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1:16 | Trailer

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Munch's high school love interest, Helen Rosenthal, is raped and murdered, leaving Munch and Kellerman trying to solve the case. Grief and 1960's nostalgia engulf Munch, and meanwhile he connects with Helen's mourning daughter.


Jean de Segonzac


Paul Attanasio (created by), Linda McGibney (teleplay by) | 5 more credits »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Belzer ... John Munch
Andre Braugher ... Frank Pembleton
Reed Diamond ... Mike Kellerman
Michelle Forbes ... Dr. Julianna Cox
Clark Johnson ... Meldrick Lewis (credit only)
Yaphet Kotto ... Al Giardello (credit only)
Melissa Leo ... Kay Howard
Max Perlich ... J.H. Brodie
Kyle Secor ... Tim Bayliss
Pamela Payton-Wright Pamela Payton-Wright ... Sister Magdalena Weber
Jean Louisa Kelly ... Sarah Langdon
Robert Riggs Robert Riggs ... George Young
Kristin Rohde Kristin Rohde ... Sgt. Sally Rogers
Richard Pilcher Richard Pilcher ... Sgt. Mark Deutch
Joe Perrino ... Young Johnny Munch


Munch and Kellerman investigate the murder of a woman that Munch had a crush on in high school. Kellerman learns a lot about Jewish customs through the experience, and Munch has poignant reminiscences. The culprit is caught when he commits a similar offense. Pembleton begins a renewal of faith after experiencing his own vulnerability when he is mistaken about a shooting suspect. Written by jeaneva

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

21 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Munch's senior prom was held on June 9, 1961. Helen Rosenthal went with her boyfriend and future husband Joe Langdon. See more »


Young Munch is shown to be left-handed in a flashback, but adult Munch and Richard Belzer are both right-handed. See more »


Det. John Munch: [while throwing the alleged pervert up against the wall and hitting him in the head repeatedly] Why did you have to KILL Helen Rosenthal? WHY? WHY? WHY?
See more »


References Johnny Staccato (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

May be the best episode of the series - but not as an intro
18 February 2014 | by badger-kenSee all my reviews

What made "Homicide: Life on the Street" so special, and so different from the regular 'cop show', was its emphasis not on "whodunit", but on the impact of crime - the impact on the victims, the detectives, the families, even on the perpetrators. Imagine if your job was dealing with murder and murderers all day every day. How would that change you?

This episode is about hope and faith - both losing and regaining them. The crime victim in this case is a high-school friend of one of the most cynical detectives. Via flashbacks, we see how much naiveté and hope he used to have. In one particularly poignant scene, he himself ruminates on this: "What happens to us that we forget how wonderful it is just to hold another human being's hand?".

In parallel, we see another detective going through a religious crisis. Recent crimes, and recent events in his family, are causing him to lose faith. Finally, in the last scene one of the detectives ever-so- tentatively gives hope and faith another chance.

A beautiful episode. However, I wouldn't recommend it as an introduction to the series, as without knowing the back story of the two main detectives involved, it's not nearly as compelling.

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