The Town in ‘Murder, She Wrote’ Would Be the Most Murderous City in the World

CBS’s Murder, She Wrote was set in Cabot Cove, a sleepy-looking coastal town in Maine. But the town’s idyllic exterior hid a dark reality — per capita, Cabot Cove was actually the (fictional) murder capital of the world.

A bit of fun ‘Murder She Wrote’ trivia

The BBC’s Radio 4 was the first to uncover this bit of trivia, in a survey that ranked the murder rate of fictional locations. Cabot Cove had 5.3 murders per year in a town of only 3,560, which would be an annual murder rate of 149 murders per 100,000. That’s five times as dangerous as New York City during the height of the crack epidemic, when its murder rate peaked at roughly 30 per 100,00. In 2020, Los Cabos, Mexico was the most murderous city in the world with a rate of 111 per 100,000.

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Meet the cast of characters who protect their town from all these murders

It seems Sheriff Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley), Deputy Andy Broom, and Sheriff Mort Metzger (Ron Masak) were assigned a mess worthy of a federal task force. But instead Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), a mystery writer and amateur detective — and occasionally her friend Dr. Seth Hazzlit (William Windom) — do the heavy lifting fighting crime around town.

Despite the location’s improbable crimewave — or more likely because of it — Murder, She Wrote remains one of the most popular and longest-running TV shows of all time, with six Golden Globes, 12 Emmy Awards, according to IMDb. Much of that is due to the consistently compelling performance of Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher (and in one episode, as her British doppelganger Emma Macgill).

… And Their Fellow Townspeople

But executive producers Peter S. Fischer and Richard Levinson also excelled at introducing memorable recurring characters like Sam Booth (Richard Paul), the town’s do-nothing-mayor, Grady Fletcher (Michael Horton), the bumbling but good-natured son-figure, boat captain Ethan Cragg (Claude Akins), and flirty realtor Eve Simpson (Julie Adams). The show also saw more than a few prominent guest stars, including Leslie Neilsen, Tom Selleck, and Broadway’s Jerry Orbach as Harry McGraw.

No longer confined to CBS’s or NBC’s showtimes, a new generation of fans are adding Murder She Wrote to their Amazon Prime watchlists. And Jessica Fletcher has earned some recognition for her time on the world’s most murderous beat—after 265 episodes and four movies of cracked cases, the “Guinness Book of Records” named her Most Prolific Amateur Sleuth.

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