Shot on location in Manhattan during the mid-'60s, Who Killed Teddy Bear? is a startling piece of dramatic filmmaking. Juliet Prowse portrays Nora, a deejay and hostess at a sleazy midtown discothèque who starts to receive obscene phone calls.
Nora dismisses them, until she crosses paths with Bill Madden (Jan Murray), a grim, obsessive police lieutenant specializing in sex crimes (his obsession, as he later reveals, derives from the fact that his own wife was assaulted and murdered while out alone one night); he manages both to offend and frighten Nora with his depth of knowledge and suspicions about the kinds of people who commit those crimes.
They develop a close but wary relationship even as the caller, whoever he is, proves to know not only a great deal about her personal life, but also about events transpiring right inside her apartment.
She goes about her life as best she can, attending auditions and making the rounds of theaters, and socializing with her co-workers at the club, including the bus boy, Larry (Sal Mineo), who seems lonely and has a very sweet younger sister who is mildly retarded.
She looks to her club manager (Elaine Stritch) for help, but then rejects her when she suspects that the older woman is attracted to her -- and then Stritch is killed by the stalker, by mistake, outside Nora's building when she is seen wearing the girl's coat. Nora tries to relax and looks to Larry for friendship, only to discover that he is the stalker.
Madden also makes the connection, and figures out how he was observing her inside her apartment, but he's too late to save Nora from being assaulted. Larry ends up on the run from the police, who are in hot pursuit as he flees through Manhattan's streets.