Kojak is ordered not to interfere with a Federal investigation when he locates a witness to the killing of a police officer in pursuit of the man who murdered a store owner. The killer is caught but will soon be released without her identification. Kojak learns that she is the girlfriend of a mobster who is known for his extreme violence. Kojak's problem? Get her cooperation, jail the mobster and secure her testimony without jeopardizing the Federal case.
A taxicab driver listens to a female late-night talk-radio host during his beat. The host frequently inveighs against evildoers in the city, and the psychotic driver decides to take her up on it - stalking the people who she names and gunning them down.
A New York City budget crisis results in "last hired, first fired" for a friend of Kojak's who had recently joined the police force. As the rookie's bills mount, he winds up in debt to a numbers-running gang as well and joins it, secretly feeding information to Kojak from inside the gang.
A year ago, a gang of thieves knocked over a bank, killed three people and got away with $6 million. They then split up, leaving one member to hide the loot. Now that the heat has died down, the gang plans to reunite and divide the cash. The bag man, however, is recognized by a cop and suffers a fatal heart attack while running away. The thieves decide to scour the neighborhood where the bag man died, and eventually focus on an apartment building which they invade with assault rifles. Kojak, trying to slip into the building, is cornered by a woman who used to be the ...
A femme fatale in the truest sense of the term persuades her gangster husband's bodyguard to help her murder him. Kojak, formerly involved with her, turns the investigation over to Crocker (but continues to act behind the scenes). The mob boss suspects the widow and orders a hit; she continues to wield her wiles on all concerned. The murder weapon, with her fingerprints, is still around though, and both Kojak and Crocker are in on the arrest.
A young woman is found stabbed to death in the trunk of a car, the MO that of the serial murderer who terrorized Manhattan some eight years earlier (the summer of '69). The main suspect as the "Clothesline Killer" was shot and killed by Kojak while trying to escape. Theo (and his bosses) then question whether or not he killed the right man, especially after more bodies start turning up.
Kojak goes on vacation to continue to work the case after being told he's transferred to administration and during the course of his investigation he reunites with several people who were in his life during the original case, including a young woman with whom he had a brief affair.
Everett Coughlin is a divorce attorney, a Satan in a business suit, who mercilessly harasses a cop (whose wife he represents). Even his client doesn't know some of the lawyer's tricks, such as hiring a thug to bomb the cop's pleasure boat. The bomber is killed when the bomb explodes prematurely; Kojak, the cop and the cop's wife team to try to put the attorney out of business and hopefully in jail.
Kojak has been recruited to be lead investigator for a powerful law firm--great salary and benefits. His involvement with a series of deaths due to "hot smack" leads him to believe the offer has strings. A young man who has bankrolled the drug operation is represented by the firm, and his father has bribed a lower echelon dealer to confess ($150,000 per year in prison). Kojak decides to remain on the force because of his sense of justice.
When an enforcer for a bookie pushes a "mouse" of a man too hard, he winds up needing an ambulance. Kojak doesn't believe the eyewitness description of the assailant. How could such a small man have done the deed? He (Abernathy) was furious because a surgeon who "killed" his mother with an unnecessary surgery was pressuring him for money the doctor needed to pay his bookie; the enforcer was part of the pressure. When Kojak learns the circumstances, he arrests Abernathy (but omits Miranda warnings, warrants, and other civil protections); in interrogation Kojak sees the...
Tired of paying a loan shark, Kojak's tailor decides to swear out a warrant. While officers are en route, Henessey shoots the tailor and steals a cab to escape. Understandably frustrated when the case falls apart due to an incompetent ADA, Kojak verbally attacks him just outside the courtroom. He is convinced there was a fix in place and refuses to back down. IAD suspends him, but Kojak is determined to catch his friend's killer. Is the fix the judge or the ADA--or both?
Captain McNeil's brother's widow (Shelly Winters) relies on Kojak to rescue her, get her employment, even pick up a bad check. She always has an excuse; now she's using her job at a brokerage to lay off bets and winds up losing $12,000 for some hoods. Meanwhile, Kojak's men are protecting a threatened witness that was involved with the gamblers. He decides to make a run for it, so the hoods take the ditsy widow as hostage. Kojak's attempts to insulate his captain break down, but in the end, justice is done and love conquers all.
Horse stealing in New York City is the focus of this episode, focusing on the kidnapping of a mare in foal and the attempts to sell her offspring (which has already been pegged as a champion racehorse) to various bidders.
Even retiring as an actress does not stop paparazzi from pursuing her, especially Joe Paxton. Diane sets up a fake jewel theft and kidnapping to elude him when she returns from Paris. When someone robs her for real and she is shot, Kojak arrests Paxton who was found at the scene. The real thief doesn't know that the jewelry was long ago replaced with paste and tries to fence it. Kojak and Paxton (who escaped from custody) try to catch a thief.
Crocker is ready to extradite a prisoner from Las Vegas when they are kidnapped, along with a theatrical agent and one identical twin (half of the "Only Topless Magicians"). Kojak, who flies to Vegas, and the other twin try to discover the reason for the snatch--including a casino crawl and interviewing Liberace, a client of the agent. The two of them join the Jeep posse out in the desert, but it's Crocker's booby trap which saves the day.
Kojak has cultured an informant to solve a series of gangland killings. An assistant chief inspector, often passed over for promotions, sees an opportunity to achieve the position of commissioner he so desperately desires. He moves in on Kojak's investigation, though he is sabotaging it and is a danger even to himself. Kojak tries to sidestep him but risks an inquiry launched by the vengeful senior officer (played by Danny Thomas). After a successful capture of the gang bosses, the truth comes out at the inquiry, but Theo is gracious, not gloating.