The Character of a Fraud

Or: Dragnet 501012 ep70, Big Quack.
Listen to it here.

Burglary detail. A man posing as a doctor is burglarizing homes. You have his description. Get him.

Working the day watch, Joe and Ben interview Miss Hutchins, and her maid, Betty. She had been treated for her headaches, and now a mink coat and jewelry are missing. Dr Schulte is suspected, and a list of missing articles is presented. The middle aged, dark complected man is stocky, with a goatee, and dressed in an average gray suit. No other visitors came or went, other than the trusted doctor. Miss Hutchins met the doctor at a small college he was running, but has now closed, her headaches were diagnosed as a state of mind that would only stay gone with continued treatment from the doctor. Treatments that turn out to be nothing more than sleeping pills.

Joe Friday tells in voiceover about the brief crime scene assessment, and the search for the defunct college. Neighboring business people confirm the shoestring operation of the tight mouthed, little man with the pointy beard. Finding a lead on a partner, a witness wonders over the names on the glass door.

Las Angeles College of Psycotheropeutics and Psychiatry
Dr Arthur Williams Schulte, DA, PHD, SCD
Dr Leo George Donaldson DV, PHD, SCD

What does it take to get a string of letters of doctorate credentials behind their names. A paint brush, and about ten minutes, is Joe’s response. In further voiceover, a review of agency reports confirms no such doctors are known, or registered.

The fake medical schools ran by Schulte were popular, since all it took for a
doctorate of various psychiatry related degrees could be had in 8 weeks, to any who had the money. Setting up a sting operation at the latest school that gets established, Joe sets out to take down the fraudulent doctors. The college requires no books, only a high school diploma to maintain academic standards of excellency. Joe’s urgency, and the scent of easy money is all it takes to end the operation, but he only has the associate, Donaldson. Where can Joe find Schulte?

A long rap sheet starting 16 years earlier, from back East, and in the area of pornographic pictures adds to Joe’s arsenal of evidence. Working under the fact that scam artists are known to fall back on old job skills when authorities get too close, Joe investigates local movie theaters. . The projectionists union confirms a new job placement for Schulte, and pursuing the clue, Joe finds an overworked theater manager. Entering the projectionist booth, the equally overworked operator refers to the man with fancy speech as doc, after knowing him for a day. The tight lipped Schulte clams up when questioning begins, but it’s all over when his hotel room is full of the stolen goods his victims have reported.

What does the fake doctor have to say in his defense? “They’re gifts, they’re sick, I’ve done them a lot of good. They know, they thank me this way. People I get these things from know I’ve done them a lot of good.”

Will the judicial system see it his way? It’s doubtful, but a twist ending means it may not matter.

Advertisements