Friday, March 18, 2011


The two-part "Candy Man" episode of 'N.Y.P.D.' had a great guest cast: James Earl Jones, William Devane, Julius Harris, Tom Aldredge, Barbara Colby, and Rudy Bond. (Harris, Devane, and Barbara Colby are pictured above with stars Robert Hooks and Frank Converse.) Devane played a member of Phoenix House named John, a former drug addict trying to get his life turned around after nine years of shooting junk into his arms. Since the episode took place in 1967, that means he had been a drug addict since at least 1958. (Who knows when he actually stopped using the stuff?)

What we didn't know until an episode several months later was that his full name was John Laney and that he was married to a woman named Barbara. Through the auspices of Phoenix House, John Laney straightened himself up enough to land a really good job which took him out of town a lot. At some point in 1968, Barbara Laney thought Detective John Corso had come to her home to investigate her involvement in a ring of housewives turned prostitutes, so once she let him into her house, she ripped her own bathrobe and screamed assault. John Laney howled for Corso's blood over the alleged attack, which may have been fueled by his recognition of Corso from the burglary investigation conducted against Phoenix House members several months earlier. If so, he hid it well. As for the cops, they never recognized him; it's true it had happened some months before and they deal with a lot of people every day. But then again, they might not have seen the Phoenix House members as individuals, just a bunch of addicts.....

'N.Y.P.D.' -
"Candy Man, Parts One & Two"
"The Screaming Woman"


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