Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Spurious Sister 

Bruce and Marie Chapman have marital trouble because of her compulsive gambling. After Bruce cuts off her funds and leaves town, Marie blackmails her former husband and his wife, Walter and Helen Sprague. He returns to find her dead.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Drake
Hamilton Burger
Lt. Tragg
Karl Weber ...
Mary LaRoche ...
Grace Norwood (as Mary La Roche)
Marion Marshall ...
Ginny Hobart
Helen Sprague
Marie Chapman
Ralph Hibberly
Greg Evans
Walter Sprague
Judge (as John Launer)
Charles Davis ...
Hotel Clerk


Bruce Chapman is fed up with his wife Marie's lavish spending, especially her addiction to gambling. Just as he is leaving on a 6 week business trip, he tells Marie that she will be on an allowance of $50 a week. She threatens to divorce him and he suggests she think about what is more important to her. Marie is desperate for $2000 and puts pressure on her ex-husband Walter Sprague and his new wife Helen to come up with the cash. Helen agrees to meet her at their summer cabin at 9:00 pm where Helen is discovered by a neighbor who is riding his horse. They find a note from Marie who does not show. When Bruce returns early from his trip, he finds that his wife is in Las Vegas and has filed for divorce. He contacts Perry about the implications of the divorce on his will and for general advice as he plans to pay her the $25,000 she asked for as a settlement. When he goes to his weekend cabin, however, he finds Marie strangled. It's up to Perry to sort through the case that involves false ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

3 October 1959 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Beginning with this episode and continuing for the balance of the third season, the series reverted to the first season practice of showing pictures of sponsors' products in the closing credits. See more »


The back of Karl Weber's jacket is covered with loose strands of grass when his character meets Lt. Tragg on a grassy hillside. Presumably Weber fell onto his back earlier, and his jacket wasn't swept off. See more »


[first lines]
Bruce Chapman: [dictating to secretary] And since I'm flying out tonight on a buying trip to the Orient, I've left full instructions with my staff to process your orders as you specify. Uh, warmest personal regards. Sign it "Bruce".
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User Reviews

Perry is up against a dead woman signing divorce papers.
23 May 2013 | by See all my reviews

When this episode finally gets to the climax of the mystery, we get a confession, after thinking, did not really makes sense but we take it for TV sake. Someone on the witness stand is caught in a lie it will bring the entire house of cards down and we hear those three little words, "I killed her".

The story is rather complicated since it involves four women, especially in B&W, looking very similar. Marie Chapman is the murder victim in this episode as she is killed at a cabin in a rural part of LA county. She and her husband, Bruce Chapman, have been having trouble due to Marie's gambling habit. And as Mr Chapman is leaving on a trip he tells her that he wants a divorce. Later Marie is found dead and Mr Chapman has a pile of evidence pointing to him as the killer.

But here is the rub, later Mr Chapman, after having information that his wife was killed, receives a divorce degree from a lawyer in Las Vegas asking for a divorce and it is signed by Marie Chapman. Someone has posed as Marie in Las Vegas and is trying to blackmail Mr Chapman. But with three other women, that all look similar to Marie, may also have a motive for murder.

Perry will defend Mr Chapman through a long session of courtroom examinations. And through these examinations, Perry will work his magic until the real murderer is clumsy caught in a lie and then confesses to the crime. Not one of the better shows but an episode that makes you watch just to see who was posing as a dead woman for a divorce settlement.

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