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Promise to Kill


After learning that the killer's sentence was reduced to life imprisonment instead of the death penalty, a man plans to mete out his own brand of justice against the deviant that brutally raped and murdered his wife and daughter.



Air Dates

  • First Run - December 3, 1975
  • Repeat - May 12, 1976





103     12

9 Responses to Episode 0389

This is a dark tale of a man's lust for revenge against the man who raped and murdered his wife and daughter. When the defendent's appeal is accepted and his sentence commuted to life, our hero searches for his own version of the death penalty.


I'll always try to not to give away the ending of a program. I also will probably never say "I wouldn't recommend this program". However, there's one situation in the RMT that always shakes me (and probably others) up...when families are broken or destroyed. I said as much in reviewing "Out of focus" previously, the episode where some advertising guy fell in love with a succubus and totally screwed up his own life. I've heard another program that's somewhat similar which I'll review in the future. However, this one's probably the most disturbing of the three. I don't even have to give you the ending...E.G. gives us a very serious warning on this at his intro monologue. A young professional living a seemingly wonderful life in a planned community is carpooling to the big city (NYC, I think) with his best friend, an attorney, who as a bachelor also seems to almost be envious of the life his friend leads. The professional has just said goodbye to his loving wife and 5-year-old daughter. He'd just brought a "Winnie the pooh" bear home for his daughter and she's overjoyed with it. While he's on his way to work the wife calls up her good friend and is talking on the telephone when the groceries are delivered by the young, strong, handsome and apparently mentally challenged delivery man. The daughter is upstairs playing. While the lady's trying to sign the bill for the groceries the delivery man starts trying to embrace her, seemingly believing she is attracted to him. When the wife resists (her friend's on the phone the entire time) he becomes upset and kills her, right in front of her screaming daughter who just came down the stairs after hearing the fatal commotion. We later learn the little girl is also killed by the delivery man. The professional calls home and finds a detective there who tells him the awful truth. Naturally, with a telephone witness the delivery man is ID'd, charged with murder and life in prison. The widower doesn't think that's good enough, and wants to see the convicted murderer die. He then attempts to make arrangements for the convict to be killed in prison (I remember a similar arrangement in the movie "To live and die in L.A."). Unfortunately, while doing so he learns there is more to what happened on that worst day of his life. It's a powerful morality tale worthy of what we've come to expect from the RMT, but I honestly can't say I'd want to hear it again.

Mr. Pontillas

Didn't figure it out till the end good story.


This is the darkest tale of all Mystery Theater, in my opinion, because of the victims and family, and because it is played straight up. Of course, Horror Story may be darker but it's not played straight, there is a macabre comedic fantasy note to it. On second thought, The Deadly Hour, the White Wolf, may be equally dark, and to somewhat lesser degree, The Fall of Gentryville and Speak of the Devil. These are dark because true evil befalls characters we care about. When we are detached from the evil a bit, it isn't as dark. I find that Mystery Theater did not have very many episodes where terrible things happen to a nice character, but there are a quite a few.


Definitely a good story with interesting characters in it. I agree that we should leave the law in the hands of judges (Good Old Matthew 7:1 - Do not judge, or you too will be judged). I admit that it is difficult to not judge people.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. Henry Slesar wrote one of the darkest Drama-Mysteries that I've heard on CBSRMT. I haven't yet listened to all 1,399 episodes, but this is the first one that I heard involving rape. Part of this story reminds me of the 1996 film EYE FOR AN EYE where the main character gets the shock of their life when a family member gets raped and murdered and the killer gets off easily, so the hero plans to create their own kind of justice. The characters were well defined, a twisted plot point in ACT-3, good shocking climax, but the resolution was so-so. The main character accomplished his goal, but an ending that should've been more suspenseful. It was interesting to hear the actors mention Winnie The Pooh; a Disney character in a radio series run by CBS. Also, in the court room scene, the story takes place on October 5th, 1974; which is the day that CBSRMT aired Ep. 0129-THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY. And the date for the killer's execution was set for March 31st, 1976; which is the day that CBSRMT aired Ep. 0459-THE SPIT AND IMAGE. The sound effects of the car horn, kitchen door, car engine running during traffic, washing dishes, phone ringing, doorbell, footsteps, birds chirping, groceries, dialing inside the phone booth on the expressway, people murmuring in the court room, classical music on the stereo, piano music, opening the desk drawer, and the mysterious note were effective in this dark tale. There was happy music at the beginning of ACT-1, shocking tunes in ACT-2, and dreadful tracks in ACT-3. Now as vile as it was to hear the rapist/killer made his move at the 10-minute mark, it would be darker and even bone-chilling if they added music for that particular scene. Listen to the music tracks at the 33-minute mark from Ep. 1245-THE JUDGE'S HOUSE. Play that music in this story, it would be nefarious but it would make any listener's blood run cold! As for our Host, E.G. Marshall started off strong in his Prologue where she says, "Please be warned. Some of the scenes may not make you feel safe and secure, even if your door's locked and bolted." Good intro, but it would've been greater if he started out with the classic phrase, "The fear…you can hear." In ACT-1, he mentions the town: Park Pleasant. The day: Monday. The time: 8:15AM. Then says, "The day is just beginning…so is the nightmare." In ACT-2, after the court room, E.G. Marshall mentions that even the killer is still alive, the physicians don't know that he's suffering from a terminal illness called "revenge." Now, he's talking like Rod Serling. In ACT-3 he informs the fans that Justice is finally served. But then at the Epilogue, E.G. Marshall says, "If you are disturbed, why not sit back now, have a nice warm drink, go to bed early, and take tomorrow off. Then you will be already for a little more terror and suspense when we return with another episode of Radio Mystery Theater." QUESTION: Did anybody thought about having a warm beverage, passing out quickly, and took the next day off after hearing one episode involving rape and murder? I digress. But more importantly, the cast was phenomenal: Gordon Gould (as Dave Farmer), Earl Hammond (as Stan), Russell Horton (as Vernon White & George Waterman), Hetty Galen (as Susan Farmer & Paula), Lesley Woods (as Connie Farmer & the Judge), and Roy LeMay (as Patrolman & Mr. Ross). My favorite part was at the 34-minute mark where Gordon Gould read the mysterious note: "I have to see you. Dave leaves for the city at 8:30. I'll try to send Susie out to Day School. I'll be waiting for you, darling. Please don't disappoint me." Listen to his tone of voice as he reads it; it's compelling and theatrical. Tune in to this one if you're seeking for a dark mystery involving rape, murder, vengeance, and surprising twists. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0]


Listen to this one when you can actually pay attention to it close your eyes and pictured in your head. By yourself. Just want to really get you. This would’ve made a great mystery novel and actually still code and Wood. Remind me of something Harlan Coben might write. Upsetting, but very very good. Probably one of my top favorites


Wealthy Dave Farmer, enraged by the brutal murders of his exceptionally beautiful wife and 5-year-old daughter, arranges through his best friend and lawyer to have their assassin—Adonis-like delivery boy Vernon White—killed in prison. When the plan backfires and White escapes, Farmer determines to track him down and perform the execution himself. When confronted, the frightened youth talks and, for the first time, Farmer learns what really happened on that tragic day.


Awesome episode! Kept me on the edge if my seat the whole time!

Jim K.

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