Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Jack and Bill 

Jessica narrates the story of an ex-football player turned private eye who investigates the murder of his old teammate with the help of a savvy pooch.


Chuck Bowman


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 3 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Susan Anton ... Celia James
Max Baer Jr. ... Johnny Wheeler (as Max Baer)
Warren Berlinger ... Sugarman
Pat Harrington Jr. ... Lt. Lou Brickman (as Pat Harrington)
Ken Howard ... Bill Boyle
Rosanna Huffman Rosanna Huffman ... Marge Brickman
Ellen Travolta ... Mona
Glynn Turman ... Earl Browder
Rose Portillo ... Maria
Whitney Rydbeck Whitney Rydbeck ... Hastings
Nate Esformes ... President Ruiz
Greg Lewis ... Shorty
Milt Oberman Milt Oberman ... Vet
Gary Carlos Cervantes ... Heavy #1 (as Carlos Cervantes)


At home in Cabot Cove, Jessica recounts the story of an old friend, Bill Boyle, an ex-football player who set himself up as a not very successful private investigator. After his CPA tells him he's bankrupt. an old buddy, Johnny Wheeler, drops by his office and asks Bill to keep an eye on his dog, Jack, for just a short while. When someone tries to kidnap Jack and Wheeler dies in hospital after being stabbed, Bill has a mystery on his hands. Jack proves to be quite useful in a jam but a second attempt at kidnapping the dog leads Bill into an international assassination plot. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 October 1989 (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?


The title is a parody of the Mother Goose nursery rhyme of "Jack and Jill". "Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after." See more »


[first lines]
Jessica Fletcher: Hello. Welcome again to Cabot Cove. You know, seeing that little dog reminded me that I owe a letter to a very dear friend, Bill Boyle. I'm sure you know him. He used to play linebacker for one of those teams in the "black and blue division" of the NFL. For 35 years, football was all that Bill knew, and he did it very well until his knees let him down. Then, like so many talented athletes, he found himself jobless and with very limited prospects. I'm not sure how he fell into the ...
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User Reviews

"Oh, Where, Oh, Where May His Little Dog Go? Oh, Where, Oh, Where Can He Sleep?"
12 March 2010 | by WeatherVioletSee all my reviews

Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) introduces and narrates this "Book-end" episode centering around her old friend Bill Boyle (Ken Howard), a Los Angeles-based (California) former professional football player-turned Private Investigator, to whom she owes a letter.

Johnny Wheeler (Max Baer Jr.), a former football teammate of Bill's, arrives in Los Angeles, accompanied by Jack the Foo-Foo (himself), they disguising themselves as a sight-impaired gentleman and his guide dog, to ward off Heavy #1 (Gary Cervantes) and Heavy #2 (Dennis Madalone) in an airport lounge.

Bill Boyle, meanwhile, receives an audit from CPA Hastings (Whitney Rydbeck), who informs Bill of Bill's dire financial straights.

When Bill receives a social telephone call from Real Estate Agent Celia James (Susan Anton), who requests that Bill invite her to a fancy restaurant for the next evening, Bill tries to convince her that her home cooking beats pricey eateries.

After Johnny and Jack overcome the Thugs, they pay a visit to Bill Boyle's office, at which Johnny leaves Jack in Bill's reluctant care, in order for Jack to continue his secret investigation, without giving Bill details.

So, Bill takes Jack for a walk, upon which they encounter "Beautiful Young Thing" (Jessie Scott) and her pet, Edgar the Doberman Pinscher (himself), who fusses over Jack.

Upon their return, Bill and Jack discover the office ransacked, causing Bill to believe that Johnny had been followed.

But when Maria (Rose Portillo) enters under the guise of "Johnny's Wife," to claim possession of Jack, Bill becomes suspicious and threatens to call the police because he knows that Johnny has never married.

When Maria at gunpoint confiscates Jack upon his leash and flees into the corridors, Bill ensues, only to have "Elderly Lady" (Viola Kates Stimpson) to strike Bill with her umbrella, to stifle his pursuit.

As Maria escapes onto the closing elevator without Jack, Lieutenant Lou Brickman (Pat Harrington Jr.) enters from the stairwell, to inform his former brother-in-law (Bill) of a shooting, of which the victim has uttered Bill Boyle's name. But when Bill accompanies Lou to the hospital, they stumble across a body holding three Intravenous containers, indicating a clue as to the identity of the perpetrator.

Marge Brickman (Rosanna Huffman) welcomes Bill, who accompanies Lou, to dinner, along with Marge and Lou's young children, Andy (Claudio Dunkelman) and Brenda (Courtney Brooke Sonne), whom Marge ushers from the room when they begin to act somewhat hyper-actively.

When Bill returns with Jack to his residence at the "Garden of Eden" apartment complex, four young ladies lounge inside its swimming pool, Beauty #1 (Sandra Cornwall) and Beauty #2 (Marji McKelvey) inviting Bill to join the group, to which he must decline for the time being because of everything else which has been going on.

The next day, Bill convinces Police Veterinarian (Milt Oberman) to examine Jack with X-rays, to determine whether or not Jonathan has planted something of value upon or into the canine in order to conceal it from those who attempt to snatch Jack, but the tests prove negative, so Bill tells Cop (Paul Lyell) outside the Vet's office, that he continues to investigate.

Mona (Ellen Travolta), Bill's former secretary, then returns to Bill's office to discover the rubble, as her offers to assist are approved unceremoniously.

Bill then realizes a luggage item has been missing from evidence, and so he and Jack arrive at the airport's baggage claim department, which Shorty (Greg Lewis) refuses Bill's entry, and so Bill leaves it to Jack to sneak in to find a fishing reel container concealing a 16mm Film.

FBI Agent Earl Browder (Glynn Turman) attends the investigation regarding the silent film projection, which Lipreader Miss Reese (Elizabeth Sung) translates, by interpreting the message by Actor 16mm Film (John Tayloe) to terrorists that an assassination is planned in Los Angeles on the 25th at 7:30. Because this day's the 25th, and it's already afternoon, Lieutenant Lou Brickman tells Earl Browder and Bill Boyle that the plan for a 7:30 PM attempt is highly probable.

Sugarman (Warren Berlinger), representing the landlord, then meets Bill outside of his apartment complex to inform him that Bill hasn't paid his rent in months, does not live up to his arrangement of attending "Garden of Eden" events with his celebrity status, and that pets are not permitted on the premises. So, Bill must figure what to do about Jack.

At a bar, where Bill prepares for his dinner with Celia James, bartender Cricket (Alexander Folk) serves Bill, while Drunk (Duane Whitaker) speaks with Jack. As they watch a television newscast, Sportscaster (Lisa Bowman) announces that President Ruiz (Nate Esformes) plans to attend a football game and then deliver a press conference about his Latin American country.

Bill recognizes someone who stands behind the Sportscaster and asks Cricket to tell Celia that he may arrive late for dinner. Bill cannot reach Lieutenant Brickman by telephone, and so he and Jack attempt to foil the assassination plot, riding off to the stadium, to stop the Heavies, passing the guards and Police Sergeant (Bob Roitblat), who attempt to stop "Jack and Bill."

This episode represents the first television acting credit by Sandra Cornwall, the most recent appearance to date by Courtney Brooke Sonne, and the only acting credit to date each by Claudio Dunkelman and Marji McKelvey.

This also marks the first of two "MSW" appearances each for Max Baer Jr. and Bob Roitblat, the second of two each for Susan Anton, Paul Lyell, the first of three for Whitney Rydbeck, the second of three for Greg Lewis, the third of three each for Warren Berlinger and Glynn Turman, the third of four for Pat Harrington Jr., the fourth of six for Ken Howard, the fourth of seven for Alexander Folk, and the sixth of seven "MSW" guest roles for Rosanna Huffman.

Viola Kates Stimpson, acting on television and in film since 1978, has unfortunately since passed.

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