Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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The Survivor 

Jessica becomes involved in an internal police investigation when a colleague is left for dead in an accident in which a rookie policeman is killed.


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
Ned Bellamy ... Capt. Elgin Meyers
Wolfgang Bodison ... John Andrew Bondy
Don Calfa ... Vinnie
Kasi Lemmons ... Paula Raynor
Monte Markham ... Jimmy Haynes
Julio Oscar Mechoso ... Dr. Ramon Perez
Stephen Mendel ... Det. Marv Goldman
Ed O'Ross ... Det. Alex Maggio
Stan Shaw ... Det. Sgt. Vince Lofton
Nancy Sorel ... Jill Walker Maggio
James Pickens Jr. ... Sonny Greene
Nigel Gibbs ... Len Thomas
Elayn J. Taylor ... Alice (as Elayn Taylor)
Glenn Taranto ... Mechanic


In New York City, Jessica begins to investigate when a young policeman is killed. She had only just met John Bondy who was dating a computer consultant, Paula Raynor. Out on a date, Paula found him dead in the front seat of his car after which she was knocked unconscious. Sgt. Vince Lofton feels somewhat responsible for Bondy's death, a new recruit to his squad who was there to help identify a crooked cop on his team. Lofton is something of a hothead and Jessica is concerned with his vigilante approach to justice. She realizes that to keep him from killing the wrong man, she will have to find the murderer. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

9 May 1993 (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?


When Jessica is reading through the notes written by Paula, she reads out loud 'open window' but the text reads 'open door'. See more »


[last lines]
Jessica Fletcher: Paula, is there something you're not telling us?
Paula Raynor: It's my father. I finally located him. I'm leaving for Denver tomorrow to meet him.
Jessica Fletcher: Oh! He sounds as excited as you are! And I don't suppose that wild horses could stop you from going?
Paula Raynor: Not even loose cannons.
Det. Sgt. Vince Lofton: Me? No, no.
See more »

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User Reviews

"First, She Is Afraid; She Is Petrified, Thinking How She Could Not Live with This Slain Driver at Her Side"
23 March 2010 | by WeatherVioletSee all my reviews

Robert Van Scoyk (1928-2002) begins his television screen writing career in 1954, and in 1979, wins the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Robert has written for many television Mystery series', including his 163 episodes of "Murder, She Wrote," in the capacity of Executive Story Editor during Seasons One through Five, Producer during Seasons Four through Seven, and as Screenwriter for a record-tying 25 episodes throughout the series, including this episode, "The Survivor."

Robert Van Scoyk adds a thoroughly professional touch to his scripts, which often touch the very heart of this series....

This begins with a burglary gang's looting a New York City warehouse at its dock on night, as Vinnie (Don Calfa) receives a tip of a police raid, causing him to alert a half dozen cohorts to flee the scene immediately.

When Detective Sergeant Vince Lofton (Stan Shaw) arrives with Detective Alex Machio (Ed O'Ross), Detective Len Thomas (Nigel Gibbs), Detective Marv Goldman (Stephen Mendel), and Detective Sonny Greene (James Pickens Jr.), they decide that someone inside the force must be on the take, for there are too many coincidences with missing these burglars in action.

Captain Elgin Meyers (Ned Bellamy) secretly meets with Detective Sergeant Vince Lofton, to discuss hiring rookie officer John Andrew Bondy (Wolfgang Bodison) to go undercover with the warehouse gang, to pump information from Vinnie regarding his police contact.

Meanwhile, Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) experiences difficulty with the printer of her word processor, as she has a Monday deadline to submit a manuscript. Jessica contacts computer technology expert Paula Raynor (Kasi Lemmons) to assist with the problem, and Paula agrees to squeeze in an appoitment at Jessica's place for Friday.

Paula Raynor has no family other than her estranged father, with whom she attempts to re-establish contact through a computer check. As Paula and Jessica exchange pleasantries, Paula informs her that a police officer has invited her to a picnic, for which Jessica gladly excuses her after her escort arrives and informs Jessica of his delight in reading one of her books.

Real Estate tycoon Jimmy Haynes (Monte Markham) hosts the outdoor gathering of police officers and their families, as his daughter, Jill Walker Machio (Nancy Sorel), is married to Dectective Alex Machio, who also works part-time with Jimmy Haynes, who often watches Jill and Alex's pre-teen son, Buddy (Evan Millar).

Alice (Elayn Taylor) attends with Detective Sonny Greene, who hails from the same neighborhood as Paula, as Paula used to see him when she was seventeen, and Sonny was a professional boxer, but she tells Jessica that Sonny couldn't keep his fists inside the boxing ring.

Late Friday evening, Jessica receives a telephone call at her apartment, informing her that someone has been admitted to Metropolitan Hospital in critical condition, with no identification other than carrying a paper citing Mrs. Fletcher's name and telephone number.

Jessica rushes to the hospital emergency room, at which she identifies Paula Raynor to Doctor Ramon Perez (Julio Oscar Mechoso), who informs Jessica that Paula has suffered a severe concussion amid lacerations and a broken ankle.

Detective Sergeant Vince Lofton arrives to cause fear in Paula and to learn from Jessica that Paula has told her upon regaining consciousness that the officer has been slain before Paula returned to the automobile, and that it was no accident which has caused their injuries, but murder and attempted murder, a theory soon supported by Mechanic (Glenn Taranto), who discovers a paper clip fastened to the accelerator of the damaged automobile.

Captain Elgin Meyers arrives at Jessica's apartment to discuss Detective Sergeant Vince Lofton's vendetta to repay the cop killer with the perpetrator's life, and Elgin assures Jessica that Paula is under police security, or at least until another attempt is made upon Paula's life.

Doctor Ramon Perez escorts Paula back to her apartment with Jessica at her side, as they soon receive a visit by four surviving officers, while Paula maintains her cool under the notion that she may be facing a murderer in her very presence.

When Detective Alex Machio leaves behind his $200 pair of sunglasses, Jessica returns them to Jill Walker Machio, as Buddy enters, showing them his drawing, which triggers a sudden realization as to who is behind the series of crimes.

Detective Sergeant Vince Lofton forces a handcuffed Vinnie into a warehouse to lead him to the perpetrator at gunpoint, with Captain Elgin Meyers and Jessica hot on Vince and Vinnie's trail, as Elgin and Jessica attempt to protect "The Survivor."

The cast is rounded out by Anika Marinelli as Young Nurse, Ken Kerman as Dock Boss, James E. Hurd Jr. as Highjacker, and Danny McCoy Jr. as Father Hank.

This episode represents the first acting credit for each Anika Marinelli, Elayn Taylor and James E. Hurd Jr., the first television role for Wolfgang Bodison, and the only acting credit to date by Evan Millar.

This also marks the first of two "MSW" appearances each for James E. Hurd Jr. and Glenn Taranto, the second of two each for Don Calfa and Nigel Gibbs, the second of three each for Danny McCoy Jr. and Stan Shaw, and the fourth of four "MSW" guest roles for Monte Markham.

Ken Kerman, acting since 1989, has unfortunately since passed.

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