They Call It Murder was the pilot for a potential TV series based on the "Doug Selby" character created by Perry Mason mentor Earl Stanley Gardner. Inspired by Gardner's 1969 novel The DA Draws a Circle, the film finds district attorney Selby (Jim Hutton) probing the mystery of a corpse in a swimming pool. It is obvious from the outset that the dead man did not drown, but was killed elsewhere and then unceremoniously dumped in the chlorine. Selby traces the chain of events to a car accident and an insurance scam. Originally telecast December 17, 1971, They Call It Murder was given a network rerun in the Spring of 1973--on a particularly bloodthirsty evening in which the competition included the woman-in-jeopardy TV movie The Bait and a murder-trial episode of Hawaii 5-0!
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