1949-08-11 The Death of a Stranger

Death of a Stranger is a good Casey episode that draws from real-life aspects of stamp collecting as an element of the crime. The hobby was very popular in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. FDR was known as a stamp collector, and the hobby grew as a way to pass the time during WW2. It's a good story, but it's easy to lose track of, but worth sticking with.

ADC continuity notes...
Millionaire Robert Heiden, dealer in rare stamps refuses to see an elderly gentleman who calls to offer a "three skilling orange error," a Swedish stamp. Knowing the only one of its kind belongs to an ex-King, Mr. Heiden assumed the man was an imposter.  A few minutes later, Heiden's son, Arthur, discovers the man in the reception room, dead.  Capt. Logan responds to a reported "suicide" call but declares the unidentified man has been murdered -- that the throat-cutting could not be self-inflicted.  Casey takes a picture.  After questioning Heiden's secretary and his two sons, the case seems stymied because no one recognizes the stranger. Casey shows the picture to Ethelbert who recognizes the murdered man as Angelo Carfora and tells Casey where he lives. Ann and Casey set off to investigate without informing Logan.  As they approach the house, an explosion is heard from within Carfora's house, flames follow and a man dashes from the house. In the darkness, the fleeing man shoots Casey's flashlight from his hand, slugs Ann and Casey.  They recover as the Fire Dept. is arriving.  Ann stumbles on a gun which police trace by seria1 number and report a permit for same was issued in the name of Arthur Heiden.  Now Casey and Logan and Ann return to the Heiden home to question the elder Heiden again, having learned that Carfora was also a stamp collector.  In the midst of this session, the millionaire is shot from the hallway and his son Arthur is found holding a gun. Despite this incriminating chain of evidence, Casey remonstrates that the boy is innocent and proceeds to reveal the true killer.

2:04 Heiden knows what the "three skilling orange error" is and that it is indeed held by an exiled king. Cole is drawing from real life here. See the article in Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treskilling_Yellow and also see the news clipping below as the actual stamp was put up for auction the year following the program.

4:00 Arthur finds the dead stranger in the hallway. It's first thought of as suicide, but it turns out to be murder.

5:58 They make a point that the murdered man had an "interesting" and "nice face." That's the power of radio. Everyone can imagine what comprises an "interesting face" and a "nice face."

6:33 They have great fun with the word "philately" and that Casey doesn't know it; the rest of the show he makes a point of using it and makes it seem like he knew the word all along when he later talks to Logan (15:28).

9:00 Mr. Nestorcamp is another Blue Note customer, mentioned by name by Ethelbert, but no dialogue.

10:50 Ethelbert recognizes the victim as Angelo Carfora. The last time Ethelbert recognized a murder victim was in 1949-03-10 Scene of the Crime when he was taking his correspondence course in detection. Ethelbert is totally befuddled by Ann's kiss on the cheek for helping with the case.

11:42 Before they can get into Carfora's house, it bursts into flames... and 11:52 someone's shooting at Casey! Casey gets knocked out by the gunman, and so does Ann! They were knocked out in last week's episode, too! Radio detectives do not have a concussion protocol, it seems. But after the mid-show commercial, they're both okay.

15:55 They learn that it was Arthur's gun that Casey found at the fire.

17:50 During the conversation with Robert Heiden, he mentioned that Carfora had sent him stamps before and asked if they were authentic. All of them were forgeries, except for the recent time when he brought him a "postmaster provisional." That's a real thing; read about it at Wikipedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_postmasters_provisional_stamps

18:12 Heiden is told that the murder victim was Carfora... he had never met him though he did business with him through the mail.

18:53 Heiden is shot! Did Arthur kill him?

22:00 It's sibling jealousy that drove the incidents... Horace killed Carfora because Arthur could get away with all kinds of misbehavior. We learn the details at the Blue Note.

25:30 Casey explains that Carfora was a skilled engraver who was trying to create replicas of collectible stamps. He was sending Heiden his work because as a collector of renown, he could spot fakes. In all those iterations, Carfora was perfecting his techniques. Horace got the idea to sell Carfora's work to other collectors not as known replicas, but as forgeries. Horace tried to frame Arthur for the deaths of Carfora and his father.

You get a sense of lusher orchestra arrangements under Feuer. He had previously worked on Escape and was probably influenced by Spier and Robson's use of music on Suspense and other Hollywood productions. The Bleyer arrangements had an obviously different sound.

Casey 49-08-11 301 The Death of a Stranger UPGRADE.mp3
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1949-08-11 Wisconsin State Journal
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 6 1949-179

About five months after the broadcast, the exiled king who owned the Swedish stamp in question put it up for auction.

1950-01-29 Pittsburgh PA Press
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 6 1950-135