Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Lurid Letter 

On vacation, Perry decides to help Jane Wardman, who had been kind to him. She is a high school teacher and widow accused of inappropriate behavior with some of her senior students. With the whole town against her, only Perry believes her.


Arthur Marks


Erle Stanley Gardner (based upon characters created by), Jonathan Latimer (teleplay) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street (credit only)
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg (credit only)
Mona Freeman ... Jane Wardman
Edgar Buchanan ... Judge Edward Daley
Robert Rockwell ... Everett Rixby
Kaye Elhardt Kaye Elhardt ... Doris Wilson
Ann Doran ... Mrs. Cornelia Slater
John Durren ... Pat Mangan
Tom Lowell ... Bobby Slater (as Thomas Lowell)
Noah Keen ... Dr. Stephen Grant
Mark Murray Mark Murray ... Terry Wardman
Kelly Thordsen ... Sheriff Watson
Chris Alcaide ... Gus Wiler


While on a fishing vacation, Perry Mason decides to help high school teacher Jane Wardman, an attractive widow, with a young son, who has been accused of improper conduct with at least two of her senior students. Biker and bully, Pat Mangan, is her primary accuser but the head of the local school board, Judge Edward Daley, also received a poison pen letter about Jane's conduct. Mangan and his biker friends harass Jane, including surrounding her car on the road causing her to crash. The Judge wants to ensure that there is a fair hearing on the accusations but the mood in the town is ugly with a group of parents visiting Jane's home and threatening her if she doesn't leave town. The Judge tries to keep the issue quiet by having Jane resign but she decides to fight. It's clear to Perry that something else is going on and that it relates to the death of another student some months before in another county. When the owner of a local bar is found murdered, the case takes on an entirely new ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

6 December 1962 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Mr. Rixby has no lenses in the eyeglasses he's wearing. See more »


When Jane and her son are driving home, there is no dashboard showing from the frontal shots. The dashboard appears from rear shots. See more »


[first lines]
First Girl: I told him I already had a date with Bobby Slater.
Second Girl: What are you going to do if he finds out you really haven't?
First Girl: I'll just have to leave the country, that's all.
See more »

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User Reviews

Perry defends a teacher for improper conduct with student
13 September 2012 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

A touchy subject is the plot on this episode when a widowed school teacher, Jane Wardman, is accused of improper conduct with one of her students. The student, Pat Mangan, is the town bully that is part of a motorcycle group from the school. A letter to the school also states that a student, Kenneth Sterling that had died in a motorcycle accident last year, was also involved with Ms Wardman. Ms Wardham admits to helping Kenneth but there was no relationship other than teacher and student. The school board that consist of most of the town's professional citizens, ask Ms Wardham to resign rather than fight the dismissal in court.

Perry just happens to be vacationing in the small town and comes to the aid of widow. However the mood in the town is not very good. In fact the ladies in the town pay Ms Wardham a visit to force her out of town. But with the help of Perry and Paul, Ms Wardham will get a hearing in front of the school board. During the hearing, that is presided over by Judge Edward Daley (Edgar Buchanan), it becomes clear to Perry that this town has secrets it wants hidden.

When a local bar owner is murdered, it begins the fall of a dated secret that someone in power never wanted to see the light of day. In the informal hearing, Perry will produce evidence that fingers someone that had reason to get rid of Ms Wardham.

Good script and good mystery.

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