This Crazy Fan Theory Made Me Like the Maine TV Drama ‘Murder She Wrote’
Like many, I did a double-take when I saw that Angela Lansbury passed away. Even though she was just shy of her 97th birthday, she, like Betty White, was someone who had been in our lives so long, it felt as though she'd never leave us.
Some in my generation know Lansbury from her voice role in “Beauty and the Beast,” but I was more familiar with her work on the legendary, New England-based TV drama “Murder She Wrote.” Whenever my grandmother babysat me, we watched, ironically, “The Golden Girls” and “Murder She Wrote.”
While I was a fan of the former, I can’t say I particularly enjoyed the latter. However, a conspiracy theory about this “granny” show made its way through the school bus and onto the playground, helped bratty kids like me see it in a whole new light.
The show was set in the small New England town of Cabot Cove, Maine, a state not exactly known for its homicide rate. And yet, murder ran rampant in Cabot Cove. In fact, if Cabot Cove were real, it would be the FBI’s "murder capital of the world," according to British newspaper The Telegraph.
And that’s where the phenomenon known as “Cabot Cove Syndrome,” came to be, wherein an unusual number of deaths occur whenever Lansbury’s character, author Jessica Fletcher, is nearby. Which leads to one of the most popular fan theories out there…
Jessica Fletcher isn’t just a writer; she’s also a killer.
It seems impossible that the nice old lady who also voiced a teapot could be capable of such evil. But consider the CDC’s statistics showing that Maine averages about 21 murders a year. And yet, “Murder She Wrote” ran for 264 episodes!
Cabot Cove might be the one place people leave to move to Gotham City.
I get it – it’s just a TV show. But it let me have some fun in my head imagining that Angela Lansbury was quietly capable of heinous deeds that could only be conceived by real-life Maine native Stephen King, or his secret nemesis Richard Bachman.
And that’s what TV’s really all about – letting us use our imagination. Just like you can do, if you read a similar theory about this character during your next “Cheers” rewatch.