Boomerang! (1947) Movie Script

Some wag
once remarked that after New York...
it's all Connecticut.
The intent was humorous, but like many
sarcasms, it contained the germ of truth...
for the small cities which make up
the backbone of the nation...
are all in the same pattern.
That's why it doesn't
really make much difference...
that we have brought you
to this town in Connecticut.
The basic facts of our story
actually occurred...
in a Connecticut community
much like this one...
but they could've
happened anywhere-
in Oregon or Mississippi,
Georgia or Utah.
You may have other names
for your streets...
but whether you call them Center Street,
North Street or Main Street...
they're not much different
from these.
And the people, well,
maybe they dress a little differently...
or talk a little
differently here...
but underneath they're the same as your next-door
neighbor, and you probably know them all-
the cop on the beat,
the kid selling papers...
shopkeepers, lawyers,
good people, bad people.
And if your town is lucky,
you may have a minister...
who is as familiar to you
as Father Lambert was to this town-
a man known
and loved by all.
You might find him almost
any evening on Main Street...
taking his constitutional
after supper.
A cheerful, kindly figure
with a friendly word for everyone.
- Good evening, Father.
- Give me a match, will you?
- Sure. There you are. Good night.
- Thanks.
- Hello, Father.
- Hello, my dear.
Stop that man!
Hey, stop that man! Stop him!
Grab him! Grab him!
Is he dead?
- It's poor old Father Lambert.
- Somebody'd better do something!
Look out, look out.
I seen the whole thing.
- I was standing over there.
- So did I.
- I seen the whole thing.
- We'd better get the cops.
- Where's the nearest phone?
- There's one over at the drugstore.
- Well, go, somebody!
- I'll go.
Put down that pipe.
Don't touch a thing.
- That's right.
- Nobody touch anything until the cops come.
It seems incredible,
but in your town and my town...
these things actually happen.
Life is pleasant and a little dull...
and night after night, we yawn,
flick off the radio and go to bed.
Then one morning,
black headlines stare at us.
A war is declared,
the stock market crashes...
or a kindly old man
is shot down on the street...
and the quiet pool of community life
is suddenly stirred up.
Its waters boil, and its quiet currents
twist in new and devious ways.
- I can't believe it.
- No one in town can.
That's right. No one does.
Extra! Paper!
You better do this, George.
We took a vote, lady,
and, well, here.
- He did us favors from time to time.
- Put it up close, will you?
Thank you, boys.
Thank you.
More than any man I have ever known.
He gave his life completely to the service
and to the welfare of others.
He was simple and unassuming...
yet we who knew him
felt he wore the mantle of greatness.
We will miss him.
Yes, the death
of a man like Father Lambert...
leaves a gap in any community...
for unfortunately,
there are too few like him.
The old minister spent
most of his life here...
quietly building up
his parish...
sharing the simple life
of his neighborhood...
and, somehow,
imbuing his parishioners...
with some of his own
kindliness and humanity.
Maybe he was luckier
than most pastors...
for late in life a reform government
took over the city...
ousting the machine politicians
and bringing fresh impetus to city planning.
To such projects as parks,
playgrounds and recreational centers...
the old man gladly contributed
his own wisdom and experience...
and the dignity and weight
of his church.
Mr. Harris has kindly
pointed out this section.
I merely mentioned
its accessibility...
and the fact that the bank
may be able to arrange for its purchase.
- Father Lambert?
- Looks like an excellent site.
- I find bankers always seem
to know these things.
Of course, Mrs. Harvey,
as chairman, will have the final say.
I think it's just fine.
It's wonderful.
But his everyday work
was with the people of his parish...
and especially with those
who sought his advice and counsel.
Since he was a man of God,
his labors sometimes led him...
into the strange and secret places
of men's souls.
He was just and forgiving,
but he was also a man...
and a stern and uncompromising
judge of character.
Stop that.
Even if I had wanted
to forgive you, I- I couldn't.
It's out of my hands.
- Jim, you're a sick man.
- But, Father, I-
We've been through it
all before.
I can't help you.
A sanitarium, perhaps.
No, I won't.
If- If people would-
It's not people, son.
It's you.
I've told you that before.
This time, fortunately,
no great harm has been done.
But the next time-
No, I can't let you
go any longer.
It's got to be a sanitarium.
Have you spoken
to your mother about this?
You wouldn't tell her.
- I haven't spoken to anyone.
- What about Father Gardiner?
Oh, Jim, you're starting
all over again.
This is just between the two of us.
I prefer that you
make up your own mind, son...
but if you can't,
I won't wait long.
For your own sake,
I can't wait long.
Services will be held
Tuesday at 11:00.
The body will lie in state
in the church.
In the honorable office of priest...
grant, we beseech thee,
that he may also be joined with them...
in a perpetual fellowship
through Jesus Christ our Lord...
who, with thee
and the Holy Ghost livest...
ever a one-god world
without end.
Grant, we beseech thee,
O Lord, that the soul of thy servant...
the priest George, whom,
while dwelling in this world...
God has adorned
with holy gifts...
may ever rejoice with glory
in the heavenly mansions.
O God, who has bidden us to honor
our father and our mother...
of thy mercy and compassion
on the souls of my father and mother.
Forgive their sins.
- Well?
- For a moment, I thought it was him.
The man thought it was him,
but no luck.
- What'd you expect?
- It's a chance, Chief.
So is going over Niagara Falls
in a barrel.
Let's get out of here.
- Don't anybody know anything about this case?
- Quiet.
- Come on, Dugan. It's been five days-
- Four.
Okay, four days, and you mallet-heads
haven't even turned up as much as a footprint.
- People ain't gonna like that.
- Why don't you get lost?
And have you jokers trying to find me?
Are you kidding?
Police department.
Sergeant Dugan.
- No, lady. The city pawn takes care of that.
- Lost her husband, huh?
- Oh, quiet.
- Hi, Lieutenant. What's the story?
- This is a tough case.
- Don't tell me your troubles.
But I am telling you the chief
doesn't like those stories of yours.
He's gonna get a chance not to like
a lot more of them if you guys don't-
- Well?
- Nothing. Mr. Harvey called about four times.
He says for you to come over right away,
as soon as you get in.
- Got an angle, Chief?
- No.
Mr. Harvey seems awful anxious.
Maybe there's a break in the story.
Paper! Paper! Read all about it!
- Don't you ever clean this place up?
- Laughing boy.
Police are still baffled at murder!
- Paper, Chief?
- No.
Thank you.
- How do you do, Miss-
- Go right in. He's been expecting you.
Yeah, but I tell you,
they're doing all they can.
No, I haven't heard anything
since the last time I talked to you.
Certainly, I'm gonna talk to Robinson.
Here he is now. Hello, Robbie.
I'll call you back later.
Yeah. Yeah.
Well, don't look
so happy, Robbie.
- Anything break yet?
- You too?
- It's a bad case.
- It's not gonna get any better with everybody yapping at me.
- Look, Robbie-
- No, nothing's broken.
No leads, no clues,
no nothing.
We've got to get him.
This is not a pool-room shooting.
- It's a murder.
- Mr. Harvey, I was a rookie patrolman on this beat...
when Father Lambert
first came to town.
I wanna get that guy too!
I'm sorry, Robbie.
I should have known better.
- Forget it.
- Only, we're in trouble.
- Did you see the Record this morning?
- Yeah.
I don't like the tone of it.
They're gonna make a political issue out of this.
- They're just blowing their tops.
- Not this time.
- We're in a tough spot.
- What am I supposed to do?
Burst into tears?
I've got every available man working.
If we get him, we get him.
If we don't, we don't.
Now, if you'll excuse me,
I'll get back to work.
Let your friends over
at city hall worry about it.
They're the ones they're after,
not you and me.
They're already after me, Robbie,
and they're already after you.
Mr. Mayor, we are ready to give
our cooperation in any way that you can use.
I know that you and your committee
ought to be congratulated for-
Mr. Mayor,
you've got to do something.
- This can't go on.
- She's right.
That's right. Beautiful.
No clues,
for crying out loud.
- Seven people seen him, didn't they?
- Yeah, but-
Yeah, but don't tell me
there ain't something phony about this.
I know three guys in city hall-
great guys when the going's good.
Just let them
try to get my vote. That's all.
Are you going to get a shave,
or are you running for police commissioner?
It's 9:00 and news time.
And as we do every morning, we now bring
you the voice of the Morning Record.
This morning's editorial
tells us that the police...
are still at sea
in the Lambert case.
Ten days have passed
since this brutal murder...
and still no suspect
has been found.
Just how long the citizens of this city
will stand for this state of affairs...
is a matter
of public indignation.
I see the police continue
in their grand and glorious chase.
It goes 'round and 'round
like a merry-go-round...
and gets just about as far.
It ain't funny.
These boys are civil service...
the same as you and me,
and they're not getting anyplace.
- I should think they could grab somebody.
- Where would you look?
- I don't know.
- Then shut up.
Hey, Rachel, you seen
the papers this morning?
Yeah. They picked up
a fellow on Center Street.
They don't know
who they are picking up.
The next thing you know,
they'll be picking you up.
Mrs. Jones, does your Tom
know anything about this case?
Tom says they're working
on a new angle.
Tom says they think the fellow
must have known Father Lambert pretty well.
- Go on. The police couldn't
pick up a pig in an alley.
Maybe you ladies think it's funny
to assault the police force.
But the next time you want my Tom
for anything, I'll remember this.
Great, Mac. Great. Another week of this
and we can write our own ticket.
- Dave, I might even give you a bonus.
- I doubt it.
I passed city hall
on the way over.
They're running around
like chickens with their heads cut off.
What would your boys
be doing if they were in?
Running around like chickens
with their heads cut off. Why, Mac?
I don't know. There's not much you can do
in a case like this.
- So what?
- Well, it's a little like kicking them when they're down.
What's the matter with you?
Don't you like your job?
Well, sure.
Then save your editorial
comment for the paper.
- Look, Mr. Wade-
- Take it easy, girls. Take it easy.
Let's not make
an international incident out of this.
It's the same in all these towns.
Somebody's in, somebody's out.
Let's get back to that bonus,
if you haven't forgotten about it.
Let's get back
to running a newspaper.
- I need a new lead.
- Okay, what's the angle this time?
I like that stuff of yours
about amateur politicians, Dave.
Which party
are you talking about?
- Are they still wearing stickpins?
- Hey.
Hey, Dave, when you gonna
take me out on a story with you?
- Go away. I'm busy.
- Ah.
"Police commissioner
amateur golfer too."
- Do you think he'll like that?
- He'll love it.
He'll probably come looking
for me with a golf club.
- Oh.
- Oh, what?
I don't know.
I hope you're
saving your money, Bill.
- Is that you, dear?
- Uh-huh.
- How are you, hon?
- Fine. Anything new?
Nothing special.
- What's new with the Lambert case?
- It's coming along, I guess.
- Not much breaking though.
- No, not much.
Well, of course,
with all these amateurs trying-
- Amateurs? Listen, don't you start.
- Oh.
Oh. Pretty smart,
aren't you?
I thought we weren't
taking the Record.
I read the Cook's.
- Anyway, it's on the radio.
- Yeah, I know.
They're really pouring it
on us, aren't they?
Seriously, though, Henry,
it's such a brutal thing.
Can't they find anything
at all?
No. But in a case like this,
you might get a break anytime.
- Really?
- I don't know.
- I heard a fellow say it.
- Oh.
Come on.
Let's forget it.
Come and tell me more
about your recreation center.
Well, it's really
coming along wonderfully.
Paul Harris has a land
all lined up.
It's all of a piece from
some real estate agent or other...
and I think we're even
gonna be able to put in a pool.
Well, you can't ever say again
you haven't any kids to fool with.
You'll have hundreds
hanging around-
I'm sorry, hon.
I don't know what made me
say that.
I guess I'm just-
Forgive me.
I've already forgotten it.
I didn't ask anyone.
It's the mayor, ma'am,
and some other gentlemen.
- Ask them to come in.
- Yes, ma'am. Will you come in, please?
- Come right in, Mr. Mayor.
- Hello, Madge.
- Nice to see you.
- Hello, Paul. How are you?
- Fine, thank you.
- I hope we didn't disturb you.
Not at all.
Do make yourselves at home.
Thank you.
Well, I'd hate
to be selling the Record here.
It's not funny. We're trying our best
to give the city a decent government...
and Wade is making us look
like a pack of fools.
- Isn't that right, Mac?
- You didn't expect them just to pull out, did you?
- This is politics.
- All I know is my office is full...
of committees on this
and committees on that all day.
I didn't run a real estate office like that,
and I can't run a city.
- Can I?
- What about me? You think I like a lot of reporters...
trying to grab me every time
I stick my head out of the office?
I wish you'd stick your head out
just once to say something besides "no clues."
- Just a minute. My boys are doing everything-
- "No clues, no clues."
Keep on fighting among yourselves,
and you'll have...
every department in the city
at each other's throats.
- Wade would like that.
- Let's get down to cases.
Henry, Mac and I have decided
this thing is too big for us.
We need help.
The F.B.I. or-
- The F.B.I.?
- Yes.
- What's the matter with our own police?
- They're floundering.
You can't call in the F.B.I.
This is not a federal case.
- We don't even know who the murderer is.
- We've got to do something.
Look, we've got
a good police force.
One of the best in the country. Why don't you
back them up instead of yelling for help?
- That's what I say.
- I don't know if you've given this any consideration...
but the election
depends on this case.
Well, Mac, we promised them
a decent government.
- If we can't give it to them-
- It's a matter of principle.
- It's a matter of the police chasing their tails.
- I resent that!
I don't care whether you do or not.
As for this prattle about backing up our boys-
You're making a lot of fuss
for a commissioner of public works.
- I don't think you ought to say that.
- Stop it!
You sound like
a bunch of schoolgirls.
And what's your idea,
Suppose our boys can't crack it?
Then what do we do?
Mac, if they don't,
I don't see how anyone else can.
It's that kind of a case. So why don't we
give them a fighting chance and back 'em up?
- I think he's right.
- I don't.
Henry is closer to this case
than any of us.
Mac, you told me
not over an hour ago-
I've changed my mind.
I respect Henry's judgment.
What about two weeks, Henry?
Do you think that's fair?
- And then what?
- Then we'll call in somebody else.
I don't know who,
but somebody. Right?
A beer, gentlemen?
That's very nice.
If this thing falls through,
I'm holding you personally responsible, Henry.
You're holding me?
Beer, gentlemen.
I don't care how you do it,
but you've got to get more action.
Put more men on,
get the state police, get anybody...
but we've got to get to
the bottom of this thing fast.
Is that clear?
Yeah, that's clear.
I was hoping I'd catch you.
I want to talk to you.
- I saw the mayor-
- You don't want to talk to me.
- The Lambert case, talk to White.
- Why should I talk to White?
He's taking over.
I quit.
- What's the matter?
- I used to be able to work one of these things.
- Come on, Robbie. What's the matter?
- Matter? Nothing.
Except it's turning into
a political three-ring circus.
And I'm no politician.
I'm a cop-
a cop with a case
that has no leads, no angles.
Newspapers want action,
okay, let them get another boy.
- Me, I'm through.
- The newspapers are chasing us all.
I told you that two weeks ago.
But they've been taking
potshots at you for 20 years.
Not with country club presidents
chewing me out every 20 minutes, they haven't.
Thomas Benson James.
- You're not quitting, Robbie.
- I'm not?
- Who's gonna stop me?
- You are.
- You're out of your head.
- No, I'm not.
You said it yourself.
You're a cop, and an honest one.
And you're walking out
on honest men.
If you're talking
about Thomas Benson James-
Yes, him too. They don't know
anything about politics much.
They're worried and excited,
but they are trying to help the city.
- They can do it without me.
- I don't think they can.
I was talking to them last night,
and I told them...
that if anybody could lick this case,
it would be you.
I even got them to promise
that they'd back you up...
without interference
for two more weeks.
- Two more weeks. Then what?
Call in Nick Carter? - Chief-
- I'm busy.
- I'm sorry, but what about these?
- I'm busy.
- What are they?
Newspaper cartoonist. The witnesses
all described the guy they saw to him.
- What are you gonna do with them?
- Circulate them, I guess.
"Circulate them, I guess"?
You've been on the force for 10 years...
a detective for three,
you still don't know what to do?
Get a composite photo of these
and send them to every editor in the East.
Excuse me.
And get moving.
- Yes, sir.
- We'll get 4,000 suspects.
Maybe. One of them
could be the right one.
Well, keep punching, Robbie.
- Hey, I wanna talk to you.
- I thought you'd see it my way, Robbie.
The chief of police
came close to the truth...
when he talked of the number of suspects
that would be picked up.
There weren't thousands, of course,
but a trickle started...
which swelled to a steady stream
as the manhunt fanned out...
to include neighboring cities,
the state and, finally, all of New England.
Okay, okay, I'll send a car.
The newspapers,
especially those like the Record...
which were trying to hold
the Reform Administration up to ridicule...
kept public interest
at a fever pitch...
until every man who wore a dark coat
or a light hat automatically became a suspect.
Mounting rewards by angry civic groups
added to the incentive...
until men were being turned up
from every walk of life...
who bore even the faintest resemblance
to the supposed murderer.
Okay. Yeah.
All right.
And actually,
there was very little for anyone to go on.
The clue of the dark coat
and light hat was slim enough...
and the nebulous figure conceived
in the minds of the seven witnesses...
and brought to life by an artist's pen
was hardly much more.
And it became increasingly apparent
that almost as great a problem...
for the police as
the capture of the murderer...
was to be the overzealousness
of the public.
All right. So he came out
of a poolroom. Who doesn't?
And still the phone rang
with ever-increasing frequency...
at police headquarters,
and still the prowl cars...
doggedly ran down every lead,
streaking across the city...
in search of a furtive figure
seen here, another seen there.
Something suspicious
about their actions, something said...
or the mere fact of wearing a dark coat
and a light hat.
And still men poured
into police headquarters.
Angry men, indignant men,
beaten men and dazed men.
Men with long
criminal records...
and simple men snatched
from peaceful pursuits...
all to be shoved into the glare
of the lineup platform...
questioned and released...
in the forlorn hope
that one...
just one
of all these hundreds...
might be the man they sought.
Lady, sure,
don't give it a thought.
We'll have a prowl car
there right away.
- Don't say I never did nothing for you.
- What, no pie?
- Pie? What's the score, Dugan?
- Score? Eight-to-five against me.
These phones keep ringing
like a three-alarm fire.
They're shaking suspects
out of their sleeves.
More. They even picked up my Uncle Jerry
the other night, 64 years old.
Did he do it?
Police department. Sergeant Dugan.
Go ahead, Long Distance.
I bet the guy who done it
is still walking around very happy.
Now you're a detective.
Hello? Who? Oh, yeah.
Go ahead, Ohio.
Yeah. Yeah.
From here? Yeah!
Yeah! Wow!
Listen, Sarge, hang on.
Yeah, any charge.
And don't say anything to him.
- I'll call you back in 10 minutes.
- What's up?
- Go away.
- I'm not listening.
Chief, Dugan.
Listen, Chief.
Ohio State Police say they got a guy
that tallies with our circular.
Yeah. Only this guy admits
he left here three days ago...
and he's packing
a.32 revolver.
Okay. Right. Extradition.
Thanks, Dugan.
Next time you get pie.
Stand up straight, all of you.
Keep your heads up.
Come on.
Get your heads up.
I want you to look
at them again carefully.
I don't want any mistakes
about this.
You're all sure
that's the man?
All right.
Let the rest of them go.
- That's all. Come on. Get outta here.
- That's all. Thank you.
- Here's his stuff, Chief.
- Book it.
- Get that gun to a ballistics man.
- No chance on that till morning.
- All right. Well, get it there early.
- Okay.
Okay, take him away.
How about it, Robbie?
- I don't know. We'll have to see.
- What do you mean?
We just got a guy.
What do I know about him?
- Seven people recognized him.
- Seven people recognized him.
- So what?
- If you weren't the bullheadedest old goat-
Just a little more
experienced. That's all.
Well, take plenty of time.
Go ahead
and get started.
It's gonna be a lot easier all around
if you just tell us the whole story.
But I don't even know
what you're holding me for.
- Just because I was carrying a gun-
- No, it's not the gun.
Then why did you bring me
all the way back from Ohio for?
- I got a right to travel, ain't I?
- Sure.
What do you
want from me?
We're holding you
on a murder charge, Waldron.
- What?
- Sit down. Sit down.
You're crazy.
I never murdered anybody.
Seven witnesses identified you as the man
who shot Father Lambert...
on the night of September 29
on Main Street.
- You're crazy, I tell you! Let go!
- Sit down!
Cut it out.
Take it easy, son.
Sit down.
If you didn't do it,
we'll find out.
If you did do it,
we'll find that out too.
- I want a lawyer.
- You'll get one later.
Let's start
from the beginning.
You have plenty of time...
and nowhere to go.
And you never saw Father Lambert
in your life?
No. I never even heard of him
till I saw his name in the paper.
You were just passing through town,
you were never in the neighborhood...
- and you never saw him before?
- No, I tell you. I-
- Did you ever see that man before?
- Yes, I have.
- When?
- It was that week.
- Before Father Lambert was killed?
- Yes, one afternoon.
Did he do it?
We don't know yet, ma'am.
Thank you. That's all, ma'am.
- So you never saw him before, huh?
- That dame is nuts.
- No, she isn't.
- All right. I saw him.
He gave me a lecture and a pamphlet,
but that don't mean-
- Why didn't you tell us before?
- I don't know.
- I was afraid.
- Afraid of what?
- I don't know. I was just afraid.
- Afraid of what?
I don't know!
Chief, there's an easier way
of doing this.
- No.
- We're wasting a lot of time.
- No!
- Okay, you're the boss.
But it'll make it much easier on him
in the long run.
- We're losing a lot of sleep.
- I thought maybe he'd give me a line on a job.
- Did he?
- No. He said he didn't know of anything.
Then he gave me
a lecture and a pamphlet.
- Is that what got you sore at him?
- No, of course not.
- What did?
- Nothing, I tell you. I wasn't sore at him.
What are you trying
to make me say?
You say you came home
from the bowling alley...
washed up and then had dinner
at the White Spot.
- Andy's, I told you.
- Then you rode over to Main Street.
- I didn't ride over. I walked over.
- You walked. Then what?
- I went to the movies.
- The Plaza?
- No. Yes.
- What movie did you see?
- A Western.
- What time did you go in?
- 7:00. A little after-
- Double feature?
- Yes.
- What was the other picture?
- Murder.
- You say you were just passing through town.
- Yes, I was just passing through.
- A fellow at the gas station...
says you were working
for him two months ago!
I meant- I-
- What are you trying to do to me?
- Why do you keep lying, son?
You know they've got
your whole background.
They can trip you every time.
Besides, you're a dead giveaway.
Every time you lie,
you put your hand up to your mouth.
- You can't get away with anything.
- You're crazy.
Let's talk about the gun again.
You say you bought it just before you left town.
Yes, just before I left town.
I was going on the road, and-
- Oh, what's the use?
- You bought it a week before the murder.
The pawnbroker
you bought it from told us that.
We have his own statement
to prove it.
- What do we do, Chief?
- Get him up. Keep it going.
Let's start
right from the beginning.
- Come on. Stop stalling.
- I got a 9:00 deadline.
It ain't gonna do you guys
no good to hang around here.
- I don't know nothing.
- You can say that again.
Always picking up some cluck
with two dollars and seven cents in his pocket.
Why don't you ever grab a guy
with white piping on his vest?
- I don't know.
- Mr. Harvey, what about it?
- What do you think?
- I'm trying to find out myself.
- See me later.
- You know what I think?
I think you guys just got desperate
and picked up some tramp.
We wouldn't have gone
to Ohio for no tramp.
- We got plenty around here.
- Right.
And at least one of them
in a uniform.
Any luck, Robbie?
No, we've been trying all night.
Wanna look at this stuff?
No. What do you think?
Pretty hard to say.
You know Rainsford, don't you?
- Oh, yes. You're the alienist, aren't you?
- Psychiatrist.
- What do you think of him?
- Pretty hard to tell.
- He's under a lot of stress.
- Yes, I know.
But does he sound
like a murderer or not?
Well, he lies, of course,
but he's frightened...
and he seems to be more
than usually bitter and resentful.
Is he bitter and resentful enough
to commit murder?
I couldn't say.
He's just out of the army.
That might account
for his bitterness a little.
The difficulty of readjustment
or possibly-
Or possibly,
it's something else.
What I want to know is
whether he's a homicidal type or not.
I'm afraid I can't answer that.
I'm not sure there is such a thing.
Haven't you ever-
Maybe I'd better not ask that.
Perhaps not. But to get back to a more
exact science, what about the gun, Robbie?
I don't know yet.
It's pretty early.
Do you suppose if I went downstairs,
I could hurry him up a little bit?
Why don't you do that?
Tell him we're waiting for his report.
- You know where his office is.
- Hello, Mr. Harvey.
Good morning.
Tough night, huh?
You ain't kidding.
We're knocking off, Chief.
He's a tough nut to crack.
- Maloney and Herron are with him now.
- Boys need a little sleep, huh?
- What about you?
- I'm all right.
- A shave's as good as a night's sleep.
- Chief.
This young lady claims she
has information for you.
Do you mind?
I came here of my own free will.
All right, Charlie.
Monahan called me about you.
Miss, uh, Nelson, isn't it?
- Are you ready?
- Sure.
- Then you went home?
- Then I went home and took a shower.
- Then you had dinner? You had dinner.
- I told you a hundred times.
- Tell us again.
- Let me get some sleep.
- You had dinner.
- I had dinner at Andy's, then I walked-
- This the man?
- Yeah, that's Tony.
Yeah, she knows me.
Tell them.
The night Father Lambert was shot,
shortly before the shooting...
this man walked by
your restaurant, right?
Yeah. It was about 7:20.
He walked by and waved to me.
I remember it,
because just afterwards, I-
- She couldn't have. What's the matter with her?
- Shut up.
Let her go.
A week or so later...
he came to you and told you
he was leaving town.
Yeah. I thought it
was kind of funny.
We'd been going together
about a month or so...
and then one afternoon,
he came in and said he was leaving town...
just like that.
Boys just don't do
that sort of thing to me.
- What about it, Waldron?
- What about what? She's lying.
- What about leaving town?
- I wanted to leave town.
- A little sudden, wasn't it?
- No. I wasn't working.
I offered to get him a job
with me in the caf.
I didn't get out of the army
to start pearl diving in a crummy caf.
Ask him how crummy it was!
Ask him about all
the free meals he had in there!
And glad to get them too,
till he got the wrinkles out of his stomach!
Then he thinks
he can brush me off!
- Get her out of here!
- That'll be all, miss.
If you need any more help,
I'll leave my number with the desk sergeant.
Dirty double-crossing-
You get in all kinds
of trouble, don't you?
- She didn't help his alibi much.
- No, she didn't.
But I'd hate to be in a spot where I had
to depend on that little girl's word.
It doesn't feel right.
It just doesn't feel-
- Hey, Robbie, we got it.
- What?
- The bullet came from his gun.
- That's right, Chief.
Johnston says he'll have
the full report for us within an hour.
- That does it.
- I'll stick right on his neck until he gets it out.
That does it. He'll confess now.
Come on, Doctor.
But you told us before,
you were sick of the black market.
- Pick up his head.
- You were tired of being pushed around.
You were tired of handouts
and advice, and you resented the people...
that had good jobs and money
when you came out of the army with nothing.
- You brooded over it till you took that gun.
- I didn't brood. Let me sleep.
- You took the gun with the idea of getting even.
- I didn't take it.
When you saw Lambert on the street,
you made him the personification...
of every handout, every word of advice,
and in a rage you shot him.
- Please let me sleep.
- In a minute. Isn't that what happened?
- No, I went-
- Isn't that what happened?
- Isn't that what happened?
- All right, all right, all right. All right.
What a way to make a living.
The case of
the People of the State of Connecticut...
versus John Waldron
moved rapidly.
Legal procedure in this state
calls for a coroner's inquest...
the findings of which
are submitted to the district court.
If the evidence warrants it,
the case is bound over to the superior court...
where the state's attorney
examines the facts and decides...
whether or not the accused
shall be indicted.
- You're Mr. Graham Rogers?
- Yes, sir.
- How much of this murder did you see?
- I was closing up my shop.
I must have turned around
just in time.
You were going away
from Father Lambert, Mr. Cary.
I had passed him,
but I turned back as the shot was fired.
And you were across
the street, Mr. Lukash?
My wife and I was waiting
for a bus across the street.
- We heard a shot.
- And, Mr. Cartucci, you made an attempt to stop him?
A couple of seconds sooner,
and I'd have grabbed him.
I made a jump for him,
but he was just a little too quick.
But I thought you crossed
the street immediately, Mrs. Lukash?
We were so shocked,
we just stood there for a moment.
Then as we started to cross the street
toward Father Lambert-
And he passed close to you
as he ran, Mr. Callahan?
He practically knocked me over.
If I knew why he'd been running,
I might have hung on to him.
And you were a little
frightened, Miss Neilson?
I was scared to death,
but I saw him run down the street...
till he disappeared
in the shadows.
Then on the basis of your experience
in ballistics, Mr. Johnson...
and your experiments with this weapon,
you would say...
that this bullet
came from this weapon.
- I would, positively.
- Thank you, sir. That's all.
Chief Robinson,
please tag these exhibits.
Chief Robinson, will you certify
that this is the confession taken by your men?
- I didn't do it! They made me sign it!
- Save that for the court.
Take him out of here.
John Waldron is remanded
into the custody of the police.
The case will be referred
to the district court.
Proceedings closed.
That's all.
- What do you think?
- That's as close to a perfect case as I've ever seen.
Thanks. As much a surprise
to me as anyone else.
He had me fooled.
Too bad. Kid had
a good war record too.
- Yeah, that's a shame.
- Great, Robbie.
- We're all proud of you.
- Thanks.
I'm going down and see the mayor
and the others.
They'll be as happy
as a bunch of kids.
I wouldn't rub it in
too much, Mac.
No more than they need.
I'd push the indictment, Henry.
- You know, get it going fast.
- I'll push it along.
I only want a few days
to go over all the evidence.
- You gonna talk to the boy?
- Who, Waldron? What for?
You might get a line
on what he's gonna use for a defense.
It's an idea.
Maybe you're right.
I'll bet Waldron
will be delighted to see me.
Right down there,
Mr. Harvey. Cell number three.
My name's Harvey, Waldron. I'm the state's
attorney, the man who'll prosecute you.
- What do you want?
- I'd like to hear your side of it.
- Might help clear things up.
- My side? Are you kidding?
My side of it is
that I didn't do it.
You know, you did leave town
at a funny time.
I left town when I wanted to
and because I wanted to.
You had a right to do that, but in a
situation like this, they have to know why.
I told them why.
I wanted a job.
After all,
you had jobs here.
That's right.
I had jobs here.
Gas station,
driving trucks.
Look, mister,
I put in five years in the army.
Five years. That puts me five years
behind the parade.
I didn't wanna pump gas
or hustle trucks.
I wanted to get moving.
I got a lot of catching up to do.
- You have to start somewhere.
- You get anxious.
You understand?
You gotta get moving. You can't wait.
- I'm no kid anymore, and-
- What were you going to do?
I don't know.
I thought I could
go someplace, maybe.
Start a small business.
Make something out of myself.
I had an idea once.
What's the odds
I miss the boat?
Fly high, lie low.
It doesn't make any difference now.
- But it was your gun.
- Yeah. My gun.
- All them people saw me.
- And that young lady at the Coney Island Caf.
"Young lady." That dame.
Would you take her word against mine?
She said she knew you
and saw you pass the window.
Ah, she lies in her teeth.
I brushed her off.
She's trying to get even with me.
Wait a minute.
You did confess.
Sure I confessed. After two days in that joint,
I'd have confessed to anything.
- Do you want to hear it all over again?
- All right.
Get out of here! I know what you want!
You want to hang me!
You wanna hear me
say I killed him? All right!
I killed him!
Go ahead and hang me! Hang me!
To all intents and purposes,
the capture of John Waldron...
had silenced the attack
on the reformed government.
But good politicians,
like good boxers...
never quit
till the final count.
This is Mr. O'Shea. He's just been appointed
public defender in the Waldron case.
He's gonna give me an interview, and I'm
gonna show him how to shoot a game of golf.
- Delighted to meet you, sir.
- Thanks. Sit down, boys. Sit down.
I needed some company.
Oh, uh, excuse me, Mabel.
O'Shea. O'Shea.
I know that name.
- League of Women Voters, sir.
- Hmm? League?
- Women Voters.
- Oh, yes, out in the Lawnwood District.
Well, well, I'm always glad
to meet a good party man.
- Well, I try to be, sir.
- Harry thinks he can get Waldron off.
- Oh!
- I'm working on the "temporary insanity" angle, sir.
- I think I can make it stick.
- It won't work.
Pardon my abruptness,
but I think that you're on the wrong track.
- But there is a chance.
- Yes?
O'Shea, this boy Waldron
is a veteran.
- They'll never hang an ex-serviceman.
- If he killed a man, they will.
Dave! O'Shea, I- I think
we're forgetting something.
Everyone is.
This boy has served his country.
He spent two years in the cold and mud
on the battlefields of Europe.
- The South Pacific.
- Well, that's worse.
But dig into that war record.
Find out everyplace he's been-
what he did,
what ribbons he won.
Maybe we ought
to have him in uniform at the trial.
- Oh, that would be nice.
- All right. Forget that.
- But dig into that war record.
- That's wonderful, Mr. Wade.
- I sure will.
- All right, but get going.
Why, I sure will. And, uh,
it's been a pleasure meeting you, Mr. Wade.
I know.
I'll meet you out
on the tee.
He's a nice boy.
Shoots in the 80s.
Is that why you had me
bring up that chowder-head?
I've been watching Harvey all week.
He's got this thing sewed up tight.
And besides that, there's a small matter
of Waldron being guilty.
You don't think
any jury in the world...
would convict a boy that gave the best years
of his life to serving his country, do you?
I don't care whether
he's guilty or not.
I've got to win
an election...
and the only way I can do it
is to make Harvey look bad.
And you can still
sleep nights, huh?
As long as there aren't
too many people around like you, I can.
I'll be around.
That's the works,
huh, Stoney?
Gun, bullet,
statement, confession.
I'm waiting for a couple of blowups
from the lab, but that's about all.
Okay, let's go over this stuff again.
Now, will we-
Look at that man work.
He's out for a record.
Hello, Mac, Paul. That's all, Stoney.
We'll take it up later.
What do you do, live here?
He looks as if he'd just found out
there was an income tax.
I'm glad you came in, Mac.
There's something I wanted to talk to you about.
Fire away.
- It's about that kid over in the jail.
- He's a nice fella, Paul.
He just worries too much.
Don't you think?
- Absolutely.
- It's not that. It-
Say, what's the matter
with you two?
- Shall I tell him, Paul?
- Don't be so coy.
- What is it?
- How would you like to be governor?
- What?
- That's it, Henry.
- What's the matter? Don't you want it?
- Of course I do.
- But I just don't- - Everybody in the
state will be watching you tomorrow, Henry.
- And I've been talking to people all over-
Hartford, New Haven. - He can do it, Henry.
- And we'll help him.
- Governor.
We don't get many good men,
many honest men in politics.
And when we do,
we like to push 'em.
- Thanks, Mac, but there's something very
important- - Don't worry about it tonight.
You've got a job to do tomorrow.
Come on, Paul. Let's go.
And, for Pete's sake, get some sleep.
This place looks like a boar's nest.
- Hey, Mac- - Relax, Henry. Take it
easy. Let the muscles sag naturally.
Just a minute, Mac.
- I'll see you tomorrow after the indictment.
- Good night, Governor.
I'll take you down to Moriarity's
and buy you a steak.
No, I'll buy you a steak.
We're pulling for you,
I'm so glad you're going to prosecute.
We have confidence-
You may open court, Mr. Sheriff.
Oh, ye, oh, ye, oh, ye. The honorable
superior court for the state of Connecticut...
is now open and in session
in this place.
All persons having cause for action
will give their attendance according to the law.
Be seated, please.
Mr. State's Attorney.
If Your Honor please, I would like to call
to your attention this afternoon...
the case of
the State versus John Waldron.
On the 22nd day of October
of this year...
the accused was bound over
to this court...
by the city court on a charge of murder
in the first degree...
growing out of the death of
the Reverend George A. Lambert...
the pastor of the St. Christopher's
Protestant Episcopal Church...
of this city.
My assistants have drawn up a chart
of the scene of the crime.
And the facts in the case
disclose that...
on the evening
of 29th of September...
Father Lambert was taking
his usual walk along here.
- Well, boys, it's started.
- How's it going?
Henry's carrying the ball.
Then it's not too early
for a little celebration, eh?
- It's never too early to celebrate!
- That's a load off my mind.
- Mine too.
- Here you are, boys.
The last of the pursuers
dropped out...
and so the trail of the murder
was lost about here.
John Waldron was apprehended
18 days later in Ohio...
and was returned to this city.
Under the circumstances,
there was no alternative for Coroner Ryan...
except to make the finding
which he did...
holding the accused for
the murder of Father Lambert.
The coroner, very logically...
divided the case
into six points...
which in substance
are as follows:
First, Waldron was seen by an acquaintance,
Miss Irene Nelson...
within a block of
the place of the shooting...
from five to 10 minutes
before the shooting.
Second, the slayer wore a dark coat
and a light fedora hat.
Third, the witnesses-
Mr. Graham Rogers...
Mr. Thomas Callahan
and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Lukash-
actually saw the shot fired.
Fourth, these witnesses,
plus Romulo Cartucci...
Miss Greta Neilson
and Mr. Eugene Cary...
all identified Waldron
at police headquarters...
as the man they had seen fleeing
from the scene of the shooting.
Fifth, Waldron made
a statement in writing...
admitting the crime.
Sixth, a revolver
found on Waldron...
was a.32-caliber weapon...
and was the gun
from which a bullet...
found in the head
of the deceased was discharged.
The function
of the city court...
and the coroner having been
discharged in due course...
it naturally fell
under my jurisdiction for action.
The evidence against the accused
seemed overwhelming.
Upon its face, at least,
it seemed like a well-nigh perfect case...
affording little difficulty in the matter
of successful prosecution.
My own view, necessarily,
was that if the facts above stated...
were subject to verification...
the accused
was undoubtedly guilty.
But there were
sufficient circumstances...
of an unusual character
making it highly important...
that all the facts be scrutinized
with the utmost care...
and in a most
impartial manner.
It goes without saying...
that it is just as important
for the state's attorney...
to use the great powers
of his office...
to protect the innocent
as it is to convict the guilty.
Your Honor, I have endeavored
to approach this case...
without any
preconceived notion.
I have personally interrogated
all the witnesses.
I've examined all the evidence
with the utmost care.
If Your Honor please, it is my belief
that the defendant is innocent...
and I intend
to enter a plea accordingly.
Order! Order! Order!
Are you out of your mind?
- Order in the court!
- The court will be recessed until 9:00 tomorrow morning.
And if there is any recurrence
of this outrageous conduct...
the courtroom will be cleared
by the sheriff...
and the proceedings
will be conducted in private.
Mr. State's Attorney,
I'll see you in my chambers.
Court is dismissed.
Oh, witnesses, that's all.
You can go.
I figured he was
working on some angle.
Oh, he can't, huh?
He just did! That's exactly what happened.
- I'm tellin' you!
- The whole place is goin' nuts.
I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll get a hold
of Harvey, and then I'll call you back.
- Yeah.
- How do I know?
Well, okay, get a hold
of John and tell him, will ya?
Yeah, that's right.
There's an awful lot of noise here.
I can hardly
hear myself think.
I've known you
a long time, Henry...
and I've always respected
your ability.
- But there's something about this that
doesn't smell right. - I think I'm within my-
Now, don't tell me
about your legal rights!
I've been on the bench long enough
to know what you can do and what you can't do.
You represent
the two million people of this state...
in prosecuting
a particularly brutal murder...
and I'm gonna see that
their rights are protected.
I don't pretend to know your motives
in asking for a nolle prosequi.
But if they're political, I'll not only
take steps to have you disbarred...
I'll also do my best to have you prosecuted
for malfeasance in office.
It's quite possible that
my motives are political.
It's also possible that
I think the man's innocent.
Mr. Harvey, you'd better do
a great deal more than think.
Why don't you
turn him loose, Whitey?
Cut it out, fellas.
Don't do it.
Lay off, do you hear?
- We'll take good care of him.
- Uh-uh. No.
- You knew Father Lambert, Whitey.
- I can't do it.
- You're not gonna let him get away with this!
- Take your hands off!
Break it up! You boys
aren't acting very smart.
We're friends of Father Lambert's.
He's not gonna get away with this.
I don't think Lambert
would have liked it this way.
Suppose we take him?
Quite a few of us are gonna get hurt.
Wanna be first?
You don't have
to get tough about it.
That's right. I don't.
Excuse me.
All right, take him.
All right.
Why don't we all go on home, eh?
Come on! Break it up,
every one of ya! Let's go!
Let's go! Let's go! Let's go! Come on!
Come on! Move it!
You too!
Get on your way!
Go ahead, all of you!
Thought for a minute you were gonna
have trouble there, Robbie.
Nah. I don't have trouble
with that kind.
- They're easy.
- What's the matter, Robbie?
- You sound bitter.
- Bitter? Me? Why should I be bitter?
I'm a cop, Mr. Harvey.
An honest cop
backing up honest men.
- Now, listen, Robbie-
- No, not this time. I'm through listening.
We've got our man, and we'll convict him
if it takes the next 10 years.
And I don't care what shenanigans you
and the rest of your crowd are trying to pull.
Never did like politicians.
Then why didn't you let us in on it?
What are you trying to do?
- Don't start anything, Mac. I don't wanna
discuss it. - Wade's talked with you. Maybe-
That's the second time today
I've been accused of political chicanery...
- and I'm getting tired of it!
- Then what is the story?
There's no story, Mac,
or any angles to it.
- I just happen to believe the boy's innocent.
- Can you prove it?
I don't know. I thought I had the case
going perfectly straight.
And, all of the sudden, it comes back
and hits me right between the eyes.
- I just don't know.
- Let's think about you for a minute.
What are you going to do? Destroy two years'
work? Throw your career in the ash can?
- It's the boy's life, Mac.
- If he's innocent.
He can't be. You said yourself
it was a perfect case.
And even if he were,
is it worth it?
We've cleaned out the city,
we've thrown out the crooks and the grafters.
We've made this town
a decent place to live.
Is one man's life
worth more than the community?
Yes, Mac, it is.
Good luck, Henry.
You'll have to fight
the whole town.
Hello, Madge.
Are you all right, dear?
A little the worse for wear,
but I guess I'll make it.
I held dinner.
Paul Harris is in the living room.
- He said he had to see you.
- Oh, no.
Now what does he want?
You run along and eat, dear.
I'm not particularly hungry anyway.
- Now, Henry-
- Maybe a sandwich later.
Now, run along.
Hello, Henry.
Hello, Paul.
Henry, I don't like the way
you're handling this case.
You don't?
No. I suppose Mac told you
what you're doing to the party.
- It can't happen, Henry. We've got to win an election.
- We do?
And to do it...
we need a conviction.
You're going to move
an indictment for murder, Henry.
- I am?
- Yes.
I've had a pretty
trying day, Paul.
I'm gonna give you
just one minute to get out of here.
And then,
I'm gonna throw you out.
I think you'd better
sit down till I've finished.
- Just don't take any longer than a minute.
- I'll see what I can do.
You remember our project
for a recreational center for children?
We're to buy some 10 acres from the
Sunset Realty Company for the project.
I'm still not interested.
I'm the Sunset
Realty Company, Henry.
- What?
- I own the Sunset Realty Company.
And I've sunk
every cent I have into it.
If the city doesn't buy that land from me
at my price, I'm ruined.
And if we don't win this election,
the city won't buy.
And you expect me
to be a party to this?
You're insane!
I wouldn't do that
if I were you, Henry.
- Paul, you're crazy.
- That's the way it is.
I can make this call anytime.
Maybe. But I don't think
Madge would like it.
- What's she got to do with it?
- Nothing much.
She's just chairman
of the project.
Why, you- She doesn't know
anything about this.
No, but she gave me $2,500
to help buy the land.
That wouldn't look very good
in the papers, Henry.
Think it over.
I'm sorry, gentlemen.
Mr. Harvey-
Well, he's gone to bed.
- He was very tired.
- Oh, give us a break, Mrs. Harvey.
I'm sorry.
Good night. Good night.
- Good night.
- Well, why don't she wake him up?
- Hold it.
- Well, what did I say? Why don't she wake him up?
It's my professional opinion
he's not asleep.
- No?
- No.
- Oh.
- That's Paul Harris's car.
- You mean, he's-
- Ah! Don't say it.
He's in there.
Come on.
Let's wait for him.
And there's no way
for it to get out...
nobody's going to bother
to look up the incorporation papers.
I could even cut you in for a block.
All right, let it go.
But I've got to have that indictment.
I don't care how you do it.
You're the lawyer.
But I'll be there to see that you do.
Henry, you've put me with
my back against the wall.
I've lived here all my life.
I've got my name and my family to think of.
I've risked everything
I've got on this.
If I go under,
you're going with me.
- Hello, Mr. Harris.
- What? Oh.
- Hello, Woods.
- How about a statement?
- Not tonight, Dave. Not tonight.
- What'd he say?
- Look out.
- Besides, you're the opposition paper, you know.
- Yeah, but how about the case, Mr. Harris?
- The case?
- Yeah.
- Mr. Harvey was having a little fun this afternoon.
It'll be all right.
What'd he say, Dave?
What'd he say?
Mr. Harvey was having
a little fun this afternoon.
Bill, where's your car?
I want you to drive me to Hartford.
- Hartford? What for?
- I know a fella there that makes very good coffee.
But I got a date, Dave.
Rosie's waitin' for me.
What do you wanna be,
a reporter or a Romeo?
- Well, a reporter, but-
- Okay, then, we'll go to Hartford.
And we'll bring Rosie back
some hot coffee. Come on.
- Madge, you didn't need to do that.
- You come along.
I suppose I should have
let you starve gracefully.
- Sit down there.
- I'm not very hungry.
There's your milk.
Just don't sit and look at it.
You drink that. It's good for you.
Henry, the reporters were here.
Deviled ham.
Do you remember that flat
around the corner from law school...
and those sandwiches
from Barney's?
I remember.
It would almost be fun
to do it again.
Wouldn't it?
We were both
a little younger, Henry.
Yeah, that's right.
Did you give Paul some money
on that playground deal?
No, I didn't give it to him. He told me
they needed extra cash to buy the land...
so I loaned that $2,500
that Father left-
- Was that wrong, Henry?
- No, it doesn't make any difference.
is there gonna be
any trouble?
Don't be silly.
And since I can't interest you in a one-room
flat, how about the governor's mansion?
Henry, what about this man?
Is he innocent?
You didn't answer my question.
You didn't answer mine.
I don't know, Madge.
I thought I had something,
but I'm just not sure.
I see.
You didn't answer
my question.
You oughta know by now
that I'll go anywhere you go, darling.
But it's got to be
what you want.
That doesn't give me
much help.
I didn't intend it to.
I'll get you
another glass of milk.
- Mr. Harvey-
- Waldron, sit down.
I'm your attorney.
I'll handle your defense.
That's all. That's all.
That's all.
What do you mean, "that's all"?
Come on, Mac.
That's-That's all. That's all. That's all.
Everybody rise, please.
- You may open court, Mr. Sheriff.
- Oh, ye, oh, ye, oh, ye.
The honorable superior court
within and for the state of Connecticut...
is now open and in session
in this place.
All persons having cause or action
will give their attendance according to law.
Be seated, please.
Mr. State's Attorney?
Your Honor, at the close
of yesterday's session...
I announced that I was going to enter
a plea of nolle prosequi...
in the case of
the State versus John Waldron.
You wish to amend that statement,
Mr. State's Attorney?
I do, Your Honor.
There are so many baffling
aspects to this case that...
I wish to reserve a plea until I've laid
some of this evidence before the court.
Very well.
Your Honor,
such was the strange nature of this case...
that I and the gentlemen of my office
made a detailed investigation into it.
We felt that that would be necessary
for any successful prosecution of the case.
I realize that it's not in order
to call witnesses at this time...
but with the court's permission,
I would like to interrogate...
certain persons who were present
at the coroner's inquest.
- Sounds reasonable.
- Thank you.
I would like Mr. Graham Rogers
to take the stand, please.
- Objection!
- Mr. O'Shea?
Your Honor, the accused
is adequately represented...
and I submit that the presentation
of this evidence is highly improper.
I regret to inform
defense counsel...
that since this is
a preliminary proceeding...
the state's attorney
is perfectly within his rights.
You may proceed,
Mr. State's Attorney.
Stand up.
Raise your right hand.
Do you swear the evidence
you're about to give to be the truth...
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,
so help you God?
- I do.
- Your name?
- Graham Rogers.
- Sit down.
Mr. Rogers,
you were looking...
directly across the street at the murderer
at the time the shot was fired?
Yes, sir.
I was just closing up my shop.
Your testimony says that
you saw the murderer raise his arm...
something glittered
in his hand...
- and it was then that the shot was fired.
- Yes, sir.
Are you certain
that's what you saw?
Yes, sir, absolutely.
I don't mean to question
your integrity, sir...
but I must ask you again,
are you certain that it glittered?
Yes, sir, I'm certain.
It was shadowy, but it was light enough
from the streetlight so I could see it.
That's all, thank you.
Your Honor, I'd like to show you this gun.
Your Honor will observe
that it is of a very dull finish...
a finish similar to that
used by the army...
the purpose of that being that no reflection
on the barrel will reveal the user's position.
Your Honor, I submit that a gun
specifically designed not to reflect sunlight...
could hardly glitter at night.
It was this inconsistency
of testimony, Your Honor...
which first struck me.
I believe there are others.
With the court's permission, I'll just question
the next few witnesses in their seats.
Thank you.
Ladies and gentlemen...
the murder which you witnessed
took place on a particularly dark night...
and the events which followed
were both unexpected and swift.
Yet, you all unhesitatingly
identified this man who now faces you.
I must ask you again,
is this the man? Mr. Rogers?
- Yes, sir, I'm sure.
- Mrs. Lukash?
Yes, sir.
Your Honor, I don't want to imply
that this identification is not in good faith...
but it was
a particularly dark night...
and the basis
for the identification seems to be...
that the murderer wore a dark coat
and a light hat, a fairly common combination.
Oh, there's one there.
There's another.
One of our distinguished witnesses has one.
As a matter of fact,
if I'm not mistaken...
you wore such a combination
this morning yourself, Your Honor.
There could be no mistake
in your identifications?
The identification seems to be unanimous
and conclusive, Your Honor.
But on the night
of October 25...
under approximately
the same conditions...
I and seven of my assistants
reran the crime.
We reenacted it not once,
but seven times...
so that each of us could
see it from a different point.
- Herb? Phil?
- No.
- Dan?
- Mm-mmm.
- How about you, Smitty?
- Everything all right, chief?
- Anything wrong, chief?
- Huh? No.
Let's try it again, boys.
Switch positions.
Your Honor, I have here
the sworn statement...
of each of my assistants...
that not once during
all the reenactments...
could any of them definitely state that he
recognized the man portraying the murderer.
Although, in each case,
he knew him well.
Are you still certain of your identification,
ladies and gentlemen?
- You, Mrs. Lukash.
- Well, I, uh-
- Thank you very much.
- Well, I'm certain.
Would you take the stand,
please, Miss Nelson?
- What's he putting her up there for?
- Quiet!
- If he lets that dame-
- Shh!
- Well, she's nothing but a-
- All you're going to do is hurt yourself!
Miss Nelson,
your testimony states...
that on the evening
of the murder...
- you stood in the window of the Coney Island Caf.
- Yeah.
And that you could
definitely state that...
the man you saw
through the window...
at 7:20 on the evening
of September 29...
was the accused, John Waldron?
- That's what I said.
- I may be assuming...
but isn't it possible that such an attractive
young lady as yourself...
- might have several gentleman friends?
- Mm-hmm.
And isn't it possible...
that these friends in passing
the restaurant might wave to you...
- through the window?
- Mm-hmm.
And isn't it also possible,
Miss Nelson...
that it was not John Waldron,
but another of your friends...
- who waved to you through the window that night?
- No.
Your Honor, in the course
of examining the evidence in this case...
I also visited
the Coney Island Caf.
And, upon her advice, I stood behind
the counter in the exact spot...
where Miss Nelson states that she saw
John Waldron on the evening of September 29.
From this point, the window of the caf
is obscured to a point...
of four and a half
to five feet by steam.
It is possible, however,
to see dimly through the window.
But one of my men passed the window
while I watched...
and although I know this man well,
it was impossible for me to recognize him.
Miss Nelson, did you know
that rewards for information...
leading to the arrest and conviction
of the murderer total $8,000?
- I did not.
- Your application for the reward is already on file.
Miss Nelson,
before you answer me...
please remember that not only
is the man's life in jeopardy...
but that you might
be sent to prison for perjury!
Now, was it Waldron
you saw through that window?
Was this the man?
- Well, I'm not absolutely sure-
- Thank you, Miss Nelson.
That's all. I would like Miss Katherine Manion
to come to the stand, please.
What's Harvey trying to do?
- What?
- What's he doing?
Giving O'Shea a lesson
in trial procedure.
- Miss Manion, you are an employee of the Plaza Theater?
- Yes, sir.
And in your capacity
as cashier...
you naturally pride yourself
on your memory for faces?
Yes, sir, I-I do.
And you can definitely state
that the accused, John Waldron...
did not enter your theater
on the night of September 29?
Yes, sir.
Thank you. Miss Manion,
this is my assistant, Mr. Stone.
How do you do?
- Was he in your theater on Tuesday night of last week?
- Oh, no, sir.
Your Honor,
at 8:13 on Tuesday night of last week...
observed by two reliable
witnesses and myself...
Mr. Stone bought a ticket
to the Plaza Theater from Miss Manion.
- Well, I-
- We're all human, Miss Manion.
That's all. Thank you.
Your Honor, I think...
we can state at this point that the evidence
of the eyewitness is subject to question.
Very interesting,
but scarcely conclusive.
Well, I agree with the court.
If I've shown that the witnesses
might have been mistaken...
they might as easily
have been correct.
But as I've stated, Your Honor,
there are certain aspects of this case...
which are confusing.
- Do I have the court's permission to continue?
- Proceed.
Thank you. I would like Dr. William Rainsford
to take the stand, please.
Stand up. Raise your right hand.
Do you swear the evidence
you are about to give to be the truth...
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,
so help you God?
- Name, please?
- Dr. William Rainsford.
- Where you been, Dave?
- Overslept. What's the score?
Dr. Rainsford, I realize that you
were retained by the police department...
to examine John Waldron, and have therefore
already formed an opinion of him.
But as a physician
and psychiatrist...
you will admit that in a state
of exhaustion approaching hysteria...
a man is highly susceptible
to suggestion.
Certainly. Though, I have some doubt
as to its application to the accused.
I didn't ask you that, Doctor.
I asked you for your professional opinion.
In that event,
I should have to answer yes.
That's all, Doctor.
Thank you.
I would like Chief Robinson
to take the stand, please.
Raise your right hand.
Do you swear that the evidence
you are about to give to be the truth...
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,
so help you God?
- Name, please?
- Harold F. Robinson.
Sit down.
Chief Robinson, you were present during
the entire questioning of John Waldron...
and you state that nothing was done
to force a confession from the accused.
He confessed of his own free will.
There was no physical violence.
But you did implant
the idea in his mind?
He confessed himself.
Yet, at 11:55 a.m.,
after hours of questioning...
Dr. Rainsford
said to the accused...
"You made him
the personification...
of every handout, every word of advice,
and in a rage you shot him."
- Is that correct?
- Yes, but-
- That's all, Chief.
- That's not all!
You're excused, sir.
Thank you.
Your Honor, while I feel
that the validity...
of the defendant's confession
may be challenged...
I'm forced to admit that it too falls
in the category of the inconclusive.
Both the testimony
of the eyewitnesses...
and the confession itself would be subject
to long argument at a trial.
And there are even more concrete pieces of
evidence in this case that we have already examined.
Your Honor, this is the bullet
taken from the head of the deceased.
The police ballistics expert
has already stated...
that it came from the gun
found on the person of John Waldron.
My office has been extremely
interested in this bullet...
and with the permission
of the police department...
we have conducted experiments
with the bullet and with the accused's gun.
Now, it's not my intention
to go into the technicalities of ballistics...
or call in experts to testify.
However, five independent
ballistics experts...
have been retained by my office
to make tests in this case...
and, uh,
with the court's permission...
- I would like to briefly summarize their findings.
- Proceed.
Your Honor,
in photograph "A"...
is the bullet which
I hold in my hand.
This picture, labeled "B," is that of a
bullet fired from the gun of John Waldron.
I won't pretend that I can discuss
lands and grooves...
with the authority
of an expert...
but to the untutored eye,
even to the eye of an expert...
these two bullets
would seem identical.
There is one
minor difference, however.
When this bullet was removed
from the head of the deceased...
a small particle
was left in the brain.
Our police force didn't feel
that it was important...
to remove that particle
for their ballistics test.
But, Your Honor, that particle
was highly important...
to the ballistics experts
retained by my office.
They all agreed that the two bullets
were remarkably similar...
but I have here
their sworn statements...
that the two bullets could not have been
fired from the same gun.
Order in the court!
However, I'm forced to admit
that this too...
falls in the category
of the inconclusive.
If Mr. Johnston,
the police expert...
still insists that these two bullets
were fired from the same gun...
the odds are five-to-one
against him that they were not.
the odds are still present.
Your Honor, this is the gun that was taken
from the person of John Waldron...
on the night of his capture.
Would Your Honor
kindly examine it, please?
The gun is
a.32-caliber weapon...
and these are the bullets
that go with it.
There are six bullets.
Would Your Honor kindly examine them also?
And now,
insert them in the gun.
And now,
may I have it, please?
Mr. Harvey,
that's a loaded gun!
I'll be extremely careful, Your Honor.
Mr. Whitney, please.
In the reenactment
of the murder...
we found, through the examination
of the trajectory of the bullet...
that the murderer
had to hold the gun...
in exactly this position
when the shot was fired.
Through examination
of the powder burns...
we found that Father Lambert
must have been within six inches of the gun...
or about here.
Mr. Whitney,
will you fire the gun?
I must apologize, Your Honor,
for the use of theatrics in this presentation...
but there's a defect
in the firing pin of this gun.
It's loose and faulty,
making it impossible...
for the gun to be fired
in this position.
We tried it 16 times.
That was the 17th.
He shot himself!
Let him alone.
Stand up there. Get back there, please.
It's always the same.
You look around long enough...
you'll find some guy
with his fingers in the till.
- I went to Hartford last night.
- Why?
I met Harris after he left your house.
He said you were switching.
I didn't think you were
that kind of a guy.
MacDonald, I just made one mistake.
I should've known by now that there's
one thing you can't beat in politics...
and that's a completely honest man.
Well, I wonder how Florida
will be for the winter?
I'm afraid people get just as tired
of reform as they do of anything else.
- You'll be back.
- I know.
You'll be back.
You don't look
very happy, Henry.
I-I was just thinking
of Paul.
Yes- Paul. Well, Paul more or less
passed judgment on himself.
I suppose so.
Mr. Harvey, that was
a good presentation.
Very good.
I called you a politician yesterday,
and... I was wrong.
Forget it, Robbie.
I know how you felt.
I'll bet that stubborn, old goat
still doesn't believe he's innocent.
It may take him a little time.
After all, it took him a long time...
to decide he was guilty.
- That's why I like him.
- Oh, I like him too, but he's still a stubborn, old goat.
Oh, Waldron?
Well, uh,
what are you gonna do now?
I don't know.
I'll get something goin'.
It's about time,
don't you think?
Mr. Harvey,
I don't know how to thank you.
Don't try.
No kiddin', Dave,
how did you peg that corporation?
I never reveal my methods.
What's that?
Say, don't you ever read
anything but your own stuff?
The guy was killed
in a crack up.
Screwiest thing you ever saw.
One of our boys
got on his tail for speedin;
Chased him for a mile or so,
and, all of the sudden...
the guy swerved,
and that was that.
This case was never solved.
And within 24 hours,
John Waldron was once again a free man.
The case is still open on the police books
of a Connecticut city...
and it may interest you to know
that there are those...
who still believe
the accused man was guilty.
It may interest you too to know
that the man we have depicted for you...
as State's Attorney Harvey...
was actually a Connecticut lawyer
named Homer Cummings.
He did not become governor
of the state.
He rose instead to one
of the highest legal positions in the land-
Attorney General of the United States.