Elderly motel owner Ethel Cary is violently assaulted during an attempted robbery of her unbanked life's savings. The evidence all points to motel guest Roger Taylor, but both Taylor and Mrs. Cary pass lie detector tests. Mrs. Cary's nephew Henry is loudly insistent that Taylor is the perpetrator and motel guest Wilbur Morgan makes a point of volunteering information and additional evidence that would seem to implicate Taylor. However, Taylor passes a second lie detector test after Mrs. Cary is again assaulted and her savings are taken. Dan Mathews deduces that Henry and Wilbur Morgan must be involved and he sets a trap by asking Henry to take a lie detector test himself. Written by
Polygraph testing was still a young science in 1956 and it is interesting to note that the (surprisingly) portable lie detector used in this episode does not produce a graph that documents the subjects' reactions. Dan Mathews administers the tests himself and simply observes the movements of a needle. See more »
Many persons are convicted of crimes on the basis of a positive identification by another person. Law enforcement agencies rely heavily on this type evidence. Early on the morning of August tenth, Mrs. Ethel Carey, owner of a motel, went through her usual routine of starting another day, a day in which she would find it necessary to positively identify her first visitor.
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An elderly motel owner is assaulted in a robbery attempt. She identifies one of the guests, Roger Taylor, as the man who assaulted her - clearly her identification is based on the hat and coal the culprit wore which were proved to be Taylor's. Taylor insists he's innocent and agrees to take a lie detector test, which he passes as does the motel owner. Mathews totes the detector around and administers the tests himself. It's pretty obvious who the real bad guy is and fortunately he's dumb enough to try to rob the owner again and place the blame on Taylor via a confederate. Fortunately, Mathews isn't dumb and nabs the culprits. The whole business with the lie detector was interesting but kind of sketchy. Call Northside 777 was better in explaining how detectors worked. The fellow who played Taylor (Jonathan Hole) also was in a Perry Mason episode and has perfect servile clerk mannerisms and look.
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