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Words of Wisdom

Burke's Law - Personal sayings of debonair L.A.P.D. Captain/Chief Amos Burke on the police drama BURKE'S LAW/ABC/1963-65 and its sequel BURKE'S LAW/CBS/1994-95.

BURKE'S LAW Logo

Crime wasn't the only thing on the mind of playboy millionaire Amos Burke (Gene Barry), but when duty called, he reluctantly left the company of a beautiful woman to travel to the scene of the crime in his silver Rolls Royce - driven by Henry, his chauffeur (Leon Lontoc).

During his investigations, Amos always liked to drop a witty quote or two to his fellow officers - rookie Detective Tim Tilson (Gary Conway) and veteran Det. Sgt. Lester "Les" Hart (Regis Toomey).

After Amos delivered one of his supposedly wise sayings, he concluded with the phrase "Burke's Law." The following are some examples of his many philosophical platitudes:

Burke's Laws

  • Ask enough good questions and the case will solve itself.
  • Beauties make the best suspects.
  • Don't think about it, just do it.
  • Everyone can make money. Only a few can make a difference.
  • Fidelity never goes out of fashion.
  • History is most likely to repeat if you stick to a woman with a past.
  • If catching a killer was easy, anyone could do it.
  • If the pieces of the puzzle don't fit, you don't have all of the pieces.
  • If you can't find what you're looking for, you're looking for the wrong thing.
  • If you don't find what you're looking for in deep water, look in the flower garden.
  • If you want to enjoy the simple things in life, you've got to be rich.
  • If you would avoid a slap, see that your hand isn't quicker than her "aye".
  • It's a great life if your "don'ts" weaken.
  • Look innocent when you're suspicious.
  • Money can't buy love, but it can put you in a good bargaining position.
  • Money is worthless unless you can enjoy it.
  • A murder investigation is like a puzzle. Some take longer than others to solve.
  • Murder is the only game you can never win.
  • Never keep a lady waiting.
  • Never let your brain interfere with your heart, your stomach or your wallet.
  • Never let your emotions get in the way of your job.
  • Never order filet medium well.
  • Never sleep with a suspect.

    Amos Burke - BURKE'S LAW
    Amos Burke

  • The only truth in a murder case is that no one tells the truth.
  • People can say what they want, but facts speak for themselves.
  • Sometimes even Burke's Laws have to be broken.
  • Sometimes you have to be one step ahead just to stay even.
  • Sometimes your best investment is the one you don't make.
  • Suspects may say what they want, but facts speak for themselves.
  • There is nothing more dangerous than a prime suspect with a short fuse.
  • To catch a criminal, you have to think like one.
  • Trust is the cornerstone of any good relationship.
  • When it comes to murder, numbers rarely add up.
  • When it comes to murder, the only sure thing is that there are no sure things.
  • When preparing a dish for bedtime, champagne makes the best tenderizer.
  • When reading a suspect, don't forget to look between the lines.
  • When you come to a dead end, you go back to the beginning.
  • When you hit a brick wall, sleep on it.
  • Where there's a will, there's a relative.
  • You always have to look for the murderer among the living.
  • You can never impose on a friend.

TRIVIA NOTE: The titles of each episode began with the phrase "Who killed...?" as in "Who Killed Sweet Betsy" ; "Who Killed the Kind Doctor?"; "Who Killed the Beauty Queen?"; "Who Killed Snookie Martinelli?"; "Who Killed Mr. Colby in Ladies' Lingerie?"; or "Who Killed the Eleventh Best Dressed Woman in the World?"

The idea for BURKE'S LAW debuted on the NBC series THE DICK POWELL SHOW on an episode entitled "Who Killed Julie Greer?" (09/26/1961). The part of Inspector Amos Burke was played by Dick Powell (who died before the series aired).

The Game of Who Killed?

A BURKE'S LAW board game called "The Game of Who Killed?" was created in 1963 by Transogram.


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