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Racket Squad (1950-1953)

Racket Squad


Crime / Drama

Starring: Reed Hadley as Captain John Braddock

Narrated by Reed Hadley

San Francisco, California

This police drama that exposes confidence rackets debuted on June 7, 1951 and ran until September 28, 1953.  Actual police cases describe how shady characters fleece unsuspecting people of their money.  Dramatizations expose the confidence games and their organizers.  Detailing the investigations of Captain John Braddock of the San Francisco Racket Squad, the series presents the step-by-step methods taken to expose rackets. Captain John Braddock worked in the racket squad of a large metropolitan police department. He did not deal with crimes of violence but instead sought to protect the public from the various confidence rackets that were a more direct threat to them than outright robbery.

The series was based on actual case records from the police departments around the country and described in detail the means by which shady characters fleeced unsuspecting people of their money. Captain John Braddock was played by veteran Hollywood leading man Reed Hadley, and famously opened each show with the same introduction, “What you are about to see is a real-life story, taken from the files of the police racket and bunco squads, business protective associations and similar sources around the country. It is intended to expose the confidence game-the carefully worked out frauds by which confidence men take more money each year from the American public then all the bank robbers and thugs with their violence".  Each episode closed with the Captain saying, “I’m closing this case now, but there’ll be others because that’s the way the world is built. Remember there are people who can slap you on the back with one hand and pick your pocket with the other—and it could happen to you.”

Two Little Country Girls (6/28/1951)

Assistant hotel manager Harvey Anderson accuses a bellhop of stealing $15,000 from a guest.  Captain Braddock suspects that the guest may be a confidence woman who has pulled this con in several other hotels. 

Heaven for Sale (07/05/1951)

Captain Braddock investigates a medium that uses fake séances to bilk money out of people.

The Case of the Miracle Mud (09/20/1951)

Mud on a farm appears to have healing powers.  Will the gullible town council buy it?

Babies for Sale (11/08/1951)

Captain Braddock investigates a false adoption scam.

The Salted Mine (11/15/1951)

Captain Braddock risks his life to help a friend who has been conned out of his live savings.

The Knockout (12/27/1951)

Captain Braddock looks into a gambling scam.

Accidentally on Purpose (01/03/1952)

“Square Deal” Danny sells a couple a used car without brakes.  Captain Braddock investigates the dealership.

Desperate Money (01/24/1952)

Captain Braddock investigates a complaint made by an immigrant tailor who is beaten by a loan shark .

The Case of the Hearse Chasers (02/28/1952)

Capt. Braddock tries to locate a pair of swindlers who are trying to fleece a recently widowed lady out of three thousand dollars for a worthless portrait of her late husband.

Home Wreckers (03/13/1952)

A man impersonating a lawyer swindles money from divorcing couples.

The Case of the Matchmaker (03/25/1952)

Fake stamp collector romances wealthy widow.

The Staff of Life (03/27/1952)

Fake wheat contest to steal wheat.

The Soft Touch (05/01/1952)

Captain Braddock investigates a women passing fake payroll checks.

A Place for Grandma (06/12/1952)

Captain Braddock investigates a man who is conning people in a retirement home.

The Long Shot (07/03/1952)

Another con falls into Captain John Braddock’s lap.  A gang of thugs sell fake tickets for the Irish Sweepstakes.

Anyone Can be a Sucker (07/31/1952)

Girl takes bookie, who seeks revenge.  

Pick a Number (8/10/1952)

A meek clerk discovers that the numbers he releases at the clearing house where he works are the ones used by men running a numbers game.  

Smoke Eater (08/17/1952) aka "The Strange Case of James Doyle"

Fake fire captain extorts money so businesses are not shut down.

Know Your Family Tree (08/21/1952)

Captain Braddock investigates claims of cons and swindles made by rich socialites.

One More Dream (08/28/1952)

Captain Braddock investigates a scientist who claims to have invented a ‘Mystical Power Machine’.

Check and Double Check (09/04/1952)

A gang uses kids and stolen checks to get money and merchandise from stores and it’s up to Captain Braddock to stop them.

Blessed Expense (11/20/1952)

Fraudulent insurance for pregnancy.

Elephant in Stockings (12/12/1952)

Captain Braddock tries to take down a mob boss.   

The Christmas Caper (12/25/1952)

The story of con men who take advantage of an elderly man whom they hire as a sidewalk Santa.  The money he raises goes into their pockets, and not the charity as he had been told. 

The System (01/01/1953)

Captain Braddock investigates a man selling a fake system for betting on horses.

The Case of the Dancing Lady (02/12/1953)

A newly married woman is conned by the owner of a dance studio.  Her husband goes to see Captain Braddock.

Figures Don’t Lie ("Sale Value") (07/20/1953)

An auditor falsifies books of successful companies so as to buy them cheaply.

The Sure Thing (9/7/1953)

Braddock tries to break a bookmaking operation.

Bill of Sale Racket (11/29/1951)

A young couple is taken by a 'escrow' scam that uses it to buy their gas station but the money is not real and the gas station is resold leaving them with nothing.   

His Brother's Keeper (2/26/1953)

An elderly gambler known as Long Shot (James Gleason) poses as a deaf hobo in order to receive handouts that he can use for gambling. Local gangsters already running a similar citywide racket don't take it lightly when Long Shot tries to beat them at their own game.

Kite High (9/6/195)

A man leaves his home because of his nagging mother-in-law, goes to Las Vegas to forget his troubles, and ends up losing his life savings in a crooked card game.

Romance Unlimited - aka "Wife of Many Aliases" (8/10/1953)

Captain Braddock cracks down on women who commit bigamy to get Army allotment checks.

Actors: Reed Hadley
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Matinee Classics - Racket Squad starring Reed Hadley as Captain John Braddock
Matinee Classics - Racket Squad starring Reed Hadley as Captain John Braddock
Matinee Classics - Racket Squad starring Reed Hadley as Captain John Braddock

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