Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Big Easy Murder 

Jessica travels to New Orleans and is caught up in a web of voodoo related murders.


Vincent McEveety


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Lisa Akey Lisa Akey ... Cynthia Broussard
Elizabeth Ashley ... Emily Broussard Renwyck
G.W. Bailey ... Lt. Alex Tibideaux
Olivia Cole ... Yvette Dauphin
Robert Forster ... Frank Roussel
Juliette Jeffers ... Vera Welles
Anne-Marie Johnson ... Priscilla Dauphin
Nick LaTour ... Charlie (as Nick La Tour)
Brian McNamara ... Tom McCray
Clifton Powell ... Ralph Danton
Mitchell Ryan ... Senator Brent Renwyck
Lewis Van Bergen ... Mal Carter
Steve Curtis Steve Curtis ... Jim Nash
George Sharperson ... Waiter


For the fourth time in three months, a man is murdered by machete in New Orleans, Lousiania, with, as a calling card, a rooster foot voodoo talisman. Victim Jim Nash was an intern reporter at the Daily News, a colleague of Tom McCray. and Cynthia Broussard (daughter of Emily). Nash believed the voodoo was just a colorful cover for a turf war over restaurant control. Jim was supposed to pick up Jessica from the airport and help her with some local research on voodoo and crime. She stays with Senator Brent Renwyck, whose club is in financial trouble even before it opens, so he took a nasty loan from mobster Frank Roussel. Yvette Dauphin's daughter Priscilla, the club's singer, shows Emily an anonymous letter claiming that Arthur Broussard was both women's father, confirmed by Yvette. They were both after a share of the considerable estate; Julliard confirms Arthur anonymously paid for Priscilla's music studies. Roussel's front-man Carter overhears Tom tell the senator he knows all about... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

12 October 1995 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Who's Been Slaying the Great Hosts of New Orleans?
10 March 2010 | by WeatherVioletSee all my reviews

Several recent murders and other passings transpire immediately before Jessica conducts her fifth trip into Louisiana during this series, which include four episodes set in New Orleans (#1.12, #2.21, #8.06, #12.04) and one in Bergen Falls (#4.04).

Olivia Cole guest stars in three New Orleans' episodes (#1.12, #8.06, #12.04), while co-star Robert Forster guests in two (#2.21, #12.04), while Brian McNamara co-stars twice with Mitch Ryan, here (#12.04) plus (#8.10), set in Washington, DC.

This opens with a fourth slaying by machete knife in Gulu Ruins, a foggy swampland adjacent to New Orleans, as "New Orleans Daily News" reporter Jim Nash (Steve Curtis) attempts to connect the series of murders to a syndicate attempting control of local supper clubs, while a guilty party makes the killings appear to relate to a sect of voodoo practitioners.

Lieutenant Alex Tibideaux (G.W. Bailey) appears early on, he investigating the latest body discovered in Gulu Ruins, as "Daily News" intern Cynthia Broussard (Lisa Akey) and reporter Tom McCray (Brian McNamara) meet the officer at the scene of the crime to obtain the scoop.

Jim Nash, whom she plans to meet upon her arrival, has been assisting Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) with research for her latest manuscript in process, as has Kelly, a curio shopkeeper, who has been providing Jessica with researching the poisonous herb Anesta Lupus, but Kelly has meanwhile passed.

The mother of Cynthia Broussard, Emily Broussard Renwyck (Elizabeth Ashley), then welcomes her dear old friend Jessica Fletcher to her estate, while Emily's husband, former Senator Brent Renwyck (Mitch Ryan), plans the opening celebration of his French Quarter nightclub.

Housekeeper Yvette Dauphin (Olivia Cole) also welcome her old friend Jessica, while Yvette's daughter, Priscilla Dauphin (Anne-Marie Johnson), arrives after graduating from the Julliard School, to sing in Brent's nightclub, accompanied by pianist Charlie (Nick LaTour).

Brent Renwyck, meanwhile, meets with syndicate leader Frank Roussel (Robert Forster) and Mal Carter (Lewis Van Bergen), a nightclub host, who, in the presence of their heavy, Ralph Danton (Clifton Powell), give Brent an ultimatum to sign over to them survivors' ownership of Renwyck's nightclub, after tying up Brent and Emily's funds to finance its renovations and repairs, and without the option of notifying Emily.

Ralph, meanwhile, forcedly orders curio shoppe employee Vera Welles (Juliette Jeffers) not to leave town, after discovering an airplane ticket to Los Angeles in her possession, as Jessica enters the shoppe to halt his brutal altercation. Vera explains that Kelly has passed six months ago, and now Vera fears for more lives at Ralph's dastardly hand.

Ralph also stalks reporter Tom McCray, who is now hot on the trail of the Gulu Ruins murders, while also linking them to the crime syndicate, as Jessica then manages for Tom an escape from harm from Ralph at an outdoor café, at which Ralph scrutinizes their conversation.

Priscilla, meanwhile, confronts Emily with a letter purporting that Priscilla is actually a daughter of Emily's late father, Arthur Broussard, by Yvette, and is, therefore, entitled to half of Arthur's estate, which, for the most part by now, is tied up in Renwyck's nightclub, where Priscilla performs in song.

Emily welcomes Priscilla to her share in the event that her claim bears any merit, as Yvette alleges affirmatively, and so Emily must consult her (unseen) attorney, Walter Drake, who would have to audit Renwyck's nightclub, which would lead to exposing the secret deal with Frank Roussel and Mal Carter.

On the night of the opening, several attendees exodus the nightclub at one point or another, in a series of events which leads to Emily's discovering a body with a voodoo doll at its side.

Jessica rushes to Emily's side as she screams, and then she notifies Lieutenant Alex Tibideaux, who declares this a natural passing, but Jessica suspects foul play and attempts to untangle a web of deception and intrigue surrounding the latest "Big Easy Murder."

The cast is rounded out by Ayo Adeyemi as High Priest, Devino Tricoche as Fire Eater and George Sharperson as Waiter.

This episode represents the first television acting credit by George Sharperson, the most recent appearance to date by Devino Tricoche, as well as the only acting credit to date by Steve Curtis.

This also marks the second of two "MSW" appearances each for Elizabeth Ashley, G.W. Bailey, Robert Forster and Clifton Powell, the third of three each for Olivia Cole and Brian McNamara, and the fourth of four "MSW" guest roles for Mitch Ryan.

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