An innocent man.
A vicious crime. A guilty
A prime suspect.

Santa Luisa, California used to be a quiet, safe town to live in until a string of child related abductions terrorize the peaceful residents. For years the murders have gone unsolved with no primary suspect - until now. Frank Staplin (Mike Farrell) has always been a loving father and a successful businessman, but when he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, the local police and an area reporter (Teri Garr) are quick to accuse him of the crimes. Outraged by the accusations, Frank takes the law into his own hands to clear his name and earn back his family's trust.


Lt. Lawson. Barry plays a scruffy, heavy smoking detective who is positive that Frank Staplin (Mike Farrell) is responsible for several abductions of children in the town of Santa Luisa, California.

Unable to find enough evidence to keep Staplin in jail, Lawson warns him he won't rest until he proves him guilty.

Barry's commentary. "I would dry my hair off against a fan so that it would look more curly and disheveled for my scenes. Also, the script read that this detective smoked Camel cigarettes all the time, so I kept coughing very hard in between my dialogues, but then, after the film was released I found out that the film editors cut out all the parts where I was coughing as they believed I was actually having troubles with those cigarettes!"


LT. LAWSON : All blond, all under 11, all dumped in the woods, everything else seems random.
TOM : So how come we don't hear from this guy for 7 months, then, all of a sudden?
LT. LAWSON : We checked every jail and mental institution in the state to see every boy that's been in custody but so far nothing corresponds!
TOM : What about other states?
LT. LAWSON : Well, the feds are working on it, but it's a long shot. No it's definitely a local crazy. Probably an impulse killer who seems normal...
TOM : Oh, great!
LT. LAWSON : It could be anybody from the ice cream man to the archbishop.

LT. LAWSON : Your information might be very valuable, you never know.

LT. LAWSON : No wonder everybody says cops are stupid...

I feel like a class a moron

We're just trying to clear up a few frayed ends.

Listen, I really hate to take you away from your work.

Care to tell us about that, Mr. Staplin, or that's slipped your mind too?

Guilty as hell if you ask me.

Have you ever been, um, arrested, Mr. Staplin?

One of these days I'm gonna find that one little shred of evidence, that's gonna put you where you belong.

LEW : Oh! Mike, I'd like you to meet Dolores. She's the sales representative for...uh...uh...
DOLORES : "Betty Joe."
LEW : "Betty Joe"...uh...cosmetics.

MIKE : What the hell happened here?
LEW : Oh! M--Mike! Ha, ha...How do you like the color scheme? Dolores did it...You remember...Dolores.

DOLORES : Hello, Michael! Is it so lovely to see you again.
MIKE : Lovely, lovely... I hardly recognize the place.
DOLORES : Oh, I just know that we shouldn't have gone off to Reno to get married like a couple of lovesick puppies.
LEW : Don't worry, sugar plum. I'll have a talk with him.

LEW : YOU are gonna come in and socialize with your new stepmother!!! Do I make myself clear?

MIKE : Hey, Dad. What is all this, huh?
LEW : Michael! I told detective Nulty everything I knew about the break-in, but he insisted on talking to you.

DETECTIVE NULTY : I'll tell you what, Michael. How about you and me take a little ride down to the station.
MIKE : What for?
DETECTIVE NULTY : I'm enjoying the conversation.
MIKE : Come's 4:00.
DOLORES : This is our wedding night!
DETECTIVE NULTY : Bring your wife, bring your kids, bring your whole family.
MIKE : Is it okay if I bring my jacket, huh? Is that okay Mister...?

LEW : Look, detective Nulty, take this fellow, fine, he's a delinquent anyway...
DETECTIVE NULTY : I don't have time for this conversation, just tell the sergeant all your personal information...

MIKE : I don't even know what I'm doing here.
LEW : Mike, what's happening?
DETECTIVE NULTY : Tell me a real fair story about this, boys.



Release Date
  • Wednesday, January 20, 1982.
  • DVD Release Date: Tuesday, March 30, 1999.
  • Mystery / Drama / Fact Based / TV.
Directed By
  • Noel Black.

Executive Producers

  • Ric Rondell.

Produced By

  • Jon Avnet.
  • Steve Tisch.


  • Hearst Entertainment.
  • Tisch / Avnet Television, Inc.


Main Cast

  • Mike Farrell as Frank Staplin.

  • Teri Garr as Amy McCleary.

  • Veronica Cartwright as Janice Staplin.

  • Lane Smith as Tom Keating.

  • Barry Corbin as Lt. Lawson.

  • James Sloyan as John Malloy.

Filming Locations

  • Los Angeles, California.

Running Time

  • 1 Hour 36 Minutes.

MPAA Rating

  • Not Rated.

DVD Special Features

  • Interactive Menus.
  • Scene Access.
  • Movie Factoids.
  • Biography / Filmography.
  • Audio: AC-3 Stereo. Dolby Digital.
  • Full Screen Format.




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