***SPOILERS*** M Squad's Let. Det. Frank Ballinger, Lee Marvin,has his hands full here trying to get a former client, or better yet bust of his, the crazed demented and suicidal on the run murderer Freddie Cannell, Al Ruscio, to give himself up as well as release his hostage a young boy that he picked up, at a local McDonald, in the neighborhood! What was obvious to everyone but Ballinger and the police is that the boy that Cannell was holding hostage was no hostage at all but his 15 year old son Freddie Jr, Jimmy Baird! This stand-off between Cannell and the police goes on for hours with him and his boy hold up in this condemned tenement that's to be demolished to make room for the North-West Expressway.
Ballinger who was injured earlier in trying to get Cannell to give himself up now goes on his own up to the top floor of the condemned building to get Cannell to surrender or blast him as well as save Freddie Jr. But Freddie Jr seems to be acting as if he doesn't feel like he's in any danger at all from his dad but really from the police like Let.Det. Frank Ballinger!
****SPOILERS*** It's with Ballinger again putting himself in harms way, by Cannell catching and disarming him, that the young Freddie Jr. has a sudden change of heart in not wanting to stay with his mentally unstable dad in some kind of suicide pact and makes a break for it. Cannell now realizing that he's cooked and with no chance to escape by losing his free ticket out of this mess, his son Freddie Jr, decides to shoot it out with the police making himself an excellent target, by standing in front of an open window, for them to take target practice on. Ballinger who escaped by the skin of his teeth can only be grateful that Cannell was far too crazy to really do any real damage, like shoot him, which gladly for Ballinger lead to his own demise.
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