1. The Monster
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.
- For the first two seasons, the outline of the U.S. Capital dome was used for the opening of the episodes. The acts and the epilogue were a standard device on all QM (Quinn Martin) shows.
- We learn that Inspector Lewis Erskine's wife, Ruth, died in a gun ambush meant for him.
- Jeffrey Hunter would perform once more on The FBI. He died in May 1969 from a head trauma. Estelle Winwood lived from 1883 to 1984. Dina Merrill was married to actor Cliff Robertson from 1966 to 1986. She is the daughter of famed broker E. F. Hutton and socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post. Julie Parrish, popular in the 1960s, died from ovarian cancer complications on 1 October 2003.
- This episode is one of the rare episodes to air on TV Land. It aired on 12 June 2005.
|Jeffrey Hunter||Francis Jerome|
|Estelle Winwood||Grandma Norbert|
|Dina Merrill||Jean Davis|
|Bernadette Hale||Parma Houghton|
|Peter Hansen||Lee Haynes|
|Paul Sorenson||Captain Herman|
|Directed by: William A. Graham
Written by: Norman Jolley