Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
6 user 1 critic

Murder at the Oasis 

An unpopular show-business personality discovers that elaborate security systems are no guarantee of safety.


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 3 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Ed Ames ... Johnny Shannon
Joey Bishop ... Buster Bailey
Joseph Bottoms ... Mickey Shannon
Joseph Cali ... Vic LaRosa
Ken Howard ... Det. Sgt. Barnes
Piper Laurie ... Peggy Shannon
Jack O'Halloran ... Lou Ross
Linda Purl ... Terry Shannon
David Bowman David Bowman ... Chico Miller
John Miranda ... Gus
Mark Costello ... CHP Officer
Fred Ponzlov ... Waiter (as Fredrick Ponzlov)
Michael Griswold Michael Griswold ... Guard


Jessica visits Peggy Shannon, whose ex-husband Johnny is a big star but a terrible, beastly abusive boss for their gentle son, composer Michael 'Mickey' Shannon, in his Desert Palms residence with advanced alarm system. Police Detective Sergeant Barnes has to intervene when Johnny rudely chases out of the country club professional tennis player Vic LaRosa, the current lover of daughter Terry Shannon, who is seeking revenge according to ma. Next morning, Johnny is found shot dead in the back of the head, a mob method, in his den chair by his dumb, burly bodyguard Lou Ross and comedy relief Buster Bailey; Terry gives startled Vic money to leave the country as Mickey will tell he was in the house that night, she only dated him to spite pa. After Lou tries to strangle Mickey, who he saw in the den, Terry tells Vic was sneaked in and out by her. Peggy and Terry tell that Johnny and Buster also has some relation with mobster Milo Valentine which went sour. Vic is arrested near the Mexican ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

pool | See All (1) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

7 April 1985 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.] See more »


[first lines]
Johnny Shannon: Hey, Mickey! Get in here!
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Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

Unorganized Crime Sneaks into a Desert Ranch House
27 November 2009 | by WeatherVioletSee all my reviews

When Peggy Shannon (Piper Laurie) welcomes dear old friend Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) to visit Desert Palms, California, disagreements and murder do not lag very far behind.

Singer Johnny Shannon (Ed Ames) and his loyal friend and warm-up act, Comedian Buster Bailey (Joey Bishop), and Johnny's Bodyguard, Lou Ross (Jack O'Halloran) share the high-surveillance ranch house as comrades with mob ties.

Son, Mickey Shannon (Joseph Bottoms), and daughter, Terry Shannon (Linda Purl), also share the one-story residence, into which Terry sneaks for the night Vic LaRosa (Joseph Cali), who also has ties to organized crime.

Near the tennis courts at the Desert Palms Country Club, Johnny openly disapproves of his daughter's associating with Vic LaRosa, much to Terry's dismay and objection, while Chico Miller (David Bowman) and Gus (John Miranda) also exchange anything but pleasantries with Johnny.

Detective Sergeant Barnes (Ken Howard) is often called upon as a Shannon family friend to referee among various mêlées, including a murder investigation after Buster Bailey discovers a body in the den the next morning.

Jessica conducts an investigation of her own amid clues regarding the surveillance system and an altercation near the border crossing when one of the suspects attempts to flee the country.

The cast is rounded out by Mark Costello as CHP Officer, Fred Ponzlov as Waiter, and Michael Griswold as Guard, in this "Murder at the Oasis." Joey Bishop, who has been acting in film and, especially on television, since 1950, has unfortunately since passed.

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