Touched by a Killer (2001)
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Getting the chance to interview convicted murder Tyler Nash, James Wilder, just two weeks before his scheduled execution Nikki not only decides to make his case a Cause Caleb she also falls in love with the boyishly handsome and innocent looking death row inmate. This leads Nikki to go so far as testify in Tyler's behalf in being the mystery woman who was with him on that fateful night in August five years ago. That's when Tyler was arrested for the murder of local Marshall Falls resident Cecilia Flowers, Jocelyn Clarke, which he's about to pay for with his life.
Despite a perjury charge hanging over her head Nikki is so sincere and honest in lying about her being with Tyler at the time of Miss. Flowers murder that the jury, in a second trial due to her new testimony, finds the once convicted killer innocent of her murder.
Now Nikki's live-in boyfriend Tyler starts to shed his image as the innocent looking as well as poetic, he can really put his emotions and feeling down on a piece paper, young man. The sweet and loving young man soon becomes a quick tempered psycho. Nikki who's still very much in love with Tyler is also hurt by finding a poem he wrote exclusively for her, about ripples in a pond, was something he wrote to a fan of his, a women prison pen pal, months before she ever met him!
Tyler also shows his very violent side when, after being attacked first, he cold-cocks the late Cecilia Flowers boyfriend and a pal of his who pick a fight with him at a local bar "The Blue Moon Tavern". The very place where Cecilia was found murdered in the bars parking lot five years ago.
All this leads to Marshall Falls D.A Mitch Clarke, Jerry Wasserman, who at first successfully prosecuted the Flowers murder case check up on Tylers, a professional race car driver, whereabouts before the Flowers killing. It turns out that the now freed Tyler Nash was at Daytona Florida, for the Datoyna 500 car race, the very same time another young woman was found murdered there! The woman was killed under the very same circumstances that Ceiclia was!
Tyler now getting crazy and paranoid because of the local police putting the heat on him goes wacko in an attempt to skip town after D.A Clarke told him not to. Thus showing by his guilty action that he may well have murdered Cecilia as well as the young women back in Daytona!
What makes things even worse for Tyler, if things wren't bad enough already , another young women is found murdered outside of town on the beach at Cannan Point! With him not having an alibi were he was, when she was murdered, Tyler now becomes the prime suspect in her murder as well!
****MAJOR SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON**** Well you'll have to see the rest of the movie, or story, to find out just what this Tyler guy is really all about. The last ten minutes of "Touched by a Killer" is so strange and mind-boggling that it comes across almost surreal. Nikki in her taking it upon herself to get Tyler freed in fact set off a number of events that had Cecilia's real killer resurface. This had at the same time have him zero in on her and Nikki friend Liza, Erin Gray, who in fact had no idea who he was which didn't prevent the psycho killer from trying to murder them!
The biggest surprise of all in the movie, besides the killers identity,is that it was Cecilia's real killer who's testimony put Tyler Nash on death row in the first place. On top of all that he also murdered the person, who's body was never found by the police, who's testimony could very well have proved him innocent! Now he was going to do the job, as judge jury and executioner, himself not only on Tyler but his, on and off, girlfriend Nikki Barrington!
TVMs are always " disease of the week " films , they occasionally plunge lower than Jayne Seymour saving the life of a sweet young child and involve lapses in logic and common sense. TOUCHED BY A KILLER is such a TVM . The lead role is a journalist but because the scriptwriter has never worked at a news stand never mind a newspaper all journalists are teatotal , hard working crusaders who are obsessed with integrity and justice , especially if the justice involves getting a innocent man on death row out of prison for a crime he didn`t commit . Oh and most journalists are attractive 40 something women who write in purple prose and despite being good looking in a 40 something kinda way they have never ever received a compliment from a man unless he`s on death row . Gee whizz that must be terrible , only getting noticed by men who are about to get fried by the state . But it gets worse ( No honest it does ) according to TOUCHED BY A KILLER women in general and female journalists in particular have a fetish about men on death row. Hey guys want a hot date ? Then pop down to the shops to get some manacles and an orange boiler suit and prepare for some hot 40 something sex. And just when you think it can`t get more stupid TOUCHED BY A KILLER has a plot twist you can see coming a mile away . Dead man walking ? Bad film sinking more like