Kolchak: The Night Stalker

Season 1 Episode 18

The Knightly Murders

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Mar 07, 1975 on ABC



  • Trivia

    • Despite the fact that in the opening narration Carl says Ramutka was killed on Tuesday at 11:15 p.m., after the guest credits flash he says it's Wednesday at 11:42 p.m. Later dialogue makes it clear that it's the same night.

  • Quotes

    • Kolchak: (opening narration) Tuesday, 11:15 p.m. If you know anything about Chicago politics, you'll understand why a 63-year-old ward captain was braving the ungentle hour and the less-gentle streets. You see, Ward Captain Leo J. Ramutka was returning home from a wake – an auf Wiedershen to a loyal registered voter he knew would one day meet him in that great polling station in the sky. What Ward Captain Ramutka failed to foresee was just how soon that meeting would be.

    • Kolchak 113 Petrosky. It wasn't a celebrated address, the sort one gets excited over or stores in his mental trousseau, but the name on the radio was - Captain Vernon W. Rausch. To a reporter, he was the Edward R. Murrow of homicide. His list of credits reach back into the mid-'50s and the infamous Mercer-Dobrantz murders. He was a good cop, allegedly great. So what do you say to a living legend? (breaks narration) Hi there!

    • Rausch: Let me tell you something, Carl. (starts to supposedly ramble) Think of Greater Chicago. Six million personalities pressed together in a configuration…
      Kolchak: Could I get this on tape?
      Rausch: …as complex and…
      Kolchak: Excuse me. Just…there we go. Would you mind?
      Rausch: Six million personalities pressed together…
      Kolchak: No. "Think of Chicago…"
      Rausch: Think of Greater Chicago. Six million personalities pressed together in a configuration as complex and as dynamically rigorous as it is alienating. (Carl looks increasingly puzzled) Six million sets of needs, wants, desires… (pulls tape recorder up to his mouth) …cries in the night. "Want me. I want you. Understand me. I am a person." Disintegration of the family, unbridled vertical mobility, the pressure cooker of human disappointments. Carl, understand the apathetic atomized personality. And, well, sooner or later he's…or she, erupts.
      Kolchak: (rather desperately) "She, she." You said she. You think it's a woman?
      Rausch: Well, I like to call him or her Mr. X.
      Kolchak: Mr. X? Why Mr. X? John Doe?
      Rausch: Yeah. It's a lot more professional than calling him a nut or a freak or something like that. No, you've got to respect people's feelings, Carl.

    • Kolchak: (narration) The next night, 10:20 p.m. If Leo Ramutka's popularity, or lack of it, was born of ballots and political patronage, Rolf Danvers got his more directly. His was the allure of ready cash and the deeds to several square blocks of prime Chicago real estate. However, within seconds, the only real estate that would matter to Rolf Danvers would be a small plot he owned in a memorial park near Old Town.

    • Rausch: He was stabbed.
      Kolchak: Yes, of course, but stabbed by what?
      Rausch: Fair question. Something round and sharp. I'd say a structural facsimile to an ice pick.
      Kolchak: Ice pick. Uh-huh.
      Rausch: There is, however, one disconcerting wrinkle to that premise. This particular instrument would have to have a three-inch diameter.
      Kolchak: Then it isn't an ice pick!
      Rausch: All right. I'll buy that. I can buy a direct question, and I respect you for it.
      Kolchak: Thank you, Captain…now then, Captain, what killed him? (long pause) Captain?
      Rausch: Hmmm?
      Kolchak: What killed him?
      Rausch: Society.
      Kolchak: Soci…?!?
      Rausch: In a manner of speaking, naturally.
      Kolchak: Captain, in a manner of speaking, two gentlemen are dead of two very bizarre means--an over arrow and an obese ice pick.

    • Rausch: Do you know there were one-seventh as many ice-pick killings last year as there were in 1942?
      Kolchak: In 1942?!?
      Rausch: Technology, Carl. Umm, ice comes in cubes these days. Ready-made, you see?
      Kolchak: Wait a minute! Are you telling me that there were ice cubes at the scenes of both murders?
      Rausch: No, not at all.
      Kolchak: Then what?
      Rausch: Not at all, Carl. Look. All right. Perhaps we can approach this a little less directly.
      Kolchak: Less directly?!?

    • Kolchak: Hi.
      Mendel Boggs: What do you want?
      Kolchak: I'd like to come in.
      Mendel Boggs: Who are you?
      Kolchak: A recorder of events great and small, an instrument of the free press! I'm a reporter.

    • Kolchak: What is important is that it takes 420 pounds pressure - psi. - to crush a telephone. Now, it says right here that a medieval knight in full armor and in full weaponry weighs well over 400 pounds.
      Vincenzo: Oh, I feel much better. All my life I wanted to know that a medieval knight could crush a telephone.

    • Vincenzo: Carl, I didn't understand anything you just said.
      Kolchak: Don't worry about it. You will as soon as I get through talking with Minerva Musso.
      Vincenzo: Minerva Musso?
      Updyke: The interior decorator? You?
      Kolchak: Yes. We're thinking of brightening up the office. You are gonna be replaced by a Boston fern, and you (points to Vincenzo) a snapdragon.
      Vincenzo: Why do I always feel like I don't belong here?

    • Minerva: (seeing Carl) Depressing little man.
      Carl: Carl Kolchak, INS.
      Minerva: Oh, he's a newspaper man. That explains it.

    • Kolchak: Mendel…Mendel Boggs. What do you know about him?
      Minerva: Mendel? With diligence, he might make village idiot.

    • Rausch: This isn't third degree, Carl. It's first. Do you intuit my meaning?

    • Rausch: Carl, I don't want to work this weekend. My wife's chamber music society has a supper concert and I'm supposed to write an article for the police newsletter.

    • Rausch: But a knight…in armor? Make me believe that, Carl. Because if I find you're shooting me through the grease, it'll have a definite detrimental effect on how we interface with each other.
      Kolchak: You know what's funny - I intuited that.

    • Rausch: (to Kolchak) You are a man who has resorted to lies and chicanery to the point of being pathological. I believe that you suffer from autosuggestion, and in an obsessive desire to win approval expressed through the need for a big story, you convince yourself that what you want to be true is true. In short... I believe your brain has turned to onion dip.

    • Mendel Boggs: I wouldn't give you another piece of information if you held me down and let rats run willy-nilly through my clothes! Not if you made me drink the oil slick off the top of Lake Michigan would you get anything out of me!

    • Vincenzo: Look, Carl, I saw my sister-in-law have a nervous breakdown, and it was messy. Now I recognize all the symptoms, Carl.
      Kolchak: Oh.
      Vincenzo: Fantasy, the inability to concentrate on real issues.
      Kolchak: Well, it probably runs in the family, Tony.

    • Vincenzo:Carl, please, stay a while. Stay a while, Carl, and have dinner with me. Look, I'll buy.
      Kolchak: You'll buy?
      Vincenzo: Yes.
      Kolchak: What's the matter with you? Have you suddenly lost your mind or something? Buy? You've never bought anything in your life.

    • Kolchak: (closing narration) A blessed battle-ax and an iron suit full of thin air. I knew I'd have a lot of explaining to do to the owners of the Hydecker Museum, to Captain Vernon Rausch, and, of course, to my own beloved bureau chief, A. Vincenzo. There wouldn't be much I could tell them, except what I'll tell you. It all really happened.

  • Notes

  • Allusions