The noise and costumes of the Mexican "Day of the Dead" fiesta make it hard for Jessica to identify a killer.


(as Anthony Shaw)


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Episode cast overview:
Juan García (as Ismael {East} Carlo)
Alex Colon ...
Geno Silva ...
Ruben Amavizca ...
Manuel Cabral ...
Girl (as Cynthia Lee Santos)


Jesscia is on a working holiday with her friend Cyrus Ramsey, archaeologist at the Mexico City museum, whose exposition's prize piece (the Aztec emperor Montezuma's golden death mask) was just stolen. It's found with the reputed illegal collector Enrico Montejano, a self-made tycoon whose young lover's (Rosa) father, Juan Garcia, just resigned after a row over that affair. US DEA Agent Ramirez warns her not to hinder their drug investigation. She inquires about Rosa's dead fiancée Jason Powel. Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

26 April 1992 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the first scene Jessica is in the archeological lab talking with James Coburn. Several pieces of antiquities are visible. They walk past a small statue of The Town Musicians of Bremen (four or five animals standing on each others' backs). Hardly an Aztec artifact, this figurine is from a Grimm Brother's fairy tale story published in 1819 and taking place in Germany. See more »


References Day of the Dead (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

"From the Mask of Montezuma to the Fatal Revelry"
7 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This Mexico City-based adventure marks the only "Murder, She Wrote" episode set in Latin America, outside of three Caribbean locals: Jamaica in (#6.7), Martinique in (#11.7), and the Sea itself in (#9.20).

But Mexico has its problems, as everywhere else, with a forlorn daughter of an overly-possessive widowed father, a widowed father of a widowed daughter whose young son has to become "the man of the house," a manipulative restaurateur whose wife cannot divorce him despite his shady dealings, a high-security museum burglary, a native dance festival, and, of course, murder.

Archaeologist Cyrus Ramsey (James Coburn) serves as a Pre-Columbian Aztec museum curator, with young American Scott Baker (Grant Cramer) as his Research Assistant. While they continue their excavations, their prize showcase display represents Montezuma's gold-plated death mask, which becomes stolen after a break-in one night at the onset of the action.

(Pre-Columbian most likely refers to the Era of the Aztec Dynasty in Mexico, before Columbus' expeditions, and thus, before European settlers and conquistadors have found out about the western continents.)

Cyrus, by day, welcomes his dear old friend Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) to his Mexico City museum for a week-long working vacation to research Archeology as a backdrop for her current manuscript project. Even though she's attended excavations in the past, she still has questions for the Archaeologist in action.

Enrico Montejano (Tomas Milian) operates Santiago Hotel, at which Jessica stays for her visit. Juan Garcia (Ismael 'East' Carlo) serves as Maitre d' for Santiago Hotel Restaurant, and he, as widowed father, protects his only daughter, Rosa Garcia (Kamala Lopez), from Enrico's forthright charms, with great confrontations on the parts of Juan and Enrico, as well as between Enrico and Rosa.

Consuella Montejano (Miriam Colon), meanwhile, knows full well of her husband's (Enrico) roaming eye and treats him very distantly because of this and his corrupt and manipulative style. But she cannot divorce him because she took a vow at their wedding to remain married for the remainder of at least one of their lives.

Ramon (Gregory Sierra) and Maria (Shelley Morrison), the one happy couple in Mexico City, operate a curio shoppe and diner, of which Enrico Montejano holds the mortgage and threatens to evict them. Maria also designs costumes and tells fortunes on the side.

Enrico Montejano is rarely seen without his bodyguard, Oso (Mike Moroff), at his side. Oso serves as a silent henchman sort, but Jessica manages a brief conversation with him a bit later on in the episode.

As Mexico City plans for its annual "Day of the Dead" festival to commemorate those who have passed, and to welcome their spirits, Cyrus Ramsey invites Jessica to attend his performance as a Grim Reaper who battles a clergyman on stage. Some locals call this celebration "La Caliberra" or something which sounds as such.

But that night during the celebration, Rosa Garcia enters the gathering screaming because she has stumbled across a body in the stable, the victim of a shooting incident, for which the perpetrator has placed the stolen Montezuma's gold-plated death mask upon the victim's face.

Police Chief Quezada (Geno Silva), who has been investigating the museum burglary, now returns to investigate the murder, as he welcomes Jessica's participation and notes her keen observances.

DEA Agent Ramirez (Alex Colon) and two associates break into Jessica's hotel room the next day, to confront her about her knowledge of the investigation, which DEA Agent Ramirez links to an illegal narcotic-smuggling operation, which provides Jessica with an additional clue as to whodunit.

After making the rounds to question various suspects further, Jessica manages to string the clues together to solve the puzzles regarding the museum burglary, the narcotics operation, and the murder on the "Day of the Dead."

The cast is rounded out by Cynthia DeCure as Girl, Ruben Amavizca as Museum Guard, and Manuel Cabral as Clerk.

Only two of this episode's fourteen guest cast members appear elsewhere on "MSW": Ismael 'East' Carlo makes his first of three appearances here, and Gregory Sierra appears in his third of six, before his three as LAPD Lieutenant Gabriel Caceras.

James Coburn, acting on television and in film since 1957, and Alex Colon, acting since 1970, have unfortunately since passed.

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