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The Untouchables: The Death Tree

Renegade gypsy Janos Colescu, who's working for the Capone Mob, begins peddling rotgut whiskey in Chicago's gypsy neighborhood. Opposed by the ruling Bartok clan, Colescu begins killing them off one by one. Ness must protect Magda Bartok so she can take her rightful place as head of the Gypsy Senate.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 3x16
Airdate: Thursday February 15th, 1962

Special Guest Stars
Charles BronsonCharles Bronson
As Janos Colescu

Guest Stars
Barbara LunaBarbara Luna
As Magda Bartok
Theodore MarcuseTheodore Marcuse
As Alex
Edward AsnerEdward Asner
As Fedor Bartok
Richard BakalyanRichard Bakalyan
As Benno
Booth ColmanBooth Colman
As Victor Bartok
Eugene IglesiasEugene Iglesias
As George Karig
Larry BreitmanLarry Breitman
As Chestnut Vendor
Cyril DelevantiCyril Delevanti
As Newspaper Vendor
Otto WaldisOtto Waldis
As Rudolph Benosch
Sara TaftSara Taft
As Mrs. Bartok
Maurice KellyMaurice Kelly
As Dancer
Richard BartellRichard Bartell
As Druggist

Charles PicerniCharles Picerni
As Colescu Henchman
Mickey GoldenMickey Golden
As Senate Member
Main Cast
Robert StackRobert Stack
As Eliot Ness
Paul PicerniPaul Picerni
As Agent Lee Hobson
Nicholas GeorgiadeNicholas Georgiade
As Agent Enrico Rossi
Steve LondonSteve London
As Agent Jack Rossman
Walter WinchellWalter Winchell
As Narrator


November 1931. The diverse gypsy neighborhood of Chicago is being flooded with rotgut whiskey distributed by a renegade gypsy named Janos Colescu. The rotgut leads to a knife fight in which a gypsy gets killed. This leads the Gypsy Senate, headed by Victor Bartok, to convene a meeting. Present at this meeting is Eliot Ness. He wants their help in ending the influx of bootleg booze. The Senate declines saying they will handle things themselves. That night, they set one of Colescu's booze trucks on fire and give his two henchmen, Alex and Benno, a warning: they don't want Colescu there...

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Episode Notes
There really was a death tree as depicted in this episode only it was located in Little Italy not Chicago's gypsy neighborhood. The blood-stained Genna brothers used to post the names of their intended victims on this tree.

Location: Chicago

Episode Quotes
Ness: You owe it to your people.
Victor Bartok: You ask a great deal, Mr. Ness. We are not like other people. For eight hundred years we have walked the earth, and every man's hand has been against us. We have learned a lesson. We have no friends. Only each other.

Victor Bartok: We have no friends. We have only each other.
Ness: In this country, you have friends.

Narrator: Suddenly, the gypsies had lost their thirst. It was as if the plague had it. For one man, it had. For Janos Colescu.

Colescu: Some things the dough don't pay for.

Benno: I need a drink.
Colescu: So go to a speak.

Colescu: (to Ness and Magda after seizing control of the Senate) My name is Colescu. Something you want?

Benno: (about Magda): Ness is watchin' her like a hawk night and day.
Colescu: The Feds gotta quit sometime. I can wait.

Alex: (after shooting Victor) Getting kinda chilly.

Rossman: (upon entering the warehouse) Well, looks like we're the first ones to the party.

This eerie, atmospheric episode plays out much like one of those old Universal Horror flicks from the 1940s. Especially with the gypsy neighborhood and a grim, sinister, and tight-lipped villain who's seemingly always lurking in the shadows ready to pounce.

Other Episode Crew

Executive ProducerAlan A. Armer
ProducerLloyd Richards
CastingJames Lister (2)  |  Lynn Stalmaster
Music SupervisorRobert H. Raff
HairstylistJane Chabra
Make-upKiva Hoffman
Set DecoratorHarry Gordon
Property MasterAllan Levine
Director of PhotographyCharles Straumer
Story EditorDel Reisman
Production SupervisorJames Paisley
Art DirectorHoward Hollander  |  Rolland M. Brooks
Production ManagementMarvin Stuart
Sound EditorRoss Taylor
Based On The Works OfEliot Ness  |  Oscar Fraley
Film EditorRobert L. Swanson
ResearcherKellam De Forest
Assistant DirectorTed Schilz
Executive In Charge Of ProductionJerry Thorpe
ComposerNelson Riddle
Editorial SupervisorBill Heath
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