Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Wheel of Death 

The arrival of a traveling carnival in Cabot Cove coincides with a rash of burglaries and the murder of the troupe's owner.


Walter Grauman


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Thom Bierdz ... Richard Binyon
Maria Canals-Barrera ... Carmen (as Maria Canals)
Jimi Defilippis ... Nicky Newton
Bradford Dillman ... Carl Dorner
Lisa Lawrence Lisa Lawrence ... Lisa Farrel
Ron Masak ... Sheriff Mort Metzger (as Ron Másak)
Judson Mills ... Toby Grant
Cindy Pickett ... Joanna Simms
Madlyn Rhue ... Jean O'Neill
Charles Siebert ... Don Simms
William Windom ... Dr. Seth Hazlitt
Louis Herthum ... Deputy Andy Broom
Richardson Morse ... Man In Gray Suit
Jennifer Manasseri Jennifer Manasseri ... Gwen


Before she goes to the Cabot Cove carnival with Seth, Jessica notices some jewelry is missing- she was burglarized. Sheriff Mort Metzger gets reports from other victims but is most surprised after 22 years to meet Joanna Simms again, a college girlfriend who ran off with then jock Don Simms. She's now the traveling carnival's assistant manager. Jessica and Seth are surprised to hear from Don's co-owner Carl Dorner that the carnival brought very little money in despite good attendance. According to him people just didn't spend money, but young local grocer Richard Binyon even spends $100 as thank-you for great sales. Juggler Nicodemus 'Nicky' Newton accepts someone's order to break in and look at the carnival's books. Toby Grant, who works as the roustabout for a year to finance going to college, meets up with local volunteer Lisa Farrel, who gives Jessica a tally copy confirming the income. Joanna surprises Nicky going through Dorner's desk in his trailer, according to him looking for... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 May 1994 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
[at a knife throwers practice where the assistant screams]
Carl Dorner: Much better. You see, Carmen, why the scream must seem natural and spontaneous? If you're terrified, the audience will be terrified for you.
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User Reviews

The sheriff's old flame
25 May 2018 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

A small carnival is in Cabot Cove and the idea is to split the proceeds with some of the town's charities. Yet early on a vigilant Jessica Fletcher spots some skimming going on. But before any of the carnival owners can be held accountable, one of them Bradford Dillman who has a magic act is murdered.

The partner is Charles Siebert and his wife Cindy Pickett is sheriff Mort Metzger's old girl friend. This gives Ron Masak a bit of a personal involvement that he has to overcome.

Leave it to Angela Lansbury to solve the murder which has nothing to do with the crookedness of the carnival.

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