Serial Stalker Story Goes Big Screen!
Stars Wonder Whodunnit?
Do they know?
For the first time in daytime history, a soap opera premiered on the big screen as Days of our Lives screened not one, but two episodes of its Salem Stalker storyline at the Arclight Cinerama Dome on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, CA on October 28, 2003. To herald the events of the eerie serial stalker story, Days of our Lives invited fans to attend the premiere and line the red carpet in Halloween costume. Scores of fans were on hand before noon on the day, securing their place for the 7 PM start of the red carpet arrivals.
Along with fans dressed in costume, the night proved additionally macabre as firestorms raged in southern California’s forests 30 to 60 miles to the north, south and east. Smoke and minute particles of ash filled the air. Alison Sweeney (Sami) commented on how the real-life firestorms and the big premiere mirrored the events in Salem. With all the horror going on in Salem, most people are still just trying to live their lives. With all the tragedy surrounding the firestorms, people are still just trying to live their lives.
“On the way over (to the Arclight) we saw the moon with this orange haze around it from the smoke in the air,” she shared. She went on to express sorrow and concern for those families who lost their homes in the firestorms (close to 4000 homes and structures burnt to the ground), then noted how she and her fellow cast members were obligated to come on out to the big premiere anyway, living their lives and doing their job, as chaos reigned elsewhere in southern CA.
And the turnout was amazing. Everyone from top network brass like NBC President Jeff Zucker and NBC Daytime Vice President, Sheraton Kalouria, pictured at left, and Days Executive Producer, Ken Corday, to just about all the Days cast were on hand to participate in this history-making evening.
The Serial Stalker storyline has been the cause of much controversy on the internet as many veteran stars of the show are being killed off at serial killer’s hand. What’s more disconcerting is that the killer is someone who is known to all – one of the town’s regulars, so to speak.
In the special episodes that premiered on big screen October 28th and aired on television on November 4th and 5th, Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) lets a black-robed “friend” into her home and is happy to have their company, especially with it being Halloween and all the killings in town. Little does Maggie suspect that her “friend” wields a scalpel-like knife, ready to make Maggie the next victim. As Mickey comes to Maggie’s aid, he likewise meets the knife of the stalker. Seriously injured, they are rushed to the hospital. Will they survive?
Who has gone so off the deep end that they are resorting to killing their friends and family one by one?
That’s the question of the day and Soapdom asked everyone we could corner at the premiere who they thought the stalker really is! Here is what they had to say to our “who do you think did it” question!
John Aniston (Victor) considered for a moment, than offered, “It may be one of seven – or eight! Who knows?” he teased!
We asked Kyle Lowder (Brady) if Brady did it: “I don’t know,” he said. “In a way it would be kind of cool, ‘cos it would be a good storyline for me. But this seems WAY over Brady’s head, so, I’d have to say that he has nothing to do with this!”
But Brady will be there as the storyline unravels. “Brady will do his normal thing,” continued Lowder. “He’ll try to solve some stuff along the way and we’ll see what happens. He is not a huge part of the storyline right now, but they’ll find some way (for him) to finagle his way in, I’m sure!”
Brittany Snow, star of NBC’s primetime hit, American Dreams, and ex Susan, Guiding Light, made a surprise appearance on the red carpet. We didn’t ask her thoughts on the Serial Stalker story, but rather wanted to know how she felt being back in a “daytime” arena!
“It’s weird!” she enthused. “I miss it really it a lot! I watch Guiding Light all the time and I am like – oh, I want to be back with daytime people – and now, here I am at Days of our Lives! It’s really cool to be in the LA daytime scene and represent NBC! Go NBC!”
We asked Arianne Zuker if Nicole did it. “If she did, I wouldn’t tell!” she said with giggle. “It’s like a woman’s age. (You don’t tell!)” However, she did have a few ideas about who the killer could be. “I have my suspicions,” she confirmed. “It’s definitely not me. I didn’t do it. Just because I killed Colin accidentally, does not mean that I am, nor should I be, a suspect in these murders. I do have an idea of who it might be, though,” she confided again, but she wasn’t about to share her suspicions with us! “You’ll have to tune in and see,” she said!
Frank Parker (Grandpa Shawn) was sad about the whole situation. We asked him how he was doing! “I’m okay,” he said. “I am not going to commit to anything more,” he continued with a big smile. He sincerely didn’t have a clue who the stalker could be but said, “it just about broke my heart. It still does.” We gotta figure he is referring to some of his long time co-workers being killed off the show. “We’ll see what happens with me this year, too,” he said, almost wondering out loud if he could also be on the chopping block. “God bless,” were his parting words. Same to you, Frank!
Speaking of Grandpa Shawn, Patsy Pease is tickled pink to be back in Salem, and has a special message for her fans. “Thank you for being so patient and so supportive,” she said. “I am grateful that you stayed with me this long because I hope to make it worth your while.”
Far as the Salem Stalker is concerned, Pease is in the dark. “I am totally perplexed,” she laughed. “I am so confused. She comes back because her mother has passed and she finds out that there is a killer that’s poisoning people. It doesn’t sound like a good time to leave your family in danger and go back to California. I hope they have her stay to comfort Grandpa Shawn. Because he needs a lot of comforting,” she said with a smile, “and I am just the girl for it!”
Judi Evans is a true delight. She is so animated and happy-go-lucky! As exuberant as she is in her performing as Bonnie, she is just as jolly and upbeat in person. But when it came to shedding light on who the Serial Stalker could be, she too is at a loss when it comes to whodunit.
“Maybe the devil did it,” she laughed. “I don’t’ know. For a while I thought that maybe it was Bonnie, but then she comes face-to-face with the killer. Or does she?” she teased trying to throw us off guard.
By now, we know that Bonnie does come face-to-face with the killer and even tries to take the killer on. Luckily Celeste was there to help whisk Bonnie to safety before it was too late!
Next question, does Evans ever inadvertently fall back into the character ways of Adriane? “Adriane who,” she asked with a smile. “That was a great character and a great role. But Bonnie is very, very different. And very, very fun. I am really enjoying it. I can’t wait to get to work the next day!” We had to tell her that we think it really shows on the air. “Oh thank you,” she enthused. “Oh my God, Thank you!”
We also found out that Evans is an internet surfer. She promised to come visit us at Soapdom.com! Hi Judi!
Thaao Penghlis (Tony) walked the red carpet and posed for photos with Peggy McCay (Carolyn).
Lauren Koslow was positively stunning in a brown-for-fall print pants suit.
The always gorgeous Alison Sweeney mugged it up for the cameras with co-star Brian Datillo, and Peter Reckell (Bo) and Kristian Alfonso (Hope) posed for photo ops in front of the “FUNNY FACE,” their sail boat, which was brought over from the studio as the ultimate Salem prop.
We asked Josh Taylor (Roman of the Salem PD) who did it. We thought for sure that he’d have a few clues to share! Wrong. After posing with DOOL’s EP, Ken Corday, for a few photos, he made his way over to Soapdom but was unable to shed any light on the mystery.
“ I have no idea,” he said quite sincerely. “Nobody does. “I am not sure. I don’t know, I really don’t.” When we asked about the clues piling up at Salem PD, and weren’t they any help, he replied: “You know what? They’ve got everything going every which way, and I honest to God don’t know -- and if I did, they’d have to kill me! We’ll just have to see what happens!” Was that a hint of things to come for his character? Time will tell.
Alexis Thorpe (Cassie) walked the red carpet with her parents, and Eric Winter (Rex) expressed his disappointment at her being one of the stalker’s victims. “I am going to miss her,” he said with a laugh as she hugged him.
Kristian Alfonso (Hope) took care of Peter Reckell (Bo) when something got in his eye on the red carpet, and DOOL’S EP, Ken Corday, proudly showed off his wife to the waiting reporters and photographers. Speaking of Peter Reckell, his real-life wife, singer/songwriter, Kelly Moneymaker was likewise on the red carpet in support of her hubby.
We nabbed Brian Datillo (Lucas) after he and Alison Sweeney (Sami) finished posing for the photographers, and asked him what was in store now for Lucas and Sami.
“They haven’t been doing the dirty deed yet, don’t jinx it.,” he said with a big grin. “Hopefully, with a little father time, it’s gonna happen. It’s heading in the right direction. She’s a fine woman,” he said as Alison Sweeney (Sami) smiled in the background. “She’s a lot of woman!” Our next question: Can Lucas handle her? “C’mon, c’mon,” he said with a wink in his eye. “She is Lucas’ kind of woman. She has a lot of fire in her belly. She has a lot of sass and pizzazz. And is never at a loss for words!”
When we asked Datillo who he thought was the Salem Stalker – he didn’t skip a beat. “Me,” he bellowed. “I am the Salem Stalker. I will kill anybody!” he smiled as he shot a sinister look toward our cameras. Then, spotting Jason Cook (Shawn) nearby, he said: “I think its Jason Cook. I think Jason Cook is killing everybody.” Cook heard his name mentioned and approached Datillo. “Here is the stalker,” Datillo continued as Cook laughed and the two locked arms. “He has a scream mask! I saw it in his dressing room. I don’t know what that means,” laughed Datillo.
“I saw what you did last week in your dressing room,” Cook chimed in, using a parody of the popular “I Saw What You Did Last Summer” movie titles. Datillo cracked up and replied, “I saw what you did last night in your dressing room, but we can’t say it on video!”
As the two teased and kidded, Peter Reckell poked his head in to see what was up. Hi Peter!
Cook also has no clue as to who the stalker really is. “God, I don’t know. I don’t know if we’re even at liberty to guess,” he replied sincerely. “My guess is as good as yours. The fans know better than we do – at least than I do.”
As Cook made his getaway, Farah Fath (Mimi) waved hello, Kyle Brandt (Philip) walked the red carpet, Ken Corday greeted Renee Jones (Lexie) with a hug and kiss. Then Corday stopped to talk with Soapdom.
“I don’t know who the killer is,” he said toying with us. “I have no idea who did it!” However – and get this – he did clue us in to a major development. “It’s going to be a heck of a shocker, I’ll tell you that,” he confided. When we mentioned that we’d heard that the Salem Seven – those characters who are being “set up” to possibly be the stalker – might only be “teasers” and that the real stalker is an 8th person, he shook his head. “Oh, I don’t think that’s true. I’m not sure it’s false, but I’m not sure it’s true.” He replied, still toying with us. Doesn’t look like he was going to be much help in our quest to find out whodunnit.
Luckily, Deidre Hall (Marlena) approached at that very moment. Suffering a bad cold, she graciously refrained from shaking our hand. “Don’t want you to get this,” she noted. “Consider your hand shaked,” she said with a smile. Hall, was positively stunning in a silvery grey pants suit and white blouse.
“I don’t’ have any more guesses,” Hall replied when we posed our who-do-you-think-did-it question. “I thought Tony did it. I thought Roman did it! I don’t know. It’s got me outsmarted,” she added with a smile. She went on to reveal that “Everybody at work is guessing like crazy. There’s a pool at work. Put $20 bucks in – take your best guess!”
As NBC Daytime VP Sheraton Kaloruia whisked Hall away to the next interview, Eric Winter stopped by to talk with Soapdom. He likewise, could not shed any light on who the stalker is. “Wow, every theory I’ve had has been ruled out,” he confided. “This is a very tough case to crack. I have honestly given up on all the guessing. The writer – he’s just too good. He is too good.” Did Winter have a preference who would he like it to be? “I don’t have a preference of who I’d like it to be. I am just excited for it to be a good story. Honest truth? I think it’s going in a great direction and I know it’s going to be a big payoff.”
At which point, Alexis Thorpe came up from behind him and announced, “But he is going to miss me!” “I am,” he agreed. It was a bittersweet moment for the two. “This is my girl!” he said.
As Thorpe and Winter joined arms with Deidre Hall and Suzanne Rogers for a foursome photo op, Drake Hogestyn and his wife made their way down the red carpet. Hogestyn summed up the mystery storyline best. Although he too was not able to give us any hints as to who the killer is, he did share one important item. “I go in to work and can’t wait to read the script,” he said. “I can’t wait to see what is going to happen next.” When the actors are hooked on the material, the story can only get better. Hogestyn also commented that the entire show is revolving around this one storyline. He couldn’t think of any other time in soap history on any soap, where one story ruled the show, and kept both the actors and the audience on the edge of their seats.
But it was Suzanne Rogers (Maggie), pictured here with NBC President, Jeff Zucker, DOOL EP, Ken Corday, and NBC Daytime VP, Sheraton Kalouria, resigned to the fate of her character’s impending demise shared, the characters that are being killed off are ones who the fans have some investment in. It had to be that way, she continued. If the fans didn’t care about the characters, the storyline would not work. Although she was sad and disappointed at being one of those to bite the dust at the stalker’s hand, she totally understood the method behind the madness. And NBC Daytime made sure that Roger’s sendoff was one to remember. She was awarded long stemmed red roses and got to see Maggie’s attack on the big screen.
After giving everyone the third degree, Soapdom is still in the dark as to who the Salem Stalker really is. We’ll all have to keep watching Days of our Lives and see! Know this -- the plot thickens this week as arrests are made in the case. Do you have a suspect in mind? Find out if you’re right this week!
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