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Constable George Crabtree is one of the original main characters in Murdoch Mysteries and is portrayed by Canadian actor and comedian, Jonny Harris.

He is a constable of the Toronto Constabulary assigned to Station House No. 4. He is a willing and eager assistant to Detective William Murdoch. The irrepressible George is fiercely loyal, holds both Murdoch and Inspector Brackenreid in the highest regard for his dream is to be as good a copper as William Murdoch. George may be one of a rare few who truly knows Detective Murdoch. Surprisingly by Season 9, George and Dr. Julia Ogden have more in common than one might expect. Of the four main characters, they are the two who have gone through much, seen changes, and grown the more: both have been imprisoned for murder and survived, proven innocent by Murdoch.

"Crabtree is utterly guileless. A good man holding a steady job,...his self-effacing honesty attracts women far above his own social standing. His one true love is the subject of much fan and show writer debate..." – Investigating Murdoch Mysteries 

Early Life

Born in Toronto to a poor family, George was given up as a baby by Gracie Brooks, who could not give him the life she wanted him to have. Left in front of a church, as a foundling child he was raised by a good reverend and an assortment of "aunts" in Newfoundland. As a young man, he returned to Toronto to join the Constabulary. His unorthodox upbringing has been his education and is the source of his empathy towards people from all walks of life.

Crabtree possesses a creative streak which accounts for his unconventional thinking and belief in supernatural explanations, from Martians to sea monsters (but not in local lakes), along with werewolves, vampires and, of course, ghosts. Often, to Murdoch’s surprise, there lurks a grain of truth in the constable's unscientific theories. George has a knack for "seeing" how Murdoch's inventions will have practical uses in the future, not to mention his willingness to taste the next new food fad. On occasion, he has captured his ideas on paper and is the author of The Curse of the Pharaohs. A copy is always in his desk drawer at Station House No. 4.

Character Arc

At the beginning of the series (101), George tends to come off as a bit silly, almost foolish, but it is revealed that his hyperactive mind thinks differently and is inspired by Murdoch's methods for solving crimes. It is in the opening episode, Power, he meets Edna Garrison for the first time, sharing their first kiss.

One of George's running references is his flower named aunts. In Blood and Circuses he mentions to Murdoch that he was a foundling. In the third season, it is revealed that Crabtree is a Freemason, along with Brackenreid, and turns out to be of higher rank than the inspector.

His beliefs in the paranormal often clash with Murdoch and Brackenreid, while amusing Dr. Ogden's who has her own unique morgue humour. The tables are turned in Loch Ness Murdoch when George, who believes in zombies, werewolves, vampires, Martians, Venusians, curses, voodoo, ghosts, and, apparently, sea monsters, states there is no evidence of a creature living in Lake Ontario. George just can't imagine anything so dastardly living in fresh water. While the Inspector, Murdoch and Dr. Ogden research and search for the "lake monster", George is convinced that one of the Miss Purity contestants is involved the murder.

He has a romantic courtship, beginning in Season 5 with Emily Grace, but later ending in Season 7.

Season 8

Season 8 represents growth for George. His up-and-down relationship with Emily Grace is put on the back burner when a "new" lady enters his life from episode one: Edna Brooks (née Garrison) is now a single mom struggling to make ends meet. Renewing their courtship, George becomes a surrogate father to Edna’s adopted son, a departure for the constable who usually is the comic relief. His situation gets far more serious with the return of Edna's (presumed deceased) husband then his dead body is found in her apartment which leads to Edna fleeing with her son and George arrested for the murder in Artful Detective at the end of Season 8.

Corrected hyperlink== Season 9 == In Season 9, George Crabtree is challenged when it comes to what he wants out of life and his relationships, after being exonerated but demoted, then losing both Edna and Emily from his life, of which Dr. Ogden reminds the concerned Detective. Writer George Crabtree has a very brief encounter with Lucy Maud Montgomery while teaching a creative writing class in Unlucky In Love. Through the years, George has chosen women who offered the future he imagines for himself, getting married and having a family. But Nina Bloom challenges that dream, despite that he falls for her against the advise of both the Inspector and Murdoch (ep.917).

Season 10

At the top of Season 10, George Crabtree is on the up part of the romance roller coaster with Nina Bloom, even invests in an auto shop business with her brother Sam (ep.1002). With the introduction of Louise Cherry who represents the more traditional choice (ep.1004), George is faced with re-examining his future again, to reconsider how much he values marriage and family or whether an exciting love affair is what he wants to explore. By mid-season, just after he declines his first dinner invitation from Louise, Jackson hands George a letter from his "lady friend" which George assumes is from Louise. Instead, it is a 'Dear John' letter from Nina. He tells Jackson, "It would appear I'm not courting anybody anymore " near the end of Excitable Chap. George struggles with the biggest mystery of all: his love life (ep.1012). In From Murdoch to Eternity, George does some sleuthing behind Murdoch's back with good reason and calls on the help of Louise Cherry and Samuel Bloom.

In the stand-alone holiday special Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas, George has self-published the second issue of his Jumping Jack stories - a picture novel (aka comic) just in time for Christmas.

In Hot Wheels of Thunder, women flying at high speeds, danger, thrills! Crabtree is sure he has never seen anything like it in his life and may never have the chance again, but he told Louise that he'll attend the two lectures on Horatio Alger and self achievement in the new century instead. Even after encouraging words from the Inspector and Detective about Miss Cherry, he lies to her so he can watch The Buffalo Queens roller race. When found out, Louise takes it in her stride to George's delight, which takes a turn after their dinner with the Detective and Doctor at their Windsor House Hotel home. Louise finds the older couple boring and plans to introduce George to more appropriate friends. It is one thing to insult one's most valued friends but when Louise lets George down by believing the lies of Chief Constable Davis and writing those lies as truths for the newspaper (but not the Toronto Gazette), that ends of the relationship for George in Hell to Pay.

His reunion with Nina Bloom is interrupted by ruthless Robert Graham who reminds him that he is at a crossroads in his life, help and he will have an unimpeded rise to the top: the Inspector is gone and his immediate superior is a murderer – things are looking up for Constable George Crabtree and all he has to do is look away. George won't be doing that. “…you wish to add another item to your long list of mistakes. Enjoy your time with your whore.” Nina stops George from hitting Graham; the way George just stood up to the odious bigwig makes Nina so proud of him. But at the end of the season finale Hell to Pay, along with Constables Higgins and Jackson, George is caught in an ambush; all are shot and possibly murdered.

Season 11

As the Season 11 premiere opens, it's presumed that George is dead from the ambush at the church, as well as Jackson. However, he later makes an appearance at a tavern (owned by Hodge) to talk in secret with the Inspector, Julia, and Detective Watts. It's revealed that Watts and Rebecca James saved his life after he was shot. For his own safety, they pronounce him dead so that George can work behind the scenes without getting caught. Later, George surprises Murdoch, who is extremely happy to see him. But soon there after, he runs off to save Nina Bloom before she does something she will regret. At the end of the episode, back in Station House No. 4, George, Higgins, and the Inspector all raise glasses in Jackson's memory.

As Season 11 continues, George Crabtree appears to be doing well after recent events. In Merlot Mysteries, the detective comments on his rather chipper behaviour, despite what had happened to Jackson. George explains it's because he believes Jackson would want them to continue on with their police work. Later, he attends a surgery with Julia and Murdoch, a little shocked at the fact the patient died- and under suspicious circumstances too (ep. 1104). Along with John Brackenreid, George also ends up going undercover as Professor Colin Matthews at Laird College to uncover a mystery of two missing boys and possibly a murder (ep.1106). In the process, George shares his own (revealing) obituary with his unenthusiastic students: "Professor Colin Matthews is survived by his beautiful wife and seven children. A virile gentleman to say the least. His eulogy was delivered by his best friend, William Mmmm...Murphy. And he died the author of Canada's universally praised, nay, lauded series, The Secrets of Go Home Lake."

Like Murdoch, George has always wanted a family of his own. At the top of Shadows Are Falling, Inspector Brackenreid counsels Crabtree to do himself a favour "and marry that pretty dancer of yours". Crabtree explains that Nina is a free spirit, so he hesitates to push her into something that would be a lifelong commitment, even more so than marriage.

In the Season 11 finale, George does indeed ask Nina Bloom to marry him upon her deciding to return to the Moulin Rouge (ep.1109) in Paris.

Season 12

To George's delight, Murdoch has taken his idea (see ep.313) and built a "potato cooking room" in his and Julia's new home (ep.1201). More importantly in Operation: Murder, George thinks he’s found the perfect woman, “could you think of a better possible match than a constable and a nurse?” but, by the end, he can no longer ignore the truth, “…every woman I love leaves town”. The Detective points out “…you do seem to choose women who are ambitious.” Aha! George realizes how he sets himself up for failure. With this new insight, what does he do now? “Should I pursue a woman who is simple or uncomplicated, without worldly passions? I mean, is it time I resigned myself to a life that is secure, even if a bit, you know, humdrum?” Reminiscent of their tête-à-tête at Hodge’s (ep.1118), but this time William counsels, “That is a question only you can answer, George. But I can tell you this: Although ambitious women aren't always easy, they are always interesting.”

When Higgins' marriage to Ruth Newsome takes place, George becomes Henry's best man and is first introduced to Ruth's cousin and matron of honor Effie Newsome. Along with this, murder attempts are being taken on the groom – repeatedly, with George unwittingly saving Henry's life in different ways each time. (ep.1203). In the episode Sir. Sir? Sir!!!, Crabtree and Julia are the last characters left standing when mysterious beings begin to take over Toronto. And while one of Crabtree's theories is proven to be true, he is not excited in the slightest, as he's now "lost [his] best friend". (ep.1206)

George, John, and Watts all work together to track down an axe murderer who has escaped custody, and in the process, possibly proving that she may not be as guilty as previously thought. (ep.1211). As William and Julia begin writing their book, they turn to Crabtree for help, and he in turn begins to edit it for them. In One Minute to Murder, George participates in the very same typing competition that later murders a young man. It is later found that the intended target may have in reality been Louise Cherry, who has made no shortage of enemies. In the same episode, George becomes frustrated as the Murdoch and Julia have given him next to no credit for their book, and even mispelled his name as "Carbtree". Miss Cherry urges him to point this out to the Detective.

Coincidentally, George has been writing a new book, the manuscript of which is soon stolen and read by Effie Newsome; without permission. He becomes angry at her for reading it, causing her to storm out of the Station House, but not before she admits, "It was very good. I... couldn't put it down." (ep.1217)

In the season finale, Darkness Before the Dawn Part 2George, along with the rest of the Station House team, works furiously to clear John's name and find the person(s) behind the murder of Lucille Palmer, along with those who have been framing John. He seeks Effie's help in the matter, who finds him the documents needed. However, she gets fired from her job as a consequence. At the end of the episode, George and Effie appear to have begun courting.

Season 13

At the top of Season 13, George Crabtree and Effie Newsome’s courting has moved to a more intimate union outside of marriage – yet another relationship with a modern woman for George.

George has made the acquaintance, and possibly friendship, of the newest recruit to Station House Four - 'Special Constable' Robert Parker. Together, the two use one of Murdoch's inventions, the 'Searchizer ', to possibly identify a victim. George comments how it has never once worked, right before the machine dings to announce it's discovery of an identity. Later on, Murdoch assigns Robert Parker to work on fingermarks with George's help, but George cleverly dodges the responsibility, much to Parker's dismay. (ep.1303)

In Prodigal Father, George runs into his long-lost father, George Crabtree Snr. Where his father is delighted to discover he has a son, George is somewhat overwhelmed by the news. George confides in Murdoch, who is all too aware at how "fathers can be complicated." However, they warm up to each other quickly, and bond over flights of fancy - like father, like son. Upon finding out that his son is an author, Crabtree Snr. buys a publishing company for George's book. Later on, evidence comes to light that points to George's father as a killer. When George questions him, he reveals that drastic mood swings have been a constant part of his life. George Crabtree Snr. has bipolar disorder. By the end of the episode, Crabtree Snr.'s name has been cleared of suspicion, and he heads off to Montreal. He invites George and Effie to join him, but the two remain in Toronto.

George leaves Effie's room coincidentally at the same time that Watts is leaving Jack Walker's room, and the two run into each other. He implements Watts' help in tracking down a thief in the building, accidentally uncovering the secret that Jack and Watts share in the process. Watts tells him that it's only "money troubles" that has him staying with Walker. George understands his worry and reassures him, "your 'money troubles' are safe with me" (ep.1309).

In the 200th episode special, George accompanies the rest of station house 4 to a conference of 20th century inventors. He takes an interest in Albert Einstein's theories, surprising (and annoying) Brackenreid. When inventors begin to go missing, he aids in the investigation. He, along with the Detective, Inspector, and Julia, are all kidnapped by Sally Pendrick, but manage to escape due to some quick thinking on Crabtree's part.

In Kill Thy Neighbour, George's book A Man Alone has been doing rather well despite it's slow sell rate. So well, in fact, that his publisher wants him to go on a tour across the country. George accepts the opportunity, but a potentially dangerous surprise awaits him when he returns. George finds himself a captive of an anger fan named Amelia. Upon escaping his ordeal, George's promise to say nothing of her crime may have unforeseen consequences.

Season 14

Indeed, George's kept promise about his ordeal with Amelia may jeopardize his happiness and future with Effie.


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In The Future

  • By early 1920s, George Crabtree will be retired from the Constabulary due to a few successful investments he has made. In addition, as a member of the Aviator's Club, he will assist Frankie Drake on a case.

External Links


Murdoch Mysteries Stars and Characters
Yannick Bisson as William MurdochHélène Joy as Julia OgdenThomas Craig as Thomas BrackenreidJonny Harris as George Crabtree