Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Tabula Rasa

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.
Twenty-six layers of kevlar, it'll stop any bullet the bad guys got.
But what if you get shot in the leg or the head? Leg, he goes down.
Head, nothing in there to hit.
(WOMAN SCREAMING) Please, help me, somebody! Hold it, get some help! (PEOPLE CHATTERING) We've got trains stacked up all the way to 86th Street.
Yeah, I'm sure the dead woman's sorry for the inconvenience.
Well, the transit authority is proud of its on-time record, Detective.
It's a source of pride for all of us, Mr.
O'Connor.
Marian Hollis, 39.
Professor at New York City University.
Philosophy.
Wanna see before we roll her out? Not me.
Lennie? It's all yours, Benito.
What've we got? Another nut case pushing people off the platforms? Don't know yet.
Maybe she fell.
And maybe I'm Santa Claus.
She came down the stairs with a man.
Okay.
What did he look like? Tallish, well-dressed.
Like how tallish? Like not short.
I've gotta go pick up my granddaughter.
I'm under a bench trying to catch some sleep before I get rousted, this couple stops right by my head.
He's telling her to forget it.
I say, "Hey, person's sleeping here.
" They move on.
What'd the guy look like? Black shoes.
SANDBURG: His nose was longer than that.
Did you hear anything they said? He told her she was wrong.
Wrong about what? That's all I heard.
I kept going.
I like to board at the end of the platform.
Did you see what happened, how she got killed? Sorry.
BRISCOE: What about the man, where did he go? I don't know.
That's him.
Doesn't look like any of the professors I know.
Couldn't have been anyone here.
Everybody liked her.
What about her personal life? Parents are dead.
No siblings.
Husband? Boyfriend? Divorced.
Definitely not her ex-husband.
Any idea why she'd be in the subway in the middle of the day? No.
Or why she'd be off-campus? That time of day, lunch.
Same every day.
A diner near the 4th Street station.
Awful thing, Professor Hollis was a nice woman.
Me and my staff, we all feel terrible.
Was she at lunch with this man yesterday? She was alone.
You know him? No.
He push her? She was with him.
Uh, what time was she here? Ah.
She left at 12:31.
Time-stamped.
How do you know that's her receipt? I wrote her name on it.
Why? She ran out without paying.
What? Like she saw something outside? I guess.
She went under the train at 12:43.
Subway station's a block from here.
Wouldn't take her from there to here.
Thanks for your help.
What side of the street do you want? The shady side.
Yeah, this looks like, um This guy.
(LAUGHS) He's a little old for it.
What do you mean? Well, the guy's in his 40s.
He comes in with a list of freshman textbooks.
NYCU.
I say we'll pull them for him, it'll take about half an hour.
He says fine, do you have a financial section? I say, yes, and he goes over there.
Was he here with this woman? Oh, man.
This is the lady that went under the train, isn't it? Did he kill her? I just need to know if they were together.
Not by me.
She came in maybe went back in the stacks and she was looking around, real agitated.
I asked if I could help her and she said no and then she disappeared back in Biology.
This the only exit? No, there's another door down at that end.
You get his name? He never paid, so I never got a name.
You think I can get a list of the books he wanted? AYISHA: Is this who pushed that woman under the train? I'd say, no more subway for me.
I like my crazy people up top.
That way I know I have a fighting chance of getting out.
Did you see this guy yesterday around I was at lunch.
Well, who was on duty? Zara.
Is she in now? No.
She's taking an order.
Sister Godiva, she buys all her clothes from us.
Who? You don't keep up with music, huh? He stopped with Bobby Darin.
Who? Uh, when will Sister Zara be back? When Godiva's done with her.
I got a place to start.
Thank God.
Thanks.
Introduction to psychology.
Basic chemistry, basic music theory.
Advanced calculus, must be an Einstein.
What freshman are in the calculus class? Hang on.
Boy, I'd hate for somebody to trace me by what I read.
You read, Lennie? Only three.
I'm guessing you want their names.
We're hoping one of you knows this man.
I don't know anybody.
I just got to New York three days ago.
Really? Where you from? Cincinnati.
Oh, my God.
That looks like my dad.
It's my dad, isn't it? What happened? Oh, God, he's hurt, isn't he? I've never seen this woman.
I don't know anybody in New York.
This is our first trip here.
We're enrolling Susan at New York City University.
Has the woman accused me of something? No, you're safe there.
You were in Quadrangle Books around 12:30 yesterday? Yes, I was picking up textbooks for Susan.
Why didn't you? Why didn't I what? Oh, I see.
I left without getting the books because I decided to get something to eat.
Where'd you eat? The pretzel stand by the subway.
So why didn't you go back for the books? I was planning to go back today.
Well, we've got witnesses who saw this man with a woman in the subway station just before she went under a train.
Your daughter thinks it looks like you.
So do we.
The clerk in the bookstore says it is you, and that the woman followed you into the store.
That's unbelievable.
My dad didn't do anything.
BRISCOE: Okay, so why don't you come down and do a lineup? The witnesses say it isn't you, we give you a free cup of coffee, worst on the West Side.
Please, Dad, can't you clear this up? Yeah, it won't take long.
Are you arresting me? We're requesting your cooperation.
Okay, it's a mistake, in good faith, I'm sure, but there are a lot of people in prison because of good-faith mistakes.
Give me time to get a lawyer.
Eleven witnesses, no positive ID.
Take your time, Mr.
Sandburg.
Third from the left.
That's him.
That's the man you saw with the woman who went under the train? Yes.
Thank you.
(DOOR OPENING) That's a positive ID, Mr.
Rothenberg.
That guy was about 90 with glasses as thick as my thumb.
I want to see my client.
A barely competent defense attorney could shred Sandburg's credibility.
And Rothenberg is right, you don't even know the victim was pushed.
He didn't push her, why does he lie every time he opens his mouth? A hunch? Instinct.
I need more than this to take to the grand jury.
Where's the connection, what's the motive? If we don't arrest him now, he's on the next plane back to Cincinnati.
It's not Tibet.
We can extradite him if there's ever a case.
Is Mr.
Fallon free to go? As long as he stays in the city.
We'd like you around while we complete the investigation.
I'm not planning on leaving until next week.
I'm here with my family, we're enjoying ourselves.
We'll leave when I want to.
We talked to Professor Hollis's friends.
Nobody recognized the picture of Fallon, and nobody recalled her ever going to Cincinnati.
What about Fallon? He's a financial advisor, money manager, a member of the Cincinnati Civic Association, on the board of directors at the art museum.
A pillar of the community.
Cincinnati PD says he never even got a speeding ticket.
Well how about further back in the past? Uh, Professor Hollis went to Brooklyn College, Fallon's got a diploma hanging on his office wall, a MBA from UCLA.
Fallon's credit card charges for the last week.
VAN BUREN: Thanks.
United Airlines, T-K-T-S, Museum of Modern Art bookstore, Barneys, Grimaldi's Italian restaurant.
Grimaldi's in Brooklyn? VAN BUREN: You know another one? Charge was for 12 bucks and some change.
You can't feed a family of four mice on that.
VAN BUREN: So he was by himself.
The guy's never been to New York before and he manages to find the best pizza in five boroughs.
Right.
Check it out.
Yeah, couple of days ago.
I remember him.
All these customers.
You sure? Came in and he says, "Hey, Tony.
" I'm figuring I should know this guy.
And did you? Not at first but I kept looking at him and then I got it.
He was a regular in the old days.
He thought he was God Almighty and everybody should agree with him.
How far back were the old days? Fifteen, That's a long time, you sure it's him? He's a little thinner on top now, but that's him.
You remember his name? I never know their names.
They come in, they go "Hey, Tony," I go, "Hey, kid.
" I don't know their names.
So, 15, 20 years ago, Mr.
Fallon hung out at Grimaldi's.
The guy was at UCLA.
Long way to come even for a pie from Grimaldi's.
Who is this guy? Yeah, William K.
, as in "kinky".
Yeah.
You're sure? Okay, thanks.
He got his Ohio driver's license in 1985, he bought his house in '85.
Oh, and no William K.
Fallon was ever at UCLA.
What have you got? Social security number was issued in '85, he joined the Ohio Auto Club in '85, opened a brokerage account in '85.
Can't find anything prior to that.
So what? He didn't exist before 1985? Not as William K.
Fallon.
If he's not Fallon, who the hell is he? Well, the FBI says he's not in the witness protection program, but they might've had their fingers crossed.
We could haul him in, find out who the hell he is.
Next time I see this guy, I want ammunition.
My guess is Professor Hollis knew him before he was Fallon.
It's the only way it makes sense.
Well, 20 years ago, they were early 20's.
She went to Brooklyn college, find out if he did, too.
We don't know what name he was using.
Tony, the pizza guy, says he hasn't changed much.
Let's go look at some pictures.
Mmm.
Thanks for the coffee.
BRISCOE: Down memory lane with the hairdos.
CURTIS: Yeah, half disco, half punk.
You know, I'm starting to think that this Fallon-whoever-he-is did not go to Brooklyn College.
COSTAS: Okay.
Marian Hollis got her undergraduate degree in 1980.
Then did three years of grad school.
Left with a PhD.
Back then, the alumni association was sending her mail to 32 Ryder Avenue.
What's that, a sorority, a dorm? It's a rooming house.
Lady's been renting rooms to coeds for 30 years.
I certainly do remember Marian.
Oh, terrible what happened to her.
Was she close with anybody back then? Uh, one of the other boarders, Eleanor Marcus.
Uh, library sciences.
They were like sisters.
They went everywhere together, until Eleanor got married.
Marian Hollis have a boyfriend? Well, she dated several young men, nothing serious, far as I could tell.
This is a recent photo, but could you take a look, see if you recognize him? No.
He doesn't look familiar.
I'm sorry.
Is he the one who BRISCOE: We're not sure.
You think if Marian knew him that, uh, Eleanor Marcus would've known him, too? Oh, absolutely.
I don't suppose you could tell us where we could find Eleanor Marcus.
Well, she's Eleanor Taska now.
I see her every week when I go to the library and return a book and get a new one.
Dr.
Taska's not coming in today.
What's this about? We're investigating a death.
You know where we can find her? That subway thing, right? That's where Eleanor is, that woman's funeral.
Why do you want to talk to her? See if she can help us.
They used to know each other.
They had some kind of falling out years ago.
I don't think she can help you.
Church of the Good Shepherd, right? Yes.
Would you happen to have a picture of Dr.
Taska that we could look at? (BELL TOLLING) Dr.
Taska? We're investigating the death of Marian Hollis.
We're hoping you might be able to help us out.
I hadn't seen her for some time.
We're looking at a man who calls himself William Fallon.
You need to imagine him younger.
William Fallon, my ass.
This is my son of a bitch husband, Nick Taska.
Where are my children? Fifteen years ago, March, 8th, 1984.
He took them from school and that's the last I saw of them.
Where are they? Dr.
Taska, we need your help.
I want my children.
Look, I'm devastated about Marian, but I can't help you.
I don't know anything about it.
Well, you know your husband, would he kill her just for recognizing him? He'd do whatever he had to do to keep her from disarranging his world.
Disarranging? The man has an anxiety attack.
If the pillows are crooked.
VAN BUREN: Connection and motive.
I'm willing to answer whatever questions you want to ask me, but, please, where are my children? Dr.
Taska, the best way to get your children back is to help us put your ex-husband away.
A better way would be for you people to arrest the bastard for kidnapping and enforce the custody order the court gave me The statute of limitations on kidnapping expired years ago.
ELEANOR: The custody order didn't.
Where are my children? I want to know what Nick's done to them.
Well, Susan's just enrolled in NYCU and Alexis is ELEANOR: Alexis? There is no Alexis.
My other daughter's name is Cynthia.
Twelve witnesses in the subway.
Not one can even say that she was pushed, much less that Mr.
Fallon did it.
Professor Hollis saw him when she was in the diner, went into the bookstore looking for him, caught up with him somewhere between there and the subway, and was seen with him on the platform.
Lot of inferences in that sentence.
The cops have already established motive, means and opportunity.
Fallon lies like a rug.
Hell, he's not even Fallon.
Blindfolded, I could convince a jury he killed Marian Hollis to shut her up.
I'd prefer evidence.
Have you checked out Dr.
Taska's story? Yeah, bitter divorce.
The kids were the rope in a tug of war.
Court awarded custody to the mother, three months later the husband took the kids out of school and disappeared with them.
A lot of room for reasonable doubt.
CARMICHAEL: Well, we'll find out.
I had Briscoe and Curtis arrest Mr.
Fallon an hour ago.
Has he been arraigned? Not yet.
You told the police you never saw Marian Hollis that day.
Why'd you lie? I was afraid this would happen.
I didn't kill her and now here I am.
The victim of a horrible coincidence.
Exactly.
Where'd you run into each other? FALLON: In the bookstore.
You hadn't seen each other for 15 years.
What'd you talk about? Old times.
Nothing about kidnapping, putting your ex-wife through hell? There was no reason for Marian to mention it.
She knew the kids were better off with me.
In what way? Well, Eleanor wasn't cut out for motherhood.
Her stash of pills was more important than the children.
Where did you and Professor Hollis part company? The pretzel stand by the subway entrance.
We parted amicably.
Clearly, Mr.
Fallon had nothing to do with the victim's death.
A witness places Mr.
Fallon on the subway platform with the victim.
Wait till you see the witness.
Glasses an inch thick.
I've seen the witness, Mr.
Rothenberg.
I've had his eyesight tested.
When he's wearing his glasses, he sees as well as you do.
How'd you like being arraigned, Mr.
Fallon? It gets worse from here.
You can put a stop to this right now.
We're not discussing a plea.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR) Your bond's been posted.
You're free to go.
I have enough to present the case to the grand jury.
I didn't kill her.
Before you present to grand jury, you might want to talk to our alibi witness.
I didn't want to have to do this.
My daughter was with me.
My daughter, Alexis.
Dad and I went into the bookstore, Dad talked to the clerk.
Then we looked at boring textbooks.
(CHUCKLES) Then that lady came in and talked to Dad.
CARMICHAEL: About what? Stuff from the old days, I don't know.
Brooklyn, concerts, just stuff.
Were you with your father the whole time he was with Professor Hollis? ALEXIS: Yes, sir.
My husband likes to keep the girls in sight.
He's very protective.
CARMICHAEL: Is he planning on going to class with Susan? Keep her in sight? Of course not.
What did the lady call your father, what name? Nick.
JACK: Did that confuse you? Didn't you ask why she was calling your father Nick? Not then, it wouldn't have been polite.
Dad told me later what it was all about.
My mother, all that.
What exactly did he tell you? That the lady had known my mother.
That my mother wasn't dead after all.
CARMICHAEL: Did you think she was? It's what he always told us.
What about you? Did he tell you he was a widower? He always does what he thinks is best for the family.
Did you know he was a fugitive named Nick Taska? We have to meet him at the Palm Court at 4:00.
He wouldn't like us to be late.
CARMICHAEL: So you're late.
Then what, he starts rearranging the teacups? The clerk in the bookstore said your father was alone.
I I went in a little after my dad.
Alexis, do you know what perjury means? I was with my dad, but I went to the boutique next door while he went into the bookstore.
Why didn't you just tell us that? 'Cause I wanted to protect him.
I I know he didn't hurt that lady.
You weren't with him at all, were you? I was, too.
I was with him and the lady.
And we left her when she went in the subway.
You've heard what she has to say.
All we've heard is a story that doesn't track.
Are we free to go? (DOOR CLOSING) This is the spookiest bunch of people I've ever met.
That kid is terrified.
And lying through her teeth.
Whole family's afraid of inconveniencing Dad.
It's Jonestown without the Kool-Aid.
Yeah, I remember her, I watched her good.
Why? Because she kept glancing back at me.
So right away I'm thinking five finger discount.
I'm following her around, she gets nervous and leaves.
Did you see this woman? Oh, man, I knew it.
This is that lady who went under the train.
This is the picture they used in the Daily News.
I did see her.
What's her name? Marian Hollis.
Did you see her with a girl? Yeah.
Girl ran into her right outside there.
The woman stopped her.
Marian Hollis came up to you outside the store.
What did she say? Nobody came up to me.
Clerk said she did.
No.
You were walking with your dad, you saw a fab gear, you wanted to go in there instead of the boring bookstore.
When you came out of the shop Marian Hollis stopped you and told you about your mother.
I don't want to talk to you anymore.
Did she want to take you to your mother, maybe call the police? No.
I I want my dad.
Is your father mad at you because you told us about the clothing store? JACK: Your father followed Professor Hollis into the subway, didn't he? No.
CARMICHAEL: He pushed her under the train.
No, no, no! Because she knew who he was and what he'd done.
Maybe he didn't want to hurt her.
Maybe he was just trying to get away from her.
Was it an accident? Stop it, stop it! You can't talk about my dad anymore! That's enough.
Browbeating a child.
You should be ashamed.
Oh, now you're interested in helping me? Yes.
What's the quid pro quo? Your daughter knows what happened on that subway platform.
She won't tell us.
So you take my side with the judge and then what? I let you crack her open like a walnut? I don't think so.
JACK: She's living with a horrible secret.
She watched her father commit murder.
She saw what the impact did to Marian Hollis's body.
Do you want her to keep that inside herself? ROTHENBERG: Your Honor, you can't give Mr.
Fallon's alibi witness to a woman who hates him.
She'll poison the child against him.
I'll poison her? Excuse me.
Mr.
Fallon has had a decade and a half to make an impression on the child.
My ex-wife wasn't fit then and isn't fit now to have any responsibility for children.
JUDGE: That's enough, Mr.
Fallon.
Judge, the D.
A.
's office requests that custody be granted to Dr.
Taska, who's been JUDGE: I read all the briefs, Mr.
McCoy.
I'm inclined to agree with you.
Your Honor, you can't take my daughter away from the only family she's ever known.
Mr.
Fallon took her away from the only mother she knew, and he's a murder suspect.
I grant custody of the minor child to Eleanor Taska.
Where's my dad? Who are you? I'm your mother, Cynthia.
No, you're not.
This is my mother.
Susan, tell her.
You can't make Alexis go with you.
It was the judge's decision.
It's in her best interest.
It's not! It's not.
I want my dad! You can't stay with your father, Alexis.
Because you're gonna put him in jail for killing that lady, aren't you? Well, he didn't kill her.
I did.
She was calling my dad a bastard, she wouldn't shut up, she wouldn't leave, and I pushed her.
She just kept after my dad.
She wouldn't shut up about my mother and what he'd done to her.
She was grabbing at him and telling him to wait, and I shoved her away from him.
And she fell.
What happened after that? Dad took my hand and we left the subway station.
The witnesses mentioned a man and a woman, they didn't say anything about a young girl.
I wasn't with them, Dad sent me down first.
He was trying to get rid of her outside, but she followed him down.
Okay.
You've met the father? Yes.
This kid's hinky.
I don't want to rush into anything.
I have no idea if she's lying or telling the truth.
You be willing to have her examined by our psychiatrist? Kid just keeps saying she did it, not her dad.
Did she? My opinion, no.
She's covering for him.
Did he put her up to it? More likely she took it on herself.
Why? Fear.
She can't imagine a world where Fallon's not right there directing traffic.
At 16, shouldn't she be starting to go her own way? There is no way but Dad's way.
Can't prosecute her, she didn't do it.
Can't prosecute him with her saying she did.
We could lean on Fallon some more.
Using what for leverage? Uh, maybe his daughter's suffering.
(SCOFFS) If he cared about that, he wouldn't have spent the last 18 years convincing his children they don't exist apart from him.
How did he do that? Relentlessly.
Jack, we gotta get this bastard.
On what charge? You can't indict Mr.
Fallon for kidnapping.
Statute of limitations has run.
Second degree, yes.
Kidnap one is an A1 felony, no time limits.
Fallon wasn't asking for ransom, the victims didn't die, what's the basis? "A person is guilty of kidnapping when he abducts another "with intent to terrorize him.
" Fallon psychologically terrorized his daughters from that day to this.
Says who? CARMICHAEL: Skoda.
Eleanor Taska.
Skoda was spouting theory.
A woman who wasn't there.
Read the transcript of Skoda's session with the girl.
Fallon might as well have held a gun to his kids heads, he inflicted the same level of fear.
Hang him.
Execute him.
William Fallon is entirely responsible for the circumstances that led to Marian Hollis's death.
Is that a no? No.
Your Honor, this is a ludicrous interpretation of the kidnapping statute.
Mr.
Fallon should never have been arrested.
The statute is clear, and Mr.
Fallon clearly violated it.
You say Mr.
Fallon assumed control of his children in order to terrorize them.
You say he assumed control over them to save them from an unfit mother.
Is that the gist? Penal law section I'm familiar with the statute, Counselor.
You have a built-in affirmative defense.
He did not intend to terrorize them.
As for you, Mr.
McCoy, this better be worth the court's time.
March 8th, 1984.
He took them from school and I never saw them again.
Until a couple of months ago.
The authorities said it was custodial interference, not serious.
And the private detectives I hired never found a trace.
People's seven, Your Honor.
This is the Judge's ruling awarding you custody of your children.
Could you read the highlighted passage? "Mr.
Taska is clearly more concerned "about losing control of his family "than he is about the welfare of his children.
" When you were married to the defendant, how did he treat you? Like a slave.
Everything had to be done his way.
He instructed me how his shirts had to be folded, how the pantry had to be arranged.
The right way to fluff pillows.
JACK: What if you didn't do it the right way? He instructed me again and again until I did it right.
Did he treat the children the same way? Yes.
He controlled their every move, telling them what to do, what to think, how to feel.
How did he do that with very small children? Told them only bad girls soiled their diapers.
Only bad girls cried.
From what age? From birth.
JACK: Did he think they could understand him? It was a process.
He started early and just ground them down.
He never let up.
If Susan was playing with a toy and didn't put it back exactly where he told her, he would break it in front of her and tell her, "Good girls always mind Daddy.
" How did Susan react? After a while, she didn't make any more mistakes.
JACK: Was she afraid of him? Of course she was.
It broke my heart.
Did your husband hit you or the girls? Did he even threaten you with violence? ELEANOR: That wasn't his way of Yes or no.
No.
ROTHENBERG: February 12th, 1984.
Were you arrested on a DWI charge? I wasn't drunk, I was on medication.
Would that be medication for chronic depression? You'd be depressed, too, if you were married to Was your daughter, Susan, in the car at the time that you were pulled over? Yes.
ROTHENBERG: Driving erratically while under the influence whether of alcohol or medication with a three year old in the car, and you want the jury to believe that your husband was putting the girls in jeopardy by making them pick up their toys? I I have nothing further, Your Honor.
My dad's pretty strict, but he's fair, too.
Does he control you? Every family has rules.
For example, he always taught my sister and me to be polite, whether we felt like it or not.
I don't think that's a bad thing.
Did your father terrorize you and your sister? No, sir.
Are you afraid of him? No, sir.
We love him.
In your family, is there really only one way to fold a towel? Chaos in your environment leads to chaos in your mind.
JACK: Did your father tell you that? Yes.
Have you ever had a friend your father didn't approve of? No.
Why not? I just haven't.
Have you ever read a book or seen a movie he didn't like? No.
Have you ever had any pets? No, they're messy.
Does your stepmother entertain her friends at your father's house? I I don't think so.
Does she have any friends, or does your father take up all her time? (SIGHS) She takes care of our family.
Does she ever go and visit her own family? Not that I know of.
JACK: Where do they live? Cleveland.
Have you ever met your stepmother's family? No.
(SIGHS) Have you ever been to summer camp? Children who go to camp have parents who just want to get rid of them.
Did you go to slumber parties? No.
Did your father disapprove? I didn't like being away from my dad.
When your father is displeased with you, are you afraid? I don't like to disappoint him.
Is that because you know he'll keep at you and at you until you understand his way is the only way, and his needs are the only needs, and you and your sister only exist for him as long as he can control you? Objection.
Nothing further.
Kid's like a robot.
How'd the jury react? Seven were stone-faced, three felt sorry for her, and two thought you were being mean.
How could you do that to Susan? You don't understand.
Those girls are his whole life, and he's theirs.
Where does that put you? Mrs.
Fallon, do you really not see what he's done to his daughter's and to you? I couldn't leave them with Eleanor.
She was a terrible mother.
Could you describe how you lived after you took the children? I turned down several good jobs so I could work out of my house.
I didn't want to leave the girls with a stranger after what they'd been through.
I was there for them every minute of every day.
Now, who took care of your daughters when you were dating your current wife? Sylvia understood that we came as a package.
The kids and I.
We rarely went out, but if we did, we took the girls with us.
Mr.
Fallon, did you take your daughters from their mother in order to terrorize them? I took them in order to save them.
How much time have your daughters spent away from you? Very little.
Why is that? Well, it's a dangerous world, Mr.
McCoy, as I'm sure you know.
Do you choose their friends for them? I don't let them run with the wrong crowd.
What happens when your children disagree with you? I can't remember the last time we've had a disagreement.
What happens when your wife disagrees with you? She never has.
Four people, no difference of opinion.
Is that because they're afraid to contradict you? They respect my opinion.
They know from experience I'm likely to be right.
What they know from experience is that you don't care about their opinions, isn't that right? Objection.
JACK: You don't care about their feelings, their concerns, their needs.
That's enough, Mr.
McCoy.
I'd like to respond to that, Your Honor.
My children are intelligent girls, who know how to say "yes, sir" to an adult, how to organize their time and tidy their living space.
Susan graduated second in her class, has a full academic scholarship to NYCU.
And Alexis brings home straight A's and is captain of her soccer team.
And you have me on trial for being a bad father, Mr.
McCoy? You are on trial for kidnapping, Mr.
Fallon, with intent to terrorize.
You harried your daughters into believing that their mother was evil incarnate, not so that you could save them from her, but so that you could control their every thought and action.
Have we begun closing arguments, Your Honor? I have nothing further.
JUDGE: Call your next witness, Mr.
Rothenberg.
The defense rests, Your Honor.
JUDGE: Mr.
McCoy? The People have a rebuttal witness, Your Honor.
Sylvia Fallon.
What? JUDGE: Counsel, approach the bench.
Mrs.
Fallon has been in the courtroom throughout the trial, Your Honor.
I didn't know I'd be calling her.
All right, Mr.
McCoy, just make sure your questions don't touch on matters covered by spousal privilege.
The People call Sylvia Fallon.
BAILIFF: Raise your right hand.
Do you solemnly swear the testimony you're about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? I do.
Do you work outside the home? I know it's old-fashioned, but I believe if there are children, the wife should be home for them.
Children are a precious gift.
Who handles the discipline, you or your husband? He does.
Who takes care of the finances? Who deals with the workman, the electricians, the plumbers? Bill.
Over the years, who took your children to school? Mmm, he did.
Who took them shopping for clothes and toys? Bill.
What exactly is your function in the family, Mrs.
Fallon? To fold the towels? I Your husband can't tell you what to say right now.
How old was Alexis when you became her stepmother? Was she still in diapers? Yes, she was only two.
Did you ever hear the defendant tell her only bad girls soil their diapers? You don't understand.
From the outside it may look strange, but Bill just worked miracles with the girls.
In what way? Well Well, when Susan was four, she learned to tie her shoelaces in one afternoon.
How many children do that? How was this miracle accomplished? She sat there for hours, tying and retying the laces until her little fingers made it work.
A four year old? Why? Did Mr.
Fallon tell her that Daddy wouldn't love her anymore if she couldn't do it right by sundown? Both girls were intent on pleasing their father.
I'll bet they were.
Did the bow have to be exactly on center? Did the loops have to be exactly equal? Your Honor Mr.
McCoy, let's move it along.
Why haven't you and your husband ever had children? We discussed it and decided against it.
It was a mutual decision? You really don't want to have children of your own? Bill thought two was enough.
What did you think? In our family we leave the important decisions to the person who is best equipped to make them.
I see.
How long has it been since you saw your parents? I don't know.
Quite a while.
Bill doesn't like me to be away.
Do you hear yourself? Bill thinks, Bill wants, Bill needs.
Do you think this man has ever asked himself once what you want, what you need? There has to be a final authority, Mr.
McCoy.
Are you saying that the defendant had total control of his family, Mrs.
Fallon? Did the defendant constantly tell his children they were bad, they were stupid? Did he continually terrify them with a threat to withhold his love if they didn't meet his insane expectations? Did William Fallon terrorize his children, day after day, year after year, until they could no longer tell where he left off and they began? Yes.
You stupid cow.
Mr.
Fallon.
Your Honor, she can't do this.
I only married her so my daughters would have a mother.
Your client hung himself, Mr.
Rothenberg.
Twenty to life.
Five years off the top? Not a chance.
Better take it.
The jury will take You don't cut me a good deal, I'll fight Eleanor tooth and nail for custody.
From a jail cell? My parents are standing by to contest the custody ruling.
They'll drag it out for years.
What about Alexis, Mr.
Fallon? Do you give a damn what happens to her? What's the worst, she ends up in foster care? That'll only last for a couple of years.
Then she's an adult.
Maybe you don't realize it.
You're lucky you're not facing a murder charge.
You cut my sentence, you send me to a minimum security prison, I'll back off, Eleanor can have Cynthia.
Mr.
Fallon, you have withdrawn your not guilty plea and entered a plea of guilty to kidnapping in the Second Degree, is that right? Yes, Your Honor.
In exchange for this plea, the People have agreed to an indeterminate sentence of 10 to 20 years in a minimum security facility.
Am I correct, Mr.
McCoy? Yes, with the stipulated condition.
The defendant agrees to relinquish all claim to custody of the minor child, Alexis Fallon, also known as Cynthia Taska.
Yes, Your Honor.
Plea is entered, prisoner is remanded.
Court is adjourned.
(GIRLS SOBBING) Daddy.
Daddy.
No, No, no, no.
Are you happy now, you bitch? Those girls won't ever be okay.
Well, their dad's about to find out what it feels like to have your every move controlled.
Kind ofjustice, I guess.