Murder, She Wrote 8.6 “Judge Not”

Jessica is in New Orleans to attend the funeral of jazz musician Daddy Coop, the husband of one of her friends. When one of Daddy Coop’s friends is found dead, Jessica investigates not only that death, but also the death of a singer named Luna Santee who was strangled twenty years prior.

Just the facts:

Click on the text below to reveal spoilers.

Click to reveal the victim It was Jack Lee Johnson, Daddy Coop’s friend, a musician and jazz club owner!
Click to reveal the killer It was Andy Henley, the judge’s son!
Click to reveal the weapon He was strangled with bare hands!
Click to reveal the location He was found dead in his jazz club!
Click to reveal the motive The killer had initially killed Luna Santee after she broke his father’s heart! It’s unclear to me why he killed Jack specifically, but presumably it’s because the killer was desperate to keep the death of Luna Santee a secret and therefore would kill anyone who might learn what happened. Prior to his death, the victim had announced that he had a lot of Daddy Coop’s memorabilia, which may have offered clues about Luna Santee’s death.

Cast of characters:

The cast of characters for this episode is quite small and intimate.

At the forefront, we have members of Daddy Coop’s family and home life:

  • Olivia Cole plays Melinda Coop, Daddy Coop’s wife. This is Cole’s second of three appearances on MSW. Interestingly, all three of her appearances were set in New Orleans.
  • Randy Brooks plays Detective John Coop Jr., Daddy Coop’s son.
  • Beah Richards plays Emma Coop, Daddy Coop’s mom. This is Richards’ second and final appearance on MSW; she previously appeared in “Mourning Among the Wisterias”.
  • James Randolph plays Gene, a man employed by the family (mainly as a driver).

Other major characters in this episode include:

  • Julius Harris as Jack Lee Johnson, a bass player who worked with Daddy Coop.
  • Logan Ramsey as Judge Robert Henley, a local big-wig.
  • William Atherton as Prosecutor Andy Henley, the judge’s son. This is Atherton’s third and final appearance on MSW; he previously appeared in “Murder in the Afternoon” and “Murder, She Spoke“.
  • William Lucking as NOPD Lt. Charles Foret, local police enforcement in charge of investigating the recent murder. This is Lucking’s fourth of five total appearances on MSW. He previously appeared in “Keep the Home Fries Burning”, “Double Exposure“, and “Shear Madness“.

Other minor characters include:

  • Tony Ralph-Wilson as the minister at Daddy Coop’s funeral/burial.
  • Bob Roitblat as a detective who answers the phone at the local police station. This is Roitblat’s second and final appearance on MSW; he previously appeared as a police sergeant in “Jack and Bill“.

Final thoughts and other trivia:

One interesting thing we learn about Jessica in this episode is that she volunteered for the United Negro College Fund (which is how she met Daddy Coop’s wife when they were both volunteering together).

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