Eyes of a Stranger (1981) - full transcript

Enterprising local news anchor Jane Harris discovers that one of her neighbors is actually the serial killer/rapist who has been terrorizing the city. Jane must prove her suspicions before the killer gets to her.

WOMAN: Police say the body
was found early this morning...

...by a wildlife photographer
in a mangrove swamp off Key Biscayne.

The victim's clothes were in disarray...

...and police believe she may
have been the victim of an assault.

This is possibly the third rape/murder
in as many weeks.

However, police are not willing to say
the murders are connected.

- Jane.
- Thank you, Mona.

Roger, in a situation like this...

...with the possibility of a mad killer
roaming our city...

...even the slightest suspicion
should be reported to the police.

I couldn 't agree with you more, Jane.

- Coming up next--
- Once again, Roger...

...I think it's important
for the people...

...to demonstrate their concern
over this situation.

We 've got a psychopath
running around out there.

Every woman should report
anything unusual...

...any odd encounter or situation.

Yes, I couldn 't agree
with you more, Jane.

And coming up next on Newspoint
is Dr. Bob and the weather.

Bob, what've you got for us today?

Well, all you ski fans,
you're in luck today, it's snowing.


Only 2000 miles away
in Aspen, Colorado--

Quasimodo, that's enough.
--Where they had three inches of....

You ' d better watch yourself
going home tonight, Deb.

Don't worry, Al. If I can handle this place,
I can get myself home in one piece.







Is someone there?

Is that you, Debbie?

If this is somebody's idea
of a bloody joke....


Who the fuck is there?




I know you're not wearing a bra, Debbie.



Fucking creep.

I'm gonna fuck you, Debbie.

- Fuck you, bitch. Bitch.
- God.



I'm gonna kill you...



District four, Sergeant McGuire.

Yes, uh....

I live alone, I keep getting these calls.


- Obscene calls?
- Yeah.

They were awful. Sick.

- You've been watching the TV news, huh?
- Huh?

Well, you're the sixth complaint
this evening.

Since those murders started, every weirdo
in town 's been jumping on the bandwagon.

Everyone from boyfriends playing jokes
to certified psychopaths.

- Oh?
- That's right.

Those TV people don 't do us any favors.

But this was for real.
I didn ' t know his voice...

...yet he knew me.
It was almost as if he could see me.

Did he threaten you?

Yes. Yes, he did.
He kept saying things.

Like I said, this sort of thing's
been happening all night.

If it'll make you feel better...

...I'll have someone come out tomorrow
to take an official report.

If it keeps happening, we 'll have a tap
put on your phone, okay?

Yeah. Yeah, sure.

- Now, what's your name?
- Ormsley, Debbie Ormsley.

1111 Marine Circle, off the beach.

Apartment 104.

Got it. You'll hear from us
in the morning.

- Have a good night.
- Yeah.

Yeah, thanks.



- Who is it?
JEFF: It's me, Jeff.

Jeff, thank God.


What the hell are you doing?

Have you gone totally nuts?

Hey, this thing's only a joke.
It was left in my cab.

What the hell's going on around here?

Some creep's been calling me all night.

- Can I stay at your place?
- Sure, baby.

Oh, thanks, love.

- I'll just be a sec, okay?
- Yeah. Yeah.


Can't leave you alone for a minute.
What have you knocked over now?


Enough's enough. The joke's over.

Now, listen.











Oh, my God.

- What's the matter?
- The time.

I didn't realize it was this late.

You know, you could help me
solve a big problem.

What's that?

I don't know what to do
with the left side of my closets.

There's plenty of space.

And you can have it
with an open-ended option...

...and no binding clauses.

I'm afraid I'm gonna have to take
a postponement on that one, counselor.

I think you're trying to influence
the decision of the court.

I can always serve you
with a restraining order.

Hey, I was just about to go
into my final argument.

Well, we're gonna have to
discuss this later...

...because night court is adjourned.

You know, I'm at the end
of my probationary period.

I thought we agreed there wasn't
gonna be a time schedule.

And we did. But I seem to recall
we also agreed...

...that we'd talk about your sister.

Not right now.

All right.

We can't keep putting it off forever.

Do you have any idea...

...how long it's taken me
just to establish a home for Tracy?

I can't just change that on her.

It wouldn't be fair for her or for us.

Look, I'm not asking you to do that.

You know how I feel about you.

But that's not the point.
She would be a burden to you.

You would grow to resent her...

...and then you'd resent me.

And then it would just
be over for all of us.

- How do you know?
- I know.

Believe me.

I know.

Good night.



And more disheartening news...

...the Labor Department reports
that the National Unemployment Rate...

...has remained unchanged
for the last four months.

More world and national news coming up.

Preliminary projections
for next year's budget...

...show a probable 16-percent tax hike
for homeowners in Broward County.

Commissioner John Frankel
says the increase has been brought on...

...by two main factors:

One is the impact of inflation.

The other is the lack of a cash surplus
for the first time in three years.

- WXXI All News Time is 8:42.
- No, just go and eat.

And turning to local news...

...police report the Miami Strangler
has struck again.

The bodies of Debbie Ormsley,
a South Beach waitress...

...and an unidentified male companion...

...were found early this morning
in her South Beach apartment.

Dade County investigators are awaiting
the coroner's report...

- ...to fix the exact time of death.
- Nothing.


- There' s somebody at the door.
- Nice around south part of this morning.

Eighty-six degrees in Miami,
82 at the beach.

In West Dade at the Tamiami Airport,
rather warm--

- I think someone wants you over there.
- Right.

- Let me tell her you ' re here.
- No, wait. Can l?

Well, sure.

- Does David want some coffee?
- Sure.

You know, I'd really like to be able
to talk with her.

It's not something
you can just learn overnight.

You have to live with it.

- No more excuses, remember?
- Okay.

Now, that wasn't so hard, was it?

I really blew it at work yesterday.

This rapist thing is really getting to me.

Well, I think you're being
way too hard on yourself.

You've got to put the whole thing
out of your mind.

Why waste time on something
you can't do anything about?

- Where is she going with those bags?
- To the laundry.

- Tracy does the laundry?
- Among other things.

One, go to a CU on Jane.

Police say the two had been dead
for at least 12 hours.

Ironically, the bodies were discovered
by detectives following up a complaint...

...of obscene phone calls
received last night.

Although an autopsy
is being performed at this time...

...by the Dade County medical examiner...

...a preliminary report indicates
that the woman was sexually molested...

...then strangled to death
with a belt found at the scene.

Well, apparently metro police have assigned
at least 15 detectives full-time to this case.

They are expecting a break very shortly.
We'll be--

Unfortunately, Roger,
it's too late for one more victim.

Uh-oh. There she goes again.

I'm sure the police
are doing everything they can.

We'll be back after this.

You okay?

Oh, yeah. I'm fine.

Come on, Tracy.

Come on.

Tracy, you stay here.

Tracy, you stay here.


Hello, management office. Jimmy here.

Hi, Jimmy. I bumped into a car
last night in the garage...

...and I don't think there was any damage
but I wanted to leave a note just to be sure.

It's space 23.
Can you tell me whose that is?

Anything you say, Ms. Harris.
Let's have a look.

Twenty-one, 22, 23....

That's Mr. Stanley Herbert,
apartment 1204 over in the north tower.

Hello? Ms. Harris?

- 1204?
- Yeah, 1204. You're almost neighbors.

You should be able to see each other.


Hello. Rogers, Richardson and McGowan.

I'm sorry, but everyone's
gone home for the evening.

Is there anyone there?




Is that you, Annette?


Look, why don't you stick it in your ear
and then go jump in the bay?

I'm gonna stick it in you, Annette.



This is our song, Annette.

Why don't you leave me alone, will you?

I'm not interested. I don't wanna hear it.


WOMAN: Hello?
- Susan, I'm scared to death.

- Somebody keeps calling me.
- Annette?

He knows my name,
he knows where I work.

Hey, hey, calm down. You okay?

Look, I can't take much more
of this creep.

He's really getting to me. He plays music.

Music? What kind of music?

I don't know. It sounds
like something out of a music box.

- You call the cops?
- No. I don't want any hassles.

I just want to get out of here.
He's driving me crazy.

What are you up to?
Are you alone tonight?

- Yeah, like a good girl.
- Well, do you mind if I come over?

- Sure. Come on.
- I'm on my way.





Herbert. Stanley Herbert.
And he wasn't wearing a belt.

Can you imagine a guy
in a three-piece suit...

...and he wasn't wearing a belt?

David, are you listening to me?

- How does she do that?
- What?

Make that turn like that?

Oh, it's like putting your shoes on
without looking.

That makes sense.

Yeah. Well, a guy changing
his clothes in the garage...

...before he goes up
to his apartment doesn't.

- Huh? Come on. Maybe this guy, Hubert--
- Herbert.

All right. Maybe this guy, Herbert--

Well, maybe he's a married man...

...and maybe he's having an affair
with another woman.

Has that ever occurred to you?

This is only hours after the police
found that couple killed.

And the girl was strangled with a belt.

That is known as circumstantial evidence.

Look, if the police went around arresting
everybody who wasn't wearing a belt...

...they'd run out of space in no time.
So, what else?

His shirt. It had stains on it.

- So maybe he's a slob.
- David....

Look, if I were defending this guy,
I could have him out of jail...

...before the judge ever banged his gavel.

Look, don't worry about it.

They'll catch this psycho, whoever he is.

Guys like that always make a mistake,
and when they do--

Now you're a psychologist.

Look, I don't have to be one
to see that you're torturing yourself.

I made a promise to myself that I'd never
let anything happen to Tracy again.

No matter what I had to do.

Well, before you start to take
the law into your own hands...

...think for a minute.
I mean, Tracy gets along just fine...

...your building is secure--

Come on. You can't be serious.
Nobody's really safe.

You know that.


What's the matter?

That car over there.
It's really getting to me.

Forget about it.

Damn. I can't take this guy all night.
I'm going to go out and give him a push.

Oh, all right, but make it fast.

Yeah, okay. I'll be right back.

Hey, man, I think you could use a push.

You can come in now.

DOCTOR: The test shows
that the ocular nerves are normal...

...and there's no damage to the head.

MOTHER: I don 't understand.
What's wrong with her?

DOCTOR: We have conclusive evidence
that the brain has not been damaged.

MOTHER: Oh, thank God.
FATHER: Then why can 't she see or hear?

We're really not sure.

It's my baby, doctor.

You've got to do something.



- Hello?
ROGER: Jane, Roger here.

I just came in and checked the news desk.
There's been another one.

- Oh.
- I thought you 'd wanna know.

- Oh, when?
- Last night.

A secretary on her way home from work.
Grabbed right out of her car.

They found her five miles away
in a gravel pit, face down in the mud.

There were two other murders nearby.

JANE: Did you say that she was found
in the mud?

ROGER: Yeah. Why?
JANE: Nothing, I'll see you later.

WOMAN: Directory. Nancy, may I help you?
- Yes.

May I have the number
for a Mr. Stanley Herbert, please?

WOMAN: One moment.
Stanley Herbert, H-E-R-B-E-R-T...

...822- 1076.


- Good morning, Jimmy.
- Oh, hello, Miss Harris.

- Sit down, please.
- Thank you.

- Would you like a cafecito?
- No, thank you.

But the juice machine is jammed again.
Can you help me out?

No problem.


- I'll open it up for you.
- Oh, thank you.

It's those damn kids again,
they're always messing up that machine.


I'll be back with the juice just like that.
Don't go away.


It will only be a minute.




Uh, excuse me.

When you spoke with her,
did she seem upset?

She was upset, but I don 't think
that she ever believed...

...that she was in any immediate danger.

I mean, we all get calls like that
at one time or another.

Did she say anything else
about the calls in particular?

I don 't think so.

Wait a moment...

...she did mention something.

- She said it was kind of eerie.
- What?

There was some kind of music in
the background, like...

...a music box or something like that.

Stop it there. This is a crazy question,
but can a cuckoo clock make music...

...or does it just go "cuckoo"?

I don't know. I can't see why not. Why?

Mm, no special reason.
Let's take five, okay?

Tales of marital bliss.


- Jane, you are 20 minutes late.
- David, you won't believe it. David.

Tales of true love...

...and of intrigue.

You take your part...

...while I will take everything
that mankind wants to give me.

- [WHlSPERlNG] David?
- What?

There's something I wanna show you.

What is this?

- It's his shoe.


Whose shoe?

Stanley Herbert's.

How did you get this?

I took it from his apartment.

You mean, you took this
from his apartment?

- Right.
MAN: Shh.

And, David, look how muddy it is.

Oh, my God, Jane, are you nuts?


David. David, you needed more proof
so I searched his apartment...

...Iooking for something
and this is what I came up with.

You must know somebody
downtown who can compare...

...mud samples for you,
to prove to you I'm right.

- You expect me to take this to the police?
- Yes.

And just how do I explain your having it?

Well, you'll think of something.

Breaking and entering, burglary,
and I'm supposed to explain it.

Me, a criminal lawyer,
explain this to the police.

David. David, I need your help with this.

Tracy's home alone most nights and she's
not the only defenseless woman in this city.

Well, has it ever occurred to you that your
Mr. Herbert just may be innocent?


You know, I can't believe
you're doing this.

Why can't you stop being an attorney
long enough to let yourself trust me?

Why don't you stop being a reporter long
enough to see you're getting in too deep?

You're gonna get yourself hurt.

I got that shoe to convince you!

The only thing I'm convinced of
is that you've gone off the deep end.

Hey, wait.

Look, I'm sorry,
I didn't mean to say that.

David, you're usually very clear.

Come on, what are you doing?
Wait a minute. Jane.



Is anyone there?

I know what you're doing...

...and I know it's you, Mr. Herbert.

- Who is this?
- Never mind.

Let's talk about you, Mr. Phone-Freak.

How does it feel
to have the tables turned?

I think you've got the wrong person.


If that's so...

...how come you haven't hung up yet?


What's the matter, cat got your tongue?

- What do you want?
- I want you to turn yourself in.

Look, I don't know what the hell
you're talking about. Leave me alone.


Goddamn it, I've had enough
of this crap! Stop calling me!

Stop calling me!

You don't understand, Mr. Herbert...

...it's not up to you to decide.




I was touched most by
the victims' parents I talked to.

I don 't think there's any way for me
to convey the pain and sense of loss...

...they must bear. And not just until
tomorrow's news overshadows...

...these tragedies,
it's for the rest of their lives.

This segment is at an end,
but the story isn 't, and it won 't be...

...until this killer is apprehended.
You, me, the authorities...

...all of us must work together.
The effort has to be made...

...before this phone freak strikes again.
Before another innocent woman falls prey.

This is Jane Harris reporting.
Back to you, Roger.

That was a terrific report, Jane.
Is there--?

The effort has to be made
before this phone freak strikes again.

Before this phone freak strikes again.
Before this phone freak--

This is Jane Harris reporting.
This is Jane Harris reporting.

It's beautiful outside! You don 't believe me?
You just open up your window...

...and say, "It's beautiful!"

We 're going to start this morning
with the high tide.

It starts at 6:04 in the morning,
and 11 :30 p.m. at night.

Now let's go to the weather, okay--


Hi, this is Jane Harris speaking.

Sorry I'm not home at the moment...

...but your message is being
recorded electronically.

With the sound of the tone,
speak as long as you like.


DAVlD: Jane, David. Listen,
I just got the lab report on the shoe.

The mud samples match.

Jane, please, don 't do anything
until I get there.







Oh, Tracy!



Tracy! Tracy! Tracy!

Oh, Tracy.