The macabre discovery of nude statues made from the bodies of murdered women leads Murdoch to suspect a sequential killer who knew the victims. The bodies had been coated in copper, pointing Murdoch and Brackenreid to an electroplating company in Toronto.
A life size bare-naked statue in Cawthra Park, a civil outrage, draws a crowd. A stir is clearly what the artist intended points out Dr. Ogden. When a man with a hammer decries it a vulgar display, an affront to decency, it is revealed to be no ordinary work of art but a dead woman perfectly preserved in metal. But was she murdered? Crabtree suggests it may a new way to remember one's loved one, which is dismissed by Brackenreid, "Crabtree, stop being a such a happy dafty."
Even as Dr. Ogden determines the cause of death and Murdoch with Brackenreid question James Kirkham, owner of the only electroplating factory in Toronto, a second victim is discovered by a tramp in the park. Both victims had shared a meal with their killer and Dr. Ogden finds significant amounts of the sedative sulfonal. Dr. Ogden suggests the young women may have been prostitutes. Murdoch reminds the Inspector about a case a few years back in Hamilton. Brackenreid recalls the case of a man named Dray caught “killing doxies," but he was released on a technicality. Unfortunately, Dray was himself killed shortly after he got out.
The statue of a third victim follows the pattern, same stomach contents, same sedative, and the stab wound with the same weapon. The killer drugged, and then killed them all together. Their poses begin to suggest a familiar tableau– the killer is recreating The Last Supper! The three electroplated corpses represent Peter, Judas and Thomas, all three apostles who betrayed their Lord. Could that be the killer's message? The electroplater was betrayed by the three women and killing them is his revenge? Or he killed them to send a message to whomever actually betrayed him.
Upon the second meeting, the prostitutes Cora and Ginny reluctantly tell Dr. Ogden, like themselves, the victims were all prostitutes from the same Hamilton household. The owner of the brothel, Sally Brown, was hanged for killing Albert Dray who had killed her girls. Murdoch was right, the Albert Dray case holds the key to the solving this case.
Dr. Ogden returns to the morgue to get the Dray case files to take home, whereupon she finds the morgue’s cleaner Rebecca James working her night shift. For the second time, Rebecca offers to change her schedule so as not to interrupt Dr. Ogden’s work. The doctor assures her there is no need as she was just there to collect some papers. She notes the young woman’s interest in the skeleton “Shelley” and anatomy as she leaves to meet Murdoch.
At home and late into the night, William and Julia go over the case files: the wounds on Dray’s torso are so distinct, Julia believes they were inflicted by five different weapons, suggesting multiple killers. What if Sally, Doreen, Fern, and Elsie made a pact to kill Dray? They agreed to stick to the same story if they were questioned. Then under pressure three of them crumbled and the blame went to Sally alone. She goes to her grave without breathing a word. Murdoch concludes that someone may be exacting revenge on those who got away with Mr. Dray's murder. Counting Sally Brown, there are five killers and four of them are dead that means one of them is still out there.
Inspector Brackenreid is sure that the killer is James Kirkham, “the man who owns the bloody factory”, but Murdoch is not convinced even with the proof that it is indeed Kirkham’s factory that is being used to encase the dead bodies. The constables seek out the two prostitutes again, but Cora can’t be found, leaving only Ginny and Kirkham for questioning to uncover the truth and the killer.
- Julia can imitate Inspector Brackenreid, pitch perfect.
- The City Morgue has a night cleaner, Rebecca James, who has kept the morgue in spotless condition during Dr. Grace's time and before Julia Ogden's return.
- Dr. Ogden's first case as city coroner back at the City Morgue.
- Little is known about Rebecca James, she may be more than a just a "housekeeper".
- This case study will be used by a copycat murderer in Season 12 (ep.1216).
- This episode takes place in Toronto 1903 – the Edwardian Era (1901-1910) a the time in which King Edward VII rules the British Empire.
- Modern electrochemistry was invented by Italian chemist Luigi V. Brugnatelli in 1805. The Norddeutsche Affinerie in Hamburg was the first modern electroplating plant in 1876. In France, electroplated decorative objects were readily accepted by upper society to display their affluence and fashion sense.
- Murdoch Mysteries composer Robert Carli has performed and worked with the popular Canadian band Barenaked Ladies, the title of this episode.
- Allusion to Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express.
- Filmed in Ayr, Gage Park, and Hamilton area.
- This murder case is referenced in Manual for Murder.
Louisa Lytton as Ginny Beasley
Richard Fitzpatrick as James Kirkham
Gordon Bolan as Father Raymond
Courtney Deelen as Cora
Peter Young Jarvis as Protesting Citizen
Regan Brown as Mother
Markus Radan as Tommy Baker
Joe Silvaggio as Tramp
|Murdoch Mysteries Season 9|
|"Nolo Contendere" • "Marked Twain" • "Double Life" • "Barenaked Ladies" • "24 Hours Til Doomsday" • "The Local Option" • "Summer of '75" • "Pipe Dreamzzz" • "Raised On Robbery" • "The Big Chill" • "A Case of The Yips" • "Unlucky In Love" • "Colour Blinded" • "Wild Child" • "House of Industry" • "Bloody Hell" • "From Buffalo With Love" • "Cometh the Archer"|
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