The Killing Mind
Lee Tergesen plays Ron Donoho, a detective with a difference --
mainly a wild mane of dyed-black hair and a beard.
This Lifetime TV movie first aired April 23, 1991, and starred
Stephanie Zimbalist of "Remington Steele" fame. It was
released on video in 1993, and will be released in the U.S. on video
Nov. 21, 2006. It is already available in Europe on DVD.
Zimbalist plays Sgt. Isobel Neiman, an FBI agent who joins the
newly formed Special Investigative Unit of the Los Angeles Police
Department. On her first day at the LAPD, Isobel is greeted by
Detective Donoho -- definitely an unlikely-looking policeman.
He explains that the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) had been
set up to fail -- to take the heat off the rest of the detective
force. But they have had a good success rate and with Isobel's
arrival, now have a psychological profiler.
As she meets the rest of the SIU squad -- a motley collection of
misfits who occupy the basement of the LAPD offices -- Isobel
becomes the butt of a few practical jokes. The treatment continues
later on -- after Isobel pursues a suspect on her own. The squad
mocks her for being a "lone ranger" by wearing masks and
whistling the William Tell Overture.
Nevertheless she proves she's tough enough to take a joke from
the all-male force -- and she can dish it out too.
The casework begins in earnest as she selects her first case to
reopen -- the Ballerina Murder. She has a personal connection to the
case, as she witnessed the crime scene when she was a young girl. It
has haunted her ever since.
Isobel is partnered with Donoho as they sift through the clues
and try to establish the killer's profile. Donoho is the resident
techno-geek, manning the SIU's computer as well as passing time on
stake-outs by playing hand-held computer games. (The sexist tone as
well as the gee-whiz treatment of technology sure make this TV movie
feel a lot more dated than just 1991.)
Lee-as-Donoho appears fairly regularly throughout the TV movie,
but inexplicably disappears as the show reaches its climax and the
heroine is endangered. Nevertheless, it's a good time capsule of Lee
in an early role -- and his hair at its most outlandish!