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Incident in a Small Jail 

A suspected serial killer is put in a jail house with a salesman, while a lynch mob waits outside.


Norman Lloyd


Henry Slesar (teleplay by), Henry Slesar (from his story)


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Episode cast overview:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself - Host
John Fiedler ... Leon Gorwald
Richard Jaeckel ... The Mechanic
Ronald Nicholas Ronald Nicholas ... Sandy (as Ron Nicholas)
Myron Healey ... Carly
Crahan Denton ... Sheriff
William Challee ... Petrie
Joan Dupuis Joan Dupuis ... The Girl


Leon Gorwald is a traveling salesman who stops in a small town to buy gas. He crosses the street against the light and a local policeman starts writing him a ticket for jaywalking. Gorwald tries to bribe the officer and is promptly arrested and put in a jail cell awaiting the return of the local judge. In the meantime, the local sheriff has arrested a stranger for murdering a local girl. Things get desperate when a local mob decide to lynch the stranger, but by now he has overpowered the sheriff and forced Gorwald to change clothes. The mob drags Gorwald away but things turn out OK for him, in more ways than one. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

21 March 1961 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.] See more »


Leon Gorwald: Sheriff, please, you've gotta let me out of here! You can't keep me locked up!
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Remade as Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Pilot (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

An ending that will send chills up your spine
4 August 2013 | by philhodgmanSee all my reviews

One of the most memorable episodes. Leon, a small, meek salesman is jailed in a small town for a traffic violation. He is in the cell adjoining a man accused of murdering a local girl. A mob is gathering outside - eager to lynch the murderer.

As the crowd breaks in, the murderer has managed overpower the sheriff, force Leon to change clothes with him, and escape from the jail. When the crowd reaches the cell, they believe that Leon is the murderer and take him out to lynch him. In the end, luck is with Leon, but the ending following the ending is the big surprise - very chilling to recall even 50 years later.

John Fielder is the perfect actor for the part - getting the sympathy of the audience as the helpless common man and maintaining that pose right up to the startling ending.

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