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He Walked By Night (1948)

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This is Los Angeles.
Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels, as the Spaniards named her.
The fastest growing city in the nation.
It's been called a bunch of suburbs in search of a city.
And it's been called the glamour capital of the world.
A mecca for tourists, a stopover for transients...
a target for gangsters...
a haven for those fleeing from winter, a home for the hardworking.
It is a city holding the hopes and dreams of over two million people.
It sprawls out horizontally over 452 square miles of valleys and upland...
of foothills and beaches.
Because of that vast area...
and because of a population made up of people from every state in the union...
Los Angeles is the largest police beat in the country...
and one of the toughest.
We're going to take you into the City Hall, where police headquarters are located.
Here, in Communications, are the ears and voice of the police.
The lights on the complaint board flash 24 hours a day.
Citizens reporting a prowler, a lost child, a man molesting a woman...
an auto accident, a wild party.
Spend an hour or two here, and you'll think the whole city has gone berserk.
Minute by minute, the orders go out to the radio cars in the far-flung divisions.
Watts and Wilshire in West Los Angeles.
Hollywood and Hollenbeck Heights in North Hollywood.
The work of the police, like that of woman, is never done.
This is the case history of a killer...
taken from the files of the Detective Division.
The facts are told here as they happened.
The story properly starts here in Hollywood division headquarters...
at 1.:00 of a June morning last year.
Officer Robert Rowlins had finished his tour of duty and signed out.
It had been a tough day. He'd be glad to get home.
His wife would be waiting up for him, as she always did.
Hey, fella. Come here.
What were you doing back at that radio shop?
Just looking. l was on my way home.
-Live around here? -A couple of blocks down.
-Let me see some identification. -Sure.
l guess l forgot my wallet.
Look, lad, l've got to see some identification.
How about my army discharge? l got it right here.
Police Department, Operator 27.
I want to report the shooting of a policeman.
Hold on, please.
Give me that again.
I'm calling to report the shooting of a policeman.
-What's the address? -5057 State Street, west of Santa Monica.
Just a minute.
Receiving Hospital, Operator 2.
Operator 27, 5-0-5-7 State Street.
5057 State Street. An officer's been shot. Send an ambulance.
All units.
All units in the vicinity of State Street, Santa Monica Boulevard.
Proceed at once to 5057 State Street.
5-0-5-7 State Street.
An officer shot. Code 3.
-80K to Control One. -Control One to 80K, go ahead.
This is Breen.
Tell Homicide to throw out a dragnet...
and pick up anyone suspicious in the area of the shooting.
Also notify Sergeants Marty Brennan and Chuck Jones...
to report to me at the scene of the crime.
Control One to 80K. Roger.
l see. What have you got so far?
Not much, Captain Breen. A couple of cartridge cases.
-Hello, Marty, Chuck. -Hi, Captain.
Eyewitnesses? Who was first on the scene, reported it?
l was. l live here. l'm a light sleeper, but my hearing is good and my--
Did the officer say anything before he collapsed?
He gave a description of the fellow.
-He was-- -On the shooting of the officer.:
Suspect is a white male American, age 26 or 27...
5'10'' or 5'1 1''...
155 pounds to 165 pounds.
Brown hair. Regular features. Pencil mustache.
Repeat broadcast. All units....
-ls that about it? -Yes, sir. Exactly.
And the officer kept saying, ''He looked like such a nice kid.''
As if he couldn't believe what had happened to him.
l see. ls that all?
Thank you very much.
Anything else l can do, l'll be glad to help you.
We may call you. Get his name and address, will you, Bob?
-This door been checked, Lee? -Yeah, it's okay, Captain.
-Find anything? -Nothing but some smudges so far.
Found this in the glove compartment. l think it's nitroglycerine.
Doesn't look quite right.
-Check it down at the lab. -Right.
Come on.
Open this up, Joe.
-No key, Captain. -Pry it open.
Give me that bar, Frank.
Regular arsenal.
-Yeah, and get a load of that. -What is it?
l don't know. lt looks like some kind of an electrical device.
United States Navy.
Either stolen or war surplus.
Send this to the lab and check the serial number on that Navy equipment.
-Yes, sir. -Captain Breen.
We found these in the weeds over by the radio store.
-What have you got? -A pair of cloth gloves, Captain.
He thought of everything, didn't he?
-Give them to one of the technicians. -Yes, sir.
Marty, you and Chuck come along with me.
Let's go downtown and see what they've picked up in the dragnet.
You know him, Marty?
Yeah.
l know his wife, too.
Ever since high school.
Captain, l wish you'd let Chuck and me handle this case.
All right. But l don't want any dead heroes.
l just want the man who shot Rowlins.
The suspects began to arrive at headquarters in droves.
The police tossed every motel and hotel and many private homes...
in a four-square-mile area around the scene of the shooting.
Every available radio car, patrolman, and detective was out on the dragnet.
The strings were being drawn tighter and tighter.
Many a man returning from a date, a late party, or a poker game...
surprisingly found himself in a squad car...
its sirens screaming as it brought him to the detective bureau.
The dragnet gathered in some strange fish, and many ordinary ones.
All the rest of that night, the detectives probed...
needled, questioned, quizzed.
Everything was checked.:
fingerprints, names, addresses, stories.
Every fish in the net was examined...
most of them thrown back into the sea, not worth keeping.
Except a few parole violators and slightly shady characters...
whose stories needed a lot of verifying.
l wasn't prowling no cars.
Just taking a walk. You know, getting in condition.
You were running when the radio car picked you up.
Yeah? Maybe that's why the guys call me Punchy.
He's got a point there.
Two felony convictions. No warrant. He's on parole.
Book him. Violation of parole. Let's have the next one, Joe.
What were you doing in that vacant lot?
The vacant lot. Lot.
What were you doing in it at that time of night?
-You say your name is Ralph Henderson. -So what?
lt's a funny thing, Ralph.
There's a guy in town who's been wearing your fingerprints.
Only, his name is Pete Hammond.
Okay, so l'm dead.
What's one more confession in my life?
Now you're talking, Hammond. Okay, Andy.
-Hello, Harry. What have we got here? -Some robbery suspects.
Candidates for San Quentin.
Handsome here is the big shot. He runs the outfit.
Have a gander at his record.
''Car theft, escape from reform school, robbery...
''assault with a deadly weapon.'' Not bad.
Look at the heater we found on him. German Luger, fully loaded.
Redhead here tried to carve up one of the arresting officers with this pretty toy.
Nice boys.
By dawn, many minor wrongdoings had been uncovered...
and a few incipient felonies.
The checking of the suspects had been thorough, painstaking, and tedious.
But all the work was for nothing.
The man who had shot Officer Rowlins was not among them.
He remained no more than a description, a shadow of a man.
Mysterious. Elusive. Deadly.
Hidden away somewhere in the vast city.
As for Rowlins himself, he couldn't help.
He was in a coma at Receiving Hospital.
Mrs. Rowlins waited out the long, tense hours...
while her husband fought to live.
Many another officer's wife had so waited. Many another will.
The word came shortly after sunup.
A white male American, 26 or 27...
5'10'' or 5'1 1''...
155 pounds to 165 pounds.
Brown hair. Regular features. Pencil mustache.
This was no frightened fugitive.
What went on in his mind?
Why had he set his hand against his fellow men...
taken the life of another, of a stranger...
of a man who was merely doing his duty?
He must have some plan...
some goal that called for sudden death to anyone who got in his way.
-Good morning, boys. -Good morning, Lee.
Hi, Professor.
l thought this was safe-cracker soup.
You're gonna drink it, l hope.
l'm really a nice guy. Stick around. l'll prove it.
Come over here.
Hold this for me, will you, Chuck?
Thank you.
Now, if you'll hand me that hammer, Marty.
Thank you.
Yeah, nitroglycerine.
l didn't ask for a collection of fingers, just fingerprints.
All those nice fingerprints on the car belong to the man it was stolen from.
-Nothing on the guns or picklocks? -Not even an interesting smudge.
-The gloves? -Common type. Worn by undertakers.
l'll check on them, but it won't show anything.
-What did your scientific tests show? -A couple of little things.
Tool identification on these picklocks.
l got one under the scope. You want to take a look?
Take a look.
l see.
lt seems to tie the tool up with the lock.
lf that microscope could only tell us who did it.
l'm working on that.
Only an amateur would carry that liquid dynamite in the car.
This boy is no amateur.
Took the precaution of desensitizing it, so it'll take normal shock.
Took a lot of other precautions, too.
No fingerprints, no identification, nothing definite.
Except he's scientific.
Knows electricity. He's inventive.
Happy on the trigger.
This is Captain Breen. Get me Captain Stevens at Burglary, will you?
l hate to disappoint you, Lee, but l think you've come up with something.
Hello, Steve? How are you?
Did your daughter's marriage come off all right?
Good. Look, Steve, on those burglaries of electrical equipment lately.
Were there any where picklocks were used to gain entry?
Good. Let me know if there's another report of one, will you?
l've got an idea the Rowlins killer may be tied in with those.
Fine. And give my regards to the newlyweds, too.
So long, Steve.
What are you waiting for? You've got a job, haven't you? Get going.
Let's go, junior.
Hold this for me, will you, Lee? Thanks.
And so, with no fingerprints and only a vague description to go by...
Sergeant Brennan turned to the modus operandi file.
A criminal, like any human being, has his own habit patterns...
unconscious traits that can lead to his downfall.
Here they are, junior.
List of burglars who use picklocks for entry.
Great. This narrows it down to just a couple of hundred suspects in this area.
Give me a match, will you?
lt may not be so bad.
This guy's improved on the system. Maybe he's left his trademark on some other job.
Here we go. Legging it all over town, asking a million questions.
-lt's what you're paid for, isn't it? -Am l paid to associate with you, too?
-You could do worse. -Not this year. Come on.
Car 12. Car 1-2.
In the 10000 block on Mississippi.
A 394-15 disturbance.
Car 80K. Code 1.
All units.
On the broadcast of the suspect arrested in the shooting of Patrolman Rowlins.:
Cancel the cancellation. Suspect released from custody.
Hello, Mr. Martin. You'll find Mr. Reeves in the machine shop.
Hello, Roy. Glad to see you.
-How are you, Mr. Reeves? -Fine. l was hoping you'd drop in.
l wanted to thank you for showing us how to handle that repair job.
lt helped a lot.
What have we got this time?
Oscillograph?
We have plenty of these around, Roy.
Not like this one.
Yes, l see.
l suppose, as usual, you've added your own improvements.
lt seems wrong that a man of your talent...
should bother consigning equipment for rental.
l'd like to see you devote yourself entirely to experimental electronics.
lt'll come one day.
-l'll have a place like this. -Why wait?
l've got a pretty good setup here.
You'd have modern equipment to work with, a lab...
-and my confidence. -Thanks, Mr. Reeves.
-l have other plans. -But, Roy, you can't tell where it'll lead.
Might even work your way around to a percentage of the business.
l like it this way. You just rent out my equipment.
All right.
-But if you should change your mind.... -l'm not likely to change my mind.
l suppose you want me to set this up for rental, too.
You've already got five pieces of my equipment.
You'd like to know what results l've had from the rentals so far?
l can't say as l blame you.
l think you'll find this satisfactory.
Satisfactory.
-Goodbye, Mr. Reeves. -You'll come back again soon, won't you?
-Sure. -lncidentally...
how's that television projector, the one which will reflect a 1 2-foot image?
Still working on it.
l just wanted you to know l've already set up a rental on it.
ln fact, l think they'd like to buy.
lt'll come pretty high.
Money's no consideration with this customer.
-Tell him he can pick it up tomorrow. -l thought you said it wasn't finished yet.
lt'll be finished.
lt uses an image fixer and then projects by ordinary incandescence.
This is the best television projector l've ever seen.
-Let's hope that your customer thinks so. -He will.
Yes?
Send him right in, Charlotte.
There, you see? Our customer is here, begging for the privilege of buying.
Better be running along. l'm not much good at business.
But, Roy, he'll want to congratulate you.
Just see that the price is right.
All right, Roy. l'll get you a good deal.
-So long. -See you.
Mr. Dunning, come in.
lsn't it a beauty?
-lt's a beauty, all right. -You like it?
l certainly do like it.
-You see, it's mine. -What do you mean?
Let me have the police.
-l built it. Spent years on it. -You must be crazy.
Roy built this machine himself.
Your friend's a crook, Paul. You've been taken in.
Hello? Give me the burglary detail.
''Dear Tim...
''regarding your inquiry on the .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver....''
Come in, boys.
Burglary detail just sent this report through.
A man named Dunning reports tracing a stolen television projector...
-to the Reeves Electronics Lab. -Think it's a tie-in with the Rowlins' case?
Take a look at this fellow Reeves, and see what gives.
l'll notify Burglary that we're following up on it.
Right. Come on, junior.
-What else did he place with you for rental? -A number of things.
Old war surplus that he bought on his veteran training.
-ls this more of his equipment? -Yes, he left it here on consignment.
l'm sure that Roy can explain everything.
Maybe he can, Mr. Reeves, if you'll tell us where he lives.
But l don't know.
Mr. Martin's on the phone, sir.
-l'd better talk to him. -l think so, Mr. Reeves.
l'll take it in the superintendent's office.
Tell him that you sold the set...
and his money's waiting for him here. Find out what time he's coming by.
Put Mr. Martin on.
Hello, Roy.
Yes, l've sold it.
Your money is waiting here for you.
Yes, l'll be working late tonight. What time will you be by?
First thing in the morning.
Maybe you should come in tonight. A couple of things l want cleared up.
Like what?
Technical things.
Besides I don't like to leave the money in the plant overnight.
How about 8:30?
Fine. l'll see you then. l'll leave the front door unlocked.
He'll be here at 8:30.
l'll just run along home and get some dinner.
We'd like you to stay, too, Mr. Reeves.
-Why? -For company.
You want to cooperate, don't you, Mr. Reeves?
-Certainly. -Good.
You just wait in your office. We'll be around.
Very well. This way, gentlemen.
ls that you, Roy?
Go outside and block that alley door.
Where are you, Roy?
Who's in here?
No one. l'm alone.
Come on in. l've got your money for you.
Bring it out here.
All right.
Just a minute.
No. None of them even looks like Roy Martin.
He had such a fine face.
That didn't keep him from carrying a gun. Or didn't you know that?
No, l didn't.
l've told you all l know, all he ever told me.
What about his friends? Didn't he have a girl?
No, l don't think so.
He had no interest in anything but electronics.
-Where did he pick up the subject? -Books, magazines.
Mostly from the Signal Corps. He was attached to a radar unit.
Send a teletype off to the War Department. lt might help.
Ready on your call to Receiving Hospital, Captain Breen.
Hello, this is Captain Breen.
What is the latest report on Sgt. Jones?
l see.
Let me know if there's any change, will you?
Thanks.
Chuck's in pretty bad shape, Marty.
He's paralyzed. May never walk again.
l'm sorry.
lt's funny Martin showed up at 7:00, when he told you he wouldn't be there till 8:30.
l don't know why.
Except he was always unpredictable.
l'll tell you why. You warned him. So he came early, through the back way.
You heard me say the front door would be open.
-The key to the back? -He must have made one.
Why don't you tell us the truth?
Now look, Paul...
you can make it a lot easier for us to believe your story...
if you'll just give us some facts.
Something that might help us.
l've told you all l know.
l've been gullible, all right, letting him make a fool of me.
But l'd do anything to make up for what he did to Detective Jones.
Sure you would.
-You can go now. -Thanks.
My friends, they can vouch for my character.
That's good. We'll call you if we need you. Thank you very much.
l think he's telling the truth. l think he's just gullible, like he said.
What about the stolen stuff he was peddling for Martin?
We'll use it for bait.
Maybe Martin will come back for it, then we can ask him.
Here.
Nevertheless, l want a 24-hour tail put on Reeves...
and l want a watch on his home and his factory.
-Right. -You can keep those.
Okay, Captain.
And now the killer changed his tactics, his modus operandi.
It would baffle the police.
They always expected burglars to remain burglars...
not go in for stickups.
They'd never tie this up with him.
So, wearing a variety of disguises, coming and going like a shadow...
ready to kill if cornered...
he struck the bottle stores in a one-man blitz...
that had the robbery detail dizzy.
The killer, always resourceful...
always thinking along lines that would baffle his hunters...
had discovered an ideal avenue of escape.
Under Los Angeles is a vast and intricate system of huge storm drains...
built to siphon off the flash floods of the rainy season.
Many of the tunnels are large enough for two cars to drive abreast.
Here was 700 miles of hidden highways...
ideal for the use of someone who needed to hurry from place to place...
without being seen.
Ideal as a hiding place for guns and supplies, in case of emergency.
What is it, Lee?
l asked you to come, because l think l've hit on something.
-An identification? -No, not quite, but a tie-up.
These are the shells from the gun that killed Rowlins.
These were fired in the liquor store holdup in which the bandit got away.
And these were fired at Chuck.
As you know, every ejector...
even in guns of the same model and caliber, is different.
Each one leaves its own markings on the cartridge casing.
Look at these fine striations.
This deep gouge.
lt's the same on all three.
ln other words, the man who killed Rowlins...
and the man who shot at Jones and Brennan...
the stickup who's blitzing the liquor stores are all the same man.
All we need to know is what that man looks like.
Get me Chandler in Robbery, will you?
l've got an idea about that.
Also, it will give us a chance to see if Reeves is on the level with us.
About those blitz holdups you're on...
round up all the victims and have them down here tonight, will you?
lt's just a little scheme.
Thanks, Steve.
That's good. Now sketch another one of the same type...
-only this time, thin it out a little. -All right.
-How's it coming? You ready for tonight? -We'll be ready.
-Think it will work? -lt should.
-Where did you get the idea? -From a kidnapping case in Chicago.
l thought these slides might be an improvement over what they used.
Could be. Captain thinks so.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
May l have your attention for a moment, please?
You've all been asked to sit in on our little experiment tonight.
We're going to try to build a picture of a face...
the face of a man who's cunning, resourceful, and deadly.
He's a man who killed a police officer.
Now, some of you, he held up at the point of a gun.
You may have seen his face, remembered something about him.
And we want you to tell us exactly what you remember...
whether it's his hair, eyes, nose, or mouth.
And we're going to try to put those pieces together...
so that they add up into a picture of the face of the man we want.
You can see how we're depending on you.
Lights.
First, we're going to concentrate on the type of hair our man had.
lf the picture looks anything like his hair, l want you to speak right up.
All right, the first slide, Lee.
His hair had waves in it, well-groomed.
That's the idea, Miss Smith.
ls that any closer?
No, it was parted on the side.
That's more like it, except it was thicker.
-That's very close. -Yes, that's the way his forehead looked.
lt was broad and high.
All right, hold that slide.
On the next series of slides, we'll take into account his eyes.
One minute, please, wait. His eyes were a little like that.
Maybe a little smaller, like beads.
Go on, Lee.
Now you've got it.
Hold that slide, Lee. Anyone else?
That looks like him, only a little madder.
He had a patch over one eye when he came into my dive, my place of business.
l remember noticing the one showing was blue.
The guy who stuck me up had on horn-rimmed glasses.
He was wearing a Band-Aid across his nose when he knocked me over.
All right. Hold that, Lee. So much for the eyes.
Go ahead.
-Señor Capitán! -Yes, Miss Montalvo?
Like that, Captain, but more snub, wider.
Try another one, Lee.
-She says that's about it. -Thank you very much, Miss Montalvo.
Get Reeves.
-Any more comments? -That's pretty close, all right.
-Pretty close. -Perfect.
All right. Now we'll start on the mouth and chin.
The next series, Lee.
l think his lower lip stuck out more.
The mouth was thin and mean, like it never laughed.
Go ahead.
Something like that, but thicker lips.
There, that's it. That's him.
All right. Hold that right there, Lee.
Come in, Mr. Reeves.
-Good evening, Captain. -Did you ever see that face before?
lt's Roy.
Except for the hair being a little lighter and the eyebrows heavier, it's Roy.
-You're sure? -l'm positive. l'd know him anywhere.
Lee, l want a retouched photograph.
Lighten the hair, and give more body to the eyebrows.
-Right. -Lights.
That's all. Thank you very much. You've been a great help.
lt's positively amazing how you found out what he looks like.
We're looking for an amazing criminal, Mrs. Johnson.
-Thank you and good night. -Good night, Captain.
And so the face of the unknown killer, built up from fragments of evidence...
was sent out all over the country...
to chiefs of police, sheriffs, county constables, and county jailers...
to the wardens of prisons...
to all postmasters and postal inspectors...
to the agents of the Treasury Department...
to the FBI.
They showed that picture to the inmates of jails and prisons...
to men with a wide acquaintance among the cat burglars and the violence boys.
Informers, con men, and sharpshooters were quizzed...
those on the fringe of crime, and those deep in the rackets.
Many wanted to help. Nobody could.
No one in the underworld recognized that mysterious face.
He was as unknown as if he had lived in the 16th century.
Listen carefully, Reeves.
Control yourself.
l know you're alone in the house. Act like you're alone.
The cops are watching every move you make.
The police? Here?
They got you staked out like a muskrat hide. Watching you around the clock.
Here, at your plant, tailing your car.
Sit in that chair.
Pick up three books.
Don't look up, and don't answer me.
All right.
Glance at the books.
Pick one of them.
Okay. That's the book you want to read before you go to bed.
Now, get up and turn off the lamp.
Come here.
Go in the den.
Pull those drapes tight.
Now get away from them.
What do the cops know about me?
Not very much, Roy.
No fingerprints. They haven't even got a picture of you. They're trying to make one.
How much cash you got in the house?
None. l never keep any cash in the house. lt isn't good business.
l suppose you think it was good business, letting me walk into that trap.
Don't do anything you'll regret. Listen to me.
lt isn't too late. Give yourself up.
Come to your senses before you kill someone else.
What do you mean, ''someone else''?
-What do you mean? -Nothing, l....
The two officers.... They said one of them might die.
He's still alive, isn't he?
l never thought you'd stooge for the police.
You almost got me killed.
You know the police are right outside. You'd never get away with it.
That's right.
Now you're being sensible.
-l know there's money here. Where is it? -Don't, Roy. l'll get it.
lt's not enough. The stuff you've got of mine is worth thousands.
l'll get more.
Get it. Keep it handy.
l'll be back next week or next month, but get it.
-Have it ready. -Just give me time.
l don't want policemen outside my house, following me around.
That's what made Roy suspicious.
-l'm leaving in the morning. -l'm afraid l'll have to disappoint you, Paul.
Unfortunately, you're our bait.
l won't do it. l've done enough.
Look, no one's done enough until we find this killer.
l asked you to keep a sharp lookout on this house, Marty.
l did. Two of the best undercover men of the department were assigned here.
That didn't keep Martin from getting in. What's the matter, you tired?
You got any idea how long you've been on this case, Marty?
Months. Long enough to have come up with something by this time.
You know any more about the Rowlins killer than you knew the first week?
That he's about the toughest nut l've ever had to crack.
That's what l told the Chief when he called to know why the case hadn't been broken.
Look, Captain, Rowlins was a friend of mine.
So is Chuck.
l've got a bigger stake in this than the Chief knows.
l'm doing everything l can.
l'm afraid it's not enough, Marty.
Maybe you're too close to it to see it clearly.
Maybe it needs a fresh team, a new viewpoint.
l think you better take a couple of weeks off, starting tomorrow.
Anything you say, Captain.
Hi, Marty.
-Hi, Chuck. -Meet Miss Scanlon, my new bodyguard.
-He's the one l've been telling you about. -The one with the steel-trap brain?
-How do you do? -Hello.
-This guy been behaving? -After a fashion.
She takes me out in my go-cart, puts me to bed, wakes me up, dresses me.
You're perfectly capable of dressing yourself now, Mr. Jones.
l'll be back in a few minutes.
How's it been going, junior?
Pretty good, Chuck.
ls that why you're off the case?
-How do you know? -Breen was in to see me this morning.
l guess he also told you they put a new team on the case.
-He told me everything. -Let's see what his new boys dig up.
Maybe they'll examine the facts of the case a little more carefully.
What facts? When a man's sharp, and intelligent, and works alone?
He has no record, leaves no fingerprint, knows every move we make.
Plenty of facts, only they add up to nothing.
Sure, forget it.
You got yourself a 10-day vacation. Go down to the beach, get a suntan.
By the time you get back, the case will be broken.
lsn't that what you want?
-You know better. -All l know is what l hear.
You sit there batting your gums about how the old man let you down.
-Maybe he's trying to wake you up. -He had a funny way of showing it.
You're flying off the handle. Always taking things for granted.
l wish l could get up and boot some sense into you.
-He knew what this case meant to me. -He still does.
That's why he's trying to get you mad enough to do something about it.
-You don't really figure that's his idea? -l know it is.
lt's a tough case, Chuck. Not an angle, nothing to go on.
You'd know what l meant if you were working with me.
l have been working with you. lt's all l've had to do lately...
just sit around studying what little facts we have...
trying to figure out who he might be.
You know the kind of a guy we're up against, then.
l tell you, Chuck, this guy's a genius, the way he operates...
as if he's there with us every time we go out after our lead.
Sure, Breen's been tipping him off just to make you look bad.
Almost like that, the way he beats us to the punch every time.
There's your angle. You hit it on the head, but you don't see it.
Look, start adding. One: He is unknown to the underworld.
Two: He beats you to the punch, right?
And three: lt's almost as if he were with you. lsn't that what you said?
Tie that up with the other little things...
like the fact that he uses a police gun, and the accuracy of the shooting.
Anybody could buy a police gun. The Army could have taught him to shoot.
Yeah, but who taught him how the police operate?
l know what you're driving at, Chuck. But a cop?
Those things happen.
lf l were still on the case, l'd start with our department.
Then Santa Monica, Culver City, Burbank, Pasadena.
See you later, junior.
Don't let him out of sight, beautiful. lt's the first time in years he's used his head.
But you've got a print of every mug we take. We always send LA a copy.
-lt's personnel photos l want. -You mean of our boys?
-That's Rowlins' killer, isn't it? -That's right.
-You've checked your own department? -We did that first.
And so the tedious quest went on.
Sergeant Brennan wore out his shoes and his patience...
going from police station to police station...
checking photos until his eyes were blurry.
For police work is not all glamour, excitement, and glory.
There are days and days of routine, of tedious probing...
of tireless searching...
fruitless days, days when nothing goes right...
when it seems as if no one could ever think his way...
through the maze of baffling trails a criminal leaves.
But the answer to that is persistence...
and the hope that sooner or later something will turn up...
some tiny lead that can grow into a warm trail...
and point to the cracking of a tough case.
That does it, boys.
l can't say l'm sorry you didn't find him in here.
l'd hate to think it was a cop.
Doesn't seem to be anybody.
Just a lot of pieces of a face that never existed.
You mind if l see that again?
Sure, frame it. Put it on your dresser.
Wait a minute. He wasn't a cop.
He was a radio technician right here in our dispatch office.
-What did you say? -l'm saying he worked here in '42.
Come on, give!
l remember the kid well. Sort of strange.
Never bothered with anyone in the department, just kept to himself.
He was in line for promotion when he was drafted.
-Where was he living at the time? -l don't remember.
Try the dead files.
He never asked for his job back after the war.
l remember writing to him about it, though. An excellent worker.
Here we are. Yeah, this is it.
Took a while before he answered...
but, like he says in the letter, he wasn't interested.
Postmarked Hollywood. No return address.
What do you want us to do? All the work?
Thanks a lot, Freddie.
Remember, he was a civilian employee.
How about it, anybody recognize him?
-Not on my route. -l never saw him before.
Okay, fellows, thanks very much.
l thought for a minute....
And yet that face.... l wonder.
This may not mean anything, but he looks like a guy that's on my route.
He never gets any mail, but l see him around there all the time.
-He lives in one of the courts. -Where?
-Come on, l'll show you. -lt's not that easy.
What time does your route take you past those courts?
-About 9:00. Why? -Just thinking.
-You got any chocolate milk? -Sure have, buddy.
-There you are. -Thanks.
-Which apartment? -Straight on back.
Second in the L, Number 7.
Right. Kind of warm today?
lt's not too bad for this time of year.
-Good morning. -Morning.
You're new, aren't you?
-Yes, a substitute. -What happened to the other fellow?
-Sick. -What's the matter with him?
-l don't know. -l catch everything.
Hear about it on the radio, and next morning l've got it.
Too bad.
You aren't very social. The regular fellow always stops and talks to me.
-Sorry, lady, l'm a little late this morning. -l was hoping maybe you could help me.
There's something very funny going on in this court.
l was scared to go to the police with it. l thought maybe l might be poisoned.
-What? -Yeah, by the manager. She's a witch.
-She's a what? -A witch. She puts poison in my milk.
l see.
Switch the bottles when she isn't looking, see?
Drink her milk. Then you'll be safe, right?
l had a little accident.
Got a mop? l'll clean it up.
Leave it be. l'll clean it up myself.
Okay, mister.
The place is called Bellevue Court. l drew this from memory, but it's close.
That's where he's hiding out, right there.
Are you sure he's our man, Marty?
Captain, l couldn't go wrong on that face. He's our man.
There are five cottages in this area...
and two, 6 and 7, in the L at the end of the road.
Our man lives in Number 7.
This building department plan will show you the whole layout.
lt's bounded on three sides by Fuller, Santa Monica and Poinsettia.
The court is partly surrounded by a high wall.
Breen, Homicide.
Good, you keep your eyes open till we get there.
Morgan has just gone into his bungalow alone.
Any questions?
All right, you all have your instructions. Let's go.
We're right on time.
Wait five minutes. Go around and block the side entrance.
Keep your lights off.
He's loose. l want a radio car in a hurry.
All units in the vicinity of Santa Monica and Fuller...
the murder suspect in the Rowlins killing is at large.
l want a map covering the storm drain system in this area.
Get it and meet me at Venice and Garfield.
Jones, Miller, you stay here, in case he comes up for air.
l want a man at every other drain entrance along this line.
He's got to come up somewhere. Come on, Marty. You're driving.
Keep this drain covered. He's liable to pop out anywhere.
Why Venice and Garfield?
lt's the main intersection. We could head him off that way.
80K to Control One. Clear Frequency 7, this is an emergency.
Control One to all cars on Frequency 7, stand by.
Control One to 80K, go ahead.
Notify Homicide. Send the following to Venice and Garfield:
Four squads, battle lanterns...
gas mask, tear gas. Urgent. This is a Code 3.
Control One to 80K. Roger.
He'll head down this drain to where it comes out of the Rio Hondo.
-You take your squad and cover that exit. -Right.
Keep spare radio cars cruising back and forth along this street.
Watch the curbs. We'll go in here.
-Any sign of him? -No.
We've searched every foot between here and the Rio Hondo outlet.
Then he must be up ahead. Let's go.
The gas gun.
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