T.J. Hooker (1982–1986)
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The Lipstick Killer 

Hooker and his team track a psychotic nurse-killer who sends flowers to his future victims.


Rick Husky (created by), Robert C. Dennis (as Robert Dennis) | 4 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
William Shatner ... Sgt. T.J. Hooker
Adrian Zmed ... Officer Vince Romano
Heather Locklear ... Officer Stacy Sheridan
James Darren ... Officer Jim Corrigan
David Huffman ... Dr. Don Travers
Katherine Justice ... Dr. Joan Wagner
Hugh Farrington ... Lt. Pete O'Brien
Patricia Pearcy ... Shirley Potter
Ebbe Roe Smith ... Maurice Morgan
Claudia Christian ... Betty Macrae
John Martin ... Dave Jamison
Julie Ronnie ... Karen Peyton
Cynthia Cypert Cynthia Cypert ... Alice Crane
Dolores Aguanno Dolores Aguanno ... Janet Winston
Shawn Donahue Shawn Donahue ... Matthew Potter


A series of young nurses are being murdered and a witness places another nurse at the scene. Hooker discovers some similarities to a previous case he had worked 6 years before, but the killer was never apprehended. It is soon discovered that the suspect may not be a woman at all, but a man dressing as a woman - specifically, a nurse. Hooker consults a young psychiatrist to develop a profile of the killer, but even as that is in the works, the fiend strikes again. Soon, Hooker will confront the fiend known as the 'Lipstick Killer'. Written by medic249a2

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime | Drama





Release Date:

7 January 1984 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The Porsche 928 crash off a parking garage would be recycled the following season in T.J. Hooker: The Surrogate (1985) and again in Season 5 in T.J. Hooker: Nightmare (1986). See more »


At the beginning of the episode a nurse is killed and we are told that another will likely die in 48 hours as the killings are in pairs. Midway during the episode, the killer is shown raising her weapon while approaching a nurse in the shower. The scene then fades out to a break. Later, attempts are made on two other nurses which are both stopped by Hooker who makes the arrest. No mention of the shower attack or a body being found is ever mentioned. See more »


Dave Jamison: Hey Corrigan, that partner of yours is USDA prime.
Officer Jim Corrigan: Well, starting now, Jamison, she's off limits to you.
Dave Jamison: What I do is my business, so butt out, huh?
Officer Jim Corrigan: Hey, read my lips, Jamison: hands off Stacey. She doesn't need to be hit on by a married guy.
See more »


References Love at First Bite (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Needlessly Kinky Silliness
10 April 2014 | by JasonDanielBakerSee all my reviews

Veteran cop Sgt. T.J.Hooker (William Shatner) and his young partner Vince Romano (Adrian Zmed) are summoned by dispatch to investigate an attack on a young nurse in a hospital parking lot. The suspect - also a nurse, escapes the scene leaving behind a murdered victim, a rose and an odd brand of lipstick. An autopsy reveals the woman died of blunt force trauma.

It is similar to a case Hooker worked on six years earlier but could never solve back when he was still a homicide detective. If the viewer is keeping track there are several of these old unsolved cases of serial murders of attractive young women that Hooker couldn't crack which pop up in episodes of the series.

Hooker consults old friend psychiatrist Dr.Don Travers (David Huffman) with whom he had gotten help from on the similar case from years earlier. Travers is eager to help in any way he can but the advice he gives doesn't change and the young shrink remains perplexed as to why Hooker can't narrow down who the killer is before more young women are murdered.

The excesses and clichés of this series very much included exploding police cruisers, football tackles of suspects after a chase on foot and Hooker rolling out of the way of speeding cars. Each of them are seen here. They should be fully as identifiable with the series as the cliché about Hooker clinging like a barnacle to the hood of a moving car.

Again the quality of 'otherness' is attached to the baddie leaving us with little more than a simplistic and primitive good vs evil dialectic. Attempts to explain the motives for the crime are given sparse screen time utilizing the psychiatrist character to fill in a few blanks but never quite give us the whole picture. The reveal at the end is simply a tired rehash of movie and TV psychos.

As a sad note David Huffman, a likable actor who had done solid work on stage and screen over many years despite not seeing the age of 40, was himself murdered in San Diego little more than a year after this episode was first broadcast. He was stabbed with a screwdriver after chasing a thief that had broken in to a motor home. Huffman left behind a wife and two children.

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