A televangelist whose church is being investigated by federal authorities is found dead in a seedy motel room having died of combining painkillers and alcohol. But the painkillers were ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Garry Walberg ...
John S. Ragin ...
Joseph Roman ...
Irene Tedrow ...
Mrs. Osborne
William Bogert ...
Kenneth Ross
Franklin Osborne
Stephen Elliott ...
Dr. Paul Chase
Fritzi Burr ...
Dr. Finkel
Dr. Lawrence Condon (as Regis J. Cordic)


A televangelist whose church is being investigated by federal authorities is found dead in a seedy motel room having died of combining painkillers and alcohol. But the painkillers were prescribed, and the bottle wasn't empty, and the amount of both taken was barely enough to kill him. So was he trying go commit suicide, or was it an accident? Quincy decides to organize a psychological autopsy to find out. Written by TychaBrahe

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Drama | Mystery | Crime




Release Date:

1 November 1979 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Dr. R. Quincy, M.E.: $75? All this fuss over $75? Why you!... Come here!
[Holds up a dollar bill over the window that looks out at County-USC hospital]
Dr. R. Quincy, M.E.: What do you see?
Dr. Robert Asten: I see a dollar. I see the hospital...
Dr. R. Quincy, M.E.: That's right. That's right.
[Steps forward so the dollar bill is very close to Asten's face]
Dr. R. Quincy, M.E.: Now what do you see?
Dr. Robert Asten: I see the dollar.
Dr. R. Quincy, M.E.: That is also right. That's what happens when you get too close to money. You can't see the good you're doing or can do with it. And that's what's happening to you, sir!
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User Reviews

A nice change of pace.
22 April 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Mode of Death" begins with a famous TV evangelist being found dead in a hotel room--the apparent victim of an overdose of pills and liquor. However, when Quincy does the autopsy, why he took this combination is not clear--it MIGHT have been a deliberate suicide or it MIGHT have just been a mistake. The dead man's having mixed drugs and alcohol could have been the result of his intense congenital pain--in a misguided attempt to quell the pain. Or, the guy just wanted to die and took the lethal combination. So, Quincy suggests that they do a so-called 'psychological autopsy' on the man--have a consulting psychologist and his team determine which was the case. However, one word of caution, such 'autopsies' are NOT certainties--it is just a best guess.

This was an unusual show in that it is less a Quincy episode and more about Dr. Chase (Stephen Elliott). It makes you wonder if perhaps this particular show was meant as a possible spin off from "Quincy". I can't say. But I did appreciate two big things--first, that the psychological autopsy did NOT offer clear answers and second, that it introduced the concept of a psychological autopsy.

So is this show worth seeing? Yes. It's pretty good. I liked how it dealt with a tough subject without coming off as vindictive or insulting. Sure, one of the folks in the show ended up being a phony but the show was NOT some cheap attack against organized religion. Overall, a nice change of pace for the show BUT you wonder why Quincy wasn't very thorough when he did the autopsy for the first time--this was VERY atypical for this character.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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