Burke's Law (1963–1966)
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Who Killed Alex Debbs? 

The publisher of a girlie magazine is murdered at one of his own key clubs.


Don Weis


Harlan Ellison, Frank D. Gilroy (series based on characters created by)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Barry ... Capt. Amos Burke
Gary Conway ... Det. Tim Tilson
Regis Toomey ... Det. Les Hart
Leon Lontoc ... Henry
Arlene Dahl ... Princess Kortzoff
Sammy Davis Jr. ... Cordwainer Bird
Diana Dors ... Maxine Borman
John Ireland ... Orrin Lashwell
Burgess Meredith ... Sidney Wilde
Suzy Parker ... Angela Pattison
Jan Sterling ... Devora Cato
Delores Wells Delores Wells ... Dream Girl (as Dolores Wells)
Michael Fox ... McLeod
Sharyn Hillyer Sharyn Hillyer ... 1st Deb
Ashlyn Martin Ashlyn Martin ... 2nd Deb (as Laura Lynn Hale)


The publisher of a girlie magazine is murdered at one of his own key clubs.

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Release Date:

25 October 1963 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Cordwainer Bird, the name given to Sammy Davis Jr.' character, was the alias Harlan Ellison used out of protest when he was unhappy with the changes made to his scripts. See more »


Capt. Amos Burke: Cynical Conversation makes for bitter brew - never mix 'em: Burke's Law.
See more »


Featured in Talkies: Memories of Diana Dors (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

Harlan Ellison writes a 'Burke's Law' story....
12 August 2019 | by robsmithjrSee all my reviews

What could have been a typical mystery was given the Ellison touch with a series of quirky additions. I'd suppose there was much more quirkiest tamed by producers. Some of the quirkiness includes lady dancers in a cage, a cartoonist who has a fancy method for burning each drawing he decides not to keep and a girl vs. girl catfight.

Suzy Parker played a stunning part in another 'Burke's Law' episode, but here with Ellison writing she's a very different character that pokes at tigers. Sammy Davis, using an Ellison nom de plume, has a great 3 minute scene that would've satisfied me as the entire episode. Producer Aaron Spelling even has a spot in the episode, but doesn't always have the same look each time.

The mystery is far less than most of this first series. But the Ellison oddities, gorgeous Parker and Davis makes it worthwhile.

Bottom line: I recommend this episode: 7 out of ten points.

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