Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
5 user

Lone Witness 

Jessica helps solve a murder when the only witness, a local delivery boy she has befriended, becomes the prime suspect.


Walter Grauman


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




Episode cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Neil Patrick Harris ... Tommy Remsen
Beth Howland ... Sandy Oates
Laurence Luckinbill ... Lt. Steve Warren
Sheila MacRae ... Susan Wells (as Sheila Mac Rae)
Joe Maruzzo ... Fred Turner
John Bennett Perry ... Dan Remsen
Kario Salem ... Vic Gorman
Raymond Serra Raymond Serra ... Ben Eigers
Liz Vassey ... Monica Evers
Clifton Powell ... Det. Eddie Flowers
George Ede George Ede ... H. Van Houle


After Jessica takes an interest in Tommy Remsen, an aspiring writer and the boy who delivers her groceries, she helps him out after he claims to have seen a man standing over the body of Monica Evers, another grocery customer. The police don't find anything and accuse him of making it all up. Tommy becomes a suspect, however, when he runs off after an argument with his father. The police eventually find Monica's body and determine that she was strangled. They also find the body of the man Tommy saw leaning over her body but when they find where Tommy is hiding, Lt. Warren also finds the gun used to kill him. Jessica is convinced of Tommy's innocence and looks elsewhere for the killer. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

4 April 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?


Neil Patrick Harris character's dad says 'suit up' which is what Neil Patrick Harris famous character Barney Stinson says in How I Met Your Mother (2005) all the time. See more »


At the beginning, when groceries are delivered to Jessica Fletcher, the grocery delivery boy (Neil Patrick Harris) brings in the grocery box. The name on the side of the box says "Richard's". The store where the delivery boy works reflects a different name, not "Richard's," on the store window. This is not a goof because grocery stores use any available box (normally from a delivery to the store) and not special boxes with their own store name on them. When a later deliver is made, another box with the name Vin Rose on it, happens to be used. See more »


[first lines]
H. Van Houle: Excellent. The quality is better this time. But why so few? I was promised more.
Monica Evers: I don't know I just deliver them.
H. Van Houle: No matter.
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User Reviews

Quest for Diamonds in the Rough and Tough Neighborhood
14 November 2009 | by WeatherVioletSee all my reviews

This episode marks the most recent appearance to date of Sheila MacRae, the popular nightclub entertainer who began her film and television acting career in 1950. Raymond Serra has since passed.

Sheila MacRae Beth Howland, Laurence Luckinbill, John Bennett Perry and Neil Patrick Harris are some of the familiar guest stars who assist in a complex case reminiscent of a Dickensian saga, with intertwining sub-plots amid a backdrop of poor urban social and economic conditions, with a child fending for himself under dangerous circumstances.

It begins in Amsterdam, Netherlands, with Monica Evers' (Liz Vassey) smuggling diamonds into her New York City apartment building, near Eigers Market, at which she has overcharged upon her credit tab, and cannot afford to pay for additional purchases until she fences her contraband.

Young Tommy Remsen (Neil Patrick Harris), unaware of employer Ben Eigers' (Raymond Serra) mandate against Monica's additional credit, permits an additional charge on her account, to Ben's reprimanding Tommy.

Tommy is permitted to stay on as delivery clerk, against the wisdom of his widowed father, Dan Remsen (John Bennett Perry), who coaches swimming at the local gymnasium with natatorium in its basement. Dan maintains that Tommy ought to concentrate upon his practicing for an upcoming swimming tournament.

Often, we find the recurring themes of "widowed parent with child" throughout the course of this "MSW" series. Usually, a widowed mother has a young son, who becomes "the man of the house," and must protect his mother, who becomes a murder suspect. Or we frequently see a widowed father of a daughter, whose responsible suitor isn't good enough for her because she's all the family the father has, and the suitor often becomes a murder suspect, along with the woman's father. Or we see a wealthy widowed father, whose irresponsible children await their inheritance whether or not the father is murdered, but everyone becomes a suspect. Here, by way of variety, a widowed father and his responsible young son attempt to protect each other when bodies begin to show up, and each is hunted by perpetrators and authorities alike.

But there's more. Sandy Oates (Beth Howland), Monica's neighbor across the hall at the apartment building, cares for Monica's plants while she often disappears to smuggle diamonds into the country. Monica hasn't the sensitive approach to show her appreciation to Sandy, nor to those who break into her apartment in search of the hidden gems, such as Fred Turner (Joe Maruzzo), Vic Gorman (Kario Salem) or H. Van Houle (George Ede).

Meanwhile, Susan Wells (Sheila MacRae) prepares to cater a lavish banquet in the kitchen of the apartment of her good friend Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), who industriously creates her latest manuscript, amid, of course, several interruptions at every turn.

When Susan needs additional ingredients to provide for a recipe, she contacts Eigers Market, for Tommy Remsen to deliver the wares.

One one evening delivery run, Tommy stumbles across a body in a darkened passageway before an elevator, at which time the unrecognizable perpetrator fires a shot at him, a fact which is debated by authorities, Lieutenant Steve Warren (Laurence Luckinbill) and Detective Eddie Flowers (Clifton Powell), who investigate the murder, for which Tommy is its "Lone Witness."

But when Jessica receives the groceries for Susan, she discovers the bullet embedded within a sack of sugar, which buffered its trajectory, thereby to spare Tommy's very life.

And before Jessica finds the runaway Tommy to prove his innocence, someone chases him passed his father's protective reach into the gymnasium, at which another body is discovered in the pool.

Jessica must now uncover the source of the spoils which many are seeking, and then its hiding place, and then to assist Dan to protect Tommy if they are able to reach him before the perpetrator, whom Jessica must unmask, before the banquet is ready to be served.

An overall dark, treacherous episode, but also one containing hope and bright spots, sprinkled with friendly familiar faces and commendable acting by veteran stars and the "Lone Witness" alike.

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