During the 1950's there were two Police series that rose to the top. DRAGNET and THE LINEUP were both solid Police procedurals that showed how the everyday life of a Detective was. The LINEUP ran between 1954 and 1960 with a total of 200 episodes produced. The leads were played by Tom Tully and Warner Anderson as a pair of San Francisco Police Detectives. This particular episode is the seventh episode of the series.
A middle aged man (Ian Keith) is found beaten and stabbed in his hotel room. Detectives Tully and Anderson are called. They arrive just as the ambulance boys are loading up the victim. The medic says it is pretty bad and he doubts the man will survive for long.
Anderson and Tully do a check of the man's rooms but find nothing of help. They then quiz the desk clerk (Harlan Warde) for anything he might have seen, or heard. Warde tells them that a man had stopped earlier to see Keith. "He was a big guy in a uniform, a delivery or repairman type guy. I did not look close as I was on the phone. I just waved him by."
The Police put out the usual suspects call and weed out all the big gents for a talk. No joy here, as the witness can't identify any of the men. The Detectives are then paid a visit by the victim's lawyer (Art Space). He tells the Police that Keith was having a beef with a service station mechanic. Keith wanted a refund on a $40 valve job he says was not done right. The mechanic, Claude Akins, had refused the refund and said the work was good.
Space hints that Keith, though wealthy, could be tight with a nickel. The Detectives quickly pay a visit to Mr. Akins for a chin wag. Akins is not in the least inclined to help, so the Detectives haul him in for some real "face to face" time. Akins admits he was at the hotel to see Keith, but that no one answered the door when he knocked. The Detectives now receive a call from the medical types about the victim, Keith. He has, for the moment, regained consciousness. Tully and Anderson grab Akins and head off to the hospital.
When asked if Akins is the man who attacked him, Keith shakes his head in the negative. He whispers that it was a woman who stabbed him. Keith then gives up the ghost before any further info can be culled. Akins is given his release and the Detectives are now stumped.
They pay a visit to Keith's lawyer. When informed what Keith had said about a woman being involved, the barrister recalls something. Keith seems to have been making the rounds of some local lonely hearts clubs. He was in the market for a new wife since divorcing the last one. Anderson and Tully soon turn this clue into a solid lead.
They come up with Mae Clarke, a widow who is looking for a wealthy older gent for herself. It seems that the old boy thought Miss Clarke was a bit long in the tooth for his tastes. This of course turned out to be something he should not have said to Miss Clarke. The woman is collared for an extended stay with the State.
A pretty good episode with plenty of red herrings tossed about before the true culprit is revealed.
Mae Clarke most will recall from the famous grapefruit-in-the-face scene with James Cagney in 1931's THE PUBLIC ENEMY.