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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This was the last setting in Cabot Cove. Although Angela Lansbury continued playing her character for seven more years, this was the last time with Seth, Mort and the rest of the residents of Cabot Cove. See more »


The tree with the carving that gets defaced is obviously foam rubber as it moves and splits apart. 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

"Murder's Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose"
15 February 2010 | by WeatherVioletSee all my reviews

And now, as we approach the last three "MSW" series installments, this one represents the final Cabot Cove episode. While Cabot Cove, Maine, serves as the setting for an average of five episodes per year, three of the last six in Season Twelve are set in Mrs. Fletcher's hometown, and now we arrive at the last of these.

By doing so, we now bid a hardy "good-bye" to this pleasant community, with its little quirks, as a shifting location in relationship with Portland, its astronomical deviation of facing a sunset to the east, its seasonal peculiarity of hardwoods in full bloom in December, and its high, and very high, propensity for murder.

We must also express our due appreciation for the fine services of Cabot Cove's most recurring citizens, Doctor Seth Hazlitt, Sheriff Mort Metzger and Deputy Andy Broom.

In the category of most "MSW" performances, Angela Lansbury leads with 264 appearances, in each episode except one as Jessica Beatrice McGill Fletcher, and another in a dual role.

Louis Herthum holds forth place with 25 series appearances, including his most recent 23 as Cabot Cove Deputy, the last 21 of these identified as Deputy Andy Broom.

Ron Masak comes in third place with 41 performances, including his most recent 39 in his well-suited role as Sheriff Mort Metzger.

And William Windom arrives in second place with 53 guest spots, including his most recent 52 as eternally grumpy but good-hearted Doctor Seth Hazlitt.

While Sheriff Mort and Deputy Andy remain stationed around Cabot Cove, Doctor Seth would occasionally accompany Jessica on excursions into Boston or NYC, or points beyond, such as upon an archaeological excavation into New Mexico.

On their Season Four excursion into Maryland, Seth informs Jessica that his only surviving relatives consist of brother Richard Hazlitt (Richard Bradford), nephew Mark Hazlitt (Douglas Barr), and niece Carolyn Hazlitt (Jane Badler). But when visiting South Carolina, in Season Eleven, Seth introduces cousin Buford Hazlitt (Dakin Matthews) and his son, Rob Hazlitt (Craig Richard Nelson).

And now Seth's another niece, Amy Walters (Cari Shayne), appears in Cabot Cove, to announce her wedding plans with fiancé Johnny Carter (William Keane). But will the Hazlitt clan continue to expand? Or will murder interrupt yet another wedding ceremony?

Roger Yates (Geoffrey Lewis), Tom Sampson (Jerry Hardin) and Jeremy Woods (Bruce Kirby) play three of the "adults" this time around, while the twenty-ish set become involved in a soap-ish malady of suspected infidelity and altercations.

Les Franklin (Anthony Michael Hall), for example, accuses Johnny of trying to come between Les and Sherri Sampson (Laurie Holden) after a visit to her residence.

Stu Yates (Judson Mills) gets into the act with an interest in Amy, who also suspects something going on with Mickie (Michele Abrams) and Johnny and Doreen the Waitress (Kathryn Morris).

Roger Yates's Junior Son (Will Stewart), meanwhile, avoids the entanglement for the most part, which involves a secret baby, while Amy, Sherri, Mickie, Doreen, Johnny, Les and Stu fight it out.

But when a motorcycle accident claims a victim, some begin to suspect that it is murder, because "What You Don't Know Can Kill You."

Jessica, Mort and Andy handle the investigation in search of a wire cord, while Deputy Lynn Olson (Kathryn Masak) remarks that Mort (Kathryn's real father, Ron) "reminds me of my father."

This episode marks the second of two "MSW" performances by Bruce Kirby and Judson Mills, the third of three for Jerry Hardin and Kathryn Masak, and the fourth of four "MSW's" for Geoffrey Lewis.

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