The Case of the Jealous Journalist
Airdate: Saturday, September 02, 1961
This page contains plot information, including
the resolution to the murder.
Enter at your own risk.
PlotAdam York, Prentiss York and Tilden Stuart are on a fishing trip in Canada, and are presumed missing when flash flooding hits the area where they were fishing. All three men are presumed to be dead when they are missing for over 5 days. Tilden Stuart is then found, and reports that the other two men are dead. Joe Davies, Adam York's nephew, is now managing The Los Angeles Chronicle, one of Adam York's papers. The Chronicle is in financial trouble, and until York's will is read, there is no clear owner. However, Davies is interested in keeping the paper in circulation, and continuing some of York's battles, including one on city annexation of the Garrick Flats area. Boyd Alison visits Davies and makes several inquiries about the financial health of the paper, and who the future owner will be. It is expected that Davies and his mother will inherit half of the stock in the paper, with the rest going to Seward Quentin and his family, whose only interest would be to sell their stock at the highest possible price. Alison offers Davies half a million dollars interest free for 60 days to keep the paper going, with only his stock in the paper as security. Kerry Worden, Prentiss York's step-daughter, also works for the paper, as the fashion editor. She is also dating Joe Davies. Kerry was left all of Prentiss' possessions in his will, which in actuality was not much. When Perry reads Adam York's will later that afternoon, he tells that the breakdown of the 100 outstanding shares of stock in the Chronicle will be divided as follows: Tilden Stewart, 10 shares (non-voting); the rest of the stock is divided equally among Adam's brother Prentiss, his sister Hope Quentin and her son Ralph, and to his sister Grace Davies and her son Joe. Since Prentiss did not survive, his shares are divided equally among the rest of the group. This sets in motion a disagreement between Hope and Grace as to whether to keep or sell the Chronicle. Hope wishes to sell the paper, but Grace wishes to keep the paper and operate it. Perry then mentions the last provision of the will, that the voting rights of the 10 shares given to Tilden Stewart rest with Joe Davies, and he is to be named publisher of the paper. In effect, this tilts the ownership of the paper towards Grace and Joe. When Ralph Quentin asks why Kerry Worden would not inherit Prentiss' claim to the paper, Perry says that since the brothers died simultaneously, Prentiss' family is not entitled to his shares under the will. At this point, Paul enters and informs Perry that according to evidence found, Prentiss York did outlive his brother Adam by at least a day. This means that Kerry Worden inherits the 18 shares of stock from Prentiss York. Later, at a get together that was supposed to announce the engagement of Kerry Worden to Joe Davies, Ralph surprises everyone by saying that Kerry will be marrying him instead of Joe. After this announcement, Steward Quentin announces that he is asking for a stockholders meeting to decide to approve the sale of the Chronicle. At this announcement, Joe blows up and tells Kerry that if he ever gets his hands on her, he'll kill her. Joe proceeds to get very drunk, and then visits Kerry's house. He breaks down the door, and after stumbling around in the dark and falling, is discovered by a neighbor holding a fireplace poker, and standing over Kerry's dead body. Next day in jail, Joe tells Perry that he does not remember anything that happened the night before. While trying to recall things, Joe remembers that he got a call from Kerry while at the bar, and told him that she wasn't planning on voting her shares with the Quentins. Perry gets Paul working on finding out the real story. In the meantime, Perry calls an emergency stockholder meeting for the Chronicle and obtains power-of-attorney for Joe Davies shares. Perry also wants the D.A. and Boyd Alison to be invited to this meeting. Perry meets with Tilden Stewart and Grace Davies to find out about the Garrick Flats area. He also meets Miriam Coffey, who is Joe's secretary. He has Miriam deliver the power-of-attorney statements to Joe in prison. At the shareholders meeting, the argument about selling the paper or keeping it is rekindled. However, at this time, Perry tells of the loan from Boyd Alison to keep the paper operational. Seward Quentin gets a little rankled when Alison states that if the loan is defaulted, his vote would be against the selling of the paper. Perry also gets Ralph to admit that Kerry called him and told him that she changed her mind about something. Before he can finish his statement, Seward tells him to shut up. This confirms Perry's suspicion that Kerry informed Ralph of her intention to not vote her stock with the Quentins. At this point, Burger enters the meeting. Perry attempts to point out that these little admissions take away the motive for Joe killing Kerry. Burger surprises Perry by mentioning her call to Boyd Alison, and that in Kerry's safe deposit box was a contract dated two days before the murder to sell her shares of the stock to Alison. The contract was signed by Alison, but not yet signed by Kerry. Alison then admits that he wanted to own and operate the paper himself, and would have gotten rid of Joe once his loan was defaulted. Once the trial starts, Burger lays the foundation for the circumstantial case against Davies. He talks to Tilden Stewart, who relates some very incriminating conversation bits. When Ralph is on the stand, Perry asks him about the pending relationship between himself and Kerry. Ralph indicates that all plans and proposals were discussed with Kerry by his father, Seward. Seward gets on the stand and recounts Joe's threat from the night of the engagement party; that he would kill Kerry if he got a chance. The bartender from the club where Joe was drinking that night tells of how he followed Joe from the club to Kerry's apartment because he was worried that Joe might do something bad. His time table of the phone call he made to Kerry at that point, along with the neighbor who discovered the murder, virtually pinpoint Joe as the murderer. Before Perry can cross examine the bartender, recess is called, which gives him some time to find the answers he needs. When Perry resumes his examination, he starts questioning the bartender to try to break down his testimony. He points to a picture of the crime scene to show that a busy signal on his phone call to Kerry was because the phone was off the hook. Boyd Alison is called to the stand and states his ambition to own and operate the paper. Perry begins his cross examination by asking Alison if he owns any newspapers. When asked about two specific papers from the Derrick Flats area, Alison denies directly owning them. Perry then shows a chain of ownership through several parent companies. Then he admits that he also made the offer to Quentin for selling the Chronicle, then withdrew it because he could get the paper cheaper with the loan to Joe. Perry then reveals that if the annexation was defeated, 100% of the land on the alternate site was owned by Alison, who stood to make a nice profit. He gets Alison flustered because Alison thinks he is trying to accuse him of the murder. When Perry recalls Tilden Stewart to ask him a few questions, it is revealed that Tilden bought some stock in the company owning the land of the alternate marina site. Perry wonders where he could have obtained the money for this. Perry then accuses Tilden of creating the masquerade that Prentiss survived his brother by carrying him through the woods and making it look like he had survived for a day or two after the accident. Tilden then breaks down and tells how he and Kerry made a deal to split the money from the sale of the newspaper if Tilden would set Kerry up to inherit using Prentiss York He breaks down and admits that he killed Kerry because he needed to have some time to get everything straight, and she was going to sell out. In the end, Joe maintains control of the paper and contiues to operate it, and the paper becomes very successful.