Murder, She Wrote: Season 5, Episode 11

The Search for Peter Kerry (5 Feb. 1989)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime | Drama
7.8
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Jessica aids yet another dear old friend in his search for his missing grandson.

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Title: The Search for Peter Kerry (05 Feb 1989)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Roger Philby
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Danny Schubert
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Sgt. Joe Rice
Vanessa Brown ...
Alma Goodrich
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Leona Schubert
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Edie Lorraine
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Andrew Kerry
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Rick Barton
Lane Smith ...
Pol. Chief Miles Underwood
John Petlock ...
Medical Examiner
Wren T. Brown ...
Uniformed Policeman
James O'Connell ...
Minister
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Storyline

For years, old multimillionaire Andrew Kerry's ultimate wish was to find his grandson Peter, missing for years. While meeting Jessica about a charity donation, Peter's college friend Danny Schubert recognizes the restaurant pianist Rick Barton's tune as Peter's unpublished composition. He, his ex and Rick are actually faking this. Jessica not only realizes this when all invited to Andrew's Calvisburg estate, but snoops along with apparently inept police chief Miles Underwood when Danny is stabbed in the garage. Written by KGF Vissers

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5 February 1989 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Reigniting Old Lighter Flames
17 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode marks one of the last appearances of Vanessa Brown, who had acted in films and on television since 1944. Anita Morris, Mason Adams, William Prince, Lane Smith and Sam Bottoms have also since passed.

Mourners attending a memorial service at a church in St. Louis, Missouri, to honor the late Evelyn Kerry, include her late husband's widowed father, Andrew Kerry (William Prince); Andrew's business manager, Roger Philby (Mason Adams); Evelyn's housekeeper of 30 years, Alma Goodrich (Vanessa Brown); the college roommate of Evelyn's son, Peter, Danny Schubert (Michael Beck); and one of Evelyn's lifelong closest friends, Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury).

En route to the memorial park, Andrew Kerry speaks to Jessica of the trials which his family has experienced, including the passing of his only son by age 30, the disappearance of his only grandchild, Peter, twenty years ago, and now the loss of his remaining survivor, daughter-in-law, Evelyn. When Roger Philby, on hand in the limousine, insists that he has hired the best detectives in every state to "Search for Peter Kerry," Andrew responds, "Then hire the worst."

Six months later, Danny Schubert finally manages to receive an audience with Jessica, in a lounge in New York City, where he has been co-managing a small fledgling and theatre, which miserably fails to keep up with its debts.

But when a pianist, Edie Lorraine (Lorna Patterson), launches into a rendition to entertain the audience, Danny asserts that Peter had written this specific composition in college, and that no one else could have obtained this unpublished music except through Peter Kerry.

When a cornered Edie insists that Rick wouldn't have stolen it from anyone, Danny and Jessica ask to be introduced to Rick Barton (Marc Singer), whom they meet the next morning at his studio. When Danny secures Rick's forearm to identify a scar, similar to Peter's childhood injury, Rick asks Edie to usher the two from the premises.

And when Danny is met by his ex-wife Leona Schubert (Anita Morris), she demands back alimony, while holding a pistol to his head, which he tosses aside to embrace her with the promises of wealth from a windfall reward.

Rick later apologizes to Jessica for his rude behavior, asking for an audience from her, to explain that he remembers nothing of his life before 1968, at which time he attended the convention in Chicago, and was hitchhiking from there to cross the country, when his driver, an Army deserter, perished in a vehicular accident, leaving Rick to recuperate in a hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska, which would burn to the ground in 1973, destroying all medical records.

When Jessica then reports back to Roger Philby that Rick Barton could possibly be Peter Kerry, Roger, behind the scenes, either visits Rick in NYC or sends detectives to investigate. Either way, there are detective reports continuously coming in to Roger regarding Rick, Edie, Leona and Danny.

And now, as the cast is reunited in Calvinburg, Missouri, at the gated Kerry estate, in suburban St. Louis, Andrew Kerry asks Jessica how she knows Alma, whom she greets by name. Jessica explains that she knew Alma because she served as Evelyn's housekeeper for 30 years, and that she had seen her at the services six months prior, before Alma retired to Florida. But later in the episode, Andrew introduces Alma to the police officers as his housekeeper, and she handles domestic responsibilities at his estate. This may be considered a minor plot loophole because Andrew and Evelyn obviously lived in separate residences if Jessica knew Alma as Evelyn's maid, but not Andrew's.

Anyhow, when Roger admonishes Danny for tobacco usage in the militant anti-smoker Andrew's residence, Danny picks a quarrel with Roger in front of Rick, Edie and Leona, with Andrew's entrance with Alma and Jessica, to end it.

A flippant Police Chief Miles Underwood (Lane Smith) and an exacting Sergeant Joe Rice (Sam Bottoms) are notified late that evening when a body is discovered in the Kerry garage. And now, a murder investigation complicates matters during "The Search for Peter Kerry."


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