Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
3 user

Shear Madness 

When a murder is committed shortly after the release of a mentally ill man, Jessica helps the man's sister prove his innocence.


Walter Grauman


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


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Barbara Babcock ... Rosemary Taylor
Dennis Christopher ... Dr. Henry Carlson
Linda Grovenor ... Meg Taylor
Shirley Jones ... Ann Owens Arden
William Lucking ... Sheriff Barnes
Sandy McPeak ... Bill Spenser
Doris Roberts ... Helen Owens
Robert Walker Jr. ... George Owens (as Robert Walker)
Bryan O'Byrne ... Reverend Simmons
Yolanda Lloyd Yolanda Lloyd ... Caterer
Loren Blackwell ... Nathan Rollins
Cody Glenn ... Policeman
Freyda Thomas Freyda Thomas ... Coquette
Anne Cooper ... Mother (as Anne Marie Gillis)


Jessica arrives in the small Texas town Fairville for the wedding of her cousin, Ann Owens Arden, to former town rebel Bill Spenser, who made his fortune in Alaska. Ann's brother, George Owens, unexpectedly arrives in Fairville having just been released from long-term institutional therapy after the murder of Ann's first fiancé. Shortly after, Bill is stabbed to death exactly as Nathan was and George is missing. So Sheriff Barnes assumes a reenactment. Since George couldn't remember the traumatic first killing, Jessica believes he's being framed, maybe for both deaths, and finds the key to the first with his therapist, Dr. Henry Carlson, who was against his release as he was hoping for a breakthrough. Then she goes after the real murderer. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ritual | knife | in law | See All (3) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 April 1990 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Shirley Jones and Doris Roberts, along with Shirley Knight who guest starred in Murder, She Wrote: Always a Thief (1990), later starred together in Grandma's Boy (2006). See more »


The bridegroom grew up in the same town as his bride, then made a fortune in Alaska, but he has a Southern accent. See more »


[first lines]
Bus Driver: Well, you coming or going?
George Owens: I'm sorry.
See more »


References One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

Those Texas cousins
19 August 2017 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Jessica Fletcher is in town for the wedding of cousin Shirley Jones to Sandy McPeak. Also there is Patrick Duffy another cousin who murdered her previous fiancé some 15 years earlier. He blacked out and has been in an asylum for years.

Now he's out and McPeak is murdered with the same kind of weapon in the same place as the original crime. Everyone thinks what they are supposed to think, except Angela Lansbury.

Of course the truth about the first crime is revealed under hypnosis in the same crime scene by prison psychiatrist Dennis Christopher. He usually plays some unhinged characters, nice to see him normal for once.

Learning about the first crime enables JB Fletcher to solve the more recent homicide.

As you would think it would.

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