|Directed by||Mike Robe|
|Produced by||Zev Braun
|Written by||Mike Robe
|Music by||Frank Snow|
|Cinematography||Terry K. Meade|
|Edited by||Michael Eliot
Benjamin A Weissman
|Distributed by||CBS Entertainment Productions
|Release date(s)||May 6, 1987|
|Running time||185 minutes|
Murder Ordained is a television miniseries that originally aired for CBS in 1987, starring Keith Carradine, JoBeth Williams, and Kathy Bates. The telefilm was directed and co-written by Mike Robe. Based on actual events that occurred in Emporia, Kansas in 1983, the film tells the story of trooper John Rule (Carradine) whose investigation into a fatal traffic accident involving a local minister's wife turns into a case of murder when it becomes apparent that the accident was no accident at all. Much of the principal photography and filming occurred on location in Kansas and some of the dialogue comes directly from court transcripts.
The film was subsequently released on VHS and DVD. The cast also includes Terry Kinney, M. Emmet Walsh, John Goodman and Johnny Galecki. The series received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Editing for a Miniseries or a Special (Single Camera Production).
Rev. Tom Bird (Terry Kinney), seemingly the perfect family man and Lutheran minister, becomes romantically involved with Lorna Anderson (JoBeth Williams), a new woman in town, openly unhappy with her hard-drinking husband, Marty (Terence Knox). Before long, the two are talking about fleeing Emporia, Kansas together to establish his dream of a family counseling center in New Mexico. He even talks about the possibility of a lucrative television ministry. But there are two nagging problems: their respective spouses. In July 1983, the body of Sandra Bird (Annabella Price) is discovered floating beneath a bridge in what looks like a car accident. But state trooper John Rule (Keith Carradine) becomes suspicious about the lack of skid marks and blood stains on the bridge. Unfortunately, an official investigation stalls until Lorna's husband is also murdered.