A young cop in the mist of inexperience decides to plant a gun on a victim that he had shot from 30 feet away. At first Quincy doubts the officers story but then finds out that not ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Garry Walberg ...
John S. Ragin ...
Joseph Roman ...
Officer Peter O'Neil
Mark Lambert ...
Officer James Wells
Roger Bowen ...
Stereo Store Owner
D.A. Jerry Douglas
Nora Heflin ...
Charlotte Crocker
Joseph Gallison ...
TV News Director
Carl Matthews
Ron Gans ...


A young cop in the mist of inexperience decides to plant a gun on a victim that he had shot from 30 feet away. At first Quincy doubts the officers story but then finds out that not everything he has said was a lie. Through his investigative techniques, he finds out that the "30 feet away" part of the officers story is true and he is set to prove it. Written by Tony A.

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Drama | Mystery | Crime




Release Date:

30 September 1977 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the final scene, both Dr Asten and Quincy refer to a cause of death as "SchistoMOSiasis." The actual condition is a parasitic infestation called SchistoSOMiasis, aka bilharzia or snail fever. See more »

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User Reviews

Quincy channels Adam-12
18 August 2015 | by See all my reviews

A Dead Man's Truth starts off with police officers James Wells (Mark Lambert) and Pete O'Neil (Dabney Coleman) responding to a silent alarm at an electronics store. When they enter the dark building, the burglar suddenly emerges ignoring the warnings of Officer Wells and the young officer shoots at him from a distance killing him. Quincy is called to the scene by a nervous Monahan who wants everything handled properly since this involves a police shooting death and there is a pushy reporter on hand claiming that the police department has been engaging in cover-ups to protect their own. When Quincy conducts his analysis and autopsy, his findings contradict part of Officer Wells' story leading him to break down and admit that he planted the gun on the burglar after he couldn't find one at the scene. Other facts don't add up leading Quincy to investigate further to determine how the burglar was really killed.

One thing that really struck me in the opening scenes of this episode is how much it resembled the series Adam-12 to the point where I was wondering if they had borrowed some of the footage. You have the older, experienced cop and the younger one patrolling together at night and even riding in the same make/model patrol car they used for Adam-12 in the later seasons. I think I even remember a similar plot on an Adam-12 episode where Officer James Reed came under fire after being involved in a questionable police shooting.

Those similarities aside, I would say that this is a fair episode that does feature a murder investigation and maintains relevance to this day as the conduct of police shootings remains a very hot button topic. There are a few technical problems which make aspects of the plot improbable, but I won't go into detail on that so nothing is spoiled for anybody.

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