Mr. Brooks(2007年)

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Mr. Brooks

by
Bruce A. Evans & Raynold Gideon
John Fremes
President
Element Films International
7966 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048 USA
T: +1 (323) 330.8000
F: +1 (323) 330.8001
JohnF@elementfilm.com
FADE IN:
CLOSE on a Polaroid of a dimly lit COUPLE locked in a sexual
embrace. We cannot see their faces.
MR. BROOKS (V.O.)
(tortured)
God grant me the Serenity to accept
the things I cannot change…
Our view travels sensuously down the Woman’s naked torso to
find the Man’s head buried between her legs.
MARSHALL (V.O.)
Why do you fight it so hard, Earl?
MR. BROOKS (V.O.)
Courage to change the things I
can…
MARSHALL (V.O.)
Come on, you’ve been a good boy for
a long time, you deserve a little
fun.
Our view moves back up to the Woman’s breasts.
DISSOLVE THROUGH
THIS TO:
EARL BROOKS’ reflection in a mirror. Earl, in his 40’s, has
on a tuxedo. He’s in front of a sink in a Public Bathroom and
he’s whispering to his image.
MR. BROOKS
… and Wisdom to know the
difference.
Picking up speed against the hunger in his head:
MR. BROOKS (CONT’D)
Living one day at a time, Enjoying
one moment at a time, Accepting
hardship as a pathway to peace…
From far away comes the sound of applause.
INT. BALLROOM – NIGHT
MEN in tuxedos and WOMEN in gowns.
Mr. Brooks is seated at one of the front tables with his
wife, EMMA, also 40’s.
(CONTINUED)
The audience’s hands are coming together for what a MAN at
the microphone has just said.
Mr. Brooks is smiling but not clapping; and although his lips
don’t move we can hear:
MR. BROOKS (V.O.)
(even faster now)
… Taking, as He did, this sinful
world as it is, not as I would have
it. Trusting that He will make all
things right if I surrender to His
will. That I may be reasonably
happy in this life, And supremely
happy with Him forever in the next.
Amen.
The Man at the microphone raises his arms to quiet the
Audience.
MAN
I could go on and on about what a
great guy Earl is, how he cuts his
toe nails…
Everyone laughs.
MAN
… how he gives freely of his time
and money, but let’s get Earl up
here to speak for himself. Ladies
and Gentlemen, I give you a
businessman, a philanthropist, a
great friend and the Evanston
Chamber of Commerce Man of the
Year… Mr. Earl Brooks.
Mr. Brooks kisses Emma, stands and after accepting
congratulations along the way, arrives at the podium.
MR. BROOKS
Thank you all very much. The first
thing I would like to say is… I
don’t even know how I cut my toe
nails.
Applause and laughter from the Audience.
MR. BROOKS
Twenty years ago when I started the
Brooks Box Factory I never dreamed
I would one day be standing here.
2.
CONTINUED:
EXT. STREET – NIGHT
A silver Lexus LS 430 glides past us.
EMMA (V.O.)
Did you see Sis Wallace’s dress?
INT. LEXUS Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Brooks is driving. Emma is in the passenger seat. They’re
holding hands.
EMMA
You could see her nipples. At her
age she should keep those things
hidden.
Mr. Brooks is only listening to his Wife with one ear and
underneath what she is saying we can barely hear:
MR. BROOKS (V.O.)
God grant me the Serenity to
accept…
EMMA
The only thing that would have made
this evening more perfect is if
Jane had been here.
MR. BROOKS
She called. She has mid terms
coming up.
EMMA
She’s dropping out, you know.
MR. BROOKS
We’ll see.
EMMA
Nothing she does is wrong to you,
is it?…
Mr. Brooks doesn’t rise to the bait.
EMMA
Well she missed a good party…
As she continues, we look at Mr. Brooks and Emma’s voice
fades to a murmur.
3.
(CONTINUED)
In the back seat, a Man leans out from behind Mr. Brooks’s
head. This is MARSHALL. He’s 50 plus.
Emma can neither see nor hear him. Marshall exists only in
Mr. Brooks’s mind.
MARSHALL
Come on, Earl, give yourself a
break, you know you want to do
this.
MR. BROOKS
No.
MARSHALL
You’re the fucking ‘man of the
year’, you deserve it. It’s not
like it’s not set up. You already
know how to by-pass the alarm, you
know how to pick the locks.
Tonight’s the perfect night.
MR. BROOKS
(over his shoulder)
No, Marshall, I said ‘no’!
MARSHALL
I heard you, Earl, but you don’t
mean ‘no’.
Emma feels Mr. Brooks’s distance.
EMMA
What’s the matter?
Mr. Brooks pulls himself back into the moment.
MR. BROOKS
Nothing.
EMMA
You were frowning.
MR. BROOKS
I was thinking of what I didn’t say
in the speech.
EMMA
They laughed, they were touched, I
don’t think anyone felt left out.
4.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MARSHALL
(from the back seat)
They have their dance class
tonight. What if we go by and just
look at them. There’s no harm in
just having a look.
MR. BROOKS
No means ‘no’, Marshall.
MARSHALL
Please… pretty please.
MR. BROOKS
(to Emma)
The food tonight was very good, but
I wasn’t crazy about the dessert.
Would you like to stop somewhere
and get something sweet?
INT. ICE CREAM PARLOR Ñ NIGHT
In a booth, Mr. Brooks and Emma are sharing a Sundae. Mr.
Brooks steals a look at the Arthur Murray dance class that is
taking place behind the full-length windows fronting the
second floor of the Building across the street.
EMMA
… Labradors are supposed to be
nice, or maybe a rescue mutt…
MR. BROOKS
The Pound’s a pretty sad place; if
you want me to, I’ll go with you.
EMMA
There’s an Irish Lab I read about,
and I think the breeder is…
Mr. Brooks turns his attention back to the Dancers and again
Emma’s voice fades to a murmur.
Both Mr. Brooks and Marshall who is seated on the other side
of Emma are focused on one particular COUPLE.
The Man and Woman are not great dancers nor are they
especially attractive, but Mr. Brooks and Marshall are
fascinated with them.
Marshall leans forward and looking slyly around Emma at Mr.
Brooks:
5.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
MARSHALL
I bet your dick’s getting hard,
isn’t it, just imagining what they
would look like dead?
Savoring the ice-cream, Mr. Brooks nods.
EXT. BROOKS HOUSE Ñ NIGHT
Two story modern. Not ostentatious, but the elegance of the
line and the grounds say there’s big money here.
INT. MASTER BEDROOM – NIGHT
Through the door of the DRESSING AREA, Emma can be seen
taking off her evening clothes.
Hidden by the darkness on the other side of the bed, Mr.
Brooks is hunched forward on a chair, his head in his hands.
His bow tie is undone, but he’s still wearing his Tuxedo. In
obvious torment, he is whispering to himself.
MR. BROOKS
… I can’t do this, I can’t do
this, I can’t do this, please don’t
let me do this, God grant me the
Serenity to accept the things I
cannot change…
In the DRESSING AREA
Emma is putting on her sleep-wear. Mr. Brooks steps into the
doorway.
MR. BROOKS
I’m going to stay up a while, maybe
go to the studio and play with some
glazes.
EMMA
Okay, I’m going to read. If I’m not
awake, wake me when you come back.
Mr. Brooks comes forward, puts his arms around Emma and hugs
her, then easing back, kisses her.
MR. BROOKS
I thought you were wonderful
tonight.
6.
CONTINUED:
EXT. THE BROOKS HOUSE Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Brooks exits the back door and starts down a path that
leads away from the house.
MR. BROOKS
(to himself)
Don’t do this, don’t do this,
please don’t do this, don’t do
this, don’t do, please don’t do
this…
He passes through a screen of trees and arrives at a small
beautiful industrial-looking Building.
No windows except for a narrow strip on three sides just
under the edge of the roof.
Mr. Brooks lets himself in with a key.
INT. BUILDING Ñ NIGHT
Exquisitely unique handmade handglazed bowls, vases, cups,
plates are scattered haphazardly on shelves and tables around
the room.
This is Mr. Brooks’s CERAMICS STUDIO.
Mr. Brooks turns on the big industrial kiln and sets the
temperature, then in a series of quick cuts changes out of
his tuxedo into his work clothes which he selects from a
dozen identical pairs of khaki shirts and pants hanging in a
closet.
Below the pants and shirts are a dozen pairs of identical
leather work shoes. The windbreaker he puts on is also from a
dozen identical windbreakers.
He takes a set of car keys off a hook next to a door which
opens into a garage. Under the light is an older model nondescript
Toyota.
EXT. CERAMICS STUDIO Ñ NIGHT
The Toyota backs into an alley and with the garage door
closing behind it, pulls away.
INT. TOYOTA Ñ NIGHT
Marshall is up front with Mr. Brooks.
7.
(CONTINUED)
MARSHALL
Oh Lordy, Earl my boy, I’ve missed
this! We are going to have so much
fun!
MR. BROOKS
This is the last time, Marshall.
Understand me?! The very last time!
EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET Ñ NIGHT
A mixture of modest houses and apartment buildings. Mr.
Brooks’s Toyota is parked in the semi-dark cast by a tree.
We rise over the car, over the trees, over the houses to the
other side of the block and come down to find Mr. Brooks
working the lock on the side door of a small BUNGALOW.
He has on surgical gloves.
The pick is extracted, the handle turned. The door opens.
There’s a chain.
Mr. Brooks removes a pair of bent rubber tipped forceps from
a pocket, inserts it in the chain, pulls the door to, gives
the tool a twist and gently pushes the door inward.
The chain has been released.
INT. BUNGALOW Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Brooks quietly closes the door and holding his breath
stands very still and listens.
There’s a faint indistinct sound coming from the recesses of
the house.
Mr. Brooks’s feet glide out of the PANTRY. Now coming
slightly behind him is another pair of legs encased in dark
slacks.
Move up; the person in the black slacks is Marshall.
In the middle of the KITCHEN, the sound is now recognizable.
It’s the moans of a Couple fucking. This disturbs Mr. Brooks,
he hesitates.
Marshall leans in and hisses fiercely in his ear.
8.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MARSHALL
Don’t you dare quit on me, you
piece of shit. I want to see what
they’re doing.
Mr. Brooks’s spine stiffens and he’s going forward again.
Entering a HALLWAY, he reaches into his jacket. When his hand
reappears it’s inside a Ziplock bag, his fingers around the
butt of a silenced pistol.
He brings the hand and bag to his mouth and tightens the
Ziplock against his wrist.
The two Men arrive at a door that’s slightly ajar. Behind it
the sounds of the love-making are becoming more intense.
Mr. Brooks nudges the door with his foot. It opens enough for
he and Marshall to see the Couple inside.
The Man and Woman from the Arthur Murray dance class are
naked on the bed.
As much as Mr. Brooks hates himself for it he loves watching.
He can now hear his heart beating in his ears.
He begins to breathe in unison with the Couple, but his
expression is distant almost clinical.
When the Couple climaxes, when they come, Mr. Brooks’s face
goes blank.
On the bed the Woman rolls off her Partner and the two of
them lie there basking in the afterglow.
Behind them Mr. Brooks pushes the door fully open and slips
into the ROOM. They don’t know he’s there until he speaks.
MR. BROOKS
Hello.
Both the Man and Woman jump with surprise and look. The Woman
screams and scrabbles at the sheet to cover herself.
MAN
What the fuck?!
Then he sees the gun.
MAN
Hey, man, don’t…
9.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
(to the Woman)
Be quiet and sit up.
In an attempt to get away, the Woman pushes herself back
against the wall. She can’t take her eyes off Mr. Brooks and
she can’t stop screaming.
POP! A hole appears above her left eye. The impact of Mr.
Brooks’s High Velocity .22 slug bounces her head off the
wall. The screaming stops.
The Man opens his mouth and begins to shake. POP! The bullet
through his brain makes him instantly dead and he crumples
onto the Girl.
Mr. Brooks looks at what he’s done. His nostrils flare at the
scent of death. Then he moves, he’s got work to do. On his
way to the bed, the pistol goes into his pocket.
MARSHALL (O.S.)
(barks)
Whoa, Earl, what the fuck is
this?!!
Mr. Brooks snaps a look.
The curtains of the bedroom window are open; and over half of
the Apartments in a four story Building on the other side of
an alley can see into this room.
Most of their windows are dark. And there’s no one looking
out of the windows that are lit.
MARSHALL
These pigs liked to fuck with the
blinds open, you should have known
that, Earl. This is a big mistake
for you, Earl.
MR. BROOKS
(going to the window)
Almost like I want to get caught,
huh, Marshall?
MARSHALL
Well, don’t fucking do that. I
don’t think either of us would
enjoy spending the rest of our
lives in jail or a lethal
injection.
10.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
Yes, sir.
He grabs a side of cloth in either hand and yanks the
curtains closed.
CUT TO:
CLOSE on a Polaroid of the dance Couple in a sexual pose. The
attitude of the bodies is awkward and very reminiscent of the
ones in the Polaroid we opened the movie with.
INT. CERAMICS STUDIO Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Brooks is kneeling naked in front of the kiln where his
murder clothes are being reduced to ash.
Arranged on the floor are Polaroids of the dance Couple in
sexual positions.
MR. BROOKS
Please forgive me… Please forgive
me…
As we look closer at the Photographs we realize by a smear of
blood here and there and the distortion of the limbs that
these tableaus were arranged after the Couple was killed.
One by one, Mr. Brooks picks up his souvenirs. He lingers
over the last image; and from where he’s sitting on the edge
of a table:
MARSHALL
Don’t even think about it. You know
the rules.
Reluctantly Mr. Brooks throws the Polaroids into the fire of
the kiln.
MARSHALL
Now go up and make love to your
beautiful wife.
He leaves. In the kiln, the Polaroids burst into flame.
EXT. MURDER HOUSE Ñ AFTERNOON
The sunlight exposes its charm.
If it weren’t for the Police tape, the UNIFORMED OFFICERS,
and the PLAINCLOTHES DETECTIVES, it looks like it would be a
cool place to live.
11.
CONTINUED: (3)
(CONTINUED)
An OLDER DETECTIVE, an African-American, comes out on the
porch and calls to two other DETECTIVES who are drinking
coffee on the lawn:
OLDER DETECTIVE
Where the fuck is Atwood?!
YOUNG DETECTIVE
I called ten minutes ago, they said
she was on her way.
OLDER DETECTIVE
She doesn’t get here soon, these
bodies won’t even be dead anymore?
A Uniformed Cop standing guard at the tape:
COP
You looking for the lady Cop?
OLDER DETECTIVE
Yeah.
COP
She’s here. She’s been sitting in
her car right over there for the
last half hour.
OLDER DETECTIVE
Oh, Christ.
EXT. ATWOOD’S CAR Ñ AFTERNOON
Special Detective TRACY ATWOOD, somewhere in her 30’s, is
behind the wheel. The door is open.
By the expression on her face we might guess that Detective
Atwood has simply forgotten to get out of the car.
On the seat next to her is a copy of the Chicago Tribune. The
headline of a middle article on the first page reads: THE
HANGMAN ESCAPES.
Move up to Atwood’s face. The Older Detective followed by the
Younger Detective approaches.
OLDER DETECTIVE
You thinking of joining us anytime
soon, Atwood?
Atwood doesn’t look at the Detectives for a long beat and
when she does her expression is not friendly.
12.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I really hated yesterday, Snyder,
and then today came along.
As she gets out of the car, the Men notice the bandages on
her wrists and falling into step with her on the way to the
house.
SNYDER (OLDER DETECTIVE)
What happened to your wrists?
Atwood holds up her hands to reveal the extent of the
bandages.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I tried to commit suicide.
The Young Detective laughs. Atwood whirls on him.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
What’s so funny?
YOUNG DETECTIVE
Eh… I… I don’t know, I heard it
was because you were drunk and got
into a fight with a fish tank.
Atwood sticks her finger into the Young Detective’s chest.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Who are you gonna believe? Me or
the fucking fish?!
YOUNG DETECTIVE
Eh… you.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Good.
Atwood turns and leaves the Men.
YOUNG DETECTIVE
(under his breath)
She’s nuts!
SNYDER
And rich.
They catch up to Atwood who has squatted down to examine the
lock on the front door.
13.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
SNYDER
There are some scratches in the
side door cylinder. Other than that
no signs of forced entry. The alarm
was armed and we even had to cut
the security chains to get in.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(straightens up)
This guy hasn’t been active for
over two years…
She enters the house.
INT. MURDER HOUSE Ñ AFTERNOON
From the way Atwood looks at her surroundings as she crosses
the Living Room we get the feel that this Woman misses
nothing.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
… we think he’s either dead or in
jail on some other charge. This is
probably a copycat.
Detective Snyder points her down the Hall toward the Bedroom
and follows.
SNYDER
That’s why we called you. You’re
the God that tells us peons if we
have a simple murder here or
something we can dump on you.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Bite yourself.
Atwood arrives in the doorway of the BEDROOM where the
murders took place and stops.
The Bodies of the dance Couple are now on the floor. The Man
is propped up against the bed in a sitting position. The
Woman has her head in the Man’s crotch.
Almost like Mr. Brooks, Atwood’s nostrils flare, but in
Atwood’s case it’s not the scent of death that arouses her
but it’s like she’s searching for the scent of her prey.
In a glance she memorizes the Room, then steps inside.
14.
CONTINUED: (2)
INT. BEDROOM Ñ AFTERNOON
The Crime Scene TECHNICIANS shift to accommodate Atwood’s
inspection.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(indicating the Victims)
He always rearranges the bodies,
but this is out of character. He
has never left them in such a crude
position. Usually it’s more
romantic with their arms around
each other, kissing, their mouths
open, their tongues touching.
SNYDER
So we have a copycat?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Where are the thumbprints?
Snyder points to a bare space of wall above the bed. Atwood
leans in to look at two bloody ‘thumbprints’ placed side by
side.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
One his one hers?
SNYDER
That’s what it looks like.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
What’s that?
There are two holes gouged into the plaster of the wall.
SNYDER
The bullets went completely through
the victims. The killer recovered
the slugs.
Atwood unfolds and after another look around the room goes to
the window and cracks the curtains.
There’s the four story Apartment Building across the alley,
its windows staring down at her.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Were these open or closed when you
got here?
15.
(CONTINUED)
SNYDER
Closed.
Atwood tries the cord, the curtains are stuck.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Hmm…
She returns her attention to the murder scene.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
It has never been revealed to the
public that the Thumbprint Killer
retrieves the slugs.
SNYDER
So this one’s yours.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I don’t fucking need this.
She doubles back and cracks the curtains for another look at
the four story Apartment Building.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Have you checked the tenants of
that building?
SNYDER
Only a few of them are home, they
say they didn’t see anything. We
checked the whole neighborhood, so
far nobody saw a thing.
Atwood nods and turns back to the bodies.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Leaving them like this, he must
have been angry at them for some
reason.
She reaches down and runs a hand over the carpet.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Where would they keep their vacuum
cleaner.
A puzzled Snyder follows her out of the room.
INT. PANTRY Ñ AFTERNOON
Atwood opens a service closet. There’s the Vacuum Cleaner.
16.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I’ll bet you a hundred bucks,
Snyder, there is no bag in that
vacuum cleaner.
SNYDER
I have no idea what you’re looking
for.
Atwood unzips the cover. There is no bag inside.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
He vacuumed the house and took the
bag.
SNYDER
Oh, shit. That is scary smart.
EXT. ALLEY Ñ AFTERNOON
Detective Atwood is standing on an empty capped plastic
gallon milk carton looking over the fence into the back yard
of the Murder House. Snyder has his hand on her back to
steady her.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Okay.
He releases her. She hops down and directs her attention at
the four story Apartment Building.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Our best hope is if someone in
there saw something.
A MAN comes out from behind the next door fence and strides
purposefully toward them.
MAN
Detective Tracy Atwood?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Yes.
MAN
This is for you.
She accepts the official looking document being offered.
MAN
You have been served.
17.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
You fucking asshole!! I’m in the
middle of a fucking murder
investigation!!
MAN
(backing away)
Hey, take it easy lady, I’m just
the messenger.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Goddamit!!
SNYDER
What is it?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
My soon to be ex-husband’s scumbag
lawyer is trying to show me how
painful she can make my life if I
don’t give them what they want.
SNYDER
This is not the Doctor.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
The doctor was a couple years ago.
This one is my stupid mistake.
INT. CHURCH HALL Ñ DAY
An AA Meeting is getting started. Mr. Brooks is one of the
ASSEMBLED. The LEADER steps into the semicircle of Men and
Women.
LEADER
Are there any new members?
A WOMAN comes forward.
WOMAN
Hi, my name is Vaughn and I’m an
alcoholic.
She rejoins the circle. Mr. Brooks separates himself from the
Others.
MR. BROOKS
Hi, my name is Earl and I’m an
addict.
When he rejoins the circle, Marshall is there to greet him.
18.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MARSHALL
You’re such a fucking hypocrite. If
you were honest you would step out
there and say ‘Hi, I’m Earl. I
killed two people last night and I
really got off on it, but I need
your help to be cured.’
MR. BROOKS
I’m different Marshall, I won’t
argue that with you. This is the
only place that has ever helped me
be normal and I’ve been straight up
until last night for the past two
years. I’m not going to kill again
and I’m not going to quit coming
here because it upsets you.
MARSHALL
Yeah but for the next 29 days
you’re going to have to step out
there and say ‘Hi, I’m Earl, I’m an
addict.’ And everybody will know
you fell off the wagon. Don’t you
feel stupid doing that?
MR. BROOKS
No. I feel good.
EXT. INDUSTRIAL SECTION OF CHICAGO Ñ DAY
A Cab arrives at the Front Entrance of the BROOKS BOX
FACTORY, a long three story brick Building.
A YOUNG WOMAN, 19, is dropped off along with an assortment of
luggage and boxes.
INT. BROOKS BOX FACTORY Ñ DAY
It’s loud. We follow a thin piece of cardboard as one machine
deals it off the bottom of a stack into the maw of another
machine.
That machine prints one side of the cardboard blue.
It is handed off to the third machine which cuts the flaps.
The fourth machine folds and glues those flaps and spits the
piece of cardboard out onto a conveyor belt as a box.
Wearing safety glasses and ear protectors along with his
business suit, Mr. Brooks picks up the box and hands it to
one of three similarly attired MEN, standing nearby.
19.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
This is not the top of the line or
the bottom, but for the money we’re
talking about this is the quality I
can provide you.
As Mr. Brooks talks the Men pass the box between them.
MR. BROOKS
Your packaging is the first
impression your customers will have
of your product…
PA SYSTEM
Mr. Brooks, your daughter is
waiting for you in your office.
A surprised Mr. Brooks grabs a quick look at the PA Speaker,
then continues.
MR. BROOKS
… We’d love to work you with on
the design. It’s fun to challenge
our machines. If you check around,
you’ll find we’re not the cheapest,
but we are the best.
INT. RECEPTION AREA – BROOKS BOX FACTORY Ñ DAY
On his way through to his office, Mr. Brooks smiles absently
at a MAN waiting on the couch. The pleasant-looking Man in
his early 30’s, nods.
Mr. Brooks stops at his SECRETARY’s desk.
MR. BROOKS
Sunday, did Jane call and say she
was coming?
SUNDAY
I would have given you that
message, Mr. Brooks. She has boxes
and suitcases downstairs.
MR. BROOKS
Hold my calls.
INT. MR. BROOKS’ OFFICE Ñ DAY
MR. BROOKS
(coming in)
What are you doing here, Gorgeous?
20.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
The 19 year old Girl we saw arrive by cab stands up and
throws her arms around Mr. Brooks.
JANE
I’m sorry, Daddy, please don’t be
angry with me.
Mr. Brooks kisses Jane on the forehead and goes to sit at his
desk.
MR. BROOKS
I can guess what you’ve done, but
why don’t you tell me and then I’ll
decide.
JANE
I dropped out of school.
MR. BROOKS
Okay. Have you told your mother
this?
JANE
No. I wanted to speak to you first.
MR. BROOKS
You’ll have to tell her, I’m not
going to do that for you, and then
together the three of us will
decide where to go from here.
JANE
I’ve thought a lot about this, Dad.
College is a waste of time for me.
MR. BROOKS
I don’t know how you know that half
way through your Freshman year,
but…
JANE
You didn’t go to college, Dad, and
you’re successful. I want to come
and work for you.
Sitting on the couch:
MARSHALL
She’s not telling you everything,
she’s hiding something.
21.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
I know.
(to Jane)
I’m not hiring right now.
JANE
Just listen to me. What would
happen to the business if, God
forbid, something happened to you?
Mom would probably have to sell to
strangers. I’m willing to start at
the bottom, you can treat me as a
regular employee, I want to learn
everything there is to know about
running the box business, and then
when the time comes, the business
would stay in the family.
MR. BROOKS
That’s sweet, but you’re talking
about emotion, not business. In
fact your mother and I came very
close to selling out last year.
JANE
What?!
MR. BROOKS
If we had been offered a little
more money, and they may come back
to us, we will sell.
JANE
What would you do without…?!
There’s a knock on the door.
MR. BROOKS
Yes?
Sunday, the secretary, comes in and crossing to Mr. Brooks:
SUNDAY
I’m sorry, I know you didn’t want
to be disturbed, the Man in the
waiting room insisted I give you
this.
She hands Mr. Brooks a letter-size envelope.
22.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
SUNDAY
He said you would find what’s
inside very interesting.
MR. BROOKS
What is he? A salesman?
SUNDAY
He won’t say. I’ve never seen him
before. I can tell him to go away
if you want me to.
MR. BROOKS
That’s okay.
She leaves. Slicing the flap of the envelope, Mr. Brooks
picks up with Jane.
MR. BROOKS
Part of spending the four years in
college is to…
Mr. Brooks can now see the contents of the envelope.
Two snapshot-size PHOTOS taken with a high speed digital
camera. One shows the right side of Mr. Brooks’s cheek.
He is in no way identifiable, but that blur of flesh appears
to be looking at the dead dance Couple.
The second Photo is a clear shot of Mr. Brooks closing the
curtains with the dead dance Couple behind him.
Neither Mr. Brooks’s voice or his face betray the enormity of
what he’s looking at.
MR. BROOKS
… eh… to give yourself the
chance to find out who you are and
what you want to do.
JANE
I’ll talk to Mom, but I’m not going
back to school.
MR. BROOKS
Where would you live?
JANE
To save money I would move back
home, but no rules, no curfew, I
want to be treated like an adult.
23.
CONTINUED: (3)
(CONTINUED)
Mr. Brooks allows himself a slight smile.
MR. BROOKS
Would you pay for your food, would
you pay rent?
JANE
No, dad, you’re a very wealthy man,
you can afford to keep me.
Mr. Brooks presses his Intercom.
MR. BROOKS
Sunday, would you show the
gentleman who gave you the envelope
to the conference room, and tell
him I’ll meet him there and…
(to Jane)
What happened to the BMW?
JANE
A friend is driving it across
country, it’ll be here next
weekend.
MR. BROOKS
(to Sunday, through
Intercom)
And get Jane a cab.
He picks up the phone and holds it out to Jane.
MR. BROOKS
Call your mother.
JANE
Are you going to give me a job?
MR. BROOKS
If it were up to me, and I think
your mother will agree with this,
you should go back to school.
INT. HALLWAY – BROOKS BOX FACTORY Ñ DAY
Mr. Brooks comes around the corner. He’s raving at Marshall
who’s walking beside him.
MR. BROOKS
You see all of this?! The factory,
the houses, the cars, the money,
the respect!!…
24.
CONTINUED: (4)
(CONTINUED)
A different angle in the same hallway shows Mr. Brooks
walking away from us. A passing EMPLOYEE crosses him. The Men
nod to each other. Marshall is nowhere in sight.
MR. BROOKS (V.O.)
… I like them! I don’t want to
lose them!
And then we’re back to the original angle and Marshall is
again in the picture.
MR. BROOKS
… That’s why I didn’t want to do
the dance Couple!
MARSHALL
Stop your fucking whining, Earl,
you enjoyed doing that Couple just
as much as I did, and look on the
bright side, he came to us he
didn’t go to the Cops. If he tries
to shake us down we kill him.
Period. We make it fun but we kill
him. End of story.
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM – BROOKS BOX FACTORY Ñ DAY
The Man from the Reception Area is nervously admiring a
display of Mr. Brooks’s ceramic pieces. He turns at the sound
of the door opening behind.
MR. BROOKS
What can I do for you, Mr…?
MAN
… Let’s say, ‘Smith’.
MR. BROOKS
Okay, Mr. Smith.
Mr. Brooks motions him to a seat.
MR. SMITH (MAN)
(sitting)
Before you get the wrong
impression, Mr. Brooks, I’m not
here to shake you down.
25.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
(holding up the photos)
Then these are the only copies of
these photos and you have no
others.
MR. SMITH
No. I have other copies and other
photos, and if something were to
happen to me…
MR. BROOKS
How did you find me, Mr. Smith?
MR. SMITH
You’re ‘Man of the Year’, Mr.
Brooks. Your picture was in the
paper. If it hadn’t been, I don’t
know what I would have done.
MR. BROOKS
Lucky me. What is it that I can
help you with?
MR. SMITH
I’ve been watching that Couple for
months, they liked to make love
with the blinds open. Sometimes I
would take pictures, you know,
visual aides for later. It was fun,
it was a great way to get off; I
thought, until I saw you kill them.
I have to tell you I have never
ever felt a rush like that ever. I
know you’re the Thumbprint killer,
you’ve done this before. What I
want is to go with you the next
time you kill someone. And I would
like that to be soon.
From the end of the table, Marshall cackles a laugh.
MARSHALL
And you were worried that this was
going to be unpleasant. The answer
is simple. Just tell him you’ve
decided never to kill again and
he’ll go away.
MR. BROOKS
You enjoy watching me suffer, don’t
you?
26.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MARSHALL
In a word, yes.
MR. BROOKS
Where do you think he has the other
pictures?
MARSHALL
He put them in a safety deposit box
but I’ll bet the box is at the bank
where he has his checking account
and the key is on his keychain. He
really wants to do this, he’s not
going to go to the cops.
Mr. Smith who has grown uneasy under Mr. Brooks’s stare
swallows:
MR. SMITH
So do we have a deal?
MR. BROOKS
From the angle of these pictures…
(taps the envelope)
… you live on the third floor of
the apartment building across the
alley from the Couple’s house.
MR. SMITH
Well… eh.
MR. BROOKS
Yes or no, Mr. Smith?
Mr. Smith nods ‘yes’.
MR. BROOKS
What time do you get home from
work?
MR. SMITH
Six thirty, seven, depending on the
traffic.
MR. BROOKS
You can never come here again, you
can never call me. Do you
understand that?
MR. SMITH
Yes.
27.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
Tomorrow night, not tonight,
tomorrow night, at eight o’clock,
leave your apartment and walk east.
I’ll pick you up.
MR. SMITH
If you’re thinking of doing
anything to me, Mr. Brooks…
MR. BROOKS
We’re both aware of the rules, Mr.
Smith, but I feel I must warn you.
If it turns out that you enjoy
killing, it can become very
addictive. It could ruin your life.
MR. SMITH
I want to do this.
MR. BROOKS
(looks at Marshall)
Have I covered everything?
MARSHALL
I can’t think of anything else.
Mr. Brooks stands up and opens the door.
MR. BROOKS
I’ll see you tomorrow night, Mr.
Smith.
On his way out, Mr. Smith nods. Mr. Brooks closes the door.
His chin drops on his chest and he sighs.
MR. BROOKS
(under his breath)
Please God, please help me find a
way not to do this.
EXT. DOWNTOWN CHICAGO Ñ DAY
Detective Atwood comes out of the CROWD on the sidewalk and
enters a Highrise.
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM – LAW OFFICES Ñ DAY
Atwood and her ATTORNEYS, a gray-haired Man in his 60’s, and
an Asian Woman about the same age as Atwood are on one side
of the table.
28.
CONTINUED: (3)
(CONTINUED)
JESSE, Atwood’s soon to be ex-husband, very handsome,
slightly younger than Atwood, and SHEILA, his attractive
divorce lawyer, sit across from them.
ASIAN ATTORNEY
We’ve talked to our client and
we’ve come up with a number that we
feel is more than fair.
Atwood is not happy with this. The Attorney slides a sheet of
paper to Sheila. She turns it over. On it is written:
$750,000 -.
ASIAN ATTORNEY
We can have a check for that amount
in your office by 6 o’clock.
SHEILA
We told you at the beginning what
we want and that hasn’t changed.
GRAY-HAIRED ATTORNEY
You know as well as I do,
Counselor, if we go to court you’re
not going to get a million five.
SHEILA
I don’t know. Let’s see.
She holds up the front page of the Chicago Tribune. “THE
HANGMAN ESCAPES” story is circled in red.
SHEILA
This is the front page of
yesterday’s paper…
(reads)
‘Hangman Escapes’… eh… now,
here it is… ‘after torturing the
young women, Thorton Meeks would
hang them in public places – church
steeples, balconies, Freeway
overpasses’… Your client captured
Mr. Meeks. This is just one example
of the cases my client lived
through when he was married to your
client.
ASIAN ATTORNEY
Your client knew Detective Atwood
was a homicide detective when he
married her.
29.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
SHEILA
But he had no idea of the mental
anguish that being in close
proximity to her work would cause
him.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
What about the mental anguish I
went through being in close
proximity to him. Who’s gonna pay
me for that?
ASIAN ATTORNEY
We don’t need to get into this,
Tracy.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Yes, we do. I was the one who paid
for everything while we were
married, and now I’m being asked to
give him a bonus for spending time
with me when I’ve already paid for
it in the first place.
JESSE
(to Atwood)
Tracy, this is not a lot of money
for you, and you know how upset I
was when Meeks said that he was
going to escape and he would come
back and kill you.
SHEILA
We’re quite willing to find out
what a court would think that
mental anguish is worth.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Jesse… Darling?… you know the
best thing that could happen to me
right now? That you get hit by a
truck and die.
SHEILA
(smiles)
That’s it! Mr. Vialo and I are
leaving.
(she and Jesse stand up)
You’ve threatened my client, we’re
going to ask for a restraining
order, and we’ll see you in court.
30.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
The door closes behind them.
GRAY-HAIRED ATTORNEY
That’s going to cost you, Tracy.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(standing up)
Fuck it. It felt good.
INT. APARTMENT Ñ NIGHT
Moonlight seeps around the blinds to reveal Mr. Smith asleep
in bed.
Beyond the open BEDROOM door down the hall is only darkness
until the eruption of illumination from a penlight
momentarily outlines the figure of a Man.
Then we’re looking at what the penlight sees.
A keyring. Hands in surgical gloves isolate the – safety
deposit key – and press it into a soft wax block where it
leaves its impression. The light goes off.
In the BEDROOM at the end of the hallway, Mr. Smith begins to
snore. The Figure coasts silently toward the sound.
Mr. Smith’s face is sideways on the pillow. The snores and a
little drool burbles out of the corner of his mouth.
WHOOMP!! The impact of something landing on the bed bounces
Mr. Smith upright and awake.
MR. SMITH
Ahhh!!! Ahhh!!! Ahhh!!!
The beam from the penlight hits him in the face. He raises
his hands to shield his eyes.
MR. BROOKS
Don’t worry, if I were here to kill
you, you would already be dead.
The penlight leaves Mr. Smith and Mr. Brooks places it
deliberately under his own chin casting long sinister shadows
up his face. He’s sitting on the bed next to Mr. Smith.
MR. BROOKS
After you left today, I realized
our friendship was a little onesided.

31.
CONTINUED: (3)
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
So when we meet tomorrow night
would you be so kind as to bring
all of the pictures and the memory
card from your camera. That way we
can like each other simply for who
we are. If you don’t show up, I
will presume you’ve gone to the
police and I will kill you. Even if
I go to jail because of you,
someone will find you wherever you
are and kill you.
The penlight goes off. There’s total silence.
MR. SMITH
(squeaks)
Mr. Brooks?…
He squints into the black.
MR. SMITH
Mr. Brooks?…
Finally he gathers the courage to extend a shaky hand. The
bedside lamp goes on. The room is empty. Cautiously Mr. Smith
swings his legs out of bed and stands up.
He forces himself to go to the door and from there curls his
arm around the jamb into the darkness.
The HALL light is dazzling.
A peek into the BATHROOM shows there is nobody there. He
continues on into the LIVING ROOM.
His camera equipment is on the table. The tripod is still set
up. There is no sign of Mr. Brooks.
Mr. Smith eyes the front door. It’s closed and the ‘security
chain’ is in place!!
Another quick scan of the room. It sure seems that he’s
alone.
He opens the front door the length of the chain and looks up
and down the hallway. It’s empty. Slowly he closes the door.
Standing in the light of his LIVING ROOM, Mr. Smith is more
scared and strangely more excited than he’s ever been in his
life.
MR. SMITH
Wow!…
32.
CONTINUED:
MR. BROOKS (CONT’D)
INT. BROOKS HOUSE Ñ NIGHT
In a robe and pajamas, Mr. Brooks comes down the HALLWAY
carrying a glass of milk. The door to his Daughter’s ROOM is
partly open. By the nightlight in the plug at the head of the
bed he can see she’s asleep.
INT. BEDROOM Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Brooks walks to the bed, leans over and kisses his
Daughter on the cheek.
MR. BROOKS
(quietly)
It’s nice to have you home.
He leaves.
EXT. CHICAGO – MORNING
The early rays of the sun are moving down the tall buildings.
EXT. BROOKS HOUSE Ñ MORNING
A garbage truck is picking up the trash.
INT. BROOKS HOUSE Ñ MORNING
Dressed for work and a smile on his face, Mr. Brooks comes
down the stairs.
In the BREAKFAST ROOM, the mood is decidedly different. His
Wife and Daughter are leaning against opposite walls staring
at the floor.
MR. BROOKS
What’s wrong?
EMMA
Ask your daughter what the real
reason is she dropped out of
school.
JANE
I keep telling you it’s not the
reason.
33.
(CONTINUED)
EMMA
You wanted to go to college, you
had good grades in High School,
your father helped you get into
Stanford, we’re paying a ton of
money, if this is not the reason,
then please dear God tell me the
reason.
MR. BROOKS
(picking up an orange
juice)
Why does your mother think you
dropped out of school?
JANE
I’m pregnant.
(to her Mother)
And it’s not the reason I dropped
out. Being pregnant wouldn’t stop
me from going to school if I wanted
to go.
MR. BROOKS
Who’s the father?
JANE
Some guy I was seeing.
EMMA
Does he know?
JANE
Yes, he’s a married man and he
doesn’t want to have anything to do
with me.
EMMA
Oh, Honey, I’m so sorry.
JANE
I’m going to have an abortion
anyway, so there is nothing to get
upset about. I wasn’t even going to
tell you guys.
Mr. Brooks looks directly at his Daughter.
MR. BROOKS
There will be no abortion.
34.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
JANE
Daddy, you are not going to tell me
what to do. It’s my body and I will
do what I want to do with it.
Mr. Brooks’s eyes find Emma’s. Almost imperceptibly she
shakes her head ‘no’.
MR. BROOKS
(to his Daughter)
You’re right. I’m sorry. I said it
wrong. I’m not trying to tell you
what to do. I’m trying to say that
a grandchild would be a wonderful
gift for your mother and me.
EMMA
Please, Honey, don’t have an
abortion.
JANE
Would you really want to have a
grandchild, even though I’m not
married?
MR. BROOKS
Yes. The child is what’s important.
We would love it and cherish it
completely and help you raise it.
JANE
If it means that much to you, I’ll
think about it.
INT. GARAGE – BROOKS HOUSE Ñ MORNING
Walking to the Lexus, Mr. Brooks notices Marshall waiting for
him on the passenger side.
MR. BROOKS
(smiles)
Well, we were right, she was hiding
something.
MARSHALL
(flat)
Pregnant’s not all of it. She’s
hiding something bigger. Much
bigger.
MR. BROOKS
You think so?
35.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
MARSHALL
I know so, and so do you.
INT. CRIME LAB Ñ AFTERNOON
Large and small Color Photographs pinned to a corkboard
create a Collage of the dance Couple murder scene.
Standing in front of this is CAPTAIN LISTER, a tall slim openfaced
Woman in her mid-fifties, and the lead Crime Scene
Technician we saw earlier at the Murder House.
TECHNICIAN
It’s not what’s here, it’s what’s
not here that’s interesting.
There’s not a trace of anything
foreign. If I didn’t know better
I’d say these people were killed by
a ghost.
CAPTAIN LISTER
The autopsy found a tiny piece of
plastic in the female victim’s
brain.
TECHNICIAN
We’re checking with the ammunition
manufacturers.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(entering the room)
That’s a dead end, he bags the gun.
TECHNICIAN
I don’t understand.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
He ziplocks a one gallon plastic
freezer bag to his wrist over the
gun. Bang. Bang. A little bit of
plastic is carried by the first
slug, the ejected shells go into
the bag and it limits the powder
residue.
(to Captain Lister)
I hear you were looking for me.
CAPTAIN LISTER
(to the Technician)
Sigy…
36.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
SIGY (TECHNICIAN)
Yeah, okay…
(to Atwood)
Did you find anything? Did they
have enemies, did they owe money,
did anybody ever notice someone
watching the house?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
So far they are Mr. and Miss
Normal.
SIGY
(backing away)
If you find anything, call, it
might help me.
He’s gone.
CAPTAIN LISTER
I received a subpoena from your
husband’s lawyer for your work
records, where you were, date and
times for the past two years.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
That’s blackmail.
CAPTAIN LISTER
Almost three quarters of your cases
are current. I can’t let that
information go into open court. So
until you settle your divorce, I’m
going to have to put you on a desk.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
That’s also blackmail.
CAPTAIN LISTER
That’s one of your big problems,
Atwood, you don’t know how to ask
for help.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Do you know what he did to me?
CAPTAIN LISTER
You can’t grow old as a woman
without having at least one lousy
man in your life.
37.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I was so stupid. While we were
married, while I paid for him to
live, the son of a bitch fucked
every woman he could get his hands
on. He fucked my friends, he even
fucked a cousin of mine. Everyone
knew but me, and they were laughing
at me behind my back. He made me
look like an idiot. I was a joke.
CAPTAIN LISTER
And?…
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
And what?
CAPTAIN LISTER
Get over it.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I made him an offer. I’m not going
to give him one red cent more.
CAPTAIN LISTER
I hear what he’s asking for, you
could take out of pocket change. Do
that and go on with your life.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I couldn’t live with myself if I
did.
CAPTAIN LISTER
I’ll spread your work among the
other guys and the FBI will be here
on thursday…
(motions to the pictures)
… they’ll take over this case.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Please, these are my cases. Nobody
knows them like me. Don’t give them
away and don’t give the Thumbprint
Killer to the FBI. He’s killed
people in twelve other states, let
them fuck up those investigations.
This one’s mine.
38.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
CAPTAIN LISTER
(opening the door to
leave)
You heard Meeks escaped?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Yeah.
CAPTAIN LISTER
Do you want a detail on you in case
he comes after you?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I can take care of myself.
CAPTAIN LISTER
You’re a good cop, Tracy, I don’t
want to lose you, but you have to
help me if you want me to help you.
INT. HALLWAY Ñ CRIME LAB Ñ AFTERNOON
Atwood is waiting for an elevator. It arrives. The doors
open. The car is empty.
INT. ELEVATOR Ñ AFTERNOON
Atwood gets in and presses the key for her destination, then
slumps into a corner for the ride. The doors close. The
elevator begins to move.
All at once Atwood screams. Her pent-up anger and frustration
rip the air and she goes nuts.
She punches the wall of the elevator, kicks it, throws
herself to the other side, bangs her head against that wall,
punches it, kicks it, all the while screaming.
Then the tears come. The screams stop and she settles upright
against the back wall, where she strikes her chest repeatedly
with the flat of her closed hand.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
What is wrong with me? What is
wrong with me? What is wrong with
me?
EXT. MURDER HOUSE Ñ NIGHT
It’s raining. The yellow Police tape that still circles the
yard snaps in the wind.
39.
CONTINUED: (3)
(CONTINUED)
Up the driveway, out of sight of all the other homes, there’s
a movement at the side door of the house.
A closer inspection reveals that it’s Detective Atwood. From
under her umbrella she studies her surroundings and as if
she’s speaking to the killer, she speaks to herself.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Did you choose them because of
where they lived or how they looked
or what jobs they had? Or did you
just pick them because at the
instant you saw them, you had
decided to kill someone? The side
door was perfect. No one could see
you pick the lock.
With a key she lets herself in.
EXT. STREET Ñ NIGHT
Parked against the curb opposite the driveway of the Murder
House is an old green Pontiac Convertible with the top up.
The driver’s window is down and from inside a WOMAN, late
20’s, is watching the house.
INT. MURDER HOUSE Ñ NIGHT
Atwood stops in the PANTRY almost in the exact spot where Mr.
Brooks stopped.
The quiet is filled by the rain drumming on the roof. The
wind rattles the windows.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
How did you know where they were in
the house?
She steps into the KITCHEN. On the way across she bumps into
a chair.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
It’s darker tonight than it was on
your night. But still how did you
manage not to bump into the
furniture? Did you have a little
light? That would be too dangerous.
I’ll bet you were in the house
before.
40.
CONTINUED:
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
So I should ask the neighbors if
they saw a meter reader around the
house or a telephone repairman or
someone from the gas company.
These musings take her through the LIVING ROOM to the
entrance of the HALLWAY where she pauses and looks both ways.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Once again, how did you know where
they were? Did you check the rooms
before you found them? She had his
semen in her vagina, they had just
made love, did you hear them or was
there a light on?
She steps into the HALL.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
And when did you bag the gun?
Because even though I’m sure you’re
an expert at it, there’s still a
chance of noise from the plastic.
She continues down the HALL to the BEDROOM.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Was the door open or did you have
to open it?
She opens the door and goes in.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Were they asleep or awake? Was the
light on, or did you turn it on?
Because I know you, you wouldn’t
risk a shot in the dark.
She turns on the overhead light.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Too bright. What if it wasn’t that
light that was on, but this one?
She turns on a bedside light and goes back to the door and
turns off the overhead.
If the dance Couple were on the bed and their blood was not
on the wall, the room would look exactly the way it did when
Mr. Brooks said ‘hello’.
41.
CONTINUED:
DETECTIVE ATWOOD (CONT’D)
(CONTINUED)
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
That’s better… What thrill do you
get by killing people? Is it
sexual, is it hate, is it power? Do
you feel remorse? Probably that
part of your brain doesn’t exist.
Do you have emotions of love or
affection or joy? Or have you
learned to fake them so you won’t
stand out in a crowd.
She’s at the window now, feeling the curtains.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
What if these are stuck closed
because you yanked them closed?
Which means they were open when you
came into the room.
She separates the fabric and looks out the rain-streaked
window at the four story building across the alley. There are
lights on in almost all the apartment windows.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
If Mr. and Miss Normal made love
with the curtains open and the
lights on, someone in that building
noticed them and may have seen you.
She allows the fabric to drop back into place and turns to
look at the bed.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Was that what you were angry about?
INT. APARTMENT BUILDING Ñ NIGHT
Moving slowly across a neutral colored wall.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD (O.S.)
Thank you for your time.
A door is closed. We come to the corner and are looking down
a HALLWAY at Atwood coming toward us. We move to her and
arrive just as she raises her fist to knock.
Before she can, the door opens and she and Mr. Smith who is
on his way out of his Apartment are surprised that the other
one is suddenly there. Each one takes a half step back.
Phwap! The manila envelope that was wedged under Mr. Smith’s
left arm hits the floor.
42.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
MR. SMITH
Oh! You scared me.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I’m sorry…
(bends down and picks up
the envelope)
… I was about to knock. I’m
Detective Atwood with the Chicago
Police.
MR. SMITH
(accepting the envelope)
Thank you.
Through the open door, Atwood can see Mr. Smith’s camera on a
table and the collapsed tripod leaning against the wall.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Are you a photographer…
(glances at her list)
Mr. Baffert?
MR. SMITH
No… eh, it’s kind of a hobby, I
just started.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I don’t know if you’re aware but
there was a murder…
MR. SMITH
Oh, yes in the house across the
alley…
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Did you happen to see anything
unusual or suspicious that night
around that house? Anything at all?
Mr. Smith puts on his thinking expression and pauses a little
bit before:
MR. SMITH
No… I wondered that when I heard
what happened, but… no.
(looks at his watch)
I’m sorry, I’m meeting someone and
I don’t want to be late.
He moves into the Hallway closing the door behind him.
43.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Here’s my card, if you hear
anything or remember anything.
MR. SMITH
(taking the card)
I wish I could be of more help, but
sorry.
Watching him walk away amid the crinkle of his raincoat,
Detective Atwood, maybe because of her woman’s intuition or
maybe because she’s a good cop, wonders what is in that
manila envelope under his arm.
The thought is gone almost as soon as it comes and she faces
about to the next door.
EXT. STREET Ñ NIGHT
Hunched against the rain, Mr. Smith is acutely aware of the
traffic. His eyes strain to see the Occupants of each passing
car. He doesn’t give a second thought to the older nondescript
Toyota parked against the far curb.
INT. TOYOTA Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Brooks is in the driver’s seat. Marshall is in the back.
They’re both tracking the progress of Mr. Smith.
MR. BROOKS
He looks clean. He looks like he’s
alone.
MARSHALL
No, I’m telling you he wants to do
this.
MR. BROOKS
I guess I should turn around and go
pick him up.
MARSHALL
Nah. Just honk. Maybe he’ll get
killed crossing the street and save
us the mess of doing it.
EXT. STREET Ñ NIGHT
Honk!! Honk!! Mr. Smith looks around. He’s not sure that
sound was for him. But when the Toyota honks again and
flashes it’s lights, Mr. Smith waves and splashes to the
center of the street.
44.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
Even though he stops to let it pass, a car sounds its horn
and swerves to avoid him. Mr. Smith crosses behind the Toyota
and opens the passenger door.
INT. TOYOTA Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Smith flops into the seat.
MR. SMITH
Woof! It’s really coming down out
there.
MR. BROOKS
They say it’ll be sunny tomorrow.
Mr. Smith fumbles with the buttons and zipper on his
raincoat.
MR. SMITH
I never trust those guys, when they
say it’s going to be clear it
always rains and when they say it’s
going to rain, it’s sunny.
He comes up with the manila envelope.
MR. SMITH
Here’s what you asked for.
Mr. Brooks takes it and hefts it.
MR. BROOKS
The pictures and the memory card
all here?
MR. SMITH
Yeah.
MR. BROOKS
You and I both know that not all
the pictures are in here and you
made a copy of the Memory Card,
isn’t that so?
MR. SMITH
But you understand my position.
Mr. Brooks favors him with a wolfish smile.
45.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
Yes, I do. But it’s my hope that
once you get to know me better
you’ll feel comfortable in giving
me all that I’ve asked for.
MR. SMITH
That sounds fair. Oh, I almost
forgot. I thought you might be
interested in this.
His hand comes forward with a card.
MR. SMITH
It’s the policewoman who’s looking
for you.
Marshall snaps forward from the back seat.
MARSHALL
Wow! We’ve never known anyone who’s
looking for us before.
Mr. Brooks pinches the rectangle of paper away from Mr. Smith
for a closer view.
MARSHALL
We’ve got to find out everything
there is to know about this woman.
MR. BROOKS
This is too close, Marshall, too
damn close.
Mr. Smith interrupts Mr. Brooks’s focus on Detective Atwood’s
card.
MR. SMITH
So, what do we do now? What’s the
plan for the evening?
Mr. Brooks slips the envelope under the seat and starts the
car.
MR. BROOKS
We drive around until we see
someone we think we might enjoy
killing.
MR. SMITH
Really? That’s it? I thought you
might already have someone in mind.
46.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
I don’t enjoy this, Mr. Smith. I do
it because I’m addicted to it. And
before you entered my life I had
vowed I would never kill again. So
this is your party, you can chose
anyone you want and we’ll do it
together.
MR. SMITH
Can it be someone I know?
MR. BROOKS
You never kill someone you know.
That’s the easiest way to get
caught.
EXT. STREET Ñ NIGHT
The Toyota enters the traffic.
INT. APARTMENT BUILDING Ñ NIGHT
An older WOMAN in a Stewardess uniform is standing in the
doorway of her apartment. Atwood is in front of her in the
HALL.
STEWARDESS
I wasn’t in town that night, my
roommate was, maybe he saw
something.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
May I speak to him?
STEWARDESS
He’s on his way to Tokyo now, he’s
also a Flight Attendant.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Did the victims ever leave the
curtains in the bedroom open?
STEWARDESS
All the time. I don’t know if they
thought we couldn’t see them
“fucking” or they didn’t care.
47.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Here’s my card, could you ask your
roommate to call me when he gets
back, the people at that number
will find me any hour of the day or
night.
STEWARDESS
I won’t be here, but I’ll leave him
a note.
EXT. STREET Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Brooks’ Toyota is cruising in the flow of traffic.
MR. BROOKS (V.O.)
… maybe I already know how to
pick the locks on the house, if I
don’t…
INT. TOYOTA Ñ NIGHT
MR. BROOKS
… I buy one of those locks and I
practice on it, same with the
alarm… some I know how to bypass,
some I have to study.
MR. SMITH
You don’t mind me asking these
questions?
MR. BROOKS
No. This is your first time, you’re
interested. And you should be if
you’re…
A neutral-colored PICKUP swerves out of the next lane into
Mr. Brooks’ lane.
MR. SMITH
Jesus Christ!!
Mr. Brooks is forced to slam on his brakes to avoid running
up the PICKUP’S tailpipe.
HOONKK!!! Mr. Brooks angrily lays on the horn.
The brake lights of the PICKUP flash in response causing Mr.
Brooks to brake again.
48.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. SMITH
Fuck him!! It was his fault!! What
an asshole!!
MARSHALL
(leans forward)
Maybe Mr. Smith would like to kill
the driver of the pickup.
MR. BROOKS
(to Mr. Smith)
What about the driver of the
pickup? What if we killed him?
MR. SMITH
Oh, fuck, yes!! I’ve always wanted
to kill someone who fucked with me
in traffic.
The PICKUP makes a right onto a side street. Mr. Brooks
follows.
MR. BROOKS
Do you want to kill the driver of
the pickup or the owner, they may
not be the same.
MR. SMITH
The driver.
MR. BROOKS
Okay we’ll follow until we get a
look at him, or her; would it
bother you to kill a woman?
MR. SMITH
No. An asshole’s an asshole.
Mr. Brooks begins to slow down.
MR. SMITH
What are you doing?
MR. BROOKS
The asshole shouldn’t know we’ve
decided to follow him, or her.
EXT. FOUR STORY APARTMENT BUILDING – NIGHT
Detective Atwood is on her way out the Outer Door when the
hair on the back of her neck stands on end.
49.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
Footsteps can be heard running toward her through the rain.
Her hand goes under her jacket and comes out holding a Glock
9mm.
She sidesteps out of the light into the grayness at the edge
of the doorway.
Now she sees the RUNNER. A hood hides the face. She can’t
tell if it’s a Man or a Woman.
Detective Atwood thumbs the Glock’s safety to the ‘off’
position.
The Runner passes, white breath coming from an unseen mouth.
She waits while the Figure recedes, then with the gun still
in hand she fishes into a pocket for a cell phone and heads
in the opposite direction.
A finger speedials a number. After a second ring a:
MALE VOICE
(answers)
Yes?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(puts the phone to her
ear)
It’s Tracy. Can you carve out some
time for me tonight?… I’ll be
home in an hour and a half. I’ll
see you there.
The phone is shut, the umbrella unfurled and the darkness
swallows her up.
EXT. MINI MART Ñ NIGHT
The neutral-colored Pickup is parked in front. The DRIVER
gets out.
INT. TOYOTA Ñ NIGHT
It has stopped at the curb just beyond the Entrance to the
Mini-Mart parking lot.
Mr. Brooks and Mr. Smith watch the DRIVER come around the
front of another car before entering the store.
The light reveals the Driver to be a tall middle-age preppie
guy with close cropped dark hair and dark-rimmed glasses.
50.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
Would you recognize him if you saw
his driver’s license picture?
MR. SMITH
Yeah.
MR. BROOKS
I’ve memorized the license number,
you write it down. When you get
home go on the Internet and find
out everything you can about this
guy.
MR. SMITH
We aren’t going to kill him
tonight?
MR. BROOKS
No. We could, but then we wouldn’t
be in control. We could leave loose
ends, and we both know the danger
of that.
MR. SMITH
(squints at the Pickup’s
license)
I got it.
MR. BROOKS
Look at me.
Mr. Smith does.
MR. BROOKS
Close your eyes. What’s the number?
MR. SMITH
VF… eh…
Mr. Smith opens his eyes and grins sheepishly.
MR. BROOKS
Don’t feel bad, I’ve been doing
this a long time…
(he points to a holder on
the dash)
Pen, paper. Write it down.
MR. SMITH
(copying the number)
What was your first time?
51.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
You really don’t want to know that
much about me, Mr. Smith.
INT. INDOOR POOL Ñ NIGHT
The lane lines are in place.
Detective Atwood is the only one in the water. Up and down
she goes with a long smooth stroke flipping the turns. She’s
not swimming for pleasure, she’s working out.
The underwater lights cast rippling shadows on the walls and
ceiling and since they are the only illumination, the room
feels spooky.
Atwood’s fingers touch the wall. She raises her head to check
her time, then takes off her goggles.
Hanging onto the gutter she tries to catch her breath, lowers
herself under the surface, blows a lungful of bubbles, comes
up to face LARRY, a Man slightly younger than she is, in a
beautiful suit, perched on the edge of the deck looking down
at her.
He has a dress on a hangar over one shoulder and a pair of
shoes dangling from the fingers of his other hand.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Hi.
LARRY
Hi. I brought a dress and a pair of
shoes. I thought we could leave
from here.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Great idea.
She lifts herself to him and they kiss.
INT. EXCLUSIVE SUPPER CLUB Ñ NIGHT
Detective Atwood and Larry are at a balcony table overlooking
a well-populated dance floor. The Music is 40’s and 50’s
performed by a live BAND.
LARRY
… I gave him my driver’s license,
my student ID, he didn’t look
anything like me, luckily they
never checked.
52.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I did something like that except I
was the one who took the test. It
wasn’t math, a friend of mine was a
theology major and needed a second
language to get into the Master’s
program…
LARRY
She started her career in theology
with a lie?!
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Isn’t that what all theology is
based on?
LARRY
Did you pass the test?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Oh yeah…
LARRY
Don’t tell me she ended up as
Mother Teresa or the Pope.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
No, she realized very quickly there
wasn’t enough money in religion for
her, the last I heard she’d written
a diet book that was very
successful.
LARRY
She stayed in religion.
Atwood smiles, her fingers find Larry’s and they intertwine.
The view floats over the balcony.
As it slowly drops, the PEOPLE on the dance floor, Couple by
Couple, disappear until there are only three Couples left,
one of them is Atwood and Larry. Her head is on his shoulder.
It’s a slow dance.
Larry is very good and wherever he leads, Atwood easily
follows. The lights begin to dim and we move in.
Larry touches his lips to Atwood’s neck. She arches back and
he kisses her neck again and again.
53.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
His lips move up and find hers, and we are now close on the
kiss. Gently the lips separate and we slowly retreat.
Looking into her eyes, Larry traces her lips with a finger,
then replaces that finger with his tongue.
His lips brush a cheek, down her neck to where it meets her
shoulder, his teeth close softly on the muscle, by now we are
far enough away to realize that Atwood and Larry have no
clothes on and we are:
INT. HALLWAY – DETECTIVE ATWOOD’S CONDOMINIUM Ñ NIGHT
What light there is, is coming from a room we can’t see.
Larry nibbles at Atwood collarbone, kisses a breast, strokes
his hands down her sides. She shivers. He brushes his lips
back and forth across her stomach and then down to where the
flesh of her belly meets her pubic hair.
She’s watching all of this in a mirror on the opposite wall.
Then he sinks to his knees and buries his head between her
legs. From low in her throat, Atwood moans. We lose sight of
the Couple as we move around a corner.
INT. BEDROOM Ñ DETECTIVE ATWOOD’S CONDOMINIUM – NIGHT
It’s dark. Atwood is propped up against the headboard, the
sheet pulled up over her breasts.
The door to the BATHROOM opens. Larry dressed in his suit,
minus the tie, comes out, kneels on the bed and kisses her.
LARRY
Thank you, this was wonderful.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
For me too.
LARRY
I’ll see you then?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I’d like that. The money is in the
usual place.
LARRY
It’s not just the money, Tracy. I
like you.
54.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I like you too, Larry. Send me a
bill for the dress and the shoes.
LARRY
I will. Good-night.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Good-night.
EXT. MR. BROOKS’ CERAMICS STUDIO Ñ NIGHT
The rain is muffled by the trees.
Move slowly toward the Building then up the side to peek
through the narrow window that circles just below the roof
line.
In the center of the room, the kiln relieves the darkness
with a yellow red glow whose rim touches a slash of white
light coming from under a door tucked in a corner.
INT. CERAMICS STUDIO Ñ NIGHT
We creep through the white light across the floor that’s
littered with splashes of paint and smears of clay to the
office door and peer under it.
In front of us are chair casters and two bare feet and legs.
MARSHALL (O.S.)
I think that was right. Go back.
MR. BROOKS (O.S.)
We’re in.
MARSHALL (O.S.)
With the taxes we pay, you’d think
they could make it more difficult
to hack into the Police personnel
files.
We tip toe under the door.
INT. OFFICE – CERAMICS STUDIO Ñ NIGHT
It’s crammed with file cabinets. Sketches for pottery pieces
are taped to the walls along with photos of Mr. Brooks, Jane
and Emma.
55.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
Mr. Brooks, clad only in a T-shirt and underwear, is sitting
in front of a computer. Marshall, dressed as he usually is,
is in a chair at his side.
They are both staring at the monitor where on one side of the
screen is Detective Atwood’s Police ID photo, on the other
side of the screen, Mr. Brooks is scrolling through her
personnel file.
MR. BROOKS
…. Huh… her father’s Gerald
Atwood, why does that ring a bell?
MARSHALL
Someone you did business with,
someone we killed?
MR. BROOKS
Not someone we killed… MBA…
College of William and Mary…
she’s been a cop for eleven
years… Married Doctor Carlson,
divorced Dr. Carlson, married Jesse
Vialo… restaurateur… separated
from Jesse Vialo, sued for support
by Jesse Vialo, seeing a shrink
because of Jesse Vialo…
MARSHALL
Excellent fitness report though.
MR. BROOKS
She caught the Hangman, the guy
that escaped the other day…
MARSHALL
Oooh… She’s caught a lot of
people… And look here, this isn’t
the first time she’s been hunting
for us.
MR. BROOKS
I wonder what the deal was with her
and Jesse Vialo?
Mr. Brooks taps a key that minimizes Atwood’s file then drags
it to the right hand corner. In the middle of a key stroke it
hits him:
56.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
Ahhhh… now I remember. Her
father, Gerald Atwood, never did
business with him but Emma and I
met him a couple times, big
political fundraiser. He owns or
owned one of the largest insurance
groups in the country and a lot of
other stuff.
Tap, tap, tap. Jesse Vialo’s Driver’s license comes up.
MR. BROOKS
Jesse Vialo… Good looking, a
little younger than she is.
MARSHALL
Younger, restaurateur…
(snorts)
She married him on the rebound from
the doctor and I’ll bet he married
her for her money and her
connections.
MR. BROOKS
The old man being rich doesn’t mean
she’s rich. Maybe he’s one of those
guys who would rather give it to
the Opera than to his kids.
MARSHALL
Wouldn’t she have to declare any
outside income and holdings to the
Police?
MR. BROOKS
Hmmm…
He restores Atwood’s file. Tap, tap, tap, tap. Stop. The Men
study the screen then look at each other.
MR. BROOKS
The Opera didn’t get much.
MARSHALL
Why would a woman with her
education and worth 60 plus million
dollars and probably more to come,
want to be a cop?
MR. BROOKS
I like that about her.
57.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
MARSHALL
You’re such a fucking snob, Earl.
You like her because she’s rich.
MR. BROOKS
No, I like her because she found
something that’s hers. It’s not the
family business. And she’s good at
it. I’d like Jane to find something
that’s hers and that she could be
good at.
MARSHALL
That’s exactly why Atwood scares
the shit out of me. She’s a cop who
doesn’t need the money and she’s
looking for us. That’s one fucking
dangerous human being.
MR. BROOKS
The fact that you’re not wrong
doesn’t make me admire her any
less.
INT. SUBURBAN STARBUCKS Ñ MORNING
At a table the Asian Attorney is going over a brief. There
are two foamy coffees in to-go cups in front of her.
Detective Atwood arrives at the table.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Hi…
She reaches out, the Women shake hands.
ASIAN ATTORNEY
Hi. I got you a Latte.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(sitting)
Thanks and thanks for meeting me
here.
ASIAN ATTORNEY
We got an injunction to quash the
subpoena for your work records
yesterday. They’ve already
appealed.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
That doesn’t help me does it?
58.
CONTINUED: (3)
(CONTINUED)
ASIAN ATTORNEY
Your father has a lot of political
muscle.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
My father does nothing for nothing.
ASIAN ATTORNEY
I understand. If you’re willing to
play the game and ride a desk for a
year; I think we can settle for one
two five, one five.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
No desk.
ASIAN ATTORNEY
Then the only other option is
money. Tell me how high you are
willing to go.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
One five.
ASIAN ATTORNEY
I can try. If I were on the other
side I’d hold out for more.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
How much more?
ASIAN ATTORNEY
Give me a cap and that’s how high
we’ll go.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Try and get a number out of them
first. I want to know what ballpark
I’m playing in and if it’s a lump
sum, is it less than something
that’s paid in installments.
ASIAN ATTORNEY
I’ll call them today.
Atwood stands up with her coffee.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I’d like to get this done as soon
as possible.
59.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
The Asian Attorney also stands and gathering her papers and
coffee.
ASIAN ATTORNEY
Are you working on the Thumbprint
Killer this time?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Yeah.
ASIAN ATTORNEY
That one’s creepy to me. The doors
are locked, the alarms are armed
and the people are dead. It makes
you feel like you’re not safe
anywhere.
Atwood nods and opens the front door then follows the
Attorney out.
EXT. SUBURBAN STARBUCKS Ñ MORNING
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Where are you parked?
ASIAN ATTORNEY
I’m right over there.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I’m down the street. Call me as
soon as you have something.
She starts to walk away.
ASIAN ATTORNEY
Oh, Tracy… I almost forgot, your
husband says there’s a picture of
him holding some trophy that you
still have.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
He took all those pictures. He took
everything.
ASIAN ATTORNEY
He claims it’s his favorite picture
and you put it up where you store
your suitcases.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I’ll look.
60.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
ASIAN ATTORNEY
I know it’s petty, but you’re going
through a divorce.
EXT. SIDEWALK Ñ MORNING
Atwood strides toward her car. The PEDESTRIAN traffic is
light. It’s too early for the stores to be open.
Up ahead a BROWN VAN is idling at the curb, the sliding side
door is open. Atwood can see inside. Empty except for some
furniture blankets.
The Person in the Driver’s seat turns to look into the back.
It’s the Woman who was watching Atwood outside the Murder
House. Her hands are unseen in leather gloves.
She looks up and their eyes meet. Two strangers. The contact
is instantly broken.
Atwood takes a deep breath and smiles. After the rain, the
air is brisk and clean. It’s good to be alive.
SLAM!!! Atwood is body-checked by a Man who springs out of
the recess of a doorway. His arms wrap around her, she’s
lifted off her feet and the Man throws himself and her into
the Van.
INT. BROWN VAN – MORNING
Oooff!! The wind is knocked out of Atwood when she lands left
shoulder first on the furniture blankets, the Man on top of
her.
The Man is Thorton Meeks, the Hangman, six feet, a solid two
hundred pounds. He’s also wearing tight leather gloves.
EXT. STREET Ñ MORNING
The Brown Van accelerates fast away from the curb.
INT. BROWN VAN Ñ MORNING
His body crushing hers, Meeks kisses Atwood’s cheek.
MEEKS
Surprise, surprise, Tracy. I told
you I was coming back to get you.
He frees his right hand and pulls his gun.
61.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MEEKS
I already know where I’m gonna hang
you. But first I’m gonna watch
her…
(indicates the Driver)
… have some fun with you, then
she’s gonna watch me have some fun
with you.
He kisses her again and puts the gun to Atwood’s head.
MEEKS
Now, don’t move.
He raises up and straddles her.
MEEKS
You know the drill, I’m gonna put
the cuffs on.
With his left hand he fishes a pair of handcuffs from a back
pocket and snaps them on Atwood’s right wrist.
MEEKS
Now the left.
He rolls Atwood on her back and with the chain of the
handcuff pulls her right arm toward her left.
All Meeks’ talk has allowed Atwood to catch her breath and
suddenly she jerks her head up into the gun and screams at
the top of her lungs.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
SHOOT ME!!!
At the same time she pulls hard against the handcuff with her
right wrist. A startled Meeks is thrown off balance. The gun
comes away from Atwood’s head.
Her left arm now free, Atwood swings her palm with all of her
might into Meeks’ right ear. POP!! His eardrum breaks.
Aaaggh!! He instinctually reaches to cover the damaged ear
with his gun hand.
The Driver doubles around to see what’s happening. From
outside, HOONNNKK!! The Driver’s attention returns to the
road.
62.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
Atwood swings again. This time she snags the barrel of the
gun and using it as a lever bends Meeks’ hand back on the
wrist.
BLAM! The gun goes off. Neither one of them is hit.
At the same time Atwood pulls hard on the handcuff that Meeks
is holding in his left hand and twists into him. This
dislodges Meeks and he’s off of her.
Snarling like animals they fight for the gun.
CRACK! Atwood’s leverage breaks Meeks’ trigger finger. His
grip loosens on the weapon. She pulls it out of his hand.
A quick push skitters it across the floor. It drops through
the open side door into the street.
Atwood rolls away and reaches for her ankle gun. Now it’s
Meeks’ turn. A sharp tug on the chain of the handcuff stalls
her motion.
He flicks his other arm and a switchblade is delivered into
his right hand. Snap!! The blade comes out. Atwood is
reaching again for her ankle gun. She sees the flash of metal
and flings her head back.
Luckily all she receives is a deep gash above her right eye.
Blood immediately begins to cascade over her brow.
Meeks grins and gives another sharp tug on the handcuff to
pull Atwood into the range of his knife.
With one foot Atwood kicks at him, with the other she pushes
off and propels herself backward to grab a handful of the
Driver’s hair.
Atwood’s weight hinges the Driver’s head back until she’s
looking at the ceiling. Her scream is equal parts pain and
surprise.
EXT. STREET Ñ MORNING
The Brown Van veers into the on-coming traffic. The Driver of
the car dead ahead swerves. The Van solidly clips the rear of
that car.
INT. BROWN VAN – MORNING
The sudden deceleration of that impact slingshots Atwood and
Meeks forward. She hits the back of the Driver’s seat.
63.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
Meeks has further to go. He loses his hold on the handcuffs
and smashes into the passenger seat.
Her right hand now free, Atwood scratches for the gun on her
hip.
EXT. STREET Ñ MORNING
Careening across its lane, the Van sideswipes a parked car.
INT. BROWN VAN Ñ MORNING
That impact rips Atwood’s hand out of the Driver’s hair and
sends her sliding on her knees toward the side door.
On her way she unclips her gun and is bringing it out of her
holster when Meeks who has managed to hang onto the passenger
seat sees this and slams a foot into her chest.
Atwood is launched backward out the side door.
EXT. STREET Ñ MORNING
In slow motion Atwood flies through the air while at normal
speed the Van is leaving her behind.
SMASH! Butt first, Atwood hammers into the back window of a
parked car. The shattering glass breaks her fall.
Groggily she rolls out of the indentation. Gun still in hand
and blood covering one side of her face she slides off the
car to stand in the street.
The Van is nowhere in sight.
INT. EMERGENCY ROOM Ñ DAY
Captain Lister is watching a DOCTOR sew up the gash on
Detective Atwood’s forehead.
CAPTAIN LISTER
We found the van in an underground
lot about two miles from where they
left you. It was stolen last night.
Detective Snyder comes in and hands a packet of photographs
to Atwood.
SNYDER
These are the women we have
pictures of who know Meeks.
64.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
CAPTAIN LISTER
Meeks and the Woman, none of the
Attendants remember seeing them.
As Detective Atwood begins to go through the pictures.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
That chiropractor, Alvin Griffin,
who sold Meeks his steroids, he
might know where he is.
CAPTAIN LISTER
His phone’s been tapped since Meeks
escaped. No contact that way so far
and he’s sure not going to talk to
us.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
What about a warrant to search his
house? Get me in the door and he’ll
talk to me.
CAPTAIN LISTER
How’s your divorce going?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I took your advice and told my
lawyer to settle.
Stretching out her arm to return the photos:
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
None of these is the woman in the
van.
DOCTOR
Whoa… I’m sewing up your head
here.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Sorry.
CAPTAIN LISTER
And your ego can handle that?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
It doesn’t like any of the other
choices.
CAPTAIN LISTER
Until Meeks is caught, Snyder is
with you.
65.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Nothing personal, Snyder.
(to Lister)
He’s not part of our team.
CAPTAIN LISTER
He’s there to protect you. And
listen to him, he’s been alive
longer than you have.
SNYDER
I didn’t volunteer for this,
Atwood.
CAPTAIN LISTER
The Parking Lot has a security
camera. We’re checking the tape. If
Meeks and the Woman left in a car
we’ll have a license number. You
have two days then I want a
progress report on your divorce.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I think I have all the pieces on
the Thumbprint Killer, I’m just not
looking at them the right way.
CAPTAIN LISTER
Okay, you have three days.
She leaves.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(smiles sweetly at Snyder)
Every babysitter I ever had loved
me.
EXT. DRUG STORE PARKING LOT Ñ NIGHT
In the scattering of vehicles Mr. Brooks’ Toyota is hidden in
plain sight in a row of cars.
INT. TOYOTA Ñ NIGHT
Behind the wheel, Mr. Brooks is again wearing his PotteryThrowing
clothes. Mr. Smith is in the passenger seat and
Marshall is leaning forward from the back.
They’re all focused to varying degrees on the Entrance to the
store. Mr. Smith raises his watch for a look at the time.
66.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
MR. SMITH
Maybe he went home with someone
else.
MR. BROOKS
Can you still see his pickup?
Mr. Smith looks.
MR. SMITH
Uh huh.
MR. BROOKS
This is not the kind of guy who
leaves his pickup in an unguarded
Lot overnight.
The silence returns.
All three Men idly observe an old green Pontiac convertible
with a frayed top and paint peeling, come into the Lot and
park two spaces away facing them. We saw this car last
watching Atwood from outside the Murder House.
The headlights go off.
The Driver’s door opens. The Woman who was with Meeks in the
Van steps out and hurries toward the Drug Store.
She of course means nothing to Mr. Brooks but in the brief
seconds the domelight is on, he catches sight of the Man in
the passenger seat. A memory tickles his brain.
He turns to Marshall.
MR. BROOKS
Where do we know that guy from?
MARSHALL
You really should pay more
attention to what you read, Earl.
MR. BROOKS
That’s what I have you for,
Marshall.
MARSHALL
His picture was on the front page
of the paper a couple days ago
because he escaped from jail. He’s
the killer they call the Hangman.
67.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
Ahh…
MARSHALL
Remember that cop you like, Atwood,
who’s chasing us, she’s the one who
put him away. I think his name is
Thorton Meeks.
Mr. Brooks cocks his head at the vague outline of Meeks.
MR. BROOKS
Well, well, well… What would life
be without surprises?
Mr. Smith who, remember, cannot hear or see Marshall,
straightens up.
MR. SMITH
There he is!
The Man they are waiting for is coming down the steps of the
store. On the way to his Pickup he takes off a Manager’s
smock.
MR. SMITH
You know what’s weird? I’ll bet he
has all these plans of what he’s
going to do tonight and tomorrow
and he doesn’t know he will already
be dead and won’t be able to do any
of them.
Mr. Brooks nods absently. The Drug Store Manager arrives at
his truck.
MR. BROOKS
I don’t think I want to kill this
guy.
MR. SMITH
What?! But you promised we would!
Marshall smiles.
MARSHALL
Oh, I love what you’re thinking.
MR. BROOKS
You have no idea what I’m thinking.
68.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
MARSHALL
Oh yes I do, and it’s wonderfully
twisted.
MR. BROOKS
(to Mr. Smith)
I know I said we would, but I don’t
think it would be that much fun.
Mr. Brooks starts the car and puts it in reverse.
MR. SMITH
So just like that, you’re saying
‘no’, it’s not going to happen.
MR. BROOKS
Yes.
MR. SMITH
(purses his lips into a
tight line)
I see.
Mr. Brooks casts his eyes on the license plate of the car
Meeks is in.
MARSHALL
You get the number?
MR. BROOKS
I got it.
EXT. DRUG STORE PARKING LOT Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Brooks’ Toyota leaves.
INT. TOYOTA Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Smith sits stiffly. His expression hasn’t changed.
MARSHALL
Mr. Smith wants you to notice he’s
pouting.
MR. BROOKS
Yeah, I know.
EXT. STREET Ñ NIGHT
The Toyota is part of the light traffic.
69.
CONTINUED: (3)
EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET Ñ NIGHT
The Toyota comes into view around a corner and stops next to
the sidewalk.
INT. TOYOTA Ñ NIGHT
MR. BROOKS
I know you’re upset, Mr. Smith, and
I’m sorry.
MR. SMITH
Yeah, I am upset.
MR. BROOKS
Maybe I was a little abrupt back
there, but let me explain. Finding
someone you think would be fun to
kill is a bit like falling in love.
You meet a lot of candidates, and
you like some of them and they’re
nice, but they’re not right; and
then that special one shows up and
your heart beats faster and you
know that’s the one. The man in the
pickup did not make my heart beat
faster.
MR. SMITH
Okay, he did not make your heart
beat faster. If not him, who?
MR. BROOKS
I don’t know, I think I have
someone in mind.
MR. SMITH
Do you need me to do any work on
it?
MR. BROOKS
No, let’s see how it plays out.
MR. SMITH
You see? That’s my problem. That
makes me feel like I’m being jerked
around, Mr. Brooks. I thought it
was happening last night, then it
was happening tonight. And now it’s
“Let’s see how it plays out”.
70.
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
I feel like you’re planning to back
out on our deal and I don’t like
that feeling at all.
MR. BROOKS
I promise you, it will happen.
MR. SMITH
When? That’s what I want to know,
Mr. Brooks. When?
MR. BROOKS
Tomorrow night, same time. When you
come out of your building, turn
right, go to the first street you
can go west on, I’ll pick you up on
that street.
MR. SMITH
Okay.
He gets out and with the door still open, turns back.
MR. SMITH
I want to do this. But if it drags
on too long, I could change my
mind.
MR. BROOKS
Don’t you think I want to do this,
Mr. Smith?
MR. SMITH
Maybe you don’t anymore.
He shuts the door. Marshall and Mr. Brooks watch him walk
away.
MARSHALL
Even if that guy was charming and
funny I still wouldn’t like him.
EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET Ñ NIGHT
The Toyota U-turns, makes the corner and is lost from sight.
EXT. ALLEY – CERAMICS STUDIO Ñ NIGHT
The garage door opens and Mr. Brooks swings the Toyota
inside.
71.
CONTINUED:
MR. SMITH (CONT’D)
INT. GARAGE Ñ CERAMICS STUDIO – NIGHT
Mr. Brooks steps out of the Toyota onto a sheet of plastic.
Two strides away is an industrial vacuum cleaner.
INT. TOYOTA Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Brooks vacuums the passenger seat and dash and floor and
everything around it.
INT. GARAGE Ñ CERAMICS STUDIO – NIGHT
Mr. Brooks removes his shoes and leaves them on the plastic,
then slips his feet into paper slippers.
With handiwipes he wipes down the outside of the passenger
door, in fact anything on that side Mr. Smith could have
touched.
He opens the door and wipes down the seat and the dash and
the console.
Back on the plastic, Mr. Brooks undresses. On top of his
clothes he drops the used handiwipes, the slippers and the
vacuum bag.
The corners of the plastic sheet are folded up, twisted
together and Zip-tied to create a nice neat package which Mr.
Brooks picks up and takes into the Ceramics Studio.
INT. SHOWER – CERAMICS STUDIO Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Brooks rinses off the lather under the spray.
INT. CERAMICS STUDIO Ñ NIGHT
The glow from 3000 degrees Fahrenheit is coming through the
window of the kiln.
INT. OFFICE – CERAMICS STUDIO Ñ NIGHT
The Driver’s license, complete with picture, of the Woman who
was with Meeks in the Drug Store parking lot, is up on the
computer screen.
Mr. Brooks, now back in his regular clothes, brings the
cursor down to the address. He scores this and drags it into
Yahoo Maps ‘driving directions’.
A route is generated. Mr. Brooks brings the cursor up to
‘Print’ and clicks.
72.
(CONTINUED)
CLOSE on his Printer. The map is fed out and settles into the
tray.
EXT. BROOKS HOUSE Ñ MORNING
An unmarked Police car stops on the gravel of the TurnAround.
Two Plainclothes DETECTIVES get out and walk to the
front door.
The taller One rings the bell and they wait and then the door
is opened by Mr. Brooks.
In a flash he takes in the car and the way the Men are
dressed and although his face doesn’t betray it, he knows
what they are.
MR. BROOKS
Hi, what can I do for you?
The shorter One holds up a badge.
DETECTIVE 1
I’m Detective Smolny with the
Chicago Police and this is
Detective Carfagno, from Palo Alto,
California…
CARFAGNO (DETECTIVE 2)
(showing his badge)
We’d like to speak to Jane Brooks,
if that’s possible.
MR. BROOKS
Jane is my daughter, what’s this
about?
CARFAGNO
There was a murder at Stanford not
long before she left. She may be
able to help us.
MR. BROOKS
Is she a suspect?
CARFAGNO
Not at this time. We simply would
like to ask her some questions.
SMOLNY (DETECTIVE 1)
Is your daughter here?
73.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
Yes… she is.
CARFAGNO
The questions won’t take long.
MR. BROOKS
I’m sure you would have no
objection if she had an attorney
present.
SMOLNY
That’s fine.
(reaching into his pocket)
Here’s my card. We can schedule a
time for later today or tomorrow
for her to come in to see us.
Mr. Brooks looks at the card.
MR. BROOKS
If you gentlemen can wait, I will
call my lawyer right now and see
what we can work out.
SMOLNY
Oh, that’s even better.
MR. BROOKS
(opening the door wider)
Would you like some coffee?
SMOLNY
Thank you.
INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY Ñ BROOKS HOUSE – MORNING
Marshall is walking alongside a very disturbed Mr. Brooks.
MARSHALL
We both knew she was hiding
something bigger, I certainly
didn’t think it was this big.
MR. BROOKS
She’s not a suspect, Marshall. She
may not have anything to do with it
at all.
Mr. Brooks opens a door. The room that is revealed is a very
well equipped home GYM.
74.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
In sweats and wearing a Walkman, Emma is working out on an
Elliptical machine.
Mr. Brooks motions to her that he wants to talk. Emma takes
off the headphones and pauses the machine.
MR. BROOKS
Did Jane ever tell you that there
was a murder at her school?
EMMA
No.
MR. BROOKS
Nothing? Not that a friend died or
someone she knew died? Or someone
in her dorm died?
EMMA
No.
MR. BROOKS
There are two Detectives
downstairs, one is from Palo Alto,
they want to ask her some questions
about a murder that occurred
shortly before she came home.
EMMA
Oh, my Gosh! I’m sure if she was
close to someone who was murdered,
she would have said something.
MR. BROOKS
I called Roger, he suggested a
criminal attorney, they’ll be here
within the hour.
EMMA
I’ll get dressed.
EXT. BROOKS HOUSE Ñ DAY
There are now three cars plus the unmarked Police car in the
Turn-Around.
INT. BROOKS HOUSE Ñ DAY
Everyone is in the LIVING ROOM.
75.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
Jane is on a couch flanked by her Mother and a LAWYER.
Standing behind them is a heavyset LAWYER and a YOUNG LAWYER.
We’ve never seen any of these Men before.
Facing this Group from the opposite couch are the two
Detectives. There are two tape recorders on the coffee table.
Mr. Brooks is in a chair off to one side watching everything.
For him the conversation is merely a burble of voices. He
studies his daughter while she answers a question.
She is unaware of his scrutiny. And finally all he can see
are her lips moving. Even the burble has faded to silence.
EXT. BROOKS HOUSE Ñ DAY
The unmarked Police car with the two Detectives pulls away.
We move in on the front door. It opens. The Lawyers spill
out. Mr. Brooks shakes hands with the lawyer who was sitting
on the couch next to Jane.
MR. BROOKS
Mr. Clifford, it was a pleasure.
Thank you for coming on such short
notice.
HEAVYSET LAWYER
There won’t be any more dropping by
like they did today, they’ll call
us first.
MR. BROOKS
Thanks again, Roger. It was a good
idea to hear what they wanted to
know sooner rather than later.
MR. CLIFFORD
We’ll talk.
MR. BROOKS
Yup.
He waves and re-enters the house.
INT. BROOKS HOUSE Ñ DAY
Mr. Brooks shuts the door and turning, finds himself face to
face with Emma and Jane. The Women are both worried.
He and his Daughter look at each other. For a brief instant
each one tries to find what they hope to find in the other.
76.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
Mr. Brooks smiles and folds the Girl into his arms.
MR. BROOKS
You did good, Kid. Your answers
were clear, concise and honest. And
when they tried to trip you up, it
didn’t work.
JANE
I hope so. I’m not feeling so well.
EMMA
Should you lie down?
JANE
I think I’d better.
Mr. Brooks kisses his daughter on the top of the head.
MR. BROOKS
Try and get some sleep.
Jane bends her steps toward the stairs.
MR. BROOKS
(to Emma)
I think Roger has a handle on this.
He and Mr. Clifford will take care
of it.
Emma takes her Husband’s hand and after squeezing it follows
her Daughter. On the stairs Jane stops and looks back.
JANE
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about
it, Daddy. It was horrible but I
really didn’t know the guy that
well. It happened at about the same
time I found out I was pregnant,
and it just went out of my mind.
MR. BROOKS
I understand.
Jane resumes her journey up the stairs.
CUT TO:
CLOSE on a water glass being filled from a tap.
77.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS (V.O.)
God grant me the Serenity to accept
the things I cannot change, Courage
to change the things I can, and
Wisdom to know the difference…
INT. KITCHEN Ñ BROOKS HOUSE – DAY
With a shaky hand, Mr. Brooks raises the glass to his lips.
MR. BROOKS
God help me. What do I do?
Sitting on the island behind him Marshall waits for Mr.
Brooks to gulp the glass dry.
MARSHALL
She did it, didn’t she?
MR. BROOKS
Yeah. It’ll take the Cops a week to
ten days to put their case together
and then they’ll come back and
arrest her.
MARSHALL
What are you going to do?
Mr. Brooks puts his hands over his eyes and sobs, then wiping
away the tears:
MR. BROOKS
I’ve been afraid of this since the
day she was born. She has what I
have.
MARSHALL
Yes, she does. But you’ve always
been smart about it. She was
stupid. She did it because she got
off on it, she did it for fun. Why
didn’t she think it through? A
hatchet! And she left it there!!
MR. BROOKS
They were pretty graphic, weren’t
they?
MARSHALL
That was to shock her into making a
mistake.
78.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
What does she think I think?
Doesn’t she remember what she told
me? That the BMW was being driven
across country by a friend and now
right in front of me, she tells the
Cops it was stolen.
MARSHALL
You’ve always cleaned up after her,
whatever she did, all her life.
MR. BROOKS
If the BMW has anything
incriminating in it, I hope it was
stolen or she dropped it at the
bottom of a very deep lake.
MARSHALL
Do you think she knows what kind of
trouble she’s in?
MR. BROOKS
I think she thought she had gotten
away with it until the Cops showed
up. I should have listened to her,
it was there. She was telling me.
‘I didn’t quit school because I was
pregnant’. I should have dug
deeper.
MARSHALL
And where would you be but at the
exact same place you are now. It is
not your fault, Earl. Part of your
problem with her is that you always
think it is.
MR. BROOKS
She has what I have, Marshall. So
on a very basic level, it is my
fault.
MARSHALL
What are you going to do?
MR. BROOKS
Maybe the best thing for her would
be to let her go to jail.
MARSHALL
And what about her child?
79.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
Emma and I would raise it.
MARSHALL
You might be right, Earl, you might
be. Because you know if she’s not
stopped, she’s going to do it
again. And if she wants to take
over the box business, the next
victim could be you.
MR. BROOKS
I don’t think she’d go that far.
INT. CRIME LAB Ñ DAY
A slide of what looks like enlarged grains of sand among
giant carpet fibers is projected onto a screen.
The Lead Crime Lab Technician:
SIGY (O.S.)
We found traces of this in two
places.
The slide changes to an overhead schematic showing the
interior of the house where the dance Couple was murdered.
Detective Atwood and Detective Snyder are standing with Sigy
watching the presentation. Atwood has a bandage covering the
stitches over her eye.
SIGY
(with a laser pointer)
Here and here.
The red dot indicates an area just outside the Kitchen and
just outside the Bedroom.
SIGY
We did an analysis and it’s made up
of feldspar, alumina and kaolin.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
What’s that?
SIGY
A high fire stoneware clay.
SNYDER
Like you make ashtrays and vases
from?
80.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
SIGY
This is more plates and teacups. It
was slightly wet when whoever it
was tracked it into the house and
it stuck to the carpet fibers.
We’re thinking it was the killer.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
It could have been tracked in by a
friend.
SIGY
That’s the thing, you see, the
friend would have had to have been
there almost at the same time the
killer was. Otherwise the samples
would have been dry and the killer
would have vacuumed them up.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Is the clay rare, is it difficult
to get?
SIGY
You can buy it almost anywhere.
SNYDER
That’s not much help, Sigy.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
And this is the only incongruity
you were able to find in the whole
house.
SIGY
We’ve done everything we know how
to do. It sure doesn’t break the
case wide open, does it?.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
No, Sigy, it doesn’t. It does give
me an excuse to ask someone some
new questions.
INT. MR. BROOKS’ OFFICE Ñ BROOKS BOX FACTORY – DAY
Mr. Brooks is standing behind his desk staring blankly at the
contents of his briefcase when Sunday, his Secretary, comes
in.
SUNDAY
Yes, Mr. Brooks?
81.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
Mr. Brooks doesn’t immediately answer her, he’s lost in
thought.
MARSHALL
(from the couch)
Before you open your mouth, be very
sure this is the right thing to do.
MR. BROOKS
I will never be sure.
Remember; Sunday can neither see nor hear Marshall.
MARSHALL
You get pissed at me because I’m
always the one arguing to go ahead
and do murder. Not this time, Earl.
This is your decision.
MR. BROOKS
I know it’s wrong. In my heart I
know it’s wrong.
MARSHALL
Then don’t do it. Go with Mr. Smith
tonight and end that, then let the
Police put Jane in jail. Hopefully
that will save her and we can
happily go on with our tortured
lives.
MR. BROOKS
That’s exactly what I want to do.
That’s exactly what I should do.
The thing is, she’s my daughter and
I love her.
Mr. Brooks raises his head and looks at Sunday.
MR. BROOKS
I’m going home. Cancel everything
for the rest of the day. I might be
in tomorrow afternoon. I’ll let you
know about that.
SUNDAY
I’ll take care of it.
MR. BROOKS
If you need me, need me, call my
studio, that’s where I’ll be.
82.
CONTINUED:
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
I probably won’t pick up, just
leave a message.
SUNDAY
I’ll try not to bother you.
The door closes behind her.
INT. CERAMICS STUDIO Ñ DAY
With a hidden lever, Mr. Brooks lowers casters under the kiln
and rolls it aside to reveal a Combination Safe imbedded in
the concrete floor.
He spins the dial, opens the Safe and extracts four quadruplepocketed
plastic sleeves which he lines up in front of
himself.
Each sleeve contains a Driver’s License, two Credit cards and
cash.
The pictures on the Driver’s Licenses are of Mr. Brooks, but
you wouldn’t immediately recognize him because of the
disguises.
As he’s trying to decide which of the four Identities would
be best for what he has in mind, Marshall comes forward to
look over his shoulder.
MARSHALL
The thing that bothers me about
this, besides the fact we’re not
prepared, and a multitude of other
things, is what does Mr. Smith do
when he’s walking west tonight and
you don’t show up. That little
freak could flip out.
Mr. Brooks chooses the first sleeve and the third sleeve. The
other two go back into the Safe.
MR. BROOKS
I’ll take care of it on the way to
the airport.
EXT. FIVE STORY GLASS BUILDING Ñ DAY
It’s in an Industrial Park.
Mr. Smith exits one of the doors and continues on into the
Parking Lot to a moderately expensive foreign car sitting in
a space identified by a sign which reads:
83.
CONTINUED: (2)
MR. BROOKS (CONT’D)
(CONTINUED)
Mr. Baffert.
He squeezes the ‘disarm’ button on his key chain. The car
chirps twice and he opens the door. Bending his knees to get
in, he stops.
There is a section of Newspaper wedged in the steering wheel.
When his brain unlocks he straightens up and moving only the
top of his body, makes a quick recon of the surrounding area
and his back seat.
Nothing threatening seen, he eases into the seat. Slam! The
door is closed and locked.
INT. CAR Ñ DAY
Gingerly, Mr. Smith removes the Newspaper. It folds open. On
the first page there are words circled in red.
As his eyes dart from one to the other we go in close on the
words and hear Mr. Brooks say them as Mr. Smith finds them.
MR. BROOKS (V.O.)
Not – able – to – meet –
Mr. Smith turns the page.
MR. BROOKS (V.O.)
– tonight – Do – it – same –
Turns the page.
MR. BROOKS (V.O.)
– time – tomorrow –
Turns the page.
MR. BROOKS
– night – Don’t – be – stupid -.
Mr. Smith refolds the Newspaper and throws it at the
passenger seat.
MR. SMITH
Fuck you!
He inserts the key into the ignition.
RAP-RAP!! There’s a sudden sharp KNOCK!!, on the Driver’s
window.
84.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
Mr. Smith levitates off the seat!! Unable to breathe, he
turns.
Detective Atwood’s face lowers into view.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
You remember me?
All Mr. Smith can do is nod.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Would you step out of the car,
please, I want to talk to you.
EXT. CAR Ñ DAY
Atwood steps back as Mr. Smith gets out. Behind her,
Detective Snyder is standing next to the Driver’s door of an
un-marked Police car which has blocked Mr. Smith in.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
So Mr. Baffert, what is that you
have to tell me?
MR. SMITH
What do you mean? I don’t have
anything to tell you.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Really? Because I was driving
around and I got this sudden
feeling that you had something to
tell me about the murders.
MR. SMITH
No. Nothing.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
That’s disappointing. Because when
I left you the last time we talked,
I felt I had missed a clue that was
right in front of me that would
solve this whole case.
MR. SMITH
I don’t know why you would feel
that.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Didn’t you tell me you were an
amateur potter, that you made bowls
and vases?
85.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. SMITH
No, I said I was an amateur
photographer.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Are you positive? Because we found
potter’s clay on the carpet of the
murder house and I was sure you
said to me that you worked with
clay, that you made pots.
MR. SMITH
No. I said my hobby was
photography, not pottery.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Maybe that was it. The Stewardess
upstairs said the victims kept
their curtains open when they made
love. Could I see some of the
pictures you took of that Couple?
Mr. Smith can only stare at Detective Atwood. His Adam’s
apple moves up and down though he makes no sound. Should he
or shouldn’t he?
Finally he throws his arms up in a shrug but in his half-turn
of indecision he happens to spy the Newspaper he tossed at
the passenger seat of his car.
Part of it is draped over the console. The red circles around
the words on that page jump out at him.
MR. BROOKS (V.O.)
Don’t – be – stupid -.
Mr. Smith returns his attention to Detective Atwood.
MR. SMITH
You are harassing me, Detective
Atwood. You know very well I’m not
a potter and I don’t have any
pictures! So my feeling is that
your feeling is wrong and that you
should move your car and let me go
home.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
What is your job here? What do you
do?
86.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. SMITH
I’m a mechanical engineer.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
You have to be pretty smart for
that, don’t you?
MR. SMITH
I guess.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Then be smart, Mr. Baffert. You
lied to me right there at the end.
I’ll be watching you. And when you
want to tell me the truth, you know
how to get in touch with me.
She gives him a dazzling smile.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
See you later, alligator.
Atwood walks back to her car and gets in.
INT. UNMARKED POLICE CAR Ñ DAY
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(under her breath)
Goddamit…
As Snyder accelerates away he points to the car’s computer
screen.
SNYDER
Captain Lister got us the search
warrant for Meeks’ Chiropractor.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Good.
(shakes her head ‘no’,
frustrated)
Goddamit!, that guy knows
something…
(meaning Mr. Smith)
He almost told me and then
something happened.
SNYDER
You think he did it?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I don’t think it’s that simple.
87.
CONTINUED: (2)
EXT. PARKING LOT Ñ DAY
Mr. Smith watches the unmarked police car going away and
wipes the sweat out of his hairline.
INT. AIRPLANE Ñ DAY
We’re following a STEWARDESS down the aisle. She stops at a
row and leans over to hand a glass of tomato juice to the
Person in the Window Seat.
STEWARDESS
Here you are, Sir.
Mr. Brooks who now looks like the Man in the picture on the
third Driver’s license, accepts the drink.
MR. BROOKS
Thank you.
He takes a sip and resumes his gaze out the window.
MR. BROOKS
(almost inaudible whisper)
God grant me the Serenity to accept
the things I cannot change, Courage
to change the things I can, and
Wisdom to know the difference…
The earth that he is looking at below is a long way away.
EXT. REDWOOD CITY Ñ LATE AFTERNOON
Come off a sign which reads: STANFORD UNIVERSITY – 2 1/2
miles to an Alamo rental car traveling south on the El Camino
Real.
INT. ALAMO RENTAL CAR Ñ LATE AFTERNOON
In his Pottery-Throwing clothes, Mr. Brooks is behind the
wheel.
There’s an Ace Hardware Store bag sitting upright and open on
the passenger seat. We peek over the edge of the bag.
A brand new hatchet with a gleaming blade sits at the bottom.
Mr. Brooks adjusts the rearview mirror. Marshall is on the
passenger side of the back seat.
MR. BROOKS
You’re awfully quiet back there.
88.
(CONTINUED)
Without any indication he’s been addressed, Marshall
continues to stare stoically ahead.
EXT. EL CAMINO REAL – LATE AFTERNOON
The Alamo Rental car carrying Mr. Brooks continues on.
INT. HIGH CEILING BUNGALOW Ñ NIGHT
It’s dark. There’s barely enough ambient light to see that we
are close on the knob of the Front Door.
From outside we hear the muffled sound of a Black & Decker
cordless drill and the knob begins to vibrate. Someone is
drilling the lock.
The sound stops. The knob turns. The door opens. A flashlight
is shone into our face.
UNIFORMED POLICEMAN (O.S.)
Mr. Alvin Griffin, this is the
Chicago Police.
EXT. HIGH CEILING BUNGALOW Ñ NIGHT
From the protection of the doorjamb, a very young UNIFORMED
POLICEMAN is the person shining the flashlight into the
house.
He’s flanked on either side of the door by Detective Atwood
and Detective Snyder.
The Officer’s flashlight illuminates a short ENTRYWAY with a
HALL immediately off to the left and the LIVING ROOM fading
into darkness, straight ahead.
UNIFORMED POLICEMAN
(continues)
We have a warrant to search your
home and premises. We’re coming in.
Flashlight in her left hand and the Glock in her right,
Detective Atwood is the first one across the threshold.
She directs the beam at the wall next to the door; finds the
light switch. Click! Click! Click.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Lights don’t work.
89.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
She continues to the Hall. The darkness is so oppressive
there, it seems that her stream of light must struggle to
pierce it.
The Room at the end is the KITCHEN.
With Snyder hanging in the Entryway to protect her back,
Atwood eases the hand with the flashlight around the corner.
The dishwasher, the sink, the cabinets gleam dully back at
her. She steps inside.
A debris field of empty pharmaceutical boxes and vials trails
away from the Refrigerator.
Her flashlight sweeps the rest of the Room. Beyond an open
countertop in the DINING AREA, the light blurs past an oval
of white, and then comes back.
It’s the face of a WOMAN!!
Careful of the litter, Atwood moves forward until she can see
that the Woman is sitting in a chair at the far end of the
dining table.
Her throat has been cut. Her head is being held upright by
her hair which is taped to the back of the chair.
She has a pen taped between her fingers, but the Appointment
Book in front of her is drenched in blood.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(calls to the darkness in
back of her)
We have a dead woman in here.
A light and footsteps hurry toward her from the LIVING ROOM.
Atwood swings her light at them.
SNYDER
Hey!
He squints and turns away.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I thought you were behind me.
SNYDER
The living room is clean.
90.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
Atwood swings her light back onto the dead Woman. The
combined illumination of the flashlights cause the support
joists twelve feet up to throw eerie shadows onto the open
ceiling.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Snyder, meet Mona.
The Uniformed Policeman comes up beside Atwood.
UNIFORMED POLICEMAN
I called it in.
The smell of blood and the sight of the carnage is too much
for him. His gorge rises and he gags.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Do that outside.
The Officer doesn’t have to be told twice.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(to Snyder, re: the body)
Meeks did this.
SNYDER
I thought Meeks hung people.
Atwood retraces her steps in the Kitchen.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Meeks is a steroid freak. This
Refrigerator was always full of
steroids. Mona was Alvin Griffin’s
niece, receptionist, lover and
keeper of the keys.
She focuses her flashlight on an open padlock dangling from a
steel band that runs around the Refrigerator. With the barrel
of the Glock she opens the door.
The only edibles inside are a tomato, half a loaf of bread, a
package of hotdogs and some part of a chicken in a KFC box.
The rest of the space is vacant.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Well, the steroids are certainly
gone.
SNYDER
You think Meeks has Alvin with him?
91.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Meeks thinks Alvin turned him in.
She shuts the Refrigerator.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Let’s go see what’s in the rest of
the house.
CUT TO:
Atwood and her flashlight pass us. Three feet to her right
and slightly behind is Snyder and his flashlight.
The two Detectives are leaving the Living Room and entering
the HALL toward the bedrooms. The ceiling is low here and it
feels very claustrophobic.
Ahead is a Door painted red.
But before they get to it, there’s a Room on the right.
Snyder shines his light in.
It’s a BATHROOM. The shower curtain is open. Nobody in the
tub.
The Door ahead is waiting, but there’s another Door on the
right. Snyder shines his light in.
This one is a Treatment Room with a Therapy table and shelves
of oils and unguents.
They’ve come to the red Door. Atwood will open this one.
She turns the knob and pushes. The Door is stuck. She and
Snyder exchange a look.
Snyder shuffles back half a step and flattens himself against
the wall. He shuts off his flashlight.
Atwood takes a deep breath, levers her weight against the
door and pushes.
There’s a sudden Snap! Then the door swings freely open. The
beam of Atwood’s flashlight reveals a large room containing a
bed, a dresser, a…
CREEEKKK!!! The sound is coming from up in the rafters.
Atwood whips her flashlight in that direction.
For an instant the beam catches a piece of a large shape
falling fast right at her.
92.
CONTINUED: (3)
(CONTINUED)
Then it’s lost in the darkness and then picked up again in
the reflected light in the Hall. The shape is a naked Man.
WHACK!! The Man nails Atwood in the shoulder. BANG! Her gun
goes off. She bounces into the wall and onto her ass.
Barely slowed the Man continues in an upward arc. His feet
and knees slam into the ceiling. Plaster dust rains.
The Man swings back, past Snyder. He’s lost in the darkness
again. Then he swings back into the light and comes to a stop
just inside the bedroom Door.
The Man is hanging from a rope around his neck. He’s dead.
His Body is festooned with syringes stuck into his bare
flesh.
In fact two of the needles hold a sheet of paper to the Man’s
chest. Printed on the paper in big black letters are the
words:
HA! HA! HA! HA!
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(getting to her feet)
Snyder, this is Alvin Griffin.
EXT. CHICAGO
The gray of dawn is in the sky.
EXT. O’HARE AIRPORT Ñ PRE DAWN
Mr. Brooks, wearing a disguise that makes him look like the
picture on the Driver’s license in the first plastic sleeve,
gets into a Taxi.
EXT. SUBURBAN STREET – CHICAGO – DAWN
The Cab drops Mr. Brooks off in front of a house. Mr. Brooks
watches the Cab drive away and then with his Carry-On bag
starts walking in the opposite direction. He turns a corner.
EXT. SECOND SUBURBAN STREET – CHICAGO – DAWN
Still on foot, Mr. Brooks arrives at his non-descript Toyota.
There are also neighborhood cars parked along the street. Mr.
Brooks unlocks his car and throws his Carry-On onto the
passenger seat.
93.
CONTINUED: (4)
EXT. FREEWAY – DAWN
Mr. Brooks’ Toyota speeds up an on-ramp and joins the light
traffic.
INT. TOYOTA – DAWN
From the back seat Marshall watches Mr. Brooks remove the
pieces of his disguise – a wig, a mustache, glasses, and drop
them in the Carry-On.
MARSHALL
How do you feel?
MR. BROOKS
Dirty.
MARSHALL
That’s understandable. You’ve never
killed for this reason before. The
feeling will go away.
MR. BROOKS
I don’t think so. It’s the whole
thing, Marshall. If I could find a
way to just disappear, where there
was absolutely no trace of me;
because eventually I will get
caught doing this. And it’ll be
very embarrassing for me and Emma
and Jane. So I’ve been thinking…
is there a way that Mr. Smith could
kill me and make me disappear.
MARSHALL
Number one, Mr. Smith is not smart
enough to do that. Number two,
there is no reason, if you’re
careful, to believe you will ever
get caught.
MR. BROOKS
I know I will have to plan it for
Mr. Smith, but I think that’s what
I want to do.
MARSHALL
I’m not particularly fond of that
plan, Earl. Remember if you die, I
go with you and I like being alive.
I like eating, I like fucking, I
like killing.
94.
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
I have to end it, Marshall. One way
or the other. And I think this is
the best way.
MARSHALL
Well fuck you then.
EXT. CITY STREET Ñ DAWN
Long ago this was a nice area. A banner hangs from an old
Deco building – ROOMS FOR RENT.
Mr. Brooks is walking through the Parking Lot beside the
Building.
There, as a first car in a double space is the old green
Pontiac convertible. It’s blocked in by another car.
Mr. Brooks sidles between the cars to check the license plate
against the one in his memory.
It’s the car Thorton Meeks was in, outside the Drug Store.
Mr. Brooks walks away.
INT. CERAMICS STUDIO – DAWN
Mr. Brooks opens the kiln door and removes three pieces
embellished with a beautiful yellow glaze.
He sets them on a table then takes his Carry-On bag and
places it in a ceramic trough which he puts into the kiln.
The door is shut.
INT. KILN Ñ DAWN
Flame erupts from the gas jets.
INT. MASTER BEDROOM – BROOKS HOUSE – DAWN
The Bathroom door opens. Mr. Brooks, in his pajamas, turns
out the light and crosses to the bed. Emma looks up as he
pulls back the covers and gets in.
EMMA
You worked all night.
MR. BROOKS
I had ideas for pots that took too
long and the clay kept winning…
(he kisses her)
I’ll be fine.
95.
CONTINUED:
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
And there’s a yellow Chinese glaze
I’m trying to get right…
He lays his head on the pillow and is almost instantly
asleep.
INT. DETECTIVE ATWOOD’S CONDOMINIUM – MORNING
Reflected in the glass of an open mirrored closet door is a
tastefully furnished DEN with floor-to-ceiling windows that
look out at LAKE MICHIGAN from the 20th floor.
An empty suitcase falls into this picture and bounces on the
carpet. Behind the mirrored door, Detective Atwood is atop a
stepstool rummaging through the suitcases on the highest
shelf.
Throughout the Condo there is an incessant ringing of the
phones.
Another suitcase goes down and Atwood finds what she’s
looking for – a framed color 8 x 10 photo of her husband,
Jesse. He’s in a business suit and holding some kind of
trophy.
The phones stop ringing.
Atwood comes down the stepstool, folds it and is carrying it
back to where it lives when the phones start ringing again.
She picks up a cordless in the Den.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Yes?
INT. LAW OFFICES Ñ MORNING
The Asian Attorney interrupts her sip of coffee.
ASIAN ATTORNEY
Hi Tracy, this is Nancy Tang. We
received a counter offer. Are you
sitting down?
INT. DEN – DETECTIVE ATWOOD’S CONDOMINIUM Ñ MORNING
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Yeah, go ahead… He can’t get
that, can he?!
INTERCUT with Nancy.
96.
CONTINUED:
MR. BROOKS (CONT’D)
(CONTINUED)
NANCY (ASIAN ATTORNEY)
No, my sense of it is by asking for
five, they’re hoping you’ll settle
anywhere between two five and
three.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Never. How long can you stall them?
NANCY
They know you want this done
quickly, so they’re going to expect
a quick counter offer.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I need two days. Wait two days
before getting back to them. If
they call, tell them it’s a big
number, I’m thinking about it.
NANCY
Okay.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
And the picture he wanted…
She slams the frame of Jesse’s photo against the inside of a
metal trash can.
Nancy winces and then smiles at the sound of shattering
glass.
Atwood plucks the photo out of the frame and tears it so that
the rip can be heard over the phone.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
… tell him I couldn’t find it.
INT. MASTER BEDROOM – BROOKS HOUSE Ñ MORNING
Mr. Brooks is still asleep. Emma, dressed for the day,
arrives at his side of the bed. She rubs the back of Mr.
Brooks’ hand.
EMMA
Earl… Earl…
Mr. Brooks opens his eyes.
MR. BROOKS
(sleepy, groggy)
Huh?…
97.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
EMMA
Roger is on the phone.
INT. KITCHEN Ñ BROOKS HOUSE – MORNING
In his slippers and robe, Mr. Brooks is standing in the
Doorway watching Jane who is leaning over the Counter with an
open Newspaper next to a bowl of cereal.
He has a chance to take a good long look before she feels his
presence and raises her head.
JANE
Oh, Hi, Daddy, I thought you’d
already be gone.
MR. BROOKS
Roger called. There was another
murder last night near Stanford.
JANE
Oh…
MR. BROOKS
Done the same way as the one they
talked to you about. Right down to
the hatchet being left at the
scene.
Jane can’t quite conceal the tremor of surprise that ripples
through her and Mr. Brooks sees it.
MR. BROOKS
They think they have a serial
killer. Obviously you were here
last night, so you’re in the clear.
JANE
That’s good news, isn’t it? I mean
even if you’re innocent it’s good
news to know you’re not a suspect.
MR. BROOKS
Oh, yeah. How’s the morning
sickness? Do you want to ride in
with me today?
JANE
I feel fine, but I don’t know how
long that will last.
Mr. Brooks nods, turns to leave, then turns back.
98.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
Do you love me, Jane?
JANE
Of course I love you, daddy, you’re
my father.
MR. BROOKS
Have you decided whether or not to
keep the baby?
JANE
Not yet.
MR. BROOKS
(nods)
Okay.
EXT. MR. SMITH’S CAR Ñ AFTERNOON
Looking off the grill as it overtakes another car in the
Fastlane.
Eminem is on the stereo. The car ahead moves out of the way.
INT. MR. SMITH’S CAR Ñ AFTERNOON
Mr. Smith is rapping along to “Cleanin’ Out My Closet”. He
knows all the words.
EXT. FREEWAY Ñ AFTERNOON
With Eminem fading, we fall behind Mr. Smith. One car, two
cars. The third car is Detective Atwood’s car.
INT. DETECTIVE ATWOOD’S CAR Ñ AFTERNOON
Atwood is driving. Snyder is in the passenger seat.
SNYDER
What are we doing?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
‘Are we there yet?’ , are we there
yet?’ , you sound like a child.
We’re playing a hunch.
SNYDER
We’ve been following this guy all
day, he’s boring, and everything we
run on him comes up clean.
99.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be called
a hunch.
SNYDER
Meeks’ finger-prints were all over
the chiropractor, the note,
refrigerator, he’s the guy we
should be looking for.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Look where? Please tell me.
Everyone knows who Meeks is and is
looking for him. The chiropractor
was the last link to his old life
that I know of. The only way we’ll
find him, now, is if someone turns
him in or we trip over him at a bus
stop. On the other hand, Detective
Snyder, no one knows who the
Thumbprint Killer is or where he
is. However, I have a fucking hunch
this guy Baffert does. I have two
days to play that hunch. If you
feel like you’re wasting your time
with me, I’d be happy to do it
alone.
He looks at her and shakes his head.
SNYDER
I had a fight with my wife this
morning; what’s your problem?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
My husband wants five million
dollars.
EXT. SUBURBAN STREET Ñ AFTERNOON
Mr. Smith’s car enters the Parking Lot of a Rib Joint.
Atwood’s car stops across the street.
INT. ATWOOD’S CAR Ñ AFTERNOON
Atwood and Snyder watch Mr. Smith enter the Restaurant. They
wait in silence. A muted ‘tone’ announces the arrival of an
Email on their computer. Snyder reads and frowns.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Bad news?
100.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
SNYDER
Lister is pulling you off this
case.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Why?!
SNYDER
Maybe they caught him.
She twists the screen around so she can read the message.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
No. She would have said that.
Snyder points across the street at Mr. Smith coming out of
the Restaurant carrying a Take-Out bag.
SNYDER
You want to keep following him?
Atwood hesitates.
SNYDER
Lister only said you were off the
case, not me.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(smiles)
Good thinking, Tonto.
She starts the car. There’s the muted ‘tone’ again. Atwood
looks at the computer screen.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Shit! She just 86’ed you too.
INT. POLICE STATION Ñ AFTERNOON
Trailed by Snyder, Detective Atwood arrives at Captain
Lister’s SECRETARY.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Is she in?
SECRETARY
She’s with someone.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Good.
101.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
Atwood blows past the Secretary and opens the door to
Lister’s office.
INT. CAPTAIN LISTER’S OFFICE Ñ AFTERNOON
There are two MEN in suits on the other side of the desk from
the Captain. Atwood ignores them and focuses on Lister.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
You promised if I settled my
divorce I had three days on the
Thumbprint Killer. I have the rest
of today and tomorrow left.
CAPTAIN LISTER
Detective Atwood, meet FBI Agents
Longnecker and Campbell, they’re
taking over your investigation.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
You promised you would keep them
out of it for three days.
CAPTAIN LISTER
They won’t allow me to keep that
promise.
Atwood glares at her then at the FBI Men.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
This is my case, what you’re doing
is fucked. But since I can’t stop
you, and she won’t, here’s a tip.
James Baffert, you should stake him
out, he knows something.
DETECTIVE LONGNECKER
We have some other ideas we are
looking into.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Then what’s the problem? You do
that and I’ll tail Baffert.
DETECTIVE LONGNECKER
Thank you for all your good work,
Detective. This is our case now.
Atwood looks from one Man to the Other.
102.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Good luck.
(to Captain Lister)
Later I suppose you’ll fill me in
on what I’m supposed to be doing
around here. I’m confused.
She leaves. Snyder closes the door behind her.
INT. RECEPTION AREA – BROOKS BOX FACTORY – LATE EVENING
It’s deserted with only a small spill of light coming from
Mr. Brooks’ Office.
INSIDE
Mr. Brooks is at his desk.
The lamp at his elbow throws a yellow cone across his face.
His head is in his hands, he’s been crying.
Marshall steps out of the shadows behind him.
MARSHALL
It’s time to go.
MR. BROOKS
Yeah.
He reaches into a bottom drawer and as he takes out an
envelope, Marshall reads the tear-stained hand written letter
resting on the blotter.
MARSHALL
Dear Emma and Jane, my loves, I
have a terminal illness and instead
of subjecting you to my
deterioration, I have decided to
disappear. Don’t try to find me, I
don’t want to be found. Please
believe that the time I spent with
you brought me the greatest joy of
my life. Love. Dad.
Mr. Brooks picks up the letter and folds it.
MARSHALL
So you’re going to go through with
it.
Mr. Brooks stuffs the letter in the envelope, seals it and
picks up a pen.
103.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
It’s all planned to work out,
Marshall.
On the envelope he writes: For EMMA and JANE.
EXT. STREET Ñ NIGHT
On the sidewalk Mr. Smith is walking toward the on-coming
traffic. The headlights make it difficult to tell one car
from the other until they pass. That doesn’t keep him from
looking for Mr. Brooks.
The houses stop and he’s passing a pocket park. In a dark
space between the street lamps, a hand falls on Mr. Smith’s
shoulder. He jumps and a scream squeaks out of his throat.
It’s Mr. Brooks, in his Pottery-Throwing clothes.
MR. BROOKS
(smiles)
Are you ready to rock and roll, Mr.
Smith?
Mr. Smith swallows hard and nods. Mr. Brooks propels him into
the park.
INT. MR. BROOKS’ CAR Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Brooks is driving. Mr. Smith is in the passenger seat.
Both are lost in a wary silence. Abruptly from the back seat:
MARSHALL
I smell gun oil, a gun oil that’s
different than yours.
MR. BROOKS
He brought his gun. After he gets
what he wants he plans to kill me.
MARSHALL
Ah… now I get it. You were
counting on that, weren’t you?
MR. BROOKS
It has a certain logic.
MARSHALL
But if your plan is to have him
kill you, why do you have to kill
someone else first?
104.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
He’ll need to see that to get up
the courage to kill me.
Marshall roars with laughter.
MARSHALL
Not even you believe that, Earl. It
makes it more exciting, doesn’t it,
to think he’s going to kill you
after you kill someone else. You’re
getting your rocks off big time,
that’s why you’re doing it.
MR. BROOKS
Not true… and if it were, so
what?
(to Mr. Smith)
You’re goddamn great, you know. To
have the balls to do this.
MR. SMITH
I’m pretty nervous but that’s
normal right?
MR. BROOKS
Perfectly normal.
INT. DETECTIVE ATWOOD’S CONDOMINIUM Ñ NIGHT
Atwood is propped up in bed reading a Magazine. Her hair is
pulled back and her face glistens with Cold Cream.
The phone rings. Should she answer it? It rings again, then
again. Reluctantly she grabs the receiver.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Hello… Oh, yes, yes.
(she sits up)
Put him through… Hi, this is
Detective Atwood speaking, thanks
for calling…Yes, your roommate
said you were in Tokyo… Anything,
if you saw anything at all it might
be helpful.
INT. FOUR STORY APARTMENT BUILDING Ñ NIGHT
A MAN in a Flight Attendant’s uniform is standing at the
window of the Apartment he shares with the Stewardess.
105.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
A cordless phone to his ear, he is looking down at the House
where the dance Couple was murdered.
FLIGHT ATTENDANT
The weird thing is that they closed
their curtains, at first they were
open like they always were and they
were making love, which they always
did, and then when I looked again
the curtains were closed, and there
were what looked like camera
flashes coming from behind the
curtains.
INTERCUT with Detective Atwood.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Camera flashes?
FLIGHT ATTENDANT
That’s what it looked like.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(almost to herself)
That’s why he poses them.
FLIGHT ATTENDANT
I’m sorry?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Nothing.
FLIGHT ATTENDANT
I wish I could be more helpful, I
didn’t see the killer or anything
like that, but since it was weird I
thought I should call.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
You’ve been very helpful. This
answers a lot of questions for me.
Thank you very much, Mr. Struber.
She’s about to hang up when Struber speaks again.
FLIGHT ATTENDANT
The guy you should talk to is the
guy on the floor below us…
106.
CONTINUED:
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
eh, I can’t remember his name, but
he told me once that he’d taken
some great pictures of that Couple
making love, he’s the one you
should speak to.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Would that be, Mr. Baffert?
FLIGHT ATTENDANT
Yeah, I think Jim or James…
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Thank you very much.
Atwood disconnects then quickly dials.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Snyder, meet me at Baffert’s
apartment with a Search Warrant…
Listen to me, this is what you tell
the judge.
INT. APARTMENT BUILDING Ñ NIGHT
Coming up the back STAIRS we arrive at a LANDING and make a
right. In front of us is Mr. Smith watching Mr. Brooks pick
the deadbolt in the Service door.
CLICK!
Mr. Brooks straightens up, twists the handle and pushes the
door inward. It’s caught by a chain. He takes the bent rubbertipped
forceps from one pocket, from another he hands Mr.
Smith a pair of latex gloves.
MR. BROOKS
Put these on.
INT. APARTMENT Ñ NIGHT
In the middle of the large darkened KITCHEN, Mr. Brooks
pauses to listen to the sounds of the Apartment.
The gun with the silencer is already in his right hand. Both
are encased in a Ziplock bag.
Beside him, Mr. Smith is wide eyed with fear and
anticipation. His teeth are even chattering.
MR. BROOKS
Try a couple deep breaths through
your nose.
107.
CONTINUED: (2)
FLIGHT ATTENDANT (CONT’D)
(CONTINUED)
MR. SMITH
I have to take a crap so bad.
MR. BROOKS
This won’t take long.
Mr. Brooks and Mr. Smith come out of the Kitchen. The LIVING
ROOM is quite well appointed. There’s a fire going in the
Fireplace.
The sound of a T.V. is coming from a ROOM off a HALL up
ahead. That is where Mr. Brooks and Mr. Smith are headed.
They’re more than half way across the LIVING ROOM when DING!
DONG!, the doorbell rings.
Mr. Smith gasps and looks beseechingly at Mr. Brooks. Without
an ounce of hurry, Mr. Brooks maneuvers him back into the
shadows of the KITCHEN.
The doorbell rings again.
A wet spot appears in Mr. Smith’s crotch and runs down his
pant leg. Pee drips onto the linoleum.
A Man comes out of the Hallway. The Living Room light goes
on.
The Man is Jesse, Detective Atwood’s estranged husband.
He opens the Front Door.
The Woman who comes in is Sheila, his divorce lawyer.
They kiss, tongues. His hands brush over her breasts. He
begins to unbutton her blouse. The kiss breaks. As he
continues unbuttoning.
SHEILA
I called your wife’s lawyer.
They’re thinking about the five
million dollars.
Jesse opens the blouse and looks at the breasts under the
bra.
JESSE
Realistically how much do you think
we can get?
Sheila gives him a quick kiss and moves on into the LIVING
ROOM where she drops her briefcase on the couch.
108.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
SHEILA
If we go to court, best case, two,
if she wants to settle, best case,
three, but I would be happy with
two seven.
Backlit by the Fireplace, Jesse kisses her again.
From the KITCHEN, Mr. Brooks and Mr. Smith watch Jesse unzip
Sheila’s slacks and dropping to his knees peel them off her
legs.
She steps out of them. He kisses the inside of her thighs,
her crotch, then standing up:
JESSE
I’ll be right back.
On his way out of the LIVING ROOM:
JESSE
I think we should hold firm for
three.
He shuts off the light. In the glow of the Fireplace, Sheila
removes her jacket.
SHEILA
Let’s not be piggish, two five, two
seven, would be a good deal.
The T.V. goes silent. Jesse returns with a partially full
glass of Champagne.
He hands Sheila a glass from a side table, takes a bottle out
of an ice bucket and as he fills her glass:
SHEILA
(teasing)
You’ve already had half a bottle.
JESSE
You’re late; if we want it, there’s
more.
They clink glasses.
SHEILA
To us.
JESSE
To three million dollars.
109.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
SHEILA
(after a sip)
We have to do this fast because
remember, Marie is meeting us here.
JESSE
We could ask her to join us.
SHEILA
Not funny.
JESSE
(undoing the front of her
bra)
I wasn’t trying to be.
She bops him playfully. He bends and slips a nipple into his
mouth. Sheila bites her lip and moans.
In the KITCHEN, Mr. Smith shifts around for a better view.
The floor under him CRREEEKKS!
In the LIVING ROOM, both Sheila and Jesse react to the sound.
SHEILA
Are we alone?
JESSE
Yeah.
Mr. Brooks seems to appear magically out of the darkened
Kitchen with his gun raised. He’s followed by Mr. Smith.
Sheila opens her mouth to scream.
MR. BROOKS
Don’t do that.
INT. MR. SMITH’S APARTMENT BUILDING Ñ NIGHT
Detective Atwood hurries down the HALL and out of breath,
stops in front of Mr. Smith’s door. She raps sharply. Waits a
bare three seconds and raps again.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Mr. Baffert?… Mr. Baffert?
The door of the Apartment behind her opens and an OLDER WOMAN
sticks her head out.
OLDER WOMAN
He’s gone.
110.
CONTINUED: (3)
(CONTINUED)
Atwood shows her badge.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Do you have any idea when he’ll be
back?
OLDER WOMAN
He skipped out. I heard him leave
this evening and a few minutes
later there were Movers here. Musta
been behind on the rent. He didn’t
even say good-bye.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Thank you.
As the Old Lady watches, Atwood tries the knob. It’s
unlocked. She pushes the door open.
The HALLWAY and LIVING ROOM she can see are completely empty.
Furniture, T.V., camera equipment, art, gone.
OLDER WOMAN
I told you.
INT. MR. SMITH’S APARTMENT Ñ NIGHT
On her way in, Atwood draws her gun.
Keeping close to the walls she audits the KITCHEN. All the
Cabinet doors are open. Dishes, pots and pans, cutlery, gone.
She moves on to the BATHROOM. Soap, shampoo, toilet paper,
toothpaste, toothbrushes, towels, washcloths, the contents of
the Medicine Cabinet, gone.
She moves on to the BEDROOM. Bed, night table, lamps, T.V.,
computer, gone. Clothes closets, empty of everything.
She looks around. Mr. Smith’s entire Apartment has been
stripped absolutely clean, except…
… there’s a crumpled piece of paper in the far corner of
the Bedroom.
Atwood goes over and gets down on one knee. With her fingers
pulling at the corners she is able to straighten the paper
enough to make out that it’s a work order from a Moving
company.
111.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
Reading it with the paper pinched between thumb and
forefinger of her left hand, Atwood rises. There’s the
silhouette of a Man in the doorway behind her.
MAN
Obviously Baffert’s gone…
Atwood whirls, gun up. She sees that it’s Snyder.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(overlapping)
Goddamit, Snyder. Knock.
SNYDER
I wasn’t able to get the search
warrant.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
We may have gotten lucky.
(holding up the paper)
This is the Moving Company’s work
order and…
(points))
… it looks like this is the
address where they’re taking
Baffert’s stuff.
SNYDER
Where were you when you called me?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
At home in bed.
SNYDER
Can you prove that?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I was home in bed, why should I
have to prove that?
SNYDER
Your husband Jesse and his lawyer
were killed tonight…
Atwood slowly lowers her head and fixes her eyes on the floor
in stunned silence.
SNYDER
It looks like the Thumbprint
Killer, I’ve been ordered to bring
you in for questioning.
112.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Why, I didn’t want Jesse dead, I
loved him, I hated what he was
doing to me…
SNYDER
It’s on record you said you’d like
him dead and who better to fake a
Thumbprint killing than you.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
You can’t actually believe I would
do that.
SNYDER
If our jobs have taught us
anything, Tracy, is that people do
strange things. They just want to
ask you some questions.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I will be happy to answer any
questions after we check out this
address.
Atwood goes to leave the room. Snyder blocks her way.
SNYDER
I have to take you in, Tracy.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(waves the paper)
This is the answer to the
Thumbprint Killer, Snyder, and this
is where I’m going and you’re not
going to stop me.
SNYDER
Don’t make me cuff you, Tracy,
because I will if I have to.
Atwood smiles winningly.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I believe you would.
SNYDER
(smiles back)
You can count on it.
113.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
Snyder never sees it coming. WHACK! Atwood’s right cross
nails him exactly where the jaw meets the neck and down he
goes on his ass.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(standing over him)
It would be nice if you could come
with me, but if you do and it goes
bad, they’ll burn your ass. So this
never happened.
EXT. FREEWAY Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Brooks’ car speeds under an overpass.
INT. MR. BROOKS’ CAR Ñ NIGHT
MR. SMITH
That was great! It was fantastic!
It was everything I hoped it would
be. Thank you.
MR. BROOKS
You’re welcome.
In the back seat:
MARSHALL
Here comes the gun.
Without taking his eyes off the road.
MR. BROOKS
Yup.
Mr. Smith slides a pistol from under his jacket and points it
at Mr. Brooks.
MR. BROOKS
(feigns surprise)
What are you doing?!
MR. SMITH
You’re smart enough to figure that
out, Mr. Brooks.
MR. BROOKS
Well we’re going sixty five miles
an hour, Mr. Smith, if you shoot me
now, there’s a good chance we’ll
both die.
114.
CONTINUED: (3)
(CONTINUED)
MR. SMITH
Not now. Take the next off ramp.
MR. BROOKS
That wouldn’t be very smart of me
would it?
He accelerates around a truck into the Fastlane. Mr. Smith
can see the Exit coming up, it’s quickly left behind.
MR. BROOKS
(matter of fact)
Think about this. You pissed
yourself back there, you left your
DNA at the scene of a double
homicide, and there’s nothing to
indicate that I was ever there. If
the Cops do an analysis of that
urine, and they will, you’re the
Thumbprint Killer.
MR. SMITH
(smug)
No. I still have pictures of you
doing the first murder.
Mr. Brooks smiles a knowing smile. Beyond him on the other
side of the Divider, cars are zipping by in the opposite
direction.
MR. BROOKS
Yes. But what were you doing at the
second murder?
Mr. Smith doesn’t have an answer for that.
MR. BROOKS
Let me help you with a thought. You
say I forced you to come along and
if I’m not here or more
specifically my body is not here to
say different, you might have a
chance to beat the rap. Now you’re
probably asking yourself why I
would help you. I’m tired, Mr.
Smith, I’m tired of killing. But
I’m an addict, I can’t quit. I’ve
tried. I can’t do it on my own. So
I’ll let you kill me but I want you
to do it smart, in a way that I
disappear and my family never knows
what I was.
115.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. SMITH
How do I do that?
MR. BROOKS
There’s a cemetery I know about. We
find an open grave, you shoot me, I
fall in the grave, you shovel in
just enough earth to cover me,
tomorrow a casket is lowered onto
me and I’ve disappeared. It’s a
good plan. What do you say?…
MR. SMITH
Why should I trust you?
MR. BROOKS
You don’t have to trust me. You’re
the man holding the gun, you saw me
put mine in the trunk.
MR. SMITH
I don’t know. You really want me to
kill you?
MR. BROOKS
Yes.
MR. SMITH
Okay… But any sudden moves and
you’re dead on the spot and I’ll
make sure your family knows what
you are.
MR. BROOKS
I understand.
EXT. OLD DECO BUILDING Ñ NIGHT
Come off the banner hanging across the front – ROOMS FOR
RENT, to find Atwood walking away from her car.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
(to herself, regarding the
Building)
You’ve come down in the world, Mr.
Baffert.
INT. LOBBY – OLD DECO BUILDING Ñ NIGHT
High ceilings, once grand, now blue neon and a cage around
the Front Desk to protect the Night Clerk who is nowhere in
sight. Somewhere a radio is playing salsa music loud.
116.
CONTINUED: (2)
(CONTINUED)
Atwood crosses to the elevator. She pushes the call button.
With an arthritic rattle the door opens.
INT. ELEVATOR Ñ NIGHT
Atwood selects the 5th Floor. Creek!, Clatter!, Clank!, the
door closes and after a stuttering liftoff the car begins its
ascent. The overhead light flickers on and off. Atwood looks
up at it.
EXT. SIDEWALK Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Brooks leads Mr. Smith across a street to a pedestrian
gate set in a high wall.
Through the bars of the gate we can see a Cemetery bathed in
moonlight.
Mr. Brooks reaches into his pocket. Mr. Smith tightens his
grip on the gun.
MR. SMITH
Uh uh, take your hand out real
slow.
Mr. Brooks does as he’s told. A key dangles from his fingers.
MR. BROOKS
It’s locked. You don’t want to
climb over, do you?
MR. SMITH
What are you doing with a key to a
cemetery?
MR. BROOKS
I own it.
MR. SMITH
Why do you own a cemetery?
Mr. Brooks unlocks the gate and preceding Mr. Smith, goes
inside.
MR. BROOKS
You always want to invest in things
people can’t do without. Water and
cemeteries are pretty safe.
He locks the gate and handing the key to Mr. Smith:
117.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
You’ll need this to get out. Now
there should be an open grave
around here somewhere. Let’s see if
we can find it.
He produces a small flashlight from his pocket and off they
go.
INT. OLD DECO BUILDING Ñ NIGHT
Repeating their arthritic performance the elevator doors
open. Atwood steps out into a wide sporadically lit HALLWAY.
Peering at the numbers Atwood goes to her Left.
In the middle of the Hall behind her a Couple exits a Room
and drifts to the other side of the Hall on their way to the
elevator.
Atwood re-checks the number on the Moving Company’s Work
Order – 517, she’s going the wrong way. She turns around.
Now Atwood and the Couple are walking toward each other on
opposite sides of the Hall.
Atwood steps into an area of light.
The reflection off her face catches the attention of the Man
who is wearing a wide brimmed hat. He lifts his head.
It’s Thorton Meeks. The Woman with him was the Driver of the
Van. She’s wearing a watchcap.
Meeks gently takes his Companion’s arm. They stop. Her eyes
go to where he’s looking and then back to his. At some
unspoken signal they both draw their guns.
Intent on finding 517 and Baffert, the Couple hasn’t
registered on Atwood’s radar.
BANG! TWOCK! A chunk of plaster blows off the wall next to
her head. Startled, Atwood winces away. BANG! The Woman
fires. The slug explodes the plaster on the other side of
Atwood’s head.
Now Atwood is turning toward them, gun in hand.
Meeks fires. The bullet passes through Atwood’s jacket.
118.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
Instinctively Atwood assumes a classic duelist’s pose
offering the smallest target possible. Calmly she squeezes
off her first shot.
The plaster explodes from the wall above Meeks’ head. The
Woman fires.
A hole appears in Atwood’s sleeve. Atwood pulls the trigger
again.
SMACK! The Woman screams and falls back into Meeks, a bullet
in her hip. Atwood’s third shot takes the hat off Meeks head.
She now realizes who her attackers are.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Meeks?!!
Dragging the Woman in the direction of the stairs, BANG!
Meeks fires. Maybe it’s his broken trigger finger that
affects his aim. The shots miss. BANG! BANG! The Woman fires.
Atwood’s next two shots miss.
Meeks and the Woman arrive at the stairs and before rounding
the corner, BANG! BANG! BANG!, fire at Atwood who is now
moving deliberately at them.
Atwood doesn’t try and dodge the bullets or flinch away from
them and her shots are unhurried.
The next one catches the Woman in the side. The one after
that nails Meeks in the left shoulder. He’s spun into the
Woman.
INT. STAIRS – OLD DECO BUILDING Ñ NIGHT
Leaning on each other Meeks and the Woman lurch down the worn
marble steps.
INT. HALLWAY Ñ OLD DECO BUILDING – NIGHT
Atwood reaches the stairs and cheats a look around the
corner. BANG! BANG! BANG! From the landing below, Meeks and
the Woman fire.
Atwood steps out from behind the wall and shoulders square,
shoots. Another sidestep. This shot shatters Meeks’ knee. He
bellows in pain.
119.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
Moving to the side again, Atwood shoots. But Meeks’ knee has
collapsed and he and the Woman are already tumbling down the
next set of steps. Atwood waits. There’s silence, then the
murmur of voices.
MEEKS
(calls out)
Atwood?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Yeah.
MEEKS
Come on down, there’s something I
want to show you.
INT. STAIRS – OLD DECO BUILDING Ñ NIGHT
Gun at the ready, Atwood edges her way downward. At about the
tenth step she is able to lean over and look through the
banisters.
Meeks and the Woman are propping themselves up against the
wall on the LANDING below. Both of them still have their
guns.
The moment Meeks’ eyes meet Atwood’s, he puts his gun to the
Woman heads. BANG!
Atwood sucks in her breath.
Meeks puts the gun to his temple. BANG!
Atwood clasps a hand to her mouth and exhales in ragged
gulps.
EXT. CEMETERY Ñ NIGHT
The finger of light from Mr. Brooks’ handtorch discovers a
freshly dug GRAVE.
MR. BROOKS
There we are. Now if I stand
here…
He positions himself at one end of the Grave.
MR. BROOKS
… and you stand there, not too
far away and you shoot me, I should
fall straight back into the hole.
120.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. SMITH
You don’t think I have the guts to
do this do you?
MR. BROOKS
I’m hoping you do.
Mr. Brooks shuts off his light and straightens up.
MR. BROOKS
Okay, let’s get this over with.
Mr. Smith raises his gun and points it at Mr. Brooks’s head.
He hesitates.
MR. BROOKS
I’ll close my eyes.
He does. Mr. Smith pulls the trigger.
Click!
Mr. Smith looks in horror at the malfunctioning gun. Mr.
Brooks opens his eyes. Mr. Smith aims the gun again.
Click!… Click!
MR. BROOKS
I’m sorry.
As he talks he counters around until Mr. Smith is the one
with his back to the open Grave.
MR. BROOKS
I really did want you to kill me.
But in case at the last minute I
changed my mind, I returned to your
apartment and bent the firing pin
on your gun.
He wrenches the shovel out of a mound of waiting earth. Mr.
Smith tries to fire the gun at Mr. Brooks again.
CLICK!… CLICK!
MR. BROOKS
In fact I even brought another gun
for you so you could finish me if I
had decided to go through with it.
He opens his jacket and shows Mr. Smith the gun.
121.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
Unfortunately for you, my daughter
is pregnant and just before you
pulled the trigger, I realized how
much I want to see the end to that
story.
MR. SMITH
(dry mouth)
If you do anything to me, if you
touch one hair on my head, the
Police will find the pictures of
you killing that Couple.
MR. BROOKS
The contents of your safety deposit
box, Mr. Smith, have vanished.
Without warning, Mr. Brooks swings the shovel. The force of
the blow breaks Mr. Smith’s left arm. He howls.
The next blow comes almost immediately. It smashes into the
left side of Mr. Smith’s head.
The screams stop and a misfiring set of neurons causes Mr.
Smith to stand up straight and wobbling, look directly at Mr.
Brooks.
The blood streaming down his face is black in the moonlight.
Mr. Brooks takes a step to the side, cocks his wrists and
swings again. His full weight is behind this one.
The blade of the shovel strikes Mr. Smith in the throat very
nearly taking off his head. The flesh that was once Mr. Smith
falls to the ground.
MR. BROOKS
(looking down at the
corpse)
Before I was the Thumbprint Killer,
Mr. Smith, I killed a lot of people
in a lot of different ways.
INT. GRAVE Ñ NIGHT
Looking up. Mr. Smith’s body is rolled over the edge. It
falls on top of us.
122.
CONTINUED: (2)
EXT. CEMETERY Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Brooks takes a shovel of dirt from the pile and whistling
‘By The Light Of The Silvery Moon’, begins the task of
covering Mr. Smith.
INT. COFFEE SHOP Ñ MORNING
A Newspaper is lying unfolded on the Counter next to the
remnants of a breakfast.
The headline reads – NATIONWIDE MANHUNT FOR THUMBPRINT KILLER
– Under that headline is a large picture of Mr. Smith aka Mr.
Baffert.
In the lower right corner is another headline to a story –
Murder Suicide For The Hangman -.
The reader of the paper is Mr. Brooks. On a stool next to
him, Marshall is also reading.
MARSHALL
It says here the Thumbprint Killer
is a monster… annoys you a little
bit that you can’t take credit,
doesn’t it?
MR. BROOKS
Anyone who is good at what they do,
wants recognition. But since I’m
not going to do it anymore, I’ll
let Mr. Smith take the credit.
MARSHALL
Don’t kid yourself, Earl, you’re
going to kill again.
MR. BROOKS
No, I’m not. I’ll continue the AA
meetings and I’ll control it.
On the other stool next to Mr. Brooks is a WOMAN. Her large
purse hangs open from the back of the stool; the cel phone
clearly visible inside. Mr. Brooks looks at the phone.
MR. BROOKS
But there is an answer I would like
to have.
123.
INT. POLICE STATION Ñ MORNING
Detective Atwood is seated in her CUBICLE reading the same
front page Mr. Brooks was reading. A FELLOW OFFICER stops in
the door.
OFFICER
Good work, Atwood.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Thanks, Tom.
He moves on. From off screen:
ANOTHER OFFICER
You should ask the FBI to kiss your
ass and buy you a Cadillac.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I like my ass too much for that.
Snyder comes in and holds up the Work Order from the Moving
Company.
SNYDER
This is bogus. The company doesn’t
exist in the city, the state, the
United States or Canada.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
So the whole point of this piece of
paper was to give me Meeks.
SNYDER
That’s what it looks like.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Why? Who moved him, where did they
move him to, and why did he give me
Meeks?
SNYDER
That’s what we get paid to find
out.
Atwood picks up the Newspaper.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
I’m going to go to the bathroom and
think about this.
She stands. The phone rings. She answers it.
124.
(CONTINUED)
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Detective Atwood…
EXT. ROOFTOP PARKING LOT Ñ MORNING
Looking out at the city, Mr. Brooks speaks into the cel phone
he stole from the Woman.
MR. BROOKS
Why are you a cop?
INTERCUT with Atwood.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Who is this?
MR. BROOKS
You’re rich, you have a good
education, you could have gone into
your father’s business, instead you
went outside all of that and became
successful on your own. Why?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
You want something from me if you
don’t tell me who you are I’m going
to hang up.
MR. BROOKS
Did you think your husband’s
killing was random and I certainly
didn’t have to give you Meeks.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Mr. Baffert?!
Snyder perks up. She points for him to get on the other line.
MR. BROOKS
What’s the answer?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
You don’t sound like you.
MR. BROOKS
I have a little cold. Are you going
to give me the answer?
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Where are you?
125.
CONTINUED:
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
I’ll tell you if you can give me
the true answer to my question.
Detective Atwood weighs her options and decides to go for it.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
My father was very disappointed I
was born a girl and he let me know
that. I’ve spent my whole life
trying to prove him wrong.
MR. BROOKS
Thank you.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Wait. You promised to tell me where
you are.
MR. BROOKS
Me? I’m on top of a building.
Atwood and Snyder hear the click as Mr. Brooks hangs up.
DETECTIVE ATWOOD
Why would he be interested in that?
At the Parking structure, Mr. Brooks holds the phone over the
edge and drops it.
We follow the phone down, down, down, until it hits the
pavement and disintegrates.
EXT. BROOKS HOUSE Ñ NIGHT
Everything is as it was.
INT. KITCHEN – BROOKS HOUSE Ñ NIGHT
It’s dark. In his robe and pajamas, Mr. Brooks is standing in
front of the open refrigerator gazing blankly at the contents
with a glass of milk in one hand. There’s nothing he wants in
here. He closes the door.
INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY Ñ BROOKS HOUSE – NIGHT
Carrying the glass of milk, Mr. Brooks passes Jane’s ROOM.
The door is ajar. He stops, backs up and looks. His
Daughter’s asleep.
126.
CONTINUED:
INT. JANE’S BEDROOM – BROOKS HOUSE Ñ NIGHT
Mr. Brooks walks to the bed and leans over to give her a kiss
on the cheek.
His lips have just brushed her flesh when she twists
violently under him and stabs upward with a pair of scissors.
The blades are driven deep into his throat. Mr. Brooks jerks
back, the milk flies out of his hand.
MR. BROOKS
Agghhh!!! Agghhh!!!
He grabs at the handle of the scissors, but his blood makes
them too slippery. He can’t pull them out.
EMMA (V.O.)
Honey, Earl, Earl…
INT. MASTER BEDROOM Ñ BROOKS HOUSE – NIGHT
Mr. Brooks is tossing in his sleep next to Emma. She has a
hold of his arm.
EMMA
Wake up, wake up…
On the pillow Mr. Brooks’ eyes fly open.
EMMA
You were having a nightmare.
MR. BROOKS
(breathing hard)
Oh… I woke you up.
EMMA
It’s okay.
She kisses him on the forehead.
EMMA (CONT’D)
I’m here, go back to sleep, I’m
here.
Taking his hand, she lies back down. After a moment Mr.
Brooks turns over on his side and looks directly at us. His
lips begin to move but we can’t hear what he’s saying, so we
move in on his face. It’s not until it fills our view that we
can hear the words.
127.
(CONTINUED)
MR. BROOKS
… that I may be reasonably happy
in this life, And supremely happy
with Him forever in the next. Amen.
…. God grant me the Serenity to
accept…
Fade to Black.
THE END
128.
CONTINUED:




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