The Eddie Capra Mysteries: Season 1, Episode 9

The Two Million Dollar Stowaway (Dec 8, 1978)

TV Episode60 min.Drama | Crime
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Warren Custer (Bobby Van), a charming grifter, has managed to swindle various people out of over $2 million. While being arraigned in a Los Angeles courthouse, he "accidentally" bumps his guard into a charming lady and knocks over her purse, then gets on board the elevator with the lady while the guard is picking up the contents of the purse. Soon Custer is on board a Mexican-bound cruise ship -- not such a good idea, because the U.S. Marshal he duped, along with many of his other swindling victims, have also gotten tickets (as have Eddie and his girlfriend). Custer poses as an engine-room worker and looks for his chance to jump overboard, where a small craft piloted by a Mexican fortune hunter (Thom Christopher, with hair) will pick him up. Custer does jump, but a couple on the deck below see him fall and shout out an alarm along with another minor character, a sees-all tells-all assistant purser who's been following Custer around. The ship mounts a rescue effort, along with the fortune hunter (whose partner drove his boat away at the sign of trouble). When Custer is winched aboard, he's dead. It looks like drowning for a minute, but then the marshal (who's performing CPR) notices multiple stab wounds. The odds are that someone got to Custer just before his jump and let him have it (his "seabag," which was tied to his wrist and presumably contained the money, has been cut loose), but there's the chance that the Mexican man could have done it in the water. When the Mexican man confirms that Custer had converted the money to diamonds and had a key to a safety deposit box in Nicaragua, everybody starts looking for the key -- including multiple suspects. Ron Masak makes his first appearance on a Peter S. Fischer series (he plays the ex-football-player husband of the woman who helped Custer flee the courthouse); this appearance helped get him the long-running role of "Murder, She Wrote'"s Sheriff Mort Metzger. Filmed mostly aboard the Queen Mary. Written By Peter Harris  Less

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