Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
3 user

What You Don't Know Can Kill You 

Johnny is engaged to Seth's niece Amy but enrages Les by visiting Sherri. When Johnny is the victim of a motorcycle accident, Amy insists that it was murder.


Kevin Corcoran


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

On Disc

at Amazon




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Michele Abrams ... Mickie
Anthony Michael Hall ... Les Franklin
Jerry Hardin ... Tom Sampson
Louis Herthum ... Deputy Andy Broom
Laurie Holden ... Sherri Sampson
Billy Keane ... Johnny Carter (as William Keane)
Bruce Kirby ... Jeremy Woods
Geoffrey Lewis ... Roger Yates
Ron Masak ... Sheriff Mort Metzger (as Ron Másak)
Judson Mills ... Stu Yates
Kathryn Morris ... Doreen the Waitress
Cari Shayne ... Amy Walters
Will Stewart ... Roger Yates's Junior Son (as Will Foster Stewart)
William Windom ... Dr. Seth Hazlitt


Charming local gardener Johnny Carter is engaged to Seth's niece Amy Walters. Both are bothered by local hoodlum Les Franklin. After Johnny dies in a motorcycle accident, which Amy insists must be murder, she discovers he regularly visited tow truck driver Tom Sampson's daughter Sherri, whose baby he fathered. Failing to take his pills, Seth's patient Roger Yates is absurdly vindictive over a gardening misunderstanding against Johnny and lawyer Jeremy Woods, who refused to prosecute Jessica for 'fencing flowers'. Roger's rowdy sons are Les' mates. Jeremy is stabbed to death with Les' knife. Jessica puts things together surprisingly. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

knife | jealousy | fistfight | fight | See All (4) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

5 May 1996 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


As the series came to an end a smattering of stunt casting was seen. Deputy Olsen was played by Kathryn Masak, daughter of Ron Masak, Sheriff Mort Metzger. See more »


In the opening, a man is sitting on the porch holding a crying baby. The baby however is asleep with a pacifier in his mouth. See more »


[first lines]
Johnny Carter: I can't believe how fast you're growing. Oh. You must've gained a pound since yesterday. Oh, how you doing, big fella? You gonna be my buddy? Huh? We'll have lots of good times, you and me. I'll take you on hikes, teach you howto swim, ride a bike. You like that, huh? Yeah. You and me, we're gonna do lots of fun things, huh?
See more »

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User Reviews

Farewell Cabot Cove
5 January 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always been quite fond of 'Murder She Wrote'. It is a fun and relaxing watch that makes you think as you try to unwind in the evening. If one wants more complex, twisty mysteries with lots of tension and suspense 'Murder She Wrote' may not be for you, but if you want something light-hearted and entertaining but still provide good mysteries 'Murder She Wrote' fits the bill just fine.

The final Cabot Cove-set, and third from last 'Murder She Wrote', episode "What You Don't Know Can Kill You" is to me the third best episode of Season 12, one of 'Murder She Wrote's' weakest and most inconsistent seasons, first and second being "Nan's Ghost" and "Unwilling Witness". There is very little wrong here actually. The weakest element, other than Andy being underwritten (again), was that the identity of the killer was not a shock to me, being the one with the most expertise to carry the first murder out.

Part of me didn't want it to be them though and it was very difficult to hate them for what they did, that it is one of the season's most affectingly acted denouements helped a bit.

"What You Don't Know Can Kill You's" cast is excellent. 'Murder She Wrote' is very variable when it comes to casting younger cast members, Cari Shayne is one of the best and an example of how to do it. Her reaction to the first death (one of the show's cleverest and pretty brutal) was very genuine and broke me.

Just as good are Kathryn Morris, Anthony Michael Hall, Judson Mills, Jerry Hardin and Bruce Kirby, though Kirby's screen time isn't large.

Angela Lansbury cannot be faulted, Jessica Fletcher is one of her best remembered roles for a reason. Neither can charmingly curmudgeonly William Windom, with expert comic timing, and likeable, never bumbling or push-over, Ron Masak. The charm and tension between them is irresistible. Louis Herthum does his best.

Mystery-wise, "What You Don't Know Can Kill You" goes at a lively pace and springs its fair share of surprises on the viewer, nothing is predictable here.

Production values are slick and stylish. The music has energy and has presence but also not making the mistake of over-scoring, while it is hard to forget or resist the theme tune. The writing is fun and thought-provoking, not taking itself seriously. Cabot Cove is always a welcome sight.

Overall, very good and one of Season 12's best. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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