BrianRxm Coins on Television 5/24
Dragnet - Internal Affairs: Parolee (1969)
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This episode of the television program "Dragnet" shows a United States Panama-Pacific
Commemorative 1915 round $50 gold coin in a holder, which appears to be an authentic coin, not a film prop.
 
Jack Webb produced and starred in the the popular "Dragnet" television program which ran from
1951 to 1959, then a second version which ran from 1967 to 1970.
This episode is from the second version.
 
Sergeant Joe Friday and Officer Bill Gannon are two long-time Los Angeles police officers who work
in a different police department office each week.
 
This episode is titled "Internal Affairs: Parolee" and was first broadcast on November 27, 1969.
 
Friday and Gannon are assigned to investigate three Los Angeles theft cases from 1956 to determine
if Lyle Thompson, a man being paroled after 14 years in prison in Colorado, should be brought to
Califoria to be tried for these offenses.
Dragnet Parolee
1. Show Title
 
Dragnet Parolee
2. Sergeant Friday (Jack Webb)
 
One of the best-known policemen on television.
 
This week the officers are working in the Internal Affairs department.
 
The captain comes in and tells the officers that he has a special job for them.
 
Dragnet Parolee
3. The captain has a job for Friday and Gannon
 
Friday and Gannon are assigned to investigate three Los Angeles theft cases from 1956 to determine
if Lyle Thompson, a man being paroled after 14 years in prison in Colorado, should be brought to
Califoria to be tried for these offenses.
 
The officers go to the records office to look up the 1956 records on microfilm.
 
Dragnet Parolee
4. Looking up records
 
They meet a longtime records clerk, Bertha Johnson, who was the girlfriend of the detective who
investigated the orginal cases in 1956.
She talks about the detective, a dedicated policeman with no family life or outside interests, and
Gannon remarks that Friday is following the same path.
 
The first case is a car stolen from a dealer. The two officers find the dealership closed
and the manager deceased, which ends that case.
 
The second case is a bad check, the store owner has retired and is no longer interested in prosecution.
 
The third case is a businessman, George Wentworth, whose "rare coin worth $400" was stolen.
 
Dragnet Parolee
5. Wentworth greets the officers
 
He is a vindictive man who definitely wants to prosecute Thompson, a former employee.
He tells the officers that the coin, a Panama-Pacific commemorative $50 gold coin,
was worth $400 in 1956, and is worth $6000 now (in 1970).
 
Friday and Gannon wonder why he has kept track of the value of the coin.
 
His secretary tells the officers that the business has prospered due to one of Thompson's inventions,
and that Thompson could sue Wentworth and the company if he gets out of prison.
 
Dragnet Parolee
6. The secretary knows all and tells
 
She explains that Thompson's wife and child were killed in an accident, and Wentworth took the
opportunity to fire Thompson which sent the man into a downward spiral.
 
Back at the police office, the officers tell their captain what they have found, and discuss
Wentworth with him.
 
Wentworth then comes in and apologizes for wanting a new prosecution.
 
Dragnet Parolee
7. Wentworth apologizes and produces the coin
 
He tells that his secretary became upset at his behavior and quit, he then admits that he found the coin
several years ago but did not report the find to the police.
 
He shows the coin, which is the original holder.
 
Dragnet Parolee
8. The Panama-Pacific Commemorative in the holder
 
The holder reads:
 
PANAMA-PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION
1915 - SAN FRANCISCO - U.S.A.
COMMEMORATIVE COINS AUTHORIZED BY ACT OF CONGRESS
STRUCK AT SAN FRANCISCO MINT
 
 
Dragnet Parolee
9. The Panama-Pacific Commemorative closer
 
This is the round version of the commemorative coin, an octagonal version was also made.
 
A note at the end of the episode states that Thompson's parole was approved.
Notes:
 
Cast:
Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday
Harry Morgan as Officer Bill Gannon
Alice Backes as Bertha Johnson (Police records)
Howard Culver as George Wentworth
Louise Lorimer as Alice Sutton (Secretary)
 
Director: Jack Webb
Writer: Michael Donovan
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