The Eddie Capra Mysteries

The Eddie Capra Mysteries
The Eddie Capra Mysteries title card
Genre Mystery
Starring Vincent Baggetta
Wendy Phillips
Ken Swofford
Michael Horton
Seven Ann McDonald
Composer(s) John Cacavas
John Addison
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Universal Television
Distributor NBC
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original network NBC
Audio format Monaural
Original release September 8, 1978 (1978-09-08) – January 12, 1979 (1979-01-12)

The Eddie Capra Mysteries is a 1978–1979 United States mystery television series starring Vincent Baggetta as a lawyer who investigates murders and has a knack for solving them. Original episodes aired from September 8, 1978, to January 12, 1979.[1][2]



Eddie Capra is an unconventional young lawyer who recently graduated from New York University Law School and works for Devlin, Linkman, and O'Brien, a conventional, snooty, and very prestigious law firm in Los Angeles, California, that specializes in criminal cases. Headstrong, rebellious, and quirky, shunning court appearances because he dislikes wearing a tie and usually ignoring established legal and police procedures, Eddie tends to rush off and play detective when one of the firm's clients is indicted, seeking evidence with which to exonerate the client – sometimes to the consternation of his colleagues – before the case ever reaches court. Lacey Brown is his secretary, personal friend, and sometime girlfriend, and Jennie is her precocious daughter. Harvey Winchell, an investigator for the firm, is Eddie's enthusiastic young assistant, and J. J. Devlin, an irascible senior partner in the firm, is Eddie's boss. He also frequently calls his brother by phone but is never seen on camera. Former Mets/Braves pitcher Buzz Capra[1][2][3][4][5]

Each episode is constructed in the "classic style" of a detective show, opening with a graphic depiction of a puzzling murder and then following Eddie as he interviews witnesses and other people who might not be telling the truth and uncovers clues missed by the authorities one-by-one until they lead to the killer. In the episode's climax, Eddie usually gathers all the suspects in one room – often a courtroom – and uses deductive reasoning to explain which one of them is guilty.[2][5]

The series employs a gimmick in which viewers – who receive no more or less information than Eddie – are challenged to identify the murderer before Eddie does.[6]


Left to right: Ken Swofford, Vincent Baggetta, Michael Horton, and Wendy Phillips in a promotional cast photo for The Eddie Capra Mysteries.

Peter S. Fischer created The Eddie Capra Mysteries.[4][7] Episode directors included James Frawley, William Wiard, Edward M. Abroms, Jim Benson, Ivan Dixon, Sigmund Neufeld, Jr., Ron Satlof, and Nicholas Sgarro, and writers included Fischer, Robert C. Dennis, Peter Allan Fields, Ted Leighton, and Michael Rhodes.[7] Fischer, Stuart Cohen, and James Duff McAdams were among the show's producers. John Cacavas and John Addison composed music for the show.[7]

Some scripts used in The Eddie Capra Mysteries were adapted from scripts intended for the canceled 1975–1976 NBC series Ellery Queen.[4]

Broadcast history

Premiering on September 8, 1978 with a two-hour pilot episode,[4] The Eddie Capra Mysteries aired on NBC on Fridays at 10:00 p.m. throughout the rest of its run. Its last original episode aired on January 12, 1979. During the summer of 1979, NBC broadcast reruns of the show in its 10:00 p.m. Friday time slot from June to September.[1][2]

Reruns of The Eddie Capra Mysteries returned to the air in prime time in the summer of 1990, when CBS broadcast episodes of the show at 9:00 p.m. on Thursdays from July 26 to August 30 as a temporary replacement for Wiseguy.[1][2][5]


Season # Episode # Title Plot/Notes Original air date
1 1 "Nightmare at Pendragon Castle" The two-hour pilot for the series. After the wealthy, powerful, arrogant, obnoxious, and sadistic publisher Charles Pendragon (Robert Vaughn) is killed at his mansion, an actress named Daniella (Janet Margolin) is arrested for his murder. Eddie investigates and finds that Pendragon's associates feared and hated him; he develops a list of suspects made up of Pendragon's dinner guests, all of whom have reasons – past scandals or mistreatment at his hands – to want him dead. Lois Nettleton, Robert J. Hogan, John Considine, Stella Stevens, Gerald S. O'Loughlin, Robert Walker, Jr., and George Hamilton also guest-star.[8] September 8, 1978
1 2 "Where There's Smoke" Eddie volunteers to help clear an equivocating young woman of murder charges resulting from an arson investigation. Patti D'Arbanville, Robin Mattson, Randy Powell, Zitto Kazann, and Wallace Rooney guest-star.[8] September 22, 1978
1 3 "Murder! Murder!" Eddie's friend Julie Heller (Tricia O'Neil), a nightclub singer, is charged with murdering a rich industrialist, and her only alibi is that she was killing someone else at the time of his murder. Dennis Cole, Barbara Rhoades, Eric Braeden, Ramon Bieri, Stephen Elliott, and Murray Matheson also guest-star.[8] September 29, 1978
1 4 "Murder on the Flip Side" A young secretary hears a recording-company executive call for help from his office and finds him dead, having both suffered a gunshot wound and taken a drink from a glass of poisoned liquor. She becomes the main witness in the executive's murder, but then comes under suspicion herself when the owner of the record label is found stabbed to death in her bathtub. Eddie sets out to prove her innocence, and his investigation reveals that she could not have killed the record-label owner because that murder occurred while the police were interviewing her; he also discovers that the two murder victims were involved in a feud over a crooked record deal. Vicki Lawrence, Dick Haymes, Mel Carter, Joanna Miles, Andrew Robinson, and Rick Springfield guest-star.[8][9] October 6, 1978
1 5 "And the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead" J.J.'s longtime friend is suspected of killing his political rival, a retired United States Navy admiral turned politician who is found buried in his full dress uniform. Marshall Thompson, Andrew Duggan, Angel Tompkins, and Michael Durrell guest-star.[8] October 20, 1978
1 6 "Dirge for a Dead Dachshund" Eddie's eccentric, elderly Aunt Teresa (Renata Vanni) and her companion believe that someone is trying to kill them. Charlotte Rae, Granville Van Dusen, Joseph Mascolo, Denise Galik, J. P. Finnegan, and Charlene Dallas also guest-star.[8] October 27, 1978
1 7 "How Do I Kill Thee?" Eddie seeks evidence to exonerate an aging movie star accused of the murder of a powerful television Hollywood gossip personality. Edie Adams, Anne Francis, Vic Tayback, Barrie Youngfellow, Gene Evans, and Mark Stevens guest-star.[8] November 3, 1978
1 8 "The Intimate Friends of Jenny Wilde " A famous playwright is suspected of murdering a model. Rip Torn, Veronica Hamel, Dick Gautier, Greg Morris, Carmine Caridi, and Tommy Leonetti guest-star.[8] November 10, 1978
1 9 "Breakout to Murder" The sanity of Millie Greer (Caryn Richman), an unstable young woman, rests upon her being absolved of responsibility for the death of an escaped convict in an automobile accident. James Whitmore, Jr., Peter Donat, Floyd Levine, Harold Sylvester, Reb Brown, George Deloy, and Carl Anderson also guest-star.[8] December 1, 1978
1 10 "The Two-Million-Dollar Stowaway" While being arraigned in a Los Angeles courthouse for swindling various people out of over two million dollars, Warren Custer (Bobby Van) escapes custody and boards a cruise ship bound for Mexico, posing as a worker in the ship's engine room and planning to jump overboard and swim to a small boat piloted by a Mexican fortune hunter (Thom Christopher). Also aboard the ship are the United States Marshal he escaped from, many of his swindling victims, and Eddie and his girlfriend. Custer eventually spots the fortune hunter's boat and jumps overboard, but a couple aboard the ship sees him and reports a man overboard. Both the cruise ship and the fortune hunter attempt to rescue Custer; the fortune hunter's partner makes off in the small boat at the first sign of trouble and leaves him struggling in the water as well. After the cruise ship brings Custer and the fortune hunter aboard, Custer is found to have died of multiple stab wounds; it appears either that someone aboard the ship stabbed him just before he jumped or that the fortune hunter stabbed him in the water, and the ship's captain asks Eddie to find the killer. Meanwhile, the fortune hunter reveals that Custer had converted the stolen money to diamonds and had a key to a safety deposit box in Nicaragua, prompting Eddie and various other people on the ship, including multiple suspects in Custer's murder, to look for the key. James McEachin, Gloria De Haven, Julie Gregg, Patricia Crowley, Guy Stockwell and Ron Masak also guest-star; Masak's appearance in the episode helped get him his long-running role of Sheriff Mort Metzger on Murder, She Wrote. Filmed mostly aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.[8][10] December 8, 1978
1 11 "Dying Declaration" Eddie is upset when a former prostitute who has become a businesswoman asks him to clear her of charges that she murdered a policeman who was his friend. Barbara Rush, Troy Donahue, Héctor Elizondo, Kitty Wynn, Robert Hooks, L. Q. Jones, and Jeff David guest-star.[8] December 15, 1978
1 12 "Now You See Her..." Eddie defends an alleged drug smuggler whose star defense witness vanishes and whose wife is in love with the prosecutor. Lonny Chapman, Michael Cole, Irene Miracle, Joey Aresco, Dan Frazer and Pamela Serpe guest-star.[8] January 5, 1979
1 13 "Murder Plays a Dead Hand" Eddie investigates the murder of a despised high-stakes poker player who was poisoned during a tournament in Las Vegas. James Coco, Jane Merrow, Neville Brand, Joe Hindy, Louise Sorel, James Luisi, and Ralph Meeker guest-star.[8] January 12, 1979


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