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"Still Waters" is the eighth episode of the first season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the eighth episode of the series. It first aired on March 9, 2008.


Richard Hartley, a member of the men's eight rowing team at the prestigious, and snobbish, King's Rowing Club is found dead. Hartley was a newly appointed member of the team, having displaced Horace Briggs, a blue collar, working man looked down upon by the others for his lower class. Hartley's body is identified by his fiancée, Minerva Fairchild, who tells Detective William Murdoch that Hartley had recently argued with his rowing coach, Hamilton Kane.

To complicate matters, the Hartleys are a prestigious Toronto family with a great deal of influence, and Murdoch finds Dr. Ogden's social connections useful as her forensic skills to investigate the apparent drowning. The autopsy reveals that he drowned, but the body is bruised in a manner indicating a beating. They soon find Richard's massive bruises result from being beaten with an oar, probably hazing as he recently joined the team which has Olympic hopes.

The first suspect is the gardener, Briggs, the most talented rower, whose spot was stolen by Hartley, as multiple persons observe that 'you don't say no to a Hartley'. No one on the team, including the coach, was happy about losing their most talented rower to a spoiled bully right before the run up to the Olympics. Inspector Brackenreid enjoys jailing the posh team and trying Murdoch's latest toy, a primitive lie detector on them. Digging deeper reveals multiple motives and proof that Hartley survived the beating during the hazing, and was killed afterward, having seen his fiancée and been violent toward her in the meantime.

Minerva Fairchild thus becomes a suspect, as it is revealed that she did not choose Richard, but he chose her, and you don't say no to a Hartley. Due to social pressures from their families, she was unable to refuse him, but she was in love with the gardener, Briggs, and they had been having an affair. Analyzing the content of the lungs provides Murdoch with the additional clues that point to Richard having been drowned in the bath, after Minerva left, by Briggs who had witnessed her running away in tears after Richard had threatened her.

Character Revelations

  • Murdoch's Pneumograph (a lie detector of his own invention) demonstration "back fires" when Dr. Ogden observes and Constable Higgins asks if the Detective is in love.
  • Julia and Isaac Tash studied medicine at Bishop's University. They were very close. He tells Murdoch that Julia was a pistol.
  • George has discovered a new coffee drink. Murdoch thinks it bitter and will stick to tea.
  • George has an Aunt who collects fancy bath oils.


Historical References

  • This episode takes place in Toronto 1895 – Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria 1819 - 1901) is Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and Empress of India.
  • Murdoch demonstrates what is essentially a polygraph to constables at Station House Four. The polygraph was not invented until 1921.
  • Crabtree discovers coffee the new drink in Toronto, but Murdoch finds it too bitter and will stick to tea.


  • During the demonstration of Det. Murdoch's lie detector device in the opening scene, it is learned that he lives at 22 Ontario Street.
  • When Dr. Isaac Tash is taking Det. Murdoch to the spot where the rowers' hazing took place, it is learned that Murdoch has known Ogden for two years come March 12, a date he remembers because on that day a double murder committed by a 14-year old boy of his parents (and, it is implied, the first case they worked on together).
  • The Pneumograph voted #1 of 5 Favourite Murdoch Inventions by The Arts Guide 8/20/15 Adnan M.
  • "Me Ol' Mucker" count 1


  • The rowing team is hoping for a medal in "the upcoming Olympics" there were no rowing events at the 1896 Olympic Games, and only 2 Canadian athletes were at the 1900 Games, neither were rowers.


Main Cast

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

Recurring Cast

Charlotte Sullivan as Minerva Fairchild (recasted)
Lachlan Murdoch as Constable Henry Higgins
Steven McCarthy as Dr. Isaac Tash

Guest Cast

Corey Sevier as Horace Briggs
James Downing as Coach Hamilton Kane
Christopher Cordell as Richard Hartley
Kyle Patrick Clarke as Boy #1
Aaron Brand as Boy #2
Jon Cor as James Pearson
Robbie Amell as Wallace Driscoll
Kent Staines as Owens



Murdoch Mysteries Season 1
"Power" • "The Glass Ceiling" • "The Knockdown" • "Elementary, My Dear Murdoch" • "'Til Death Do Us Part" • "Let Loose the Dogs" • "Body Double" • "Still Waters" • "Belly Speaker" • "Child's Play" • "Bad Medicine" • "The Prince and the Rebel" • "The Annoying Red Planet"
Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10