Burr with a suitcase that her boss gave her to deliver to some party. And she also has a blackmail note retrieved from her boss's trash. Afterward however boss George Neisse is murdered and the cops are looking at her.

There's a good collection of alternative suspects as Neisse was involved in a proxy fight to retain control of his company. But in the end William Talman is forced to call a witness that Burr wanted on the stand. This was after Talman was led into blurting out evidence not introduced in a summation and Burr motions for a mistrial.

The sight of a sputtering William Talman makes this episode memorable. Although Burr could easily have just called that witness for a defense he didn't present. But it wouldn't have been any fun.

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