Helen Nielsen, 83; Mystery Writer Scripted TV Dramas

From Times Staff Reports

Helen B. Nielsen, 83, an author of mysteries and scripts for such television dramas as “Perry Mason” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” died June 22 in Prescott, Ariz. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Nielsen was a prolific mystery writer who tried to provide readers with enough clues to solve the mystery on their own. Her stories were often set in Southern California, where she lived for 60 years, primarily in Laguna Beach and Oceanside.

Her titles include “Woman on the Roof,” “The Crime Is Murder” and “Stranger in the Dark.” Her second novel, “Gold Coast Nocturne,” was made into the movie “Blackout,” a 1954 production that starred Dane Clark. A 1959 novel, “The Fifth Caller,” was adapted for television.

In addition to her work on “Perry Mason” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” Nielsen wrote scripts for “Alcoa Theatre” and “87th Precinct.”


Before Nielsen began her writing career, she was a draftsman during World War II and worked on the designs of B-36 and P-80 aircraft. She was born in Roseville, Ill., and studied journalism, art and aeronautical drafting at various schools, including the Chicago Art Institute.