The Rockford Files (1974) s05e05 Episode Script

Kill the Messenger

Deputy Chief Towne's wife, somebody beat her to death.
And it's your hot potato? You're looking for Angel? I thought maybe he could tell me where I could find a guy named Captain Crunch.
What about a lady who's not here to defend herself? Well, she doesn't have to be.
Not as long as you're slinging that load of whitewash.
What's troubling you? Oh, Dad.
I should've stayed out of it.
You came up with something gonna make it harder for him? Something that's going to make it impossible.
ROCKFORD This is Jim Rockford.
At the tone, leave your name and message.
I'll get back to you.
Jim, Chet, returning your call.
Sorry I missed you, but I'd appreciate your calling back.
And if you call again and I'm not in, just leave your message and I'll get back to you.
I'm the one that called.
It's that one over there.
Check out those plates, will you? It's been here since Friday night.
Did you see who left it? No, I'm the day man.
When I got here Saturday morning, it was still dark, and it was the only car on the lot.
You know, I figured somebody Friday night Somebody had gone off with somebody and maybe would be back later for it.
But then this morning when I got here, it's still here, and there's this kind of smell.
Yeah.
Roger.
Hey, Pete.
Is it on the hot sheet? No.
But it's hot.
What's that supposed to mean? The registered owner is Eugene W.
Towne.
Deputy Chief Towne? Are you gonna investigate or not? I'm telling you guys, something in there is getting a little ripe.
We got probable cause.
I know what we got.
to the minimum force necessary for the control of the suspect.
Right.
Now, I'll give you the suspect's action and you give me the officer's reaction.
Cooperation, compliance.
Verbalization.
Passive resistance.
Firm grip control.
Aggressive resistance.
Pain compliance.
What happened to the training bulletins? I didn't touch anything on your desk.
They were right here.
Bodily attack.
Control holds.
There was this paper on management principles and that's very important.
What's that sticking out from under the blotter? What? There.
Thanks.
Attack with dangerous weapons.
Suspect's action, attack with dangerous weapons.
Officer's reaction? Self-defense techniques.
That can include use of the baton, kicks, body throws Thanks, okay.
Going up for lieutenant, huh? Yeah.
Well, to each his own.
I gonna be signing out now, Billings.
Okay, Sarge.
Good luck.
Little last-minute cramming, Becker? Just brushing up, sir.
Mmm-hmm.
If you don't know it now, you don't know it.
This one's yours.
Yes, sir.
Oh, no.
I know it's a bad time for you, Dennis, but it's the only time Bud could get away.
They wrote on their Christmas card, "Hope to get out there one of these days.
" They write that every year.
Well, one of these days is tomorrow.
That's over there.
Dennis, if you're worried about that exam I take the written the day after tomorrow.
Just got to sweat out the oral.
Well, I've been shagging questions for two hours.
You haven't missed one yet.
Do you think Little Den's gonna mind sleeping down here? There's just no other place for him.
The kid's 12 years old.
Why do you call him Little Den? Oh, they probably don't call him that at home.
Just around us, to avoid confusion.
He's named after Dennis.
Like our Scotty's named for Bud.
Bud's real name is Scott.
Oh? Yeah.
He and Dennis go way back.
They've been friends since school.
Peggy, how about getting some hot coffee? Oh, sure.
Oh, listen, honey, before I forget.
You know your friend at Universal? Do you think he could arrange a special studio tour? Oh, and a ride in a squad car.
That was on their list.
Little Den asked for that himself.
That's really great, Dennis.
You know, having a kid named after you.
You must be proud of him.
I always kind of thought that Scotty was named after me.
Yeah? Yeah.
You know, James Scott Rockford? Funny the ideas you get.
I think I even mentioned it to you a couple of times.
Yeah.
Well, maybe you did a couple of times.
Like on his last birthday when I signed his card, "To my namesake.
" Oh, yeah, there was that time and Well, listen, I think I'm gonna help Peggy with the coffee, okay? Well, how's it going with the questions? I forgot where we left off.
Well, it doesn't matter.
You could just spot-check me.
Okay.
We'll do homicide.
No.
What do you mean, no? I said no.
You also said spot-check.
Surviving spouse or close family members are responsible for what percentage of homicides? I said I don't want to do homicide.
I know homicide.
I've only been working it for eight years.
You don't want to ask me the questions, just say so.
But I got no time to fool around here.
Dennis.
And I got no time to set up studio tours.
The McGowans want to go to Universal? Fine! They set it up themselves.
What am I, some kind of social director? I'm a cop.
I got a job to do.
Leave me alone and let me do it! And Deputy Chief Towne Oh.
Oh.
Deputy Chief Towne's wife, Eileen Towne, somebody beat her to death.
Oh, Dennis.
She was just an average lady, middle-age, couple of kids, grown, gone.
She worked as a probation officer downtown.
And it's your hot potato? I'm going to get some chips or something.
My stomach's a mess.
Oh, poor Mrs.
Towne.
Dennis is so upset.
Well, he has a right to be.
In the investigation of the crime, he's going to have to ask an awful lot of questions, a lot of personal questions.
How's he going to do that? Deputy Chief Towne? Oh.
And that lieutenancy means so much to him.
I wish I could help him.
He's tried so hard, Jim.
Peg, I'll ask around, maybe I can get rid of some of the preliminaries and make it a little easier for him.
Thanks.
You know, you're quite a friend.
Dennis won't forget it.
Miss Buettner? Edgar Blasco, comptroller's office.
Who's in charge? Huh? Who's in charge? There must be somebody in charge in this office, isn't there? You mean Mr.
Benbrook? I imagine I do.
Miss Buettner, would you tell Mr.
Benbrook that Mr.
Blasco is here? Yeah, Leo, there's some guy out here about money.
State, local, federal, I don't know.
He'll be out tout de suite.
Him.
Oh, oh, Mr.
Benbrook? Edgar Blasco, comptroller's office.
Oh, boy.
Yep.
Prop 13.
Well, I can't cut back.
I can't.
We're right down to the bone around here.
Look.
Yeah, you've got quite a holding pattern.
But the people have spoken.
We're going to have to start trimming the fat, Mr.
Benbrook.
Let's see.
You have how many on staff here? What was that figure? Fifteen.
Fourteen.
One of our parole officers, a Mrs.
Towne, was killed.
You probably read about it in the papers.
Now, look, we could divide her caseload among the other officers.
I was going to fire her anyway.
We could make it on a staff of 14.
But if you cut us below that point Could we say that she was fired? You know, if it went in the report that way, it looks like you were trying.
It might obviate further cuts.
Yeah? Sure.
We can say she was fired.
Put it down.
And the reason for termination? Benbrook, you know, I can fuzz these statistics a little, but I'm gonna have to know the facts.
She was making it with these turkeys.
What? I don't mean all of them.
But she was making out, you know? The latest was this Captain Crunch.
File it Buettner, okay? That's right.
Captain Crunch.
You know, some broads are turned on by violence, the heavy numbers.
We watch for that.
This Captain Crunch? He was ripping off Ma Bell.
Had one of those blue box things.
Been busted about 16 times.
Captain Crunch? What kind of a guy would take a name like that? What difference does it make? Deputy Chief Towne's wife, she sure had a track record.
Yeah.
Well, thank you very much, Benbrook.
Hey, wait a minute.
How we doing here? Oh, you're doing fine.
Just fine.
What are you tearing up my place for? There ain't no ticket here.
What would a ticket be doing here? Because it's not at home.
Because after I dropped the things off at the cleaners, I came by here, we had dinner, and then we went to L.
J.
's to play poker.
Well, then, why don't you go back to L.
J.
's and tear up his place? Or better yet, tell them you lost the ticket.
Nobody's gonna steal your laundry, sonny.
I had two sport coats, couple of shirts.
Good shirts.
And I know there was a cashmere sweater.
You know, I think you got a burr under your tail and it ain't over no missing laundry ticket neither.
What's troubling you? Oh, Dad.
I should've stayed out of it.
I was just trying to do Dennis a favor and I should have stayed out of it.
Out of what? Chapman handed Dennis a case that's a real career breaker.
I tried to come up with some information, make the job easier for him.
Oh, boy.
You came up with something gonna make it harder for him, huh? Something that's going to make it impossible.
How is Dennis going to tell Deputy Chief Towne that his wife was having an affair with the parolees she was supposed to be counseling, huh? Do you know what that does? That gives the chief a terrific motive for killing his wife.
Well, I'm not going to tell him till after the exam.
Matter of fact, I'm not going to tell him till after I've checked it out a little more.
Get some other opinions.
Who you gonna talk to? If I can find him, Captain Crunch.
Captain Crunch? Later.
There he comes.
Yeah, look at him.
Hi.
He looks pretty healthy to me, Jer.
You don't look like no guy on his way to County General.
I'm not.
I'm just doing a few errands.
You want to get off my car so I can go home? This is your car? That's right, pal.
What a beautiful looking car, huh, Jer? Oh! Guess this belongs to you.
And this has to belong to you too, huh? Take your hands off of it.
Take your hands off of it! Now you butt out of this, turkey.
You go sniffing where you don't belong, we don't send you to no hospital.
The deep-freeze for you.
Understand? Yeah.
Hey, what's going on over there? Hey, come on, let's split.
Somebody in there call the cops.
Are you all right, mister? Hello? Peg? This is Jim.
Have you heard any word from Dennis? No.
He's still down at Hollywood High.
That written test takes forever.
Yeah, yeah.
I tried the station first.
I just thought maybe you'd heard something.
You will be hearing from him? Well, I'd better.
The McGowans just called.
Aren't they there? I thought they were arriving yesterday.
Well, they were supposed to, but their camper broke down and they're stuck in Palmdale.
Now I could take the Lavens' van, but it's a stick shift and I don't know how to drive it so Oh, I don't know.
We'll work something out.
Look, Peg, I've been wrestling with this thing all night and I keep coming back to the fact that Well, it's unpleasant and Dennis ought to know.
I'm not doing him any favors keeping him in the dark.
I Is there a message in there somewhere? Yeah, yeah.
Yesterday I made some discreet inquiries and Eileen Towne was having an affair with one of the parolees she was supposed to be working with.
Oh.
Yeah.
And from what I gather, it's not the first.
So, tell Dennis, okay? Well, Jim, maybe you'd better not do anything until you talk to Dennis.
I got one more lead I want to follow up and then after that, I am out of it.
Thanks, Peg.
Okay, bye.
Hey, Sarge! Well, how'd it go? I think I did pretty good.
I think I did better than the last time.
That's great.
So, what's happening? Anybody recognize the picture? Uh, the picture.
You showed it around, didn't you? Well Frank, I said take Mrs.
Towne's picture, show it around the supermarket, show it around the neighborhood, see if anybody recognizes her.
Dennis, I know what you told me, but, Dorie, she started having these pains and I had to go home.
Frank, she's not due until the 16th.
Dennis, this is our first baby.
Who knows? I got nervous.
Look, I explained it to you.
The Lamaze technique is completely different.
Dorie's not having this baby alone.
We're having it together.
And we're having this murder investigation together.
And, so far, nothing's been investigated.
I know.
That's probably what Chief Towne wants to talk to us about.
When? Right now.
I asked to see you men in order to establish some ground rules.
I neither expect, nor want, any special attention because of my position in this department.
As far as the department's concerned, the victim is a Jane Doe.
Yes, sir.
And, if I may, that sort of professionalism in the face of your tragic loss is, if I may, inspirational, sir.
I will exercise one prerogative of my position.
I want to be copied on all reports.
Which one of you is the officer in charge here? Sergeant Becker, sir.
You have a preliminary report ready? Well, sir, no, sir.
Actually, sir, I've been kind of bogged down in this lieutenant's exam.
I took the written this morning.
And that's out of the way.
Oh, and Officer Dusenberg had this medical emergency.
His wife is expecting a baby.
You haven't done anything yet? Not anything? Is that what you're saying? Well, we're gonna get right on it, Lieutenant.
Chief Towne, these men will be disciplined and reassigned.
When I want privilege, Lieutenant, I'm quite capable of demanding it for myself.
They stay on the case.
I'll expect a report on my desk in the morning.
That's all.
Becker, I want to see that report before it goes to Chief Towne and it better show me some damned good police work or, believe me, you've got as much chance of making lieutenant as he does.
Sarge, your wife's on the phone.
I can't talk to her now.
Tell her I'll take it, I'll take it.
Chapman's pretty sore, huh? Towne is the one that got me worried.
He stands there like a block of ice, and I feel like the Titanic.
Yeah? Oh, Peggy.
Yeah, I'm a little busy here, okay? Yeah, it went pretty good.
I'll tell you about it later tonight.
What? Palmdale! Peggy, I can't drive up to Palmdale.
I'm in the middle of a murder investigation.
What message? Mrs.
Towne? That's impossible.
Why are you telling me this? Peggy, I can't talk about it here.
Listen, if Rockford calls, you tell him to stay out of it.
What's he trying to do, ruin me? Quite a day, huh? Yeah.
You know, that exam today, it wasn't as bad as I expected.
In fact, it was kind of interesting.
I mean, some of the questions like surviving spouse.
Close family members are responsible for what percentage of homicides? Statistics, they always kind of interested me.
Come on, Dennis, you're not talking about statistics, you're talking about Chief Towne.
Look, you know the man.
He couldn't have killed his wife.
You know, Frank, speaking as professionals, and as I said, and as you know, statistically, Chief Towne is our most likely suspect.
You mean we're going to have to question him? We're going to have to.
How would it look if we didn't question him? You didn't say anything about that back in the office.
Oh, come on, it wasn't the time.
The man was grief-stricken.
When? Tomorrow.
Yeah.
Frank, since we're gonna have to question Chief Towne, maybe we ought to be thinking what would his motive be.
Uh-huh.
Like what? Well, hypothetically speaking, it could be money.
He could have money problems.
Or she could have been terminally ill and he was trying to spare her.
Like a mercy killing.
Yeah, that happens.
We had one of those last year.
Yeah.
But I don't think you'd beat someone to death in a mercy killing.
Yeah.
Excuse me.
Then, hypothetically speaking, there's always adultery.
Adultery? Well, hold it.
Wait a minute.
Why did you say adultery? It's a possibility, right? And we're police officers and we got to deal in possibilities.
I'd rather have facts, but Hey, wait a minute, Dennis.
You know how Chief Towne used to have those little dinners over at his house for like young, promising guys in the department? Yeah.
You remember how he stopped having those little dinners about eight, nine months ago? You hear something? Yeah Well, what? Mrs.
Towne, she was supposedly making it with some of the younger guys.
Now that's just a rumor, though.
Just gossip.
Yeah, gossip.
But we don't deal in gossip or in rumors.
Hey, Rockford.
Long time, huh? Hey, Junior, how you been? Don't ask.
What'll it be? Oh, beer, I guess.
I've been looking for Angel Martin.
You seen him around? Well, Angel's not one of your boozers, you know? He come in mostly for the chili.
I had to close my kitchen down a couple of weeks ago.
I lost my cook.
That's too bad.
Well, it could've been worse.
He only got 30 days.
You're looking for Angel? You got some kind of game going or something? Oh, no, no.
I was looking to buy a little information, that's all.
You know Angel.
He's got a line on every scam in town.
I thought maybe he could tell me where I could find a guy named Captain Crunch.
You gonna do a little long-distance dialing? You know him? I might.
Yeah, I know him.
He come in for the chili, too.
Do you know where I can find him? I might.
Look, Rockford, I don't like taking your money.
But, as you can see, with the kitchen closed, my clientele has gone right down the toilet.
Junior, where can I find him? Down a couple of blocks over on Main.
The Savoy Hotel.
You know how he's registered? Sure.
His name is Nick Donofrio.
Rockford, you didn't pay for the beer, man.
Okay, okay, okay.
Forget it.
Forget it.
See you, Junior.
Okay.
It's him, Nick.
Split! Hey, hey, come here! Come here! Watch it, man, watch it! Watch it.
Why'd you send that goon after me, Nick? I didn't, man, I swear.
I just got out of the hospital this morning.
Look at me.
Do I look like I'm sending people around to beat people up? I didn't have nothing to do with it.
That's the truth.
Bandit tells me what he done.
I tell him, "Please, don't do me no favors.
" Look, I'm in pain.
I got to take my pain pill.
Why'd Bandit think he was doing you a favor? I'm just right down the hall, okay? I got my pills in the bathroom.
Okay.
You was at the parole office.
Mutual friend hears you talking about me and Mrs.
Towne like there was something there, which there was not.
He follows you out, he takes your license number, he tells Bandit about it.
Now, let me get my pills, man.
You ever been in pain? I'm in pain.
You are busted up pretty good.
What happened? Touch football.
It's murder.
Touch football? Uh-huh.
Hey, Nick, why don't you level with me, huh? I mean, nobody's accusing you of killing Mrs.
Towne, just going to bed with her.
I didn't put the move on her.
She come on to me.
She's my parole officer.
What am I supposed to say, no? So, we got together a couple of times.
Okay, half a dozen.
Ten.
It's not like I'm the only one, you know.
I got to get the pill.
You should have given your statement to the police at the hotel.
I told them I wanted to give the statement to you.
Nick Donofrio is the parolee Mrs.
Towne was playing slap and tickle with.
Will you shut up with that? What you're talking about is rumor, gossip.
Fact.
Before Nick got blown away, he admitted the relationship.
Oh, on the word of a known felon.
Well, you can take that to the bank.
What about a lady who's not here to defend herself? Well, she doesn't have to be.
Not as long as you're slinging that load of whitewash.
Let's go into the coffee room.
Oh, Dennis, I have to call Dorie.
It's time for her nap.
Dennis, I really should talk to you alone about this.
Dusenberg's working the case with me.
Anything you got to say, you can say in front of him.
I'll call her later.
Okay, go.
Okay.
As much as it pains you to know the facts, Mrs.
Towne had a very salty lifestyle.
You just check her out at the Satyr Motel, huh? Someone found out about her romance with Nick Donofrio, didn't like it, and put Nick in the hospital.
That same someone started beating on Mrs.
Towne, only he didn't stop till she was dead.
Now do any likely suspects come into mind? Any suspects at all, huh? Yeah.
A young guy, around 30, blond hair, blue, maybe hazel eyes.
In your words, that's the guy on the fire escape.
That doesn't happen to be Deputy Chief Towne.
Dennis, after 20 years on the force, you don't think he knows enough ex-junkies and ex-cons that he could pressure into making a hit for him? I don't know.
I got to question Deputy Chief Towne tomorrow.
Maybe I'll ask him.
Is that right, Frank? That's right.
Dennis, I'm sorry.
I didn't want to bring you bad news.
I wanted to help, that's all.
Believe me, I'm not gonna forget it.
Oh, Dennis.
What are you writing? What do you mean, "What am I writing?" The manager of the hotel identified Mrs.
Towne's picture, said she was here with a man answering the description of Nick Donofrio on more than one occasion.
That's what I'm writing.
That's going in the report? Of course it goes in the report.
Dennis, Chief Towne is gonna see that.
I'm not writing the report for Chief Towne.
What's another way of saying adult motel? Temporary domicile? Yeah, that's better.
I figure I don't have to mention anything about the waterbed.
I mean, what's a waterbed got to do with anything, right? Right.
Oh, what about the closed-circuit TV? Well, we've got no proof they used that thing.
No proof whatsoever.
I'm going to leave that out.
Yeah.
Oh, and Frank, we got to talk to the chief tomorrow.
Yeah, yeah.
No way around it.
Tomorrow.
Frank, first thing in the morning.
8:00 a.
m.
I'll be there.
That's it.
Everybody out.
All right, I've had it.
All out.
That's a gyp.
Who wants to ride around in a parking lot? The parking lot's the best I can do, Little Den.
My name's Roy.
Stop calling me that.
Your name is Roy Dennis McGowan, and everybody calls you Little Den 'cause they like you.
It's a dumb name.
Little Den.
That's not a dumb name.
Don't you call that a dumb name! I said knock it off.
Knock it off! Hey, honey, I'll see you later.
Talk to you and good luck.
What's wrong with Sissy? Sergeant Becker.
Hi, Dennis, it's Frank.
Yeah? What? You gonna be late? Listen, Dennis, I really hate to do this to you.
I know we have that meeting with Chief Towne this morning.
I mean, I wouldn't want to miss that.
But, Dennis, it's Dorie.
It's her time.
We're already in breathing Level A.
Oh, hang on, Dennis.
Two.
Now come on, Dorie, breathe in.
Blow.
Breathe in.
Blow.
Hi, Dennis? Yeah, yeah.
Is she all right? What's Level A? Well, it's nothing to worry about.
We're still in Labor Diagram One.
But you know how these things can escalate.
Look, if you can't get away Hey, I can get away.
Dorie's a cop's wife.
She understands.
I know.
But you'll want to be with her.
I'll go see the chief myself and I'll check back with you later.
And, hey, best of luck to you and Dorie.
Thanks, Dennis.
Yes.
Sergeant Becker to see you, sir.
Send him in.
I've been going through your package, Sergeant.
Quite a package.
You don't mind my looking over your package, do you? No, sir.
You here to make a report to me? Not exactly, sir.
Maybe you haven't had time to start your investigation, Sergeant.
Is that it? Oh, no, sir.
The investigation is underway.
As a matter of fact Yes, Sergeant? In order for the investigation and the report to be full and complete, and with all due respect to you, sir, I'm going to have to ask you a few questions.
Your wife was gone for the entire weekend.
Could you tell me, sir, why you didn't report her missing? I thought she'd gone to our place in Palm Desert.
Her mother left her a little house down there.
Eileen liked to just get away sometimes.
Being married to a police officer, whether high, low or in between, can be pretty rough, sir.
Well, there's a lot of stress and strain, and sometimes a lot of anger.
Wives get the feeling of coming in second to the job.
And sometimes they overreact in different ways.
Sir, you knew Mrs.
Towne was engaged in an extramarital affair with one of her parolees.
That's it, Sergeant.
The interview is over.
No, sir.
I'm afraid it isn't.
I'll have to ask you to account for your whereabouts from Friday last till Sunday last.
And I'd like to caution you, sir, to be as accurate as possible because your answers will be checked for verification.
I don't know why you didn't get all this stuff when you were here before.
Okay, calendar and call sheets.
That's it? Yeah, that ought to give us an idea of the appointments, how much time spent on the telephone, overall picture of the workload.
We don't want to hack away at the essential services, you know.
That's not what the people want.
Well, the people don't know what they want.
Now, this is Mrs.
Towne's day? Yeah.
Friday.
Mmm-hmm.
Officer Kempner, the Hollywood division.
He called three times.
That's 10:55, 10:57 and 10:58.
Three times in three minutes.
I wonder why? What difference does it make? So she got a lot of phone calls.
Three times in three minutes.
She was hanging up on him.
That probably makes it personal.
Mr.
Blasco, what's that got to do with the comptroller's office? I'm surprised you ask, Miss Buettner.
Private calls on county telephones.
Really.
Hold it.
I got it.
Thanks.
Officer Dusenberg.
Yeah, Frank, this is Jim Rockford.
Is Dennis around? No.
He's down at City Hall, south, taking the oral.
You want to leave a message? Do you know an Officer Kempner? Rudy Kempner? Yeah, sure.
Why? Dennis gave me his phone number the other day and I don't know what I did with it.
But Rudy's been talking about some property up at Big Bear and, well, from what I hear, it's going to sell.
I'd hate to see him miss out on it.
Well, you need his number? Yeah, sure.
Sure.
Hold on.
Wait a minute.
Okay, here it is.
Got it.
Here's his address.
West Hollywood.
No zip.
Got it, thanks.
Oh, oh, Jim Hey, Rudy.
You just missed Rockford.
Jim Rockford.
He called about that property up in Big Bear.
They got a buyer or something.
He lost your phone number.
You give it to him? Yeah, your address, too.
That was okay, wasn't it? I mean, he sounded like he really wanted to get in touch with you.
Yeah, yeah, Frank, that's okay.
It's time Rockford and I got together.
Dennis said he didn't want you helping him none, sonny.
How come you don't just give him everything you got and let him go on through himself? Oh, I can see his reaction when I tell him to check out another cop.
Where is this guy? Hello.
Oh, Officer Kempner? Yeah.
Yeah, this is Harvey Eubanks, New Bedford Life.
I've been trying to get hold of you all afternoon.
Yeah, I just got home.
What can I do for you, Mr.
Eubanks? Yeah, well, you see, we're offering a very interesting insurance package.
It's designed specifically to handle the problems unique to the law enforcement officer.
Yeah.
Yeah, that sounds like something I could use.
Well, good, good.
All we have to do is just sit down and lay it all out in dollars and cents.
Well, I'll be home all afternoon.
Why don't you come by, say, within the hour? That'll be fine.
We have on our records here that you're on Lomita in West Hollywood.
Is that correct, sir? That's right.
I'll be waiting for you.
Fine, fine.
Sergeant Becker.
Sergeant Dennis Becker.
Yes? Come in, Sergeant.
Come in.
I believe you know Deputy Chief Towne.
That's Commander Righter, Commander Harmell and Mr.
Massett, and I'm Commander Alverez.
Please be seated, Sergeant.
Thank you, sir.
Well, Sergeant, I see this isn't your first try at a lieutenancy.
No, sir.
Why do you think it's taking you so long to make it? I don't know, sir.
I believe I've always done well on my written test.
Upper 10%.
But you haven't made it, Sergeant.
No, sir.
I think I've lost points on my orals.
Why is that, Sergeant? Well, sir, I guess I have a tendency to freeze up, sir.
Do you think that's a desirable quality in an officer? A tendency to freeze up? No, sir.
I'm not going to pull any punches, Sergeant.
In looking over your previous rating reports, there's one fact that's weighed heavily against you.
And as far as I'm concerned, it's going to continue to do so.
Could you tell me what that is, sir? Your association with ex-cons.
Sir? Specifically, your association with a man named James Rockford.
Jim's no ex-con.
I mean, he is, but he's received a full pardon.
And there's no conflict of interest there.
None whatsoever, sir.
Would you mind, Commander? Of course not.
You realize, don't you, that it would probably mean a change of assignment? How do you feel about getting back into uniform, going back on patrol? I wouldn't like that, sir.
You like your present assignment? Yes, sir.
Sometimes it gets a little rough but, yes, sir.
The way I look at it, well, some people never find their niche in life.
I think I found mine.
And I think I can continue to do a good job if I'm allowed to remain there, sir.
Hey, Dennis, Dennis, how'd it go? What are you doing here? Dorie? The baby? Oh, that was a false alarm.
Well, come on, how'd it go? Chief Towne sat in with the board.
No kidding.
I might as well get used to being a sergeant.
That's where I'm gonna stay.
Well, come on, it's not like he was actually on the board.
You don't think he had something to say after I left? You don't think he gave them a couple of opinions? Oh, and I finally found out what's been holding me back all these years.
Rockford.
My ex-con buddy.
No kidding.
Dusenberg, do I look like I'm kidding? All these years I've been trying to make lieutenant, I never stood a chance.
I had Rockford hanging around my neck like a An albatross.
What's the use? Oh, by the way, your buddy Rockford called in a while back.
Sure he called in.
He's always calling in.
What'd he want this time? Rudy Kempner's number.
He was going to go over to his house, talk to him about some property up in Big Bear.
He doesn't know Rudy Kempner.
Dennis, I'm just telling you what he said.
Well, he lies all the time.
Rudy Kempner? Yeah, you know, it's funny.
It didn't hit me at the time, but I got to thinking about it later.
You know those rumors we were talking about? Mrs.
Towne and some of the younger guys in the department? Well, I heard that Rudy was one of them.
Young guy, blond hair, blue eyes, around 30.
The fire escape.
Come on.
Coming.
Okay, get down there.
Put your hands on your head.
Come on, move it.
Frank Dusenberg knows I'm out here.
Yeah, sure.
You came by, we talked about property, you left.
I'll move your pretty little car later.
How many people you going to kill? This has got to stop someplace.
It stops with you.
What about Dusenberg when he starts asking questions, huh? About an accident? Hey, you're not thinking this thing through, Rudy.
I don't know about the other killings, but maybe you can cop a plea.
Crime of passion, temporary insanity, I don't know.
But you try to kill me Look, any more conversation, I'll pop you right here.
Get in there.
Come on, move it.
Frank, that's Rockford.
Well, they're not going to get away with that.
I wasn't a Malibu policeman for 10 years for nothing.
Hey, what are you doing? What are you doing, Cliff? Cliff, you stay out of this.
We're police officers, I'm telling you! Get off of there! We're police officers! Look at this lunatic.
What's he doing? What's this guy doing? You all right, Officer? Hands in the air, Rudy.
Read it and sign it.
You still sore, Dennis? Just read the statement.
Let's wrap it up.
Dennis, I was wrong.
It takes a big man to admit he's wrong.
I didn't deal myself in because I thought you'd mangle the case.
I wanted to help.
I wanted you to make lieutenant.
Oh, that's great coming from you.
Shut up, Frank.
What do you mean, coming from me? I happen to be his friend.
His friend.
You're the reason he's stalled at sergeant.
Frank.
I'm the reason? Yeah.
Will you just read the statement? I'll handle the PR angle from my end, Chief.
The media gets a short prepared statement from you and that's it.
You won't have to field any questions.
It's a little late to try to preserve my wife's reputation, isn't it, Lieutenant? Yes, sir.
Oh, I mean, sir, the department will put out another statement covering Rudy Kempner.
The one bad apple doesn't spoil the barrel.
Things like that.
Sergeant, well done.
Thank you, sir.
It was a team effort.
No.
This is all yours, Sergeant.
You're a good cop, Becker.
You weren't afraid to take on a case nobody around here wanted to touch.
I knew he would be the right man to handle the job, Chief.
You see, a few years in administration, you get a gut instinct for that sort of thing.
You stood up to me.
I respect that.
You were tough and you were compassionate.
That's a rare combination.
How does it feel, Dennis? You're a hero.
Hey, Peggy, this is a swell idea.
Neat party.
Hey, sonny, how come you don't do nothing like this? You know, solve a big case and then throw a nice party.
Because it'd be too long between drinks.
I love a good winner.
Hey, I'm a little surprised by the invitation anyway.
I thought I'd been drummed off your A-list.
And I'm not going to apologize again.
Well, maybe it's a good thing you interfered.
I might have missed that connection with Kempner.
Not you, Dennis.
You're too good a cop.
Deputy Chief Towne said that in a roomful of people.
Yeah, Dennis, I wish I could have been a little more active in the case.
You know, given you a little more support.
Well, how could you, with Dorie and all? Not knowing one minute from the next when you'd have to take her to the hospital.
Oh, Dorie's not due for another five weeks.
I just asked her.
I'd better go see how she's feeling.
Okay.
Has everybody got a glass? Got mine.
Except for you.
Okay.
Now we are going to have a toast.
Bud? Molly? Okay, are you ready? To my husband, come here, Lieutenant Becker.
All right.
All right! That's right.
I made it, and Deputy Towne called me himself and he said, "That's it.
" That's great, Dennis, that's really great.
A lieutenant.
I told you, Rocky.
I told everybody he was going to do it.
A lieutenant.
That's great.
There's only one problem.
Lieutenant Chapman.
From here on out, I got to call him Doug.