When a murder is committed shortly after the release of a mentally handicapped man, Jessica helps the man's sister prove his innocence.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rosemary Taylor
Dr. Henry Carlson
Linda Grovenor ...
Meg Taylor
Ann Owens Arden
Sheriff Barnes
Bill Spenser
Helen Owens
George Owens (as Robert Walker)
Reverend Simmons
Yolanda Lloyd ...
Nathan Rollins
Cody Glenn ...
Freyda Thomas ...
Mother (as Anne Marie Gillis)


Jessica arrives in the Texan small town Fairville for the wedding of her cousin Ann Owens Arden to former town rebel Bill Spenser, who made his fortune in Alaska. Brother, George Owens, also has the same idea and unexpectedly arrives in Fairville. George was just released from long-term institutional therapy after the murder of Ann's first fiancé, professor Nathan Rollins. Shortly after, Bill is stabbed to death exactly as Nathan was, and George is missing, so sheriff Barnes assumes a reenactment. Since George couldn't remember the traumatic first killing Jessica believes he's being framed, maybe for both deaths, and finds the key to the first with his therapist, Dr. Henry Carlson, who was against his release as he was hoping for a breakthrough. Then she goes after the real murderer. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ritual | knife | in law | See All (3) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

29 April 1990 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Shirley Jones and Doris Roberts, along with Shirley Knight who guest starred in the previous Murder She Wrote episode, later starred together in the film Grandma's Boy (2006). See more »


References One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

Those Texas cousins
19 August 2017 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Jessica Fletcher is in town for the wedding of cousin Shirley Jones to Sandy McPeak. Also there is Patrick Duffy another cousin who murdered her previous fiancé some 15 years earlier. He blacked out and has been in an asylum for years.

Now he's out and McPeak is murdered with the same kind of weapon in the same place as the original crime. Everyone thinks what they are supposed to think, except Angela Lansbury.

Of course the truth about the first crime is revealed under hypnosis in the same crime scene by prison psychiatrist Dennis Christopher. He usually plays some unhinged characters, nice to see him normal for once.

Learning about the first crime enables JB Fletcher to solve the more recent homicide.

As you would think it would.

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