5 user 1 critic

Murder, She Wrote: The Last Free Man (2001)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | TV Movie 2 May 2001
A disturbing link is made between Jessica Fletcher's (Dame Angela Lansbury's) family history and the death of a slave in the 1860s.


Anthony Pullen Shaw (as Anthony Shaw)


Matthew Sommer




Cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher / Sarah McCullough
Phylicia Rashad ... Cassandra Hawkins
Michael Jace ... Samuel Pinckney
David Ogden Stiers ... Stanford Thornton
Madison Mason ... Charles Hobbs
Tim Abell ... Jeb Bucknell
Elizabeth Lackey ... Mary Hobbs-Mercer
Mac Davis ... Sheriff Underwood
Beth Grant ... Louisa Ashland
Tim DeKay ... Robert Mercer (as Tim Dekay)
Walton Goggins ... Billy Weber
Elizabeth Dennehy ... Archivist
John Hostetter ... Cornelius Ashland
Taraji P. Henson ... Bess Pinckney
Keith Jefferson ... Jeremiah Jessup


Jessica Fletcher (Dame Angela Lansbury) discovers a shocking old family secret leading her on a journey to the deep South to bring to light the mysterious details surrounding the death of a slave owned by one of her long-dead ancestors in the mid 1800s. Written by Kent Karemaker

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tv series reunion | See All (1) »


Did Jessica's distant aunt hold the key to a murder. Historic letters could solve a 140 year old crime.


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Michael Jace portrayed a man falsely accused of committing murder in this movie. In real-life, Jace murdered his wife, April, on May 19, 2014. A jury convicted Jace of second-degree murder in her shooting death. See more »


[first lines]
Cassandra Hawkins: Samuel Pinckney was accused of killing a white plantation owner. Some of what you've been taught about the American South before the Civil War is true, some is not. Sam was condemned without a trial and killed for crimes that my research suggests he did not commit. He had lived peaceably on a plantation in Culpeper, Virginia, owned by one Sarah McCullough. Unfortunately, we may never know the whole story regarding Samuel Pinckney, and this is both a sad fact of history, and for me,...
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Follows Murder, She Wrote: A Story to Die For (2000) See more »

User Reviews

Really, really good
27 June 2010 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Apart from starting off a tad slow and one or two of the props and extra took away from the authenticity of the period, this is a very good and well executed TV movie, based off the wonderful TV show. It looks wonderful, not only in the present day but especially in the flashbacks, where the costumes, photography, sets and scenery are marvellous. The music is a delight too, playful and memorable yet is dramatic in places as well. The dialogue is good enough too, the direction is fine and the story is well written and dramatic with a very poignant and equally dramatic ending. The acting is excellent, Angela Lansbury once again gives a very strong performance but I was also delighted by how dignified and integral Michael Jace was as Sam. Overall, a really very good TV movie. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

2 May 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Arabesque: L'heure de la justice See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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