The following is my log for "I Love A Mystery." It borrows heavily from other logs that have been created over the years for this show.
I've also incorporated information I uncovered during my research on the show at the US Library of Congress, information provided to my by visitors to this web-site, and after careful scrutiny of copies of scripts obtained from a variety of Morse archives. I've also added notes, denoting special facts about particular episodes.
I've tried to both clarify and account for some of the discrepancies that have arisen in previous logs. Part of the problem is that ILAM was a transcribed show through most of its run, with episodes couriered to different broadcasting venues, both east coast and west. The show was even broadcast over Canadian stations during the second MBS run of the show.
If you have further questions or information that can expand this log, please don't hesitate to E-mail me.
(Last updated: July 2001)
Michael Raffetto as JACK PACKARD, until Jay Novello, then
John McIntire took over the role in the CBS run of the show
Barton Yarborough as DOC LONG
Walter Paterson as REGGIE YORK
with Gloria Blondell as JERRI BOOKER, and Mercedes McCambridge, Richard LeGrande, Forrest Lewis, and Mel Blanc in various roles.
(NBC Pacific Coast, Standard Brands, Monday-Friday 15 minute episodes)
1 "The Case Of The Roxy Mob" (January 16th to February 3rd, 1939; 15 episodes)
*The first ILAM story, reuniting Jack, Doc and Reggie in California after they had last seen each other in Manchuria, fighting the Japanese. Only Episode 3 is circulating.2 "Death Aboard the Lady Mary" (February 6th to 24th, 1939; 15 episodes)
* While escaping from the police, the three find themselves in the middle of a gang war in Northern California, working both ends against the middle.
* Only the script is available from this show.13 “Castle Island" (October 23rd to November 17th, 1939; 20 episodes)
* Contrary to other logs, no episodes are circulating (the final episode of the second run of TROPICS DON'T CALL IT MURDER is often confused as an episode of this story).
*There is a short air-check of perhaps 5 minutes duration that mostly features the announcer, Dresser Dalhstead, from the Hollywood run of the show. The mostly intact version is from the MBS run of the story, made over a decade later.18 "The Brooks Kidnapping" (February 19th to March 8, 1940; 15 episodes)
(restarts on NBC Red Network, Thursday, 30 minute episodes.)
20 "The Snake With The Diamond Eyes" (April 4th to June 27, 1940; 13 episodes)
*One complete episode is known to be circulating. In the spring of 1999, ILAM collector Jim Farst identified one 30 minute episode from this show (#11); it had been in the archives of a NY state Public Broadcasting station, WRVO for over 20 years, and had been given to them by an OTR collector in the 1970s.Second Season
*There is also a 5 minute excerpt of Episode #2 in circulation; it only includes the opening announcement and advertisement.
(NBC Blue Network, continuing 30 minute episodes, aired Mondays)
21 "The Tropics Don't Call It Murder" (September 30th to December 30th, 1940; 13 episodes)
* Three half-episodes, from ETs in the Library of Congress, where shared with other ILAM fans by Ed Carr in the spring of 1998. They are of excellent quality, but are missing openings, closings and ads.22 "The Case Of The Transplanted Castle" (January 6th to March 3rd, 1941; 9 episodes)
* This story originally was written under the working title, "The Tropics Taste Murder".
* marks the first appearance of Jerry Booker, who was running a combination coffee & ice-cream shop on the resort island mentioned in the title, when she met the boys. No shows are available, but there is the entire script circulating; commercially released several years ago by Morselco, it is now out of print.24 "Eight Kinds Of Murder" (May 12th to June 30th, 1941; 8 episodes)
* marks the establishment of the "Triple A-One Detective Agency", with Jerry Booker installed as the secretary for our three heroes. No shows were known to have been circulating, but in late 1999 ILAM collector Travis Connor uncovered the complete final episode. Because of bad scratching on the original ET, it is currently undergoing digital re-mastering before it will be released for general circulation.Third Season
* The script for the first half-episode is available; it is from the first entire script episode derived from the MBS run of the show.
**Note that in some areas, these 30 minute NBC shows were split up into two 15 minute shows, and broadcast twice weekly, hence the discrepancy in some regional ILAM logs.
(NBC Blue Network, 30-minute episodes, aired Mondays)
25 "The Monster In The Mansion" (October 6th to November 24th, 1941; 8 episodes)
*Two half-episodes, from ETs in the Library of Congress, where shared with other ILAM fans by Ed Carr in the spring of 1998. They are of excellent quality, but are missing openings, closings and advertisements.26 "Secret Passage To Death" (December 1st 1941 to February 2nd, 1942; 10 episodes)
* A complete synopsis for this story (another in the "Young Girl in a Spooky Mansion" school of Morse writing) first appeared in the ILAM fanzine, "The A-1 Gazette".
* The first and second episodes of this story are now circulating, the first having been pieced together from two different ETs. I also understand that this show marked the original signature opening of wailing bells followed by Valse Triste, to the more familiar roaring locomotive (the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour after the first episode of this story made everyone, not just Morse, nervous about anything that resembled an air-raid siren).27 "Terror Of Frozen Corpse Lodge" (February 9th to April 4th, 1942; 9 episodes)
**This show also marks the final appearance of the role of Reggie, who after the tragic suicide of Walter Patterson, is heard of no more. Morse, a friend of Patterson's, was very shaken by the death of his friend, and rather than replace him with another actor, had the role of Jerry Booker take on more emphasis. While mentioned in passing, Reggie's voice is heard no more. Many of the episodes from now on are heralded by the phrase; "The Adventures of Jack, Doc and Jerry."
* Alas, only two complete and two half episodes of this show are in circulation, and no script is available at this time. Written excerpts from the script of this marvelous, though incomplete show, appeared in the "I Love A Mystery" chapter of Jim Harmon's 1967 book, "The Great Radio Heroes," for which an expanded edition released late in 2001.Fourth Season
(Series moves to CBS, Proctor & Gamble; returns to 15-minute format, Monday to Friday)
29 "The Girl In The Gilded Cage" (March
22nd-April 9th, 1943; 15 episodes)
30 "Blood On The Cat" (April 12th to May 7th, 1943; 20 episodes)
31 "The Killer Of Circle M" (May 10th to June 4th, 1943; 20 episodes
32 "Stairway To The Sun" (June 7th to July 16th, 1943; 30 episodes)
* No episodes of this show are circulating; there is the script from the MBS run that SPERDVAC has in their files.33 "The Graves Of Whamperjaw, Texas" (July 19th to August 6th, 1943; 15 episodes)
* The original working title for this story was "The Island in the Sky", and was strongly influenced by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel, "The Lost World."
* The sequel is THE HERMIT OF SAN FELIPE ATABAPO.
* While no episodes circulate, this *is* the story that is the basis of the entertaining Columbia B-film, "I Love A Mystery" (which had two original, and rather disappointing, sequels). The script for the first episode of this story is in circulation, which introduced Jefferson Monk not in a Russian restaurant, but instead in a Chinese one.36 "My Beloved Is A Vampire" (October 4th to November 5th, 1943; 25 episodes)
* Only a single show is circulating from the first run; a harsh air check is available for many from the MBS run of the show, which is the sequel to the lost world epic, STAIRWAY TO THE SUN. The air-check, although missing almost half of the 20 episodes, has the opening announcer segments intact, allowing one to almost completely follow this story. Jack and Doc, acting alone, are sent on a mission by the Ancient High Ones back on the Lost Plateau, led by the hermit Jeremiah and his elfin ward, Yoganda.38 "The Deadly Sin Of Richard Coyle" (December 6th to 24th, 1943; 15 episodes)
* The longest of the ILAM stories, and marks the first appearance of Michael, the Viennese spy/detective, played by Forrest Lewis (who sounded so much like Peter Lorre, that CBS was forced to announce that he *wasn't" Mr. Lorre!).40 "The African Jungle Mystery" (February 28th to March 24th, 1944; 20 episodes)
* This show was not repeated for the MBS run of the show.
* No episodes are circulating, though the script is available. Jack and Doc, tapped by military intelligence, join forces with an ex Red-Cross nurse named Helen Grey to smash a Nazi spy ring that operates across French West Africa.
**Additionally, the very first script chapter mentions that the events in *this* story take place directly after the events in THE HERMIT OF SAN FELIPE ATABAPO, which throws considerable doubt on the order of this season's stories (sigh).
* According to Jim Harmon, this was Mr. Morse's personal favorite ILAM story. No episodes unfortunately survive about this story where crazed woman who lives on a remote island, who performs ghastly tortures on those shipwrecked there while high on gin and laudanum, all the while muttering, "No ring, no ring finger, no husband"; that is, until Jack and Doc crack up their plane on this remote Pacific island...42 "I Am The Destroyer Of Women" (April 24th to May 12th, 1944; 15 episodes)
* Only a single episode of this show is circulating, the final one. Doc, injured and in a hospital bed from falling through a sky-light, is out of commission, and never again appears in the series, with the role of the comic dialect relief being taken over by Irishman Terry Burke.43 "You Can't Pin A Murder On Nevada" (May 15th to June 2nd, 1944; 15 episodes)
* In my own small way, I helped identify this show, bringing up to three episodes in total circulating for this story (two others from the second MBS run of the show). The identity of the final episode is confirmed by both the sponsor (Ivory Soap) and the transition scene where the tomboyish teenager Judy French (wearing bib-overalls and a leather jacket) literally shanghais Jack (as he is leaving the hospital where Doc is recovering); together they roar off into the night on Judy's motorcycle to save her friend, Nevada.
* This is a solo adventure for Jack, and only one single episode remains from the interior of the story. Note that this show was not repeated for the MBS run of the show.44 "The Corpse In Compartment C, Car 75" (June 5th to 9th, 1944; 5 episodes)
* This is the first story where Jay Novello took over the role of Jack Packard, after Michael Raffetto and Barton Yarborough left the show to pursue a career in Hollywood.
* I've recreated a synopsis of this lost show from scripts housed at the US Library of Congress, available on this website.
* The shortest of all ILAMs, 5 episodes. This was a bridging episode to tidy up the events and plot ends left dangling in NEVADA, and re-introduces the Viennese sleuth Michael to the series. This show was also not repeated for the MBS run of the show.45 "The Thing Wouldn't Die" June 13th to July 7th, 1944; 20 episodes)
* ILAM fan James Herman has prepared a synopsis of this story after taking notes from a copy housed at the Morse Collection at Thousand Oaks Public Library, California. Jack, shepherding young Judy French (met in the previous story) south to stay with relatives for the summer, encounters murder and mayhem on an atmospheric train ride through the night. James Herman's complete synopsis is available for reading on this web-site; simply follow the proper links to read it.
* Alas yet another entirelylost show, one not even repeated for the second run of the series.46 "The Case Of The Terrified Comedian" (July 10-August 7, 1944; 21 episodes)
* Michael Ogden's great ILAM 'zine (alas, no longer published), took its name from this story, one in the school of "spooky things happening in a house full of women,"; Jack and the Viennese detective/spy Michael were featured in this story.
* One of the repeated versions of this infamous story, featuring John McIntire in the role of Jack Packard (after Jay Novello retired from the role); McIntire would play the part of Jack until the end of the series later the same year.49 "The Bride Of The Werewolf" (September 19th to October 9th, 1944; 15 episodes)
* I'm curious about what they did with the role of Reggie at this point for this recreation; did they simply write him out, or did Terry Burke take over the role?.
* I'm also uncertain if this was simply a repeat of the previous run of this story, else a new production (if the latter, I'm *still* curious about what they did with the role of Reggie).51 "Portrait Of A Murderess" (November 10th to December 7th, 1944; 20 episodes)
* This was one of several stories not recreated for the MBS run of the show. No episodes survive in recorded form.52 "Find Elsa Holberg, Dead Or Alive" (December 8th to 29th, 1944; 16 episodes)
* The final ILAM story, alas lost in both recorded and script form at the time of this writing. The script for the second run of the show is circulating, and I've created my synopsis of this lost show from it (please follow the "Synopses of Lost Shows" link from the main page).
The MBS run of ILAM came out of New York City, using essentially the same scripts written by Carlton E. Morse for the Hollywood run of the show.
Russell Thorson as JACK PACKARD (until
Oct 28, 1952), then BOB DRYDEN took over the role.
Jim Boles as DOC LONG
Tony Randall as REGGIE YORK (until 6/12/51, when Reggie was written out of the original scripts)
Athena Lord as JERRY BOOKER & MARY KAY BROWN
with Mercedes McCambridge, Louis Rooten and Inga Adams in various roles.
1 "The Fear That Creeps Like A Cat" (October 3rd to 28th, 1949; 20 episodes
* This was the first show of New York run, of which two fragments remain, episodes #2 and #3.2 "The Thing That Cries in the Night" (October 31st to November 18th, 1949; 15 episodes)
* In the original Hollywood run, this story was called "Castle Island".
*OTR aficionado Jim Harmon produced the 1996 recreation of this show after obtaining the rights from MORSELCO. This production is still commercially available from many vendors, and it isn't all that bad. However, comparison between the original and the recreated episodes reveals that there was some minor editorialship made in the recreated version.
* A very close variation of this story is the basis of THE AFRICAN JUNGLE MYSTERY.
* All 15 episodes are in circulation, though all the openings and closings are missing. They were from Carlton E. Morse's private collection of ET's, stored prosaically in his garage, until unearthed by OTR scholar Jim Harmon, in the mid 1960s.3 "Bury Your Dead, Arizona" (November 21st to December 9th, 1949; 15 episodes)
* The original story was called HOLLYWOOD CHERRY, during the Hollywood run.
* If you listen closely, that's Mercedes McCambridge in the role of both the airline stewardess in the first episode, and later on Charity Martin.
* All episodes are circulating from the wonderful show, although they are missing the openings and closings (which were not part of the original transcription disks that Mr. Morse had in his garage).4 "The Million Dollar Curse" (December 12th to 30th, 1949; 15 episodes)
* All episodes save one are in circulation. The openings, closings, and ads are also missing.5 "Temple Of Vampires" (January 2nd to 27th, 1950; 20 episodes)
* Eleven intact original episodes of this eerie story exist (please see my Holdings Page for which exact ones), missing the openings, closings and ads yet again.6 "Battle Of The Century" (January 30-February 22, 1950; 18 episodes)
* Also, there is circulating a recreation of the missing stories sandwiched between the original material, produced by Bud Carey (for his Old Radio Theatre show in 1989) with Jim Harmon's assistance. See my "Holdings" page for more details.
* Fourteen episodes exist for this show in circulation, and with the openings and closings intact, you can pretty well follow things along! Mercedes McCambridge again plays the young ingénue, this one named, surprisingly, "Jack Dempsey" Ross!7 "The Tropics Don't Call It Murder" (February 23rd to March 30th, 1950; 26 episodes)
* Only the final episode of this story exists, set in the confines of the Blue Circle Cafe. This episode is often confused for an episode of "The Blue Phantom Murders" because of the similarity of names.8 "The Case Of The Nevada Man Killer" (March 31st to May 4th, 1950; 25 episodes)
*Other recorded episodes, from the first run of the series, are in circulation, too.
* This story also includes in introductory lead for the following saga, "Case of the Nevada Man Killer."
* This story was known in the Hollywood run of the show as The Case of the Nevada Cougar. No episodes are available, either as a recording or in script form.9 "The Turn Of The Wheel" (May 5th to June 1st, 1950; 20 episodes)
* All recordings for this show is lost, though the first 5 script episodes are circulating among ILAM fans (the rest of the script episodes are derived from the Hollywood version of the scripts).11 "The Snake With The Diamond Eyes" (June 23rd to July 28, 1950; 26 episodes)
* This is one of the few stories I know where there is no female speaking role in the story.
* There are three episode fragments in circulation: episode 2 of 15 8-22-50, episode 8 of 15 8-30-50 and episode 9 of 15 8-31-50.Second Season
* This story is an astonishingly close rewrite of "The Case of the Nevada Man Killer".
14 "Whose Body Got Buried?" (September
11th to 29th, 1950; 15 episodes)
15 "Escapade Of The Desert Hag" (October 2nd to 20th, 1950; 15 episodes)
16 "Blood On The Border" (October 23rd to November 10th, 1950; 15 episodes)
17 "Trouble At Sea" (November 13th to 28th, 1950; 12 episodes)
* This lost show was called "Death Aboard the Lady Mary" in the first run of ILAM.
18 "Incident Concerning Death" (November 29th to December 19th, 1950; 15 episodes)
* Only one episode fragment circulates, from episode #11. Jack, Doc and Reggie discover grisly doings at a remote hunting lodge, The Stag & Hound, when they get lost in the High Sierras.19 "The Case Of The Roxy Mob" (December 20th 1950 to January 8th, 1951; 14 episodes)
* While a lost show a very complete synopsis written by Richard Bauman, and was in Michael Ogden's ILAM fanzine, "The Thing Wouldn't Die" in the early 1980s, and then reprinted in another fanzine, "The A-1 Gazette," in the early 1990s.21 "Murder On February Island" (February 2nd to 27th, 1951; 18 episodes)
*No recordings are known to exist, though MORSELCO published the entire script for this story some years ago (which is unfortunately out of print).22 "The Monster In The Mansion" (February 28th to March 30th, 1951; 23 episodes)
* No recordings are known to exist, though MORSELCO published the first script episode of the story, bundled together with MURDER ON FEBRUARY ISLAND. This story covers the creation of the A-One Detective agency, and features Jerry Booker joining the boys as that agency's curvy secretary.24 "Secret Passage To Death" (April 24th to May 21st, 1951; 20 episodes)
* While a "lost" show, I managed to read and take complete notes on this story from a script copy at the Library of Congress. Please see the "Synopsis of Lost Shows" link for more details.29 "The Girl In The Gilded Cage" (August 30th to September 19th, 1951; 15 episodes)
* This story falls into the category of "young beauty in a spooky mansion" school of Morse mysteries.
* Another lost show, though one where an energetic ILAM fan named Harold Hart has created a wonderful synopsis after reading the script held at the US Library of Congress's Sound and Recording Department. Follow the link to the synopses of lost shows page.Third (and final) Season
* This story very closely resembles "Secret Passage To Death."
30 "Blood On The Cat" (September 20th to
October 17th, 1951; 20 episodes)
31 "The Case Of The Terrified Comedian" (October 22-November 16, 1951; 20 episodes)
32 "The Killer Of The Circle M" (November 19-December 14, 1951; 20 episodes)
* Only two interior episodes are in circulation from this story, dealing with strange murders at a remote ranch, with a strange wild-man living in the hills menacing the action.33 "Murder Is The Word For It" (December 17th, 1951 to January 4th, 1952; 15 episodes)
* Only two episodes are in circulation, including the final episode.34 "Stairway To The Sun" (January 7th to February 15th, 1952; 30 episodes)
* No recordings to this show are circulating, though SPERDVAC has copies of this script available on loan for its members.35 "The Graves Of Whamperjaw, Texas" (February 18th to March 7th, 1952; 15 episodes)
* And there's that rumor of an East coast American OTR collector hoarding two episode fragments to the entire story in their collection.
* I also understand that there was an OTR recreation made at one of the FOTR convention's a decade or so back. Does anyone have information surrounding this?
* Only two consecutive episodes exist of this eerie story, #8 and #9(February 27th and 28th, respectively). The story deals with a mad-man who digs graves with doggerel written on the tombstone foretelling the death of someone in this remote Texas boom-town where Jack, Doc and Jerry are stranded.36 "The Decapitation Of Jefferson Monk" (March 10th to April 11th, 1952; 25 episodes)
* I have read the full script, and have provided a detailed synopsis for all to enjoy (please follow the "Synopsis of Lost Shows" link).
* A harsh aircheck of the final episode of this story is circulating, as is the script for the first episode.38 "The Hermit Of San Felipe Atabapo" (May 19th to June 13th, 1952; 20 episodes)
* An unlucky thirteen episodes remain of this very harsh paper-tape air-check. See my "Holding's Page" to see what exactly remains to torture your hearing.39 "The Deadly Sin Of Sir Richard Coyle" (June 16th to July 4th, 1952; 15 episodes)
* This story is an astonishingly close rewrite of "The Fear That Creeps Like A Cat"; regardless, no known recordings are in circulation.42 "The Cobra King Strikes Back" (September 1st to 26th, 1952; 20 episodes)
* I have since verified from an examination of the scripts at the Library of Congress, that this lost story is simply a reworking of one the serial of the same name that appeared in the series, ADVENTURES BY MORSE.43 "The Widow With The Amputation" (September 30th October 27th, 1952; 20 episodes)
* Note that this story did *not* appear in the initial Hollywood run of the show.
*Two episodes remain of this suspenseful story where Jack and Doc hunt down a misogynistic maniac, #13 and #14 (#15, the final episode of the MBS run is lost, though episode #15 is still available from the Hollywood run of the show). Since in the first run of the show the last few chapters have Doc badly injured from a fall through a skylight, I'm puzzled as to how he recovered to quickly to help out Jack hunting werewolves!45 "The Bride Of The Werewolf" (November 20th to December 10th, 1952; 15 episodes)
** Bob Dryden took over the role of Jack Packard at this point.
* One spooky episode remains of this otherwise lost show. Mary Kay Brown (played by Athena Lord, Jim Boles' wife!) is the new secretary of the A-One Detective Agency.46 "Find Elsa Holberg, Dead Or Alive" (December 11th to 26th, 1952; 12 episodes)
*The final ILAM recording, also lost in recorded form. Jack, Doc and Mary Kate race to recover the missing daughter of a European ambassador.
* The final episode, has Jack, Doc (in the original first run script, his role was taken over by that of the character Terry Burke, an Irishman) and Mary Kay toast in the New Year, and bid farewell to the MBS run of the series. Follow the "Synopsis to Lost Shows" link (see below) to read my synopsis of this lost serial, which I created after reading the script for the show in the US Library of Congress (and then took a few scraggly notes which I've found almost impossible to read because of my poor handwriting).
* Note also that while this version of the story was 12 episodes in length, the original CBS run had it in 16.
to the Home Page
Introduction to ILAM: Jack, Doc and Reggie | ILAM FAQ
The Series Cast | The Series Creator: Carlton E. Morse
The Series Log | Raiders of the Lost ILAMs | Synopses of Lost Shows
Recorded Recreations | Home-Brew ILAM Stories | Misc. Essays
ILAM Scripts | ILAM at the Library of Congress | Copyright information
Other ILAM Links | About the Webmaster| My Holdings