In the series premiere of Wicked City, the year is 1982, and we meet Kent Grainger.
By day, he's a reliable neighbor, always ready to babysit the neighborhood kids and help them draw an elephant.
By night, Kent loves to hit up the hottest clubs on the Sunset Strip. He meets nice young girls, all trying to make their dreams come true. He'll even request a song for them on the radio.
And then he'll cut off their heads, and find a sexual release in their dead corpses.
Kent is the fictional Hillside Strangler, a serial killer who Detectives Contreras and Roth are tasked with tracking down and putting an end to. The reluctant new partners have problems of their own.
Detective Roth's first partner was fired from the force because of a revelation from Detective Contreras. That man also committed suicide afterward. Roth holds a serious grudge against his new partner and wants nothing to do with him.
Roth is also a little crooked in his ways. A loving father and husband, he is hiding his ilicit affair with another Detective, Dianne, who is undercover on the Strip as a stripper working a drug case.
Kent knows exactly who Roth is, and has evaded him for a long time.
Roth has no idea who he's looking for in Kent. Kent has the upper hand.
Kent meets a nice young woman, Betty Beaumontaine, at a bar. He requests a song for her on the radio. Just as he is about to murder her, her pager goes off. She's late and her sitter wonders where she is.
Her sitter. She has kids. Kent likes kids. Kent suddenly has no urge to murder Betty.
Instead, he sees Betty again. Turns out, Betty is very well suited for Kent, a sadistic nurse who takes pleasure in the pain of her patients, and doesn't hesistate at all to kill even a spider in her bare hands.
Kent decides to let Betty in on his secret. After a sexy night together, she agrees to be his date at a club.
It's an important night for Kent. He calls a young girl named Karen, who wants to be a journalist for a big music magazine, but doesn't quite look the part. Kent invites her to see Billy Idol live.
When Kent discovers that Karen is working with Roth and Contreras, and that she is a pawn, she dissapears from the club, leaving Roth and Contreras franticly looking for her. Kent leaves the club with someone else, and with Betty, who's joining in on the party.