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"Concocting A Killer" is the fourth episode of the tenth season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the one hundred thirty-sixth of the series. It first aired on October 31, 2016.


Murdoch and Ogden are faced with the possibility that they sent an innocent man to prison when the convicted murderer is released and the 12 year old case is re-opened.

Gus Shanley was sent to jail for killing his friend, Rex Landon, by putting thallium in his cocoa one night after dinner. He believed Landon was being too forward with his wife. Shanley had purchased the cocoa and thallium the day before the murder. Murdoch found the cocoa tin in Shanley's home.

The judge's report states that Shanley found a scientist in New York City who proved Dr. Ogden's initial testing could have been wrong: "Thallium mistaken for other, non-poisonous elements" in the cocoa. Twelve years ago, Dr. Ogden didn't have a spectroscope, so placing the element to a Bunsen flame was the only test available. The problem is that like thallium other metals also burns green and that's where Mr. Shanley finds a weak spot. He understands that if he can raise a question about one key piece of evidence than the entire case will be thrown out.

The Crown wants to take another look at the case and is worried that Shanley may claim prejudice if the same detective re-investigates the case: The eccentric Detective Watts from Station House No.1 is assigned the investigation. When the crucial evidence is stolen from the City Morgue followed by unflattering Toronto Gazette headlines then a new murder, the Inspector sends both Detectives to investigate the new crime scene.

Gus Shanley's ex-wife Dorothy Ramsey is now a widow. Watts and Murdoch examine Samuel Ramsey's body found in the basement of the Ramsey home. Shanley is the suspect of murder again. The first search of his room reveals nothing, but upon a second search the murder weapon, an ice pick, is discovered by Crabtree.

Character Revelations

  • Detective Watts of Station House No. 1 is introduced for the first time; despite being a good detective in his own right—he could not be more different from Detective Murdoch.
  • William gets his back up, both for his own conviction and his confidence in Julia.
  • Crabtree discovers that constables are not the only ones who go through trash bins for evidence.


Historical References

  • Throughout the 1800s, a number of scientists pushed the techniques and understanding of spectroscopy, but the spectroscope was not available in the Toronto's City Morgue until now, 1904.
  • Detective Watts states, “Man has been using scapegoats since Leviticus (23:19 ). The sins were placed upon the goat, the goat was banished to the desert, but no one cared that the goat was innocent.”
  • Philosopher Watts complains about his Station House: "The ignorami at Station One have done it again. I clearly told them to release the man who looks like Karl Marx . They've let out some fellow who's as clean-shaven as bloody Kierkegaard ."


  • Filmed on location at Cobourg’s Victoria Hall.
  • This episode is a takeoff on the ‘Making a Murderer’ documentary (2015).
  • "Me Ol' Mucker" Count: 1


Main Cast

Yannick Bisson as Detective William Murdoch
Hélène Joy as Dr. Julia Ogden
Thomas Craig as Inspector Thomas Brackenreid
Jonny Harris as Constable George Crabtree

Recurring Cast

Mouna Traoré as Rebecca James

Guest Cast

Jonathan Goad as Gus Shanley
Daniel Maslany as Detective Watts
Bea Santos asLouise Cherry
Deborah Pollitt as Dorothy Ramsay
Matthew Taylor as Samuel Ramsay
Dylan Colton as Phillip Shanley Ramsay
Elisa Moolecherry as Miss Geraldine Hanover

Non-Credited Cast

Nathan Hoppe as Constable


Murdoch Mysteries Season 10
Great Balls of Fire, Part 1Great Balls of Fire, Part 2A Study in PinkConcocting A KillerJagged Little PillBend It Like BrackenreidPainted LadiesWeekend at Murdoch'sExcitable ChapThe Devil InsideA Murdog MysteryThe MissingMr. Murdoch's NeighbourhoodFrom Murdoch to EternityHades Hath No FuryMaster LovecraftHot Wheels of ThunderHell to Pay
Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10Season 11Season 12