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Murder to Perfection


A young woman is horrified to learn that her soon to be brother-in-law murdered her sister as well as his previous wife. He then proceeds to disclose his intention to act out the perfect murder, with her as the star of the show.



Air Dates

  • First Run - September 30, 1974
  • Repeat - November 17, 1974
  • Repeat - May 30, 1980





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24 Responses to Episode 0154

Mercedes McCambridge was truly one of the greatest radio actresses of all time!


I read more about to Mercedes McCambridge to learn more about her, and wow, the section titled ‘family tragedy’ is shocking. worth a read.


"Murder to Perfection" was not the best episode, but it had a brilliant sub-plot; a murderer who used his victims' weaknesses against them as his weapon. It makes me wonder, what weakness do I possess that could be used against me??? 3 stars.

Davy Joe

'When I ask for black mooose-leen I want BLACK MOOOSE-LEEN!!!' i wholeheartedly agree-- mc cambridge is an EXCELLENT radio actress!!


After "The Crack in the Wall" I decided to back off on the all out horror (to take it easy on my kids). So I decided to go with a murder mystery (it's not quite as horrifying as someone's dead daughter calling from a basement). At any rate, this was a great episode. Here's the lowdown: A guy (named Guy) has learned how to murder people by making them kill themselves, without him even being in the area (the crime scene). He's very confident in his abilities, so confident that he brags about it to his next victim and confidently informs her (Nicki) that she's next. As usual, the voices characters were excellent, the sound effects excellent and E.G. Marshall is incomparable.


Excellent sound quality, and Joe Campanella and Merceded McCambridge complement each other's talents well together on this episode. And, I can't believe how many of the commercials I remember hearing from childhood.


The scene opens at the funeral of a clothing designer’s sister after her untimely death. Her fiancé is there to support her. It is his brother who is left widowed after her fall/jump from their 13th story apartment window. The designer is inconsolable and accuses her soon-to-be brother-in-law of murdering her and vows, with her indomitable spirit and will, to find him guilty. Her own fiancé, a lawyer, advises against it, but the first report from the private investigator reveals some shocking truths about the newly widowed man: he has been widowed before… twice!


This episode really creeped me out when I was 12!


What with all the sweating and swearing, I sure hope your attic floor turned out well. Glad you enjoyed the show! (I really like that first five minutes too.)


Terrific program. The characters were extremely well developed and the program was compelling. My only complaint stems from my opinion that the end was far too predictable. Our villian was the type I love to, crafty, devious and ruthless....but he made a mistake that cost him. Mercedes McCambridge was terrific as our heroine and the warble to her voice added to the tension. One side note I'd like to offer: After the program was over, I noticed that we weren't introduced to any sort of policeman or detective in this play. I applaud the author because too often these characters steal time from the development of other characters. Our villian's brother could have been replaced with a detective but I definitely like the choice of a family member as our hero. Great choice


Hey, glad you liked it! I really enjoy this episode. I agree with you that the ending is a bit predictable, and, after a few listens, I also wonder why the imaginative Nikki doesn't just tape record Guy's confessions early on. In addition, I can believe he killed the alchoholic wife using the upped dosage of sleeping pills, but I don't quite buy that Nikki's sister would just throw herself out the window (mainly because I have a fear of heights myself! :shock: ) But an airtight plot is not what I listen to this one for---as you mentioned, it's the strong characterization and acting. I love this story because of its wonderful, almost soap-opera like, characterizations. The villain is such an oily, arrogant jerk, you just hate his guts. The entire cast is perfect. McCambridge is always a special favorite of mine. So deliciously melodramatic, and what a voice! I love when she says to Guy, "You are EVIL, you're a DEVIL!!" Despite the predictability of the ending, you hate Guy so much it's still very satisfying to hear them trap him. Also, it's a nice lean, economically written story with just 3 characters. (I always prefer the ones with fewer characters.) And I like the fact that they launch right into the meat of the story first thing, right at the sister's funeral. This one is extremely engaging and a lot of fun.

Raymond D.

I listened to this one installing a floor in my attic. It was great because the laborious task of cutting, fitting, nailing, swearing, and sweating was sidelined by my focus on the show. hehe I really enjoyed this one. It may have been somewhat predictable, but in like the old Columbo shows, you often knew what was coming yet the fun was in seeing how it would all play out to catch the "bad guy." I have to comment that the first five minutes of the show were really well done (the whole scene in the funeral parlour). The actors gave excellent illusion to being in front of the dead sister. The mental image created was nicely done. Thanks and happy days ahead!


I gave it a 4. The anti-hero was wonderfully written and developed. He was arrogant enough to be unlikeable, but was never a caricature. MCambridge turned in a great performance, as always. I liked the story, the script, and the acting. If all those elements are there, it's a great show! This was a great one.

Nate Panambers

I think you put your finger on the most important thing that makes this episode work so well---the fact that Guy is never a caricature. I hadn't really thought specifically about it before. He's believable, despite being so over-the-top arrogant, so, as an audience, we can't help but identify with Nikki. You just gotta hate the guy.

Brian Pontillas

Happy Birthday, Steve! This show kept me on the edge just waiting and trying to figure out how that evil Guy was going to be caught. My mind was also busy trying to guess how he got his victims to kill themselves (had a quick flashback to the one where the Nazi prison camp official was saying he never killed anyone, they killed themselves). They did a great job making us hate Guy (both setting him up with a good script and his acting). Really enjoyed the show and a new record for me lately, heard the show in one sitting. LOL


Sadly, this Lowthar third act twist was horribly predictable, considering the liberal use of surreptitious recording throughout the episode. I was kind of hoping that the brother would have turned out to have been involved. Crime drama, no supernatural elements.


Mercedes McCambridge is wonderful. What a very interesting story

Gina Schackel

Very well acted, and a good story, too. What kept pulling me out of the story was that the woman was supposed to be a successful young woman, but her voice--DEFINITELY a much older woman (I'd guess 60-65?). Because of that, the way she came across to me was a confused old woman, not a seriously frightened young lady.


Another enjoyable episode, if not somewhat predictable. I found it hard to believe that someone with that much imagination could go along that long and NOT think about recording conversations she had with her soon to be brother-in-law. I'm not sure how the brother-in-law would be charged, but I'm not a lawyer or law enforcer. Obviously he had access to her home as he put the glass in the glove and the gun in the drawer, there is at least two charges of breaking and entering there.


I guess I get why we like twists, but I don't mind see the plot twist at times. Has long has I like the characters and story line.


Very suspenseful acting and story. Just one major plot hole. I have a fear of heights and it is really unimaginable how Guy could have goaded the sister into jumping out a twelfth story window. Not going to happen, if she felt vertigo even looking out a window higher than the second floor. Furthermore the ages of the sister. Mercedes McCambridge was 58 years old in 1974, and she sounded 10 years older. Even if her sister was younger, was she 10 years younger? 15 years? Even if the sister was 43, that is still a long time to be settled into a fear of heights. She was hardly going to be tricked into committing suicide that way. Not believable. Furthermore if Mercedes was 58, and hired a private detective, why didn't she tell the detective about what Guy confessed to her and why didn't the detective think about taping the telephone calls?


Nikki Carpenter, an imaginative clothes designer, vows that she’ll prove to Guy Weston, her fiancé’s brother, murdered her sister (his wife). Guy candidly admits murder was committed, but that he had tricked his wife, and others, into killing themselves. Now he says Nikki will be next—murdered by her own imagination — unless she stops her efforts to prove him guilty.


This was one of the best episode. Loved the ending!!!

Cyntia Neal

Although i was wondering why Nicky would not just record the phone call, like Amanda had done, that is minor in this overall well written, well acted episode. E.G. Marshall was spot on and McCambridge and Campenella were great, as were the sound effects and music. Someone referenced Colombo as an example of you know whose guilty but you want to see how they trip themselves up, that was this! And Guy! Oh how could you not feel all slimy after hearing him go on bragging, like a snake in the garden! Well done and enjoyable episode! Do miss the commercials though, would have made it perfect!


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