The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976) Movie Script

World War II had ended
only eight months earlier.
And the town of Texarkana,
population 40,000,
which straddles
the Texas-Arkansas border,
was regearing for peace
after four years
of rationing, war bonds,
and shortages.
Although a trickle
was still arriving,
most of the boys were back home
and out of uniform.
Many were enrolling in college
or starting up businesses
with the help
of the GI Bill of Rights.
Some people still had doubts
about President Truman
and were worried
over the growing tension with Russia.
The wave of strikes
sweeping the country
were being felt by many
of the Texarkana businesses.
But fears that the workforce
at the United States Army's
Red River Arsenal
would be cut to nothing
had not materialized.
There were long
waiting lists of people
ready to buy
the still scarce new cars,
as well as all kinds
of household appliances.
The building business
was booming.
And people around Texarkana
generally were optimistic
about the future.
It was Sunday, March 3, 1946,
the beginning of a reign of terror
for the people of Texarkana
and surrounding areas
of Arkansas and Texas.
A terror so indelibly imprinted
that today, thirty years later,
people still speak
of it fearfully.
The incredible story
you are about to see is true
where it happened
and how it happened.
Only the names
have been changed.
Would you sit up?
Well, damn it, Linda Mae,
come on.
Sammy, move your hand.
What'd you do that for?
I heard something.
By God, Linda Mae,
will you please concentrate
on what the hell's goin' on.
I'm not kiddin'.
I heard somethin'.
Linda Mae, that is the oldest trick
in the book.
Have you got
the car doors locked?
Jesus Christ, why I go out with you
I'll never understand.
Hey, mister,
you got the wrong car!
You're looking
for somebody else!
Ambulance already en route.
It should be
in the area at present.
About a half a mile up that road,
we've got a boy hurt real bad.
There's deputies
up there already.
Unit two, come in.
Will unit two come in
and give report?
Come in, Ramsey!
Base, this is unit two.
Go ahead, unit two.
Well, they're both still alive.
Man's name is Samuel P. Fuller.
Age 24, his drivers license address
is 7-9-0-7 West Pine.
Passing motorist
that found the girl recognized her.
She works over at the plant
on the D-line
and her name
is Linda Mae Jenkins.
He said he thought
she was about 19 years old.
And she lives somewhere
off Broad Street.
Contact me as soon as you can
get hold of Sheriff Barker
and ask him to meet me
over at the Michael-Meahger Hospital.
Miss Jenkins?
Miss Jenkins,
can you describe him to us?
Can you tell us anything
about the man who did this to you?
Gentlemen, I'm sorry,
it's just too soon.
She's still heavily sedated.
How 'bout the boy,
can we talk to him?
No, he's in
about the same shape.
He took several bad blows
about the neck and head
from what I'd guess to be
a heavy blunt instrument.
Dr. Abrams, calling Dr. Abrams.
Dr. Abrams, you're wanted
on the telephone.
Did he rape her, Doc?
No, there was
no evidence of rape.
But I can tell you
that her back,
stomach, and breasts
were heavily bitten.
- Bitten?
- Literally chewed.
If I can help you any more,
give me a call.
Thank you, Doc.
Calling Dr. Abrams.
Well, gentlemen, what's happened
in the lover's lane case?
Captain, we ain't got nothin'.
No witnesses.
Neither the girl nor the boy
could give us
a decent description
of the man.
The boy really never saw him.
All he's able to tell us,
that the man had
a white hood over his face
and was strong as hell.
Fact is, Chief, the only thing
we really do know
is that we've got a very
strange person on our hands.
That's the reason we're here.
We believe that the high school
and college students
should be warned
against parking on lonely roads.
Patrolman Benson speaking.
Yes, Mrs. Kiner,
this is Sparkplug.
What's your problem?
You know,
I think you're right.
We're gonna have to get out
to that school and warn those kids
about staying out
of lover's lanes.
You really think
he's gonna strike again?
I got a strong feeling he will.
Mrs. Kiner, you don't have
to put up with that crap.
We'll get the word out
to all the patrol cars
that if they see any of the kids
on lover's lane,
just, you know, run 'em off.
Get him on the phone!
Is that you, Kiner?
What the hell's wrong
with you, boy?
You try that again and the
Supreme Court of the United States
ain't gonna be able
to save yo' ass.
Okay, Mrs. Kiner,
now, you just settle down
'cause he promised me.
I gotta run.
I'll see ya, Chief,
You lock up that mangy dog
'cause if he sicks him on me
one more time,
I'm gonna blow six holes in him.
Benson, how long
have you been on the force?
Four months, sir.
God, it seems like
it's been longer than that.
No, sir, four months
this Tuesday.
Well, look, Benson, when a citizen
calls in with a complaint,
we don't threaten them.
But from now on, if you get
a phone call from Mrs. Kiner
or from anybody in this town,
simply quote legal procedure.
And furthermore, you will not issue
threats of any kind to anybody.
Do you hear me?
Yes, sir.
Police department.
Mrs. Kiner...
Patrolman Benson.
That does it, Mrs. Kiner.
You lock up that mangy dog
'cause I'm on my way.
This is Howard W. Turner, age 29,
former Seabee who returned
from overseas a few weeks ago.
The young girl is Emma Lou Cook
and she is 17.
They have been seeing each other
for about six weeks.
Emma Lou had dropped out of school
in order to get a job
and help out at home.
I'm so tired of it raining.
Kind of reminds me of Japan.
Damn, it always rained there.
I'll bet you miss Japan.
All those Japanese girls
scrubbin' your back.
I must say they do know how
to please a man.
Well, if you haven't been pleased
with me for the past six weeks,
you can just take me home.
I didn't say
you didn't please me.
You started it.
Well, I'm just on edge.
Texarkana had
pretty much returned to normal
after the excitement
of the attack on lover's lane.
No clues and no suspects
had been found.
Samuel P. Fuller
and Linda Mae Jenkins
have now been dismissed
from Michael-Meagher Hospital
and are under the care
of their family physicians.
Now, it is a rainy Saturday night,
March 24, 1946,
twenty-one days
after the attack on lover's lane.
Temperatures in the lower 50s.
Warmer tomorrow,
upper 60s
- Hi, Norm.
- Hey, Tom.
Now, if you listen real hard,
you can hear the...
Well, what can we do
for the sheriff's department
on a rainy Saturday night?
How many units you got out?
Mmm, four.
It was three weeks ago tonight
that couple was attacked out in
the College Hill section, wasn't it?
Damned if I know.
Last two weeks,
this place has been a madhouse.
You don't suppose you could get
some of your units
to check some of those
lover's parking hangouts, do you?
Gee, I don't know, Norm.
We sure ought to get
the Captain's okay.
Where is Gus?
Well, I expect he's home
on a night like this.
Listen, I've got his home number.
Would you like it?
I don't no, no, that's silly.
Eh, it's just a feeling.
I'll see ya later.
Baby, you better not
go down this road.
We might get stuck.
Oh, it's okay,
there's gravel on it.
Unit two, what's your location?
I'm a mile and a half north
of Higgins Store out on Highway 71.
I'll be back in, uh,
oh, about ten minutes.
Roger, unit two.
Okay, base, over and out.
Base, this is unit two.
Go ahead.
I'm gonna be off the channel
for about 60 seconds.
Base, unit two, just heard some shots
down this road somewhere!
Get some backup units
in here, quick!
This is unit two.
Go ahead, unit two.
I'm almost at the end
of the Thurman Road.
There's a parked car here.
I can't tell
if there's anybody in it.
I'm gonna check it out.
Now, what about units three or four,
is anybody on the way?
Unit four, I'm on my way.
Approach me
with your lights on.
Police, get out of the car!
You in the car,
I said get out!
Base, unit two.
Base, unit two!
Go ahead, unit two.
I heard a couple a more shots.
They came from about a mile
in the woods north of where I'm parked.
I think the occupants of this parked
vehicle have been abducted.
Request a 10-33.
Roger, unit two.
What's your position, unit four?
This is unit four, just passed
the Nazarene Church on Highway 71.
Be there to help you in a minute.
Roger, four.
And turn it on,
I need you here!
My God.
Oh, my God.
Norman Ramsey was close
that night but did not fire,
for he knew the phantom
was just out of range.
Ramsey was carrying
a 12 gauge shotgun.
The second attack by the killer
sent a wave of cold fear
sweeping across the city.
Within 24 hours after the town
got word of the killing
every gun store
had sold out of weapons.
And by Tuesday morning, May 26,
locksmiths were flooded
for orders for new locks, deadbolts,
and safety chains,
as the news of the killing attracted
nationwide attention.
No motive could be found
and it seemed
that the killer might attack
anybody he stumbled across.
A universal fear spread
among the people in this city
and surrounding areas.
Perhaps everyone
secretly or openly wondered,
"Am I or someone close to me
his next victim?"
Texarkana looked normal
during the daylight hours.
But everyone dreaded sundown.
We haven't been able to come up
with a damn thing.
And we've got
to have some help.
J want the best
criminal investigator you've got.
Okay, when?
We'll be there to meet him.
Thanks very much.
They're really stirred up in Austin.
We're getting the most famous
criminal investigator
in the country
assigned to this case.
You don't mean that fella
they call the Lone Wolf
with the Texas Rangers?
That's right.
The big man himself
Captain J.D. Morales,
living legend.
The most famous ranger
in the history of Texas.
- Captain Morales?
- Yes, sir.
I'm Deputy Norman Ramsey.
Glad to know you, sir.
- We're glad to see you, sir.
- Thank you.
Captain Morales.
- Nice to meet you.
- Thank you.
This is Chief Sullivan.
Captain, we're certainly glad
you're here.
Thank you, sir.
We have a car waiting,
if you're ready.
Let's go.
Thank God, Captain,
you're here.
Well, thank you, mam.
Excuse me, Captain Morales,
welcome to Texarkana.
Do you have a plan
of investigation as of yet?
Yes, sir, I plan on catchin' him.
Or killin' him.
Excuse me, gentlemen,
I want to get a cigar.
- Right.
- Be right there.
Yes, sir, you got any cigars?
Yes, sir, right over here,
please, sir, just help yourself.
Thank you.
There you are.
All right, thank you, sir,
and you come back.
Thank you.
Thank you, sir,
thank you.
Where's your office?
Right in there.
- Captain Morales.
- Captain Wells.
- Glad to know you, sir.
- Same here.
Since I'm in charge
of this investigation,
things are gonna have
to be handled my way.
I'll keep you informed as to what
I'm doin', if I have time.
And I'll expect
your full cooperation.
You've got it.
Thank you, sir.
I don't want
any newspaper people
or hangers on
gettin' in my way.
When the people of this community
need to know something,
I'll inform the press.
And I'd appreciate it
if nobody but me
gave out any information
on this case from now on.
Rumors can hurt us.
We got a cold-blooded killer here
A man who nobody sees.
A phantom who, so far,
hasn't made any mistakes.
I've assigned Captain Wells
to work directly with you.
I'll give you the best man
I've got on my force,
Deputy Sheriff Ramsey.
Twelve of my men
and six patrol cars
should arrive here in town
late this afternoon.
If you could help them get
squared away, I'd appreciate it.
Sergeant Mai Griffin is in charge.
I also have a patrol car
and a driver available to you.
Good, I'd like to use it
right away.
I'd also like for Deputy Ramsey
to go with me
to take a look at the site
of the murders.
And I want to go over
the victims' cars.
I'll get you Ramsey right away.
Patrolman Benson
will be your driver.
Thank you, sir.
Let's go.
- Captain, I'll see you later.
- Thank you.
Captain, I wonder if you could tell me
if you plan to use the same tactics
that you used down in Laredo,
to catch our killer here.
Who is this man?
This is Mr. George Hartman.
Mr. Hartman's a prominent citizen
here in Texarkana.
He's, uh, interested in police work.
You tell Mr. Hartman
if he's interested in police work
he can pick up a copy of the
Police Gazette down at the corner.
Ready Ramsey?
You bet.
Where's my driver?
I'll get him.
- Sparkplug?
- Yes, sir.
You know the man
in the white suit?
That's Captain Morales.
You'll be his driver.
Try not to wreck him.
No, sir.
Where are the keys? Damn.
Excuse me, Captain,
them damn keys.
I'll be right back.
Benson, what the hell
is going on?
Chief, them damn car keys,
I can't find them nowhere.
Which car do you plan to use?
Unit seven, sir.
Well, what in the hell is that
right there under number seven?
Thanks, Chief,
I was gonna check there next.
Hold it, boy.
I meant slow down,
not stop.
For Chrissakes!
You just got two controls
on this damn thing,
wide open and stop?
Well, I figured
you was in a hurry, sir.
Well, I am in a hurry.
What'd you say your name was?
Patrolman A.C. Benson.
Some folks call me Sparkplug.
Well, now, Sparkplug, I'd kinda like
to survive this investigation.
Unless I tell you
it's an emergency,
I want you to observe
the speed limits and traffic signs.
No sirens and no red lights.
You understand that?
Yes, sir.
Yes, sir, Captain.
More and more police
poured into Texarkana.
Texas Rangers, Arkansas State Police,
and the FBI are now on the case.
Sheriff's departments
and city policemen
have been loaned
from surrounding towns and counties.
Captain Morales set up curfews
and demanded an exhaustive
level of vigilance.
And when the sun when down
there was an empty,
ghostly appearance to this town.
The only signs of life
were police cars
patrolling the streets.
The investigative forces
worked around the clock.
Every lead was run down.
Every phone call,
every rumor checked out.
All the nuts came out
of the woodwork.
A man arrested in Shreveport
confessed to the crimes.
Two other criminals,
while holding people at gunpoint,
bragged they had committed
the Texarkana murders.
What'd you say
your name was?
The phantom.
Where'd you say
you did the shooting?
Over over there
in the south side.
Have you got the weapon?
I" I throwed it in the river.
I could show you
where I throwed it, though.
Mr. Williams,
could I please get an address?
Citizens poured
into the police station
demanding protection,
as the fear spread like cancer.
I can't hide from nobody.
Can't help that,
I got something on my mind.
Well, let's have it.
On March 3, Samuel Fuller
and Linda Mae Jenkins
were attacked on a lonely road.
Now, exactly 21 days later,
Emma Lou Cook and Howard Turner
were murdered on a lover's lane road.
Day after tomorrow is Sunday,
that's, uh, April 14.
And that, sir, is exactly 21 days
since the last
Don't go no further.
I got a feeling you're right.
- Let's get outta here.
- Yes, sir.
That's good.
- Thank you, sir.
- Thank you.
Captain Morales decided
to set up some decoys
in the various
lover's lane parking areas,
anticipating a 21-day attack.
Return to headquarters, unit six.
Sparkplug, not realizing
the exact nature of the assignment,
volunteers to be one of the decoys.
Oh, Lord,
here comes your date.
Hey, Sparkplug,
aren't you a little lopsided?
Go to hell, Ramsey.
They tell me all Sparky had to do
to find that outfit
was dig in the back
of his closet.
Look at those legs.
Shut up, will you?
Just keep it up!
You all knock it off.
Remember now,
keep low in your seats.
He may check you out with field glasses
before he approaches the car.
When you first get into position,
check with your rifleman.
They'll be in the brush coverin' you.
Stay alert.
And good luck.
Unit Able.
Uh, unit Able, hello?
Raise your antenna.
Unit Able?
Unit Able-
Roger Sparkplug, I'm set.
How about you, Walt, you there?
I'm here and looking at you
and you look stunning.
Up yours, and out.
Now, Sparky, now, Sparky.
Don't get excited now.
What the hell
you think you're doing?
You heard the captain,
we're supposed to make this look good.
Now, we're supposed to be lovers.
I might get a little huggin'
before the night's over.
You watch that hand.
What the hell's wrong with you?
Watch the hand!
What I-
what I can't understand is
how come that one's bigger
than this one?
I'd like to know
what difference it makes.
You think I'm going
to let the son of a bitch
come in and fondle them
before I blow his head off?
I don't guess it makes
any difference.
It just looked like to me you run out
of air on that left one
before you got through.
Just mind your business
and keep a sharp lookout.
Well, it seems quiet.
Most of the teenagers still over
at that high school dance.
What time they get out
of that thing?
Not 'til probably, uh, 1:30 or so.
I want to intensify patrols
in the parking area
from one o'clock on.
Again, let me say it's a pleasure
to see all of you out here
having such a good time.
And I think tonight
has been a fitting climax
to what has been a great year here
at Arkansas High School.
To those of you going on to college
or out into the work world,
we wish you the best.
And to you juniors who will be back
with us again next year,
have a good summer.
And now we're going
to ask Reverend Harden
to lead us in a short prayer.
Let us pray.
Our Father, we are thankful
for this group
of fine young men
and young women.
Bless them
throughout the coming year.
Our prayer tonight is
to guide us safely home.
In Christ's name.
Should old acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind
Should old acquaintance be forgot
In days of auld lang syne
For auld lang syne my dear
For auld lang syne
We'll drink a cup of kindness yet
For auld lang syne.
- That was great, Peggy.
- Oh, thank you.
Listen, put my trombone away
and I'll get my purse
and we'll get out of here, okay?
You don't really have
to be home by 2:30, do you?
Well, somewhere
right in then.
Well, how about our favorite spot
over in Spring Lake Park?
Gee, I don't know, we've had lot's
of warnings not to park.
You know that phantom killer
hasn't been caught yet.
Yeah, but that was
off the highway.
We'll be in the middle of town.
No one will bother us there.
I don't know.
Just for a little while, okay?
Okay, just for a little while.
Well, it's two o'clock.
Maybe my feelin's all wrong.
By God, I hope so.
You know, the only difference
between tonight
and three weeks ago
and the time before that,
is that it was rainin'.
You don't suppose the rain has
something to do with it?
I don't know, triggerin' him.
Who knows?
Moonlight's so bright tonight,
he might not want to try anything.
Wait a second,
what time is it?
- What?
- What time is it?
I don't know, let me check.
- It's twenty to three.
- My God, I gotta get home.
Five more minutes, Peggy.
No, I'm gonna get
in big trouble.
- Really, we better go.
- Come on, Peggy.
Now, you don't want me
to get into trouble, do you, Roy?
No, I guess not.
No, don't, please don't!
No, no!
Help me, oh, no!
Oh, please don't hurt me.
Oh, please don't
don't hurt me, no.
Please don't hurt me.
Oh, my God, no!
Oh, my God, no, please!
Please don't hurt me.
Oh, no, please don't hurt me.
No, please.
No, no, please no.
Please no.
No, no, no, no.
No, no, please don't hurt me.
No, please, Roy, no.
Roy, no, oh.
Run, Roy, run.
Oh, God, oh.
Oh, God, no.
Roy, run, run.
Oh, no.
Oh, Roy, oh, Roy.
What now.
Oh, no, oh, please
don't hurt me.
What are you doing?
No, please don't hurt me.
What are you doing to me?
Oh, no, please don't hurt me.
Oh, no.
Oh, no.
Where the hell was everybody?
Well, this is one of the spots
they were checking.
Gus, how often
were they checking here?
They were making
continuous circuits.
Each unit was checking
about 15 or 20 places.
But I don't know how often
they were gettin' back here.
Well, all I know is
it wasn't often enough.
Here, right in the middle of the city,
right under our noses.
Next thing you know, he'll kill
somebody in police headquarters.
Well, we're doing the best
we can possibly do.
Well, that's not enough.
Look, I want
this entire area roped off
with a ring of police
around it.
We're gonna find
some evidence
if we have to sift every grain
of sand in this damn park.
I want some evidence,
do you understand that?
The third on-schedule strike
of the phantom killer
brought nationally known
newspaper, magazine,
and radio reporters
to Texarkana.
Life and Look Magazines sent
their photographers and journalists.
CBS, NBC, and The Mutual
Broadcasting System
brought in nationally known
to arrange for nationwide broadcasts
through the local radio station.
A reward fund, which had been started
after the first attack,
was now up to $8,000
for information leading
to the arrest and conviction
of the killer.
Uh, Captain Morales,
uh, what do you think about Dr. Kress,
the psychiatrist at the prison,
has to say about the phantom?
I really hadn't thought
about it, mam.
You know, Captain Morales,
I believe Dr. Kress
is really going to help us
a lot on this case.
Yes, sir, I think so.
He should be here any time.
In fact, there he is now.
How are you?
Good to see you.
Gentlemen, good to see you.
I believe you know
everyone at the table
except maybe,
uh, Captain Morales.
Captain, nice to meet you, sir.
Glad to know you, sir.
Listen, I think I'll just-
You've already ordered,
haven't you?
I think I'll just, uh, take
a New York cut steak, medium rare.
Captain, I've looked forward
to meeting you.
Quite a number
of my patients at the prison,
they speak of you quite often.
Come to think of it, Doc,
I guess I have sent you
a few customers
over the past several years.
Doctor, we're gonna have to get
a better fix on who this killer is
What motivates him.
How he thinks.
This man is definitely a sadist,
motivated by a strong sex drive.
I guess you realize, Captain,
that the
the odds are against you.
Well, what do you mean, Dr. Kress?
I'd say this man is between
35 and 40 years old,
highly intelligent.
The odds are at least two to one
that he'll never be caught.
Well, I sure as hell
don't buy that.
Well, I'm just going
by the statistical profile
he fits within, Captain.
This thing has become
a game with him, you know.
The, uh~ the fact that the
this massive manhunt,
the largest ever assembled
in this area, is after him,
well, it's a source
of pleasure to him.
Makes him feel important.
He has all the odds
on his side.
He know exactly what's going on
in the investigation
and you know practically
nothing about him.
Excuse me, Doctor,
I wonder if I could ask you
some direct questions
and get some blunt
straight answers.
Well, I'll try.
He chewed the girl's back,
neck, and breasts why?
Sexual satisfaction.
He didn't force the girls
to have sexual intercourse.
That's not what excites him.
He's abnormal.
Is he insane?
Oh, yes.
But not in the usual sense.
He could be living what appears to be
a normal life right here in Texarkana.
He could even be one
of your more prominent citizens.
Well, do you know any reason
why he hasn't taken any money
off of his victims?
That's that's not his motive.
It's like asking why
he used a trombone
the way he did
with the Loomis girl.
He has this strange,
sadistic imagination.
I suppose he does these things
because they please him in some way.
Do you think he'll attack again
on schedule?
Not necessarily.
I would say, in view of the intensity
of the manhunt,
he'll probably change his pattern.
He may back
into a normal pattern
Go back into his shell.
Not be heard from again for years.
Yeah, that's what makes
this case so damn frustrating.
This murdering pervert could be passing
us on the street ten times a day.
I don't know.
I ain't never been
so scared in my life.
Rainbow, you're still
scared, ain't you?
Yes, sir, yes, I am.
- What'd he look like?
- I don't know what he looked like.
I just saw that big barrel,
that's all I saw.
I don't know
what the man looked like.
What else did he say to you?
Well, when he told me
he was out of gas
about two miles
down the road,
he told me he'd give me a dollar
take him down the road.
That is, a dollar for gas.
That's what I did.
He got out of the car,
and I'd driven
about eight or ten miles,
but he told me
just two mile down the road.
And I was asking him, I said,
"Man, how far is your car from here?
I done already driven
eight or ten miles."
So, when I looked around
for an answer, I saw that gun.
And he told me just keep
on drivin' to Lufkin.
So, I told him, I said, "I won't have
enough gas to get back."
He said, "What make him so damn sure
that I was gonna get back."
He said, "I already killed
five people in Texarkana.
One more won't make
make it him difference."
So, I take him on to Lufkin.
Well, uh, what did he say to you
when you got in to Lufkin?
Well, when we got there, he told me
to pull over on side the road.
There, in Lufkin.
That's what I did.
And then when he start to get out,
he asked me for my billfold.
I told him, I said,
"Well, there's no money in it."
So he said,
"Just give me your billfold."
So, I hand it to him.
He take my drivers license
out of it and looked at it.
Hand my billfold back to me.
He said, "Mr. Johnson."
He says, "I know
what kind of car you drive
and I know where you live at.
You tell anybody about this
I'm gonna kill ya."
So that's when I really got scared.
Well, Mr. Johnson, you don't have
to worry about that.
We're gonna put a police car
at your home 24 hours a day.
Well, I sure appreciate that.
Ramsey, I want to set up a meeting
with that girl and boy
who were first attacked.
It's just possible they may recall
something of significance.
When do you want
to do this, Captain?
to cafe on West Seventh Street.
Suspect is armed.
Units two and three are now
proceeding to that location.
All other units in the vicinity
of West Seventh
should proceed
with emergency.
Would unit five give me
his last location once again
That's only two blocks from here.
Come in, unit five.
Emergency, Sparkplug,
go get 'em.
That's him in the green car.
Straight ahead.
Have the suspect's car in view
and are in hot pursuit.
Stay with him.
We ain't gonna make this.
Hold on, Captain!
Hold it, hold it, whoop, whoop!
All right, out of the car!
What's wrong?
Get out of the car.
What's wrong?
I hope we catch him soon
or we'll all be killed if we don't.
Where's the Captain, I thought
he was leading this chase.
Watch wa wa wa
I'd like to know
just why the hell
there ain't a sign
up there on that road
tellin' me
that the road ends!
Shut up.
Yes, sir.
Unit one,
return to headquarters and make...
You okay, Captain?
I'd rather face
that damn phantom
than ride any further
with him.
What's your name?
Eddie LeDoux.
You got my wallet there.
You can see what my name is.
I don't know what
you people are doing.
Scared me half to death.
That's why
I was runnin' from you.
All them police cars
come roaring down on you.
Scare anybody half to death.
Uh-huh, where you from, Eddie?
New Orleans.
Man, I lived in New Orleans
all my life.
Mm, what you doing in Texarkana?
Lookin' for work.
Uh-huh, how long have you, uh,
been in Texarkana, Eddie?
I just got in today.
Look at my car, it's ruined.
Your car?
Your car is a stolen car, Eddie.
It's on the hot sheet, Captain.
That's him.
That's him.
Mister, you owe me a dollar for takin'
you up the road the other day.
And ten dollars
for takin' you to Lufkin.
And I want my damn money!
What's the matter
with that darkie?
Is he crazy?
Get him outta here.
That's the trashiest white man
I've seen in my life, right there.
That's the gun right there.
It's the gun he put in my face.
Right there, that's it.
Do you still deny
that you know this man?
Yeah, maybe I do.
Now, you think about this,
LeDoux, before you answer.
Did you state to this man that
you killed five people in Texarkana?
You got me.
I'm the phantom.
I killed them.
Bring on the newspaper
reporters and...
I'll give you a confession.
I want you to send one car
on in ahead of us.
Make sure the station's
cleared of any reporters.
He not the one who done it,
is he Captain?
No way.
Probably got a record
as long as your arm,
but he's not the phantom.
But if he keeps his story, he's gonna
cause us an awful lot of headaches.
Well, Captain,
if you got no objections,
I'll take the prisoner
with me in our car.
And I'll ride in the back seat with him
all the way to the police station.
I think that'd be all right.
Did you really want
to admit guilt?
Oh, no.
Wait, just hold wait!
I sure as hell ain't gonna ride
no further with him.
By the time LeDoux
reached headquarters.
Sergeant Mai Griffin had convinced him
he was not the phantom killer.
And summer had come once again
to this part of the South.
Long, hot days prevailed,
as people tried
not to think of the madness
that loomed around them.
It was now May 3, 1946.
- Floyd.
- Yeah.
Do you hear somebody
walkin' outside?
No, I don't hear anything.
Did you break something?
Oh, my God.
This is the operator,
what is you number?
Hello, go ahead, please.
This is your operator.
Hey, keep it down!
Call the ambulance.
Helen Reed did not die.
She lingered in critical condition
in the hospital for weeks.
Then gradually recovered.
People were afraid to walk
in front of their windows
after the sun went down.
Newspapers stopped making
early morning deliveries.
with newspaper boys waiting
until daylight to make their rounds.
And Western Union stopped
making night deliveries.
Over 150 police cars now cruised
the dark streets, alleys, parks,
and parking areas
of Texarkana
from darkness until dawn,
in the most intense manhunt
ever mounted in the Southwest.
Friday, May 25, Saturday, May 26,
and Sunday May 27,
the target dates for his regular
three week strikes
came and passed
with nothing happening.
The manhunt intensified.
Nine different police organizations
now had officers
in marked and unmarked patrol cars
operating in the Texarkana area.
Paul, you go with him.
It was right in there.
It was right in there.
Over by the door, I~
Move it back now,
the Captain's coming through here.
Come on, let's move back.
How long before you're going
to apprehend the killer?
Gentlemen, I'm sorry, we don't have
anything new to report.
We're continuing to work
around the clock,
checking out every
possible lead.
Captain, I wonder if you could tell us
Mrs. Reed's condition.
Mrs. Reed, we are told,
is slowly improving.
We've had some
very brief interviews with her.
And in my opinion,
nothing she can tell us
will positively identify the killer.
In fact, she never saw him,
except for one brief moment
he was behind screen wire
some distance from her
and wearing a mask.
Now, Captain, we have word
that a Texarkana doctor
has turned in his son as a suspect.
Is this true?
No, mam.
We've checked that out
and there's absolutely nothing to it.
Thank you very much, Captain.
Sir, the ballistics
department reports
that the bullets
removed from Reed's body
have similar markings
to the bullets removed earlier
from the bodies of Roy Allen
and Peggy Loomis.
Well, that pretty much
confirms one thing
that he killed at least three people
with the same gun.
That's all we've got.
What day is this?
He's four days
behind his schedule, Captain.
Maybe this last time
he went 20 days
instead of exactly three weeks.
This next time
he might go 19 or 22.
Who the hell knows?
He's quit, hasn't he, Captain?
He's either crawled back
into his shell
or he's moved on
to another town.
There's one other possibility.
What's that?
He could've been arrested
for some other crime.
You're thinking
about that fella in Shreveport.
He's a possibility.
But he can account for his movements
on the last two murders.
So, I don't know what to say.
He's killed five people
and he damn near killed three more
and we're no closer to catchin' him
than we were four months ago.
We ain't never gonna catch him,
are we Captain?
You want an official
or a private reply?
If we do catch him,
it's gonna be a miracle.
Please make log-
Stolen car found
one and a half miles
off Highway 82 on Crank Road.
Texas license plate, make- Chevrolet,
two-door, black coupe.
Base, this is unit two.
Would you give me a description
on that car again?
Yeah, unit two,
it's a black two-door coupe,
believed to be a 1939 Chevrolet
with Texas license.
Thank you, base.
That's a description
of the car I saw
the night I found Emma Lou Cook
and Howard Turner murdered.
You know, this might be our miracle.
Let's go get him.
Well, that's the same color.
And I'm almost positive
it's the same model and make.
How far is it down through
this timber here to the Sulphur River?
Oh, about a mile and a half.
Any people live down in there?
Nope, none that I know of.
Nothin' between here and that river
except that old sand pit.
Any kids ever park up in there?
They used to, but I don't think
they do anymore.
You wait here.
Radio Sheriff Barker and tell him
to stand by the bloodhounds.
Yes, sir.
- Sir.
- Let's go.
That pit can't be no more
than a quarter of a mile now.
Yeah, let's approach it
real careful, though.
All right.
Come on.
Probably got eight
or ten minutes ahead of us.
I think he's done it
to us again.
One thing about it.
At least he knows
we've been here.
Let's get those bloodhounds.
The bloodhounds
that were brought in
quickly lost the scent
in this murky bayou
in the vast backwater wilderness
of southern Arkansas.
Some say of these swamps
that most men who go in,
never come out.
But there was little doubt
that the phantom killer
plunged deep into these swamps
that late Fall of 1946.
What happened to the phantom killer,
no one really knows.
Some believe he was convicted
of another crime
and today he is still serving his term
in a Kansas prison.
Some believe he died here
in these swamps.
Texarkana today still looks
pretty much the same.
And if you should ask people
here on the streets
what they believed happened
to the phantom killer,
most would say
that he is still living here...
and is walking free.
Captain J.D. Morales never stopped
looking for the phantom killer.
He returned to Laredo, Texas
in that same year
and kept searching and digging
for evidence for the next decade
in this, one of America's
most baffling cases.
Today, he's retired
from the Texas Rangers
and makes his home
in Dallas, Texas.
Chief Sullivan was reelected
for three more terms.
Retired and died in 1970.
Sheriff Barker also was
reelected for several terms
and never stopped working
on the case until his death in 1966.
Mrs. Reed recovered
and is living a normal life today
in Texarkana, Arkansas.
Sammy Fuller and Linda Mae Jenkins
moved away from Texarkana.
At this time,
their whereabouts is not known.
Deputy Sheriff Norman Ramsey
served all of his adult life
as a fine peace officer
of Miller County, Arkansas.
He died in 1973.