Murder, She Wrote: Season 5, Episode 18

Trevor Hudson's Legacy (16 Apr. 1989)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Jessica heads to Montana to aid a young friend editing the last manuscript of the late writer Trevor Hudson, but when murder results she must weed through the lies of Hudson's scheming family to uncover the truth.



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Episode cast overview:
Georgia Brown ...
Dorothy Westerfield
Sheriff Hank Masters
Don Galloway ...
Andrew Hudson
Barney Drake
Maria Hudson
Cat Hudson Drake
Robin Strand ...
Robert 'Bob' Jarrett
Barrie Youngfellow ...
Olivia Hudson
David Bradley ...
Adam Perry
Jay Horton ...
Raymond Davis ...


Jessica and publisher, Dorothy Westerfield, arrive in Custer Creek, Montana for the unveiling of a federal stamp issue in honor of the late literary legend Trevor Hudson, whose literary heritage foundation she presides. She's welcomed by proof reader Robert 'Bob' Jarrett, who has been working at his family ranch on Trevor's posthumous masterpiece "The Last Valley". He shows her there's nothing but some notes, he ghost-wrote the entire novel and hesitates whether to reveal this commercially damaging truth. The Hudson family is spared both humiliation and financial loss when Jarrett is found murdered. Family friend sheriff Hank Masters arrests Adam Perry, a drifter picked-up shirtless the previous day by serially adulterous Catherine 'Cat' Hudson Drake. Adam was found wounded and with the bloody murder weapon. Jessica finds out that Cat's 'absent' husband Barney Drake, who manages the heirs' financial interests, secretly returned and saw Adam and Cat share a shower, and predicts new ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

16 April 1989 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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In for a Bang Way out West
22 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Trevor Hudson has spent many years forming a long career of penning Western novels from his Montana ranch. While working upon his final manuscript, "The Last Valley," Mr. Hudson passes, leaving his notes in a drawer in the desk of his study--or what can be found of them there.

His un-trusting survivors remain at the family homestead: daughters, unreasonable Maria Hudson (Michael Learned) and renegade Olivia Hudson (Barrie Youngfellow), and responsible son, Andrew Hudson (Don Galloway), who serves in the capacity of "adult in the room" during gatherings of this dysfunctional family.

But the self-serving Hudson family is all the more exemplified by Maria's constantly-transgressive daughter, the adulterous Cat Hudson Drake (Yvette Nipar), who travels to Hollywood to act in films, and for some strange reason is considered the other Hudson celebrity. Cat's unsuspecting husband, Barney Drake (Robert Klein), serves in the dual role of her Agent plus financial manager of the Hudson estate.

The ever-corrupt Custer's Creek County Sheriff Hank Masters (Steve Forrest) plays the family friend and adviser when it suits his schemes of "Shoot 'em up" Western style. He is welcomes to family gatherings with open arms and is right there on the spot when things go wrong, to make them all the worse.

It is into this world that young Editor Robert 'Bob' Jarrett (Robin Strand) is swept when the Trevor Hudson Literary Heritage Foundation appoints him to review the author's notes to comprise a finished draft of his final manuscript, by working on the spot in his Custer's Creek study, at the family residence. Robert, scrutinizing the master's notes, uncovers material which family members deem controversial and insist that he would abide by the original agreement, to preserve "Trevor Hudson's Legacy."

On the day of a reception to mark the issue of a U.S. Postage Stamp to commemorate Trevor Hudson, at an event outside Custer's Creek Post Office, Barney addresses the gathering, while Cat is missing. It seems that she has picked up hitchhiker Adam Perry (David Bradley), who somehow succumbs to her wiles, leaving her another means to blame the resulting affair on Barney.

Trevor Hudson Literary Heritage Foundation Executive Director Dorothy Westerfield (Georgia Brown) also attends the reception, after she arrives in Montana with Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), a friend and associate of Trevor Hudson, and a former instructor of protégé Robert 'Bob' Jarrett. They are also welcomed into the Hudson residence--or for the time being, at least.

That night, after Barney spots the shadows of Adam in Cat's quarters, the rifle-packing Olivia sees reflections of activity near the garage, and Jessica hears the breaking of glass coming from on the downstairs floor. By candlelight, Jessica, naturally, investigates what appears to be a break-in, and, also naturally, stumbles across a body on the premises, and discovering that the research is missing.

An investigation ensues, headed by Sheriff Hank Masters and Deputy (Jay Horton), as Doctor (Raymond Davis) pronounces the victim deceased. Dorothy Westerfield goes along with Maria Hudson's wishes to end the research, leaving Jessica on the outside looking in to the reason behind the murder in the dysfunctional household.

After Jessica is sent packing, she receives her sudden burst of logic and manages to convince Andrew Hudson to hasten across Custer's Creek with her because "There's going to be another murder!" before all is told insofar as "Trevor Hudson's Legacy" is concerned.

This episode marks the first of three acting appearances each for David Bradley and Raymond Davis, and one of three for Jay Horton. Georgia Brown and Don Galloway have unfortunately since passed.

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