Escape's "Wild Jack Rhett" was adapted from the short story of the same name by Ernest Haycox, which was first published in Adventure (Sept. 1933). It can also be found in the book Rough Justice (1950), a collection of Haycox's short stories. Escape made almost no changes to the story in its adaptation.
As the episode opens, the townsfolk of Red Mesa are burying their sheriff in the local graveyard. Afterward, some of the local men gather to discuss hiring a new sheriff. The reformers want to hire a professional "town-tamer" named Jack Rhett, but the saloon owner, BeauHelen, wants to get a sheriff that won't scare people away. Matt Tavener, the U.S. Deputy Marshall for the district, also has concerns that hiring a professional killer will attract outlaws who want to challenge him.
Three weeks later, Jack Rhett comes to town and the mayor explains their problem. Red Mesa, close to the Chisholm Trail, wants its visitors to have a good time but not wreak havoc on the community. Rhett accepts the job and goes to work with the understanding that he has complete authority.
The biggest problem to his authority is an outlaw named Todd Mallon, the man who killed the previous sherriff. Matt Tavener wants to get him, but Rhett says that he will take care of the problem.
Can Rhett stop Mallon and his men? Will his luck as a professional killer hold out?
"Wild Jack Rhett" was adapted for radio by John Meston and directed by Norman MacDonnell. John Dehner starred as Jack Rhett. Lawrence Dobkin played Matt Tavener and Lou Krugman played BeauHelen. Parley Baer was the narrator. Also appearing were Junius Matthews, Russell Simpson, Jeanne Bates, Paul Dubov, and Sam Edwards. This episode aired on December 17, 1950.
Escape presented this story a second time on February 15, 1953. John Dehner starred, and Parley Baer was the narrator. Also appearing were Harry Bartell, Lawrence Dobkin, Georgia Ellis, Howard McNear, Herb Ellis, Peter Leeds, and Lou Krugman.