The Case of the Prudent Proecutor

Airdate: Saturday, January 30, 1960
Episode 83

TV Episode

Spoiler Alert

This page contains plot information, including the resolution to the murder.
Enter at your own risk.


Jefferson Pike shoots himself in the leg with Denver Leonard's gun to try to get Leonard thrown in prison. Hal Kirkwood agrees to helpget Leonard, not knowing that Pike shot himself. Pike works at a gun club, and it happens that Burger is a member. Burger is out for a visit and notices the injury and offers to help. Pike's son, Fred is an ex-skater from the Olympics. He is unable to skate anymore due to an auto accident. Leonard has a hold over Fred because Fred had forged Leonard's signatures on some checks used to pay his debts. Leonard is trying to hustle some money from Asa Culver by featuring his wife in a skating revue. In actuality, Leanard and Asa Culver are just trying to get the money rather than sponser a skating revue. Pike asks Burger for some help for his son. Since he needs a criminal lawyer, Burger calls on Perry and asks him to come out. When Perry gets there, he finds out that Jefferson is being questioned for Leonard's murder. Tragg is doing the questioning, and Pike is confessing. Burger relates the story of how Pike had saved his life in the past, which is why Burger is so interested in helping him. Burger wants Perry to represent Pike if he is brought up on charges. Perry talks to Pike to find out what really went on. Pike says that when he went to see Leonard, he was laying unconscious. Pike believed that his son had a run-in with him. Pike is indicted when Kirkwood tells the police where to look for the bullet from Leonard's gun that Pike used to shoot himself with. Then the murder weapon is found to be Leonard's shotgun, which has Pike's fingerprints on it. Since Burger has a close friendship with the defendant, he must disqualify himself from trying the case. Darryl Teshman, a special prosecutor is appointed to try the case. He begins to build the case against Pike. Kirkwood relates the story about the gunshot, and how Pike wanted to put Leonard in jail. Perry uses this to dig into the story, and question why Kirkwood was so helpful. He gets him to admit that he hated Leonard very much, and wanted to see Leonard taken care of if Pike wouldn't go through with it. When Asa Culver gets on the stand, Perry really questions his testimony. When Perry brings out the fact that his wife and Leonard had planned to run off together, she breaks down and tells the court that he was not in their room the night of the murder. While she is on the stand telling her story, Kirkwood confesses that he was the one that killed Leonard. It turns out that Kirkwood was trying to blackmail Leonard because he really thought that Leonard had shot Pike.


AccusedJefferson Pike
DeceasedDenver Leonard
Guilty PartyHal Kirkwood


When Tragg is questioning Pike initially, he threatens to send Perry away for interfering with an officer in the line of duty. As he is doing this, Burger walks up and says he is glad that Perry could make it up. The look of confusion on Traggs face is rather funny! During the cross examination of Asa Culver, the prosecutor makes an objection to Perry's line of questioning. Burger, sitting in the back of the court as a spectator, mumbles under his breath "Oh, sit down and be quiet." I'm sure that Burger was glad to see another prosecutor have a hard time with Perry in court, especially since his good friend was the one being tried. At the very end of the episode, Perry and Burger are sitting around at the club. Burger's last words are "You know, I think I won this case!" This is one of the times in the series where you get to see that even though they are rivals in the courtroom, Burger and Mason seem to have some respect and friendship for each other.