The Murder, She Wrote Wiki
Murder, She Wrote: Season One
Murder, She Wrote: Season Two
Murder, She Wrote: Season Three
Murder, She Wrote: Season Four


  1. "A Fashionable Way to Die"
  2. "When Thieves Fall Out"
  3. "Witness for the Defense"
  4. "Old Habits Die Hard"
  5. "The Way to Dusty Death"
  6. "It Runs in the Family"
  7. "If It's Thursday, It Must Be Beverly"
  8. "Steal Me a Story"
  9. "Trouble in Eden"
  10. "Indian Giver"
  11. "Doom With a View"
  12. "Who Threw the Barbitals
    in Mrs. Fletcher's Chowder?
  13. "Harbinger of Death"
  14. "Curse of the Daanav"
  15. "Mourning Among the Wisterias"
  16. "Murder Through the Looking Glass"
  17. "A Very Good Year for Murder"
  18. "Benedict Arnold Slipped Here"
  19. "Just Another Fish Story"
  20. "Showdown in Saskatchewan"
  21. "Deadpan"
  22. "The Body Politic"
Murder, She Wrote: Season Five
Murder, She Wrote: Season Six
Murder, She Wrote: Season Seven
Murder, She Wrote: Season Eight
Murder, She Wrote: Season Nine
Murder, She Wrote: Season Ten
Murder, She Wrote: Season Eleven
Murder, She Wrote: Season Twelve
Murder, She Wrote: TV Movies
The Law & Harry McGraw

Production Information[]

Who Threw the Barbitals in Mrs.Fletcher's Chowder?
Production Number: 63320
Aired: January 3, 1988
Written By: Robert Van Skoyk
Directed By: John Llewellyn Moxey
Created By: Peter S. Fischer, Richard Levinson & William Link
Executive Producers: Peter S. Fischer
Producer: Robert F. O'Neill


Everyone in Cabot Cove is surprised when Sheriff Amos Tupper introduces his sister Winnie Banner to everyone. She's left her boisterous and somewhat gruff husband Elmo Banner and has no intention of returning to him. Soon the entire Banner clan seems to descend on Cabot Cove. Elmo, his brother and sister - and their spouses - all seem to have an opinion on who should do what. At a dinner in her home, Jessica serves her famous chowder, but midway through the meal everyone falls asleep. Everyone that is except Elmo, who is dead. It's apparent that the chowder was drugged and it's clearly a case of murder. Meanwhile, Amos hires a new Deputy, the over-eager Marigold Feeney.


The title is an allusion to the Irish folk song "Who Threw the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy's Chowder?" written in 1898 by George L. Giefer.

This is the only appearance of Winnie.

Guest stars Anne Meara & Henry Gibson play rare dramatic roles here; both are better known for comedic works, the former as a team with her husband Jerry Stiller as well as recurring roles on ALF (1987) & The King of Queens (1998), the latter as a cast member on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.

Victim: Elmo Banner

Killer: Kenny Oakes

Cause of death: Poisoning via phenobarbital overdose.

Motive: Felt Elmo's antics were ruining business at their family drugstore and wanted to take over.


Doc Hazlett arrives at the dinner party and knows all of the Sheriff's relatives, but he had never met them.


Regular Cast[]

Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher

Recurring Cast[]

Tom Bosley as Sheriff Amos Tupper

William Windom as Dr. Seth Hazlitt

Guest Stars[]

Colleen Camp as Marigold Feeney

Anne Meara as Winnie Tupper Banner

Donnelly Rhodes as Ed Bellamy

Guy Stockwell as Elmo Banner

Barbara Rhoades as Flo Oakes

Henry Gibson as Harold Banner

Dennis Bailey as Deputy Grover

Joseph V. Perry as Ralph

Geoffrey Lewis as Kenny Oakes

DVD Release[]

Episode Chronology[]

See Also[]

External Links[]