Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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A Virtual Murder 

Jessica happens on a computerized clue to a murder while writing a mystery story for a friend's interactive video game company.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Jessica Fletcher
... Sharon Baskin
... Kate Walden
... John Crowley / Charles Kroll
... David Salt
Shawn Phelan ... Alex Porter
Thomas Ryan ... Dan Porter, P.I.
... Michael Burke
... Dr. Seth Hazlitt
... Sgt. Ignacio Delcanto (as Richard Yñiguez)
... James Lindstrom
... Officer Rossi
Art Cohan ... Jeremy Hastings (as Arthur Cohan)
... Mr. Townsend
Wayne Bolton ... Colonel Fleming


Cabot Cove's own youngster Alex Hooper, who got his first job with virtual reality-video game expert Michael Burke, has got Jessica to write a murder script 'A Killing at Hastings Rock' for their firm Marathon to design one about. The test version has grave program flaws, which may sink the firm by missing a nearby press presentation deadline- Jessica promises to rewrite the script so the failing character is no longer needed. Two partners secretly go to Redwood Concepts where James Lindstrom tells its CEO John/Charles Crowe he demands a bonus for dealing with him now he knows about his criminal past and name change, while his partner David Salt promises 'another solution'. It works, but programing out a confusing set of pointless doors would take too long. During the reception Michael gets called by his P.I., Dan Porter, and confronts James about his contacting Crowe, who is there too; shortly after James' corps is discovered, presumably found out stealing essential source codes. ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Plot Keywords:

scolding | party | fingerprints | See All (3) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

31 October 1993 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Oculus Rift founder Palmer Luckey said in a Wired interview that this episode inspired him to work on his virtual reality device. See more »


The 2nd time Jessica is playing the game she sees two battle axes hanging on a wall and asks that they be changed to sabers. Even though a tech says the axes are now changed to sabers, what actually appears are scimitars, which have a more pronounced curve to their blades than do sabers. See more »

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User Reviews

Murderous virtual video gaming
10 November 2017 | by See all my reviews

Have always been quite fond of 'Murder She Wrote'. It is a fun and relaxing watch that makes you think as you try to unwind in the evening. If one wants more complex, twisty mysteries with lots of tension and suspense 'Murder She Wrote' may not be for you, but if you want something light-hearted and entertaining but still provide good mysteries 'Murder She Wrote' fits the bill just fine.

As far as Season 10 episodes go, "A Virtual Murder" is in the top half. It's not a 'Murder She Wrote' classic, but it is a lot better than the previous two episodes "The Legacy of Borbey House" (decent) and "The Phantom Killer" (fairly underwhelming). Some of the story is on the convoluted side, particularly for anybody whose technological and making-of-video-game knowledge is fairly limited, and it wouldn't have hurt to have seen more Seth (though that he appeared is a delight still).

Still it is very entertaining and engaging with a good set up/concept and the denouement is not over-obvious or confusing nor is it acted poorly, that is just one of the assets that immediately makes "A Virtual Murder" a better episode than the previous one. The technological/video gaming aspects are done very well, and it was interesting and fun to see how Jessica is faring being up to date with the times.

Angela Lansbury is terrific, and while the guest supporting cast is not an amazing one all the actors are never less than competent and often good. It was fun seeing Kevin Sorbo.

Production values are slick and stylish. music has energy and has presence but also not making the mistake of over-scoring, while it is hard to forget or resist the theme tune.

Writing is thoughtful and amiable.

In conclusion, well done episode. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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