Primal Fear (1996) Script

On my first day of law school, my professor says two things.

First, "From this day forward, when your mother says she loves you, -"get a second opinion." -And?

"If you want justice, go to a whorehouse.

"If you want to get fucked, go to court."

Naomi!

Let's say you have a client who you know is guilty...

No, don't even start with that.

Our justice system doesn't care about that, and neither do I.

Every defendant, no matter who he is, regardless of what he's done, has the right to the best defense his attorney can provide. Period.

-So where were you with the truth? -Truth?

-How do you mean? Naomi! -Coming.

I'm not sure how many ways there are to mean it.

You think there's only one?

-I can't do this. -You're late.

-Yeah, yeah, yeah. -Okay.

Actually, you're right, you know.

-There is only one that matters. -Marty, hold still, please.

My version of it, the one I create in the minds of those 12 men and women sitting on a jury.

Now, if you want to, you can call it something else.

The... The illusion of truth, if you want. It's up to you.

-Good. Yeah. -Yeah?

Jack, is that it? You need some more stuff?

-Yeah. -Tomorrow afternoon?

-Yeah. -All right, I'll have my secretary set it up.

Okay.

-This is a cover story, right? -Yeah.

Yeah. Okay, bye.


Saint Michael's Boys Choir. Thank you. Thank you.

-What a talented group. -Tell you after.

-Sure. -Right now, ladies and gentlemen, we're gonna have a brief photo session while we have the boys here with His Excellency.

I'll be back in a few minutes.

Please bear with us, enjoy your dessert and thank you.

-Yes. -Here we go. Okay.

Good, good.

-Thank you. -Thank you.

Thank you.

Thanks. Marty. What an unexpected surprise.

Well, I'm here to help our friendly prosecutor off the hook.

-Excuse me. -What's it gonna cost?

-A lot less than the alternative. -Tomorrow at my office, 9:30.

-Is this on? Yes, it is. -Your Excellency. Nice to see you again.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have come to the heart of the matter, the reason we've all gathered together here tonight.

This is the fifth straight year that it's been my privilege to serve as your master of ceremonies for The Chicago Bar Association and Catholic Charities Ball.

I'm afraid you're gonna have to put that out.

It's a bar, for Christ's sake.

Tonight, due to your generous efforts, we've broken last year's record in terms of attendees and the amount

-of money raised for the Archbishop's... -I thought you quit.

-...charity, and I think that deserves... -I cut down.

...a big round of applause.

-You look beautiful. Cut your hair? -Yeah. A few months ago.

And now, as it has been my pleasure for the last four years...

-Want to dance? -There isn't any music.

Sure there is.

...longtime State's Attorney, God love him, Mr. John Shaughnessy.

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, -and my personal thanks... -Come on.

All you have to do is turn around.

I thought you liked it better like this.

That way you don't have to look at the person.

Mean.

Considering the hour, I'll try to keep...

Look at me.

First of all, I want to thank all of you for coming out tonight to support the Archbishop...

Come on, let's go find a bar you can still smoke in.

Thanks for the invite, but I don't like one-night stands all that much.

-We saw each other for months. -It was a one-night stand, Marty.

It just lasted six months.

Thank you, John.

Well, I must say I haven't seen this many lawyers and politicians gathered together in one place since confession this morning.

There is no way the People are gonna tolerate a monetary award to a cockroach who deserves 20 to life.

He may be your client, but Joey Pinero is a hard-case felon.

Dealing, racketeering, -money-laundering, attempted murder. -Did you say "alleged," Yancy?

I didn't hear you say... Did you hear him say "alleged"?

Mr. Pinero has never been convicted of anything.

Cops jumped him, left him bleeding in the snow.

It's a miracle he survived.

Having said that, I'm not opposed to a settlement.

1 .5 million, and Pinero leaves the state.

You can't limit a citizen's right to live wherever he wants to.

Legally, that's unenforceable.

Whether or not it's enforceable or just a gentlemen's agreement, Mr. Pinero will know what we want.

Get the answer you're looking for.

Don't sit around and chat. It's been a pleasure.

You're worse than the fucking thugs you represent.

That's enough, Bud. It's over.

-Obviously, I've got to run this by him. -You're on 40% commission, Marty.

I have nothing but confidence your recommendation will prevail.

Thank you, John.


My hand!

Oh, shit.


-Hey. -Mr. Vail.

How you doing?

Nice tune.

So, what'd they say?

Take it or leave it all for 1.5 million. From Shaughnessy himself.

What do you think?

I think we should take it, unless you want to spend the next two years of your life tied up in appellate court.

-No, fuck that. Close it. -Done.

Okay.

Your shot.

There's one more little thing.

They want you... They want you to leave the state.

-They want you to disappear. -Disappear?

-That's good. Same bullshit, right? -What? What are you talking about?

I keep getting these offers from these guys, Marty.

What offers?

Well, a couple of months ago, a cop walks in here.

He says, "You testify against Alderman Martinez, "and we'll owe you, Joey.

"Say he did you favors, say he's on your payroll," shit like that, right? So I tell him to go fuck himself.

Why? Because Martinez is a good man.

He's the only one holding out while the others try to turn South River into high-rent condos.

-Why didn't you tell me this before? -Why?

'Cause this shit happens every day.

I didn't think it had anything to do with this.

-You don't? -Hey.

I've spent a lot of money in this place.

-They've spent a lot more, a lot more. -I built a clinic here.

-These people depend on me. -I don't give a shit.

Send them checks from California.

I respect your advice, Marty, but I can't take it.

I'll take the money, but I ain't going anywhere.

-This is my home. -I don't like it, Joey.

-So what are they gonna do, kill me? -They tried once.

How are they going to kill a man who never sleeps?

-Get the money. -You're too much.

-Hey. -Yeah.

That song you like? Fourth cut.

-Very nice, thank you. -Yeah.

Christ, we got enough fucking cops here?

No doubt, the police are gonna have their hands full with this one.

Captain Stenner, can you tell us anything right now?

I don't know anything. I just got here.

Captain Stenner, can you tell us what's going on?

Andy, I haven't seen anything yet.

As soon as I go inside, I'll come out and tell you, okay?

All right.

You should be home in bed, Abel. It's going around.

I'll consider that, Harvey.

-Christ. -What a mess, huh?

Sam, you got all you need? Okay, gently roll him over.

Police! Stop!

Right thumb and forefinger severed.

Symbol "B32.156" is carved into the chest.

-Body temperature, still warm. -Captain, we got a live one on the run.


You can see now, a passing train has separated the fleeing suspect...

You want to know what I hate? I'll tell you what I hate.

I hate when they go on and on about what big fucking whores the defense attorneys are.

...the suspect is headed into the train...

We're the bad guys. You know why?

'Cause we're always sitting next to some creep, we start to look creepy, you know?

Plus, they assume they're guilty.

You know, they assume they did it, and, like, we know or something.

You don't know. You don't ask. You don't care.

You do the goddamn job.

It's not like they're your friends, for Christ's sake.

...there's no telling where the suspect may have gone...

Well, some are your friends, but...

So, why'd you leave the State's Attorney's Office?

Dead-end job.

You either... You either run for office, or you end up a judge.

Why become an umpire when you can play ball?

...continue to pour into the area around Saint Michael's and the Archbishop's mansion.

Over here! He's over here!

We will, of course, stay with this shocking story as it continues to unfold throughout the day.

Now, what we do know right now is that at approximately 11:08 this morning, this...

So, when did you know you had them?

Now, at this hour, the scene at Saint Michael's is crowded...

-What? Sorry. -Was there a moment during the Pinero trial when you said to yourself, "I've got them"?

The day I took the case. Excuse me.

...the shocking murder this morning of one of Chicago's most beloved figures, Archbishop Richard Rushman, has left the city just numb.

Okay, I understand we have Andy live. Let's go to Andy.

Diann, we have just learned that Chicago police have arrested a 19-year-old man tentatively identified as Aaron Stampler.

Now, according to Captain Abel Stenner...

We're gonna have to reschedule. Call my office, okay? I'm sorry.

...underneath McCormick Place just minutes after the murder...

...through cold-blooded savagery, a beacon of hope has been taken from us.

Law offices of Martin Vail.

-You got the news on, by any chance? -Yeah, we're watching it.

All right, I want you to call Sullivan in Judge Trotter's office.

Find out where they took him, and call me right back.

I'm at The Alibi.

-A lot of guys are gonna want this one. -Okay.

The police have taken the first steps, acting with speed and determination with the arrest.


Are you taking the Stampler case?

Andy, I'm sorry. I can't talk to you about anything.

Thank you very much.

When are you gonna talk?

-State's Attorney left yet? -Yeah. Yancy, no less.

-Yeah? P.D.? -Come and gone. Lockup!

-Give my best to your brother. -Yeah, sure.

I'd like to see him alone, if I could.

All right, but I'm gonna have to lock you in.

Understood.


You know who I am?

Well, no. No, sir. No, I don't.

My name is Martin Vail. I'm what you call a big-shot attorney.

I don't... I don't have no money.

No, I didn't think you did.

I'm willing to take your case pro bono, which means you get all of my expertise and hard work for free.

Or, if you want to, you could get the $40,000-a-year, court-appointed public defender, who will almost certainly escort you personally to death row.

Your choice.

No. No, sir. I...

I'd surely be grateful for anything you could do for me.

You're welcome. Now, your full name is?

My... Aaron Luke Stampler.

Stampler.

-You from Kentucky, Aaron? -Yes, sir. I'm from Creekside.

Does it say that there?

How long you been here in Chicago?

Well, two years next month, I think.

-Have you ever been arrested? -No. No, sir.

So how do you know the Archbishop?

I was begging on the street up on Wacker Drive,

Bishop Rushman came by in his Cadillac.

He saw me, and he stopped.

He took me into Savior House. I work as an altar boy.

I sing in his choir.

How long were you there at Savior House?

Year, year and a half.

You're supposed to leave when you're 18, but Bishop Rushman let me stay on way past my 19th birthday.

That was nice of him.

Yes. Yes, it was.

Aaron, did you have any reason to dislike the Archbishop?

Dislike? No. No, sir.

He was like a father to me.

Yeah, but you...

How do I say this? Were...

Were you in the room when he was murdered?

How can you explain that?

There was someone else in that room, Mr. Vail.

-There was a third person? -Yes, sir.

Did you tell the police this?

Yes. Yes, I did, but they didn't believe me.

All right. Well, you tell me now.

I was returning a book to Bishop Rushman's library.

I heard noise, so I went back into his... In his bedroom.

Bishop Rushman was laying on the floor.

There was blood all over everything.

And then I seen a shadow. I seen a person leaning over Bishop Rushman.

He looked up and then he came at me, and that's when I lost time.

What does that mean, "lost time"?

I blacked out.

It just... It happens to me sometimes.

I just... I have spells.

I have spells. I lose time. I can't...

I can't remember nothing.

Why did you run from the police, Aaron, if you didn't do anything wrong?

Well, when...

When I woke up, I was covered in blood.

I didn't know what to do. I got scared. I heard sirens, so I ran.

Look, I know how it looks, Mr. Vail, but I swear...

Yeah, I don't need you to try to convince me, Aaron.

I just want you to answer my questions.

But I didn't do this. You've got to believe me.

No, I don't have to believe you. I don't care.

I'm your attorney, which means I am your mother, your father, best friend and your priest.

In other words, I don't want you talking to anyone but me from now on.

Not the cops, not the press, not the other guys in the cells here, nobody without my permission, you understand? Yeah?

-Yes. Yes, I do. -All right.

Now the important stuff. What's your suit size?

-My what? -Suit size. What, you're about a 38?

I don't know.

-About a 38 long. -Okay.

Stampler was flushed by the police from his hiding place in the bushes behind the cathedral.

The police chased him through the train yard, just north of McCormick Place, almost losing him as he scrambled over tracks before an oncoming train, separating him from the police.

In a later development, prominent local criminal defense attorney Martin Vail is believed to have visited Stampler at the Maxwell Street Precinct...

After a brief chase across the rail yard behind Saint Michael's Cathedral, Stampler was apprehended in a hole beneath train tracks.

-Are you gonna defend this man? -Andy, I'm sorry. I can't...

Thank you very much. Thank you.

We've taken the first step in the process.

I can now take your questions.

Can you tell us anything about the altar-boy group

-that Aaron Stampler was part of? -Not much at this time.

Have you ruled out the involvement of any of the other altar boys?

We have no reason to suspect anyone other than Stampler.

He had access to the Archbishop's quarters.

He was caught fleeing the area of Saint Michael's.

The blood-soaked Aaron Stampler was chased down under McCormick Place, but not before he was almost killed by a passing train.

Law office of Martin Vail.

He's gonna call you as soon as he gets in.

I know. I promise you. Okay, thank you very much.

-Naomi! -Yeah.

-Talk to you later. Bye. -Hey.

Sorry I'm late. We have a new client.

-I was afraid you were gonna say that. -Who?

You know what they're calling him already?

-The Butcher Boy of Saint Mike's. -I like that.

Well, that's good. You're gonna be hearing it a lot.

This kid who chopped up the Archbishop, he's our new client?

Tommy, you're gonna have to try harder to get the word "allegedly" into your vocabulary, -especially if you want to be a lawyer. -Here you go.

-Tommy, you want coffee? -No. No, thanks.

All right. He admits he was in the room when the killing occurred, but he didn't actually see it happen.

-Can I stop you right there? -No.

He was returning a book to the Archbishop.

He heard loud noises in the bedroom.

He went in. He sees a figure, someone in the shadows kneeling over the body. He blacks out.

Next thing he knows, sirens are screaming, he's covered in blood.

The cops find him in a train tunnel.

He's got the Archbishop's ring in his pocket.

He stole the Archbishop's ring?

I didn't say that. I said it was in his pocket.

Is that it?

Yep.

That's... That's bullshit, Marty.

That's the worst bullshit story I've ever heard in my entire life.

Now it's our bullshit story. Okay, let's get to work.

Now, the name of the game here is motive, as in, the prosecution doesn't have one.

So what we have to do here is prove that someone else could have committed the crime.

Then we can establish reasonable doubt.

So I want to know everything I can about this guy, everything he was into.

We go to database, go to Hall of Records, IRS files.

-Even his so-called charities. -So-called?

The guy was a priest, for Christ's sake.

Naomi, write this down. B-32.156.

That was carved into the Archbishop's chest.

-Allegedly. -No.

That was a fact, but I appreciate the effort, Tommy.

Thanks.

I also need case histories on murder by stabbing, murder by mutilation, murder by religion.

-Also, I'm gonna need a psychiatrist. -You're telling me.

And not the kind that lives in a witness box, either.

I need a real one this time, and someone who knows about amnesia.

-What does he look like in person? -The Butcher Boy?

Like a Boy Scout.

A Boy Scout with a merit badge in carving.

The Archbishop was a close personal friend of Mr. Shaughnessy.

He came to me earlier this morning and asked me who was my best man, -I said you. -Thank you.

I trust, Mr. Shaughnessy, if I am to prosecute this case, I'll be given the authority which comes with the assignment.

You're the one trying the case, but let's establish one thing at the outset.

I want the death penalty.

I'd like an opportunity to go over the case before we make a determination on whether or not to seek the death penalty.

I'm open to anything you have to say, Janet, but in my mind there's no debate.

Did he say anything, the boy they picked up?

Yeah. He didn't do it.

It's a slam dunk, Janet.

Excuse me. I appreciate your faith in me, and I don't mean to be argumentative...

Hey, that's what we pay you for.

...but if it's as open and shut as you say it is, then you don't need me.

The P.D. will plead no contest, throw the kid on the mercy of the court.

-There's not a public defender. -He's got a lawyer already? Who?

Hey, I'm Martin Vail. I'm defending Aaron Stampler.

-I need to inspect the murder site. -The Butcher Boy?

Thank you. Yes. I forgot his real name.

What's the matter, Marty, lost your faith?

Looking for a little religion?

Now tell me, Counselor, which one of us is the true headline-chaser here?

-Unlike you, I was assigned to this case. -Yeah? Think you're up to it?

Sell the book rights yet, or are you gonna wait a while?

Want to see some pictures?

Come on. They're kind of cute.

I think you'll agree they clearly show the heinous nature of the crime.

A small piece of advice, don't use the word "heinous" in a courtroom.

Half the jury won't know what you're talking about.

One small piece of advice, I'm not sitting second chair to you anymore.

In case you hadn't noticed, I graduated.

-I had no reason to leave. -You had every reason to leave.

How can you still work for them?

What? You really expect me to trot out after you, Marty?

Quit, just because you did? I don't need a Mercedes.

I don't need to see my face on the evening news.

You knew I was coming here, didn't you?

You knew I would defend him. That's why you took the case.

You asked Shaughnessy for this, didn't you?

Oh, please.

What's the matter, Marty, you nervous?

Been a while since you rubbed up against a woman with a brain?

What is the matter? You tired? You haven't been sleeping well?

You're the one with the score to settle, Marty.

I sleep great at night.


-Hi. -Hey.


Thanks.

-Hey. Where is he? -Over here.

All right, we'll be sitting at a table together, along with two of my associates. Now, once the charges are read, the judge is gonna ask you how you plead.

-Not guilty. -No.

-But I'm not guilty, Mr. Vail. -I don't care. It doesn't matter.

You can keep your mouth shut. You don't say anything.

Well, you're going to say I'm not guilty.

I'll say whatever I say. You don't have to worry about it.

-But, Mr. Vail... -This is exactly what I'm talking about.

This can't go on in the courtroom, so you might as well get used to it now.

I speak. You do not speak.

Your job is just to sit there and look innocent.

Well, I am innocent.

That's it! That's exactly how I want you to look.

That's exactly it. Now, can you remember that?

Look in the mirror if you have to. That's the look.

I don't have to. This is how I always look.

Well, then you're way ahead of the game already, aren't you?

Don't smile.

Don't.

Mr. Vail, can we have a statement?

No. We're gonna find out what happened here.

How can you defend Aaron Stampler in the face of all this public pressure?

The only pressure is to find the truth.

...with the Archbishop's blood on him.

You've been talking to the police again, haven't you? I told you not to.

As usual, they get everything wrong.

Come on. How're you gonna explain the fact that he had blood-soaked clothing on him?

-We all saw that. -At this juncture, I'm not going to explain it at all.

I've only recently been retained in this case.

Significant facts are in dispute here and continue to be in dispute.

Marty, you're a master at putting the victim on trial to help your own client.

That's going to be very difficult in this case.

A victim in this case is my client.

We have two victims here, no suspects. Thank you very much.

Are you worried about his safety, Marty?

No. Thank you.

It's not a case.

I don't think there'll be any question about the verdict.

All rise.

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

-Bailiff? -State v. Aaron Stampler.

Is everyone here? Sit down. Is everyone here?

Yes, Your Honor.

Madam Prosecutor?

The State charges the prisoner, Aaron Stampler, with the crime of murder in the first degree.

How does your client plead, Counselor?

Your Honor, if it pleases the court, I need time to make a complete psychiatric evaluation before any charges are brought against us.

State has more than enough evidence to warrant the allegations, Your Honor.

I agree. Motion denied.

Mr. Stampler, do you understand the charges brought against you?

-Yes. Yes, I... -Your Honor, I direct my client not to answer that question on the grounds that his response may tend to incriminate him.

The defendant is taking the Fifth on whether or not he understands the charges?

Yes, Your Honor. Until we have a complete psychological evaluation, he will be taking the Fifth on any and all questions posed to him.

State v. Appleby for your review of precedent.

Thank you.

No, no, I can't do that. No.

What do you want?

I'm looking for the room a kid named Aaron Stampler stayed in.

-You the police? -I'm his uncle.


-Thanks. -Well, hey.

-This is Alex's. -Who's Alex?

-He's one of the other altar boys. -An altar boy?

An altar boy was wearing this?

Well, not at the mass.

Well, this altar boy attacked a colleague of mine.

He hurt him pretty bad.

What do you think he was doing there in your room?

-My room? -Yeah.

I can't... I don't know.

-I mean, I don't have nothing. -You know where I could find him?

Who? Alex?

-No, I don't... I don't know where he is. -You don't?

-Who's Linda? -Linda?

She your girlfriend?

-Where is she? I'd like to talk to her. -I don't know where she is.

Why is it that I get this feeling you're not telling me something, Aaron?

-I'm telling you the truth. -I don't think so.

Are you surprised that Alex attacked my friend?

-No. No, I mean, he has a temper. -Yeah. Yeah, I'd say so.

Let me ask you this. Do you think it could be Alex who was that figure you saw at the Archbishop's room?

-I... Alex? I couldn't be sure. -But it could be him?

I don't know.

Aaron, you're not understanding this. The State wants you dead.

If you don't help me, that's exactly what they're gonna get.

I...

I'm trying. I can't remember.

I don't understand. Why would Alex want to do such a thing?

For his own reasons. He... Maybe someone hired him.

-Hired by who? -I don't know. Forget it.

What I need to know is, do you think he's capable of doing it?

I don't know. He...

I don't know who's capable of such a thing, Mr. Vail.

-Thanks. -Sure.

So he claims there was someone else in the room and that he can't remember.

And you want me to look into this amnesia question

-and see what he actually knows. -Yeah.

What if he knows he did it?

The major causes of amnesia are substance abuse, seizures, head injuries and malingering.

I think the kid's telling the truth.

Okay.

Then let's get something straight.

I'm more than happy to go in and analyze him.

In fact, I'm looking forward to it.

But I won't go in there to validate his story, understood?

-You do your job, I do mine. -That's right.

Listen, if I think it's necessary, I'd want to get an MRI, EEG, and neuropsych testing, agreed?

-Yes, Doctor. Good night, Doctor. -Good night.

I'll be recording our meetings for Mr. Vail, so what we talk about isn't as confidential the way it might be if you were to be consulting with a doctor for help.

He may even call me as a witness, so if you have any questions about what I've just said, you should raise them now, while he's still here.

-No, ma'am. I understand. -Good.

-So, okay. I think we'll be fine. -All right.

-I'll see you later. All right. -Okay.

Bye.

Mr. Vail told me that there was a period of time surrounding the Archbishop's death that you don't remember.

-Is that right? -Yeah. Yes. I lost the time.

I mean, I blacked out.

-Have you had these blackouts before? -Yes. Yes, I have.

When's the first time you remember them happening?

They started when I was about 12, maybe.

Were your parents aware of what was happening to you?

No. My mother was dead.

And your father?

No. No. No. He was not a nice man.

-Did you seek treatment? -Did I what?

Did you see a doctor for them?

No. No.

You don't go see a doctor in Creekside unless your leg's broke.

-Hey. Can I talk to you? -Talk.

-Excuse us. I'll bring her right back. -How dare you. What am I?

I'm some kind of chess piece you can just move around?

-I was in the middle of my lunch. -When are we getting all the discovery?

What do you want, Marty?

I want to know when we're getting all the discovery.

-I've got motions to file. -No, you don't.

You're looking to make a deal.

I have no authority to deal.

I haven't discussed this with my client. What's your excuse?

Well, if I thought we needed to make a deal, I have all the authority I want.

Bullshit! Shaughnessy wants the whole shot on this, and he's using you to get it.

Anybody in your position would deal this down to murder with no death penalty.

My position? We have a fucking great case.

Great case?

Lack of prior record, no eyewitness, no confession, no motive.

Hard evidence.

I assume this conversation means you're not going with insanity, which is a shame. My shrinks would have torn him apart.

By the way, your pleading the Fifth on the charges was brilliant.

-It was good, wasn't it? -Yeah.

I liked it.

You lose this case, you take the fall, not Shaughnessy.

-Talk to me. -We're going to trial, Marty.

All right, all it takes is one, just one juror that doesn't believe he did it.

One juror, with a kid his age, looks into that face...

I've got to admit, that face is great. Are you prepping him to take the stand?

That stutter, it's priceless.

Marty, don't tell me you think he didn't do it.

What, has little Aaron Stampler gotten to you?

We're not just talking about jail here. It's about ending someone's life.

If you're wrong and Shaughnessy's made you do this, -you gonna be able to live with it? -I'll live.

See you in court.

Your Honor, we stipulate that murder was done here.

Therefore, these photographs have no remaining probative value.

This is not just murder. This is a case of mutilation and torture.

The only reason the prosecution wants to show these gory pictures to the jury

-is shock appeal. -That is not true, Your Honor.

-They should be excluded, absolutely. -They clearly identify the heinous nature of the crime, and they connect the defendant, who was found covered in blood, to the crime scene.

-Prejudicial. -I beg to differ.

-Beg all you want. I don't... -Counsel, please.

The photographs are in, Mr. Vail.

Now, would you two like a recess so you can carry on this discussion in private?

I'm sorry, Your Honor, but this is too much.

Next thing you know, he'll be objecting if we want to bring in the murder weapon.

Well, now that she brings it up...

This is a public building.

Excuse me, Mr. Vail.

Would you sign this for me?

Tell me about Linda. Mr. Vail said she was your girlfriend.

Yes. Yes, she was.

How'd you meet?

Well, we was both at the Savior House. I was an altar boy, and she was doing work for Bishop Rushman.

-What was the relationship like? -Me and Linda?

She's real cultural. Real cultural and very smart.

We had a nice time together.

We might get married.

Were you sleeping together?

-Well, that's private. -I know. I have to ask the question.

Were you having a sexual relationship, Aaron?

Yeah, yes, yes, we were.

Were you sleeping with anyone else at the time?

-No. -Was she?

Has she been to see you, Aaron?

-Well, well, no, but... -And that upsets you.

No. No. Thing is, she went away.

She went away for a while.

She left before this happened. I don't even think...

Don't even think she knows about it.

-Yo, boss. -Hey.

-You got something for me? -Yeah.

There's nothing cataloged at the downtown branch under the numbers B32156.

But I don't think the "B" is a "B." I think it's an eight.

I think the knife slipped. 832156.

"Thomas Jefferson"? I don't think he did it.

All right. Well, you're not gonna be much happier with this.

A list of the Archbishop's charities and his foundation's investments.

Nothing startling here, except for how many there are.

Wait a minute here. What's this?

What was he doing with the South River deal? Pull that up.

Who are the investors?

Shaughnessy?

That's Joey Pinero's neighborhood.

See this lot here? This all used to be houses.

In fact, there was a house over there on the corner where I kissed my first girlfriend. Got her pregnant, too.

-Hell of a kiss, Joey. -Oh, yeah.

Anyway, this whole neighborhood's gonna end up high-rent condos if those guys get their way.

That's why I'm gonna buy back the lot with the settlement you got me.

-You heard about that, right? -Yeah.

-The money? -Who hasn't?

-Marty's the best, man. -Just doing my job.

Yeah. A million fucking five, he's just doing his job.

Alderman, Joey tells me a cop came around, wanted him to set you up.

It's typical.

Can't buy me, so they try and buy a brother.

See, most people assume that this land we're walking on belongs to the railroad, but it doesn't. It belongs to the church.

The church?

-So that's the Rushman Foundation? -That's right.

Along with a bunch of rich developers.

-Including John Shaughnessy? -Yeah.

Then they got greedy, started buying up all the land and old buildings around the church property, then tearing it down.

Our old neighborhood was gonna disappear.

So I went to the Archbishop and I said, "What are you doing to these people? They're poor.

"They're getting kicked out of their homes, "and they're Catholic."

Fucking A.

He listened. I couldn't believe it.

He told them to stop developing around the church property.

So the partners are left holding these empty buildings they can't knock down

-and land they can't build on. -That's right.

Shaughnessy loses millions.

Look, if I need you to, will you testify?

Who, me? Yeah. Easy.

Just change out of this suit, put on a Brooks Brothers

-with loafers and tassels, you bet. -Joey, thank you.

Thank you. Not you.

Sure.

I'll testify.

Well, you know what people think.

Think this great city runs itself.

They think it gets up, goes to work and climbs into bed at night just like we do.

They're unaware of what it takes to make sure the whole damn thing doesn't break down.

Crime, fires, riots, the goddamn water pipes bursting under the city.

Christ, what a fucking mess that was.

And who does the water commissioner call?

The contractor who built it? No. He calls me. They all call me.

God damn, this is terrific.

They call me, because I keep the peace.

That's my job.

This city doesn't burn because I won't permit it.

I'm the great negotiator.

You think people get that?

Truth is, they don't care. Dumb bastards don't even vote.

All they want to do is eat, sleep, watch TV and occasionally fuck their wives.

Guess we should all thank you.

You're welcome.

John, you need some new material.

I've heard this "great city" speech 10 times already.

Your boy Pinero's not honoring his side of the deal.

Is that what this dinner was about? Pinero?

In part.

I told him what the deal is. He's a grownup. What's the other part?

I understand your assistant's been digging around in the Archbishop's financial affairs.

Yeah. Well...

How much did you lose when he pulled the plug from South River, John?

Let me tell you something.

It's a mistake to stick your thumb in the eyes of the most powerful people in the city.

It's not their eyes I'm aiming for.

Do not fuck with me, Marty.

Pipes are bursting again, John.

In the most anticipated murder trial in recent Chicago history, former State's Attorney prosecutor Martin Vail will lead with his opening statement on behalf of Aaron Stampler...

The prosecution's case is headed by Assistant State's Attorney Janet Venable. Venable was...

Richard Rushman was a man of God.

He spent his life giving to the people of Chicago.

He was a beacon of inspiration, not only as a spiritual leader, but as a citizen.

...will deliver his opening statement tomorrow on behalf of defendant...

My name is Martin Vail, and the reason I'm here, and the reason you're here, is to make sure that the whole truth is known.

Now, we can begin to learn the truth by talking about what the prosecution does not want you to hear.

Do not be fooled by the defendant's innocent appearance and demeanor.

Aaron Stampler sat in judgment of Archbishop Rushman and determined that not only should he die, but he should die the most brutal way possible.

Aaron was arrested within minutes of the Archbishop's death.

We all know that. We all saw it on television.

But why? Because he was convenient.

Because there was enormous pressure on the police to solve this crime.

The evidence will show that Aaron Stampler stalked, ambushed and savagely murdered this great man.

The prosecution does not want you to hear about the other altar boys in the church choir who have mysteriously disappeared.

At the close of evidence, ladies and gentlemen, you will learn that Aaron Stampler had everything he needed for the perfect assassination.

Using this knife, Aaron Stampler repeatedly stabbed at the Archbishop's chest, his genitals, his eyes.

They don't want you to hear that the Archbishop made investments on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church and that those investments resulted in huge losses for some very, very powerful people.

They don't want you to hear about the 20 death threats this year alone that the Archbishop received prior to his death.

And they really don't want you to hear about their theory of motive.

And why is that? Very simple.

They don't have one.

Inspector Woodside, can you explain to the court where these sneakers came from?

They were taken off the defendant when he was apprehended.

And what was the result of the bloodstain analysis done on them?

The result of the analysis proved to be human blood matching the blood type and DNA characteristics of Archbishop Rushman.

What do the bloody footprints surrounding the body tell you?

The killer left a pattern of bloody footprints around the area of the struggle, as indicated by the spread of blood through the room.

All right, yes or no, Inspector?

Could there have been a third person in the Archbishop's quarters that morning?

There is no evidence to suggest that.

But there's no evidence to prove there wasn't.

No.

And after the struggle, what happened then?

Well, analysis suggests that the killer was startled during the mutilation and ran from the bedroom down the stairs.

Is it possible, Inspector, that the real killer, a third person, who maybe was smart enough not to tramp a whole freeway of blood through the whole place here, couldn't this third person have placed the defendant's prints on the knife while he was passed out?

Mr. Vail, anything is possible.

So, clearly, the victim suffered a great number of stab wounds?

Yes, he did, 78. He tried to defend himself.

And that explains the cuts on the hands and the forearms.

Doctor, isn't it a fact that you can't be sure whether more than one person inflicted these 78 stab and incise wounds?

That's true, Counselor. It could've been more than one person, but I doubt it.

From your analysis of the knife wounds, Dr. Weil, do you have an opinion whether the killer was left-handed or right-handed?

Well, the incise wound to the throat and most of the chest wounds were made from an angle that strongly suggests that a left-handed person was using the knife.

To your knowledge, is the defendant left-handed?

Yes, he is.

Well, then it's possible that a right-handed person could've deliberately used his left hand to inflict some of these wounds.

Yes, I suppose that is possible.

Then it would be reasonable to assume that there was, in fact, a third person there at the crime scene?

Reasonable, no. But it is possible.

Then following opening statements, it was a day of strong and detailed testimony from the prosecution's first witnesses, Cook County Forensics Chief Harvey Woodside and Cook County Medical Examiner Emile Weil.

It was also a day of tough cross-examination of Woodside and Weil by Stampler defense attorney Martin Vail.

By most accounts, though, the prosecution...

Captain Stenner, I would like to thank you for all the time you've given us today, but, finally, I would like to turn your attention to the symbol carved into the Archbishop's chest.

Now would you please tell the jury about that, Captain?

Yes. The letter and the numbers B32.156 were carved into the Archbishop's chest.

What you just described, have you been able to find an identical reference anywhere?

I believe so, yes.

The symbol B32.156 is actually catalog code for a book discovered in a private reading room located in the church basement.

That particular number, the B32 part, refers to a book, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

When we opened the book to Page 156, we discovered an underlined passage.

Would you please read this underlined passage to the court?

"No man, for any considerable period, "can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude

"without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true."

Thank you.

What does that passage mean to you, Captain?

Objection. He's a policeman, not an English professor.

His interpretation would be speculative and irrelevant.

I didn't hear her ask for an expert opinion.

The witness can answer.

Well, to me, it's simple.

The killer thought that his victim was two-faced, dishonest in some way.

In your experience, Captain, do killers ever intentionally leave clues to their motive?

Not often, but it happens.

Thanks.

-Thanks, man. -Yeah, sure.

Did you underline that book?

-Did I what? -Did you underline that book?

-No. No, Mr. Vail. -No?

No. Mr. Vail. I never even opened The Scarlet Letter.

I don't like Hawthorne.

I tried to read that one about the house with the seven somethings in high school. I couldn't even get past Page 10.

I mean, I weren't the only one using Bishop Rushman's library.

You know what? Everybody borrowed books from Bishop Rushman.

He encouraged it.

His altar boys and staff, everyone was in there.

Guard?

Thanks.

You don't give up, do you?

So you didn't know anything about that?

-No. -What about the impact of...

Look, I can't talk to you right now. My office will call you, all right?

-Yeah. Thanks. -Okay, bye. Yeah, I'll see you.

-Bye. -Bye.

What the fuck happened in there?

I guess that eight was a "B" after all.

You think this is funny? We're losing this case.

What the hell happened, Tommy? How could you have missed that?

Marty, there are 50 of them, plus the entire Chicago Police Department.

How was I to know he had a private reading room in the church basement?

-It's your job to know. -Fuck, Marty, you want my job?

No. I want you to do your fucking job!

Marty, come on.

I'm working on a third-man defense here.

Do you know that? Have you figured that out yet?

I don't have a third man. You know why I don't have a third man?

'Cause you can't fucking find him! That's why.

Is it that hard to find one indigent kid?

Look, maybe we already got the kid who did this.

We have to at least consider the possibility that he did it.

All the hard evidence is pointing towards him, and you keep refusing to even look at it.

I'm not refusing to look at anything! I don't think he did it!

Look, you two, we're up there in a couple of days, and we got dick!

So I wish the two of you'd do your fucking goddamn jobs, all right?

Fuck!

It must have been hard for you to come here to Chicago.

You didn't know anybody.

No. Nobody.

Didn't have any money?

No, nothing.

I want to talk more about your girlfriend, Linda, now. Can we, Aaron?

-No. -Why not?

Aaron.

I'm sorry.

Do you think we can do this later?

-No, I want to stay with this for a minute. -I'm just feeling a little tired.

I know. Why does talking about Linda Forbes upset you?

It doesn't.

I just don't want to talk about it right now.

-Why not? Are you all right? -No, my head hurts.

Okay, okay, I'm sorry. Let me just fix this.

Hey, you know what I can do with this thing?

No, how the fuck should I know?

Jesus Christ.

Aaron?

What?

What were you saying?

Come on.


Stop him!

Who the fuck are you? What do you want?

What do you want, God damn it? I'll kill you!

I don't think so, Alex. Drop it.

Drop it.

-Remember me? -My name is Martin Vail.

I don't give a fuck what your name is.

-You got no right doing this to me. -I have every fucking right!

I'm Aaron Stampler's attorney, you little shit!

Now, what do you know about the Archbishop's murder?

Nothing.

Where the fuck do you think you're going?

Bullshit! Don't fuck with us.

I swear I know nothing.

Well, then, what were you doing over there?

What were you doing at Aaron's house? What were you looking for?

-A tape. -A tape? Videotape?

-Yeah. -Of what?

Sex stuff.

Sex stuff?

What, I have to draw a picture for you?

Who?

Who?

Me, Linda.

And Aaron?

Yeah. He shot it, too, for the Archbishop.

Are you telling...

Are you telling me that Archbishop Rushman is involved with sex stuff?

Yeah, he called it "purging the devil."

He'd say a sermon for 10 minutes, and then he'd tell us what to do.

-You're full of shit. -I don't give a fuck what you believe!

Hey, hey, hey. What? What?

What were you going to do with the tape?

-What were you going to do? -Trash it.

I was gonna throw it away.

Just one. One tape. Just one tape.

Yeah. Yeah. One. He'd use the same one. He'd keep recording over and over.

So what made you think Aaron had this?

I don't know. I thought maybe he got it, and he went back and killed him.

-I mean, he did kill him, right? -No, he didn't.

So where's this girl? Where's Linda?

I don't know.

She freaked out! She panicked. She split.

I don't know. I'm not expecting any postcards.

Look at me. Look at me.

Get him the fuck out of here, Tommy.

-Where to? -A warm bunk and three meals a day.

-You can't arrest me! You're not a cop! -I used to be. Does that work for you?


-Look who's here. -Don't get up. Finish it.

-It's a good article. -You know the rules.

Don't disturb anything. Don't remove anything.

If you do, it's my ass.

Yeah, mine, too. I won't touch anything.


Excuse me.

...preach the gospel to every...

Hello.

-What are you guys watching? -Wait a minute.

Go to her. Good.

Now help her. That's it, Aaron. Good.

Linda, help out.

Good. Take off her blouse, Aaron.

That's it. Now help him, Linda.

Isn't that sweet, Linda? Good. That's it.

Now, take him in your mouth.

-Here's motive. -Aaron, take her from behind.

-Aaron, take her from behind. -Jesus Christ.

Thanks.

487113 report to...

-I need to talk to him alone. -I think there's something

-we should discuss. -I need to be alone with my client.

Do you trust me?

Do...

Yes, yes, of course I do.

Good. Because I don't trust you.

I'll lay it all out for you.

I'm losing this case. You know why I'm losing this case?

'Cause my fucking client is fucking lying to me.

-I never lied to you. -Bullshit!

That's it. No more bullshit. No more games.

Everybody thinks you did this, everybody.

I'm the only one who believes you, and I am that close.

So I want it all out. All of it. Right now, right here.

Did you underline that book?

Hey, hey. Hey, look at me. Did you underline that book?

-No, I didn't. -I don't believe you.

-That is bullshit. -I told...

I don't fucking believe you! I saw the tape!

I saw the tape. I know what he did to you. I want to hear it from you.

No! No! No!

Tell me the whole thing. Don't fucking do this.

I want you to tell me the truth, and do not even think of lying.

You fucking killed him, didn't you? You did it!

-You killed him. You're so full of shit! -No!

You did it, didn't you? Tell me the truth. Don't lie to me.

You little fuck! You did it. You killed him! You son of a bitch!

-You fucking killed him! -No!

What the hell do you want from me now?

Quit your crying! I can't understand a goddamn word you're saying.

You little sissy! You make me sick!

-Looky here. Who the fuck are you? -Who the fuck are you?

This is my cell, Jack! Who the fuck are you?

I got you now. You're the lawyer.

-You his lawyer, ain't you? -Yeah.

Yeah, with your fancy suit. I heard about you.

Well, my, my, you sure fucked this one up, Counselor.

It sounds to me like they're gonna shoot old Aaron so full of poison it's gonna come out his eyes!

-Where is Aaron? -Aaron's crying off in some corner somewhere. You scared him off!

You've got to deal with me now, boy.

I ought to give you a beating on principle. Look at me.

You ever come in here and pull any of that tough-guy shit on Aaron again, I will kick your fucking ass to Sunday!

-Do you understand me? -I understand you. I understand.

Aaron gets in trouble, he calls you. You're the man.

Well, Aaron couldn't kick his own ass.

I mean, you seen him, with the...

Yeah.

Jesus Christ, he can't handle anything.

He sure as shit couldn't handle all that preacher's blood, could he?

If he'd done like I told him, we wouldn't be in this mess, but he got scared, and...

Ran off, got hisself caught, the stupid little shit.

So Aaron did kill Rushman.

Hell, no! Jesus Christ, where did they find you?

Ain't you been listening to me? Aaron don't have the guts to do nothing.

It was me, boy.

-It was me. -It was you.

-It was you. It was you. -Yes, it was.

He come crying to me like always, stuttering and whining.

"I can't take it no more, Roy. You got to help me.

"Please, please, Roy."

I said, "Shut your mouth, you little girl!

"Grow up. Be a man. Take care of yourself."

-Be a man, yeah. -Know what I'm saying?

So your name is Roy?

Oh, Jesus, I'm sorry. Yeah. What is it? Marty?

-Yeah. -Hey, listen, Marty.

I'm dying for a smoke. Do you have a cigarette on you?

-No, I quit. -Fuck that.

I can't live without them. There's got to be a butt around here somewhere.

Roy.

Roy, tell me about Linda.

-Linda? -Linda, yeah.

Well, who the fuck cares about Linda?

Well, I care about Linda. I'd like to know about Linda.

That little tramp. Let me tell you something.

Everybody had a piece of her, you know what I'm saying?

I mean, she had Aaron wrapped up so tight, he actually thought she was his girlfriend.

It was pathetic. She broke his heart.

So that's why you had to kill Rushman, because of the sex stuff.

You've seen the tape.

Answer me, you son of a bitch!

Do you think I'm playing with you? I will break your fucking neck!

I'm going to ask you again. Have you seen that tape?

I saw the tape. Yeah, of course I saw the tape.

God damn it, God damn it. I told him to get that tape.

I said, "Get the fucking tape. It's motive, you asshole!"

This is going to fuck everything up, Marty.

Don't you show that to a goddamn person!

-Do you understand me? -Yes. Yes.

-Do you understand me? -Yes. Shit.

-Aaron. -Damn!


Mr. Vail?

Yeah, I'm right here, Aaron.


He did it. The little fuck did it.

How could I have missed that?

-Do I need stitches? -No.

He didn't do it. Aaron has no idea what just happened in there.

I kept seeing all the signs, the big ones.

The abusive background, these repeated blackouts, the ellipses in thought.

He's ambidextrous. That's what I was trying to tell you when you came in tonight.

Look, you may be thrilled by all this, but I'm fucked. I don't have a case.

It's textbook multiple personality disorder.

Put me on the stand. I'll testify.

He's insane.

I can't. I can't change plea in the middle of a trial.

The judge would never allow it.

Besides, insanity is the hardest thing to prove.

Okay.

My professional opinion?

This is not a criminal we're dealing with. It's a sick kid.

He's sitting in a cell, and it's not where he belongs.

You got an aspirin?


Come on, Connerman, ask it.

Ask what?

The question you wanted to ask me before.

I don't understand, Mr. Vail.

"How can you defend someone if you know they did it?

"How can you do that?

"How can you fucking defend these fucking scumbags?"

Isn’t that what you wanted to ask me? It is, isn't it?

All those fucking coy questions, all that bullshit.

Bottom line is, "How can you do what you do?"

You think it's the money, don't you?

The money's nice. The money's very, very nice, Jack.

You know, the first thing I ask a new client is, "You been saving up for a rainy day?

"Guess what? It's raining."

You think it's because I want to see my face on the cover of magazines?

My 15 seconds on TV? I love it. I fucking love that shit. I really do, but guess what.

It's not it.

-You go to Las Vegas? -Yeah.

I don't go to Vegas. Why do you think I don't go to Vegas?

Marty, it's late. I think that we should both just get up and go...

Why gamble with money when you can gamble with people's lives?

That was a joke.

All right, I'll tell you.

I believe in the notion that people are innocent until proven guilty.

I believe in that notion because I choose to believe in the basic goodness of people.

I choose to believe that not all crimes are committed by bad people, and I try to understand that some very, very good people do some very bad things.

You know, when I was working for Shaughnessy, I did something very, very bad. Maybe illegal. I was a prosecutor then.

This thing that I did, I was very upset by it, and I decided to leave.

So I left. I became a defending attorney.

The irony being that everyone assumes I'm fucking lying anyhow.

So I made myself this little promise that

I would reserve my lies for other than my public life.

You print any of this, I'll sue your fucking ass.


All right, all right, so I made a little mistake.

No shit.

What do you want? Want a new suit? I'll buy you a new suit.

You made a mistake? You told us the third man did it.

So now you got your third man and a fourth man and a fifth man...

What are you going to do, Marty?

I don't know. I really fucked up here.

You were right.

So how are you gonna get him off?

I don't know.

What I know is, Aaron did not commit first-degree murder.

-Marty, he stabbed him a billion times... -No, not Aaron.

To convict someone of a capital crime, the State must prove intent.

Roy had intent, Aaron didn't.

Yeah, but the only way to prove that is to change the plea to insanity, which we can't do mid-trial, unless you're planning on a career change.

I could've been mistaken, but I wasn't wrong.

Aaron is innocent. It's Roy who is guilty.

This kid doesn't need a lawyer. He needs an exorcist.

Tom, you are so full of shit. You were not there, and you didn't see it.

He's one sick motherfucking boy, man, who's been fucked around his whole life by his father, by his priest. This kid does not deserve to die, and it's our job to make sure that a jury believes he doesn't deserve to die.

-Okay. -Okay. How do we do it?

By somehow introducing this whole abuse thing.

-The tape. -What about the tape?

That's crazy. That gives him motive.

No, it looks like that, but it's...

No, actually, what it does is, it turns this whole thing around.

It gives concrete documentation of what Rushman did to this kid.

But we can't put it in. You know that.

But we're not going to.

Oh, fuck!

-Okay. Okay. -Good.


-Yeah. -What the hell are you doing?

-Who is this? -You know damn well who it is.

-Barleycorn's, Marty. Now. -Janet?

Cute porno. Part of your collection?

Hey.

Where did you get it? You steal it

-from the crime scene? -I don't know anything about this tape.

-You are such a liar. -Think about it.

-I have. -Look, if this tape really has on it what you say it does, last thing I'd do is give it to you. It gives you motive.

-You had to give it to me. -Why?

You couldn't introduce it in court. The jury would despise you for it, for dishonoring the Bishop's memory.

But if you get me to show it, motive or no motive, I'm the one who looks bad, and you gain sympathy for your poor little abused boy.

-You think so? -I hate you.

Don't use it.

I have no intention of using it.

-The usual, Stu. -You got it.

You're up to even more than that, aren't you?

I'm not up to anything.

You're opening a door, you think I'm going to walk through it?

There's going to be a tiger on the other end, and I don't...

You know who'd be really upset if you used it?

-I just told you... -Shaughnessy.

-Fuck him. -Fuck him?

Fuck you.

Thanks a lot.

All right, if this is not your motive, what is?

I have motive.

Yeah, what is it?

I'm really gonna tell you.

Well, you better tell the jury pretty soon. Time's running out.

Here you go.

You think you've got me.

You think because you know me as well as you do, you know how I think.

Well, I know how you think.

You know what I'm thinking?

What happened to your face?

I bumped it into a medicine cabinet.

No, Marty, that was a girl on her way out.

Maybe we should come back here later.

Later? Well, they close in 10 minutes.

No, after.

After the trial.

When we've got nothing to lose.

How can your timing be so good in a courtroom and so bad in real life?

I'll think about it later. I hate you too much right now.

You got a visitor.

Here she comes.

-Talk to you later. -Okay.

Janet.

Morning.

So where's the tape?

There's some pretty ugly stuff on that tape.

-Yes, there is. -Who would've thought?

-Where did it come from? -Landed on my front door last night.

-No note. -Vail?

-Who else? -Clever prick.

What do you think he's up to?

-I honestly don't know. -Cut the crap, Janet.

You know him pretty goddamn well. You were balling him, for Christ's sake.

-Where is it? -At home.

I have some advice for you.

My advice for you, if you really have aspirations beyond this particular office, is to pick up that little handbag of yours, go home right now and destroy this tape you should've destroyed, like I did, the minute you received it.

You don't think Vail has a copy?

You don't think there's an original?

It's Stampler that's on trial, not the Catholic Church, and if you haven't found another motive to hang him on, then God help you.

All rise.

Please, sit down.

Madam Prosecutor.

Miss Venable.

The State calls Thomas Goodman.

Objection, Your Honor.

Prosecution knows full well that Mr. Goodman is my investigator in this case, and under the Work Product Rule, he can't be compelled to testify.

Permission to approach the bench, Your Honor?

Granted.

Important evidence has just come into my possession which I believe this witness can authenticate.

That's Mr. Vail's privilege. If Mr. Vail doesn't want Mr. Goodman to testify, Mr. Goodman doesn't testify.

Make a decision, Mr. Vail.

Mr. Goodman, have you ever been to my apartment?

-No. -By that I mean my apartment building.

Allegedly.

I'm sorry, you're confused. Either you have or you haven't.

"Allegedly" doesn't figure into it.

I have been there, yes.

-Why did you go there? -I was delivering something.

For whom?

Martin Vail.

Mr. Vail sent you to deliver something to me.

-Yes. -What was it?

A videotape.

Could this have been the tape you delivered for Mr. Vail?

I have a feeling it is, yes.

The People place this half-inch videocassette tape

-in evidence, Your Honor. -So ordered. Bailiff, please index.

Now, where did Mr. Vail get this tape, if it is indeed the same one?

He took it from the closet of Archbishop Rushman.

-He stole it. -No, no, he borrowed it.

Once I made the transfer for him, I returned it, so...

Can you describe for me what's on this tape?

There was a sermon by Archbishop Rushman on it, a rehearsal of a sermon, I should say, followed by

-a kind of home movie. -A home movie? Of what?

-Some altar boys. -And?

-A girl. -Doing what?

An altar-boy lesson of some kind?

Having sex.

Quiet.

A porno movie.

-Yes. -Yes. Now.

How is it, do you think, that this tape, this porno tape, was in the Archbishop's closet in order for Mr. Vail to find it there?

-He was the... The director. -Who was?

-Archbishop Rushman. -Quiet in the court!

And was the defendant one of the altar boys performing in the Archbishop's home movie?

-Yes, he was. -Was his girlfriend?

I believe her name is Linda Forbes.

Yes, she was.

And did it appear to you that the defendant was enjoying performing in this film with his girlfriend?

No, he does not.

I will not ask you, Mr. Goodman, if you think we have just uncovered motive here.

We will decide that for ourselves once we've all seen the videotape.

No further questions.

Does Defense wish to cross?

-No, Your Honor. -Court's in recess.

Bailiff, please set up for the tape. Mr. Goodman, you're excused.

Thanks for the advice.

-Mr. Vail said she was your girlfriend. -Yes. Yes, she was.

-How'd you meet? -We was both at the Savior House.

I was an altar boy, and she was working for Bishop Rushman.

Doing what?

Were you sleeping with anyone else at the time?

-No. -Was she?

No.

Has she been to see you, Aaron?

-Yeah? No, I'm still here. -No.

-What? -Does that upset you?


Okay.

Mr. Vail, are you prepared to proceed with your first witness?

Yes, Your Honor. The Defense calls John Shaughnessy.

The People object, Your Honor.

Mr. Shaughnessy has never been identified as a possible witness.

-Your Honor, may I approach? -Yes, you may.

Thank you.

My client is on trial for his life, here. He's always maintained that there was

-someone else in that bedroom. -And you think Mr. Shaughnessy can somehow confirm that?

Your Honor, the Constitution of the United States takes precedence here, permitting the calling of any witness to promulgate evidence of innocence.

That's clearly stated in the Sixth Amendment.

It's also profound in Brady vs. Maryland.

Mr. Shaughnessy, do you serve on the board of an organization known as the Rushman Foundation?

I have the privilege to be an honorary board member.

Could you briefly explain the nature and purpose of this foundation?

The Rushman Foundation was founded by the late archbishop.

Its purpose is to invest in projects for the greater good of the community.

The greater good of the community, okay.

Now, would that be true in the case of the now bankrupt

-South River Housing Development? -Yes.

Could you tell the court why the South River project was abandoned?

There was a difference of opinion as to the costs.

Wasn't there also a difference of opinion between the investors and the late archbishop himself?

-I don't recall. -Well...

What kind of money are we talking about here? I mean...

How much money, Mr. Shaughnessy, was invested in this failed South River enterprise?

-$60 million. -Quiet.

$60 million!

Wow, that's a lot of money.

You and the Archbishop have been friends for, what, 20 years?

I think it's safe to say the two of you knew each other really well.

That's right.

Were you surprised at the content of that tape

-that Miss Venable submitted? -Yes, of course I was.

So you've never heard any allegations, charges against the Archbishop during that time?

Not that I recall, no.

No, especially since you were the State's Attorney for the last 15 years, it'd be fair to say that you've supervised all the prosecutions in Cook County during that time, especially the prosecutions of all the prominent figures.

I also have a staff of 1,000 of the best prosecutors...

Yeah, yeah, but as State's Attorney, it was up to you, ultimately, to decide who would be indicted and who wouldn't.

-Yes. -Yeah. Okay.

Let me just take you back now.

Let's go back to June, 1985.

Do you recall any allegations of sexual misconduct

-against the Archbishop at that time? -I don't recall that, no.

No? Do you recall a young man by the name of Michael O'Donnell who came to the felony review unit at your office?

I have no idea what you're talking about, -Counselor. -You don't?

This is so confusing to me, because I have this document here from the Chicago Metropolitan Police Department, and it says that, yes, Michael O'Donnell spoke to the supervisor of that unit over a period of two weeks, explaining to him, in graphic detail, sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of Archbishop Rushman.

Quiet.

Isn’t it also true, Mr. State's Attorney, that you then decided that your friend, Archbishop Rushman, was not going to stand trial for any of it?

He owed you big time, John.

You must have been really pissed off when he pulled out of South River.

What happened? What was it?

He just finally said, "I can't take it anymore"? He said, "No!"

-Mr. Vail. -So you and your investors...

-Mr. Vail. -...had 60 million reasons to kill him!

-You little cocksucker! -That's it. Witness dismissed.

This court's in recess. Vail, in my chambers now.

That's for Joey Pinero, you little shithead.

Start looking for a job.

If you think you can use my courtroom to wage personal vendettas and settle old scores, you are sorely mistaken.

I'm striking Shaughnessy's testimony from the record as irrelevant, and I'm holding you in contempt to the tune of $10,000.

So what you're telling me is, I can't get a fair trial in your courtroom, is that it?

Be very, very careful, Mr. Vail. You're on dangerous ground here.

Fine, fine. You want me to make that check out to you, Judge?

Do you want me to take you off this case?

You're making a mockery of my courtroom, and I'm not going to allow it.

I suggest you start representing your client and stop representing yourself.

...do this later?

No, I want to stay with this for a minute.

-I'm feeling very, very tired. -Yeah, I know.

Why does talking about Linda Forbes upset you?

It doesn't. I just...

-Okay, okay. -I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

Hey, you know what I can do with this thing?

How the fuck should I know?

Dr. Arrington, how much time have you spent with Aaron Stampler?

Around 60 hours.

And what did you find in the course of your evaluation?

I found that Mr. Stampler suffers from an acute disassociative condition, specifically, multiple personality disorder.

Objection, Your Honor.

Now, Dr. Arrington is only stating what she herself has personally observed.

-Your Honor. -Counselors.

-Now, I know what you're doing. -Will you excuse us for a minute?

Your Honor, if he wants to question his client's sanity...

Your Honor, I'm trying to establish a medical basis for amnesia here.

That is not what he's doing. He's saying he's crazy.

-Are you? -No, I am not.

I'll allow you to proceed with this witness if you're very, very careful.

Absolutely. Yes.

Write down that he said that.

All right, where were we?

Now, could Aaron Stampler have been present during the murder of Archbishop Rushman

-and not remember it? -Yes, he could.

Okay. Could you explain that, please?

Mr. Stampler's state at the time of the offense was such that his body could be present at a homicide and yet his mind would be unable to recall it.

-And how is that possible? -The neurological mechanism that would make this possible began with the early abuse suffered at the hands of his father.

In defense, Aaron's psyche splintered and helped him to create two separate personalities.

-Your Honor. -I didn't say it.

-I did not say it... -You've been warned twice now.

Do you really wanna pursue this line of questioning?

And I suggest you think long and hard before answering.

Your Honor, just one last question.

All right, Dr. Arrington, in your opinion, is Aaron Stampler capable of murder?

No, he is not. He is far too traumatized to express normal anger and frustration.

He keeps his emotions repressed, which is why he created Roy, who is capable of such a crime.

-Objection, Your Honor. -That's enough, Mr. Vail.

The jury will disregard this witness' last statement, as will the court.

-Thank you very much. -Madam Prosecutor, -do you wish to cross? -You bet I do.

Since you brought it up, against the instructions of the court, I'm curious to know, is multiple personality disorder your primary area of expertise?

It's not my primary field, no.

Is forensic psychiatry your primary area of expertise?

-No, I'm a neuropsychologist. -I see.

So you have no forensic experience, and you're more of, let's say, an academic?

Then you will forgive this rather academic question.

I'm driving in my car, somebody cuts me off.

I think to myself, "I could just kill that guy," but I don't, now do I?

-I would hope not. -That's right.

Things happen to us. People wrong us, but we don't all go around inventing psychopaths to do our dirty work for us, now, do we, Doctor?

I'm not suggesting you suffer from multiple personality, Miss Venable.

-I'm saying Mr. Stampler does. -Yes, I know. We heard.

You have also testified that you have met this...

What was his name again?

-Roy. -Roy what?

-He didn't give a last name. -I see.

Did this Roy tell you that he had murdered the Archbishop?

Mr. Vail was alone with him at the time. I was watching through the window, but soon after that I was in the room and saw both Roy and his transformation back to Aaron.

Did you happen to tape this appearance of Aaron...

I'm sorry. I am sorry. I just cannot get used to this name.

-Roy. -Did you?

-No, the tape was off. -Off?

So you have no record whatsoever of his appearance.

-No. -No.

Does Aaron Stampler know the difference between right and wrong?

Yes, he does.

If Aaron Stampler butchered the Archbishop, would he know...

Objection, Your Honor.

If Aaron Stampler murdered the Archbishop, -would he know he'd broken the law? -Yes, he would, but it wasn't Aaron...

Yes, I know, Doctor. It was Roy.

That's all. No further questions, Your Honor.

Witness may step down.

Miss Venable, if you would like to re-open the Prosecution's case and call the State's psychiatrist, -I will certainly agree to it. -No, I...

I don't think that's necessary, Your Honor.

I think we all get the picture here.

Mr. Vail, are you ready to proceed?

Would you like a recess?


Roy?

Aaron.

Could you tell us a little about your relationship with Archbishop Rushman?

Well, he was like a father to me. I loved him very much.

Why did you love him?

Why?

Well, he saved my life.

He was the only person who ever treated me like I was worth anything.

Stop your whining, you little girl. Be a man.

Now, we've all seen that tape that you were in, Aaron.

How did that make you feel?

Did it change your feelings about Archbishop Rushman?

No.

He was a wonderful man.

So you didn't feel anger towards him about being forced to perform in that tape?

No, he did everything for me.

There wasn't nothing else I could do for him, and he needed it.

Do you know someone named Roy?

No, I don't.

You heard Dr. Arrington's testimony about what she and I saw there at the jail.

Aaron, some pretty strange things going on there. Do you remember?

I heard what she said, but I don't remember any of that.

-No recollection? -No, sir.

Did you kill Archbishop Rushman?

No, sir, I did not.

Thank you.

Your witness.

Mr. Stampler, would you like some water?

-No, ma'am. -You sure?

Yes, ma'am. Yes, ma'am.

Mr. Stampler, did you believe that the Archbishop wore masks?

I'm sorry, what did you say?

Do you think he acted one way in public and another way in private?

No, I didn't think that.

Isn’t that why you underlined the Hawthorne passage?

Mr. Stampler?

No, I did not underline that book.

-You didn't underline it? -No, ma'am.

And you didn't carve the numbers referring to that passage into his chest?

No, no, ma'am, I did not. I told you I...

You loved him.

You loved him like a father.

Even though he made you and your girlfriend perform demeaning sexual acts for his own gratification.

No, you don't understand. He...

There was no other way for him to cast out his own demons.

-He needed it. -He needed to get off, Aaron.

That's what he was doing.

That's what he needed you for, to perform like a circus animal.

-That was your function in his life. -No.

Mr. Stampler, I'm gonna ask you straight, because I am tired, and I've had just about all I can take of this sordidness, and I wanna go home, and I wanna wash my hands, and I wanna forget all about you and Archbishop Rushman.

Did the Archbishop force you and your girlfriend and others to perform sexual acts while he watched? Yes or no?

-Yes, he did, but... -Yes. Yes, he forced you.

He forced you using a threat of expulsion from Savior House and a life on the street with no heat and no water and no food.

He put you in front of a camera! He made you take off your clothes!

And you don't think that that's another side?

Another face of a man that we all thought...

-No! No. -Do you know what I would do if someone did that to me? I would kill him. I wouldn't hesitate.

-No. -I would stab him

78 times with a butcher knife!

I would chop off his fingers! I would slash his throat open!

I would carve numbers into his chest!

I would gouge out his eyes! I swear to God.

But that's me.

No further questions, Your Honor.

Where the hell do you think you're going?

-Excuse me? -Hey, you look at me

-when I'm talking to you, bitch! -Mr. Stampler.

-Fuck you, lady! Come here! -That's it.

Order! Bailiff! Order!

Come here! You wanna play rough? Let's play rough. Come on. Back off!

-Roy! Take it easy. -Keep coming, asshole.

You'll see if I don't break her fucking neck.

-Roy, come here. I gotta talk to you. -Fuck you, Marty!

-I'm walking out of here. Now, slow... -It's me.

No! No! Don't you...

No!

-You okay? -Yeah. Yeah, I'm okay.


Don't even think of lighting that cigarette, Miss Venable.

-How's your neck? -I'll live.

I could call a doctor.

Mr. Shaughnessy just called to inform me there will be no mistrial, -as if that was his right. -I can't believe that scumbag has the balls to call here.

No, thanks.

What matters to me is what you have to say.

Obviously, your case has been damaged.

In fairness to the Prosecution, I would declare a mistrial, regardless of what Monsieurs Shaughnessy and Vail think, if that's what you want.

The Prosecution doesn't wanna try this case again, even if it could, which it can't, at least not by me.

And I think I can guarantee you there's no one in the DA's office who will, so it's up to you.

I'm going to dismiss the jury in favor of a bench trial and a blind plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

-Yes? -Yeah.

The defendant will be remanded to Elgin for an evaluation period of 30 days.

Let them decide the term of his commitment.

Do either of you have a problem with that?

Your Honor, he'll be out in a month.

Take it up with the Legislature, Miss Venable.

I'm going home.

-Your Honor. -No, Mr. Vail, I am not refunding your contempt fine, and the next time you wanna get a client off on insanity, you plead that way, or I'll have you disbarred.


-You okay? -Am I okay? Do I seem okay?

I get attacked by this sick twist, I've lost the case, I'm out of a job.

No, Marty. I'm not particularly okay, but, hey, you won, justice was done. Who the hell cares, right?

Congratulations.

You knew, didn't you?

You knew if I went after him, he'd wig out up there.

Well, I knew he'd come out if he was threatened.

And who better to do that than me?

You used me.

Yeah, I did. I had no choice.

What did I use, by the way, that was so terrible?

I knew you'd do your job. I knew you'd stand up to Shaughnessy.

I knew you'd try to win the case. Now, what's wrong with that?

I lost my fucking job!

And that's good. You should've left him years ago.

Christ, Marty, why is it you always think you know what's right for me?

Because I'm arrogant.

I'm very, very arrogant.

-You wanna dance? -No.

-Sure? -Yeah.

All you have to do is turn around.

No.

No.

I have to see my client.


-I'd like a minute alone with him. -Are you sure?

Yeah. I'm sure.

You okay?

My head hurts.

You don't remember what just happened?

-No? -I lost time again.

Well, I got some good news.

They've agreed to stop the trial.

They're gonna be sending you to a hospital.

You can get the help you need.

Now, there's a very good chance you can get out someday soon.

Yeah.

I can't believe it.

-I don't know what to say, Mr. Vail. -That's all right, Aaron. That's okay.

I knew, the minute you came into my cell, I knew everything was gonna be okay.

You saved my life.

Yeah.

I got to go.

-When will I see you again? -Well, that's up to the courts now.

I don't want you to worry, Aaron. I'm gonna stay on top of this, okay?

Thank you.

All right. You give me a call if you need to. Okay?

-I will. -All right.

-Hey, Mr. Vail? -Yeah.

Will you tell Miss Venable I'm sorry?

Tell her I hope her neck is okay.

Yeah.

-What did you just say? -What?

You told me you don't remember. You black out.

So how do you know about her neck?

Well, good for you, Marty.

I was gonna let it go.

You was looking so happy just now. I was thinking...

But to tell you the truth, I'm glad you figured it, 'cause I have been dying to tell you.

I just didn't know who you'd wanna hear it from, you know.

I mean, Aaron or Roy, or Roy or Aaron.

Well, I'll let you in on a little secret, sort of a client-attorney privilege type of a secret. You know what I mean?

It don't matter who you hear it from. It's the same story.

I just had to kill Linda, Mr. Vail.

That cunt just got what she deserved.

But cutting up that son of a bitch Rushman, that was just a fucking work of art.

You're good. You are really good.

Yeah, I did get caught, though, didn't I?

So there never... There never was a Roy?

Jesus Christ, Marty. If that's what you think, I'm disappointed in you.

I don't mind telling you.

There never was an Aaron, Counselor.

Come on, Marty, I thought you had it figured there at the end.

The way you put me on the stand like that, that was fucking brilliant, Marty.

And that whole thing, that, "Act like a man,"

Jesus, I knew exactly what you wanted from me.

It was like we were dancing, Marty!

-Guard. -Come on. Don't be like that, Marty.

We did it, man. We fucking did it. We're a great team, you and me.

You think I could've done this without you?

You're just feeling a little anger here because you started to care about old Aaron. I can understand that, but, you know, love hurts, Marty. What can I say?

Hey, I'm just kidding, bud! I didn't mean to hurt your feelings!

What else was I supposed to do?

Hey, you're gonna thank me down the road, 'cause this is gonna toughen you right up, Martin Vail!

You hear me? That's a promise!