The hall is full. On the stage, DR. HELEN HUDSON is
speaking. HELEN is a forensic psychologist. Behind her is
a projected diagram: PREDISPOSITION, DISSOCIATION, TRAUMA,
FANTASY, VIOLENT FANTASY, FACILITATORS, MURDER, and
TRAUMA-REINFORCEMENT which she can point to with a laser
pointing device. We see her from a considerable
distance… the back of the balcony. Her voice is crisp and
Our society creates these socially
and psychically disenfranchised
men, and their revenge on society
is terrible. They are hard to
catch. They are “the nice guy next
door,” their employers — if they
work at all — find them quiet and
uncomplaining. Early abuse and
rejection have taught them
passivity. Only in their violent
fantasies do they feel alive. What
they seek in their frenzied
assaults on their victims is relief
from passivity. For these men, ten
minutes relief is worth far more
than the life of another human
being. Torture, the pain they
inflict, the screams of the victim,
are all part of the ritual that
gives them a brief respite from
their own psychic pain. And then
the depression, the forgetting, the
feeling of sadness and despair
begins the cycle all over again.
Like addicts seeking their drug,
Albert DeSalvo, Bianchi and Buono,
Berkowitz, Dahmer, Bundy — they
seek out their next victim.
During the second half of this speech, the eye of the camera
has moved slowly forward until it settles just behind the
The cycle is endless until they are
caught. And they are caught by
chance — they run a red light, and
a body is in the trunk. A leaking
pipe brings a plumber to a basement
where they is the smell of death.
Her eyes have come to rest on the spot of the camera eye in
the balcony… Her voice chokes off. She stares.
Sitting in the front row of the balcony, a YOUNG RED-HEADED
MAN (DARYLL LEE CULLUM) leans forward, resting his tattooed
arms on the railing. He smiles intimately at HELEN.
HELEN cuts her eyes to the left. She sees:
Backstage, an overweight COP in plain clothes. Instantly
alert to HELEN’S alarm, he jumps up, comes within an inch of
exposing his presence to the audience. A SECOND COP, in the
wings on the other side of the stage, also springs to
attention. FIRST COP’S eyes follow HELEN’S…
Their POV: THE BALCONY – YOUNG RED-HEADED MAN is no longer
HELEN Can she believe her eyes? Resumes:
At any time, right now, as you
listen, the FBI estimates there are
30 to 35 serial killers stalking
their victims. The serial killer is
a plaque that must be addressed not
only by the law, but by science.
Florida spent eight million dollars
to execute Ted Bundy. It would
have been better spent building a
forensic penal facility devoted to
Once again her eyes fix on the balcony to reassure herself
that the smiling man is not there…
Confined for life, without parole,
and subjected to scientific study,
these men’s lives might finally, in
some small measure, educate and
thereby protect society. Thank
Applause as Helen warily checks for the TWO COPS. They are
carefully casing the crowd.
The crowd is breaking up. FIRST COP walks HELEN to the
ladies’ room. People reach to shake Helen’s hand; she copes
as well as she can with her fear. THEY LEAVE THE STAGE
THROUGH A DOOR OPENING TO A CORRIDOR LEADING BACK TO
DRESSING ROOMS AND A LADIES’ ROOM…
INT. LADIES’ ROOM – DAY
THE COP, clearly embarrassed, pokes his head in and looks
around. Under one stall he sees a woman’s HIGH HEELS. He
hastily ducks back into HALL and signals an okay to Helen.
Before the door behind her closes, we see the COP prepare to
stand guard outside. HELEN walks past the stall with the
high heels to a stall several doors down.
CLOSE UP HIGH HEELS:
And a tattoo that the cop missed seeing on one of the
ankles. The shoes are kicked off. The feet disappear from
HELEN, a few stalls away, methodically places toilet paper
around the seat before raising her skirt. A faint noise
makes her freeze. Her hand reaches for the door. She is
just able to unlock it, but no more, before a NOISE COMES
DOWN FROM THE NEXT STALL.
Like a lariat it falls over HELEN’S head and is violently
yanked tight. She kicks at the stall door.
CORRIDOR: COP, leaning against outside door smoking, hears
the clang of metal as the stall door bangs open. He
INT. LADIES ROOM – CONTINUED
The RED-HEADED MAN is struggling to secure the rope around a
hook inside his own stall. KNOCKING (o.s.)
Doctor Hudson? Are you okay in
The MAN lets slip a little slack.
HELEN’S fingers, thrusting between the rope and her neck,
get just enough air for HELEN to let out a strangled little
CORRIDOR: COP, not certain what to do about the ambiguous
sounds from inside. Women stands nearby, inhibiting him for
a split second from going in the Ladies’ Room door. Now
there is more SOUND from inside…
INT. LADIES ROOM – CONTINUOUS
COP steps into the room, gun down. Over the COP’S shoulder
we see HELEN hanging in open booth, her hand fluttering at
her throat. She has one slippery shoeless foot on the
COP takes a couple of steps forward. Behind COP’S back we
see a broom closet door opening.
HELEN’S POV: CLOSE UP: The COP, taken from behind. In a
second, his throat is slit. In a gush of blood, he falls,
his gun still in his hand.
RED-HEADED MAN standing over the fallen COP, smiling at
COP’S BODY IS TWITCHING, JERKING. The violent contractions
in his fingers cause the gun to go off… ONE… TWO SHOTS,
the sound reverberating against the tile walls.
The audience and SECOND COP react to the gunshots.
HELEN, her eyes bulging, struggling against the rope.
INT. HELEN’S APT – SAN FRANCISCO – NIGHT
As HELEN, in bed, bolts up from the nightmare, her hands try
desperately to pull the dream rope from her neck. She is now
pale, her hair is dirty, there are deep circles under her
eyes. This is a woman in the throes of a breakdown.
She races through this LOFT APARTMENT (THE WALLS ARE EIGHT
FEET UNDER A TWELVE-FOOT CEILING) to study opening off a
hall. She looks in, gasping for breathing…
INT. STUDY – CONTINUOUS
The room is neat — nobody there. (We will later see that it
is used on and off by her computer, Andy.)
HELEN whimpers in frustration; she is alone. SHE TALKS TO
HERSELF as she turns back and moves past a LIVING ROOM,
where she turns on lights and the TV flicks on, (COURT TV.)
The sound comes up, loud… She moves on… trying to calm
herself with the sound of her own voice…
It is October twelfth, 1994 in the
city of San Francisco, California,
U.S.A., the strongest, richest,
most stable and happiest country in
the world. That is the sole place
of life in the universe. Under
CLOSE: XANAX BOTTLE. Two pills are shaken out into a palm,
others scattering from the nervous haste…
CLOSE: HELEN Watching herself in BATHROOM mirror as she
tosses down the pills, gulps water. She regards her haggard
reflection with a certain detachment…
Good God. What happened to you?
She barks a rueful laugh… we are seeing a woman will
herself from near-hysteria to relative calm…
HALL As she exits the bathroom. And moves into her OFFICE.
She pours herself a brandy and stands before two computers.
Of the side-by-side computer screens, one is blank. The
other shows a chess setup. Flashing on the bottom of the
screen comes a command.
‘It’s almost seven. Make a goddam
She studies the chess set-up for a moment, then makes a
move. She has not even hit the Keyboard of the other
computer before CHESSMASTER sends another message.
‘Lousy move. Not really into this
game, Helen. Let’s drop it. I’ve
got a feeling about you. Let’s
meet. Like a date.’
HELEN types the following to CHESSMASTER.
‘I’m a terrible date. I’d mess up your
‘Another romantic dream gone all to
‘Maybe it’s better to just dream
on; avoid the disappointments of
life. Come on, move.’
She pushes a button on the remote, and we see the window
curtains open. BRIGHT SUNLIGHT STREAMS IN! We see that the
T-shirt HELEN wears says “Shrinks ‘R’ Us.” She crosses to
the window with her glass of cognac, looks out.
A sweeping view of the bay, and across to Marin County. The
morning sun is dispelling the last of the night’s fog.
HELEN opens window, puts a hand outside, trying to feel the
air, the freedom. Feeling quite restored from the dream
horror of the night…
O.S., THE PHONE RINGS. HELEN. A FRISSON.
CLOSE: PHONE Her hand comes into FRAME and picks up the
handset and carries CAMERA TO CLOSEUP HELEN.
You son-of-a-bitch! Son of
Stiff with fear and rage, she slams down phone.
You filthy… son of a bitch!
On the computer screen behind her the Chessmaster makes his
move: the computer speaks in its tiny computer voice:
You Queen is in check.
Protect your Queen.
HOME MOVIE of a young woman dressed in a seat suit. It is
morning, and she is jogging on a park path. Her hair is in
a long braid. She is sweating, breathing heavily, clearly
near the end of a satisfactory run.
THE FILM REVERSES, THE FILM STARTS UP AGAIN IN EXTREMELY
SLOW MOTION. WE ARE NOW AWARE THERE IS ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW
AT WORK HERE.
NOW THE FRAME FREEZES AT A POINT WHERE IT MAKES THE JOGGER’S
OPEN-MOUTHED DEEP BREATHING LOOK LIKE
END TITLE AND CREDITS:
INT. RIFLE RANGE – DAY
MUZZLE OF SEMI AUTOMATIC PISTOL BLASTS NINE SHOTS ALMOST
DIRECTLY INTO CAMERA. A BEAT OF SILENCE…
THE TARGET: it is a silhouette of a man’s head and torso;
centered in the right side of the upper chest, near the
shoulder, is a small red circle. Still SMOKING, THE HOLES
FROM THE BULLETS are scattered all over the chest, and none
in the circle.
My third grade teacher at the
convent shot better than that.
THE SHOOTER, RUBEN GOETZ, AND PARTNER M.J.
Yeah, but she had divine guidance.
We now take in the shooter, RUBEN, and his companion M.J.
HALLORAN. M.J. is a small, deceptively vulnerable looking
young woman. She is neat, buttoned down, crisp. M.J.
appears to be about twenty-five. She is, in fact,
thirty-four and a homicide inspector with the rank of
sergeant. She is usually dressed in slacks and a loose
sweater or an oversize jacket that helps make her appear
even smaller and younger than she is.
RUBEN GOETZ is also in homicide, about twenty-six and junior
in authority to M.J. RUBEN is good-looking, good-humored
and laid back. He has a cellular phone attached to his
M.J. PULLS THE LINE THAT DOLLIES THE TARGET BACK TO THEM,
AND RUBEN REPLACES IT WITH ANOTHER AS THEY TALK.
I’d feel a whole lot safer with
Sister Loretta for my backup. Look
at this guy: you shredded him!
Well, he’s dead, he can’t hurt me
The target is rigged; they pull the line that dollies it back
to shooting position.
It’s sloppy shooting. It’s in
character, Ruben, but unnecessary.
And bad for your career.
RUBEN LETS OFF THREE QUICK SHOTS: they cluster nearer the
circle. M.J. looks at him in surprise.
I’ve been practicing. Now can I
kiss your tummy?
M.J. hides her smile as she prepares her weapon for her turn.
Perp’s holding a hostage, the
shoulder on his gun hand is gonna
SOUND: A CELLULAR PHONE (ON RUBENS’ BELT). M.J. holds her
I’m sure she thinks it is. Aren’t
you at least interested in which
one it is?
She’s lost her concentration lowered the gun; now as he
answers, she raises her gun and aims…
I’m here, where are you?…
Heeeeyyy! What a surprise! No. On
duty, have to call you back… You,
too, you too. My God, you made my
He hits the “end” button…
You hit the brachial nerve…
SHE FIRES! The shots make a perfect heart around the circle,
inside his looser pattern. ONE FINAL SHOT STRIKES EXACTLY
IN THE MIDDLE!
You’re good enough you’ll never
have to kill anyone. I joined the
cops to save lives, not waste them.
You know, M.J., when I watch you
shoot, I realize I’ve got a little
problem with my stance… could you
just move over here and critique my
He slaps his thigh where he indicates the trouble might be.
She is unloading her weapon…
The problem is between your legs.
You told your shrink about that?
She is unloading and cleaning up. Ruben doing the same…
I tell my shrink about you,
Sergeant. I tell him you’re the
top cop of my dreams.
Ruben has been gathering up his box of doughnuts, from which
he has nibbled during the preceding… he drops them, picks
one up off the floor and sticks it in his mouth…
(putting away her
Don’t take that mess in the car.
They’re on the move; as they go away from us…
He’s in love with you already…
EXT. CRIME SCENE – DAY
They pull up in front of an apartment building in the
Pacific Heights section. Patrol cars flank the street, the
thick yellow ticker tape “POLICE CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS”
is already up. M.J. double parks beside a blue-and-white.
A couple of cars from the media are already there. SUSAN
SCHIFFER a bulldog of a woman, and her camera crew, waylay
M.J. and Ruben as they cross the sidewalk…
Oh, Christ, the Mouth is already
She is, with a cameraman with a haircut and smile that speak
of a life of orthodontics and dreams of TV anchorship.
Hey. And there’s the Haircut right
behind. If she stops short he’s
gonna be there feet up her ass…
Inspector, can you…
I just got here myself, Susan.
…confirm this third murder adds
up to a pattern? Do we have a
serial killer on the loose in the
I just got here. Talk to you
(as they escape behind the
What the hell does she want to do,
scare everybody to death?
That’s her job… Jesus, Quinn is
QUINN, a splenetic Irishman, a politician, Chief of Homicide
stands at the top of the steps leading to the front door.
As they climb up toward him…
I been waiting… I have to do
everything myself. Photo, crime
tech, the Coroner are already
inside. The Landlady calls it in;
tenant is not answering when
called, she sticks her head in,
sees the body, uses the deceased’s
telephone to call 911. Otherwise
nothing disturbed. It’s all yours,
kid. I’ll take care of the Mouth
and the Haircut.
M.J. and Ruben enter…
INT. APARTMENT HOUSE – HALL – DAY
Four uniformed cops stand in the hall securing the premises;
at the back one cop stands by a stunned and tearful woman
chain-smoking (the Landlady).
That the Landlady?
You wanna talk to her, Ruben?
(back to cops)
Who was first on the scene?
Mike answers her question by answering to Ruben!
I’m over here? What’s your name,
You touch anything, Mike? Pick up
anything? Use the doorknob? I
don’t want to find your prints on
anything later and you tell me you
forgot to tell me.
No. I didn’t.
She glances at him, at the SLIGHTLY OLD INFLECTION ON THE “I
DIDN’T.” But moves on, as Ruben goes to the Landlady…
INT. BATHROOM – DAY
The same YOUNG WOMAN we saw jogging, is now dead. Hair
still in a long braid. She wears only a blouse, open and
pushed back. She is on her back in the bathtub, with one
leg dangling over the side of the tub. The effect is
slightly posed, but casual, relaxed.
Bending over her is DOC, the Coroner, WITHDRAWING A HUGE
MEAT THERMOMETER FROM HER SIDE.
M.J. APPEARS IN THE BACK OF THE SHOT taking in the scene.
Foreground, Doc reads the thermometer. The photographer is
finishing up his shots. The room is crowded. Two Coroner’s
men wait in the doorway, a stretcher standing on end between
them; M.J. has to pass between them to come down to the
body. THROUGHOUT WE FOCUS ON M.J.’S FACE; HER REACTION TO
THE SCENE, RATHER THAN DWELLING ON THE SCENE ITSELF.
Liver and rigor are telling me
about eight hours. I’m gonna take
her out now if it’s alright.
I’m seeing ligature marks on her
neck here, petechial hemorrhages in
her eyes. Strangled.
You got it. Same as the other two.
THE TELEPHONE RINGS.
Tell whoever she can’t come to the
phone, she’s all tied up.
That’s real old material, get a new
She picks up the phone after the second ring, holding
it in tissue someone hands her…
Hello! This is Geena Martinez, how
are you this morning?
What is this about, Ms Martinez?
I’m conducting a telephone survey
to determine whether you’re
satisfied with your insurance on
your personal valuables…
M.J. gently hangs up the phone. She has been looking at the
Dead Woman… They pick up where they left off.
He used something soft, like a
stocking or a bathrobe tie.
Anybody find it?
No answer as the Coroner’s men crowd in beside M.J. to begin
lifting the body out of the tub. M.J. takes one last look
into the dead woman’s eyes…
Cover her up, please.
INT. HALLWAY – DAY
Ruben still talking to the Landlady and taking notes. M.J.
approaches Mike… takes him aside…
Mike. Why don’t you tell me what’s
Mike is acutely uncomfortable.
Whatever it is, I’m gonna find out
and sooner is a hell of lot better
Well, there’s something missing in
there. There was something around
her neck when I came in there, but
it’s gone now.
Who came in after you?
She seems relieved. Brightly:
Well, it’s all right, then, Mike.
EXT. CRIME SCENE – DAY
In the door, M.J. appears, looking out thoughtfully over the
scene; Ruben appears behind her. The photographer is coming
Get me good faces on the crowd
here. Get a couple of harness bulls
to grab anybody who starts to
Don’t tell your Grandmother how to
suck eggs. I only been doing this
work since your junior prom,
But M.J. is already on to other things.
INT. HELEN’S OUTSIDE HALLWAY – DAY
CLOSE ON A FOLDED NEWSPAPER THAT LIES ON THE FLOOR FIVE OR
FIX FEET FROM THE DOOR TO HELEN’S APARTMENT. HOLD DOOR IN
The door opens and Helen looks out, wasted from cognac and
Xanax. She looks for the newspaper and sees it with a look
The newspaper lies there, out of reach.
As she stretches out her foot toward the paper, can’t reach
POV. As she moves out into the hall her agoraphobia
manifests itself: DISTORTED VISION THAT MAKES THE HALL
STRETCH AND THE WALLS TAKE ON EXAGGERATED PERSPECTIVE;
SICKENING — VERTIGO! The newspaper seems further away.
HELEN She drops to her knees and tries to lean out further
into the hall…
POV. The floor seems to melt and roll in waves toward her.
The newspaper melts like a Dali watch.
HELEN sweats. She lies flat on her stomach and crawls toward
the newspaper… and with a supreme effort grabs it and
squirms back inside.
INT. APARTMENT – DAY
As she slams the door shut on the hall, and sits gasping for
breath. After a moment she can bring herself to look at the
POLICE BAFFLED IN DEATHS OF THE WOMEN
INT. QUINN’S OFFICE – DAY
QUINN is watching a portable TV screen with profound distrust.
Onscreen is SUSAN SCHIFFER.
… continues to stonewall the
There is a knock, but before QUINN can respond, M.J. enters.
You messed with the scene.
He and M.J. both listen to SUSAN.
… third Bay Area woman has been
strangled, but the police continue
to deny that this is the work of
one killer. Lt. Thomas Quinn
declares that the murders will be
treated as unrelated crimes, unless
M.J. TURNS OFF THE TV, FACES QUINN…
You messed with the evidence.
I tagged the goddamned stocking.
It ain’t lost. We’re sequestering
that evidence. That’s the trap some
son of a bitch is going to fall
Am I in charge of this thing? Or
I said you were…
Then I decided what evidence we
choose to sequester.
(a beat here)
Okay. What do you want to
The stocking around the neck.
A long moment of looking at each other. Then…
You didn’t say serial killer and I
didn’t say serial killer.
(not satisfied she
really means it)
This is the anniversary of the
summer of love and your city
fathers have declared a Festival of
Love. The Mayor and Chamber of
Commerce don’t want TV announcing
killers on the loose.
And she starts to go…
We’re gonna have a bunch of clapped
out old hippies blissing on the
Grateful Dead! Sleeping in the
park, smoking dope and sticking
tulips up their ass.
INT. SQUAD ROOM – DAY
This large room is very busy, many officers at work. Known
sexual offenders have been rounded up. False confessors add
to the crowd. Detectives who are not dealing with these
people are making and taking calls. At this desk, a tall
intense looking Detective, NICCOLETTI, interrogates a false
confessor, a man who looks like a businessman…
Harvey, I don’t want you in here no
more, making false statements…
They are not false. We pay for
city government like this, you
don’t even care about the truth?!
I killed her in the bathtub.
Because she was dirty, a dirty
How? How did you do it, Harvey?
With a knife?
Good guess, but not good enough.
Get the fuck outta here…
He has stood as M.J. passes coming from Quinn’s office. He
falls into stride with her through the crowded scene… He
is sweaty and sniffs his armpits as a matter of general
What am I wasting my time with this
Because it’s your job, that’s all.
Not what I meant; why me?
Maybe it’s something you did in
this life, Nikko…
It has the flavor of a spoiled intimacy, an unfinished
argument… He pantomimes she got him with a poison dart.
Got me. That really hurt! You…
Ruben joins them; Nikko stifles and turns away…
Get Mercer to run the medical,
dental, legal bills, laundry and
dry cleaning receipts, extermin-
ators, mailmen, grocery and
drugstore deliveries, handymen,
It’s mostly done, they got nobody
in common, the three of them… No
mutual friends — the Landlady says
nobody was ever there, she never
saw her with anybody.
They are approaching PACHULSKI’S desk. PACHULSKI is on
phone. Pachulski is looking at M.J., grinning…
Yes, ma’am, I know. You can’t talk
her right now… because she’s
busy, she’s all tied up.
(sotto to M.J.)
Deep Throat’s back.
He hits the speaker phone…
FEMALE PHONE VOICE
This is the third one. You’ve got
a serial killer here. When are you
going to start warning people?
Fourteen calls from this broad.
And she ain’t stupid.
M.J. signals for GIGI to trace the call. Takes the phone,
switches off the speaker…
Who is this?
INT. HELEN’S OFFICE – DAY
HELEN on phone
Who is this?
Inspector Halloran, Homicide. I’m
in charge here.
Ask her about the moon bike.
I’m really interested in your
ideas. The moon bike. What is
What is wrong with you people?
The first two, I thought he might
be on a lunar cycle because they
were 28 days apart, but obviously
not. This new one is only two
Pachulski is delighted at the joke he’s played on M.J., M.J.
not so much… Gigi signals they’re getting it.
You want to joke about moonbikes?!
No, ma’am. This is no joke. And
neither is tying up telephone lines
to police with crank calls while
people in trouble are trying to get
through for help.
You’re calling me a crank?
Do you have any evidence to report,
ma’am? Do you know any of the
I think this is number three…
That’s an opinion, not evidence…
Gigi hands her a slip of paper… M.J. reads it… glares
at Pachulski who is still laughing. M.J. knows the name on
the slip of paper…
(covers the phone)
Helen Hudson. Get Ruben back
As she turns back to the phone…
INT. HELEN’S LIVING ROOM – DAY
HELEN, now wearing slippers and shorts with the same T-shirts
she slept in, is standing behind the living room curtains
looking down at the street. She hears a code knock, then a
key turns in the lock. She moves to greet ANDY her
assistant and friend. ANDY is laden down with groceries and
mail. HELEN immediately reaches a hand up to touch his
Where were you? Don’t tell me.
It’s just under seventy, right? The
sun is strong but the air is dry
Would you please get your hands off
my face, Tallulah? What happened
to the newspaper?
He withdraws a popsicle from the bag, offers it to her.
When she rejects it, he takes it for himself.
I got it myself… I couldn’t wait.
Well! Aren’t we the daring one?
What’s morbid and ghastly enough in
the news to make Doctor Helen set
foot outside her door? The antenna
is gone off her car again. I had
no music, all the way to the
market. Let me find a garage for
They’re in the kitchen area; Andy unpacking stuff…
I’ve told you: I can’t afford to
Are you kidding? You buy enough
gourmet junk every week… most of
which rots… to garage a fleet of
I had the dream again.
And I got another call. This time
he spoke. He said “You and me, you
A little heavy breathing is what
most of us yearn for. Forget it.
He whispered, but it was him! I
know it was him!
Andy now stops to address this seriously…
He can’t phone you unless the
warden gets an okay from you. Did
you give him an approval?
Andy? When a three-year-old says
there’s a monster under the bed,
you don’t say ‘forget it’. You
look under the bad.
I’m three years old. Call the
Her fear is so palpable, she is so nakedly vulnerable it
breaks his heart. He puts his arms around her.
Oh God. I’m really crazy.
When was the last time you washed
(shaky, but trying)
Monsieur Andy, disapproves of my
Monsieur Andy can smell your
coiffure. And guess what else?
He pats her thighs… she walks to the window as he talks…
Cellulite. What do you say I
blindfold you and take you to the
gym. Aerobics with housewives…
HELEN AT WINDOW
Andy has heard this tone before: panic attack alert.
Here we go again.
ANGLE AT WINDOW TO INCLUDE THEIR POV OF STREET
In a parked car a man is reading a newspaper that hides his
face. Behind him is parked a slightly beat up red Saab.
You parked right behind him. The
one I noticed earlier. I didn’t
say anything, I thought he’d leave.
Just take a look.
Oh my God! Help! HE’S READING A
But earlier, he was staring up
here. Please, Andy.
Okay. You win. ‘Dirty Harry’
ANDY leaves the apartment.
EXT. FRONT DOOR OF HELEN’S BUILDING – DAY
The heavy old industrial door is pushed slightly open, ANDY
peers out, sees:
ANDY crosses behind the car and then sneaks back, coming
up to Driver’s side window, surprising the Driver.
THE NEWSPAPER DROPS: IT’S RUBEN.
Excuse me, but would you mind
explaining why you’re watching the
None of your fucking business.
Usurping RUBEN’S aggressive attitude, ANDY leans his face
close to RUBEN’S window.
Listen, asshole, I’ve got a gun…
RUBEN grabs ANDY by the collar and yanks his head inside the
car. With the other hand he pulls his gun and pushes it up
I hate this…
RUBEN pushes the ‘up’ button on the window, capturing ANDY’S
head in a deadlock. Then he opens the door, gets out, slams
door, forcing the squawking ANDY into a helpless frisk
position. We HEAR HELEN scream, (O.S.). Ignoring this,
RUBEN begins to frisk ANDY.
M.J. APPROACHING IN HER OWN CAR, SEES THE ACTION, BRAKES
FAST AND GETS OUT.
HELEN at window, shouting.
I’m calling the police!
INT. HELEN’S LIVING ROOM – DAY
Andy enters, followed by Ruben and M.J., who holds up her
badge to Helen.
Investigators Halloran and Goetz. I
apologize for Goetz, he’s a
(trying to defuse)
I’m okay. I really kind of enjoyed
Uncomfortable silence for a beat as they try to take in
what’s happening, who’s who and what’s what. Helen is
confused, fighting back fear…
(trying to communicate
Ring the gong, he goes. Poor
Is he out?
If he’s not out, why are they here?
Because of your phone calls.
What calls? I haven’t made any
Are you staying long? Shall I shut
the door? Make your coffee? Make
You talked to me. Do you remember?
The two women measure each other, Helen struggling to
control herself. A beat.
You were the one that talked about
moonbikes and called me a crank?
Oh God, I am!
Make them some coffee.
Halloran, is it? Investigator
Goetz? I had a crank call myself–
(a moment of real
I thought it might be Daryll Lee
Cullum. I thought he might be out
Daryll Lee Cullum? I don’t think
so. If he’s escaped we’d have the
National Guard, cops’d be crawling
through sewers. You’d have a guard
on your front door.
I want to tell you it’s a great
honor to meet you and talk to you.
You don’t admire me. No police
admire me. I got one of you
killed. Why don’t you say right
out what you’re here for?
You called us, Doctor Hudson.
Yes, I did. Poor impulse control.
The accounts of the firs two
murders made it so clear they were
the work of the same man, but you
kept announcing they were
unrelated. You’ll never catch him
M.J. regards her for a moment…
Sugar and cream for Goetz; I take
You’re absolutely correct. The
politicians don’t want panic
headlines spoiling the Festival of
Well, let’s thank God you and
Inspector Goetz are on the case,
Would you want to work with us on
Oh, my God, no! I’m a clinical
hysteric, with panic syndrome, and
anxiety neurosis, agoraphobic, I’m
afraid of everything, real and
imaginary. I never leave this
apartment now. Nobody ever comes
here. I just wanted to get your
attention. I write and I used to
lecture on these crimes, but… I’m
I think you are. I really admire
everything you’ve done; it would be
an honor to work with you, and we
need all the help we can get,
Inspector Halloran, that is so much
bullshit, you don’t like or admire
me, but the beautiful part is I
don’t give a fuck. That’s the
upside of having a breakdown.
Well, it’s a hell of an apartment
you got here. I’m living one step
away from the projects, myself, but
I get to go to work every day,
wading in blood and guts. I guess
the books you wrote about these
sons of bitches paid off pretty
Will you go. Andy, make them go.
You can’t go out lecturing? Tough
shit. Women are dying. Where can
I lay this stuff out?
She dumps files of photos, etc., out on Helen’s cocktail
I don’t want this. What are they?
You called us, Doctor, if you don’t
want to look at them here, how
about downtown. I’ll drive you
She pushes the pictures off onto the floor, tries to get up
to leave the room. M.J. and Ruben are both appalled at the
force of what is happening: an all-out panic attack…
Andy races t o the kitchen; Ruben tries to help but Helen
fights him off viciously, gasping for air… Andy races
back in with a PLASTIC BAG HE PULLS OVER HELEN’S HEAD AND
FACE… She hyperventilates into the bag…
THE PLASTIC BAG BALLOONS OUT AND BACK IN HELEN’S FACE until
she faints. Andy deals with it like an everyday event,
treating her very gently…
Now look what you did.
What did I do?
You threatened to drive her
downtown. She has agoraphobia.
Fear of what…
Open space. She hasn’t been out of
this apartment in three years. I
didn’t used to think it was real…
He’s making her comfortable.
We’ll get the paramedics…
Oh, God, uniforms, more stress.
Let her sleep. It’s a self-limiting:
she hyperventilates till she passes
out, then her breathing goes back
to normal, and she wakes up singing
like a lark.
We know, don’t we, Princess?
Give her a couple of hours. I know
M.J. starts to gather up the pictures and files. She is
angry and disgusted.
Tell her we’re sorry we bothered
Hey, no. Leave those here. If you
really want her help. I mean if
you really do, leave them. Let her
see them. I’ll see they’re safe…
M.J. takes in the scene; the now soundly sleeping Helen;
Andy sitting over her protectively, the files and photos
strewn around. Makes a decision…
Tell her to ask for me…
She’s handing Andy her card…
EXT. HELEN’S APARTMENT HOUSE – DAY
M.J. AND RUBEN come out in the street… CAMERA IN A HIGH
ANGLE LOOKING DOWN ON THEM…
Snotty neurotic bitch…
Sure. She likes you, Rube. She
likes the way you move. She sure
as hell isn’t in love with me.
You came in there with this
Order Chinese for us and meet me
the library? Anything but beef.
She jumps in her car, still steaming, leaving Ruben to move
to his car. AS HE MOVES CAMERA FOLLOWS, BECOMING A WIDER
ANGLE TO INCLUDE FACADE OF HELEN’S APARTMENT.
We can SEE ANDY, SITTING WHERE WE LEFT HIM, HOLDING HELEN IN
HIS ARMS. SHE SLEEPS PEACEFULLY. DISTANTLY WE HEAR THE
PHONE RING. ANDY SHOWS IMPATIENCE, THEN CAREFULLY
DISENGAGES FROM HELEN SO AS NOT TO DISTURB HER SLEEP.
HE MOVES ACROSS THE ROOM UNTIL HE IS OUT OF FRAME. THE SHOT
HOLDS ON HELEN FOR A BEAT. PHONE RINGS.
THEN THE CAMERA PANS LEFT (OUR FIRST CLUE THIS IS ANOTHER
POINT OF VIEW) ACROSS TO A SECOND WINDOW WHERE IT CATCHES
ANDY MOVING UNTIL WE AGAIN DISAPPEARS BEHIND THE BUILDING
WALL AND THE CAMERA PANS SMOOTHLY TO THE THIRD WINDOW, WHERE
ANDY ENTERS. WE SEE HIM PICK UP THE PHONE AND SPEAK INTO
IT. HE SEEMS IMPATIENT.
THEN CAMERA PANS DOWN TO A CELLULAR PHONE, F.G. AND FOCUS
RACKS TO E.C.U. AS A FINGER PUSHES THE “END” BUTTON.
Putting down the phone. Irritated…
INT. POLICE LIBRARY – DAY
CLOSE: AN ATTORNEY IN COURT
… it was your feeling after
careful evaluation that he was a
sexual sadist who satisfied at
least four out of ten criteria in
the DMS III?
SHOW M.J. and Ruben watching videotapes, and eating Chinese
takeout. HELEN is being interrogated by the ATTORNEY for
Daryll Lee Cullum. Helen sure of herself to the point of
arrogance, which is her undoing…
Yes. Without question.
Without question? He only scored
40 percent, four out of ten
criteria? Couldn’t another expert
say he flunked the sexual sadist
test? What curve are you marking
The test criteria are only part of
what we look at in evaluating
Only part. What else? What did
you think of his claim that he tied
this girl to the tree and set fire
to her because Joan of Arc told him
to do it.
He was lying.
‘Lying. He was lying.’ I asked
you what you thought, not what he
I thought he was lying.
You said, first, he was lying. How
do you know that, Doctor?
Because people who are suffering
from aural hallucinations hear
voices in both ears. Daryll Lee
told me that Joan of Arc always
appeared beside him on his left
side and spoke softly in his left
Murmur of subdued laughter in court.
He took pains to hide his actions
because he knew they were morally
wrong. He was not acting on mad
impulse. He was sane and acting
out a pattern he carefully followed
What pattern was that?
The same as the first time…
She catches herself. The D.A. has leapt to his feet, but now
tries to sit down as though nothing was happening, but
Helen, the Attorney and the D.A. all are clearly disturbed
by the line this questioning is taking.
The first what?
(as she hesitates)
Your Honor, she’s got this far, I
think she should finish. I don’t
think this jury should be left
wondering where the rest of her
statement would lead.
I agree, Doctor.
The first two murders.
What first two murders. We don’t
know about them here, do we?
He told me he had done two others
just like it.
When was that?
When he was seventeen.
And you believed him when he told
you he had done that.
Yes. I believed him.
The D.A. is rushing to the bench to argue with the Judge.
Yes, I’ll accept a call for a
mistrial. Evidence of that other
crime when the defendant was a
juvenile is inadmissible and never
should have been heard by this
NOW WE SEE M.J. AND RUBEN LOOKING AT HELEN on the TV screen,
THE DOOR OPENS AND QUINN ENTERS.
There was no sperm.
The same as the firs two.
Definitely a serial.
(seeing HELEN on
What are you looking at that for?
Helen Hudson. Work the clues.
What clues? I’m going to work
Would you step outside, Sergeant?
M.J. leaves a cautiously silent RUBEN. Once the door shuts,
he turns tape back to ‘play.’
EXT. OUTSIDE DOOR TO LIBRARY – DAY
I’m telling you. Don’t you ever
address me publicly in that tone.
You’ll work what and who I tell you
Anybody in this department ever
worked a serial killer case? She’s
the expert. I need help.
How about I put Nikko on it?
That’s always your privilege, sir.
QUINN snorts, starts on his way, then turns back.
You ever reflect how this big
explosion in dead women coincides
with the flowering of women’s lib?
Yessir. I have reflected on that,
sir. Which explains my gushing
deference to you, sir.
QUINN is somehow cheered by this little exchange.
Nikko’s looking better by the
He stomps off.
INT. HELEN’S LIVING ROOM – DAY
HELEN on couch, ANDY is massaging her neck.
Oh, God. I must have looked
No, dear. You’re at your best with
a bag in front of your face.
I want to die.
I wouldn’t. He’ll be back. If you
want him. The cute brutal type
with handcuffs. Very sexy.
HELEN grins, and ANDY starts to tickle her, she laughs.
You thought he was cute too, didn’t
you? Admit… admit…
HELEN now laughing a little too hard. Suddenly the laughter
changes to tears.
What? What’d I do?
Reminded me that I used to be
attractive. That men used to want
You slut! No sexy young cop for
you unless you shampoo your hair.
She clings desperately to him. He rocks her as he would a
When are you going to call them?
ANDY PRODUCES THE FILE M.J. LEFT WITH HIM. Helen looks at
it. Andy watches her…
I can’t, Andy.
Then, why don’t you just die. I’m
going. They’ll find your body
years later, the old recluse lady,
she ate cat food, ten years of the
New York Times, unread, piled on
top of the unread mail, the TV
still on. Make up your mind. Live
I’ll get coffee.
He exits. After a moment fighting her fears, Helen reaches
for the file. She opens it and looks at the first picture.
THE PHONE RINGS. She freezes… Panic hangs in the air…
Andy answers the phone in the kitchen…
Yes? Inspector Halloran, she’s
going through the material now.
She’ll call you… No, she’ll be
alright, I’ll sleep over on the
couch in case. But now, I told
you, singing like a lark.
Hangs up. After a moment Helen bends to her work…
INT. POLICE LIBRARY – NIGHT
M.J. scanning microfilm newspaper & magazine clips.
‘COOL KILLER CULLUM’
CONS COPS IN ESCAPE FROM CUSTODY
Slew police bodyguard in attack on expert witness
M.J. hears NIKKO entering, looks up, gives him a half-smile,
returns her attention to the microfilm.
You’re a damn fool.
Oh, I know.
“HUDSON VICTIM OF BLOODY ATTACK. BODYGUARD SLAIN!”
You’re almost ten years older than
M.J. turns off the microfilm. The last headline is retained
“ESCAPE KILLER CLAIMS NEW VICTIM”
It’s none of my business anymore…
You got that right, Nikko, it’s
none of your business.
You’re shitting ion your career. You
M.J. looks at him at last with wry amusement: he’s jealous
Well, you outranked me, Nikko.
Yeah. And you used that. Used me
Don’t put yourself down like that.
I never used you. I worked my way
up like a marine grunt!
Yeah, you did that too. You earned
what you got; don’t shit on it,
that’s all I’m saying.
God, you’re cute when you’re mad.
The door opens and RUBEN enters, instantly takes in the
scene: M.J. sitting in front of a stalled machine, NIKKO,
looming over her. After an awkward beat, NIKKO heads for
the door. Ignoring RUBEN, he barks at M.J.
Think about it.
RUBEN regards M.J., who busies herself examining the other
What’s wrong with him?
He’s just mad he let me keep the
espresso machine. We heard from
Nada. Lemme make the call.
Honest to God, Ruben!
I like women like that!
Tell it to your shrink.
EXT. SAN FRANCISCO RESIDENTIAL AREA – LATE DAY
IN THE UNMISTAKABLE STYLE OF THE CAMERA EYE WE HAVE SEEN
SHOOTING HELEN’S PLACE, IN THE PARK, ETC.: A YOUNG
RED-HEADED WOMAN, wearing shorts and an open-necked shirt,
kneels on the grass, weeding a lush flowerbed. The CAMERA
SWISHHPANS TO the back door of the house as a man comes out
balancing a tray with drinks. The woman gives the man a
dazzling smile, removes her gardening glove and takes a
glass. Her husband bends down, gives her a little kiss.
She beams. FREEZE FRAME.
INT. HELEN’S LIVING ROOM – LATE DAY
CLOSE UP: early crime scene photos.
WE SEE FOR THE FIRST TIME THE FIRST TWO MURDER VICTIMS, SO
WE SEE THE PATTERN HELEN DESCRIBES AND ANALYZES.
The way he’s posed the bodies…
he’s flaunting his power to do
whatever he wants to her. This
man… He probably seems perfectly
normal. These murders are organized
WE ARE NOW SEEING THE ROOM: M.J. AND RUBEN, HELEN AT A TABLE
IN HER OFFICE LAYING OUT THE PICTURES. Helen picks out one
picture from the rest…
Except for this one. You put that
one in to test me.
M.J. nods, pleased with HELEN>
INSERT: THE PICTURE. The victim’s body is covered with
bruises. But, unlike the others, her face has been covered.
Is it an ongoing case?
BACK TO SCENE…
For months… last October.
It was a lover or a husband.
Someone close. Somebody who knew
her and cared about her.
(glancing at Ruben)
How do you know that?
He felt remorse. He covered her.
HELEN arranges and rearranges photos like tarot cards.
The bodies have been carefully
arranged… different positions,
but somehow the same. The
positions are brutal… yet
quite… artful. It’s like… a
signature. He’s proud of his
accomplishments. There are early
Picassos and late Picassos, but you
always recognize the hand. He
wants us to recognize his hand.
I’ve seen this hand before… what
are you hiding?
Where are the stockings he
strangled them with?
How did you know they were
I sent Andy out on murder missions.
For God’s sake — it’s the Boston
Strangler, Alber deSalvo. He used
their own stockings to strangle
them. Tied in a bow-knot.
She gets down a file from her bookcase and flops it open to
pictures of deSalvo’s victims: they are identical…
Somebody is imitating his m.o.
Look for a plumber or carpenter or
handyman; that’s how deSalvo got in
the door and caught them off guard.
The Boston Strangler, when was
In the sixties. He’s dead —
stabbed to death in prison.
Why imitate a dead serial killer?
If you knew why, you might know
where to look for him.
I don’t envy you this; he’s not
done — he’s going to do them faster
and faster to keep the adrenaline
rush. Now, I’ve done what you
Work with me.
It’s good for you.
They are startled by his appearance! A little unsettling.
It’s good medicine.
A little homeopathic cure for the
None of you know anything about it.
Now go. And Andy, if you persist
in playing doctor, leave, with
I’m the only friend you’ve got,
darling, and I don’t intend to stop
doing what I think is good for us.
Get out! All of you!
Andy helps M.J. and Ruben scoop up the files…
You said you don’t give a fuck and
that’s the beauty of a breakdown?
This doesn’t look like not giving a
fuck, you know that?
Let’s get out of here…
INT. HALL – CONTINUOUS
As they leave, Andy is still at the door…
Andy! Please. Don’t you go!
INT. QUINN’S OFFICE – NIGHT
Aw, Jesus. The Mouth gets a load
of this and we got major headlines
around the world. deSalvo redux.
The matter, you think they don’t
teach Latin in Catholic schools?
Don’t swear at me because we got
problems. I’m just giving you the
news. I went to a Catholic school;
I’ll tell you what they teach. On
the knuckles they teach.
Who’ve I got to beat up except the
messenger? Does this give us
anything to go on?
I’m checking out anybody who lives
like DeSalvo. Records of arrests
for rape, especially by a man
wearing green. Checking out
psychiatric hospitals for his
personality profile. Cross check-
ing names from arrests for sexual
offenses, public fondling. If
they’ve got a German wife. We can
keep cops working on this kind of
junk for years, and this guy’s
going to hit again, soon.
I know. Get out here.
So. Do we tell the media and hope
for somebody to come forward with
Or for some new nutcase to copycat
What I love, the big fight, some
girl, she drops the quarter on her
boyfriend so the bastard spends the
night in custody, just to teach him
a lesson. We’ll get a shitload of
Another country heard from.
No. We’re keeping it quiet, don’t
give the bastard the attention he’s
maybe begging for.
INT. HELEN’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
HELEN sits at side-by-side computers. The chess game is
again in progress.
HELEN makes a move. Pleased with herself, she smiles,
types, “I’m creaming you.”
Suddenly over HELEN’S shoulder, the other screen becomes
active, we see ‘Message for Helen Hudson.’
Engrossed in her own chess game, she does not notice the
screen until, tense from sitting too long, with waiting for
CHESSMASTER’S move, HELEN begins to stretch her neck and
toll her head. Now, out of the corner of her eye, she sees
the other screen. Quickly, she clicks on this, and the
screen prints out ‘A GAME FOR DR. HUDSON PLEASE RUN THIS
“TOMORROW.AVI” FILE ON YOUR PLAYER.’
HELEN TYPES ‘WIN’ AND WINDOWS SCREEN COMES UP. WITH THE
MOUSE SHE CLICKS ON THE AVI PLAYER ICON, TYPES IN
“TOMORROW.AVI” AND HITS ENTER.
A PICTURE APPEARS: IT IS THE FACE OF THE WOMAN IN THE
BATHTUB. IT CHANGES AFTER A TENTH OF A SECOND MORPHING
THROUGH A COLLAGE OF IMAGES OF TWO WOMEN. A hand emerges
from a breast of the other. Two heads. One, properly on
its own neck, the other emerging from between two legs.
Hands, feet, breasts, hair of two bodies mixed mischievously
into one FINAL IMAGE OF A SECOND WOMAN ALIVE AND SMILING
ECSTATICALLY AT THE CAMERA. Both women wear their hair in
INTERCUT WITH HELEN: APPALLED.
ANDY LIES WITH TV ON, NAKED, GIVING HIMSELF A PEDICURE. HE
HAS EARPHONES TO MUFFLE THE TV SOUND. From the dark spaces
of the loft there
ECHOES A SCREAM OF SHEER TERROR FROM HELEN! After a beat from he
realizes, tears off the earphones and bolts into the
EXT. HELEN’S APARTMENT HOUSE – NIGHT
POLICE CARS DRAW UP IN FRONT, DOUBLE PARKING. M.J. and Ruben
jump out and walk, fast, toward the building… (Shot from
same high angle — the secret watcher’s POV — from which we
saw M.J. and Ruben leave after their first visit.)
INT. HELEN’S HALLWAY
AS HER DOOR IS OPENED, by Andy. Ruben and M.J. enter…
She’s in the office…
INT. HELEN’S OFFICE
The computer glow, the unfinished chess game still up, and
the RED-HEADED WOMAN’S joyful face on the other. HELEN SITS
IN A CHAIR WITH HER BACK TO THE SCREEN, ROCKING BACK AND
FORTH, suppressing her fear by sheer will. M.J. and Ruben
enter with Andy… they look at the face on the computer
screen… (this is the only light in the room).
That’s the face of the next one
She hasn’t looked at them or the computer… SHE ROCKS…
How do you know that?
(can’t look at it)
Look at the bottom of the screen.
You see the icon with the arrow
pointing left? Click on that…
RUBEN (FROM A MISSPENT YOUTH IN VIDEO ARCADES) expertly
maneuvers the mouse and clicks on the icon as instructed.
NOW THE ANIMATED COLLAGE PLAYS BACKWARD! IN TENTH OF A
SECOND STEPS WE SEE THE IMAGE OF THE RED-HEADED WOMAN MERGE
BACKWARD THROUGH THE DISTORTED IMAGES AND BECOME
THE DEAD WOMAN IN THE BATHTUB.
M.J. AND RUBEN REACTING, LIGHTED BY THE GLOW FROM THE SCREEN.
How did you do that?
That computer’s wired into
He’s hacked into her Internet
address. He’s a hacker.
He can get into my computer any
time he likes! This is exactly the
kind of thing I didn’t want to have
Can you make a copy we can show on
It’s too big a file to copy to a
You got a tape backup, yeah, here
lemme copy it on tape…
Why would he send this to Helen
It’s a game they like to play.
Berkowitz — “Son of Sam” — hung
around the crime scene, talking to
the cops. This one’s probably
watching you, laughing at you.
Let me get a little action started
M.J. nods to him to get along… He calls on his cellular
phone while simultaneously working the computer…
I’m going to put a guard on your
One officer already got killed
trying to protect me. Please, just
take it all away. Leave me alone.
Look at this…
THE COMPUTER SCREEN HAS A LEGEND ON IT:
NOW YOU SEE ME…
As they watch, it is replaced by:
NOW YOU DON’T…
AND THEN IT FADES TO BLACK… Helen goes to the machine and
maneuvers with mouse and keyboard.
It’s gone. The file’s not here.
What did you do?
I just started it copying to tape,
but the tape never ran. It just
He’s brilliant. This one is
We’ll show that to…
Show what? It’s gone. He wrote a
self destruct virus into the code,
so it would only play until we try
to copy it. Then it erased itself.
Do you remember what you saw?
INT. POLICE HQ CORRIDOR – DAY
M.J., RUBEN, QUINN, MAYBE OTHERS OF HIS STAFF STRIDE
PURPOSEFULLY DOWN THE CORRIDOR, CAMERA MOVING WITH THEM…
For a moment we won’t know who Quinn is talking about…
He’s on the phone calling me like an
insurance salesman soliciting my
business, for Christ’s sake. I
didn’t tell him the three most
over-rated things in life are young
pussy, regular exercise and the
What? I talk like a cop, this is
the way I talk. I can’t believe
this guy. Saks. He’s a Deputy
Assistant Director of the F.B.I.
“Let me help you!”
We could use a little help.
With the F.B.I. there’s no such
thing as a little help. They bury
you with help. Explain to me about
this virus, no don’t tell me about
the virus. Thing is, you saw it,
They pass through a door into a ROOM where the homicide team
sit waiting… M.J. goes right into a briefing…
We saw it. The unknown target is
kneeling, she’s gardening. Red
hair, high cheekbones, mid-
thirties, height I don’t know,
she’s not overweight, she’s
zofting… She’s in front of a
house that looks like…
EXT. MARINA HOUSE – LATE DAY
As she is speaking, her description becomes V.O. as we SEE
police cars and an ambulance drawn up IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE
SHE IS DESCRIBING…
… the Marina area, there was
earthquake damage repair on the
house it looked like, a little
garden. The light was late
afternoon. Say about cocktail
hour. He was bringing out drinks,
margaritas by the look. So we got
a house facing west, on the east
side of the street. Full sun, so
there’s no high trees or buildings,
residential both sides.
SUSAN SCHIFFER and her crew arrive, leaping out of their van
with their equipment, a makeup woman ADJUSTING SUSAN’S
MAKEUP AND HAIR RIGHT THERE IN THE STREET…
INT. MARINA HOUSE – DAY
M.J. and Ruben, Quinn, etc., trying to calm and/or question
the HUSBAND, who is in shock. He is the man we saw bringing
Stupid goddam s-stupid p-poker
game! Always have to s-stay until
Phil makes a c…comeback. Am I
The husband’s voice follows QUINN and others as another COP
leads them toward the back of house.
DOOR TO BEDROOM. QUINN AND RUBEN have stopped just inside
door. M.J. forced to peer around them.
M.J.’S POV: On the bed, the RED-HEADED WOMAN’S body is
propped up against the headboard, her knees up, her head
fallen onto a shoulder: her pajama top has been ripped open
and pushed up. Knotted around her neck is a pink scarf tied
in a huge bow under her chin. On her feet, secured between
her toes, is a commercial flyer advertising the Festival of
Love. It is brightly printed with red hearts. It has been
HELL IN THE FESTIVAL OF LOVE
EXT. FESTIVAL OF LOVE IN GOLDEN STATE PARK – NIGHT
CAMCORDER capturing the audience of a ROCK CONCERT in full
blast, in GOLDEN GATE PARK. The audience, mostly young,
some in 70’s costume, sit and loll around on blankets. Most
seem to have some variety of refreshment… liquid or rolled.
The CAMERA records the unsteady progress of a lovely YOUNG
GIRL, weaving her way through the blankets and the bodies.
She suddenly becomes aware of the camera being aimed at her.
She stops, strikes a comically seductive pose and gives a
big, gorgeous smile. FREEZE FRAME.
INT. HELEN’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
ANDY answers the door. M.J. and Ruben…
She just got to sleep. Do you have
to tell her about it now?
Tell her about what?
Gaahhd! What a cop! You busted
The new one, in the Marina.
(to their reaction)
She has a police radio scanner.
It’s always on. She turns it off,
and then she has to turn it on
again. She’s obsessed. She can’t
not listen to it, but she can’t
listen to it, so she makes me
listen to it.
HELEN APPEARS IN WHATEVER SHE SLEEPS IN.
I am not going to look at any more
pictures. They’re like a disease.
They get into my head. I can’t get
I don’t look at pictures. I look
at the real thing. I don’t feel
Maybe that’s why you can’t catch
him. I know what she looks like —
the red-headed woman in my
I just came from her… here’s what
you haven’t seen.
M.J. takes out a picture of the dead RED-HEADED WOMAN. Her
manner is that of cop with a witness.
A forgery of the Mary Sullivan
murder scene, he’s done it perfect.
Except for the sign.
(looking at photo)
She probably let him in the door
without a thought. Where are their
mothers?! Where are the mothers
that are supposed to teach them to
be wary and to tough and not afraid
Look at the sign. ‘Hell’? In the
Festival of Love? You make any
sense in that?
HELEN stares at the picture.
For ‘Hell’, read ‘Helen’. He’s
talking to you.
It’s anybody connected to author-
ity. They write, they even knock
on your door. They’re fans. It
thrills them to flirt with getting
Nobody knows you have anything to
do with this case; nothing has been
on TV or the news… Why would he
want to get in your computer?
Because I’m his damned pin-up girl!
His, all of them! They know me.
They’re in prisons with libraries,
they collect clippings, I’m their
worthy opponent. You keep my name
out of this.
Andy, who has ducked out, now reappears, dressed for a date.
The moon is up, my night to howl.
Will you be okay?
Oh, God, I forget. Yes. Yes. You
go. Poor thing, you ought to get
Look out for her. She’s tougher
than you think.
I know ‘Halloran.’ What’s the rest
MaryJane. We call her M.J.
MaryJane. You think that logic and
police procedure, order and science
and method will hold back the
horrors of a world gone mad and the
sickness of the night. I did once.
But you know how he’ll get caught?
He’ll have an accident, or some cop
will get lucky. You can’t catch
him by being intelligent and
working hard. Or the worst: there
are dozens of women slaughtered in
the most horrible way, month after
month. The news stories grow more
grotesque and bizarre and in the
city people lock their doors and
windows, and hurry home before
dark. And then, one day, there are
no more. What happened? Did he
just stop? Get tired and disgusted
and decide not to kill any more?
Did he kill himself? Did he die in
an auto accident? Or a fight. Or
get sick and die? It’s like the
murderer walked off the edge of the
earth. And you never know. But
you keep asking yourself — when you
read about a new murder — is he
M.J. stands. She has noted Ruben’s reaction to Helen’s
story. There is an edge of sarcasm in her voice…
That’s amazing. A whole new book,
thought up in a minute. Very good.
All I know how t do is get up,
take a shower, and go to work.
Hope, if he does another I’ll nail
the son of bitch, and they’ll spell
my name right in the newspaper.
Where is Andy going?
He’s going home. He slept over
because I was a little anxious…
I want a guard on you. I’m worried
about leaving you alone.
We’re through for the night, aren’t
we? You go on. Get some sleep.
I’ll stay until we can get a man
out here and maybe catch a cab
That would be much appreciated.
Somewhere down the line we’re doing
to find a connection between him
and you. I want you to worry that
idea like a loose tooth.
Three voices chime self-conscious ‘Good-nights.’
EXT. HELEN’S BUILDING – NIGHT
THE SILENT WATCHER’S POV through the eye of the
CAMCORDER, we catch M.J. exit HELEN’S building. She stops
momentarily on the sidewalk to look up at Helen’s window…
The drapes swing open. RUBEN CAN BE SEEN DOING SOMETHING AT
THE WINDOWS… The Camcorder zooms to a close-up of M.J.
She gets into her car and speeds off.
INT. HELEN’S BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS
Ruben is checking the windows…
You ought to get some decent locks
on these. A six-year-old could get
in here. Much less a motivated
At the phrase ‘motivated man’, HELEN looks at him boldly in the
You and MaryJane aren’t lovers.
HELEN laughs. So does RUBEN. Her boldness, her laughter,
attracts him. His honesty attracts HELEN. He feels the
Are you always so bold?
No. I’m shy and I’m selective.
His grin says he’d select her anytime…
The problem for me is… you’re in
the witness category.
(beat — Jack
Know what I mean?
Well. Another time, then.
I’ll be all right. He’s not going
to attack me; what I’ m rally
afraid of is all in my own head,
They smile ruefully at one another, and without further
conversation, leave the bedroom.
INT. HELEN’S FRONT DOOR – NIGHT
RUBEN is outside the door. HELEN just inside.
They’ll have a guard here tomorrow.
I know you have the idea, but it’ll
make me feel a lot better.
She smiles, and RUBEN turns, walks away. She stays in the
doorway watching his retreat. About ten feet away, he
He turns around, she is still in the doorway. He reaches
for his wallet, withdraws a card, holds it up to her.
The number for my cellular.
Don’t hesitate. Anytime. Night or
day. I mean that.
He hods card out to her. HELEN, holding onto the door
frame, doesn’t move. RUBEN continues to extend his hand
with the card in it. It is a charged moment. She is frozen
in the doorway; RUBEN refuses to make a move towards her.
HELEN summons all her nerve and lets go of the door frame,
determined not to have any further mortification this night,
she takes one shaky step out into the hallway to meet him.
Then a second step and a third.
Her hand touches the card, takes it.
She turns her head to gauge the distance she must retreat.
What she sees is that the door’s Sureclose device has
quietly and efficiently closed. The door is locked.
Frantic, she turns back toward RUBEN.
RUBEN, now seems a vast distance away from her. He is just
turning down the stairs and is gone… The hallway first
narrows, squeezing her in, then expands. She is lost in the
miles and miles of space between the two walls.
Oh, God! Help me!
RUBEN reappears, races toward her…
Tell me what to do!
I’m falling! I’m going to fall!
She starts to pass out, to sink to her knees, but RUBEN
catches her, puts her up against the wall, handling her like
a suspect. He puts one hand on the back of her neck,
spreads her legs, gets her in frisk position. Somehow, this
is comforting to her, but she is still in full-blown
He pressed his body up against hers, his weight anchoring
her against the feeling of free-fall.
I’m right here. I won’t let you
He still has a hand on the back of her neck. Suddenly, the
proximity effects him, makes him want to kiss her neck. She
begins to hyperventilate.
Don’t let go… I can’t breathe…
Shhh. It’s okay. Just breathe.
I’ll fix it…
RUBEN takes out his gun…
Put your hands over your ears.
RUBEN shoots off the lock. Then he picks HELEN up and
carries her back into her apartment.
INT. HELEN’S LIVING ROOM – CONTINUOUS
RUBEN enters and puts HELEN down on the couch, pulls a throw
up over her. He sees her Xanax bottle on a table, hands it
to her. She takes out three as he pours her some seltzer
water, then watches her take the pills. After which he
takes the bottle and pockets it.
I’ll get a locksmith.
Will you stay? Please? I’m afraid
to sleep… I don’t want…him…in
RUBEN pulls a big chair up beside the sofa. As her eyes
close, RUBEN comforts her. TV features the antics of a
nervous little prairie dog family. He looks back at HELEN.
CLOSE UP HELEN:
We hear a faint but impatient voice call:
CROSS FADE TO:
INT. BEDROOM (DALY CITY) – NIGHT
Dim light. The room is unattractive, over-furnished but not
comfortably. A WOMAN is sitting propped up in a double bed.
She is in her mid-thirties, but drained and pale, she looks
older. A chronic invalid. By her side is a NASTY LITTLE
DOG, with ribbon bows in its fur. Near the bed is a TV and
video, on which a movie’s final credits are running.
THE WOMAN IS IMPATIENTLY PUSHING AN INTERCOM BUTTON
PETER enters. Younger than the woman, rather good-looking.
Boyish and nondescript except for a patch of white skin near
his hairline. AN OLD SCAR. He goes straight to TV and puts
the tape on ‘eject.’
Put in the Kevin Costner.
Why don’t we save it for later?
It’s almost time for Letterman.
You know I don’t like to watch talk
shows by myself. Where’re you?
He inserts the video she wants and pushes ‘play.’ Then he
approaches the bed, leans over his wife and gently pushes a
lock of hair back from the forehead.
She ignores him, staring at the screen. The NASTY LITTLE
DOG BARES ITS TEETH AND SNAPS AT HIM.
See, now you’ve annoyed her. You
know she doesn’t like you to touch
Does she, widdle wee fing! Wuhve
you so much!
Did you feed her?
Yes, I fed her. If she says she’s
hungry, she’s lying to you. Again.
She doesn’t lie! You sure you fed
She lies all the time. Why would I
say I fed her if I didn’t?
That’s what I don’t know. Why
would you lie? That’s the
problem… I can’t understand why
anyone would lie.
He leaves. As he goes we can hear the Woman still talking
to her dog over the TV soundtrack.
You wouldn’t lie to Mummy, would
you? Just to get Dad in trouble?
Such a naughty widdle dog…
HER VOICE FADES AWAY AS WE FOLLOW HIM down the stairs into a
small, ill-lit and dreary living room, into a messy kitchen,
then through a door leading to the basement. He locks the
basement door behind him.
THE BASEMENT is brightly lighted, full of high tech, gadgets
and computers. As he approaches the bottom stair, we see a
small TV/video set attached to a wall. On its screen,
freeze-framed and silent, is a video of a PRETTY GIRL at an
outdoor rock concert, smiling seductively.
PETER puts on a WHITE LAB COAT and then reaches over
something to turn the video back on.
The CAMERA PANS DOWN to what he has leaned across. It is
the YOUNG GIRL from the concert. She is strapped onto a
table, her mouth taped shut. A plastic bag covers her head,
but not tightly. She is semiconscious. She is being
asphyxiated by slow degrees.
PETER looks at her, gently pushes the bag up far enough to
repeat the tender gesture with her damp hair that he made
toward his wife. He whispers:
Didn’t I promise I’d come right
EXT. HILLSIDE – DAWN
ALL NIGHT FESTIVAL REVELLERS dance across the skyline, of
glorious misty green hills, hand in hand. The Camera moves
down, across verdant meadows, until we arrive at the bottom
of the nearest hill which slopes finally to a highway. A
few festival up-all-night REVELERS, looking down at a new
CRIME SCENE, where three blue-and-whites are parked, plus a
number of unmarked cars.
RUBEN ARRIVES IN A TAXI.
As he moves past the ever-present SUSAN we THREAD THROUGH
THE SCENE TO FIND M.J. M.J. takes one look at RUBEN’S
stubble, his yesterday’s slept-in clothes, and she turns
away. Before RUBEN can catch up with her, NIKKO approaches.
Up all night with a sick friend.
NIKKO’S face is tight with anger.
You dumb son of a bitch! You don’t
even know how to treat a woman.
Who? M.J.? Hey, Nikko, explain to
me why she gave you the boot…
He moves to M.J. who stands beside the dead BODY OF THE
WOMAN WE LAST SAW STRAPPED TO A TABLE. The plastic bag is
now tied tight around her neck. She has been posed beneath
a sign that says “NO DUMPING”. The usual technicians,
photographers, Doc, the Coroner, etc.
Is Niccoletti assigned here?
(angry about it)
Quinn decided we should form a task
force — they’re all one case, now.
He wants all the senior detectives
She wasn’t killed here.
M.J. is kneeling, inspecting everything here; Ruben kneels
beside her… to Ruben…
Tell me what you see.
He inspects the dead girl’s fingernails.
She didn’t fight back, no hair or
skin under her fingernails. I’m
not seeing any bruises or
What about her arms?
Needle marks, fresh, here. look at
Nikko appears, looming over her…
Probably so stoned she never knew
what got her. Like Goetz’s sick
friend. Right Goetz?
They ignore him. M.J. stands…
She’s blue as hell. No marks on her
neck. Asphyxiated? not the same —
no ligature marks. Outdoors…
Look at her legs.
Spread out like she was sexually
After she was dead.
She was dragged up here from the
road, you can see the tracks. She
was already dead or unconscious.
Let’s get plaster casts on any —
If this is just the dump site,
where did he do the job? Where did
he pick her up?
Doped up kids all over town. Park
was full of them last night. Very
easy pickin’. Goetz’s type.
Ruben hits him, Nikko reflexively throws a punch that grazes
Ruben. Everybody stops in astonishment. M.J. steps between
them. Ready to get physical herself; they settle…
What the hell are you doing? The
Mouth and the Haircut are right
down there, thank God they didn’t
Down below, Susan and the Haircut are interviewing Festival-
Niccoletti, they’re on the wrong
side of the tape, you want to push
them back? Now.
Nikko trots off to Susan and the Haircut. M.J. gestures for
RUBEN, now on his feet and dabbing at a split lip, to follow
her back to the cars. As they move more slowly down the
hillside to their cars…
Ruben, my God, I ought to put you
You’re right. I can’t stand that
(getting back to
This is something new. Not the
same guy, that’s for sure.
Yeah, everything’s different.
But she seems unhappy… to techs standing by:
Get the pictures, and casts of
Look at him, grandstanding…
Nikko is talking to Susan Schiff…
That’s all we need…
She strides toward them…
What’s this about the Boston
M.J. looks at Nikko. He should know better. She’s also
thinking: is this a good thing to have the media announce at
this point — or not?
Hey, Susan — I’m sorry, you’re on
the wrong side of the tape. We’re
still trying to find any footprints
or tire marks and we don’t want to
chew up the ground, okay? I’ll
talk to you later.
She’s got Susan outside the tape…
Inspector, will you confirm
somebody is copying the Boston
Strangler? This is the fourth, is
We’re going to review all the
evidence carefully before making
She is getting into her car; Ruben jumps in on the other
side. Susan races for her silver Audi…
Ruben, put the light on…
From outside the car as they drive away we see Ruben’s arm
clap the magnetic flasher on the top of their unmarked car.
M.J. switches it on… A CHASE ENSUES. SUSAN has a faster
car, but M.J. is a better driver. Stomach dropping hills,
trolley cars, the corkscrew turns of Lombard Street, all the
familiar San Francisco chase scenes.
Now listen up, Ruben. You never,
never, never mess with somebody
inside the case!
Excuse me? Excuse me?! What do
You damn well better start working
on that impulse control. A woman
who is implicated in this case?
Someone who’s practically a piece
It’s against your rules that I try
to help a witness who’s scared
The woman’s unstable. You could
wind up with a harassment charge.
Anything. You’re like some horny
M.J. takes another two-wheel corner. In the rear view
mirror, M.J. watches SUSAN lose control of her car as she
tries to make a tight turn, M.J. smiles in contempt.
Anybody who’s ever watched TV knows
about that corner.
Having lost SUSAN, M.J. slows down to a normal speed.
Everybody could see you — unshaved,
same clothes from yesterday,
reeking of sex.
RUBEN’S eye-brows lift. She peels into the HQ parking lot
and jumps out.
Park the car. Call the lab. Get
Doc to lean on the coroner for a
really fast prelim on the sperm.
RUBEN gets out of the car to cross to the driver’s side…
When you get it, call me.
RUBEN look after her, a smile of delight on his face.
She loves me.
INT. QUINN’S OFFICE – DAY
I know; the kid hit you first. He
already told me.
He’s not treating her right…
She left you, Nikko. She’s not
your responsibility. She takes
very good care of herself. If she
wants to romance the kid, it ain’t
your business. Your business is to
snap out of it.
We were together six years, sir!
Don’t give me six years! You never
divorced Patty, did you? So what’d
you expect from M.J.?
She knows I’m Catholic! She never
mentioned divorce! Not once!
Then you shoulda known she wasn’t
buying. She was just long-term
Ah, Nickie. Except for that rare
twenty-second twitch, there ain’t
nothin’ about sex I don’t hate.
But of course, I’m Irish.
Plus I got real problems. I’m
worried I might have to put you in
over M.J. There’s something going on
here, the Commissioner is targeting
her now, I can’t leave a woman in
that position. But the thing is,
how can I move you in, if you go on
acting like a teenage asshole?
I don’t want the job. Don’t do
that to her. She’s worked too
damned hard for it.
What’s going down with the sting in
Chinatown? That gonna be off your
plate in a week or what?
INT. TASK FORCE ROOM – DAY
A ROOM IN THE BASEMENT OF THE POLICE HQ IS BEING SET UP TO
HOUSE A NEW TASK FORCE, WITH CATERER’S TABLE FOR TEMP
DESKS. Bulletin boards with notices and pictures; telephone
techs are still installing phones, cops are learning
unfamiliar computer menus, etc. M.J. IS EXAMINING HUGE
BLOWUPS OF ONLOOKERS AT CRIME SCENES PINNED UP ON A WALL,
WITH A MAGNIFYING LENS.
She walks away BECKONS, BECKONS, COME ON, WALK AFTER ME! He
walks out of a door and they stand on the steps…
EXT. STEPS POLICE HQ – DAY
A couple of Cops, maybe male and female, are smoking there.
Quinn gives them a look that sends them scuttling inside,
flipping their butts into the shrubbery. Quinn sighs and
digs out a cigarette. The looks between them tell the story
of his trying to give it up and not being able to, etc.
So what have we got?
It’s not the same guy. It should be
a self-solver. No bow around the
neck, left and body outdoors,
completely different. The others
were housewives, secretaries, he
talked his way inside, killed them
in their own living room or bed- or
bathroom. This one didn’t have a
husband or a boyfriend, no family,
temp waitress, 3 arrests for
misdemeanor dope offenses, DUI,
asphyxiation probably from a
plastic bag over her head. Sexually
assaulted. The others weren’t
molested that way. We’re waiting
for the sperm tests…
Christ. How old are you? You sure
you want to be in this line of
You’re damn right I do.
Okay, now what about your sidekick
punching my favorite detective?
What the hell is going on? You got
no discipline in your operation.
I’m sorry it had to come to your
attention. I am dealing with it.
She starts to go…
Where you going?
What the hell you need her for?
Because I think I’m wrong.
INT. HELEN’S APARTMENT – DAY
CLOSE: XANAX BOTTLE. SHAKING HANDS DUMP OUT PILLS. FOUR.
SIX. TWO, PUT BACK. ONE MORE, PUT BACK.
HELEN: RAVAGED. WATCHING HERSELF IN MIRROR AS SHE GULPS THE
DOOR BELL RINGS O.S.
I’m not seeing anybody.
We HEAR muffled voices — ANDY and M.J. HELEN, as she
realizes Andy is letting M.J. in, goes to the bathroom door
and tries to slam and lock it: Andy beats her to it,
blocking with his foot in the door.
I know. Do come and meet your
M.J. appears. Taking in Helen’s condition — due to a wild
night with Ruben? Helen moves from the bathroom down the
hall to her office, as…
We’ve got another one.
That’s no surprise.
But it’s a different m.o.
Then what do you need me for?
She was killed somewhere else and
dumped outdoors in an empty lot.
Where it says “no dumping.” Her
legs pulled apart in a kind of
sexual pose. It’s all different
but it seems so — the same.
Artificial and posed… Something’s
wrong with it.
You’re saying it’s the same man,
but he’s changed his style? That
doesn’t happen. These men are
robotic; the murder is like a
ritual. The method itself is part
of the pleasure…
They’ve turned into the office. Something is wrong…
Who turned off the Internet
I turned it off. It’s like an open
window he can climb right in…
He comes in the window, we maybe
grab him. Where’s the on-switch?
Have you got a warrant? Get the
hell out o here! This is the
only space I have left in the
world! Why can’t you leave me out
Helen — the killer directly
contacted you. His interest in you
is intense. I’m worried about you.
I don’t want to lose you. I know
this stirs up every monster under
the bed, but this is the only
direct contact we have with him.
The only chance we have to trap
So, you can turn Internet back on,
or I do, and we put somebody here
on a 24 hour shift and you can
kick, scream and hyperventilate.
That little Winona Ryder manner…
you’re more convincing as Clint
Clint is putting a guard on you.
But if you swear to leave the
computer on, Winona will assign him
to the hall outside.
HELEN has to laugh. The laugh turns to a hacking cough.
She’s smoking again.
Andy leaves. Helen sits, and with the care of someone
handling a rattlesnake, turns the computer on. Meanwhile…
THE PHONE RINGS.
…yes, she’s right here.
HELEN hangs the phone to M.J. The air is a little more
charged… Helen goes back to the computer.
So that’s that…
Please thank Inspector Goetz for
taking care of me last night.
M.J. delivers the message straight-faced.
Ruben, Dr. Hudson wants me to
thank you for taking care of her
Lab report on the new one. At
least two guys penetrated her.
There were two kinds of sperm. The
poor thing. What it must have been
Helen has come alert…
She was near a sign that said “No
Dumping?” Two kinds of sperm —
the lab said one was a secretor and
the other was not?
M.J. mumbles a surprised yes. Helen is at computer.
There were needle marks. But no
drugs in her blood.
So far nothing they test for comes
Helen has a Window type screen: she clicks icons…
Is that it?
That’s exactly… I could have
taken that same picture, this
A RATHER GRAINY PICTURE OF A DEAD GIRL SPREAD OUT IN A
SUGGESTIVE POSE IN AN EMPTY FIELD. A SIGN RIGHT BY HER SAYS
He’s switched from DeSalvo to the
Hillside Strangler. The Strangler
was two men, that’s why there are
two kinds of sperm. His idea of a
joke, very witty our boy.
That’s not consistent… You said
they never changed their style,
Consistency is the hobgoblin of
little minds. Tell them to test
for the chemicals found in Windex.
That’s a product for cleaning
I know Windex, for God’s sake, I
clean my own windows…
It’s what Bianchi and Buono
injected into one of their victims.
Injected Windex! Why would he
switch to a new m.o.?
Ah, if you knew that, you’d be half
way to nailing him. Serial killing
is irrational and rigid and
compulsive. This guy has a plan
all thought out, flexible and
complex. He’s playing a game with
us. Who will he imitate next?
Maybe he’s doing all the serial
killers in history, the great
innovators, the murderers’ hall of
fame. Just to prove he’s better
than all of them. They got caught;
He’ll get caught. If he has a plan
that’ll be what trips him up…
Who’s going to catch him? You?
And if you do, there’ll be another
one. And one after that.
You’re afraid of him.
This one, yes. I was always
curious about these twisted little
souls, but this is the first one
I’ve felt personally terrified of.
He’s something new and unheard of.
I don’t know what he wants.
I’m giving you Clint outside.
INT. PETER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
The room is empty, the messy unmade bed has covers thrown
back. Nasty Little Dog is sprawled asleep on it. The TV is
on: SUSAN SCHIFFER’S broadcast… Over SUSAN’S shoulder, big
and bold, the legend:
…to mimic the M.O. of the Boston
Strangler. The police here are
rumored to be consulting Dr. Helen
O.S. A TOILET FLUSHES, and Peter’s WIFE emerges wearing a
nightgown. She shuffles back to the bed, and as she sits
picks up the remote…
SUSAN (ON TV)
It was backstage at the McClusky
Auditorium on the Berkeley campus
that Dr. Hudson’s police bodyguard
was killed. Daryll Lee Cullum,
She zaps the remote and a program hyping the Summer of Love
INT. PETER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
We see on HIS computer screen a picture of HELEN scanned
from some newspaper or magazine. PETER is building a morph:
beside Helen on screen is another image — of the RED-HEADED
woman. He is placing marks on one picture, on the exact
corner of Helen’s left eyes. As he does so, a red dot
appears near the corner of the left eye of the Red-headed
woman. Both pictures are dappled with similar dots. It
looks very odd, as though someone had stuck Post-its all
over the images. Around him, as he works are other pictures:
ASPHYXIATED GIRL taken while she was strapped to the table.
Of the sign “NO DUMPING.” M.J. leaving Helen’s! HE ALSO HAS
A TINY TV ON, AND TURNS TO SEE AS:
SUSAN (ON TV)
… convicted serial killer had
escaped police custody during a
court hearing, in a scandal that
rocked the police and forced the
resignation of four State
INT. DEATH ROW CELL – NIGHT
DARYLL LEE lies smoking and watching a tiny TV of his own.
SUSAN (ON TV)
…Cullum attacked Doctor Hudson in
apparent revenge for her testimony
against him. Doctor Hudson did not
return our phone calls, today. Our
sources tell us that if police
homicide detectives fail to move
faster in their investigation the
FBI will be called…
INT. TASK FORCE ROOM – NIGHT
M.J. striding, tight-lipped through the room to her
workstation where she takes the phone from Ruben…
You betrayed me! Now every
psychopath in the city knows I’m
back in business… You lied to me!
I did not; the Mouth — that’s what
we call Susan Schiffer — got it on
Why should I trust you?
Because I’m all you’ve got.
RUBEN HAS BEEN GIVEN NEWS: BIG PROBLEMS. MEN AND WOMEN ARE
GETTING UP, PUTTING ON HOLSTERS, ETC., MOVING OUT…
How could you…
(out of patience)
I like the real smart Helen Hudson
a lot, I’m Goddamned sick and
tired of the hysterical little
girl, Helen. You asked your way in
— I don’t forget that. You’ve got
a nickname around here — “Deep
Throat” from all the phone calls, I
wonder if you know that. Go take a
xanax, I’ve got to got to work.
INT. HELEN’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
HELEN, her police scanner sounding distant tinny cries in
the night: Helen holding the phone, digesting that…
SCANNER (VARIOUS VOICES)
987… Carol Meany, call your
home? We have… don’t step on
me, damn it! Go to channel 8…
Code Red — Homicide at 16th Avenue
and Horgan, woman dead in car. Can
we have homicide? All units go to
channel 5. Leave channel 3 clear
for homicide… etc.
EXT. HELEN’S STREET – NIGHT
A MAN parks a car. He gets out. He is dressed entirely in
black. Glancing around to be sure he is not observed, the
MAN moves to cars, banging them hard with his hand until he
SETS OFF A CAR ALARM. He trots silently to HELEN’S side of
the street and merges into the dark side of her building.
THE ALARM GOES INFURIATINGLY ON. A light comes on in an
INT. HELEN’S HALLWAY – NIGHT
BURT, the cop on guard, marginally irritated by the car
alarm, looks up briefly, then returns to his magazine.
EXT. RICHMOND DISTRICT – NIGHT
CAR WHERE A WOMAN HAS BEEN SHOT DEAD. KLIEG LIGHTS PAINT
HER FEATURES A BLEAK WHITE ON BLACK. M.J. and RUBEN work
the scene along with the CRIME TECH CREW.
One of the TECH GUYS holds up a bullet.
Pulled this out of the door, it’s
bigger than a .38; it’s a .44 or 9
CLOSE: M.J. is crawling along the floor, looking at
everything she can find — gum wrappers, hobby pins, loose
change, etc. She lifts her head and finds the car radio and
tape player right in her face.
Was this on? When you found the
car was the tape player on or off.
It was on, auto-reverse, over and
M.J. has rubber gloves on. She switches on ignition and the
tape player starts: ABBA. A phone rings…
ON RUBEN standing beside the car; he answers his phone…
Yeah?… I can’t talk now…
What?… No. There’s no sexual
assault, it’s a drive-by, a woman
in a car, it’s not him.
(mouths to M.J.)
M.J. still pissed at the earlier phone call, turns away,
It’s a woman shot in a car?
Yes. I have to go…
She on the passenger side?
(shouting to be
Helen, hang up, let Ruben get on
with his work…
What’s that music. It’s Abba. I
can hear it. It’s Abba.
Bunch of Swedish women. You’re too
Dread clouds HELEN’S face. She is calling up databases,
screens scrolling across her computer monitor.
Don’t hang up!
Listen to me. Is there a gas
RUBEN look around, sees a gas station across the street and
further down the block…
Is there a phone booth there?
They all have one…
Go and look for a note.
RUBEN hands the phone over to M.J.
She wants me to check the phone
booth for a note.
Helen… excuse me, we…
ON HELEN’S SCREEN IS THE FACE OF BERKOWITZ… SHE CALLS UP
ADDITIONAL FRAMES SHOWING SCENES OF HIS CRIMES.
She was listening to Abba in her
parked car when she was shot with a
M.J. reacts: the scene of what Helen is saying hits her
hard. This is repeating the pattern of yet another
The techie who pulled the bullet out of the door turns…
Let me see the slug outta the door!
He pulls a baggie out his pocket and hands it to her…
RUBEN RUNNING across to the gas station. He’s alone now,
the blazing lights of the crime scene recede.
EXT. HELEN’S BUILDING – NIGHT
A small annoyed crowd has gathered around the are whose
alarm is still shrieking.
INT. HELEN’S HALLWAY – NIGHT
BURT finally gets up, goes to window, sees situation,
decides to go and fix it.
EXT. CRIME SCENE – NIGHT
M.J. still on phone to HELEN. She’s just got the bullet out
of the baggie; Tony stands watching.
What’s that siren?
One of those goddamned car alarms.
Ruben’s gone to look… It’s banged
up but it looks like a .44. It’s
Son of Sam. Is it Son of Sam?
Look in the crowd. He liked to
hang around and watch the cops at
EXT. SHELL STATION – NIGHT
Closed. RUBEN at the phone booth.
A note lies on the shelf, handwritten in felt-tip pen. He
puts on a rubber glove, picks note up by one corner.
RUBEN has taken phone back from M.J. He is reading the note
to HELEN. M.J., agitated, stands by.
“Police: let me haunt you with
these words: I’ll be back.”
M.J. notices that there is writing on the other side of the
note. She forces RUBEN’S gloved hand to turn note over.
Hold on a minute, Helen…
By this time M.J. has seen that this part is addressed to
HELEN. M.J. takes phone from RUBEN, forcing herself to
Helen, Ruben’s going to drop by.
He’s got some questions.
She hangs up, RUBEN is already on his way. M.J. calls a
EXT. HELEN’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
The beeper on Burt’s belt is beeping, but his head is under
the hood of the car where the car alarm is blaring. He
can’t hear the beeper…
BACK TO CRIME SCENE:
M.J. ends the call, yells to another Detective.
I need a unit at 19809 Lorenda
Drive. Tell them to approach code
2 and wait for instruction. Find
the goddamn officer supposed to be
on security. Ruben’s on his way.
He’ll go in alone.
SHE TURNS AND SEES:
BEHIND YELLOW CRIME SCENE TAPE THE NIGHT IS FULL OF THRILL
SEEKERS AND CURIOUS. WHICH OF THEM MIGHT BE THE KILLER?
THE GUY IN THE BACK OF THE CROWD WHO FOR NO APPARENT REASON
SUDDENLY BEGINS TO RACE ALONG BEHIND THE ONLOOKERS? THE MEN
WHO DUCKS TO TIE HIS SHOE WHEN A PHOTOGRAPHER SHOOTS A
INT. FRONT DOOR OF HELEN’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
The horn blares across the street, (O.S.). No one notices
the MAN at HELEN’S door, swiftly fiddling the lock with a
ring full of burglars’ keys and picks.
INT. HELEN’S BATHROOM – NIGHT
HELEN is putting on makeup (Ruben is coming). A small but
alarming noise at the front of the loft. She listens
carefully, and moves to the door looking down the hall
toward the front door. It is OPEN” Burt is not there!
She hesitates a moment, then turns off the lights and
sprints for the front door, to escape.
INT. LIVING ROOM
THE MAN IS PULLING A BALACLAVA UP OVER HIS FACE. AS HE HEARS
HER HE STEPS TO THE…
A HAND IN A FINE LEATHER BLACK GLOVE LIFTS THE RECEIVER OFF
HELEN RUNS DOWN THE HALL AND REACHES THE FRONT DOOR. SHE
RUNS RIGHT OUT INTO THE HALL A FEW STEPS BEFORE RECOILING:
HER POV. THE WALLS AND FLOOR WEAVING AND CONTRACTING…
AGORAPHOBIA HAS HIT.
HELEN FALLS. SHE SCRAMBLES IN TERROR BACK TO THE “SAFETY”
OF HER WALL, NOW A CAVE OF DARKNESS.
SHE FALLS ON THE FLOOR OF THE HALL, GASPING FOR BREATH.
LIVING ROOM. THE MAN MOVES ACROSS THE ROOM TOWARD THE
RUBEN: taking the hills fast.
THE MAN: STEPS OUT INTO THE HALL.
HELEN: SHE HAS RUN BACK THE LENGTH OF THE HALL TO HER
OFFICE. SHE IS JUST VANISHING AS THE MAN STEPS TO WHERE HE
CAN SEE HER.
THE MAN STARTS TO FOLLOW, NOT FAST, BUT WITH TERRIFYING
THE POLICE SCANNER SUDDENLY COMES UP LOUD. HE HESITATES.
HELEN: HER REMOTE CONTROLS IN HAND SWITCHES ON TV SETS,
THE MAN: HE STARTS TO MOVE AGAIN, TOWARD WHERE HE BELIEVES
SHE IS. HE IS PASSING A WINDOW, WHEN THE CURTAINS SUDDENLY
DRAW, RIGHT BESIDE HIM. HE PAUSES AGAIN, LOOKS DOWN AND WE
AND HE/WE SEE THE STREET SCENE: BURT AND NEIGHBORS TRYING TO
SILENCE THE CAR ALARM. THEN HE STARTS TO MOVE AGAIN.
THE CURTAINS CLOSE.
HIGH ANGLE OVER THE MAZE OF THE APARTMENT WALLS. WE CAN SEE
THE MAN MOVING ALONG THE HALLWAY AGAIN — TOWARD ANDY’S DEN,
AND DIRECTLY TOWARD WHERE WE LAST SAW HELEN.
SUDDENLY, FOREGROUND, HELEN’S HEAD POPS UP, HUGE! SHE IS
WRESTLING HERSELF UP OVER THE WALL TOWARD CAMERA, INTO
ANOTHER ROOM OUT OF HIS PATH. WE PAN WITH HER AS SHE WIGGLES
HERSELF OVER THE TOP OF THE WALL AND UNTIL SHE FALLS INTO
FURNITURE, MAKING A HUGE NOISE.
MAN STOPS, TRYING TO LOCATE DIRECTION. HE DECIDES. LEAPS
WITH CATLIKE GRACE ONTO A PIECE OF FURNITURE AND FROM THERE
ONTO THE TOP OF THE WALL!
NOW HE STANDS ON THE PARTITION, LOOKING AROUND AT THE
GROUNDPLAN (AS IT WERE) OF THIS APARTMENT MAZE FROM A HIGH
HELEN: SHE CROUCHES IN HIDING. IN DEEP FOCUS, BEYOND HER,
AND HIGH ABOVE HER, WE SEE THE MAN SILHOUETTED AS HE BEGINS
TO WALK ALONG LIKE A CAT ON A GARDEN WALL, ABLE TO SEE ON
BOTH SIDES INTO WHATEVER ROOMS HE IS PASSING.
HE DROPS OFF THE WALL FOR A MOMENT INTO HER BEDROOM.
INTERCUT MAN AND HELEN. HE LOOKS FOR HER, PRODS THE BED
THEN LEAPS BACK UP TO THE TOP OF THE WALL.
SHE TAKES A VASE AND THROWS IT OVER THE WALL INTO THE
ADJACENT ROOM. THE MAN’S FIGURE DOESN’T EVEN SLOW, HE’S
ALREADY FIGURED IT OUT: HE LEAPS CLEAR ACROSS AN OPENING
ONTO THE WALL THAT LEADS DIRECTLY TO HER.
SHE HITS THE REMOTE: THE CURTAINS SWEEP OPEN, AND MORE LIGHT
COMES IN NOW FROM THE STREET.
CLOSE, THE MAN: HIS FACE TURNS TO THE LIGHT: FROM THIS HIGH
ANGLE WE AND WE SEE DOWN INTO THE STREET, WHERE
RUBEN’S CAR SCREECHES TO A STOP. RUBEN charges into the
BURT, COMING AWAKE, FOLLOWS RUBEN up the stairs three at a
HALLWAY AND APARTMENT DOOR: THE MAN COMES RACING OUT AND
TURNS TOWARD THE STAIRS, JUST AS RUBEN REACHES HELEN’S
FLOOR. THE MAN TRIES TO DO A 180, BUT RUBEN THROWS A BODY
BLOCK AND THE MAN FALLS BACK INSIDE THE APARTMENT.
LIGHT FROM HALL GIVES US OUR FIRST LOOK AS RUBEN TEARS THE
BALACLAVA OFF HIS FACE. He is a middle-aged Afro-Asian with
a knife-scarred face.
I can explain!
The fuck you can!
Helen! Are you okay? HELEN!
Then he sees her. In shock, she stares down at the MAN.
Did this animal touch you?
She shakes her head, turns and runs out of the room, as
RUBEN catches sight of BURT.
Turn on a light and call in the
BURT rushes to okay. RUBEN FRISKS THE MAN.
Bullshit’s gonna get your balls
stomped on! What’s your name?
Chow. Conrad Chow.
The improbability of this name makes RUBEN deliver an angry
kick to the man’s side.
Swear to God! Conrad Chow. Never
carry a gun.
Then you get your ass outta here, I
don’t wanta see you again…
I brought a present for the lady,
there. I’m looking for her, to give
her the present…
You break into her apartment to
deliver a gift? Where is it?
The door was open, swear to God,
I’m just looking for her when you
come charging up the stairs…
Where is it?
I’m trying to tell you. It’s on the
Ruben shoves Conrad into Backup Cop’s hands.
INT. BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS
Ruben comes running in, sees a parcel lying on pillow…
scoops it up, and rips it open. It’s a book. He returns
to Conrad, who is now surrounded by police. Ruben holds the
book up like a question.
Daryll Lee Cullum, he wrote that
book, he wanted the lady to have
it. They won’t let him send it to
her, so I’m getting out, he asks me
to deliver it in person, he says,
put it on her pillow. It has all
about how he tried to kill her.
He told you she was loaded, any-
thing you could steal you could
keep, Conrad? You bought yourself
a return ticket to Quentin,
breaking and entering.
The door was already open…
(to a cop)
Send the book to evidence…
She’s supposed to have it.
She don’t want it.
INT. HELEN’S BATHROOM – NIGHT
HELEN is sitting on the floor, her knees pulled up to her
Helen? Open the door. The guy’s
nothing. A burglar.
She sits there, says nothing.
Open the door. Please.
Why don’t you shoot off the lock?
She starts to laugh. The sound is awful. After a moment,
she gets up on wobbly legs and opens the door. RUBEN takes
her to the sink, sort of sits her down on it. Wets a
washcloth, goes to sponge off her face. She is trembling.
He was in my apartment!
I know, baby. I know.
Without warning, in some sort of manic phase of a freak-out,
she breaks away from him, ricochets through bedroom, down
the hallway, RUBEN follows, tries to put his arms around
It’s okay… you’re safe with me!
He pulls her down into a chair with him, his arms tight
around her, holding her still. He smoothes her hair, rubs
her neck, pets her like a frightened and resistant cat.
When I was a little kid, and I’d be
in a state, my father would hold me
on his lap, until all the fight
would go out of me…
She breaks free and whacks him across his nose.
You think you’re my Daddy?
There is something so perverse about this, so erotic, that
RUBEN kisses her. She goes limp, kisses him back, then
she’s suddenly sobbing. His nose is bleeding, but she’s
smiling. Something between them has finally connected.
Been agreed upon.
Helen…honey, you know I gotta go.
He digs out his sneaky gun from whenever he keeps it.
You know how to use this?
They taught me at the FBI. I was
very good at it. It scared me… I
You take it, hang on to it, it’ll
make you feel safer. Stay put.
A SONG BEGINS, PRELAPPING THE FOLLOWING SCENES: “MURDER BY
NUMBERS” BY THE POLICE…
“Once that you’ve decided on a killing
First you make a stone of your heart
And if you find that your hands are still willing
You can turn murder into an art…”
HELEN OPENS THE WEAPON, SEEMINGLY COMPETENT ENOUGH TO HANDLE
IT WELL, AND EMPTIES OUT THE BULLETS. SHE LOCKS IT UP AND
HEAVES A SIGH OF RELIEF.
THE SONG CONTINUES…
EXT. POLICE STATION – DAY
THE FBI ARRIVES. High angle, looking down: three identical
cars draw in front, park with military precision: all four
doors on the all three cars open at the same time and
identically dressed men, in suits, get out, slam the doors
in sync., and march toward the front steps to HQ, ignoring a
couple of bemused cops smoking on the sidewalk…
INT. POLICE HQ – CONTINUOUS
As the parade of FBI, led by their Commander SAKS, walk down
the corridor from the front door, toward CAMERA, performing
a smart right angle turn, and (CAMERA PANNING TO FOLLOW)
continue away from CAMERA down another corridor. Through
the glass partitions and in the halls they pass cops who
pretend they aren’t looking at them: no eye contact between
cops and FBI. The cops are at ease; bellies slop over
belts; neatly pressed blouses strain over breasts; sweat
stains; shirtsleeves. The marching men wouldn’t sweat.
QUINN emerges from his office and sees them arriving. He
gets his jacket off a hook on the back of the door, signals
a few top officers to follow. He looks resigned…
INT. TASK FORCE ROOM – DAY (LATER)
M.J., RUBEN, NIKKO, and a number of other officers are being
addressed by SAKS, an FBI agent. At the back are three more
FBI AGENTS, suited and tied. QUINN stands off to one side.
THE SONG IS JUST ENDING, ON A CD PLAYER IN THE ROOM. A
projector beams up a copy of the note RUBEN found in the
Dr. Hudson: Don’t lose your head.
“Once that you’ve decided on a killing
First you make a stone of your heart
And if you find that your hands are still willing
You can turn murder into an art.
Well, if you have a taste for this experience
You’re flushed with your very first success
Then you must try a twosome or a threesome
Before your conscience bothers you much less.
Then you can join the ranks of the illustrious
In history’s great dark hall of fame
All of our greatest killers were industrious
At least the ones that we all know by name.”
Hello. I am (research title)
Meryhew Saks. The song is called
“Murder By Numbers.” The
performers are a group called The
Police. Adam here…
… from Behavioral Science is
working out exactly what this
perpetrator is trying to telegraph
in the note. This is an extremely
complex case, and we have a lot of
fancy theories floating around.
We’re not ruling out the possib-
ility of three Copycat serial
killers. We have Quantico working
on graphology, the Washington lap
is cloning DNA from the secretor.
It’s our feeling that the best lead
we have is the two sperm samples in
one of the victims. We have a team
sweeping sperm banks. Now I want
to say a few word to you local
people. Your Commissioner asked
for our assistance. The Bureau
does not send us in on these cases
to lord it over the local police.
We couldn’t catch up on what you
people know if we had a year. We
have nation-wide resources and hard
state of the art forensic science;
you have the local savvy. Together
we can be unbeatable. Which one is
SAKS approaches M.J., guides her away from the others.
TWO SHOT: Saks is unctuous and insincere, self-confident.
We don’t see too many lady homicide
detectives. You have my respect.
Have you discussed the note with
Someone broke into her place last
night. It wasn’t connected to our
case, but it shook her up pretty
bad so I haven’t…
QUINN joins them, SAKS gives him a nod.
I was just about to advise the
Inspector here not to show Dr.
Hudson the note.
Sir, Doctor Hudson and I see a
(riding over her)
We know Helen. She’s not exactly a
credible collaborator. Especially
late in the day…
She takes tranquilizers her doctor
Who prescribes the brandy?
M.J.’S look makes SAKS smile. QUINN is called to the phone.
How come you’re so up on Dr.
She is a writer, writing best
selling books about serial killing.
Giving lectures she’s well-paid
for. Her interests are not the
interests of law enforcement.
We’ve put a tap on Dr. Hudson’s
phone. I know you won’t mention
So much for any trusting relationship, right? QUINN has
arrived, addresses SAKS.
Sorry to interrupt. I need a word
with my officer…
He turns to M.J. Diplomatically, SAKS moves away.
M.J., I’m going to have to borrow
Ruben. The alien-smuggling thing
in Chinatown is going down tomorrow
night and Jack’s kid got hit by a
car. I gotta give Ruben to Nikko.
What does this mean? Now we got
the FBI, my team is expendable?
I’m working my ass off, is anybody
listening? Why Ruben, anyway? He
and Nikko don’t even get on
Teach both of them a lesson in
cooperation and self-discipline.
If this is a first step in kicking
me off the case, just tell me, to
my face, sir, don’t waste time
Just, I need results. And — I am
short-handed. Who else am I gonna
(looking at Saks)
Give him thatpompous son of a
She turns and leaves, brushing past Saks as she goes… Gigi
Lab called. They got a result on
the drug test you requested…?
It takes a moment to remember what it was…
They said it was Windex?
If there was any residual doubt about what’s happening, it’s
gone now. She starts after Quinn, sees he is in spirited
dialogue with SAKS and decides to wait.
INT. HELEN’S LIVING ROOM – DAY
HELEN and M.J. Helen unfolds a xerox copy of the note, that
M.J. has just given her.
…”I’ll be back…”
As she looks at the back of the note… she looks up into
Yeah. Addressed to you. “Don’t
lose your head.”
Helen puts down the note. She is holding herself together
by main will power… doesn’t want to face that note…
They put Merry Saks on it?!
He said to send you his regards and
to tell you that the Bureau holds
you in the highest esteem.
What I can’t believe is that in an
earlier life I slept with him!
Christ! Any God that loved his
people would give women a rewind on
their life and an erase button.
(looks at M.J.)
Just give me a minute here. The
letter is addressed to me…
fast, controls it)
You don’t feel fear, do you?
You’re young. You feel like you’ll
live forever. How wonderful.
I put my ass on the line, giving
They weren’t going to show it to
me?! The arrogance! It’s my life!
It’s also the major piece of
evidence, and it makes you a key
part of his plan. You can’t run
away from it anymore.
Look at the order he’s doing
them… He did three as the Boston
Strangler just to tell us a copycat
serial killer was at work. Then he
did one like the Hillside Strang-
ler. And then one as Son of Sam.
To lead us on — to where and what
end? And he’s doing more than that
— he’s imitating each killer’s
method as closely as he can — in
details. Injecting Windex. Using
.44. Playing Abba.
It’s not chronological: Son of Sam
was before Hillside.
She begins to read.
It’s clear he thinks he knows me.
He lives a fantasy. ‘Helen, don’t
lose your head.’ Is that a threat?
Does he want to cut off my head?
Dahmer cut off heads. Who else?
Kemper. Did Gacy? Rivkind? I
think Rivkind did.
She puts the note down on the table, smoothes it out. She
closes her eyes for a moment. We begin to see certain
filtered images. As they come, we INTERCUT them.
He attacks what he feels he can’t
have. What he feels excluded
EXT. UNIVERSITY CAMPUS – DAY
Lush, pastoral green. We see PETER sitting by himself. He
wears a WHITE LAB COAT, like one we saw hanging in his
HIS POV: of students on the green, playing Frisbee,
studying together, picnicking. Women sunbathe, their straps
pulled down on their shoulders, their tops rolled up to
expose their midriffs.
‘First you make a stone of your
heart.’… Oh yes! He doesn’t
suffer. That’s past. Now it’s our
One of the sunbathing girls sits up and looks round, then
takes her top off entirely.
Kemper said in order to have the
experience he wanted with them, he
needed to evict them from their
bodies. By making the body a
completely passive object, he
releases himself from passivity.
CLOSE: HELEN, DEEP IN THOUGHT…
But the relief he feels is only
temporary. ‘…Before your
conscience bothers you much
less…’ But the tension always
(she now picks out
‘You can join the ranks of the
illustrious…’ He wants to be
like them. The best. To become
the best. But, he has his own
desires, his own compulsions apart
from theirs.’ His own horrors…
FLASHBACK: PETER’S CHILDHOOD HOME – DAY
An incremental flash of a SMALL BOY standing by his bed
which he has wet. His pajamas are soaked. His powerful
MOTHER grabs him by the hair and drags him with her.
Some horrors that are all his
The SMALL BOY is flung into an under-stairs closet where
firewood and stacked papers are kept. The door is slammed
hard. He gropes around in the darkness, finds a big box of
matches, lights one. Then, angrily, he sets fire to a pile
of newspapers. They start to burn. We see, but do not,
hear, his screams for help.
He needs to prove they don’t
control him, that he’s the one in
control. But the feeling of power
never lasts. He can control his
victims, but he can’t control
anything else… his place in the
world. He want s to be recognized.
He puts messages in my computer; he
sends me a letter…
INT. HELEN’S APARTMENT – DAY
She picks out the lines… “then you must try a twosome or a
Of course he wants to do a
threesome! Only Bundy did three in
one day. Is Bundy next? But Bundy
should be last… the grand finale.
What about Kemper and Ramirez?
Gacy, Dahmer, Williams? Rivkind?
Who else is on his list? In what
EXT. CITY STREET – DAY
PETER in his car. Ahead, he see TWO GIRLS at a bus stop.
We see PETER take a long bladed-knife and carefully conceal
it under his right thigh. The TWO GIRLS are wearing
backpacks. ‘FESTIVAL OF LOVE’ stickers decorate the bags.
PETER pulls his nondescript sedan up to them and says
something. They giggle, shake their heads. He laughs,
holds up his hands to level of his shoulders in a ‘Not
guilty!’ gesture, then makes a peace sign. The girls giggle
again, but do not get in.
PETER drives off.
INT. HELEN’S APARTMENT – DAY
‘…great dark hall of fame… all
our greatest killers…’ His
greatest heroes? He wants to be
famous. When they’re caught and
people like me write about them, we
give them a kind of immortality.
They get thousands of letters.
Ramirez kills eight women and gets
a hundred marriage proposals a
month. They’re like film stars.
They get fan letters…
INT. PRISON – DAY WARDEN FELIX MENDOZA IN HIS OFFICE
We keep records of any threatening
or illegal correspondence, like
relatives of victims who might want
to send the condemned man some
strychnine cookies. So it’s only a
partial list, but you’re still
looking at about forty pages…
MONTAGE OF PICTURE AND SOUND: WE BEGIN TO SEE MOVING LISTS
OF NAMES — LIKE SCHINDLER’S LIST — SUPERIMPOSED OVER THE
SHORT SNIPPETS OF SCENES… A WATERFALL OF NAMES…
INT. HELEN’S OFFICE
INSERT FAX MACHINE: LISTS OF NAMES BEING EXCRETED.
Would you fax those pages to me?
INT. TASK FORCE ROOM – DAY
M.J. on the phone. On the desk in front of her, is a list
of killers, complementary to HELEN’S.
Thank you for your help, Warden
Hillyer. As soon as you can.
She hangs up as GIGI puts a long fax sheet of names on
Hot off the fax. Mr. Rivkind’s
M.J. doesn’t look at the Rivkind list, just crosses his name
off the killer list and picks up the phone, dials, waits.
INT. HELEN’S OFFICE – LATE AFTERNOON
CLOSE: FAX OF A LIST OF NAMES AND ADDRESSES IS SCANNED BY A
SCANNER; UNIQUE SOUND OF SCANNER AND FLASHING LIGHTS.
ANOTHER PAGE IS SCANNED IN.
COMPUTER SCREEN: CALERA WORDSCAN: SAME PAGE APPEARS AND IS
READ BY COMPUTER (A FILM OF COLOR MOVES OVER THE PAGE
SHOWING AREA SCANNED.) PAGE THEN REAPPEARS WITH ERRORS
MARKED BY COLOR;
ON SCREEN THE NAMES AND ADDRESSES SCROLL BY — THERE ARE
HUNDREDS, MAYBE THOUSANDS OF NAMES… IMPOSSIBLE TO READ AND
A COMPUTER SCREEN MIXES WITH THIS: — BOOLEAN SEARCH TERMS
BEING TYPED IN, MEANING “LOOKING FOR LAST NAMES, IGNORING CASE,
OCCURRING ON MORE THAN ONE LIST, AND/OR MORE THAN ONCE,
COUNT NUMBER OF HITS.”
THE COMPUTER SCREEN SCROLLS NAMES FASTER AND FASTER, EVERY
ONCE IN WHILE HALTING A SPLIT SECOND ON A NAME, AND
RESUMING. SUPERIMPOSED IS A FLASHING LEGEND:
PLEASE WAIT. DO NOT TOUCH KEYS OR SEARCH DATA WILL BE LOST.
If we keep going and work till
Sorry, Luv. I’ve got a date.
You’ve got a date right here, Andy.
This has got to…
WE NOW SEE ANDY is feeding the scanner, he has a thick sheaf
of faxed lists…
It’s almost six. And guess what?
Hall likes me bathed and shaved.
Stop acting like a silly little
His eyebrows arch, but his smile stays in place.
My life to live, darling, try to
remember what it was like way, way
back when you were young and sexy
He gets up and walks toward the door.
THE DOOR SLAMS (O.S.) HELEN angrily hits the keys:
THE ENDLESS LIST FLOWS LIKE MUDDY WATER ACROSS THE SCREEN…
HELEN — HER FACE REFLECTS THE SCROLL OF NAMES (AS THOUGH
THEY WERE PROJECTED ON HER FACE IN REVERSE.) SHE IS TOTALLY
FOCUSSED, BUT NERVOUS; SHE LIGHTS A CIGARETTE AS
CAMERA DOLLIES IN CLOSER AND CLOSER TO HER EYES AND THEN TO
ONE EYE ONLY UNTIL THE EYE, THE IRIS AND FINALLY THE PUPIL
FILL THE SCREEN: IN THEM IS REFLECTED THOSE NAMES POURING
PAST IN THEIR THOUSANDS, UNTIL WE HEAR A GASP. A KEYSTROKE
OFFSTAGE, AND THE NAMES STOP: ANOTHER KEYSTROKE AND ONE NAME
AMONG THEM ALL SUDDENLY FREEZES IN HER PUPIL:
The dirty bastard! More games!
INT. HELEN’S APARTMENT – DAY
M.J. is entering at front door, let in by a new Guard FRED.
It’s not a real name: it’s the name
of a mass murderer in Germany in
the 1930s. They called him the
Monster of Dusseldorf.
M.J. is turning into the Office; she carries a portfolio of
lists of her own.
Let’s speed up the game plan…
call all the living serials to ask
if they’ve had contact with a Peter
Kurten. We could use some help on
They’re not talking to me. Saks
looks right through me. I ask him
for some bodies, for the phones —
he’s so encouraging: “you make that
your little job.” Condescending
Helen, on your lists to call is San
Quentin. Daryll Lee Cullum?
You do that one, I don’t want it…
INT. SAN QUENTIN WARDENS’ OFFICE
Sergeant Halloran is it? I’ve
got a list of Daryll Lee’s
correspondents. There is a
Peter Kurten among them.
Daryll Lee claims he has
information about Kurten, but
he’ll only talk to Dr. Hudson
personally. Nobody else. The
creep’s been studying his
amendments. My guess is he
doesn’t have zip. Just
angling for a chance to ask if
her bra size is still the
same. We get this shit all
the time, but it’s her call.
She’ll talk to him.
INT. HELEN’S OFFICE – NIGHT
HELEN, M.J. They are waiting, Helen tense, smoking,
Do those things really help?
Like she really wished they might, so she could have one.
Helen looks at her cigarette as though she’d never seen one
before… grinds it out…
Not a damn bit…
And unconsciously lights another during following…
PHONE RINGS. M.J. PICKS IT UP, LISTENS, HANDS IT TO HELEN…
Gestures encouragement; fist in victory gesture…
INT. PENITENTIARY INTERVIEW ROOM
DARYLL LEE CULLUM is on the phone, a Warden is attendance,
but not on the phone line. On this rare contact with the
outside world HE IS MANIC…
Hey, Doc! How you doing?
She turns on speakerphone.
Hello, Daryll Lee.
You read my book which as you know,
hit the stands a couple of weeks
ago. You read it yet.
I sent it by private courier, he
didn’t give it to you? That son of
Helen looks at M.J., who indicates ‘tell you later.’
I’ll look for it, Daryll Lee.
Bet you never figured I’d follow in
your footsteps. It’s real well-
written. You should read it —
you’re in it.
I will. I’ll call you, Daryll, and
talk to you about it after I’ve
read it. Right now I have a
question… Peter Kurten.
Kurten! Is he bothering you? I
told that son I’d send him what he
wanted if he leave you alone.
Ah ha. What did he want?
Something personal. Is he bothering
I don’t know. I’d like to know
where he is.
Listen, you want my advice? Steer
clear. He’s writing me he’s gonna
finish ‘my unfinished symphony.’
He’s gonna give me $550 for some of
my cum, he says he’s in a position
to see that I will be immortal if
he has some of my spunk. I’m
offended. Right away I smell
freak. Writin’ about him and me
and you bein’ joined and he’s gonna
finish my symphony? I didn’t care
for his drift. I sent some liquid
soap in a sandwich baggie with a
message from Jesus to mend his
ways. You hear I found Jesus? And
what’s funny is, now I don’t mind
bein’ inside. If I was out, even
Born Again, I’d probably get
restless again. It’s maybe better
I stay here, what do you think?
I think whatever is best for you,
Daryll. And maybe you’re right,
that’s the place.
You come and visit.
Where did you send the message to
Damn! I gave that to Conrad, too!
That guy! I told Conrad deliver to
Kurten and keep the 500 bucks in
return for getting my book to you.
At this mention of Conrad, M.J. leaps to another phone…
How was Conrad supposed to find
Conrad has the phone number.
Conrad, where is he?
(from M.J.’s pantomime)
That Klutz. They send him back
here, I’ll kick his ass good.
Helen, how is life, you okay? Come
see me, talk to me. I think about
you, worry about you all the time.
I am so glad Jesus didn’t let me
kill you. You know — you’re
blessed by Jesus. That’s why you
need to come talk to me, because
Jesus kept you alive for a reason,
and I was his sacred instrument…
In the moment Satan was in my heart
raising my hand to kill you, Jesus
took my hand to spare you. I am
both death and life to you…
Helen hangs up. M.J. has already left…
INT. SQUAD ROOM – NIGHT
Pandemonium: the Chinatown raid has been carried off and
NIKKO AND RUBEN and a dozen other cops are booking a group
of Chinese gangsters of all ages, and a group of frightened
and confused Chinese illegal aliens. TOTAL UPROAR.
THROUGH IT, WE MOVE WITH M.J. SHE PASSES RUBEN WHO IS
GRABBING A CHINESE KID STRUNG OUT ON SOMETHING, OUT OF A
LINE OF SUSPECTS… HE ASIDES:
I brought back a gin-seng popper
for you. Guaranteed all-night
Save it for Helen.
Wait a minute, wait a goddamn
He manhandles the KID INTO DOCILITY WHILE…
The woman was in shock. She was
totally out on ranks. I stayed
because I didn’t want her to wake
up alone in a place where she’d
just been under attack.
(to the Kid who is
Stop that, you son of a bitch!
(back to her)
The place wasn’t secure. I was
doing my goddamn job! And, for the
second time, I slept in her living
Don’t try to lie, Ruben. You don’t
have the face for it. I need you
to help interrogate the burglar in
Talk to Nikko…!
SHE MOVES ON TO FIND NIKKO
NIKKO sites at his desk, processing the papers for the sullen
YOUNG THUG who is handcuffed to a chain next to NIKKO’S
desk. Nikko unholsters his gun… he shoves it into his
You speak English?
You need an interpreter?
QUINN, walking past the ILLEGALS, speaks to GIGI.
I didn’t want the Illigals, I wanted
just the bastards dumping them in
the harbor. What’s keeping those
bums at Immigration? Nightmare in
M.J. STANDS OVER NIKKO
I gotta have Ruben, and a…
HARROWING SCREAM!!! ILLEGAL WOMAN IS SCREAMING —
PANDEMONIUM AMONG THE DETAINEES. COPS RUSH TO CONTROL THE
Outta your mind? Look at this…
Just at that moment the kid Ruben was booking goes totally
bananas; M.J. goes to his assistance, wrestling this wild
NIKKO starts from his chair, looking for the key to the
drawer, but is isn’t there… he goes to help Ruben get the
kid under control. Quinn steps in…
The prowler in Hudson’s apartment
turns out to have a meeting with a
You got a suspect…
THEY MOVE BACK TO NIKKO’S DESK.
How’d you get in on the deal?
I’m gonna drop charges on the
break-and-enter at Hudson’s…
You have no authority to make a
deal like that. That’ s for the
Or the F.B.I.?
Saks. If he knew you did that!
They’re all asking me, ‘what is she
doing,’ as it is.
Give me Ruben back…
We get through this shit, let ‘em
NIKKO has stood and moved the handcuffed THUG toward the
door to jail cells. M.J. checks her time, (WALL CLOCKS HELP
US HERE: 8:47)
I’ll talk to Conrad myself. I’ll
be in the jail when you wind this
I gotta get something to eat, I
haven’t eaten all day.
M.J. goes… RUBEN can’t find a desk to work at, and
commandeers Nikko’s. He slams the KID into NIKKO’S chair
and cuffs him. KID starts to rattle his chairs, spew
Chinese epithets, then bends over the desk and, with his
teeth picks up some paper, tries to shake it to shreds.
RUBEN yanks the papers out of the KID’S mouth, pulls the
KID’S chair from the side to the front of the desk, shoves
the KID into place facing away from the desk, so that he
can’t do any more damage. Then RUBEN can’t figure out where
he can work. At the next desk, where he has been working,
Here… I’m finished…
I’m going to the coffee machine.
Hold the fort.
He moves off, the KID’S eyes move calculatingly around the
room. He twists against the cuffs, trying anything to get
free, and discovers he can pull out the desk drawer.
CLOSE UP: The KID’S FREE HAND rifling through the drawer
behind his back, finding the gun. PULL BACK to show the
KID. He is as Ruben positioned him, his back pressed
against the desk.
INT. CITY JAIL CELL – DAY
CONRAD is brought in by a Guard. Lightly shacked. M.J.
stands. Conrad sits.
Who are you?
Inspector Halloran. Homicide.
You were supposed to contact a
I was? How you spell that?
Cut the crap. You got a sheet the
length of my arm…
I never hurt nobody…
Shut up — I’m talking. You got
felony breaking and entering,
I never carried a gun!
She slaps him hard! He is shocked.
You don’t listen very good. This
break in — I can call it a felony —
three strikes, and you got about
sixteen strikes already, and you’re
in jail for the rest of your life,
no parole. Or I could see it gets
You get me out first.
Doesn’t work that way. You had your
chance, now fuck yourself…
She’s walking to the door… Conrad holds out just one more
beat to see if she’s bluffing… her hand is on the door
Tell me what you want me to say.
You were going to make a delivery
to Peter Kurten for Daryll Lee
Cullum. I want Kurten’s phone
I don’t have it…
M.J. starts to open the door…
Wait… wait… I already called
him, I threw it away.
You already made the delivery?
No, that’s still in my jacket I was
wearing. We were supposed to meet
on the docks, that number 47 wharf,
10 o’clock Friday. He’s gonna hand
me 500 bucks.
What day is this? In jail you lose
track. This week. Friday.
M.J. is already on her way…
Don’t forget me, please. I told
you what you wanted — don’t forget
EXT. WATERFRONT – NIGHT
DESERTED. A LONG SHADOW OF A MAN STRETCHES OUT ACROSS THE
DOCK. IT IS PETER, WALKING LEISURELY FROM THE WATERFRONT
DRIVE TOWARD THE HUGE WATERHOUSE AT THE END OF THE DOCK. HE
STEPS INTO THE DEEP SHADOWS AND SEEMS TO VANISH.
CLOSE: PETER. HE CHECKS HIS WATCH AND TURNS TO WATCH THE
DOCK AND THE SHORE. HE CAN SEE AND NOT BE SEEN. HE IS
ENTIRELY ALONE NOW.
INT. SQUAD ROOM – NIGHT
RUBEN takes coffee and doughnuts out of a box, then leans
over the KID who seems to have calmed down. He uncuffs him
from the chair.
Behave. You refuse my hospitality,
I’m putting you to bed.
He pushes the coffee toward the Kid, who WHIPS NIKKO’S GUN
OUT FROM UNDER THE DESK, where it was hidden, and lays it up
under Ruben’s ear. KID moves behind RUBEN and puts a skinny
arm around RUBEN’S neck, pulling him upright. RUBEN still
clutching the doughnut box. It takes a moment for the
others to SEE. Then the room is absolutely motionless.
Take it easy, Kid. Nobody’s gonna
do anything. Just let the gun
down, so it don’t go off…
A CHINESE DETECTIVE REPEATS THE SAME IDEA IN CHINESE…
Nobody comes through the door…
Behind the KID, as he backs through the door, across the
corridor we LOOK STRAIGHT DOWN A CORRIDOR TO WHERE M.J. IS
COMING ALMOST AT A RUN — SHE SEES what is happening.
The KID doesn’t see her, yet, as he is backing away from the
others… M.J. DRAWS HER GUN AND STANDS IN FIRING POSITION.
IF SHE FIRES FROM HERE RUBEN IS DIRECTLY BEHIND THE KID, AND
OTHER OFFICERS, IN THE LINE THE BULLET WOULD TAKE ARE STILL
SCRAMBLING OUT OF HER LINE… SHE CAN’T FIRE.
The KID turns, sees her, exposing his shoulder to her… SHE
FIRES AND HITS THE KID.
HE IS THROWN TO THE FLOOR AND TWISTED AROUND BY THE IMPACT,
LANDING BEHIND RUBEN SO SHE CAN’T MAKE A SECOND SHOT.
RUBEN GOES FOR HIS OWN GUN, BUT THE KID’S GUN THAT FELL FROM
HIS HAND IS RIGHT BY HIM STILL. THE KID GRABS IT AND FIRES
BEFORE RUBEN HAS HIS GUN ALL THE WAY OUT OF HIS HOLSTER. THE
KID SHOOTS RUBEN IN THE THROAT AT AN ANGLE THAT TAKES THE
BULLET STRAIGHT INTO HIS BRAIN.
THEN THE KID THROWS THE GUN AWAY, AND STANDS, HIS HANDS UP
IN SURRENDER, A GRIN ON HIS FACE. THIS ENTIRE ACTION HAS
TAKEN ABOUT SIX SECONDS. THE KID GOES DOWN, FLATTENED BY
BODIES OF THE COPS WHO HAVE RUSHED HIM.
I’m a juvenile! I’m a juvenile!
M.J. RUSHES TO RUBEN.
EXT. WATERFRONT – NIGHT
PETER, STANDING AS BEFORE. CHECKS HIS WATCH, LIGHTS A
INT. SQUAD ROOM – NIGHT (LATER)
The KID has been taken away. PARAMEDICS are removing
RUBEN’S body. M.J. stands frozen as RUBEN’S stretcher is
carried out of the room. Her hand holds the doughnut box.
Finally, M.J. blinks, her head turns as if she can’t imagine
what to do, where to go. Then, suddenly conscious of the
doughnut box, she clutches it tight against her chest.
She abruptly remembers: the rendezvous with Peter Kurten!
Gigi! Dock 47. I need a couple
units to drag the area…
EXT. WATERFRONT – NIGHT
WIDE FULL SHOT: DEEP SHADOWS AND HIGHLIGHTS. IN THE BLACK
CAVERN OF THE DOCK, FOOTSTEPS BEGIN TO ECHO, THEN OUT OF
SHADOW INTO LIGHT COMES
PETER. HE WALKS AWAY INTO THE NIGHT. FAR FAR AWAY SIRENS
BEGIN TO SOUND — THEY’LL BE TOO LATE.
INT. INTERVIEW ROOM – NIGHT
NIKKO sits, numb. If possible, NIKKO is more devastated than
M.J. She speaks to NIKKO, but does not look at him.
Quinn will be here any minute. What
are you going to say?
Christ. I didn’t lock the fucking
drawer! You spend twenty years
thinking some perp’s gonna whack
you… you’ll crash your car… but
what happens is, you fuck
(a chocked laugh)
You can’t imagine how many times I
saw you two… your head together,
I wish him dead. Every time…
Want to hear something weird? I
feel like I’d give my life to bring
You’re in terrible trouble, Nikko.
Who gives a fuck? In all the years
I never seen you cry.
You loved him.
M.J. looks away.
Who gives a fuck?
QUINN enters to find his two senior officers in tears. Pays
no attention to Conrad.
Nikko. My office? M.J., I wanna
see you later.
Nikko stands, and he and Quinn exit. M.J. SITS STARING INTO
INT. GAY NIGHTCLUB – NIGHT
Very crowded with a generally young clientele. Big dance
scene. A number of men wear 70’s costume… an occasional
bit of drag.
ANDY and HAL dancing… ANDY with great abandon. HAL seems
to need a break. He leads a good-naturedly protesting ANDY
back to their table. They find a stranger sitting there.
IT IS PETER.
INT. QUINN’S OFFICE – NIGHT
M.J. ENTERS AND CROSSES TO HIS DESK.
On his desk lie a badge and a gun — Nikko’s. M.J. is
looking at them as
(nothing her look)
He’s on temp leave with pay. I
talked the Commissioner out of no
M.J. pulls her badge out and puts it down in front of Quinn.
You want mine, too? You take his,
you take mine. I’m the one fucked
So I’m maybe gonna lose three good
cops? You fucked up on this
occasion, but don’t be so hard on
yourself. There’s something I want
you to think about. The book says
if you use your gun, use it to
kill, that’s what it’s meant to do.
You tried to pick this punk off
with fancy shooting, to keep him
alive. To what end? You’re not
willing to kill, you can’t be a
cop. Go get drunk. I am.
INT. HELEN’S OFFICE – NIGHT
Helen is lying wide awake. THE PHONE RINGS. HER ANSWERING
MACHINE — SHE CAN HEAR IT CLEARLY IN THIS LOFT APARTMENT…
If yo dialed carefully you’ve
reached your dream number. Now,
you know what to do.
“THE POLICE” SINGING “YMCA” IS HEARD!
INT. NIGHTCLUB PAYPHONE NEAR THE MEN’S ROOM
PETER IS THERE ON A PAYPHONE: HE NOW HOLDS UP A WALKMAN
TAPE RECORDER TO THE MOUTHPIECE… PRESSES A BUTTON…
INT. HELEN’S BEDROOM
HELEN’S OWN VOICE IS HEARD. ECHOING THROUGH THE LOFT SPACE
FROM THE OFFICE. “YMCA” HEARD IN B.G. Helen leaps out of
bed and runs down the hall, as:
… their compulsion is less about
sex than it is about control.
Power. Action. Release from
passivity. Albert DeSalvo, Bianchi
and Buono, Berkowitz, Dahmer…
Dahmer killed his first victim
because the boy just wanted to go
home. Bundy said he wanted to
master life. And death…
She has reached the machine: she picks up the phone…
INT. CLUB PAYPHONE – NIGHT
PETER HANGS UP THE PHONE, SLIPS THE TAPE RECORDER IN HIS
POCKET AND TAKES A FEW STEPS TO THE MAIN FLOOR OF THE
NIGHTCLUB. OVER HIS SHOULDER WE CAN SEE: ANDY AND HAL
DANCING. Andy is wearing a bright and distinctive jacket.
INT. HELEN’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
A new guard, FRED, is letting M.J. in. FOR THE FIRST TIME,
HELEN IS GLAD TO SEE HER. As M.J. walks down toward her…
You were right! He knew me! He
went to my lectures. He recorded
them! Listen to this…
She is too full of her own shock to wonder why M.J. is here
at this hour and to notice the state M.J. is in… she has
turned back to the answering machine and hits the play
button, M.J. standing beside her… She also has the text of
the lecture on her computer screen:
…Action. Release from passivity.
Albert DeSalvo, Bianchi and Buono,
Berkowitz, Dahmer… Dahmer killed
his first victim because the boy
just wanted to go home. Bundy said
he wanted to master life. And
AND THE MUSIC FROM THE NIGHTCLUB BLARING IN THE B.G.
Helen has turned and now sees M.J.’s condition. SHE STOPS
What happened to you?!
Ruben’s dead. So stupid, a cop
thing, a crazy kid and a buncha
dumb mistakes… I’m sorry…
because you and he…
Tears start again, just running down, no sobs, but she can’t
will them away. She brushes at them angrily…
I just thought it was so —
unprofessional. Of you both!
He felt sorry for me. It was so
nice to flirt. He was a darling
A man? I thought he was a boy.
This last Christmas was the
happiest Christmas I had in the
last ten years… you know why? It
was the first Christmas in six
years I was not in love. Son of a
bitch married men! Who cares about
marriage, the bed just gets crowded
You’re exhausted. Let me get you a
Where’s the john? Let me clean up
this mess, and get back to work.
Helen has stepped to her brandy decanter; M.J., too dejected
to move, sits, staring now at the only thing to stare at: the
Who’s the married man?
What does it matter? This guy, you
checked your course records, who
Helen returns with the brandy. M.J. holds it, doesn’t drink,
just stares at the computer screen, emotionally dead…
The University computer is down for
maintenance, but I’ve been going
through my own notes…
(her voice is dead)
Look. There’s the order: you
wrote it: DeSalvo, Bianchi &
Buono, Berkowitz and Dahmer. It’s
going to be Dahmer next. Which
means he’ll kill a man.
With an effort of will M.J. moves to the phone, putting the
Yes. Dahmer! And after that…
Bundy. That’s the last one in your
Maybe you should…
I’m working on it! It’s what I do.
Quinn…Halloran. I’ll wait.
Where’s Andy, can we get some
coffee in here?
(she’s going through
Out. Where does he go? Nowhere.
What does he do? Nothing.
EXT. BAYSIDE RESTAURANT – BELVEDERE OR SAUSALITO – DAY
A BRIGHT LOVELY DAY, PEOPLE DINING AND DRINKING IN THE SUN,
on a deck that faces the Bay and San Francisco’s towers
beyond. Young people, drinks in hand, dressed to go to a
summer wedding, mingle and laugh and chatter. A young woman
stands leaning back against the wooden rail, her back to the
Baby. A young man faces her, talking, laughing. HE LEANS
CLOSE TO WHISPER IN HER EAR AND SHE LEANS BACK, DRAWING HIM
CLOSER TO HER — SEXY! AS HE WHISPERS HE CAN SEE OVER HER
SHOULDER INTO THE WATER BELOW.
REVERSE, CLOSE: YOUNG MAN — His face registering horror at
what he sees: he stops speaking, and the GIRL turns to look
down to see what is it he’s looking at, and begins to
Below, floating in the water is ANDY, wearing his bright
jacket, except it’s not all of Andy. HIS HEAD IS MISSING.
REVERSE: (TIME HAS PASSED). FROM WHAT WOULD BE ANDY’S POV
— FACES LOOKING DOWN. M.J., QUINN, SAKS AND CORONER’S
THEIR POV. NOW RUBBER BOATS HAVE BEEN TIED IN A RING
AROUND THE BODY. DOC IS DOING HIS WORK, PREPARATORY TO
LIFTING THE BODY OUT OF THE WATER…
HE PULLS A WALLET OUT OF THE POCKET AND HOLDS IT UP TO THE
M.J. TAKES IT. BEGINS TO LOOK THROUGH IT. SHE IS NUMB WITH
EXHAUSTION AND SORROW.
INT. HELEN’S APARTMENT – DAY
Her teeth chattering, HELEN tries to talk.
I am not going to talk about it.
How do you know it was Andy if the
head was gone? Where is the head?
Are you looking for it? Oh, God,
why him? Because of me. I can’t
talk about it. I write about
things like this, stuff it all in
books and bury it in libraries.
This is the first person close to
me who’s ever died. And it’s
because of me. This monster killed
him because I loved him.
I’ve got to go. I’ve got to go.
M.J. hands HELEN her bottle of Xanax.
How many do you need to sleep.
W-We had a fight. I called him…
called him a name…
Christ, Helen. The first time,
we’re ahead of the son of a bitch!
I can’t leave you like this — and
there’s no time. Knock yourself
Offers the Xanax again. Helen looks at the bottle…
Right. Well. He’s going to do
Bundy. Bundy faked injuries, wore
a plaster cast, or walked on
crutches, and asked college girls
for help — carrying his books,
pushing his car…
M.J. starts for the door… Helen has turned to her
computer and types… meanwhile we are HEARING.
Like the others — he’ll pick the
most extravagant murder — Bundy’s
three murders in one night at a…
And we SEE Helen’s message on the computer screen…
PETER KURTEN, PLEASE CONTACT INTERNET HUDSONHEL@UNIVOLD.COM.
INT. TASK FORCE – DAY
M.J. IS MOVING FROM DESK TO DESK… ISSUING INSTRUCTIONS, in
continuous segue from above…
…Chi Omega sorority house. Find
out how many Chi Omegas there are
on college campuses this area.
How far out?
Hundred mile radius.
To the next…
What are the FBI doing?
They were combing Fertility
You want to get onto the DMV, we
want records on all gold or yellow
colored VW bugs, any year. I want
an in-person check on every
registered owner. If it’s rental —
check rental first — get names and
location of who is driving one now.
Next station. QUINN has appeared and is listening.
Alert Campus Security on college
campuses, all of them. They should
warn all female students with long
straight dark hair parted exactly
in the middle — I’m serious! — to
avoid any strange male contacts and
report any man with an apparent
handicap who tries to get them to
carry groceries or books, or push
SAKS has appeared and stands by Quinn: they both stare at
her and she becomes more and more self conscious and aware
of how impossible this is…
That was Bundy. He killed forty of
them, identical, long hair, parted
in the middle, alike as Barbie
…this is hopeless. Let’s try to
get time for a police spokesman to
appear on college radio and TV
hookups and broadcast a warning?
What about auto body and paint
shops; any recent VW bug repainted
to gold or yellow?
M.J. is mildly surprised at help from this source.
You or us gonna do it?
QUINN AND SAKS TURN TO EACH OTHER: TURF WAR.
FERTILITY CLINIC – DAY
NITROGEN FOG swirls as a Stainless steel tubule is lifted
out its bath of liquid nitrogen, with a long pair of tongs.
CAMERA FOLLOWS TO REVEAL PETER FOLEY, in white lab coat.
Through a glass partition, he SEES two unmistakable FBI men
enter and begin talking to the receptionist in an outside
office. HE CONTINUES ABOUT HIS WORK. CAMERA STAYS ON THE
FBI MEN AND RECEPTIONIST. CUT BACK TO WHERE PETER WAS
WORKING. THERE IS ONLY A PAIR OF RUBBER GLOVES AND LAB COAT
LYING ON THE WORK SPACE. A BACK DOOR IS CLOSING…
INT. HELEN’S BEDROOM
HELEN’S BED IS EMPTY, COVERS THROWN BACK. A GLORIOUS
MORNING. THE TV’S LEAP INTO LIFE. WE HEAR OVER: HORRIBLY
Welcome to weekend gridlock on the
Freeways! Everybody heading for
the mountains and or the sea,
“by the sea, by the sea, by the
beautiful sea,” and my-oh-my what a
mess! On 101 south of Burlington,
we have a big rig over the side,
blocking the on-ramp…”
(etc., blah, blah)
INT. HELEN’S OFFICE – CURTAINS DRAWN – STILL NIGHT HERE…
Helen at her computer… which says
BACK ON LINE — SORRY FOR THE DELAY.
THESE ARE CONFIDENTIAL UNIVERSITY RECORDS
REQUIRING APPROVED AUTHORIZATION
PLEASE TYPE YOUR PASSWORD:
Helen types — ‘xxxx xxxx’ appears on screen. Then a
DOCTOR HELEN HUDSON, YOUR ACCESS LEVEL IS THERE.
Any student name registered in
Crime-Psych 137 matched to titles
of term papers with any mention of
What she types on SCREEN is the text for a Boolean search
for such items (research needed). She waits for a second.
SEARCH COMPLETED STUDENT NAMES: 342
CRIME-PSYCH 137 11
TERM PAPERS 736
PETER KURTEN 1
MATCHING ALL CRITERIA: PETER FOLEY
‘PETER FOLEY, DOCTORAL CANDIDATE, 1991 TERM PAPER,
‘PSYCHOPATHOLOGY OF SERIAL KILLER PETER KURTEN AS A SYMPTOM
OF SOCIAL UPHEAVAL AND POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN GERMANY CIRCA
Peter Foley. Good God. You poor
sad little bore. I failed you, is
SOUND: HER FRONT DOOR OPENS. She starts, turns. Feet
moving toward her, but quietly, cautiously. As the
footsteps turn into the hall. She stands, reaching for
anything to defend herself with: a paperknife. She moves to
the door, raising the knife… footsteps closer… A man
turns into the office, and she launches herself, only
stopping the stab of the knife at the last split second…
ANDY. She SCREAMS!
She screams again. Then smothers him with kisses and
For God’s sake, stop — my head! I
have the Iraqi mother of all hang-
overs. Very quiet in the hospital
She clings to him.
Where have you been? What happened
to your wallet?
Hal has it.
INT. SQUAD ROOM – NIGHT
SAKS is sitting on edge of a desk. M.J. is standing, and
QUINN is sitting almost knee-to-knee with ANDY.
…then he gave me a popper and I
started to feel really wild… all
over the dance floor. Then
suddenly I was just s o stoned. And
sick? I had to race for the
john… horribly sick. Over and
over and over. I was in there a
very long time. And when I came
out they were gone. So was my
jacket which I’d tossed to Hal when
I was dancing. Hal was my…
Could I have a glass of water?
An FBI man intrudes… with a printout of a driver’s
license. He shows to Andy…
Mister Saks. We gotta Peter Foley,
medical technician in a fertility
clinic in Oakland. We got a home
address in Daly City.
(looking at license)
THE FBI AND THE COPS ALL RISE AND ARE ON THEIR WAY OUT.
I called our SWAT Commander…
He’s ours now… You come watch
our boys in action…
And walks away…
(under his breath)
Well, thank you, too.
EXT. OLD FRAME HOUSE, DALY CITY – NIGHT
SWAT TEAM SURROUNDING THE HOUSE, WITH GREAT QUIET AND EFFORT
TO CONCEAL THE OPERATION. QUINN in command over a SWAT
COMMANDER — JENSEN. There are ambulances, a fire truck,
search lights. SWAT TEAM, AND FBI all wear bulky flack
jackets, with yellow ID stencilled on the back. Quinn sees
M.J., huddled in her old oversize jacket, gestures M.J.
should have a flack jacket like theirs. She taps her chest,
where she has a bullet-proof vest under her shirt.
THE HOUSE: VARIOUS SHOTS, SILHOUETTED FIGURES MOVING TO
VANTAGE POINTS FOR THE ASSAULT.
ON A VIEW INCLUDING A CELLAR WINDOW: LIGHT INSIDE. AS
CROUCHED SWAT MAN RUNS BY WE SEE: PETER INSIDE, PASSING BY,
INT. PETER’S BASEMENT
PETER HESITATES, LOOKING OUT. HE FLICKS OFF LIGHTS. MOVES
PURPOSEFULLY OUT OF FRAME… WE HEAR A MOAN (O.S.).
A HAND GASPS THE HANDLE OF WHAT LOOKS LIKE A GUN; AS IT IS
BROUGHT UP INTO A WIDER VIEW IT HAS A LONG BARREL WHICH
SUDDENLY SHOOTS FLAME: A PROPANE BARBECUE LIGHTER…
THEY ARE ALMOST READY FOR THE FIRST MOVE; THREE SWAT MEN BY
THE DOOR. ANOTHER TWO PREPARING TO MOVE FORWARD AND
Peter Foley, we are the police.
Will you please come to your front
door, and come out with your hands
above your head…(etc.)
INSIDE A SMOKE ALARM BEGINS TO GO. LIGHT FLICKERS IN CELLAR
SWAT MEN AT THE DOOR: THEY SMASH THE LOCK AND CHARGE IN. M.J.
AND OTHER DETECTIVES WITH THEM.
A dozen men pour into the house from front and back,
converging in the dimly lit living room. SMOKE OBSCURES
EVERYTHING. The dining room and kitchen are empty. M.J.
FOLLOWS CONTINGENT THAT RACES UPSTAIRS. OTHERS FAN OUT
THROUGH THE WHOLE STRUCTURE. FIREMEN COME BEHIND LOOKING
FOR THE FIRE.
INT. PETER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
SMOKE IS THINNER HERE. The room lighted only by the
glowing TV screen. The WIFE still in bed, shot through the
head. Others crowd in, kicking in closet and bathroom
doors. M.J. IS BY THE BED JUST TURNING TO START ABACK
DOWNSTAIRS LOOKING FOR PETER.
SWAT MAN emerges from the bathroom with the body of NASTY
LITTLE DOG, holding it by the tail:
THEN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT’S WARNING SIRES SHRIEK: THEY MEAN
EVERYBODY OUT… FIREMEN CHARGE FOR EXITS…
AS THEY CHARGE THROUGH DOWNSTAIRS…
M.J. CAN SEE TWO FIREMEN AT THE BASEMENT DOOR. SMOKE BILLOWS
FROM UNDER IT. BEHIND IT WE HEAR SCREAMING. THE FIREMEN
SMASH THE DOOR, DROPPING TO THE FLOOR AS THEY DO…
M.J’S POV: BLACK SMOKE BILLOWS OUT ACROSS THE CEILING
THEN EXPLODES INTO WHITE HOT FLAME. SHE HAS STEPPED FORWARD
SO SHE CAN SEE OVER THE FIREMEN DOWN INTO THE BASEMENT: IN
THE SUDDEN FLARE SHE SEES A MAN, WITH TIN-RIMMED GLASSES AND
BLACK LEATHER CLOTHING ENTIRELY ENGULFED IN FLAME RUNNING UP
THE BASEMENT STAIRS; BEHIND HIM THE BASEMENT IS BURNING.
LOW ANGLE LOOKING UP STAIRS: FLAME ALL AROUND — PETER’S
PHOTO COLLAGES ON THE BULLETIN BOARD BURNING. THE MAN
RUNNING UP THE STAIRS ALMOST MAKES IT TO THE TOP BEFORE
HE FALLS BACK DOWN INTO THE CAMERA. AT THE TOP, WE SEE M.J.
AND THE FIREMEN’S APPALLED FACES. THE SCREAMING DIES OFF…
FLAME NOW ENGULFING THE BASEMENT AND GROUND FLOOR: FIREMEN
AND M.J. RACING OUT COUGHING AND CHOKING.
THEN: A HUGE HOT FLOOM OF AN EXPLOSION: FLAMES THREATEN TO
CONSUME THE ENTIRE HOUSE. FIREMEN SWARM BACK TO KNOCK DOWN
FLAME FROM OUTSIDE.
M.J., QUINN, ETC., WATCHING THE EVIDENCE GO UP IN SMOKE.
THEIR FACES LIGHTED BY THE FLAME.
INT. HELEN’S OFFICE – NIGHT
She has now changed into a pair of sweat pants and a
T-shirt. SUSAN SCHIFFER IS ON TV: WITH SHOTS OF THE FIRE
BEING SNUFFED OUT.
I am here with Lieutenant Quinn of
the Homicide Division and (title)
Saks of the FBI. Can you tell us
what happened here, tonight?
During the following we move to PETER’S HOUSE where Quinn
and Saks are being interviewed.
Susan, the San Francisco Police
Department, assisted by the FBI,
developed evidence that the serial
killer, referred to as the Copycat
killer was an individual who
resided at this address. Upon
being asked to step out of the
house to be interviewed, the
suspect set fire to the house
possibly to destroy evidence of his
wife’s murder. We found her dead
of gunshot wounds in an upstairs
bedroom. He himself died in the
No, we’ll wait until we’ve located
any relatives who should be
notified. Witnesses saw the
individual burn to death, they were
unable to reach him in time to save
him. We’re glad, as the entire
city must be glad, this reign of
terror is ended. No, no more at
this time. Thank you…
END OF HELEN STARING STONILY AT THE SCREEN: SHE DOESN’T
BELIEVE IT FOR A MOMENT.
INT. TASK FORCE ROOM – NIGHT
M.J., wearily enters. Others quietly entering, slipping out
coats, talking and drinking at some distance. M.J. takes
off her shoulder holster and gun and puts them down on her
workspace. NIKKO is at little distance cleaning out his
desk. He comes down to her as she sits…
I heard. Good police work.
Just horseshit luck.
Don’t ever forget how good you are.
He is standing behind her and leans over to almost touch her
hair with his lips…
I love you.
He goes. M.J. twists in misery and fury… Her phone is
ringing on another line; she punches it…
I don’t believe it.
I saw him die. I saw him burning on
the basement stairs, he never
reached the top.
They never kill themselves. How do
you know it was him. You never met
him. You never even saw a
Helen — let go. You’ve got to let
He hasn’t done Bundy. He’s done
every one of the others, hasn’t he?
If there are three dead Chi Omega
college girls tomorrow, how will
you feel? Go there. See if there
could be any way for him to escape.
This has been the worst 48 hours of
my life. I’m going home. I’m going
to try to get drunk.
If there’s a one percent possibil-
ity, can you live with yourself
when he kills again?
Oh, shut up, and don’t be so damn
INT. M.J’S CAR – NIGHT
M.J. is now almost dead with fatigue. She barely misses
hitting another car. She drives on until she is forced to
stop at a traffic light. All during this:
…You’re on the air, who’s
this…Ron, that’s not my right
name… that’s okay, Ron. What are
you afraid of?… I don’t want
anybody to know my name, because
I’m a friend of Peter Foley? I
know him from the gay community? He
was cruising the night…
M.J. switches stations, channel surfing… bits of music,
Rush Limbaugh, back to Ron droning on.
…that I resent the tone of the
Police and their attitude? That
this is just some weird queer
event, just because they couldn’t
stop this guy until he did himself,
if you even believe that…
M.J. turns off the radio… when light turns green,
instead of moving ahead, she just sits for a moment. Then,
furious with HELEN, with everything, she swears and wheels
the car into a tight illegal u-turn.
EXT. NIGHT BERKELEY CAMPUS – NIGHT
It is extra time, which means party time or those who’ve
finished and solitary and group study time for the rest.
And there are celebrants of the Festival of Love, who were
being born about the time of the original event. TRACKING
SHOT TO ESTABLISH THIS SCENE, MOVING, SEARCHING ALONG THE
AVENUES, PASSING KNOTS OF STUDENTS AND PARTY-GOES… WE
HAVE SEEN A PEACEFUL CAMPUS, QUIETLY CELEBRATING. AND WE
HAVE DRAWN UP BEFORE CHI OMEGA. THERE IS NO PLACE TO PARK.
M.J., WHOSE POV THIS HAS BEEN LOOKS AT HER WATCH.
DECIDES: FUCK IT, THIS IS CRAZY AND IS ABOUT TO DRIVE AWAY,
SHIFTING INTO GEAR WHEN SHE SPOTS:
POV. A GOLD COLORED VW BUG
It is parked under a tree some distance across a parking lot
jammed with student cars. It is partly in shadow, so she
could easily have missed it. She jumps out of the car and
moves fast up the steps through students, drinking, kissing,
INT. CHI OMEGA – NIGHT
MAIN MEETING ROOM. Full of people milling about. Music is
playing. SEES THE BACK OF A TALL MAN ON CRUTCHES TALKING TO
A COED. HE HAS A LOAD OF BOOKS SHE TAKES FROM HIM; SHE IS
LAUGHING. M.J. moving fast toward them, she runs into a
girl, spilling the girls’ drink on her blouse…
Goddamn it! This is brand new!
Where’re you going?
As M.J. continues to move the Girl grabs her…
No, you don’t spill all over
somebody and just walk away, you
damn well pay the cleaning bill…
Police business — take your heads
M.J. holds up the badge…
Don’t make me pull the gun…
She jerks away, almost knocking the Girl down. The Girl is
yelling, beginning to attract attention. As M.J. turns back
PETER AND THE COED are just moving off, the Coed holding his
books, he hobbling on the crutches. M.J. runs through the
crowd toward him, and those who notice are pissed… she is
getting close when, just as he and the coed would pass from
sight behind a wall, PETER looks around, straight at M.J..
IT ISN’T PETER AT ALL.
M.J. LOOKING AROUND, MOVES TO STAIRS TO SECOND FLOOR…
M.J. EMERGING FROM STAIRS INTO THE CORRIDOR — SHE RUNS DOWN
THIS CORRIDOR OF ROOMS, PUSHING OPEN ANY THAT ARE SHUT.
A SCARED COUPLE MAKING LOVE CONFRONT HER GUN. SHE
REHOLSTERS IT AND RACES DOWN THE HALLWAY…
OVER THE PARTY NOISE AND MUSIC WE HEAR A SCREAM. M.J. RACES
DOWN CORRIDORS, TRYING TO FIND THE SOURCE. ANOTHER SCREAM.
IT SEEMS TO COME FROM BEHIND A CLOSED DOOR. M.J. KICKS IT
OPEN, BURSTING IN:
A BUNCH OF STONED STUDENTS PASSING A JOINT: ON A TV PLAYER
IS THE IMAGE OF JAMIE LEE CURTIS IN AN EARLY SHOCKER: THEY
ARE PLAYING AT WHO CAN OUT-SCREAM JAMIE LEE CURTIS.
WHEN JAMIE LEE CURTIS SCREAMS —
THEY ALL SCREAM BACK! AND BURST INTO HOWLS OF LAUGHTER. THE
SIGHT OF M.J. WITH HER GUN OUT ONLY MAKES THEM HOWL LOUDER.
Swallow the joint! It’s Barney
Phyfe — in drag!
THEN ALTOGETHER THEY SCREAM AT HER! AND HOWL WITH LAUGHTER.
M.J. walks out of the room and down the corridor.
EXT. CHI OMEGA FRONT STEPS
SHE LOOKS OUT ACROSS THE PARKING LOT: THE GOLD VW BUG IS
SHE WALKS TO HER CAR, RELIEVED. THE WHOLE THING SEEMS LIKE
A NIGHTMARE FROM WHICH SHE HAS NOW AWAKENED.
INT. M.J’S CAR
AS SHE OPENS THE DOOR, REACHES IN AND GRABS HER PHONE. SHE
ACTIVATES PHONE, WHEN SHE IS BLINDSIDED BY PETER WHO SLAMS
HER INTO THE CAR, FACE DOWN ACROSS THE FRONT SEAT. HE
DISARMS HER, TWISTS HER INTO THE PASSENGER SEAT…
THERE ARE STUDENTS AT SOME DISTANCE, BUT SHE CAN’T MAKE
HERSELF BE HEARD. SHE IS GROGGY FROM THE BLOW SHE’S TAKEN.
HE HANDCUFFS HER TO THE CAR, FIND HER KEYS, AND BEGINS TO
DRIVE AWAY… PETER’S HAIR IS NOW BRIGHT RED — LIKE DARYLL
INT. HELEN’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Helen lies wide awake in the dark. PHONE RINGS.
INT. TASK FORCE ROOM – NIGHT
INSERT: TAPE RECORDER ATTACHED TO PHONE. IT STARTS TO TURN.
AT THE FAR END OF THE ROOM AN FBI DETECTIVE IS POURING HIMSELF
SOME COFFEE. HE WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO HEAR WHAT WE HEAR:
(thinking it’s M.J.)
Where are you?
Hi. It’s your worst student, Peter
Foley — how do you grade me now,
HELEN ON PHONE
Who was the man in the basement?
You like that action? Didn’t that
cop on TV look solemn? The guy in
the basement doesn’t matter,
anyway, just another lonely heart.
Where are you, Peter?
You thought I was going to do Ted
Bundy next, so you sent your
Helen gasps with the implications of that…
What was that? What am I hearing?
The sound of an epiphany, a sudden
It’s Daryll Lee Cullum, isn’t it?
Mm-hmm. I can’t get to you. You
have to come to me.
You know I can’t do that.
Oh, I think you will.
Peter rips duct tape off M.J.’s mouth…
Call the police! Now! Call Qui…
Peter punches M.J. who is handculled in her car; they are
parked in front of the Lecture Hall.
For God’s sake Peter, leave her out
of it. You don’t want her, you
I need her; she’s a cop. I have to
kill a cop, and then…
You’ve been perfect. Don’t spoil
the symmetry — you have to have a
I don’t care — she’s a cop. That’s
the important thing. Cop-ness, not
sex-ness. It won’t be perfect, but
it’ll be good.
Call Quinn and Saks.
I’m tired. I want it to end
tonight, don’t you?
Yes. I do. I want it to end now.
Let her go. I’ll come — just let
her go. She’s not important.
You know where.
Where it began — McCluskey
He hangs up.
INSERT: TAPE MONITOR. WE HEAR HELEN HANGING UP. A SMALL
COMPUTER CHIP VOICE IS HEARD. THE FBI MAN IS MEASURING
SUGAR INTO HIS COFFEE AT THE OTHER END OF THE ROOM. HE CAN’T
Time Zero-hundred and twenty — two
minutes and sixteen seconds June
twelve 1994 Helen Hudson 415 320
1854 Court order Alpha Bravo
It is pulled open: metallic sounds of bullets rolling on the
wooden drawer: her hand bats away the usual bathroom drawer
garbage and pull Ruben’s gun out; HER TREMBLING FINGERS
EXT. HELEN’S OUTSIDE HALL – NIGHT
Helen wearing loose coat, jeans and sneakers opens the door.
FRED snaps out of a sound sleep.
It’s all over, Fred. They got the
guy. You go home to your own bed
I got to have that from my
superior. One guy fired off this
Call in. Use my phone. They’ll
tell you — it’s all over.
FRED GOES. HELEN STEPS RESOLUTELY INTO THE HALL, FOR
REASSURANCE BRACES HERSELF WITH A HAND ON THE WALL.
THE HALLWAY (HER POV). IT SEEMS MILES LONG. SOUND: HER
FRONT DOOR CLICKING SHUT — THE SAME ESSENTIAL EVENT AS SO
LONG AGO WHEN RUBEN HAD TO SHOOT OFF THE DOOR LOCK…
HELEN LOOKS BACK AT THE DOOR. BRIDGES BURNED. TURNS BACK.
HER HAND ON WALL: AS SHE MOVES A TENTATIVE STEP HER HAND
PRESSES HEAVILY, SLIDING ALONG THE WALL. THEN HER HAND
MOVES A LITTLE FASTER, AND FASTER.
HER POV. THE HALL SEEMS MORE NORMAL. MOVING SHOT PICKS UP
HER HAND NOW BRUSHES THE WALL WITH ONLY FINGERTIPS.
HELEN MOVES WITH MORE AND MORE CONFIDENCE: HER AGORAPHOBIA
IS GONE… HER HAND DROPS TO HER SIDE…
EXT. HER BUILDING – NIGHT
The door opens and Helen appears in it. She confronts the
street and the night… One more threshold to cross…
STREET: HER OLD SAAB IS PARKED. THE ANTENNA IS GONE, AND
IT’S COVERED WITH CITY GRIME. The night seems to roar; the
lights blur and flare. A truck comes past too fast,
stirring up dust and buffeting her with wind.
HELEN steeling herself and running the few steps to her car.
INT. CAR as she slides into the driver’s seat, slamming the
door and locking it. She drives off into the night.
EXT. MULUSKEY AUDITORIUM – NIGHT
A broad view through shadowy trees shows it’s lighted
facade. Parked in front of is M.J.’s car. SUDDENLY FROM
BEHIND THE TREES, SAKS STEPS OUT IN FRONT, BLOCKING THE WAY!
REVERSE: HELEN’S CAR IS COMING UP THE STREET TOWARDS US.
SAKS (AND NOW WE SEE OTHER SWAT TYPES IN THE SHADOWS, HIDDEN
FROM THE VIEW OF THE AUDITORIUM) STANDS IN THE STREET
FLAGGING HER DOWN —
SHE STOPS, PUTTING DOWN WINDOW. SAKS RESTS HIS HAND ON THE
DOOR… He shoves no sign of recognizing her…
Ma’am, please get out of your
Merry, how… oh, Christ, of
course, you had my phone tapped.
Just get out of your vehicle…
He’s got Sergeant Halloran in
there. He’ll kill her the minute
he sees or hears your people…
You’ve been very useful, Doctor, we
appreciate all you’ve done, and now
the professional will take over…
He wants me, he doesn’t care about
her. Let me…
SAKS HAS THE DOOR OPEN AND IS REACHING TO PULL HER FROM THE
DRIVER’S SEAT… HELEN SUCKS IN HER BREATH AND JAMS ON THE
GAS. SAKS IS ALMOST DRAGGED AWAY WITH HER, SPUN AROUND AND
FALLING ON THE PAVEMENT. SHE SLAMS THE DOOR AS SHE SPEEDS
TOWARD THE AUDITORIUM…
SAKS, CURSING, LEAPS TO HIS FEET; A SWAT TYPE AIMS HIS GUN
AFTER HELEN, BUT SAKS PUTS HIS HAND ON THE WEAPON STOPPING
HIM FROM SHOOTING.
NEW ANGLE: Helen’s Saab speeds out of the tree shadowed
street into the bright plaza in front of the auditorium, and
brakes behind M.J.’s car.
CLOSE: HELEN. Sudden silence when she kills the car engine.
She gets out of the car. As she walks even her sneakers
make an echo from the silent stone facade… She walks up
the wide stairs…
INT. AUDITORIUM – NIGHT
The huge doors creak open and Helen enters. She stands,
listening: light streams in from the exterior through tall
windows, otherwise it’s all back shadows, weird enough
without the distorted vision, the vertigo that momentarily
Helen wills herself to move into the deep space before her.
She stands listening: we HEAR the creaks and tiny snaps of a
building cooling in the night air. Or is the movement of
Peter somewhere in the room?
She whirls to face a distance sound that echoes in the
CLOSE: HELEN staring, trying to SEE. NOTHING.
PETER IS STARING BACK. HIS FACE BECOMES DARYLL LEE. THE
HELEN: SHE TURNS AND WALKS PAST THE ROSTRUM OF THE STAGE TO
A DOOR UPSTAGE LEFT… OPENING INTO A LONG AND DARK
CORRIDOR. SHE GROPES FOR LIGHT SWITCHES, CAN’T FIND OUT ANY.
THE CORRIDOR LEADS TO THE LADIES’ ROOM ON THE RIGHT. AS SHE
WALKS DOWN THE HALLWAY, IT BEGINS TO RESEMBLE TO HER THE
SAME WALK SHE TOOK AT THE BEGINNING: AND SUDDENLY AT THE
DOOR TO THE LADIES’ ROOM SHE SEEMS TO SEE THE FAT COP. SHE
SHAKES HER HEAD AND THE VISION IS GONE.
REPLACED BY INT. LADIES’ ROOM. THE COP IS NOW HELD FROM
BEHIND BY DARYLL LEE – SMILING AT HELEN. IN REVERSE, WE SEE
FOR THE FIRST TIME THAT HELEN HAS THE ROPE WELL AWAY FROM
HER NECK. WE REALIZE SHE HAS AMPLE TIME TO WARN THE COP,
BUT SHE IS PARALYZED, FASCINATED BY WHAT IS HAPPENING IN
TERRIBLE SLOW MOTION INTERCUTS BETWEEN DARYLL LEE GRINNING
AT HER, HELEN’S HELPLESS HORROR, THE COP’S APPEALING LOOK TO
HER AND BACK TO DARYLL LEE AS (BELOW THE FRAME) HE SLITS THE
COP’S THROAT AND LETS HIM FALL TO THE FLOOR.
HELEN (FLASHBACK) AT LAST BEGINS TO SCREAM!
CLOSE: HELEN (PRESENT) RECOVERING. (SHE HASN’T SCREAMED AT
ALL.) SHE PULLS RUBEN’S GUN FROM HER POCKET AND SHOVES OPEN
THE DOOR INTO THE LADIES’ ROOM.
AS THE DOOR OPENS. THE LIGHTS ARE ON: IT IS BRILLIANT,
BLINDING IN HERE. SHE STEPS IN. THERE IS A SOUND THAT
DRAWS HER ROUND, HER GUN COMING UP: BACK OF THE DOOR IS THE
BROOM CLOSET… SHE FIRES TWO ROUNDS INTO THE CLOSET DOOR.
IT SPRINGS OPEN AND MOPS AND PAILS FALL THUNDEROUSLY OUT
ONTO THE TILE FLOOR.
SHE WHIRLS TO COVER HER BACK; FACES THE STALLS.
EXT. SAKS’ ROADBLOCK – NIGHT
THEY REACT TO ECHOES OF THE GUNFIRE.
Oh, man?! Let us in there.
Go. Go. Go!
Men begin moving cautiously out of the trees and shadows
toward the Auditorium…
INT. LADIES’ ROOM
HELEN MOVES ALONG THE STALLS PUSHING DOORS OPEN. UNTIL SHE
SHOVES ONE OPEN AND SEES:
M.J. IS HANGING BY A NOOSE, DANGLING THE SAME WAY HELEN DID
IN THE OPENING SEQUENCE. SHE IS ALIVE, HOLDING THE NOOSE
FROM HER NECK BY ONE HAND…
HELEN STARTS TO RUSH TO HER ASSISTANCE, WHEN THE LIGHTS GO
OUT. PETER TAKES HER FROM BEHIND, SWIFTLY DISARMING HER,
REGARDING THE GUN WITH AMAZEMENT.
You cheated! You said you’d come
die with me.
WITHOUT PAUSE HE PUMPS TWO BULLETS INTO M.J. WHERE SHE
HANGS. HER BODY JUMPS FROM THE IMPACT OF THE BULLETS, HER
HEAD FLIES BACK AND SHE SLUMPS, THE NOOSE TIGHTENS; THE DOOR
OF THE STALL SWINGS SLOWLY SHUT, AS PETER TURNS ON HELEN,
WHERE SHE LIES ON THE FLOOR, HORROR-STRUCK.
EXT. AUDITORIUM – NIGHT
WITH EFFICIENCY AND CAUTION FBI SWAT TYPES MOVE TOWARD THE
AUDITORIUM. A GRAPPLING HOOK IS THROWN HIGH OVER THE ROOF;
THEY PREPARE FOR AN ASSAULT. A HELICOPTER SWOOPS IN, BATHING
THE SCENE IN ITS BRILLIANT LIGHT…
INT. AUDITORIUM STAGE – NIGHT
PETER HAS HELEN ON THE STAGE WHERE CHAIRS ARE RANDOMLY
SCATTERED AND PUSHED HER TO A SEAT FACING HIM, ALMOST KNEE
TO KNEE… HELEN WILL USE HER PSYCHOLOGICAL WILES TO TRY TO
TAKE AWAY PETER’S CONTROL OF THE SITUATION… PETER LOOKS UP
AT THE SOUND… HE IS PROUD AND THRILLED.
Listen to them! We’ll be on all
Kill me, Peter, do it, now.
No. Not yet.
Do it. If that’s what all this
carnage is about, then do it. Have
enough guts to do it.
Don’t talk to me about courage. I
know death, what it’s like to kill.
You’re not a killer — you watched
Daryll Lee kill that cop and you
didn’t make a peep, because you
were paralyzed with fear. You
chocked. I know something else about
Peter is jerking about with amphetamine energy; he pops a
pill into his mouth and swallows…
You want one? No? There was
something in you that was
fascinated, that wanted to see what
it was like for a man to die.
Everybody feels it. Like every
person who slows to see a bad
accident, or runs to see a fire.
That’s true. I see it in you…
you’re the same as me.
THERE IS NOISE OUTSIDE… LIKE SOMEONE BREAKING IN.
HE GRABS HER, AND SHE MOVES WITH HIM, WITHOUT RESISTANCE, AS
HE TURNS OUT THE LIGHTS INSIDE.
FLOODLIGHTS SUDDENLY ILLUMINATE THE FACADE OUTSIDE,
INCREASING THE BRILLIANCE OF THE LIGHT STREAMING IN AND
DARKENING THE SHADOWS FURTHER. GERMAN EXPRESSIONISM.
He leads her back to the stage… he pushes her into a chair
facing him… He looks into her face and smiles…
We’ll keep talking. Until they get
I have no life anymore. I ruined
your life, make me pay for it.
Why did you do that? Didn’t you
have any idea how hard it was for
me, to get that far? I worshipped
you. You inspired me. I thought
you could understand me the way you
understood the others. I knew that
about you — the ones you admired
were the great murderers; they
That’s not who I admire — I admire
people who are good at what they
do, great artists, writers,
I don’t have the talent for any of
those things. All I have a talent
for is death. And I am one of a
kind. What do you think of your
student now? I have made you
famous, I am your creation and your
BEHIND HIM A SHADOWY FIGURE DARTS FROM HIDING SPOT TO A
VANTAGE POINT: WE CAN’T MAKE OUT THE FIGURE… HELEN SEES
BUT PETER DOES NOT.
If you let me, I can make you more
famous than any of them.
Oh, please. I know what’s coming,
now. “Let me help you…”
Do anything you want to me. I give
myself to you. Only put the knife
down. Isn’t this what you always
wanted? I know it’s what we all
want, to love and to loved. I
could love you. You could work
together in some safe place, learn
to really understand you, help you,
give you some peace of mind, some
Back in the driver’s seat again,
Doctor? That old dream — study us
to see what makes us sick. So you
can find a cure — they’d name it
after you? Death is the only cure
for people like me.
He leans toward her with the knife. This might be the
moment. His gun lies on the floor beside him.
HER EYES HAVE FLICKED TO THE SHADOW BEHIND HIM; HE SEES IT
AND STOOPS TO PICK UP THE GUN AND FIRES INTO THE SHADOWS,
TWO OR THREE QUICK ROUNDS. HE TURNS BACK TO HELEN, DROPPING
THE GUN TO REACH FOR THE KNIFE.
HELEN HEAD BUTTS HIM WITH ASTONISHING STRENGTH, KNOCKING HIM
BACKWARD. SHE STANDS… HE COMES UP WITH GUN… AND AIMS AT
BEHIND HIM M.J. STEPS OUT OF THE SHADOWS HAVING NOW A CLEAN
HELEN DOESN’T GIVE A CLUE, JUST LOOKS INTO PETER’S EYES AS
M.J. AND PETER IN SLOW MOTION DETAILS AS SHE LINES UP HER
SHOT: SHE COULD KILL HIM OR GO FOR THE EXPOSED SHOULDER.
Do it. For God’s sake, now…
PETER IS SPUN AWAY FROM HELEN BY THE IMPACT, STANDS THERE,
SHAKING WITH THE SHOCK OF THE HIT… HE STARES AT HER.
(surprised, like a
You hurt me!
M.J. HOLDS HER GUN ON HIM, READY TO SHOOT AGAIN, BUT HE JUST
GOES DOWN ON ONE KNEE, HIS BODY VIOLENTLY SHUDDERING… AS:
THERE IS A HUGE SOUND OF BREAKING GLASS AND THEN AN ENORMOUS
EXPLOSION THAT THROWS THEM TO THE GROUND.
THE BIG FRONT DOORS ARE BLASTED OPEN, AND THE FLAK VESTED
SWAT TEAM SWARMS THROUGH… SMOKE FROM THE CONCUSSION
GRENADE SWIRLS IN THE CHIAROSCURO OF FLOODLIGHTS AND
OUT OF THE SMOKE COME SKI-MASKED SWAT MEN…
M.J. & HELEN
PETER TURNS TO THE SWAT TEAM, OFFERING HIMSELF, AS THE WOMEN
SCREAM TO THE SWAT MEN’S WOUNDED AND HARMLESS…
A PATTERN OF RED DOTS FROM LASER BEAM SIGHTS ON THE SWAT
TEAM RIFLES DAPPLE PETER’S HEAD AND TORSO.
LIKE A FIRING SQUAD THE TEAM FIRES.
PETER’S BODY FLIES THROUGH THE AIR FROM THE IMPACT AND
SLIDES SPRAWLING ACROSS THE STAGE TO A STOP.
INT. AUDITORIUM – LATER
M.J. SITS AS PARAMEDIC GENTLY PULL OFF HER SHIRT AND THE
BULLET PROOF VEST THAT SAVED HER LIFE.
Jesus that hurts. You think the
rib is busted?
That looks like just a bad bruise.
I’ll tape it up if you want to…
I’ll take some Tylenol and codeine,
instead, how about a lot of number
The medic turns to his medicine bag. Cops swarm around
them. Helen sits down next to M.J. M.J. begins to put on
her shirt, wincing at the movement. Helen helps her.
SAKS AND QUINN EMERGE THROUGH THE CHIAROSCURO OF SMOKE AND
LIGHT AND SHADOW. When M.J. sees him she takes out her gun
and hands it to him. It is what he expects, but she
misunderstands — she is offering it to him as her
resignation from the cops. He takes it only as a part of
officer related shooting routine. SHE LOOKS INTO HIS FACE
AS HE SMELLS THE MUZZLE, KNOWS SHE FIRES IT, APPROVED.
I’ll take it, kid. You take two
weeks paid leave. Don’t waste a
second thinking about that shitbag.
Then come back. You’re a cop, M.J.
He nods to Helen…
Get the civilians outta here.
She’s in no shape to give her
No, she can come in tomorrow…
gonna want to know a lot of
B.G. the cops have pulled PETER’S BODY BY THE FEET, LETTING
HIM BUMPITY BUMPITY BUMPITY DOWN THE STEPS from the stage
and lifted him onto a gurney. The body is wheeled past
The only one who could tell you
what you really need to know is
Yeah, it’s a thought…
Of no importance to him, he turns away…
INT. AUDITORIUM – NIGHT
In the LOBBY area between the auditorium proper and the big
exterior doors (now the worse for wear from the concussion
grenades). Outside, through the glass we SEE a media circus
under the BRIGHT LIGHTS put up for the assault. M.J. and
HELEN SQUINT AGAINST THE LIGHT, AND TURN…
THE AUDITORIUM (POV).
The cops and technicians are working away; at one side is a
small door — easy escape. They run toward it…
EXT. MCCLUSKEY AUDITORIUM – NIGHT
It is dark where they step out into the night. Around the
corner of the building we see the light from the MEDIA
CIRCUS. THEN HELEN STEPS OFF DOWN INTO THE DARK CAMPUS.
M.J. LOOKS AT HER: REALIZING: HELEN IS NO LONGER AFRAID.
SHE CATCHES UP TO HER. HOLD ON THEIR BACKS AS THEY WALK
You could use a long hot bath, you
know that? You better get somebody
to drive you home.
Why can’t I drive home? I will.
You. Look at you. You need a ride
home. And you don’t even know it.
The two women continue down toward Helen’s car, just outside
the circle of media. CAMERA RISES AND RISES TO A HIGH FULL
THE MOUTH AND THE HAIRCUT spot them and race toward them.
Hey! Halloran! What’s the story
On the two women getting in the car…
If she has to ask, she’s never
HIGH FULLSHOT OF THE CAMPUS AS THEY DRIVE AWAY INTO THE
NIGHT.[amazonjs asin=”B00005FPMH” locale=”JP” title=”コピーキャット DVD”]