The Case of the Resolute Reformer
Airdate: Saturday, January 14, 1961
This page contains plot information, including
the resolution to the murder.
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PlotPeter Caine and Debbie Bradford are driving one evening after Peter had been drinking heavily. Peter hits a pedestrian and the two speed away from the scene. The next morning, Peter remembers what he did and calls Debbie. She tells him that the pedestrian, Joe Witt, is not dead, and that neither the police or Witt knows who hit him. Debbie informs Peter that there is a way to take care of things without bringing the police into it. The plan is to buy the Witt's ranch so that they can take care of things. William Harper Caine, Peter's father, is not very happy when he finds out that Peter bought a ranch that was not worth much. But before he could continue, he has to attend a committee meeting where a group of citizens, represented by Perry, is trying to get a stop work order and route change of an aquaduct being build by Caine. Roger Quigley is opposed to the stop work order because it will cause hardship and loss of money to his company. He also brings out the fact that the only possible alternate route for the aquaduct is through the property that was just bought by Peter. Caine tries to get Peter to tell him why he bought that property. Since it was a payoff for a hit and run, he cannot tell him. While they are talking, Debbie comes to see Caine. Before Debbie can come in, Peter spills his guts to his father. Debbie informs Caine that Witt will need more operations, which will cost a thousand dollars. She suggests that the check should be made out to her, to protect Caine. As the check is being handed over, Quigley and Charles Sistrom bust in and catch them in the act. Caine talks to Perry and tells him the whole story about the hit and run. Paul has been digging, and finds out that Quigley is very financially extended to build this aquaduct. Any delay will bankrupt the company. Perry and Paul decide to visit with Quigley. When they get there, they find Quigley dead, and Caine standing over him. Caine admits to Perry and Paul that he just shot him. Perry knows this is a lie, and tells him that the police won't buy it. Perry knows that Caine is covering up because he thinks Peter killed him. The next morning, Peter comes to see Perry. He tells Perry the whole story, and that he had seen Quigley the night before to explain the situation. Perry then goes to talk to Debbie about the accident. He also asks how Quigley could barge in and take pictures of Caine writing a check. While they are talking, Paul phones to tell Perry that there is no record of a Joe Witt being admitted to any hospital, and that Joe Witt had died three years before. He then deduces that Debbie staged the accident to try to get Caine. Sistrom barges in to try to protect Debbie, and tells Perry that the whole thing is engineered by Caine, to try to backrupt Quigley. When the trial begins, the prosecution brings out all of the circumstantial evidence that points to Caine. Lawrence Kent, who has been Caine's assistant for 20 years, is called to the stand and says that his report showed no underground springs in the region, and that he had recommended to Caine not to follow through with things. Grace Witt tells all about how the sale of her ranch was handled. Perry brings out the fact that she had not notified officials when her husband died, and that she forged her husband's signature on the deed. Perry deduces that Witt was in on the scheme from the beginning, with Bradform and Quigley. Peter gets on the stand and is forced to tell his story. Everything that he is forced to say implicates his father. The D. A. then calls Paul to the stand to tell what he saw when he and Perry discovered Quigley's body. This implicates Caine further. Perry declines to question either of them, but begins to figure out what really happened. Once Debbie gets on the stand, she immediately lies. She claims that there was no accident and the thousand dollars was a bribe so that she would back up the accident story. Perry rips into the story by showing that Sistrom and Debbie were very good friends, and that she had been doing a lot of business with Quigley's business. She then admits that she and Sistrom are engaged, and that Sistrom would become an equal partner when the aquaduct was completed. Perry shows that the two, along with Quigley, were the ones that framed Peter in the accident, and the blackmail of Caine. Perry then implies that she or Sistrom had a definite motive to get rid of Quigley. Debbie claims she was driving in an all night sports car rally, and that she was alone in a car, and nobody saw her except at the checkpoints. Since the course was set, and the checkpoints are timed, she appears to have a good alibi. When she recites the times that she stopped at the checkpoints, and Perry corrects her. He points out that the route took her very close to where Quigley lived, and that by detouring, she could have went to Quigley's house, killed him, and then got back to the checkpoints at the actual times that were registered. Perry interrupts his questioning to question Lawrence Kent again. Perry has found out that Kent lives along the route that Debbie must have travelled to get to Quigley's house. Perry asks him if he saw Debbie drive by on the night of the murder. He says that he did, and that Debbie was driving. Perry then tells him that Debbie actually did drive the official route, and he must have been mistaken. Now that he was found out, Perry begins to get tough, and gets Kent to admit that he killed Quigley, and wanted Caine to get the blame, because Caine was going to recommend someone else to take over.
|William Harper Caine|