This one is episode 29 from the 97-episode run of THE DETECTIVES. This series starred Robert Taylor and ran from 1959-1962. The first two seasons ran at a half hour and the last season had a runtime of an hour. The series followed the detective squad in a big city precinct. Cast regulars included Mark Goddard, Russell Thorson, Tige Andrews, Lee Farr and Adam West. Robert Taylor headlines as police captain Matt Holbrook.
The detective squad gets a call about a missing woman. Detective Lee Farr is sent out to have a look around. He finds the missing woman face down in her swimming pool. The woman is dressed in some strange robes Farr has never seen before. He quizzes the woman's maid about the robes. It seems that the dead woman belonged to some rich woman's club. Those were the robes she wore when attending the club.
The maid mentions that the woman next door (Spring Byington) also belongs to the same club. Detective Farr pays Byington a call and asks about this club. It turns out to be a anti-ageing spa with healing waters. Farr gets the info on the location, etc.
Back at the office the autopsy on the drowned woman comes back. There are some strange marks around her neck: it turns out she had been killed elsewhere and dumped in her pool later. Her lungs were full of soda water (!!).
Farr now pays a visit to the so-called fountain of youth club. The place is full of old types trying to slow down the arrival of Mister Reaper. The woman in charge (Lori March) charges the people a hefty fee to join.
In the middle of the club is a fountain with water flowing. Farr has brought a small bottle with him and he grabs a small sample of the "miracle" fluid. Tests soon disclose that the stuff is nothing but soda water. It is the same water that the dead woman had in her lungs.
The dead woman's will now pops up. A hefty amount has been left to the "club". A check of Miss March's background turns up more than a few scams in her past. Plus there is a brother of the deceased woman (Harry Ellerbe) who is tabbed for a hefty bit of cash from the will. Detective Farr calls in his boss for assistance: the two men interview everyone and soon come up with a new suspect. It seems that Spring Byington was annoyed with the dead woman's influence with Miss March.
Byington is quickly rumbled by the cops and given a round of third degree. She caves like a cheap suitcase and is arrested for the murder. The club is left alone because there is really no evidence that they are fleecing anyone. They claim no cure, but that the water "may" help.
This is a nifty little episode, with Byington shining as the killer in a change of pace role for her.
The director here is film noir veteran, Felix Feist. Feist was the helmsman on THE DEVIL THUMBS A RIDE, THE THREAT, THE BASKETBALL FIX, THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF, TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY and THIS WOMAN IS DANGEROUS.
The d of p on the episode was another film noir veteran, George Diskant. Some of the films he was the cinematographer for include: DESPERATE, THEY LIVE BY NIGHT, PORT OF NEW YORK, RIFFRAFF, BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN, THE RACKET, THE NARROW MARGIN, ON DANGEROUS GROUND and BEWARE MY LOVELY.