Footsteps in the Night (1957)
The fifth and last of the Ben Schwab productions starring Bill Elliott as a L.A. sheriff’s department detective begins with Henry Johnson being sought by the sheriff’s office for the murder of his neighbor and friend,Fred Horner, whose strangled body was found in Johnson’s motel apartment. Lieutenant Andy Doyle of the Los Angeles sheriff’s department learns that Johnson had been an avid card-playing gambler, and had frequently argued violently with the deceased. Trailing Johnson’s fiancée, Mary Raikin, the police capture Johnson, who insists he did not kill Horner, but fled in panic when he discovered Johnson’s body in his room after an absence of only a few minutes. It is discovered that a wealthy tenant of an adjacent motel, Bradbury, bears a resemblance to the murdered man, and in order to set him up as a decoy, Doyle suggests the Bradbury spread the word he is leaving for his home the next day. That night, the real killer,Pat Orvello, sneaks into Bradbury’s room to rob him, but is shot and captured by Doyle and his men. Earlier, the robber/killer had mistaken the neighboring motels, killed the wrong man in his robbery attempt, and had left the body in Johnson’s room.