Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Murder on the Thirtieth Floor 

In New York, Jessica's publisher Edward Graham seems to be cracking up following the death of his wife. But was a fall from the top of the building suicide or murder?



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Episode cast overview:
Jessica Fletcher
Lieutenant Nick Acosta
Dr. Jerry Santana
Steve DiNapoli (as Robert Curtis-Brown)
Carrie Benton
Edward Graham
Ted Hartley
Lori Graham
Leonard Ambler
Ray Reinhardt ...
Henry Filbert
Stewart Rose ...
Security Guard
Ken Magee ...
Donna Kendricks


Jessica's New York publisher Edward Graham suffers from nightmares about his late wife beckoning him to the afterlife, for which he takes pills prescribed by his shrink, Dr. Jerry Santana. Awake he has excessive mood-swings, completely changing his mind on Jessica's manuscript and firing people for trifling matters. Jessica concludes he's a manic-depressive. After a romantic evening he falls to his death from the 13th floor, actually pushed, after writing an apology note for Jessica. Lieutenant Nick Acosta asks her to stay out of the investigation, but she's executor of his recently updated last will. From that, his life insurance policy, his manipulated apartment and pills she concludes it was murder. There's also a robbery and another murder. Written by KGF Vissers

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Plot Keywords:

fall | nightmare | scolding | fight | See All (4) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

6 February 1994 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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An aerial overview of Central Park before the softball game shows trees in full autumn color; however, the game itself is played against a background of very (and only) green trees. See more »

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User Reviews

"Three Cons in the Book Den, Scheming High Above the Street... Whose Crown Will They Bludgeon? Which One Will the Sidewalk Meet?"
25 February 2010 | by See all my reviews

When "Stone Cold Dead on Wall Street," the latest manuscript by Mystery author J.B. Fletcher arrives at Hartley Publishers, well, Publisher Ted Hartley (Bruce Gray) delights as he forecasts another best-seller, consistent with the company's string of products submitted by Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury).

But Editor Edward Graham (Robert Desiderio), who has assisted with Jessica's last three submissions to the top of the lists, gives her the green light at one meeting, and the red light one day later, causing Jessica to fear that Edward suffers from manic depression in the aftermath of the passing of his wife, Beth, soon after losing his brother, Charles.

Edward has been counseling with Doctor Jerry Santana (Dennis Boutsikaris), a Bohemian psychiatrist, who prescribes medicinal herbs and other non-conventional treatments for the nightmares which Edward has been experiencing around his Stamford, Connecticut, residence, hearing Beth's pleas to join him in the afterlife.

And back at his NYC post at Hartley Publishers, Edward continues his mood swings, not only in front of Jessica, but also its various other employees.

Carrie Benton (Lisa Darr), a dear friend of Jessica's, accepts a position at Hartley, editing children's books, and submitting a manuscript of her own, while seeing Edward socially, and offering him support even though he never invites her to Connecticut.

Lori Graham (Lisa Wilcox), the daughter of Edward's late brother, Charles, also accepts a position at the same publishing firm, along with Steve DiNapoli (Robert Curtis Brown), who befriends Carrie, to Edward's objection, plus Leonard Ambler (Michael Zelniker), who handles insurance and financial accounting for the management.

On the afternoon of the company's softball game in Central Park, Jessica attends to root for the "Book Ends" team of her publishing company, when altercations erupt among fellow employees.

Ted, later, pays a visit to Jessica's apartment, to smooth over matters with her, but that night, when a body is discovered after falling thirty stories from the company's roof-top, Jessica considers the possibility that this might be murder.

Lieutenant Nick Acosta (Jay Acovone) has been promoted from his position as NYPD Sergeant since his last appearance (#8.01), when Jessica had teamed with him to employ a sting operation, but this time around, he asks her politely not to investigate matters on her own.

But when she does anyway, Jessica is appointed as an estate executor, before Jessica and Carrie travel to Connecticut to discover a source of contention, and upon relating her findings to Lieutenant Acosta, he reports that a second victim relating to the case has been bludgeoned in an office, as discovered by the cleaning lady.

With Lieutenant Nick Acosta's cooperation, Jessica manages to link the two incidents to a behind-the-scenes scheme, to convey that it was really "Murder on the Thirtieth Floor."

The cast is rounded out by June Christopher as Receptionist Donna Kendricks, Ray Reinhardt as Insurance Agent Henry Filbert, Ken Magee as Painter Mel, and Stewart Rose as Security Guard.

This episode marks the first television acting credit each for Ray Reinhardt and Stewart Rose, as well as the first of three "MSW" guest roles each for Lisa Darr and Robert Curtis Brown, the second of three for Michael Zelniker, the fourth of four for Robert Desiderio, and the fifth of five for Bruce Gray, including his latter three as Publisher Ted Hartley.

Three, Six, Nine: Recognition to Robert Desiderio, for delivering solid performances in "Murder by Appointment Only (#2.12)" as Roger Adiano, "Doom with a View (#4.11)" as Mark Havlin, "Murder in Milan (#9.01)" as Tom Hiller, and "Murder on the Thirtieth Floor (#10.15)" as Edward Graham.

And appreciation to Bruce Gray, for delivering fine performances in "Hit, Run and Homicide (#1.06)" as Dean Merrill, "Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble (#5.13)" as R. L. Pierson, "A Killing in Vegas (#8.08)" as Ted Hartley, "Murder at a Discount (#10.09)" as Ted Hartley, and "Murder on the Thirtieth Floor (#10.15)" as Ted Hartley.

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