Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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The Wind Around the Tower 

While being visitors at an estate in Ireland, Jessica and her friend are convinced that their host's demise is not from natural causes.



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Episode cast overview:
Jessica Fletcher
Jason MacNamara
Francis O'Reilly
Brian Mulrain
Douglas Foudy
Quint Sankey
Sarah MacDonnell ...
Claire Abbott (as Sarah Mac Donnell)
Sergeant Devon O'Malley
Liam Gillen
Carolyn Mulrain


In Ireland to research a new book, Jessica is a guest at a house supposedly haunted by a weeping ghost. The owner, Neal Gillen, fears he is going to be murdered and has asked the help of Jessica's ex-policeman friend Sean Culhane. When Neal dies, the possible suspects include his apparently loving wife, his cousin who has been dipping into the corporate accounts, a neighbor whose land Neal bought cheap, and a village girl who had her own agenda. Written by mama.sylvia

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Plot Keywords:

ghost | poison | handcuffs | See All (3) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 November 1992 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Of all the cast members, Shay Duffin is the only one actually born in Ireland. See more »

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Whirlwind Romances Go Braugh to Verse in Spiraling Fashion
14 February 2010 | by See all my reviews

Aughrim, County Galway, sets the stage for the first of five "MSW" episodes set in the Republic of Ireland (the remaining four set in County Cork, to the far southwest, while County Galway extends from the Irish central western edge).

Sean Culhane (George Hearn) has now retired from the NYPD and returns to his homeland on the invitation of his childhood friend, Neal Gillen (Dakin Matthews), who confides to Sean not to tell anyone of Neal's evidence that someone is plotting to kill him, not even to tell Sean's fellow passenger, the astute Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), who accompanies Sean to Ireland to research its local color, to embellish her latest manuscript.

Neal Gillen, a banker in business with his cousin, Liam Gillen (Mark Rolston), resides on the outskirts of Aughrim, near the sea, with Neal's wife, Anne Gillen (Shirley Anne Field), their housekeeper, Claire Abbott (Sarah MacDonnell), and their grounds-keeper, Quint Sankey (Don Knight).

Liam doesn't stay for dinner, at which Anne and Neal relate the history of their manor bearing a stone tower, as a sea captain devoted to his wife had constructed this estate some 150 years ago, before he became lost at sea, and she, in her despair, leaped from the tower, but her wailing may still be heard from to this day through the current of "The Wind Around the Tower."

Brian Mulrain (Shay Duffin) and Carolyn Mulrain (Nora Masterson) operate an inn in Aughrim, and often host guests to entertain others with tales of local folklore. Douglas Foudy (John Finnegan), in particular, relates tales of the legendary sea captain and the mythical crying woman, who reportedly has been heard for more than 100 years by now.

Francis O'Reilly (Mark Lindsay Chapman) operates Medicine Hall, the pharmacy and sundries shoppe across the street from the Mulrain's restaurant and tavern, with Cashier (Pat Crawford Brown) in Francis' employ, as his position is referred to as Chemist, rather than Pharmacist.

Jason MacNamara (Michael Alldredge), whom Sean and Jessica also meet at the tavern, owns property adjacent to that of the Gillens', with portions on either side, which he had mortgaged and lost to foreclosure, before the Gillens had purchased it at a low rate, to Jason MacNamara's disdain and treats to repossess his land somehow.

Neal Gillen also confronts Liam Gillen regarding a matter of funds embezzled, or at least missing, from his bank. Liam points out that he would know neither the whereabouts of the cash nor the password to access its accounts.

During their first evening in Aughrim, when Sean and Jessica are awakened from their respective guest rooms to the sounds of the crying woman and barking dogs, they slip into the night to investigate the stone tower, at which they are warded off by an armed Quint Sankey, determined to prevent trespassing at any cost.

But the next evening, while Sean awaits his soon-midnight appointment, screams fill the inside halls, as Anne Gillen discovers a body in the study.

Sergeant Devon O'Malley (Richard Riehle) arrives to conclude this a natural passing, as no signs of foul play seem evident, and the victim has evidently perished quickly and pleasantly, to which Jessica and Sean agree that murder victims invariably would appear to have resisted attackers, and poison would discolor certain features.

Devon requests Sean and Jessica not to investigate further, or at least to wait an autopsy report, before infringing upon his police business, but they both get into the act once the coroner determines that the otherwise healthy victim has passed from sudden pneumonia.

Devon, Sean and Jessica make the rounds, each investigating possibilities, as Jessica uncovers a series of clues to link suspects, to discover a secret passageway, and to set a trap to prove whodunit, as Nitrogen poisoning affects "The Wind Around the Tower."

The cast is rounded out by Mark Leahy as Villager. This episode marks the most recent acting appearance to date by Nora Masterson, as well as one of the last two roles by Don Knight, after a long career in film and on television.

This also represents the second of two "MSW" performances each for Pat Crawford Brown, John Finnegan and Richard Riehle, the first of three for Dakin Matthews, the third of three for George Hearn (including this, his second as Sean Culhane), the second of four for Mark Rolston, and the third of five "MSW" guest roles for Mark Lindsay Chapman.

Don Knight, acting since 1966, and Michael Alldredge, acting since 1976, have unfortunately since passed.

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