IMDb > "Murder, She Wrote" Race to Death (1996)

"Murder, She Wrote" Race to Death (1996)

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Peter S. Fischer (created by) and
Richard Levinson (created by) ...
View company contact information for Race to Death on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
28 April 1996 (Season 12, Episode 21)
Jessica investigates when a wealthy yachtsman is murdered two days before a big race, and the daughter of his rival is charged with the crime. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
"Regatta Is Gone, They Heard ~ It's Drifting Out to Sea ~ Bodies Aren't Prone to Swim Away" See more (2 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order)

Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher

Dwier Brown ... Bill Richards

Christopher Buchholz ... John Vandervelt

Steve Forrest ... Captain Ned Larkin

John Getz ... Kyle Kimball

Louis Herthum ... Deputy Andy Broom

Kate Hodge ... Alana Kimball

Ron Masak ... Sheriff Mort Metzger (as Ron Másak)

Martin Milner ... Admiral Len Spalding

Andrea Parker ... Anne Larkin

Rick Rossovich ... Steve Gantry

William Windom ... Dr. Seth Hazlitt
Matthew Saks ... Crew Member
Ronne Troup ... Process Server
Curtis Blanck ... Tommy Larkin
Vincent J. McEveety ... Security Guard
Cathy Susan Pyles ... Safe Technician
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Damon Preston ... Son
Danny McCoy Jr. ... Freddie Huff (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Vincent McEveety 
Writing credits
Peter S. Fischer (created by) and
Richard Levinson (created by) &
William Link (created by)

Laurence Heath (teleplay)

Peter Barwood (story) and
Laurence Heath (story)

Produced by
Mark A. Burley .... supervising producer
Laurence Heath .... co-producer
Al Kraus .... coordinating producer
Angela Lansbury .... executive producer
Bruce Lansbury .... supervising producer
Todd London .... co-producer
Jerrold L. Ludwig .... co-producer (as Jerry Ludwig)
Tom Sawyer .... producer
David Shaw .... co-executive producer
Original Music by
Bruce Babcock 
Cinematography by
Ronald M. Vargas Sr. (director of photography) (as Ron Vargas)
Film Editing by
Ellen Ring Jacobson 
Casting by
Ron Stephenson 
Production Design by
Hub Braden 
Art Direction by
Mary Dodson  (as Mary Weaver Dodson)
Set Decoration by
Bill Gregory 
Lee Poll 
Production Management
Al Kraus .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kelly Cantley .... second assistant director
Joseph A. Ingraffia .... first assistant director (as Joseph Ingraffia)
Art Department
Tony Guastella .... leadman
Bryan Rodgers .... visual consultant
John P. Bruce .... set designer (uncredited)
John Hathaway .... assistant art director (uncredited)
John D. Jefferies Sr. .... set designer (uncredited)
Robert 'Bob' Jillson .... set designer (uncredited)
Deland 'Dee' Lyttle .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Steve Purdy .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Doug Vlaming .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Sound Department
Cindy Rabideau .... supervising sound editor
Don Sharpless .... sound mixer
Mary Albee .... stunt coordinator
Bruce Paul Barbour .... stunt player (uncredited)
Eddie Braun .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Larry Markart .... video playback (uncredited)
Lon Massey III .... chief lighting technician (uncredited)
Mike McEveety .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Shannon Litten .... costume supervisor: women's
Don Vargas .... costume supervisor: men's
Eilish Zebrasky .... costume designer: Ms. Lansbury (as Eilish)
Editorial Department
Wayne Hampton .... colorist
Location Management
Jim McClafferty .... location manager (uncredited)
Music Department
John Addison .... composer: theme
Laurie Higgins Tobias .... supervising music editor
Transportation Department
Dave Busick .... set mechanic
Robert 'Bob' Routhieaux .... driver: production designer (uncredited)
Other crew
Desi Scarpone .... production assistant (uncredited)

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Peter S. Fischer  creator
Richard Levinson  creator
William Link  creator

Produced by
Kevin Corcoran .... assistant producer
Makeup Department
Teresa M. Austin .... key makeup artist
Rita Bellissimo .... hair stylist (as Rita Bellissimo Bordonaro)
Lori Benson .... makeup artist
Dino Ganziano .... hair stylist
Ronald W. Smith .... hair stylist
Gerald Solomon .... hair stylist
Robert L. Stevenson .... hair department head
Ann Wadlington .... hair stylist
Vera Yurtchuk .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Stephen Swofford .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Louis G. Friedman .... assistant director
Elena Santaballa .... dga trainee
Michael-McCloud Thompson .... dga trainee
Art Department
Tom Margozewitz .... assistant property master
Sebastian Milito .... construction coordinator
Ted Wilson .... carpenter
Sound Department
James L. Aicholtz .... sound mixer
Gregg Barbanell .... foley artist
Beau Biggart .... adr mixer
Barney Cabral .... adr editor
Joe Campana .... assistant sound editor
Richard Coleman .... sound recordist
Mark Kamps .... assistant sound editor
Susan Kurtz .... sound effects editor (1992-1994)
Richard LeGrand Jr. .... sound editor
Anthony Milch .... sound editor (as Tony Milch)
Linda Moss .... sound editor
Cindy Rabideau .... supervising sound editor (1993-1996)
Peter Reale .... re-recording mixer
Dean St. John .... adr mixer (various episodes)
Clancy T. Troutman .... sound editor
Special Effects by
George Zamora .... special effects coordinator
Stephen Burnette .... stunts (as Steven Burnett)
Debbie Evans .... stunts
Larry Holt .... stunt performer
Terry James .... stunts
Steve Kelso .... stunts
Gene LeBell .... stunts
Khristian Lupo .... stunts
Buck McDancer .... stunt coordinator
Sherry Peterson .... stunts
Jimmy N. Roberts .... stunts
Michael M. Vendrell .... stunts
Greg Walker .... stunts
Dick Warlock .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Ben Beaird .... key grip
Owen Marsh .... camera operator (1987)
Stan McClain .... aerial camera operator
Keith H. Moore .... assistant camera
Serge Poupis .... first assistant camera
Matt Ramirez .... first assistant camera
Matt Ramirez .... photographer: second unit
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sandra Henderson .... head stylist
Editorial Department
Ken Latka .... film transfer colorist
Ralph A. Riccoboni .... assistant editor (1994-1996)
Music Department
Tim Boyle .... score mixer
Joshua Winget .... music editor (final season)
Other crew
Bundy Chanock .... set medic (1994)
Fred Fein .... stand-in
Betty Green .... title designer
Carolyn Hayes .... production auditor
Beth Humphreys .... legal supervisor
Mary Kara .... technical consultant (1995-1996)
Keith McNulty .... cue cards
Rod Ripley .... assistant to producers
Art Scholl .... pilot (1985)
Susan Vercelli .... production coordinator
Robert 'Bobby Z' Zajonc .... aerial coordinator
Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

60 min | 47 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
UK:PG (video rating) (2010)

Did You Know?

This show is the first of four to run in the program's long-established Sunday night time slot. CBS programming head Leslie Moonves had moved the show to Thursdays in an obvious attempt to kill it, which he did - but the shows he tried on Sunday drew catastrophically low ratings. With the May "sweeps" ratings period coming up and the CBS affiliated stations screaming for his head, he gave in and attracted what viewers he could get.See more »
Movie Connections:
References Follow the Fleet (1936)See more »


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
"Regatta Is Gone, They Heard ~ It's Drifting Out to Sea ~ Bodies Aren't Prone to Swim Away", 5 May 2010
Author: WeatherViolet from United States

Steve Forrest and Andrea Parker share one of the most tender scenes between guest stars throughout the "Murder, She Wrote" series here in their jail-room segment with their reconciliation between a widowed father overly-possessive of his only daughter, whose decision has caused a four-year estrangement. But the well-directed scene is abruptly curtailed by a sloppily-inserted commercial break.

At any rate, the race is on to select Cabot Cove's entry for the U.S. finals (in San Diego) for the World's Cup Race (in New Zealand) in boating competition.

Ned Larkin (Steve Forrest) owns and captains "Free Spirit" along with his crew, which includes Steve Gantry (Rick Rossovich) and Bill Richards (Dwier Brown).

Industrial millionaire Kyle Kimball (John Getz) owns and captains his "Buccaneer" with John Vandervelt (Christopher Buchholz) as his Designer. John also designs his own craft, "The Netherlander," in tribute to his Dutch heritage and for the purpose of a Holland team to sail in a future regatta.

But trouble looms as a thug assaults Ned Larkin on his dock one night, causing an ankle injury, for which Doctor Seth Hazlitt (William Windom) prescribes a bone resetting with cast and a hiatus from sailing, to Ned's disappointment.

Admiral Len Spalding (Martin Milner), an old sailing buddy of Frank Fletcher and, of course, Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), appoints Mrs. Fletcher as honorary commodore of the local regatta, which she maintains must go on to boost community morale and commerce.

And so, Jessica contacts Anne Larkin (Andrea Parker), Ned's estranged daughter, who has relocated to Newport, Rhode Island, to deliver the baby of her father's rival, Kyle Kimball, who didn't tell Anne that he was married until after the baby was on its way, and so neither Ned nor Kyle has ever seen the now-four-year-old Tommy Larkin (Curtis Blanck).

Sheriff Mort Metzger (Ron Masak) and Deputy Andy Broom (Louis Herthum) investigate the assault of Ned, as Deputy Andy discovers a brass bearing, which Jessica links to the missing ornament upon the watch of Steve Gantry, which lands Steve in Mort's jail and off of Ned's payroll although he is still on Kyle's payroll as a double agent to sabotage Ned's "Free Spirit," or at least until Kyle and Steve have a falling out when Steve demands $50,000 to blackmail Kyle for knowing who has ordered Steve's assault on Ned.

Alana Kimball (Kate Hodge) approaches her millionaire husband, Kyle, infuriated that Kyle refuses to co-sign her bank loan of $10 million to purchase a sting of boutiques while he freely spends $50 million on his boat collection. Kyle tells Alana that if she's considering divorcing him to gain the $10 million, to remember their pre-nuptial agreement which leaves her with no claim to his fortune.

Anne Larkin decides to arrive in Cabot Cove from Newport upon receiving Jessica's message that Ned has been injured and unable to sail in the regatta. She expresses doubt that her father would want to see her or Tommy, and so she leaves Tommy with their dear Aunt Louise and considers the need for herself to captain "Free Spirit" as she is determined to beat "Buccaneer" and Kyle, once and for all. (Tommy somehow appears soon afterward, however.)

Bill Richards is especially pleased that Ann Larkin has decided to return and to take charge of "Free Spirit," as she has won various competitions with either all-female crews or all-male crews, and he also expresses romantic notions in her direction, and Anne and Bill are both pleased to recruit Deputy Andy as their teammate, as Andy has also succeeded on winning boat racing teams, so Bill and Andy serve as the good guys amid all of this other negativity.

At a reception to kick off regatta festivities, Anne is served with a subpoena to appear in a courtroom battle for custody rights of Tommy, which sets the stage for Mort to arrest Anne on murder charges once a body is discovered, an event which she claims that she knows nothing about even though evidence has been planted in her room, which Mort has obtained a warrant to recover.

In the hopes of clearing his long-lost daughter of the rap, Ned confesses to bludgeoning the victim with a trophy, but this doesn't wash, as the murder weapon this time around would be the door of a safe which is shoved when the victim reaches inside, during this "Race to Death."

A goof can be seen in this episode with the setting sun over the open water, which happens how often in Maine, facing the Atlantic, which would lie to the east?

The cast is rounded out by Cathy Susan Pyles as Safe Technician, Ronne Troup as Process Server, Vincent J. McEveety as Security Guard, Matthew Saks as Crew Member, and Danny McCoy Jr. as Freddie Huff.

This episode represents the most recent appearance to date by Matthew Saks, and one of the most recent appearances to date by film and television star Martin Milner.

This also marks the the second of two "MSW" performances each for Dwier Brown, John Getz, Vincent J. McEveety and Matthew Saks, the third of three for Danny McCoy Jr., and the fifth of five "MSW" guest roles each for Martin Milner and Steve Forrest.

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