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En route to a baseball game at Dodger Stadium, three smalltown high school teachers--Ed Stiles, Carl Oliver, and Doris Page--develop engine trouble and seek parts at a garage, which proves to be deserted. However, they are soon confronted by sadistic killer Charley Tibbs and his companion Judy Bradshaw, both wanted by the law in connection with a series of gruesome highway murders. The three victims are held at gunpoint as Stiles tries to fix the auto. When Tibbs learns Oliver's occupation he kills him, because Judy has always hated teachers. After two unsuspecting motorcycle policemen are shot by Tibbs, Stiles tries to kill the psychopath but succeeds only in temporarily blinding him with gasoline. In the confusion, Tibbs accidentally shoots and kills Judy. Chasing Stiles, he murders him, then pursues Doris, who is now on the verge of insanity, into the desert. She escapes to safety when Tibbs falls into a pit of rattlesnakes and meets his death.