CBSRMT Episode Information Next Episode


Dead for a Dollar


Two cheated men plan the murder of the trader who swindled them. Unbeknownst to them, somebody has already carried out the deed, relieved them of the rewards, but left the blame behind.



Air Dates

  • First Run - January 21, 1974
  • Repeat - March 16, 1974





246     59

13 Responses to Episode 0016

This appears to be the first true "whodunit" of The CBS Radio Mystery Theater. Thanks to the nature of radio, we can hear the murder, but we can't see the killer. As is generally the case with murder mysteries, the victim is unsympathetic and there are a lot of players with motive. Solution does not hinge on the discovery of clever clue or on logical deduction, but by a breakdown confession of the killer. Murder mystery, no supernatural elements.


Dead For A Dollar involved another crooked businessman who becomes the target of two of his victims. He thwarts them, but has no idea just how many enemies he has. OK story... the "victims" who work out a plan to murder him are a little too inept for my liking. And you want to feel sorry for them, but they're such sour characters that it's tough. Actually, hard to find any truly sympathetic characters here.


Apparently the writer couldn't do the math. One character says the victim had stolen his wife about 2 years earlier, the wife later says they'd been married 18 years, and the son of this union is clearly well into his 20s. Shabby.


That can be a sticking point, if you're one who's a Rainman for numbers. But, from a writer's point of view, what's to say the lecherous couple didn't have the child years before they tied the knot. That would increase the anger and dislike even more. IJS


The same thing bothered me. It caused me to spend time trying to understand which man was actually Tony's father. Unnecessary confusion. Finally thought that I misunderstood what I heard.


Haha! I'm a stickler for math, but it didn't let me enjoy the episode any less!


A ruthless man is hated by many people because he runs roughshod over everyone. Two of them decide he must go and eventually someone does kill him. There are many people with motive and the police must determine who the killer is.


The “right” guy is killed but the mystery fizzles and is less than satisfying.

Ruth ClaireighHis not

Enjoyed the episode. However, one small point. You can't put a silencer on a revolver.


Entertaining episode. Well acted and intriguing enough story. A bit predictable, but still enjoyable.

NorCal John

Along with his millions, Jason Grant sits on a golden throne built on many ruined lives, and has earned the hatred of more people than he bothers to remember. On this day, however, two ex-employees sit in a bar and plan how they will kill Grant, by tossing a coin to decide which one will do it.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. First things first, big props to Murray Burnett because this was the first story he wrote for the CBSRMT series. It had a great villain that everyone loved to hate, all the others characters had logical reasons to despise him, the murder scene was gripping, the detective on the case was very persistent, and the discovery of the killer was a surprise, however, not suspenseful. I won’t spoiler who the killer really was, but in my opinion, the killer should’ve been Ms. Kay Woodhouse: The Secretary. Everyone had a motive to hate the antagonist Jason Grant. The 2 Ex-Employees and his 2 family members. But the Secretary was treated as a secondary person and the detective only stay focused on the usual suspects. If she did the actual killing, that would've blown everyone’s minds away. Both the characters and the CBSRMT fans. Plus, even though the title in this Drama-Mystery is catchy, but a better title would be “Prime Candidate For Murder.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall’s topic is about Vengeance. In ACT-1, the murder hasn't been committed yet. In ACT-2, the main antagonist is dead and the main suspects are arrested, but the case is not closed yet. In ACT-3, after the killer is revealed with a motive, E.G. Marshall’s narration ended way too quickly. In his Epilogue, know the aftermath of the killer’s whereabouts and the Resolution of the other men, but what about the 2 women in this story? What happens to the Widow and the Secretary? It’s like the last piece of a puzzle just disappeared and our Host had nothing to narrate about that except to end it. It’s a mystery, truly a mystery, as to why they left that important part out. But anyway, the sound effects of background noise at the bar, glasses clinking, telephone, doors, footsteps, opening the office desk drawer, placing the gun down, the slap at the 14:57 mark, the 4 gun shots, body thud, electric typewriter, the punch at the 36:48 mark, dialing the telephone, papers, and doorbell were very supportive. And the music had some of the best dramatic tunes that connected with this tale. But the best part in this episode, was the cast: Paul Hecht (as Wynn Thomas and Lieutenant Metcalfe), Tony Roberts (as Tony Grant and Officer Duffy), Joan Lovejoy (as Kay Woodhouse), Mary Jane Higby (as Denise Grant), George Petrie (as Jason Grant), and Joseph Julian (as Harry Tolan). 8 characters done by 6 performers in 1 episode is a treat for fans of CBSRMT. I was fascinated by the performances of George Petrie & Joan Lovejoy. George Petrie’s performance as the adversary was wonderfully done and Joan Lovejoy as Kay Woodhouse was sensual to a T. Fans of “Whodunit” mystery stories would enjoy this and fans of Murray Burnett’s writing should check this one out because it is his first one for the series. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)


An entertaining episode even though there were a few inconsistencies in the facts. I just enjoy listening to the characters portray their parts and the plot, Grant got his!


Leave a comment