M (1931) Script

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Just you wait, it won't be long The man in black will soon be here With his cleaver's blade so true He'll make mincemeat out of you!

You're out.

I told you to stop singing that awful song!

Didn't you hear me?

That same cursed song over and over!

Dear me, that's heavy.

What's the matter?

I told those kids to stop singing that awful song, but they sing it all day long.

As if we haven't heard enough of that murderer already.

Leave them alone.

As long as we can hear them singing, at least we know they're still there.

Yes, I guess you're right.



Little Kurt Klawitzky and his sister Klara have been missing since June 11th.

Evidence leads us to believe the children were victims of a crime similar to that committed last fall against the Doering siblings.

What a pretty ball you have there.

What's your name?

Elsie Beckmann.

Didn't Elsie come with you?

No. She didn't come with us.


Thank you.

A thrilling new chapter, Mrs Beckmann. Passionate and moving.

Just a moment, Mr Gehrke.

Tell me, Mr Gehrke.

Have you seen little Elsie?

No. Didn't she just come up the stairs?

No, she's not home yet.

She won't be long now. Goodbye.

Goodbye, Mr Gehrke.

Extra! Extra!

No, I can't give change! Extra!

Makes you afraid to send your kids to school!

Who is the murderer?

Because the police did not publish my first letter, I am writing now directly to the press!

Proceed with your investigations.

All will soon be confirmed.

But I'm not done yet!

10,000 MARKS REWARD Christ, here we go again! This is horrible!

The print's too small. We can't read it.

You in front, read it out loud!

Let him read! Hey! Quiet!

"The terror in our town has found a new victim."

Louder! We can't hear a word!

"Certain evidence leads us to believe that this is the same murderer who has already claimed eight victims from among our city's children.

We must emphasise once again that it is, now more than ever, every mother and father's sacred duty to alert their children to this ever present danger and to the friendly guise it is likely to assume.

A little candy, a toy, or an apple can suffice to lure a child to his or her doom."

Very true!

Keep reading.

"Anxiety among the general public is heightened by the police's failure to apprehend a suspect.

But the police are faced with the almost impossible task of catching a criminal who left not the slightest clue behind.

Who is the murderer?

What does he look like?

Where is he hiding?

No one knows him, yet he is among us.

Anybody sitting next to you could be the murderer."

Yes, that's very true.

Why look at me when you say that? You know very well.

What do I know very well?

Think about it. It'll come to you.

What are you saying?

I saw you follow that little girl from the fourth floor up the stairs.

You're crazy, you dirty swine!

Who's the swine? Me, or a man who chases little girls?

You bastard! You swine!



I'll see you in court!

I'll have you locked up!

Slanderer! Trying to ruin my reputation!

Damn slanderer! Besmirching a man's good name!

And the police fall for it!

A search warrant!

How awful! What a disgrace!

Searching a man's house based on an anonymous letter!

Mr Jager, please calm down. We're only doing our job.

As if it weren't enough that we're in constant fear for our kids!

You see? That's why the police must follow up every lead.

Any man on the street could be the murderer.

Can you please tell me what time it is?

Yes, my child.

Now you must hurry home. Where do you live?

What's it to you where the kid lives?

Excuse me?

What do you want with that kid?

Absolutely nothing!

What do you want with me?

I'll show you what I want!

Let me go! This is an outrage!

What's going on? This is an outrage!

What does Four-Eyes want? Don't get so excited.

First chatting up children... Punch him in the face!

...then acting like a big shot!

Will you let me go! I didn't even speak to the child!

Get her alone, eh? And kill her like the others, right?

He's the murderer! Hold him!

Call the police!

Never around when you need 'em! Officer!

Make way, gentlemen. Let us through.

Sure, you can catch pickpockets! Why don't you catch the murderer instead!

What? Is he the murderer?

Break it up! Come on, move along!

The murderer! The monster!

Get him!

Tackle him!

MURDERER WRITES TO THE PRESS Because the police did not publish my first letter, I am writing now directly to the press!

Proceed with your investigations.

All will soon be confirmed.

But I'm not done yet!

This is a terrible scandal!

Lmagine the effect such a note will have on the public, Commissioner!

This is simply irresponsible!

Mr Secretary, we cannot stop the murderer from writing to whomever he wishes!

This severely pathological man probably takes great pleasure in seeing his crimes covered in the press.

We immediately got in touch with the newspaper and had them send us the original letter.

The lab's working on it right now.

Of course, you can't get good fingerprints from a postcard that's passed through so many hands.

Nevertheless, we will leave no stone unturned.

We'll painstakingly compare the results against our archives in hopes of finding something that can be used to solve this case.

Then we'll send the letter to our graphologist.

"The aforementioned diamond-shaped and swelling sweeps, clearly seen in the word 'soon', third line from the bottom..."

You got that? Yes.

"...attest to the strongly pathological sexuality of this sex offender."

Full stop.

The partially disrupted and uneven style of his other letters is, in its interpretation, a form of acting which may manifest externally as indolence or even lethargy.

The writing as a whole displays elusive yet unmistakable signs of madness.

Yes, of course, Commissioner.

I have no doubt you're doing your job, and your men as well.

But we need results!


Mr Secretary, my men haven't gotten 12 hours' sleep in an entire week!

My riot squads don't get a moment's peace.

They report for duty almost more fatigued than when they were dismissed.

Because the painstaking nature of their work wears on the nerves, and 80%, if not 90%, of our leads are false.

The homicide squad doesn't even get time to change clothes.

They're constantly on call, always tense and alert.

Ever ready to spring into action, to follow even the slightest lead, as it just might be the one that solves the case.

Mr Secretary, just consider the search of the crime scene.

To give you an example, in the bushes just behind a picket fence, a small, white, crumpled paper wrapping was found.

It apparently once contained inexpensive sweets.

In the outermost corner were found traces of fruit drops and particles of powdered sugar.

We've tried to trace the origin of this wrapper in every candy shop and grocery store within a radius of a mile and a half, but all to no avail.

With each passing day we expand the area searched.

But, of course, after such a long time, no one remembers anything that could serve as a lead.

Despite all these setbacks, we're forced to press on in our investigation, always in uncertainty and with little chance of success in bringing the case even one step closer to its conclusion.

Our men are doing everything...

What good is all this?

Commissioner, I'm aware you're not dawdling, but that doesn't change the fact that an unknown killer is terrorising four and a half million people!

And the police are getting nowhere!

Mr Secretary, you don't seem to have a clear picture of the enormous obstacles confronting our forces.

Do you realise, for example, regarding the route the child took home, that there are fifteen conflicting eyewitness accounts alone?

Let me give you a random example:

"Testimony 1,478 in the Beckmann murder case..."

You've got no clue. More than you, mister!


You must at least know the colour of the cap the little girl wore whom you say you saw with the stranger!

Of course, Inspector. It was red!

It was green! Red!

Stop! This is pointless!

Thank you, gentlemen. You're welcome!

Next witness.

If you rely on a colour-blind man for clues, don't be surprised if you get nowhere!

In their hunt for this unknown killer, the police have tracked down more than 1,500 detailed leads.

The files in this case fill 60 thick volumes.

We've dispatched all our forces to systematically comb the area adjoining the city.

Every piece of undergrowth is scoured, every thicket searched.

Every bush examined, since any bush or hollow could harbour some object that could finally set us on the right track.

We called in police dogs.

We set the best trackers on the faintest of traces, but they lost the scent and failed to pick it up again despite all efforts.

Since the first murders, the police have searched homeless shelters night after night, subjecting everyone in them to thorough scrutiny.

This does not, of course, make the police very popular, nor does it reduce the general public's anxiety.

Railway stations are kept under surveillance around the clock.

Still, the investigation has not yet yielded the slightest results.

Nor have nightly raids in the criminal districts.

The cops!

Get back!

Back! This is the police!

Let me go, you dirty bastard!

Let me go, you son of a bitch!

Goddamn bastard!

Put me down!

Let me go!

Let her go, you filthy pig!


Move back!

The top fuzz!


Police orders:

Nobody is to leave this establishment. Get your papers ready.


Come now, children, stop this foolishness.

Well, if it isn't Tubby Lohmann!


That'll get you nowhere.

Go after the murderer instead! Right!


Be reasonable now! Step back!

You hear me? Step back!

Let's go! Come on, let's see those papers!

I haven't got any. Let's see your papers.

Please let me go, Inspector!

The two guys who tried to escape were caught on the Krangasse.

Leave those chairs alone! Shut up!

Have your papers ready!

Haven't we met before? Yeah. So?

Off to the precinct again!

Haven't even made a buck tonight!

Anyone without papers goes down to the precinct!

I tell you, I'm innocent, really!

Stop talking nonsense!

Let's get moving! Kiss my arse!

Show your papers! Where's the paddy wagon?

Don't push.

Everyone will get their turn.

Silence! Cool it, kids!

Have your papers ready!

Your papers.

Inspector, I can't carry my birth certificate around with me everywhere!

Quit your bellyaching, child. I really can't, Inspector!

The precinct for you!

You make me puke!

Shoddy work, my friend.

You've been had.

Precinct. See you, Willy. Ta-ta!

Lay off!


Stuck-up snob.

What's wrong?

Papa Lohmann... ...nabbed him!

UNSOLVED BURGLARY AT FURRIER'S We'd better take you down to the precinct too.

What do you mean? My papers are in order.

Move on.

Move on!

Tough luck!


Papers. Don't got none.

To the precinct.

Just my luck.

Next, come on.

You're ruining my business, Sarge.

These raids every night.

No one can get a moment's peace! They're human beings too.

You think we stay up all night just for the hell of it?


But you're drivin' away my clientele, and you won't find the guy you're lookin' for here anyway.

If you knew how steamed they are at the guy who's causing these raids.

Especially the girls.

Sure, they solicit. Business is business.

But believe me, in every one of them beats a mother's heart!

I know a lot of toughs who get all teary-eyed just seein' the little ones at play.

If they ever get their hands on that monster, they'll make toothpicks out of him!

Ready to leave, Sergeant.

So long.

They hit the Crocodile Club today.

Two paddy wagons.

What's keeping Safecracker?

Is it 3:00 yet?

I'll find out.

The exact time, please, miss.

2:58. Thank you.


The cops are crawling the streets like ants again.

Green coats wherever you spit.

They're on your back even if you're with a broad.

They've gone nuts, got this murderer on the brain.

My old lady has a little six-year-old girl, and every night I have to check under the bed to see if the murderer's hiding there.

You can't do business anymore for tripping over cops everywhere.

There's no privacy anymore. I'm fed up with it.

What else is new?

Where the heck is Safecracker? Think they might have nabbed him?

That guy? Come on.

Scotland Yard laid a trap for him once on a bank job he pulled in London.

There he was, hands up, back to the wall cops all around him.

Seconds later there were three men dead on the ground, but he wasn't one of them!

No one better from Berlin to San Francisco.

They've been after him six years and they've yet to get him.

Not yet. But put enough dogs on the fox's tail...

Can it!

Damn it!

I can't take this!

He was always right on time before.

Thank God! Finally.


Are you nuts? Close those blinds!

Gentlemen, I hereby open this meeting.

I declare all division leaders of this organisation present.

I assume you're authorised to make binding decisions for your divisions.

Good. We'll dispense with the preliminaries, as we all know why we're here.

An outsider is ruining our business and our reputation.

Measures taken by the police and the daily raids to catch this child murderer are hampering our activities to an almost unbearable degree.

We can no longer tolerate the fact that we're not safe now in any hotel, bar, cafe or even private home from the clutches of the police.

Very true.

This state of affairs must end.

Things must return to normal or we'll go under.

Our coffers will soon be depleted.

If we can't get funds to support the wives of those members who currently enjoy room and board at state expense, I don't know where we'll find the money to carry out our plans.

Our reputation is suffering as well.

The police seek the murderer in our fold.

Gentlemen, when I run head-on into an officer from the squad, he knows the potential risks, and so do I.

If either dies in the line of duty, fine. Occupational hazard.

But we must draw a firm line between ourselves and this man they're looking for!

We conduct our business in order to survive, but this monster has no right to survive!

He must be killed, eliminated, exterminated!

Without mercy or compassion!

Gentlemen, our members must be able to go about their business again without frantic cops in their way at every turn.

I invite...

...your views, gentlemen.

Step up ID checks, comb the entire city, and raids, relentless, ever tougher raids!

We need informers!

We must know the police's plans almost before they do themselves!

The girls gotta work the cops more!

How often has one of us been nabbed because his girl ratted on him to the cops?

Now they can rat on the cops!

Every resident, every landlord, every property owner must be forced to consent to meticulous searches of his property for the slightest of clues.

What if we... We have our connections.

What if we put an article in the papers that our syndicates, I mean, our organisation, doesn't wish to be lumped in together with this pig, and that the cops should look for this guy somewhere else.

He's not even a real crook!

This man may well be, when not engaged in the actual act of killing, a harmless, upstanding citizen who wouldn't hurt a fly.

In his right mind, perhaps he plays marbles with his landlady's kids or plays cards with friends.

Without what I'll call the innocuousness of these murderers' private lives, it's inconceivable that someone like Grossmann or Haarmann could have lived right next door to their neighbours for years without arousing the faintest trace of suspicion!

This is where we must focus the public's attention.

The public must cooperate.

I'll tell you about public cooperation!

Just thinking of it makes me puke.

I beg your pardon, Commissioner.

But ain't it the truth?

What the devil has public cooperation gotten us so far?

Piles of letters full of the most outrageous slander!

Very true.

They alert homicide whenever a chimney sweep walks by.

That's right.

But when you really want reliable information from them, then they suddenly haven't got a clue.

Why, they just can't seem to remember a thing.

There's your public cooperation for you!

I believe you're exaggerating a bit, Lohmann.

It can't really be that bad, can it?

But it is, Commissioner!

Most of the public still takes the position, "How does this concern me?".

The idea that each individual is responsible for what happens to the poorest, most anonymous child on the street hasn't even dawned on the public at large!

I've got another idea.

There was this magician.

Te... Tele... I can't remember what you call it.

Anyway, he could conjure up hidden pennies out of handkerchiefs.

The reward is still far too little money.

The man who leads us to the murderer should get a fortune.

None of this is anything new.

This is all leading nowhere.

So we just wait for the police to catch the guy instead?

The difficulties in solving crimes of this nature are, in my experience, often insurmountable, since perpetrator and victim are often brought together by mere chance.

The instincts of the moment drive the murderer's actions.

The victim is found and identified, his or her last known whereabouts are determined, and then... then comes the big question mark.

These children vanish without a trace.

And when they're found...

Well, we all know the state in which we've found them.

And the perpetrator...

It's a fact well-known to all of us that murderers like this rarely leave a clue behind.

That's what makes our work so hard, our successes so few.

The police have been after this murderer for eight months now.

They'll only get him by accident now. We can't wait for that.

No, we'll go broke by then.

What, then?

We have to catch him...


Yes, that's what we must do.

There is perhaps one other way.

I'm quite certain that information on the individual in question must already exist somewhere.

Being the severely pathological case that he is, he has no doubt already had some kind of contact with the authorities.

That's why all health care facilities, prisons, clinics and insane asylums must be encouraged to cooperate with us unequivocally.

We specifically need information on those released after being deemed harmless to society but who, due to their inclinations, could be the murderer.

We must cover the city with a net of informers.

Every square mile must be under constant surveillance.

No child in this city must take a single step without us knowing it.

Fine, but how? ...- And who?

It must be people who can go anywhere without causing a stir, follow anyone without attracting attention, follow any child to any house without arousing suspicion.

In short, people whom the killer would never suspect.

But who? There are no such people!

Who could do that? Who?

The beggars.

The organisation of beggars!


Blood pudding's on the upswing.

God, this cheese stinks so good.

Take that, you sons of bitches!

Hey, stop snoring. You'll wake up the lice.

Two, four, six...



Bread-and-butter sandwich, lukewarm response.

Black Friday for roast beef.

All right. Now come the courtyards.

Yes, from number 1 to 88.


You're responsible for the courtyards on Hauptstrasse from 1 to 88.

Got it.

What's next?

Hauptstrasse, from number 89... to 196.

Hauptstrasse, number 89 to 196.

Member number? 3795. Emil Dustermann.

Well, Emil, maybe you'll win the 15,000.

I've got my fingers crossed.

Knock on wood.

My heartfelt thanks, ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you.

In searching homes, be on the lookout for any clue which could establish the origin of the murderer's letter to the Courier.

Be on the lookout as well for an old wooden table...


...or red pencil...

Come in.

...or writing paper of the type used by the killer.

Inspector, here are reports on mental patients who've been released as cured or deemed harmless over the last five years.

Reports from every private and public institute, as well as from municipal hospitals and asylums.

And here's a list of their present addresses.

Good day. Does a Mr Beckert live here?

Pardon me? Does a Mr Beckert live here?

I'm afraid I don't understand. I'm a bit hard of hearing.

You don't say. Does a Mr Beckert live here?

Mr Beckert, yes, he does. But he just stepped out.

I had hoped to speak with him.

I'm from the tax office.

The tax office. Oh, my Lord!

Perhaps you'd like to wait for him...

Yes, thank you.

Please have a seat. Thank you.

Perhaps you'd like something to read. Thank you. Most kind.

THE GENERAL GAZETTE Tell me, Mrs Winkler, does Mr Beckert subscribe to any newspapers?

Mr Beckert? No, he always borrows mine.

I see. Thank you.

Mummy! I wanted to meet you halfway!

Child, you mustn't do that.

You know why.

Good day. What would you like?


No, a vermouth. No, a cognac.

Here you are.


The bill.

Two cognacs... That's 1.65, please.

Thank you very much.

"Number 24: Beckert. Doesn't take the Courier Table: Polished mahogany, with tablecloth.

No traces of red pencil. In fact, no writing materials of any kind.

Printed matter found in wastebasket: Cigar ad and a postcard with flowers and 'Regards, Paul' on it, but no address of sender.

An empty cigarette pack, Ariston brand, a bag of candy..."

Just a moment.


What was that?

I'd like the file on the Marga Perl murder case.

Thank you very much.

That's odd.

I've heard that before.

It was...

Hey, Heinrich!

What is it?

What's wrong? Listen. Someone's whistling.

Can't you hear it?


Now he's stopped.

Did you see the guy who was whistling?

Yes, I can still see him.

Heinrich, he's talking to a little girl and walking her down the street.

After him, quick, and don't lose him! Why?

The day little Elsie Beckmann was killed, a man bought a balloon from me.

He was with a little girl...

...and he whistled just like that!

Damn it, man!

Are you crazy, throwing orange peels on the ground?

A man could slip and break his neck! Unbelievable!

I should report you to the police!

Outrageous behaviour!

Hey, mister.

Here it is.

"In a 150-foot radius of the crime scene, three cigarette butts of the Ariston brand were found." There you have it.

Yes, it may be the same brand of cigarettes, but there was no old wooden table.

Of course, he could have written that letter somewhere else.

Good God!

The window ledge!

You're right.

Just a minute.

Red pencil.

My God, finally!

We're finally on his trail.


They're on his trail?

Did they find him? The beggars found him.

His whistling gave him away. They put a mark on him.

Shut up!

What did you say?

They're following the mark. He isn't out of sight for a second.

His every move is being watched.

Mister. What is it?

You got some white stuff on your coat. Where?

On your shoulder.

Here, I'll wipe it off.

What's the matter? Come on. We're leaving.

He didn't come out this way. We would've seen him.

Out of the question!

Well, he didn't turn back. He has to be somewhere, damn it!

Maybe he's hiding inside the building.

Closing time!

We can't let him get away in the crowd! If he slips through now...

They're starting to come out!

Out in the street, and keep your eyes peeled!

Excuse me, may I ask you a question?

My trip is tomorrow. I start in Konigsberg...

No, in my condition I can't eat anything like that...

The boss came to my office today...

Turn off the light.

He'll get suspicious if he comes home and sees it on.

What time is it, anyway?

Almost 6:30.

He's gotta still be inside!

He definitely didn't come out with the office crowd.

No, just a moment.

The beggars have called for backup and surrounded the whole building.

They figure the guy's hiding in the building.

What sort of building is it?

Nothing but offices.

I don't know what's in the basement.

There's a branch of the local savings bank on the ground floor, and the second to sixth floors are nothing but offices.

Above that is the attic space.

This is unbelievable.

Anyone still in there?

Anyone still in here?

What the devil!

Anybody still in here?

Damn carelessness!

All that trouble for one door.

Seems the guy's cornered now.

I think we should tip the cops off right away.

I agree. Let's not waste time!

Stay by the phone and call back in a few minutes.

What is it?

Are you crazy or something? The police?

No! We're gonna get this guy ourselves!

Listen, the time now is...


All right. 9:00, 10:00...

At 11:00!

Evening. Did you know your gate isn't closed?

What? That's impossible!

Why I just... Wait, it is!

Open up, quick! And not a sound!

Come on! Move it!

Let's go!

Come on, move it!

How many other watchmen are in the building?

Don't want to answer?

Very well.

There are still two watchmen on their rounds.

Goddamn it!

Damn piece of crap!

Goddamned lock!

Damn it to hell!


Careful where you shine those lights!

And don't stomp around like elephants!

He's not in the basement.

We went through it all and found nothing.

Two men are still going through the boiler room.

Hold it!

This is the last one.

Go up and join Emil. He needs help.

Safecracker sent me.

All right.

Listen carefully.

This is a new type of time clock.

Here's a general diagram.

If they're not set at exactly the right minute, an alarm automatically goes off at the nearest police station. Get it?

You got it?

I'm not an idiot! Well...

He's not in the boiler room or the coal room.

We turned over every piece of coal.

Hey! Are you nuts?

What if the doors are wired? You want the police here in five minutes?

We gotta get in if we're gonna search the whole place!

But not through the door, you idiot!

Go through the ceiling of the office above!


All right. Down we go.

Hey, what's up?

Hey! What is it?

Wait a minute! Answer me, damn it!

What's going on? I heard some banging!

Where are you off to? Why are you running?

Wait, damn it!

I've gotta see Safecracker!

He's in the attic, I tell you! I heard him knocking!


Go on! He has to be in there!

Here's the light switch.

Force the locks.

Come on. Hurry up!

Got him! I found the guy! He's in the attic!

I heard someone banging, and I told Safecracker.

He's up there with eight men. They'll get him any moment now.

Just came down to fill you in.

If I hadn't been alert, we could've looked for him for hours!

The watchman!

Three... one... four.


Everybody out! What?

The cops will be here in five minutes. Damn it! Who called them?

The watchman rang the alarm. Let's scram!

Hold it!

Quiet down!

Five more minutes, six more storage sheds.

Move it! Get going!

Not like that! Out of the way!

He's not in here. Next door!

Come on! Faster!

He's not here either. Move on! Next door!

Quickly! We've only got three minutes left!

No padlock on this one... He must be here!

Open it!

Something's jammed inside. Let me do it!

Hurry! Only one minute left!

There he is, the dog!

Come on! Move it!

Everybody out!

Get out while you can, damn it!

Move it!

For Christ's sake, get going!

What's keeping the others? They're coming!

If not, they might as well stay here, with or without the guy!

What in the hell is keeping them?

Finally! Thank God!

Quick now! Go! Make it snappy!

He's not down here.

Hey! Who pulled up the rope?

Hey, who pulled up the rope?

Bunch of morons!

Hello there.

Hands up!

How can I put my hands up when I'm holding on to the rope?

Come out of there!

I'm really innocent this time...

...like a newborn babe.

This may surprise you, Franz...

...but I believe you.

Then everything's in order, and I can go now, right?

Just a moment.



I'll take your word for it, Franz, provided you can tell me who the man was that you were looking for and that you found in that building.

I don't understand, Inspector.

A man, you say?

I know nothing about that. There must be some mistake.

I know nothing.

Nothing at all.

Of course.

There's just one thing I don't get:

Why you're covering up for the gang who left you in the lurch.

Fine friends, running off when things heat up, leaving you right in the fire.


That ploy won't work with me, Inspector.


What can happen to me anyway?

Maybe a little property damage, so what?

Nothing was pinched!

But something was pinched, my friend!

In fact, a good deal.

What? Something got pinched?

How much?

Tell me what you know and I'll do the same.

I already told you. I know nothing.

Very well.

Give it some thought, Franz.

Leave a man alone for a couple hours and a lot comes back to him that he couldn't remember before.

Take him away.

Send the night watchman in.

Mr Damowatz.

Please sit down.

Now then, you said in your statement...

Listen carefully, in case you have to testify under oath later.

You clearly heard one of the burglars say to the guy guarding you, "We got him. I found the guy. He's in the attic."

Ls that correct? Yes, Inspector.

Yes, I'll swear to that anytime.


Go home now and recover from your ordeal.

But please remain available for further questioning.

Of course, Inspector.

Good morning, Inspector.


Tell me, is Inspector Lohmann in the building?

He's talking to someone? No, it doesn't matter.

I'll come over myself.

What? I see.

Hasn't come home yet, eh?

Did you keep an eye on the old Winkler woman too?

Come in.

Come in!

Am I disturbing you? No, come in.

Listen, the whole block is surrounded.

If he decides to go home, he has to run into us.

So just keep on waiting.

If anything happens, I'll be here at the precinct.

Damn it!

What do you want?

I wanted...

...to ask a favour of you.

Dishwater again!

I wanted to ask you...

Read this first.

...- A statement? Yeah.

An office building was broken into.


That's a respectable part of town.

Perhaps not that respectable after all.

Hell, this is getting serious!

What the... Did they mean to empty the brothel?

What could they have been looking for in the coal?

Incredible! Unbelievable!

I'll be damned!

This is madness!

So they were after the savings bank!

Good God! What could this mean?

I don't understand at all.

They didn't even touch it?

Must've been a bunch of real idiots!

I'll be damned!

Isn't that something?

Nothing stolen, but a man was carried off.

God knows where they took him.

That's just great.

And Franz isn't talking.

He's afraid, of course.

I know him well. Guys like him would rather jump out the fifth-floor window than be mixed up in a murder rap.

What if we could get at him from that angle?

Lohmann, if you'd be willing to help me out...

Very clever.

I see the wheels turning.

Let's send for this Franz.

You're wanted for questioning.

What? They sent four guys for me?

What's this about? Move it!

"Homicide squad.

Inspector Karl Lohmann."

What do you want with me?

What have I got to do with the homicide squad?

Yes, young man, your case has been turned over to me.

But why?


You boys did your work a little too well.

One of the watchmen...


Accessory to murder.

Nasty business.

Inspector, I've had enough!

I want no part of this!

I'll tell you everything I know!

Very sensible, but, unfortunately, too late.

It can't be too late!

It can't be!

I'll tell you everything!

Even what we were looking for in that damn building.


The child murderer!



The child murderer, Inspector.

Just a moment.

This had to happen to me!

Me, of all people.

Come sit down, my boy.

We're gonna level with each other, got it?

Certainly, Inspector.

And God help you if you pull something.

Now then, what have you boys got to do with the murderer and where was the guy taken?

Well, Inspector...

...you know the old Kuntz & Ley distillery?

The one that went belly-up in the Depression?

That's the one.

Since then, the building's stood empty, and no one gives a damn about it.

Get out here! Move it!

Let me go!

What have I done to you?

You swine!

Let go of me!


Swine! What do you want from me?

What do you want...


Help! Let me out of here!

I want out!

Let me out of here!

You'll never get out of here.

Gentlemen, I beg of you!

I don't even know what you want with me.

I beg you, let me go.

This whole thing must be a mistake!

A mis...


No mistake. Out of the question.

This is no mistake.


No mistake.

You recognise this?

You bought a balloon just like this for little Elsie Beckmann.

Just like this one.


Where did you bury little Marga Perl, you bastard?

But I never...

I never even met her!

You never even met her!

I suppose you never met her either?

Or her?

You never met her either?

Stop him! Grab him!

Stop him! Don't let him escape!

Watch out! The door!

Let me out! Punch him in the face!

Let go of me!

You have no right to treat me this way! We'll show you we do!

You have no right to hold me here!

Right? There's only one thing right for a man like you... death!

Right! Kill him! Kill the rabid dog!

Lce him! Let him have it!


Kill him!

You spoke of right just now.

We will be your right.

Everyone sitting here is an expert in the rule of law!

From six weeks in Tegel prison to 15 years in Brandenburg.

They'll make sure you get your rights.

You'll even have defence counsel.

Everything according to the letter of the law.

Defence counsel?

I need no defence counsel! Who's gonna prosecute me?

You, perhaps?

Hey, you.

If I were you, I wouldn't make big speeches.

Your head's at stake here, in case you hadn't noticed.

And just who are you?

I have the dubious pleasure of serving as your defence.

Though I'm afraid it won't do you much good.

Do you all want to kill me? You want to just wipe me out?

We simply want to put you out of commission.

And we'll only be sure of that when you're dead.

But you can't murder me just like that!

I demand to be handed over to the police!

I demand to be brought before a real court of law!

That's a good one!

You'd like that, wouldn't you? Look who's talking!

So you can plead insanity and spend the rest of your life being cared for by the state.

And then you break out of the asylum or receive a pardon, and you're happy as can be, free to kill with impunity, protected by law on grounds of insanity and you're back to chasing little children! No, no more of that!

You must be taken out of action! You must go!

But I can't help it!

I can't...

I really can't... help it!

We know that one!

Before the judge, we all "can't help it".

What would you know?

What are you talking about?

Who are you anyway?

Who are you?

All of you.


Probably proud of it, too.

Proud you can crack a safe or sneak into houses or cheat at cards.

All of which it seems to me you could just as easily give up if you had learned something useful, or if you had jobs or if you weren't such lazy pigs.

But me?

Can I do anything about it?

Don't I have this cursed thing inside me?

This fire, this voice, this agony?

So you mean to say you have to kill?

I have to roam the streets endlessly, always sensing that someone's following me.

It's me!

I'm shadowing myself!

Silently... but I still hear it!

Yes, sometimes I feel like I'm tracking myself down.

I want to run, run away from myself!

But I can't! I can't escape from myself!

I must take the path that it's driving me down and run and run down endless streets!

I want off!

And with me run the ghosts of the mothers and children.

They never go away. They're always there!


Except when I'm doing it.

When I...

Then I don't remember a thing.

Then I'm standing before a poster, reading what I've done.

I read and read...

I did that?

I don't remember a thing!

But who will believe me?

Who knows what it's like inside me?

How it screams and cries out inside me when I have to do it!

Don't want to! Must!

And then a voice cries out, and I can't listen anymore!

Help! I can't!

I can't!

The accused has stated that he can't help himself.

In other words, he must commit murder.

With that he has pronounced his own death sentence.


A man who claims that he's compelled to destroy the lives of others, such a man must be extinguished like a bonfire!

Such a man must be obliterated!

Wiped out!

May I address the court?

Counsel for the defence has the floor.

My learned colleague who just spoke, who is, if I'm not mistaken, wanted by the police on three counts of manslaughter...

That's irrelevant here.

...has claimed that the fact that my client was acting compulsively warrants the death sentence.

That's right!

He is mistaken, because the very nature of compulsion warrants an acquittal!

Get outta here, will you?

Are you nuts, or plastered?

It is precisely the nature of compulsion that relieves him of responsibility for his actions!

And a man cannot be punished for that for which he is not responsible!

Ridiculous! You mean this monster should go free?

That he should live?

I'm saying that this man is sick, and you turn a sick man over to a doctor, not an executioner.

Will you guarantee his cure? What does the state build asylums for?

What if he breaks out? Or he's declared cured and released?

And one fine day the killing starts all over?

Another month-long manhunt!

Once again the insanity clause, once again the asylum!

Another breakout or possible release! And again "must kill"!

Is this supposed to go on indefinitely?

No one has the right to kill a man who cannot be held responsible for his crimes!

Not even the state, and all of you least of all!

The state must ensure that this man is rendered harmless so that he ceases to be a danger to society!

You never had kids, did you?

Then you never lost any either.

But if you wanna know what it's like when a little child is taken from you, just ask the parents whose kids he took away!

Ask them about the days and nights not knowing what had happened, and later, when they finally found out...

Why don't you ask the mothers?

You should ask the mothers!

Think you'd get mercy from any of them for murdering their kids?

The woman's right! Absolutely!

No mercy for the killer!

Let him have it! Slaughter the bastard!

Kill the monster! Kill him!

Put the animal to death! Rub him out!

Kill him! Waste him!

Get rid of him! ...- Annihilate the monster!

I will not let you shout me down!

I will not allow a murder to be committed in my presence.

I demand that this human being...

That's not a human being!

...that this human being be afforded the same protection under the law rendered the common criminal!

Not a chance!

I demand that he be handed over to the police!

The police! Of all the dumb...

In the name of the law...

In the name of the people...

This will not bring our children back.

One has to keep closer watch over the children!

All of you!