Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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The Skinny According to Nick Cullhane 

A writer is murdered after sending Jessica a manuscript exposing a kidnapping scam.


Walter Grauman


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

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Episode cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Leslie Easterbrook ... Vikki Palumbo
Pat Harrington Jr. ... Nick Cullhane (as Pat Harrington)
Alex Hyde-White ... Ogden Schmesser
Tony Lo Bianco ... Phil Mannix
Ron Masak ... Sheriff Mort Metzger (as Ron Másak)
Michael McGrady ... Richard
Jerry Orbach ... Harry McGraw
Jameson Parker ... Gordon Forbes
Will Nye ... Deputy Floyd
Tricia Long Tricia Long ... Florence
Anthony M. Frank Anthony M. Frank ... The Mailman (as Postmaster General Anthony Frank)


Insignificant writer Nick Cullhane gets congratulations from Jessica for a manuscript he sent her, actually based closely on the staged kidnapping of brewery heir Ogden Schmesser, who tries to get his hands on it with his lawyer Gordon Forbes and ex-cop Phil Mannix. Nick hides in Cabot Cove after his landlady, gambling loan-shark Vikki Palumbo, has him traced by another debtor, P.I. Harry McGraw, who recognized Jessica's voice. Harry, is later found next to Nick's dead body and only Jessica prevents him from being arrested. Vicky's assistant, Richard, is roughed up by Odgen's men and the sheriff finds out a lovers motive, so who is looking for who to get what and cheat who? Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

handcuffs | beating | abuse | See All (3) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

12 May 1991 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Like season five's finale, this episode was written as a possible swansong for Jessica, due to the uncertainty surrounding Angela Lansbury returning for another season. Because of this, two endings were filmed: one of these had Jessica wink at the camera (which could either be used or not depending on the outcome of negotiations with Lansbury). This was ultimately used and Lansbury did return for more series. See more »


References The World According to Garp (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

When all is not what is wanted to be told
3 May 2018 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In this Murder She Wrote Jerry Orbach in his final appearance as PI Harry McGraw gets a chance to work off a debt to his bookmaker Leslie Esterbrook by trailing another debtor mystery writer Pat Harrington, Jr. and finding the manuscript of a new book which is about the kidnapping of millionaire Alex Hyde-White. That's a story Hyde-White doesn't want retold.

While he's trying to negotiate a deal and avoid leg breakers from both Hyde-White and Esterbrook, Harrington mails the manuscript to his old friend in Cabot Cove Jessica Fletcher, not knowing of course Orbach knows her as well. Harrington is our victim here as the entire cast winds up in Cabot Cove and Angela Lansbury has to solve the case.

I liked best here the scenes with big city boys Orbach and sheriff Ron Masak whom we know is a former NYPD homicide cop. Too bad that Orbach would be going on to play Lennie Briscoe from Law And Order shortly, he and Masak were terrific together.

Farewell Harry McGraw.

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