Francis Jerome (Jeffrey Hunter) kills a woman with her hair.

1. The Monster

Our first view of Inspector Lewis Erskine.

Case file: #76-3342-J

Francis Jerome: Escaped Federal Prisoner

Original air date and season debut: 19 September 1965
This episode was not rerun on ABC

This was the first episode of the long-running series. Francis Jerome escapes from Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary, goes to Philadelphia, and then to his hometown. There, he goes on a murderous rampage. His specialty? Girls with long hair.

What Inspector Lewis Erskine and SAC Jim Rhodes discover is that Jerome grew up in a household straight out of a Nathaniel Hawthorne gothic novel. Jerome's maternal grandmother raised and home schooled him, and he wore his hair long!

FBI officials had a fit with this episode. They apparently did not like the idea of FBI agents pursuing a psycho. Efrem Zimbalist Jr.'s portrayal may not have gone over so well, either. Jean Davis' (Dina Merrill) pursual of the good inspector reveals (spoiler here) Inspector Lewis Erskine’s personal bitterness stemming from his wife's death. He does not want Ms. Davis (or his daughter Barbara) to marry FBI agents.

All in all, a superb start to a superb series. The show immediately established itself as a thinking man’s show, and a good one at that.

Cast

Role Performer
Jeffrey Hunter Francis Jerome
Estelle Winwood Grandma Norbert
Dina Merrill Jean Davis
Bernadette Hale Parma Houghton
Julie Parrish Eileen
Peter Hansen Lee Haynes
Jonathan Lippe Boy
Paul Sorenson Captain Herman
Sherri Spillane Girl
Directed by: William A. Graham
Written by: Norman Jolley
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