- "You just couldn’t help yourself, could you, Kramer? You saw life brimming brightly with optimism and verve and you just had to snuff it out."
- ―Lt. Martel
Lt. Johnny Martel is a hardened, gravel-voiced detective in the Los Angeles Police Department and is leading the investigation to stop the serial killer known as The Smog Strangler. When Cosmo Kramer is arrested on suspicion of being The Smog Strangler, Lt. Martel is the cop chosen to interrogate him. Lt. Martel is played by Peter Murnik and appeared in The Trip.
Years of dealing with the dregs of society has left Lt. Martel with little patience for slackers like Kramer. Even though Kramer is totally innocent of the crimes he is accused of, Lt. Martel shows him no mercy and he verbally tears into him during the interrogation. Lt. Martel tells Kramer that he is nothing but a weed that is choking the life out of all the pretty flowers of society. Kramer is left heavily sobbing by the time Lt. Martel is told by his superiors that all charges against him have been dropped and to stop the interrogation.
While Lt. Martel was totally wrong in thinking Kramer was The Smog Strangler, he did correctly guess during the interrogation that Kramer had a disturbing incident with a pervert in the park when he was younger.