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"Hangman" is the eleventh episode of the third season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the thirty-seventh episode of the series. It first aired on April 27, 2010 (UK).


Detective Murdoch investigates a bizarre case when a convicted murderer apparently manages to survive the hangman's noose. When Cecil Fox's body is delivered to Dr. Ogden for a post-mortem, she finds a hollow tube inserted in his throat and Fox grabs the Doctor's wrist, being very much alive. He escapes. It seems he managed to survive by inserting the tube, thus allowing him to breathe, and by having the hangman's rope shortened so as to ensure that his neck isn't broken. Murdoch and Brackenreid immediately focus on the hangman, Theodore Pleasant, as being complicit in the escape. Brackenreid and Pleasant are good friends but the police Inspector has to admit that it doesn't look good for his friend. With Crabtree and Higgins manning a stakeout, Murdoch and Ogden conclude that there may have been a miscarriage of justice and that Fox was in fact innocent of the crime for which he was convicted.

Character Revelations

  • Dr. Ogden questions Capital punishment when it is so prone to error.
  • While Murdoch has his qualms, but it is his duty to uphold the law.
  • George's Aunt Begonia died laughing.


  • William and Julia seem to be at opposite ends of an argument as tension between them grows.

Historical References

  • The characters of hangman Theodore Pleasant and his apprentice, Gideon Catchpole, may have been inspired by historical Canadian hangman John Radcliveand his apprentice and successor, Arthur B. English (aka Arthur Ellis).
  • An execution hanging and the historic Don Jail are featured for the first time in this series.


  • Crabtree explains to Higgins how a cow invented the doughnut hole, or was it a goat?
  • Don Jail now houses administrative offices of the adjacent hospital facility.


  • Despite the 1868 Act of Parliament to restrict execution to the confines of a prison and out of public view, public hangings at the Don Jail were held outdoors until 1905.


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

Guest Cast

Eric Peterson as Crown Hershey Dillard
Peter Donaldson as Theodore Pleasant
Hardee T. Lineham as Cecil Fox


Murdoch Mysteries Season 3
"The Murdoch Identity" • "The Great Wall" • "Victor, Victorian" • "Rich Boy, Poor Boy" • "Me, Myself and Murdoch" • "This One Goes to Eleven" • "Blood and Circuses" • "Future Imperfect" • "Love and Human Remains" • "The Curse of Beaton Manor" • "Hangman" • "In the Altogether" • "The Tesla Effect"
Season 1Season 2Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10