Alan Squire, a disillusioned and destitute intellectual, is hitch-hiking across the Arizona desert. He arrives at the desolate Black Mesa Bar-B-Q, where he meets the naively idealistic Gabby Maple, whose internal struggle reflects her mixed heritage. Half romantic French, half practical American, Gabby dreams of escaping her dull life to live in France. She is immediately attracted to Alan’s lofty philosophies, but their short-lived, innocent romance is shattered by the sudden arrival of Duke Mantee and his gang. Mantee, a brutal killer heading for the Mexican border, uses the restaurant as his hide-out, holding a small group captive while he waits for his girl.
At Anselmo’s bar in New York, Scott Henderson sits dejectedly next to an equally despondent woman wearing a distinctive hat. Scott offers the woman tickets to a musical show that he cannot use, but she is not interested until Scott asks if she would like to accompany him to the show. Impulsively she agrees, on the condition that they do not exchange any personal information and just enjoy the evening together. At the show, Scott and the woman sit near the front, where the woman attracts the eye of the orchestra drummer and singer Estela Monteiro, who is furious that the woman’s hat matches her own. After the show, Scott escorts the woman back to the bar and they part amicably. Upon returning to his apartment, Scott is greeted by by police Inspector Burgess, who informs him that Scott’s wife Marcela has been strangled to death with one of Scott’s ties.
Dr. Luther Brooks, an intern who has just passed the state board examination to qualify for his license to practice, is the first African-American doctor at the urban county hospital at which he trained. Because he lacks self-confidence, Luther requests to work as a junior resident at the hospital for another year. Johnny and Ray Biddle, brothers who were both shot in the leg by a policeman as they attempted a robbery, are brought to the hospital’s prison ward. As Luther tends to the disoriented Johnny, he is bombarded with racist slurs by Ray, who grew up in Beaver Canal, the white working class section of the city…
Purple Haze was in my brain,
lately things don’t seem the same,
actin’ funny but I don’t know why…
In the 1954 Hitchcock masterpiece, “Rear Window“, L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries, a professional photographer, is wheelchair bound while he recuperates from an accident. His rear window looks out onto a small courtyard and he can see into the apartments of several of his neighbors.
One evening he hears a woman scream “Don’t!” and then a glass breaks. He watches as Lars Thorvald, a traveling jewelry salesman with a bedridden wife, makes repeated late night trips carrying his sample case. What is he carrying, and where did Thorvald’s wife go? Jeff begins to suspect Thorvald of a grisly murder.
On March 6, 1952, two years before “Rear Window” hit theaters, Jordan Jones, a Sacramento based insurance salesman, was staying in a downtown Los Angeles hotel located at 230 West 7th Street. Like Jeff Jeffries he was staring out of his window watching the guests in another wing of the hotel. But as just as Jeffries would discover in Rear Window, peeping isn’t always merely a spectator sport.
Most of the guests had the good sense to draw their shades against prying eyes, but suddenly Jones noticed a couple putting on an X-rated show–far racier than anything he’d find in a Main Street burlesque house. Their shades were up and the lights in their room were ablaze. He watched, riveted, as the couple hungrily pulled off their clothing and began to have sex. Jones continued to watch the impromptu show–it sure as hell beat whatever was on the radio that night. But then their lovemaking turned ugly.
The man put his belt around the nude woman’s neck and started choking her and it didn’t appear to be a part of their sex play. Jones immediately reported the incident to the hotel desk, but he kept his front row seat and watched as a bellboy appeared at the door of the couple’s room. The man removed the belt from the woman’s neck, and the bellboy presumably returned to his duties.
Klink enjoys a post confession burger.
Moments after the bellboy departed Jones watched in horror as the man turned to the woman and resumed choking her, then he dragged her nude body around the room by the belt that was still tight around her neck. When she crumpled to the floor the strangler began going through the woman’s handbag and clothing.
This time Jones phoned the hotel manager who, with three bellboys, crashed into the couple’s room where they found the killer standing dazedly over the woman’s nude body. A Fire Department inhalator squad tried to revive the victim and Dr. Alfred Schaffel from Georgia Street Receiving Hospital administered adrenalin injections, but it was too late. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
LAPD homicide Lt. Bob Reid said that the woman’s papers identified her as forty-eight year old Mae Ellen Mathis from Dragerton, Utah. She had been employed as a registered nurse at Queen of Angels Hospital for a short time, living in the nurses’ residence there.
The strangler gave his name as William Klink, a 27 year old refrigerator repairman, but he refused to give a home address. Klink said he had met Mae in a bar on Hill Street and that she agreed to accompany him to the hotel where they registered as husband and wife.
LAPD Sgt. Jack Gotch (L), William Klink (C), D.A. Ernest Roll (R)
Andrew Faiss (47) the bellboy who had showed them to the room only two hours earlier said that they had carried no luggage.
Officer L.M. Vaughn shows Klink the murder weapon.
KIlink, who was on parole out of Ohio for a forgery conviction in 1947, told a different story to detectives and District Attorney Roll than Jones had.
According to Klink he’d been drinking for hours before he had hooked up with Mae. After he and Mae had made love he said that he had feigned sleep and then watched as his companion got up, put on her clothes, and began going through his pants pockets.
Klink offered no rational explanation for why he’d put his belt around her neck and strangled her to death.
“I was in a kind of purple haze,” he said.
A few months following Mae’s slaying Klink was found guilty of second degree murder. Superior Judge John J. Ford sentenced him to five years to life in the California Institution for Men at Chino.