Just Cause (1995) Movie Script

You want my money,
best throw some elbow into that.
$1.50. That's 2-bits shy a car wash.
$1.50 each.
No, man. You must have got me confused
with some other idiot.
The rain's doing half your work.
Look here.
Bobby Earl, the cultured pearl.
What's up, Gomer?
Boys, take a break.
Bobby Earl, we got to talk.
- I said quit!
- Talk about what?
Take a ride.
- A ride.
- Please.
It's Wilcox.
I need a tech team at Ferguson's place.
What kind of car is that?
Leave him be!
You cracker son of a bitch!
- I should lock you up!
- Grandma, go inside.
- Can't you just leave him be?
- I'm all right, Grandma.
It's all right.
I'll be back before supper.
Grandma, why are they taking Bobby Earl?
Give me that head!
Let's shake up that cage, son!
You're not getting that meat
tenderized enough?
Sit down!
Let's see what else we got to start with.
Look here, Bobby Earl!
Get the fuck up.
I'll ask you nicely, son.
Did you fuck her before
or after you filleted her?
Country-ass motherfucker.
"Asshole," is it?
I'll show you!
Fucking asshole!
"At the first official electrocution in 1890...
"...the victim had the electrodes
removed from his head...
"...after 15 seconds.
"Suddenly he opened his eyes
and began gasping for air...
"...apparently unaware
that he was supposed to be dead.
"The warden and all present
lost their wits...
"...before calling for the current
to be turned back on.
"Witnesses describe a blue flame
playing about the base of the spine.
"This time the electricity flowed
for four minutes.
"Over the years, other witnesses
to electrocutions...
"...have described the prisoner
catching fire...
"...the electricity so powerful...
"...that the eyeballs pop out
onto the cheeks...
"...a sound like bacon frying.
"During the autopsy, the liver is so hot
that it can't be touched by human hands.
"Despite its best efforts,
this justice system has killed...
"...at least 23 innocent men...
"...and sentences blacks who kill whites...
"...seven times more than whites
who kill blacks. "
... to the 1990s.
Over 100 years of progress.
You paint a grim picture indeed, Professor.
I wish you had been as vivid
describing the victims.
They were people who suffered
far more cruel and unusual punishment...
... than any our penal system
could even imagine.
- I refuse to believe...
- Let me finish.
- Let me finish.
- Very well.
I submit to you, the issue is revenge.
An eye for an eye,
a tooth for a tooth, if you will.
No, I refuse to believe
in any god or government...
... which is willing to trade
torture for torture...
... or death for death.
In closing, Professor...
... if your wife...
... or child were murdered...
... how would you feel
about that last statement of yours?
How would I feel?
Very much the same as yourself.
But I would not want
their deaths avenged...
... by a system as cruel
and capricious as this.
- You changed my mind.
- I thought I had you.
- They're going to kill my boy.
- Excuse me?
My grandson's in a Florida prison
on Death Row for something he didn't do.
Good luck. I'll see you in Washington.
I'm sorry. I no longer practice law.
He said to me,
"Go up to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"Find Mr. Paul Armstrong...
"...and give him this."
Well, thank you.
I'll read it and get back to you.
Read it now.
Come far?
Ochopee, Florida.
A long way.
"Victim was white. I am black.
No food or water."
By Mr. Tanny Brown, the black-hatingest
police in Everglade County.
"Murder one.
"Death penalty."
The white judge was 87.
He called Bobby Earl an animal,
ought to be shot.
It's 25 years since I practiced law.
If you say no, he said to go to Princeton,
New Jersey and find Mr. Harry Gilyard.
A good man.
But he said to come to you first.
I'm sorry, I can't.
Can I drive you somewhere?
There a 2:00 a.m. Bus to Princeton
from the Trailways station.
I can get there by myself.
Thank you for your time.
No, you keep it.
It's got your name on it.
Wonderful, wonderful.
Carry on.
Where's Mommy?
- Hi.
- What happened to you?
I was working in juvenile detention center
this morning with this kid, Carlos.
He was in for dealing.
Usual rap sheet: Misdemeanors,
history of drug use.
Half-hour in, I ask about his mother.
And he goes berserk.
I'm on my back seeing stars.
A day at the office.
An hour later,
I'm standing in front of the judge...
...convincing her he's perfect
for the Crossroads program instead of jail.
How did you explain the eye?
I told her my husband's a wife beater.
Thank you very much.
Why don't you go back to being a lawyer?
It is safer.
For who? Me or the bad guys?
More popcorn, please.
Daddy will bring it.
Paul, how did the debate go?
Little old lady showed up tonight.
Tells me her grandson's on Death Row
down in Florida.
A black kid. Went to Cornell.
Can I see it?
Back to the salt mines.
He needs a lawyer...
...not a teacher. And I need a drink.
Did you really read this?
Maybe this one is worth checking out.
Why don't you check it out?
You know Everglade County.
Can we sleep outside?
No way.
I'd sooner go to hell
than into another courtroom.
This would be really good for you.
Put you in the real world.
Why is every fucking thing the real world
except teaching?
That's the real world?
He's on Death Row. He's asking you
to put your money where your mouth is.
All I'm saying is that...
...every once in a while
you got to get a little bloody.
It's good for the soul.
- I see them.
- There they are.
What's that on your face?
Hi, sweetness.
It's not a bad paper as papers go,
but that's not saying much.
Delores, sweetheart.
Hey, Mr. Phil.
It's been a long time.
Paul Armstrong.
My son-in-law.
Delores Rodriguez,
keeper of archives, news-trivia expert.
Buried three husbands.
Were it not for Libby, I could well be No. 4.
How is Libby's health?
It's good.
Paul needs information
on the Joanie Shriver murder.
That poor kid from Ochopee?
Watch your back in here.
We are on-line back to 1985.
Everything before that is on microfiche.
I'll see what else I can find.
How long?
That depends. You'll be amazed
at what I can do with a little help.
Mr. Armstrong.
Sergeant Rogers?
Raise your arms, please.
Tape recorder.
There you go.
Your first time, Mr. Armstrong?
Buzz when you want out.
If you're unable to buzz,
don't worry about it.
Sweet Jesus.
The old girl said
you'd be coming up in here.
I said, "No.
"No, Grandma, he's too busy...
"...to come all the way from Harvard
just to give me his time."
But praise God...
...here you is.
If I really talked with
that verbal buck-and-shuffle...
...I'd be free today.
What's your game?
It's no game.
Funny thing about
small-town Florida people.
Like crabs in a bucket, black or white.
One tries to climb out, the others
hop on his back to put him back in.
Souls of Black Folk, DuBois.
I've read it.
I'm impressed.
I've always been that climb-out crab.
My mother OD'd on heroin
when I was 13 up in Newark.
Grandma got me and brought me here.
I was high school valedictorian.
I got a full scholarship to Cornell, but...
...they treated me like an outsider.
How do you like Grandma?
She's something else.
She's very determined.
But why did you send her up to see me?
Because you are from a small town,
like me.
Fife, Scotland. First in your family
to attend a university.
Magna from Cambridge. Columbia Law.
Youngest assistant DA, 1960-69.
Joined a law firm, 1970.
1980 to the present...
...Harvard professor of law...
...author of Process and Law,
and six books since.
I've read them all.
Let's start.
Joanie Shriver.
The victim.
Eleven years old. White girl.
Snatched from the Ochopee
Elementary School, March 4, 1986.
Found a day later, raped and cut up
in the Glades.
A teacher ID'd the car
as somewhat like mine.
Officer Tanny Brown come and lock me up.
- I read the transcript.
- I'll tell you this:
Down here, if the chief head-banger
takes a dislike to you...
...your ass is his.
He's a nigger who likes being a big fish...
He's black?
In the new South, they've got black cops
to torment your black ass.
It's called affirmative action.
Tell me about your confession.
My confession?
I was slapped.
I was punched.
Beaten with a phone book.
Made to piss myself, kicked.
Then Officer Brown...
...walked in.
Tanny, wait.
J.T., I need you to back me up
on this one here.
Pretty Robert Earl.
I want to ask you...
Last time.
I told you. I swear.
I don't know this girl.
I have no reason to lie. I don't know her.
Come on, talk to me.
Come on, stop.
What did you say to her?
How'd you get her in the car? Say, "Ah."
Talk to me.
Talk to me.
I hate pretty motherfuckers like you.
I don't know no Joanie Shriver.
Pretty motherfucker, talk to me.
Ain't so pretty now, are you?
They had me in there 22 hours.
No food, no water, no sleep.
No bathroom.
You drove her...
...to an isolated section of the Everglades...
...approximately two and a half miles
southeast of her home.
Did you drive her to that location...
...with the full intent to kidnap, rape...
...sodomize and kill her?
Speak into the microphone.
You feel better now, don't you?
You're a strange fruit, Robert Earl.
Strange fruit, indeed.
I'd have confessed to anything.
They spoon-fed me to the Row.
It's your word against theirs.
I didn't do it.
She's a pretty thing, but you couldn't tell it
when they brought her in.
Bobby Earl was a very angry boy.
Parts of her chest and abdomen were
so badly damaged...
...hard to tell how many times
she was stabbed.
The cuts were...
...long, shallow at the ends,
deep in the middle.
The wounds curved upward.
- A half-moon shape.
- Like a scimitar?
But miniature.
I'd say six inches, hilt to tip.
Your autopsy report...
...states that the girl was raped.
But there's no record of any semen.
There wasn't any.
There wasn't?
No. She was penetrated.
With no semen, how did you establish
the O-positive blood?
We got that from the teeth and gums.
You said you examined Bobby Earl's hand...
...and found cuts that could be attributed
to teeth marks.
That's right.
You never matched the dental plate
to the cuts.
I didn't need to, once he confessed.
Did you know he was beaten for 22 hours
before he gave his confession?
So he says.
The cuts on his hand could have been
from the beating.
How convenient.
I'm Detective Wilcox.
Spoke on the phone about hooking up
with Tanny Brown?
Yes. J.T. Wilcox.
That's right.
Tanny said he'd hook up with you
this afternoon if you're still around.
Anything I can do?
If you have time later, thank you.
You got a busy afternoon lined up,
Mr. Armstrong.
Some people to see, yes.
Ever been here before?
Come on. It's a nice little town.
How's old Bobby Earl doing?
He's holding it together.
"Holding it together."
I'd expect he would be
"holding it together."
Cold-hearted son of a bitch.
Stayed right frosty to the end.
Get that vehicle back in the street, Charlie.
That's the last time I'll tell you.
Sorry, J.T.
Then he just started spitting it out,
like a goddamn machine.
Scared me to death.
Scared you to death?
What did Bobby Earl tell you?
About the bare-assed light bulb
at 4:00 a.m.?
I beat on him with a rubber hose?
How about a phone book?
White pages or yellow pages?
Mr. Armstrong?
Now, you listen to me.
Do you think if I'd gotten physical
with Bobby Earl...
...he wouldn't be wearing my anger
all over him at that arraignment?
What do you think, Professor?
I'm impressed.
You have a nice day now.
Harvard University. Do tell.
I'm a graduate of Florida State.
Bobby Earl Ferguson.
Change of venue, denied.
Motion to suppress a confession, denied.
Objection to an all-white jury, overruled.
Noted for the record.
I said, "You'll have to plead guilty,
take a 25-year hit.
"You'll have a life left when you come out."
He says, "But, sir, I didn't do it."
So he made you go to trial?
This matching blood statement
by Dr. Doliveau...
...why didn't you challenge it?
Even us backwoods
Florida State Law School alumni know...
...that an O-positive match
doesn't mean anything...
...unless you get genetic screening
or an enzyme-base analysis.
You just narrowed it down
to 40 million suspects.
How did this testimony
survive cross-examination?
Half the people in the courtroom knew
that woman well.
She's known here as a very fine physician.
And a doctor is a god.
You know that.
Jury didn't care.
I'll tell you, worst thing in that courtroom
was Bobby Earl himself.
He sat there, day after day,
looking guilty as hell.
It's not a popularity contest.
I find that a naive statement, Counselor.
Is that what you teach your law students:
"The truth will prevail"?
When's the last time you tried a case?
It's been 25 years.
Does that make you feel better?
Hang dog, show dog,
I don't think it'd make any difference...
...if Bobby Earl was
a 6'4" golden-haired Caucasian...
...who just quarterbacked Florida State
past Miami, 62-0 in the Cotton Bowl.
That jury won't disregard
the boy's own words.
His confession was coerced.
Why didn't you get an expert
to analyze his voice on tape?
I tried, sir.
Truly, I tried.
I know my job, Mr. Armstrong.
What you're not hearing is the fact...
...that people were sick with grief
over that poor little girl.
They wanted their revenge!
The end.
Mr. McNair.
Many thanks for your time.
No matter what you think...
...I defended that boy pro bono because
everybody has a right to legal counsel.
I paid for it dearly. I've lost half
my business because I tried to defend him.
And he got the chair.
Imagine what it'd be like for me here
if I'd gotten him acquitted.
We always have a teacher here
at 3:00 to make sure...
... the boys don't get into horseplay
or the girls while away the afternoon...
...gossiping and giggling on the corner.
Horseplay. Gossip.
That day it was about 3:10.
Most everyone was gone.
I saw her by the banyan tree.
She walked past the car, then turned...
...like someone in the car called her.
She walked back...
...and before she got in...
I go to bed with this every night.
Her waving.
The car was parked under that tree?
Right like that there.
That far away?
When did the police show you the car
for identification?
The police? They didn't.
They just showed me a photo.
A photo?
- From what angle?
- Angle?
Front, rear, side?
But you couldn't see the side from here.
Not if it was in that position.
It seemed like the car to me.
I was solid to myself when I said it.
I understand.
No, you don't!
You're tearing open a wound, coming here.
I'm only trying to get at what happened.
I am sorry for your grief.
Thanks for your time.
Miss Conklin...
...may I ask you one last question?
What color is that car?
Midnight blue.
Midnight blue.
Not dark blue? Black?
Midnight blue.
How can you be so sure?
Because that's Tanny Brown's car.
Everyone knows that.
Thank you.
Come on in.
Tanny Brown.
Paul Armstrong.
You're trying to get Robert Earl
off the Row?
I'm just trying to get some information.
Well, fair enough.
Let's get you some information.
- The girl got into the car right here.
- I know.
All right, fasten your seat belt.
Watch carefully.
Robert Earl made this right...
...still headed towards the girl's house.
See that house with the blue trim?
That's hers.
She'd wanted to go that way,
but he took her this way.
That's where he popped her.
He's a pretty son of a bitch, but he's mean.
He's real mean.
I can't breathe.
Come on, big man like you.
You can scream louder than that.
What the fuck was that nonsense about?
Trying to get you some information.
That is why you're here, right?
You be careful.
You're way beyond your perimeters.
Look around you, Mr. Armstrong.
Look where you are.
You smack dab in the middle of hell.
Took only five minutes to get here,
and nobody can hear you scream for help...
...let alone an 11-year-old girl.
Getting the picture?
See it with Joanie Shriver's eyes?
I get the point.
You get the point?
They come through here.
He was probably carrying her.
No defensive wounds on her hands.
We figure he knocked her out cold
in the car...
...at the intersection near her house.
Killed her while she was unconscious.
Otherwise, we'd have...
...seen stab wounds on her hands or...
...some of his skin underneath her nails.
This is it.
This is the kill spot.
The coroner said that the rape
was premortem, some of the cuts too.
But he did a lot of damage to her
after she was dead.
It's like he just went stone crazy.
He pushed her body in the water...
...and covered her up with some brush.
Want you to meet Joanie Shriver.
Take a look.
I'll get Mommy.
No, don't get Mommy just yet.
I've been thinking about you
all day, sweetheart.
I love you very much.
I love you too.
Can you come back tonight?
I can't come back tonight.
So I want you to sleep with Mommy.
Daddy, I'm too old for that.
It's not for you, it's for her.
Do it for me.
I'll do it for you.
Good girl.
I love you.
I love you too.
They hate long stories
about how you messed up their vehicles.
I hope you took that insurance option.
I like them lightning bolts, though.
...you might not want to paint this over.
I know I wouldn't.
What do we got to do
to get rid of you, Mr. Armstrong?
Convince me that Bobby Earl
deserves to die.
Under the circumstances,
that's not possible.
So I'm not going to waste time trying.
I do have a question for you.
Are you aware that he was picked up
on kidnap charges in Dade County...
...a year prior to his arrest
for Joanie Shriver's murder?
Case went all the way to trial.
Yeah, I bet "Mr. Victim" forgot
to tell you about that.
And what was the result?
Prosecution's case collapsed
on a technicality, I believe.
Acquitted or thrown out of court?
Look, Armstrong...
...I knew Robert Earl was bad news
when I first saw him.
See him hanging around the school
when I'd pick up my girls.
Hanging around with his pretty-boy looks
and college-boy words.
He just felt wrong.
Wasn't just me who felt that way.
Every man in this department.
- Everybody in town.
- I still don't hear any evidence.
We didn't need any.
We had a confession.
If that's a confession...
...my ass is a banjo.
Damn arrogant Yankee son of a bitch!
He did it, goddamn it!
That man is an asshole!
Just calm the hell down.
You tell me that man never laid a hand
on Bobby Earl in 22 hours?
He slapped him once or twice.
Which was it?
You and I both know
it wasn't a textbook confession.
But it was enough to convict him!
This case hangs together by a thin thread.
You come down here, you start picking
at them threads, it'll fall apart.
I don't want that.
I tell you something else.
I want to see Robert Earl go to the chair
for what he did.
Tell me, what is your policy on taking guns
into the interrogation room?
Very simple: We don't.
May I see your left ankle?
Looking for this?
I checked it with the duty sergeant.
You didn't take it out?
Point it at Bobby Earl?
No, sir.
You didn't stick it in his mouth
and play Russian roulette?
No, sir.
Then how did I know where to look for it?
You're back.
Let's get started.
Why didn't you tell me about your run-ins?
What run-ins?
Those times when Tanny tried to bust me?
Come on.
Tanny Brown had nothing to do
with your arrest in Dade County.
Dade County?
The charge was kidnapping.
That was bullshit.
Bullshit. I took some white girl
for a ride in my car.
It was just a ride.
In fact, she asked me for that ride.
The arresting cracker happened
to be a boyfriend of hers.
It should've been thrown out of court.
My life was different after that.
How was your life different after that,
if the case was thrown out?
They took away my scholarship.
A scholarship, for someone like me...
...is a trade-off, pure and simple.
I get a free ride, they get a better image.
As soon as I walked into court,
I couldn't live up to my end of the bargain.
They felt justified.
The same way Tanny felt justified
looking for me...
I don't follow you.
Imagine a man, a very bad man...
...driving a car south,
driving off the turnpike into Ochopee.
He stops...
...takes a siesta under a banyan tree
just outside a schoolyard.
Then he spots a little girl.
Pretty little girl.
He talks her into his car.
He's friendly when he needs to be.
Then he does it.
Right there in the Glades.
He drives on and never gives it
another thought.
Go on.
That very bad man moves on
down the line.
A waitress in the Keys...
...two tourists in Lakeland,
a prostitute in Tampa, and finally...
...he gets sloppy.
Big-time sloppy.
That's murder one.
That's the Row. Death Row.
He's here?
Yes. And what does he find
when he gets here?
A neighbor on the Row
who's in for killing a little girl.
Yeah, a little blonde girl down in Ochopee.
All cut up and thrown in the swamps.
And he says:
"I know you didn't do it, because I did."
Then he starts laughing.
And he says, "You must be
the sorriest fuck in this unit."
I can hear him every night.
Bobby Earl!
Why won't you talk to me?
Shut up, you crazy fuck!
Shut up!
It's like a death sentence
on top of a death sentence.
He calls me his last victim.
Who is he?
Blair Sullivan.
You really had me going.
I was starting to think:
"Maybe the man is onto something."
What do you mean?
Funny thing is, you almost pulled it off,
you almost got away with it.
Got away with what?
Your wife, Slick.
"Prentiss" is her maiden name, isn't it?
Yes. Was.
Was before she married you.
Laurie Prentiss, Assistant DA.
What about her?
She was the prosecutor on Robert Earl's
kidnap trial in Dade. Ring any bells?
What you think?
Small-town police
don't do their homework?
Don't know how to access information?
I don't understand exactly what kind of
hidden agenda you got up your sleeve...
...but I'm telling you...
...stay out of my town.
I'd been plea bargaining everything
that came across my desk.
I just wanted to show
the good old boys how good I was.
I was hot for it.
Thought I had the case locked tight.
My star witness, the arresting officer.
He said when he came up on the car,
that Bobby Earl was on top of her...
...in the back seat and she was screaming.
Two seconds into the cross-examination...
...the defense attorney produces
a prom photo...
...with my star witness in a tuxedo
with the victim.
Son of a bitch admits
they were high school sweethearts!
I didn't want to give up, so...
...I got the judge to grant me
a 24-hour recess so I could regroup.
I came back with nothing
and he threw the case out.
Why the hell didn't you tell me?
I did. I told you when I met you.
Should've told me
when you read the letter.
- I didn't...
- Why not?
I didn't know if it would influence you.
That you might not take the case,
you might not help this kid.
He paid dearly for what happened to him.
Why? Because he lost a scholarship
and spent an extra night in prison?
No, Paul.
It was more than that.
Later, I found out that they beat him
real bad that night.
He ended up in the hospital.
It was my fault.
I want you to help him get his life back.
I want you to make it right for him.
No, Laurie, you want me
to make it right for you.
You're right.
But how does what I'm telling you
change his situation on Death Row?
It was called "The Pilgrimage of Death."
It sold many papers.
The guy started with his landlady
in New Orleans...
... a prostitute in Mobile
and a sailor in Pensacola.
Then he got real busy.
A body every 100 miles.
When was Pensacola?
Late April, early May.
It was incredible.
APBs in three states,
FBI flyers all over the place...
...and no one spots him.
Painting, writing letters
to the families of his victims...
...that's all he does.
Yeah, we got a whole other theme park
for Mr. Sullivan.
I'm innocent! I'm innocent!
All right...
...he's all yours.
They don't like me very much.
Why is that?
Creative differences.
Tape recorder. May I?
Be my guest.
You have quite an art gallery back there.
Thank you.
Idle hands are the devil's workshop.
You believe in Jesus?
Yes, I do.
That's good.
That's very good.
I killed so many goddamn people...
...I can't keep up with my correspondence,
but my question is:
Do you think any of those people
got out of bed on their last day...
...thinking, "Today's my day to die"?
You got to take Jesus into your heart now,
because you never know.
Even if you don't have a condition,
you might have a situation.
You a killer too?
You never went to war?
Korea? Vietnam?
Never did a hit-and-run with the BMW?
Never told the wifey to get an abortion?
Or that piece of chicken on the side,
"Here's $300, take care of it."
Because you got that look.
You got ice in your eyes.
I can tell.
You're wrong.
Am I now?
Mr. Armstrong...
...let's see whom we're talking to.
Are you married?
House or apartment?
A house.
Alarms on the windows?
Have trouble sleeping?
- No.
- Liar.
You afraid to die?
Don't think about it.
That's three lies.
Same as Peter did to Jesus
before the cock crowed.
You should be ashamed of yourself,
lying to a condemned man.
Don't my...
...lies tell you as much about me
as my truths?
Would you do me a favor?
Mail this for me.
Thank you.
What do you want to talk to me for?
Nice town.
What happened there?
You been talking to my old neighbor,
Bobby Earl. Excitable boy.
Did you kill Joanie Shriver?
Did I?
There been so many.
Did you kill Joanie Shriver?
You're starting to get all frantic
and excited, just like Bobby Earl did.
Did you?
You're my first visitor in two years since
those behavioral science boys visited me.
Wanted to know about my childhood.
Did my folks beat me,
abuse me, sex me up?
I told them there ain't no formula
for people like me.
What we're dealing with here
is just a predisposition for an appetite.
You know, good parents, bad parents...
Ain't no cause and effect.
It's just an appetite.
Fuck you.
Let me tell you a few things, Armstrong.
I am filled with power!
You may think I'm an impotent prisoner...
...locked in a cell each night and day,
but I am filled with a strength...
...that reaches beyond these bars!
I can touch anyone I want to!
Just as easy as dialing the telephone!
There's no one beyond my reach!
You hear me? No one!
Did you kill her?
I ain't going to tell you if I did or not.
Even if I did, how would you know
to believe me?
Killing is easy for me.
How hard do you think lying is?
Yeah. Go to hell.
I will.
No doubt about that.
What if I could help you find something?
Something important.
Something interesting.
Real important.
Like what?
Where is it?
- Not far from where they found her.
- Where?
They didn't read the signs.
What signs?
The Bible.
The Bible?
Ecclesiastes 11:1.
You can't miss it if you can read the signs.
What signs?
"Seek, and ye shall find."
- Do you have a Bible here?
- We have plenty. The Gideons love us.
- How'd it go?
- I wouldn't like him as a neighbor.
- He asked me to mail this.
- Not again. Goddamn him.
Sick bastard.
I never send these letters.
Can't even read them anymore.
Hey, Roz, what's up, baby?
You saw Tyrone?
He is not telling you the truth.
You know he's lying.
I saw him with her last night.
Someone is here so I'll speak to you later.
All right, then.
Is Tanny Brown here?
He's at a soccer practice with my brother.
Hi. I'm Lena.
- You must be Mr. Armstrong.
- Yeah? How do you know?
Everyone knows you're the guy
my father was complaining about.
He'll be back in a few minutes.
Would you care for some iced tea?
- That would be very nice.
- Come in.
I'm going to study law too.
I graduated first in my high school class.
Good for you.
I'm thinking about going
to the University of Virginia.
They have a great school
and my mom lives in Newport News.
That's Joanie and me.
Daddy used to call us his girls.
I remember how we used to talk
about opening up a pet shop together.
I miss her.
A day doesn't go by
that I still don't talk to her.
To who?
- Maurice, go wash up for supper.
- But, Daddy...
Go! Is supper ready?
Take Mr. Armstrong's glass.
He was just leaving.
Get out of my house.
You shouldn't have been in charge.
- I'll have you arrested!
- Too close to the victim.
You got no right coming here
and interrogating my kids!
You got no right telling me
how to do my job!
How many times did she eat here,
or sleep over with Lena?
Look, I got an office.
What you come around here for?
I thought you might be interested
in recovering the knife.
All of a sudden you're Sherlock Holmes?
You're obviously not.
Any luck?
"Cast thy bread upon the waters,
for thou shalt find it after many days."
Ecclesiastes 11:1.
Blair Sullivan's directions.
Blair Sullivan?
"And if the tree fall toward the south
or toward the north...
"...in the place where the tree falleth,
there it shall be."
Yeah, you're really onto something now,
Really onto something.
Look here...
How you come to Blair Sullivan?
It's a long story.
Look around you.
Look where you at.
- You see where you are?
- Yes.
"Seek and ye shall find."
Sullivan must have bust a gut
the minute he saw you coming.
Talking about the Bible.
...we must've had...
...50, 60 volunteers...
...poking and digging through here...
...trying to find that knife.
What's this?
That's a culvert. They run under the roads.
Keep them from washing away.
- What the hell was that?
- That's the local wildlife.
There's a couple hundred of them here,
if you want to keep looking.
Do people live in a place like that?
Hell, no.
An old poacher's shack,
what they call a hunting blind.
It's a camp for gator hunters.
Do the skinning there, rest up
in the evening. It's a nighttime thing.
What the hell is he doing now?
What now?
Look at this: One, one, one.
What about it?
Sullivan said we have to read the signs.
Eleven-one. Chapter eleven, verse one.
You're a real hard case.
You know that?
You're fishing! Nothing's out here!
You're fishing!
The man's an idiot!
Goddamn it!
How about this?
North, south. South, north.
That's a tree.
Make your point.
Step down here, please.
I've just about run out of patience
with you.
Step down.
I hope this is good.
Pick that up.
Is something wrong with your hands?
No, but if it is the murder weapon...
...technically it's better
to be discovered by the police.
I see.
That way we won't jeopardize
my legal position.
Thank you, Professor.
Goddamn you, Armstrong.
You got a lot of explaining to do.
...all but admitted that he killed the girl...
...without anyone sticking a gun
in his mouth.
Fuck Blair Sullivan and fuck you too!
No! Rejoice!
For a great injustice is about to be undone!
What did Sullivan drive?
Three cars.
All stolen.
What was he driving in Florida?
Green Monarch.
We need a Ford Granada.
I see your Monarch...
...I raise you Bobby Earl's...
They're almost identical.
I'm no friend of capital punishment...
...but at least the letters will stop.
More of Sullivan's correspondence.
That's the lot?
So far.
"Dear Mr. And Mrs. Shriver...
"...I've been wrong not to write sooner...
"...but I've been real busy
getting ready to die.
"I just wanted you to know what a real...
"...sweet piece of business...
"...your little baby was.
"Doing her...
"...was like carving up...
"...a ripe melon...
"...like picking ripe cherries
on a summer morning...
"...like plowing a scented field,
and plow her I did.
"But I don't imagine anything will come
of that particular crop...
"...come harvest time, do you?"
It's signed, "Your friend...
"...Blair Sullivan."
...he doesn't specifically...
...say in this letter that he killed
Joanie Shriver.
Does he?
He said what I read.
That being with her was "like carving up...
"...a ripe melon."
Nothing further.
How does freedom feel?
- I'd like to thank...
- Your attorney.
...my attorney, Mr. Lyle Morgan.
My grandma for never giving up hope,
and Professor Paul Armstrong.
Without him, I wouldn't be here.
How are you?
I'm very happy for you.
I'm happy for both of us.
Thank you.
Before we go back...
...come for drinks Friday.
I'd love to...
...but I can't. I made other plans.
We'll meet again.
I promise you.
- You ready?
- Congratulations.
Have a safe trip.
Hey, Mr. Ferguson. Congratulations.
Got them all fooled, don't you? Judge...
...even that know-nothing Harvard fool.
But not me.
No, sir.
Not Tanny Brown.
I'll be all over you like white on rice.
You hear?
Come on.
Miss Evangeline.
"But they all disappear
"From view
"'Cause I only have eyes for you"
I love you.
The firm's been more successful
than I dreamed.
Are you single?
I've been married for eight years.
Good. It's time for you to fool around.
Champagne, anyone?
Yes, I'd love some. Thank you, Phil.
You ought to stay a few days
and make it a real vacation.
No, we must get back. I'm behind
on my caseload. Paul has classes.
Paul, I think you missed your true calling.
You should've been a detective.
No, thanks. I'm quite happy
to get out of the real world.
Here we go. A little refreshment.
Katie, get the phone.
I would like to propose a toast.
To innocence revealed.
To death denied.
To the triumph of truth over appearance.
Hear, hear.
Telephone for you, Daddy.
Don't finish it.
What are you doing later?
After the party?
I have an appointment.
In fact, I must leave now.
Congratulations, Professor.
How'd you get this number?
I've got all your numbers.
Been a big week for you.
Been a big week for me too.
Sure you know the governor
signed my death warrant.
I got less time than it takes
to play a round of golf.
...my letter sewed it up tight for you.
We thought that might do the trick.
Who's "we"?
I'll tell you when you come.
Things worked out kind of perfect
for you, didn't it?
Maybe too perfect.
You got a pen?
13 Tula Way.
My folks' place.
I want you to call on them.
I want you to say good-bye for me.
Tell them I love them...
...and that they are in my prayers...
...and then you come to me.
You do that for me...
... and I'll tell you who "we" is.
You best run, Armstrong.
Anyone home?
Takes me back to my youth.
I want to remind you all
of next Sunday's fish fry.
And now, from the bounty of the Lord...
...Amazing Grace
on Everglade Christian Radio.
"So the dead which he slew at his death...
"...were more than they
which he slew in his life."
Judges 16:30.
I told you I had power.
Not this time.
So tell me...
...what did you see?
What did you hear?
Give me all the details.
Spare me nothing. Come on.
Come on, I want everything.
Come on.
When you called me to say:
"We thought the letter
would do the trick"...
...who did you mean by "we"?
Tell me what you saw.
Tell me about my folks. That was the deal.
Why not?
By "we," I meant me and the shining boy
of the hour.
I pushed the buttons
to make you do the dance...
...to spring our boy...
...who, in turn, did the deed.
"The deed"?
You know what I mean.
I had some unfinished business out there.
I gave Bobby Earl life...
...so he could give me death.
Joanie Shriver?
I never had the pleasure
of making her acquaintance.
Bobby Earl coached me a little bit
on the details.
All I had to do to take his crime was
tell you where the knife was...
...and write that letter.
You should see your face, Armstrong!
What's going on up there?
Why me?
We needed a legitimizer.
Who'd believe us? We're just psychopaths.
Why me?
You were Bobby Earl's con.
And he had his reasons.
It's my turn.
What reasons?
No, it's my turn now!
Come on.
How did my folks look?
How did they smell?
Tell me everything.
Spare me nothing.
They said they forgive you
and will remember you in their prayers.
I'm sure you're lying, cocksucker!
You inhuman bastard!
You cannot cheat me of this!
Come on!
We played you like a tune! It ain't over!
You got the trials of Job ahead of you!
The trials of Job! The sin is pride,
you fucker, and the messenger is revenge!
We played you like a tune!
It ain't over yet!
- I told you how fragile this thing was.
- Yes, you're right.
- You were right.
- You know where I am?
I'm at the Sullivan house now
and I want to tell you...
... it's a good thing I put Wilcox on his tail.
- "In the name of the Father, the Son..."
- Shut up!
- "...and the Holy Spirit..."
- Shut up, please!
Shut up!
"As governor of the state of Florida..."
I have a confession from Sullivan
on tape and it is evidence.
You're a goddamn fool.
First you had evidence this way,
now you got evidence that way.
His confession don't mean shit
unless he testifies in court.
Don't lecture me about confessions,
not after the way you got Bobby Earl's.
"To cause the sentence of death
to be executed on Blair Sullivan."
Armstrong, you keep Sullivan alive.
"Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done
on earth, as it is in heaven.
"Give us this day our daily bread.
"And forgive us our trespasses."
Are you packed?
Where are you?
I'm right on top of him.
Collins and 50th.
I want you to stay on his tail,
but don't jump him until I tell you.
You were Bobby Earl's con.
And he had his reasons.
- It's my turn.
- What reasons?
No, it's my turn now!
I'm sorry, there's no answer.
Did she leave any messages for me?
Just one moment, sir.
We played you like a tune! It ain't over!
You got the trials of Job ahead!
The trials of Job! The sin is pride...
- Sorry, sir, no messages.
- ... and the messenger is revenge!
On, no, I left him!
- Who?
- The bear Daddy gave me. I left him!
- We gave the key back.
- We can't just leave him!
Come on, we'll find a maid.
Maybe she'll let us in the room.
Don't let anyone touch that luggage.
All right?
I'll be right back.
I got to call Mom and Dad.
- Did I get the laundry?
- I think so.
The maid wouldn't take Angus, right?
I don't think so.
You must take better care of your stuff.
I know.
We'll go in your car. Get your keys out.
You better lock it up, girl.
Get the keys out.
We'll have ourselves a little ride.
Come on, Wilcox, pick up the damn phone.
- Get in.
- Leave her here.
Move your hand or I'll cut her head off!
Get in!
Hurry up!
Let's go.
Hurry up.
Come on, pick it up.
Come in, quick.
Get in the car!
That's Laurie's car!
I think Bobby Earl has them!
Where is Wilcox?
Where are we going?
It's a surprise.
Stop touching her.
I'm out of my jurisdiction here.
I need to call for backup.
Why are you doing this?
He saved your life.
Bitch, that don't make up
for what you did to me.
Let her go. She didn't do anything to you.
- She's a part of you.
- Let her go.
She's a tiny version of you.
She'll grow up and be a hero.
- It's okay.
- Shut up!
Get down, in case he sees you.
Pull over! To the left!
I'll kill her!
They're going against the traffic!
Bitch, drive!
Take it! Punch it!
Punch the gas! Punch it!
Punch it!
Bitch, you better drive! Punch it!
I'll kill her! I'll take her now!
Listen up.
Got me a double date.
Remember Joanie Shriver? That's nothing
compared to what I'll do to your girl.
There's the car.
It's the only place he'd be.
Keep your eyes open, Armstrong.
We're in his backyard now.
We need to split up.
I'm going to go around back.
...squeeze one off if you have to.
Don't try to hit nothing.
Just point and squeeze.
- Where is he?
- Hurry.
Get it off my mouth.
He's out there.
He's out there somewhere!
Get Katie out of here.
Everything's going to be all right.
I don't know if he's coming back.
Welcome to the party, Professor.
Stop it!
Give me Tanny's gun.
He couldn't stand to see me free,
living the good life...
...so I killed the fucker.
Let them go. You have me now.
It's not you that I want, Professor.
Is it Laurie?
It's not you I've been waiting for
and thinking about the last eight years.
But she dropped her case against you.
Not soon enough.
You had me held for just one night
so you could make a name for yourself.
Sullivan was right.
"The sin is pride."
- I'm sorry.
- You're sorry?
I had no idea they'd hurt you.
Hurt me?
Do you want to see
what those fuckers did to me?
They cut me.
They castrated me!
You feel that?
You had me...
Did you think they'd give a shit
about justice?
Sit down!
Like that knife?
That's what put me on the Row and
eight years later that's what made me free.
Please, let Katie go.
She's just a little girl.
I'm saving Katie for dessert.
Now I'm going to do me
these two lovely ladies of yours.
Then I'll disappear.
What I need to know from you is
how do you want to die, first or last?
And Blair Sullivan?
Watch your fucking hands!
What about him?
Don't fuck with me, Armstrong.
Sullivan is dead.
No. The governor gave him
a stay of execution.
You're a desperate man, Armstrong.
I brought him the news.
What fucking news?
That his parents were still alive and well.
No, it's my turn now!
How did my folks look?
How did they smell?
They said they forgive you
and will remember you in their prayers.
You're a fucking liar!
Sullivan will testify against you.
- You inhuman bastard!
- Liar!
You cannot cheat me of this!
We played you like a tune!
It ain't over yet! You got the trials
of Job ahead of you!
The trials of Job!
Get your ass out of the water.
You all right there, Armstrong?
I'm in better shape than you are.
I loved Joanie Shriver
like she was my own.
Are you going to be okay?
Yeah. I'm fine.
Least we'll be able to sleep at night.
We'll see.