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A Departmental Case


A retired gunfighter sheds his insurance clerk persona in order to track down an alleged wife-beating bank robber and bring him to justice. The ex-vigilante becomes conflicted when a New York reporter discovers that the deceased was actually not that different from her killer.



Air Dates

  • First Run - January 14, 1977
  • Repeat - August 5, 1977
  • Repeat - October 21, 1979





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6 Responses to Episode 0584

O. Henry is one of my favorite short story authors! His ingenious surprise endings have have often influenced my own fiction writing. Sam Dann does an excellent job adapting this story for radio.

Mark Taylor-Canfield

CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER, “A Departmental Case,” starring Robert Dryden and Joe Silver, with E.G Marshall, host. O.Henry’s story about a 65-year-old-ex-gunfighter who challenges a much younger desperado who is allegedly beating his wife. O. Henry, living in New York, travels to Austin, Tex., to get the full story of why Luke Standifer, 65, now working as Texas’s Commissioner of Insurance, Statistics and History, challenged and shot to death a notorious desperado, one Benton Sharp. Standifer claims he did it because Sharp had been mistreating his wife, the daughter of a Texas hero. But O. Henry soon discovers the story is much more complicated than that. CAST: O. Henry...............ROBERT DRYDEN Benton Sharp..........Earl Hammond Luke Standifer.............JOE SILVER Coralee Sharp..........Carol Teitel ADAPTED BY: Sam Dann

1979 PR Synopsis

A gunfighter turned insurance clerk, comes out of retirement to gun down an alleged wife beating bank robber. However, a New York reporter finds out the deceased was not all that different than his killer.

A Man Called "Chief"

If I were a high school teacher of American literature, I would consider having the class listen to a couple of these adaptations before asking the class start reading the works themselves... A great way to pique their interest I would think!

David M

Really? Is that the best the great O. Henry can do? What a piece of misogynistic drivel!


Great story, great voices. Luke is so authentic

Ma Col

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