After a prominent businessman is mysteriously murdered, evidence of incestuous relationships with his daughter and granddaughter are uncovered.



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Episode credited cast:
Chief of Detectives Virgil Tibbs (as Howard Rollins)
David Hart ...
Hugh O'Connor ...
Claudia Merrill
Suzanne Ventulett ...
Mary Lynn Merrill
Muriel Moore ...
Bernice Merrill
Wallace Wilkinson ...
Stuart Merrill
Becker (as Michael Moss)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Webb ...
Officer John


A magnificent statue of a Confederate officer is unveiled in the Sparta town square, the gift of the well respected Merrill family, Stuart and Bernice, who are in attendance with their granddaughter Mary Lynn. Bill Gillespie and his inamorata, Joanne St. John, are there along with Bubba Skinner. Embarrassingly, Claudia Merrill, Stuart and Bernice's daughter and Mary Lynn's mother, is not at the ceremony because she is "indisposed" (drunk) at home. That evening Stuart is murdered in his art glass studio, which is a shambles of broken art objects. Gillespie and Virgil Tibbs question Bernice, who blames Claudia. At the police station, Claudia confesses to the murder, but refuses to reveal her motive. Against Gillespie's advice, Virgil probes the case, which proves more sordid than anyone imagines. Written by richardann

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

6 December 1988 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Chief William O. 'Bill' Gillespie: Now I want to hear what happened, and I want to hear all of it.
Claudia Merrill: Somehow I doubt that.
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User Reviews

17 November 2013 | by (Oklahoma City) – See all my reviews

This was an exceptional show. It tackled a topic which plague many families. The acting by the mother and her young daughter were especially noteworthy. In the show, as the young girl recounted something she had experienced, I found myself tearing up. It was hard to believe she was only performing. I even found myself paying close attention to the regulars of the show, their acting seemed to have risen to a new level in this particular episode. I love watching In the Heat of the Night, but this episode stood out. Quite emotional. I highly recommend it for all fans of Carroll O'Connor and/or In the Heat of the Night.

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