Cannon (1971) s01e02 Episode Script

Death Chain

You're early.
Well, she left early.
Which one of her charities is it tonight? I don't know.
I can't keep track.
Hi, darling.
What you doing? Oh, just catching up on a couple of letters.
I'll be done in a minute.
Who's that? -I don't know.
Let's go outside, Donna.
But I can't believe it.
You're all right.
What happened? I said let's go outside, Donna.
You've got it all wrong, Joe.
I don't have it.
Believe me.
I called you, Donna.
I called your name.
I wanted to come back, honest, but they wouldn't let me.
Joe, if I had it, I'd tell you.
I swear.
What? I said okay, I believe you.
You can go home now.
There's a There's a bus stop right at the corner up there.
ANNOUNCER: Starring William Conrad.
William Windom, Saul Book, Stewart Moss, and special guest star, Don Gordon.
Kendrix? Frank Cannon.
Thank you for coming.
You handle those tools very well.
Not really, but it's a way to spend Saturday afternoon.
This the article you told me about, huh? Donna Woodward.
She was my secretary.
Have you told the police you didn't think this was an accident? Mr.
Cannon, what I am about to tell you must be kept in the strictest confidence.
I don't make promises like that.
If I decide to take the case, you'll have to rely on my discretion.
Donna and I were having an affair.
That's not an easy thing to tell anyone, especially the police.
Uh, about seven months ago I needed a secretary.
Donna's background qualified her for the job, so I hired her.
Now, I would be lying to you if I said I hadn't had an opportunity like that before, but I'd always played it straight.
At first, I thought it was just a A physical thing.
But it changed.
I loved her.
Let's get back to what you saw.
What kind of a car did the man drive that took her away? Dark sedan.
Can you describe the man better for me? Uh, be as specific as possible.
Oh, mid-30s, dark hair.
He had a There was something on his wrist The right one, I think.
like one of those elastic bandages.
This is kind of a delicate question, but, uh, was she seeing anybody else at the time she was going with you? Yeah, there was another man in the beginning.
As a matter of fact, he was the cause of our only row.
I overheard her on the phone one day.
His name was L Leon.
She arranged a meeting.
I caught a glimpse of him sitting his car.
Well, obviously he wasn't the man who abducted her, then? Mmm.
I'm not too sure.
He was pretty far away when I got a look at him.
There was something about the car that might It was just a plain green car, but it had some, uh, p-printing on the side.
I talked to the manager.
They've got a Leon there.
Leon Malcolm.
He's been with the company seven months.
He's out right now in Car 144.
You know, Mr.
Kendrix, I, uh There's something about you I admire very much.
Most men would have walked away from a situation like this.
You didn't.
Because of that I'm gonna take the case.
I just hope this is our man, because if it isn't, we're in trouble.
I've gotta tell the police pretty soon what I know.
My wife is very active in community affairs, charities, that sort of thing.
It's her whole life.
If this all became public, it would destroy Susan, probably our marriage, to say nothing of my job.
I work for a very conservative bank.
Now, I want Donna's killer caught more than anything else, and I know you have a responsibility, but please, please, stretch it as much as you can.
There's 144.
He's not the one.
Do you have a key to her apartment with you? Hands Over there.
Up against the wall.
Spread your arms.
I'm spread-armed.
Who are you? Private investigator Frank Cannon.
Got your license on you? Mm-hm.
Using your right hand only, take it out slowly.
Look, it's in my right-hand pocket.
Can I use my left hand? Yeah, go ahead.
Thank you.
You mind telling me who I'm giving it to? Sergeant Rissmiller, Lindero Police.
Sergeant, I don't want to sound like I'm uncooperative, but this is not one of my favorite positions.
Thank you.
Who are you working for? Oh, come on, now, sergeant, you know that I All right, Mr.
Cannon, we can play it one of two ways.
You can either tell me what you know Or you'll run me in, right? Sounds like you're familiar with the procedure.
Well, after ten years on the force, I think I should be, don't you? Where were you a cop? L.
It's easy to check.
Obviously you don't believe the newspaper account of this.
Do you? How much do you know about this girl? Uh, not a great deal.
About seven months ago she came down from San Francisco.
She had a job there as a secretary at the, uh, Golden Gate Savings and Loan.
She got the same kind of a job down here.
She kept pretty much to herself.
No friends.
Almost none.
She made 150 a week before deductions, and that wouldn't begin to cover this place.
Someone was keeping her.
Any idea who? I got a few candidates.
And just a guess, but I'd say that her friend was here last night.
And maybe they left together.
She was killed seven miles from here.
She didn't take her purse, she didn't call a cab, and her car's still parked outside.
You still haven't told me the name of your client.
Sergeant, when you really need to know, I'll tell you, huh? Now, can I have my gun back, please? The great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Him to whom be glory forever and ever.
Woodward? I'd like to offer my condolences.
My name's Cannon.
I'm investigating your sister's death.
I don't understand.
I was told it was hit-and-run.
May I ask you a few questions, please? Do you know whether your sister had any enemies or not? Not that I know of.
Does the name Vermillion mean anything to you? No.
Why? He's dead.
His death was accidental too.
Well, I'm sorry, but I really don't see how that concerns me.
Well, evidently your sister did, because she was about to send you a xeroxed account of how he died.
Now, look, I don't know that man.
I don't care about that man.
May I ask you one last question, then I'll leave you alone? Do you know anyone whose first name is Martin and whose last name begins with the letter E? Donna thought he might be interested in Vermillion's death also.
That's my sister over there.
If you have any idea how I feel right now, you wouldn't stand there and ask me questions.
I'm sincerely sorry, but I don't think your sister's death was accidental.
When, uh, you're in a better frame of mind, perhaps you'll think about it and give me a call.
Thank you.
Long distance, please.
San Francisco.
Person to person to Mr.
Martin Eccles.
Uh, I I have the number: "855-0714.
" Uh no.
Uh, I'll, uh I'll try later.
The one thing I always emphasize in my instruction is do not go out alone.
When I got there at 11, a man was already pulling Mr.
Vermillion out of the water.
According to the newspaper article, there was a possibility there was a malfunction in his scuba gear.
It was no malfunction.
It was a lack of experience, pure and simple.
remember what he looked like? Couldn't tell you whether he was short or tall.
Everything happened so fast.
And he only stayed a few minutes anyway.
He had to get medical attention.
Oh? What was the matter with him? He sprained his wrist.
Or maybe it was his arm.
There was so much confusion I can't really remember.
Excuse me.
Hello, this is Frank Cannon.
Uh, this is Don Woodward.
I've been thinking about what you said, and I'd like to see you right away.
Where are you staying? Windsor Hotel, Room 509.
Now, there's nothing to get excited about.
Take it easy.
Hello? I just wanna talk to you.
That's all.
Oh, I heard about Donna.
I-I-I'm I'm sorry.
Sorry? You killed her.
What are you talking about? I swear to you, I had nothing to do with that.
You know how I felt about her.
Lord knows, I've got reason enough to kill all of you.
That's in the past.
That That's in the past.
So don't accuse me of something like that.
I loved Donna.
I-I loved her.
I That's why I came here.
I-I wanted to see her again.
I Oh, if you only knew how much I dreaded seeing you again.
For whatever it's worth, it's been on my conscience.
No, no.
Forget it.
I'm Not going back was Marty's idea.
I wanted to.
He kept yelling at me to To drive.
Well, I suppose i-it didn't cross anybody's mind there'd be one less share to divvy up, huh? What are you talking about, shares? We didn't get that money.
You had it.
Me? Money? I was lucky to get outta there.
Donna wasn't an accident, Joe.
Something's going on.
A detective thinks she was murdered.
He said Vermillion's dead too.
Who's the detective? How much does he know about us? I I don't think he's put it all together yet, but he did know about Vermillion, and somehow he's on to Eccles.
It's hot in here, isn't it, Don? Yeah, it's very warm in here, very warm.
Hey, you can't park here.
We've had an accident.
You got a bad habit of getting places before the police, Cannon.
I called you on my way over.
I don't know what else I could have done.
And if you'd stop playing the outraged cop bit for a minute, maybe I'll fill you in on a couple of things, all right? First, our killer: he's medium height, lean, in his middle 30s, and has been wearing a bandage on his right wrist.
Secondly, I'd suggest you call the San Francisco police, have 'em pick up a man by the name of Martin Eccles.
Don called him from here.
Donna was writing him a letter the night she was killed.
Hey, wait a minute.
Where are you going? San Francisco, and don't bother thanking me.
Aren't you interested in what I've found out? I've got a lead.
Donna's boyfriend.
He drives a tan sedan with a white landau top.
It's just a matter of time.
I'll tell you what's a matter of time, Rissmiller.
Victim number four.
Kendrix, this is Hello, Mr.
Donna's brother is dead.
About an hour agohe fell from the fifth-story window of the Windsor Hotel.
I've told the police everything I know except where I got the information.
I see.
They've got a lead on your car.
I think it would be best if you went to them before they come to you.
Well, that, uh That leaves me with something of a problem.
Yes, I'm gonna be in San Francisco for the next day or so, so if you want me, call my answering service.
Oh, thank you very much.
Who was that? Oh, just, uh Just business.
Mm-hm? I'd like to talk to you.
Let's have a drink.
Oh, I'd love to, honey, but Sandy's picking me up in half an hour, and I'm not even dressed yet.
I told you.
She asked me to help pick out a present for Bob.
Don't you remember? It's their 30th anniversary.
Oh, of course.
Hello? Mr.
Kendrix? Yes.
We've never met, Mr.
Kendrix, but we did have a mutual friend who died last week.
Who is this? I think we should get together.
I have a few pictures you might be interested in.
Eccles? Mr.
Eccles? I'll be right with you.
Eccles? Uh, yeah, can I help you? Yes, my name's Frank Cannon.
I'm a private investigator from Los Angeles.
Have the local police contacted you yet? What about? In my opinion, Mr.
Eccles, you're in grave danger.
You're putting me on.
Do you know Don Woodward? Yeah, I know his sister too.
And a man by the name of Samuel Vermillion? What's this all about? They're all dead.
You're joking.
What kind of a maniac could do something like? I don't know his name yet, but I have a description of him and a witness that can identify him.
Oh, somebody saw him, huh? Uh, I just don't understand why the police haven't contacted you.
Oh, well, they They They could They could have tried, but, uh, I've been out half the day working, you see.
I can't get over somebody killing those three wonderful people.
I mean, they were wonderful people.
Well, all the evidence isn't in yet, but a definite pattern is emerging.
You see, firstly, the killer has tried very hard to make all the deaths look like accidents, and secondly there's a definite link between all the victims.
Eight months ago they all knew each other right here in San Francisco.
Well, you'll pardon me, but that doesn't sound like much of a pattern.
Well, it does when you consider that each of the people had a specific talent to contribute to a major crime.
Add it up: Donna, a girl who worked in a bank.
Vermillion, an expert electrician, and now you, a welder.
That's some story you got there.
I mean, it'd be funny if it wasn't so tragic.
Sure, I knew Sam, and And we did a couple of jobs together.
Not the kind you're talking about.
And Donna, well, I I dated her, and through her I met Don.
Now, that makes your pattern kind of weird, doesn't it, Mr.
Cannon? You want to know something else? I think you're kind of weird too.
Hello? Very good.
Right on time, Mr.
What do you want? For openers, I want you to reach under the metal shelf.
You got 'em? Yeah.
Don't leave much to the imagination, do they? And it don't take much imagination to figure out why I took 'em.
If that's all you wanted, why did you have to kill her? My friend, you're jumping to conclusions.
I didn't kill Donna.
She's more valuable to me alive.
Who are you? -Somebody with a big problem, and you're gonna solve it for me.
That electrician must have been a wizard.
Pretty sophisticated setup all right.
Required manpower.
Well, we figure six.
Four dead, that leaves two.
The killer And the box man.
Checking out Samuel Vermillion, Martin Eccles and a Don Woodward.
They're clean.
We don't have a thing on them, and neither does the FBI.
Well, no wonder we couldn't find them.
Our mistake was looking for pros.
No, there had to be at least one, the box man.
Well, we shook down everyone we knew.
Show me exactly where the guard got killed, huh? Yeah.
Right here.
He must have surprised 'em.
It was an unscheduled round.
He got off a couple of shots before he died.
Analysis of the blood found in this corridor showed two distinct types.
Then somebody else got wounded too, huh? Right.
This is the only one? No, no, there were others.
I destroyed them.
How much did he want? I don't have to give him any money.
I just have to exchange some for him.
He appears to have a considerable amount of, uh, "hot" cash, and somehow he found out that every six months my bank sends currency to the Federal Reserve for mutilation.
Old bills being taken out of circulation.
He wants me to exchange that money for his.
Hot for cold, huh? Could the amount be $300.
000? Because 10 months ago, the Golden Gate Savings and Loan in San Francisco was robbed of $300.
That's where Donna used to work.
It was done by a group of amateurs.
All except the man who opened the vault.
He had to be a first-rate pro.
Counting him, there was six.
There was the electrical genius, a highly skilled welder, the man who masterminded the job, an employee of the savings and loan who supplied the inside information, and her brother.
The robbery went off like clockwork until an unexpected guard showed up.
There was a gunfight, and, uh, the guard was killed.
One of the members of the gang was wounded.
Now, I'm a little hazy here, and I'm just trying to make a guess.
But I think at that point somebody decided to pull a double-cross.
He wanted to keep all the money.
Now, whoever that somebody is, is the man who called you today.
But how could he have known about? About Donna and me? I Look, I can understand her being involved in In the robbery, yes, but the other? She would never.
She couldn't have done that to me.
When you transfer money to the Federal Reserve Bank, is it common knowledge? No, neither the time nor the date.
Only the operations officer, the president of the bank and I have that knowledge.
Oh, yes.
And our secretary.
Okay, Mr.
Cannon, what do we do now? Nothing we can do till he calls again.
Kendrix's desk.
Kendrix, please.
Answer it.
This is Mr.
Good morning.
Who is this? I think you know.
Have you got it? Yes.
The full amount? Yes.
Okay, just follow these instructions.
There'll be no problems.
It's now 11:02.
At exactly noon, be at the airport terminal.
Go to the locker area.
You'll get further instructions there.
No tricks, no cops.
I can smell a stakeout a mile away.
Just bring the money and be there on time.
Leon? Where you going? Get in.
Come on.
Look, Joe, I can explain.
Start it up.
What are you gonna do? -Nothing.
We're just gonna have our first driving lesson, that's all.
We're gonna play a little game of Russian roulette.
Only we're gonna play it backwards.
Instead of five chances against one, you got one chance against five.
Hm? You know, that was a pretty neat trick you pulled in the bank.
Somehow you got out with all the money, and then you made the others think I got away with it.
Very good.
Here we go.
Airport terminal, locker 1050.
Where's the key? -In my pocket.
Now, I'd like to make this look like an accident, Leon, but I don't have the time.
Killing me is stupid.
The money's still hot, won't do you any good.
Money cools.
Yeah, but you don't have to wait.
I got a plan.
A guy's going to exchange the money.
Works at a bank.
I got him over a barrel.
He was cheating on his wife.
Over at Donna's all the time.
Even when she was killed? Yeah.
Kendrix? Yes? Mr.
Kendrix's desk.
Well, he's just leaving.
I see.
Hang on.
Kendrix? Get their name, tell them I'll call them back.
It's your wife.
She says it's some kind of emergency.
Susan? What's the matter? Mr.
Kendrix's desk.
Is Mr.
Kendrix there, please? Uh, no, he left about 25 minutes ago.
May I ask who's calling, please? I'm the man he was with this morning.
Oh, yes, Mr.
I remember.
Uh, I don't understand.
If he left he was supposed to meet me at the airport at 12.
Oh, I think I know what happened.
He was leaving, but his wife called.
I think it was some kind of emergency at home.
Do you want to leave your number and I'll have Mr.
Kendrix? Operator, I would like the police department, please.
Uh, Sergeant Rissmiller.
Susan? We're in here, Mr.
Come on in.
Put the bag over here.
Come on.
Now, sit down.
Harry, who is he? Uh, this is banking business, Mrs.
Your husband is about to make me a loan.
Why did you have to come here? Well, um, the plans got changed.
As a matter of fact, I'm not even the man you were supposed to meet.
He had an accident.
Like Donna.
You remember Donna, don't you? Oh Oh, didn't you know about your husband and Donna? They had quite a thing going.
Shut up! Susan, I wanted to tell you.
I tried to.
I didn't purposely go into this, but I didn't want you to find it out like this.
Where's the money? All right, that does it.
That's one double-cross too many.
Hold it, hold it! Did I ever tell you, you've got a very bad habit of getting places before the police? Well, I keep calling you, Rissmiller, and you always show up late.
Nice-looking car.
Oh, yeah, yeah, very popular model.
Lots of 'em around town.
Lots of 'em, lots of 'em.
I suppose you're right.
Well, goodbye.
I got a lot of paperwork on this.
In triplicate.
I remember.
I'm sorry I was unable to tell the police.
I expect it made your job a great deal more difficult.
I suppose I could be accused of withholding evidence.
When you get to feeling better, why don't you call Sergeant Rissmiller.
You may find out he's a very understanding man.
I don't know whether explaining it to her will do any good now.
Can I tell you something? That all depends on how important it is to you.
And you're the only one who can decide.
Right? Thank you.