Boston Blackie

Created by Jack Boyle

“Enemy to those who make him an enemy. Friend to those who have no friend.”
–from the intro to the Boston Blackie radio show (1945)

BOSTON BLACKIE is a rather peculiar character to include here as he wasn’t a P.I. in his original incarntation at all, but a jewel thief and a safecracker. It was only later, in film, radio, and eventually television, that he morphed into a private eye.

But perhaps more significant than his occupational status at any given time was that the stories were, despite the smarmy sentimentality, as Frank D. Sherry pegged it in Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers:

“…(stylistically…interesting example(s) of…hard-boiled tale(s) told before the hard-boiled style was born (although)flawed by (the) sentimental ending(s) typical of the times.”

The first four stories (plus a non-fiction piece plugging the upcoming series) were published in The American Magazine in five consecutive issues in 1914, and recounted the adventures of Blackie, a hardened criminal serving time in a hellish California prison, looking forward to his release. By the turn of the early 20th century, such tales of a starker, darker, more realistic America had become increasingly popular, spurred on by such works as Stephen Crane’s “Maggie: A Girl of the Streets” (1893).

Young, handsome and educated he may have been, but Blackie definitely wasn’t a P.I. Over the next few years, a slew of stories featuring him — or taking part in his universe — appeared in such magazines as The American Magazine, Redbook and Cosmopolitan.

In 1919 a collection, simply titled Boston Blackie, was published, collecting several of the stories, and revising them slightly to take on the appearance of a novel. It was for years the only Boston Blackie “novel” or collection to be published, and pretty much defines the “safecracker de luxe” in his original incarnation: a scholar and gentleman, totally devoted to his beloved wife Mary, with whom he lives in a “cozy apartment in San Francisco.” He just also happens to be a tough, hard-boiled professional criminal, with a strict moral code, (he’s exceedingly loyal to his friends, and will not use a gun, for example) and a soft spot for kids. In the introduction, Boyle recounts his first “meeting” with his hero — in Golden Gate Park four days after the great earthquake where Blackie is caring for a group of orphaned children.

The previous year, Blackie had already made his first screen appearance in Boston Blackie’s Little Pal (1918, Metro), kicking off a string of silent films for various studios, starring Bert Lytell (who also played The Lone Wolf, a similiar character, with a similarly convoluted history). Blackie was played in subsequent films by such actors as Lionel Barrymore, David Powell, William Russell, Forrest Stanley and Raymond Glenn. In these films, Blackie was a professional thief with a heart of gold. The last silent Blackie appeared in 1927.

But by 1941, when Columbia Pictures released Meet Boston Blackie starring Chester Morris, Blackie had given up a life of crime to become a sort of freelance adventurer/detective (although still not calling himself one), working for the good guys, although he preferred to not get too involved with the police. There were fourteen films in all, and Morris “brought to the role a delightful offhand manner and sense of humour that kept the films fresh even when the scripts weren’t,” according to Leonard Maltin’s TV Movies and Video Guide. Also along for the ride for most of the series were Richard Lane, as Boston’s long-suffering police foil, Inspector Farraday; Charles Wagenheim (later George E. Stone) as Boston’s talkative but dim-witted sidekick, The Runt, and Lloyd Corrigan as an irresponsible, irrepresible, adventurous millionaire pal.

In 1944, Blackie made his radio debut on NBC, with Morris and Lane reprising their film roles. The next year, a syndicated version, starring Richard Kollmar, made the rounds. And in 1951, a syndicated television series premiered, starring Kent Taylor, and ran until 1953. By this point, Blackie’s long, twisted journey and transformation from con to private eye was complete, with him tooling around LA in a snazzy convertible with his best gal, Mary, and his faithful canine companion, Whitey, by his side, cracking cases, always one step ahead of Inspector Farraday, a mildly amusing attempt to capture that Thin Man vibe, southern California style.

But then, the Boston Blackie films, radio and television shows were never really intended as “A” list entertainment. Still, as far as “B” stuff went, it was generally pretty good stuff. Always entertaining, and possessing “a certain vitality and sense of humour (compensating) more than adequately for ther normal criteria of expensive production and famous stars,” according to The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows.

And Boston’s proven to have remarkably long legs. In 2002, Moonstone Books unveiled a new Boston Blackie graphic novel as part of their ambitious “Moonstone Noir” crime comic series. Other titles in the series include The Hat Squad, Johnny Dollar, Bulldog Drummond, Jack Hagee, P.I., The Mysterious Traveler and The Lone Wolf.


And what of Jack Boyle, the one who got this all started? Turns out he was a felon himself, with multiple convictions and prison terms, or so the story goes…

I know. It sounds too good to be true. Some puffed up PR hype, I suspected, but apparently Boyle really did grow up in Chicago and work as a newspaper reporter in San Francisco. Unfortunately, during this time, he became an opium addict and was drawn into crime, serving time for writing bad checks, and later for robbery. It was during the sentence for robbery (at San Quentin, no less) that he created the character of Boston Blackie.

The first four stories, which appeared in The American Magazine in 1914, were actually published under the pen name “No. 6066,” hoping for the same sort of street cred that Dashiell Hammett aimed for with his frequently mentioned days as a Pinkerton Op.


  • “A Modern Opium Eater” (June 2014, The American Magazine)
  • “The Price of Principle” (July 1914, The American Magazine; as by “No. 6066”)
  • “The Story About Dad Morgan” (August 1914, The American Magazine; as by “No. 6066”)
  • “Death Cell Visions”” (September 1914, The American Magazine; as by “No. 6066”)
  • “A Thief’s Daughter”” (October 1914, The American Magazine; as by “No. 6066”)
  • “Boston Blackie’s Mary” (November 1917, Redbook)
  • “The Woman Called Ritay” (December 1917, Redbook)
  • “Fred the Count” (January 1918, Redbook)
  • “Miss Doris, Safe-Cracker” (May 1918, Redbook)
  • “Boston Blackie’s Little Pal” (June 1918, Redbook)
  • “Alibi Ann” (July 1918, Redbook)
  • “Miss Doris’ ‘Raffles'” (August 1918, The Strand)
  • “The Poppy Girl’s Husband” (October 1918, Redbook)
  • “A Problem in Grand Larceny” (December 1918, Redbook)
  • “An Answer in Grand Larceny” (January 1919, Redbook)
  • “The Third Degree” (April 1919, The Strand)
  • “The Daughter of Mother McGinn” (June 1919, Cosmopolitan)
  • “Alias Prince Charming” (July 1919, Cosmopolitan)
  • “Black Dan” (October 1919, Cosmopolitan)
  • “The Water Cross” (November 1919, Cosmopolitan)
  • “The Heart of the Lily” (February 1921, Redbook)
  • “Granad’s Girl” (March 1920, Cosmopolitan)
  • “The Face in the Fog” (May 1920, Cosmopolitan)
  • “The Painted Child” (October 1920, Cosmopolitan)
  • “Boomerang Bill” (December 1920, Cosmopolitan)


  • “Boston Blackie’s Code”
  • “The Cushions Kid”
  • “One Week to Live”
  • “Not to Snitch on a Pal”
  • “The Miracle”
  • “The Price of Success”
  • “The Spirit of the Cushions Kid”
  • “The Shot in the Dark”
  • “The Mystery of the S.S. Humboldt”
  • “Missing Gold”
  • “The Frame-Up”
  • “Blackie’s Prophecy Comes True”
  • “The Love of a Woman”
  • “For Fifteen Years”
  • “The Revolt”
  • “First Blood”
  • “Play For Me, Little Squirrel”
  • “Trapped”
  • “Man to Man”


  • Boston Blackie (1919)
    Contains six short stories; possibly released as a tie-in to the 1919 silent film, Blackie’s Redemption.
  • Boston Blackie (2014)Kindle it!
    Expanded version of the 1919 collection, ontaining a whole slew of stories featuring the jewel thief and safecracker, before film, radio and television turned him into a detective. Sadly, there’s no biographical information included.


    (1918, Metro)
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Screenplay by Albert S. Le Vino
    Directed by E. Mason Hopper
    Starring Bert Lytell as BOSTON BLACKIE
    and Rhea Mitchell as Mary
    Also starring Rosemary Theby, Joey Jacobs, Howard Davies, John Burton, Frank Whitson
    (1919, Paramount)
    Premiere: March 16, 1919
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Screenplay by Jules Boyle and C. Gardner Sullivan
    Directed by William S. Hart and Lambert Hillyer
    Starring Walter Long as BOSTON BLACKIE
    Also starring William S. Hart, Juanita Hansen, Fred Starr, David Kirby, Georgie Stone
    (1919, Universal)
    Based on the short story “Miss Doris, Safe-Cracker” by Jack Boyle
    Starring Sam De Grasse as BOSTON BLACKIE
    (1919, Metro)
    Based on the short stories “Boston Blackie’s Mary” and “Fred the Count” by Jack Boyle
    Screenplay by Finis Fox
    Directed by John Ince
    (1922, Cosmopolitan Productions)
    Premiere: February 12, 1922
    Based on the short story “Boomerang Bill” by Jack Boyle
    Screenplay by Doty Hobart
    Directed by Tom Terriss
    Starring Lionel Barrymore, Margeurite Marsh, Margaret Seddon, Frank Shannon, Matthew Betts, Charlie Fong, Harry Lee, Marian Battista, Helen Kim
    Not a Boston Blackie story, but one told, at least in the original story, by Blackie to discourage a young man contemplating his first robbery. In the film, the ex-con Blackie is changed into a police officer.
    (1922, Famous Players-Lasky)
    60 minutes
    Premiere: September 17, 1922
    Based on the short stories “A Problem in Grand Larceny” and “An Answer in Grand Larcency” by Jack Boyle
    Screenplay by Jack Boyle and Albert S. Le Vino
    Directed by Joseph Henabery
    Starring David Powell as BOSTON BLACKIE
    Also starring Alice Brady, Frank Lossee, Riley Hatch, John B. Cooke, William B. Mack, George LeGuere, Alice May, H. Cooper Cliffe, Sydney Deane, Beverly Travers, Sidney Herbert
    (1922, Cosmopolitan Productions)
    70 minutes
    Premiere: October 8, 1922
    Based on the short story by Jack Boyle
    Written by Jack Boyle and John Lynch
    Directed by Alan Crosland
    Produced by William Randolph Hearst
    Starring Lionel Barrymore as BOSTON BLACKIE
    Also starring Seena Owen, Lowell Sherman, George Nash, Louis Wolheim, Mary MacLaren, Macey Harlam, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Joe King, Tom Blake
    (1923, Fox)
    Based on the short story “The Water Cross” by Jack Boyle
    Screenplay by Paul Schofield
    Directed by Scott Dunlap
    Starring William Russell as BOSTON BLACKIE
    (1923, Universal)
    Starring Thomas Carrigan as BOSTON BLACKIE
    (1924, Cosmopolitan)
    Based on the short story “The Daughtert of Mother McGinn” by Jack Boyle
    Starring Forrest Stanley as BOSTON BLACKIE
    (1927, Chadwick)
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Starring Raymond Glenn as BOSTON BLACKIE
    (1941, Columbia)
    61 minutes
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Directed by by Robert Florey
    Starring Chester Morris as BOSTON BLACKIE
    Also starring Rochelle Hudson, Richard Lane, Charles Wagenheim
    (1941, Columbia)
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Directed by Edward Dmytryk
    Starring Chester Morris as BOSTON BLACKIE
    (1942, Columbia)
    67 minutes
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Directed by Lew Landers
    Starring Chester Morris as BOSTON BLACKIE
    Also starring Adele Mara, Richard Lane, George E. Stone, Lloyd Corrigan, Walter Sande, Larry Parks, Lloyd Bridges
    (1942, Columbia)
    68 minutes
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Directed by Michael Gordon
    Starring Chester Morris as BOSTON BLACKIE
    Also starring George E. Stone, Richard Lane, Forrest Tucker, Constance Worth, Lloyd Corrigan, William Wright
    (1943, Columbia)
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Directed by Lew Landers
    Starring Chester Morris as BOSTON BLACKIE
    Also starring Ann Savage, Richard Lane, George E. Stone, Cy Kendall, George McKay
    (1943, Columbia)
    65 minutes
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Directed by William Castle
    Starring Chester Morris as BOSTON BLACKIE
    Also starring Eric Rolf, Jeanne Bates, Richard Lane, George E. Stone, Lloyd Corrigan
    (1944, Columbia)
    61 minutes
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Directed by Oscar Boetticher
    Starring Chester Morris as BOSTON BLACKIE
    Also starring Janis Carter, Richard Lane, William Wright, George E. Stone, Dorothy Malone, Joseph Crehan
    (1945, Columbia)
    66 minutes
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Directed by Arthur Dreifuss
    Starring Chester Morris as BOSTON BLACKIE
    Also starring Lynn Merrick, Steve Cochran, Richard Lane, Frank Sully
    (1945, Columbia)
    64 minutes
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Directed by Arthur Dreifuss
    Starring Chester Morris as BOSTON BLACKIE
    Also starring Nina Foch, Steve Cochran, Richard Lane, George E. Stone, Frank Sully
    Just horrible. While many of the Columbia films are passable enough B-fare — offering good production values, fairly logical plots and some decent characters, this one suffers not just from a coincidence-laden plot that makes no sense at all, and also boasts a gratingly offensive (and narratively stupid) bit where Blackie and Runt don blackface to avoid capture by the cops.
    (1946, Columbia)
    60 minutes
    Premiere: January 24, 1946)
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Directed by Lew Landers
    Starring Chester Morris as BOSTON BLACKIE
    Also starring Lynn Merrick, Richard Lane, Frank Sully, George E. Stone, Russell Hicks
    (1946, Columbia)
    65 minutes
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Directed by D. Ross Lederman
    Starring Chester Morris as BOSTON BLACKIE
    Also starring Jeff Donnell, Richard Lane, Dusty Anderson, George E. Stone, Marvin Miller, Murray Alper
    (1946, Columbia)
    66 minutes
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Directed by D. Ross Lederman
    Starring Chester Morris as BOSTON BLACKIE
    Also starring Trudy Marshall, Constance Dowling, Richard Lane
    (1948, Columbia)
    67 minutes
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Directed by Seymour Friedman
    Starring Chester Morris as BOSTON BLACKIE
    Also starring June Vincent, Patricia White (Barry), Edward Norris, Richard Lane, George E. Stone
    (1949, Columbia)
    61 minutes
    Based on characters created by Jack Boyle
    Directed by Seymour Friedman
    Starring Chester Morris as BOSTON BLACKIE
    Also starring Joan Woodbury, Philip Ahn, Benson Fong
    Above average plot for this series, this one’s set in Chinatown, and features actual Asians cast as Asians, and several pleasantly surprising scenes that poke a hole in assorted stereotypes about Chinese-Americans. Definitely a step up from the horrid Boston Blackie’s Rendezvous where Blackie and Runt don blackface.
    I’m not sure if this ieven exists. Is it another Columbia film, or a possibly another title for one of the above. Anyone?


  • BOSTON BLACKIE FILM COLLECTION | Buy this collection
    (2015, Onesmedia)
    This no-frills, straight-to-DVD-R collections features all 14 films from Columbia from the forties.


    (1944, NBC)
    12 episodes
    Summer replacement series for The Amos’n’Andy Show
    Sponsor: Rinso Soap
    Starring Chester Morris as BOSTON BLACKIE
    and Richard Lane as Inspector Farraday
    Also starring Lesley Woods as Mary Wesley
    Announcer: Harlow Wilcox

    • “The Rockwell Diamond” (June 23, 1944)
    • “Fifty Hunter Street” (June 30, 1944)
    • “Title Unknown” (July 7, 1944)
    • “The Star Of The Nile” (July 14, 1944)
    • “Black Market Meat Ring” (July 21, 1944; aka “June Parker’s Cattle Ranch”)
    • “Polly Morrison’s Gun Collection” (July 28, 1944; aka “The Haunted House” “Wrong Jacket” and “The Caretaker Of Develon Estate”
    • “Alice Manweather, Dead Or Alive? (August 4, 1944)
    • “Title Unknown” (August 11, 1944)
    • “Title Unknown” (August 18, 1944)
    • “Title Unknown” (August 25, 1944)
    • “Title Unknown” (September 1, 1944)
    • “Title Unknown” (September 15, 1944)
      NOTE: Al Hubin suspects that this first radio series might have consisted of as few as 8 episodes (at least 7 of which survive)
    (1945-49, syndicated by Ziv)
    220 episodes
    Sponsored by R&H Beer
    Starring Richard Kollmar as BOSTON BLACKIE
    and Maurice Tarplin as Inspector Faraday
    Also starring Jan Minor as Mary Wesley

    • “The Oscar Wolfe Case” (June 13, 1945; aka “Troublemaker”)
    • “The Sam Bellows Case” (June 18, 1945)
    • “The Larry Brown Case – $100 For Blackie” (June 25, 1945)
    • “Blackie Jilts Mary” (July 2, 1945)
    • “The Worthington Pearls” (July 9, 1945)
    • “Blackie’s Car Kills A Woman” (July 16, 1945; aka “Jack King Forgery Case”)
    • “The Case Of The Three-Way Split” (July 23, 1945; aka “Stolen $50,000”)
    • “The Mary At Sea” (July 30, 1945; aka “Body On A Boat”)
    • “Hypnotic Murder” (August 6, 1945; aka “Jim Thompson’s Cigarette Girl”)
    • “The Evelyn Jones Murdered” (August 13, 1945)
    • “Blackie Steals Necklace For Charity” (August 20, 1945)
    • “Title Unknown” (August 27, 1945)
    • “Title Unknown” (September 3, 1945)
    • “Bill Crane’s Attorney” (September 13, 1945; aka “Forgery And Murder”
    • “The Fred Arlen Murder – Blood On Blackie’s Sleeve” (September 20, 1945)
    • “The Westfield Diamonds” (October 4, 1945; aka “Kingston Unlucky”
    • “The Copy Of Diamond Bracelet” (October 11, 1945)
    • “Boxer’s Murder Case” (October 18, 1945; aka “Fighter Johnson”
    • “Richard’s Diamond Case” (October 25, 1945) :27:00* ; aka “Blackie In Diamond Shootout”)
    • “Mary Disappears” (November 1, 1945; aka “Boulton Farm”)
    • “Amnesia Victim” (November 8, 1945; aka “Burke”)
    • “Murder In The Music Room” (November 15, 1945)
    • “Blackie Kidnapped” (November 22, 1945)
    • “Simmons Construction Murder” (November 29, 1945; aka “The Man Who Was Shot on the 21st Floor”, “Foreman Murdered”, “Blackie Sick .. Can’t Talk”)
    • “Williams Missing Pearl Necklace” (December 6, 1945; aka “Atkins Jewel Thief”)
    • “Murder At The Movies” (December 13, 1945; aka “Murder On The Murder Set”)
    • “Tv Poisoning” (December 20, 1945; aka “Man Killed On TV”)
    • “The Masters Diamond” (December 27, 1945)
    • “The Sword Swallower” (January 3, 1946)
    • “Harlin Escapes” (January 8, 1946)
    • Title Unknown” (January 15, 1946)
    • “The Disappearing Body” (January 22, 1946)
    • “The John Williams Inheritance Case” (January 29, 1946)
    • “The Brandon Jewel Robbery” (February 5, 1946)
    • “The Congdon Ransom” (February 12, 1946)
    • “Harry Benson Murders His Wife” February 19, 1946)
    • “A Vase Leads To Murder” (February 26, 1946; aka “The Man In The Green Hat”)
    • “Tom Everett Murder With An Alibi” (March 5, 1946)
    • “The Color Blind Accomplice – Lin Chow Murdered” (March 12, 1946)
    • “The Worthington Ghost (March 19, 1946)
    • “Pierre, The Designer” (March 26, 1946; aka “Olsen Safe Robbed”)
    • Title Unknown” (April 2, 1946)
    • Title Unknown” (April 9, 1946)
    • “The Baseball Player Murder” (April 16, 1946)
    • “The Stolen Car Ring” (April 23, 1946)
    • “The Frances Fielding Murder” (April 30, 1946; aka “Dr. Allen Accused of Murder”)
    • “The Winthrope Jewel Robberies” (May 7, 1946)
    • “The Merry-Go-Round Murder” (May 14, 1946)
    • “The Blaine Brothers Pawn Shop Murder” (May 21, 1946)
    • “The Escaped Prisoner” (May 28, 1946)
    • “Three Witnessess To Will Killed” (June 4, 1946)
    • “The Disappearing Plane” (June 11, 1946)
    • “The Hooded Gang Protection Racket” (June 18, 1946)
    • “Gambler Joe Garland Killed” (June 25, 1946)
    • “Uncle Frank Murdered By Joe Parker” (July 2, 1946)
    • “The Skating Rink Murders” (July 9, 1946; aka “The Dead Girls And The $50,000 Ring”)
    • “The Murdered Truck Driver” (July 16, 1946)
    • “The Murdering Coo-Coo Clock” (July 23, 1946)
    • “Mutiny Leads To Murder Aborad The Freighter Swan” (July 30, 1946)
    • “Jerry Williams Fixed Court Case” (August 6, 1946; aka “The Gardenia Case”)
    • “The Diamond Smugglers” (August 13, 1946; aka “Mama And Papa Case”)
    • “Jealous Partners And Arson” (August 20, 1946)
    • “The Rockwell Diamond” (August 27, 1946)
    • “The Stolen Rare Book” (September 3, 1946)
    • “The Backstage Murder” (September 10, 1946; aka “Marked Card Murder Case”, “Blackie Performs In Amateur Charity Show”)
    • “The Apartment Swindler” (September 17, 1946)
    • “The Abbott Painting” (September 24, 1946)
    • “The Undersea Murder” (October 1, 1946; aka “Sunken Treasure Chest”)
    • “Murdered Show Dog Owner” (October 8, 1946)
    • “Murder At The Rodeo” (October 15, 1946)
    • “Farady Shot” (October 22, 1946)
    • “Granny’s Witchcraft” (October 29, 1946)
    • “A New Face For Joe Harvey” (November 5, 1946)
    • “Only One Way Out For Me” (November 12, 1946)
    • “Bill And Harry – $50,000 Necklace” (November 19, 1946)
    • “The Lenny Powell Murder” (November 26, 1946; aka “The Airline Murder”)
    • “Blackie Goes To Jail For Diamond Theft” (December 3, 1946)
    • “Mary Registered Nurse” (December 10, 1946; aka “The Phony Doctor Murder”)
    • “Police Impersonater” (December 17, 1946; aka “The Mimic”
    • “The Derailed Gold Train” (December 24, 1946)
    • “Carl Browning Cleaning Shop” (December 31, 1946; aka “Death By Natural Causes”)
    • “Jack Small Alias Bill Bigelow” (January 7, 1947)
    • “Blackie And The Fir Thefts” (January 14, 1947; aka “Jackie’s Mink Caper”, “Janet Corning Smothered On Persian Lamb”
    • “The Search For Jim Gary” (January 21, 1947; aka “The Firebug”)
    • “Jacque Pierre And The Diamonds” (January 28, 1947; aka “Willow Brand Diamonds”, “According To The Plan”)
    • “The Peters Mix-up” (February 4, 1947; aka “Tugboat Bess And The Saltwater Corpse”)
    • “Jailbirds Murdoch And Dawson” (February 11, 1947; aka “Sing A Song Of Escaped Cons”)
    • “7 Years Bad Luck For Florence Wells, Musical Comedy Star” (February 18, 1947)
    • “Joe Delivers The Goods” (February 25, 1947)
    • “Larry The Kid Vs. Savinni” (March 4, 1947; aka “The Dive”)
    • “10th Street Gym and Stolen Car Ring”(March 11, 1947; aka “Stolen Cars And The Boys Club”)
    • “Sam Fisher’s Past” (March 18, 1947)
    • “Horseroom Thefts Of Boston Blackie” (March 25, 1947; aka “Illegal Gambling House Ripoffs”)
    • “The Bus To Valley Junction” (October3 (April 1, 1947; aka “Wayward Bus Drive”)
    • “Aggie Rogers Murder” (April 8, 1947; aka “Spinster Sisters”)
    • “Phonograph Murder” (October5 (April 15, 1947; aka “Record On Death”)
    • “Millicent Bromley Kidnapped” (April 22, 1947; aka “Shorty Is Murder Suspect”, “Blackie In California”)
    • “Baseball And Gambling” (April 29, 1947; aka “Saunders, Ball Player”)
    • “Mrs. Peterson’s Insurance Policy” (May 7, 1947; aka “Measured For Murder”
    • “Joe Adams Drowned” (May 14, 1947)
    • “Blackie Breaks Into Prison” (May 21, 1947)
    • “The Ghost Of Florence Newton” (May 28, 1947)
    • “Man Following Eva” (June 4, 1947)
    • “Blackie Shoots A Watchman” (June 11, 1947; aka “Detective Follows Blackie”)
    • “Crooked Carter Brother” (June 18, 1947; aka “Donald Carver Case”)
    • “Joe Nelson’s Pet Shop Gambling Scheme” (June 25, 1947)
    • “Johnny Burns’ Imported Woolins” (July 2, 1947)
    • “Death Comes To The Harmonica Man” (July 9, 1947)
    • “The Randolph Construction Gang Bank Robbery” (July 16, 1947)
    • “Blackie’s Body In Wax” (July 23, 1947)
    • “Poetry In My Soul – Mayor Rogers Killed” (July 30, 1947; aka “The Poetic Assasin”)
    • “The Butcher Boy Gang” (August 6, 1947)
    • “Burning His House Behind Him” (August 13, 1947)
    • “Murder Of John Austin” (August 20, 1947; aka “Openfield Case”)
    • “Buckley Protection Agency And The Murder Of Harry Dale” (August 27, 1947)
    • “$50.00 Shoeshine” (September 3, 1947)
    • “Lighthouse Ghost” (September 10, 1947)
    • “Case Of The Exploding Car” (September 17, 1947)
    • “Old 86 Is Missing” (September 24, 1947)
    • “Death Wish” (October 1, 1947)
    • “Dead Aunt Sarah” (October 8, 1947)
    • “Joe Crain, Hired Killer” (October 15, 1947; aka “Murder Comes To Town”)
    • “Mid-Air Diamond Theft” (October 22, 1947)
    • “Framed Buy A Fin” (October 29, 1947)
    • “The Old Show Clue” (November 5, 1947)
    • “Title Unknown ” (November 12, 1947)
    • “Title Unknown” (November 19, 1947)
    • “The Murdock Gang Gang Strikes” (November 26, 1947)
    • “Open Season On Henry Williams” (December 3, 1947)
    • “The Arnold Murder Case” (December 10, 1947)
    • “Steal Or Be Killed” (December 17, 1947)
    • “Where Oh Where Has My Mary Gone?” (December 24, 1947)
    • “The Valuable Door Buzzer” (December 31, 1947)
    • “Riding Stable” (January 7, 1948)
    • “Invention Worth Killing For” (January 14, 1948)
    • “Kid’s Killing (Murder In The Ring)” (January 21, 1948)
    • “The Record Collector (My Made In America Maiden)” (January 28, 1948; aka “The DJ Caper;” with Guy Lombardo)
    • “Blackie Loves Helen” (February 4, 1948; aka “Blackie’s Love Affair”, “Blackie’s Love I.Q.”)
    • “Wind Blows West” (February 11, 1948; aka “The Best Seller Case”, “The Deadly Book Case”)
    • “Five Bullets In Don Anderson” (February 18, 1948; aka “Blackie Accused Of Killing Anderson”, “The Man With The Hamburg Hat”)
    • “The Twin Murders” (February 25, 1948; aka “Three Times Kings”, “Two Places Alibi”, “The Midnight Murders”)
    • “Cobb’s Trucking Company” (March 3, 1948; aka “John Vale Case”, “Marked Money”)
    • “$50.000 For Blackie” (March 10, 1948; aka “Disappearing Hoods”, “The Shipment Racket”)
    • “The William Larson Extortion Murder Case” (March 17, 1948)
    • “Wrestling Ring Murder” (March 24, 1948; aka “Big Tiny Mountain”)
    • “Tom Walton Escapes” (March 31, 1948)
    • “Clyde Winston Photographer” (April 7, 1948; aka “Invisible Shotgun”
    • “Murder At The Circus – Rhondo The Magician” (April 14, 1948)
    • “Insurance And Wrecked Cars” (April 21, 1948; aka “The Accidental Case”)
    • “The Bombing Of Joe Ingalls” (April 28, 1948; aka “Blackie Gets The Picture”)
    • “Jackie Meers Prison Break” (May 5, 1948; aka “Fly, Fly, Fly”)
    • “Title Unknown” (May 12, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (May 19, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (May 26, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (June 2, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (June 9, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (June 16, 1948)
    • “Henry Walker Murdered, Mr. Smith Witnessed The Killing” (June 23, 1948)
    • “Professor Beasley Is Murdered” (June 30, 1948)
    • “Diamonds Stolen From Kingston” (July 7, 1948)
    • “Blackie Framed For Killing John Cummings” (July 14, 1948)
    • “Heel Murdered By Counterfeit Sweepstakes Racket” (July 21, 1948)
    • “Richard Allistar Disappears In Vacant Lot” (July 28, 1948)
    • “Jack Davis Shoots Two Guys And Uses Blackie As An Alibi” (August 4, 1948)
    • “Bobby Rogers To Be Executed at 11:00 PM” (August 11, 1948)
    • “Mrs. George Trilling’s Maid is Murdered” (August 18, 1948)
    • “Robertson Poisons Wife Beverly Over The Telephone” (August 25, 1948)
    • “Reynolds And The Stolen Diamond Necklace” (September 1, 1948; aka “The $00.10 Goods”
    • “Kingston And The 15-Story Disappearing Office Building” (September 8, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (September 15, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (September 22, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (September 29, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (October 6, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (October 13, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (October 20, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (October 27, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (November 3, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (November 10, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (November 17, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (November 24, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown” (December 1, 1948)
    • “Killer Lightning” (December 8, 1948)
    • “Too Late Jailbreak” (December 15, 1948)
    • “Stolen Rings at Christmas” (December 22, 1948)
    • “Title Unknown”(December 29, 1948)
    • “Disappearing Fourth Floor” (January 5, 1949)
    • “Broken Clock Murder” (January 12, 1949)
    • “A Viking Boat Is On Montegomery Street With A Body in It” (January 19, 1949)
    • “John Frawley, While In Africa, Reads That He Is Dead” (January 26, 1949)
    • “Mary Asks Blackie To Get Her Cousin’s Song Published” (February 2, 1949)
    • “$50,000 In Bonds To Be Divided” (February 9, 1949; aka “Paul Martin Disappears From Roof”
    • “Fred Palmer’s Dock Racket” (February 16, 1949)
    • “Archie Grant’s Club 77” (February 23, 1949)
    • “Fake Accident Racket” (March 2, 1949; aka “Gunther Stephens Is Observed Jumping Into The Path of A Car”)
    • “Dolly Preston Calls For Help, Says She’s Going To Be Killed” (March 9, 1949)
    • “Kidnapped Murderer” (March 16, 1949)
    • “Auction, Harry Slocum Antiques, Sightseeing Bus” (March 23, 1949)
    • “Amadon Pearls” (March 30, 1949)
    • “Duke Murders Jo Jo” (April 6, 1949)
    • “Stone, Jewelry Store Owner Is Killed For A Watch” (April 13, 1949)
    • “Madame Sina, Fortune Teller” (April 20, 1949)
    • “Dynamite Thompson And Jack Morgan, Contractors” (April 27, 1949)
    • “Joe Gates Murdered On Chinatown Sightseeing Tour” (May 4, 1949)
    • “Charlie Has Johnny Give Information On The Senator To Blackie” (May 11, 1949)
    • “Imperial Oil Company Racket Promoters Hire Olivia To Get Rid Of Blackie” (May 18, 1949)
    • “Blackie And Mary Go To Canyon Dude Ranch To Investigate Tom’s Disappearance” (May 25, 1949)
    • “Pudgy And The Stolen Tire Racket” (June 1, 1949)
    • “Ma Vie Perfume” (June 8, 1949)
    • “The Professor And Rufus Rob The Bank Safe” (June 15, 1949)
    • “Title Unknown” (June 22, 1949)
    • “Title Unknown” (June 29, 1949)


The stars of the television show.
  • BOSTON BLACKIE | Buy the series
    (1951-53, syndicated)
    58 30-minute episodes
    26 in B&W, the latter 32 in colour
    Writers: Paul Landress, Eddie Davis, Sobey Martin
    Directors: Herbert Purdum, Warren Wilson
    Producer: M. Unger
    A Ziv Production
    Starring Kent Taylor as BOSTON BLACKIE
    with Lois Collier as Mary
    and Frank Orth as Inspector Farraday
    Also starring Whitey as the dog

    • “Train Murder” (September 8, 1951)
    • “Cop Killer” (September 15, 1951)
    • “Oil Field Murder” (September 22, 1951)
    • “Phone Booth Murder” (September 29, 1951)
    • “Blind Beggar” (October 6, 1951)
    • “Fortune Teller” (October 13, 1951)
    • “Scar Hand” (October 20, 1951)
    • “Faraday Murder Case” (October 27, 1951)
    • “Beach Murder” (November 3, 1951)
    • “Gang Murder” (November 10, 1951)
    • “Toy Factory Murder” (November 17, 1951)
    • “Roller Coaster Murder” (November 24, 1951; aka “Death On A Roller Coaster”)
    • “High Voltage Murder  aka  Death In A Power Plant” (December 3, 1951)
    • “Waterfront Murder” (December 10, 1951; aka “Blow Gun Murders”)
    • “Griffith Park Murder” (December 17, 1951)
    • “The Devil’s Daughters” (December 24, 1951)
    • “The Crusader  aka  Big Game Murders” (December 31, 1951)
    • “Death By Dictation” (January 7, 1952)
    • “The Lying Blackmailer” (January 14, 1952)
    • “Delmark Diamond Case” (January 21, 1952; aka “Diamond Cutter”)
    • “Bad Time Charlie” (January 28, 1952; aka “A Brother’s Revenge”)
    • “Mother Wore Blinders” (February 4, 1952; aka “Brass Knuckle Killer”)
    • “The Director’s Dilemma” (February 11, 1952)
    • “Red Hot Murder” (February 18, 1952)
    • “Chinese Lottery” (February 25, 1952; aka “Fireworks In Chinatown”)
    • “The Big H Murder” (March 3, 1952)
    • “Black Widow” (March 10, 1952)
    • “Fall Guy” (March 17, 1952)
    • “Death Trap” (March 24, 1952)
    • “13th Dummy” (March 10, 1952; aka “Silver Sequins”)
    • “Deep Six” (April 7, 1952)
    • “Minuet For Murder” (April 14, 1952; aka “Phantom Burglar”)
    • “Timely Hour” (April 21, 1952)
    • “Queen Of Thieves” (April 28, 1952)
    • “101 Blonde” (May 5, 1952)
    • “Inside Crime” (May 12, 1952)
    • “So Was Goliath” (May 19, 1952)
    • 3″Death Does A Rhumba” (May 26, 1952; aka “Expensive Maracas”)
    • “The Gunman” (June 2, 1952; aka  “Back From The Dead”)
    • “Jack In The Box” (June 9, 1952)
    • “Revenge” (June 16, 1952)
    • 4″The Friendly Gesture” (June 23, 1952)
    • “The Heist Job” (June 30, 1952)
    • “Deadly Payoff” (July 7, 1952)
    • “The Hot Gimmick” (July 14, 1952; aka  “Bombs Away”)
    • “The Alibi” (July 21, 1952)
    • “Keys To The Killer” (July 28, 1952)
    • “Studio Murder” (August 4, 1952; aka “Trouble On The Set”)
    • “Hired Hand” (August 11, 1952)
    • “Shoot The Works” (August 11, 1952)
    • “The Motorcycle Kids” (August 28, 1952; aka “Motorcycle Bandit”)
    • “A Date With Romero” (September 1, 1952)
    • “False Face” (September 8, 1952)
    • “Crown Jewels” (September 15, 1952)
    • “Pursuit” (September 22, 1952)
    • “Grab Bag” (September 28, 1952; aka “Railroaded”)
    • “Narcotics Ring” (October 6, 1952)
    • “Big Tom’s Clambake” (October 13, 1952)


    (2002-05, Moonstone Books)
    48 pgs, b/w, square-bound, self-contained

    • “Boston Blackie” (November 2002)
      Written by Stefan Petrucha
      Drawn by Kirk Van Wormer
    • “Inside Out” (June 2005)
      Written by Stefan Petrucha
      Drawn by Chris Burnham
      Cover: Dave Dorman


  • Moonstone Books
    For more information on the Boston Blackie graphic novels, this seems like a good place to start.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Arlene Osborne, Al Hubin and Radio Spirits’ Carl Amari for the heads up. Original cover scan courtesy of Mark Terry at Facsimile Dust Jackets.


3 thoughts on “Boston Blackie

  1. You might be interested in the fact that Seaside FM a local community radio in Eastern Passage NS, has a 1 hour old time radio show on Sunday nights, the last 2 including last night have carried a Boston Blackie show.

    1. Gee, the next time I’m tooling along Shore Road on the way home from the beach, I’ll have to tune in. But it won’t be anytime soon… I’m not allowed in Canada right now (damn COVID!). Hug a maple tree for me, though, and grab some Timbits.

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