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CBSRMT Episode Information
Title:
Tattooed for Murder
Plot:
In order to escape their father's tyrannical ways, a pair of sisters join a circus as tattooed girls. On the surface, their actions are meant to insult and humiliate their father, but one sibling has grander scheme in mind.
Episode:
0176
Air Dates:
First Run - November 20, 1974
Repeat - January 15, 1975
Writer:
Listen:
Rating:
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17 Responses to Episode 0176


Anyone else feel that this episode was kind of sick? There is even a kind of subtle sexual overtone to the whole thing between the father and the daughters. Anyone else pick up on that? I think this episode was written by Elspeth Eric. She did write some weird ones, but some of her scripts were actually very good. I think she wrote "Ghost At the Gate" too, which is one of my very favorite episodes, so not all her episodes are weird at all. But when they are weird, they are VERY weird, lol.

Yep, I think it has sort of incestuous implications too. Like that "Deadly Hour" that we were discussing a while back, there's weirdness in that one too. Two of the others that are really strange are 'The Resident" and another one in the last year where a woman is giving advice to this couple who each think the other is trying to kill them. She hires some guy to follow them around and says he will kill both if one does something threatening to the other. He ends up killing them, and then she kind of propositions the guy, and he ends up killing her too. It's way out there strange. Oh, and of course "The Stuff of Dreams" is really perverted, where the older overweight woman wants to hear about sick sexual stories and rape, and then plans to bed down with the guy who turns out to be the devil. It would be interesting to have a look at her book collection at home....lol. (Elspeth Eric's, I mean).

I found that one pretty brutal at times, violent. And there was a subtle incestuous tone to it. Definitely an episode that sticks out to me as a weird one.

The author of this episode is not Elspeth Eric but Nancy Moore,pictured and listed above. Totally agree about this being a warped show,though,as were some of Eric's. But damned interesting.

I found this episode very realistic, more than any other that I heard. This is how abusive relationships and their dynamics are. The revenge, fear, anger and manipulations. Not weird at all if you lived it.

Creepy. Creepy. Creepy times ten. \"Tattooed for Murder\" was a fantastic listen that deserves 5 stars. Again, I am shocked at the material Mystery Theater used in 1974. Fantastic!

Black's comments are well taken-I did not mean to suggest the episode lacked credibility. Anyone who knows someone that has such a family situation (and many of us have)could relate. Much appreciation to Black.

I'm not sure if the father was incesterous. He was abusive and controlling. A tyrant used to getting his own way and saw his daughters as his property. Great ending. Can't say I didn't see it coming, though.

This is a disturbing episode that makes you really uncomfortable listening to it. The father is just an absolutely horrible, viscous brute. I don't know if there was an incestous relationship or not;but, there is a feeling you get that makes does you wonder. I was surprised that the sister that ran off didn't take her youger sister with her when she first ran away. She knew she would be leaving her with their father and he would probably subject the younger sister to even more abuse that the older sister couldn't protect her from. It brought back to me what my mother and I witnessed years ago at a Dept. store-we were looking over some clothes and a mother with a young daughter just absolutely went berserk and starting yelling abuse at the girl for no reason. The little girl wasn't running around or screaming or knocking things over like you see alot nowadays The store went silent and everybody froze. The woman keep berating the poor girl and dragged her by the arm out of the store. I dread to think what happened to that little girl that day and at home with a mother like that.

Great episode, including the commercials.

A domineering man holds his daughters virtual prisoners in their estate and wields supreme power over them until the oldest disappears. Despite all his wealth and influence he cannot uncover a single shred of evidence about her whereabouts. Years later, she turns up after the father has gone to his job to help her younger, now 16 year old sister escape. The sister is too brainwashed to make any decisive moves and the father learns of the eldest daughter’s return after he beats it out of the youngest one. For the last 6 years the older daughter has been traveling with the carnival, and she intends on bringing her sister along, but must first deal with her evil father.

I actually liked this episode very much, not necessarily for the subject matter but for the writing and acting. It kept me "riveted" as very few episodes do. I did not get any vibes that the father was anything more than just physically abusive toward his daughters. Another favorite is "The Black Room" which kept me wondering the whole time what was going on and a difficult episode for the actor since it was basically a monologue. It's these occasional gems that keep me listening.

Hear, hear, Black. Quite realistic, indeed. On the performance side, the acting was top notch. So was the pacing. It truly is a memorable episode. However, this episode, like quite a few CBSRMT's episodes, has older, rougher sounding voices for characters that are clearly in their late teens or in their twenties. As has happened with some of the roles Mercedes McCambridge has played. Perhaps if the actors spoke a tad higher it would've helped. Regardless, 5 stars for this one.

A carny plot against one of the worst fathers in the world.

From the preceding comments, one thing is clear: this is an unusually tense and provocative script. It's also the best aspect of the episode, which features uneven performances (the father and younger sister are excellent, the older sister and her husband rather underplayed) and a fairly unsurprising twist. The sinister and eerily plausible presentation of an abusive, authoritarian father and the emotionally damaged daughters attempting to escape his control, however, make this a very strong entry in the series, packing more of an emotional wallop than most. Tattooed for Murder can definitely inspire a case of the creeps, in spite of the absence of supernatural elements.

This episode was perfect in its execution and ability to go where other Mystery Theater episodes dared not go. It is my second time listening to it and I still marvel at its power.

Agreed, I did not find the father incestuous. He was, instead, an abusive and controlling, evil man. He owned his daughters and treated them as his own property. He beat them in order to make them submissive. The ending was intense but appropriate. I know this episode seemed "weird" but this is episode represented a taste of what it is like to live in an abusive environment. It is that harsh or harsher.

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