1947-10-02 Miscarriage of Justice

Miscarriage of Justice is about a murder case that partly relies on the misidentification of a corpse found in the river. Today's DNA technology would prevented this aspect of the case that justified what turned out to be a wrongful conviction. Cole may not have been able to use this as a plot element today. It would be interesting, but obviously impossible, to learn what Alonzo Deen Cole would have done with his plotlines with modern police methods. It was not until 1986 that DNA technology was used in a criminal investigation. That's almost forty years after this broadcast.

This is one of the better Casey episodes with some very entertaining characterization, and also some use of accents and ethnic emotion that might be considered borderline acceptable today, though they enrich the story and the emotion is justified. It's a good story, and Cole uses a police press conference to lay out the details of his plotline.

ADC continuity notes...
On circumstantial evidence, Carlos Domingo had been sentenced to die for the murder of his wife, Mercedes. After spending many months in the death house, his sentence was commuted to life in prison and he served nearly ten years. Then Mercedes Domingo was found to be very much alive. Carlos was released from prison with apologies and a trifling compensation of several thousand dollars. Soon afterwards, Mercedes is found carved to death with a razor. The general opinion is that there can be no mistake about the identity of her murderer this time; apparently her bitter husband has been the assassin. Knowing he cannot be tried again for a crime which the machinery of justice has already required him to pay for, Carlos does not even bother to deny his guilt; but neither does he affirm it. Casey, disagreeing with the circumstantial evidence that links Carlos to the present crime (as years ago he disagreed with that which resulted in the man's conviction) begins a personal investigation that brings him into unpleasant contact with a sinister character known as Alf the Barber, and that leads him and Ann into a complex maze of underworld intrigue, frenzied high finance and ever-present danger. At the end of the maze Casey makes an unexpected discovery that delivers the real murderer to justice - and this time there can be no miscarriage or mistake.
1:45 Mercedes Domingo is identified in the street as still being alive by Carlos Domingo's father. The foundation of the plotline begins with the interaction with a street cop.

2:50 Police press conference summarizes the original case. Cole uses this to set up a complex set of facts for the story. Listen carefully to keep track of the characters and the context. The waiter "known as Gonzalez" is introduced. The character does not appear again until late in the show. A body was discovered in the river and identified as Mercedes; Casey says the body was in the water a long time; DNA tests would have proved it was not Mercedes, but they were obviously not available at the time. We never find out whose body it was, so it is just a plot element. There is no indication that the body as there by any act of Mercedes or Gonzalez, so finding the body seems to be a random "lucky" event that makes her disappearance and Carlos' murder charge more credible.

4:48 Mercedes never got a divorce and married Albert Jenkins, "Alf the Barber." Jenkins stands to inherit a substantial estate from Mercedes.

5:16 "Goodnight, Mrs. Wheelbracker" opens the Blue Note scene, the first time her name has been heard (in a circulating recording) since the September 1946 episode Duke of Skid Row.

5:57 Mercedes may be clear of a bigamy charge due to a statute of limitations technicality of being assumed dead after a certain number of years.

9:20 After Carlos says he wants to have a quiet life after the false conviction, Cole gives us a big emotional set up at the prison press conference: Carlos' father says he wants to see Mercedes Domingo dead... and moments later in the program, she is found murdered in her hotel room.

11:55 Casey, Ann, and Logan are at the morgue with Mercedes body. Cole tells us how vicious it was when Logan says to Ann "I told you not to look." The killing was done with a barber's razor, implying that it was Alf the Barber's. The main suspects are Carlos, his father, and Al Jenkins.

12:39 Logan makes an important comment about a burnt paper collar being found in the fireplace. He also makes a comment about the murder of Mercedes as a revenge killing.

14:13 Ann says Carlos can't be convicted of a crime he's already served time for and been pardoned. Logan utters a Star Trek Dr. McCoy-esque line: "That's for the lawyers to argue out. I'm just a cop with a murder to solve. Let's go."

14:30 The usual parade of suspects are interrogated at police headquarters. One of the reasons Cole uses these scenes is to recap and reinforce the story for the audience and sometimes to introduce some new facts. These interrogations usually fail, underscore the confusion of the police, and create a way to make Casey look like a genius.

17:05 Ann and Casey realize that none of the suspects are likely, but they would each be pleased that the murder happened because of the way Mercedes treated them. Casey suspects that the only person who could have access to Mercedes' hotel room was a waiter or other hotel personnel. Casey thinks a paper dickey that was burned in the fireplace was from the killer in his disguise. Dickeys are not used as often as they were then, but they are still available https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dickey_(garment). Casey believes that the man Mercedes left Carlos for ...Gonzalez ... had been a waiter when she disappeared. Casey has a picture of Gonzalez from Carlos' lawyer.

18:50 Casey and Ann go to employment agencies looking for a waiter -- the thirteenth one they visit recognizes the picture of Gonzalez as "Frank Gomez." Casey tips the employment agency "two sawbucks" which is $240 in today's value. The fast-talking agent characterization is quite funny with flim-flam overacting. The actor playing the agent flubs the pronunciation "Gomez" at first but catches himself. It adds a sense of detachment to the character as shallow and not really caring about the people he works with, and it is possible it was scripted.

21:05 Casey and Ann find Gonzalez in his apartment. He admits he is Gomez and confesses the killing. When Mercedes disappeared, they hid in the city while Carlos was on trial and then she went away to hide. When she stopped writing to him, and he sought her and found she had left him, too. This killing was revenge for what she had done to him and the heartache he had over participating in the framing of Carlos.

23:20 Jenkins bursts in the room and Casey says "What are you doing here, Jenkins?... and why that gun?" Cole gives us a firearm almost as a throwaway line.

24:50 Gonzalez prevents Casey from being shot by Jenkins... and dies... and believes his saving Casey, an innocent man, redeems him for his role in the conviction of Carlos and his revenge killing of Mercedes.

27:05 In the usual Blue Note recap, Carlos Domingo will inherit Mercedes' estate because letters found in the hotel room detailed the scheme. The show ends with Ethelbert's mangling the phrase "femme fatale" (he says "femmy faytilly") with a joke about Mrs. O'Leary's cow and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Background about Mrs. O'Leary can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_O%27Leary  A news reporter had made the story up, but the poor woman died heartbroken because people attributed the horrible event to her.

RadioGoldindex lists Joe DeSantis in the cast. 

Casey 47-10-02 205 Miscarriage of Justice UPGRADE.mp3
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1947-10-02 Cincinnati OH Enquirer
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 4 1947-160

1947-10-02 Mason City IA Globe-Gazette
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 4 1947-161

1947-10-02 Miami FL News
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 4 1947-162