Suspense's "Mate Bram" was loosely adapted from the true story of Thomas M. Bram chronicled by librarian/writer Edmund Pearson in his 1924 groundbreaking study of American crime, Studies in Murder. Instead of staying true to this Victorian horror tale of murder on the high seas, Suspense turned it into something similar to a 1940's noir.
Edmund Pearson's account of the true story of Mate Bram details the the events of a triple murder onboard the barkentine Herbert Fuller in 1896. The ship's captain, his wife, and the second mate were ax murdered by an unknown assailant in the middle of the night. The crew sailed the ship to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and ultimately, Mate Bram was accused of the crime. The case was transferred to Boston where, he was tried for murder not once, but twice, and found guilty by a jury both times. Bram served fifteen years, was paroled, and then granted a presidential pardon.
You can read more about the case of Mate Bram, and other interesting true stories, on the website of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, Northwestern University School of Law.
Suspense's version skips over all that, and portrays Bram as an alcoholic who lusts after the captain's younger wife. She lures him into her cabin with wine, and while he is lost in an alcholic blackout, three people are murdered. Since he can't remember what happened that night, he is blamed for the crime. All of this has nothing to do with the true story, but their version provides some memorably tawdry lines of dialogue like these:
Mate Bram: "...I stayed on because she was compelling, with a bold look...and because a man is always a hunter."
Mate Bram: "Why does a young woman marry with a man like that and go sailing off on a ship with him...and eleven other men. No lady would do that, would she?"
Mate Bram: "You are a married woman, Mrs. Nash."
Captain's wife: "I think that makes more difference to you than it does to me. Why are you so good?"
Captain's wife: "Whether I'm married or not, I'm a woman. Am I not?
Mate Bram: Yes, yes you are.
Captain's wife: And, I...deserve to have the company that I like. I...brought a bottle of wine.
"Mate Bram" was adapted for radio by Gil Doud and produced/directed by Elliott Lewis. Richard Widmark starred. Also appearing were Joan Banks, Joseph Kearns, Roy Glenn, Lou Merrill, Robert North, Steve Roberts, and Ben Wright. This episode aired on April 14, 1952.