Perry Mason (1957–1966)
2 user

The Case of the Decadent Dean 

Dr. Aaron Stuart runs a prep school but, lately, he is running into a string of problems at the school that endanger its future. Eventually, he finds that his friend, Tobin Wade, is the cause. Stuart is accused of killing Wade - twice.


Earl Bellamy


Erle Stanley Gardner (based upon characters created by), Joseph P. Lamont | 1 more credit »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
William Talman ... Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins ... Lt. Tragg (credit only)
Wesley Lau ... Lt. Anderson
Milton Selzer ... Dr. Aaron Stuart
Joan Tetzel ... Marian Stuart
Lloyd Corrigan ... Harvey Forrest
H.M. Wynant ... Tobin Wade (as H. M. Wynant)
Eddie Firestone ... Jenkins
Paul Lukather ... Chuck Emmett
Kelly Thordsen ... Sheriff Ward Vincent
Blair Davies Blair Davies ... John Marshall Baxter
Lauren Gilbert Lauren Gilbert ... Mr. Ryan


Dr. Aaron Stuart, headmaster of a private school, has been hoping to receive an endowment, but has been frustrated by repeated problems, such as complaints from students' parents, missing materials, employees not being paid, and top students failing tests because they never received the necessary materials. He learns that his assistant dean, Tobin Wade, has been responsible for the sabotage. Stuart also learns Wade came to his house, got his wife to start drinking again, after a year of sobriety, and drove her out to a resort. Stuart confronts Wade by a cliff at the resort and, in a struggle, Wade falls over into the ocean. Stuart goes to the police and signs a confession to manslaughter. But Perry challenges the confession at the preliminary hearing on the grounds that there is no body and no proof that Wade was killed. Then, after one of his teachers calls him and tells him she saw Wade alive, Stuart is arrested for murder, standing over Wade's body. Written by rbecker28

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

24 October 1963 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The killer's confession begins at 45:25 and ends at 48:32, for a total length of 3'07''. This is the lengthiest confession in series history. See more »


In the video re-enactment of Wade's first "death", it is obvious that the rocky ledge Drake falls on is actually some sort of inflated mattress. See more »


[first lines]
Tobin Wade: [after setting off an alarm] Let's get out of here! Fast!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Perry demands 'corpus delicti' - he will soon have it
16 October 2012 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

In this episode we get a good introduction into courtroom proceedings when Perry gets a case dismissed when the prosecution cannot prove 'corpus delicti' or the fact that a crime had actually been committed. But it will not be long until Perry will be back in the courtroom trying to get his client cleared for the second time in the show.

Dr Aaron Stuart runs a prep school that seems to be having trouble meeting most of their bills. And with a company wanting to buy the land where the school is located people are beginning to talk about selling the school. Dr Stuart finds out that Assistant Dean, Tobie Wade, has been sabotaging the school but the reason is unclear. Dr Stuart confronts Tobie Wade near an ocean cliff and gets into a scuffle. Tobie Wade gets pushed off the cliff and falls into the ocean. Dr Stuart goes to the police station to confess to the homicide.

Even though Dr Stuart confessed, Perry is able to have the charges dismissed when the State cannot provide the 'corpus delicti'. So Dr Stuart is freed even when he still believes he killed Tobie Wade.

Later Dr Stuart receives a call from a teacher advising she had seen Tobie Wade alive in a rural cabin. Dr Stuart goes to the cabin and there the police now have their 'corpus delicti'. Dr Stuart is standing over the dead body of Toby Wade murdered with Stuart's tire iron.

Perry again is masterful as he defends Dr Stuart in court. Through testimony and video presentation, Perry works his magic as he combs the testimony to reveal the true murderer.

Not only does this episode provide the viewer with a good mystery- the script makes the show interesting and suspenseful. A very good episode.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed