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The true story of the year-long manhunt for the killer who raped and murdered his way up and down the I-5 corridor through California, Washington, and Oregon for over a year in 1981, leaving 44 victims in his wake.
After Judge Laird acquits Savitch by calling a mistrial due to a Juror mistake, Detective Hatcher grows angry. A few weeks after the acquittal, Elise Laird, the judge's wife, encounters a burglar and kills him in their home. The circumstances become increasingly questionable as new facts unfold making both the judge and Elise seem more and more suspicious, connecting both of them to Savitch in different ways. Elise claims that her husband is trying to kill her due to her connection to Savitch, and the judge claims he knows nothing. After Elise is kidnapped by a strange man, she disappears and it looks as though she has been thrown into the river, but she mysteriously shows up at Hatcher's home after the judge identifies a dead body as hers. Hatcher hides her in his grandmother's home and keeps up the guise that she is dead. More and more facts come to light, making the truth even more difficult to uncover. Written by
I started watching this with high expectations. However it became very clear that the lead character (Detective Hatcher)was pretty arrogant, unlikeable and was a law unto himself. I actually wanted to like the film as I had a cold and wanted to watch something good.
The premise was good - judges wife shooting an intruder - was it a simple burglary or something more sinister. But too much time was given to the lead characters, particularly Hatcher, and the judge's wife. Little time was used to develop the other characters especially the villains. So much so that I started to route for the bad guys.
When Hatcher started acting like the normal run of the mill rouge cop that always knows better, especially irritating because he was decorated which would suggest that he played by the rules. It then got pretty ridiculous with a phantom death and a sting that, you may not have seen coming, but knew it was heading in that direction. I especially thought the climax where Hatcher slept with the victim and then how he extracted confessions - by shooting at the ground around the villain and then holding a gun to his head saying he was going to kill him, was completely unbelievable and way over the top. Such confessions would be completely thrown out by any decent judge and sleeping with a victim/witness and conspiring with the victim to 'entrap' the villains would not be allowed. What I can't understand is that while Hatcher kept everything from his partner all the way through the movie, his partner followed his instructions without question at the end to entrap the villains.
I thought the two leads were miscast and Hatcher acted like an arrogant top dog rather than a detective sergeant whereas the lead lady was very wooden The judge and the main baddie were actually better actors. The judge actually showed come passion and I could believe a little more in that character. 3 out of 10 although I think that is high.
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