Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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The Way to Dusty Death 

A tyrant's demise puts Jessica on the trail of several of his betrayed executives.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Fletcher
Lydia Barnett
Morgan McCormack
Kate Dutton
Dr. Leon Chatsworth
Anne Hathaway
Spruce Osborne
Virginia McCormack
Tom Dutton
Q. L. Frubson
Duncan Barnett
Jay Robinson ...
Hank Brandt ...
Lt. Grayson


As company board member, Jessica is among old chairman Duncan and Lydia Barnett's weekend guests who hear the rumors of a take over by Spruce Osborne or resignation are false. Would-be successor Morgan McCormack's wife Virginia decides it's time to hurry nature by doctoring Duncan's digitalis heart medication; he is found dead in the hot-tub, apparently electrocuted by a TV. Jessica refuses rushing to cast the decisive vote for Mogan or Tom Dutton. She works out with Dr. Chatsworth four digitalis pills are missing, as well as the brandy glass which was full when the corps was discovered, but the autopsy finds no OD. She finds out Osborne's much younger girlfriend Serena was planted by Duncan, while Osborne had a man on the board, gets a confession for the failed murder attempt and traps the successful killer... Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

25 October 1987 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The last acting role of Cornel Wilde. See more »

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User Reviews

Was there a murder?
17 July 2017 | by See all my reviews

This particular Murder She Wrote has the farewell acting appearance of a favorite classic film star of mine Cornel Wilde. Wilde is also the victim in this story.

But the victim of what exactly? Wilde is an industrial tycoon who has gathered a number of friends and members of his company board among them Jessica Fletcher who is trying to keep a factory open in good old Cabot Cove. After a sumptuous dinner hosted by Wilde and wife Joanna Pettet he announces to one and all reports of his retirement have been greatly exaggerated.

But later on Wilde is found dead in his hot tube with a small television in it as well. He might have pulled the thing in accidentally on his own or it could have gotten in the tub with some other individual's help.

Jessica's partner in the investigation is Dr. Richard Jaeckel as they try to prove there was indeed a murder before looking for a culprit. Of course you know there was one. Especially with all the palace intrigues involving Wilde's successor.

I did enjoy Ray Walston former cabinet under secretary of the Treasury and now hard as nails business tycoon himself. I wish we saw more of him.

Nice story, Jessica Fletcher seems to be the only one on that board without her own agenda.

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