American Hangman (2018) Movie Script

Where do you think
you are?
I don't know.
Where do you
think you are?
Where do you
think you are?
I'm gonna fuckin' kill you,
that's where I think I am!
Hey freak.
No, no, no-no-no-no.
You think that's it?
No, I wouldn't.
Wouldn't what?
I wouldn't think
that that's it.
Poured concrete foundation.
My guess is we're in
a basement.
Do you have any idea how
long you were in the van?
Nineteen, twenty minutes.
fourteen, fifteen miles?
Do you drive
for a living?
I might.
Well, how do I know
you're not part of this?
You know like how they
put cops in
with the prisoners
in the movies?
That's what this is!
The movie, the two guys tied up
in the room and the hacksaw,
that's what this is!
Tied up how?
You never seen it?
Well you're lucky 'cause it's
a stupid fucking movie.
Chained, right,
they were chained up.
And then the one guy
figured it out
and that's when
it got so sick.
I told Grace it was
a stupid movie...
Who is Grace?
My ex-wife.
Uh... Wife.
I told her nobody
would do that...
Do what?
Cut off their own foot
with a hacksaw.
Are you certain about
the fourteen miles?
'Cause this could be some crazy
fucked up shit just like that.
Were you counting time
or do you just have
a natural sense of
You just know.
I know that he picked
me up first.
Of that I'm certain.
Um... And then we drove
about half your distance,
which is seven miles.
Then we waited for a
considerable period of time.
Finally he loaded what had
to be you into the van,
and we drove
to here.
So that's fourteen and
seven is twenty-one...
You wanna do math when he
could be coming through
with a fucking hacksaw?!
Hey buds.
Hey buddy.
I didn't mean what I said
before about killing you.
That was nuts. That wasn't me.
So we're square, right?
You have to accept
a guy's apology,
'cause if a guy apologizes
that's good right?
'Cause I didn't mean
nothin', right?
What the fuck?
What the fuck you doing?
Please no! No! Come on.
What the fuck you
gonna do?!
What the fuck?
What the... buddy...
What are you doing?
What the fuck you
doing, man?
Okay. Okay.
You seeing this?
Tell us your intentions,
Hey, how come you
do that for him?
And how come I got
the choker on?
How come he doesn't?
What does that mean?
And how come he wasn't
gagged or nothin'?
You crazy fuck!
What are you doing?
OLIVER: Are you putting on
a show of some kind?
With us?
You need to tell us
what you're doing
or I swear to God I
will fucking kill you.
You hear me?
We're going to
go live.
In six, five, four,
three two, one...
OLIVER: Are they
all on at once?
Or do they take
HERO: Turns.
They're motion and
voice activated.
But you'll never know which one
is on in any given minute.
So just direct yourself
to the pilot cam.
That way you won't confuse
everybody watching.
Everyone? Who is everyone?
HERO: Tell them
about yourself.
OLIVER: Who exactly?
HERO: They'll need to know as
much about you as possible.
Can only help you
in the end.
It'll make you seem
more real.
I'm not saying fuckin' nothin'
to fuckin' nobody.
Except get me the
fuck outta here.
You wanna know
how real I am?
Go fuck yourself!
That's how
real I am.
You think that was
wrong to say that?
What do you think
he's doing?
I think we will
soon find out.
No, no, no.
Please, no.
OLIVER: What do you
want me to say?
HERO: Who you are.
What you do.
To make you real.
I'm retired.
I was a professional.
To them, not me.
I am retired.
I was-I've had
a profession.
The legal profession.
I live on the outskirts
of the city.
I was in my driveway
when I was taken.
I have been taken.
I don't know what I can or
cannot say if I do not know
the purpose of
my being here.
You can discourse on
whatever you want.
I was physically taken.
Unloading groceries from
the back of my car.
My wife and I have lived in that
house for over thirty years.
So she or one of the neighbours
will see the groceries
in the driveway.
I don't know whether you
left a ransom note or not.
But obviously someone
will call the police...
Stop it.
This only works if you
tell the whole truth.
What am I saying
that is not true?
Fuck you.
No, no, no. Please, no.
I didn't mean that.
That wasn't me. That wasn't me.
Uh, I do home
Specialize in roofing.
To the camera.
Tell them your name.
My name is Ron.
I have two children
who are expecting me home
tonight for dinner.
And all I was doing
was going through
the fucking drive-through,
for Christ sake.
That's a lie.
What? You mean the
parking lot thing?
Okay, I was going to
the drive-through
and then I pulled over at the
edge of the parking lot
to check my tires
like I do.
And then I get out and then
I get cracked on the head,
and then I'm in a sack and
we were pulling away
and what the fuck
is this about?!
Hold it up.
Hold it up.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no!
I know what
this is.
This is Turkish
prisoner shit.
And like I said I have
two little kids
so please no Turkish
prisoner shit.
You. Read me what's on
the front page.
There was an oil spill
off the coast of Florida.
The paper.
I don't got that.
The oil leak thing.
I can't find that.
The Wall Street firm
has been accused
of false reporting
to the SEC.
I don't got that.
Is it bad that I
don't got that?
What do you have?
Uhh... The girl from the talent
show is getting married.
The murderer of the Jeeter girl
was executed this morning...
I got that! I got that!
He kidnapped and
killed the girl.
I got that.
HERO: You.
10,000 vehicles were recalled
for faulty brake lines.
I don't got that. Fuck.
HERO: All right.
All right what?
HERO: Do we all
get it now?
RON: I don't get it, I
don't get nothin'.
You have to figure out why
each of you is here
and what the connection
between you is.
You have five minutes.
You can't be serious.
To prove I'm serious...
What the fuck you
doing with those.
Keep those fucking things
away from me.
I'll shove those fucking things
right down your throat.
You're gonna need that.
What are you doing?!
No please! Mother of God!
Five minutes.
The towel is
for the blood.
It's not working.
It's not going back.
The towel is
for the blood.
The towel is for
the blood.
This way it'll bind if I
just hold it like this
and give it
enough time...
Ron, stop. Stop.
Listen to me.
We have to try to
be very calm.
I have never seen anything work
out well that was done in haste.
What just happened
was monstrous.
But it has told us
a great deal
about the situation we
find ourselves in.
What he did was not an
impulsive act on his part.
The garden shears.
The towel.
They were planned.
He intended to do
that from the start.
And he intended
to do it to you.
Not to me.
I counted ten cameras.
He said they
were live.
That they're transmitting
images of us right now.
When he instructed us to look at
the pilot camera it seemed to me
as if he were anticipating
that a great number
of people would
be watching us.
They might very well be
watching us right now.
The clock.
I'm aware of
the clock.
He said five minutes to figure
out the connection.
What the hell is he gonna do
when the five minutes are up?
You don't get it.
You don't get it because you
didn't see the fuckin' movie.
I'll go first.
I'll tell the exact truth to you
and to everyone who is watching.
And I presume that
includes our captor.
He was correct.
I did not tell the
whole story earlier.
My wife is not
at home.
She and my daughter went
away on holiday this morning.
I drove them to
the airport.
And then I went to
the grocery store.
I was in my driveway
unloading groceries
from the back of my car when
a white van drove up.
The driver.
The man who is our
captor got out
and started walking
towards me.
I thought he was lost so I put
down the groceries I had
in my hand so that I
could speak with him.
And then he put a
bag over my head
and knocked the glasses
off my nose.
I could see them on
the pavement.
There were oranges
rolling around
and then down
the driveway.
I couldn't move.
He had me completely
And then he manhandled
me into the van.
When we started downhill I
started counting.
Now you.
Ron this will
not work...
We have to get the
fuck out of here.
You were in a
drive-through restaurant,
or you were going to a
drive-through restaurant?
I have two little girls that I
need to see right now.
But you stopped and
got out to what?
To check your tires?
Right now!
Is this part of your
daily routine?
All just 'cause I missed
I wasn't even supposed
to be there.
What do you mean?
I go to Zoop's Chicken Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday.
Thursday, Friday I go
to Steak and Shake.
One or one-thirty
at the latest.
Everybody knows that.
But this is Saturday.
Yeah, I had to meet a guy out
on Old Sheltham Road
to talk about some damage that
the storm did to his place.
Is the guy
at the Old Sheltham Road
the only one who knows that you
were going there?
He cut off my finger.
Did you stop and
get gas first?
The finger that I
was born with.
The finger I had from
my whole life.
That my mother gave me.
Was the drive-through one of
those restaurants you can see
from the highway?
And we're talking about
fucking hamburgers?!
You need to focus...
HERO: What did
you figure out?
We figured out that you're
a fuckin' homo.
The answer is obvious.
Other than the fact that in the
two newspapers you gave us
we had one article
in common.
There is no connection
between the
two of us.
Clearly there's a purpose
behind my presence.
Everything about my
abduction was planned.
It required prior
On the other hand,
Ron's abductions appears to
be completely at random.
No one, not even Ron
would've known
where he was
going to be then.
So I believe that he
was picked up
simply because he was
visible from the highway.
Yeah, so what the fuck
am I doing here?
To prove the depths he's willing
to go to in dealing with me.
HERO: We've got a problem
in our society.
Nothing that we say has
any value anymore.
No credibility.
I say I'm gonna pay my
bills it doesn't matter.
The lender needs a credit
check to prove that I have.
To prove that
I will...
I'll give you $22,500
to let me go.
Nobody believes anything
we say anymore
without proof
of intention.
So if I say that I'm gonna kill
a man I need to prove
that I have
killed a man.
Proof of intention.
You need to
stop now.
I really can't
do that.
OLIVER: I will take you
at your word.
That should be
good enough.
With that assurance,
any other proof of your
sincerity is not necessary.
That's true.
Except it's not you I
have to convince.
It's them.
I heard they gave you
the shift today.
I thought it
was a joke.
On me.
Or probably
because everyone
is still too drunk
from the party.
How much damage could a
retiring desk jockey do
on a Saturday,
Lt. Roy! You got an incoming!
They're not wasting
any time.
Well the plan is the whole
building be empty by Friday.
The new HQ is already
fully operational.
They asked for
the duty officer?
Nope. You. By name.
Didn't we have an
agreement last year?
No more hacking city computer
systems. Parking...
Yeah. This is different.
What have you
done now?
I'm sending you a link.
Go there. Now.
One of my chat groups
sent me this.
You ever hear of a place
called Zoop's Chicken?
It's up highway nine.
That means whatever
this is it might be local.
You got it? You seeing this?
What am I
looking at?
This is live and I'm
pretty sure it's real.
You don't want to do this.
It is unnecessary.
It's not a question
of want.
It's a question
of need.
We need to give gravitas
to the procedure to come.
OLIVER: What procedure?
Hey, it's that
creepy guy.
Slosson's not gonna give
me the interview.
He's going to CBS.
A Congressman from
Ass Grease, West Virginia,
and he's lied
to me.
The world is nothin' but
creepy guys, Kaitlyn. Which one?
At 53 Division.
His name is Eddie.
And yes he's very creepy, but
creepy's how we get things done.
He's devoted to me.
Okay, well he just said
if you don't want it,
he's gonna give it to Channel
6 in four minutes.
Thank you.
You know this
is too much.
HERO: How do
you figure?
If we're really being honest
with each other,
and pretty soon we're
gonna have
to be very honest
with each other.
We both know that this
is absolutely necessary.
This will keep it real.
This will keep
their attention.
You don't think cutting off
his finger was real enough?
Well, it looks live.
We can't really tell.
You're not in charge.
Not in this room.
What do you mean?
This room?
I'm sorry.
What is this about?
Holy shit.
Sweet Jesus!
Do I have your
attention now?
That was live.
No, we can't
verify that.
It looked live!
Yes, everything
looks live.
We need anyone we can get from
tech support down here now.
Yes I'll hold.
Sir, shouldn't we get
Lt. Lucas, sir? Someone...
With more field
Certainly should.
I don't think we're gonna
have enough time.
Well... Now that that's done,
what should happen now?
I don't understand.
What should happen
to me?
What does the State
say should be done?
I don't think I'm qualified to
say what should be done
or what shouldn't
be done.
Of course you're qualified.
I beg your pardon?
You already said that you
were in the legal profession.
At the very least, someone in
the legal profession would know
the laws of their
own state.
I see what
you're saying.
Uh... Well then you
should be arrested,
incarcerated, indicted,
and tried.
If you were to be
found guilty...
If? If I was to be
found guilty?
You were right here.
You saw the whole thing.
All these cameras were
here to secure witness.
If the jury were to
find you guilty
and recommend the
maximum sentence...
Well, in this state you
would be condemned
to pay the ultimate
And what would
that be?
You would pay
with your life.
You would be
put to death.
Like the guy in
the paper.
Yes if you were convicted
of a capital crime,
but you may
not be.
No two cases
are the same.
But the punishment is the same
regardless of the case,
because an innocent
person was killed.
Cut and dry. Seems to me
that's the idea.
I don't quite understand
what you're getting at.
I picked a man up,
I brought him here,
I tied him up,
and I killed him.
As far as we know he was
an innocent man
who never did anything
to anybody.
So there's no two
ways about it.
We're talking about
the death penalty.
Right here. Both papers.
Big story.
The Jeeter case?
The Jeeter case. Read it.
Out loud to everyone.
The whole thing.
"Paul William Gager, the
man who abducted
and murdered 14 year old
Claudine Jeeter six years ago,
was put to death this
morning at 12:01.
Death was administered
by lethal injection
at the Six Rivers Correctional
Facility in Triborough.
It was the swiftest enforcement
of the death penalty
in the state's history."
Well, I suspect there's
significantly more
to the story
than that.
Um..."A last minute
by Gager's lawyers
was unsuccessful.
Gager was convicted
of Jeeter's abduction
and murder after a
two-year manhunt.
Jeeter went missing
from her house
on February the 10th,
six years ago."
I'm not bored.
"It was discovered later that
Claudine had been held
in a home-made facility
for keeping rabbits
on Gager's property, three
miles from the Jeeter house.
The search for Claudine Jeeter
was exhaustive and emotional...
I know him.
...and gained a great deal of
public attention as local
and state police...
We all know him,
don't we?
...followed lead
after lead..."
"...Until finally they were able
to apprehend Gager
and link him to
the girl's death."
Um... That's
all there is.
There isn't anymore.
Maybe not in the paper, but
in fact there's a lot more.
But I wanna make sure
I've got this right,
so if the court was right
in that sentence,
and the state was
right in exacting
the ultimate punishment,
then it follows...
as I have clearly
that I should
be executed
for killing our dear friend
Ron resting outside.
No, you cannot say
that for sure.
I picked a man up
off the street,
I abducted him, I took
him out of his life.
But there are
other issues.
The mental state of the
accused, the IQ...
I brought him here,
I tied him up,
and I tortured him, and I killed
him for my own reasons.
What's not for
sure about that?
You'll need a trial
to determine that.
Because without a trial
there can be no justice.
Well that's an area you would
know quite a lot about,
wouldn't you?
...Your Honour.
Judge Oliver Straight.
The man who tried
the Jeeter case.
HERO: A man is guilty for
taking the life of another man.
If convicted, that guilty man
must be put to death.
These are the rules we've
established, yes?
Don't say yes.
In this state, yes.
That "yes" means that we can
be a little bit more focused,
doesn't it?
I have Carl on the
phone for you.
Tell Carl we need to control
the cutting ourselves.
Yeah, well he's not so crazy
about going live at all.
That's true to form.
Which is why we're
number four.
I put it to you, Judge,
that if that is the case,
things don't look
too good for you.
Because surely as I shot
poor innocent Ron,
you're also guilty of taking
an innocent man's life.
What man would
that be?
You just read
the article.
The Jeeter case.
Paul William Gager.
I can prove that you willingly
and knowingly put him,
an innocent man
to death.
And I'm ready to try that
case right here.
Right now in front of this
particular judge.
And in front of this
particular jury.
I don't understand.
Yes you do.
They're right here.
They're everywhere.
And I assure
you, Judge,
these wheels of justice
will turn very quickly.
Now Carl! Now!
Because they will beat
us, that's why!
We are not supposed
to be beaten!
For those joining
us late...
...I'm going to conduct a trial
for the life of the Judge.
And whatever you decide,
I will abide by,
but let's be
perfectly clear.
We're going by the
rules of the state.
The Judge's rules.
That means on a verdict of
guilty he will be put to death.
Right here.
Court is in
Isolate and find!
Let's get on to what we
know about Straight,
not what we
think we know.
Good afternoon.
Harper Grant with a
special USCN report.
Here's what we know.
God help us.
The judge who tried the
Claudine Jeeter abduction
and murder trial,
has himself apparently
been abducted
and is now being held at an
undisclosed location.
The abduction, however,
is being broadcast live
across social media.
To help fill in pieces of
the puzzle here
is USCN's own
Jean Treblis. Jean?
Well Harper, It's kind
of early to say,
but it looks like that
what's happening is...
...Some of the concerns about how
Justice Oliver Straight tried
the Jeeter case are
coming home to roost?
JEAN: You can look
at it that way.
Did you ever hear
anyone question
how Judge Straight
handled the case?
They will now.
At the least we know that
a member of the public
has decided to
question the trial.
HARPER: And perhaps even
that verdict is in question.
Now Darnley made references to
credit checks and overdue bills.
There could be
something there.
Where are they pulling
this stuff from?
Who's this?
It's the IT team.
You're kidding.
They're all in the
new building.
What can you
tell me?
We can't trace a stream to
a social media interface.
Why not?
Isn't he using their server
or whatever it is?
Think of it as telephone that's
been redirected fifteen times.
So he's smart in
that way?
Pretty much.
Can't they
take him off?
They could of course shut
the whole thing down,
but then there's nothing to say
he couldn't just show up
on any other
Yeah, it's a bad
idea anyway.
And we would lose our only means
of knowing what he's up to.
Can we limit the reach
or whatever you call it.
Will he know if
we do that?
Almost certainly.
How can you
be so sure?
He broke into
one of the world's
most controlled websites,
bootlegged a live signal
without a trace
and scrambled it a
half dozen times...
my guess is he's smart
enough to track
what's happening
on his own site.
Okay. Thank you.
Okay, so the Judge
lives in Aspian County.
20 miles outside
city centre.
We have two
cruisers there now.
They found an open
Volvo wagon
and a whole mess of groceries
spilled out onto the driveway.
But we don't know
when it happened.
So we're running
a check
on all surveillance cameras
and any of the...
Check the cash
register tape.
In one of the bags
on the driveway.
It'll tell us the store and
the time of purchase.
If no tape, check the bags
or the price stickers
to figure out which store,
go to the nearest one,
and get the time of purchase
from the manager.
The receipt will give us
where the Judge is.
If the Judge bought his
groceries at 10 a.m.
and this thing
went live at...
1:11, and a man can only drive
sixty five miles an hour
without attracting attention,
then the room they're in
is no more than a hundred mile
radius from the Judge's house.
Now if we allow for fixing
up the room and picking up
the other abductee, it's
probably even closer.
What have you got
on the other one?
We went back to the start
of the transmission
and we figured out
it's a local. Ron Price.
He owns and operates
Priced to Pleaze...
that's spelt
with a "Z".
Now he has an ex-wife
who's still his dispatcher.
She said
his first job this morning
was out near Sheltenham.
So if our man picked up
Mr. Price after the judge,
that means our location
is very local.
Well it's patently clear
that you have thought
this through thoroughly,
and intelligently...
Don't condescend to me.
...But you have made some
fundamental errors
when it comes to
judicial process.
You say you're going
to conduct a trial.
You can't.
A trial, a trial...
"Is the examination of
evidence and applicable law
by a competent tribunal
to determine
the specific issues of
charges and claims."
All right. All right. All right.
Let's look at "applicable law
in a competent tribunal..."
But we don't
have to.
Because we already know
what law we're talking about.
Premeditated murder.
And as far as a competent
tribunal goes,
well, I'm just
picking my jury
from the same pot you
chose yours from.
All that informs a
trial are rules.
We'll have those.
And we'll have temperance.
That makes
this a trial.
But we'll have something your
courtroom doesn't have,
or doesn't have
very often.
Which is?
I will be the prosecutor and
you will be defending yourself.
Out there will be the
judge and jury.
The Judge speaks
in a trial.
This Judge will speak.
TERRY: Holy Shit.
From the moment Claudine
Jeeter was taken
she was front
page news.
A fourteen year old girl,
straight A student,
with a little pet terrier
named Brownie...
plucked out of her world on
her way home from school.
Everyone was gripped.
The public, the police,
the Judge to be. Everyone.
We all saw the Grandmother
Mrs. Solsza
on our TV's practically every
night, as well as the cousin,
the family spokesman,
Bertinad Solsza.
They became fixtures
in our living room,
part of our
news, reality.
As a result, the prosecution
will argue that the verdict
in the Jeeter case was
manufactured instead
of arrived at in
the courtroom.
Not out of malice,
but out of genuinely honest
outrage and desire.
A desire to see someone pay for
the killing of young Claudine.
But the prosecution will prove
that as a result of this desire
there was a race to
the gallows.
A race run on the fuel of
police incompetence
and judicial corner-cutting,
civil servants recreant
to their duty
so an innocent man
was put to death.
Whether the state thought Paul
William Gager was guilty
or not is not
the point.
Does it matter if I thought
Ron the roofer
was guilty of some
crime only later
to discover that he wasn't?
Of course not.
All that matters
is I killed him
and I had no right to kill him.
The state killed Paul
William Gager
and they had no
right to kill him.
The prosecution will prove this
beyond the shadow of a doubt
by pointing out that his arrest
and trial was systematic
of a justice system that
is ignorant, corrupt,
and bloodthirsty.
This is not how
it's done.
Are you speaking
as the defense?
Well you can only speak if
you're speaking as the defense.
I can only speak as myself, I
can't speak as the defense.
Then you don't have a
voice, unless it's as
the defense addressing
the court.
Because, as I have already
said, this is not a court.
Believe me when I say you
can make a great study
of a dictionary and brilliantly
mimic the way lawyers speak,
but that does not mean
you understand the law.
You're saying I don't
understand the law?
I am saying you do
not understand the law.
Exhibit A for the
The Judge's error.
without reference.
Judgements without support.
The modus operandi of the
man in the black robe
to make snap
This is not my
kind of law.
Yes this is your
kind of law.
And this is not my
kind of courtroom.
Yes, this is your
kind of courtroom.
The Jeeter case
was a capital case.
There is a
judge, yes.
But the verdict is reached
at by the jury,
and they recommend
the sentence.
The role of the magistrate
is considerably limited.
I expect you
know that.
But there is something else
going on here that concerns me.
No doubt you'll let
us all know.
I don't believe you have
the right to try this case.
Not under any
Is anybody here
a lawyer?
A criminal lawyer?
I am.
What's he saying?
I believe there's a clear issue
of conflict of interest,
and that being the case, we
cannot even begin to proceed
until I ascertain whether
I'm right or not,
by questioning you.
Except it doesn't
work that way.
I'm afraid it does.
If I have any
of conflict of interest
I can object.
And I object.
I object to your objection.
What happens now?
So let's overrule it.
BARBARA: Jesus Christ!
NEWS ANCHOR: A surprising
turn of events, Harper.
But as the numbers tell you,
right now,
people are clearly voting
to support the judges objection
and overrule
the man who is now
holding him hostage.
What does it say?
Well, my objection
has been overruled.
All right then.
It appears that the voice
of the people...
HERO: By a vote of
47,239 to 19,640.
Nearly 70,000 people
taking part already.
NEWS ANCHOR: More than ten
percent of the people watching
are actually taking
part and voting.
That seems a massive
number to me.
And I suspect that percentage
is only going to grow.
Holy shit.
Take a seat.
What was his name?
The detective who oversaw
the Jeeter case.
Do you know him?
For a while, I was a
junior in his unit.
Not on the Jeeter case.
Call him.
What if this guy actually
has a point?
About the judge?
I believe the obvious question
now is are you going
to abide by the order
from the bench?
So you accept this as
a courtroom now?
I mean if you're saying words
like "abide" and "bench"...
No, this is not
a courtroom.
But if you abide
by the ruling
that says something about how
you're going to address,
how you're going to treat
your own rulings.
And that might make
it a courtroom.
You said there were 70,000
people right now?
And more every second?
Well, it would seem to me that
whatever you're trying to prove
would be in jeopardy if you
do not follow your own rules.
Go ahead.
I beg your pardon?
I objected.
My objection was overruled.
So go ahead. You said conflict
of interest.
What-What conflict
of interest?
Well, you made a speech
to that camera,
and you did it eloquently,
very well.
The girl came from an
ethnic community.
Some of their names
were extremely difficult
to pronounce.
But you said them
with ease.
There's also the issue
of the dog's name.
Every news piece
mentioned the dog.
And the name?
And the dog's name.
But not the breed. I know that.
Because that was one
of the hold-backs
the police for suspect
Certainly it seems that you
know the Jeeter family well.
You do, don't you?
Who are you?
I was her uncle.
breaking news report.
HARPER: A special
USCN update:
The man is
her uncle.
That is the story according
to the person
holding Judge Oliver
Straight hostage
at an undisclosed
in attempts to conduct
what appears
to be a mock trial
by social media.
Here to help us sort
through the details
is USCN analyst
Josh Harkridge. Josh?
What we now know is the man
holding Judge Straight hostage
appears to have a very
specific axe to grind.
And that may explain why he's
taken this course of action
in the first place.
HARPER: Would this be some
kind of a grudge?
Well, that's exactly
the problem, Harper.
We don't know.
What we do know is:
this morning saw the execution
of Paul William Gager.
Claudine's killer.
Now, if there is
an axe to grind
about a trial being
It's possible that the family
had harboured doubts
about the Gager
verdict all along.
I don't think we
can say that.
Now Josh, tell me, doesn't
this bring us right back
to the question surrounding
Judge Straight's handling
of the case?
JOSH: It could.
You do not have the
right to try this case.
Any reasonable judge
would tell you...
No, we don't have to speculate
on what a reasonable judge
would say, because
we have a judge.
And I don't think the judge
will say that my relationship
to Claudine excludes me
from trying this case,
because the case at hand is
not about Claudine's abduction.
It's about you putting an
innocent man to death.
That's the case
at trial here.
So, I say we put it
to a judge's ruling.
That wouldn't stand
up anywhere.
TERRY: It will here.
It's not enough to just
surround the house.
Someone has to
talk to the family.
That's why I said
the cousin.
Then let me talk
to them.
His name is what?
Bertinad, right?
Then what is
the problem...
Lt. Elroy?
Hi, Leonard Steptoe.
I was in charge of the
Jeeter investigation.
It looks like you've got
yourself in some situation, huh?
I'm in the middle of a
nightmare, detective.
I'm here to help you
any way I can.
All right, now to start,
there's information
about the Jeeter family
that you need to know.
Come on, you
gotta be there.
Oh shit.
STEPTOE: The uncle?
He's dead.
Say again?
His car slipped into the
Tremont Viaduct,
so whatever this freak
says he wants,
it's not 'cause he's Claudine
Jeeter's uncle.
HARPER: And it looks
like, once again
the objection is overruled.
Your objection has
been overruled.
I would like to know the
judge's reasoning.
Do you always give a reason
when you're on the bench?
You've already accepted
one of the judge's rulings,
so that means you accept
the authority of this court.
Let's be perfectly clear.
The people who investigated and
tried the Jeeter case needed
and wanted a crazed,
lone psychopath.
And they needed one for a
very simple reason.
See, the killing of
a young person
is the worst crime that
we can imagine.
In order to reconcile this
horror in our minds we need,
we must have, and we must kill
a crazed lone psychopath.
Anybody who doesn't feel
that longing is inhuman.
And it's written all
over this case.
The lawyers, the police.
And most of all the
justice system.
Every decision they made was
based on their humanity.
And because of the way that this
shitty system is set up
they were allowed
to take the results
of those flawed human
conclusions and couple that
with a power that really
doesn't belong to them.
The power to give
and take life.
You have something
to add?
Is that really what we're
talking about here?
The validity of the
death penalty?
I'm sorry, but for
whatever reason,
I thought this was
going to be
about something more
original and substantive.
Look around
you, Judge.
Do I strike you as someone who
isn't original and substantive?
This is about justice.
Now I want to question you about
the police work on this case.
I'm afraid I cannot
help you there.
I am not a
Well then I want to question you
about your interpretation
of the police work
on the case.
Would you say that
it was thorough?
Up to the standards that
we expect from our police?
Of course.
It would not have come to or
withstood trial otherwise.
What would those
standards be?
Isn't it true that most
serious crimes
in this country
go unsolved?
By unsolved, you mean...
I mean no bullshit myths,
no-no dime novels,
no phony TV dramas.
Isn't it true that what most
real police officers investigate
in this country, they can't
and don't solve?
Isn't it true that only
18 percent
of all non-violent crimes in
this country are solved?
18 percent.
And isn't it also true that
more than fifty percent
of violent crimes
go unsolved.
And nearly a third of
all murders...
That bears no relevance
to the Jeeter...
Hell, the most
devastating murder
in the history
of this country
the assassination of a sitting
American President in full view
of the entire country
is still unsolved.
The Zodiac killer, the
Lindbergh baby,
Jon-Benet Ramsay, the Boston
Strangler, the list goes on.
Wouldn't it be stating fact to
say that as a standard
the police are unable to solve
most crimes in this country?
The Jeeter case
was rock solid.
There's not a person on this
planet that can prove otherwise.
Can you tell me what
I'm pulling up here?
You don't need me to tell
you, it's obvious.
Answer the question.
Well, they're
newspaper clippings.
Um... articles relating to
the Jeeter case.
Oh, you're familiar
with them?
Some of them, yes.
From the time
of the trial?
I presume so, yes.
Actually, those were all
from before the trial.
But-but you say that
they're familiar to you.
Could you go ahead and tell
the jury what's in them?
I'm not quite sure I
understand your question.
That's okay. I'll answer.
It's the story.
The story of Paul William
Gager from the moment
that he was arrested.
The loner living out
in the country.
He had that odd hobby
of metal detection.
That thing about building
the rabbit hutches
out of the roadside
construction signs.
The knocking out of
the interior walls.
But most of all, that photo,
that high school photo.
Is there a single person
in this country
that didn't find that
You saw it, right?
Hm, before the trial?
Um... yes.
Did you find
it disturbing?
I found it disturbing.
Yes what?
Yes I found it
Well, I put it to you Judge,
that you saw that photo
and you put it together with
all those news stories
and all the evidence against him
just sorta clicked together.
But, I mean we can't
forget about
the biggest piece of
evidence, right?
That she was found
on his property.
We can't forget
about that.
And that little link to the shed
by the side of the house.
Boy that made sense.
He was her killer.
That was the determination
of the jury.
Hm... working from
the facts.
The facts that the police
provided to the prosecution.
But not all the
facts, right?
What are you saying?
Well, isn't it true that the
jury never heard
about his previous
criminal history,
because you, the judge,
deemed it inadmissible?
Yes, it's true.
I would not admit it.
For his protection.
Because he had been
previously charged
with attempted
sexual abuse?
It would have
prejudiced the jury.
But it was sexual abuse
of a man, Judge.
Of a man.
A 36 year old man who
he tried to pick up
at the Sapp Brothers
truck stop.
Isn't it true that he
was also ordered
into a psychiatric
Not by me.
But the results of that
psychiatric evaluation
were also deemed inadmissible
by you, right?
Well, help me out with
something here.
Would a homosexual man, who's
extremely claustrophobic...
so claustrophobic in
fact he knocked out
all the interior walls of
his house
choose to keep a
fourteen year old girl
in a seven foot by five foot
shed with no windows?
Because he must
have spent
a lot of time out there
with her, right?
I mean making all those
dolls and the necklaces
and the bracelets...
So the size of the
shed is the issue?
The size of the shed
is not the issue...
No, on the contrary.
I think the size of the
shed is the issue.
No! The size of the shed
isn't the issue!
The issue is the court
supressing medical,
psychiatric, and criminal
evidence based
on their own God
damn personal bias.
No, that's almost
impossible to substantiate.
It may be impossible
to prove,
but it is possible that
it happened, right?
Maybe, yes, yes,
It's possible.
If there's anything
else he can say
or uncover, I'd like
to know now.
Let me be
perfectly clear.
I dedicated two years of my
life to Claudine Jeeter.
I know I did
right by her.
So I don't have to take
questions from anyone.
Certainly not you.
Why not me?
Yeah, you made detective.
You traded it all
away for a desk.
You couldn't handle
the bad guys.
Now you're trading in your
desk for retirement.
You don't have any right to
question me or anyone else
about the leg work we
did on the Jeeter case.
We got it right.
DARNLEY: When did the police or
the news media release
the information about
the size of the shed?
Who is this?
It's Darnley.
And what's that stuff about the
necklaces and the bracelets?
It's not online, okay?
And in my world if it's not
online it doesn't exist.
No one said it before.
Well, was there anything else
that was possibly suppressed
in order to guarantee a
conviction in this case?
Wouldn't you be better able
to answer that than I would?
You're not her uncle.
I know who you are.
You better see this.
Well if I am who
you think I am,
you really can't
say it, can you?
That's the bind.
The judge can't say without
incriminating himself.
Question, if that guy withheld
certain information,
who would know?
Who else?
The victims.
The perpetrator.
The person who
actually kidnapped
and killed Claudine Jeeter.
Were they able to absolutely and
without question tie the girl
to Gager's backyard shed?
STOKELY: You'd have
to ask Steptoe.
I'm asking you.
I heard the links to the shed
were circumstantial.
But they thought they were good
because they had him
dead to rights on nearly
everything else.
Well, the judge can't
talk about it
without incriminating
but here's how it might of
happened as these things go.
He may have been
close to her.
Close enough
that he saw her.
Not every day
but enough.
Enough to know how she
went about her life.
Walking to and from school
with her friends,
and playing with her
dog in the park,
and when she was forced to take
her brother to the corner store
and she hated it,
and you could tell.
Her arms and legs
in the summer.
The shade of
her skin.
She was a
pure thing.
Slowly he realized he wanted
to possess that purity.
Hold it.
Hold it in his hand
like a snowflake.
Protect it from
being sullied.
And then eventually he realized
that he would take her.
He would take her and he
knew it was an awful thing.
A horrible
thing to do.
He wrestled with it.
Can you imagine?
Wrestling with a
thing like that?
And then he
just took her.
In that one
simple act.
Seconds really.
His whole life up until
then just shattered.
Like a... like a mirror
into a million pieces.
But then he saw the
reaction of the news,
and the press, and the police,
and he was so relieved
because he realized
he would be caught.
They would catch him.
I mean, they
had to.
He always saw them
on television.
They were always saying that
they were getting the job done.
Working day
and night.
They wouldn't rest until
they found the killer.
But day after day went by, and
day after day he wasn't caught,
he wasn't captured.
And he came to realize that he
was not going to be caught,
and the reason for
that was this:
They didn't know what
they were doing.
Sure they looked like police,
but they weren't.
Not really.
Day after day, they
waved him through
their preliminary
check points,
and day after day he could
breathe less and less and less.
Now it might have been that the
abductor began to test things.
The first time that they
questioned him
he gave them
two clues.
Now, they weren't easy,
but they weren't hard.
Nothing came of it.
So the next time
he made it easier.
Obvious even.
Didn't matter, they didn't
follow up on that either.
So finally he mailed in an
anonymous confession.
He even included some
of his own DNA.
But the police lost it.
Now if you can
believe this:
They were actually in the yard
where she was being kept.
They were right there.
All they had to do was walk the
three extra feet but...
gosh they just couldn't
bring themselves to do it.
They would have found
her if they had.
And once he realized
how lousy it all was,
that the conclusion
was inevitable.
He would have
to kill her.
He would have to
kill the girl.
That would be the only way
that they could catch him.
Once they had the body, once
they had the evidence
then they would
need to catch him.
And once they caught him they
would put him to death
because that's the only
thing that should happen
to somebody like him.
Someone like him that
would do a thing like that
to somebody like her
deserves to die.
So he killed her, and once
he began to reckon
with the real moral realities
of the situation,
he tipped off
the police.
The police came and they
collected the body,
and they collected
the evidence,
and after that they got
everything wrong.
They accused Paul
William Gager.
Paul William Gager, just because
she was on his property.
And because of the
rabbit hutch's
made out of
construction signs.
And of course that
God damn photo.
And that's what the
cable news ran with.
That-that photo for
four days straight.
Every headline.
And by the time they
were finished with him,
the whole country
knew that he did it.
The trial, that was
only a formality.
All that was left was for you to
preside over the execution.
I am the prosecution's final and
most irrefutable proof
that you killed an
innocent man.
I killed Claudine Jeeter.
There's not a single
thing you can do
that can make
that not so.
I understand how you have
come to the conclusions
that you've come to.
But... You have
to remember...
that the law is administered
by people.
And people are
not perfect.
That's not the issue.
We both know that
that's not the issue.
The issue is... what is to
be done with me?
Well... if there were
a trial...
Well, I think we can get
through a trial pretty quickly.
I'm saying
that I did it.
I mean I've got all the
proof to back it up.
I'd say I've got rock solid
guilt coming and going.
There's the question
of intent.
Let's talk about intent.
Was it your intention when you
first entered that courtroom on
the very first day to see
Claudine Jeeter's killer
put to death if the jury
found him guilty?
I believed what
they told me.
There isn't a single
person out there
who isn't going to
vote to convict.
And when that happens I will
own the story one way or...
I need to talk
to you.
Why did you float
that crap
about people questioning
the judge?
And all that shit
about the verdict?
Kaitlyn, listen to me.
The story will be
forgotten tomorrow.
But not who told it.
STEPTOE: You don't get the
urgency of this?
We're watching it
on television.
I mean, bring that to the
commissioner's office...
What are you doing?
I'm getting authorization to
take over this whole thing.
All right, technically it's
not just a homicide,
it's part of the
Jeeter case, and...
Come on.
Look, we both know
they are gonna
want me to take this over now.
Oh yeah.
I believe that.
You know the new
building is finally ready?
And I'm not gonna
make it in there.
37 years on
the force
and it will all have been
spent in this rat hole.
This precinct was famous.
Did you know this building
is 120 years old?
They redid it
in 1960,
but it was the original
HQ for all of Metro.
Remember Frank Stoppard?
Oh yeah.
Every night he'd be on TV
talking to the press about,
"We're investigating this."
And "we're
investigating that."
'Cause you know,
the 70's were bad.
They sure were.
But no matter how
ugly it was,
you just felt better
looking at Frank.
He looked... right.
A touch of gray.
Always wore the
right suite.
All the other guys
were slobs.
Then I realized they
looked like that
because they spent their lives
knocking on doors.
Been working the phones,
and chasing down leads.
Frank was just
a front man.
They all knew it.
Including Frank.
Today... everyone's
a Frank.
I didn't take a desk because
I couldn't stand the heat.
I took a desk because I
saw it all coming apart.
And I wanted to
do something
that at least felt like
real police work.
But this... Terrible
as it is...
Let's start with one
simple question:
Were there marks on her
wrists and neck?
What did Stapleton
say about that?
Stapleton didn't do
the post mortem.
It's all in
the reports.
We had Baker do
the post mortem...
Stapleton's got 40
years with homicide.
Yes, I know that.
An experienced pathologist
would have made something
of the marks...
We wanted to pick
up Gager anyway.
Our hero here, just told us the
two of them made bracelets
and necklaces together.
If he knows that
and it's a match,
then he's our guy,
and he's close by.
That's a very big
reach Lieutenant.
He told us.
"Walking with her friends
back and forth from school...
The trips to the
corner store...
In the park with
a dog..."
He had to see her
do all three.
You saying we didn't comb
the neighbourhood?
Because that's the
first thing we did.
I don't think
you did.
I'm telling you
right now.
We combed that neighbourhood.
HARPER: So, this is the
original Jeeter stuff?
TOM: I dug up everything we
had from the first day.
I heard the radio... one
of the police radios,
and they were talking
about the girl.
So... I hope nothing
bad's happened.
HARPER: What else
do you have?
There's a string of older
houses among the north block
but only four of them
could have sight lines
to the school, park,
or corner store.
But none of them see
Claudine's house, though.
He didn't talk about
seeing her house.
He talked about seeing
her at the park,
and at the
corner store.
Specifically the corner store.
Go back.
Don't get me wrong, there's
not a person here
that doesn't feel terrible
about Claudine.
We're all praying
for her.
But for sure our civil liberties
are being stepped on here.
Go back.
The guy in the grey
shirt in the back.
But for sure our civil liberties
are being stepped on here.
What's he saying?
It could be anything.
Due civil process.
"Due civil process."
Who else you heard
lately talks like that?
Can you cap him?
Can we upload this?
TOM: Why would
we do that?
To put ourselves where
we belong, Tom.
In a way, this case
has already been tried.
The conclusion reached and
the punishment locked in stone.
My life for Claudine's,
my life for Ron's.
I'm sure none of you
will object to that.
But applying the
same rules,
who will answer for the life
of Paul William Gager?
Applying the same logic,
someone has to,
because if
they don't.
You might as well
set me free.
That doesn't work.
There really is
only one person.
One person who had
access to all the facts.
One person who had ultimate
control over which facts
were given to the jury, and
one person who had
the authority to
say "stop"
in the event that justice
wasn't being served.
Most of all, the person
who said,
"Paul William Gager I
sentence you to death."
That person is
right here.
He denies that responsibility
because for the first time,
he's being called out
on an authority
that he's always so
naturally assumed.
Up until now he's only ever
supported the system.
That's a system
that elected him.
The system that couldn't
find Claudine Jeeter
while she was alive.
And the system that
couldn't find her killer
when she was dead.
And the system that sentenced
Paul William Gager,
an innocent
man, to death.
With one key stroke you're
going to pronounce him guilty.
And together we can
finally get right
what the system has
always gotten so wrong.
Anything else
would be unjust.
JEAN: As you can see
from our monitors,
a huge number of
people are voting
to convict Judge Straight.
It may not be
due process,
but it does seem to have gripped
viewer imaginations.
Is there any way to
stop the voting?
Clog it or slow it
down or stop it?
We're getting closer, but
I need more time.
Maybe, but don't you
have guys to do that?
Not really.
But we both know
you can do it.
And right now I need someone
who doesn't care
about the rules.
DARNLEY: Let me see
what I can do.
NEWS ANCHOR: Some sort of
stutter in the voting process.
What'd you just do?
DARNLEY: I think I
paused the voting.
Bought you three,
four minutes. Not much more.
Okay, and if
you could...
What's that?
TECH: A source at
USCN texted it.
It's a neighbour they
found in old footage.
LT. ROY: Our guy said
he was interviewed.
Cross reference this
against our records.
TECH: Of course.
Got it.
Henry David Cole.
43 Glenmount.
Six houses down and across the
street from the Jeeter house.
I presume this is
when you intend
that I make the summation
for the defense?
I have already said this is
not a real courtroom.
We've not
had a trial.
No real evidence has
been presented.
No real allowance
has been made
for the reputation of
hearsay or conjecture.
It's important that
we all recognize
when a jury reaches
a verdict,
and is delivering it to the
court it is doing so
as the duly elected
of the society,
of our state.
He's losing everyone.
That's fundamental.
And it's very important
that you understand
that the um...
I should start again.
May I start
again please?
I don't think you have
time, Your Honour.
But it's crucial
for me.
For me it's crucial that
they understand
how a judgement
is constituted.
It's not my choice, it's
not-It's not my choice,
it's the law.
Metro Police.
Search warrant!
Everybody in
the house!
Clear the room.
Coming inside.
Watch my back.
Clear the kitchen.
This is Metro Police!
We have a search
The floor is clear.
Sir, they need to get
to the basement.
He's not in
the basement.
He's in the
We're being played.
Secure the door,
move back.
Sounds like a
portable generator.
Somebody's been
doing construction.
What the hell
is that?
It's a ventilator
or something.
It looks like it has been
diverted off the property.
I got something
over here.
Jesus Christ.
LT. ROY: Find out where
it leads.
It's not an emotional
It's not
an emotional process.
Um... It's a sequence
of rules.
Backyard access to
the ravine here.
To the back.
All the way
to the back.
The idea that one
man could control
the entire criminal
Spread out.
That went out 500 years ago
with the divine right of Kings.
There's something
back here.
There is no divine right
of judges.
What the fuck
is this?
He's here. He's here.
Cover me.
Be very careful.
My God.
She was fourteen,
not six.
HARPER: Moments ago, an
emergency task force team
broke into this house.
Less than half a block
from the Jeeter home.
The police are working
from information
that they received
from USCN.
They may in fact be looking for
THIS MAN: Henry David Cole.
Now with closing
Coming to a climax, the clock
is literally running out
for Justice Oliver Straight.
So Cole has a record.
But he got off on
a technicality.
But get this.
He's some sort
of IT guy.
You cannot ask the
law to be perfect.
The most you can ask
the law for is a result.
Sometimes any result.
Any result you
can work with.
landed at Plymouth Rock,
you think that was
their intent?
It was a mistake.
But now-a-days we call
it their-their plan.
Because it makes
us feel better.
You want fairy tales.
Look in the
history books.
You want the truth?
Here it is.
It's about getting as
close as you can.
If Paul Gager wasn't
the right man,
he was close enough.
As such, a trial
was held.
A verdict was reached.
And there was satisfaction.
And if you don't like it, well
then you convict the woman
who wrote those
newspaper articles.
You convict the neighbours
who talked too much.
You convict the cop who can't
read, let alone read evidence.
And you convict the detective
who was three feet away
from where she was
when she was alive.
And he didn't go that
extra three feet
because he was
thinking of what?
Of getting laid
that night?
Who knows?
Convict them all.
But you can't.
So you get as
close as you can.
You have a ceremony.
Where torches are lit.
You walk a man up
the stone stairs,
and you put him to death
on the stone alter.
Maybe it doesn't matter if he's
the right man or the wrong man.
He's close enough.
Because someone had
to be sacrificed
for the death
of that girl.
Justice is that
she didn't die.
Satisfaction is that
someone died for her.
And if you don't
like that.
If it reminds you that we are
all still primitives,
too bad.
The best you can get from
the law is close enough.
As long as we
are who we are.
We are him.
We are you...
I'm done.
Wait a minute.
We've been staring at this
thing since this began.
I said this place was ancient
the day that I got here.
They'd already done a big
renovation in 1960.
Okay, so what
does that mean?
That means they
sealed off a big part
of the basement...
right... here.
What better place to hold
a trial for judgement
than the police station?
We are going to come to a
conclusion very soon.
And while USCN has been working
to create it's own projections
based on our own telephone
and online pole,
we can tell you that
whatever has caused
the log jam on the
original site.
The abductor's site,
seems to...
I lost the hold.
A whole lot of people are about
to do a whole lotta voting.
Numbers that seem to suggest
we're going to come
to a verdict very quickly, base
on the algorithm of the number
of people watching,
relative to the number
of people taking part.
And right now it looks
neck and neck
for the judge to be acquitted
or found guilty.
I suppose you're looking
for 50 plus one.
Anything as quaint as a
hung jury would be...
would be boring,
wouldn't it?
HARPER: Josh, we don't
know why, but it appears
that the police are suddenly
racing away from the Cole home
for an undisclosed location.
We don't know where
they're going,
but we're definitely going to
track where this takes us,
and bring you the story live
an in full detail
as events unfold.
JOSH: I have to cut you off and
let you and our viewers know
that based on numbers coming
in, our USCN analysts
are now making a solid
projection that...
Well there's no
other way to put it,
but... this is terrible
news for the judge.
Perhaps a major upset.
All numbers suggest the
judge will be found guilty.
Repeat The judge will
definitely be found guilty.
As soon as
we can,
we will show you how those
numbers broke down.
We're both done.
It says so on
cable news.
So it must
be true.
Go, go, go, go!
We're in.
Move, move, move!
Let's go, let's go.
Go, go, go.
You can't do this.
Yes I can.
Stand up straight.
The verdict is in.
The people have spoken.
Oliver Straight, you have been
found guilty by a jury
of your peers for taking the
life of an innocent man.
As such, it is the decision
of this court
that your own life should
be taken for his.
Are you a religious man,
Your Honour?
"And thine eye shall
not pity."
Did you pity, Judge?
No I did not.
Where are we going?
"And thine eyes
shall not pity."
Repeat after me.
"But life shall
go for life."
Life shall go
for life.
Eye for eye.
Eye for eye.
Tooth for tooth.
Tooth for tooth.
Hand for hand.
Hand for hand.
Foot for foot.
Foot for foot.
Everybody get down!
I said hold up! Hold up!
Hold fire!
Holding fire.
Oh shit.
No gun.
Jesus Christ.
Why'd you have
the gun?
He gave it to me.
Someone get
me a bus!
He knew. He knew.
He knew about you.
Knew what?
That you were the
Fuck. Fuck.
we clearly apprehended
a lethal threat here.
We had no choice but
to protect ourselves.
Weapons check!
We're good.
There may not be words for
what we've just witnessed.
There probably aren't.
We go now to our reporter on
scene who has been a witness
to today's events,
Harper Grant.
Josh, we were only
bystanders in all of this.
But there was no question
that we have witnessed tragedy.
Here's what we've been
able to figure out...