MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 6,445 this week

Murder Ordained (1987)

TV Movie  -   -  Crime | Drama  -  3 May 1987 (USA)
7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 198 users  
Reviews: 16 user

Based on the true story of a bedroom-eyed Kansas preacher who decided that getting rid of his wife, and his secretary's husband, was the will of the Lord.

Director:

Writers:

, (teleplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 8244 titles
created 10 Aug 2011
 
a list of 1587 titles
created 29 Sep 2011
 
a list of 83 titles
created 29 May 2012
 
a list of 1070 titles
created 18 Jun 2013
 
a list of 59 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Murder Ordained" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Murder Ordained (TV Movie 1987)

Murder Ordained (TV Movie 1987) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Murder Ordained.
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Shameful Secrets (TV Movie 1993)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Behind the facade of a perfect suburban life lies a secret and insufferable nightmare: a woman and her children are subjected to their father's unpredictable temper and violent outbursts. ... See full summary »

Director: David Carson
Stars: Joanna Kerns, Tim Matheson, LaTanya Richardson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After a very messy divorce, a man starts suspecting his ex-wife and her new boyfriend of various crimes.

Director: Jeff Bleckner
Stars: Kelly McGillis, Harry Hamlin, Keith Carradine
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Teresa Walden-Stamper is happily married to her husband Paul Stamper and together they have one daughter Katie Stamper. The marriage seems happy until Paul starts abusing Teresa and becomes... See full summary »

Director: Michael Scott
Stars: Adam Storke, Maria Pitillo, Brad Dourif
Betrayed by Love (TV Movie 1994)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

An FBI agent and his pretty informant become lovers, which leads to tragedy.

Director: John Power
Stars: Mare Winningham, Steven Weber, Patricia Arquette
Deadly Matrimony (TV Movie 1992)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Alan Masters is a despicable businessman with his hands in organized crime. He marries Diane, a kind and gentle woman, and abuses and batters her viciously. Sergeant John Reed has had ... See full summary »

Director: John Korty
Stars: Brian Dennehy, Treat Williams, Embeth Davidtz
A Stranger in Town (TV Movie 1995)
Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A woman is haunted by her past when a man shows up at her front door.

Director: Peter Levin
Stars: Jean Smart, Gregory Hines, Jeffrey Nordling
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A woman discovers that the accidental death of her daughter was tied to an insurance scam in this fact-based movie.

Director: Noel Nosseck
Stars: Peggy Lipton, Danica McKellar, Terry David Mulligan
Blind Faith (TV Movie 1990)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A wealthy businessman is accused to murdering his wife to collect insurance money for bad gambling debits. Although his three sons initially believe his innocence, his actions and court evidents soon begins to prove otherwise.

Director: Paul Wendkos
Stars: Robert Urich, Joanna Kerns, David Barry Gray
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Fact-based story about a Boston furrier and his pregnant wife who was shot in their car on October 23, 1989. The wife and child subsequently died. The husband then told that his attacker ... See full summary »

Director: Jerrold Freedman
Stars: Ken Olin, Margaret Colin, Annabella Price
The Only Way Out (TV Movie 1993)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Rod Hardy
Stars: John Ritter, Henry Winkler, Stephanie Faracy
Cruel Justice (TV Movie 1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A man seeks revenge after his daughter's rapist is found not guilty in court.

Director: Gregory Goodell
Stars: A Martinez, Nicki Aycox, Mimi Kuzyk
Kiss of a Killer (TV Movie 1993)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A rapist stalks a witness endangered by the secret life she has created to escape her mother.

Director: Larry Elikann
Stars: Annette O'Toole, Eva Marie Saint, Brian Wimmer
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Trooper John Rule
...
Lorna Anderson
...
Bobbi Birk
...
Mike Buckley
Joel Colodner ...
Simon Long
...
Hugh Rayburn
...
Warren
...
Martin Anderson
Darrell Larson ...
Ronald Stark
Annabella Price ...
Sandy Bird
...
Nancy Horst
...
Vern Humphrey
...
Tom Bird
...
Loraine Rule
...
Bruce Linton
Edit

Storyline

This is the story of a minister who's feeling unhappy in his marriage who then has an affair with a church employee, who is also married, and who also has affairs, and whose husband is unwilling to divorce her. One day the minister's wife is found dead, in what appears to be an auto accident, but the highway patrolman who investigated the accident doesn't think that it's an accident but doesn't have enough evidence to justify an investigation. Later, when the woman's husband is killed an investigation begins. Written by <rcs0411@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

minister | secretary | kansas | church | girl | See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 May 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blutige Hände  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2 parts)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on events in Emporia, Kansas, from 1983 to 1987. Lorna Anderson was paroled in 2007; Tom Bird was paroled in 2004--and announced his intention to work as a marriage counselor. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
pretty good
27 July 2002 | by (Richland, WA) – See all my reviews

This is a pretty good TV true-crime murder show. Emporia, Kansas minister Tom Bird takes up an affair with his floozy secretary, played by JoBeth Williams. They pray that God will let them be together by getting rid of their spouses for them. When God doesn't cooperate, they decide to give God some help and murder their spouses.

Keith Carradine is state trooper John Rule who investigates the auto "accident" in which Mrs. Bird is killed. He's not a homicide investigator but he knows accidents and is certain that this was no accident. Rule pushes and pushes his investigation and runs into bureaucratic stone walls. His superiors only get interested in re-opening the case when Williams' husband is murdered along a highway.

The acting in this picture is pretty good and look out particularly for John Goodman, who plays a sheriff investigating the second murder, and future Oscar winner Kathy Bates as a reporter. Carradine plays Trooper Rule with a very plain Kansas doggedness---think of perhaps Sheriff Andy Taylor doing a murder investigation but without any humor or bumbling deputy tagging along.

I've looked up info about the real-life case and the movie. The two killers, Anderson and Bird, served very extended prison sentences but were eventually paroled and then released from any parole restrictions. Both were married and Bird is, weirdly enough, a marriage counselor now. Anderson still insists that it was Bird who killed her husband even though he got acquitted of that murder. Even stranger, Anderson's children are very reconciled to her despite her involvement in the murder of their father.

The movie seems to have been as controversial in Emporia as the murders themselves. The movie came out before Bird's trial in the Martin Anderson murder and the investigators in that case didn't want to participate in any movie lest they ruin their case. So the filmmakers pumped up the role and involvement of Trooper Rule to make him a far bigger hero than he was in the real investigation. The town paper's journalist (the Kathy Bates character) later became mayor of Emporia and she said that Rule's role was extremely overblown and that it was actually a confidential informant who got the insider story to the press, not Rule. Over 25 years later, there still seemed to be a lot of resentment about how the movie portrayed the story. A weird side-note, the then Governor of Kansas appeared in the movie but as an extra, someone walking in at the newspaper office.

None of the Emporia churches wanted anything to do with the movie so the exterior and interior scenes of the church were shot in Lawrence, Kansas. The movie does do an excellent job of picking up and depicting the rhythms of small-town Kansas life. Filmed entirely in Kansas locations, Kansas itself becomes a character in the story in much the same way that the character of the state was the back drop of the earlier true-crime movie, "In Cold Blood". Both movies depict cruel murders being committed by sociopaths and being confronted by the virtuous, pious, quietly hard-working small town Kansans.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Need a copy radditz_13
Anyone know the title of the book? jax7153
Why isn't this available for Region 1? charlenelv
I Have The Trailer! funkmasteroli
Discuss Murder Ordained (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?