“Homicide: DR-22.” An episode of Dragnet 1969. First air date: 9 January 1969. (Season 3, Episode 14 of the color era Dragnet series.) Jack Webb (Sergeant Joe Friday), Harry Morgan (Officer Bill Gannon), Burt Mustin (Calvin Lampe), Art Balinger (Captain Hugh Brown), Len Wayland (Officer Dave Dorman), Jill Banner (Eve Wesson), Alfred Shelly (Jack Swan). Writer: James Doherty. Creator, producer, director: Jack Webb.


    Joe Friday and Bill Gannon are working Homicide when they’re called in to investigate the murder of a young woman, found hog-tied on her belly in her apartment. Almost immediately, the building manager, Calvin Lampe, appears at the door and starts to point out things about the crime scene that are so obscure Friday and Gannon’s suspicions are aroused.

   Later, while being informally questioned, Lampe indicates so many more unusual things about the crime — not to mention the discovery of his incriminating handprint on the wall of the victim’s apartment — that Friday decides to take him down to the station; for the moment, Lampe isn’t just the prime suspect — he’s the only suspect. But Friday and Gannon are in for a surprise when they find out who their suspect really is.

   Burt Mustin (1884-1977) was all over television in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, nearly always in comic roles. In this Dragnet episode, however, he impresses in a semi-serious part. Mustin’s first film was Detective Story (1951), when he was 67 years old.

   Many viewers remember him from his 14 appearances on The Andy Griffith Show (1960-66). He also showed up in “Nothing Ever Happens in Linvale,” reviewed here.

   You can watch “Homicide: DR-22” on Hulu.