Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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The Mole 

The police refuse to believe Jessica when she is mistaken for a government informant and kidnapped by the town's most respected citizen.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Jessica Fletcher
... Brynie Sullivan
... Sara Lloyd
... Lieutenant Artie Gelber (as Herbert Edelman)
... Max Hagen
... Fred Chandler
... Louis Paloma
Siobhan McCafferty ... Liz Foster (as Siobhan E. McCafferty)
John Allsopp ... Jason Herd
Raymond Lynch ... Baker Davis
... Bob Wilman
... Airline Clerk
... Cutter
G.F. Smith ... Assistant Manager (as G. F. Smith)
... First Man


Maxwell Hagen is a prominent businessman and philanthropist. When Jessica is kidnapped and taken to Hagen, he recognizes she is not the missing informant his thugs were supposed to get, but Hagen pretends it must have been someone else. With the help of newspaperman Brynie Sullivan, Jessica tries to locate the mystery woman before Hagen's thugs do. Written by mama.sylvia

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 October 1992 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Herb Edelman and Ken Howard who both star in this episode, have something else in common. They are both ex-husbands of actress Louise Sorel. See more »


Brynie Sullivan: Jess! You're becoming almost cynical enough to survive in this town!
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User Reviews

Underhanded, Underworld, Underground, Undercover, and Under-Skin
25 January 2010 | by See all my reviews

Which "Murder, She Wrote" episode contain the shortest title? Ten episode titles contain fewer than nine characters: "Dead Heat" (#2.08) = 8; "Class Act" (#6.10) = 8; "Judge Not" (#8.06) = 8; "Roadkill" (#10.19) = 8; "Film Flam" (#11.16) = 8; "Home Care" (#12.05) = 8; "Deadpan" (#4.21) = 7; "Dead Eye" (#9.13) = 7; "The Mole" (#9.03) = 7; and "Nailed" (#12.01) = 6.

"The Mole" stands in contention with one of the four shortest titles, and disregarding article "The," would give it four characters.

Television stars Joseph Bologna, Raymond Lynch. Robert Mangiardi, Bruno Marcotulli and Lewis Smith each makes his one "MSW" appearance in this episode centering around corruption in the NYC sports sector and the federal investigation which leads to abduction, blackmail and murder.

Liz Foster (Siobhan McCafferty), enters computer data before the name plate upon her desk and saves it onto an extension disk, before two heavies prowl into the suite to retrieve the data, which she manages to delete, before slipping into the shadows.

Sports writer Brynie Sullivan (Joseph Bologna) shares lunchtime with Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) at a busy restaurant catering to athletic trade, when his young Assistant Editor, Jason Herd (John Allsopp), arrives to dissuade him from using references to celebrities of whom Jason is unaware.

Brynie informs Jessica that he intends to write an expose of corruption in the ranks of the New York Eagles Basketball team, owned by Max Hagen, who is under federal investigation for corruption. The smooth-talking Maxwell 'Max' Hagen (Ken Howard) masks his angry emotions from the gathering and cameras during a televised presentation of a $1 million donation to a children's hospital fund.

But aside, he admonishes Administrative Assistant Sara Lloyd (Melinda Culea), Legal Adviser Fred Chandler (Francis Guinan), and Head Coach Bob Wilman (Bruno Marcotulli) not to lose another game--or else. Hagen's heavies, Baker Davis (Raymond Lynch) and Cutter (Robert Mangiardi) are on hand to do his dirty work, which is far from over at this point in time.

Jessica then goes to an airline ticket window, to retrieve airplane tickets to San Francisco, before somehow planning to travel to Hawaii. As Airline Clerk (Patty Toy) waits on Jessica, she is interrupted by two telephone calls, as Jessica impatiently awaits her turn; however, Jessica is handed her reservations in an envelope marked "Liz Foster," and after the Airline Clerk thrice projects Miss Foster's name in Jessica's direction, Jessica is abducted by two thugs.

Maxwell Hagen and Fred Chandler await the thugs' delivering Liz Foster to an abandoned warehouse, at which Jessica emerges from the sedan to demand an explanation, as she and Maxwell recognize each other. Fortunately, a taxicab awaits Jessica before the open doorway, and so she heads directly to the NYPD precinct of Lieutenant Artie Gelber (Herb Edelman), who informs Jessica that Hagen has donated a lot to the department and to children's charities, both causes close to Jessica's heart, but still, she was abducted and demands justice.

Artie Gelber transports Jessica back to the sidewalk before her hotel, and once he drives away, she is abducted once again, by two heavies, who deliver her before Federal Agent Louis Paloma (Lewis Smith), and once again, she demands an explanation, which he turns to ask if she could think of any reason why Max Hagen would abduct her. She cannot, but at least someone believes her story, and for that much, she is grateful.

Sara Lloyd arrives at Jessica's apartment to offer $20,000 from Maxwell Hagen to a charity of her choice should she decide to accept his apology; she does not and sends Sara along, as Brynie Sullivan reappears at her door, to lend a shoulder of understanding, at which point she discovers the envelope in her purse labeled "Liz Foster." Jessica contacts a desk clerk at the hotel at which she retrieved the airline tickets, to learn that no Liz Foster has checked in, but Jessica fears for Liz Foster's life and arranges for Lieutenant Gelber to meet her there, at which time they walk beside a gurney containing a body, and continue along to the desk, as murder is just an everyday occurrence.

When Jessica returns to Louis Paloma's office, she makes the connection as to why she was abducted, when Louis Paloma informs her that the FBI has planted "A Mole" in the New York Eagles operation, to get the goods on Maxwell Hagen and company even though now the file has disappeared along with another large sum of money.

Jessica manages to track down the correct hotel room which she believes the murder to have taken place, and discovers that the drapery cord has been severed and used as the murder weapon, when someone emerges from a rear room hoisting the drapery cord before her. Jessica then devise a plan of her own to set up "The Mole" as a prime suspect of murder.

The cast is rounded out by G.F. Smith as Assistant Manager, Ed Wasser as First Man, William Karnes as Sportscaster, Lonnie Burr as Customer, and Lew Saunders as Plainclothes Policeman.

This episode marks the most recent acting credit to date for William Karnes, the first of two "MSW" appearances each for John Allsopp, Francis Guinan and Lew Saunders, the second of two for Melinda Culea, the fifth of six for Ken Howard, and the fourth of ten "MSW's" for Herb Edelman, this the first of his seven as NYPD Lieutenant Artie Gelber even though a line of dialogue in this episode reports that he plans to retire ten weeks later. Herb Edelman continues his portray of Lieutenant Gelber through Season Twelve and unfortunately passes shortly afterward.

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