Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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A Body to Die For 

The owner of a new, hot fitness club in Cabot Cove has secrets that lead to murder.


Anthony Pullen Shaw (as Anthony Shaw)


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


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Julie Adams ... Eve Simpson
Jason Beghe ... Wayne Bennett
Joe Dorsey ... Ben Devlin
Alix Elias ... Mrs. Hardin
Ruta Lee ... Renee
Ernie Lively ... Joe Hardin
Ron Masak ... Sheriff Mort Metzger (as Ron Másak)
Patricia McPherson ... Betty
Hugh O'Brian ... Fred Keppard
James Olson ... Clarence La Rue
Sally Struthers ... Nancy La Rue
Will Nye ... Floyd
Katharine Durish Katharine Durish ... Receptionist
Michele Bernath Michele Bernath ... Woman


Studly newcomer Wayne Bennett's fitness club is an instant hit with Cabot Cove ladies, while some of their men aren't amused. His former coach, Fred Keppard, charms local real estate agent Eve Simpson, personally and business-wise. She finds him shot dead in her home. Sheriff Metzger arrests Wayne after finding out they have a criminal record and shared a Florida jail. A walk at Eve's home inspires Jessica to another line of thought. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jail | gym | prison | false identity | See All (4) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 November 1990 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


As of 2011, this is the last screen appearance of actor James Olson. See more »


When Jessica, Nancy, and Ben Devlin are riding their bicycles, they pass a sign for Navarro something-or-other that's partially blocked by a tree. Navarro would be found in Mendocino, Calif., the filming location, not in Maine, the setting. See more »


[last lines]
Sheriff Mort Metzger: This is strictly self-preservation, believe me. Last night, Adele and me we got into a little arm wrestling competition. She took me 10 out of 10.
Jessica Fletcher: Oh, dear.
Sheriff Mort Metzger: Yeah, "Oh, dear" is right. Before she started going to Wayne's, I'd always win at least one, sometime even two.
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User Reviews

Bend and Stretch ... Reach for the Weapons
4 October 2009 | by WeatherVioletSee all my reviews

This episode marks the most recent appearance of James Olson, who began his long television career in 1956, and for Paul Lueken, having one earlier credit. This is the only credit thus far for Katharine Durish.

Wayne Bennett (Jason Beghe) stirs up plenty of admiration and contempt in Cabot Cove after opening his gymnasium to conduct customized workout regiments, publicly and privately, hence its banner, "Wayne's Workout Gym." -- But while the admiration generates from Cabot Cove's female citizens, the contempt results from its males' disapproval of his catering to the attention of the females.

Eve Simpson (Julie Adams), Renee (Ruta Lee), Nancy La Rue (Sally Struthers), Mrs. Hardin (Alix Elias), Betty (Patricia McPherson) and another Woman (Michele Bernath) are some of Wayne's enthusiastic students and avid supporters, these ladies constantly patronizing his operation, and claiming improved health because of this.

Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), however, does not participate in Wayne's Workout Gym (one sign reads "Gim"), and hears from gentlemen who object to his overly attentive procedures, such as Cabot Cove Gazette publisher Ben Devlin (Joe Dorsey), pharmacist Clarence La Rue (James Olson) (Nancy's husband), and the roguish Joe Hardin (Ernie Lively), who picks a fight regarding his wife's dedication to Wayne at La Rue Pharmacy. Sheriff Mort Metzger (Ron Masak), neither, holds Wayne in high regard, as his ever-unseen wife, Adele, also dedicates herself to his workouts.

When Fred Keppard (Hugh O'Brian) arrives in Cabot Cove from Boston, to approach Eve at Simpson's Realty, to convince her to invest in a land deal on the pretext that the property will appreciate in value with the purported construction of a road and mall. The flirtatious Eve naturally accommodates "Freddy" as she does Wayne and nearly any other widowed or single gentleman whom she encounters on an everyday basis.

But Fred and Wayne share a checkered past as "bunco" artists, embezzlers who have swindled a string of victims with con games. When Fred surprises Wayne with a visit to his gymnasium at closing time one evening, Wayne informs him that he's gone straight and has been doing well with his exclusive clientèle with physical education, thus garnering another irate male with whom to contend.

Then when Eve Simpson discovers that she must leave on a trip to Rockport, she tells Wayne that she must cancel her private appointment at 9:00 PM, but she also tells Fred to meet her at her residence after 9:00 PM.

That night, Sheriff Mort Metzger nabs Joe Hardin, who has broken into Wayne's Gym; Nancy La Rue leaves town in a hurry. And, upon Eve's return, she discovers a body in her bedroom.

Jessica arrives with Mort Metzger, Deputy Floyd (Will Nye) and Paramedic (Paul Lueken), to the victim of murder, leading the way for a string of events to unfold, to change Cabot Cove citizens' attitudes toward one another.

Gymnasium Receptionist (Katharine Durish) is faced with a roomful of ladies who demand refunds on their subscription payments. Husbands and wives disagree as never before, and Jessica and Mort stand at odds over which suspects to arrest in this mystery to exercise their minds over "A Body to Die For."

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