Web of Lies S4E2 Script

High on Love (2017)

Narrator: A YOUNG MAN LOOKING FOR LOVE ONLINE...

HE WAS TRYING TO FIND THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE.

Narrator:...AND A BEAUTIFUL 20-YEAR-OLD NURSE...

HI.

HE WAS GENUINELY IN LOVE WITH THIS GIRL.

Narrator: BUT THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE DOESN'T RUN SMOOTH...

DAMN IT!

Narrator: ...ESPECIALLY WHEN SECRETS...

ERICA, I'LL BE OVER IN A BIT.

Narrator:...LIES...

DEAL WITH IT.

Narrator: ...AND JEALOUS EXES...

WHAT DO YOU WANT?

I CAN'T IMAGINE WHY ANYBODY WOULD WANT TO DO THAT.

STAY AWAY FROM MY SISTER. GOT IT?

I COULDN'T FATHOM SOMEBODY BEING THAT MESSED UP.

Narrator:...CONSPIRED TO SHATTER A LIFE JUST GETTING STARTED.

NOT GONNA TAKE IT.

JUST LEAVE ME ALONE.

[ SIREN WAILING ]

IN THE HEART OF NOVA SCOTIA, BRIDGEWATER IS A SLEEPY CANADIAN TOWN OF UNDER 9,000 PEOPLE.

AND LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST IS 18-YEAR-OLD BRANDON WENTZELL.

♪♪

HE'S A SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL AND LOVES DIRT BIKING, SOCIALIZING AND GIRLS.

Cheryl: I MEAN, WHO WOULDN'T LOVE HIM?

HE HAD DIMPLES TO DIE FOR AND A BEAUTIFUL SMILE.

Derek: OH, YEAH. YEAH.

I MEAN, HE WAS DEFINITELY, UH, A COOL KID.

HE HAD NO SHORTAGE OF FRIENDS.

Man: OKAY. TWO -- TWO WORDS.

SCARED, SCREAMING, UH...

Narrator: BRANDON IS AN ONLY CHILD AND HAS BEEN BROUGHT UP BY HIS MOM, CHERYL.

HIS FATHER LEFT THEM WHEN BRANDON WAS VERY YOUNG.

PIZZA.

OKAY.

Cheryl: BRANDON AND I WERE SUPER CLOSE.

WE WERE ALWAYS DOING SOMETHING.

MMM.

AND HE LOVED IT. YUMMY PIZZA.

PIZZA SAUCE.

WHAT? PIZZA.

Derek: WHENEVER BRANDON, IF HIS FRIENDS WERE AROUND, IT DIDN'T MATTER.

HE'D STILL HUG HIS MOM, STILL ALWAYS SAY HE LOVED HER.

UM, THEY'RE -- THEY'VE ALWAYS BEEN REALLY CLOSE.

THEY'RE ALWAYS VERY SILLY TOGETHER, VERY GOOFY.

WHAT? PIZZA SAUCE?

WHAT ARE THE M's FOR? PIZZA SAUCE?

LIKE, MMM, SO YUMMY TO EAT.

WE GOT TO GO, BRANDON.

OKAY. LET'S GO. ALL RIGHT.

LOVE YOU. LOVE YOU.

SEE YOU LATER, OKAY?

YOU SUCK AT THIS GAME, THOUGH. YO, GIVE ME ANOTHER SHOT.

THANK YOU. NICE SEEING YOU AGAIN.

OKAY. BYE, GUYS.

Cheryl: BRANDON WOULD TALK TO ME ABOUT ANYTHING, YOU KNOW.

KIDS, HOW THEY ARE, THEY'LL EXPERIMENT WITH DRUGS.

AND HE'S EVEN TALKED TO ME ABOUT THAT.

Brandon: OH, YEAH.

I DON'T CONDONE IT.

BUT I KNOW HE WAS DOING MARIJUANA.

[ HIP-HOP MUSIC PLAYING ]

COME ON, MAN. HAVE A HIT.

COME ON, BILLY.

Hamilton: WHEN WE WERE YOUNG, WE WERE DOING DRUGS A BIT TOGETHER.

AND, YOU KNOW, IT WASN'T MUCH.

WE WERE DRINKING UNDERAGE AND SMOKING WEED.

Hann: IT WOULD START WITH, "OKAY, WE'RE JUST SMOKING POT.

ALL RIGHT, NOW WE'RE DRINKING."

ALL OF A SUDDEN, SMOKING POT ISN'T FUN ANYMORE.

DRINKING ISN'T FUN ANYMORE.

AND IT IS ALL ABOUT CONTINUING TO PUSH THOSE LIMITS AND JUST FIND THAT NEXT LEVEL OF EXCITEMENT.

Cheryl: BRANDON HAD EXPERIMENTED WITH A DRUG CALLED ECSTASY.

LITTLE SOMETHING FOR LATER?

Derek: I HAD HEARD THAT HE HAD BEEN EXPERIMENTING.

SO I TOLD HIM MY THOUGHTS RATHER BLUNTLY.

HEY, BRANDON, STAND UP FOR A SEC.

YOUR MOM TOLD ME THAT YOU WERE MESSING AROUND WITH ECSTASY.

IS THAT RIGHT? NO.

MOM DOESN'T KNOW WHAT SHE'S TALKING ABOUT.

I TOLD HIM, ESSENTIALLY, "YOU'RE PLAYING WITH FIRE."

THAT STUFF'S SUPER DANGEROUS, OKAY?

COULD BE DRAIN CLEANER IN THERE, ANYTHING.

"AND YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GONNA GET.

AND YOU NEVER KNOW HOW YOU'RE GONNA REACT TO SUCH THINGS."

CUT THAT STUFF OUT, ALL RIGHT?

YEAH. YEAH, OKAY.

YOU'RE -- YOU'RE RIGHT.

THEN I SAID, "DON'T YOU DARE EVER DO THAT, OR --

OR YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO DEAL WITH ME."

YEAH. YEAH.

I HAD FOLLOWED UP WITH HIM ON OUR DISCUSSION.

AND HE TOLD ME THAT HE WAS DONE.

AND HE WASN'T DOING THAT ANYMORE.

CAN WE GET BACK TO FIXING THIS?

ALL RIGHT. LET'S DO IT.

MORNING, HONEY. MORNING.

Narrator: AT THE SAME TIME, THERE ARE SOME DRUGS BRANDON IS REQUIRED TO TAKE.

SERIOUSLY?

DO I HAVE TO TAKE THESE?

HIS DIAGNOSIS OF ADHD MEANS A DAILY DOSE OF METHYLPHENIDATE.

Cheryl: BRANDON DIDN'T REALLY LIKE TAKING THE MEDICATION.

HE DIDN'T LIKE THE WAY IT MADE HIM FEEL.

IT'S IMPORTANT. I'M NOT TAKING 'EM, OKAY?

Narrator: THE STIMULANT IS PRESCRIBED TO HELP HIM CONCENTRATE AND CONTROL HIS TEMPER.

NO, I DON'T KNOW. I DON'T WANT TO.

I CAN'T THINK STRAIGHT. I CAN'T EVEN TASTE MY FOOD.

YOU WANT TO GO TO COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY, RIGHT?

THIS IS SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO DO, HONEY.

AFTER YEARS OF STRUGGLING AT SCHOOL, BRANDON'S GRADES START TO IMPROVE.

CHECK IT OUT.

OH, MY GOSH.

AMAZING.

I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT.

OH, I'M SO PROUD OF YOU.

THE FUTURE IS LOOKING BRIGHTER FOR BRANDON.

ALL HE LACKS NOW IS A GIRLFRIEND.

Cheryl: GIRLS LOVED BRANDON.

GIRLS, LIKE, FLOCKED AROUND HIM.

Hamilton: ANY TIME I'D BE HANGING OUT WITH BRANDON, THERE'D BE SOME GIRL COMING UP TO HIM, "HEY, HOW ARE YOU?" GIVING HIM A BIG HUG.

Derek: HE HAD A LOT OF GIRLS THAT WERE INTERESTED IN HIM.

BUT HE WOULDN'T SETTLE FOR JUST ANY -- ANY GIRL.

HE WAS VERY MUCH, THOUGH, I THINK, TRYING TO FIND THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE.

Narrator: BRANDON SETS UP A PROFILE ON DATING WEBSITE plentyoffish.com.

Hamilton: HE FELT, IF HE WAS LOOKING FOR LOVE ON THE INTERNET, HE WOULD HAVE A BETTER SELECTION.

Narrator: AND ALMOST INSTANTLY, BRANDON FINDS WHAT HE'S LOOKING FOR.

BRANDON TOLD ME ABOUT THIS GIRL HE WAS TALKING TO ONLINE.

I COULD TELL BY THE WAY HE WAS TALKING, HE REALLY LIKED HER.

Narrator: CLARISSA CHISTIAKOV IS SMALL, BLONDE AND BEAUTIFUL.

SHE WAS HIS IDEA OF GIRL, EVERYTHING THAT HE TALKED ABOUT.

Narrator: CLARISSA IS IN SOUTH AMERICA FOR THE NEXT FOUR MONTHS WORKING IN A CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL AS A STUDENT NURSE.

CLARISSA LOVES TELLING BRANDON ALL ABOUT HER FAMILY.

HER FATHER IS A PROFESSOR AT HALIFAX UNIVERSITY.

AND SHE HAS A PROTECTIVE YOUNGER BROTHER, KYLE.

BRANDON IS EXCITED TO TELL HIS MOM ABOUT CLARISSA.

THAT'S HER THERE. SHE'S SO BEAUTIFUL.

YEAH. SHE'S REALLY, REALLY PRETTY.

AND THAT'S HER PARENTS THERE. THAT'S HER DAD.

MOM'S A NURSE.

THEY LOOK LIKE REALLY NICE PEOPLE.

SHE HAD A REALLY GOOD FAMILY LIFE.

AND EVERYTHING WAS JUST GREAT.

[ DOG BARKING ]

Narrator: DESPERATE TO VIDEO CHAT, THEY TRY TO SKYPE EACH OTHER.

BUT CLARISSA CAN'T GET HER WEBCAM TO WORK.

AND WITH LIMITED SPANISH, SHE STRUGGLES TO FIND SOMEONE IN BOGOTA TO HELP HER FIX IT.

HER CAMERA NEVER WORKED.

SO IT WAS ONLY HER VOICE TO GET TO HEAR.

BUT FIRST OF ALL, IT WAS, LIKE, JUST A LOT OF TYPING, TYPING, TYPING BACK AND FORTH.

THAT'S SO AWESOME.

Narrator: CLARISSA GIVES BRANDON HER PHONE NUMBER.

AND SOON, THEY'RE TALKING EVERY DAY.

YOU LOOK AMAZING IN THOSE PICTURES.

Cheryl: BRANDON.

THEY'D BE CHATTING, LIKE, THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT.

SO WHEN DID YOU SAY YOU WERE GONNA BE BACK AGAIN?

BRANDON.

Narrator: THEY'D TALK FOR HOURS, PLANNING TO MEET UP WHEN CLARISSA RETURNS TO CANADA IN A COUPLE OF MONTHS.

SORRY, YEAH. IT'S JUST, UH, JUST MY MOM.

YEAH.

I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN WAIT THAT LONG.

Cheryl: BRANDON USED TO RUN UP BIG PHONE BILLS.

BUT HE'D PAY IT OFF EVERY MONTH.

BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW, BUT HE DID.

Narrator: THOUGH, TO BRANDON, THE WAIT FEELS LIKE AN ETERNITY, CLARISSA FINALLY ARRIVES BACK HOME IN NOVA SCOTIA.

HEY, SIS. WELCOME HOME.

KYLE, HI. IT'S SO COLD.

I KNOW. HERE. CAN YOU HELP ME?

YEAH. THANKS.

[ CELLPHONE CHIMES ]

OH, MY GOD, MOM, DAD.

Cheryl: BRANDON WAS REALLY EXCITED THAT CLARISSA CAME BACK.

HE WAS LIKE, "OH, MOM, I'M FINALLY GONNA GET TO MEET HER.

I'M FINALLY GONNA GET TO SEE HER."

Narrator: BUT BRANDON'S NOT THE ONLY ONE INTERESTED IN CLARISSA'S RETURN.


WHAT DO YOU WANT?

Narrator: AFTER AN INTENSE FOUR MONTHS OF ONLINE FLIRTING, 18-YEAR-OLD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT BRANDON WENTZELL AND 20-YEAR-OLD CLARISSA CHISTIAKOV, AN ASPIRING NURSE, HAVE FALLEN FOR EACH OTHER.

CLARISSA IS BACK HOME IN NOVA SCOTIA AFTER WORKING IN SOUTH AMERICA.

THOUGH SHE AND BRANDON HAVE BEEN CHATTING FOR MONTHS, SHE HASN'T BEEN COMPLETELY OPEN WITH HIM.

I'LL USE THIS IF I HAVE TO.

ERIC?

CLARISSA'S EX-BOYFRIEND, ERIC VANSTEIN, IS STILL IN THE PICTURE.

CLARISSA DUMPED HIM BEFORE SHE RETURNED FROM COLOMBIA.

BUT NOW THAT SHE'S BACK, HE WON'T LEAVE HER ALONE.

ERIC, I TOLD YOU. WE'RE THROUGH.

PLEASE, JUST LEAVE ME ALONE.

Cheryl: ERIC WAS VERY JEALOUS THAT BRANDON WAS DATING CLARISSA ONLINE.

AND HE DIDN'T WANT BRANDON TO BE TALKING TO HER ONLINE.

Narrator: WHEN CLARISSA COMES CLEAN ABOUT HER EX, BRANDON'S NOT HAPPY EITHER.

HE STARTS CHECKING OUT ERIC ONLINE.

WHEN SUDDENLY ERIC MESSAGES HIM.

SON OF A BITCH.

ERIC APPROACHED BRANDON FIRST SAYING, "THAT'S MY GIRLFRIEND," YOU KNOW, AND, "WE'RE NOT, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE NOT GONNA BE TALKING TO HER."

AND HE THREATENED BRANDON THAT, YOU KNOW, IF IT CONTINUED, YOU KNOW, THAT, YOU KNOW, HE WAS COMING AFTER HIM.

Narrator: ERIC BOMBARDS BRANDON WITH ABUSIVE MESSAGES.

FURIOUS, BRANDON REACHES OUT TO KYLE, CLARISSA'S BROTHER.

[ CHILDREN PLAYING ]

[ DOG BARKING ]

HEY, ERIC.

YOU STAY AWAY FROM MY SISTER!

GOT IT?!

OH, WHO YOU TALKING TO, HONEY?

OH, NO ONE. JUST MAKING PLANS.

Narrator: DESPITE HER PROBLEMS WITH ERIC, CLARISSA HAS TO FOCUS ON PAYING FOR NURSING SCHOOL.

SO SHE TAKES A JOB WAITRESSING AT A BAR.

HER WORK SCHEDULE MEANS THAT SHE WON'T HAVE ANY TIME OFF UNTIL CHRISTMAS, TWO WEEKS AWAY.

BRANDON DOESN'T HAVE A DRIVER'S LICENSE.

SO HE INVITES HER TO COME TO BRIDGEWATER.

BRANDON WAS VERY EXCITED FOR HIS MEETING WITH HER.

IT WAS A BIG THING.

HE HAD HER UP ON A PEDESTAL.

HMM. YOU'VE REALLY FALLEN FOR THIS GIRL, HAVEN'T YOU?

UH, YEAH, I GUESS.

BRANDON WAS EVEN GONNA GO OUT AND GET HER SOME QUITE EXPENSIVE JEWELRY.

BUT I TALKED HIM OUT OF THAT.

Narrator: AT CLARISSA'S HOME IN TANTALLON 50 MILES AWAY, HER FAMILY IS GATHERING FOR CHRISTMAS...

HEY, SIS, I FOUND SOME MORE IN THE GARAGE.

HEY, AMAZING.

Narrator: ...INCLUDING HER FAVORITE AUNT.

OH, THAT LOOKS GREAT. THANKS.

ISN'T IT BEAUTIFUL?

SHE SAID THAT HER AUNT HAD BREAST CANCER.

AND IT WAS GONNA BE HER LAST CHRISTMAS.

WE'RE GONNA MAKE IT THE BEST CHRISTMAS YET.

I PROMISE.

Narrator: THEN, JUST A COUPLE OF DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS EVE, CLARISSA'S AUNT TAKES A TURN FOR THE WORSE.

CLARISSA DECIDES SHE CAN'T LEAVE HER.

Cheryl: BRANDON WENT FROM ANGER TO DISAPPOINTMENT.

IT'S GONNA BE OKAY.

WE'RE GONNA HAVE A GOOD CHRISTMAS.

AND THEN HE JUST SHRUGGED IT OFF AND JUST KIND OF PUT IT IN THE BACK OF HIS HEAD.

COME ON. COME ON.

Hann: BRANDON'S THE TYPE OF PERSON THAT WILL RUN SOMETHING UNTIL IT IS COMPLETELY DRY SO THAT HE DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THE ONE THAT DIDN'T TRY.

HE'S JUST THAT TYPE OF PERSON.

IF HE REALLY WANTED SOMETHING, HE...

EVERY RELATIONSHIP, EVERY FRIENDSHIP, HE WOULD MAKE SURE THAT HE DID EVERYTHING POSSIBLE.

Narrator: BRANDON'S 19th BIRTHDAY IS IN A FEW WEEKS.

AND IN NOVA SCOTIA, THAT MEANS BRANDON WILL BE OF LEGAL DRINKING AGE.

WE SHOULD DO SOMETHING AWESOME FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY.

BUT BRANDON HAS ALREADY INVITED CLARISSA TO JOIN HIM FOR THE BIG EVENT.

OH, HAS SOMEBODY ELSE GOT PLANS?

I DON'T THINK, UH, MANY OTHER PEOPLE WILL WAIT THAT LONG FOR SOMEONE THEY HAD JUST MET ONLINE, SOMEONE THEY HAD MET -- NEVER MET IN REAL LIFE.

BRANDON, HE --

HE REALLY WANTED SOMETHING WITH THIS GIRL.

[ CELLPHONE VIBRATING ]

DAMN IT!

EVERYTHING WENT DOWN FROM THERE.

Narrator: JANUARY 8, 2012...

[ CELLPHONE VIBRATING ]

...BRANDON WENTZELL'S 19th BIRTHDAY, THE DAY HE'LL MEET HIS ONLINE GIRLFRIEND, CLARISSA, FOR THE FIRST TIME.

DAMN IT!

I CAN'T BELIEVE IT.

OH, HONEY, WHAT'S WRONG?

OH.

SHE CANCELED AGAIN!

OH. I'M SO SORRY.

COME OUT, AND WE'LL TALK ABOUT IT, HONEY.

BRANDON NEVER GAVE UP ON HER BECAUSE, I THINK, SHE WAS VERY, UH, PERSISTENT WITH HIM.

AND JUST SHE WOULDN'T LEAVE HIM ALONE.

SHE WAS JUST CALLING HIM, CALLING HIM, CALLING HIM AND TEXTING AND TEXTING AND TEXTING ALL THE TIME.

AND SO SHE WAS ALWAYS IN HIS HEAD, YOU KNOW, ALWAYS IN HIS HEAD.

Hamilton: I WAS A BIT WEARY OF THE SITUATION.

I HAD TOLD HIM, YOU KNOW, "BE CAREFUL.

DON'T GET TOO CAUGHT UP IN THIS,"

YOU KNOW, "KEEP YOUR HEAD ON YOUR SHOULDERS."

BUT HE HAD HIS MIND SET.

[ HORN HONKS ]

[ CELLPHONE RINGING ]

HI, CLARISSA.

Narrator: BRANDON CAN'T STAY MAD AT CLARISSA FOR LONG.

NO, I KNOW YOU HAD TO TAKE A SHIFT.

BUT, WELL, HOW ARE YOU GONNA MAKE IT UP TO ME?

SHE PROMISES TO COME AND SEE HIM IN JUST A COUPLE OF WEEKS ON SUPER BOWL SUNDAY.

REALLY? YEAH.

THAT WOULD BE GREAT, ABSOLUTELY.

I, UH, OKAY, PERFECT. I'LL -- I'LL TALK TO YOU SOON.

BYE.

SHE'S GONNA MAKE IT UP TO ME.

OH, OH, GREAT. YEAH.

Hamilton: AND THAT'S HOW BRANDON WAS.

IF BRANDON HAD HIS MIND SET ON SOMETHING, DIDN'T MATTER WHAT YOU TOLD HIM.

HE -- HE WAS GONNA DO WHAT HE WANTED TO DO.

SHE WAS COMING DOWN.

COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, SHE WAS COMING DOWN.

NOTHING WAS STOPPING HER.

THIS IS THE DAY.

AND HE'S ALL EXCITED. AND HE'S RUNNING AROUND.

AND HE'S GOT HIS ROOM CLEAN, LIKE, CLEAN SPOTLESS OR AS SPOTLESS AS WHAT HE THINKS IS SPOTLESS, PRETTY DARN GOOD, YOU KNOW.

HE'D BE BRUSHING HIS TEETH AND BRUSHING HIS TEETH AND JUST --

HE'D JUST MAKE SURE THAT EVERYTHING WAS JUST PERFECT.

BRANDON ASKED ME, HE SAID, "CAN WE SLEEP TOGETHER?"

AND I SAID, "ABSOLUTELY NOT." I SAID, "YOU GUYS ARE KIDS."

I SAID, "YOU'RE NOT SLEEPING TOGETHER."

I SAID, "SHE'LL SLEEP ON THE COUCH.

AND YOU CAN SLEEP IN YOUR ROOM."

HONEY, ARE YOU 100% SURE SHE SAID TODAY?

YEAH, I'M SURE, 100%.

Cheryl: SO A COUPLE OF HOURS LATER...

[ CELLPHONE RINGING ]

...SHE CALLS HIM.

HELLO.

AND SHE SAID, "I'M NOT COMING DOWN."

OH.

AND THEN EVERYTHING WENT DOWN FROM THERE.

CAN'T YOU JUST MISS ONE SHIFT FOR ME?

DON'T BLAME ME. BLAME MY BOSS.

COME ON. CAN'T YOU JUST...

HE IS THE ONE THAT'S BEEN CHANGING MY SHIFTS.

PLEASE.

BRANDON, I KNOW IT SUCKS, BUT JUST DEAL WITH IT.

Cheryl: THIS WAS DEFINITELY THE FINAL STRAW FOR BRANDON.

HE HAD ENOUGH.

THREE TIMES, SHE HAD PULLED THE CARPET OUT FROM UNDERNEATH OF HIS FEET AND JUST CANCELED ON HIM EVERY TIME.

DAMN IT!

HE JUST COULDN'T TAKE IT ANY MORE.

HE JUST -- THAT'S IT. HE SAID, "I'M DONE."

HE SAID, "TO HELL WITH IT."

YOU KNOW WHAT? I'M GOING OUT.

WELL, WHERE ARE YOU GOING? I'LL SEE YOU LATER, MOM.

OH, BRANDON.

NO, YOU KNOW WHAT? I -- I -- I CAN'T BELIEVE HER.

SHE KEEPS PULLING THE SAME STUPID THING.

NO, I'M DONE. I'M NOT DOING THIS ANYMORE.

I'M NOT GONNA TAKE IT.

[ CAR ALARM BLARING ]

Derek: WHEN HE WAS FRUSTRATED, HE GOT IN SOME FIGHTS.

I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH OF THAT WAS ATTRIBUTED TO HIS ADHD.

BUT IT'S NOT ALWAYS THE BEST WAY TO RESOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS.

HE WAS NOT SHY ABOUT SHOWING HIS FRUSTRATION.

Narrator: BRANDON HEADS TO HIS BUDDY TIM'S PLACE.

I MEAN, FIRST, IT WAS CHRISTMAS.

AND THEN IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY. AND THEN IT WAS SUPER BOWL.

AND I -- I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

SHE -- SHE'S JUST DRIVING ME CRAZY.

TO CHEER HIM UP, TIM SUGGESTS MEETING SOME FRIENDS TO GO OUT TO EAT.

I JUST CAN'T GET HER OUT OF MY HEAD.

BUT BRANDON JUST WANTS TO KEEP DRINKING.

[ DIALING ]

LATER, TIMMY.

HEY, ERICA.

YEAH, IT'S BEEN A ROUGH DAY.

REALLY? YOU'D BE OKAY WITH THAT?

ALL RIGHT, COOL.

UH, I'M ON MY WAY NOW.

I -- I'LL SEE YOU SOON.

BYE.

Cheryl: BRANDON LEFT TIMMY'S.

AND FROM THERE, HE WENT DOWN TO, UH, HIS FRIEND ERICA'S, TO HER APARTMENT.

LOOK, IT'S ALWAYS EXCUSES WITH HER.

IT'S EITHER HER FAMILY OR HER JOB OR JUST SOMETHING STUPID.

I DON'T GET IT.

I MEAN, I DON'T REALLY KNOW WHAT TO TELL YOU.

THIS ISN'T EXACTLY NEWS.

THIS IS, LIKE, THE THIRD TIME.

BRANDON, DON'T... BRANDON.

MAYBE SHE'S JUST NOT, YOU KNOW, THE RIGHT GIRL FOR YOU.

BRANDON FELT THINGS SO MUCH MORE INTENSELY THAN A LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE.

AND WHEN YOU DEAL WITH EMOTIONS ON THAT LEVEL, YOU HAVE TO GO TO EXTREMES TO COMBAT THEM.

Narrator: IT'S AFTER 10:00 P.M.

AND ERICA HAS GONE TO BED, LEAVING BRANDON ALONE WITH HIS FRUSTRATION.

[ DIALING ]

[ Cellphone ringing ]

HEY, MAN.

LOOK, ARE YOU AROUND?

JUST, UH, JUST NEED SOMETHING TO TAKE THE EDGE OFF.

ALL RIGHT, COOL. MEET ME AT ERICA'S.

I'LL -- I'LL SEE YOU IN 10.

OKAY.

HEY, MAN.

Narrator: BRANDON MEETS UP WITH A STREET DEALER SELLING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.

Hann: IT'S A VERY OLD TOWN.

OLDER PEOPLE GET MORE PRESCRIPTIONS.

OLDER PEOPLE KNOW OTHER PEOPLE.

AND IT JUST ENDS UP BEING THIS LOOP OF --

OF DRUGS THAT EVERYONE HAS ACCESS TO.

IT WASN'T A DIFFICULT THING.

IT'S A MATTER OF, YOU KNOW, PICKING UP YOUR PHONE.

AND IT'S THERE IN A MINUTE.

Narrator: BRANDON BUYS DILAUDID, A POWERFUL PAINKILLER FIVE TIMES STRONGER THAN MORPHINE.


AS THE DRUG TAKES HOLD, BRANDON CAN'T GET CLARISSA OUT OF HIS MIND.

♪♪

[ CELLPHONE CHIMES ]

HE TELLS CLARISSA HE'S FEELING OUT OF IT.

[ CELLPHONE RINGING ]

HELLO.

MOM, CAN YOU COME GET ME?

WELL, WHERE ARE YOU, HONEY?

I'M AT, UH, ERICA'S.

Cheryl: I SPOKE WITH BRANDON LATER ON THAT NIGHT.

AND HE SAID, UH, "MOM."

HE SAID, "CAN YOU COME PICK ME UP?"

OH, YOU KNOW WHAT? MY CAR'S NOT WORKING RIGHT NOW.

IT'S STILL IN THE GARAGE.

AND THE BRAKES STILL AREN'T WORKING.

OKAY.

BRANDON SOUNDED REALLY TIRED. AND I JUST THOUGHT, "OH, IT'S LATE, THE END OF THE NIGHT,"

YOU KNOW, "HAD A BIT TO DRINK.

SO, YEAH, HE'S PROBABLY A LITTLE GROGGY," YOU KNOW.

WHY DON'T YOU JUST SLEEP THERE TONIGHT?

AND I'LL GET GRANDPA JOE TO PICK YOU UP IN THE MORNING.

HE GOES, "YEAH, YEAH." HE SAID, "THAT'S OKAY."

HE SAID, "I GOT TO BE AT SCHOOL NEXT MORNING, MOM."

HE SAID, "IT'S A NEW SEMESTER." I'M LIKE, "OKAY."

I SAID, "ALL RIGHT, I'LL SEE YOU."

AND I SAID, "I'LL SEE YOU TOMORROW."

HE SAID, "OKAY."

JUST, UH, I DON'T WANT TO BE LATE FOR SCHOOL.

YOU WON'T, HONEY. IT'LL BE OKAY.

SLEEP TIGHT. I LOVE YOU.

I SAID, "I LOVE YOU, BRANDON."

AND I SAID, "UH-HUH, TALK TO YOU LATER."

I LOVE YOU, TOO.

THAT WAS MY LAST CONVERSATION.

Narrator: FOLLOWING SEVERAL ATTEMPTS TO MEET HIS ONLINE GIRLFRIEND, CLARISSA CHISTIAKOV, BRANDON WENTZELL HAS BEEN LET DOWN BY HER YET AGAIN.

I'M NOT DOING THIS ANYMORE. I'M NOT GONNA TAKE IT.

Narrator: AFTER HEAVY DRINKING AND SNORTING PAINKILLERS, HE HAS CRASHED ON HIS FRIEND ERICA'S COUCH.

[ ALARM BEEPING ]

HEY, WAKE UP.

YOU NEED TO GO TO SCHOOL, RIGHT?

BRANDON? BRANDON?

BRANDON? BRANDON?

[ Telephone rings ]

BRANDON, BRANDON, WAKE UP. BRANDON.

BRANDON, WAKE UP.

BRANDON.

I NEED AN AMBULANCE.

BRANDON WON'T WAKE UP. BRANDON, WAKE UP.

[ SIREN WAILING ]

WHEN THE PARAMEDICS ARRIVE, BRANDON BARELY HAS A PULSE.

THEY RUSH HIM TO BRIDGEWATER HOSPITAL.

AN HOUR LATER, DETECTIVE STEPHEN SHIPLEY OF BRIDGEWATER PD AND HIS COLLEAGUE PAY A VISIT TO BRANDON'S MOTHER, CHERYL'S, HOUSE.

Cheryl: IT WAS 7:00 IN THE MORNING.

AND I WAS GETTING DRESSED.

AND I HEARD, UM, THE BUZZER GO.

[ DOORBELL BUZZES ]

CHERYL JONES? YES.

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, MA'AM.

UH, YOU'RE BRANDON WENTZELL'S MOTHER?

YES.

I'M LIKE, "OH." I SAID, "WHAT DID HE DO?"

YOU KNOW, BECAUSE I THOUGHT HE WAS JUST DOING SOMETHING MISCHIEVOUS.

CAN WE COME IN?

OH, OKAY.

AND THEY TOLD ME THAT BRANDON HAD DIED THAT MORNING AT THE HOSPITAL.

AND THEY NEEDED ME TO GO IDENTIFY HIS BODY.

HONESTLY, LIKE, THE WORLD KIND OF STOPPED SPINNING FOR A MOMENT.

AND I COULDN'T BELIEVE THAT THINGS COULD REALLY GO FORWARD AFTER THAT.

IT WAS ONE OF THE WORST DAYS OF MY LIFE.

THAT WHOLE MORNING WAS SUCH, UH, A WHIRLWIND OF EMOTION.

IT'S -- IT'S A BLUR TO ME.

I WAS A MESS.

I COULDN'T BREATHE. I... JUST NOTHING FELT REAL.

Narrator: DETECTIVE SHIPLEY DRIVES CHERYL TO THE HOSPITAL.

Cheryl: AND HE WAS LAYING THERE.

HIS HAIR WAS STILL PERFECT.

IT JUST LOOKED LIKE HE WAS SLEEPING.

HE'S JUST LAYING THERE.

AND I'M GLAD I DID GO BECAUSE IF I DIDN'T GO, I WOULDN'T HAVE HAD MY CHANCE TO SAY GOODBYE.

SO THAT WAS MY CLOSURE FOR THAT.

[ Cellphone ringing ]

[ CELLPHONE RINGING ]

HELLO.

HI, CLARISSA.

THIS IS CHERYL. IT'S BRANDON'S MOM.

HI, CHERYL. WHAT'S UP?

WELL, SHE WAS PRETTY CLOSE TO HIM.

I SHOULD -- BETTER TELL HER. YOU KNOW, I BETTER TELL HER, JUST TO MAKE SURE SHE'S OKAY.

I HAVE SOME REALLY BAD NEWS TO TELL YOU.

NO. NO.

Cheryl: SHE WAS, LIKE, REALLY UPSET.

I SAID, "JUST MAKE SURE YOU'RE OKAY," YOU KNOW, "I DON'T WANT ANYTHING TO HAPPEN TO YOU."

"NO, NO. I'LL BE OKAY. I'LL BE OKAY."

SAID, "I HAVE THE POLICE HERE."

I SAID, "I CAN'T STAY ON THE PHONE WITH YOU.

BUT I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU'RE GONNA BE OKAY AND THAT YOU WON'T DO ANYTHING TO HURT YOURSELF."

[ CRYING ]

Narrator: THE TOXICOLOGY REPORT WOULD LATER CONFIRM THE PRESENCE OF DILAUDID AND VODKA.

SINCE BRANDON SNORTED THE DILAUDID, THE DRUG ENTERED HIS BLOODSTREAM MUCH FASTER THAN NORMAL, SUPPRESSING HIS RESPIRATORY SYSTEM.

THE CORONER'S VERDICT FOR CAUSE OF DEATH IS ACCIDENTAL OVERDOSE.

THE REASON HE HAD PASSED AWAY WAS AT HER FAULT BECAUSE OF HER YANKING THE CARPET OUT FROM UNDERNEATH HIS FEET ALL THE TIME.

SHE WAS THE REASON HE WAS UPSET.

IF IT WASN'T FOR HER, HE PROBABLY WOULDN'T HAVE FELT THE NEED TO TAKE THE PILLS AND ABUSE ALCOHOL THAT NIGHT.

BUT IT WAS HIS DECISION.

Shipley: WAS HE ON ANY MEDICATION?

HE WAS TAKING, UM, ADHD MEDICATION, WHICH WAS PRESCRIBED BY THE DOCTOR.

OKAY.

Narrator: DETECTIVE SHIPLEY IS NOW LEADING THE INVESTIGATION INTO BRANDON'S DEATH.

MY ROLE WAS TO DETERMINE EXACTLY WHAT HAD HAPPENED, WHY BRANDON HAD DIED AND, UH, ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS FOR HIS FAMILY.

WAS HE INTO ANY STREET NARCOTICS THAT YOU KNOW OF?

Narrator: AS DETECTIVE SHIPLEY IS QUESTIONING CHERYL, SHE RECEIVES A TEXT FROM CLARISSA'S PHONE.

OH, MY GOD.

OH, MY GOD.

Narrator: THE AFTERNOON OF THE TRAGIC DEATH OF BRANDON WENTZELL FROM AN OVERDOSE OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS MIXED WITH ALCOHOL...

BRANDON.

...HIS MOTHER, CHERYL, RECEIVES AN UNTHINKABLE MESSAGE FROM THE MOTHER OF BRANDON'S GIRLFRIEND.

OH, MY GOD.

OH, MY GOD.

AND I'M LIKE, "WHAT?"

OH, MY GOD.

Narrator: BUT AFTER HER INITIAL SHOCK, CHERYL REALIZES SOMETHING ABOUT THE TEXT MESSAGES DOESN'T ADD UP.

AT THIS POINT, I'M LIKE, "THAT'S JUST KIND OF BIZARRE,"

YOU KNOW, BECAUSE I MEAN...

HER MOM'S A NURSE. WOW.

HER MOM IS SUPPOSED TO BE A NURSE.

WHY ISN'T HER MOM GIVING HER CPR?

NUMBER TWO, WHY IS HER MOM TEXTING ME?

I DECIDED, AS -- AS A POLICE OFFICER, THAT THE FIRST PRIORITY WAS TO ENSURE THAT CLARISSA RECEIVED HELP.

YEAH. WE'RE GONNA NEED AN AMBULANCE IN TANTALLON.

[ CELLPHONE CHIMES ]

Narrator: BUT THEN ANOTHER TEXT COMES THROUGH.

I'M WITH YOU, OKAY? WHERE ARE YOU GOING?

Man: I NEED YOU TO BACK UP, SIR.

Narrator: JULIE SAYS CLARISSA IS ALREADY IN AN AMBULANCE...

...AND THAT PARAMEDICS ARE UNABLE TO RESUSCITATE HER.

[ SIREN WAILING ]

I HAD NEVER ENCOUNTERED ANYTHING LIKE THIS IN MY POLICING CAREER, UM, WHERE, UH, ONCE ONE SUDDEN DEATH IS POSSIBLY TRIGGERING ANOTHER ONE SO IMMEDIATELY, ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THE TWO PEOPLE HAD NEVER MET.

THINGS DIDN'T MAKE SENSE.

THINGS WERE KIND OF GOING, YOU KNOW, OFF KILTER RIGHT THERE.

I BECAME SUSPICIOUS AND STARTED TO, UM, IN THE BACKGROUND, UM, MAKE SOME PHONE CALLS.

Narrator: CLARISSA'S MOTHER SAID HER DAUGHTER HAD BEEN TAKEN TO HALIFAX INFIRMARY.

I CALLED HALIFAX REGIONAL POLICE TO FIND OUT WHICH OFFICERS WERE ON SCENE.

THERE WERE NONE.

CAN YOU CHECK AGAIN, PLEASE?

AND THERE WAS NO AMBULANCE SENT TO PROVIDE ANY ASSISTANCE TO HER, EITHER.

YOU'RE SURE?

THE MOM WAS SUPPOSED TO BE --

JULIE CHISTIAKOV WAS SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING AS A NURSE AT THE HOSPITAL IN HALIFAX.

NO ONE BY THAT NAME?

THEY HAD NO RECORD OF ANY JULIE CHISTIAKOV IN ANY OF THEIR PERSONNEL RECORDS WITHIN THE WHOLE HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY.

Narrator: ALARMED BY WHAT HE'S LEARNED, DETECTIVE SHIPLEY HEADS TO THE HALIFAX BAR WHERE CLARISSA TOLD BRANDON SHE WORKED.

YOU THE BAR MANAGER? I'M DETECTIVE SHIPLEY.

YOU SEEN THIS GIRL? NO.

SHE HASN'T WORKED HERE FOR YOU?

NO.

THANK YOU.

WE WERE LIKELY DEALING WITH THE CASE OF A FAKE IDENTITY.

WE FOLLOWED UP WITH CLARISSA'S JOB AND THE AMBULANCE... YEAH.

...FAMILY.

I WAS CAREFUL TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT IT WAS POSSIBLE THAT I WOULD END UP BEING WRONG.

UH, I THEN TOLD HER THAT, IN MY OPINION, CLARISSA CHISTIAKOV WAS NOT A REAL PERSON.

OF COURSE SHE IS.

SHE HAS TO BE.

CHERYL WAS, UM, SHOCKED.

I'M SORRY. I'M SORRY.

AT THIS POINT, YOU KNOW, LIKE, I'M GRIEVING FOR MY SON, WHICH IS, LIKE, THE WORST POSSIBLE THING THAT COULD EVER HAPPEN TO ANY PARENT TO LOSE THEIR CHILD, LET ALONE THEIR ONLY CHILD.

AND THEN THERE'S ALL THIS CONFUSION.

IT'S LIKE, "WELL, WHO IS THIS PERSON?"

OH, MY GOD.

Narrator: AND YET THE TEXT MESSAGES KEEP COMING.

AND THEY BECOME MORE AND MORE DISTURBING.

SHE WAS TEXTING ME SAYING THAT HER DAUGHTER HAD PASSED AND THAT SHE, UH, WAS LAID TO REST AT, UM, A SPECIFIC FUNERAL HOME.

AND SHE TOLD ME THE NAME OF THE FUNERAL HOME.

AND THERE WAS NO SUCH BODY THERE.

I WAS IN A COMPLETE STATE OF GRIEF AND A COMPLETE STATE OF CONFUSION.

SOMEONE'S LOST A LIFE.

DON'T CONTINUE TO TORTURE THEIR FAMILY.

Narrator: DETECTIVE SHIPLEY NEEDS TO PUT A STOP TO THIS CRUEL CHARADE.

Shipley: I NEED YOU TO RUN A NUMBER AND GIVE ME, UH, A NAME AND ADDRESS, PLEASE.

Narrator: AUTHORITIES TRACE CLARISSA'S CELLPHONE TO AN ADDRESS 80 MILES SOUTH, BRINGING SHIPLEY TO THE SMALL TOWN OF LIVERPOOL.

HE'S ALREADY BEEN TOLD THE PHONE IS NOT REGISTERED TO A WOMAN.

THE CELLPHONE BELONGED TO AN ADULT MALE.

AND I WAS JUST SHOCKED.

THERE'S SOMETHING DEFINITELY WRONG.

I COULDN'T FATHOM SOMEBODY BEING THAT MESSED UP.

[ DOORBELL RINGS ]

Narrator: THE PHONE IS REGISTERED TO A MIDDLE-AGED MAN NAMED DEREK BOUDREAU.

IS THIS THE BOUDREAU RESIDENCE?

I'M DETECTIVE SHIPLEY FROM THE BRIDGEWATER POLICE DEPARTMENT.

MR. BOUDREAU INSISTS THAT HE'S NEVER HEARD OF CLARISSA CHISTIAKOV.

PHONE'S LINKED TO THIS ADDRESS.

HE DENIES USING THE PHONE.

IS IT ALL RIGHT IF I COME IN?

SHIPLEY QUICKLY CONFIRMS MR. BOUDREAU IS NOT BEHIND THE PROFILE OF THE PRETTY BLONDE

20-YEAR-OLD NURSE.

BUT HIS 18-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER, JESSICA, IS.

WHY WOULD SOMEBODY BE SO UNHAPPY WITH WHO THEY ARE THAT THEY HAVE TO CREATE THIS ENTIRE ALTERNATE LIFE?

WHY DO PEOPLE EVEN HAVE TO DO THIS?

WHY -- WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE CATFISHING?

LIKE, WHY CAN'T YOU JUST BE WHO YOU ARE ONLINE?

WHY DO YOU HAVE TO PRETEND TO BE SOMEBODY ELSE?

Narrator: THE POLICE INVESTIGATION UNCOVERS THE EXTENT OF JESSICA'S LIES.

CLARISSA WAS ENTIRELY FICTIONAL.

THE PHOTOS OF HER WERE STOLEN.

HER BROTHER, KYLE, NEVER EXISTED...

...NOR DID HER PARENTS OR HER EX-BOYFRIEND, ERIC.

THEY WERE ALL JESSICA'S INVENTIONS.

HER REAL PARENTS HAD ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT SHE HAD BEEN UP TO.

IT'S JUST A LIE, A HUGE --

AND IT'S A HUGE INTRICATE, INTRICATE WEB OF LIES.

Narrator: IN NOVA SCOTIA, PRETENDING TO BE SOMEONE ELSE ONLINE IS NOT A CRIME.

JESSICA BOUDREAU IS CHARGED ONLY WITH THE MINOR OFFENSE OF PUBLIC MISCHIEF FOR WASTING POLICE TIME.

JESSICA NEVER GOES TO COURT.

BUT UNDER THE TERMS OF HER PROBATION, SHE IS REQUIRED TO APOLOGIZE IN PERSON TO BRANDON'S MOTHER, CHERYL.

I CAN'T IMAGINE WHY ANYBODY WOULD WANT TO DO THAT.

IT'S JUST -- IT'S BEYOND ME.

THERE'S A MOTHER WHO HAS NO CHILD.

THERE ARE FAMILY THAT HAVE LOST THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THEIR LIFE.

THERE'S A FRIEND GROUP THAT IS FOREVER MISSING A HUGE PIECE.

AND THEN SHE GOT A SLAP ON THE WRIST.

I DON'T THINK THAT'S FAIR AT ALL.

Cheryl: I STILL TALK WITH BRANDON EVERY DAY.

THERE'S NOT A DAY THAT GOES BY THAT I DON'T TALK ABOUT HIM, NOT ONE DAY.

YOU KNOW, HE'S -- HE'S HERE ALL THE TIME.