"Dead End Street"
Dead end street.jpg
Season 4
Episode 6
Air date July 13, 2011 (Canada)
Written by Carol Hay
Directed by Laurie Lynd
Guest Stars Liisa Repo-Martell as Lydia Howland
Recurring Jonathan Watton as Dr.Darcy Garland
Previous Monsieur Murdoch
Next Confederate Treasure

"Dead End Street" is the sixth episode of the fourth season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the forty-fifth episode of the series. It first aired on March 22, 2011 (UK).


Murdoch suspects that a detailed miniature streetscape of a Toronto neighborhood contains clues to a homicide. But the artist is an idiot savant, unable to finger the killer. It's up to Murdoch to get a clear picture of a street roiling with conflict, deceit, and murder.

While attending an agricultural show, Detective Murdoch is amazed at the quality and detail of a miniature street scene that is on display. It includes several houses and several miniature residents. It also includes a man standing in a second floor room pointing a rifle. Murdoch quickly concludes that he is looking at the recreation of a murder scene. He quickly finds the Toronto neighborhood depicted in the model and learns that it was created by Lydia Howland, an autistic woman who doesn't speak but has a photographic memory. He is certain that she witnessed a murder and now has to figure how to get at her memories and determine which of the people depicted in the miniature is the real-life killer.

No murder or missing person has been reported but with the help of Lydia, the reluctant participation of the people of the neighbourhood, a photograph in a newspaper, and an unconventional autopsy by Dr. Ogden, Detective Murdoch is able to determine who was murdered and why.

Character Revelations

  • When Murdoch describes Lydia to Dr. Ogden as "A mysterious combination of emotional unawareness and acute intellect." Julia says, under her breath with a smile, "That's a good description of someone I know." We can assume she means William.
  • Crabtree mentions being a pet owner in this episode.


Historical References

  • The events of this episode occur at least 8 months after Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee (June 22 1897) placing the events of this episode in spring of 1898.
  • James Henry Pullen (1835–1916), also known as the Genius of Earlswood Asylum, was a British autistic savant, possibly suffering from aphasia. After Pullen's death, his workshop became a museum of his work until the Royal Earlswood Hospital was closed in 1997.



  • Julia explains what an idiot savant is to Murdoch, but in Season 1, Murdoch explains the term to Crabtree. It could be argued that Murdoch is being polite rather than saying that he knows what an idiot savant is.


 Main Cast

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

Recurring Cast

Jonathan Watton as Dr.Darcy Garland

Guest Cast

Liisa Repo-Martell as Lydia Howland
Catherine Disher as Mrs. Galbraith
Adam MacDonald as Bert Howland
Robert Fulton as Mr. Galbraith
Jonathan Wilson as Felix Roach
Jessica Greco as Mrs. Caruso
Matthew Deslippe as Mr. Caruso
Brian Sweetapple as Mr. Draper
Megan Dunlop as Mrs. Gordon


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"
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