Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt

Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt is a 2012 American made-for-television crime drama film directed by Robert Harmon and starring Tom Selleck, Kathy Baker, and Kohl Sudduth.[1] Based on the characters from the Jesse Stone novels created by Robert B. Parker, the film is about the police chief of a small New England town who returns from his forced retirement after his replacement is blown up in the town police car. Filmed on location in Nova Scotia,[2] the story is set in the fictitious town of Paradise, Massachusetts. Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt is the eighth in a series of nine television films based on the characters of Parker's Jesse Stone novels. The film first aired on the CBS television network on May 20, 2012.

Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt
DVD cover
GenreCrime film
Based onthe Jesse Stone novels
by Robert B. Parker
Screenplay by
Directed byRobert Harmon
Theme music composerJeff Beal
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Steven J. Brandman
CinematographyDavid Gribble
Editor(s)Steven Cohen
Running time87 minutes
Production company(s)Brandman Productions
TWS Productions II
DistributorSony Pictures Television
Original networkCBS
Original release
  • May 20, 2012 (2012-05-20) (USA)
Preceded byInnocents Lost (2011)
Followed byLost in Paradise (2015)


Jesse Stone still misses the Paradise, Massachusetts police chief position, which he lost because the current town council president, Carter Hansen (Jeremy Akerman), wanted his son-in-law, William Butler (Jeff Geddis), to have the job. A suspicious police cruiser explosion kills chief Butler and officer DeAngelo (Vito Rezza). Curiously, the former town council president, Hastings "Hasty" Hathaway (Saul Rubinek), appeared to know about the incident before the current town council president was officially notified. Jesse is reinstated as "temp chief" by Hansen and uncovers apparent (but unproved) police corruption involving Butler. Jesse discovers a possible clue: the characters "2AH10" written on the April 24 page of Butler's desk calendar.

Jesse attempts to reassemble his team, starting with his deputy Luther "Suitcase" Simpson (Kohl Sudduth) and then longtime assistant Rose Gammon (Kathy Baker), but both have moved on to other pursuits after choosing to not work with Jesse's replacement, thus Jesse is left to solve the case himself. State Homicide Commander Healy (Stephen McHattie) also returns, along with Jesse's psychotherapist Dr. Dix (William Devane). Thelma Gleffey (Gloria Reuben) also remains in Jesse's life, and continues to work as a sales associate at Hasty's luxury car dealership. Gino Fish (William Sadler) is still in town as well, also still apparently in the illegal drug business while using his boxing business as a "front".

Along the way, Jesse discovers that the most likely perpetrator of the cruiser explosion, a former associate of Gino, has apparently hanged himself. He learns from Amanda (Christine Tizzard), Gino's executive assistant, that Gino "has a boss", whose identity is a mystery. An otherwise routine traffic stop adds an additional clue: there is an assassin, Arthur "Art" Gallery (Robert Carradine), who has been following Jesse. Despite finding a "deer rifle" in the car's trunk, Jesse lets the man go with a warning: "Don't follow me around!" The flashlight which was attached to the barrel of the "deer rifle" would have been illegal for hunting game, a deer, but would be quite helpful, if not mandatory, for the assassin's assumed purpose, the killing of a man, and Jesse made a mental note of that.

To integrate all these seemingly disparate clues and to get to the truth, Jesse employs "carefully applied pressure" to former town council president and felon Hasty (and ultimately exposing Hasty as the true drug kingpin and Gino's boss).

After Jesse asks Hasty about the 2AH10 clue, Hasty panics and calls his people, telling them they have to "move it up" (presumably Jesse's murder, but also the scheduled April 24 drug sale). The events are rescheduled for later that day, although a daylight murder/drug sale is risky for all involved. ("Risk is the price you pay for opportunity", to paraphrase Hasty's orders to his people.)

At the shipyard, Gallery tries to murder Jesse using his "deer rifle", but Jesse tricks him into exposing himself to deadly force and he proceeds to take him out with five shots from his .45 ACP semiautomatic pistol, which is always at Jesse's hand. (To paraphrase Jesse, from an earlier episode, "Fire at the center of mass and continue to engage until the threat is eliminated.") Hasty hastily escapes via motor boat, and is now "on the run" and wanted for drug distribution, money laundering and conspiracy to murder sworn officers and others.

In the end, Simpson returns and it is implied that Rose may return as well. As Jesse has proved Hansen's beloved son-in-law to be corruption-free, it is also assumed that Jesse's position as chief is permanent, and not "temp chief" as Hasty preferred to call him. (When Jesse initially accepted this assignment, he replied to Hasty, "Not 'temp chief', just 'chief'", and Hansen did not demur.)

The title "Benefit of the Doubt" refers to Jesse's (and Dr. Dix's) belief that police officers who appear to be corrupt must be accorded the benefit of the doubt, until proved otherwise.


  • Tom Selleck as Jesse Stone
  • Kathy Baker as former Police Officer/Dispatcher Rose Gammon
  • Kohl Sudduth as former Police Officer Luther "Suitcase" Simpson
  • Gloria Reuben as Thelma Gleffey
  • Stephen McHattie as Captain Healy, State Police Homicide Commander
  • William Sadler as Gino Fish (boxing promoter and illegal drug dealer)
  • Robert Carradine as Arthur "Art" Gallery (assassin)
  • Jeff Geddis as Police Chief William Butler
  • Saul Rubinek as Hastings "Hasty" Hathaway (car dealer and former Paradise Town Council President)
  • William Devane as Dr. Dix (Jesse's psychotherapist)
  • Jeremy Akerman as Carter Hansen (Paradise Town Council President)
  • John Beale as Dr. Perkins
  • Naomi Blackhall-Butler as State Police Officer
  • David Christoffel as H.Henry Uppman
  • Joe the Dog as Reggie
  • Brian Heighton as Stan
  • Christopher Killam as Steven
  • Sheena Larkin as Rose's Mom
  • John Maclaren as Jim Gannon
  • Brian MacWilliam as Luther's Dad
  • Colm Magner as Hal the Doorman
  • Robert Racki as Mr. Thompson
  • Vito Rezza as Officer Anthony D'Angelo
  • Bill Stevenson as Pianist
  • Christine Tizzard as Amanda[3]


Filming locations


The film first aired on the CBS television network on May 20, 2012. According to Selleck, this may be the last Jesse Stone film seen on the network. Selleck, however, said he is not finished with the Stone character.[4] Selleck also commented that the Jesse Stone movies for TV are expensive to produce and that he had his "own money" in the last two, which accounts for his being credited as executive producer.[4]


In his review in The New York Times, Neil Genzlinger wrote: "The film is in no hurry to reach its not-hard-to-guess resolution, but that's the way this series has always been. It's as if Mr. Selleck [was] personally keeping alive a slice of television history in a much faster-paced world."[5]

Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt was watched by 12.93 million viewers, the highest viewership of the night it aired.[6]

See also


  1. "Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  2. "Locations for Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  3. "Full cast and crew for Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  4. Bobbin, Jay (May 20, 2012). "'Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt' may be Tom Selleck's last Stone turn at CBS". Zap2it. Archived from the original on May 22, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  5. Genzlinger, Neil (May 18, 2012). "Nursing Drinks and Solving Crime in Paradise". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  6. Kondolojy, Amanda (May 22, 2012). "Sunday Final Ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
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