William Murdoch
William Murdoch S11
Actor Yannick Bisson
Peter Outerbridge (films)
John Paul Ruttan (young)
Jacob Robert Ewaniuk (young)
Seen Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5
Season 6
Season 7
Season 8
Season 9
Season 10
Season 11

Home for the Holidays
Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas
A Merry Murdoch Christmas
The Murdoch Effect
Nightmare on Queen Street
The Book of Jackson

Mentioned The Infernal Device
Gender Male
Age 45 (Born July 2, 1863)
Status Living
Relationships Julia Ogden (wife and partner)
Jasper Linney, (half-brother)
Daphne Linney, (sister-in-law)
Georgina Linney, (niece)
Rudolphina Linney, (niece)
Roland, (adopted son for a brief time)
Harry Murdoch, (father)
Mary Murdoch, mother, (deceased)
Susannah Murdoch (sister, deceased)
Albert Murdoch, brother (deceased)
Bill Murdoch (descendant)
Elizabeth Milner (deceased fiancée)
Enid Jones (romantic interest, ended)
Anna Fulford (romantic interest, ended)
Job Detective, Amateur Inventor

Detective William Henry Murdoch of the Toronto Constabulary is the main character of Murdoch Mysteries (2008).

He is portrayed by Yannick Bisson in the TV series continuing into Season 11 (2017) and by Peter Outerbridge in three TV movies (2004).

Murdoch plays by the rules, both societal and religious, and conducts himself accordingly, a gentleman detective though born working class and raised a devout Roman Catholic.


Detective William Murdoch is a celebrated Canadian police detective who works for the Toronto Constabulary at Station House No. 4. He is well-known for his use of forensic evidence by creating innovative inventions to collect them which have resulted in the arrest and prosecution of numerous criminals, including thwarting assassination attempts and national security threats– even saving the life of the Queen and a President. 

Murdoch lived at 22 Ontario Street (Still Waters) until his recent marriage (ep8.04) to Dr. Julia Ogden of Toronto with whom he has had a long and successful working partnership, while their private lives have had some notoriety. Presently, they reside at the Windsor House Hotel.

Early Years:

William Murdoch comes from a poor, Roman Catholic family who once lived in Nova Scotia.

His mother died when he was a child, and for a long time he believed that his mother had been killed by his father.

Young Will was an altar boy who once burnt down the shed of his mentor Father Keegan while conducting an experiment, but he rebuilt it all by himself (ep.815). He was a Governor General Young Scholar who help solved a crime at summer camp (ep.907).

At seventeen, he left his Aunt’s home to work at a logging camp. He also had a sister, Susannah who was a nun,(ep410) now deceased, and a half-brother, Jasper, who is a sergeant in the North-West Mounted Police (ep213) whose interests and investigative techniques are similar to Murdoch's.

William was an incredibly logical and scientific as a young man, and it is revealed that he may have a photographic memory (specifically hyperthymesia and working memory). He is a great admirer of physicist Nikola Tesla and developed an early interest in science and theology and was schooled by the Jesuits who thought him too analytical for Literature, though he maintains his appreciation of poetry and reads any thing from science periodicals to Shakespeare (ep.1016). He is well-educated and fluent in French. Detective Murdoch is not the peripatetic type; he finds comfort being in one place (ep.507).

Murdoch is a fan of modern (1890 -1910s) science and frequently applies newly discovered scientific knowledge in solving crimes throughout his illustrious career.

Murdoch had a fiancée, Liza Milner. She died of consumption a year prior to Season 1.

Character Arc

William Murdoch is button-down and private about his feelings, rarely loosening his tie, and usually wears his jacket and hat, no matter the circumstance or temperature. He keeps his own counsel. He is patient and resourceful. He is steadfast and a man of his word, often arriving at the crime scene on his bicycle.

Through the adventures of each Season (1- 10), working with the irrepressible George Crabtree and sarcastic Inspector Thomas Brackenreid, his rigidity and reserve have loosened up a bit. He is respected and admired by his colleagues at Station House No. 4 in the noted Protestant town of Toronto.

Being logical, skeptical, observant, scientific and clear-headed with an excellent memory and a polymath are obstacles when he needs to connect with people emotionally. It is Dr. Julia Ogden, his equal in every way,' who both inspires and challenges him intellectually and emotionally to see the shades of grey to his black and white letter of the law' world from early on in their crime solving careers. Their long star-crossed journey has taught them both that in genuine love, sacrifice and compromise are not experienced as such.

They became engaged by the end the Season 7 finale, The Death of Dr. Ogden. In the 100th episode, Holy Matrimony, Murdoch!, they finally tied the knot and became husband and wife in Season 8, becoming a mystery-solving modern married couple at the turn-of-20th century in Toronto, Canada – which is their current storyline in progress.

With the lessons learned from the many Murder Mysteries investigated and solved, along with the new inventions and innovations (such as finger markers, the daylight box, and the lie detector to name a few), Murdoch has become the Artful Detective, servicing the Toronto Constabulary, making a difference in people lives and . . . ready for the new adventures and challenges.

In Season 9, which includes the first stand alone holiday special A Merry Murdoch Christmas (2015), William and Julia lose their hearts and plan to adopt a baby boy in Raised On Robbery. Possibly the most impulsive decision William Murdoch has ever made. William and Julia are determined to live their lives as they otherwise would, "modern parents in a modern age." But discover it challenging to keep Roland near them and do their work. Showing Murdoch how to bounce his son on his knee, Brackenreid says, "Welcome to fatherhood, Murdoch!" So to help with that in The Big Chill, William invents the "Gleeful Bouncer" (a.k.a. Jolly Jumper) – one for the morgue, one for his office, and one for home—so they "will never miss a moment." Unfortunately, a heartbroken William and Julia have to give up Roland, after discovering he has a biological father who is still alive and is unaware of Roland's existence (ep.915). They mourn the loss of their son by diving into their work. William goes undercover and nearly has his head sawed off in House of Industry. In Cometh the Archer, William tells Julia it is time to build their dream house and adopt a child to share their home and lives with ... but that future is threatened by the return of a past nemesis who wants Julia out of the way: Eva Pearce kidnaps Murdoch for herself, after shooting Julia at the door of her own home at the Windsor House Hotel.

In Season 10's finale, William Murdoch is wanted for the murder of Lydia Hall. Clandestine meetings at the church is his only contact with George: at the first meeting, Murdoch asks George to speak with his reporter friend to do investigative research on Williams and Graham, because he doesn't think anyone in the Constabulary or at City Hall can help him now – there are no normal channels anymore – and he needs to know where the skeletons are buried. At their second meeting, William asks if there is more information about Julia who has been kidnapped to smoke Murdoch out and it does. Murdoch is arrested in his own home when he returns to gather forensic clues to find Julia, but not without first experiencing flashes of guilt for not protecting both Lydia and Julia. Sacrificing his own career, Inspector Brackenreid releases Murdoch, telling him to go find the evidence needed and he'll find his wife. When Brackenreid spies where Dr. Ogden is being held, Chief Constable Davis is waiting for him. Crabtree brings Higgins and Jackson to the third and fatal last rendezvous at the church. Upon reporting three constables down, Murdoch is arrested, left powerless in jail while his most trusted allies' fates are uncertain.

In the Season 11 premiere Up From Ashes Detective Murdoch and Detective Watts attend Constable Jackson's burial. Murdoch is told that George's funeral will happen next week, but it is soon revealed that George survived his wounds thanks to Miss James. Murdoch is uncharacteristically emotional when he discovers the truth. At the top of Merlot Mysteries when the Station House gets back to normal without Jackson, George shares with Murdoch, "sir,...I think he died doing something that he loved, serving a cause that he believed in, a cause that you and I continue to serve. I think he would have wanted that."


  • Yannick Bisson on Detective Murdoch: "When I was building my character I definitely took Columbo into account. And Poirot and a bit of James Bond and a bit of Barney Miller, too. And I've said this a million times… I built the character with exactly those in mind."
  • Like Indiana Jones, Murdoch rarely loses his hat: Four Murdoch hats are on-hand during shootings.
  • Has a grandson Bill Murdoch in Republic of Doyle. The long awaited answer to the question how does he have a grandchild if Julia Ogden is unable to have children (ep.313)– is revealed in Season 11, two seasons after their short lived adoption of baby Roland (ep.914).
  • The Artful Detective is the title of the Murdoch Mysteries series in the U.S.

External Link


Murdoch Mysteries Stars and Characters
Yannick Bisson as William MurdochHélène Joy as Julia OgdenThomas Craig as Thomas BrackenreidJonny Harris as George Crabtree