"Shipwreck" is the fifteenth episode of the eighth season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the one hundred-eleventh episode of the series. It first aired February 23, 2015.


The body of Jeanette Rajotte is found at her parent's grave in the cemetery of Saint Francis Church and Dr. Grace confirms that she died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head. When Detective Murdoch seeks out the church’s priest, he finds Father Keegan who was one of his first teachers. Together, they investigate the murder and the sudden disappearance of Father Lebel of Saint Francis with whom Father Keegan was to meet the day the body was discovered. The dead woman worked at the parish as a cleaner and according to the priest's cook, Madame Benoit, Father Lebel is a kind and good man. As far as Inspector Brackenreid is concerned, Father Lebel is their main suspect, though Murdoch is keeping an open mind, remembering first assumptions are as often wrong as they are right. 

Murdoch remembers the first lessons he learned from Father Keegan while an altar boy on a stormy night when all able hands were called to rescue those in a shipwreck– and his first murder. Those lessons learned have become Murdoch’s tenets: One can't only trust the heart, go to logic and observation; the truth is the rock upon which we must stand, no matter the consequences; and a noble motive, makes one no less a murder. William remembers every word Father Keegan ever said to him for they are the words he recalls when he is faced with a difficult decision. 

Meanwhile, Edna has asked George for help writing a slogan for a contest: Whoever can write the best slogan extolling the virtues of Wickley's bread will win free loaves for a year. And the writer's image might be used on the poster.

Further investigation and the capture of Father Lebel, reveals that all is not what they seem and Murdoch must face the fact and disappointment that his mentor has not been truthful with him. As Father Lebel performed sacraments which are now invalid, what if those sacraments can't be redone by the church? Julia reminds William, "Marriage for instance. A widow would lose her husband's estate if she were suddenly unmarried." And that is a strong motive for murder.

Character Revelations

  • Murdoch is called "Will" when he was a boy, Father Keegan still does.
  • Lessons learned with Father Keegan created Murdoch credos.
  • As a boy experimenting with lens and sunlight, young Will burnt down Father Keegan's shed, but he rebuilt it all by himself – "Both stubborn and virtuous even then," notes Julia.
  • Murdoch loses faith in his childhood priest and mentor who helps cover up a church scandal.
  • The Inspector Brackenreid prefers his wife's home-baked bread to store-bought ones.


  • William invites his mentor to dinner with his wife . . . and is asked if they have children.
  • Edna asks George to help her write a slogan for a Wickley's bread advertising contest.
  • This episode does not focus on Dr. Grace and Lillian Moss' budding relationship

Historical References

  • The prediction of sliced bread, its automation by machine and its selling point were made by Inspector Brackenreid and George Crabtree. Sliced bread was first introduced in 1928, produced by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Missouri using bread-slicing machines invented by Otto Frederick Rohwedder.
  • Julia points out to William that this isn't the first time a woman impersonates a man: The Catholic Church has Saint Marina the monk, not to mention Joan of Arc. Margaret Bulkley who became Dr. James Barry and performed surgery for many years, who genuinely healed people.



  • The King James Version of Corinthians 13:12 was used when Murdoch read from Jeanette Rajotte's Bible (and Father Keegan continued to recite from memory); Catholics of the era would have used the Douay–Rheims translation.
  • Julia cites Joan of Arc in her list of women who impersonated men. However Joan never actually disguised her sex. Her adoption of men's fashion was entirely of a practical nature — both wearing armor in battle, and later wearing men's clothing while imprisoned during her trial as a defense against rape (for which she received special dispensation).


Main Cast

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

Recurring Cast

Tamara Hope as Edna Brooks

Guest Cast

Peter Outerbridge as Father Keegan
John Paul Ruttan as Young Murdoch
Suzanne Roberts-Smith as Father Lebel
Michèle Duquet as Madame Benoit
Jacques Tourangeau as Francois Robichaud
Genevieve Dufour as Jeanette Rajotte
Stephen Jackson as Fisherman
Charlotte Legault as Abigail Dawlish
Stephanie Bitten as Mrs. Cameron


Murdoch Mysteries Season 8
"On the Waterfront Part 1" • "On the Waterfront Part 2" • "Glory Days" • "Holy Matrimony, Murdoch!" • "Murdoch Takes Manhattan" • "The Murdoch Appreciation Society (episode)" • "What Lies Buried" • "High Voltage" • "The Keystone Constables" • "Murdoch and the Temple of Death" • "All That Glitters" • "The Devil Wears Whalebone" • "The Incurables" • "Shipwreck" • "Crabtree Mania" • "Toronto's Girl Problem" • "Election Day" • "Artful Detective" •
Season 1Season 2Season 3eason 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10
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