Lee Goddard successfully coaxed Jessica to join him at his ranch in Arizona after the harrowing events of the previous episode, but intrigue and murder follow them there when a mysterious psychic joins them.



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Episode cast overview:
Katherine Aaron
David Birney ...
Ben Aaron
Jill Goddard
Lt. Turner
Del Goddard
Steve Kahan ...
Roy Parks
Lena Pousette ...
Greta Olsen


Jessica visits real estate magnate Lee Goddard's Arizona ranch. Professional performer Franchesco's psychic atypically gloomy predictions at a private performance impress only Lee's son Del's reputedly superstitious wife Jill Goddard. She sees nearly chocking in toast and a fall from her horse as proof, then is kidnapped. Worse follows, and Jessica sticks to skeptical investigation of the facts, as does county police lieutenant Turner. Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

1 January 1989 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the second time Dale Robertson has starred, but has been uncredited in the cast list, the previous one being The Last Flight of the Dixie Damsel. See more »


When Jill Goddard's car leaps off the top of the cliff when she is returning home after being kidnapped, it bounces down the cliffside before coming to rest firmly on its wheels; there is no explosion or fire. The whole crash is stock footage. See more »

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User Reviews

Ulterior Motives Clash with Hidden Agendas
30 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Frank Fletcher's old Air Force buddy Lee Goddard (Dale Robertson) glides a smooth transition from California from the previous episode, "The Last Flight of Dixie Damsel" (5-07), to transport Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) unto his Arizona ranch, outside of Tucson, to begin "Prediction: Murder" (5-08).

Arriving at his residence, Lee introduces Jessica to his housekeeper, Greta Olson (Lena Pousette), who plans to return to Sweden the next day to renew her passport visa, necessary for her work permit, before Lee introduces Jessica to his immature daughter-in-law, Jill Goddard (Lisa Pelikan), an astrology buff, who senses a connection between Jessica and Lee.

Lee's irresponsible son, Del Goddard (Michael Spound), reacquaints with Jessica, whom she hasn't seen since his early teenage years. After Del promises Lee that he has mended a broken fence across the ranch, Lee's dependable ranch hand Roy Parks (Steve Kahan) reports the fence still broken, with cattle slipping out into the night. Lee explains to Jessica that Roy has proved a valuable employee over these past ten years, as he looked after the ranch, while Lee managed his construction and Realty business in Tuscon after losing his late wife, Betty.

At an indoor/outdoor reception at the Goddard estate that evening, Katherine Aaron (Melody Anderson), a close friend of Jill and Del's, arrives with husband, Ben Aaron (Michael Parks), amid a large gathering of guests.

For the evening's entertainment, a San Francisco psychic, Franchesco (David Birney), makes a happy prediction for Katharine, and three unhappy ones for Jill. When Del confronts the exiting Francesco, he demands to know, "What was that all about?" but to no avail, upon Francesco's departure.

The next day, prediction #1, choking, comes to fruition when Jessica extends the Heimlich maneuver to Jill, who cannot catch her breath upon sampling a slice of toast at breakfast. When Lee and Jessica ride across the ranch for him to explain his ulterior motive for inviting her, they observe Jill's riderless horse's galloping across the valley, realizing that prediction #2, of falling, has also come to pass.

That afternoon, Jill and Del exchange words, upon her exiting the ranch to consult Katherine, while asking Del to summon Francesco, who returns to convey the message that he senses Jill in trouble. With Jessica and Lee present, Del then receives a telephone call from someone demanding $one million ransom in cash by early morning, for the safe return of a kidnapped Jill.

In the aftermath of a murder, Arizona State Police Lieutenant Turner (Geoffrey Scott) arrives at the ranch to question Del and Francesco, to discover information about them, as well as about Jill, while Ben Aaron senses a fondness transcending the surface between Katherine and Del.

An Officer (David Mack) rounds out the episode cast, as Jessica arrives at Tuscon Airport, upon figuring the pieces to the complex puzzle resulting from "Prediction: Murder."

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