An archaeological dig at the site of Coronado's City of Gold does not please everyone as a new corpse is dug up.



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Episode cast overview:
Karen Parks
Dr. Aubrey Benton
Dr. Stan Garfield
Raymond Two Crows
Steve Gamble
Cynthia Armstrong
Gideon Armstrong
Robert Dryer ...
Guard #1


Jessica visits Dr. Seth Hazlitt at the New Mexico archaeological dig paid by Gideon Armstrong, led by Southwest University professor Dr. Stan Garfield, on the site of an Anasazi village, and perhaps Coronado's legendary city of gold, to which story TV celebrity Dr. Aubrey Benton holds the rights. Every evening an Indian ghost costume wearer sings on a cliff, till Armstrong's guards climb up scare him off, but on Jessica's second night Gideon's young wife Cynthia shoots at him and local Navajo Indian guide Raymond Two Crows -already found suspiciously uninformed about Pre-Columbian civilizations- falls to his death, although not hit by her bullet. After Jessica digs up a golden prayer stick, Seth finds Raymond actually died earlier of drowning. More gold is found, Gideon is determined to keep the news from spreading, according to his wife so he can buy the land first. Raymond's belongings inspire Jessica to unmasks several scammers. Written by KGF Vissers

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Plot Keywords:

new mexico | motor home | cave | jeep | tent | See All (9) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

29 December 1985 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In some wide shots of the scene where Jessica reveals the murderer, a crew member in jeans and a green shirt can be seen at the left edge of the screen. See more »


Dr. Aubrey Benton: Archeology is a harsh mistress, Mrs. Fletcher.
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References China Seas (1935) See more »

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User Reviews

In Search of a Lost Civilization, but more Lost than Civilized
16 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Doctor Seth Hazlitt (William Windom) transports Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) in an all-terrain vehicle across the desert near Grand Cadera, in the first of two "MSW" episodes set in the State of New Mexico, this to join an Acheological excavation exhibition in search of artifacts presumed relics of Coronado's City of Gold.

This expedition is financed by Gideon Armstrong (Robert Vaughn) and wife, Cynthia Armstrong (Connie Stevens), who withstand scathing summer temperatures inside of their exclusive air conditioned trailer.

The excavation is directed by a team of university professors, Doctor Aubrey Benton (George Grizzard) and Doctor Stan Garfield (David Groh), and enacted by graduate students, Karen Parks (Cecile Callan) and Steve Gamble (Stephen Shortridge).

Raymond Two Crows (native name for) DeMarco (Randolph Mantooth) meets Seth and Jessica at the gate of this sequestered site, to escort them into the restricted exhibition zone.

By evening, when the gathering prepares for dinner within a seating area beneath a tarp, a voice is heard, as someone chants from the cliff above, attired in American Indian ceremonial garments, perceived by some within the expedition as a warning to leave the site undisturbed and to vacate the premises.

When the team begins to unearth seemingly precious artifacts intact and unblemished, Jessica begins to ponder their genuine abandonment, as she also investigates the location for a water source, which a civilization would naturally require to survive, as well as to figure how to reunite young love in the form of bickering graduate students.

In a cavern, Jessica discovers more evidence than that for which she has bargained, finding a shelf of relics near a stream of water.

That evening, once again, the mysterious stranger appears, causing someone in the Archeology party, who has been drinking, to raise a rifle, to ward off the intruder, but a body falls from the rocks in an apparent accidental shooting.

But when Jessica and company climb onto the ledge to investigate, Seth determines that the victim has perished with no sign of a bullet wound, but as a result of drowning.

While the company contends that Seth must be imagining things, Jessica probes further to theorize which events must have occurred to weave this complex puzzle, as "Murder Digs Deep."

The cast is rounded out by Robert Dryer as Guard #1, and Curtis Credel as (voice on reel machine).

This episode marks the most recent television credit to date for Curtis Credel, who has been acting since 1969, the first of two "MSW" guest roles each for Connie Stevens and Robert Dryer, the first of three "MSW" performances each for George Grizzard, David Groh and Robert Vaughn.

George Grizzard, acting on television and in film since 1955, and David Groh, acting since 1969, have unfortunately since passed.

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