Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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The Days Dwindle Down 

Jessica investigates the possibility that a recent parolee went to jail for a crime he didn't commit.


Michael J. Lynch (as Michael Lynch)


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 5 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Richard Beymer ... Sydney Jarvis
June Havoc ... Thelma Vantay
Art Hindle ... Rod Wilson
Jeffrey Lynn ... Sam Wilson
Harry Morgan ... Retired Lt. Richard Webb
Martha Scott ... Georgia Wilson
Susan Strasberg ... Dorothy Hearn Davis
Debbie Zipp ... Terry
Tom Dreesen ... Peabody
Emory Bass Emory Bass ... Manager
Gloria Stuart ... Edna Jarvis
Russ Marin ... Lt. Sharp
Mark Pilon Mark Pilon ... Male Secretary
Cynthia Leighton Cynthia Leighton ... Secretary


When Jessica is pampered in the luxury suite of a hotel, she's approached by restaurant employee Georgia Wilson, whose husband, accountant Sam, was recently released after 30 years jail, assuring he was framed for the shooting of his boss, Richard Jarvis, who actually offered Sam his last $10,000 for help when his firm went bust, to make his suicide look like armed robbery so the insurance would pay the Jarvis family a fortune, only someone else really killed him. Their son, Rod Wilson, became a cop hoping to help his father, now puts all his experience at her disposal. While she, Rob and the now retired police Lt. Webb re-examine the forensics as well as the means, opportunities and motives of surviving members of both families, someone in the know shoots at Jessica with a matching bullet. At last she puzzles the pieces of both shootings together and traps the perpetrators. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

19 April 1987 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Color | Black and White (flashbacks)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was Debbie Zipp's first appearance on the show. Of course, in her later appearances she would play Grady's fiancée/wife Donna. See more »


[first lines]
Peabody: Let me tell ya, Mrs. Fletcher. You can have this town at your feet.
Jessica Fletcher: Well, actually, Mr. Peabody, eye-level will be just fine.
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Edited from Strange Bargain (1949) See more »


Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

A cry for help sees Jessica investigate a thirty year old case.
19 November 2017 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

When Jessica is out to lunch, her presence is noted by Hotel employee Georgia Wilson, who later approaches Jessica in her suite and asks for her help. Georgia explains that her husband Sam has just been released after thirty years in Prison for a crime he didn't commit. Georgia is desperate for the couple to spend their remaining time together in happiness, and only Jessica can find the truth about the shooting of Richard Jarvis. Jarvis having paid Sam $10,000 to make his suicide look like murder so his family could inherit.

Arguably the show has continued at a particularly high standard, many shows by the time they reach a third series begin to tire, recycling old ideas, but in fairness to Murder she Wrote, it just got better and better, along with episodes The Corpse Flew First Class and Crossed up, I'd place this as one of the best. Shades of the great movie Double Indemnity.

I loved the story here, Jessica finding justice for someone that has suffered for thirty years, not a passing accusation. The black and white shots could have almost been taken from a 1950's film, they look superb. I particularly liked Martha Scott (Georgia) throughout, such a classy performance.

An excellent episode, 9/10

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