Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Thermal Thief 

Lona Upton is tired of hearing her half-sister memorialize her dead husband so when Maxine Nichols arrives to return Lona's purse, she takes in Maxine as a friend. After Maxine steals a necklace and is murdered, Lona is charged with it.


Jack Arnold


Robert C. Dennis (teleplay), Erle Stanley Gardner (characters created by)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason (credit only)
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
William Talman ... Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg (credit only)
Wesley Lau ... Police Lt. Andy Anderson
Barry Sullivan ... Ken Kramer
Bettye Ackerman ... Amy Reid
Burt Metcalfe Burt Metcalfe ... Jeffrey Mills
Kathie Browne ... Lona Upton
Robert Strauss ... Pete Kamboly
Richard Eastham ... Roland Canfield
Nina Shipman Nina Shipman ... Maxine Nichols
Joyce Van Patten ... Fay Gilmer
Noel Drayton ... Mr. Costelni


With Perry Mason away in Europe, his friend Ken Kramer takes on the case of Lona Upton, accused of murdering Maxine Nichols who was found dead in the park across the street from where she was staying. Maxine was a thief and had only just recently been released from prison. She had weaseled her way into the home of Amy Reid and had quickly become friends with Amy's half-sister, Lona Upton. Lona, tired of hearing about her sister Amy's constant attention to the death of her husband in the Catalina channel five years earlier, is glad to have the companionship of Maxine. Maxine had known Amy's husband when she was a cocktail waitress on Catalina. Maxine steals a necklace from Amy's safe that turned out to be just a cheap paste imitation. When Kramer establishes a connection between Maxine and Amy Reid's dead and much revered husband Dion, it leads to the identity of the killer. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

14 January 1965 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


S. John Launer plays the judge. He has a few lines but is uncredited. See more »


The safe Maxine Nichols has door hinges placed outside of it, which would be easy to break them off. See more »


[first lines]
First Girl: Go ahead, girl, blow them out.
Second Girl: Make a wish first.
Maxine Nichols: Okay. My wish is that I never see your faces again as long as I live.
See more »

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User Reviews

Another Mason ep with "Animal"
7 December 2018 | by XweAponXSee all my reviews

From Stalag 17.

I love these "Guest Lawyer" episodes, i had hoped that Bette Davis would do another one. But this time it's Barry Sullivan.

This episode had been playing while I was asleep, as I woke up it looked interesting so I "rewound" my PLEX.

Kathie Browne, who was the only Star Trek character "Deela" who Captain Kirk ever blatantly got lucky with, returns to another Perry Mason episode as the guest-defendant.

There is also another baggage that had been let out of prison or reform school, who upon promising to never break the law ever again, instantly does so as she steals Deela's purse.

One thing leads to another, which usually means "Blackmail" and then eventual murder.

Paul Drake helps Barry Sullivan tie Berger up in knots, very cleverly- using blown up clips from a film "Animal" had put together from pieces of film from the "last day of Kathy Browne's sisters husband", before he sailed out to Catalina into an apparent "Accident".

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