Day: April 13, 2024

Dragnet: The Big Kill (EP4364)

Today’s Mystery:

Friday and Romero investigate the murder of a police officer in his home.

Original Radio Broadcast Date: March 2, 1950

Originating from Hollywood

Starring: Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday; Barton Yarborough as Sergeant Ben Romero; Stacy Harris; Jack Kruschen; Herb Butterfield

Support the show monthly at

Patreon Supporter of the Day: Don, Patreon Supporter since October 2021

Support the show on a one-time basis at

Mail a donation to: Adam Graham, PO Box 15913, Boise, Idaho 83715

Take the listener survey at

Give us a call at 208-991-4783

Follow us on Instagram at

Follow us on Twitter @radiodetectives

Join us again on Monday for another detective drama from the Golden Age of Radio.

Audio Drama Review: CBS Radio Mystery Theatre: Your Move, Mr. Ellers

“Your Move, Mr. Ellers” aired over the CBS Radio Mystery Theatre on December 30, 1976. In the episode, an insurance investigator (Bob Readick) is investigating a series of thefts that have occurred over several years from a respected jeweler. He’s concluded it must be an inside job and his suspicions appear to have fallen on the firm’s most respected employee, the chess-loving Mister Ellers (Roger De Koven), who has a friend (Jackson Beck) with a shady past and maybe a shady present. And the young man (Jack Grimes) Ellers mentored seems to have found himself in the middle.

For today’s old-time radio fans, the casting of this episode includes some wonderful Easter egs. Readick was the immediate successor to Bob Bailey as radio’s most well-known insurance investigator. In addition, the other three members of the cast were all veterans of the Golden Age of Radio. Grimes had voiced Jimmy Olsen on “The Adventures of Superman”, where he also worked with Beck, who served as announcer and was the star of several old-time radio series, including “Philo Vance”. DeKoven was no star, but a consumate character actor who was perfect for a role like Ellers’.

While Readick’s presence evokes Johnny Dollar, I actually think the episode has undertones that evoke a more contemporary influence: Columbo. At one point, the insurance investigator states that he had Ellers convinced he was an incompetent bungler: the exact sort of situation that Columbo thrived on. And while we don’t “see” (or hear) the crime committed beforehand, and it’s not a strict inverted mystery, it definitely isn’t exactly a traditional whodunit either.

The story uses chess as a theme, and weaves through the narrative right up to a satisfying and insightful conclusion. It’s a carefully plotted and well-produced play performed by four pros who know their business. There are certain plots that are a bit predictable, but more than enough surprises and good drama to make this a very satisfying forty-five minutes of listening.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5