Dragnet 1967 (1967–1970)
5 user

The Pyramid Swindle 

Bonnie Bates is keeping her late husband's lucrative pyramid scheme alive by selling ten-year memberships in his "Dollar-Wise" buying club for $199.99. Friday and Gannon arrest her and she ... See full summary »


Jack Webb


Norman Lessing




Episode complete credited cast:
Jack Webb ... Sergeant Joe Friday
Harry Morgan ... Officer Bill Gannon
Virginia Gregg ... Bonnie Bates
Byron Morrow ... Palmer Forrest
Bert Fields Bert Fields ... Hal Davies (as Bert Fields Esq.)
Robert Cornthwaite ... Dr. Edgar Sundstrom
Art Gilmore ... Captain Lambert
Byron Keith ... Nick Gowers
Vinton Hayworth ... The Judge
Chet Stratton ... Everett Tottle
Sam Edwards ... Mr. Black
Alma Platt Alma Platt ... Little Old Lady
Sidney Clute ... Salesman


Bonnie Bates is keeping her late husband's lucrative pyramid scheme alive by selling ten-year memberships in his "Dollar-Wise" buying club for $199.99. Friday and Gannon arrest her and she goes on trial where the jury seems to be on her side until they hear how many members are required for the scheme to work. Written by bobbymaxwell

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Crime | Drama | Mystery






Release Date:

30 November 1967 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bonnie Bates is portrayed by Virginia Gregg, who several years earlier portrayed another "Mrs. Bates" -- in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Virginia Gregg provided the majority of the on screen voice for Norman's mother. See more »


(at around 1 min) As Friday is familiarizing the viewers with the show's scenario, Friday can be seen sitting at his desk talking with Gannon, and if the viewer looks just to the right of Joe, we can see the shadow of the camera as it pans back and to the right. See more »

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User Reviews

Right Message, Wrong Venue
16 April 2011 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

To expose these pyramid scams, which was quite the topic for awhile, is fine but the writers here used their blatant bias against religion by equating these business frauds to revival meetings. There was no need for that except to promote their atheist agenda. These pyramid money-making schemes were/are strictly business, a way to fleece people out of their cash.

"Bonnie Bates," the head of the scam was a woman who yelled loudly like some evangelist ministers do, shook her tambourine and called everyone "brothers" and "sisters." The analogies weren't even subtle and had no place in this story. People who con others with "pyramid" do not use these kind of religious come-ons. This was ludicrous.

It's too bad because the episode, as usual, was funny and entertaining. Veteran TV actress Virginia Gregg played the crook who made the big sales pitches to a crowd that was made to look like total baboons.

Yes, there are a lot of gullible people out there and greedy ones looking to get rich quick (ask Bernie Madoff) but this whole episode, as another reviewer points out here, is a caricature rather than a comment about these con artists, who are despicable people.

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