American Crime Story (2016) Episode Scripts

N/A - Chapter 3

1 Matt! It was something from a nightmare.
(insects buzzing) Flora! Flora? Shelby! (screams) LEE: We've had to now accept the real possibility that we were looking for a body.
There is no fear like the fear of losing a child.
It is primal.
And it's wrenching.
MAN: Got it.
(footfalls descending ladder) (sniffs, exhales) It's Flora's.
I can't explain it.
Seems like you folks have been involved with a lot of that lately.
Well, that's a goddamn thing to say.
I was grateful, for all the volunteers who were helping to look for my daughter.
But the police were a different matter.
I was a cop.
There are thousands of acres of woods out there, places no one's ever seen.
Then what the hell are we waiting on? (Lee sighs) Let's get to work.
LEE: And I can sense when something's off.
For all I knew, they were in bed with the hillbillies who took my Flora.
As a cop, I knew the chances of finding my daughter were cut in half after 36 hours of her being reported missing.
After 72, it's less than 30%.
In this country, over 33,000 kids are missing at any given time.
(indistinct radio chatter) Thank you.
Thank you.
Her name's Flora.
My Flora was not gonna be one of those damn numbers.
Thank you so much.
We were each responsible for searching our own area of the forest.
Flora! Flora? I didn't want to be out there alone.
To be perfectly honest I was petrified.
MATT: It was a very stressful situation.
Walking in that forest, your mind starts to play tricks.
The lights and shadows in the trees begin to take on forms and shapes.
Creatures, apparitions sprung from the subconscious.
But what we found wasn't just in my imagination.
Matt! Shelby! LEE: Don't touch it! There could be evidence.
MATT: Are you sure that's Flora's? Look what they did to it.
It's evil.
She was here.
She's close by.
Flora! Flora! It was something from a nightmare.
About a hundred yards from where we found the doll, we stumbled onto this skeleton of a farm.
Looked like a place no one wanted to be, but there was a chance Flora was inside.
(insects buzzing) (hinges creak) Flora? SHELBY: Oh, my God.
Who lives like this? (blows, sighs) Ugh.
She's not here.
Whole place is empty.
(pig squealing) What's that? Something is still here.
LEE: Ugh.
(door closes, echoes) (insects buzzing) SHELBY: Pigs again.
(insects buzzing) Flora? Flora! MATT: Flora? (sucking) SHELBY: Flora? LEE: Flora! Flora? LEE: Flora! BOTH (mumbling): Flora.
(sucking, grunting) (pig grunting) (sucking, gurgling) Flora.
Flora! Flora! Matt brought the cops to the farm.
They were just as shocked as we were by what we found in that barn.
There was no sign of the rest of the Polk family.
It was like they just took off and abandoned those poor things.
All I kept thinking was if that family treated their own flesh and blood like animals, what were they doing to my baby? We did a thorough search of the farmhouse and based on what we could gather, they were occupying the land illegally.
Now, it looks like they probably knew we were coming, so they took the girl and fled before we could catch them.
I guess they figured those boys could fend for themselves.
Oh, Jesus.
And now they could be anywhere.
(door opens) MAN: Sir, sir, you can't go in there! LEE: Mason, I'm so sorry.
Where are they? The boys we found are in the interview room.
Someone's talking to them now.
I can do my own interrogating.
Hey, sir! I can't let you go in there.
That's my kid they took! MATT: Mason, let them do their job.
For Flora's sake.
Come on, man.
Come on, brother.
SHELBY: A social worker tried talking to those boys to see if they knew anything, but they could barely speak.
I'll give you another piece if you tell me your name.
Croatoan! Croatoan! That was all they said.
It was the only word they knew.
At the time none of us understood what it meant.
But we'd later come to understand that it was a warning.
MATT: Flora! SHELBY: Flora! MATT: Flora! SHELBY: Flora! MATT: Flora! Flora! SHELBY: Flora! (insects chirping) LEE: Flora! Flora had been missing for more than 72 hours.
Flora? The FBI agent wasn't gonna say it Flora, baby! and neither was I.
But we both had to now accept the real possibility (shuddering breath) that we were looking for a body.
(sniffles) (exhales) (insects chirping) MATT: It was late.
We hadn't slept in days.
It was time to take a break.
None of us wanted to, but we couldn't see straight.
LEE: But Matt was right-- better to get some rest, and be fresh and alert in the morning.
I was exhausted, not myself, but even on my best day, I wasn't ready for what Mason came at me with.
Where is she? Where's Flora? I've had enough of this bullshit.
FBI, cops.
Grieving mother bullshit? Where you hiding her? SHELBY: Mason, come on.
Lee was with us when Flora wandered off.
I'm not stupid! You were gonna lose custody of her, and you knew it.
You'd have been lucky to have supervised visitation! What's your plan? Have us all look till we wear out? Then you sneak away with her to Mexico or something? Mason, stop.
Now, you know me.
I would never do anything like that.
You did something exactly like that! You kidnapped her! From school.
It's time the police heard about it.
If that's really what you believe, why are you only saying it now? Why didn't you tell the police? I know how the police work.
If they focused on Lee, suddenly nobody's out looking for Flora.
Which is exactly what will happen if you start saying this shit! It's time for that! The only way we're gonna find out where you hid her is by getting it out of you! No, Mason.
You know me.
That's our baby out there.
Ours-- Oh, oh! Hey! Hey, Mason! Are you all right? I'm fine.
(door slams) I'm fine.
We were all on edge.
Running on fumes.
I must've been riding on adrenaline till then, 'cause the second my head hit the pillow, I was out.
(phone buzzing) Hello? Little did we know, none of us would get much sleep that night.
Lee? In fact, our night was just beginning.
Lee, wake up.
Hmm? We got to go.
Is it Flora? Did they find her? I'm not sure.
Cops, uh Matt? What is it? They found something.
A body.
LEE: I felt like the ground had dropped out from under me and I was falling.
I had thought the uncertainty, the not knowing, was the worst feeling in the world.
But I was wrong.
I was so wrong.
(indistinct radio chatter) Let me through.
Let me through! Let me through! Move! Flora LEE: Oh CONNELL: Forensics removed this from the body.
Ma'am Oh, my God.
It's Mason.
I was so messed up after seeing Mason that I almost missed two alerts on my phone.
Whenever the motion sensors are activated, the cameras record everything to my computer.
MATT: That's Lee.
22:13 is about a quarter after 10:00.
She left the house 15 minutes after Mason.
And that's Lee coming back Oh four hours later.
(sighs) (exhales) (sighs) I know she's your sister, and blood is thicker than water, but the cops don't know what happened last night and we do.
Shelby, don't go there.
Mason was going to the police to tell them about Lee.
She was desperate.
Desperate people can do terrible things.
(floorboard creaks) Shelby.
You honestly believe that I'm capable of murder? We're all Goddamn it! I will not stand to be accused and not by my own family.
It's obvious that I'm not welcome here.
You're right.
We're family, and we trust you, Lee.
But you're right.
We're not welcome here.
None of us are.
(door creaks open) Something is trying to tell us to leave, and maybe it's time we listen and go.
Stay at a hotel for now.
MAN: After what happened, you should keep the door locked.
I was called to help you find your little girl.
LEE: Who was this guy? Had the FBI called him? I mean, my daughter had gone missing.
My ex-husband was dead.
You can understand, I was a little wary of strangers.
Called? By who? By whom.
Uh, sorry.
I always assume that my reputation arrives before I do.
It's been said by many that my ego certainly does.
I don't mean "called" in any way you'd be familiar with, via AT&T, or Sprint (chuckling): if you're particularly gauche.
I was sittin' in my home in the uptown district of New Orleans, having a Café Du Monde beignet.
Watching the CNN about your missing angel.
And a spirit whispered in my ear that the mystery to this abduction is only gonna be untangled by a man who knows the comings and goings of the other side.
We appreciate you coming, but we're gonna let the FBI take it from here.
Who has been assigned the case? Is it Special Agent Greenfield? He would be my choice.
I worked with him on an abduction of a child in the southern Utah desert.
Must be five years gone by now.
We found him.
Alive and well.
SHELBY: He was right.
We looked him up.
There were pictures of him with the southern regional director of the FBI.
Stories about him helping to find missing children all over the country.
Gift came to me when I was nine years old.
My nana couldn't find her car keys anywhere.
I told her she had accidentally tossed 'em out with a takeout food container.
(clicking tongue) (bangs cane loudly) (clicking tongue) (bangs cane loudly) The news stories about him were compelling.
But come on psychics? I was skeptical.
But then he did something I could not explain.
(bangs cane loudly) (breathing shakily) Shh! (very faint childish laughter) Can can you hear that? She was here.
Hiding (hinges creak) (breathing shakily) Flora is not dead.
And she wasn't taken by the living.
Your daughter is with Priscilla.
Priscilla? Who-who is Priscilla? Wait, wait, wait, wait.
That that's not possible.
Priscilla isn't real.
Priscilla is real.
She's a child.
She has a fondness for corn husk dolls.
She died in the late 1500s.
I believed Cricket had some kind of sight.
There are people with the gift.
Matt thinks I'm too gullible.
I've read about these psychics.
It all seems like magic, but they are just really good at the con.
They target people who are the most desperate and they find their way in.
M-Maybe he talked to Mason or someone he knew.
I just had a feeling that Cricket could help.
So, when he told me that he needed permission from the owners of the house to try a communication with the spirit world, I gave it to him.
Spirits of the north, south, east, west, Father Sky, Mother Earth, hear our call.
(exhales) Gods of this earth and the next, show us what is hidden.
Priscilla? Sweet Priscilla.
Come speak to us.
We mean you no harm.
(Shelby gasps) Is it her? Is it Priscilla? No.
It's another.
A woman.
Horrible woman.
Quick, join hands.
What? Just join hands! You'll need your combined strength to keep yourselves safe.
Who are you? Why have you taken the child? WOMAN'S VOICE: I am called The Butcher, and all that invade and threaten my land do me harm.
Show your face, dark woman.
This is the prayer card of Saint John Gualbert.
He's the saint of mercy, the patron saint of those who work and live in the forest.
I ask him to surround us in his white light.
You can do us no harm.
(all gasp) LEE: This was all getting too real.
I mean, you could explain away knowing about the hiding place and the corn husk doll, but I was in that room.
There were no wires, no special effects.
The candle split on its own, perfectly, right down the middle.
I couldn't explain it.
I couldn't explain it.
I surround us with the white light of protection.
(Shelby gasping) I surround us with the white light of protection.
You cannot harm us! She has a cleaver.
She's called The Butcher.
She passed over a long time ago, centuries.
Why do you haunt this place? THE BUTCHER: I protect this place.
This place is mine.
I shall stop at nothing to hold safe this colony.
I shall stack the bodies high as cordwood.
LEE: Does she know where Flora is? CRICKET: Where's the child? Why have you taken her? (chuckling) Had I that child, she would've been flayed and roasted by now.
Priscilla, the bastard's seed, hath hidden her away somewhere beyond our hallowed ground.
I shall not step one foot off my land.
Never again.
I must protect it from trespassers such as thee.
Oh, honey, this land does not belong to the dead.
You're the trespasser! (glass shattering, all screaming) Croatoan! (echoes): Croatoan! "Croatoan.
" The same word those wild boys uttered.
CRICKET: Croatoan! What the hell was that?! Where's Flora at? What did they say? That word that you said Is she afraid? Is she all right? "Croatoan.
" What does it mean? Rest your pretty little heads.
Cricket has all the answers you seek.
The spirits are dark and malevolent, and they do indeed have your daughter.
But I can take you to her.
I take Visa, MasterCard, Discover MATT: You damn con artist.
What kind of twisted low-life preys on a mother's hopes? You got the gall to ask for money after you break out my damn windows? Hey, Matt! Huh?! Matt! He didn't have anything to do with that.
How could he? We were with him the whole time.
MATT: This crook could've had someone outside with a BB gun, shooting on cue.
This whole damn thing was a Cirque du Soleil bullshit act to shake us down, and I wasn't gonna let him get away with it.
I can see how it's easier to believe that.
How can your conventional mind explain away things that you've seen? Things you cannot be processed with terrestrial thinking.
But my gift is real.
I tell the truth.
Even the FBI pays.
You are an awful human being.
I perform a service.
I plunge my delicate soul into peril every time a crying mama comes to me about her missing chickadee.
My desire is to help.
I didn't give a shit if Cricket was a psychic or a psycho.
I was done playing games.
It was time for him to tell us everything he knew.
You can understand my predicament.
When you're peddling pharmaceuticals, do you give 'em to all the dying children for free? (gun cocks) LEE: Time for some answers.
(shuddered breathing) (whispers): Lee Hey, put the gun down.
He knows where Flora is.
He's a fraud.
He's just messing with your head, Lee.
Come on.
Come on, Lee.
I'm sorry.
(scoffs) I'm sorry.
(gun uncocks) (sighs) (chair clatters on floor) Get the hell out of my house, you piece of shit.
(chuckling): Oh Missy.
I will be back.
You will invite me.
(whispering indistinctly) Hey.
all those many years ago.
PRODUCER: What did he say to her? Cricket? I don't know.
Something about Flora, I suppose.
But it shook her up, I could see that.
LEE: Well, we were all shook up.
PRODUCER: Your sister-in-law thought it was something Cricket Marlowe whispered to you before he left.
I don't remember anything like that.
You sure? Because you went to see him the next day.
Was that because Cricket Marlowe said something about your first daughter? About Emily? (whispers): Emily says hello.
She wonders why you quit looking for her all those years ago.
How do you know about Emily? PRODUCER: All participants on the show are subjected to extensive background checks.
Death certificates are a matter of public record.
Tell us about Emily.
We need to stop.
You need to turn off those cameras.
I said turn off those goddamn cameras! (camera beeps) The red light's on.
Are we rolling again? (sighs) I was young.
17 when I had Emily.
She had just turned four.
It was around the Fourth of July.
I was running errands and just had to run to the grocery store and grab some sauce real fast.
Five minutes.
I don't know why I didn't take her in with me.
When I came back to the car, she was gone.
I never saw her again.
I know how this looks.
I had absolutely nothing to do with Flora's disappearance from the house.
If I had, why the hell would I pay a psychic $25,000 to get her back? I'm didn't come here for any more parlor tricks.
You have your money now.
Tell me where Priscilla has my daughter.
I wish it were that simple.
After I was asked to leave your house, I took a stroll in the surrounding woods.
That's when my mind was blasted.
(indistinct voices) The spirits downloaded to me like a paranormal zip drive.
The only way to save your baby is to find out everything we can about the enemy.
The Butcher.
Her Christian name was Thomasin White.
Her husband John was the governor of the colony of Roanoke.
Life was harsh for the settlers, and John was persuaded to travel back to England for more supplies.
He left Thomasin in charge until he returned.
This thin gruel will not quiet our bellies, we need real food.
Be grateful for what thou art given, Mr.
The women receive only half share.
Mother, the people are starving.
And winter is almost upon us.
We must venture inland if we are to survive.
Sir, we agreed, such a perilous course of action requires much prayer and careful consideration.
There is nothing to consider.
We stay where my husband left us.
Until his return, I shall hear no more from thee.
LEE: Everybody who lives in North Carolina knows the history of the Lost Colony.
It's a ghost story people told around the campfire.
116 settlers disappeared without a trace.
No bodies, not a single thing was ever found.
But Roanoke has nothing to do with us.
With my Flora.
You think I'm selling you a crock of shit.
You read my mind.
And you're wasting my time.
Now, everyone knows that Roanoke is nowhere near here.
There's a historical monument over an hour away.
And we've heard that story ever since we were kids.
You only think you know the story.
THOMASIN (echoes): No! (metal clanking) Pestilence requires a firm hand.
A leader shall lead only with the consent of the governed.
By all true reckoning, thou hath lost our allegiance.
Thou art hereby removed from thy position and banished from our protection.
Traitor! Thou shalt hang.
I shall live.
As we all shall when we travel inland.
Please, she will not survive.
Let God's will be done.
I put this on thee, not for spite, but for justice.
Thou shalt find it as hard to live with this around thy neck as it was for us with thee around ours.
Pledge fealty to our cause.
Thy loyalty must be absolute.
I cannot.
CAGE: Her fate is sealed.
Thine own fate hangeth in the balance.
Beg for a reprieve, Mother.
I bend my knee to no man.
God have mercy.
CRICKET: She was abandoned.
In the forest for days.
She was dying of hunger and thirst.
(groans and pants softly) (insects chirping) (pig squealing, Thomasin yells and whimpers) (Thomasin grunting) CRICKET: Thomasin had lost all hope.
All she had left were her prayers.
(panting): I repent I repent, for the kingdom of heaven is nigh.
My Lord, if I'm to be torn apart by wild beasts, it is thy will.
(galloping hoofbeats) I surrender my soul (galloping hoofbeats) for thy safe keeping.
(pig screeching in pain, stabbing sounds) (screeching stops, Thomasin whimpers) (slashing and squishing sounds) (panting): Serve.
(heart beating) (echoing): Eat.
Surrender thy soul to me.
(heart continues beating) (chains rattle) CAGE: So we all agree, then.
Take the trail inland.
There's a clearing by the river where we can all settle.
(men whispering, murmuring) Ah! I have been purified by my torment in the wilderness.
Let no man mistake God's will.
The mistake was returning here.
(gasps) (choking) Beg for a reprieve, Ambrose.
Mother have mercy.
Were thou not birthed of mine own treacherous flesh, I would cut thy throat and hurl thee into bloody damnation.
Do not defy me again.
So we stay.
We go inland.
The colony moved here? That's how your paths crossed with The Butcher.
She claims dominion, and for this land she will kill you all.
Are you sure we should be out here? We just have to trust him now, Shelby.
May I have the bonnet, please? LEE: Yes.
(whistles quietly) Priscilla? Show yourself, precious.
Don't be afraid.
Oh, ho, ho, ho.
We're not alone here, chickens.
LEE: Oh, I feel heat.
(Cricket chuckles darkly) The Butcher and some of her muscle.
The defilers present themselves for slaughter.
Harm us, and only more will follow.
And you will never have the peace that you seek.
But there's a way that we can all get what we want.
I will attend.
Bring us the mortal girl.
Compel Priscilla to give up her playmate.
Help her understand there can be no friendship between the dead and the living.
As soon as Flora is safe with us, my clients will be gone! Bag and baggage! LEE: And we'll make sure that no one else comes here again.
We'll burn the house down.
SHELBY: We never agreed to that! Flora's everything that I have! She's my daughter.
You wouldn't understand! And we did agree to it.
Who agreed to it? Matt agreed to it.
Where is he? SHELBY: Matt? Matt? SHELBY: I wasn't surprised that Lee went back to Cricket.
Or even that she wrote him a big check.
She was desperate.
We all were.
What surprised me was Matt.
I still have no memory of slipping away.
And I I certainly have no memory of what Shelby says she saw when she found me.
SHELBY: Matt? LEE (calling in distance): Matt! (insects trilling) (rustling) (man panting) (man moans) (woman gasps in pleasure) (woman gasping, man grunting) Cricket assured me The Butcher had agreed to the deal.
But now both Matt and Shelby were gone.
We looked for them for what seemed like an hour.
Matt finally emerged, confused.
He had no idea where he had been.
And Shelby well, apparently, she had gone back to the house on her own.
Shelby! Oh.
Oh, thank God.
Thank God, I thought you were hurt.
What? Don't touch me.
What? What? What are you talking about? What's wrong? What's wrong? Are you kidding me? You went behind my back and agreed to burn our house down.
Oh You were out in the woods having sex with that woman.
Who is she, Matt? Who is she? What woman? Don't you dare try to gaslight me.
I saw you with her, screwing her up against this tree while those hillbillies watched.
It was disgusting.
(sniffles) Shelby, I don't know what you're talking about.
LEE: Matt! Cuff her.
Hey! Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
Matt? You have a right to an attorney.
Put her in the car.
LEE: Wait a minute.
Wait, wait, wait! What did you do? LEE: Get off me.
Let I don't know what you're talking about.
(indistinct radio transmission) (engine starts)