Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Angela Lansbury plays a dual role in this feature-length spinoff of her popular TV series Murder, She Wrote. The actress first appears in her traditional guise as matronly mystery writer and erstwhile detective Jessica Fletcher, who attends a lecture delivered by black history specialist Cassandra Hawkins (Phylicia Rashad). Jessica becomes intrigued by Hawkins' tireless efforts to clear the name of her ancestor, antebellum slave Samuel Pickney (Michael Jace), who, in 1861, was lynched after being accused of murdering his white master. Doing some research of her own, Jessica projects herself back 140 years and into the mind of her own ancestor, Virginia aristocrat Sarah McCullough -- who turns out to have been an accomplished amateur detective in her own right. Murder, She Wrote: The Last Free Man made its CBS network bow on May 2, 2001.