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The Straw Woman is the sixth episode of te seventh series of the popular ITV crime drama Midsomer Murders and originally aired on 29 February 2004.

Synopsis

When Alex Deakin, the curate of the local church in Midsomer Parva is burned alive in the effigy of the straw woman, DCI Barnaby and DS Scott find themselves investigating what must be a murder. Many of the villagers lay the blame on Alan Clifford who has made his fortune in the sex industry and has moved into the local manor house. There were others in the village however that objected to what they saw as a pagan festival. When the vicar is also killed - he too is burned to death in what some believe is the result of spontaneous combustion - the police have difficulty keeping some of the villagers from taking justice into their own hands. As the death toll keeps mounting, Barnaby realizes that the solution is to be found in old parish records.

Plot

When a traditional festival is revived at Midsomer Parva, it goes disastrously wrong, with the curate (or assistant priest) being burnt alive inside a straw effigy of a woman. Local property owner Alan Clifford holds an orgy at the Manor House, and it seems he has secrets... And then, just after finding a pig's head on the altar of the parish church, the dead curate's gay lover, the Reverend Jim Hale, dies too, seemingly of 'spontaneous combustion' - that is, he bursts into flames without any normal explanation. Barnaby refuses to believe in rumours of witchcraft and is vindicated when it proves that Hale's clothes had been sprinkled with phosphorus. Then, with Barnaby hot on the killer's trail, Liz Francis is knocked out with a candlestick and becomes the third villager to be burnt alive.

Cast

Galleries

Body Count

Supporting Cast

Episode Images

Notes