Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
An American MYSTERY! Special
Skinwalkers Coyote Waits A Thief of Time Navajoland Discussion
Making SkinwalkersCast and CrewSkinwalkers CountryNovel to FilmStory SynopsisChat
Story Synopsis

  What do the signs mean? Who is sending these messages in blood?
photo of Skinwalkers cast
From left to right: Jim Chee, Janet Pete, Joe Leaphorn and Emma Leaphorn
CAUTION: Plot reveled below!

Joe Leaphorn, a seasoned cop accustomed to the ways of Phoenix, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque, has returned to the Navajo reservation. Recovering from cancer, his wife, Emma, feels rejuvenated by her home's landscape and people. Joe is less sure about their return. Well schooled in urban policing, he is soon confronted with a particularly Navajo case: a mysterious killer who has a special antipathy for medicine men, including his partner Jim Chee, an FBI Academy grad who is training to be a traditional healer.

Roman George's body is found miles from his abandoned truck and surrounded by ancient symbols etched in blood. A local archeologist holds the key to the symbols he left behind, so Chee and Leaphorn pay him a visit at a nearby Anasazi ruins. There, these unlikely partners find further clues indicating that the murderer may be a "skinwalker," a Navajo witch with the power to change from human to animal, move with lightning speed, and to kill with curses. Fearing that his mentor, Wilson Sam, will be next, Chee convinces the medicine man to hide in a nearby motel.

As Chee juggles the day-to-day police work on the reservation, Leaphorn tracks down clues to the identity of this evasive criminal. More ancient symbols are found at an abandoned paint factory, where a local gang has been congregating. What do the signs mean? Who is sending these messages in blood? Could the murders be linked to the old Dinetah Paints scandal? Chee won't have much time to mull these questions over as he soon finds himself in the killer's crosshairs.

In this section: Making Skinwalkers | Cast and Crew | Skinwalkers Country
Novel to Film | Story Synopsis | Chat

American Mystery! Home | Skinwalkers | Coyote Waits | A Thief of Time | Navajoland | Discussion
Buy the Videos | Check Local Listings | Site Map
MYSTERY! Home | © 2003 WGBH | Privacy