Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Death Stalks the Big Top: Part 2 

One murder leads to another as Jessica finds herself chasing down false alibis and the employees of a rival circus.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Fletcher
Edgar Carmody
Carl Schulman / Neil Fletcher
Preston Bartholomew
Carol Bannister
Mayor Powers
Charlie McCallum
Constance Fletcher
Brad Kaneally
Maria Morgana
Sheriff Lynn Childs
Hank Sutter
Maylene Sutter
Raymond Carmody
Katie McCallum


Only when Jessica tells Neil, who inflicted himself a nasty wound, that Charlie's bat was taken away by bully Hank before his murder, he admits he only took the blame to protect the kid before running after finding the bloody bat behind the corpse. Roustabout Brad Kaneally swears his hands are always roughed up, from work. Then there is another staged near-accident and Harry Kingman is found strangled in an inn while Neil is still in jail on the mayor's orders, sheriff Lynn Childs decides to brave him and help Jessica, who makes Brad tell her that he is a former boxer and alcoholic on the run after a fatal fist fight in a bar and protected the McCallums against Hank, leaving him unconscious on the murder night, only the killer hit below the neck. Next Jessica finds Maylene Sutter knocked down and is drugged while her cart is torched where Jessica was lured by a note, but they are found in time. She now accuses and enforces a confession from... Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

5 October 1986 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Laraine Day's final TV performance. See more »

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User Reviews

Will You Take This Man ... Back?
8 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

This episode marks the swan song performance of Classic actress Laraine Day, a star of film and television for nearly forty years.

Problems centering around the "accident"-plagued Carmody Family Circus follow Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) back to Ozark Inn, in Pullman City, Arkansas, at which she spots Edgar Carmody's (Martin Balsam) speeding from its parking lot, followed by a conversation with Maria Morgana (Florence Henderson), which is interrupted by the sudden confrontation of her daughter, Daniella Morgana Carmody (Barbara Stock), which, in turn, is interrupted by the screams of an upstairs maid, who has now discovered another body.

Upon her return to the circus grounds, Jessica encounters Maylene Sutter (Lee Purcell) and Preston Bartholomew (Alex Cord), along her way to question Edgar and Raymond Carmody (Mark Shera), as well as Katie McCallum (Pamela Susan Shoop), Charlie McCallum (Joey Cramer) and Brad Kaneally (Greg Evigan), each of whom converses politely with Mrs. Fletcher.

Jessica then convinces Sheriff Lynn Childs (Gregg Henry), to the ongoing dismay of Mayor Powers (Ronny Cox), that the two murders are undoubtedly connected, and, therefore, Neil Fletcher (Jackie Cooper) couldn't be culpable because of his incarceration.

Neil is, therefore, released, before arriving at Ozark Inn to visit with his sister-in-law, and discovering smoke and flame emitting from Jessica's room, inside which she and Maylene have been Chloroformed, and lying unconsciously, as victims of attempted murder, as "Death continues to Stalk the Big Top" and Ozark Inn.

Standing outside again, in the parking lot, Jessica strings together a series of clues to decide who has killed two and attempted to continue the spree, and the reason why, without knowing quite how to prove her theory. Jessica opts for a showdown with her prime suspect, who, once again, decides to stage a freak "accident" to silence her.

Upon wrapping the case which began when the Leprechaun figurine was unwrapped (Remember?), Jessica is free to return in the nick of time to Washington, DC, for the wedding of great niece Carol Bannister (Courteney Cox) to Clay (who remains unseen. No actor is credited for the role of Carol's fiancé). Carol's Grandmother Constance Fletcher (Laraine Day) and Mother Audrey Bannister (Susan Brown) continue to insist upon the fulfillment of their ideas over those of the bride and groom, and they express disappointment over Jessica's abandoning the family in favor of "her publisher" over these important few days.

Carol dismisses her busybody relatives because this time Jessica is not the busybody, as she sneaks Grandfather Neil Fletcher back into Carol's life on her important day, creating a tender scene enshrouded in secrecy from the family.

But Howard Bannister (Dennis Howard), who administers the family's financial operations, must also be told during a pleasant scene with Jessica in the gardens moments before his daughter's wedding.

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