The Court of Missing Heirs (lost CBS/ABC radio program; 1937-1947)

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Status: Lost

The Court of Missing Heirs was a radio program started by attorney James Walters, to help track down missing heirs of recently deceased people.[1] Two cases were presented on each program, and several missing heirs were tracked down, but sadly no episodes appear to exist today.

Plot Synopsis

As mentioned above, there were two cases relayed to the public on each episode of the show, each of which featured a missing heir who needed to be located and contacted.[2] The one surviving script of the show that still exists featured Wallace Wellington Forbes, the sole survivor of a group of six soldiers who deliberately allowed themselves to be put in isolation and exposed to the mosquito which carries yellow fever so as to eliminate any other disease factor. When the story of their heroism became known in 1929, Wally and the widows of his comrades were allotted life pensions of $150 a month by a special act of Congress for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, Wally himself disappeared after being sent to Argentina in 1919 and apparently never returned home.


The 1942 film Seven Days' Leave was based on an episode of The Court of missing Heirs witch included scenes of a broadcast of the program.[3]

The producers sued the makers of the 1943 film Something for the Boys for appropriating the concept of their radio program for the film.[4] No record exists of how the case ended up, but the final resolution was probably something very dramatic.


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