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

Death Casts a Spell 

A popular nightclub hypnotist is discovered murdered during a private press-call.


Allen Reisner


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 4 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Diana Canova ... Joan Germaine
José Ferrer ... Cagliostro (as Jose Ferrer)
Murray Hamilton ... Bud Michaels
Robert Hogan ... Lt. Bergkamp
Conrad Janis ... Dr. Yambert
Elaine Joyce ... Sheri Diamond
Brian Kerwin ... Andy Townsend
Robert Loggia ... Joe Kellijian
Mayf Nutter Mayf Nutter ... Zack Bernard
Michelle Phillips ... Regina Kellijian
Elvia Allman ... Elderly Lady
Rance Howard ... Fillmore
Ritchie Montgomery ... Busboy
Alex Rebar ... Hypnotist


English hypnotist Cagliastro is fired by casino-hotel-owner Joe Kellijian, because he does his glamorous wife Regina. Jessica saves her editor's assistant Joan Germaine's bacon covering for making a date for her with Cagliostro as inspiration for another mystery book. They overhear the master dare local press journalists Bud Michaels and rookie Andy Townsend to be hypnotized before a revealing interviewer so they won't remember a word unless he's a charlatan as they claim, Joan gets them invited too but they're late; when the door is opened after a scary bang, Cagliostro lies dead, the six journalists (Bud sent Andy in his place) are hypnotized motionless. Fortunately for the startled police detective Lt. Bergkamp, Jessica is as resourceful and inspired as ever after Dr. Yambert proves hypnosis works even on her, but nobody seems to have both motive and opportunity... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

30 December 1984 (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?


[first lines]
Cagliostro: Ladies and gentlemen, observe the power of hypnosis! Now, volunteers, when I clap my hands, you will each become your favorite animal.
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Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

6 eye witnesses, deaf, dumb, and blind
15 June 2018 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

This MSW story has Jessica Fletcher at a swanky resort on Lake Tahoe which is owned by Robert Loggia and where the headliner is world famous hypnotist Jose Ferrer. Ferrer brings in the business, but he's really quite the cad and has a ton of enemies. No surprise that someone would put a steak knife in his back and kill him. But Ferrer was in the middle of a demonstration for among others members of the press. In fact Angela Lansbury just misses the demonstration.

In the room were six people all under a trance that Ferrer put them in before someone stabbed him. Six witnesses who can't tell investigating detective Robert Hogan.

I'm surprised I liked this one as much as I did. The solution is rather obvious in the how just a question of who. But this is a really fine cast assembled and I'll watch anything with Jose Ferrer in it.

I think you'll agree with my assessment.

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