A woman (Charlotte Couch) comes home at night with a man (Soon Taik Oh) waiting on her in her dark apartment. As soon as she walks in, he strangles her from behind. He places her on the bed and then the creepy stuff: he puts makeup on her including a fake mole and a blonde wig to make her look a certain way.
McGarrett arrives on the scene where a friend (Monte Markham) stops him before he enters the building. McGarrett allows him in even past HPD crowd control introducing Jerry Rhodes to the young officer. Five-O and the lab technicians are all over the apartment to include vacuuming any little scrap to help in the case. McGarrett walks as Che Fong (Harry Endo) dusts a lampshade for prints. Danno briefs on their fifth victim: Angela Waring, single, age 31. She worked as a nurse in the children's ward at Queen's Hospital. Her time of death is between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m., which lines up with leaving the hospital at 7:30. Danno also says the neighbors didn't hear anything and there's no signs of a struggle. Robbery wasn't the motive and she wasn't sexually assaulted. Che reports no prints yet and Chin says there was no forced entry matching the previous four. Kono wonders if they let their killer in but McGarrett reminds them number four didn't being killed in her sleep. Danno asks about checking the psychos again and McGarrett adds anyone in the cosmetic business, beauticians and hairdressers. Kono and Chin comment about how each victim looks the same, "like a painted doll". McGarrett studies Jerry carefully adding, "or a hooker". Jerry leaves with McGarrett hot on his heels.
Outside, Jerry walks by the ambulance as the attendants take in the gurney. McGarrett stops him telling Jerry he doesn't want him near this case. "If you have to bleed, bleed in private". They argue about involvement as the same guy killed Jerry's wife! McGarrett asks him once he catches the guy, then what? Jerry says they take over but McGarrett takes it as delivery of a corpse. Jerry admits he's killed the guy "a thousand times" in his mind. Jerry only wants justice for Mary, his wife. McGarrett reluctantly agrees.
McGarrett arrives at HPD meeting Danno in the hall. Every psycho has be "sifted through" and everyone checks. The lab report should be ready in a few minutes and Chin reports on her boyfriend, an intern at the hospital and clean. They go to the laboratory where Che has exact duplicates of every lock used by the victims. Che discusses the possibility of having a passkey and while it would work on some, it's near impossible to work on others because lock "E" is German made, which means a whole other set of tumblers. If passkeys were the answer, the killer would need multiple passkeys. Che also has a composite of all the victims rolled into one. McGarrett wants a few hundred copies made assigning Chin and Kono to look into the prostitute angle while Danno checks the places where the women wear heavy paint: "night clubs, nudie joints, pick-up bars". Jerry sarcastically adds, "supermarkets" and receives a challenge from McGarrett with any other ideas because they have to start somewhere.
Jerry hangs out a bar playing Flash-O-Matic and drinking bourbon on the rocks. Pete the bartender (John Farias) refills his drink as Jerry asks if any cops have been in. Pete says they flashed a picture of the blonde with a mole on her cheek wanting to know if he knew who she was. Pete points out a new hustler, Sheila (Marjorie Battles) at the end of the bar. Jerry tells Pete to send her over. Jerry asks her right away if she knows any blondes and she finishes his thought with the teased hair and a mole on her cheek. "What's your badge number?" Sheila tries to walk away but Jerry stops her, "private. No sweat". Jerry deescalates the situation as they decide to "play doubles".
In McGarrett's office, a doctor (Danny Kamekona) gives McGarrett a run down on the woman and killer. She could possibly be long dead or just a figment of his imagination. The killer is "perfectionist, consistent, homicidal brilliance" and probably lives alone without much use for women. According to the doctor, he could be homosexual or impotent and probably based in rejection from any woman in his life: mother, girlfriend, or prostitute. The woman enraged him to the point he seeks revenge but his attempts are blocked and he takes it out on others remaking them into her. If the rejection was recent, they have a chance to find her and through her, the killer. If she's dead or imaginary, they're going to have a huge pile of dead bodies on their hands.
Danno tracks down a cab driver Tome Yoshiko (Kwan Hi Lim) who remembers Jerry's wife Mary. Yoshiko tells them she was nice but was a sucky tipper but he's sorry to hear what happened. He had been on the mainland for the last six months and tells McGarrett and Danno he last saw her "back in April". Yoshiko goes on to say she was arguing with this guy at a restaurant and she climbed in to be taken home. Then she realized she forgot her purse so they go back to get it. Everything was still there but the guy was gone. McGarrett asks for his name and Yoshiko tells them Raymond Crenshaw (Eugene McDunnah).
Chin goes to see Gloria (Marie Windsor) who "runs a big string of girls". Gloria claims the woman in the drawing isn't one of hers. Chin gets down to brass tax: until they catch the strangler, no woman in Honolulu is safe and she may be able to lead them to the strangler. Gloria wants the picture and she'll ask around.
Sheila and Jerry go back to her place where Jerry starts rummaging through her desk and finds her heroin paraphernalia. Jerry threatens to turn Sheila in unless she tells him where to find the blonde. Sheila finally breaks as Jerry dials the phone. The blonde is Cathy Fields (Sheilah Wells) nee' Hanes and she's married to an Army officer (Norman Dupont).
Cathy isn't blonde anymore she's more redhead as she serves lunch for her husband. They talk about painting their baby's room, as she is four months pregnant. He readies to go back to the base when there's a knock on the door. Cathy is shocked to find Gloria and Hank is oblivious to the real reason Gloria is there. He leaves to go back to work as Gloria walks in. Gloria shows her the police composite and Cathy is shocked to see herself. Gloria tells her they believe this is the woman the strangler is after. Gloria urges her to go to the police in order to save her life and maybe the lives of a lot of other women. Cathy isn't keen on doing this for obvious reasons. Gloria keeps urging her but Cathy's decision is final: she won't risk what she has now for anyone.
A woman pulls into a car wash where she interacts with the strangler without even knowing it. Meanwhile, McGarrett goes to see Crenshaw who is playing tennis with his wife. When McGarrett suggest they talk in private, Crenshaw says he doesn't keep anything from his wife. McGarrett asks about Mary Rhodes with Crenshaw answering they had a brief affair when there was "no marriage" between him and his wife. The Crenshaws worked to fix their marriage but he doubts Mary told Jerry because he wasn't home long enough being kept away for days at a time. Crenshaw tells McGarrett they were at a party in Hilo and "stayed quite late" when Mary was killed.
McGarrett is down right ticked off when he busts into Jerry's apartment. McGarrett tells him they're going to talk about Crenshaw and Mary after Jerry held back information. Jerry knew about the affair and McGarrett is confused wondering why he's obsessed with the killer if his marriage was over. Jerry tells McGarrett they had it out but when the dust settled, they realized the marriage could be saved. Jerry wants to find the killer because he was robbed of a chance to make things right with Mary. McGarrett is through kicking Jerry off the case knowing Jerry wants to find him and kill him. McGarrett leaves as Jerry calls Cathy threatening to tell her husband everything unless she tells him where her black book is. Upset, Cathy says she gave the book away to a Susan Watkins living at 222 Komani Avenue Apartment 15. Sobbing, she hangs up the phone.
Jerry goes to the address Cathy gives him and tears the place apart. He finds the book in a couch cushion then uses it to call her old contacts. Some willing, some not so willing. One of the first names he runs across is Vic Tanaka who has an answering service. Jerry leaves a message.
The woman from the car wash earlier returns home but her lights aren't working even though she switches them on and off several times. When she tries a lamp by the television, the killer strikes strangling her to death.
She's found the next morning and McGarrett is down right ticked off. He barks orders at Danno to gather everything in her apartment including the dust, to know everything about her and a few gallons of coffee because no one is going home until "something breaks"!
That night, Jerry receives a phone call from Vic. Jerry pretends to be Cathy's manager and sets a time for 10:00 a.m. the next morning at 297 Wanema Street, Cathy's address! Jerry tells Vic that's the only time available and to take it or nothing. Vic agrees.
In McGarrett's office, the team goes over each detail about the victims: where they work, where they had their hair done, where they live among others. Danno didn't find any groups the women had in common such as civic groups and churches. Three worked, two were housewives and one was unemployed. Each location is put on a Honolulu map and they begin reading every detail of each victim to McGarrett as he paces both in the office and on the lanai. The sun comes up as they finish near 7:00 a.m. When Kono makes a comment about being punchy, Chin answers it's not that, "they come up losers all over the map". McGarrett has a brainstorm the locations are not all over the map. Danno points out some of the locations and the fact victim "D" lived north of the cluster of locations but worked south of the cluster. McGarrett points out every one had to travel through a certain part of the city. Pinpointing it to a quadrant, McGarrett wants to know everything there where "a woman could conceivably go". The team gets on it.
The next morning, Captain Fields goes to work leaving Cathy home alone. Across the street, Jerry surveys the scene. Meantime, Danno runs down a list of businesses in the quadrant in McGarrett's office: "The Palm Garden Movie Theater, The Hibiscus Hotel, Gregario's Drugstore, Post Office Substation Two, Hawaiian Rose Beauty Parlor, Frank's Car Wash and Filling Station" and something else but McGarrett stops him at the car wash. They run out of the office to visit the car wash. There's a sign at the entrance: 'Wednesday Ladies Free'. McGarrett runs the Park Lane through the wash as he asks Danno to put himself into the killer's shoes looking for a victim. Danno picks up a key with tag including name and address. McGarrett pulls out a clay pad to imprint the key.
McGarrett and Danno talk to the owner (Robert M. Luck) asking him about employees from the last six months. The owner tells them he's lucky to keep guys around longer than a week. The last time he had a guy stick around six months was two years ago before he moved to Los Angeles. The owner is about to walk away when he remembers his part-time mechanic: Vic Tanaka.
Five-O closes in at his house: McGarrett and Danno taking the front with Chin and Kono taking the back. McGarrett kicks in the front door with all four inside to clear the bungalow. McGarrett notices the key-making machine and wants the place searched. They jump on it with McGarrett rifling through the trash and Danno finding blonde wigs in a cabinet. He also finds the makeup kit and tells McGarrett they have him. McGarrett has a phone number and an address.
Cathy cleans house as Tanaka looks in a bedroom window. Tanaka sneaks in through an unlocked door in the kitchen as Jerry continues to watch from across the street. Cathy doesn't notice until she sees him in the mirror. Tanaka approaches her commenting on her hair that is now red rather than blonde. She doesn't recognize him at first but eventually does. Tanaka tells her he set up a date with her last night through her manager and Cathy is completely confused backing away the best she can. Jerry has snuck into the kitchen watching it all go down in the living room. As Tanaka plays with her hair, Cathy gets away form him and goes for the phone. Tanaka rips it out of the receptacle chasing her around her house flying into a rage. He catches her trying to strangle her but Jerry calls to him pulling his gun. Jerry shoots Tanaka three times killing him. Cathy writhes on the floor when Jerry helps her onto the couch. He pulls out her little black book telling her not to worry. Jerry walks into the kitchen burning the book. Later, Five-O and HPD arrive at the Fields house carrying out Tanaka. McGarrett stops the attendants noting the shots in Tanaka as he looks at Jerry. Jerry says he had to shoot; he was going to kill Cathy. McGarrett doesn't buy it saying Jerry tracked him down and sent him to Cathy's house. McGarrett tells him it was Jerry's phone number on the note in the trash at Tanaka's bungalow. McGarrett says Jerry killed Tanaka to keep him quiet because Jerry killed his wife in a copycat murder. McGarrett says they would chalk her up as victim number three and it almost worked. One problem: Tanaka picked his victims from a car wash and Mary didn't drive, never learned to drive! Jerry explains it just happened, nothing was planned: he became enraged when he discovered her affair and next thing he knew he squeezed her neck and she was dead. Jerry knows he's looking at prison for "unpremeditated manslaughter" but he's only thinking about Mary's death, not Tanaka's; which was a setup and ultimately Murder One! McGarrett tells Danno they'll be giving Jerry a lift as he disarms Jerry. "Book him -- Murder One".
This plot summary Copyrightę Bobbi Baker 2019. No reproduction of any kind without permission.