Updated Casey, Crime Photographer Log

An updated log of the series is now available. It is a 13-page PDF. DOWNLOAD


It is in spreadsheet format and identifies all of the repeated uses of scripts that the series had, far more than anyone had previously suspected.

An online spreadsheet can be viewed with this link. It can be downloaded in multiple spreadsheet formats for Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) and Open Document Format for spreadsheets in LibreOffice and OpenOffice (.ods).

1949-03-03 You are the Killer (not in circulation; an episode based on a real event)

This is an interesting side story about a Toni-era program that is missing. It's You are the Killer broadcast on March 3, 1949. It's the only Casey that I have found that is drawn from a real life news story.

These are the ADC continuity notes for the episode:
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 8 1949-195

This is the CBS press release:
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 8 1949-196

These are clips for the episode:

1949-03-03 Pittsburgh PA Post-Gazette
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 8 1949-199


1949-03-03 Minneapolis MN Star
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 8 1949-200

This was one of those situations where I stumbled on the entire story by accident. I've even forgotten the specifics of what I was originally searching for!

This is the clip that sent me exploring... the photographer mentioned is Pat Candido of the New York Daily News.

1949-02-27 Sioux City IA Journal
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 8 1949-197

Pat tells the story to Popular Photography magazine.

1949-05 Popular Photography
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 8 1949-198

This is the news story behind it. A crazed man shoots a priest hearing confessions. The priest is shot in the leg and survives. Cole changes the story to a judge and makes some other adjustments.

This is some of the original NYDN coverage.

1949-01-30
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 8 1949-201

1949-02-11
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 8 1949-202

What became of Alonzo Deen Cole after the revival series went off the air?

What became of Alonzo Deen Cole after the revival series went off the air?

He was a pioneer radio performer and writer, with one of radio's biggest successes of the 1930s, Witch's Tale. When that series ended, he worked mainly as a scriptwriter, and picked up the Casey gig after the series had a very rocky start and righted its course. His fixes worked, and the series became very popular. Once it had its first sponsor after three years of sustaining broadcasts, the series became one of radio's top programs.

The 1940 Census shows Cole as earning $5000 annually, about $95,000 in 2020 US dollars, which is modest income, but very good for the Depression era at a time when the average industrial worker earned $1350. When Casey was in its heyday, Cole was making $25,000 a year ($250,000 in today's dollars). Once the show ended, he never attained similar success.

These are the places he lived over the years with current pictures. Cole always lived modestly in terms of his housing.

1930: This is an apartment building in 477 W 140th & Amsterdam Ave in New York City. This was prior to Witch's Tale. He lived with his in-laws.
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 477_w_10

1940: The Coles, and his widowed mother-in-law, lived in an apartment building in Mt Vernon, NY just north of Bronx and Manhattan. It was an easy train ride into Grand Central Station.
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 Where_10

1949: The Coles moved into their own house in Scarsdale, NY, in the Town of Greenburgh. Scarsdale was an upscale mailing address, and still is today, though the home is modest in size. It was a popular area among executives and office workers for its train service into Manhattan. This is the home where he had his gun incident.
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 Where_11
In 1955, Cole divorced his wife Marie, with whom he acted in Witch's Tale. He remarried and moved to Connecticut. This is further away from New York City. It is odd to think about it now, but Connecticut was considered to be a tax haven at the time for high earners who commuted to New York City. Since he was working at home, he did not have to go to the city often.
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 Where_12

After the revival of Casey went off the air, Cole had difficulty getting work. He had many proposals for television series that did not work out.

In 1958, a syndicated television series of Witch's Tale was proposed, and never entered production. In the same year, Cole and his second wife, have a daughter, Cole's only clild.

Cole's lack of progress in the new landscape of television and other opportunities must have weighed on him greatly. In 1960, he has a failed suicide attempt. He is found in time, and returns home after his hospital recovery.
1960-09-30 Bridgeport CT Post
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 1960-024

This is where Cole tried to commit suicide. It's about a 10 mile drive from the Newtown home. (full map)
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 Lake_z10


1961 A pilot "The Devil's Hands" was produced for a proposed UK Witch's Tales television series. The series did not materialize.

In the early 1960s, Cole moved to the Glendale suburb of Los Angeles, in hopes of having better access to television and movie writing opportunities. He submitted scripts for The Munsters and other programs, with no success.

Cole dies in 1971, at home, of a heart attack. He was 74 years old. His grave is in Glendale at  
Grand View Memorial Park  https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/47485069/alonzo-deen-cole

Even after death, he could not find a market for his work. In 1974, Viacom bought the rights to produce television programs based Witch's Tale scripts, but never acted on them. In 1981, the rights were on the market again, with no takers.

In Siegel & Cox, pp. 27-28, a letter to Dave Siegel by Cole's daughter recollects her years with him. She was born well after her father's successes, and only knew his post-radio struggles.

1954-01-20 Source of Information

Source of Information is the second of the revival series and uses Casey's soft spot in his heart for long-serving newspaper veterans, especially if they're hard on their luck. In this case, it's old journalist Grove who has borrowed money from Casey many, many times in the past. Casey's tired of his generosity and respect for the paper's old-timers being taken for granted. Grove's notes for his expose of generations-long corruption in the city government are stolen, and Grove is murdered. Casey springs into action. It's an entertaining listen with an unlikely ending, a less than average episode.

This is the final circulating episode of the series; the 60 broadcasts that followed are likely to never be found.

There are no continuity notes or newspaper clippings for this episode.

1:00 Grove Snyder comes into the photo department and starts a conversation with Casey, who's not really happy to see him. Grove owes him about $200 ($1,950 in 2020 dollars). Grove's been writing a memoir of his decades as a journalist. He's been talking about this work as long as people at the Morning Express have known him, but has never shown anything of it to them. Now that his career is coming to a close, he's been working more feverishly at it. He's finished half of his memoirs, but the document was stolen and his apartment ransacked. Even though his journalistic ethics about not revealing his sources are solid, it is likely the document was stolen because someone feared their identity would be revealed.

3:12 Key line about the corruption on which the solution rests: "Sons even sold out their own fathers and mothers."

4:40 Casey gives Grove $5 ($48 in 2020 US dollars) and a lead on some freelance work. Grove is so depressed that he says nothing of value was ever stolen from him.

5:40 Ann and Ethelbert reinforce the idea that Casey was a sap for Grove, and that his reputation was sullied by his alcoholism. They don't really believe that there are memoirs.

7:30 Logan calls the Blue Note: Grove was shot and killed.

9:10 Grove's apartment is on 90th Street, another street name that indicates New York as Boston does not use street numbers in the way Manhattan did.

11:40 The police find a torn paper with the words "ulty case has been broken" in a hiding place in the floorboards. Grove was hiding his manuscript there. They also find a loaded die for playing a crooked game of craps. Logan remembers it's a trademark of a hitman named "Hialeah Sam" who always has loaded dice with him.

14:08 Logan gets a call in the middle of the night that Hialeah Sam was found "shot in the back and tossed out of a car," and the other loaded die was in his pocket.

16:15 Casey forms his theory of the case. Why was Hialeah Sam killed? He was hired to kill Grove and get the manuscript. Because Grove was out of the apartment at the time, Sam started to read the manuscript and realized the purpose of the hit of Grover. Sam likely tried to blackmail the person who hired him. With Sam dead, how could Casey and Ann figure out who arranged the hit on Grover? Casey has an idea that the secret is in the reporting that Grove did early in his career, which sends them into the newspaper morgue to read Morning Express submissions that cover the era 1915 to 1935.

17:28 There's a great line for Ethelbert here as Casey and Ann head off, that the years they'll be investigating were "the good old days." He suddenly realizes those included the years of Prohibition!

18:00 Casey finds the story of a gang war over bootlegging and a killing similar to the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. The line on the paper scrap "ulty case" referred to the "McNulty case" and the "McNulty Massacre." The event sent John Keston to jail where he died. The phrase Grove uttered about sons selling out their fathers, leads Casey to remembering that Keston had a son.

20:52 Casey visits Keston's son, now a very wealthy adult in his early 50s. He inherited millions from his father. He confronts him about the killing of Grove and the hiring of Hialeah Sam. Casey tells him that Grove kept a carbon copy of the manuscript (it's a ruse... and it works).

23:59 There's a gun in the room: "Is that the gun you used on Hialeah Sam?" Suddenly, gangster Ziggy Friedlander, a contemporary of Keston's father and recently released from prison, enters the room. He's seeking revenge for an old grudge from the Prohibition days.

25:23 Friedlander kills Keston, but spares Casey because he's respected by the criminals because he plays by the rules. Friedlander surrenders to Casey, willing to go back to prison because of his old age and that he does not have many more years to live.

Grover never used carbon paper out of his habit developed from being in a high-pressure newspaper environment. They always pressed against deadlines for the upcoming edition. Reporters typed their stories and were immediately passed to a copy editor for markup and then sent into production to typesetting. Carbon paper is still manufactured but has mainly disappeared and is limited to small specialty applications. The history of it is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_paper

The constant talk about a memoir that might not exist reminded me a little of the Stanley Tucci film Joe Gould's Secret. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Gould%27s_Secret_(film) It turns out that Grover did have manuscript, where Gould just kept leading people on and we never know for certain if there was a workable manuscript or not or just a compilation of lunatic ravings.

Casey 54-01-20 369 Source of Information UPGRADE.mp3
Degoo https://app.degoo.com/share/qXsYA2jmM1VkBF
hubiC http://ovh.to/W2gGs9z
More information about Teddy Wilson...

1955-03-02 CBS Press Release
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 1955-014

1954-01-13 The Road Angel

Road Angel is the first of the revival series and is a below average Casey presentation. The broadcast is  interesting, however, for its use of the original show opening from the early sustaining years and how the characters are introduced to the audience through dialogue. Off the radio for 37 months, the listening audience had changed dramatically, with many new listeners who needed to be familiar the characters, and returning listeners who needed to be refreshed (and perhaps de-programmed from the different characterizations of the television series). The big band flourishes of the Anchor-Hocking period are long gone, and the lusher orchestral arrangements of the Philip Morris era are replaced by organ music, a staple of early radio and always of soap operas. The revival could be viewed as a step down in show quality, which it was, but it also reclaimed the innocence of earlier years of both radio drama in general and Casey in particular.

There are no continuity notes for any of the revival series, nor are there any episode-specific news clippings.

1:10 Casey says hi to cops Charlie, Pete, Frank, and there is a group greeting in return. No clue why those names were picked by Cole, but they usually have some meaning to staff and others.

1:25 The murder victim (Pierce) has been shot with a .38; he was a sales representative, shot by a hitchhiker.

2:45 We hear Teddy Wilson for the first time in the drama portion of the program; he played along with Lew White's organ music at the show open. Ethelbert answers the phone "Blue Note Cafe, Ethelbert the Bartender speaking." New listeners get an intro to the character and the location.

3:15 Ethelbert asks Walter for a cup of coffee (for Casey) and to bring up more olives. Olives? Martinis, though a drink with a long history, had a surge of popularity in the mid-1950s; and this may have been a nod to that. Walter has no response. We do hear the sound effects of the coffee being delivered at 3:36.

4:55 Logan has fingerprints from the car of a known criminal, Flagler. It's a false lead.

6:10 Casey would like to take a ride to Clinton County to get away from things. This is another indicator that Casey's locale is New York City. The county is along the west shore of Lake Champlain and borders Canada. This was a popular area for summer homes on the lake or in the Adirondack Mountains. In the center of the county is the town of Dannemora, known for a 2015 prison escape that made national headlines and became a 2018 Showtime feature directed by Ben Stiller. It is one of the more remote parts of New York state, 300 miles from New York City, so it is unlikely that a pleasure trip for an afternoon would even be possible. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Clinton_Correctional_Facility_escape

10:00 Casey considers a theory of the case that Pierce survived a botched holdup by Flagler, but would pick up another hitchhiker if it was a woman, especially an attractive one.

11:40 Hite announces that On Stage is coming back in a new time slot; Casey has taken its time slot. The program, which starred Elliott and Cathy Lewis, resumed in early February.

12:30 Casey is up in Ardmore, described as "upstate." There is no such town in New York or New England.

13:15 Casey stops for gas after four days of picking up woman hitchhikers with no success in attracting the killer.

14:05 Casey gives his business card to the gas attendant in case he hears of anything about the hitchhiker. The attendant recognizes the name as the photographer for crime pictures. He mentions the Pierce killing; he knew Pierce as a regular customer. Casey is thinking of packing it in and purposely and sarcastically misquotes a line from Longfellow's The Day is Done https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45896/the-day-is-done The attendant corrects him. It was common at the time that high school educated persons would have some familiarity with such literature at the time, so while amusing, it is not out of place. 14:50 The attendant knows of the "girl hitchhiker" and she robbed him. He never said anything because he was concerned about his reputation as a family man. He describes her for Casey... "an angel of the road." That is where the show title came from. He describes her gun as a snub-nose .38 revolver!

17:55 Casey finally spots the "road angel" and she gets into his car. She says her name is Doris Chapman. She is 21. They eventually get into small talk, all a ruse to gain Casey's confidence. She turns at 19:57 saying how much she hates men and makes Casey stop and get out. She takes the car and drives away.

20:55 Hours later, Casey is back with Ann and Logan, getting a good razzing from both of them. At least he has a good description of her ("I haven't been photographing people all these years without lookin' at 'em"). Logan thinks that Ann, knowing the description, can send her to find the "road angel" and win her confidence. She does, this time her name is "Doris Larkin." Ann plays it up that she's a tough grifter, too, and this time she wins Doris' confidence. Doris explains her tough family experiences. Ann scuffles in the car with Doris and takes her gun! Casey and Logan were following Ann's car (for four days... that's unlikely in real life to have a homicide captain out of the precinct for that long) and come running to get Doris and protect Ann. Ann had a recorder in the car hidden in the luggage, and was able to capture Doris' confession.

Lenrow (Logan) finally gets on-air credit as part of the regular cast.

Vox has an interesting brief history of hitchhiking. https://www.vox.com/2015/6/8/8737623/hitchhiking The practice was common in the Depression, and slowly declined as prosperity brought greater car ownership and declines in prices of long-distance travel.

Casey 54-01-13 368 The Road Angel (series returns to air).mp3
Degoo https://app.degoo.com/share/Zb6EoktBT4eSe4
hubiC http://ovh.to/fHq6U2b

The 1954-1955 Revival Series

Casey's life on radio ended with The Upholsterer on 1950-11-16 as Philip Morris let its sponsorship expire. It all seemed like very bad news on top of other bad news. The movie rights were sold, but it never went into production. The comic book failed. A stage play, written for performance by theater groups hit with a thud. There was television. It seemed like a natural. There had been five experimental broadcasts in 1945. The only radio cast member in the episodes was John Gibson.

The series may have died on radio at the end of 1950, but it premiered on television in 1951 with Richard Carlyle in the starring role, and of course, there was John Gibson in the cast, yet again. Jan Miner was playing Ann. A young reporter, Frank Lipman, was added to the regular cast of characters. Cole did not participate in any of the scripting.

A few weeks into the series, the cast was changed to have Darren McGavin in the lead, and Gibson was replaced, too, but Miner stayed. Believe it or not, Toni was one of the sponsors! The company alternated week-to-week with Longines watch company. The series survived just a year. In mid-June 1952, it was replaced by the game show, I've Got a Secret.

For sure, Casey was dead now... multiple times...

At the end of 1953, CBS issued a press release announcing that Casey was returning to radio as a sustaining feature, with much of its original cast. Herman Chittison was replaced by Teddy Wilson. The new announcer was Bob Hite (who sounds like a combination of Don Pardo and Fred Foy). Cole was still supplying most of the scripts.

1953-12-31 CBS Press Release
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 1953-132

1954-01-14 CBS Press Release
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 1954-073

1954-01-15 CBS Press Release
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 1954-079

1954-01-07 Kokomo IN Tribune
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 1954-075

1954-01-10 Shreveport LA Times
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 1954-076

1954-01-13 Charlotte NC Observer
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 1954-078

Not everyone was thrilled with the idea. Casey was generally disliked by the critics for most of its run. These are negative comments by columnist Bob Fischer that likely reflect those of others in the newspaper trade. He believed the series lacked realism and trivialized the professional status of newspaper staffers. This did not sit well with Fischer and others. No one ever thought that Casey could be just plain fun and that they might want to go along for the ride.

1954-01-10 Rochester NY Democrat & Chronicle
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 1954-077

The episodes recalled its earliest format, using the show opening that was most like Casey, Press Photographer, with Casey clicking his camera and saying "Got it! Look for it in the Morning Express!" Organ music replaced much of the orchestral arrangement, also giving it an early 1940s (and low budget but somewhat innocent) feel.

There were 62 broadcasts. Only the first two survive as circulating recordings, Road Angel and Source of Information. Cole wrote most all of the episodes, and based on what we now know about the original series, the bulk of the 62 are repeated scripts with mild adaptations to them. There are even some broadcasts in the 62 that are repeats of themselves. There are many episodes that are unidentified, and newspapers had so de-emphasized radio coverage and limited it to timetables that plot descriptions are not available. There is a good chance that because the programs were recorded on tape that the tapes were eventually re-used and that the revival broadcasts are gone for good.

1950-11-09 Woman of Mystery

Woman of Mystery is a repeat of Mysterious Lodger, one of the worst episodes of the series. Details are at https://bluenotebulletin.blogspot.com/2020/01/1947-03-06-mysterious-lodger.html

ADC continuity notes...
This time the corpus delecti is an attractive young woman who has been stabbed in the back by an obviously powerful man, The police find out that she has been a convicted murderess herself, that she had stabbed her lover and spent several years in prison for her crime. Her landlady says that the brother of the man she murdered has been seen hanging around her lately - and when the cops go to bring him in, he shoots it out with them - and he's killed in the process. It Looks like an open and shut case .. the brother obviously was the killer... But then Casey arrives on the scene. He corroborates the story that the police have learned from the young woman's landlady. And, for some reason, he doesn't believe it's quite as much of an open and shut case as the police believe. Casey develops a theory that the police hadn't even thought of - he unreels some of the peculiar quirks in human nature which ultimately portray the real murderer - the landlady..
Eva Condon's part has changed from Mrs. Myers in Mysterious Lodger to Mrs Banks. Details about her interesting career are in the Mysterious Lodger posting.

1950-11-03 CBS Press Release
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 1950-143

Casey 50-11-09 366 Woman of Mystery AFRS#61 (ends Came to you Through -- same script as #175)
FROM DISC.mp3
Degoo https://app.degoo.com/share/bWKlLoskvAT2QI
hubiC http://ovh.to/73geSDk

1950-11-09 San Antonio TX Express
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 1950-144

1950-11-09 Tampa FL Times
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 1950-145

1950-11-11 Moline IL Dispatch

This is a review of the episode. The Casey series was not well-liked by reviewers, so the tone is not a surprise. It's too bad the reviewer based it on one of the weakest entries of the series.
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 1950-146