Murder, She Wrote: Season 5, Episode 12

Smooth Operators (12 Feb. 1989)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime | Drama
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 60 users  
Reviews: 1 user

While in New York, a missing shoe on the discovered dead body of a homeless person leads Jessica to believe the supposed accidental death was not an accident.

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(as Anthony Shaw)

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(creator), (creator), 2 more credits »
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Title: Smooth Operators (12 Feb 1989)

Smooth Operators (12 Feb 1989) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dr. David Latimer
...
Dr. Craig Zachary
Lise Hilboldt ...
Stephanie Holtz
...
Grace Fenton
...
...
Leon Schnable
...
Dr. Robert Markle
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Dr. Sid Lantz
Edward Winter ...
Capt. Everett Larson (as Ed Winter)
Mario Roccuzzo ...
Wino
...
Donatelli
...
Phil Cashman
Rudy Challenger ...
Dr. Lowell Wheatley
Orlando Bonner ...
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Storyline

Jessica visits old NYPD lieutenant Timothy Hanratty and helps him with the corps of John Doe, dumped with only one clean shoe. Fingerprints identify Elliot Winston, a former drunk without a criminal record, framed for alcohol OD. Neighbor and drinking friend, Grace Fenton, remarks that his secretive papers are missing. Jessica checks in as a rich hypochondriac into Doctors David Latimer, Lowell Wheatley and Craig Zachary's hospital, where Elliot was an accountant. Captain Everett Larson still couldn't are less, until the wino adjacent to the corps confesses stealing his watch and one shoe, then charges him with the murder. Written by KGF Vissers

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12 February 1989 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Who Knew Old York Knew Old New York?
18 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One morning in New York City, after Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) completes a meeting with her publisher, she pays a call to Lieutenant Timothy Hanratty (Barney Martin), an old friend at a police precinct, to invite him to lunch.

En route through the city, they become halted by police vehicle traffic around a subway grate, at the site in which a body of a well-dressed man wearing one shoe had been found. Officer Donatelli (Stewart J. Zully) explains that they have a robbery suspect in custody, a Wino (Mario Roccuzzo), who was apprehended in possession of a watch and a wallet bearing the identification of Elliot Winston (uncredited actor).

Both Timothy and Jessica express the notion regarding the oddity of a missing shoe, for the victim's exposed sock bears no sign of having been worn on the open street. But back at the precinct, an uncooperative Captain Everett Larson orders Timothy not to investigate the case as a homicide, not to waste time and resources upon an alcoholic who passed out and expired beneath a blanket of newspapers.

Officer Charlie (Orlando Bonner) stands in Timothy's corner, while Timothy decides to treat the matter as a homicide. Reporter Phil Cashman (Greg Lewis), receives mixed signals between Captain Larson and Lieutenant Hanratty on the matter, for Larson intends to maintain an impressive track record, by solving those types of homicides in which the victims maintained a more prominent social position than some sort of drifter.

Doctor Sid Lantz (Peter Van Norden) gives Jessica and Timothy a coroner's report after examining the victim, including a high alcohol blood level, a bludgeon mark upon his skull, and a small slit upon his neck.

So, onto the fact-finding mission roam Timothy and Jessica, to the apartment building of Elliot Winston, to examine his room. From the apartment across the hall, Grace Fenton (Shirley Knight), notices the strangers investigating Elliot's belongings, and upon questioning one another, Grace insists that Elliot, with whom she has drawn closely, would not have taken a drink.

Grace explains that they had met in an alcohol rehabilitation meeting, and she had subsequently suggested him to lease this apartment across the corridor from hers. When asked about the empty desk drawer, Grace reports that Elliot always kept that locked, as he within stored valuable papers regarding his work as an accountant at Old York Hospital.

Jessica decides the idea better for her to go undercover at Old York Hospital rather than for the police to question its staff, for they may conceal their secrets from the officers, but speak the more freely with a wealthy hypochondriac. She enlists Doctor Lowell Wheatley (Rudy Challenger), an old medical school classmate of Seth Hazlitt (not present here), to collaborate her new identity.

Mrs. Christina Chesterton, wealthy widow of Ralph Thorndyke Chesterton (Jessica's alias), arrives at Old York Hospital with her shaggy dog, Nimbles, at which she is greeted by several "Smooth Operators." Nurse Stephanie Holtz (Lise Hilboldt) and Orderly Leon Schnable (Michael McGrady) arrange a consultation with Doctor Robert Markle (Dennis Patrick) and Doctor David Latimer (Dirk Benedict). Doctor Craig Zachary (Nicolas Coaster) then reviews the case with them, after discussing potential measures of diversification to expand their financial portfolios.

If all else fails, then why not operate upon Mrs. Christina Chesterton, they ponder, after embellishing the findings of her X-rays and laboratory reports with fictitious maladies. But for how long may Jessica's guise withstand the scrutiny of Old York Hospital staff?


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