Episode Number: 11 according to broadcast order, and 8 to production order.
Production Nļ: 780-12. Airdate: Saturday, December 15, 1984. Writers: Simon Muntner, Larry Brody, Phil Saltzman. Director: Allen Reisner.
Guest Cast: John Vernon [Chief Carl Fallon] / Bibi Besch [Lenore Fallon] / Kitty Winn [Claudia Parker] / Henry Beckman [General Wheelan] / Anne Marie de Rivera [Rita Stonehem] / Mary Dilts [Bonnie Chase] / Lawrence Menkin [Mr. Potter] / Cab Covey [Arthur Dorian] / Kathleen Turco-Lyon [Self-Defense Instructor].
Other Titles: In German: "Der HalstuchmŲrder" ("The Scarf Murderer").
A killer is loose in Pacific Heights, the area of San Francisco where Carol and Sydney live. The killer is attacking women and strangling them, leaving a red scarf around their necks. While one woman has survived, several have been murdered. Carol and Sydney host a woman self-defense instructor one evening and invite many of their friends to the course, held at the Caulfield Mansion. But later that evening Rita Stonehem, a friend of Carolís, is strangled, and Carol and Sydney are terribly shocked to hear the news the next day, reported by newswoman Bonnie Chase, since both were women at the course. As Carol watches the tv news cameraman pan over the crowd of spectators, she sees a young man, who is pushing an old man in a wheelchair watching the scene, suddenly duck away from the camera, and pushes the old man away.
Veronsky offers to teach Carol and Sydney a course in learning to fire a handgun in self-defense, but is surprised when both women score bullseyes. Carol tells him her father had her shooting skeet since she could hold a gun, and Sydney of course learned her skill on the street. Veronskyís chief, Carl Fallon, comes in the room and is surprised to see the women there, and Veronsky introduces them. Carol and Sydney offer their assistance to the chief, and he seems amused at the thought of the two women helping. He tells them that the police can handle the situation, and when he leaves, Carol and Sydney show their frustration at Fallonís narrowmindedness. Veronsky tells them that the chief can handle anything, and taught him everything he knows as a detective.
That evening Bonnie Chase is strangled in the underground garage of her apartment. Carol and Sydney, now determined more then ever, go to the scene the next morning and see Fallon and Veronsky. They overhear Fallon talking about a man called the General, and they question Veronsky when Fallon leaves. He tells them that while once under consideration, the General, General Wheelan, is no longer a suspect. Carol questions the tv crew at the scene, and the reporter tells her that Bonnie was working on an angle of the murders, but was killed before she told anyone about it. Carol sees the suspicious young man in the crowd again, but without the man in the wheelchair. She follows him to an old mansion, and talks her way inside as a friendly neighbor to visit the owner, a Mr. Potter. He is the man in the wheelchair, and Arthur Dorian, the young man, is his housekeeper and cook.
Mr. Potter tells Carol that Arthur has been with him for 5 months, and while he had references to his former employment, Mr. Potter never checked them. Carol and Sydney do, but are followed by Arthur. He sabotages the brake line of Carolís car, and the two women are almost killed when going down one of San Franciscoís famous hills. Carol manages to steer the car into a construction site, and ends up stopped by a pile of soft earth. At the Caulfield Mansion Veronsky remonstrates the shaken women, but tells them that the brake line was cut with a serrated knife. Carol points out that Arthur is a cook in Potterís house and the Lt. investigates.
At the police station, Carol and Sydney, still determined to help with the investigation, ask Veronsky for the file on Claudia Parker, the only woman to have escaped the strangler. While there, the Lt. tells them that they picked up Arthur Dorian for questioning the night before. Chief Fallon comes in, and while he is surprised to see the two women again in Veronskyís company, he tells them that Dorian, whose real name is Donald Stack, was the man who cut the brake lines of Carolís car. He is also a fugitive from Folsom Prison, having escaped six months before. But Fallon says Stack had alibis to the times of the strangler murders, as did General Wheelan.
When the chief leaves the office, Carol and Sydney tells Veronsky that they donít believe him, and he becomes disgusted with them both. He tells them that the chief is a fine man, and not to be questioned. But Chief Fallon has other things on his mind besides the strangler murders. His marriage to his wife Lenore is failing, and he follows her to a park where he sees her meet with a young man, and overhears her plan to file for divorce with her lawyer.
Carol and Sydney go to question Claudia Parker, the only woman who survived the stranglersí attempt to kill her. Still shaken, Claudia tells them that her mother came to visit unexpectedly and her pounding on her door scared the strangler off. She never saw his face, but she remembers that under the surgical gloves the strangler wore, she saw a rectangular ring on the little finger of his right hand. She tells them that she told this only to Chief Fallon, who questioned her alone, and later Bonnie Chase, the tv reporter. Carol realizes that this clue was not mentioned by the police, and her suspicions grow that Fallon knows more that he is telling them. But Sydney mollifies her by mentioning that the police often withhold clues to murders to the press and public, hoping to trap the killer into growing careless. They plan to drive to his house to ask him about the clue.
But when they walk up the outside stairs to Chief Fallonís house, they hear him arguing with his wife through the open window. Lenore tells him of her plans to leave him for a younger man, because of Fallonís many affairs and his overdevotion to police work that has left her alone many evenings. Carol and Syd-
ney decide to talk to him at a better time, but he sees them leaving in their car.
Carol and Sydney go back to the police station and tell Veronsky about the ring that Claudia Parker mentioned to them. He is surprised to learn that it was not on the report, made after Fallon questioned Parker alone. When Carol asks if the chief wears such a ring on the little finger of his right hand, Veronsky tells them that he did, but it was lost a few days ago. He becomes angry with them again at the thoughts they are having, until Sydney says that Claudia Parker also told Bonnie Chase about the ring, which meant that Bonnie could have been killed for that reason. Veronsky canít believe his ears at the womenís accusations, until Carol stuns him with the news that Fallon and his wife, the former Lenore Myerson, a rich heiress, are separating. Carol then suggests that the Chief is strangling other women, so that when he kills his wife she will be thought of as just another victim, and he will get her money. That is enough for Veronsky, and he tells them to get out of his office.
That evening, Fallon tells his wife at dinner that he has let the servants go early so he and Lenore can talk about reconciling. She says that there is no chance, and he angrily tells her he has to go back to the office. Parked outside in the street, Carol and Sydney see him leave. They have come to tell Lenore Fallon that her life is in danger, and Carol follows the chief in her car, leaving Sydney to talk to Lenore. But Lenore leaves unexpectedly, and Sydney decides to search the house while she has the chance.
At police headquarters, Fallon tells a sympathetic Veronsky he has a migraine headache, and is going to nap in his office for an hour. Veronsky tells him he will take care of all calls, and the chief pulls the shades and closes the door. Carol comes into Veronskyís office looking for Fallon, and is told that he has locked himself in his office. She goes to the office and knocks on the door, but no one answers. Carol asks Veronsky if there is another door to the office, and an angry Veronsky says that there is a back door. Carol realizes that Fallon has provided himself with an alibi for the next hour, during which he plans to murder his wife, whom Carol thinks is with Sydney. She tells her fears to Veronsky and leaves. He telephones the garage to see if Fallonís car is there, and is told that Fallon never signed in. Veronsky realizes that Fallon parked on the street so he could leave unseen.
Inside Fallonís house, Sydney searches his study, and finds in his desk a small metal box that contains a plastic mask, surgical gloves and several red scarves. She hears the front door open, and replaces the box, but does not see a glove fall to the carpet. Fallon calls for his wife, and finding her not at home, chain locks and deadbolts the front door, then goes to the study, passing Sydney who has hidden in another room. Fallon finds the glove on the floor, and opens the box to take out a scarf. Sydney manages to get to the front door and open the chainlock and deadbolt, but she is attacked by Fallon and he starts to strangle her. Carol comes in the door and pulls her gun from her purse, crying for Fallon to stop. Confident that she hasnít the nerve, he leaves a half-conscious Sydney and slowly walks towards Carol. She hesitates, and he grabs the gun. As they struggle there is a shot, and Veronsky is seen through the open door, pistol at the ready. He has shot Chief Fallon, and saved Carol and Sydneyís lives.
Later at the Caulfield Mansion, Sydney gets a phone call from Veronsky, apologizing to the women for his rough treatment of them in denying Fallons guilt. She sympathizes with his feelings about his hero, Chief Fallon, and goes to comfort a sad Carol, looking out the window and remembering her friends who have died in such a terrible way.
All "Partners In Crime" episode synopsis are © 2003 by Mia - Wonderland.
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