The Rosary Murders
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFred Walton
Written byWilliam X. Kienzle
Elmore Leonard
Fred Walton
Produced byRobert G. Laurel
StarringDonald Sutherland
Charles Durning
Belinda Bauer
Tom Mardirosian
Mark Margolis
Addison Powell
Anita Barone
Jack White
CinematographyDavid Golia
Edited bySam Vitale
Music byBobby Laurel
Don Sebesky
Distributed byThe Samuel Goldwyn Company
Release date
  • August 28, 1987 (1987-08-28)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,730,337[1]

The Rosary Murders is a 1987 American neo-noir mystery film starring Donald Sutherland as Father Koesler, based upon the novel by William X. Kienzle. Kienzle received screenplay credit, as did Elmore Leonard.


The story involves a series of murders in which the victims are all either Roman Catholic priests or nuns, each of whom is found with a black rosary. Father Koesler goes in search of the murderer but is caught in a quandary when the murderer confesses the crimes to him. He is unable to break the seal of confession by going to the police.



The film was shot in Detroit, Michigan at Holy Redeemer parish, a century old Roman Catholic church on Detroit's Southwest side.


  1. ^ "The Rosary Murders". Box Office Mojo.