Mannix (1967–1975): Season 2, Episode 12 - Fear I to Fall - full transcript

Mannix is brought to a small town in New Mexico on a ruse, and then subpoenaed to testify as an expert witness for the prosecution in a murder trial. After his testimony, the woman representing the defendant announces she wants to resign as defense counsel. Mannix decides that instead of returning to Los Angeles, he'll remain to aid the defense, encouraging the defendant's attorney to stick with the case while he tries to dig up new information that could free her client.

(tires squealing)

WOMAN (over intercom):
Mr. John Fair, please come

to the ticket
reservation counter.

Mr. John Fair, go to the ticket
reservation counter, please.

MAN: Mr. Mannix?

I'm, uh, Viewcola.
Conrad Viewcola.

Sheriff here in Manzana County.

Well, how do you do, Sheriff?


To appear and
testify in the case

of The People v. Harry Barlow.

Moving a little
fast for me, friend.

I just came in from out of state

to meet a client, a
Mr. Dobie Dobson.

He was supposed to meet me here

at the airport. He
won't be here. Let's go.

WOMAN (over intercom): Flight 19
from Phoenix departing on schedule...

I received a special
delivery letter

last night in Los Angeles.

There was a $1,000
cash advance in it,

a round-trip ticket to Manzana,

and a note from
a man I never met,

a desperate man
asking me for help.

Well, the letter was
from the district attorney.

The cash is your experts fee

for testifying.

You can't subpoena
out of state, you know.

The D.A. couldn't
risk your refusing.

I came here to meet
Mr. Dobie Dobson.

I don't leave until I see him.

Well, you may have a long wait.

The man at whose trial
you're supposed to testify,

Harry Barlow, is charged with
the murder of Dobie Dobson.

WOMAN (over intercom):
Flight 23 from Tulsa...

Is this your D.A.'s idea
of some kind of a joke?


Well, you're here, aren't you?

(theme music playing)

♪ ♪

Mr. Mannix, so that
the court will know

that you are an expert witness,

would you please state...

If the Court please.

Yes, Miss Richards?

Your Honor, the defense
stipulates acceptance

of Mr. Mannix as
an expert witness.

Thank you, counsel.

Let the record so indicate.

You may proceed, Mr. Bartlett.

Thank you, Your Honor.

Mr. Mannix, it is an
accepted scientific fact

in the field of
criminology is it not,

professional criminals
tend to limit their activities

to special kinds of crimes,

special methods used

in committing these crimes?

In short, they develop

a pattern in
relation to the crime,

a modus operandi, a
method of operation,

isn't that correct?

Yes, referred to as an "M.O."


Now I have here three
police photographs.

People's exhibits
six through eight,

illustrating the pattern
of a specific burglary.

Now, Mr. Mannix,
where there is a burglary,

with the glass from
a rear window is cut

and a rubber suction cup
is used to remove the glass.

And where the burglar
uses white gloves,

cheap white gloves,
to cover his fingerprints,

and then he leaves the
gloves at the scene of the crime.

And where distinctive
drill patterns are used here

to insert TNT into the safe.

And where foam rubber is used

to deaden the explosion.

Would you say, Mr. Mannix,

that from this
method of operation,

you could identify
the probable burglar

as one that you previously
had apprehended,

and caused to be
brought to justice

for the crime of burglary?

Objection, Your Honor.

The prosecution
may not introduce

evidence of a prior criminal act

for the express
purpose of discrediting

the defendant's character.

Your Honor, the question

is not an issue of
character, but rather

the method of
operation of a burglary.

The defendant is on trial
for murder, not for burglary.

Murder committed
during a burglary.

In this case, two
inseparable crimes.

The District Attorney means
two answers to one question.

One question
raises the probability

that if the defendant
committed a prior burglary,

then perhaps he
committed this one.

And if he committed
this burglary,

then chances are that he
also committed the murder.

When an expert witness
identifies a probable burglar

from his method of
operation, then simultaneously,

he identifies the murderer.

I assume both counsels
are arguing this legal point

for the benefit of the bench.

Your Honor, the
evidence to be adduced

is totally inadmissible.

Not only the answer,
but the question itself

is highly prejudicial.

The defense moves
these proceedings

be declared a mistrial.

Your motive is
good, Miss Richards,

but your law is wrong.

Your Honor... Motion denied.

Objection overruled.

But, Your Honor... (gavel bangs)

Now, Mr. Mannix, from
this method of operation,

this modus operandi, this M.O.,

could you identify
the probable burglar?


In all your years
of investigating,

have you ever seen a method
of operation like this before?


In more than one person? No.

Now, isn't this true,
Mr. Mannix, that seven years ago

you represented an
insurance company,

and during that time,
you investigated,

pursued and
apprehended a burglar

with this method of operation?

Yes, I did.

And is that man
in this courtroom?


And would you
point him out, please?

The gentleman
sitting at the table.

Let the record show
that the expert witness

is identifying the
defendant, Harry Barlow.

(gallery murmurs)

No further questions,
Your Honor.

The defense may cross-examine.

I have no questions, Your Honor.

May I please approach the bench?

Why, yes, Miss Richards.

Mr. Bartlett.

Yes, Miss Richards?

With the Court's
permission, I respectfully

request to retire
from this case.

As the Court appointed
me, it can appoint

substitute counsel for
the indigent defendant.

Why, Miss Richards?

This is my first
appearance in court

as an attorney
in a criminal case.

If I keep making
mistakes about the law,

I can only lose the
case, but the defendant

could lose his life.

You've placed his life in
my hands, and it would seem

that they are not
competent hands.

It takes a great deal of courage

to make an admission
like that, Miss Richards.

The same kind of courage

that made your late father,

Jack Richards, one of the finest

trial lawyers in this state.

For his sake, for your own sake,

I want you to think this over.

The defense is granted
a 24-hour continuance.

(gavel bangs) Court adjourned.

Miss Richards, I'm very sorry...


She doesn't want to talk to you

even off the stand.

I called and made
a reservation for you

on the next plane back to L.A.

You can just make it if I
drive you to the airport now.

Thanks, Sheriff.

It is a little chilly
here in Manzana.

That lady lawyer's old man,

Big Jack Richards,
ever known him?

I've seen him in
court once or twice.

Mr. Advocate.

Fighter, ooh-wee.

He was the kind you
took your hat off to

even while he was beating
the tar right out of you,

which was mostly
all of the time.

In fact, he never once
lost a criminal case.

That's more than they'll be
able to say for his daughter.

Yeah, it's a shame.

The girl lives only for
the memory of her father.

Well, they're loading the plane.

Have a nice trip,
and no hard feelings.

My usual expert witness
fee is $300 for the day.

You can return the
balance to the D.A.

I changed my mind.

I'd like to cancel
off Flight 31.

May I see your ticket, please?

Taken care of right away, sir.

(phone ringing) Thank you.

Easy, Mannix.

Let's go back the way you came.

Hold it.

In there.

WOMAN (on PA): Mr. George
Sperling, Mrs. George Sperling,

please report to
the car rental desk.

You missed one plane to L.A.,

there'll be another
in about an hour.

Be on it.


My signed resignation
from the case.

If you think that's news,

Vera, you're free to print it.

As a newspaperwoman,
I'll print it,

but as a friend,
I've got to tell you,

I think you're making
a mistake, Phyllis.

This is an admission
of incompetence.

It's a confession.

I failed.

I failed my father.

MANNIX: What about your client?

Harry Barlow, did you fail him?

What could I do
after your testimony?

You know, if you'd been
less concerned with yourself,

and more concerned
with your client,

you might have cross-examined
me instead of passing.

You would have asked questions

the D.A. didn't and wouldn't.

You might have got
the fact into the record

that Harry Barlow, as
a burglar for 20 years,

never once resorted to violence,

even when he was
caught in the act.

You know...

I saw your father
argue a case once.

And he was scared.

You could tell the way he fought

to keep his hands from shaking,

the way the sweat stained

through the back of
his jacket on a cool day.

But he had guts.

Not because he had
no fear, but because

he fought hard,
despite the fear.

But you... you're
afraid, so you run.

Tomorrow morning, early,

I want to see your
client, Harry Barlow.

(sighs, gasps)

You all right?

I'm Vera Hillsman.

I write for the Morning News.

Well, do me a favor,

keep this out of the paper, huh?

It's bad for business.

MANNIX: I put you
away once, Harry.

You keep that collar-ad
face of yours shut now,

and I'm going to put
you away for good.

Now were you in on
that Dobson heist?

I... I think so.

You "think so"?

You don't know?

Not for sure, no.

Some guy, a drifter I ran
into, said he had an easy mark.

So I agreed to
meet him out of town

and help pull off the heist.

I... I never met him.

Handsome Harry
passed up an easy mark?

Yeah, I passed it up.

I stopped in a bar before I
left to have a drink and I...

You met a pretty face.

She didn't even belong in there.

Pretty, all right, but square.

On the level, just all mixed up.

Some kind of family problem.

Okay, so you parked in the hill

and psychoanalyzed
your unhappy housewife.

You got back to your
place late. What then?

The cops were waiting for me.

Searched me, the car.

Found five grand in
bills hidden in my trunk.

Which means you want
me to believe that somebody

planted that stolen money
in your car before you left,

before the robbery
was committed?

So help me, I never laid
eyes on that dough before.

I wasn't even near
this Dobson's place.

Didn't even know who Dobson was.

Now, I swear that!

You've got to believe me.

(bell rings)

This woman Barlow
says he was with,

what about her?

PHYLLIS: Well, he gave us
her description and her name:


We turned the town
upside down looking for her.

Mr. Mannix, if it wasn't Barlow,

if there was this
woman named Bonnie,

then the cash in Barlow's
car really was planted,

and Barlow is being framed.

Why would anyone want
to frame Harry Barlow?


Because there was another
motive for the murder.

Exactly how do you know that?

Well, you don't "know"
it, you just kind of smell it.

By setting up an ex-con with
an easy-to-copy M.O. as patsy,

kept anybody else from
looking in another direction

for another motive
and another murderer.

That still doesn't
tell us who or why.


Just who is Dobie Dobson,

and why would
anybody want to kill him?

Well, that's got to be it.

There's nothing else that
even comes close to adding up.

The Max Taylor Ranch?

How do you add up a
piece of cheap real estate

to a utility company

and come up with a murder?

One, Old man Max Taylor died.

No will, no heirs and the state
took over his property, right?


Two, the late, Dobie Dobson,

was vice president of the
Tri-State Power Company.

Now the company
needed a location

for a new multi-million
dollar nuclear power plant.

Right? Still digging.

Three, Vice President Dobson

finds the old Taylor Ranch,
recommends it to his company.

His company buys it.

Well, that's it.

One plus two plus
three equals murder?

Sorry, I've just
stopped digging.

You forgot to add
two and a half.

Now could Dobson have
bought the Taylor Ranch

himself at auction, very cheap?

And then sell it back to
his company at say, ten, 20,

maybe a hundred times
more than he paid for it?

No, of course he couldn't.

That's illegal in this state.

It's conflict of interest.

Dobson would be crazy
to try a thing like that.

Sure, under his own name.

But what if he used
a dummy middleman

to buy and sell it for him?

Wow! Illicit profits.

And fraud. Which
could add up to murder.

Yes, but you're still
guessing about this

two and a half link in
your chain, aren't you?

Say, girl reporter, do
you have any influence

on that paper you
work for? Sometimes.

Now, if Harry Barlow's
attorney couldn't find

this so-called woman, Bonnie,

then chances are the
murderer couldn't find her either.

She's the one witness who
can destroy this frame-up.

If she knows that, and she must,

she's hiding to
protect her life.

I want you to run a personal
ad in the classified section,

carefully worded asking
this Bonnie woman

to contact me, here.

Will do.

Oh, and keep running
that every day. Right.

Now, if you'll take me to
the county recorder's office,

we'll see just how
much of a pipe dream

that number two-and-a-half is.

Here's what you're looking for.

The Max Taylor Ranch sold to the
Amos Smith Real Estate Company

with a court order passing
title after a Sheriff's sale.

Smith Real Estate to
Tri-State Power, 1,500 acres.

Is there an address there

for the Amos Smith
Real Estate Company?

Sure thing.

Wilshireville. Small
town, north of here.


Shame you had to waste your
time coming here for the information.

Probably got it all
sitting in your files.

In my files?

Well, your father's, I guess.

He was in here getting
the same information,

about a week or so, I guess,

before he was
killed in that accident.

SMITH: As a lawyer, I
maintain quite a few companies.

The Amos Smith Real Estate
Company is only one of them.

It acted as a go-between

for the purchase and subsequent
resale of the Max Taylor Ranch.

There's no secret about it.

We bought 1,500 acres
at ten dollars an acre.

The land was
practically worthless,

not good for farming
or cattle grazing...

Actually good for nothing.

Oh not "nothing", Mr. Smith.

It apparently was an ideal
site for a nuclear power plant.


Not ideal, sir.

It was the only site
in the whole state

for that kind of plant.

The power company knew this.

They willingly paid
the asking price

without batting an eyelash.

Not only the fattest commission
I ever earned, it was the easiest.

What did the power plant
pay for the 1,500 acres?

Now, that's a matter between
the buyer, the seller and me.

Mr. Smith, the Tri-State
Power Company

is a public utility as well as
being a private corporation.

I don't have to tell
you as an attorney,

that with a company like that,

the details of any
financial transaction

are available on proper inquiry.

$1,000 an acre.


Not bad.

Bought for $15,000, sold
for a million and a half.

You say you acted as
go-between, Mr. Smith.

Go-between for whom?

I don't have to answer that
question, Miss Richards.

As an attorney...
there is, you know,

the matter of a
lawyer-client privilege.

A lawyer and client
conspiring to break the law

and hiding it under
the technicality

of a lawyer-client relationship
is not my idea of privilege.

Just you try to abuse
that privilege, Mr. Smith.

You let me subpoena
you, and just you try it.

Like father, like daughter.

Big Jack Richards...

Pious, mealy-mouthed
Jack Richards.

He tried the same thing,
right here in this office!

A shakedown... naked extortion!

There was nothing illegal
about it... nothing to hide.

Big Jack Richards didn't collect

a cent of blackmail
money from me

and neither will you.

I'll tell you the
same thing I told him.

Get out! Both of you!

I don't believe it.

Not my father.

The county recorder said
something about an accident.

Exactly how did your father die?

An auto accident.

He, uh, went off the highway
and over an embankment.


On this highway... A
few miles from here.

He was on his way
back from Wilshireville...

From seeing Amos Smith.


Well, shall we go?

♪ ♪

(engine revving)

(tires squealing)


Are you all right?

I... I know what
you're thinking.

My father tried to blackmail
him and they killed him.

And they think we
tried to blackmail them

and they're going to kill us.

Well, I'll tell you something,

my father never
blackmailed anybody.

My father never
blackmailed anybody!

Phyllis... I know he didn't!

Stop it! I know he didn't!



We found the truck that
tried to force you off the road.


Any registration?

No help.

Truck was stolen earlier.

What about fingerprints?

No help either.

They were wiped clean.

I wonder how that driver knew
that we would be going along

that highway at
that precise time?

Obviously, somebody
followed you from Smith's

to the highway diner, then
phoned ahead when you left.

And that, as far

as the authorities
are concerned, is that?

Any suggestions?

Yeah. You find some poor
innocent slob of an ex-convict

like Harry Barlow and
frame the rap on him.

Hey, now wait a minute, Mannix.

It's all right,
Sheriff. It's all right.

Miss Richards, first
Mr. Mannix is assaulted,

and now the both of you are,

but I can't tell anything
from these facts

which leads me to
believe that these assaults

had anything... anything
to do with the murder

of Dobie Dobson by your client.

That's for the jury to decide

once they get the evidence.

Yes, Mr. Mannix,

all the evidence,
including this letter.

"Mr. Dobson, you promised

"to call back and set
up an appointment.

"You didn't.

"I tried to get you on the
phone three times today.

"By now, I can recognize
a stall when it's tried on me.

"You're going to pay,
and pay through the nose.

"And the longer you
refuse to face that fact,

the more it's
going to cost you."

(clears throat)

Dobson received that letter

on the day that the
man who sent it died.

He turned it over to me,
charging attempted blackmail.

I thought it best just to
forget the whole thing.

But I'm sorry, I can't
sit on it any longer.

Miss Richards, if you
enter any evidence

regarding the Taylor Ranch,

I shall be forced
to enter this letter

as evidence.

Two dead men will be libeled,
their reputations smeared:

your father and Dobie Dobson.

You see, your father sent
this letter to Mr. Dobson.

Do you still have
your father's files?


Here's a copy of all
the proceedings involved

in the sale of the
Max Taylor Ranch.

There's a copy of the
letter that Bartlett read us

from my father to Dobie Dobson,

a letter to my father
and my father's reply.

From whom?

Mm, some woman in
Chicago, a cousin of Max Taylor.

But I thought the State
took over the property

because there was
no will, no heirs.

Isn't a cousin an heir?

An heir, yes, but too late
under the law to inherit.

You mean, by the time the
cousin found Max Taylor was dead

and got in touch
with your father,

the state legally
owned the property

and had a right to sell it?

In nonlegal terms,
that's what happened.

That's what my father told her.

He could only get her
the auction price: $15,000.

Would that still be true if
he knew and could prove

that the sale of the
ranch was a fraud?

Why don't you ask what
you really want to know?

Did my father know enough
to have the sale set aside?

Did he know enough
to blackmail Dobson?

I didn't ask that, you did.

Well, what's the
difference who asked it?

The answer's the same.

Yes, he knew enough
to blackmail Dobson.

If he were capable
of being a blackmailer.

Martinis always
make you thoughtful?

Pretty mixed-up
thoughts this time...

about a little man who wasn't
there, who couldn't know.

You're late.

Mannix, has anybody answered
the ad I ran this afternoon

about Barlow's
girlfriend Bonnie?

No, not a word.

Some hausfrau who
was out on the town

for the first time in her life,

afraid her husband and
her family might find out.

More scared of
being hurt, I guess.

No, I think we can just
scratch that lead for now.

I'm not so sure.

I just got a phone
call, anonymous.

I think I know
where she's hiding.

Wish me luck!

You tired of living?

But she's a story.

And she's a witness
you've got to have.

And she's dynamite that
could blow up in anybody's face

that gets close to her.

Sugar'n spice and
everything nice?

That's not what girl
reporters are made of.

Now, why find out the hard way?

Okay, so what do we do?

Call the sheriff?

You give me the keys
to your car, the address,

and then you go back
to Phyllis Richards' office

and keep her company
with the doors locked tight

to everybody but me.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(footsteps crunching on debris)

♪ ♪



♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(both grunting)

♪ ♪


Don't you think you ought
to have a doctor look at this?

No, it's just a scratch.

You know, Harry Barlow's
girlfriend wasn't there,

never had been there.

That so-called
newspaper tip was just bait

for you and me and
Phyllis, maybe all three of us.

But kill us? Why?

'Cause we're digging too deep.

Did you get the name
of that man out there?

Driver's license.

His name is... name
was Edward Lewis.

Edward Lewis?

You know him?

He used to work
for the D.A.'s office.

He got a little rough
with his hands,

and they fired him
about a year ago.

He, uh, he was involved
in a couple of Dad's cases.

Violence, murder for a price.

Well, that doesn't help us.

Anybody with a little
dough could have hired him.

I went through those files
we brought up from the cellar.


I went through the
transcript of the trial

with a fine tooth comb.

I was looking for mistakes
and inconsistencies

and writing them down.

Question, counselor:

When court reconvenes
tomorrow morning,

are you going to keep on
representing Harry Barlow?

I'm not going to
just represent him,

I'm going to fight for him.

Even if it means destroying
your father's image?

My father was no blackmailer.

And if he was...

I'm still my father's daughter.

Big Jack or Dirty
Jack, I still love him.

But I'm a lawyer
with a client to defend.

Based on your
investigation, Sheriff,

would you please describe
to the court the chain of events

leading up to and including
the murder of Dobie Dobson,

insofar as the authorities
have been able to reconstruct

that chain through the evidence?

Well, after the safe was blown,

the burglar reached inside
and took out a metal cash box.

Now, Dobson, who must
have heard the burglar earlier,

approached the burglar
and pointed a gun at him.

The burglar was surprised
and turned to face Dobson

still holding the metal
cash box in his hand.

Dobson stepped closer,
the burglar panicked,

swung down with the metal
cash box he had in his hand,

striking Dobson on the
head and, uh, killed him.

Thank you, Sheriff.

No further questions.

Mr. Mannix,

as an expert witness
qualified to this court,

do you find the facts
in the sheriff's testimony

consistent with the
inference that Harry Barlow

struck and killed Dobie Dobson?

No, I don't.

Why not, Mr. Mannix?

If it's all right
with Your Honor,

I'd like to demonstrate
physically to the court.

Proceed with your
demonstration, Mr. Mannix.

Thank you.

Miss Richards, if you'll
take the part of the burglar,

I will play the part of
the late Mr. Dobson.

Now if you will turn
your back and kneel

as if you were pulling a
cash box out of a safe.

What are you doing at that safe?

I'll take the cash box.

Hold it.

Now, the coroner's report

lists as the cause
of Dobson's death

a depressed fracture of
the lateral parietal region,

the right lateral
parietal region.

Now would you hit me
on this side of the head

where Dobson was struck.

I-I can't.

As long as I'm holding
the box this way,

I can only hit your
head on the left side.

If you wanted to hit me on the
right side, what would you do?


Now would the defendant

show his left hand
to the court, please.

Partial paralysis
of the left hand.

Harry Barlow can't pick up or
even hold a book of matches.

If his life depended on it,
he couldn't pick up anything

as big and as heavy
as that metal cash box.

Let the record show
that the defendant

has a congenital
deformity of the left hand.

You may sit down.

Mr. Mannix, is it possible that
Dobson had his back turned

to the burglar when
the blow was struck?

A man with a gun
interrupts a burglar

kneeling before an open safe

and then turns his
back on that burglar?

I don't think
that's very likely.

Thank you, Mr. Mannix.

You may return to the stand.

Mr. Mannix, is there
any other theory

which you could
present at this time

which would be consistent
with the facts in this case?

Objection, Your Honor.

Counsel is asking the
witness to speculate.

The prosecution called this
man to be an expert witness.

If he has been certified
by this court as an expert

to create inference
for the prosecution,

he is equally qualified to
do the same for the defense.

Objection overruled.

The witness will
answer the question.

Now, Mr. Mannix, is
there any other theory

which is consistent with
the facts in this case?


And what is that theory?

That Harry Barlow
was deliberately framed

for a murder that
he did not commit.

Is there anything in the record

or any knowledge which
you personally have access to

which would
corroborate this theory?

Yes, the facts
concerning the acquisition

of the Max Taylor Ranch
by the power company.

Mr. Mannix, you were with me

last night in the
sheriff's office

when the district
attorney gave me a letter.

Is this the letter?


Your Honor, I'd like to
have this letter marked

for purposes of
identification only.


Let the exhibit be so marked.

All right, Mr. Mannix,

will you please
read this letter?

"Mr. Dobson, you
promised to call back

"and set up an
appointment. You didn't.

"I tried to get you on the
phone three times today.

"By now, I can recognize
a stall when it's tried on me.

"You're going to pay
and pay through the nose.

"And the longer you
refuse to face that fact,

the more it's
going to cost you."

The letter is signed
by Jack Richards.

Thank you.

The district attorney
characterized this letter

as an attempt by my father
to blackmail Dobie Dobson.

Is that consistent
with your theory?

Consistent, but unlikely.

Why "unlikely," Mr. Mannix?

Jack Richards was
not a blackmailer.

He was a good lawyer,
fighting for a client,

fighting to dig out the truth.

I believe he was
deliberately killed

because he was
getting close to that truth.

What truth?

The purchase of the Max
Taylor Ranch was a fraud

engineered by Dobie
Dobson for an illegal profit

of well over a million dollars.

Again, as an expert witness,

what about the death
of Dobie Dobson?

I believe Mr. Dobson
had an accomplice

in the fraudulent
sale of that ranch.

The accomplice
killed Jack Richards.

Dobson refused to go
along with the murder

and threatened exposure.

The accomplice killed Dobson

and then framed Harry
Barlow for that murder.

I have no further questions.

Mr. Mannix, this,
uh, excursion of yours

into the Never-Never
Land of theory...

is it not possible that
this theory of yours

is based on the fact that,
if the defendant is innocent,

then somebody
else must be guilty?

Put in those words...

Yes, Mr. Mannix,
put in those words.

I suppose so, yes.

And this theatrical
demonstration of yours

with the left hand
and the right hand,

can you state in fact and in law

that the defendant couldn't have
struck and killed the decedent

by raising the cash
box with both hands?

It's possible. And, Mr. Mannix,

have you any proof, any
tangible shred of evidence

that this theory of
yours is anything more

than a figment of
your imagination?

It's what I believe happened.

No further questions,
Your Honor.

Mr. Mannix, to your knowledge,

is there any such proof...

Proof that Harry
Barlow was framed,

proof that your
theory is fact and not

fiction? Yes.

What is that proof, please?

The testimony of a witness,

a woman who was
with Harry Barlow

miles from the Dobson house
at the time Dobson was killed.

PHYLLIS: Is that
witness and her testimony

available to this court?

I hope to have her
here in the morning

when the court reconvenes.

Court is adjourned until
10:00 tomorrow morning.

I'm proud of you, Counselor.

You know, whoever this
Bonnie is, wherever she is,

you just made a target of her.

The murderer will kill
her if he can, to stop her

from testifying. I know.

I hope you've got a
rabbit to pull out of that hat.

If you'll hold the hat.



Out of town call, Sheriff.

Woman says it's an emergency,
won't talk to anybody but you.

Put her through.

Sheriff Viewcola.

Sheriff, this is Bonnie.

Well, now the world is
just full of Bonnies, ma'am.

Which one are you?

Say, wait a minute,

you're not the woman who
was with Harry Barlow, are you?

Oh, Harry couldn't
have killed that man.

He couldn't.

Well, why didn't you come
forward and testify, ma'am?

'Cause I'm scared, Sheriff.

I'm scared that real killer's
going to come after me.

I'm scared.

Well, scared or
not scared, ma'am,

you've got to testify.

A man's life depends on it.

That's what Mr. Mannix told me

when I talked to
him on the phone.

I said I'd come in
tonight, but I'm frightened.

Ma'am, there's
nothing to be afraid of.

You just relax.

Supposing that I
come and get you?

Now you wouldn't be
afraid then, would you?

Well, I... Well, where are you?

Well, I... I'm north of town.

Out by Grace Farms.

Is there someplace I could hide

till you got here and be safe?

North of town, there's
not much out there.

Wait a minute, do you know
where the old Penner house,

the one that's
half burnt out is?

Well, is it safe?

Oh, it's safe,
ma'am. It's very safe.

You just go there
and wait for me.

And try to stay out of sight.

All right?


♪ ♪




This is Sheriff Viewcola.

Is it safe, Sheriff?

Well, not as safe as if
you'd never called me.

I'm sorry, ma'am,
I'm really sorry.

I just don't have a choice.

It's all over, Sheriff.

(gun clicking)

Hold your fire!

♪ ♪

Well, I figured

only a law enforcement
officer would think

of framing an ex-con
with a phony M.O.

and an expert witness.

That could have been me.

But it was Viewcola
who mentioned the fact

that Phyllis and I had
gone to see Amos Smith,

and only Amos Smith knew that.

And Smith telephoned Viewcola.


Viewcola and
Dobson were partners

and using Amos Smith as a front.

Which gives me a
pretty good reason

to pay a call to Mr. Smith.

I'm just so glad it's all over.

You know, I've got a feeling

Big Jack would
have liked your style.