True Crime (1999) Script

Blood pressure, 120 over 70. Normal.

All right, open wide.

Looks fine. Healthy as a horse.

Just one more thing, Luther.

You got to whiz in the cup, Frank. Then we're done.

Well, fuck 'em.

We going to argue the merits of journalism?

What? Journalism? You trying to tell me that's journalism?

Look, Michelle, it's been a long weekend.

Everybody keeps shooting one another, and I've got to write about it.

I'm serious. I'm tired of the crap, you know?

I should go back and get my PhD.

At least, then, I could write about stuff that matters.

Michelle, you're 23-years-old, you don't know anything that matters.

Well, fuck you too, Ev!

All right, here's a shoulder.

-What did they do to you? -Not "they." He.

-Alan. -Alan?

Yeah, he killed my sidebar on the Frank Beechum murder.

Now, if you ask me something about the whole case stinks anyway, -but it's not the point-- -I read that sidebar.

Yeah, well, it was good, Ev. Admit it.

It's the best thing I've written in months.

That was the one where you say that the media glorified Beechum's victim in order to mask our patriarchal culture--

Which helped create the violence that destroyed her. Exactly.

Yeah. Well, you're right. He should have never killed that.

-Fuckin' A! -I would've tortured it.

Hmm.

Okay.

Well, it might have enjoyed that.

I think it would've enjoyed every second of that.

Really? Well.

Another round?

Yeah, another margarita for the lady, and I'll have my usual.

Not your "usual" usual?

No, my, uh, new usual.

Ah. Virgin Mary. Yeah.

Okay, and heavy on the...

Virgin?

All right, Ev, tell me something.

If you're such hot shit, what are you doing stuck here in Bumfuck, California?

-Looking for love. -Hmm.

Well, you've come to all the wrong places.

Not from where I sit.

It's not good, not smart.

-What's smart got to do with anything? -I can't do this.

I gotta go.

I gotta go. You're married and you're...

I can't do this.

I gotta go.

Oh. Next time?

Yeah. Yeah, next time.


Frank!

We're out!

Just hold on, I can't hear you.

Morning, Frank.

Can I get you anything?

Some breakfast?

Well, if I can get, like, a roll and some coffee.

I'll get that right away.

Hey, Doug.

You're not wearing your protective glasses.

Got 'em.

-You heard about it? -Yeah.

-What a tragedy. -The fucking Raiders, that's a tragedy.

-What, was she drunk? -I don't know.

It was at the Dead Man's Curve. They should do something about that place.

We have to cover for her? Did she have anything big on?

She had the interview with Frank Beechum at San Quentin, and then she was gonna witness the execution tonight.

-Christ. -It's a little worse for Michelle, Alan.

Oh, do you think so, Bob?

Look, I don't know if I can get the warden to sign off on a replacement for the interview, but I thought I'd take Harvey out of that fraud meeting.

Put Everett on it. But Steve has the day off, doesn't he?

Not anymore, he doesn't.

He can do the interview and then he can witness the execution.

And what's his name, the warden down there at San Quentin?

Plunkitt. Steve's dealt with him before. I can get him in.

You think Everett's an asshole, don't you?

I don't think he's an asshole.

You're wrong. He is an asshole. Trust me, I know him.

But a lot of people who are good at their jobs are assholes, Bob.

Look, I know that, Alan, all right? It's just, it's not about that.

It's just everything with Everett is a big, investigative witch hunt, you know?

Like that Mike Vargas piece.

Hey, he was a drunk then, he isn't now.

Oh, okay, so two months ago he's a drunk, now he's Mother Teresa. Okay, all right.

The point is, this is not a Steve Everett slash-and-burn job, okay?

This is a sidebar. It's an issue piece. Ooh!

"An issue piece." Well, dog my cats!

It's capital punishment, Alan, okay?

We are putting a man to death tonight. We are killing a human being.

Oh, well, stop the presses!

Hey, by the way, Bob, that Amy what's-her-name, you know, the pregnant broad that old Frankie shot in the throat, was she a human being, huh?

-Is that part of the issue? -Yeah, okay. That is part of the issue.

Bob, let me tell you something. Crumb cake?

-No. -Okay.

Issues are shit that we make up to give ourselves an excuse to run good stories.

Okay?

"Judge Grabs A Female Attorney's Tits."

Hey, that's the sex discrimination "issue."

"Nine-year-old Blows Away His Brother With An Uzi."

The child violence "issue."

People want to read about sex organs and blood.

-Well, you know what? -Okay? No, no.

Okay, we make up issues so they don't have to feel too nasty about it. Got it?

Then I might as well call Steve Everett because that's his attitude exactly.

Ooh, a little sarcasm there, Bob?

How long you been here? What, three months, huh?

I've been working with Steve Everett for three and a half years.

And let me tell you something, Bob.

The guy is good, he's as good as anybody I've ever worked with.

You know why he was run out of New York City?

-Do you know the story? -I heard a couple of things.

Yeah, he busted the mayor, Bob. The mayor of fucking New York City!

Everett found a secret memo on a contract bribe between His Honor and one of the ex-borough presidents, -and he ran with it in his column. -So?

So, the paper tried to kill it because the owner was in bed with the mayor.

What did Everett do, Bob, huh?

Well, he didn't whine and he didn't back down.

He just fucking walked.

-That's Steve Everett. -Okay.

-Okay? Good. -Fine. Yeah.

-How you doing with the quitting smoking? -Going great.

Okay. Hey, listen, when you send the flowers to the, you know, uh, dead girl...

-Michelle. -Michelle's family.

Would you include my name? Thanks, I appreciate it.

-Yeah. All right. Yeah. -See you. Okay?

The mayor of New York City, Bob. The mayor, you gullible asshole.

Yeah, I could have stayed in New York forever.

They were just about to put me in charge of an investigative team, and that would have put me on the Pulitzer track.

I really liked it there. Broadway shows, downtown jazz clubs.

Dinners at Elaine's, veal chops up the old wazoo.

Not veal chops like that, though. Jaws!

Now you have to kiss it and make it better.

So, you were the king of New York.

So, why you hacking out metro stories at the Oakland Tribune?

Well, that's a long story.

I got caught in the supply room with a very young lady.

-No. -Turned out to be the owner's daughter.

How the hell was I supposed to know she was underage?

She looked 18 to me.

Anyway, I got blackballed all over town.

You bad man! What did your wife say?

Well, she...

We'd just had the kid, so she took it kind of hard.

But, uh, you know, Alan offered us this gig out here.

Another town, another change.

-Bad man! -Yeah.

First the owner's daughter, now the editor's wife?

Do I detect a little hostility towards authority figures?

--Only ones I work for.

Is that what you're gonna say in the next town with someone else?

"Oh, you know, I got caught with the editor's wife. You know how that is."

I get caught with the editor's wife, there's not many more towns that'll have me.

So, playtime's over?

You've got to go to work, I've got to get home, see if the wife and kid still recognize me.

You're not gonna tell me how awful we're being, are you?

Bob, he's a decent sort.

Good newspaperman, solid editor.

So, this all just stinks, right?

What we're doing.

Patricia, you and I are just two people swimming through the passions of life.

You know what I mean?

Look, it's all right.

It's not like I love you or anything.

Well, that's good.

Because I don't love you, too.

Hello?

All right.

Yes?

Yes, all right.

You are not gonna believe this.

What?

That was Bob.

What'd he want?

He was looking for you.

Who told him?

How the hell should I know?

Oh.

Okay.

Morning, Frank.

Mr. Plunkitt.

Anything I can get for you? Anything you need?

No, not anything I can think of.

There's some matters I gotta discuss with you.

Figured we'd do it first thing, get it out of the way.

Your dinner tonight, for one thing, can be pretty much anything you want.

You go ahead and tell Reedy here, when you decide.

Now, about your personal effects, belongings--

My wife will take them.

And your remains? That go for your remains, too?

-Because if she can't afford the funeral-- -No, no.

Our church raised some money. It's all right.

So your wife will be claiming your remains, then?

Yes, sir, that's right.

Well, okay.

Now, I want to give you some idea here of what's going to happen tonight.

We'll have to ask your visitors to leave at 7 p. m.

You'll be given your dinner and a fresh set of clothes.

We'll come for you about a half hour before the procedure.

You'll be taken into the procedure room.

They'll hook an EKG up to you and the intravenous lines at that time.

But nothing's going to happen early or anything.

Right up until 12:01, we'll be monitoring the phones.

We got open lines to the attorney general and the governor.

And those we check right through to make sure they're in working order.

You have any questions about any of that, Frank?

No.

Just one more thing and then I'll leave you in peace here.

-It's about the sedative. -I don't want no sedative.

Sedative's completely optional, Frank.

I would just like to advise you, it can make things a whole lot easier.

I don't want it.

I appreciate it, Mr. Plunkitt, but I want to be clear in my mind.

When I see my wife, I want to be clear for that, all right?

Fair enough.

You change your mind, you let the duty officer know.

I just had to give you my little sales talk, is all.

Badges go down to the gate at nine. I got the witness list.

What else?

Roadblocks are up. Demonstrators are light, so far.

-Visitors, all squared away? -Yeah, wife and kid.

Your girlfriend from the Trib, Michelle Ziegler, she'll be here at 4:00.

Mea culpa.

Well, she was pretty persuasive.

Yeah. Well, let her persuade me next time, huh?

Arnie, what do you think of Beechum?

Well, sometimes I think about the girl he shot dead over $96.

Mostly, I think about doing my job.

Warden! Sir!

I repent!

Jesus, Atkins!


Hey, give me some of that pussy, baby. Come on, baby.

Give me some of that pussy. Give me some pussy on toast!

Baby, I need some of that pussy on toast!

Go ahead, baby, shake that thing. Hey!

Excuse me. Excuse me. Can I have some pussy on toast?

I just need some pussy on toast, baby.

Come on. Give me some pussy on toast! Huh? Huh?

Steve!

-Is that you, newspaperman? Hey! -Back off.

Hey, Steve. Hey, I know you got some money. Give me some money on toast, baby.

Come on, I need it.

Promise me you will not spend this on food.

$5?

Come on, Steve. Come on, you can give me more than that.

Steve, give me $5, give me $10. Come on, give me $20, Steve.

You can give me $100, you got so much money!

You got money on toast, baby! I know you do, Steve.

-Hey, sister! -Get away from me.

-I know you got some sweet pussy! -Get away from me.

Get away!

You nasty motherfucker, get away from me! Shut your nasty ass up.

I just want something on the toast, baby. Ain't nothing wrong with that.

Put some on the toast for me. I know she likes me.

I know I'm going to give her my phone number.

Hello, everyone.

-You got my message? -Yeah.

Apparently, you and I have a little problem.

-Do we? -Yes, we do.

Look, Bob--

Michelle Ziegler was killed in a car wreck last night.

What? Michelle?

Yeah.

Well, that couldn't be. I was with her last night.

-Oh, no. -Yeah.

She was only 23 or something.

Dead Man's Curve.

Oh, my God! The poor kid.

Just out of school and 23 or something. I should have driven her home.

She had an interview set up with Frank Beechum this afternoon.

The poor...

Beechum.

Has he... Yeah, I heard they were going to juice him today.

In fact, she said she had a seat for the show.

Yeah, 4:00 face-to-face in the deathwatch cell.

Alan wants you to cover for her.

Beechum, is he the one who killed that pregnant girl?

College student, Amy Wilson. Working the summer in Richmond.

Place called Pocum's Grocery. Owed Beechum 96 bucks.

Repairs he did on her car or something. Shot her dead.

Anything else I should know about him?

Tough, black mechanic at the Amoco station in Clayton.

But I'm warning you, do not pull a Dick Tracy on this, okay?

I don't want some big investigative piece.

You can depend on that. Don't worry.

Says here, Beechum's one of those born-agains.

Yeah, aren't they all on death row?

-Biggest birthrate in the country. -Cynical.

Uh, he came from Michigan. Broken home, alcoholic mother.

He's been in and out of jails, violent assaults, bar room fights, drugs, more drugs.

He did two years in state pen for beating up a cop who tried to give him a ticket.

-Sounds like a reasonable fella. -Yeah.

Then another three for breaking into a convenience store.

Then he got out of the slam, he met his wife.

Nice girl, born-again, led him straight to Jesus.

They had a daughter, bought a house in Richmond.

Yeah, now he's Mr. Nice Guy.

I guess not.

Six years ago, July 4th, he walks into Pocum's, Amy Wilson is working the register.

Yeah, let me guess.

He asks Amy for his 96 bucks and she says she doesn't have it.

And old Frank, he gets his wicked temper up.

I don't suppose he's expressed any heartfelt remorse?

Nope. Get this.

He still says that he just went to the store for some A.1. Steak Sauce.

Steak sauce? Well, that's a nice touch.

Yeah. Looks like Nussbaum had two strong witnesses.

Black or white?

Uh, let's see. Both white, looks like.

Woman in the parking lot who saw him running away, and then this poor guy, an accountant, drives into parking lot 'cause his car overheated, and he goes into the store to use the phone, and there's Beechum standing over the body, gun in hand, blood all over him.

Okay, okay. Don't overload him, okay?

All I'm looking for here, is the human interest angle.

You know, final days, what it's like. All right?

-Got it? -Yeah, I got it.

Anything else you need from me, Bob?

Nope.

Good. Okey-dokey. Get right on it.

Something else on your mind, Steve?

The witness, the one who found Beechum standing over the body, he must have heard the shots, right?

The shots.

Yeah, I mean, he's...

You know, he comes in, his car's overheated, he's got the hood up.

And then must've be working on it or something.

Meanwhile, there's a robbery's going on.

He had to have heard shots.

So he heard the shots.

Yeah, but this is a white accountant in Richmond.

And you're telling me he's just gonna walk into a grocery store when he heard the shots?

You know what, Steve? I don't know if he heard the shots or not.

Maybe he did. I don't care.

What I would like you to do, please, is interview Frank Beechum about his feelings today.

And then turn it into a human interest sidebar. Think you can handle that?

Yeah. Yeah, I'll get right on it. No problem.

Bye-bye.

Fuck!

Close one.

I don't know what you did to him, but he's on your case.

I'd say, we're about two seconds away from a full Bob Findley explosion.

Mmm-hmm.

What are you, crazy?

You're gonna light up now, after Bob's big "no smoking" speech last week?

Oh, I missed that.

Yeah. That was smart, too.

Try to be a good boy, okay?

Okay. Yeah.

Beechum case.

Okay. Victim, Amy Wilson, married, 20-year-old coed, shot in the chest with a .38 as she stood behind the counter at Pocum's Grocery in Richmond.

Six months pregnant at the time, both she and the baby died.

Okay, let's see. Two witnesses.

Um, um... Right. First witness, Nancy Larson, housewife, mother of three, drives her car into the parking lot at Pocum's.

Larson couldn't see whether he had a gun or not.

No weapon was ever found.

Later, she picked Beechum out of a police lineup, and that was the same lineup, let's see, where Beechum was picked out by Dale Porterhouse, CPA.

He was in the neighborhood.

His car overheated, so he drove into Pocum's to call AAA.

Porterhouse calls the cops, picks Beechum out of the lineup that same day.

Records later show that Amy Wilson owed Beechum $96 for work he'd done on her carburetor.

Note for future essay, why so few female car mechanics?

Want coffee, Ev?

It's back in fashion as a late-morning pick-me-up.

Bridget.

Uh, yeah, make it a big one.

Women are allowed to fetch coffee in the office now because improved job opportunities have given us new confidence.

Bridget, don't you think maybe being the trends editor is getting to you?

I don't know. Was I an insane person before?

You're a great person.

-You take it black, right? -I do.

Oh, shit!

Hello? Hi.

Steve, thank God. Where are you?

I'm at the paper. They roped me in.

Oh, no. Did they call you at the gym?

They tried here, but I wouldn't tell 'em where you were.

I stopped by to pick something up and they grabbed me.

Did you have a good workout, honey?

Yeah, decent.

Good. Anyway, you really did promise Kate you'd take her to the zoo.

Oh, the zoo!

God, I forgot!

Steve, she really is expecting you.

I'm sorry about that. I really... I just forgot.

Look, you worked all weekend. She didn't see you at all.

You know how she loves her daddy.

Steve, I know it's work, but I really feel it would be a bad idea to let her down like this again.

Look, Barbara, there's been an accident.

Remember Michelle Ziegler?

-You met her at the Christmas party? -Yeah.

She piled up her car up on Dead Man's Curve.

-Oh, my Gosh. That's terrible. -Yeah.

With so many accidents on that road, they really ought to do something about that place.

What was that?

I said, they really ought to do something about that place.

-Is she hurt? -"Not if I heard anything like that."

What?

Oh, yeah, dead.

Oh, that's awful. Do they want you to fill in for her?

Yeah.

They've got a ticket for the execution tonight.

Steve, don't tell me they couldn't get somebody else for this.

I mean, you were working all weekend.

Finally!

What? Where are you?

Barbara, look, I don't have to be at San Quentin till 4:00.

Why don't I come by, I'll pick up Katie.

I'll take her to the zoo and I'll bring her back at 3:00? How about that?

Coffee time! What about her nap?

She's supposed to go down for her nap right after lunch.

-Her nap? -Yes.

Isn't today your day off?

You know how cranky she gets without her nap.

Well, look, I'll bring her a double espresso.

Steven.

It's just a joke. And I'm busting a gut.

All right, look, I'll be there in a half-hour, 12:30 at the latest.

Why'd you have to go in there on your day off?

Are you still trying to make up for that Mike Vargas thing?

I'll be there at 12:30, all right?

Oh! More and more office workers are insisting on the right not to breathe secondhand smoke.

And more and more scumbags don't care.

Well, Bridget, you're an adorable person.

Sexual harassment. Hmm.

What are the guidelines?

Who can say?

I hate my job, Ev.

But I love watching you do it, darlin'.

Don't look now.

Gosh, Mr. Reporter, is that what real newspapermen get to read?

Well, Dale Porterhouse, "No, I wouldn't have, I couldn't have heard the shots, "because all the windows were rolled up

"and I had the radio playing and the air conditioner was on.

"That's probably why the car overheated."

Close quote.

That's another wild hunch down the drain.

My condolences.

No great loss.

Look, anybody calls, I'm at the zoo.

Me, too.


Good morning, Frank.

I thought maybe...

Well, if there's anything that I can do for you, if there's anything you'd like to talk to me about, just want you to know I'm here, I'm available.

I understand you're a Bible-reading man.

That's right, isn't it, Frank?

But, you know, Frank, just reading the Bible isn't enough, is it?

No.

Man can't go to his maker with the sins of his soul unrepented of.

With the hurt he's caused folks, just, you know, unrepented of.

A lot of folks out there would feel a whole lot better to hear that you were remorseful for some of the pain that you'd caused them.

You could do a lot of good with those words, Frank.

Frank?

I don't have anything to tell you.

-Frank-- -Reverend Shillerman, I want you to leave. I have my own pastor coming later.

Now, son...

Son, I don't need to tell you

that there is gonna come a time, and I'm afraid that time is not far off, -when you will... -Reedy!

...wish that you had made a different decision.

But it will be too late.

Reedy!

What can I get you, Frank?

I want you to get this damn fool out of my face!

Calling himself a man of God.

Reverend Shillerman.

Reverend Shit-For-Brains.

Now, Frank, I myself would not want to be strapped to that table tonight with the wrongs that I've committed

-unrepented of. -Reverend.

Because when they stick that needle in your arm...

Jesus, Reverend. Come on.

-...feel your blood run to ice! -Reverend, that's enough! That's enough.

-Reverend, come on. -Get him out of here!

I feel sorry for you, Frank.

I'm sorry too. Believe me.

I mean it, Reverend. We don't want no trouble here.

All right. I just felt, you know, it's my job.

It may be upsetting.

Everyone wants in on the action, right, Frank?

Frank?

Well, 12 hours from now, convicted killer Frank Beechum will be executed by lethal injection.

Beechum was convicted six years ago of the brutal slaying of 20-year-old coed, Amy Wilson, and her unborn child at Pocum's Grocery in the Richmond section of the county.

Wilson, who was married and six months pregnant, was working at the cashier at the grocery when Beechum shot her during an argument over $96 she owed him and was unable to pay.

Now, the weather for the Bay Area.

Night and morning low clouds with some afternoon clearing.


...coverage as this human drama unfolds.

-All right. -Let's go live now to San Quentin, where our field reporter, Chuck Neils, brings us this update.

Help you?

Yeah, I'm a reporter from the Oakland Tribune.

Isn't this the place that Amy Wilson was killed?

It sure is.

She was right behind this same counter.

Almost six years ago exactly.

Mr. Pocum says the needle's too good for him.

For Beechum.

Me, I said they ought to bring back the chair. That's what I say.

Really let him have a jolt of something.

What's back there?

Bathroom. Mr. Pocum was always real nice about letting folks come in and do their business.

Yeah. Well, I'll come back some other time maybe and do some really serious shopping.

Am I going to be in the newspaper?

Was there something here before?

Yes, sir. That's where the potato chips used to be.

But Mr. Pocum moved the rack over here, so it'd be what you call an impulse kind of purchase.

This in that story you're writing?

That's a good point.

No, I'm writing a human interest sidebar. Do you know what that is?

-No, I don't think I do. -I don't think I do either.

Sorry, I got hung up.

Daddy.

-Are we going to go to the zoo today? -Yeah.

-Well, what's holding us up? -Yeah.

Yeah. Don't you want to get dressed?

Come on. Let's change your clothes.

What animal do you want to see?

Daddy, I want to go see the hippopotamus.

-Come on, let's change your pants. -Come on, get changed.

-Yay! -Yes, well.

And I tell you, I mean, looking into those eyes I don't think...

It was like looking into the eyes of a goat, something like that.

They were that cold.

I don't... I can't honestly say that I've ever wished anyone dead, but I think I will feel a whole lot safer when Frank Beechum's gone.

That was Dale Porterhouse, an accountant with the firm of Stokes and Whitney.

Mr. Porterhouse was the state's key witness in the Amy Wilson case six years ago, a case that will finally culminate at one minute past midnight with the execution by lethal injection of Frank Beechum.

Information. What city, please?

For Oakland, please, for a Stokes and Whitney.

It's an accounting firm.

The number you requested is 5-5-5...

Come on, let's go. Daddy's here.

Steve, what is it?

It's just a hunch I've got. Don't worry. Bear with me.

Tonight, finally, is the execution.

It's been a very long six years. Do you feel justice is finally being done?

Yeah, hi. Is Dale Porterhouse there, please?

I'm sorry, Mr. Porterhouse is at lunch.

Get off the phone, Daddy.

Yeah.

Sir... Right now!

I'm... This is Steve Everett. I'm a reporter with the Oakland Tribune.

Could you have him call me back, please? It's about the Beechum case.

Sure, I'll tell him as soon as he comes in.

Nothing is gonna end that rage except the death of the monster who killed my daughter and my unborn grandchild. Nothing.

Mr. Everett? I'll give you my beeper number.

You're not taking that beeper!

Just a second, it's just a hunch. No big deal.

Come on.

Yeah, it's 5-5-5-1 -4-3-9.

I'll make sure he gets it. Thanks.

Okay, sweetheart, what do you think?

Are you ready for the big hippo?

Come on. Come on, you want to go in the den with Dad?

I'll show you something.

I'll show you something Dad's got to take with him. Yeah, okay.

Not the beeper. Right, Dad? Not the beeper.

Let's pick up my beeper. This goes "beep, beep, beep."

-Beep, beep, beep... -Yeah.

-Yeah, it goes "beep, beep, beep." -Beep, beep, beep.

Okay. Come on, let's get your jacket on.

And now we're just hours away from the actual time of execution.

Yeah, here. Put this on.

Daddy, I want to go see the hippopotamus.

Yeah. ...for a different point of view.

After a break, we'll be talking to someone who thinks capital punishment is never the solution...

Bye, sweetheart. I love you! Bye!

...no matter how violent or brutal the crime.

Bye, Katie! Bye!

-Have a good time! I love you. -Okay.

I love you too, Mama.

Wait! Wait, wait. You forgot the car seat!

Mother, I'm too big for a car seat.

Yeah, we'll put her in the back. How about that?

Put her in the back seat, but seatbelt.

-Daddy, Daddy! -Yeah.

Don't forget the seatbelt! Okay. No.

Okay.

The seatbelt, Steven!

It's fine. It's fine.

I should've never stopped by that grocery store.

Oh, God.

Hi, Dale Porterhouse, please. This is Steve Everett of the Oakland Tribune.

Be with you in just a second, darling. Just a second.

-Hi, this is Dale Porterhouse. -Daddy, why did it go beep?

-What can I do for you? -Yeah, Mr. Porterhouse.

-I'll be ready in a second, darling. -Yes?

-We'll go in a second. No problem. -Hello?

Yeah, Mr. Porterhouse, this is Steve Everett of the Oakland Tribune.

Daddy, why?

I'm covering the Frank Beechum execution tonight.

-Daddy, why did it go beep, beep, beep? -And I just...

I thought you were one of the chief witnesses in that.

Yes, sir.

Just a second. Just a second, sweetheart. Okay?

I was wondering if I could have 10 minutes with you. 10 minutes tops.

Uh, well, I'd be glad to, but I can't talk right now.

-Daddy, why... -I could meet you later, though.

Yeah, where?

Well, how about we meet downstairs?

There's a restaurant called the Bread Company. Know it?

Yeah, I know it exactly. Daddy, why...

On Ninth Street, isn't it? Uh, yeah.

How about I meet you there in about half-hour?

Okay. Half-hour it'll be.

Thanks. Bye.

Okay, baby. Come here. Come on.

But I'm too big to sit in a stroller!

Oh, that's nonsense. We're going to play this game called Speed Zoo.

-Speed Zoo? -Yeah.

-Monkeys! -Monkeys!

Okay!

-Giraffes! -We go fast.

We go fast.

-Birdies! Speed Zoo! -Birdies!

-Camel lips! -Camel!

We go fast.

-We go fast! -Speed Zoo.

Where's the hippopotamus?

Elephants! Look at the elephants.

Where's the hippopotamus?

Speed Zoo.

I want to see the hippopotamus!

We go fast.

I want a hippopotamus!

So sorry. I'm sorry.

I'm sorry. I wouldn't have had this happen for the world.

Mommy.

-I want my mommy! -I know, sweetie.

Daddy's sorry.

What...

My God! What happened to you?

She's a real trooper, I've got to tell you.

Oh, my God! What the hell's the matter with you?


How you holding up?

Okay.

Well, like I said, there's always a chance, but...

You know, with all the feeling about the girl and all...

You know how the governor's all tough on crime and so forth.

So Mr. Berris says that maybe, if you just tell him about how remorseful you feel...

You know what I'm saying?

-I didn't do it. -I understand.

I'm just telling you that's what we're facing here, all right?

I can't say I'm sorry for what I never did.

Okay, listen.

I'll call you back as soon as the appeal comes down, all right?

Hi, Daddy.

I brought you a picture, but it's not finished, so I have to finish it, okay?

Hold on a second. They're going to let me in.

Don't be sad now. We're not going to be afraid, huh.

Give Daddy a big hug, please? Mmm-hmm.

Come on, don't be sad. I won't be afraid. We're not gonna be afraid.

I'm gonna finish my picture now, Daddy, okay?

You do Daddy a favor, okay? Now, walk over here with me, okay?

I want you to sit right here while I have a little talk with Mommy, okay?

Okay.

Give me a kiss.

Come on. Come on.

Come on, now.

You know I'm just going home

-to dreamland, that's all. -Mmm-hmm.

Look. It's green pastures, Daddy. See?

Here's the blue sky. I made it at the motel.

Gonna be holding two places at the table for us.

-Daddy, it's not done yet. -Okay?

-Mmm-hmm. -Hey, we're not gonna cry.

I'm sorry. Okay.

We know I'm going to a better place beyond this place, right?

-Right, okay. -All right.

Okay.

The thing I worry about most in all this...

Oh, no, she loves you. She loves you.

Okay, I don't want her to ever think that her daddy did--

She won't think that.

Mmm-mmm. She knows you.

I can't find green, Mama. Do you have it?

All the crayons are in the box, honey.

Well, I can't find it.

Now, don't you ever let her think it.

-You do that for me, okay? -I swear.

It's lost. I can't find it anywhere.

Oh, can't you use another color, honey?

No, I have to have green. It's green pastures!

Just look for it, baby. It's got to be in here somewhere.

I'm sure Daddy won't mind if you use another color, Gail.

Okay, baby. Okay, calm down.

Calm down, honey. Okay.

Mrs. Beechum?

What parking area did you use?

Yeah?

Yeah, just a moment. Frank?

It's your lawyer again.

Frank?

Yeah?

We lost it.

I'm sorry.

Now, uh, Mr. Berris will still be at the governor's desk late this afternoon.

All right?

But we got to be honest about what's going on here.

You know what I'm saying?

-Okay. -Frank.

I'm really sorry, Frank.

We tried, but you know, it just didn't work.

Okay.

I don't know what else to say, Frank. I'm so sorry.

-Okay. -God bless you, Frank.

-So, is there anything? -No, no, nothing yet.

You know how these legal things are, Bonnie. They take forever.

Control, we've located the material.

Copy that.

Good news.

They found the crayon. It'll be here momentarily.

You hear that, sweetie?

Now you can show Daddy some real pastures.

-Green pastures. -That's right.

Baby's green pastures. Come here.

Mmm-hmm.

Your green is coming. Told you they would find it.

I believe there's such a thing in this world as good citizenship.

I mean, a man sees an injustice being done, let alone a cold-blooded murder, I believe he has--

Let me get this straight. You didn't really see the murder.

Of course not. I never said I did.

Well, what did you see?

Mr. Everett, I've been through this so many times.

-I can't tell you how many-- -I know, I'm sorry.

I'm just having trouble getting it into my head.

It's simple.

I went into Pocum's to use the phone. My car had overheated.

As soon as the door slammed behind me, Beechum jumped up from behind the counter.

The guy was covered with blood and had a gun in his hand.

I guess it was the point where he was bending over Amy...

I mean, Mrs. Wilson, stealing her ring and her necklace.

I mean, he got one good look at me, and then he ran out the service entrance.

My concern, of course, is for the girl, so I immediately dial 911.

I mean, I figured...

I figured why should I run after a killer who's got a gun in his hand, when I can let the police do their job?

-And they sure did it, didn't they? -Yeah, they sure did.

I mean, as I say, we live in a country where there's a rule of law.

I mean, an ordinary citizen who does...

Aren't you going to take notes or something, or use a tape recorder?

I mean, usually when I'm talking to reporters, they want to keep some kind of record of what I've been saying.

-Oh, I've got a photographic memory. -What?

Is that some kind of joke?

No, I have a notebook right here.

Just having one of those off days, you'll have to excuse me.

Slow day.

Yeah, well. Uh...

My point simply was this. A man--

Mr. Porterhouse, let me cut to the chase, would you?

Are you absolutely sure about your testimony?

Absolutely. Why wouldn't I be?

You saw Frank Beechum's face and the gun?

If I had doubts about my testimony, Mr. Everett, I would've told the police.

That must have been scary, having him point that gun right at you.

No. Thank God, no. It wasn't like that.

Was it above his head?

No. No, he had the gun down by his side in a very normal way.

Then how could you have seen over the potato chips?

What?

I...

What potato chips? I had a perfectly clear view.

Look, right here. Here's where you come in the main entrance.

You're looking across and see Beechum, he's going out the service entrance.

But right here in the center is a rack of potato chips.

Now, I don't know how you could have seen that gun there...

Hey, what are you doing?

... unless he was waving it up over his head or something.

Why would I say I saw a gun if I didn't see a gun?

I don't know.

Maybe you just like telling the story, telling the police or the reporters something they didn't already have.

Maybe you like telling the girls around the office, around the coffee machine, stuff like that.

This is absolutely absurd.

You actually think that I would jeopardize a man's life in order to impress a bunch of girls around my office?

I don't know, Mr. Porterhouse. We only just met.

That's right, Mr. Everett. We only just met.

But I did some checking on you before I returned your call.

You're the guy who led that crusade to get the rapist released last year, aren't you?

That lying what's-his-name?

You wouldn't be referring to the Mike Vargas case, would you?

Had all your facts straight on that one too, didn't you?

Then they threatened him with the DNA test. The guy confesses.

I'm surprised they didn't fire you on the spot.

So am I.

Look, I'm sorry. I just thought...

I don't know what I thought.

Hello. Can I tell you about the specials today?

All right, lunch is here and the drinks are cold.

Who gets the roast beef?

-Over here, Zach. -Yeah, yeah.

Here you go, that's for you.

Seems like there's more fat and less meat every time I get this here.

Ain't that the way you order it, Arnold? Hold the meat, and leave the fat?

Hey, Arnold's all right. The more of him, the better.

Okay.

What do you say we do some work while we feed our faces?

Now, you all know that at 1800 hours the whole procedure staff meets here for a final briefing.

-And we-- -Excuse me, Warden.

Right.

Reverend Shillerman, here, is gonna be holding a prayer meeting at the end of the briefing.

Which is optional for anyone who wants to stay.

Also be advised, there's a change in the 1600 interview thing.

The girl had some kind of accident and...

They're replacing her with a guy named Everett.

Damn!

Now, I realize his butt ain't quite up to the standard of Michelle's...

But that's who's coming, anyway.

Everyone clear on that?


Well, speak of the devil!

Alan here tells me I'm paying you too much.

You can rest assured I'm frittering it away on women and booze.

You're a real dyed-in-the-wool son of a bitch, Everett.

Anybody ever tell you that?

Oh, just close friends and family.

-I'll come back later. -No, no, no. I was just leaving.

Still sober as a judge, right?

Yeah. Well, I guess you haven't been partying with the Alameda County judges lately.

Yeah, sober as an ex-drunk, sir.

-Good to see you, Steve. -Sir.

Alan.

Stop fucking Bob's wife. He doesn't like it.

What'd he do, put it in the company newspaper?

Listen, if he comes to me and he wants your ass, I'm gonna have to give it to him.

Then you'll just be a hole with no ass around it.

You know what, Ev? You're a fucking womanizer, that's what.

You're fucking up your whole career, you're fucking up your marriage.

And if you can't keep your goddamn prick in your pants, then I can't God damn protect you!

How was she?

None of your damn business. Not bad.

Lucky bastard! I always liked her and respected her.

Hey, did I ever tell you about that assistant DA I was banging in New York?

No, and if you start to tell me now, I'm gonna come across that desk and rip your throat out with my bare hands.

I'll save it for another day. Edifying story, though.

Look, I've got this problem. Ah!

The nickel finally drops! You do have a problem.

Didn't I tell you that Bob has been gunning for you since the day he got here?

In his quiet, earnest, reasonable way.

He's probably glad you're banging his wife.

Now he has some ethical mandate to annihilate you.

Well, that's great. I live to make him happy.

But that's not the problem.

You should have fucked my wife. I'd have just punched you out.

-I did fuck your wife. -Lucky bastard.

-How was she, good? -A real wildcat.

-Great. -But that's not the problem.

What's your problem, huh? Tell Papa.

You can come to Papa, you soulless sack of shit. Come on, what is it?

It's, uh, Frank Beechum.

Hmm.

I think he may be innocent.

After the briefing, Arnold is gonna be checking the phones in the chamber, make sure we got the open lines working.

Don't want the governor to get a busy signal.

Don't worry. I got call waiting put on that line.

Christ, Atkins!

Reuben, make sure the clocks in there are synchronized, and the one in the press room, too.

You've got the strap-down team. Okay?

I myself have had a personal heart-to-heart with the prisoner myself this morning.

And going by my experience with the man, he won't be any trouble.

In my opinion.

Alan.

All right. All right. What you got on Frank Beechum?

-Oh, Ev, Ev, Ev. -Alan?

-Alan, yes. -Ev, no, no.

-Alan, look. Listen to me-- -No, I don't have to listen to you!

I'm looking at you. I'm looking and I can see a reporter who's about to tell me he has a hunch!

I've been checking on some things.

Do you know my opinion of reporters who have hunches?

I interviewed this witness who said he saw a gun. I don't think he saw a gun.

I can't fart loud enough to express my opinion!

Even Michelle thought the whole thing stunk.

-She thought there were discrepancies. -Discrepancies?

After a police investigation, a trial, what, six years of appeals?

And you found discrepancies?

How long did it take you? What, all of half an hour?

You know how the court system goes.

His first attorney was probably some 12-year-old legal aid guy.

He couldn't object enough for the appellate court to even make an intelligent decision.

-As if they could make one. -Ev, come on, huh.

-I got your appeal. Come on. -Alan, they're gonna kill the guy tonight.

All right. Man, I must be on acid!

So, you're trying to tell me that you want to turn a routine execution piece into some big, fight-for-justice story, and what, that'll give me an excuse to stand up for you when Bob asks me to transfer you to the toilet. Is that it? Huh?

Alan, I need this.

You're not gonna get your wife and kid back, you know that?

-She's gonna find out, okay? -No, I'm gonna fix that.

And I can't even tell you what will happen if this turns into another Mike Vargas piece, okay?

So, you come up with something, fine, I'll run it.

But, man, it had better be good.

Mike Vargas thing, I was drinking in those days.

You lose your nose when you're drinking. My nose is back.

Well, we'll both find out, won't we?

-Just one thing. -Yeah.

If I do come up with something, we can't wait till tomorrow to run the story.

Oh, my God, I know what you're thinking.

You know, it's like those dogs that can hear a high-pitched sound that humans can't hear.

I can actually hear your little brain tick, tick, ticking away. I really can.

Okay? And let me just remind you, if you go to Lowenstein thinking that he'll call the governor--

-The governor will listen to Lowenstein. -It better be awfully fucking good.

Or he not only won't call the governor, he will eat your heart and throw your carcass to the dogs.

You won't have to bone his wife, pal. He'll fire you for free.

-Okay? -Thanks, Alan.

Ev, you don't have to thank me.

'Cause honest to God, I don't know whose ass you're trying to save here, Beechum's or your own.

But if your nose for a story is gone, my friend, you are gone, too.

Because I'm not gonna run this paper to salvage what's left of your smarmy little existence.

So look, you stand there and you look me in the eye and you tell me, man-to-man, was she pretty good?

-Seriously. -Fuck you.

Lucky bastard! Woof!

Go get 'em, tiger.


I... I don't know what to say to you.

Been thinking about it all morning, trying to figure out what it was that I wanted to say to you, and I don't...

I'm sorry, Bob. I really am sorry.

I don't think you are.

I don't think you're capable of feeling sorry.

I don't think you're capable of feeling anything for other people.

Maybe you're right.

Maybe you're right, Bob.

How'd you find out?

She told me.

-She told you? -Yeah.

She saved some of your cigarette butts and put them in an ashtray by the side of the bed.

It's her way of letting me know.

Well, I guess that's all I was, was a way of getting your attention.

If it helps any, I feel awful.

It doesn't help.

Oh, that is so beautiful, sweetheart.

I'll keep it with me always. I promise you.

Can we come back tomorrow? Can we stay at the motel again?

Tomorrow.

Well...

Tomorrow, you and Mama get to go home.

I don't want to go home. I want to stay with you.

Well, come on, sweetie. You're a big girl now.

Aren't you? You know what's going on here, right, don't you? Hmm?

-Yes. -Now, you know after today...

You won't see Daddy no more.

But I will be there in spirit.

I promise.

You can talk to me whenever you want, all right?

Remember what we talked about, the little baby Jesus?

Hmm? Remember that?

Well, I will be up there with him. And I will be watching you.

And I'll wait for you.

And if you want to talk to me anytime, I will be there listening.

Okay?

I'll miss you so bad, honey.

Look, I wrote you a letter.

Um...

And your mama will have it, okay? When you need it later on, okay?

So...

You go on now, okay?

Gail, you want to take these, honey?

Take these, okay?

Come on. It's time.

I love you.

I'll always love you, Gail. Okay?

Why can't you just come home?

Oh, Lord.

Why can't you just kill all these people and come home?

Don't say that, Gail. Please, don't ever say that, okay?

Don't ever say that, okay? I love you, baby, okay?

I'll always love you.

Goodbye, Daddy!

Goodbye!

Oh, God.

It's too much.

She loves you. I know, honey.


Let him burn in hell!

Remind me not to start a life of crime.

They lie, you know?

-Who's that? -Prisoners.

That's what they do.

Every word they say is a lie.

Well, everyone lies, pal. I'm just here to write it down.

You've got 15 minutes, Mr. Everett, by order of Warden Plunkitt.

Keep to 15 minutes.

Mr. Everett, Frank Beechum.

All right, have a seat.

I got them.

So, how's that girl?

The other, Michelle?

I heard she was in some kind of accident?

Yeah. Yeah, she was.

She was in a car wreck. She didn't make it.

Oh, man.

I'm sorry to hear that.

Yeah.

Thanks.

Well.

I guess you want to hear about how it feels to be in here.

Yeah, it's a human interest piece.

I feel isolated.

I feel fear.

Fear of pain.

Fear of prison.

Fear of being separated from my loved ones.

All those fears rolled up into one.

Never having a chance to see my daughter draw pictures like this.

She says it's green pastures.

I want to tell everyone that I believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

I believe that I'm going to a better place.

And there's a better place, better justice there.

I came into my faith late in life.

Did a lot of bad things when I was younger. You know?

Anyway.

I believe that the crookeds will be made straight.

That's what the Bible says. I believe that.

So, that's how I feel about it.

Is that all right, Mr. Everett?

You got nine more minutes.

I mean, is there any more that you want?

Mr. Beechum, you don't know me.

I'm just a guy out there with a screw loose.

Frankly, I don't give a rat's ass about Jesus Christ, and I don't care about justice in this world or the next.

I don't even care what's right or wrong. Never have.

But you know what this is?

What is this, some kind of joke?

No, it's no joke. That's my nose.

To tell you the pitiful truth, that's all I have in life.

When my nose tells me something stinks, I gotta have faith in it, just like you have your faith in Jesus.

When my nose is working well, I know there's truth out there somewhere.

But if it isn't working well, then you might as well drive me off a cliff, 'cause I'm nothing.

Well.

Lately, I'm not 100% sure my nose has really been working that great.

So I've got to ask you, did you kill that woman or not?

What?

What happened at that store that day Amy Wilson was shot?

I went...

I went into the store to buy a bottle of A.1. Sauce.

You paid for it at the counter--

No, no, I never got it.

I told everybody this already, why are you asking me this?

Tell it again. To me.

I went into the store to buy a bottle of A.1. Sauce.

I didn't know where it was, so I saw Amy standing behind the counter.

-Hey, Amy. -Hi, Frank.

Where do you keep the steak sauce?

Oh, it's in the back. You see where the ketchup and relish is?

-Yeah. -You know, Frank, I've been meaning to talk to you.

I don't have it.

I mean, I could give you $30 now, but I don't have the whole thing.

Yeah. When do you think can you give me the whole $96?

Um... When I get paid, July 15th.

You're not gonna always do me like this, are you?

No. No, I swear. It's just, the end of school year. We have extra expenses.

All right, then.

-July 15th? -July 15th.

Fifteen.

Mind if I use your bathroom?

Oh, no. You know where it is, right?

Okay.

So, you weren't mad about the money?

I just wanted her to understand that I didn't like doing business that way.

I mean, she was cool. I liked her.

Were you carrying a gun?

No.

So then what?

I asked her, could I use her restroom.

I went in to use her restroom, and the next thing I know there was a gunshot.

That's all you got?

It's the Fourth of July and we're not that busy.

Give me the fucking chain! No, not that!

You give me the fucking chain!

Oh, God. Amy!

--Amy.

Jesus!

Oh!

Oh, God!

Sweet Jesus!

--Can you...

Can you breathe, Amy?

Oh, God.

God.

Somebody help us! Amy...

Hello?

Anybody here?


Help!

-"Please, not that." -That's what I heard.

Why'd you run?

It was stupid.

But I've been running from something for most of my life.

There I was, covered in blood with a dead girl right next to me.

A white man staring at me like I was... I just panicked.

-Who shot her, Frank? -I don't know.

Did Porterhouse, did he see the gun?

You got five minutes. I told you there wasn't no gun!

-Did Porterhouse see the shooter? -I don't know. How would I know?

Of course he didn't see the shooter.

'Cause by the time he pulled in the parking lot, the shooter had already left.

-That's why he didn't hear the shots. -Mr. Everett.

I don't know when anything happened.

You don't know because you don't know how long you were on the floor trying to save poor Amy's life.

Now, what was this, a random shooting? Or was there somebody else there?

-I don't know. I didn't see anything. -Give me something, God damn it.

Man, what do you want from me? What do you people want from me?

-All right. That's it. -No.

No. You believe us, don't you?

-Let's go. -Do you believe us?

-Bonnie, don't. -Do you believe us?

Yes! I believe you. For Christ's sake!

Where's your goddamn heart?

Don't you think these people have enough?

What do you think this is? Then where were you?

Dear God! Where were you all this time?

It wasn't my story.

-Let's go. Come on. -It was an accident--

Where were you?

Where were you?

Everett?

Warden.

You know, people come in here, the press.

Prisoners tell them things. All kind of heart-wrenching things.

And the next day in the paper, we're the ones that come off sounding like hard guys.

It can get pretty frustrating, is all.

Yeah, of course.

We have to do what the state tells us to do.

Makes it a little tough on us if we show up in the paper as bloody murderers or anything like that.

Yeah, I understand. Completely.

Knew you would.

You know, these things go through all kinds of trials and appeals before they get to us.

It's no use trying to figure out who's naughty and who's nice, and then come sliding down the chimney like a hero.

Not on execution day.

You're not Santa Claus.

No such thing as Santa Claus.

Warden?

You're not really sure, are you?

You drive safe now.

-Cecilia, I got to talk to you-- -Not a good time.

-No, I got to talk to you. This is-- -Not now. Call my office.

This is important. It really is.

-Look, could you please just back up? -Back off, will you?

What are you, a court attorney or something?

Go ahead and hit a reporter. See how long you keep your goddamn job.

Why don't you get in the car, Wally?

Yeah, why don't you get in the car, Wally?

New York asshole!

-What is it? -Frank Beechum. Who else was there?

Are you back on the bottle again?

No, no. There was Frank Beechum, and then there was Nancy Larson, there was Porterhouse.

-Now, who else was there? -What difference does it make?

No, come on. That's the one who shot Amy.

I don't know what kind of cockamamie conspiracy theory you're working on this time, but we've got a solid case here.

I don't send innocent men to the death house.

No, I know that. I do, but look, you made a mistake this time.

Look, he was just in there using the bathroom.

He went in for some steak sauce.

You've always been a gullible son of a bitch.

Read the transcripts. A witness saw Beechum with a gun.

He couldn't have seen him. Not through the potato chips.

-Are you telling me he said that? -I saw it in his eyes. I could tell.

-You haven't got jack shit. -How much jack shit do I need?

Now, come on, there was somebody, wasn't there?

A kid, he bought a Coke from the machine. He didn't even look inside.

He's the one who killed Amy.

We interviewed him. We issued a description of his car.

He came in, his story checked out. He wasn't even--

The plain fact is you had Frank Beechum in custody.

So you thought you had the right person, but you didn't.

-This guy was the right guy. -He was nothing to the case!

We even put him in a lineup with Beechum.

Both witnesses looked right at him and still fingered Beechum as the killer.

The fact is, he was long gone before the witnesses even got there.

Now, just give me his name. Let me talk to him.

How am I supposed to remember his name after six years?

-Well, you've got notes, haven't you? -He was nothing to the case!

You got files, God damn it!

Look, call my office in the morning. I'll try to help you out there.

You wait till morning, you better sleep God damn well tonight.

Because after today, I'm gonna haunt the shit out of you. You understand?

I'm gonna haunt your ass all over this goddamn town.

I am not Wally. I'm a lot bigger than Wally.

You threaten me again, I'll have little pieces of your life all over the gutter

'cause I'll blow the rest away.

One more thing, barfly.

I think you ought to know this before your latest lost cause confesses.

Anybody ever tell you that Beechum volunteered for a lie detector test?

Yeah.

And he flunked it big-time. Sure, it's inadmissible.

That's why you didn't read it in the transcripts, but it certainly captured our attention.

So, why don't you just go pour yourself a tall one and think about that?


-Hey, Ev. -Tom.

You want a nip?

No, thanks. I'd better not.

Oh, sorry, I forgot.

Hey, what's with you and Bob?

He's been giving you the evil eye all day.

Yeah, you know something? It's starting to work.

No, really. Something happen up at the prison? Some big uproar?

Tom, why would a guilty man volunteer for a lie detector test?

Happens all the time.

Perp gets cocky, thinks he can slide one by.

Of course, innocent men flunk them sometimes, too.

-Why? Is Bob wanting you to take one? -That's a cute idea.

No, I don't think my guilt's in any doubt.

Where's Bridget anyway? I want her to do some scut work for me.

Women are feeling much more secure in the workplace these days.

She went home. But I'll get you a cup of coffee if you give me head.

Better yet, why don't you track down one of the investigators in the Beechum case?

See if you can find out if there was another witness on the murder scene.

A kid. Just an address and a name will do.

You got it.

And, oh, after that, get me some coffee will you, Tom?

Oakland Police Department. Sergeant Bartlett speaking.

Yeah, this is Donaldson at the Tribune. Who headed up the Beechum case?

Anyone there know anything about the Beechum case?

All of us. Anyone here. Is he in?

Before Beechum comes to the store, there's another witness that comes into the parking lot, right?

Wrong. Well, anyway, there's nothing like that in the files.

How do you know? Have you looked?

-Believe me, Mr. Everett, we all know. -Is he in?

Everybody here has memorized these files the last two weeks.

There are no other witnesses. Porterhouse and Larson, that's it.

But a lot of circumstantial on top of that.

Hey, this is Tom Donaldson over at the Tribune.

Yeah?

On the Beechum case, was there a record of a kid who was a witness?

A kid?

-Yeah. -I don't think so.

-You're sure? -Head investigator retired to Florida.

-All right, thanks. -Yeah.

That was the whip in the investigation.

Says it rings a bell, but turned out to be nothing.

-He doesn't remember any names. -Shit!

And Ardsley, who headed the investigation, retired, Florida somewhere.

Shit!

Everett! Come here.

Shit!

Bob?

Everett!

Don't look so happy about it.

I'm not happy. Who said anything about being happy?

I understand your interview at the prison went beyond requirements of a human interest sidebar.

I colored outside the lines a little bit, but I don't think the warden was sore about it.

No, he just probably thought you were back on the booze, Steve.

By the way, there's no smoking in this building.

Excuse me. You got a minute? I can't put up with this, okay?

Steve, say you're sorry. Bob, punch his lights out.

This is not a personal matter.

I'm just telling him, I gave him a very important story, some very specific instructions.

The newspaper made a promise--

-The guy is not guilty. -Come on, will you, Steve?

This isn't a human interest sidebar.

-It's a cruci-fucking-fixion. -Yeah, right.

What, do you want me to look up at the cross and say, "How's the weather up there?"

I've got all the personal crap right here in this book.

There. He believes in God. He thinks he's gonna go to heaven.

He's happier than a pig in shit. He's glad they're juicing him today.

Go ahead, write up your goddamn sidebar!

-That's not the point, okay? -Of course, it's not the point.

Okay, fine, look.

We'll take Steve off the execution and we will put Harvey on it instead.

Fine. That's still not the point.

Yeah, well, Bob, we all know what the point is.

You know what the point is?

I can't work with you anymore, Steve, all right?

Maybe you're a good reporter, everybody seems to think so, but there's a room out there full of good reporters who don't have your attitude and they follow instructions.

I'm done with him. I cannot work with him.

Bob, why don't you hit me in the fucking face, will ya?

I'll fall down. I'll bleed. I'll do all that. I deserve it.

Then you can go home and hit your wife, 'cause she likes it.

Oh!

Nice one, babe.

We can't all live in the world of your fucking imagination here, all right?

I'm not gonna hit anybody, no matter what they want, because that's exactly what you'd want.

And you know what? As far as Patricia goes, if she needs to find something outside of our relationship, she can go ahead and find it, all right?

But my marriage is none of your fucking business, number one.

And number two, you're a thoughtless, mentally unbalanced man.

And I can't work with him anymore, okay?

I've enjoyed this episode of Oprah here, fellows, but--

Alan, I got the shooter.

What?

I don't think we should confuse two separate issues.

The guy who killed Amy Wilson, I got him.

-Even if he's got the guy who shot JFK-- -Bob, shut up!

How have you got him?

I've got him. I know who he is.

All right, who is he?

He's a guy. He's a guy who was there.

You're telling me that the shooter is a guy who was there?

Yeah. Great work, Steve.

Should I hold the front page, or you want to wait for two unnamed sources or what?

The DA, Nussbaum, she knows about it, she just won't give me the name.

-What about the defense? -The defense doesn't have it in the file.

This is ridiculous.

Bob. Shut up.

What about the cops?

Well, they're sitting on it if they know about it.

Jesus! Sorry, Alan. This is just too much.

Look, Alan, I gotta be clear on this, okay?

This is causing problems for everybody.

I love the paper but I'm ready to leave. I can't work like this.

This is an environment that's become intolerable for me.

"Intolerable environment"? What are you, like some fucking feminist?

Are you a cooze? What's wrong with you?

All right, you gotta give me notice.

What?

It's in my contract. If you dump me, you gotta give me notice.

How much notice do you want, Steve?

Six hours and seven minutes.

Testing red. Testing red.

Testing tan. Testing tan.

Testing white. Testing white.

Testing black. Testing black.

We're standing in San Quentin's former gas chamber which has been converted for lethal injection.

The first syringe will deliver 5 grams of sodium pentothal and that will basically put him to sleep within a matter of a few seconds, we're told.

Then the injection line will be flushed with 20 cc's of saline solution, and then he'll be given 50 cc's of pancuronium bromide.

Now, that is a muscle paralyzer, and his muscles will be paralyzed at that point.

He won't be able to breathe.

And finally, 50 cc's of potassium chloride.

And that'll stop his heart.


Hello?

Yes, this is--

Yeah, this is Steve's wife. Why?

What's the matter? Something happen to him?


Already, the vultures come--

So steal. Go ahead.

Mr. Ziegler?

Mr. Ziegler, I'm not a thief.

I'm a friend of Michelle's, a colleague of hers at the paper.

My friends, most of them knock.

Yeah, I'm sorry.

I'm sorry about Michelle, too. She was really topnotch.

A really fine reporter.

So, you came to give the eulogy?

Michelle was working on a story.

There's a man in San Quentin who's gonna be executed tonight.

I think he's innocent.

I think the answer may be somewhere in Michelle's papers.

Something Michelle did?

Something she was on to, yeah.

So look!

Great.

I've been going through her things, too.

See this?

Gave this to her when she was nine. She loved it.

Oh, she saved everything.

Look at this.

I don't know when she did it. Must have been four or five.

Where'd this come from? Over here?

This anything?

"Warren Russel, 17 years old.

"4331 Knight Street. Interviewed July 7th at own request."

"Says he bought a soda and left. Saw nothing.

"Something fishy here."

Mr. Ziegler, that Michelle, she was really, really on top of things.

Great!

Sorry, Frank.

We're gonna have to ask Mrs. Beechum to leave now.

Give us a minute, okay?

Sure.

No, no. Mmm-mmm.

I don't think I can do this.

I won't get a chance to say goodbye later on.

So, I need you to take care of yourself and our little girl, Bonnie.

You know I will, baby.

-I will. -And give her this.

And don't forget.

-It ain't much, but it's-- -It'll be precious to her.

It will be her most precious thing.

I really hate that you have to go through this, Bonnie.

I know.

Okay, I love you. I love you.

I wanted to be there for you.

God knows I wanted to see my little girl grow up.

If we just had just a little bit more time--

We have to be thankful for the time that we had.

It's just that it was short.

At least we made Gail.

-We made Gail together? -Yeah.

We made something beautiful in this world.

You look at her and you remember how much I love you, okay?

Can you do that?

Oh, God, Frank, I'm so scared.

-If I can see your face-- -I'll talk to you every day.

If I can see you at the end. Come with me!

You going to be talking to me, baby?

Oh, God!

If I could just see your face!

How did this ever happen to us? God, Frank!

Frank! Frank! Frank!

The only thing in my life that made it worth anything.

God bless you for that.

God bless you for that.

Who's there?

Oh, I'm Steve Everett. I'm a reporter for the Tribune.

Go home!

And quit casing that man's car.

It's almost your dinnertime.

Go home!

-Sorry about them kids. -That's all right.

I'm just glad to find you here after six years.

What, you thought I might have moved to the suburbs?

Come on in.

And you are?

Angela Russel.

And Warren?

My grandson.

Is this Warren right here?

It is. You want to tell me why you're here?

Mrs. Russel, it's very important that I talk to Warren.

It's very important that I talk to him tonight.

Oh, it is? And what could be so important, if you don't mind my asking?

Well, there's a man on death row, and they're gonna execute him tonight.

They say he killed a grocery store clerk six years ago. An Amy Wilson.

I think he's innocent.

And I think Warren knows something about it.

And why would you think a thing like that?

Because he's the only other person that was there.

Oh? And how do we know that?

'Cause the witnesses didn't see anyone else.

Wait a minute. So, there were witnesses, even though there was nobody else there?

-Yes, that's right-- -No, wait. Help me out here.

I am getting confused.

Well, there was an accountant and there was a housewife.

White people?

Yeah.

Oh, and I bet, that girl that got killed, that Amy Wilson, I bet she was white too, wasn't she?

Yeah, that's right. But I don't think--

No, you don't think that those nice white people would ever kill that nice white girl.

Oh, but they all looked around and what do you know?

There was a black boy.

Look, it isn't like that.

Mrs. Russel, will you just think back in your mind?

Think back six years ago.

Was Warren using drugs or anything like that?

Yes, he was into drugs.

Did he own a gun?

Oh, they all own guns, Mr. Everett. Don't you know that?

All those black dope fiend boys, they all own guns.

Can I just talk to him? Do you know where he is?

Yes, I do.

And, no, you can't.

Look, an innocent man is gonna die tonight.

Well, I have seen a lot of innocent folk die in this part of town, Mr. Everett.

But it's funny.

I ain't never seen you around here before.

Mrs. Russel, you're making this into a racial thing, and it's not like that.

The man on death row, he's a black man, too.

Did you know that?

They're gonna kill him at midnight.

Now, I can't help out, unless I have the facts in this case.

The only fact I know, Mr. Everett, is that my grandson, Warren, he's been in his grave now going on three years.

Stabbed out there in the park.

My Warren was a loving child.

But I don't remember you coming around here looking for the facts when he was killed.

Nobody came around here looking for the facts then.

Fucking loser! God damn it!

...and we're told he's now having that last meal he requested earlier, steak and French fries.

And oddly enough, he also requested two six-packs of Coke.

And in case you're just tuning in, we'll repeat our top story.

Convicted killer Frank Beechum has, for the first time, confessed to his crime.

The confession was reportedly made to the chaplain as an expression of remorse for the murder of Amy Wilson and her unborn child six years ago.

A source close to the governor's office says, however, that despite this, the execution will proceed as scheduled at one minute after midnight, tonight.

And in other news, the market slumped badly for the second...


I am tired.

Aren't you supposed to be sleeping?

Why are you here, Daddy?

I'm here to see you, you little goon.

Where did you go?

A wild goose chase.

You went chasing?

Yeah.

Chasing salvation. Never did find it.

Just disappeared.

Poof!

Poof.

Poof. Yeah.

Poof. Hey.

Let me tell you.

About today, I'm sorry.

We'll...

How about this weekend, we'll go and spend the whole day? Play Slow Zoo.

Yeah.

And this time, could we see the hippopotamus?

Yeah, I've already talked to him. We have an appointment.

My little daddy.

I'll go to sleep now.

Okay, I think that's a good idea.

Hmm.

Close them, now.


If this were a bullet,

you'd be dead.

Bob call you?

What difference does it make who called me?

I know you're going to apologize.

I know you will try to do better.

But I don't want this anymore. Because I'm tired.

I just think this'll be hard on her.

Yes.

Barbara, I can change. It's...

Can't we just erase all this? I just had a terribly ridiculous day.

Oh, honey, it isn't just today.

But today is the end of it. Today, I understand.

Hell, I know I've been tempted a lot, but...

But I love you, baby.

It's just that I...

I'm just kind of coming apart here, and I didn't...

I know it's nobody's fault, but my own.

But I need you. I got to put these pieces back together.

I feel sorry for you.

You and your famous nose for a story.

You think you can just sniff your way along, you know?

From one hunch to another, one girl to another, one drink to another when you're drinking.

But I'm not one of your stories, Ev.

I'm your wife.

You can't line up all the facts and think you know something about me.

Your hunches are shit.

Even when they're right, they're shit.

They're all I've got.

I hope they do somebody some good some day because they sure as hell didn't do us any good, did they?

I packed all your stuff.

You can take it now, or you can come back later.

-Barbara. -Oh, please, just get out.

Get out of here, Ev, please.

Just get out.


Of course, you know, from time to time, the governor's aides will call me on matters of concern to the governor himself.

In the course of spiritual guidance and ministrations, it's true, -I might have misunderstood... -Warden, South Wing is looking for you.

...what the prisoner said to me.

But these things happen from time to time.

But if he says to me, meaning the prisoner, says to me, "I'm sorry," under these extreme--

Shillerman, you know what you've done, don't you?

Now, I have to call the governor.

I have to issue a retraction to the press to tell them there was no confession.

Beechum has his own pastor anyway.

What the hell did you think you were doing?

Well, sir, I--

You made me look unprofessional, Shillerman.

Not a good thing to do.

Spiritually speaking.

If any of the men feel they need counseling, I'll be here.

--Long as they need me, I'll be here.

You sure you want to do this, Ev?

Does a bear shit on Goldilocks?

I don't know. I've never been asked that before.

That's the trouble with having kids.

It screws up your quips.

So, you're seriously rolling off the wagon.

Must have been a rough day.

Yeah, lost my wife, lost my kid, lost my goddamn job. Is that rough enough for you?

Did you lose your automobile, too?

Because if you're gonna start driving in this--

I'm the best fucking driver on the planet.

Oh, boy. I'm talking to a dead man. Will you leave me your stamp collection?

How about filling this up, will ya?

-I ain't eaten anything all day, either. -Here you go.

Oh, Jesus Christ, Everett!

Go the fuck home, will you?

Ain't got no home.

I ain't got no fucking home.

So you have full confidence that the state should sanction an execution to go ahead and satisfy your rage.

Wait. This has nothing to do with my rage. Let's be honest.

My daughter was shot and killed in cold blood for no reason.

He took $96, and he took a ring and a locket that I'd given her for her 16th birthday.

My Warren was a loving child.

That's someone who doesn't deserve the same rights as a human being.

Will you be there tonight, sir? You bet.

-July 15th? -July 15th.

Mind if I use your bathroom?

Oh, no. You know where it is, right?

Give me the fucking money!

Don't hurt me, please.

What the fuck? This is all you fucking got?

The 4th of July. We haven't been that busy.

Give me the fucking chain!

-Fucking chain! -No, please, not that, please!

Amy?

Jesus! Amy?


Still on the Beechum execution story, if you recall, the report we got just about an hour ago in which Frank Beechum

-confessed to his crime... -Oh!

-Shit. -Are you driving? Hey, Ev!

Hey, Ev!

All right, you sack of shit! Let's get going!

So there are two executioners, and each one of them has a button.

And that button is connected for each of them to a computer that scrambles the circuits so no one knows who does the deed.


Brother Beechum, let me tell you of the Lord.

He is my refuge and he is my fortress.

He is my God.

And therefore, even in the darkest moments, even when there is no hope, he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler.

Step in there.

That Robinson man on the TV, I saw him.

And I started remembering that night Warren gave me that locket.

Oh, her maiden name! And I started remembering Warren's face.

Oh, I can always read that boy's face.

Oh, he did a terrible thing, Mr. Everett.

He wasn't a bad boy, but I know he did a terrible thing!

They're gonna kill that man in less than half an hour.

We can't get to the prison in that time.

You're right, lady. Fasten your seatbelt.

Reverend, it's time.


Set him up.

There's this boy, sold Warren a gun around that time.

What?

This boy, he's in jail.

He might be willing to talk to them if they give him some time off.

Mrs. Russel, I could kiss you.

Release your hands.


Gun it, mister!

We go fast.


Pull over! Pull over and stop the car!

Don't stop now!


I want you to prepare yourself, all right?

I'm going to attempt this maneuver.

They really ought to do something about that place.


Boy, something must be going on.

Maybe a fire, -another accident on the curve. -Yeah.


"To all whom it may concern, be it known

"that whereas the superior court and the county of Alameda

"ordered that Frank Louis Beechum suffer the death penalty

"within the walls of San Quentin State Prison

"for the crime of murder in the first degree with special circumstances."

I love you.

I love you.

McCardle. Yes, sir.

We have a go.


Yes, sir.

But it's too late.

Got it! Go! Go!

Frank!

Frank!

Frank!

Frank!

Frank!

Frank!

Frank!

Frank!

Frank!


I need some charity.

It's charity on toast, baby. Come on now.

How you doing?

Thank you. Thank you very much. How you doing, sir?

Hey, Ev. Kate like that dalmatian?

She loved it.

Even my ex managed to muster up a little enthusiasm.

In fact, I've got to get something better for Christmas.

Oh, uh, Sheepdog, collie, we got Saint Bernards--

How about a hippopotamus?

Hmm.

Check it out! Local designer, based on the one at the zoo.

Yeah, well, this is a beauty.

Think a homeless man can afford this?

Uh, you're not homeless.

Well, I'm wifeless and jobless and I, uh, live in a hotel.

That's unless you'd be interested in putting me up.

First of all, everybody says you have a big fat book contract.

Money's already spent.

Mmm-hmm. Second of all, everybody says you're about win the Pulitzer Prize or something.

I think everyone's being a little bit optimistic.

And third of all, I have a boyfriend.

Oh, well, that's good!

Maybe he's out of town for the holidays.

Cash or charge, Ev?

Uh, I better charge it. I'm charging everything else these days.

Hey, give me some charity, baby. It's for the kids.

It's official!

I need some charity on toast now! Come over here, help me out.

Steve!

Hey, Steve!

I know you got some charity.

You famous, baby! You rich and you famous.

I know you got charity on toast. Come on. Give me some charity.

It's for the kids.

-That's right, come on. -All right, all right.

Give me $20, give me $100. Come on, Steve.

Take it before my wife does, and get out of here.

$10?

Steve, you got more money than that.

Come on, now. It's for the kids. It's official.

Steve, come on, give me some more.

All right. All right, newspaperman.

I been out here two hours. I'm freezing my ass off, man.

I'm going home.

You haven't got a home.

Well, I ain't got no wife and no elves, either.

You want to be Santa Claus these days, baby, you on your own.

You're right there, pal. Santa Claus rides alone.

It's official. Come on, now. It's for the kids!

Daddy! Come on!

Come on, Daddy.

Come on, now, Daddy.


English - SDH