1947-10-16 The Camera Bug

The Camera Bug is one of the better entries in the series, with a detailed and believable plot that does not test the listener's patience. This is as close as the Casey series gets to a Call Northside 777 storyline, where a photo has the clue to the crime... and Casey didn't even take the picture! We also get a chance to see Casey's generosity to someone starting in the business, even as he alerts them to how tough it can be.

This is a repeated script from 1944-04-15 It's a Dog's Life.

ADC continuity notes...
Alan Forster, a young, likeable camera enthusiast, comes to Casey for advice as to how he can break into the highly competitive field of press photography. Casey, in a sour, glum mood, tries to discourage the boy but finally suggests he start as a free lance photographer on his own time. Casey promises to help market any news pictures that Alan may get. Later Casey and Ann are assigned to cover the daylight murder, on a crowded street, of Max Blake, a disreputable criminal lawyer. Young Forster was a witness to the killing and snapped several on-the-spot pictures which Casey tries to persuade his city editor to buy; the latter wants the hot news pictures but refuses to pay what they are worth, so Casey tells the boy to accept a better offer he has received from a rival paper. Then young Forster disappears. Casey finds the clue to his disappearance in the copies of the murder pictures the camera bug has given him, but when he and Ann start to follow their lead, they run into immediate trouble. Nevertheless, Casey rescues the boy, who has been kidnapped, and pins the murder of Blake on a man who had been entirely unsuspected.
Continuity notes from the 1944-04-15 broadcast...
A kid trying to break into newspaper photography as a career is advised by Casey to carry his camera everywhere and try for a lucky shot which he can sell to the papers. He does get a picture of a killing and is kidnapped by the killer. Casey tracks him down and effects the usual rescue.

How old is Alan Forster? He's 21... and newly married... yet ADC uses "boy" to describe him. Clearly a man, Cole may use "boy" in his notes to convey some innocence about Forster's character to someone reading the plotline.

"Camera bug" as used in this episode is obsolete. At the time, it meant anyone who was enthusiastic about their photographic skills, mainly as a hobby. The phrase started in the early 1900s and gradually fell into disuse through the century. Today, "camera bug" usually refers to a hidden surveillance device.

The running gag line in the show is that "it's a dog's life being a..." and each major character inserts their profession somewhere in the story. Ethelbert starts with the complaint about "it's a dog's life being a bartender." As the story progresses, we find out the same can be said about a police captain and a newspaper photographer. The phrase refers to someone who is in miserable circumstances. This is the explanation at https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/a+dog%27s+life
The term has been traced to Erasmus, who pointed out the wretched subservient existence of dogs in the mid-sixteenth century, as well as to the seventeenth-century proverb, “It’s a dog’s life, hunger and ease.” It was certainly a cliché by the time Rudyard Kipling (A Diversity of Creatures, 1899) wrote, “Politics are not my concern. . . . They impressed me as a dog’s life without a dog’s decencies.”
There is also more information at http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-its1.htm

The way home-kept dogs live today is nothing like that of dogs from the time when the idiom was created. Dogs have pretty cushy lives in most homes, full of affection, steady meals designed around canine nutrition, and regular veterinary care, especially in post-WW2 home life. The phrase has lost its original meaning, and has fallen out of use because the context for it no longer applies.

Cole likes having amusing themes like this one running parallel through the main aspects of the story. They help to create dialogue and link scenes and characters, keeping listeners engaged. Cole uses it eight times.
2:48 Casey describes the downside aspects of news photography
3:56 Casey reiterates the "dog's life" warning
5:49 A minute or so after Ethelbert says he wishes he could be in a job where he could take time off in the middle of the afternoon, Casey and Ann run out of the Blue Note to get to a crime scene and don't pay their tab! It's at this moment when Ethelbert utters the "dog's life" phrase.
11:48 Logan, about the amount of work cops need to do to solve cases.
15:13 Casey says working in newspapers is a dog's life and Forster should take his pictures to The Globe.
15:46 Casey says it again, because when you freelance you need to find the highest bidder for your work.
26:50 Casey says it again, but this time because Forster has taken a freelance assignment with Burke, and now knows full well the dog's life aspect of the job.
27:00 Ethelbert quotes his sister Edna.

Now, the key points of the episode...

1:42 Forster visits Casey -- sounds like the staging and microphone settings are not right. Casey uses "camera bug" in a disparaging manner.

4:56 Ethelbert says he has to answer the phone as part of his job... and then the phone rings! It's not a missed cue, though it may sound that way.

8:26 Cole plants a clue: a hidden elevator in the building across the street from the murder that Ann and Casey know about from a prior case they were assigned to. He weaves other details into the dialogue, especially that the owner, Klegel, has his office on the third floor.

9:45 Forster enters the scene and says he was a witness, and he got photos of Blake's murder. He wants Casey to have them; Casey offers processing advice.

11:30 The murder gun is of a caliber (.38) different than those of the guns of Blake's companions.

13:24 Forster is back to visit Casey with the crime photos. Says that he was offered $200 for the pictures (in today's value, $2400... Cole always puffs up the values). Casey thinks the pictures are worth showing to Burke, who offers $100. Casey says Forster should take his pictures to The Globe and get his $200. Casey asks for copies of the pictures... will they help solve the crime? Yet again, are we in New York or Boston? The Boston Globe was the leading newspaper there, and was highly regarded, nationwide.

16:20 Back at the Blue Note, Casey is so upset about Burke turning down Forster's photos, he say's he'd go over to work at The Globe for Curtis, their city editor. It just so happens that Curtis walks into the Blue Note at that time. The Forster story starts to unravel... Forster never went to The Globe... he has no idea who Forster is!

17:30 Forster's wife calls the Blue Note and asks Casey if he knows where he is. Their apartment has been burglarized... and Forster is missing! Someone wants the pictures, but Casey has his copies.

19:08 Casey realizes that the pictures hold the clue to the story. In progression, the pictures show an open first floor window, a closed first floor window, and no one at the third floor window. Klegel shot Blake, ran up to the third floor using the steps, then rang for the elevator, and the elevator operator became his alibi for the shooting. (Elevator operator is an obsolete job, but there are many buildings in New York City that still have them as part of union contracts; many of the jobs are either eliminated by attrition or retirement, or combined with building security or other jobs). Klegel is the only person who knows about the pictures, and Forster's offer for the pictures by The Globe was actually a ruse created by Klegel. Klegel needs the negatives, so Forster has been kidnapped. The entire story, motive through commission, is related by Casey less than two minutes in dialogue with Ann.

20:50 "There's a gun in this pocket" is what Klegel says when he confronts Casey and forces them to drive to a warehouse that Klegel owns, they are holding Forster.

21:20 "That gun makes you boss" Casey reiterates the presence of the firearm.

22:25 Forster is found tied up, and affirms he was duped. Klegel threatens to kill all three of them and disposing of their bodies in the river.

23:35 Casey is getting the pictures out of his case but picks up a flash bulb and forces it into the face of Klegel's henchman, and a fight, with comic-book-like commentary as to its progress, ensues.

25:40 We finally learn why Klegel killed Blake (tired of paying blackmail). Forster's work gets him a freelance arrangement with Burke.

27:00 Ethelbert quotes sister Edna about a dog's life. Ann asks Ethelbert to give Casey a "Fido biscuit," as she's tired of hearing about the dog's life aspect of his work.

Here's an ad for a photo shop that uses "camera bug."
1947-10-14 St Louis MO Star & Times
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 4 1947-167

Casey 47-10-16 207 The Camera Bug UPGRADE.mp3
Degoo https://cloud.degoo.com/e/drive-mzf4n1ttfrkk
hubiC http://ovh.to/TpaAF6s

1947-10-16 Asheville NC Citizen-Times
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 4 1947-168

1947-10-16 Cincinnati OH Enquirer
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 4 1947-169

1947-10-16 Mason City IA Globe-Gazette
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 4 1947-170

1947-10-16 Miami FL News
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 4 1947-171

1947-10-16 Ottawa ON Citizen
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 4 1947-172