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Perry Mason Season 1 Defendants: Doris Hocksley vs. Duane Jefferson

The tournament’s sixth matchup presents us with a conundrum. Who is Doris Hocksley (The Case of the Empty Tin) going against? She’s supposed to combat the defendant from The Case of the Terrified Typist, but who is that exactly?

Is she facing the man who said he was Duane Jefferson but was actually James Kinkaid or the man we know next to nothing about, the real Duane Jefferson?

We’re going to say that the defendant for the case is the fake Jefferson, the man we see take the stand and get convicted of murder.

Pregame Analysis: Doris is going to have a tough time beating a man whose notable for being the defendant in one of Perry’s only losses.

  1. Was the defendant memorable?

Doris has quite a backstory: a dead husband, an institutionalized daughter, and a father she never knew.

But Duane Jefferson has the distinguished ersatz Cary Grant look, the clipped defense of his actions (protecting a “lady”), and the privilege of taking the stand during Mason’s defense. Of course, I am glossing over the biggest evidence in his favor: he’s not who he says he is, and the jury finds him guilty! Yes, he’s memorable.

Advantage: Duane Jefferson

  1. Was the defendant the most compelling non-permanent character in the case?

The Case of the Empty Tin has compelling characters. There’s old man Carr himself, a battle axe of a man confined to a wheelchair. There’s Gow Loong, the Carr aid who offers deep metaphysical musings about John Lowell’s treachery. Let’s not forget Rebecca Gentry, the murdering secretary whose confession is so harrowing that it drives Perry and Hamilton to go get a drink together.

As for The Case of the Terrified Typist, Duane only has one competitor: Patricia Taylor, the titular typist. She’s a compelling character for sure, but Gentleman Duane gives her a run for her money, even if he can’t type as fast.

Advantage: Duane Jefferson

  1. Does Perry respect the defendant?

Perry likes Doris and prefers her to Carr when the old man makes a bid for his service. But when we get to the end of the episode, Doris doesn’t come up at all. The entire conversation is about how Perry figured out Rebecca Gentry had committed the crime.

Duane Jefferson aka James Kinkaid? Naturally, he comes up in the denouement as Perry, Della, and Paul make sense of the case. As for respect, Paul scoffs at his gallant routine. Perry did too…though oddly it didn’t make him drop Jefferson as a client. This is a tough one.

Advantage: Perry can’t respect a man who lost him his first case. Doris Hocksley wins this one by a nose.

  1. Finally, do we have a prior history with the actor or actress?

Both Toni Gerry (Doris Hocksley) and Alan Marshall (Jefferson/Kinkaid) only appeared in one episode of Perry Mason.

Advantage: Push

Final Verdict: The judge finds Duane Jefferson the victor in this head-to-head matchup.

Congratulations, James, I mean, Duane, I mean, Jane! Your prize is commuted sentence for your crime. Get that Gentleman Jim suit ready for your parole hearing!

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