Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Death Stalks the Big Top: Part 2 

One murder leads to another as Jessica finds herself chasing down false alibis and the employees of a rival circus.


Seymour Robbie


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 5 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Martin Balsam ... Edgar Carmody
Jackie Cooper ... Carl Schulman / Neil Fletcher
Alex Cord ... Preston Bartholomew
Courteney Cox ... Carol Bannister
Ronny Cox ... Mayor Powers
Joey Cramer ... Charlie McCallum
Laraine Day ... Constance Fletcher
Greg Evigan ... Brad Kaneally
Florence Henderson ... Maria Morgana
Gregg Henry ... Sheriff Lynn Childs
Charles Napier ... Hank Sutter
Lee Purcell ... Maylene Sutter
Mark Shera ... Raymond Carmody
Pamela Susan Shoop ... Katie McCallum


Only when Jessica tells Neil, who inflicted himself a nasty wound, that Charlie's bat was taken away by bully Hank before his murder, he admits he only took the blame to protect the kid before running after finding the bloody bat behind the corpse. Roustabout Brad Kaneally swears his hands are always roughed up, from work. Then there is another staged near-accident and Harry Kingman is found strangled in an inn while Neil is still in jail on the mayor's orders. Sheriff Lynn Childs decides to brave him and help Jessica, who makes Brad tell her that he is a former boxer and alcoholic on the run after a near-fatal fist fight in a bar and protected the McCallums against Hank, leaving him unconscious on the murder night, only the killer hit below the neck. Next, Jessica finds Maylene Sutter knocked out in Jessicas room at the end before she is drugged and left on the floor while her room is torched, but they are found in time. She now know the killer but has no proof so she sets a trap. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

5 October 1986 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Laraine Day's final TV performance. See more »


[first lines]
Neil Fletcher: Jessie, what more do you want?
Jessica Fletcher: I want the truth.
Neil Fletcher: It's staring you in the face. The coroner already told you it was Sutter's blood type on that club. You saw them find it where I hid it.
Jessica Fletcher: I don't care what I saw. I don't care what the coroner told me. I don't care what you told the police.
Jessica Fletcher: Sweet, trusting Jessica.
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Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

Jessica unmasks the killer in great style.
26 October 2017 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

With the local Mayor putting pressure on the Sheriff to bring charges against Frank, Jessica delves deeper into the goings on of the circus community. She discovers that someone is sabotaging the Circus, and that Frank was protecting young boy Charlie. Next on the killer's list is Harry kingman, and soon after the killer attempts a double murder.

I particularly enjoyed this episode, it built on the success of the opening story and premise, and built on it. So much going on, the story and characters enjoying the greater run time. I wish there had been more episodes done in this format.

Lansbury is once again excellent, the moment where she unmasks the killer is brilliant, one of the finest conclusions in any episode. Tiger included!!

A particularly strong cast, Preston Bartholomew is fabulous (I seriously love that accent!) Jackie Cooper and Laraine Day are also very worthy of a mention, two hugely experienced performers.

A great episode. 9/10

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