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Betty White as Rose Nylund
"It's like we say in St. Olaf, Christmas without fruitcake is like St. Sigmund's Day without the headless boy."

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The Case of the Libertine Belle is the second episode of the seventh season of The Golden Girls and the one-hundred and fifty-sixth episode overall. Directed by Lex Passaris and written by Tpm Whedon, it premiered on NBC-TV on September 28th, 1991.


The ladies participate in a murder-mystery weekend where Dorothy excels as a keen amateur sleuth. But after she solves the murder, there is a real stabbing, and Blanche is the prime suspect.


Blanche Devereaux, who has been employed at a museum, comes upon a new job opportunity--an assistant's position under a man named Kendall Nesbitt. She is also revealed to be a member of the Maltese Falcon Club and organizes the museum's first annual outing. The outing is a murder mystery weekend at the Queen of the Keys Hotel.

Two guest actors, eighty-eight year-old philanthropist Giles Forsythe and his twenty-two year-old wife Candy, at the hotel are first part of the murder mystery at dinner the first night there, one having been "shot" and his 22 year old wife; Candy, having had her throat "slit" with a Mayan sacrificial dagger. Dorothy solves the "murder" single-handedly -- it it is unlikely for Forsythe's spinster daughter; Gloria, to murder him and that patricide is a male crime. If Gloria had committed the murder, she would NOT have tried to conceal the gun in her purse, it was planted in her purse to frame her. Dorothy then states that Giles' son; Philip, the well-known collector of pre-Columbian artifacts, would never pick a Mayan sacrificial dagger as the murder weapon, because that would be too obvious, but it wouldn't be a problem for Gloria to sneak the weapon out of his collection. The dagger was found to the left of the victim and a throat is almost always cut from behind. Since the murder weapon was dropped to the left of the victim, the murderer is left-handed, like Gloria and most left-handed people, wears her wrist watch on her right wrist. It's perfectly clear that Philip and Gloria both committed the murders and they meant to frame each other. They knew the lights would be turned off, when the cake appeared, because siblings often think alike. The motive is that Gloria and Philip were both afraid that Candy would persuade Giles to change his will, so Candy would get everything and they would get NOTHING and they both hoped that pinning the crime on the other person would make them the sole inheritor.

Everybody applauds Dorothy, while Rose Nylund is just being...Rose and Sophia Petrillo merely wants some birthday cake. Soon after that, Blanche is told by Kendall that he needs to be alone with her and she gives him her hotel room key. She gets the second key from Rose and tells her that she can "bunk with Dorothy and Sophia". Blanche then goes to the room, later takes a shower and puts on a negligee as she waits on Kendall. She assumes that it is Kendall, but it is a young male waiter with a bottle of champagne. The waiter discovers Kendall's dead body on Blanche's bed and she is the only prime suspect in his murder.

Dorothy argues her case and that the real murderer is Posey McGlinn, a rival of Blanche's for the assistant's job. Dorothy states that the only people who saw the room after the murder other than Lt. Alaverz and his staff, were the waiter, the security chief and the four ladies. Posey accidentally gives herself away by stating what the room looked like after the murder and Dorothy states that she could’ve only known that if she was there prior to the murder. Dorothy continues to solve the mystery.

"Last evening at dinner, when Ms. McGlinn saw Blanche give Kendall Nesbitt her key, she was furious. She dropped a steak knife into her purse and when she felt that she wouldn't be missed, she slipped out of the dining room and headed upstairs. Kendall had let himself into Blanche's room while she was in the shower and was making himself comfortable, when there a knock at the door. Thinking it was champagne, he opened the door. Posey was there, she accused him of two-timing, he denied it, Posey pulled out the steak knife, plunged it into his chest and left the room, before Blanche could discover her. Jealous-rage was the motive, all right, but Blanche wasn't the murderer, there's her murderer; Posey McGlinn."

However, it turns out that it was the second part of the murder mystery and Rose helped, only to get back at Blanche for stealing her earrings before the party and when Dorothy checked for breath with her hand mirror, Rose had used Defogger on it.[1]

Tall Tales[]

Back in St. Olaf...[]

To be added.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]

  • Todd Susman as Spade Marlowe
  • Tony Plana as Lieutenant Alvarez
  • Richard Roat as Kendall Nesbit
  • Claudette Sutherland as Posey McGlynn
  • Nicholas Kepros as Maitre 'D
  • Zach Grenier as Vaczy
  • Leland Orser as Waiter
  • Gloria Cromwell as Gloria
  • Tim Haldeman as Man
  • Margery Nelson as Woman



  • Richard Roat appeared in Season 1's "In A Bed of Rose's" as Al Beatty, who also died.
  • Giles Forsythe’s children, Gloria and Phillip, share the same names as both of Dorothy’s siblings.
  • The dress Gloria wears is the same one Rose wears during the dance marathon in "One for the Money",[2] and the same dress the woman from the Daughters of the Old South is wearing in “Witness”.[3]
  • The hotel room that Blanche stays in looks to be the same hotel room layout that Dorothy stayed in in "Sick and Tired, Part 1".[4]
  • The hotel set was later reused in Season 7's "Room 7" as Blanche's grandmother's house.[5]

Cultural references[]

  • This episode was meant as a parody of the CBS series Murder, She Wrote, starring Angela Lansbury, a close friend of Bea Arthur.
  • The hotel shares its name with the hotel from the 1941 noir murder mystery The Maltese Falcon.


  • When Dorothy checks for Kendall's breath, she reveals that she does it to Sophia when she's asleep, referencing the series premiere.[6]
  • Blanche references Mel Bushman from Season 6's "Melodrama", confirming that the pair have remained good friends and casual romantic partners.[7]


  • When Blanche approaches the ladies and takes Rose's key, you can see Posey placing the steak knife in her purse behind them.
  • When Sophia enters the dining room right after the fake murder, the birthday candles go out between shots without anyone extinguishing them. A single one keeps going out and then lighting again.
  • The cut throat of the Murder Mystery actress portraying Candy has one slit throughout most of her scenes. This makes sense, as her throat was said to only be slit once. In her final two scenes, however, her wound is shown as two slits.

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List of The Golden Girls episodes

Season 1 The EngagementGuess Who's Coming to the WeddingRose the PrudeTransplantThe TriangleOn Golden GirlsThe CompetitionBreak-InBlanche and the Younger ManThe Heart AttackThe Return of Dorothy's ExThe Custody BattleA Little RomanceThat Was No LadyIn a Bed of Rose'sThe Truth Will OutNice and EasyThe OperationSecond MotherhoodAdult EducationThe FluJob HuntingBlind AmbitionsBig DaddyThe Way We Met
Season 2 End of the CurseLadies of the EveningTake Him, He's MineIt's a Miserable LifeIsn't It RomanticBig Daddy's Little LadyFamily AffairVacationJoust Between FriendsLove, Rose'Twas The Nightmare Before ChristmasThe SistersThe Stan Who Came to DinnerThe ActorBefore and AfterAnd Then There Was OneBedtime StoryForgive Me, FatherLong Day's Journey into MarinaraWhose Face is This, Anyway?Dorothy's Prized PupilDiamond in the RoughSon-in-Law DearestTo Catch a NeighborA Piece of CakeEmpty Nests
Season 3 Old FriendsOne for the MoneyBringing Up BabyThe HousekeeperNothing to Fear But Fear ItselfLetter to GorbachevStrange BedfellowsBrotherly LoveA Visit from Little SvenThe AuditThree on a CouchCharlie's BuddyThe ArtistBlanche's Little GirlDorothy's New FriendGrab That DoughMy Brother, My FatherGolden Moments, Part 1Golden Moments, Part 2And Ma Makes ThreeLarceny and Old LaceRose's Big AdventureMixed BlessingsMister TerrificMother's Day
Season 4 Yes, We Have No HavanasThe Days and Nights of Sophia PetrilloThe One That Got AwayYokel HeroBang the Drum, StanleySophia's Wedding, Part 1Sophia's Wedding, Part 2Brother, Can You Spare That JacketScared StraightStan Takes a WifeThe AuctionBlind DateThe Impotence of Being ErnestLove Me TenderValentine's DayTwo Rode TogetherYou Gotta Have HopeFiddler On the RopesTill Death Do We VolleyHigh AnxietyLittle SisterSophia's ChoiceRites of SpringForeign ExchangeWe're Outta Here, Part 1We're Outta Here, Part 2
Season 5 Sick and Tired, Part 1Sick and Tired, Part 2The Accurate ConceptionRose Fights BackLove Under the Big TopDancing in the DarkNot Another MondayThat Old FeelingComedy of ErrorsAll That JazzEbb TideHave Yourself a Very Little ChristmasMary Has a Little LambTriple PlayClinton Avenue MemoirsLike the Beep Beep Beep of the Tom-TomAn Illegitimate Concern72 HoursTwice In a LifetimeSisters and Other StrangersCheatersThe Mangiacavallo Curse Makes a Lousy Wedding PresentAll Bets Are OffThe President's Coming! The President's Coming!, Part 1The President's Coming! The President's Coming!, Part 2
Season 6 Blanche DeliversOnce, In St. OlafIf At Last You Do SucceedSnap Out Of ItWham, Bam, Thank You MammyFeelingsZborn AgainHow Do You Solve a Problem Like Sophia?Mrs. George DevereauxGirls Just Wanna Have Fun... Before They DieStand By Your ManEbbtide's RevengeThe Bloom Is Off the RoseSisters of the BrideMiles to GoThere Goes the Bride, Part 1There Goes the Bride, Part 2Older and WiserMelodramaEven Grandmas Get the BluesWitnessWhat a Difference a Date MakesLove for SaleNever Yell Fire in a Crowded Retirement Home, Part 1Never Yell Fire in a Crowded Retirement Home, Part 2Henny Penny — Straight, No Chaser
Season 7 Hey, Look Me OverThe Case of the Libertine BelleBeauty and the BeastThat's For Me to KnowWhere's Charlie?Mother LoadDateline: MiamiThe Monkey Show, Part 1The Monkey Show, Part 2Ro$e Love$ Mile$Room SevenFrom Here to the PharmacyThe Pope's RingOld BoyfriendsGoodbye, Mr. GordonThe CommitmentsQuestions and AnswersEbbtide VI: The Wrath of StanJourney to the Center of AttentionA Midwinter Night's Dream, Part 1A Midwinter Night's Dream, Part 2Rose: Portrait of a WomanHome Again, Rose, Part 1Home Again, Rose, Part 2One Flew Out of the Cuckoo's Nest, Part 1One Flew Out of the Cuckoo's Nest, Part 2


  1. The Golden Girls, Season 7, Episode 2, “The Case of the Libertine Belle”. Whedon, Tom (writer) & Passaris, Lex (director) (September 28th, 1991)
  2. The Golden Girls, Season 3, Episode 2, "One for the Money". Fanaro, Barry; Grossman, Terry; Hervey, Winifred; Nathan, Mort and Speer, Kathy (writers) & Hughes, Terry (director) (September 26th, 1987)
  3. The Golden Girls, Season 6, Episode 21, “Witness”. Hurwitz, Mitchell (writer) & Buzby, Zane (director) (March 9th, 1991)
  4. The Golden Girls, Season 5, Episodes 1, "Sick and Tired, Part 1". Harris, Susan (writer) & Hughes, Terry (director) (September 23rd, 1989)
  5. The Golden Girls, Season 7, Episode 11, “Room 7”. Gamble, Tracy and Vaczy, Richard (writers) & Beyt, Peter D. (director) (November 23rd, 1991)
  6. The Golden Girls, Season 1, Episode 1, "The Engagement". Harris, Susan (writer) & Sandrich, Jay (director) (September 14th, 1985)
  7. The Golden Girls, Season 6, Episode 19, “Melodrama”. Spina, Robert (writer) & Diamond, Matthew (director) (February 16th, 1991)