Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
3 user

The Phantom Killer 

Jessica comes to the aid of a promising young reporter when he is suspected of murdering a rival magazine's unscrupulous publisher.


Anthony Pullen Shaw (as Anthony Shaw)


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

On Disc

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Episode cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Vanessa Angel ... Kathryn Scofield
Christian Bocher ... Dave Wolski
Herb Edelman ... NYPD Lieutenant Artie Gelber (as Herbert Edelman)
Janet Julian ... Ellen Harper
David Kriegel David Kriegel ... Ben Forman
Jack Laufer ... Carter Drummond
Reiner Schöne ... Hans Dietrich (as Reiner Schoene)
Alan Thicke ... Harrison M. Kane
Scott Valentine ... Dean Richards
Emily Warfield Emily Warfield ... Abby Peters
Leonard Lightfoot Leonard Lightfoot ... Detective Henderson
Mark Barriere Mark Barriere ... Waiter


In New York, Jessica gets interviewed and followed by a sweet young profile-writer, Ben Forman; his agent Dean Richards is threatened in Jessica's presence by the bullying competing producer Harrison M. Kane, who tells his publisher Carter Drummond that he'll buy the magazine and tries to recruit Ben directly. Dean bitches to photographer Hans Dietrich and star model Kathryn Scofield, who is intimate with Hans. Ben follows Abby Peters after he overheard her being roughed up by Kane, who is then found dead from electrocution in the hotel bath. Shortly thereafter, NYPD Lt. Artie Gelber investigates and soon realizes that Kane made enemies constantly. Dean then calls Jessica, who is surprised Ben hasn't handed in a single page of work. She and the police catch him impersonating nonexistent agent Gary Manion, so he's charged with the murder and confesses, but Jessica can't believe he would leave such obvious evidence against his alter-ego and guesses correctly that he is only protecting ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

24 October 1993 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Charlie McCarthy
13 June 2017 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

This episode of Murder She Wrote finds both David Kriegel and Angela Lansbury sharing a common distrust for publisher Alan Thicke. Thicke is a real bottom feeding and ruthless scuzzball who will do whatever it takes to get what he wants in business or pleasure.

Kriegel is a bit of milquetoast, but he's created an alter ego, a Charlie McCarthy like device that enables him to cope with someone like Thicke in particular and the world in general. It's an agent who no one ever sees, but who gets on the phone and talks tough to whomever is threatening Kriegel's universe.

Of course it's Jessica Fletcher who discovers the other identity and helps detective Herb Edelman find the killer. There are no shortage of suspects.

Why Kriegel implicates the alter ego is the key to this mystery. And the episode hinges on the fine performance of Kriegel as the suspect and his Charlie McCarthy.

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