Murder, She Wrote: Season 3, Episode 20

The Cemetery Vote (5 Apr. 1987)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime | Drama
7.5
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Jessica visits C., an Idaho town, to comfort Linda says her husband, mayor Jim Stevens, just died in a car accident, or did he? His hot-headed pa Harry Stevens is dead-set to prove his ... See full summary »

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Title: The Cemetery Vote (05 Apr 1987)

The Cemetery Vote (05 Apr 1987) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
Linda Stevens
Joseph Campanella ...
George McDaniels
...
David Carroll
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Sheriff Orville Yates
John McLiam ...
Harry Stevens
...
Captain Ernest Lenko (as Mitchell Ryan)
...
Cindy March
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Kate Gunnerson
...
Deputy Wayne Beeler
Dick Balduzzi ...
Gil Stokes
Katherine De Hetre ...
Rita (as Katherine DeHetre)
Zale Kessler ...
Coroner
Neal Penso ...
1st Paramedic
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Storyline

Jessica visits C., an Idaho town, to comfort Linda says her husband, mayor Jim Stevens, just died in a car accident, or did he? His hot-headed pa Harry Stevens is dead-set to prove his death was the work of the corrupt sheriff Orville Yates and his hard-handed deputy Wayne Beeler, who are in cahoots with Kate Gunnerson's illegal gambling. Shortly after they go trough Jim's effects Harry storms out after seeing a ciphered reference, but is killed and left by the road, plundered even to his boots. State police captain Ernest Lenko confirms his raids and corruption investigations always failed because legal procedure forces him to inform the sheriff's office. Jessica thinks trough everything, especially relating to Jim's effects, and after being run off the road while accepting a ride from councilman David Carroll, probably intentionally not killed, just badly bruised, Yates's respectable opponent in the spring mayoral election, sets a trap... Written by KGF Vissers

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5 April 1987 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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The title refers to the illegal electioneer practice of providing votes for candidates based upon the obituaries, public death roles or from cemeteries to bolster one candidate over the other. See more »

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Corruption through the Ranks to the File Clerks
15 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode marks the last appearance of Katherine De Hetre, after a brief career of film and television acting, from 1979 through 1987. John McLiam and Marie Windsor have also since passed.

As Comstock, Idaho, prepares for its mayoral election, Harry Stevens (John McLiam) plows his pickup truck through the gates of Comstock's Westridge County vehicle pound to examine the wreckage of his son, Jim's automobile, in which Jim lost his life in a single vehicular "accident."

Jim Stevens had been the Mayor of Comstock, who had been collecting proof of illegal operations conducting by former Mayor, and current candidate for the office, Westridge County Sheriff Orville Yates (Ed Lauter), who, with Deputy Wayne Beeler (Jeff Yagher), follows Harry into the junkyard to prevent his examining evidence of tampering, such as severed brake lines. The automobile vanishes from the lot directly afterward.

As Jim's widow, Linda Stevens (Ellen Bry), campaigns for Comstock Deputy Mayor David Carroll (Bruce Davison) to fill the office, she enters the City Hall offices to meet David and City Councilman George McDaniels (Joseph Campanella), to pick up campaign posters and to introduce them to her guest, Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), a former neighbor during Linda and Jim's days back in Cabot Cove.

Harry Stevens then enters the office to complain about Sheriff Yates and Deputy Beeler's ill-treatment and refusal to release Jim's automobile to Linda's custody, which David claims ought to have been completed by this time.

To Jessica's surprise, Harry raises suspicions that Jim may have been, in fact, murdered, Linda denies the allegations, claiming his untimely death an accident, and not by trying to prove that now Sheriff, then Mayor Orville Yates had padded the ballot boxes with "The Cemetery Vote." But when David transports Jessica along the road to search for the spot in which Jim had lost his life, a semi rig truck trails them, bumping into the rear fender of David's automobile, and forcing them from the road, leaving them a need for medical attention.

When Jessica suspects a mole at City Hall, reporting to an illegal gambling operation coordinated by Kate's Cafe owner and Comstock Civic League President Kate Gunnerson (Marie Windsor), and Stokes' Warehouse owner Gil Stokes (Dick Balduzzi), Secretary Rita (Katherine De Hetre) testifies that Secretary Cindy March (Charlene Tilton) has been conducting an affair with the married Deputy Wayne Beeler.

And when another body is found after being tossed into the fields from the rural route, Jessica contacts Idaho State Police Captain Ernest Lenko (Mitch Ryan) to discuss the widespread corruption in Westridge County.

Jessica then searches through Jim's personal effects for clues to attempt to solve the murders with links from political corruption and civic misdeeds to the gambling operation, which the State Police haven't been able to raid because of tip offs from City Hall.

The cast is rounded out by Westridge County Coroner (Zale Kessler) and Paramedic (Neal Penso).


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