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Yesterday's Murder


Determined to change her fate, a woman is granted the chance to go back in time to set her life in order.



Air Dates

  • First Run - June 27, 1974
  • Repeat - September 10, 1974





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29 Responses to Episode 0111

Very odd ending. I Liked the story but really don't get the twist at the end.


VERY politically incorrect ending to the modern ear. Even Mr. Carpenter isn't actually the devil, even the devil tends to refrain from "the fate worse than death" in popular fiction. Deal with the devil, time travel.


Wow, wouldn't we all like a chance to rectify a past misdeed? This was a really intriguing episode. Dottie was quite a misguided woman, hey? Would anyone really be such a bonehead? I kind of doubt such a chance would be squandered. Ending was a shocker.


A down-on-her-luck woman receives the opportunity to go back and change her life and her fortunes, righting past wrongs. McCambridge shines in her performance.

Dino Fratelli

A woman down on her luck meets up with an old acquaintance who has achieved all manner of material success. The woman is unhappy with her life, her marriage, and her financial status and responds to an advertisement promising a new life. When a gentleman shows up offering her a chance to go back and right past wrongs, she takes up the offer… Another great episode with passionate acting by Mercedes McCambridge. This was a banner week for CBSRMT with fantastic episodes!


This is a great episode, and one of my favorites. It also seems an appropriate choice since the last episode I listened to was about trying to change your future and this one is about trying to change your past. Mercedes McCambridge is one of my all-time favorite RMT performers, with her wonderfully weird husky voice---I love her in the good ones as well as the not-so-good ones. This is definitely one of the good ones. And she pretty much carries the entire show. Any lesser actress, I think, could not have made this character's choices believable. I especially love the ending ----how Dottie could actually make the same mistake again is just almost unbelieveable----but her punishment is great. A nice illustration of how those green pieces of paper that we value so highly are really, in the greater scheme of things, worth nothing at all. It reminds us that each of our values is always a choice---an important choice for which we must take individual responsibility. Sam Dann did a bang-up job on this one. It's an inventive little existential parable about human weakness, with a wonderfully, wickedly clever twist at the end for poor ol' dumb Dottie.


I'll make this post brief, as I may not be on the same lines as others about this episode. Whenever I watch a movie, tv program, or listen to an RMT episode, where a character has a chance to redo something, rectify something, or even in situations where poor decisions lead to unfortunate circumstances, I usually blurt out one word when the concept finally hits me: "Dope!" That's what I blurted out twice in this episode. Now, Mercedes McCambridge, for me, is one of those actors for the RMT that usually makes me change to another episode. Her drawn out, over the top style of acting often leaves me with a need to gargle and listen to 40 minutes of silence. I think because (I say this with affection) she kind of reminds me of my own melodramatic mom. I can only listen to her go on for about 30 minutes or so before I must fabricate some reason to simply get off the phone or out of the moving car. Despite my obvious lack of passion for the actress, the story was just too over the top for me. Desperation forces folks to do crazy things, but if one were to live with the guilt of another's death for 20 years, I really believe they would ammend things, given a second chance. The way she blew it in the end just made me blurt out "dope" with a slight head shaking. The first time I heard this episode, I think I did the same thing. I really enjoyed the sinister man character. Not quite the devil, but certainly devilish enough. Just the way he said the word "opportunities" was enough to get me on his side. hehe Overall, I gave the episode a 3.5. Production was spot on, as always, and honestly, the performances were very well done. I just don't walk a straight line after listening to M.M. and with a story that just fell down a flight of stairs (for me), my score is reflective. Thanks for the pick and I look forward to next time!

Lind Tate

I am still in awe of rediscovering RMT as an adult so all the episodes I have listened to have seemed really good to me. I loved the show for being scary and spooky as a kid. Now, as an adult, I realize the work that went into it, the dedication, and the amazing fact that people, so recently, put drama on the radio. So that is a review of the whole series. Now this particular episode. The actor's voices were all right to my ears, so I didn't have a need to object to that. The story for me on this one was okay. I enjoyed it. I guess the only new twist on the "going back in time to change a mistake" theme was the ending. I like that Dotty got her due in a way that was quite appropriate. She wouldn't put back the money so she went where money didn't matter. Very good twist for me. Can't wait for the next one!


Eric the Red and (the late) Mercedes THERE'S a combination! Bet she had HIM washing the goblets after a few years. Thanks for the pick, though I found myself thinking the same. "DOPE!" Then again, how many of us have said: "Ohhh, if we could only go back to our (usually teenaged) years with the wisdom we have now..." The RMT writers so often used grown-up wisdom in their own plays...I get the feeling someone said "OK, let's take this person back with her wisdom, but also with her old desires, immaturity, etc." At least, I got the feeling this was so.

Willmon Ryan

I liked this episode for the basis of the what was offered - you do X and ONLY X and see where you go from there. It seemed like she was actually going to do X and ONLY X but thought that there was more to it than that. Perhaps she should have asked a few more questions and then she would've done the right thing as it was obvious that it had bothered her for some time. I did like the twist ending as well, but I wonder how taking her out of the "present" (as she just replaced herself doing the same thing in the past) and putting her in the far past affects the future (or even the "present"). If you watch Doctor Who you know that "small people" can make a big difference. Of course, both are fiction so take that as you will.


What I enjoyed about this CBSRMT episode, was E.G. Marshall's narration in the Prologue when he says, "Welcome once again to another adventurous journey across the mysterious & terrified terrain of the human imagination." Now that introduction was as good as his usual saying, "Welcome to the sound of suspense. The fear…you can hear." Throughout the rest of the episode, he has made some interesting points on the chances on life, justice, and time travel. But what I enjoyed the most was the cast: Patricia Wheel (As Jane), Robert Maxwell (as Harold), Leon Janney (as Mr. Carpenter), and the magnificent talent of Mercedes McCambridge (as Dotty Molloy). Every episode that she's been in is just outstanding. Now, here's why I rate this 4 out of 5 stars. The sound effects of the piano in the fancy restaurant with the rich patrons dining, the doorbell ringing, the pushing & shoving in the flashback sequence, the footsteps going down the stairs, the traffic noise in the past, the typewriter, the secretary buzzer, the opening of the safe, the rotary phone, the car running on the road, the taxi on the busy night streets, and the raid at the end were excellent. However, the music was so-so for this drama-mystery involving time travel. Too many dramatic melodies. As for the story itself, just like Ep. #1391-PORTRAIT OF THE PAST, everything was going so well in ACT-1 and in ACT-2, but then you get close to the end of ACT-3 and ask yourself, "What was going through the Writer's head when he wrote this?" Sam Dann was one of greatest writers for CBSRMT and I wonder if he got the idea of writing this episode from watching an episode of the TWILIGHT ZONE from Season 4, Episode 14 "Of Late I Think Of Cliffordville" where the main character makes a deal with a mysterious stranger to go back in time and tries to change things. I won't give away the ending of this story, but I will tell you this: it is an ending that no CBSRMT fan would've expected. But check this episode out if you're a fan of Mercedes McCambridge.


I agree with Russell the show is excellent but the ending leaves me wondering what happened a little. Some questions and I realize over analyzing a show is probably silly in that it os just entertainment etc... but why didn't she just put the money back and then she could just gamble or invest what little money she would have working like everyone else. She could still be very wealthy knowing what she knows. And the punishment she receives just did not seem to go very well with the show for some reasons. I know the mechanics of the punishment add up t it just seemed to come out of no where. I liked the show and recommend it!


I haven't listened in 40 years. It was one of the shows that I taped on my father's reel to reel player. I would play it over and over until I knew every line. I got the neighborhood kids to put on a play in the backyard of it! I swear. Its burned into my childhood psyche. Listening to it again it still holds up. Mainly because of the performances of all the actors. Mercedes voice is magnificent in this, the subtle change from her downtrodden housewife, to the perky young girl, is wonderful. I agree that the ending is very Twilight Zone and disappointing. I think it plays on the idea that you can't change the past. But it raises all sorts of questions. If she's now living with Vikings has her life disappeared and never happened? I think I'm over thinking this... But thanks for suggesting listening to it again. I felt like I was ten years old again!


Listening to it again it still holds up. Mainly because of the performances of all the actors. Mercedes voice is magnificent in this, the subtle change from her downtrodden housewife, to the perky young girl, is wonderful. I agree that the ending is very Twilight Zone and disappointing. I think it plays on the idea that you can't change the past. But it raises all sorts of questions. If she's now living with Vikings has her life disappeared and never happened? I think I'm over thinking this... But thanks for suggesting listening to it again. I felt like I was ten years old again!


One of the best.


When I first heard this episode as a youngster I thought it was the best RMS I ever heard. I was delighted to rediscover it on this website a short time ago and now that I have listened to it again as an adult I admire it even more. What a wonderful piece of work! It teaches a great lesson: that character is destiny -- one's fate isn't determined by luck or happenstance but by what is in one's heart. The "present day" Dotty is miserable because she isn't wealthy, and she envies Jane simply because Jane dines at fancy restaurants and wears diamond jewelry. But Dotty's dissatisfaction is utterly shallow. Except for money, there's no reason for her to be jealous of Jane. After all, it was Dotty who won Harold's heart 21 years ago, not Jane. And although Harold may not be a great worldly success he's "handsomer than ever," is still happy in his work, and after all these years of marriage he still treats Dotty with affection. Jane, on the other hand, has had three failed marriages and except for her jewelry she doesn't seem to have much else to show for herself. Dotty keeps telling herself "if only, if only" but when she gets the chance to relive the critical moment of her life she makes the exact same choice she did before, because deep in her heart she is still the same person; she hasn't learned a single thing from her life. The "Erik the Red" ending is admittedly a bit strange, but I think it's entirely appropriate that having TWICE failed her test of character, Dotty doesn't deserve all the things she had at the beginning of the story -- a decent husband, a steady job, and the comforts of modern life. A fantastic little play!! Thank you so much for making it available again!!


I'm looking for another MT episode that had much in common with this one. An author kills to keep a charge of plagiarism from coming home to roost. An angel offers him a second chance, possibly a third, and he fails. Anyone know the title?

Fred Martin

Wow!! What a terrifiv story. You KNOW what she’s gonna do when the time comes, and STILL you’re on the edge of your seat. I think this is the best story yet (imtgoing through them in sequence). Only the twist at the end lacks a little courage. Could have been all about judgement and mercy; heaven and hell. That would have been realistic, as E.G. mentions early on in the story. But no. 1974 was not a time for that. Entirely too rational and materialistic for anything as quaint as God and Satan. Still, this was a terrific story, very well written and magnificently acted. Mr Carpenter was priceless. And the exchange between the two friends at the beginning was exceptional.


Another perfect episode with Mercedes McCambridge. She has the perfect voice for radio. Or a demon


The best episode so far with very in-depth levels of human nature. How many of us have thought at one point or another, if only? Dottie loved money and what she thought it could buy. Ironic she ended up where money did not matter. Be careful what you wish for it might come true. The acting was wonderful, sound effects excellent. E G Marshall, great with the poet and the finger writing and not erasing nor tears either. No commercials, no news but this episode did not need them. Excellent job RMT!


This was another episode that I taped off of the air on a reel to reel tape. I played it over and over. I remember I got my friends to do a play version of it for our parents. How weird that must have been for them. I was 11...


that actually sounds fun. I bet kids these days dont do that stuff. I dont have any kids but if I did I'd play radio shows for them. Like my dad did for me. I was watching Columbo tonight on Cozi TV and there was a reel to reel answering machine in this episode.


What was everybody's routine back when Mystery Theater was on? I went to school, ate dinner with my family, got everything done by 9p, because it aired at 9:06pm, right after the hourly news.Oh, I suppose the news stories were Iran, Carol Burnett, and Bobby Sands. I miss the 70s and 80s. So, I do the next best thing, I reenact as best as possible. They sell Good Old Fashioned Country Time Lemonade right up at Dollar General. I buy Lysol and spray my bed sheets and laundry baskets with it, I pull up youtube right at 9:06pm, I listen, then prepare the house for the night, bring the animals in, get my midnight snack (I must see if they still sell Ovaltine), then I switch it to another am radio station (George Noory, and pretend he is Art Bell).


Ovaltine is still made but it doesn't taste the same at least to me anyway. I usually listen to an episode or two after 11 pm and getting ready for bed. Sometimes I will lay down in the middle of the afternoon and listen to an episode and just chill out.


When CBSRMT made its debut ... my Dad told me about it ... and said it reminded him of his childhood ... during the Golden Age of Radio. I adopted so many of my interests and hobbies from him ... Sherlock Holmes ... Shortwave Radio ... model airplanes ... military history ... Golden Age of Aviation aircraft ... and Old-Time Radio 📻 ... I say all this because my Dad would arrange it so when he and I took trips together — or when we took family vacations — he arranged our “driving times” to when E.G. and that wondrous “creaking door” were on the air ...


enjoy Retro nights on the weekends as well. On Friday nights I will often watch an old horror or science fiction movie. And yes I’ll enjoy a few beers and salty snacks while I’m watching. Depending on what mood I’m in and what I’m watching, I’ll often pull up You Tube and look at one of the old time bumpers from Chiller Theater, Moona Lisa (Moona’s Midnight Madness) or the CBS Late Move (all from the mid to late 70s). As a boy it was difficult to listen to E. G. Marshall because Mystery Theater started at 11:05pm. So I only got to listen to it during the summer nights or during the Christmas break. I used to get so annoyed because I would often fall asleep somewhere between Acts 2 & 3. I remember listening to the story about “The Beast Goddess” and drifting off. I just got to listen to it last year to finally find out how it ended. My wife and I enjoy lying in bed together and listening to the show , and even more so when we are driving in the car coming home (but always at night—-there’s something about listening to the creaky old gate, the spooky music, and E. G. Marshall’s introduction that gets enhanced when it’s dark outside


This was my favorite episode so far until the ending. All that needed to be done was for her to be returned to the present time and remember she gave up her chance to fix her past. That would have been punishment enough. But, it was definitely a very good most people can relate to. After all, who wouldn't want to go change things in their past for the better?


One of my favorite episodes, good interesting story and I remember hearing it when it first aired in the 70's and listing to it on my home made crystal radio, it brings back some good memories!

c. miller

Another magnificent voice performance by Mercedes McCambridge.

Harper Stacey

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