Murder, She Wrote 9.14 “Killer Radio”

This episode finds Jessica in Easton while she’s doing a promotional tour of the Midwest. (The episode doesn’t seem to reveal what state Easton is in, but it’s possible I simply missed this detail.) She is doing an interview with an infamous shock-jock radio host at KGAB 102.3FM — a station that is inaugurating a new transmitter that will soon expand the reach of the station. However, the real reason she’s gone out of her way to visit the small town is to check up on Jonathan, the son of her publisher’s lawyer.

Just the facts:

Click on the text below to reveal spoilers.

Click to reveal the victim It was Colin Crowe — the part owner of the radio station!
Click to reveal the killer It was Danny Cochran — a producer/sound engineer at the radio station, and a good friend of Colin’s ex-wife!
Click to reveal the weapon The victim was killed by two bullets to the heart from a high-powered rifle belonging to Jonathan Baker!
Click to reveal the location The body was found on the new radio transmitter during its unveiling! The estimated time of death is between 1.45 and 2:20 in the afternoon — after the security inspection but before the caterers arrived.
Click to reveal the motive The killer was in love with the victim’s ex-wife and wanted the victim out of the way so the ex-wife could inherit the radio station.
Click to reveal the major clue The pen the killer used to circle his horse bets was found in the location where the murder weapon was taken from!

Cast of characters:

A primary set of characters includes Jessica’s connection to Easton and the owners of KGAB radio station.

  • Stephen Caffrey plays Jonathan Baker, the son of Jessica’s publisher’s lawyer. He is also the former custodian of KGAB and currently an engineer responsible for building the new radio transmitter. This is Caffrey’s second and final appearance on MSW; he previously appeared in “Murder in F Sharp“. Caffrey also played Dr Jack Parker in the first few Diagnosis Murder movies.
  • Lyman Ward plays Colin Crowe, the president and soon-to-be full owner of KGAB. This is Ward’s second of three appearances on MSW. He previously appeared in “Who Killed J.B. Fletcher?
  • Lindsay Crouse plays Louise Anderson-Crowe, current co-owner of KGAB but about to lose her stake in it due to her divorce from Colin Crowe.

Jessica also meets several other employees at the station:

  • Georgia Emelin plays Ronna Simmons, public relations assistant for KGAB.
  • Jeff Yagher as Marcus Rule, the shock-jock radio host at KGAB, who is trying to get out of his contract so he can accept a better job. This is Yagher’s second of three appearances on MSW; he previously appeared in “The Cemetery Vote“.
  • Harry Guardino plays Danny Cochran, a producer/sound engineer at KGAB. This is Guardino’s fourth and final appearance on MSW. He previously appeared in “Moving Violation” for the second time as the recurring character Haskell Drake.

Additional characters involved in the case include:

  • Victor Brandt as David Osterman, a local politician who is the subject of some rumors being propagated by Marcus Rule via Colin Crowe. We also find out that Osterman is having an affair with Louise Anderson-Crowe.
  • James Harlow as Alex, Osterman’s campaign manager.
  • William Lucking as Sheriff Leland Waterman, in charge of the murder investigation. This is Lucking’s fifth and final appearance on MSW; he previously appeared in “Double Exposure“, “Shear Madness“, and “Judge Not“.

Minor characters include:

  • Annie O’Donnell as Dr. Annie Farnum, a character never seen but rather heard as the host of another KGAB show. This is O’Donnell’s second and final appearance on MSW; she previously appeared in “The Taxman Cometh“.
  • Cynthia Harrison as the Desk Clerk at Jessica’s hotel.
  • Dallas Cole as a Woman who is having an affair with Colin Crowe. This is Cole’s second and final appearance on MSW; she previously appeared in “Just Another Fish Story“.
  • Tim Schnabel as Deputy Stallings, assisting in the murder investigation.

Final thoughts and other trivia:

Those who have been following my blog know that I’m always interested in figuring out the filming locations used for the episodes. But I’m sad to say that I haven’t been very successful in figuring them out for this one. I was able to pick out one of the stock-footage locations as being South Myrtle Ave in Monrovia, California. However, I would have loved to have been able to figure out the real world locations of the radio station building and the hotel that Jessica was staying at. If you recognize these buildings and know where they are located, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

The episode included footage of S Myrtle Ave in Monrovia, California (top). Additional exterior scenes included the Easton Arms hotel (bottom left) and the KGAB radio building (bottom right), in as-yet unidentified real-world locations.

One of the most interesting things about this episode is that, while we don’t learn anything about the new book that Jessica is meant to be promoting on her tour (not even the title!), we do learn about a couple of Jessica’s older publications.

  • We learn that The Triple Crown Murders is Jessica’s fourth book, and it includes scenes that take place at a race track and the murder makes use of a quick acting toxin — most likely butyl thalycilate.
  • We also learn about the book The Corpse at Vespers, which features the detective hero Sergeant Grady who utters the line “Love makes fools of the very young and the very old”. That book’s premise involves a wife who murdered her beautiful young rival and very nearly got away with it before ultimately being given away by her jealousy.

Having watched this episode, I added those details to my page outlining all the books by J.B. Fletcher ever mentioned on the show.

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