Episode Title: "Cutting of the Swath"
First broadcast:
March 2, 2003


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(All images are © 1999 ABC, Inc.)


The Cutting of the Swath

Detectives Friday (Ed O'Neill) and Smith (Ethan Embry) are called to a homicide in Silver Lake. The victim is a 35-year-old woman and a white male, early 40s with glasses driving a maroon Chevy is seen fleeing the scene. That same car is involved in a traffic accident soon after and they try to track down the vehicle.

They are able to see a sticker from the camera at the intersection and it's a parking permit for North Hollywood. They find the driver's house - he's John Loman (John Walcutt). When they arrive at his residence, they find his wife and two young daughters bludgeoned to death. They also realize the Silver Lake victim was his sister in law.

Next they go to his mother in law's house and find her dead. He is clearly trying to wipe out his family. He has an ex-wife in Sherman Oaks, and they find her dead too, but her son Max (also John's son) is missing. He was picked up from school, now it's a race against the clock to find the boy. Meanwhile, John's Minister reports quite sadly that John was despondent over the fact that he had lost his job at an accounting firm, couldn't find new work and his wife was threatening to leave him, and since he lost custody of his first child he couldn't let that happen again.

A witness then calls in a sighting of John and son in Culver City so they know he's alive. Friday and Smith go to Loman's former place of employment, where no one seems to have gotten to know him. But they are interrupted by the news that there's been a shooting at a Century City high rise. Loman has been there but they don't know why. The only victim is a security guard who was shot in the leg.

Smith is so intent on finding the boy that he goes off on his own, even trying to track them down at a batting practice facility in Tarzana. Loman and Max were there but he's too late. Then a 911 call from Loman (verified by his Uncle that it's really him) instructs them to look for Max at North Ashmore Ave., right near where the batting cages are located. Max is there, but dead, inside a cardboard box.

Now they are confused, because the Culver City witness said he was in a mini van but everyone else says he's still in the original getaway car, the Infiniti stolen from his mother in law. The witness is charged with filing a false police report and they continue their pursuit of Loman. Wondering what made him snap, they finally reach his boss, who says he fired him, because he had harassed a major client, Amy Wenzel (Jessica Steen), the owner of a public relations firm. Friday and Smith take find Amy and take her to her home and it's obvious Loman has been there. His car crashes into the car carrying Friday, Smith and Amy and he tries to kill Amy. It turns out he slept with her once then became obsessed with her, even though she is married. After his shots miss Amy, he fires a gun at Smith's head, but he's out of bullets. Friday tackles Loman and finally he is brought down.

Hoyt Carroll (Eddie Kehler) (the witness who filed the false report) was charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to three months of community service. John Loman was charged with seven counts of murder in the first degree. After a jury of his peers found him guilty on all counts, he was sentenced to die by lethal injection.

Press Release:


"The Cutting of the Swath" - Detectives Smith and Friday are in a frenzy trying to find the young son of a deranged man who's on a rampage to kill his entire family; and Detective Smith loses his cool when people he thinks have information are not forthcoming, on DRAGNET, SUNDAY, MARCH 2 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

DRAGNET stars Ed O'Neill stars as Detective Joe Friday and Ethan Embry as Detective Frank Smith.

Guest starring are Lindsay Crouse as Captain Ruth Hagermann, Anna Gunn as Dr. Louise Nottingham, Katherine Kamhi as Detective Hubbel, Blair Bess as Detective Daniels, Jason Peirce as Detective Pearce, Jessica Steen as Amy Wenzel, John Walcutt as John Loman, Kimberly Rae as Nancy Loman, Warren Munson as Uncle Perry, Eddie Kehler as Hoyt Carroll, Megan Edwards as Jill, David Sobel as Sean Spelber, Brian Evers as Reverend Meyer, Arthur Taxier as Graham Laird, Tom Jourden as Eli Rugen, Iris Bahr as Becky, Benny Hernandez as parking attendant, Robert Stephenson as clerk, Frank Roman as Detective Rutter, Britt George as uniformed cop no. 1, Tomiko Martinez as uniformed cop no. 2, Mark Lewis as the SID tech, Louisa Abernathy as principal, Stephanie Denise Griffin as teacher, Rick Allen as Detective Barnes, Al Foster as security guard, Mike Madrigal as paramedic, Lawrence Lejohn as uniformed cop no. 3 and Peggy Dunne as coroner's investigator.

"The Cutting of the Swath" was written by Dan Dworkin & Jay Beattie, and directed by Guy Norman Bee.



Last update: August 2, 2003 6:32 AM