Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
3 user

The Dead File 

Jessica appears in a comic strip accusing various people of wrongdoing and triggering a lawsuit -- but the author insists he had nothing to do with it and his inker is killed in his studio.


Anthony Pullen Shaw (as Anthony Shaw)


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Diana Bellamy ... Paige Kindle
Harvey Fierstein ... Stan Hatter
George Furth ... Jerry Bozell
Robin Gammell ... Roger Melton
Kris Kamm ... Teddy Graves
Susan Kellermann ... Sergeant Martha Redstone
Patrick Macnee ... Dayton Whiting (as Patrick MacNee)
Jon Polito ... Lieutenant Peter DiMartini
Mark Roberts ... Russell Yorke
Rodney Kageyama ... Ben Watanabe
John Apicella ... Sid The Doorman
Mark Eric Howell Mark Eric Howell ... Waiter
David Ault David Ault ... Policeman
Neal Kaz Neal Kaz ... Van Driver


Jessica is no more amused to be the model for fictional 'Hatterville' detective Jessica Fox than its creator, cartoonist Stan Hatter, is when two forged editions falsely accuse NYPD's former narcotics Lieutenant Peter DiMartini and tycoon Roger Melton, who intends to sue for a fortune. Then, Ben Watanabe, Stan's letterer, is murdered, staged as a suicide, in the private studio where he works with talented apprentice Teddy Graves. Sergeant Martha Redstone is too easily satisfied with simplistic assumptions, so Jessica solves the case herself. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 November 1992 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Sid The Doorman: So, how was your trip, Mrs Fletcher?
Jessica Fletcher: Gorgeous, Sid.
See more »

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User Reviews

Loosely Based on Berke Breathed and Bloom County
30 June 2012 | by richard.fuller1See all my reviews

Berke Breathed was a 'Pulitzer prize-winning' cartoonist who did a comic strip called Bloom County, blatantly ripped off from Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau. I'm not sure which one of these men this episode of Murder She Wrote might be based on, but my guess is Breathed.

Whereas Doonsebury did possess humor and political knowledge and deadpan Charlie Brown deliveries, Bloom County strived too hard to be funny. At its worst, it WAS funny, but that was hardly most of the time.

So here we have Fierstein as a cartoonist and someone is submitting doctored comic strips of his, implicating obvious figures in various scandals.

Jessica herself is portrayed as an accuser of sorts.

It took a while to figure out what exactly was going on, as in the span of an hour program, the ramifications had to be established rather quickly, making Jessica appear rather blustery.

People (very strangely) went to her asking why she was making these accusations in the comic strip for which she had nothing to do.

Amazing to think of gangstah rappers doing the same thing in hip-hop songs and they are considered societally inferior.

As I said, it takes a while to follow the charges of slander and how upset people can get. Then there is a murder and the show is back to its usual pace.

Definitely an intriguingly different episode, with Fierstein as a many-times-married cartoonist and Susan Kellermann (Latka's mother on Taxi) as the policewoman.

And how did things go in the real life version with Berke Breathed? He won a Pulitzer and eventually just vanished, while Trudeau's Doonesbury is still running today.

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