The Case of the Dangerous Dowager
Airdate: Saturday, May 09, 1959
This page contains plot information, including
the resolution to the murder.
Enter at your own risk.
PlotSylvia Oxman has run up a large gambling debt. Danny Barker is trying to cash in on Sylvia's grandmother's (Matilda Benson) fortune with a little blackmail, or by selling the IOU's to Sylvia's husband Frank. Matilda already has found out about the IOU's and goes to Perry to try to retrieve them before they are given to Frank, who can use them in a custody battle for the Oxmans' son. Perry has Paul Drake open a bank account under the name of Frank Oxman and go to the club to attempt to get the IOU's. This confrontation provokes some disagreement between Barker and his partner, Charles Duncan. Later, Barker ends up dead, shot with a bullet from a gun registered to Sylvia. Perry has to unravel the circumstances to find out who really killed Danny Barker. During the ensuing investigation, bad feelings erupt between Arthur Manning, a "special officer" for the club and Charles Duncan when Manning attempts to threaten to provide information to the police about Duncan's and Barker's activities. During the trial, the circumstantial evidence is stacked up against Sylvia, which provides the motive, means and ability. Walter Cobb, a gas station owner near the club, testifies that Sylvia was in his gas station on the evening of the murder. He recognizes Sylvia for running out of gas and coasting into his station that evening. Perry is able to cast doubt on his memory due to the fact that he had never seen her before or since, and his station does a lot of business. However, a Dr. Caldwell is called to corroborate, and adds that Sylvia looked very distressed. Upon talking to Sylvia, Perry learns that Sylvia did take a gun to the club and confront Barker. Barker simply took the gun from Sylvia and told her to leave. Sylvia returned to the club later, saw the dead body, and took her gun to throw in a storm drain. After talking to Sylvia, Perry has the case solved, and confronts the real killer, Robert Benson. For a change, the resolution of the case did not take place in a courtroom confession. Robert killed Barker because he felt that Frank Oxman should have the IOU's in order to gain custody of his son, and keep him from being raised by Matilda Benson.