Once again Burger puts people on the stand that don't want to be there and threatens them with arrest if they don't answer his questions. It's amazing that his interpretation of what "the people" want is for him to destroy families. Incidentally, why DOES Madeline's fiance even tell Burger about the private conversations he had with her? In a real court, plenty of people say they don't remember conversations and the state can't do anything about it. Yet time and again, we see these hostile witnesses bury their loved ones by singing like a bird about private conversations. In more recent court shows like Law & Order, we don't see hostile witnesses that often. Apparently, the writers of these shows realize now that real life witnesses only testify to what they want known. The rest they conveniently can't remember. Submitted by DellaMason
The title here seems like a comparatively poor choice, despite the nice alliteration. None too informative or indicative of the plot! Submitted by Ed Zoerner, 6/12/09.
+ Better titles would be TCOT Fraudulent Family or Conniving Clan. Mike Bedard 3.4.15.
++ Who was the titular Felon anyway? submitted by DyNama, 3/6/2015.
Raymond Burr as adversary of "Mason"? After viewing this episode on MeTV, I switched over to TCM and caught the end of "Maru Maru" (1952) starring Errol Flynn as Gregory Mason and RB as Brock Benedict. RB initially works in a possibly criminal enterprise with Gregory Mason, but they end up as enemies. Wikipedia says that RB's weight had dropped from 300 to 175 before he was signed for the role...MikeM. 12/22/2016
Despite the ludicrous title, an entertaining episode with several interesting points on inheritance law. Potentially everyone who knew of the check and denied such knowledge could face a charge of attempt to defraud. DODay 12/27/17
Madeline Randall is Bebe Brent's daughter. Reed Brent is Lawton Brent's son. Bebe and Lawton are brother and sister. How could Madeline and Reed marry being first cousins? Why wasn't Madeline's father, Max Randall, persistent that they don't marry? Submitted by Dreamrider 12/22/16
+ I'm reminded of science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon's controversial story 'If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister?', where he ruminated on the idea of a utopian (well, somewhat) society that allowed incest. Controversial stuff for that time... Submitted by MikeReese, October 13, 2023
+ Great point to bring up. Legality of first cousin marriages varies by state. It is legal in some states, banned in others, and a criminal offense in some. Of those states that ban it, some states extend recognition of such marriages provided they were legally performed in a state that permits it, and some states will not recognize such marriages within their borders no matter where they were performed. California currently permits first cousin marriages. This link will take you to a current map, which is only suggestive of what the laws may have been in the 1960s: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cousin_marriage_law_in_the_United_States_by_state Submitted by catyron, May 23rd, 2018
+ The family relationships are confusing, but Bebe Brent was not a blood relative of the Brents. She was married to Lawton and Chester's deceased brother, Philip Brent. Madeline is Bebe's child by Max Randall. She and Reed are not cousins and have no blood relationship. I hope they got married, reinvested the money in the family business, moved Max and Aunt Hetty in with them--and never invited greedy Chester and sleazy Eloise to any family holiday dinners! Submitted by JazzBaby, 4/17/2019.
++ Actually, legally they are first cousins as a child born during the term of a marriage is legally the child of the husband, even if the husband is physically unable to father a child or had no access to the mother during the time of conception. Since Bebe Brent was legally still married to Phillip Brent when Madeline was born, Madeline is Phillip's daughter and, therefore, Reed's first cousin. jfh 23May2019.
+++ Actually, they would not be first cousins or related at all. Because as stated in the court, Philip Brent was officially reported dead. And because he was dead, it allowed for Bebe and Max to be legally married. Their marriage was annulled when she found out Philip was still alive. Then, Madeline's mother was legally declared to be Hetty when the child was born as she admitted on the stand even if it was a lie, it was still legal.
Furthermore, as stated in the episode's epilogue, the marriage between Bebe and Max even though it was annulled, still made Madeline "legitimate" or i.e. Max's daughter, not Philip's. In this rather convoluted series of events, Madeline and Reed are not related at all. Submitted by Kenmore 10/01/2023.