Murder, She Wrote: Season 1, Episode 18

Murder Takes the Bus (17 Mar. 1985)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime | Drama
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On the bus to a convention in Boston, Jessica, Amos Tupper and a slew of passengers are forced to take refuge from a fierce storm at a remote diner where one of the passengers is discovered murdered in his seat, stabbed.



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Title: Murder Takes the Bus (17 Mar 1985)

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Episode cast overview:
Jane Pascal
Ben Gibbons
Steve Pascal
Prof. Kent Radford
Miriam Radford
Joe Downing
Carey Drayson
Ralph Leary
Cyrus Leffingwell
John Davis Chandler ...
Gilbert Stoner (as John Chandler)
Charles Bazaldua ...


Jessica and sheriff Amos Tupper, who keeps worrying if they'll be on time for a lottery where he wants to win a TV set, go to a Boston convention by bus. After picking up two unknown passengers, the stormy weather and damage force the party to take an indefinite rest at a diner, where Jessica can observe everyone conversing. When she goes look for a book on the bus, Jessica finds Gilbert Stoner, one of the extra passengers and as she deduced astutely a just released ex-convict, dead in his seat, stabbed with a screw-driver from the toolbox bus driver Ben Gibbons used just before, but within everybody's reach. While everybody is stuck at least till the local police arrives, Amos -out of his jurisdiction- and in fact Jessica conduct an informal investigation. Reading Stoner's name in his papers recalls he's one of three criminals who pulled off the bloody Denvers bank robbery years ago. The obvious first suspect is the driver, whose daughter died in the heist, but Stoner was strangled ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Plot Keywords:

bus | diner | rain | stabbing | screwdriver | See All (9) »





Release Date:

17 March 1985 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Twelve Are Stranded by the Storm, and Then There Are Eleven
6 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode marks the only "MSW" episode for guest stars Charles Bazaldua, Linda Blair, Terence Knox, Rue McClanahan, Albert Salmi and David Wayne. Larry Linville, Albert Salmi and David Wayne have unfortunately since passed.

Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) boards the Cabot Cove bus en route to Boston, as Sheriff Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley), en route to an officer's banquet experiences automobile difficulty as a result of a storm, and joins her aboard.

Ben Gibbons (Michael Constantine) operates the bus, which contains six additional passengers: Librarian Miriam Radford (Rue McClanahan) and her husband, Professor Kent Radford (Larry Linville), young couple Jane Pascal (Linda Blair) and Steve Pascal (Terence Knox), Cyrus Leffingwell (David Wayne) and Joe Downing (Albert Salmi).

Carey Drayson (Don Stroud) also experiences engine difficulties from the storm, and emerges from his station wagon to flag down the bus, while carrying a briefcase, before entering. The bus also stops to pick up a lone Gilbert Stoner (John Davis Chandler), who enters, recognizing one of its passengers.

But as the bus exits Cabot Cove County (Sheriff Tupper's jurisdiction), its engine also becomes flooded as a result of the downpour, yet manages to arrive at a remote diner, operated by Ralph Leary (Mills Watson), for most of its passengers to seek refuge from the thunderstorm.

Jessica observes the gathering from a vantage point, from which she is also able to scrutinize the bus' interior through its windows, to which she observes activity around the one passenger who does not enter the restaurant--for he has been murdered, and discovered after being stabbed with a screwdriver, with no sign of blood upon his clothing.

As the plot unfolds, Jessica learns that the victim has been paroled from a state penitentiary, after serving time, along with two other men, for his part in a crime which had claimed the life of a young girl.

During the course of the ensuing investigation, it is discovered that a book which the victim had been carrying on board has vanished, that a citizen's band radio in a back room of the diner has been destroyed, that one of the passengers is discovered carrying a concealed weapon, and that there is another door from the diner leading toward the bus.

Jessica and Amos (although outside of his jurisdiction) must now make the connections between the co-conspirators of the crime of which the victim had been convicted, and also a connection, if any, between the child who had perished and anyone else currently stranded at the diner, among the nine sequestered from civilization, who appear at the same time frightened and very guilty-looking, as "Murder Takes the Bus." The cast is rounded out by Man (Charles Bazaldua).

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