The Perry Mason TV Show Book
The Cops: Lt. Tragg and Company

Tragg on Perry's Side
Ray Collinsa past member of Orson Welles's famous Mercury Theateris the one and only Lieutenant Tragg. Courtesy of Phototeque

Tragg was usually all business. He was the only person who occasionally addressed Perry by his last name, spoken with a mixture of malice and respect. But he admired the lawyer's cunning and could appreciate a good con game when he could get to the bottom of it. Perry's tip-offs would even lead Tragg right to the criminal's door on occasion.

Sometimes they joined forces. They worked together in "The Case of the Silent Partner," but the case never went to trial because Tragg and Mason broke it wide open. In "The Case of the Green-eyed Sister," this unlikely dynamic duo set a trap for a murderer, letting him think the coast was clear so he would attempt to skip town. They caught him at the bus station, picking up his loot in a locker before making his getaway.

Another time, in "The Case of the Shoplifter's Shoe," Tragg and Mason had the murderer (played by Leonard Nimoy) cornered. When Perry couldn't get a confession out of him, Tragg, who knew "how to deal with his kind," dragged an admission of guilt from the criminal before he hauled him off to the slammer.

Though hard-edged, Tragg was congenial. He followed his ritual behavior when he greeted Perry, despite any hard feelings between them, often offering a handshake before getting down to business.

In "The Case of the Moth-eaten Mink," we heard this exchange:

Perry: "Will you do me a favor?"
Tragg (growling): "I doubt it, but go ahead [and ask]."

When Perry tried to give him a "friendly tip" in "The Case of the Singing Skirt" and let him know that the gun found on his client would be of no help in solving the case, Tragg retorted: "I could hardly hold down my job without your friendly tips, Perry."

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The Perry Mason TV Show Book Copyright 1987 by Brian Kelleher and Diana Merrill. All rights reserved. Presented here by permission of the copyright holder. Commercial use prohibited. Web page Copyright 1998 D. M. Brockman. Last edited 04 Nov 2004.