Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Capitol Offense 

When a congressman suddenly dies from a heart attack, Jessica is asked to temporarily replace him in Washington.


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


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Episode complete credited cast:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Edie Adams ... Kaye Sheppard
Herschel Bernardi ... Det. Lt. Avery Mendelsohn
Linda Kelsey ... Diana Simms
Stephen Macht ... Congressman Dan Keppner
Nicholas Pryor ... Harry Parmel
Mitchell Ryan ... Ray Dixon
Gary Sandy ... Joe Blinn
Mark Shera ... Thor Danziger
Frank Aletter ... Wendell Joyner
Colby Chester ... Harold DeWitt
David Hooks David Hooks ... Commitee Chairman Ronald Olsen
Jensen Collier Jensen Collier ... Clerk
Jade McCall Jade McCall ... Driver's Partner


US Congressman Wendell Joyner gets a fatal heart attack at a party arranged by lobbyist Harry Parmel. The governor of Maine requests Jessica to fill the seat for a few weeks till the party can officially select a new Congressman. She keeps on Joyner's staff for her short tenure, notably helpful driver-press agent Joe Blinn and administrative assistant Diana Simms. Detective Lieutenant Avery Mendelsohn tails Jessica and explains he suspects Joyner to be murdered after finding out his corpse was moved. She decides to help him sleuthing on and around Capitol Hill and uncovers dirty lobbying and blackmail. Suspiciously well-housed Marta Craig is found murdered and Dan Keppner's coat and wallet were in her apartment. When he is found the next morning with bloody knuckles and Marta's blood on him, he is arrested for her murder. Jessica believes he was framed clumsily and wonders if it all ties in to a legislature vote on a cannery in Maine. Written by KGF Vissers

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Plot Keywords:

party | washington d.c. | See All (2) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


At the time this episode first aired, Maine had two Representatives in the House. See more »


[first lines]
Congressman Dan Keppner: I figure I got an obligation to everybody who voted for me, right, Harry?
Harry Parmel: Absolutely, Dan. Absolutely. A log of these guys, they think a seat in Congress is like a free ride, a great big cookie jar they can just dip their mitts into...
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Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

False premise
13 December 2011 | by LRKnollsSee all my reviews

When one of Maine's congressmen dies, Jessica is appointed to full his seat. But this would be impossible. The Constitution requires that vacancies in the House of Representatives only can be filled by election:

"When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies." -- Article I, Section 2, Clause 4 of the U.S. Constitution

This is an unfortunate glitch in an otherwise good episode with a number of welcome guest stars, including Edie Adams and Herschel Bernardi.

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Release Date:

6 January 1985 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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