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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 4 E 2 When Thieves Fall Out

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Jessica finds herself pulled into a case that hits far too close to home when an ex-convict, Andrew Durbin, shows up in town and begins driving local car dealer Bill Hampton to distraction. Digging into the event that sent Durbin to prison, Jessica becomes convinced that the convict is innocent, and that more than one person in town has been hiding a nasty secret. After Bill turns up dead, Jessica becomes even more determined to solve the mystery.


This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Like a Son to Me: Coach Cauldwell was fond of all the boys on his football team, but he had a special relationship with Bill Hampton. Toward the end of the episode, he tells Jessica Bill filled the place of the son he never had. However, this didn't prevent Cauldwell from murdering him to keep his secret.
  • Never Suicide: Bill Hampton turns up dead, along with a suicide note that blamed the harassment Durbin had put him through. Jessica finds it suspicious, though, that a lefty would shoot himself in the right temple.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Bill Hampton calls Coach Cauldwell for help after Durbin harasses him for several days. Cauldwell turns up ahead of schedule — and shoots Bill in the head before he can give him away.
  • No-Tell Motel: Bill tried to convince Alison to leave the prom with him early for a motel.
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  • Obfuscating Disability: One of the suspects, Arnie Wakeman, is in a wheelchair following a car accident. It turns out he is faking paralysis to scam an insurance payout. Jessica becomes suspicious when she sees scuff-marks on the freshly-waxed floor of his home, and tricks him into revealing himself.

Example of: