This is a live episode of the 13 episode run of the 1954 series, THE TELLTALE CLUE.
Anthony Ross is a New York Police Detective. Ross and his partner, Chuck Webster, must sift through a multitude of leads every week in-order to catch their killer.
Ross and Webster are called out to the site of a double homicide. They find the bodies of a man and a woman on the sidewalk. Sitting on the ground crying is Frank Williams, who is played by Darren McGavin.
McGavin is the dead woman's husband. He tells the detectives that his wife and he had just returned from ride in their new car. They had just pulled up when a man with a gun tried to rob them.
McGavin says the man shot his wife as he reached for his wallet. He had then grabbed the gun from the man and shot him in return.
The Police go through the dead man's pockets finding a wallet, a ring with the initials, WB, and a letter. The letter is from the man's daughter. The Police let McGavin go and return to the precinct.
The next day, the dead man's daughter comes to id the body. Because of the dead man's worn clothes, Ross asks if he was homeless? The daughter, Pat Breslin, tells the detectives that her father had hit a rough skid since her mother died. He became a drunk.
Now the red herrings are laid on thick and heavy. First, there is a rather large insurance policy that McGavin would like to collect on. The boys go to have a talk with McGavin again and find Breslin outside McGavin's place. What is she doing there? The police enter and find McGavin on the floor with a pill bottle beside him.
The medical types are called and they pump his guts out. When McGavin revives, the Detectives ask why he tried to kill himself? McGavin looks puzzled and says the last thing he recalls is taking a couple of headache pills.
The doctor tells Ross that the pills in the bottle, were really a very nasty narcotic. Ross checks the pharmacy and is told headache pills had been issued to McGavin's wife.. Well then where did the narcotics come from?
Ross now discovers that McGavin has a girlfriend hidden away. The girlfriend, Phyllis Hill, turns out be a nurse, and she did have access to the narcotic pills. She admits she wanted McGavin's wife out of the way. Hill barks. "Yes I switched the pills thinking the wife would take them. But you know as well as me, I did not kill her!"
Anthony nods and prepares to leave. He then sees a photo of Hill and McGavin on the mantel. It is signed "From your man, Willy Boy" Hill tells Ross that is the nickname Hill gave him. The old light bulb starts to flash in Ross's head. He makes the trip back to the office to think the clues through.
Another possible herring is now thrown in the stew. A man, Frank Campanella, tries to blackmail McGavin. He knows the dead man from a downtown flophouse. Campanella says he also knows that McGavin hired the dead man, to help McGavin fake a hold-up. A grand or he tells the cops.
McGavin tells Campanella to meet him the next night at eight. McGavin then grabs the phone and calls Ross. "There is some guy here with a cock and bull story trying to blackmail me." Ross agrees to be there himself with several officers when Campanella returns.
The next night when Campanella shows, Ross and the boys in blue pinch him. Ross then turns to McGavin. He says "I know it was you who killed your wife. You faked the robbery and shot both people. You had me fooled till I saw the photo at Hill's place signed Willy Boy. The same initials, WB, that were on the ring you planted on the dead man to throw us off."
Cuffs are produced, and McGavin is led off. All this is crammed into 30 minutes including, 5 minutes of PHILIP MORRIS cig ads.
Also in the cast are Nat Frey, Myrtle Fergeson and Bram Nossen. The director was Charles (Death of a Scoundrel) Martin. (b/w)