"Murder, She Wrote" Class Act (TV Episode 1989) - Plot Summary Poster

(TV Series)



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  • Young drifter, Leo Gunderson, stumbles upon Janet Carr's corps on the beach and confesses to her murder, but only under duress. The case is officially closed after his conviction and sentence to 5 years. However lieutenant Amos 'Jake' Ballinger, who through political intervention was removed from active detective duty as criminology teacher at Freemont University, decides to solve the case as a 'practical exercise'. He is helped by students Bernie Berndlestein, who wants to become a P.I., and Mrs. Elizabeth Mills, a bored insurance professional. They find a link with the hostile politician, state senator Andrew Grainger.

  • Jake Ballinger, a police lieutenant who's a friend of Jessica, is investigating a murder case that is closed because someone's already been convicted. But he believes the one who was convicted is innocent. But he's been told by his superiors to drop it. And when he refuses, he is told that he is being reassigned to teach a criminology class at the local college. Obviously someone powerful is trying to keep him from investigating. When he goes to his class, he frightens the students to leave hoping that he will not have any students thus no class to teach. But when he returns he finds two students. So he uses the case as way to teach them. And the way discover several things.

  • Jessica recounts the tale of police Lt. Amos "Jake" Ballinger who, owing to some political difficulties, finds himself on special assignment teaching a course in criminology at Freemont University. Having made it clear to his overflowing class that he has every intention of making them work to get their credits, he manages to reduce their numbers to two. Some months before, Leo Gunderson had found Janet Carr's dead body on the beach. Although he claimed to be innocent of the crime, he accepted a plea bargain and is now in jail for manslaughter. Jake decides to re-investigate the case with his students as his assistants. The evidence they find leads them straight to the office of a powerful state senator.

  • Jessica narrates the tale of a burnt-out police detective sent to teach a university criminology class and challenges his students to solve a real homicide.


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