Murder, She Wrote 7.5 “The Family Jewels”

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Jessica is in New York City attending a political fundraiser for her friend Drew Borden, who is running for District Attorney. On the way to the fundraiser, she stops by Beaumont jewelry store to get her watch repaired, and while there she witnesses a woman stealing one of the necklaces! But when Jessica goes to report the crime, the store clerks dismiss her story. And when she finally makes it to the fundraiser, it turns out that the thief is her hostess!

Just the facts:

Click on the text below to reveal spoilers.

Click to reveal the victim It was the chauffeur, Rocco Pastolino!
Click to reveal the killer It was Charles Lockner, the sales assistant at the jewelry store!
Click to reveal the weapon It was a tire iron!
Click to reveal the location It was in the garage at the Finley residence!
Click to reveal the motive Charles and Rocco had a scheme to steal jewelry from wealthy women and replace them with replicas. Rocco wanted more money from Charles and was threatening to blackmail him!

Cast of characters:

The people involved in the political fundraiser, the reason for Jessica Fletcher’s presence at the scene of the crime, are:

  • Mike Farrell as Drew Borden, a friend of Jessica’s who is running for District Attorney. Farrell is of course best known for playing B.J. Hunnicutt in M*A*S*H.
  • Stanley Kamel as Sid Staples, Borden’s campaign manager. This is Kamel’s second and final appearance on MSW. He previously appeared in “Weave a Tangled Web“.
  • Pamela Roylance as Olivia, Borden’s secretary. This is Roylance’s first of two appearances on the show.

The fundraiser is being hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Finley:

  • John Considine as Porter Finley III, the host of the fundraiser. This is Considine’s second of three total appearances on MSW. He previously appeared in “Town Father“.
  • Brenda Vaccaro as Sheila Kowalski Finley, the hostess of the fundraiser. This is Vaccaro’s third and final appearance on MSW. She previously appeared in “Just Another Fish Story” and “The Fixer-Upper“.

As the murder takes place at the Finley residence, members of the household staff also play a role:

  • Joey Aresco as Rocco Pastolino, the chauffeur.
  • Jonna Lee as Margaret Gable, the main and Rocco’s girlfriend. This is Lee’s second and final appearance on MSW. In fact, this is her last ever on-screen appearance. She previously appeared in “Murder, She Spoke“.

It appears that the murder may have something to do with jewelry thefts tied to the Finley residence and the Beaumont jewelry store:

  • Richard Davalos plays D. L. Beaumont, the store manager/owner and guest at the fundraiser.
  • Doug Mears plays Arthur Morris, one of the sales assistants.
  • Howard McGillin plays Charles Lockner, another sales assistant.
  • Deborah Benson as Barbara Loring, a guest at the fundraiser and jewelry lover.

The local police member in charge of investigating the crime is Lieutenant Stuyvesant, played by Charles Rocket.

Other cast members include:

  • Diana Lewis as a TV newscaster.
  • Forrest Witt as a reporter.
  • Marcy Goldman as another reporter. This is Goldman’s second and final appearance on MSW. She previously appeared in “Deadpan“.
  • Michael Halpin as a technician.

Final thoughts:

I don’t really have too many things to add about this episode except perhaps a little bit of trivia regarding the filming locations.

Apparently, according to imdb.com, this episode was shot on location at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles (along with many other episodes such as “A Little Night Work” and “Doom with a View“) but we only get a brief glimpse of it when Drew Borden picks up Jessica from her hotel.

Additionally, the house that stood in for the Finley Residence is the Max Busch house (at 160 South San Rafael in Pasadena, California), which was also used in “The Days Dwindle Down“. The same house was used in filming the 1985 movie ‘Clue‘.

Exterior shot of the Finley home.

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