"Night of the Executioner"

(Original air date 12/11/67)


Heath must find the true conspirators when he is accused of
killing a congressman


Writer: Mel Goldberg

Director: Virgil W. Vogel

In the Pinewood jail, outlaw Jimmy Sweetwater (Dennis Hopper) gets a visit from influential lawyer Gabe Simmons (David Sheiner) who offers to save him from the noose in exchange for killing a congressman that cheated him out of a land deal.

Later Heath rides into Pinewood and stops at the saloon to enquire about a room for the night. The establishment being full to capacity on account of Congressman Will Oakley’s arrival, the barkeep (Marvin Brody) suggests camping outside of town to start fresh in the morning for his trip to Hazelton.

After accidentally bumping into Heath at the bar, drunkard Matt Carson (Dabbs Greer) wobbles to his horse and rides home. His black and white Pinto catches the eye of Sheriff Dan Kincaide (Peter Whitley) who, along with Jimmy and Simmons, follow him home.


Once Matt’s daughter’s Vera (Enid Jaynes) assists her father inside the cabin, Dan creeps into the barn to steal the horse, and then meets with Jimmy and Simmons. The outlaw is instructed to ride to the chosen spot and lay low until the morning.


At daylight, Simmons, Kincaide and a few men stop Oakley’s stagecoach. The congressman (Harlan Warde) is relieved to hear the hold up is merely a set up to have him ride into town on horseback like in the good old days.

Following a friendly argument on Oakley’s dreaded land bill, Jimmy shoots the man dead. In front of witnesses Simmons swears on his friend’s body to track down whoever is responsible for his murder.


Not far from the scene of the crime, Heath spots the killer quenching his thirst. Having been recognized, Jimmy panics and hightails it away.

Simmons’s posse is quick to intercept the lone rider. They scoff at Heath’s statement that the killer is Jimmy Sweetwater seeing how he is back in the Pinewood jail waiting to be hanged. Simmons humours the unexpected witness by promising to check once they get back into town.

Heath rides into Hazelton and enquires at the hotel desk about his brother who is apparently running a little late. At that moment Marshal Steve Macklin (Peter Hobbs) informs the gathered posse that the sheriff of Pinewood has caught the murderer, a man by the name of Matt Carson. After getting the man’s description, Heath rides back into Pinewood hoping to clear the misunderstanding.


In Kincaide’s office, Simmons cleverly manipulates Carson into signing a letter of confession. Heath comes in to check on Jimmy who is still in his cell. He begins to suspects Simmons and Kincaide of plotting against an innocent man for a murder they planned.


Heath goes to the saloon to get background information of Matt Carson. The barkeep tells him about his daughter Vera but advises against going to the cabin as it might be construed as fraternizing with the enemy.

Heath waves off the warning and rides out to the Carsons’, where Vera pours her heart out and assures him that her father may have his faults but a killer he is not. He did have a motive for killing the congressman but so did everyone in town on account of that land bill.

Before leaving the premises, Heath takes a look at the barn door. Simmons’s men, Frank (Charles Horvath) and Seth (Reg Parton) jump him from behind. Vera tries to stop the senseless beating before it turns into bloodshed. She begs Heath not to get involved; that it’s not worth risking his life to save her father’s neck.


In Hazelton, Simmons and his men catch up with Heath and put him under arrest. Since the sheriff is out of his jurisdiction and therefore cannot apprehend him, Heath walks over to the marshal’s office to straighten things out.

Simmons manages to convince Macklin that Heath hired Carson to have the congressman killed. The marshal is therefore impelled to uphold the law and allows Simmons to take him back to his jail. There Heath warns Jimmy that once he tells his story to the judge, Simmons won’t have no choice but to hang them both.


Just as Heath predicted, Simmons informs Jimmy of the sudden change of plans. But he assures that he can still be set free if he helps force Heath to attempt an escape. Jimmy reluctantly agrees to execute the plan but Heath is not a willing party.

At gunpoint Jimmy gets Heath to follow him and as they are about to exit the office, Heath catches sight of a man’s shadow in the window. He hurls himself through it to disarm him. Outside gunfire erupts.


When Jimmy tries to escape Simmons shoots him off his horse. After Heath kills Simmons, Jimmy returns the favour by gunning down the sheriff poised ready to shoot Heath in the back.


As he lay dying in the middle of the street Jimmy asks Heath to fetch the marshal so that he can give his account of the facts.

Back in Hazelton Nick jumps down Heath’s throat for having missed the meeting, and needles his brother into admitting that a pretty girl was the reason for his lateness. Heath humours big brother by agreeing with him.


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