Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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School for Scandal 

A mother and daughter involve in murder. Jessica must look between the lines to discover the truth and the murderer.


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 4 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Polly Bergen ... Dr. Jocelyn Laird
Darleen Carr ... Trish Mercer
Jack Kehoe ... Police Chief E. Griffin
June Lockhart ... Beryl Hayward
Roddy McDowall ... Dr. Alger Kenyon, PHD
Mary Kate McGeehan Mary Kate McGeehan ... Daphne Clover
Morgan Stevens ... Nick Fulton
James Sutorius ... Professor Ron Mercer
John Vernon ... Henry Hayward
Gary Bisig Gary Bisig ... Will Small
John C. Becher John C. Becher ... Station Master
Dean Dittman Dean Dittman ... Faculty Male
Grace Simmons Grace Simmons ... Faculty Wife
Ron Asher Ron Asher ... Student #1


Jessica arrives at Crenshaw College to give the commencement speech and receive an honorary degree at the local college The preceding faculty party is animated by host Dr. Jocelyn Laird's daughter, Daphne Clover, who jumps into the pool naked and her beefy, drunk New York lover Nick Fulton who knocks down Professor Ron Mercer with one punch. Next morning, Jessica finds Nick's corpse under a construction site as if he fell to his death, but that must be staged as he has no dust on his shoes. Local Police Chief E. Griffin, who knows Jessica from reading her books, arrests Daphne after an anonymous phone call leads to finding a typed blackmail note from Nick and a bloody candle stick in her room, but Jessica convinces him it may have been planted. She checks on other party-goers' links with Nick and each other, leading to two contradictory confessions, neither of which she believes. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 October 1985 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor) (as Technicolor®)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


James Marshall (Student #3) was credited as Jim Greenblatt. See more »


When Jessica leaves the train station, she gets in Trish's car. Some lightning equipment is seen reflected in the car's windows. See more »


[first lines]
Professor Ron Mercer: [reading] "Clothilde watched the dying rays of sunset fade on the boats that had been beached on the sand and marveled at the colors that defied the onslaught of night. It was a sight worthy of van Gogh at Sainte-Marie's, and she shivered slightly, though the air was warm and no breeze stirred. It was then that she sensed his presence. She turned and felt the power of Jean-Paul's hard, sinewy arms pulling her against him. Her arms moved to encircle and hold him, her mouth seeking ...
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Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

Scandal in the family
19 July 2017 | 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.

"School for Scandal" may not be quite among the best episodes of Season 2 or of 'Murder She Wrote' in general, but it's nonetheless a very good one that lives up to its intriguing title. There have been episodes that do a better job giving a reason for Jessica investigating and the murderer again is not that hard to figure out once the clues and explanations start adding up.

Also wouldn't have said no to much more June Lokhart and Roddy McDowell, both give their roles a lot of class but considering their calibre should have been in the episode more and their characters were not quite as interesting as they could have been.

However, "School for Scandal" is very nicely made, giving a real sense of cosiness and nostalgia. 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 tight, thought-provoking and typically amiable. The story is absorbing with a very well done central mother and daughter relationship.

Angela Lansbury is as always terrific, and Polly Bergen is particularly compelling of the impressive supporting cast.

On the whole, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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