A reprint of my review from April 7, 2015:
The year is 1750 and the brilliant Benjamin Franklin (Paul Hecht), future founding father of the United States of America, is called in to investigate a murder. One that may have been committed by a ghost.
The Benjamin Franklin Murder Case was written especially for the Mystery Theater by Sam Dann, and starred Paul Hecht, Marian Seldes, Staats Cotsworth, Russell Horton, and Gilbert Mack.
Just a few weeks ago the Mystery Theater had a young Abraham Lincoln solve a murder mystery. That particular episode worked so well, I cannot fault writer San Dann for wanting to try it again, with a different famous figure in United States history.
Benjamin Franklin, being a firm proponent of the scientific method, knows that it is highly unlikely that the Clemens house is truly haunted. He also know that it is impossible for a ghost to have killed Mr. Chiver (Gilbert Mack). Because a ghost would not leave physical evidence at the crime scene.
I knew a few things, too. I knew the identity of the killer from the start. This had little to nothing to do with the actor's distinctive voice, as the entire supporting cast play a variety of roles and it is quite easy to recognize each and every "disguised" voice. No, my figuring out who the killer had more to do with the early, and far too obvious, reveal of the killer's motivation.
Another thing I knew was that my adoration of haunted house stories, even those of the (original) Scooby-Doo and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken variety, would cloud my judgment. Despite its faults as a murder mystery, I did enjoy the haunting red herring. Individual listener satisfaction will vary, of course. But The Benjamin Franklin Murder Case put a knowing smile on my face.