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The Killing Mind (1991)

A female former FBI agent, now a cop in Los Angeles is assigned to catch a ballerina's murderer, but runs into resistance by fellow cops who don't think a woman detective can handle the case.



(as William W. Forsythe), (as Pat A. Victor)
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Isobel Neiman
Thomas Quinn
Dennis Jepson
Fred Robinson
Ron Donoho
Captain Harris
Cameron Thor
Pizza Boy
Gordon Atherton (as Tim De Zarn)
Young Isobel
Darlene Kardon ...
Mrs. Atherton


A female former FBI agent, now a cop in Los Angeles is assigned to catch a ballerina's murderer, but runs into resistance by fellow cops who don't think a woman detective can handle the case.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violent content and drug references | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 April 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ballerinamordet  »

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User Reviews

Good mystery
31 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

A beautifully dressed, frightened young girl seems to be running away from something. Actually, we can't tell how old she is at first because we don't see her face, but she is apparently female. Then she sees the bloody ballet shoes. And the chilling face of the dead girl attached to them. She screams.

FBI profiler Isobel Neiman is hired by the Los Angeles Police. Det. Donoho shows her the depressing basement where her unit works. It seems the special unit was "set up to fail" but they fooled everyone by excelling at their jobs. The newbie is the victim of several practical jokes, but she's a good sport.

Capt. Harris shows Isobel a room full of unsolved cases. She has a lot of work to do, but it just happens that she sees those ballet slippers again. Yes, I said SHE sees them again. And with them is a photo of the girl.

Against the advice of everyone she talks to, Isobel decides to work on the "ballerina murder" (actually, it was believed she wore the costume when she was a hooker). She spends a lot of time with Tribune reporter Thomas Quinn, who wrote numerous stories about the 20-year-old case. Her obsession with the case, which includes living in the girl's old room at the once-elegant Hotel Rosslyn, becomes unhealthy in the eyes of some.

Fric and Frac (Detectives Jepson and Robinson), who provide comic relief but are good at their jobs, work with Isobel. She participates in their investigation of burglaries. Notice I didn't say "helps".

The central mystery of this movie becomes somewhat complicated, and the investigation starts out interesting, though toward the end I got bored. Perhaps this was just suspense. The thrilling ending, which I actually saw before anything else, made up for any weaknesses.

Stephanie Zimbalist showed a lot of confidence and her character was easy to like. I especially liked Detectives Fric and Frac, and Lee Tergesen was good as a street-wise detective. Danielle Harris was also good at showing fear in her brief scene as the young Isobel. I liked the friendly old manager of the hotel, but I didn't catch his name or that of the actor.

One other weakness--Isobel's friend Sylvia, who drove her to her new job when she first arrived in Los Angeles. Candy Ann Brown seemed like she was acting and didn't quite convince me she was a character. This was only a problem because it hadn't yet been established how good the movie would be.

But it was good. For a TV-movie mystery.

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