Murdoch Mysteries Wiki

"All Tattered and Torn" (also known as Tattered and Torn) is the first episode of the fourth season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the fortieth episode of the series. It first aired on February 15, 2011 (UK).


The discovery of dismembered body parts encased in a concrete block poses a seemingly impenetrable mystery, but Murdoch chips away at the case, despite the resistance of prickly pathologist Dr. Llewellyn Francis.

Six months have passed since Dr. Ogden moved to Buffalo and Detective Murdoch is constantly butting heads with Dr. Francis, her replacement. While Inspector Brackenreid thinks highly of Dr. Francis, who was recruited from Scotland Yard, whereas Murdoch finds him stubborn, uncooperative, and unimaginative. He also seems to be in no rush to help Murdoch with his latest case, where human body parts are discovered on a riverbank encased in cement.

Since Dr. Francis seems reluctant to help him, Murdoch contacts Dr. Ogden for her help and manages to discern that the victim in the cement block was a Duncan Burnside, a prodigious toff who was named "Citizen of the Year", who was last seen the week before. Murdoch leads Brackenreid to believe that it was Dr. Francis who discovered the mark of the transplantology, but when Francis claims he'd never heard of it, it becomes clear to the both of them that Murdoch had been consulting with Dr. Ogden. Enraged and insulted, Dr. Francis moves the autopsy of the cement block to the end of the queue. Angered, Murdoch speaks about his frustrations to retired Detective Malcolm Lamb, who was the one who telephoned the Constabulary regarding the cement block found near his home. Lamb advises Murdoch to seek justice regardless of the obstacles in his path. With those words in mind, Murdoch breaks into the morgue and takes all of the Burnside evidence, transporting them via CN Rail to Buffalo, in order for Dr. Ogden to provide the autopsy he desperately needs.

The autopsy reveals that there are not one but three victims encased in cement - one who had gout, one who had syphilis, and the other being Duncan Burnside. Dr. Francis, due to his expertise as a prison medical doctor, notices that the syphilitic victim had shackles marks on his feet, indicating he had been imprisoned at one time. As they leave the morgue, Brackenreid gives a stern, verbal warning to Murdoch not to over step his bounds again. As they head outside, Constable Higgins reveals to them that only one inmate released this week from the Don Jail who had syphilis was a Cyrus Wheeler. Soon after, Crabtree alerts Murdoch and Brackenreid that the Coboconk Constabulary has contacted them about a missing citizen of theirs, Oslo Jelton, who was supposed to be at the Empire Hotel in Toronto but did not show up.

Murdoch heads to Coboconk, where Oslo's sister Wilma tells him that Oslo had gout. Knowing that one of their victims also had gout, Murdoch inquires her as to why her brother went to Toronto to begin with, and is given a letter signed by a "D.B." requesting his presence. Realizing that "D.B." is Duncan Burnside and that Oslo is the third victim, Murdoch conspires to discover how the three victims are connected. His answers come in the form of Constable Hodge, who remembers the name and face of Oslo Jelton from an old rape and murder case. Twenty years ago, a young woman named Harriet King was raped ans strangled in an alley behind a pub. The pub owner, Richard Duff, originally testified that he had seen Oslo run away from the alley and that he had heard two other male voices prompting him to hurry up. However, he recanted the tale shortly after, citing that he had been drunk at the time. The newspapers, including a statement by the former Inspector of Station House Four, claimed that there were three suspects; however, shortly after he too recanted his story.

Murdoch pays a visit to Detective Lamb, who tells Murdoch that he is unable to remember the name Harriet King, Cyrus Wheeler or Oslo Jelton, citing that he was only a constable back then. Murdoch has Crabtree bring in Richard Duff, the pub owner, for questioning; Crabtree notifies Murdoch that Duff is dying and has a few weeks at best to live. During his interrogation, Duff initially holds up the recanted story, but after Murdoch shows him pictures of Harriet King, he breaks down, revealing that it was indeed Oslo Jelton who had raped and killed her, along with his two friends Duncan Burnside and Cyrus Wheeler. Duff tells Murdoch that he received a note from whom he perceived was Oslo's father about his pub being shut down if he did not recant the story, and so he agreed as the pub was his sole way of supporting his family. He then rants about how Constable Lamb hounded him for two years to recant the story, which intrigues Murdoch as Lamb stated that he had no recollection of Harriet King or Oslo Jelton.

Murdoch pays a visit to Lamb's ex-fiancée, Sarah Connolly, who tells Murdoch that Lamb was obsessed over the case and that they broke off their engagement over the Harriet King case. Murdoch, Brackenreid, and the other constables conduct a raid on Lamb's property, where Murdoch finds the pine wood used to transport the cement blocks, and Brackenreid charges and arrests Lamb for murder. In his cell, Lamb explains that he pursued the case diligently so that the Constabulary could do some good for once, as the force was comprised of relatives of rich people back then, paid solely to break up bar fights. Murdoch asks Lamb why he left a cement block on the riverbank rather than sinking that one as well. Lamb tells Murdoch that he was about to, but then realized that no one would realize they had died and thus there would be no justice for Harriet King. Having kept tabs on the illustrious Detective Murdoch, he left a cement block on the riverbank for the sole purpose of Murdoch finding it and proving that Olso, Cyrus and Duncan were guilty of the rape and murder of Harriet King, thus bringing her justice, although he admits he never thought Murdoch would be able to trace it back to him. Lamb states that he does not regret his actions and that he is fine with God and Harriet now. He then asks Murdoch how Sarah is, and asks Murdoch to notify Sarah that that he is fine, despite facing the noose.

Character Revelations


Historical References

  • This episode takes place in Toronto 1898 – Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria 1819 - 1901) is Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and Empress of India.


Notable Quote

Crabtree to Higgins: "Higgins, just the facts, man!"


Main Cast

Yannick Bisson as William Murdoch
Hélène Joy as Julia Ogden
Thomas Craig as Thomas Brackenreid
Jonny Harris as George Crabtree

Recurring Cast

Lachlan Murdoch as Henry Higgins
Brian Kaulback as Constable Hodge
Paul Rhys as Dr. Llewllyn Francis

Guest Cast

Victor Garber as (retired) Detective Malcolm Lamb
Daniel Kash as Arthur Frumm
Emma Campbell as Mrs. Burnside
Sarah Dodd as Wilma Jelton
Robert King as Richard Duff
Michelle Giroux as Sarah Conolly Forbes


Murdoch Mysteries Season 4
"All Tattered and Torn" • "Kommando" • "Buffalo Shuffle" • "Downstairs, Upstairs" • "Monsieur Murdoch" • "Dead End Street" • "Confederate Treasure" • "Dial M for Murdoch" • "The Black Hand" • "Voices" • "Bloodlust" • "The Kissing Bandit" • "Murdoch in Wonderland"
Web-Series: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs
Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10