1947-12-04 The Serpent Goddess

The Serpent Goddess is based on Cole's Witch's Tale script of 1931-10-05, The Boa Goddess. It was repeated twice on that series, on 1933-07-31, and 1937-03-18. There is a copy of the 1937 production in circulation. It's obvious that it can be better described that the concept was used again, not the entire script. There was a significant amount of re-write and new material needed to turn it into a Casey episode. It is much different than what Cole did to change Great Grandfather's Rent Receipt into a Casey. There he wrapped Casey elements around a mainly intact story. In this episode, Cole uses the Witch's Tale story in a series of flashbacks to set up a current-day mystery. It works fine until the implausible belief-straining ending.

ADC continuity notes...
Casey and Ann hear the story of two emaciated adventurers, Chris Johannson and Dan Sykes, who staggered into a native village at the edge of a South American jungle babbling deliriously of a comrade, Pedro Vasca, whom they have seen crushed to death by a giant boa constrictor who had a human face. Sykes and Johannson were carrying a number of fine emeralds, two or which are perfect gem stones of a huge size. When the men arrive in the U.S., Casey and Ann set up an interview with them to find the story or their adventure. When they go for the interview, Casey finds the men overwrought and jittery and they vigorously deny their sensational story or the weird snake with the human face and or the existence of their jungle companion named Vasca. Some time later, both the men are found crushed to death by what seems to have been a giant boa constrictor. Casey's solution to the problem of how a huge snake can murderously crush two men to death in a N.Y. City apartment and escape unnoticed makes an exciting climax to "The Serpent Goddess."
2:00 Sykes is very happy to meet Ann... "a swell lookin' kid." That would not be taken well in today's culture, but it again affirms the age disparity of Casey and Ann. Remember, Ann is just a few years out of college. For 1947, that indicates Ann likely comes from an upper middle class or wealthy family, unlike Casey's hardscrabble upbringing.

2:40 Some of the emeralds found have been sold for $1 million. In 2020 value, that's $12 million.

3:25 Sykes is covering up the death of Vasca... but the story takes a turn. Yes, that's "Raymond, Your Host" playing Vasca. About a minute and a half later, Sykes and Johannson are spooked by the sound of a drum, which turns out to be a Salvation Army band in the street.

5:37 Ethelbert says goodnight to Mrs. Wheelbracker. He tells Casey and Ann that Sykes was in the bar partying one night with a blonde, and then the next night he was in the Blue Note with a brunette. (Remember the brunette for later in the story). He became agitated when he heard the sound of a drum.

8:08 Casey talks to Burke that Johannson was crushed to death as if squeezed by a giant snake... in his apartment! The address is on Hawthorne Street. Hawthorne Terrace was an area of large homes in Mt. Vernon, NY, half a mile from the apartment building where Cole was living at the time.

12:15 Sykes looks at  Johannson's body and says "So that's what she does to a man." Finally, Sykes tells the details of Vasca, and how they were in the jungle to get the emeralds. It is at this point of the script that Cole pulls about nine minutes of dialogue and action from the original Witch's Tale script.

19:32 In the flashback, Vasca is being attacked by the snake, and then the scene returns to Sykes explaining it all to Casey, Ann, and Logan.

20:26 Casey and Ann are back at the Blue Note, and they recap the story. Casey believes Sykes is scared that each day may be his last and is trying to live (and spend) each day to the fullest. Casey wants to visit Sykes to get more information about Vasca.

22:10 Casey and Ann arrive at the building, and a woman, in a rush, accidentally runs into them, jumps into a car and leaves. Casey realizes she's the brunette... When they get to the apartment, Sykes is dead, squeezed to death. Strangely, Casey spots a tire valve cap on the floor. They contact Logan with a description of the car.

You can buy a pack of 25 valve caps on Amazon for less than $5!
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 5 Tire_v12

23:20 They find the car... and it belongs to Isabella Vasca! Who is she? And what is her relationship to Pedro Vasca?

23:38 They go to the apartment of Isabella Vasca. She explains that her "work was accomplished" and she wanted to go to jail. She is Pedro Vasca's sister. He did not trust Sykes and Johannson and thought they would kill him so as not tell the story of the emeralds. Vasca faked the sounds of his crushing by the serpent, and the scared Sykes and Johannson, hearing his screams, went in the opposite direction. Vasca wrote his sister that if something happened to him, she should avenge his death. He dies soon thereafter, but not by being crushed by a snake.

26:40 In the Blue Note epilogue, Casey explains how it was all done. Isabella had a portable air compressor and enough tubing to wrap around the men after she knocked them out. The tire valve cap was not from her car, but from the tubing. She turned on the compressor, the tubing would fill with the air, crushing the victim. This process is totally implausible, especially with the kind of equipment that was available at the time (more than 70 years ago) which would have been very heavy and bulky, especially when needing to carry enough tubing to wrap around a grown man. If it's electric, it's bound to blow out fuses since apartments were not necessarily wired for that kind of draw. And of course, it could not be a gas model. Sorry, Alonzo... you had us until we got to the Blue Note. This is beyond the tolerance and entertainment of comic book reality... this doesn't have a hint of possibility to it. Bad Alonzo. Bad, bad Alonzo. John Dietz should be forced to sit in the corner.

In case you were wondering, yes, snakes can eat people https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-39427462

Antique air compressors article https://www.quincycompressor.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-antique-air-compressors/
Restoring a 1940s air compressor video; you get a sense of how the small ones were built and how heavy they might be, even if "portable" https://youtu.be/Ehzu49YULcQ

RadioGoldindex lists Raymond Edward Johnson and Ted deCorsia in the cast.

Casey 47-12-04 214 The Serpent Goddess.mp3
Degoo https://cloud.degoo.com/e/drive-fhhis6pjdgyl
hubiC http://ovh.to/Tpa7f6

1947-12-04 Mason City IA Globe-Gazette
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 5 1947-194

1947-12-04 Ottawa ON Citizen
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 5 1947-193