Dan Mathews and his officers discover the murder of a forest ranger who reported the possible crash landing of a small plane. They learn that the plane's owner is racketeer Harry Barlow and that he is accompanied by his wife and pilot Steve Wasson. They confront Barlow's group and learn that they are there to pay $100,000 in ransom for the return of the Barlowes' daughter Virginia. Dan knows that someone in the group is guilty of murder and suspects that the guilty party may be Wasson. His suspicions increase further when the kidnappers turn out to be two of Barlow's employees and Wasson volunteers to be taken as a hostage. Dan permits the kidnappers and their "hostage" to leave the ransom scene, but the surprised felons soon find themselves in an armed confrontation with Dan and his officers. Written by
The $100,000 ransom in 1956 had the same purchasing power as $789,000 in 2009 dollars. See more »
The plane spotted by the ranger had a low wing configuration- the wing was below the cockpit. The plane spotted by Matthews on the ground had a high wing configuration, so 2 different planes were used for this footage. See more »
Not every crime in which the Highway Patrol is involved takes place in a car or on a highway. On the seventh of November, a case began when a forest ranger sighted a small airplane flying at a dangerously low altitude over the Ridgeway State Forest area and alerted the Highway Patrol for possible emergency aid.
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In Eagle Rock (a small Los Angeles-area community), chief Broderick Crawford (as Dan Mathews) and officer pal Guy Williams (as Barney) discover an abandoned plane and, nearby, a dead forest ranger. These mysteries lead Mr. Crawford to racketeer Mack Williams (as Harry Barlowe), his high-strung wife Helen Brown (stealing the episode, as Ellen), and private pilot Richard Newton (as Steve Wasson). Criminals in the 1950s might have noted how Ms. Brown, due to her gender, did not have the same "pat down" search as the men in her group. The trio are trying to solve a mystery of their own, involving crooked entrepreneur Bob Hopkins (as Eddie Cooper). Crawford must put these puzzling, seemingly disconnected situations together in less than thirty minutes...
***** Plane Crash (3/5/56) Leon Benson ~ Broderick Crawford, Helen Brown, Richard Newton, Mack Williams
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