Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Scoundrels

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.
If you could raise me $20 a week, then You know how my business is, Bella.
Has my phone been ringing? Mr.
Kopinsky said he'd raise me $20 if you did.
If he's so flush, why do I have to match? I haven't had a raise since I started here.
He can afford to raise you if I can, but if I can't, he can't.
My son wants a computer.
Does that even make sense? Hey, Mr.
Rockefeller, you're spoiling the help.
I'll make the coffee.
WIGGINS: Bella! Bella, come here! (GASPING) Call 911.
Doesn't look like a robbery.
There's no sign of a struggle here.
Yeah, except the bullet hole in his head.
You got a time of death? Full rigor.
Body's cool.
Yesterday afternoon, early last night.
Drive safely.
Gee, who'd wanna kill a lawyer? Excuse me.
Those files are privileged.
You need a waiver from each of Mr.
Kopinsky's clients to look at them.
Are you Mr.
Kopinsky's partner? We just shared office space.
But I was his lawyer.
The lawyer's lawyer, huh? Litigious times.
Sir? Don't tell me.
His date book's privileged, too? Now, his last appointment yesterday, 6:00 p.
m.
Mr.
Tanaka.
Either one of you see him? I was taking a deposition in White Plains.
I showed him in.
When I left he was still here.
How were he and Mr.
Kopinsky getting along? Fine.
Are you all right, ma'am? Mr.
Kopinsky was going to give me a raise.
Thank you.
This cost her money.
When we find the shooter, she can have the other lawyer sue him.
The foot traffic is here.
The city wants to move me around the block.
There's nobody over there.
That's why you hired Mr.
Kopinsky? His ad said if he doesn't win your case, you don't pay.
Was he winning yours? He hadn't started yet.
Yesterday was our first meeting.
Mr.
Tanaka, as far as we know, you were the last person to see him alive.
No, I wasn't.
When I left his office a man was coming in.
Did you get a good look at him? Tall.
Wearing glasses.
Give me a skinny cap.
No lead.
Decaffeinated cappuccino.
With skimmed milk.
What's the point? $3.
75.
Look, the tall guy with the glasses, do you remember anything else? I stopped at the men's room in the hall.
When I came out he was still in Mr.
Kopinsky's office, shouting.
About what? About what a son of a bitch Mr.
Kopinsky was.
Nicer than his office.
Dead people.
They're full of surprises.
Who are you? How did you get in? LOGAN: Police.
Who are you? I just got off the phone with Arthur's secretary.
I was going to call you.
And you are? Arthur's roommate.
Frank Rosebrock.
Detective Logan.
Detective Briscoe.
Please, come in.
So you and Arthur are Live here.
19 years.
I can't believe he's gone.
He was shot? BRISCOE: We're sorry for your loss.
You can't know.
Arthur is a Arthur was a wonderful man.
Do you know what happened? Mr.
Rosebrock, were you here yesterday? No, I was in Phoenix.
On business.
I just got back.
Look, we have to ask.
Can you think of anybody who might have been angry at Arthur? Oh, one man called here several times.
Arthur was working on his case day and night.
He sounded crazy.
He threatened Arthur.
He threatened even me.
Do you remember his name? How could I forget? Carl Piselli.
Cleans and Dirties.
I invented the product.
Magnets.
You put one on top of the other.
Clean pig, clean dishes.
Dirty pig, dirty dishes.
(nos BARKING) You put this on a dishwasher, huh? A husband's compulsive.
He rinses the dishes before he puts them in.
Wife comes along, takes a look, thinks they're clean, puts dirty dishes on the shelf.
With these, no problem.
And they're cute.
And these are why you hired Mr.
Kopinsky? Yes.
I submitted these six months ago to Empire Gifts.
Big sales rep firm.
They could sell a product like this.
I tried selling them myself.
It doesn't work.
Mr.
Piselli, could be there's just not a market for products like this.
Oh? Empire said, "No, thanks.
" Three months later they come out with Neats and Nasties.
Their pig wears a dress instead of a suit.
They sold 60,000.
Thieves.
Yeah, we understand that you weren't too happy with the way Mr.
Kopinsky was handling your case.
He took my retainer and didn't do a damn thing.
You wanna tell us, just for the record, where you were last night about 7:00? Listening to the Hudson Jazz Orchestra.
Summer stage.
Central Park.
You got a ticket stub? Free concert.
The only show in town that doesn't rip you off.
Yes, Carl Piselli.
He claimed he invented Neats and Nasties.
Then last year he claimed that he invented Killer Bee Honey.
The year before that it was Singing Sam's Shower Songs.
I'm afraid I missed that one.
Oh, waterproof lyric cards for singing in the shower.
It does very well on Father's Day.
You know, all this stuff.
Ceramic kittens.
Flatulence, The Game.
This is a business? Yes.
It's a good one.
And so Piselli's claims are groundless? You came up with all this stuff? Detective, if Marconi and Tesla can independently invent the radio, is it so hard to believe that two people thought of putting magnets on dishwashers? But you did meet Mr.
Piselli? That buzzer on the door.
The security camera.
They are there because I meet people like Carl Piselli.
He came in here.
He made threats.
Did you ever hear him threaten Mr.
Kopinsky? Several times.
I'm sure Kopinsky was sorry he ever took the case.
Forget becoming president.
The real American dream is inventing the next pet rock.
Yeah, well, Piselli fits the bill.
He wears glasses and he's mad.
One of my husband's customers comes in the hardware store twice a week to buy parts for an automatic toilet-seat drop he's inventing.
Did he hire Kopinsky? He says it'll reduce the conflict between the sexes.
Yo, did you get anything from the cappuccino king? I showed him the picture.
He wasn't sure.
I say we bring in Piselli anyway.
Show him some of our new products.
Check his alibi first.
What, a free concert in Central Park? You're talking about thousands of people.
One who might have been Mr.
Piselli.
There were thousands of people here.
Humor us.
We're humoring a lieutenant.
Plus it was night so it was dark.
Would you just look at the picture? Oh, I remember him.
You do? He had a blowup with the ushers.
They wouldn't let him come in with his yapping dog.
So did he leave early? No.
He put a muzzle on it.
I wish we'd had one for him.
Thanks.
Maybe Piselli's telling the truth about the magnets, too.
(PAGER BEEPING) Kincaid.
Since when are prosecutors allowed to look at lawyers' files? There are some criminal cases in there.
I thought Kopinsky only handled civil cases.
Arthur was a rarity.
A legal generalist.
Anything for a buck, huh? We have a search warrant, Mr.
Wiggins.
It specifies we can't use privileged material about any crime except the murder of Mr.
Kopinsky.
May I see it? Did you stay on top of what Kopinsky was working on? He held things pretty close.
I was just his attorney for the record, a matter of convenience.
This seems to be in order.
Happy hunting.
You think someone killed him over a shoplifting beef? He settled a medical malpractice claim for $15,000.
His fee was one-third.
The doctor's insurance paid.
I never realized the law was such an exciting profession.
I get to work with you guys.
"Piselli v.
Empire Gifts.
" BRISCOE: Yeah, we've been down that road.
"Willard Tappan"? That's the savings and loan king who went down in flames.
Yeah, what'd he get? A couple of years in the federal Club Med? The guy should've got life for all the people he swindled.
Kopinsky was trying to help them.
Here's a letter to one of Tappan's victims.
"I may be able to collect your judgment," he says.
Kopinsky wrote this guy that he had a lead on some money hidden by Tappan.
It says he just needs three grand for research expenses to track it down.
There must be about If Tappan hid some money away and Kopinsky was on to it, that gives Tappan a nice motive for murder.
Willard Tappan's Savings and Loan opened a branch in my neighborhood.
Borough president cut the ribbon.
I had some friends who lost years' worth of savings.
It destroyed people.
Well, the question is, do you think Tappan's the type of guy to graduate from fraud to homicide? If his money's at stake, yes.
Isn't he in federal prison? He was moved to a halfway house in Manhattan last month.
Make my day.
Nail that son of a bitch for murder.
Kopinsky? You know, I had a racehorse named Prince Korinsky once.
The government took him, along with everything else.
I suppose Chelsea's riding him now.
He was a lawyer.
He told people he had a lead on some money you hid away.
My famous hidden money.
It doesn't exist.
You cost the taxpayers, what, half a billion dollars? Maybe you put some away for a rainy day.
You know, that's what the United States Government thought.
That's what my creditors' attorneys thought.
They scoured the world searching for my buried treasure.
They found nothing.
It was on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.
Maybe Kopinsky didn't read that issue.
Excuse me.
You know, last year, in Chicago, a lawyer went to jail for telling people he'd found my hidden money.
All he needed to get it was a modest retainer up front.
You'll excuse me.
I'm off to rake leaves in Central Park.
Part of my rehabilitation.
When Willard Tappan's Savings and Loan went in the crapper, I represented its major creditors.
We seized the corporate lodge in Aspen where Tappan took his friends and prostitutes, the corporate jet he used for his golf outings, the corporate apartments in Miami and London.
Sounds like quite a haul.
Everything turned out to be mortgaged elsewhere, sometimes two or three times.
Did any of your clients ever hear from Arthur Kopinsky? Financial institutions.
They lose a few million, it's not the end of the world.
It's people who lost a few thousand, who only had a few thousand, who'd be vulnerable to that kind of thing.
Why'd they lose out? I mean, weren't their accounts insured? Their accounts, yes, but a lot of them went in to buy CDs, and Tappan's people sold them bonds in the Savings and Loan instead.
They became unsecured creditors.
They got nothing.
My husband worked 32 years for Con Edison on pipes.
Saved $60 a week.
He was going to buy us a place in South Carolina when he retired.
But Tappan cleaned him out? Tappan killed him.
Coronary.
He was never sick before.
Just gave out.
The day after he went down, so did I.
And Mr.
Kopinsky told you he'd get you your money back? Right.
If I gave him $3,000 to check on some bank records in the Caribbean.
Where am I to get $3,000? So you never got involved with him? I rounded up $600 from my sister and her daughter.
He took it as a down payment.
Then he asked for $600 more.
He said he was this close to tracking down my money.
But he never quite did.
I know.
If I'm not the biggest fool on earth, I don't know who is.
Some guy loses his lifesavings to Tappan, then Kopinsky comes along and licks the plate.
I'd wanna kill him, too.
So, what, you wanna be reassigned to a squad that tracks down murderers you don't sympathize with? Same old cliche.
The little guy gets screwed.
That lawyer's rich clients get some of their money back, and I guarantee you he collected his fee.
Listen, I've saved up some money for my retirement.
I keep it split up between three banks and two different mutual funds.
If you don't trust one that much, then nobody can hurt you.
What's that, financial advice or marriage counseling? CURREN: You're here about Mr.
Kopinsky? Your mother's name was on a list of people he solicited about Willard Tappan.
Yeah, so was I.
He was trying to get our money back for us.
$830,000.
Everything my husband left me.
We lived on Beekman Place.
After my husband died, Johnny used to visit me there and we'd walk to Madison Avenue.
Now.
Here.
We don't even have privacy.
Do you think the Tappan business had something to do with the murder? BRISCOE: We don't know.
Poor man.
He was our last hope.
We were just wondering, did Mr.
Kopinsky ever ask you for money for his expenses? Yes, he asked for $3,000.
I didn't have that much, so I just gave him $1,000.
I sent him a check just the other day.
Do you know who's taking over his cases? We're not sure.
Mr.
Curren, had you seen Kopinsky lately? No.
He said he'd call if he had anything to report.
We talked to a dozen people on Kopinsky's list.
It was a con all right, but half of them don't even know it yet.
He collected tens of thousands of dollars for research.
He never showed anyone any hard evidence that he'd found Tappan's money.
What a guy.
Swindling people who'd already been swindled.
You gotta hand it to him.
They all had proven track records as victims.
(PHONE RINGING) Van Buren.
Does one of you have a girlfriend in a nursing home? No, that would be Lennie.
Mrs.
Curren and her son lied to you boys.
I can't stand liars.
Well, we appreciate your help, ma'am.
So what if she lived on the East Side? You'd think it was Buckingham Palace, her attitude.
We don't get to choose our roommates here, you know.
Mrs.
Greenfield, what was this lie? Well, Johnny, her son, came to visit her the night before that lawyer was killed.
She told him she had good news.
A surprise.
A surprise? She'd heard from that lawyer.
He was going to get her money back.
She'd sent him a check.
Johnny was furious.
He said the lawyer was a confidence man.
He'd taken Johnny's money, too.
And Johnny didn't tell his mother this? He hadn't wanted to upset her.
But when he heard that his mother had sent him her last $3,000, Johnny said he would get it back no matter what it took.
What do you think? I think she enjoyed double-dating with us a lot more than some nursing-home attendant, and she doesn't like Mrs.
Curren much.
I don't think she's making up a story like that.
It's making her life a lot more interesting, isn't it? What's interesting is Kopinsky's phone log.
The day he was shot, John Curren called three times.
Three messages.
"Please call.
Urgent.
" Kopinsky was ducking him.
Some people don't like that.
(CHILDREN LAUGHING) Okay, you guys, we need the living room here.
Nintendo off.
What are you saying? Mr.
Kopinsky lied to us? He was milking you and about 50 other people with a phony story about finding Tappan's money.
Oh, my God.
It's all right.
We'll be okay.
We're thinking maybe this didn't come as a complete surprise to you, Mr.
Curren.
Of course it does.
We were counting on him.
We were going to move.
You didn't tell her? Well, maybe I suspected he wasn't doing everything he said he was.
I didn't see any reason to worry everybody.
Maybe you were a little upset about your mother sending him her last $3,000? Your mother did? When? You said you were waiting for Mr.
Kopinsky to call, but you called him three times the other day.
Yeah, well, my mother was involved.
I wanted to see how things were going.
Okay, then, you wouldn't mind coming down to the precinct for some identification procedure, would you? You don't think Johnny might have killed that man? If he didn't, he'll be back here in an hour.
TANAKA: I didn't see him very long.
VAN BUREN: Take your time, Mr.
Tanaka.
I'd think number four.
You think? Number four.
VAN BUREN: Thank you, Mr.
Tanaka.
Curren didn't want a lawyer.
Yeah, I guess after Kopinsky he had his fill.
Think that ID will hold up? To get a search warrant, yeah.
When's my husband coming home? He's just answering a few questions for us.
Does your husband own a gun? A gun? I won't keep one in the house.
Oh, Willard Tappan on his 100-foot yacht.
Tappan rents the Temple of Dendur for his daughter's debutante ball.
Tappan named to the Businessman's Hall of Fame.
Your husband collect these? That man stole all our money.
It was the same year Johnny lost his job.
He was unemployed for 14 months.
What's that? Your mother-in-law's check to Mr.
Kopinsky for $3,000.
You really have to see it from our point of view, Johnny.
You said you hadn't seen Kopinsky for a while, but our witness saw you go in.
Heard you shouting.
You know that phone call I just had? My partner found the check your mother wrote to Kopinsky.
It was in your jacket pocket.
How'd it get there? How did it get from Kopinsky's office to your apartment? What, did it fly? Come on, Johnny.
You found out Kopinsky was fleecing your mother after he had already fleeced you, and you got mad! Hell, I would've gotten mad.
May I please call my wife? As soon as we're finished here.
Let's just wrap this all up.
So you went downtown to get your mother's money back.
What happened? Did Kopinsky stall you? No.
Did he laugh at you? No.
I give up.
What happened? He gave me the check back.
You went down to Kopinsky's, and he gave you the check, huh? That's what happened.
Well, you know, that's just not the kind of fellow we heard he was, Johnny.
How ever did you persuade him? He just gave it back to me.
I think I think I'd like to see a lawyer now.
Do you believe it? No.
That's good enough for me.
VAN BUREN: John Curren, you're under arrest for the murder of Arthur Kopinsky.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say or do can or will be used against you "Docket number 65473.
People v.
John Curren.
" "Murder in the second degree.
" Mr.
Curren pleads not guilty.
The People seek high bail, Your Honor.
The crime was violent.
The defendant sought to elude capture by lying to the police.
The victim is Arthur Kopinsky? I knew Kopinsky.
Perhaps Your Honor should recuse himself from setting bail in this case? If anything, Miss Bell, I'd be biased in favor of your client.
Your Honor, this man is charged with murder.
Don't worry, Counselor.
Bail, $100,000.
This won't even get to trial.
Mr.
Curren was deprived of an attorney at his lineup and interrogation.
The police have to offer him a lawyer, not force one down his throat.
I'm sure I know how the police couched their offer.
You know how they operate.
Get off your soapbox, Sally.
You're blocking the view.
So what are you offering? A fair trial by a jury of his peers.
Oh, a jury's gonna feel sorry for him.
He was swindled by Tappan.
He was swindled again by Kopinsky.
Kopinsky needed to be disbarred, not shot in the head.
Johnny's face turned red.
He paced around the room.
"Kopinsky, Kopinsky.
" He kept saying the name.
What did he say about Mr.
Kopinsky? He said he'd get his mother's money back.
He promised her.
Thank you.
Nothing further.
So, Mr.
Curren was angry? Yes.
Very angry.
You'd seen Mr.
Curren angry before, hadn't you, Mrs.
Greenfield? Yes, I have.
I didn't like it then, either.
This was when the nursing home wanted to move his mother to another room.
He was sometimes late paying her bill.
Well, he got very angry at the director, didn't he? I remember.
Did he kill the director? No.
Of course not.
Thank you.
And how did Mr.
Curren sound during his phone calls to Mr.
Kopinsky the day of the murder? He was definitely upset.
Did he raise his voice? He said my boss was a crook and I was a crook, too.
Why were you a crook? I don't know.
He was upset.
What else did he say? He said he wanted to know what stop we were on the Broadway IRT.
Did you receive any other angry phone calls for Mr.
Kopinsky that day? There was always somebody upset about something.
Well, you'd heard other clients call Mr.
Kopinsky a crook, hadn't you? He cut some corners.
In a typical week how many angry phone calls would Mr.
Kopinsky receive? Maybe a dozen.
That's two or three angry phone calls a day.
Oh, yeah.
At least that.
BELL: Miss Huntley, your company, Empire Gifts, was being sued by Arthur Kopinsky? Yes.
On behalf of a man named Carl Piselli.
And the police came to question you during their investigation of Mr.
Kopinsky's death? Yes.
Did they indicate to you they had a suspect in the murder? Objection, Your Honor.
Relevance.
If someone other than Mr.
Curren killed Arthur Kopinsky, I would say that's highly relevant.
If Miss Bell wants to know what the police thought about this case at various points in ancient history, she ought to ask them.
Now? After they've circled their wagons around Mr.
Curren? Your objection is overruled, Mr.
McCoy.
If you wish, you can bring on the police to rebut.
Did the police indicate to you they had a suspect, Miss Huntley? Yes.
Carl Piselli.
Not John Curren? No.
They didn't mention him.
Did you yourself ever hear Mr.
Piselli make any threats against Mr.
Kopinsky? Yes.
He said that Mr.
Kopinsky was cheating him by taking his money and not pursuing his case against me.
Would you consider Mr.
Piselli a violent man? Two times he came into my showroom and yelled at my staff and smashed things.
Thank you.
Miss Huntley, you don't know anything that would indicate that Mr.
Piselli killed Mr.
Kopinsky, do you? No.
And you don't know anything that would indicate that Mr.
Curren didn't kill him, do you? No.
Thank you.
Miss Bell, if you have no redirect, we'll recess until tomorrow.
(GAVEL BANGS) Still won't give a girl a break, huh, Jack? It's all smoke, Sally.
The jury won't buy any of it.
I think the jurors start with a very reasonable reluctance to believe anything you say.
Me personally? No, the system, Jack.
It's wrong so often.
Which reminds me.
It's an addition to my witness list.
What do you do, Miss Maney? I'm an assistant manager of Security Central Bank.
The branch in Inwood.
Where Mr.
Curren and his mother maintain checking accounts? That's right.
He has power of attorney over hers.
Did you see Mr.
Curren the morning of the day Mr.
Kopinsky was murdered? Yes.
He came in and stopped payment on a check his mother had written.
This check, People's exhibit four, made out to Arthur Kopinsky for $3,000.
Yes.
He said the person had cheated his mother and she didn't want to pay him.
So, Mr.
Curren had no reason to kill anyone to retrieve this check? It was worthless.
Mr.
Curren knew that? Of course.
I took care of the paperwork while he waited.
No further questions.
Was Mr.
Curren at all upset that this person had cheated his mother? Yes.
Very.
What did he say? He said the man was dishonest and he ought to be arrested.
I'm beginning to think the defense case is rather convincing.
A smart lawyer can always find holes.
Holes, yeah.
You never found the murder weapon.
You don't have a witness to this shooting.
You don't even have a motive anymore.
Even if the check was stopped, Curren still had a grudge against Kopinsky.
A grudge? Yeah.
It sounds like everyone in New York City had a grudge against this man.
Are you sure that that's the murderer sitting there at the defense table? Right.
Get a continuance.
Start at square one.
Either prove you got the right man or prove you don't.
Have a nice day.
Everything Kopinsky was working on the last month of his life.
The Tappan stuff is there.
"Piselli v.
Empire Gifts.
" You go through this one already? The police already investigated Piselli and cleared him.
Pretty fat.
Wasn't Piselli complaining that Kopinsky wasn't doing anything? Yes.
But Kopinsky's roommate told the police he was working on it night and day.
Interrogatories, deposition notices, subpoenas.
Why didn't he tell Piselli what he was doing? He hadn't even gone to trial, let alone got a judgment.
He was already examining the gift company's assets.
Bank records.
And he hired a private investigator to follow Alice Huntley.
Surveillance log.
Circled in red.
Three visits to West End CCC.
Community Correction Center.
That's Willard Tappan's halfway house.
LEONARD: Kopinsky didn't tell me his secret hopes and dreams.
He just asked me to follow her.
You have no idea why? When I saw her bumping butts with Willard Tappan at the halfway house, the light began to dawn.
"Bumping butts"? Pardon my French.
While I was pretending to look for my brother in the guest book, I saw Tappan sneak her upstairs.
I didn't think he was gonna show her his stamp collection.
How long has this been going on? I dug up some old personnel files from Tappan's bank.
She was in his public relations department.
Cute, huh? You heard my testimony.
I talked to the police.
They hadn't seen your bank records.
But Kopinsky had.
Your company's gross profit is $300,000 a year.
But you have $5 million on deposit.
Most of it's a loan from a bank in the Netherlands Antilles.
I'm planning on expanding.
It's a sound business loan.
You've never made a single payment.
It comes from a place with strict bank secrecy laws.
I file full tax returns.
I have a successful legitimate business.
You know what I think, Miss Huntley? I think Willard Tappan, your boyfriend, stashed this money in the West Indies in his good old days.
And this loan to your company is just a way of laundering it.
I barely know Mr.
Tappan.
Did he just use you for criminal conspiracy, fraud and sex, or did he also involve you in murder? I don't have time to play games, Miss Huntley.
I'll just charge you and let the chips fall where they may.
Did Tappan know Kopinsky had found his money? Willard said that it would never be traced, because no one knew that we were involved.
Your bad luck.
Kopinsky had a nose for this kind of thing.
He said he would stall his clients.
Willard had me give him $50,000 out of the account.
Then $100,000.
Kopinsky came back for more? And how did your boyfriend enjoy being blackmailed? Willard wouldn't shoot someone.
Are you sure about that, Miss Huntley? If I had a secret bank account, don't you think I'd use the Cayman Islands? The laws are so much more favorable there.
Mr.
Tappan was required to relinquish all his accounts as a result of his plea bargain five years ago, and he did so.
That's not what Alice Huntley says.
Miss Huntley is a spurned lover.
Mr.
Tappan has recently become engaged to another woman.
He met her in jail? No, an old family friend who has always stood by me.
This whole thing is very confusing, Mr.
McCoy.
Don't you have someone else on trial for the murder of Arthur Kopinsky? We got a continuance.
Mr.
Tappan, would you mind telling us where you were the night Mr.
Kopinsky was shot? Not at all.
I have no idea, but I'm sure the office staff at the halfway house can tell you.
They're very efficient at monitoring our movements.
Every time they leave the halfway house, they bring back a signed slip.
When Kopinsky was shot, Tappan was at a pre-release Life Skills class.
Learning how to buy a bus transfer and use a cash machine.
His alibi is solid.
So we've got Tappan with motive but no opportunity, and Curren with opportunity but no motive.
But what if we put them together? A pay phone outside Curren's office.
A 12-minute call to the halfway house.
Good, Claire.
That day would be in this book here.
This isn't my usual line of work.
I'm a surgeon.
Medicaid fraud.
Well, here it is.
I remember this call.
What did the caller say? He was carrying on.
I would have prescribed sedation.
Said he was an old friend of Tappan's, but he wouldn't give his name.
But you put the call through? Yeah, why not? Tappan was playing ping-pong.
I gave him the phone.
What did Tappan say to him? I don't know.
He must have been standing right here.
First thing I learned in prison, miss.
Don't eavesdrop on the phones.
The timing is perfect.
Curren talks to Tappan.
An hour later he's in Kopinsky's office.
And that includes a half-hour ride on the subway.
You think that this call was prearranged? CLAIRE: Not necessarily.
Curren knew where Tappan was.
It was in the papers.
Curren thought Kopinsky was a fraud.
He'd lost his last hope of getting his money back from Tappan.
Maybe he just decided to go straight to the source.
And ask him for a refund? Or beg him.
Or scream at him.
Or lure him out to be killed.
Or maybe just cry into the phone.
But something Tappan said sent Curren down to Kopinsky's office with a gun.
What if Tappan told Curren that Kopinsky wasn't lying about finding Tappan's money? That he'd actually found it, but that he was keeping it from Curren? That would've set him off.
Yeah, sure.
And if that's what happened, do you think he'd tell you? He'd be hanging himself.
Tappan knows what he said.
And he can't tell this story without including the part about his hidden money which earns him a fresh charge of fraud and a spanking new jail term.
Take a break, Julio.
All right, Mr.
Tappan.
You know, they're talking about privatizing the park.
A subway token to enter or $30 a year.
Trump thinks he can run it at a profit.
That's fascinating.
We're here to You're here because you have a problem.
I'm talking to you because I have a problem.
We'll prove you hid that money, Mr.
Tappan.
That'll prolong your study of institutional dining.
Yes.
That's my problem.
Meanwhile, Mr.
Curren, your murderer, will go free.
If you hadn't stolen his money that murder would never have taken place.
I concede your point.
If things were different, they wouldn't be the same.
Look, I know that you've been asking about a conversation I may have had with Mr.
Curren, a conversation I may not be able to recall.
I saw your testimony to the House Banking Committee.
You couldn't seem to recall the answers to more than 200 questions.
My memory is dreadful.
Especially when I'm anxious about the future.
What do you want? No prosecution on fraud.
We take your money.
You'll take it anyway.
And you would remember what? It's possible that I spoke with Mr.
Curren, that he was semi-hysterical, that, to amuse myself, I suggested that he talk to my attorney, Arthur Kopinsky.
You told him you were hooked up with Kopinsky? Kopinsky hadn't exactly endeared himself to me.
I thought he might enjoy meeting Mr.
Curren.
You hoped Curren would kill him to end the blackmail.
Heavens to Betsy, what a dreadful idea.
You think Tappan planned it? Curren was dynamite.
Tappan mailed him to Kopinsky and hoped somebody would light a match.
And we have to deal with a man like that to convict a sap like Curren.
Tappan is responsible for that murder.
Morally, not legally.
We can't arrest him.
I'm a DA.
I can arrest anybody.
Well, Jack, I tell you, I dislike Willard Tappan as much as you, but charging him with murder? Five people committed suicide when Tappan destroyed their savings.
He's lucky we're only charging him with one murder.
Well, how do you propose to do this? Curren calls Tappan.
He's raging.
He's homicidal.
Maybe even says he's got a gun.
He tells Tappan he was swindled by Kopinsky.
Tappan says, "No, no, no, Mr.
Kopinsky didn't double-cross you.
" "He triple-crossed you.
He's got my money.
" "Why don't you go see him? And tell him I said hi.
" That's evincing a depraved indifference to Arthur Kopinsky's life.
And it led to his death.
It's statutory.
I understand.
You think you can prove it? I'd sure like to try.
You want me to testify about that phone call? Against Willard Tappan? We arrested him for the murder of Arthur Kopinsky.
Excellent.
So when does my client get out of here? In eight-and-a-third years after he serves his sentence for manslaughter.
Didn't you just say that Tappan is your killer? JACK: Curren pulled the trigger.
If he doesn't testify against Willard Tappan, Willard Tappan will testify against him.
That's blackmail.
You would go that low? Don't you know me by now, Sally? I'll do it to get Tappan.
So what was that all about? What was what all about? "Don't you know me by now?" Oh.
Sally.
Yes.
Sally.
Miss Bell, our opposing counsel? She was my assistant.
CURREN: I don't even know why I called him.
I just I knew where he was, and I blamed him for everything.
What was Mr.
Tappan's reaction to hearing from you? He thought it was funny at first.
And then? Well, I started talking about Kopinsky.
He said that he knew Kopinsky, that Kopinsky had found his money, and now he was planning to keep it all for himself.
So there'd be nothing left for me.
Nothing left for anybody.
What did you say? I was stunned.
I had assumed that Kopinsky was lying about everything.
And what did Mr.
Tappan say? He said he was sorry for what he'd done to us.
That he now understood how terrible it was to steal somebody's lifesavings.
And then he said that he'd pay us back, my mother and me.
Every cent, if If what? If I killed Kopinsky.
What did you do? I did it.
I went downtown and I shot him.
Thank you.
You hate Willard Tappan, don't you? Yes.
Wouldn't you lie to hurt him? No.
Oh, really? You get off easy for a murder that you committed, and the man you hate goes to jail for the rest of his life.
Isn't that perfect? Perfect? Perfect would have been if I'd never heard of him, because, you see, then I would be living in a three-bedroom house in a nice neighborhood, and I would be able to watch my children riding their bicycles in the driveway.
But Mr.
Tappan took all that away from you.
For him I guess it was just another zero on a list of numbers.
For us it was everything.
He went on and on.
I was a thief.
I was a monster.
I might have been the devil himself, I'm not sure.
Did you offer to pay John Curren to murder Arthur Kopinsky? Absolutely not.
Did you in any way suggest that he kill Arthur Kopinsky? No.
He was raving about Kopinsky before I said a word.
Kopinsky'd just swindled him.
He'd swindled his mother.
He was deranged about it.
Then Mr.
Curren is lying about the content of your conversation? He blames me for ruining his life because he lost money in my institution.
What did you say to him? His family had lost under a million dollars.
I lost over a hundred million.
I told him to grow up.
Thank you.
How many people have you swindled, Mr.
Tappan? None.
How many people have you been convicted of swindling? when they bought bonds in North River Savings and Loan? Objection.
Argumentative.
Addresses credibility.
Overruled.
Why should anyone believe anything you tell them now since you've been convicted of lying 14,000 times? I never lied to those people.
Those bondholders were investors.
Investors take risks.
Nobody complained when my business was making them money.
John Curren lost his lifesavings.
Because the real estate market collapsed, Mr.
McCoy.
That was beyond my control.
You didn't make this guy blink.
It doesn't matter.
Willard Tappan will be convicted.
Right.
After the judge reminds the jury that he's not on trial for anything he did in the past and orders them to put it out of their mind.
Adam, you haven't been in a courtroom in a long time.
What the hell is that supposed to mean? You didn't see their eyes.
When they get into that jury room, the only thing they'll remember is the 14,000 lies.
Right, sure.
JUDGE MOONEY: And this is most important.
The defendant, Willard Tappan, is on trial here for the murder of Arthur Kopinsky, and that crime only.
Anything he did in the past, anything you may have heard about his past, any feelings you may have about his past activities are absolutely irrelevant.
In making your decision, therefore, you are instructed to give them no weight.
JUDGE MOONEY: Mr.
Foreman, has the jury reached a verdict? We have, Your Honor.
On the sole count of the indictment, murder in the second degree, how do you find? We find the defendant, Willard Tappan, guilty.
(PEOPLE CHATTERING) Did you know we had it? Well, between Curren and Tappan, who's a jury gonna believe? Who do you believe? Me, too.
Curren's story was awfully convenient.
But under our original theory Tappan is still guilty of murder.
He manipulated Curren.
Jack, we made it sound like he hired Curren.
If you didn't believe that but let it go on to strengthen our case Heavens to Betsy, Claire.
What a dreadful idea.