223. Tower Of Terror

The FBI in 1973.

Original air date: 28 October 1973

Michael Staley, an unhinged Korean War veteran in Minneapolis, is determined to show he is important. His former sergeant in the service is imprisoned and recently killed a guard trying to escape. Staley plants a bomb in a Minneapolis high rise building and sends an anonymous note to the FBI demanding his former sergeant be freed. Erskine and Daniels lead the bureau's efforts to find the bomb before it's too late. In the process, Inspector Erskine has to deal with an angry federal inmate and question his drunken ex-wife, while the bad guy has a run-in with someone whom he owes $500 (and whom he pushes over ).

Mario Roccuzzo makes his second appearance in the series. His first was in the 30 January 1966 episode “Quantico.” He gives a nervy performance as the downtrodden, nerdish Michael Staley. Have to say that the villain (born 1940) seems a little too young to be Korean War vets, though Victor French (1934-1989) is in that age range. That said, early in the episode, his character and Inspector Lewis Erskine have a very heated exchange that is fun to watch. Also watch for an older woman (Mrs. Staley, the mom) in a wheelchair who echoes Estelle Winwood's character in the pilot episode!

This is an excellent episode written by famed screenwriter Jackson Gillis (1916-2010), who penned episodes of Adventures of Superman, Perry Mason and Lost in Space. This episode was the only one he wrote for The FBI. Watch for a reference to both Superman and The Green Hornet! The Minneapolis setting is interesting, in that a hit show of that time, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, was set there. It also was the hometown of the late Noel Neill, who played Lois Lane in the Adventures of Superman.

Erin Moran makes another appearance on The FBI. She soon would star in the ABC series Happy Days, and died of complications from throat cancer in Indiana on 22 April 2017. Boston-born Mario Roccuzzo, who started his acting career in 1960, turned 77 last month, and has acted in many police shows throughout the years.

This page updated 6 December 2017.




Performer Role
Mario Roccuzzo Michael Staley            
Victor French Michael Riles
Bobbi Jordan Irene Riles Morton
Richard O'Brien Captain Jenkins
Scott Walker Morrie Prager
Erin Moran Prager daughter
William Bryant Ned Morton
Joseph Perry Workman
Ann Driscoll Mrs. Staley
And these performers (no role information provided):  
Jeannine Brown William Martel  
Ben Marino Marvin Dean Stewart  
Garrison True Dick De Coit  
John Kroger Richard Merrifield  
Sandy Ward Edward T. Blessington  
Ed Deemer Robert Bridges  
  Richard Delmar  
Directed by: Don Medford
Written by: Jackson Gillis
Production Code: 196512
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