Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Sleepy Slayer 

Bruce Jay works as a secretary for the old curmudgeon, Abner Gordon, who has promised him $50,000. When Abner is killed, the spotlight is on his niece at the beginning as she shot him. But he was dead beforehand, so Bruce is charged.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Tragg (credit only)
Phyllis Hill ...
Rachel Gordon
Doctor Lambert
Tracey Walcott
Phyllis Clover
John Napier ...
Bruce Jay
Charles Norman
Joan Tompkins ...
Sadie Norman
J. Edward McKinley ...
Harlan Farrell
Abner Gordon


Perry Mason defends Bruce Jay who is accused of killing his employer, Abner Gordon. Bruce had already spoken to Perry about $50,000 Abner owed him from an industrial accident some years before. The Gordon household is not a happy one. Abner Gordon was a crotchety old man who treated everyone around him very badly. He was constantly threatening to change his will and had only recently demanded that his niece, Rachel Gordon, who has spent 15 years of her life caring for him, return some money she had taken for her lover, Tracey Walcott. Abner's physician, Dr. Lambert, confirms the family situation to Perry. Rachel had a good deal of sympathy from the household staff including the butler, Charles Norman, and his wife, housekeeper Sadie Norman, as well as nurse Phyllis Clover. Rachel had actually put three bullets in the old man but it was subsequently determined that he had been dead for several hours when she shot him. They've also determine he had been killed with Jay's own medication. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

15 October 1964 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The last of 22 performances by Morris Ankrum as a Perry Mason judge. Ankrum died of trichinosis 43 days before this episode aired. See more »


A murder is committed by contaminating medicine with a toxic chemical. The chemical has the effect of discoloring the medicine, and there is never any explanation for why the nurse administering the medicine fails to notice this. See more »


[first lines]
Phyllis Clover: Mr. Gordon...
Abner Gordon: Well, don't stand there mumbling. Speak up. What do you want?
Phyllis Clover: It's time for your medication.
Abner Gordon: I don't want it.
Phyllis Clover: 'm sorry, Mr. Gordon, but Doctor Lambert insists you must have it.
Abner Gordon: Addlepated jackass!
See more »

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User Reviews

Medications are the key here
29 February 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

In this episode Raymond Burr gets as a client John Napier who is concerned about his legal position in regard to monies promised him by his employer. He is private secretary to a mean, miserly, millionaire played by Richard Hale. Napier and Hale's nurse Gigi Perreau would like to marry and leave, but Hale's got that whole household jumping at his command including among others his closest living relative Phyllis Hill who is his niece.

As often as not in the television Perry Mason episodes, Burr is sometimes retained as an attorney for other reasons by the one who is eventually accused. It's the case her and after initial suspicion fell on another individual Napier is arrested.

Of course he's innocent Perry Mason just don't defend guilty clients. But the key here is the various medications around and available to the perpetrator. It's a bit tricky and it's William Hopper's detective work that clinches this one.

Formula Perry Mason, but real good.

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