Jim Ferris was one half of a mystery-writing duo with Ken Franklin until 1971, when Ferris, who had done all of the actual writing, wanting to break it off to go solo. Franklin, who by this time had become accustomed to an expensive lifestyle, realized that this would leave him high-and-dry so he decided to murder Ferris. He did so by luring Ferris to a secluded cabin under the premise of letting him mull the decision over before shooting him to death. However, Franklin was eventually caught out and arrested by Lieutenant Columbo.

In the 1971 season 1 episode Murder by the Book, Jim Ferris was portrayed American actor Martin Milner.