A sadistic serial killer calling himself "Scorpio" (Andy Robinson) murders a girl in a San Francisco swimming pool, using a high-powered rifle from a nearby rooftop. SFPD Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) finds a ransom message demanding the city pay him $100,000. Scorpio also promises that for each day that the city refuses his demand, he will commit a murder, and his next victim will be "a Catholic priest or a nigger". The chief of police and the Mayor (John Vernon) assign the inspector to the case, though the Mayor is reluctant because of an incident involving the shooting by Callahan of a naked man with a butcher knife chasing a woman the previous year in the city's Fillmore District.
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