Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Watery Witness 

Sleazy detective Fred Bushmiller questions movie actress Lorna Thomas whether she gave birth 25 years earlier to a daughter who was put up for adoption. George Clark pushes his wife Betty to see if she is Lorna's long-lost daughter.


Richard Kinon


Erle Stanley Gardner (characters created by), Jackson Gillis

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
William Talman ... Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg
Fay Wray ... Lorna Thomas
Douglas Dick ... Fred Bushmiller
Malcolm Atterbury ... Dennis Briggs
Lester Vail ... Tony Raeburn
Dusty Enders Dusty Enders ... Betty Clark (as Dusty Anders)
John Bryant John Bryant ... George Clark
Kathryn Card Kathryn Card ... Harriet Snow
Charles J. Conrad Charles J. Conrad ... Judge
Ned Glass ... Mr. Smith
Pat Moran Pat Moran ... Court Clerk


After confronting Fred Bushmiller coming out of Lorna Thomas' home, George Clark seeks Perry Mason's help in helping him confirm that his wife Betty, who was given up for adoption in infancy, is in fact the daughter of famous movie star Lorna Thomas. Perry isn't very helpful pointing out that under the law, a child that is given up for adoption has no legal redress against a biological parent. Private eye Fred Bushmiller is also trying to establish Betty Clark's connection to Lorna but only has his own personal gain in mind. Lorna is hoping to make a comeback but has just decided to postpone her new movie, leaving producer Tony Raeburn in a lurch. With persuasion from her husband George, Betty visits Lorna to confront her interrupting Lorna's meeting with Tony. Lorna spurns Betty's request denying any connection. When Lorna is subsequently found dead, there is no shortage of suspects. One of her bracelets is found stuffed in the seat of George's car. It's George Clark however who is ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

insurance | cement | ice | fence | denial | See All (21) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

10 October 1959 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Fay Wray was the first actress to star in the King Kong movies. See more »


The records stating the date of the adoption is given as February 17, 1935, but it would seem unlikely, as official documents are made during working weekday hours, and this date was a Sunday. See more »


Mr. Smith: Like the man said: for stones I'm an elephant, but for faces? Oh, faces... Faces to me is like cockroaches. I don't know the difference one from another.
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User Reviews

An aging actress is killed for money but by whom?
24 May 2013 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

This episode must have been reduced from a book since the title of the episode had nothing to do with the actual situation in the show. Perhaps, due to time restraints, portions were cut that would have revealed a more close relation to a 'watery witness' but had to be cut for TV sake as there was reference to a boat ride.

However, in this show we are treated to the gorgeous Fay Way playing Lorna Thomas, a movie star that has seen better days. She is set to begin a new movie produced by an old friend named Tony Raeburn. But just when things look like they are looking up, Ms Thomas gets a visit by a woman named Betty Clark advising that she is her daughter that was abandon years ago. Ms Thomas throws her out of the house right in front of her personal maid Harriet Snow.

Later Harriet goes to check on Ms Thomas only to find her dead. And with help from fingerprints it reveals that Betty Clark's husband, George, was in the house and also has jewelry in his car that belongs to Ms Thomas. Perry will be called in to swim against the current as he tries to find the true murderer.

This episode was a classic who-done-it as we get a show full of characters that had some motive for the killing. It will be near the end that Perry finds out that one witnesses made a slip-up in testimony. When he asks the reporter to read back part of the mornings testimony- the true person is exposed. And we get those three words, "I killed her", to end the show with satisfaction. Good watch

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