Sunday, April 20, 2014



When miserly Alexander Gifford wanted his wife killed off because she had found all of his hidden bankbooks and had started spending the money, he found a way to contact a contract killer to do the job.  But when he found out how much it would cost him, Gifford changed his mind.

The killer (played by great character heavy Jack Lambert) was a thoughtful guy, though - he was a family man too and knew that money could be tight.  So he offered to suggest a few ways in which Gifford could do the murder himself to save a few bucks.....

Hired Killer: 
"I saw this one on TV. 
A dame did it. A cute dame. 
She clobbered her old man over the head 
with a frozen leg of lamb."

Alexander Gifford: 
"At 59 cents a pound?"

Gifford went a different route, but still meat oriented - he treated the ham that she was going to eat with botulism he had stolen from a lab.  

But what a great reference to an earlier episode of 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'!  Of course, it's a Zonk as well....


Pregnant Mary Maloney killed her philandering, abusive husband when he told her that he was leaving her for another woman.  It was a momentary act of insanity as she picked up the frozen leg of lamb she hoped to prepare for dinner and clubbed him over the head with it.

But after that, everything was calculated.  It turned out that Mr. Maloney was the police chief of their town, which meant the detectives were going to be extra thorough in their investigation.  And Mary realized that they might be biased in his favor against her, not accepting her word that he was abusive to her.

So she staged the scene to look like a burglar had broken in and killed Chief Maloney in a struggle.  And she put the leg of lamb into the oven in order to cook the murder weapon.

When the detectives did arrive, the lead investigator was suspicious, but the lack of a murder weapon, some kind of club, kept him from fully suspecting Mary.

Being the polite hostess, she offered to feed the police officers and fed them all a full meal - with the main course being the lamb.  The police ended up eating the murder weapon!

"Lamb To The Slaughter" was broadcast in April of 1958.  "Cheap Is Cheap" aired a year later.  And unlike another anthology series, 'The Twilight Zone', the episodes of 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' should all take place in Earth Prime-Time. 

Therefore, the murders committed by Mary Maloney and Alexander Gifford had to be in the same TV dimension.  There was no way for that nameless killer to have seen her do it on a TV show.

A dramatic recreation on the other hand.....

According to HItchcock's serlinguistic sermon at the end of the episode, Mrs. Maloney didn't get away with murder.  But I'd like to think that public outcry over a woman's right to defend herself against spousal abuse, plus sympathy over her being a new mother (She would have delivered by the time of the trial.), may have swayed the judge to reduce her sentence to time served.

Unfortunately, domestic violence is a problem to this day here in the real world as well as in Toobworld, but on Earth Prime-Time, Mary Maloney may have become the cause celebre which sparked the movement to ensure that women could protect themselves against abusive partners.  And she might have heightened the need for more research into the extreme mood swings brought on by pregnancy.

So yeah, a quick made-for-TV movie was produced about the Mary Maloney case.  It was an O'Bvious choice since the murder was so unique.  And that hit man must have seen it.

No Zonk here.

I hope you enjoyed your Easter lamb......


This was the 9500th post I've presented here in the Inner Toob blog.  We've been in operation since August of 2004 and it's been a fun way to pass the time away.  (Although the vowel in that verb could have just as easily been different!)  I'm hoping you've been finding it as much fun to visit here as it has been for me to provide these glimpses into the alternate reality of Television.

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