As Sergeant Joe Friday puts it:
"How much difference, for example, as far as moral guilt is concerned, is there between the following: #1 the man who plans a killing, takes up a gun, finds his victim and shoots him to death. And #2 the man who thinks he has to look out for no one’s welfare but his own, gets behind the wheel of a car, disregards the ordinary rules of safety and proceeds to commit homicide with a motor vehicle. Often times the crime masquerades under the guise of an accident. Morally, no matter how you spell it, it adds up to murder just as surely as if the person had taken a gun and shot his victim down."
First episode of Dragnet, March 18, 1954:
"An old lady and her grandson are hit and killed in a crosswalk. The owner of the truck desperately tries to convince Friday and Smith of his innocence."
Imagine. Look at how much air time was given to a hit & run. Things have certainly changed. Maybe lucrative car commercials ended up weeding out bad branding like this storyline.
The Big Hit & Run Killer Part 1
The Big Hit & Run Killer Part 2
The Big Hit & Run Killer Part 3
The Big Hit & Run Killer Part 4
The Big Hit & Run Killer Part 5
Thanks to Erik for the link.
Oh, and I just discovered that I should hat-tip this blog for investigative work to find the quote. :-)