Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Demure Defendant 

Nadine, a demure young woman, confesses to her psychiatrist on tape under a truth serum that she poisoned her uncle. Evidence has been tampered with and planted, and Perry is in hot water as the police believe he is responsible.


Laslo Benedek


Erle Stanley Gardner (based on the novel by), Ben Brady (teleplay) | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
William Talman ... Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg
Christine White ... Nadine Marshall
Clem Bevans ... Capt. Hugo
Fay Baker ... Marian Newburn
Walter Coy ... Lester Newburn
Barry Atwater ... Dr. Robert Denair
Sherwood Price ... John Locke
Alexander Campbell ... Martin Wellman
Morris Ankrum ... Judge
Connie Cezon Connie Cezon ... Gertie Lade
Maurice Manson Maurice Manson ... Dr. Granby


Young Nadine returns home with a gift for Capt. Hugo and a surprise - she is engaged to John Locke. Hugo tells her she should tell her uncle Martin Wellman. The cantankerous uncle tells her she can't get married and has her look at papers he threatens to show her fiancé. Nadine visits Locke in his lab where she steals some potassium cyanide pills while he is distracted. When she returns home, Martin is asking for his nightly hot chocolate. He has just told his other relative Marian Newburn and her husband Lester that they too have been cut out of his will. Nadine takes Martin his drink and is summoned again later to find him dying saying he was poisoned. Nadine goes under the care of a psychiatrist who recorded her confession under a truth serum. She says she poisoned her uncle and threw the evidence in a lake. The doctor takes the recording to Perry who talks to Nadine but soon finds himself the target of the police for interfering with evidence when he has a boy look for the bottle ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

truth serum | lake | doctor | boy | cyanide | See All (16) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

4 January 1958 (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?


Less than 10% of the population of the world can detect the bitter almond smell that cyanide gives off as it off-gases. So there were long odds against Marian being able to know there was a bottle of it in the kitchen. See more »


[first lines]
Nadine Marshall: Captain Hugo! Captain Hugo, I have a present for you!
Capt. Hugo: No, don't tell me what's in here, Nadine. It's uh... It's a necktie.
[Nadine shakes her head no]
Capt. Hugo: Bar of soap?
Nadine Marshall: No.
Capt. Hugo: [opening package] Tobacco! I never would've guessed.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Paul Hahn character is officially credited as 'Ballistic's Man', needless apostrophe and all. See more »

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User Reviews

Ethical dilemma and evidence tampering
4 July 2014 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Young Christine White is Perry Mason's client in this episode. She gets to be that second hand because of her psychiatrist Barry Atwater who comes to Raymond Burr with an ethical dilemma. In a taped session White confesses to a murder by poison.

What does Atwater do. If he withholds evidence of a crime he could be arrested regardless of patient confidentiality. If he reports it and there wasn't a murder he could be sued. Those are the questions that would trouble Oliver Wendell Holmes let alone Perry Mason.

When he takes the case Burr finds himself accused of evidence tampering first by Ray Collins, second by William Talman. Now he has to find evidence and clear his name as well as White's.

He does find the murderer right at the very end and someone you'd least suspect. There were in fact any number of people who would like to have killed this particular victim who was Christine White's uncle.

I have a feeling that Perry Mason will take this murderer's case if that helps any in your guessing.

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