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» » Highway Patrol The Sniper (1955–1959)

Short summary

Farmer Fred Carter's series of apparently random potshots at passing cars draws increasing attention from Dan Mathews and his officers. When Herb Dunlap is killed by one of the shots, investigation reveals that the incident was murder rather than random vandalism. Dan learns that recently released ex-convict Jim Purcell had a grudge against the victim. Purcell is initially a strong suspect, but Dan finds that much of the evidence against him was "planted" by someone else. Dan turns his suspicions to Fred Carter when he learns that Carter also had a grudge against Dunlap. Carter attempts to flee when confronted with the evidence, leading to a gun battle with Dan and his officers in the heavily wooded terrain.

This episode includes an exchange in which Fred Carter asks Dan Mathews why he isn't looking for juvenile delinquents, since the shots at cars are initially thought to be vandalism. Dan advises Carter that he'd be surprised how many "middle-aged delinquents" there are. The exchange is something of an "in" joke. The official ZIV writer's guide for this series stated in no uncertain terms that stories about juvenile delinquents would not be accepted and also stated that the storyline needed to make it obvious that any delinquent was an adult.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Longitude Temporary
    A relaxed Miss Cooper is driving leisurely down a country road when bang. It's a flat, but one caused by a gunshot. Not waiting to find out, she rolls down to a convenient phone booth, and bam, Mathews is on the case. We know from the outset who the sniper is; the question is why. What's the reason for sniping at cars on a lonely country road. It takes a half-hour-- surprise, surprise-- to find out.

    Pretty good HP. No Hollywood glamour here. It's all rickety rural locations and ordinary looking people. Highlight may well be a rotund Crawford hustling up a bushy hill to get a better bead on the sniper. He earned his money here. Anyway, it's an entertaining entry with a little different storyline.
  • Episode cast overview:
    Broderick Crawford Broderick Crawford - Chief Dan Mathews
    Brad Trumbull Brad Trumbull - Fred Carter
    Terry Frost Terry Frost - Sgt. Bruce Morse
    James H. Russell James H. Russell - Jim Purcell (as Jamie Russell)
    Vance Skarstedt Vance Skarstedt - Officer Larrabee
    Glenn Dixon Glenn Dixon - Herb Dunlap
    Phyllis Cole Phyllis Cole - Miss Cooper
    Charlie Crafts Charlie Crafts - Emmitt Larkin (as Charlie Craft)
    Art Gilmore Art Gilmore - Narrator (voice)
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