Kolchak: The Night Stalker

Season 1 Episode 17

Legacy of Terror

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Feb 14, 1975 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
31 votes

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Episode Summary

Physically fit specimens (an Air Force pilot, a football player, a Green Beret) are all being targeted for a grisly death: their hearts are being cut from their chests with a dull blade while they're still alive, on higher and higher flights of steps. Kolchak investigates and spots a strange feathered man near the scene of one of the murders. He finds out that an ancient Aztec cult is trying to resurrect their ancient god, Nanautzin, the Lord of the Smoking Mirror.moreless

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  • review

    Erik Estrada before CHIPS!
  • People are getting their hearts cut out by Aztec cultists. Kolchak is on the case!

    Kolchak leaves Updyke and Vincenzo at a hotel press gathering to investigate a homicide. Kolchak learns that this victim is one of many murder victims who have had their hearts cut out. After a woman military officer is killed, Kolchak investigates her involvement with the hotel. While in the basement, he finds a mummy and a picture of a man in Aztec costume. After investigating, Kolchak learns that there have been five heart murders dating back every 52 years in other cities involving the owner of the same hotels, whose family just happens to come from Mexico. An Aztec cult, which follows an evil Aztec god and its high priest, kills five people every fifty two years to recharge the high priest until the millenium. When the millenium comes, the evil god can gain control of the earth. Kolchak learns that four sacrifices are murders and one sacrifice is voluntary. The volunteer, Pepe Torres, is treated like a god for a year and then sacrificed. To stop the ritual, Kolchak must find the highest staircase in Chicago. This is a neat kind of story. There is a little terror and some humor. Like always.moreless
Erik Estrada

Erik Estrada

Pepe Torres

Guest Star

Mickey Gilbert

Mickey Gilbert

Nanautzin, the Mummy

Guest Star

Ramon Bieri

Ramon Bieri

Captain Webster

Guest Star

Craig R. Baxley

Craig R. Baxley

Rolf Anderson

Recurring Role

Jack Grinnage

Jack Grinnage

Ron Updyke

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

    • There is some speculation among fans that the mummy opening its eyes is supposed to be deliberate for dramatic purposes, but it's pretty clear upon watching that the camera simply ran a second long, as the eyes opening are not played up in any substantial or dramatic manner.

    • If the cultists do anything Pepe says, why doesn't he just order them to let Carl leave? Instead he can only order them not to kill Carl but to hold him prisoner until they can.

    • More number confusion - Carl refers to the "magic numbers" 7, 9, and 13. Implying the second, third, and fourth murders took place on the seventh, ninth, and thirteenth days. But...clearly four days haven't passed from Timmins' murder to Lyons'.

    • The Sears Tower was built in 1973 and would certainly qualify as having the largest staircase in Chicago - certainly higher than any sports arena.

    • At the party Carl identifies the fourth victim as a cop, but there's no indication that he knows of Lyons' death and the impression is that Lyons is being killed while the party is going on.

    • At the Mexican embassy, the commercial attache says the cultural attache will be back on October 1. But the second murder took place on September 29, and the third murder apparently took place two days later. So...the guy should be there already.

    • The second victim is killed on the seventh day, September 29. Carl leaves the hotel to investigate, comes back, and meets the third victim. She is seemingly killed shortly thereafter, that night after midnight. That would make her murder on day 8, but Carl says it's day 9.

    • The murdered soldier is described as a Staff Sergeant, but is wearing Specialist 6 rank.

    • Calendar trouble: The football player is killed on Monday, September 22. The Green Beret is killed September 29. Since it's seven days later, this date should also be on a Monday, but Kolchak says that it's Wednesday.

    • The murdered football player is described in the opening as a defensive linebacker (they even show footage of him scoring a touchdown on an interception). He is called an offensive fullback, however, for the rest of the episode.

    • Ramon Bieri previously played a different policeman, Baker, in "Bad Medicine.". In this episode he plays Captain Webster. There was a character named "Captain Webster" in "The Energy Eater,", but he was played by a different actor, Robert Yuro.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Kolchak: (opening narration) Among the philosophers, the great thinks and the common Joes of this world, no question is more controversial than truth. Remarkable as it may seem, I can attest that the following events did occur, whether you believe them to be true or not.

    • Kolchak: (narration) Lenny played with fractures, sprains, torn ligaments, and bone chips. They said he had the biggest heart in the NFL. But on September 22, some maniac cut out that big heart with a very dull knife.

    • Kolchak: I promised I'd show up with a haircut, a new hat, and a pressed suit... but I lie a lot.

    • Vincenzo: Now what time did you tell him?
      Updyke: 8 o'clock.
      Vincenzo: I've got 9:15. What time do you have?
      Updyke: 9:17. Lobby clock says 9:18. Do you want me to call the time?
      Vincenzo: Oh, we can be even more precise and contact the Greenwich Observatory. How about that?

    • (Updyke takes out a pipe)
      Vincenzo:You don't smoke, Ron.
      Updyke: My friends think it gives me a thoughtful look, interested in people, foreign correspondent image.
      Vincenzo: They were wrong.

    • Updyke: I bet (Kolchak) didn't get his suit pressed.
      Vincenzo: Well, we'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

    • Kolchak: Listen, Tony, I'll see you later. I gotta check out this homicide.
      Vincenzo: There'll be a homicide right here if you don't come back here!

    • Webster: Now look, we're dealing with psychotics here.
      Kolchak: No, really? What sane person cuts out human hearts?

    • Webster: Carl, you're full of good questions today.
      Kolchak: Yeah, you know what you're full of?

    • Medic: You look like you've got a concussion. I think we're gonna need some x-rays on that.
      Kolchak: No, no. No x-rays. No pictures. No, I got things in there I don't want seen. Dark thoughts and evil plans.

    • Kolchak: Now parrot feathers are from Mexico. Now Mexico means Aztecs, and heart sacrifice was a big part of Aztec religion.
      Vincenzo: I think the last census showed Aztecs in short supply in Chicago.

    • Kolchak: You see, that is Nanautzin role in this religious pageant.
      Vincenzo: Religious pageant?
      Kolchak: Yeah.
      Vincenzo: First this vanishing mummy of yours is cluttering up someone's basement, and now he's going to march in the St. Patrick's Day parade?!?

  • NOTES (1)