1947-07-10 The Lady Killer

Lady Killer is a weaker entry in the series. But even weak Casey can be better than many other series.

ADC continuity...
Madeleine Chalmers is rich, bored, and divorced. When handsome Cecil Gramatan strikes up a conversation with her at the bar of a resort hotel, she is definitely intrigued. So Cecil buys her a couple of drinks, takes her driving and - strangles her to death. Casey and Ann are sent to cover the case. They discover that from the description given by the hotel people, Gramatan is known by other names to the police as a killer with a long record of murdering rich women, then looting their apartments. The scene shifts to another resort, where Clara Simmons is Gramatan's (under an assumed name) next intended victim. The hotel manager recognizes him and calls the police. However, by the time Casey arrives with Logan, Gramatan has disappeared. With Clara's help Casey sets the trap which, after an exciting sequence of events, springs the answers to a lot of puzzling questions and solves the mystery of "Lady Killer."

The crime takes place in Colorado - Casey and Ann are sent a long way for a local paper to cover the story. It's to be in competition with the other papers. We don't technically know what city Casey occurs in, but it's unlikely that a paper would send them there since Casey's real skill is his leveraging of local knowledge. Sending a reporter makes more sense, but even that is unlikely.

8:16 Walter asked to stack more paper napkins under the bar; we hear as Walter affirms the request

10:55 Gibson flubs a line. Ann says goodbye and Ethelbert says "So long, Walter... er... so long, Casey" when the line was probably "So long, Casey, so long, Ann." The next line is about Walter still needing to bring up napkins, so Gibson probably had that on his mind.

24:32 After the arrest, Casey comments to Ann that Simmons was crying. He wonders what such a heel like "the lady killer" had in terms of attracting women. Ann says "If he wasn't on his way to jail, I think I'd try to find out. "Casey's "huh?" gets a light reaction from the audience. Ann continues "We gals crave romance, and if don't get it from overwhelming personalities like yours, well, there are a lot of 'Elmers'." Casey says he thinks there will be nice moonlight that evening, and Ann thinks he's talking about going out with her. Instead he suggests that Miss Simmons might be lonely and he should ask her out. Ann kicks Casey in the shin. Like the episode where Casey was shot, Cole is writing this, and Cotsworth acting it, as Ann has feelings for him but Casey is oblivious to it.

27:22 Ann keeps up her bitterness over Casey's interest in Simmons. Casey finally asks her, in a romantic tone, if she wants to go for a ride. Ann seems interested and asks where. Casey says Miss Simmons may still be lonely, so Ann kicks him in the other shin. Cole changes the dynamic between them later in the series.

Elmer Bristow is the "lady killer's" real name. He uses the name Evans Pentacost for his post-Gramatan work.

Gramatan Avenue is a main street in Mount Vernon, NY, the town where Alonzo Deen Cole lived before moving to Connecticut. As newlyweds in the 1970s and early 1980s, we shopped and went to the dollar movies there as it was a 15 minute walk from our apartment.

Casey 47-07-10 193 The Lady Killer UPGRADE.mp3
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1947-07-03 CBS Press Release
Post a reply 1947-094

1947-07-10 Asheville NC Citizen-Times
Post a reply 1947-095

1947-07-10 Des Moines IA Register
Post a reply 1947-096

1947-07-10 Mason City IA Globe-Gazette
Post a reply 1947-097

1947-07-10 South Bend IN Tribune
Post a reply 1947-098

This script concept was used again with revisions to about 10-20% of the script in 1950-11-02 as The Deadly Wolf, but character names were changed. Madeleine became Clarissa Mellish; Cecil Gramatan became Oswald Vinton; Clara Simmons was changed to Jane Kitchener.

1947-07-03 Acquitted

After a five show gap of missing programs after Pick Up, this episode, Acquitted, starts a nice uninterrupted run of 39 shows under the Anchor Hocking sponsorship.

ADC's continuity notes...
Lennie Waldo, an ex-convict and thoroughgoing bad man, is arrested on a charge of burglary. The prosecuting attorney has a confession signed by Waldo to show the jury. But Dan Freeman, Waldo’s smart lawyer, convinces the jury that the confession had been obtained only after Waldo had been severely beaten by a detective named Big Mike Ryan. Waldo is acquitted, and Big Mike is suspended from the force. Casey and Logan know the beating did take place. But they also know that Big Mike had plenty of provocation – including an attempted escape. Big Mike is heard making bitter and even threatening statements about Waldo and Freeman. Shortly after, both Waldo and Freeman are found murdered. Big Mike is promptly arrested and charged with their murders. Casey and Logan, convinced of Ryan’s innocence, begin investigating. Their efforts are complicated by all sorts of conflicting and damaging evidence. They find, for example, that Waldo could not possibly have committed the burglary with which he had been charged. Casey and Logan get busy and before long they find the real burglar and killer – and Big Mike is cleared of all charges and is set free.

3:46 Casey calls Ann "honey." It has no emotion to it, just a name, commonly used at that time in a friendly manner between men and women. It would not really be accepted in the workplace now.

7:30 Walter asked to serve "two more bottles of beer" to customers and to "bring up some more lemons." No spoken lines. Guess he used up his script quota from Laughing Killer.

10:30 Casey learns that Freeman and Waldo are shot to death. Not having the actual event in the show is a way of minimizing violence over the airwaves. It just becomes part of the narrative. It also reduces the casting and the sound effects work... there are little ways that scripters helped save on the budget.

18:10 "Nuts to you" uttered by both Logan and Casey.

18:35 We finally hear Joe the Bartender... it was a close call, and it almost seemed like we wouldn't! Ethelbert directs him to bring up some club soda from the basement once he's done chopping ice. Ethelbert gets no answer and asks if he heard him. Finally, Joe responds "Okay, Ethelbert." No clue who doubled as Joe.

18:50 Ethelbert says he was tired because he had to make highballs for a party of eight. He doesn't catch on to Casey's joke that "party of eight" could mean "a person of eight years old." He finally starts giggling. I don't drink (but I should... heavily...) so I looked it up on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highball and remember hearing about it when adults would be together in the '50s and '60s. Nowadays people are pretty specific about their drinks and don't use a generic term like this. The most common was "scotch and soda," so this may be why Joe needed to bring more club soda up to the bar.

19:20 "Buddy Schell" is another non-speaking character, used to make a turn in the story. He's a law student who is a friend of Ethelbert and has some insight into the case because he sat in on the trial. Casey dismisses Ethelbert's report of the conversation. The more Ethelbert talks, the more an idea to solve the case grows on Casey, and he acts on it.

24:07 Casey says "Oh... why that gun?" Cole always tried to find creative ways to identify the presence of a firearm in the scene. Rather than have someone blurt “You've got a gun!”, Casey might say, “Is that the gun you killed Mr. X with?” Cole had a variety of ways of making the presence of the weapon known and also reiterate part of the storyline in the process. It is amusing to hear how he accomplished it in each episode.

This is a good episode. There's nothing to make it stand out from others. It follows a basic formula of crime, inaccurate or unjust arrest or suspicion, Logan befuddled, a new piece of information, Casey puts it together, Casey in danger by the guilty party, a stroke of luck makes it all end well. There are just enough differences or amusing moments and favorite characters to keep us listening.

Casey 47-07-03 192 Acquitted.mp3
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1947-07-03 Mason City IA Globe-Gazette
Post a reply 1947-092

1947-07-03 Minneapolis MN Star Tribune
Post a reply 1947-093

1947-05-22 Pick-Up

For many of the hobby's early years, Pick-Up was the last of the circulating A-H episodes. The next circulating available show was Holiday of November 1948, under Toni's sponsorship. This was an 18-month gap in the series for the circulating shows.

This episode is a basic Casey with the odd situation of never engaging the criminals in any dialogue that solves or explains the case in the body of the program.

If you want to hear the studio audience in the background, this is a good episode for it. Cotsworth never really liked them. Listening today, more than 70 years later, makes radio seem all the more intimate a medium. While the “willful suspension of disbelief” is always cited as being important for drama, and especially for radio, for some reason the idea of knowing there is a studio audience for a drama like Casey does not really seem to take away from it. There are far too many radio programs where we can imagine them as a bunch of actors standing around microphones, but this is a richer experience. At worst, you're eavesdropping on a theatrical play. Cotsworth and others in the cast are such pros that the occasional reminder that they are in a studio is less of a distraction than it might be with other shows.

ADC's continuity notes
Casey is walking along a street at night when he is accosted by a girl who is a stranger to him. She introduces herself as Edith Landal and tells Casey she knows who murdered Cass Marlin, the jockey who had been found dead two weeks before – just when he was scheduled to ride the favorite in the Alderstone Trophy Race. The girl asks for payment for the information and she and Casey are haggling about the price when suddenly she sees a man (who is later identified as Denver Lane) who causes her to turn pale in terror. She leaves Casey at once but first makes a date to meet him later that night. The scene switches to Casey’s office. One of his colleagues comes in to say it’s begun to rain, and asks if he may borrow Casey’s raincoat and car. Casey agrees. Later, Edith Landal and the man who borrowed Casey’s coat are both found murdered. It is apparent that the man was mistaken for Casey. When a second attempt is made on Casey’s life, he traps the killer and uncovers the answers to a few puzzling questions – What had Edith Landal been about to tell him? What part did Denver Lane play in the murders and why Casey himself had been marked as one of the victims?

5:25 There's a light but audible chuckle in the audience with the characterization of a waiter. It sounds like a double being performed by one of the other actors, which always got a giggle out of audiences if they had never seen doubling being done.

8:10 There's another chuckling in the audience when Casey makes a comment about his editor.

21:06 "Nuts to you" is used by Casey and Logan to each other when their scheme to identify the killer does not work. No one really knows the origin of the expression. It means "drop dead" or "get lost." Casey had the same wish to Ethelbert in the prior episode. It was a common expression at the time, though not the nicest sentiment.

24:10 Casey is shot, just after he gets an inspiration for the solution of the case. The way Ann seems upset offers a glimmer of her underlying affection for Casey, but he does not reflect the same emotion as Cole uses the old Mark Twain line about "the report of his death being greatly exaggerated." Cotsworth makes Casey's reaction a little too normal -- he's just been shot so it's a little hard to accept it the way Cotsworth plays it. The ending of the body of the drama does not have one of those scenes when Casey confronts the perpetrator; he just says his name and some excited words about his motive. We hear about the full solution when the gang reconvenes at the Blue Note following the last commercial. Normally the ending scene affirms the conclusion with facts and ties up any loose ends that embellish it or loose ends of sub-plots. This ending explains what happened in the final scene before the ending commercial.

There's still no on-air credit for Lenrow as Logan. It is possible his gig as "Geoffrey Barnes" on Molle may have limited him in receiving credits on other programs as part of his contract. That's the only reason I can think of.

Casey 47-05-22 186 Pick-Up.mp3
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1947-05-12 CBS Press Release
Post a reply 1947-086

1947-05-18 Sioux City IA Journal
Post a reply 1947-087

1947-05-22 Asheville NC Citizen-Times
Post a reply 1947-088

1947-05-22 Mason City IA Globe-Gazette
Post a reply 1947-089

1947-05-22 Ottawa ON Citizen
Post a reply 1947-091

1947-05-22 Shiner TX Gazette
Post a reply 1947-090

1947-05-08 The Laughing Killer

Laughing Killer is one of the series better entries. I'll put this as number 5 in my top five as I'm reserving some spots for other episodes. That makes it three of the top five identified so far.

We always assume that "Walter" the assistant to Ethelbert the bartender never has a speaking role. Usually the only reference to him is Ethelbert yelling down to the basement "Hey Walter, bring up more lemons!." He does appear briefly in the opening scenes of this episode. Cox and Siegel speculate that reference to Walter and other non-speaking characters may have been a device to be sure the episode filled the right amount of airtime. These lines could be easily added or deleted. There may be lots of Walter laying around on radio's equivalent of the cutting room floor.

At the end of the show, Tony Marvin apologizes that the promised big announcement from Anchor-Hocking won't be made until next week. Unfortunately, that show, Mad Dog, is not in circulation.

The central character in the story is bandleader Artie Maddox, who is framed for the murder. Maddox is described as leading a “sweet band.” This is a kind of big band music that had less improvisation, and was targeted to upscale audiences, especially for dancing. It was the kind of romantic and melodic big band music that was popular before swing music came into vogue. Examples would be Paul Whiteman, Fred Waring, Ben Bernie, Rudy Vallee, and many others. One of the most famous sweet music songs is Midnight, the Stars, and You by Ray Noble's orchestra with singer Al Bowlly... because it was used in The Shining. https://youtu.be/8XLm-und-qc  Bowlly lost his life in the German air raids of London.

Is there a continuity issue at the opening commercial skit? When they are chatting about baseball, Ethelbert says he follows the (Brooklyn) Dodgers and Casey says he follows the Yankees. If the setting of the show was in Boston, it would have been the Boston Braves and the Boston Red Sox. The Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee after the 1953 season. Perhaps Cole felt that the New York teams would be better known and have a better sense of rivalry.

Throughout the Casey series, a big city like New York seems to be implied, but it is purposely nebulous in the scripts. The show was produced in New York, so being Yankees and Dodgers fans would be common. Strangely, the New York Giants were a more successful team than the Dodgers, but did not have the charm of the Dodgers. The Yankees were the Yankees. No need to say more.

ADC Continuity Notes
While Casey and Ann are sitting in the Blue Note Cafe, they meet up with a young man who has recently been paroled after serving several years on a manslaughter charge. The man, Art Maddox, has been drinking heavily and is laughing hysterically. Maddox had been convicted of killing Phil Blaney, a gambler, during a fight in the apartment of "Gipsy" Hibbard, a night club singer. Maddox was in love with Gipsy and Casey has reason to believe he took the rap to save her from a murder charge. Casey persuades the hysterical young man to leave the cafe with him -- he takes him home and in the process of helping the almost-unconscious Art Maddox up the stairs to his apartment, Casey discovers a gun in Art's pocket. But before Casey can get an explanation, the police arrive and charge Maddox with another murder. It seems that Gipsy has been found shot to death by a pistol of the same caliber as that found by Casey on Maddox. Despite the overwhelming evidence against the paroled killer, Casey stubbornly maintains a strong belief in his innocence. The believe is strengthened when he finds out the reason for Maddox's hysterical laughter. It seems that Maddox was in Gipsy's apartment the night that she was killed - but also present was Gipsy's ex-husband, Lew Carbone. Gispy threatens to tell the police that it was really Lew and not Art who killed Phil Blaney - and to prevent her from revealing the true facts, Lew Carbone kills Gipsy. Art is a helpless witness to this scene and his inability to help Gipsy to prevent the shooting shocks Art into a state of laughing hysteria. This spell of hysteria is broken only after Art is able to tell his story to Casey and the true murderer is caught.

1:45 Walter speaks and has a pretty big part as he serves Artie Maddox
2:35 A bullet that plays a big role in the story is in the money Casey gives Ethelbert to buy a pack of cigarettes... Cole plants it and its caliber sizing in the story early
3:14 Cole lays out all the characters early because the plot is built on a foundation of a past crime. It's all pretty complex. But he's already identified a key element, the bullet, and that Artie Maddox was either framed or said he was guilty to protect someone else and will be exonerated in the end. The episode is based on solving an old crime, not a new one, which is an interesting plotline compared to other episodes.
8:40 Casey finds a gun in Maddox' pocket and says to Ann he's "toting a gat," which means he's carrying a gun. "Gat" refers to Richard Jordan Gatling, inventor of a version of an automatic machine gun in the 1860s.
10:35 Cole adds another factor that will play on the story... the different caliber of the gun.
14:28 Casey makes a mental reservation about Artie's gun during his conversation with Logan by saying "I wasn't looking for a gun." Ann is upset with him, and expresses her concern about supressing evidence after they leave Logan's office. Casey didn't lie in what he said, it was a sin of omission -- but it works out.

Lawson Zerbe is credited as Artie Maddox. Zerbe was a real pro in numerous series, and is nearly on the verge of overacting in this episode. He gets close to the edge but doesn't fall over, job well done.

The gun blowing up that Cole uses is a real thing... there are some YouTube videos and other documentation online about the many ways it can happen.

Casey 47-05-08 184 The Laughing Killer UPGRADE.mp3
Degoo https://cloud.degoo.com/e/drive-3efaojvwcuzs
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1947-05-08 CBS Press Release
Not sure when this was released so it has the date of the episode in the file name.
Post a reply 1947-083

1947-05-08 Mason City Globe-Gazette
Post a reply 1947-084

Here's a CBS profile of Herman Chittison
1947-05-12 CBS Press Release
Post a reply 1947-085

No videos can be found of Chittison in my searches, but there is a recording of Tea for Two https://youtu.be/cMePHI8ixjE  and many others there.

1947-05-01 King of the Apes

I have a great affection for King of the Apes since it was one of the first Casey I heard. The top five episodes so far have been Christmas Shopping, Demon Miner, and perhaps this one. I'm undecided, but it's near the top five at least. One episode of the top five will be added in the next post.

Cole would often get story ideas or ideas for elements of stories like jokes from the local news. This was done because a little spark now and then from reality always helps creativity, but it also helps bond the audience with the story because they've heard the news, too, perhaps. In this case, Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus was on tour and was at Madison Square Garden in New York City from late March through April and May. Remember, Cole was living in Mt. Vernon, which shared a border with the Bronx, and it was just a subway ride into Manhattan. This is a review of the circus from the NY Daily News... and it's followed by a story of a clown dressed as an ape in the White Plains, NY newspaper (not far north of Mt. Vernon). It's likely it played a role in his thinking about the story.

1947-04-10 NY Daily News
Post a reply 1947-078

1947-05-05 White Plains NY Journal News
Is this one of the performers Cole saw if he visited the circus in April?
Post a reply 1947-079

Using a circus as the venue for a murder was not a big deal. Gosh, Charlie Chan solved one of those cases a decade before! It's believed the murder was by a gorilla! But Charlie solves the crime... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Chan_at_the_Circus

Circuses were still highly regarded at this time before television started to take over entertainment leisure. For many who did not have access to a zoo, a circus was the first time they might have seen a lion or an elephant in real life.

ADC continuity... (original typos uncorrected)
Casey and Ann go to the circus... And this year its feature act is "King -- of the Apes." Charles King, a remarkable animal trainer, presents half a dozen orang-utans from Borneo who perform at his command. Casey and Ann witness a startling and unscheduled development in King's act. During King's performance with the animals, a strange animal cry is heard coming from somewhere in the huge auditorium that brings King's animals to arrested attention. When the cry is repeated, they turn on King and destroy him. During their investigation of the savage killing, Ann and Casey meet King's widow, Bernice; his assistant, Johannes Fleit; and a strange little oriental, Tayan, who demonstrates that he can handle the fierce animals better than Charles King ever could. Now that King is dead, Tayan will take his place as "King -- of the Apes." Casey and Ann are assigned to remain with the circus and are in the uncomfortable position of being able to report other deaths, mysteriously caused, at the hands of the orang-utans. In a weird and exciting sequence of events, Casey learns about some of the habits if the primitive tribe members from Borneo - something about a strange knowledge they are reputed to have - and some dangerous things about orang-utans. The police arrest Tayan for the killings - but Casey investigates further and brings forth the real killer -- Johannes Fleit...

Tayan is a Dyak, a native of Borneo. If you're not familiar with the term, this Wikipedia entry can help https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayak_people

12:55 Casey giggles like a little kid when he sees orang-utan riding a tricycle. Ann snaps him out of it. In fact, she has to keep him focused a lot during this episode as he's always looking at the circus women in tights and saying he likes their eyes. The giggling is interesting because it is silly, but it also shows Cotsworth's range.

Circuses have fallen out of favor for a couple of decades now, and reliance on animal acts for entertainment has fallen faster. Another change has been the practice of euthanizing animals that have killed or caused great injury to their keepers or others. There is no indication in this story that these sentiments and practices have developed or are starting to develop. Some of the script lines about Johannes and Tayan might be considered highly offensive today, but they do have a place in supplying the motive behind the crime and also the story's ultimate justice, with that justice provided by one of the animals.

Casey 47-05-01 183 King of the Apes UPGRADE-2.mp3
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1947-05-01 Cincinnati OH Enquirer
Post a reply 1947-080

1947-05-01 Decatur IL Herald
Post a reply 1947-081

1947-05-01 Mason City IA Globe-Gazette
Post a reply 1947-082

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This episode is interesting in that it was later adapted for the Casey comic book. It was in issue #1 as The Monkey Murder Mystery

Casey's boss Burke is another character who never has a line. All we hear is Casey's side of a phone conversation. But, in the comic book, we do see him! (page 6 of the comic story)
Post a reply Casey_11

The artist for the Casey series was Vernon Henkel, kind of a journeyman artist who specialized in crime and war comics. He went on to work in advertising ... and from my checking of various comics history sites, he may still be alive in his late 90s!

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At the beginning of 1947-05-01 King of the Apes, Tony Marvin mentions that it's "Noise Abatement Week." This clip notes that "Boys and Girls Week" is celebrated at the same time. So they asked Governor Thomas E. Dewey if there was an intended connection! It was unintended and his office said it wasn't of his doing. But their concurrence is certainly amusing.

Corning Evening Leader 1947-04-22 Noise Abatement Week
Post a reply Cornin10

1947-04-24 The Gentle Strangler

Gentle Strangler has a different approach where Casey is in danger because his investigatory work helped convict a man's daughter. It's the Irene Ivanoff poisoning case from 1939. Casey helped prove that she purchased poison, a photographic chemical, from a photo shop without ever intending to take any photographs. Irene's mother died from the stress of Irene being convicted. The assistant DA, the cop, and the photo shop owner are now dead... and it's clear that Casey is next... with the killer suspected to be Irene's father, out to avenge the death of his daughter and his wife by a justice system he doesn't understand.

It's an entertaining story, but we're asked to believe too much coincidence in its conclusion to add it to the top five.

The program recording has skips at the general 11 minute range and earlier in the show. I am not aware of a clean copy, but if anyone has one, it would be appreciated. Otherwise it's a nice sounding program.

ADC's Notes...
Criminal Courts Judge Whitcomb is taking an evening stroll near his home when he is accosted by a courteous stranger, afflicted with a slight lisp, who strolls along with him. As they reach the shadows of spring-budding shrubbery on a nearby estate, the stranger, without explanation, chokes the Judge to death. Casey and Ann reach the scene of the murder to find that Captain Logan has no clues other than that a passerby saw the Judge waling with a stranger who can only be described as a "big man." An assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Lloyd Dunning, has been similarly strangled to death only a few nights before, so the two men have been victims of criminal revenge. Some days later a detective, Barney Lennon, is found murdered. Then the lisping, gentle-spoken stranger goes to Jake's Camera Shop. Jake is about to close for the evening, but is inveigled into taking the "customer" into his stock-room. There he, too, is quietly strangled. When Casey learns about this fourth crime he is able to to tie it up with the others and to realize that he himself is inevitably slated to be the next and final victim. Neither he or the police have ever seen the suspected killer and, in a suspenseful sequence, despite every police effort to protect Casey, the gentle strangler finds him alone and in a most vulnerable position - in bed and half-asleep. Casey awakens - throws a glass of whiskey in his eyes- temporarily blinds him - then knocks him out -- and so ends the career of the gentle strangler.
In ADC's notes, the word "inveigled" is not used very often any more, but it means to trick someone.

5:22 Ethelbert asks Joe, the assistant bartender (who has no spoken lines), to "take care of the lady at the table... she wants a glass of half and half that's a third ginger ale." Bodybuilding nutrition was becoming an interest, and one of the advocates was Vince Gironda in California, who would later train Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwartzenegger among other champion bodybuilders. Gironda's drinks often included heavy cream, but many people would use half-and-half to make what would be the equivalent of today's "protein shakes." Gironda went on to have a successful nutrition products business focused on bodybuilding and people who needed to keep their weight up. Ginger ale was a popular ingredient for drinks and baking at the time, too, and it seems from the newspapers there were all kinds of uses for it, and various concoctions. Mixing ginger ale and ice cream was also popular.

5:55 Casey says he will come into the bar to buy a beer once the price comes down. Inflation was very severe at the time of the program. From April 1946 to April 1947, the US Consumer Price Index was up +19%. This is also one of the reasons why Anchor-Hocking focused on thrift for many of its purchase justifications. To save money, Casey and Ann ask for water at the bar... and more pretzels... Prices did not start to come down until 1949 after slowing in 1948.

The set-up for the climax is pretty obvious after you hear it. We've seen it in movies and countless TV programs. Casey is being protected by a cop in his apartment. The change-of-shift cop is attacked by the "gentle strangler" who just so happens to be the same size as the cop. He swaps clothes, ties up the real cop, and then goes into Casey's apartment to change places with Mack, the cop whose shift just ended. There's a continuity problem here... Cole makes a big deal about how big a man the strangler is, so wouldn't it be just be plain luck that the uniform would fit? There are procedures in place to have proper shift changes, including photo ID, but they may not have been available or in use at this time. Sloppy! Cole may plead that there wasn't enough time in the show to fully develop it.

Jan Miner is fully credited as Ann. Lenrow is still not in the credited cast.

Casey 47-04-24 182 The Gentle Strangler.mp3
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1947-04-15 CBS Press Release
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 2 1947-074

1947-04-24 Asheville NC Citizen-Times

Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 2 1947-075

1947-04-24 Cincinnati OH Enquirer
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 2 1947-076

1947-04-24 Mason City IA Globe-Gazette
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 2 1947-077

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There was a Casey comic book that survived for four issues. This chart shows the stories used and which ones were based on the radio program scripts. There may be others that just have not been detected yet.
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 2 Casey_10

Here is the first page of the story. It does not follow the dialogue of the episode with precision (which is okay, but I thought it would be closer), and the ending is changed!
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 2 Casey_10

Instead of just knocking the strangler out, Casey throws him out an open window, and it just so happens he gets caught on a branch of a tree, and is hanged.
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 2 Comic_10

1947-04-17 The Box of Death

Box of Death is the first circulating episode with Jan Miner as Ann, though she is not credited as the character. Until some other recordings surface, it's not clear what they did before this episode about the character after Woods left. It is possible Woods was on the show one more week after Demon Miner. It's possible Miner picked up on 1947-03-27 Blood Fact (missing show) since Ann is mentioned in ADC's continuity notes. Miner is definitely in the cast by 1947-04-03 The Girl on the Dock.

Regarding the 1947-04-03 program and the comment in the note about the Anchor Hocking ad about Lent in the Demon Miner episode, Girl on the Dock has Casey and Ann planning to attend Holy Thursday services. Their intent is interrupted by a phone call from person in trouble. There was no shying away from referencing the religious calendar in the series narrative or the ads.

ADC's continuity notes
Scene opens on dark street... Cop finds large packing box on the street. He goes to the address noted on box and complains about box being left in middle of street. The woman of the house knows nothing about the box. Box is opened and inside is the body of her husband. While cop is calling homicide squad, she escapes through window. Casey and Ann recognize corpse as one-time gangster who had turned straight and married a check-room girl whose affections had been sought by big-time gangster named Lucky Carson. Casey thinks victim was murdered because of revenge for stealing gangster's girlfriend. He has alibi - says his lawyer and henchman were with him on night of murder, therefore, he couldn't have committed the crime. Casey, through his connections, locates the wife of victim and persuades her to pay a supposedly social visit to suspected killer's office and steal a lucky penny which killer always carried with him. Casey knows killer will go after lucky penny so he plants cops around girl's hideout. Killer surprises Casey and takes him to deserted spot to force him to tell where the penny is. Casey persuades lawyer and henchman to turn against their boss and shooting ensues in which both gangsters are killed...
This is another script where Cole uses superstition (in this case it's Carson's luckpiece, a lucky Indian head penny) in a story. The Indian head penny was minted until 1909. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Head_cent. Most are of little value.

15:40 Carson asks for Crepe "Suzetties" as the after-funeral meal. Cole often enjoys playing with gangsters and others and their attempts to seem sophisticated. Less popular now, it was a crepe that had a sauce made of caramelized sugar and butter, orange juice, orange zest, Grand Marnier liqueur, and served in flambe style.

16:10 Carson realizes the penny is gone and he panics.

17:40 Casey says Emma took the luckpiece to drive Carson crazy, to force him to make a mistake and incriminate himself. Casey gives Ethelbert the penny... shouldn't that be evidence that the police may want in the case? Hmmmm.... no matter, that would ruin the story!

22:53 Casey mentions Carson may end up in "the hot seat" which refers to capital punishment using electrocution and the "electric chair."Only nine US states still have electrocution, with all nine using lethal injection as primary, and allowing the convicted to select the means of their demise. If Casey takes place in Massachusetts, the last electrocutions were a month after this broadcast of two gangsters. The last electrocution in New York was 1963. At the time of the broadcast, hanging was still used in many states.The means of enforcing capital punishment does not help us figure out whether Casey takes place in Boston or New York. The best we can say is it's an amalgam of both.

25:00 Casey shoots Slug... and says he's never shot a guy before. We learn after the commercial that Slug survives.

27:20 Ethelbert is convinced the penny was lucky because he won a contest after getting it. Cole makes a bad pun in what Ethelbert's sister Edna said. (If you don't get it, the clue is "where does one wear what Ethelbert won?")

Casey 47-04-17 181 The Box of Death (first circulating with Jan Miner as Ann) UPGRADE.mp3
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1947-04-17 Decatur IL Herald
Stay home! What a great line-up of programs!
Post a reply 1947-066

1947-04-17 Madison WI Capital Times
Post a reply 1947-067

1947-04-17 Mason City IA Globe-Gazette
Post a reply 1947-068

1947-04-17 Minneapolis MN Star
Post a reply 1947-069

Jan Miner was in radio about 10 years prior to joining the Casey cast. She was also playing Della Street on Perry Mason. It is unfortunate that CBS spelled her name incorrectly in their press release, but they righted their error in a longer backgrounder the following week. But that didn't stop the Harrisburg Telegraph from getting it wrong on their own.

1947-04-01 CBS Press Release
Whoops! They spelled it "Minor"
Post a reply 1947-070

1947-04-09 CBS Press Release
They got it right this time!
Post a reply 1947-071

1947-04-12 Harrisburg PA Telegraph

'Jean' Miner? Whoops!!
Post a reply 1947-072

1947-04-20 Sioux City IA Journal
Post a reply 1947-073

1947-03-20 The Demon Miner

The Demon Miner has a slightly different feel than the others, and there's good reason. As related by Siegel & Cox (p.78), the script was initially submitted as a Shadow episode in October of 1943. It was called The Knocker of Tolliver Level. Because it involved a murder in a coal mine, Blue Coal rejected it. Four years later, Cole reworked the script into The Demon Miner for Casey. One can easily imagine it as a Shadow episode as it does follow the Shadow formula of a deranged murderer and the helpless heroine rescued by the leading character who seems to come out of nowhere to save the day. Think of Casey as Lamont and Ann as Margot and you can get a sense of how it might have played.

Cole would recycle plots from Witch's Tale for other episodes, one of which is coming up soon. In the process of reconfiguring scripts, key elements, like the Shadow's invisibility or the usual interrogation of a suspect by someone they cannot see have to be reworked to be the format of the new program. It's well done here, but once you know it's a Shadow script you can detect situations where the action or dialogue fits that usual pattern.

This is in my top five Casey shows. By the time we're done, there may be twelve episodes that I say are in the top five. But so far it's Christmas Shopping and this one. The music is especially effective in creating mood and transitioning between scenes, better than other episodes. Perhaps the dark and dank caves gave them something more interesting to do.

ADC notes
Casey is asked by Bill Jerome, newly appointed superintendent in the Driscol level if Slakeville Colliery, to investigate the deaths of seven miners. After questioning a few miners who were on the scene, he finds them half believing the superstitious belief of a Demon Miner with a white face and super human strength, and half accusing each other of murder. Calling them all together, Casey pretends to find a leading clue, which smokes out the murderer but not before he makes off with Anne Williams and tries to murder her also. The murderer is caught in the nick of time by Casey and turns out to be one of the miners who mind is warped by forever being called weak minded and a guy without guts and by killing the miners his power is felt by all.
ADC's notes have "Ann" with an "e".

A "colliery" is a coal mine and its associated buildings.

There is no town named Slakeville that I could find. If Casey has a New York location, this would likely be Pennsylvania, within reasonable driving distance for the paper to justify sending a reporter and a photographer.

I believe this is the first or second episode that I ever listened to of the series as a young, sixteen-year-old OTR collector. Had I listened to one of the substandard episodes, such as Great Grandfather's Rent Receipt, it's likely I would never have developed an affection or interest in the series. It's a reminder that when you're sharing OTR with others, be selective about your initial programs you give them.

This is the last episode with Lesley Woods as Ann Williams. Woods portrayal is my personal preferred one.

One of the commercials for A-H is about preparing foods for Lent. It made me wonder when ads for such periods of the religious observance stopped being mentioned on the air.

2:25 The word "hoodoo" is used, an uncommon word today. Here's Cole's familiarity with terms from his Witch's Tale days. A "hoodoo" in this context is a person or thing that brings or causes bad luck. Hoodoo is also an occult spirituality practice from West Africa.

2:35 Lenrow doubles as miner “Ol' Gus”... but not really, because Logan's not in this episode! He may have had a weekly contract or they just assigned him the part and told him he had an easy week.

3:02 "Knocker" is another word for "poltergeist"

8:20 The cackle of the Demon Miner is first heard. It is quite Shadow-esque.

22:10 Definitely a "Margot Lane trapped" scene

Ted Osborne, who played Eddie, was the original "Man in Black" for Suspense.

Casey 47-03-20 177 The Demon Miner (last ep w LWoods as Ann, was rejected Shadow script).mp3
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1947-03-20 Asheville NC Citizen-Times
Post a reply 1947-065

1947-03-06 The Mysterious Lodger

Mysterious Lodger is one of the weaker entries in the series. It's a locked room mystery that doesn't really work, at least not for me. The script is used again three and a half years later as episode 1950-11-09 Woman of Mystery. The story was just as unsatisfying the second time around.

ADC 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 her in, she 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 beieve it's quite as much of a 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.....

In the opening tease for Anchor-Hocking, we learn that Ethelbert has a sister other than Edna. This other sister is married with an infant boy, and Ethelbert will be happy when he learns to say "Uncle Ethelbert."

7:00 The window construction that Casey describes may have been common then, but has not been for decades. It plays an important role in the story. It would not be possible today.
The idea that a medieval weapon could work well enough to commit the murder does not seem plausible.

One of the lines said to Casey is “Here to take a picture with your Brownie, young man?” The Kodak Brownie was one of the first and most successful consumer cameras.

Bernard Lenrow as Logan is not mentioned as part of the cast. This is one of the few times, however, a supporting player is mentioned in the credits. This time it's Eva Condon who played Maggie Myers. She was a theater veteran whose career started in the early 1900s (maybe earlier!) and was 66 at the time of the broadcast. When the script was used again as Woman of Mystery, she played the role again, at age 69. Playbill lists her first Broadway role as 1912 in C.O.D. http://www.playbill.com/personrolespage/person-role-page?person=00000150-ac82-d16d-a550-ecbe85080002

Casey 47-03-06 175 The Mysterious Lodger.mp3
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1947-03-06 Mason City IA Globe-Gazette
Post a reply 1947-061

1956-10-06 Brooklyn NY Tablet
Eva Condon passed away in 1956
Post a reply 1956-127

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Lesley Woods, my favorite Ann Williams, was one of radio's busiest performers. But she's leaving the cast, and not returning.
1947-03-16 Akron OH Beacon Journal
Post a reply 1947-063

Her final appearance will be in Demon Miner. This is the CBS release about her departure. Sounds like everyone was happy for her.
1947-03-28 CBS Press Release
Post a reply 1947-064

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

1947-03-18 Altoona PA Tribune
The editor of this paper really can't figure out what Casey is, and it appeared this way in their timetables from 1946 to 1948.
Post a reply 1947-062

1947-02-20 The Twenty-Minute Alibi

Twenty-Minute Alibi is one of the better Casey episodes.

ADC continuity notes
A man calls up his insurance agent... It is just five minutes before his life insurance policy is to elapse for nonpayment of the premium. He sounds desperate, asks for more time for payment --- The agent refuses it. The man says "But the policy is still good, isn't it?" The agent says yes -- suddenly a shot at the other end of the line head. And that's the end of the insured man. The police call it an obvious case of suicide, Casey thinks differently. He brings in the man's estranged wife - his secretary and any number of other women. There is also his father-in-law who makes no bones about describing the dead man as a scoundrel. The plot quickens. They all have alibis - almost perfect alibis. Casey spots the alibi that is not completely perfect and the murderer is exposed.

A problem with the pay phone at the Blue Note leads to Casey getting a hunch about the log of outgoing calls kept by the hotel phone operator. The timing of the call by the victim means that the call Prescott made was not by him, but by someone imitating him from another location. (Why something this important was not in the ADC notes is beyond me! Perhaps because Cole did not write this script and someone else wrote the summary).

20:45 Walter makes another silent appearance, but we learn that he makes terrible coffee. This topic will come up again in the upcoming episode Laughing Killer.

24:27 The actor playing Mr. Lane, the father-in-law, botches the word "policy" and makes it seem natural.

This episode is written by Robert Sloane. He would also script episodes for CBS Forecast, Cavalcade of America, Fat Man, Inner Sanctum, Big Story, Radio Reader's Digest, and Life of Riley.

Casey 47-02-20 173 The Twenty Minute Alibi.mp3
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1947-02-20 Mason City IA Globe Gazette
Post a reply 1947-059

1947-02-20 Rock Island IL Argus
Post a reply 1947-060

1947-02-06 The Gray Kitten

Gray Kitten is a mainstream Casey program with a common OTR plot of marrying someone for their riches, doing away with them for the inheritance, and then starting the process over again. It's a tired plotline, but Cole infuses it with a cat and an interesting way of committing the crime that ends up taking care of the perpetrator, instead.

Bleyer's orchestra plays a little riff that sounds like a cat's mew. Some people say the Bleyer orchestra is the cat's meow (sorry, couldn't resist).

Casey, Ann, and Logan might as well be bystanders in this episode. Their presence develops the story but they don't really solve the case... the cat does! The three of them rush in at the final scene and take credit.

This story spans about four months. Most Casey stories cover a few days.

Carlos buried the body of his first wife at Greenwood Lake, according to the story. Cole may have been familiar with the resort there at the time. It was about 50 miles northwest of where Cole lived in Mount Vernon, NY. The resort attracted some celebrities who wanted a break from New York City.

One of Cole's frequent devices is the inclusion of superstition and reincarnation in the story. Some of his familiarity with it is from his work on Witch's Tale, which was, of course, his creation.

18:55 Ethelbert tells Grace to look out and then asks Casey if he saw what she did, and then they and Ann chuckle. They never say what... no sound effect, no lines for Grace, perhaps a near miss carrying plates and glasses. It's all up to the listener's imagination.

ADC notes

Carlos' wealthy wife Hestor disappears. Hestor's sister suspects she has been murdered by Carlos and notifies police. A gray kitten with a white streak is born in Hestor's room at 8:30 the night of Hestor's disappearance. Every time Carlos sees the kitten, or the mere mention of the kitten, throws him into a state of panic... Events disclose money-mad Carlos murdered his wife and he and his girlfriedn, Vera, planned to split the money and leave town... The police have no proof of this until the end of the story, therefore, Carlos is able to go along on his own... He remarries (again, a very wealthy woman) and plans his second murder for money... He and Vera plan to get rid of the second wife, collect her money, and live happily ever after. Carlos prepares a huge trunk with a snap lock and lined with glas tubes filled with gas which automatically break when someone is inside the trunk... This is the trunk he will use in the murder of his second wife... Vera asks him to demonstrate (to be sure trunk is big enough to hold his wife) ... Carlos gets in -- at that moment a gray kitten appears on the scene (just a stray cat that walked in through the window). At the sight of the cat, Carlos and Vera becomes panicky -- Vera lets go of the lid and Carlos becomes the victim of his own plot...

Casey 47-02-06 171 The Gray Kitten.mp3
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1947-02-06 Decatur IL Herald
Post a reply 1947-057

1947-02-06 Mason City IA Globe-Gazette
Post a reply 1947-056

1947-02-16 Cincinnati OH Enquirer
Radio critic Magee Adams did not like ending of Gray Kitten
Casey, Crime Photographer 1947-058

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Gray or grey? This episode usually circulates as "grey," but all of the documentation and newspaper clips use "gray." So I looked it up... "gray" was the typical US spelling of the word, with "grey" used elsewhere. My sense of it is that "grey" has increased in usage in recent years.

1947-01-16 The Surprising Corpse

Surprising Corpse is not one of the top episodes, but it is good basic Casey. There are two copies of the recording provided. The recordings of this have never been the best with some background noise and generally muddy sound. I have tried to fix it.

The opening A-H skit involves Tony Marvin prepping his voice to sing. He did receive formal voice training early in his career and was in some small musicals at that time.

Count Leon de Gastone is murdered -- just a few episodes back we had a story about a Duke who was actually a Count in Duke of Skid Row. Leon is yet another character in a Casey story without a line of dialogue.

Funny stuff and their approximate times:
13:20 Ethelbert tells Grace to look at a woman ... we have no clue why. Grace has no line... yet.
13:58 Ethelbert starts to say "Hey, Walter..." and before he has a chance to finish the thought, Casey yells "bring up some more lemons." It's a running joke by now. Walter has no line in response.
25:30 Ann is jealous of the congratulatory kiss Casey gives to Mrs. Zaybelle; this is highlighted in the CBS press release headline in a nice play on words (see below)
28:00 Ann notices Ethelbert has lipstick on his lip... and then Grace says good night as she's walking out the door. Grace is probably a doubling by an actor in the main story.

ADC Notes (note that the summary differs in the name of the victim in the story; it was changed from Claude to Leon, which means that Cole's summary was typed before the broadcast)
Casey and Ann find themselves in the glittering setting of cafe society, to solve the case of "The Surprising Corpse." Involved are such people as Paula Durfee, a shallow and glamorous heiress; Clement Durfee, her uncle who controls the purse-strings until Paula reaches her 21st birthday, in another year. Claude deGastone, whom Paula wants to marry but whom Clement suspects of being a fortune-hunter; Mrs. Zaybelle, who conducts a mysterious business... Claude deGastone is found murdered. Paula had quarreled bitterly with him just before his death. Paula tells an amazing story to prove she is innocent - she and deGastone had plotted to make it appear he had been killed, to have an "eyewitness" accuse Paula before her Uncle Clement, and then to have the Uncle pay the eyewitness $100,000 for silence. With this money Paula and deGastone planned to be married, without waiting for her inheritance. She insists she knows nothing about the actual murder. Casey is the only person who believes her story - he begins his own investigation, which takes him into the mysterious and dangerous byways of Mrs. Zaybelle's world. In the end, he is able to name the real killer .. and frees Paula.

In today's value, that $100,000 is nearly $1.2 million! Cole certainly likes to throw some big money around for shock value with the audience. According to the Census Bureau, average family income in 1947 was $3,000, or $35,000 in today's value.

Part of the conclusion of the case requires shutting off a car, pulling the keys out of the ignition, and then bringing the car to a stop, something that can't be done with today's cars.

Casey 47-01-16 168 The Surprising Corpse UPGRADE
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Casey 47-01-16 168 The Surprising Corpse UPGRADE-2
This is my attempt to improve listenability. It still has defects from the original disc.
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1947-01-08 CBS Press Release
Post a reply 1947-049

1947-01-11 Harrisburg PA Telegraph
Post a reply 1947-050

1947-01-16 Madison WI Capital Times
Post a reply 1947-051

1947-01-16 Mason City IA Globe-Gazette
Post a reply 1947-052

1947-01-16 Shreveport LA Times
Post a reply 1947-053

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Cotsworth was a very thoughtful practitioner, and he was often
asked to opine about acting, and especially acting on radio.
1947-01-17 Newport News VA Daily Press
Post a reply 1947-054

1947-01-19 Sioux City IA Journal
Lesley Woods was certainly getting a lot of publicity from the Casey series,
but her tenure would be ending soon, in just two months from this news item.
Post a reply 1947-055