The hour was late, and the television set was replaying an old episode of Perry Mason. The series was based on the fiction of Erle Stanley Gardner, who created the character portrayed by actor Raymond Burr. Mason was a Los Angeles defense lawyer known for his clever tactics and the certainty that whomever he represented could not be the murderer, no matter how incriminating the evidence.
The episode that particularly caught my attention first aired on 14 May 1960, during a time when the Cold War with the Soviet Union was trending toward warm and hot. This story was titled “The Case of the Slandered Submarine.” There wasn’t really any slander about the boat, but the series was known for its offbeat alliterative titles. Usually the first half of each program was the exposition of the crime, while the latter half took place in a courtroom where Mason often elicited dramatic confessions from the real killers.