THE Dragnet WEBB SITE

Bibliography

DRAGNET -RELATED NOVELS AND BOOKS

There are books about Jack Webb and Dragnet, as well as Dragnet novels that were issued at the time of the two runs of the series. Jack Webb also wrote The Badge in 1958 (recently republished), profiling some famous LAPD cases. All are described below.

There are currently two biographies of Jack Webb, both of which can be ordered from online sources such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Half.com:

mnfcover My Name’s Friday: The Unauthorized but True Story of Dragnet and the Films of Jack Webb by Michael Hayde. This book has been nominated for an Edgar Award. It has a five-star average customer rating on Amazon.com (where you can also read an excerpt).
“Dynamite! Just terrific!”
Leonard Maltin, Movie and TV Critic/Historian
jtfcover Just the Facts, Ma’am; The Authorized Biography of Jack Webb, Creator of Dragnet, Adam-12, and Emergency by Daniel Moyer and Eugene Alvarez. This book was originally released in 1999 but a revised and improved edition was re-released in 2001 by Seven Locks Press. It has a four-star average customer rating on Amazon.com (where you can also read an excerpt).
(Note: Some of the following information on Dragnet -related books was graciously provided by Bob Siler.)



1956
CASE NUMBER 561
by DAVID KNIGHT

“The police knew what he did and how he did it but not who he was. Then Joe Friday got the idea that led to the capture of Los Angeles’ most elusive criminal”. Friday is a Sgt. and his partner is Frank Smith.

Dragnet fan Jim Doherty writes: “The real life case on which “Case 561” is based is the same case that provided the plotline to the film “He Walked By Night.” As you probably know, Webb‘s first film job was playing “Lee,” a crime lab tech based on Lt. Lee Jones, the commander of LAPD‘s Scientific Investigation Division. Between takes, Webb got friendly with Det. Sgt. Marty Wynn, the film’s technical advisor. From their conversations, Webb got the idea for the radio series that became Dragnet.

David Knight,” by the way, is a pseudonym for Richard S. Prather, whose Shell Scott private eye novels were second in popularity only to Spillane’s Mike Hammer in the ’50s.”

1956
DRAGNET-A PLAY IN THREE ACTS
by JAMES REACH
“Based on the Famous NBC Radio-Television Series. “
“Sgt. Friday and Officer Frank Smith try to solve the murder of a man who was killed in a locked room, with no way for the killer to get in or out. This play can be bought through SAMUEL FRENCH INC on Sunset Blvd. Hollywood, or Larry Edmunds Book Store on Hollywood Blvd.”

1957
DRAGNET – CASE STORIES FROM THE POPULAR TELEVISION SERIES
by RICHARD DEMING. (Children’s book.)

(Many thanks to Brian Lew for this Dragnet book!)

1958:
THE CASE OF THE COURTEOUS KILLER
by RICHARD DEMING

Joe Friday found everything he needed for a conviction – except the murderer!”

THE BADGE
by JACK WEBB
THE INSIDE STORY OF ONE OF AMERICA’S GREAT POLICE DEPARTMENTS
This book profiles the LAPD. We’ll be adding a detailed desciption of the book soon.

1959
THE CASE OF THE CRIME KING
by RICHARD DEMING

“Lt. Joe Friday knew who he was and how he operated, but not where he was. And the victims wouldn’t talk.” His partner is Frank Smith.

1968
DRAGNET 1968
by DAVID VOWELL

(click on image to see larger version; thanks to Michael Hayde for sending this)
“SGT. JOE FRIDAY IS BACK on the trail of a bizarre menace stalking Los Angeles”. Partner is Bill Gannon.

(Jim Doherty reports that Popular Library is also supposed to have published a “Dragnet 1967” novel by somebody named Tralins.)

1970
DRAGNET: CASE HISTORIES FROM THE POPULAR TELEVISION SERIES
Told by RICHARD DEMING. Illustrated by DAN GOOZEE
1970 – A WHITMAN BOOK -210 pages

Review by Dennis Hollenbeck: This was written for young people. However, it is good reading for all ages. There are six stories, all told by Sgt. Joe Friday himself. It is well written. This is the 1966-1970 Dragnet with Sgt. Joe Friday and Lt. Bill Gannon. The stories are:
1. The Jewel Robbery Case
2. The Diamond Swindle Case
3. The Firebug Case
4. The Monogrammed Watch Case
5. The Crybaby Case
6. The Hit and Run Case
By Jack Webb THE BADGE: THE INSIDE STORY OF ONE OF AMERICA’S GREAT POLICE DEPARTMENTS
1958 – Prentice-Hall, Inc. – 311 pages

Review by Dennis Hollenbeck: Webb has written this book about the Los Angeles Police Department. It is a somewhat dry book, much like the true crime magazines of the 1950s. But it is good reading. He writes about the officers of the LAPD and its many departments, and true cases of all kind of crimes. It comes with many photographs. However, the book is not about the DRAGNET television program. Only in the book’s foreword does Webb write a little about how he put in many hours working with the officers on the job and that he knows first-hand what it is like to be a police officer. And he put it to work during the years on radio and television with DRAGNET.

Note: This book was republished in March 2005 with an introduction by James Ellroy.

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