Returning from a criminology conference, Commissioner Maigret stops off to visit his old friend Chabot who is a judge in a small provincial town. A town upset by two back-to-back murders that have created an atmosphere of sheer panic. The death of Robert de Courson, a prominent citizen, was immediately followed by the murder of an old woman, beaten to death by a madman. Chabot finds himself in a difficult situation. He is suspected of protecting the Vernoux family with whom he has a personal relationship. During Maigret'S stay, a third murder is committed, as savagely as the first two. Doctor Vernoux is the prime suspect. He is considered to be an odd sort, susceptible to strange and unexpected outbursts. But Dr. Vernoux is also found dead, in the arms of his mistress. Maigret, who for the first time trusts the instincts of the masses, turns his investigation toward the Vernoux family where he believes he will find the real murderer... Directed by Claude Goretta, 1996, color. In French with English subtitles.