Fugitive murderer Toby Larkin narrowly escapes being captured by Officer Dennis when he commandeers a car in which Peter and Barbara Monroe and their teenage daughter are traveling. Larkin has little to lose and threatens to kill them all if he is followed, so Dan Mathews and Officer Dennis use an unmarked car and the Highway Patrol helicopter to keep them in sight. They follow the fugitive and his hostages to an isolated vacation cabin in the mountains, but are unable to get close enough to attempt a rescue without being spotted. When Peter Monroe leaves the cabin to get firewood, Dan changes clothes with him as part of a high-risk ruse to get inside the cabin for an attempt to rescue the women. The effort results in gunfire, but only Larkin is wounded and he flees in a panic. The injured fugitive finds himself with the unenviable choice of attempting to outrun the helicopter or returning to the cabin to take his chances in an armed confrontation with Dan. Written by
One of the most dangerous tasks faced by any law enforcement agency is the killer gone berserk, the criminal who has lost all sense of caution or self-preservation. When such a man is trying to escape the law, any citizen is in danger. And in all cases, the lives of the innocent must be preserved, even if it means letting the killer escape.
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Bing Russell, Kurt's dad, gets a lead role in this episode. He's a nut-case who's killed several men and has taken parents and their daughter hostage to escape Patrol pursuit. There's lots of helicopter action as Mathews and Dennis (Heffley) track him from above. I believe this series was either the first or among the first to integrate copters into law enforcement coverage. Anyway, there's lots of mid-air photography to go with the highway action. It's an all-American family that's taken hostage and the teen-age daughter takes me fondly back to high school days. My only negative is that Russell needs more menace to stir up more suspense. Nonetheless, it's a good action filled entry.
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