The investigation of a prostitute's murder is complicated when a traveling cook comes to Sparta and starts working at the Magnolia Cafe.


(as Michael Rhodes)


(developer), | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Chief of Detectives Virgil Tibbs (as Howard Rollins)
Althea Tibbs (credit only)
David Hart ...
Hugh O'Connor ...
Clay Caulder
Topaz / Roberta Strutt (as Renee Jones)
Maceo Walker ...
Atticus Paul
Shilla Benning ...
Angie Dupree
Suzi Bass ...
Bill Ash ...
Jerry Campbell ...
Security Guard


In the red light district of the Bottoms, Topaz/Roberta Strutt finds her friend Charmaine Rogers murdered. The Sparta police are called to investigate. Virgil Tibbs rousts a high profile pimp, Atticus Paul, for trying to take over Sparta's prostitution trade. Overhearing a discussion of the case in the Magnolia Cafe, attorney Royce Johnson is appalled. The owner of the Magnolia and Bill Gillespie's lady friend, Joanne St. John, hires drifter Clay Caulder as the new short order cook, which is not to Bill's liking. In a sweep of the Bottoms, Bill and Virgil find Clay with a sixteen-year-old hooker. Bill, of course, considers Clay the likely suspect in Charmaine's murder, but Virgil naturally likes Atticus for the deed. Written by richardann

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Crime | Mystery





Release Date:

17 January 1989 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Chief William O. 'Bill' Gillespie: I don't think there is anything more to be gained by this discussion. I'm going to go see a woman about some cornbread and a bowl of beans.
Chief of Detectives Virgil Tibbs: [to Himself as Gillespie is leaving] Lord I wish I had something I could throw.
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