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<< Frustrated Folk Singer | Episodes | Golden Venom >>

#227: The Case of the
Thermal Thief
Original Airdate: 01/14/65

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book (Revised)
This is another unusual episode. It finds Perry away in Europe on business, and movie star Barry Sullivan playing his friend, lawyer Ken Kramer.

Kramer has a strange case on his hands. A woman named Lona hired him to bail out a female thief named Maxine, who had stolen a $50,000 necklace from Lona’s stepsister, Amy Reid. Amy happens to be the widow of a prominent yachtsman who drowned in the Catalina Channel four years before. Lona’s motive for freeing Maxine is to learn where she got the combination to Amy’s safe. Members of Amy’s household think Lona was in on the robbery, and so do the police after they discover Maxine shot to death in a children's playground.

Ken doesn’t agree.

Credits Edit

Random actor from episode. Click for page of all available.


Starring Raymond Burr
Based upon characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins


Directed by Jack Arnold
Written by Robert C. Dennis
Arthur Marks \ Art Seid | Producers
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer
Jackson Gillis | Associate Producer
Samuel Newman | Story Consultant

Raymond Burr as Perry Mason
Barbara Hale as Della Street
William Hopper as Paul Drake
William Talman as Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg
Welsey Lau as Lt. Anderson

Music Composed by Richard Shores
Music Supervision by Herschel Burke Gilbert


Barry Sullivan as Ken Kramer
Bettye Ackerman as Amy Reid
Burt Metcalfe as Jeff Mills
Kathie Browne as Lona Upton
Robert Strauss as Pete Kamboly
Richard Eastham as Roland Canfield
Nina Shipman as Maxine Nichols
Joyce Van Patten as Fay Gilmer
Noel Drayton as Mr. Costelni
Dick Whittinghill as Barman
Irene Martin as First Girl
Mimi Dillard as Second Girl
Mark Tapscott as First Officer
John Hart as Dion
Don Lynch as Third Officer
Harlan Warde as Desk Sergeant
Joan Sudlow as Stella (Maid)
Lee Miller as Sgt. Brice

Uncredited Actors
S. John Launer as The Judge (posted by gracep 9/8/2010)


Director of Photography … John M. Nickolaus, Jr.
Art Direction … Lewis Creber
Assistant Director … Gordon A. Webb
Film Editor … Richard W. Farrell
Casting … Harvey Clermont
Makeup … Irving Pringle
Hair Stylist … Annabell
Wardrobe Supervision … Ed McDermott, Evelyn Carruth
Set Decoration … Carl Biddiscombe
Properties … Ray Thompson
Production Sound Mixer … Herman Lewis
Script Supervision … Marshall Schlom
Theme Composed by … Fred Steiner
Automobiles Supplied by … Ford Motor Company

Perry Mason
Produced by the CBS Television Network in association with Paisano Productions

Trivia Edit

Anomaly: Joyce Van Patten, listed as Fay Gilmer, is called Gilmore by several people.

Uncredited Actors: S. John Launer plays the judge but is not credited even though he has lines. Submitted by daveb, date unknown.
+ Don Anderson files in with the other courtroom spectators at the beginning of the hearing. Submitted by gracenote, 4/15/2011.

The yacht featured in the Dion home movie still exists! Read more here. Submitted by D. A. Supernaw, 2/8/2007.

Location: A swimming pool next to a marina is seen in the home movies of Dion near the beginning of this episode. This is at the Long Beach Yacht Club at 6201 Appian Way. See here. Submitted by D. A. Supernaw, 4/26/2005. Updated 2/11/07.

It appears that the portrait of Dion seen in this episode also appears in #250, TCOT Wrathful Wraith, as Jamison Selff. From Tom Stillman via the Perry_Mason Yahoo! group, posted by daveb, 11/14/2009.

Location: About 25 minutes in Ken looks out Fay's window and sees Plummer Park at 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood just 5 blocks from the where Jazbo drove in the previous episode TCOT Frustrated Folksinger. See episode #101 for another episode featuring Plummer Park. Submitted by Eric Cooper, 19 August 2010. Some pictures here.

Sightings: As Maxine talks on the phone, Distinguished Gentleman #1 mops the floor behind her. (But that is not the only time we see him.) Quiet Old Man #1 appears among the spectators in the courtroom gallery; he is chatting and shaking hands with a standing man. He then stands up himself to make room as the aforementioned Gentleman finds his seat. Submitted by gracenote, 4/15/2011.

Character Names: Our substitute lawyer’s full name is Kenneth W. Kramer. Just about everyone refers to Mills as Jeffrey, not just Jeff. John Hart plays Dion Reid (surname omitted from credits). Submitted by gracenote, 4/15/2011.

Comments Edit

I loved that final line Kramer delivers to the real killer - "bide your time, sir .. bide your time!" submitted by MikeReese, 4/9/2013

This episode demonstrates an apparent rule of Perry Mason, that if you're lucky/rich/spoiled enough to own a fur coat, you never take it off, not even on the witness stand. Amy wears hers, and even the matching fur hat, without sweating perspiring. Submitted by DyNama, 1/1/2014.

Does anyone have any idea why this episode is called TCOT Thermal Thief? Where does the 'thermal' part of the title come from? Submitted by Neil Van Zile, 6/13/2014

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