Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Precious

NARRATOR: In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups, the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
(CHILDREN CHATTERING) GILLESPIE: This is us on the South Rim.
That's where you start from.
You see the other side? Yeah, right behind your thumb.
Very funny.
Anyway, it's five miles across.
This is halfway down.
And this is us at the Phantom Ranch, right at the bottom of the canyon.
You can't tell, but it's one mile, straight down.
A fantastic view.
You could tell me they had Keanu Reeves naked down there, you'd never get me to sit Officer, please, I need your help.
It's my daughter, she's gone.
I don't know how it happened.
All right.
Just calm down.
She's just a baby.
Somebody stole my baby.
It was over here.
Emily's only three months old.
She can't do anything for herself.
You carry a picture of her? No.
My wife, but she's at the doctor's office.
I just sat down for a minute.
Was the baby in a stroller? No, it was a She was in a backpack thing.
I set her down on the bench next to me.
What color was the backpack? Blue with white and little letters.
I told the officers, I dozed off.
But it was only like five minutes, and I wake up and the backpack is gone.
Did you see anybody hanging around, anybody following you? No.
No.
I didn't notice anybody.
Okay, Mr.
Willach, just sit tight for a minute.
I'll be right back.
We've got people at all the entrances.
Canine units are on the way.
Did he see anything? No.
Poor guy closes his eyes for two minutes, bang.
Detective Logan.
This lady says she saw some guy hanging around the playground this morning.
A bald man, over there, two hours ago.
Taking pictures of kids with a camera he's got.
I seen him around before.
So where did he go? He went away.
I don't know where.
All right, I'm gonna put you together with a sketch artist, and you're gonna help him draw a picture of this bald man, okay? Okay.
I thought this thing only happens in my country.
What are you talking about? Guatemala.
You don't know? It was all over the TV.
They steal the babies for their organs.
She has the bluest eyes.
Does this kind of thing happen a lot here? I mean, with so many people around.
Oh, you're not from around here? We just moved to 94th Street from Edison, New Jersey.
What are we doing here? We're not doing any good just sitting here talking.
Mrs.
Willach, we have a lot of people out looking for your daughter.
Oh, God, why is this happening to me? I should never have gone to the doctor's.
I should have stayed home.
It's my fault.
If I hadn't sat down, everything BRISCOE: Hey, nobody blames you for sitting down.
You walked all the way to Heckscher playground from 94th Street.
We got a nanny in the park who saw this man near the playground.
Did you see anyone even slightly resembling this man? No, I was only paying attention to Emily.
I mean BRISCOE: That's okay.
We understand.
Whenever you want to talk to us, you just call this number, all right? We know how tough this is.
Thank you, Officer.
Please, find her.
They always come up with a new angle.
"Help me find my lost dog.
" "Let me take your picture.
" Anything that gets them up close to the kids.
Yeah.
Well, we've got Profaci checking on arrests in the park for the past six months.
Have him pull the conditions reports from the local precinct.
Maybe somebody's complained about this "gentleman" before.
You know, for what it's worth, the nanny mentioned something about kids being snatched for their organs.
Yeah.
Right, in Guatemala.
But around here, the big money's in adoption.
Nice white baby girl, could be some rich yuppie couple's dream child.
Look, I don't care if this child was beamed up by E.
T.
Let's just find her before she's old enough to go to kindergarten.
Head back to the playground.
Word gets around about creeps like this.
(CHILDREN CHATTERING) Looks like a guy I once married.
Thank God he's dead.
Anybody else? Did he have a camera with him? That's the guy.
He was over at Riverside Park a couple of months ago.
Wouldn't leave us alone.
He was there every day for a week.
I complained about him to a cop.
And? He finally gave the guy a ticket.
Afterwards, the cop told me there wasn't even any film in the camera.
Do you happen to remember what day that was? Listen, I got no receipt, but I paid that ticket.
We know you paid it, like you paid the other two.
By the way, you like to hang around playgrounds? I like the fresh air.
Speaking of air, what's that smell? What smell? Oh, once you smell that, you can never forget it.
There wouldn't by any chance be a diaper in there, would there, Robert? Hey, look, the diaper belongs to a friend's kid.
She was here yesterday.
I mean, is it a crime to have dirty diapers? Depends on what baby crapped in his pants.
Where were you this morning? Today? Hey, I know what this is about.
It's that kid, the one on TV? A witness puts you in the park this morning.
Come on, I look like a pervert? Kids are not my thing.
What is your thing? Look, Officer, I'm just a guy trying to get busy There's a lot of lonely nannies out there.
I give them a line.
I'm a commercials agent looking for kids, huh? It's a gimmick, just to get names and numbers.
See? You got all these from the parks? Hey, this stuff works.
He has the girl's name, number, everything.
He's in the clear as far as this case goes.
Profaci worked up a list of possibles from the precinct reports.
There's droolers, flashers, junkies, chicken hawks Little something for everybody? It's nice to see the public getting into the act.
We've got baby sightings in all five boroughs, including eight from our friendly neighborhood psychics.
Divvy them up with Profaci, Vosko and McBroom.
I want every lead followed up.
It might be a good idea to have another talk with this Willach.
He was a little sketchy this morning.
But I might be able to get a little more out of him now.
(PHONE RINGING) Van Buren.
They'll be right down.
The search teams found something.
It was in the bushes near the park entrance at 93rd.
It's practically brand new.
The only fresh prints on it belong to Martin Willach.
He was fingerprinted when he was bonded for his job.
I guess the perp could have worn gloves.
Right.
He runs across the park, tosses this thing, then puts the kid under his arm like a loaf of bread.
Okay.
The baby never made it out of the park.
I'm thinking she never made it into the park.
Wait a second.
Willach lives on 94th Street.
He enters the park at 93rd and walks right past where this thing was found.
You think that guy's capable? Hey, you never lost a night's sleep to a crying baby.
MAN: Yo! This is not a public place.
Reporters aren't welcome here.
Yo.
Police.
We're looking for Marty Willach.
Oh, I'm sorry.
Him and his wife went across the street with some friends.
Reporters have been bugging the hell out of them.
Were you here this morning when Marty took his baby to the park? Yeah, I was here, but I didn't see Willach.
Anyway, the stroller was here all day.
That's what they push the baby around in? Yeah.
I hear the chain rattle every time they take it out.
They always keep it here? Well, I tell him to keep it in his apartment, but, you know, Marty told me he doesn't want to carry it up and down the stairs.
He's got a bad back from lifting cartons all day.
(PHONE RINGING) I gotta get that.
He's got a bad back, but today he carries the kid 30 blocks in a brand-new backpack? Carrying an empty backpack under his arm's a lot less obvious than pushing an empty stroller down the street.
You're gonna talk to us, Marty.
You're gonna tell us what happened to your baby girl.
I told you.
Somebody took her.
You're a liar.
You tried to make it look like someone took her.
That's why you ditched this.
Mike.
Right, Marty? Mike! Right? Back off! Come on.
Go get a cup of coffee, will you? (SIGHING) Marty, we got this guy, this camera bug.
Remember? The bald guy in the sketch.
Some people put him in the park right about when you fell asleep.
We can convict him, easy.
Kidnapping.
It's a life sentence.
Now, do you think that's right, Marty? For us to put this guy away for life? I told you, I never saw the guy.
But you know for a fact he didn't take Emily.
Because you know the truth.
Marty, we all try to hide from the stupid things we do.
I mean, things we shouldn't do, that we didn't mean to do.
You're trying to make me say I killed my own daughter? I don't want you to say anything but the God's-honest truth.
Marty, I know what it's like being a father.
I have two girls.
When they were little there were times when the only thing in the world I wanted was for them to shut up and get the hell away from me.
But they didn't.
They never did.
They were always there, screaming, crying.
Emily wasn't like that.
She was never in the way? She was never once like that.
So how did this happen? Somebody took her.
Right.
You know, Marty, I'll bet your life was really nice before Emily came along.
I know my marriage was perfect before we had kids.
Our marriage is still perfect.
Yeah.
But you have to stay home with the baby, right? What was she, teething? Crying a whole lot? I mean, so you lose your temper.
You shake her a little bit too hard.
You didn't know, she's just a delicate little thing.
I wouldn't do that.
I love Emily.
And you're gonna let her just disappear forever? Like she was never here? A nobody? Marty, she's your daughter, and you loved her.
But she deserves better than this, am I right? Marty, am I right? There's a place by the Hudson River, just down the street.
We'd take Emily there to just sit, watch the sun set over New Jersey.
Now you're being a good father for telling us the truth.
Son of a bitch.
(POLICE RADIO CHATTERING) MAN: We got something here.
Pull it.
From the amount of congestion on the brain and lungs, I'd say this baby died from asphyxia.
No marks or bruises on the throat.
She could have been smothered, or she could have died naturally.
You mean like crib death? It's possible.
Were there marks anywhere on the body? Not even a rash.
The baby was clean, well-fed and wearing a new diaper.
Everything Dr.
Spock says you should do for a baby.
Yeah.
I guess I skipped the part about stuffing them in a cooler.
She was wrapped in satin bedding.
This was around her neck.
And this was next to her.
I didn't kill her.
She died in her crib.
Emily was sick a lot.
Eileen was always taking her to Mount Sinai.
And then yesterday, when we got up at 5:00, she was just lying there, on her stomach.
She was dead.
How did you know? You a doctor? She was ice cold.
And you don't call anybody for help? We were going crazy! I mean, anybody would if they found their little girl dead.
Not everybody goes out first thing looking for an ice chest.
You don't understand.
I did it for Eileen.
I had to protect her.
Marty was worried about what people would say.
I've seen it happen with other parents.
A baby dies like that, all of a sudden, in her crib.
There's always talk.
You don't know how cruel people can be.
Believe me, I'm getting an education.
Listen to you.
There's never any sympathy.
You're saying people would blame you for this? Oh, I know for a fact that they would, especially our families.
They blame me for everything.
Explain that to me.
Once, a bottle I was sterilizing exploded in boiling water.
Glass everywhere.
They blamed me.
The worst things happen to me.
They always do.
Whoa.
This lady is on a different planet.
She is more concerned about what's happening to her than what happened to her baby.
And yet the ME finds no evidence this child was murdered or even neglected.
So what do you wanna do? Cite the Willachs for failure to obtain a burial permit and send them home? I'm saying there are more wrongs than rights with your picture.
I've seen babies abused to death by crazed mothers, and this child doesn't look like one of those babies.
She's just as dead.
Look, if Mom is feeling guilty, maybe that should tell us something.
Hey, crib deaths happen, Mike.
If it was my kid, maybe I'd feel guilty about it.
And naturally, you'd grab a shovel and head to Riverside Park? Come on, you guys are the mommies and daddies here.
If you found your kid like that, wouldn't you rush him to the hospital in the middle of a damn snowstorm? All right.
The child was a regular at Mount Sinai? Start there.
WOMAN ON PA: Dr.
Morgan, please pick up line two.
Eileen Willach brought her daughter in eight times.
Low-grade fever, irregular breathing.
But there was nothing wrong we could find.
Her biggest complaint was that her baby cried all the time.
I told her that's what babies do.
Well, maybe this one had a reason.
Like an over-anxious parent? We get our share coming in with all sorts of imaginary complaints.
All they really want is a pat on the head, someone to tell them they're doing just fine.
A lot of them complain about their kid's imaginary breathing problems? We did full work-ups on that child.
She diagnosed healthy every time.
Did you ever discuss it with the Willachs' regular baby doctor? I didn't see the point.
Well, maybe we'll take him up on it.
Can you give me his name and address? It's a Dr.
Henry Royce, in Edison.
Edison? They live in New York but their pediatrician's in New Jersey? Mrs.
Willach said she hadn't had time to find somebody new here.
Royce used to take care of her other children.
I was concerned that might happen.
Crib death.
Same as their other children.
They're dead, too? Yes.
Daniel at five months and Caroline at three months.
Excuse me, Doc, but three kids sounds a little more like crib homicide.
I made a thorough examination of the children.
They showed high levels of blood ammonia.
This suggested to me they had an inherited metabolic disorder that could result in sudden death.
So they died of some genetic disease? In layman's terms, you could say they carried a death gene inherited from their parents.
Well, if kids are so important to them, why not just adopt healthy ones? I thought they had.
Kings County Child Services.
They asked me for my opinion.
I highly recommended Eileen and Marty.
Gary was 18 months old.
Mrs.
Willach practically begged to have a child.
So anybody begs for a kid, you give them one? Even when their own two kids died in their sleep? Oh, no.
The doctor said they died of crib death.
Every required precaution was taken.
Well, what about little Gary? The Willachs just didn't take to him? Well, we removed him from their care.
Nothing was proven, but But what? Well, there was an allegation of abuse.
Mrs.
Willach took Gary to the hospital a half a dozen times.
You know, allergies he didn't suffer from, fevers he didn't have.
A parent who worries about her child's health.
That doesn't sound abusive.
Well, one day she brought him in with respiratory distress.
He had to be resuscitated.
The doctor said that he thought he saw I shouldn't be telling you this, but he said he thought he saw signs that Gary had been suffocated.
That's all I can say.
I am sorry.
Four kids with breathing problems.
And one of them a foster child.
I wonder how he got the death gene? Off a doorknob? EILEEN: This is so unfair.
My baby's dead, and you keep asking me these questions.
I understand the pain you're in.
You've lost three babies.
It's in our blood.
That's what our doctor said.
Our genes kill our babies.
That's why you got Gary from the foster agency, right? Because your doctor said not to have any more of your own? But the foster agency took Gary away.
There was something wrong with him.
Breathing problems, right? Same as your own children.
Were you alone with Gary when he got this problem? I did the best I could.
I went to the hospital with him.
I saved his life.
You did what any good mother would do.
I'm not a good mother.
Why do you say that? My babies cry all the time.
Other people's babies don't cry.
What did you do when your babies cried? I want to go to the bathroom.
If you want, we can take a break.
Wanna take a break, Marty? Maybe you're right.
Let's go over it one more time.
Three babies died because of bad genes.
What about that foster baby? That's the one I have a problem with.
Don't you have a problem with that, Marty? What the hell does that mean? Is that a "yes" shrug or a "no" shrug? It's nothing.
Don't snow me, Marty.
You're a very smart man.
You know Eileen was alone with Gary.
You must have thought about it.
People have thoughts.
I think about winning the lottery.
I think about quitting my job.
So what? It's just thinking.
The way it works between us is I'm gonna tell you what I think and you're gonna tell me what you think.
Everybody thinks Eileen did something to them.
But what do they know? Nothing.
All I'm asking you is what you think.
Isn't it possible Eileen did something? It's possible.
Nobody appreciates what it's like.
After you give birth, they all come and visit you.
They're all so proud of you.
But after a while, they stop coming.
And Marty, he goes to work, and he comes home tired.
And I'm left with nothing.
Eileen, I know you're a very religious person.
I saw the crucifix you put on Emily, and you told me you go to church.
Yes.
Every week.
Don't you ever ask why God keeps taking your babies? I don't blame God.
Why not? If something is wrong with your children, it must be his fault, right? Then whose fault is it? Because people are gonna blame God for what's happened.
I didn't kill them.
Can't you see how this all hurts me? All of my babies die and nobody understands me! As far as the wife goes, I don't know what we're dealing with here.
Maybe if you leaned a little harder on the husband? Hey, it took four hours just to get him to say he thinks she might have done it.
Claire, three suspicious deaths, a cover-up, one child nearly strangled to death.
Child services could've pursued that case, and they didn't.
They weren't dealing with a dead baby in a cooler.
A child our own medical examiner says was neither abused nor injured.
She can't even tell us how she died.
You wanna let them walk, it's up to you.
They'll just hitch up the U-Haul and hit the road, same as they did every time one of their kids got a medical problem.
Yeah.
Let the next dead kid be some other DA's headache.
All right.
I'll make it work.
Eileen needs a diet soda.
Then we'd like to go.
We've been in here all night.
Eileen Willach, you're under arrest for the murder of Emily Willach.
Murder? This is ridiculous! You have the right to remain Martin Willach, you're under arrest for hindering prosecution.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can and will be used The judge released the Willachs on their own recognizance.
He wasn't impressed that the ME hasn't made a finding as to cause of death.
Three dead babies.
Three autopsies.
Are we the only ones calling it murder? If it's any comfort, the tabloids are on our side.
So far, we have "Mother Death," "Cradle Killer" You plan on presenting anything more than headlines to the grand jury? The prior deaths and the incident with the foster kid show a pattern of behavior.
Or a run of bad luck.
I'm beginning to agree with the judge.
Without a definite medical finding, this murder charge is premature.
I've talked to the ME.
The problem is it's not that hard to imitate crib death.
There has to be an expert in the field who can sort this out.
Find one, before we send the Willachs a six-figure apology.
Your medical examiner's right.
Smothering an infant, for example with a pillow, can mimic crib death.
The only way to spot the difference is by looking for what isn't there.
Crib deaths leave a telltale sign? Correct.
When an infant is smothered, there's no hemorrhaging, no marks on the body.
I looked at the autopsy reports for their first two babies.
No marks were found on them either.
The Willach's pediatrician blamed those deaths on a hereditary disease.
Since both parents are healthy, the gene, if it exists, would be recessive.
Chances of a child inheriting it would be one in four.
And the chances of all three children in one family? Statistically insignificant.
My report will cover that.
If you can include motive, we'd appreciate it.
I can tell you how that baby died, not why.
But I'll refer you to someone who can.
The more you complain, the more you exaggerate your small tragedies, the more attention you get.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
That's the general idea.
We refer to it as Munchausen syndrome, after a German baron who had a way of extorting money from people by plucking their sympathetic heartstrings.
Women like Eileen Willach take it to its most extreme level.
By killing their own children? Can you think of a more pitiful figure than a mother who's just lost her infant baby? All that compassion and concern pouring out to her? Eileen fits this profile? Well, as far as I can infer from the reports you sent me.
There are the constant visits to the emergency room, the phantom illnesses, the pleas for attention.
"The worst things happen to me.
" She's a sympathy junkie She needs to play the grieving mother.
And once the grieving is over? Oh, the world goes back to normal, and everyone forgets about poor Eileen until the next baby dies.
I don't really understand what this is saying.
Our pediatrician told us it runs in our family.
Your doctor made a mistake.
We had specialists check the autopsy report.
They all reached the same conclusion.
Emily was smothered in her crib.
Read your own report, McCoy.
They said there was only an 85% probability.
Not when you consider the previous deaths.
Mr.
Willach, we're prepared to be lenient with you.
But Eileen would never hurt anyone.
You told Detective Logan it was possible.
You're twisting my words.
I didn't say that at all.
Come on, Marty.
We've heard enough.
Ms.
Brolin, is it obvious to everyone but you that you've got a conflict of interest here? Marty and Eileen want the same thing, to be left alone, to get on with their lives.
If I were you, Mr.
Willach, I'd find my own lawyer.
No.
Your doctors are wrong.
Eileen loved our babies.
Always nice to find a fellow who says, "Till death do us part," and means it.
If those were my children, I'd want that woman in prison.
With a 15% chance that she's innocent? I wouldn't tell that to the next Mrs.
McCoy.
That leaves Dr.
Webb and the Munchausen syndrome.
Munchausen shumpchausen.
All the defense has to do is to pack the courtroom with people who'll swear that Eileen Willach was the ideal mother.
JACK: There may be a few people who won't show up on that witness list.
Let's start with these two.
Howard and Theresa Tritch.
Marty's sister and brother-in-law.
According to the baptism certificates, they were the godparents for the first two Willach kids.
I've been staying up nights worrying about this.
But if you didn't call, I probably wouldn't have said anything to anybody.
You think Eileen killed Emily? She must have.
I can't stand thinking about this.
On the phone, you said you suspected Eileen since their second baby died.
Yes.
Caroline.
I mean, it was the way she acted.
Like at the wake, she just parked herself by the casket and sat there all night, like a statue.
The only time she cried was when people stopped paying attention to her.
Did you say anything to your brother? He said Eileen would straighten out.
Look, Miss Kincaid, he's a decent guy.
He thought he would be a bachelor his whole life until he met Eileen.
I don't think he's even been away from her for more than a day.
And he's happy to keep fathering children for Eileen to kill? No.
After Caroline died, he told me he wanted a vasectomy.
He even saw a doctor about it.
Eileen talked him out of it? He found out that she called a divorce lawyer and after that, I never heard anything more about it.
She just called her lawyer to find out about adoptions.
I don't know who told you she wanted a divorce.
And then, coincidentally, you decided against a vasectomy? Look, you're wasting your time talking to me.
I've told you everything I know.
Mr.
Willach, if we could talk to Daniel or Caroline or Emily, we would.
You're the only person alive who knows what happened to them, aside from your wife.
They just died.
No.
They didn't just die.
Your wife held a pillow over their faces.
No.
And because you're afraid of her, their deaths go unpunished.
I am not afraid of my wife.
She's important to me.
I love her.
And not them? You didn't hold them, you didn't watch them sleep, you didn't love them? Please, put them away.
No, look at them, Mr.
Willach.
Three beautiful babies.
When is it gonna stop? She's got nobody else.
You don't understand about Eileen.
She's always felt lonely.
She told me how her parents never gave her any love.
These babies were important to her.
She'd dress them up.
She'd show them off.
She got so much love from them.
Eileen can't be alone.
She needs me.
I'll be there for her, Mr.
McCoy, no matter what.
You're more convinced than ever that she's guilty, and you're no closer to proving it.
I don't call that progress.
Maybe we don't have to prove who smothered the baby.
Maybe it's enough that they were both in the apartment when it happened.
We charge them both with murder? There's enough guilt to go around.
Willach stood by and did nothing while his wife murdered their baby.
The Joel Steinberg case.
Parents have an affirmative duty to act to save their children's lives.
That's assuming that the parent knows that the kid's in danger.
You're not gonna charge Willach for keeping his eyes closed.
He knew what happened to the first children.
He knew what happened to the foster kid.
A jury would have to conclude that he knew the same thing would happen to Emily.
They'll conclude no such thing.
No judge in his right mind will allow a jury to hear about these prior acts.
Adam, I'm trying to stop a serial killer.
But if you think I'm wasting the resources of this office If you believe that you have a serial killer, go to trial.
But don't expect it to be a walk in the summer rain.
The child would be on its back, in its crib.
The pillow was pressed over its face, like this.
JACK: For how long? Minimum 20, 30 seconds.
How much effort to smother a three-month-old baby? Almost none.
The weight of the pillow does most of the work.
One last question, Doctor.
When a baby is dying of crib death, does it make any noise? Normally, yes.
As the child struggles for breath it moves about.
It's usually found dead pressed against the side of the crib.
Thank you, Doctor.
Dr.
Slavin, can there exist in a child a genetic predisposition for a form of crib death? I suppose it's possible if we're talking about a single individual member of a family.
We are talking only about Emily Willach.
Did you examine her remains for this possibility? No, I didn't.
Thank you.
After Eileen gave her a bottle, we went back to sleep.
Then I got up to go to the bathroom.
I don't know what time.
I was gone maybe five minutes.
Did you happen to see if Emily was all right? No.
Her crib's on the other side of the bed.
But she wasn't crying or anything like that.
I thought everything was fine.
I went back to bed.
And then what happened? Eileen got up to get a glass of water.
Next thing, we woke up about 5:00.
That's when we realized Emily was dead.
And what did you do? There was nothing we could do.
I decided we should just bury her and pretend that somebody stole her.
I was just trying to spare my wife's feelings.
Thank you.
Just so the jury understands how you disposed of Emily's body, you put her in this $20 cooler, correct? Yes.
And then, while it was still dark out, you dug a hole in the ground and dropped her in, like a bag of garbage.
Is that correct? It wasn't like that.
She wasn't garbage.
And you did this brutal thing just to spare your wife's feelings? What about you, Mr.
Willach? While you were tossing dirt over your daughter, what were you feeling? I don't know.
I was trying hard not to think about it.
One last question, Mr.
Willach.
Are you a light sleeper? No, I wouldn't say that.
Well, you woke up when your wife got up to give the baby a bottle, isn't that correct? Yes.
And you woke up when she got a glass of water? In fact, it seems you woke up every time your wife moved, is that correct? Sure, okay, I guess maybe I'm a light sleeper.
Then why is it, sir, that you didn't wake up when your daughter was struggling for breath not three feet away from you? I I can't explain it.
EILEEN: I got a glass of water from the fridge.
I was gone for maybe 10 minutes.
Then I went back to sleep.
When we woke up, Emily was dead.
I was out of my mind.
My baby was dead.
We weren't thinking.
We were so upset.
Emily was our precious baby.
I was a good mother.
I really was.
I tried.
Maybe if I'd gotten up earlier, or if I I just didn't have the experience.
I just didn't know enough about babies.
Thank you.
How much experience have you had as a mother? Emily was three months old.
Was she your first child? Objection.
She put out the welcome mat, Your Honor.
I'm entitled to challenge her statement about limited experience.
I remind you, you're proscribed from bringing up prior acts.
You so much as brush up against the line, Mr.
McCoy, and I'm gonna yank the leash.
The objection's overruled.
Well, Mrs.
Willach, was Emily your first child? No.
She wasn't.
How many other children have you had? Two others.
Daniel and Caroline.
Sounds as if you've had quite a lot of experience raising children.
Tell us, are Daniel and Caroline living with you now? Objection.
Your Honor, I move for a mistrial.
Your objection's sustained.
Your motion's denied.
Mr.
McCoy, find another line of questioning.
I have no other questions, Your Honor.
A child dies mysteriously in its crib.
No cuts, no bruises, no signs of abuse.
The District Attorney says Emily was murdered.
He says Eileen and Marty Willach were alone with her when it happened.
We say there was somebody else in that apartment.
God, fate, nature.
Call it what you will.
In our attempts to understand what happened to Emily, we can only look to God, not to the parents who loved and cherished her.
The requirement for criminal liability includes the omission to perform an act where a duty of performance is imposed by law.
Sounds complicated, but it's really very simple.
Emily Willach was suffocated with a pillow.
Did her mother hold the pillow or did her father? It doesn't really matter, because the one who watched, who didn't rip the pillow away, who didn't fight tooth and nail for Emily's life, is equally guilty.
Nine votes to convict.
And three who didn't agree that there was enough guilt to go around.
Nine jurors were convinced.
Next time we'll work harder on the other three.
How often do you want to come back to square one? You don't think we should re-try them? Not until you can point at Eileen Willach and say, "There's your murderer.
" Call Brolin.
See what you can work out.
All right.
I didn't want it to come to this.
I'll agree to a plea on one condition.
That she agrees to a tubal ligation.
You're riding your motorcycle without a helmet.
You want to have her sterilized? Well, I heard it was a popular procedure in Germany 50 years ago.
Now, hold on.
I'm not goose-stepping anybody into the operating room, first of all.
Second, as long as she can have babies, this woman's killing spree is going to continue.
If your crystal ball is that good, I'll tell the Mayor we don't need the police anymore.
How many more deaths do you need before you can predict a pattern of behavior? Five? 10? What's the magic number? Try 1942.
Skinner v.
Oklahoma.
The Supreme Court recognized procreation as a basic right.
They also thought that segregation was an idea worth protecting.
Times change, perceptions change.
Claire, if this was a rapist and the issue was chemical castration, we wouldn't even be having this argument.
Yes, we would.
Jack, once you open the door to state interference in a person's body, everyone from anti-abortionists to advocates of sterilizing the retarded will come marching through.
Don't kid yourself.
The state already interferes with your body.
You can't legally inject heroin into your veins.
You can't legally commit suicide.
And the state has the right to put your body in a uniform and send you off to war.
Twelve states already have compulsory sterilization laws.
I'm not breaking any new ground here.
It's morally repugnant.
It's a medical procedure.
It's morally neutral.
If it's used to wipe out a race of people, it's evil.
If it prevents a killer from creating new victims for herself, it serves a moral good.
I know it's not the popular thing, but it may be the only thing that'll stop her.
Well, it's been tried before, unsuccessfully.
And I don't think you're gonna find a judge in a million years that'll go along with you.
We're amenable to a plea bargain, but Mr.
McCoy has put an incredible stipulation.
That's stating it mildly.
He refuses to discuss alternatives.
We want him removed from the case.
Your Honor, we can present expert testimony that Mrs.
Willach suffers from a syndrome that compels her to murder her children.
These "experts" haven't even examined my client.
We have an affidavit from Mrs.
Willach's doctor that this procedure is invasive and in most cases irreversible.
That's fact, not theory.
You can't let him do this to me, Your Honor.
Mr.
McCoy, I'm stunned that you would believe for a second that this is a precedent I would want to set.
Well, I can't accept a plea bargain without it.
I've weighed her rights against the rights of her next dead baby.
If I were you, I'd take another look at your scales.
We don't punish people for crimes they haven't committed yet.
Either you accept the plea without the stipulation, or I'm going to grant the motion to remove you.
Then that's what you'll have to do, Your Honor.
Well, what did you expect? Judge Leon wasn't ready to take on the Supreme Court.
I'm not trying to fix the world, Claire.
Brolin's brief.
Worth a second look.
The doctor who signed the affidavit says Eileen's been his patient for the last six weeks.
So? He's an obstetrician.
Adam Schiff has been slow to assign a new ADA to the case.
I hope it's because you've had an attack of common sense.
You won't find anybody in this building willing to discuss a plea bargain with you.
We talked to your doctor, Mrs.
Willach.
He says you're two-and-a-half months pregnant.
Eileen, how could you You didn't know, did you, Mr.
Willach? Oh, Marty, I was gonna tell you.
This doesn't change anything.
I think it does.
Am I right, Mr.
Willach? In a year, will you be helping this child take its first steps, or will you be McCoy.
Standing over another grave? It's your decision this time, Mr.
Willach.
Marty, don't do this to me.
I want her to get help.
It depends on you.
Marty, I strongly urge you not to say another word.
Eileen was standing beside Emily's crib.
She was holding a little pillow we used in the stroller.
She looked at me.
I knew.
After Caroline, I thought things would be different.
You're a good person.
I just don't know why you do this.
I want you to go somewhere where you can get help.
Jack, man one, with a sentence recommendation.
She tried to delay her sentence until after she gave birth.
She didn't want her baby being born in prison.
Probably the safest place for the child.
By the time Mom gets out of Bedford, the kid should be able to defend itself.