Mole Man (2017) Movie Script

- How long
you think this been empty?
- How do you know?
- Yeah.
- Yummy, these
cookies sure taste good.
- What's in there?
- Big loads?
- Good balance.
- It's a man's.
- That's the first
time I saw it.
- Well I wouldn't
think so but that's
the first time it
showed up like that.
- So yeah every room
it needs washing.
- We used to have a picture.
- Oh not that high.
- I didn't either 'til now.
- It wasn't there yesterday.
- This doesn't have
anything to do with it.
- Yeah.
- Oh.
- Yeah.
- Yeah, and
he's working on a car.
Yeah the white car.
My name is Mary L. Heist.
- How
old are you now?
- 39,
90, I have to think how
old I am.
90 is right.
Ronald is my oldest son.
- Go on chill out,
you can't get that dirty.
- I couldn't either.
- It's too high.
- Ron was born in 1950, May 7th.
And he was just a normal baby.
He used to be talking, you know
mama, dada, different words.
And all at once he stopped.
He just seemed unemotional,
he just didn't connect
with a lot of people.
We felt bad, sad, you
know 'cause he just
didn't seem to take to
anybody, even his own parents.
He just ignored us.
But we knew right from the
start he liked to build things.
When he was three,
anything to do
with building, he would do.
Even if it was just blocks
and things like that.
Even cardboard boxes.
That's the only thing
that made him happy,
anything to do with building.
But when we got out here,
it must have been 1965,
he found his way.
- How
far underground are we?
- How long
did it take you to dig?
- Why?
- Any
nails in these boards?
- You
got coal out of here?
That, what I do, huh?
- Whoa.
So from age 15 to 16 you
built this whole house?
- Yeah.
- By yourself.
- Yeah.
Nobody helped you?
- No.
- How'd
you know how to build it?
- Did your
dad buy blocks for you?
- Yeah.
- And you
didn't put a level on that?
- No.
- Never.
- No never.
How'd you level it?
- Yeah.
- That's
crazy, I can't believe
you never put a
level on this wall.
- And how
long this been here?
How do you do that?
How do you make
them last that long?
- My wife doesn't
particularly like
to go back to Ron's place.
Too claustrophobic.
This topic is not
something that she really
likes to talk about
because she feels that
I got to handle
most of the burden
from the standpoint of
not other people are stepping
up and doing their part.
But, I'm the closest
son to Butler,
it's somewhat easier for me
to address these
things than others.
My name is Tim Heist, I'm
Ron's younger brother.
Ron is 12 years older than me.
You know how to
open these right?
- Scissors.
- No, just tear
open the top corner,
dump it on in.
We shared a bedroom that
actually was divided
and Ron had one
half, my twin brother
and I had the other half.
Ron used to do things and
he'd blame it on Jim and I.
We'd tell our mother that
you know, we didn't do this
but why does Dad
believe him versus us.
And you know her thing was,
Ron's, he's just different.
He was very protective of Ron,
he was very supportive of Ron,
and that was his top priority.
It was always Ron
can't do any harm.
Dad was always there
to help him out.
He sold cars for a living, he
always worked a lot of hours.
It was sometimes very
difficult for the rest of us
because it took a lot more
to get our dad's attention
or let alone trying
to get his time.
Especially when we
got to be teenagers,
we went on our own and
we didn't necessarily
try to compete for that time.
When we were young we
used to think about
the relationship that we'd
have with our father as adults.
It never worked out that way.
Heavenly Father we give
you thanks for this day.
We give you thanks
for your blessing upon
each of us Lord ask this
in Christ, oh Lord amen.
- Amen.
- Amen.
- May God be with you guys.
Take a little bit
of everything okay.
There's applesauce homemade.
- Tim did you know that the kids
went with Ron on a boat ride?
- What type of boat?
- Oh my goodness.
- What white box.
- Jeez.
- It's a carrier for
the top of the vehicle,
those carriers
that snap together.
You put 'em on top
of the vehicle.
He takes them apart and you
get two boats out of it.
- Two what out of it?
- Two boats.
- That surprises me.
I've been in boats before,
Vera's, were I just sunk.
No one really talks
about Ron's situation
or went to the extent of my
parents sitting down with us
and saying, this is how it is.
Everything was more hush-hush.
My dad did what he
thought was right.
Why else would my parents
let Ron do what they did?
Because they knew
what made him happy.
It's your first child
and then they realized
well something's not right here.
- They called him mentally
challenged, mentally challenged.
He just wasn't talking.
Then he didn't tell
people how smart he was.
- They just put that
diagnosis on him,
my mom and dad weren't able to
question anything about that.
And to me that
didn't make sense.
He's so capable of
doing so many things.
Ron's creativity is
amazing, amazing.
- No.
- The fact that he can
go to someone's house,
be in there just
for a little bit.
Leave, go home, and
draw a floor plan
with windows and the
way the doors swing,
is just something else.
I saw a movie, Rain Man.
I'm like wow, that's
Ron, that's my brother.
He's so precise, that
was always something
that I picked up on growing
up with him was the numbers.
- What time to
you tell people to call you?
- Why that time?
- Exact number of this,
exact time it comes up.
And if you stray from it,
and nobody never said
anything about Autism,
but after watching the
movie, that's truly Ron.
Explain this to me.
- I don't
know too many people
that write down everything
they've done every day
for the last 40 years,
that's pretty good.
That's pretty good bookkeeping.
- You think it is?
- Yeah.
- The older
my parents got to be
they just, you know they
didn't have the control
over him and it's to
that point to where
he was accustomed to doing
what he was going to do.
- And what's Ron doing?
- What are you
going to do with it?
- Which porch?
- That stuff?
- Yeah.
- Ron can be nice
in his own way,
but yet his number one
priority is himself.
He would manipulate,
lie, tell stories,
and everything else
to get his way.
- You're going some place,
tell me where it is.
- Try to keep
track of where he was,
forget that.
- Every morning it's
the same routine.
Expect him up here about
9:30, take one hour to eat,
then he takes off and I don't
see him 'til supper time.
He's always doing something.
- Where was that big
ole bridge you had me on?
It was all burned up.
- Right.
- I said I can't walk
on that bridge no more.
- My uncle is Ron's brother.
My mother's sister
married his brother.
That's the age I was
when I first met Ron.
Every time we would be
at a family gathering,
we'd sit there and talk.
That's another place where
Ron tried to kill me.
- This thing is literally
a hundred feet in the air.
On the crick.
- He wanted to drive
the car across it
until we realized there was a
big whole in the middle of it.
- He'd tell me stories about
all the stuff he built.
Unless you see it, you
almost can't believe it.
First time I seen his house,
I went through there
and he had a maze.
- There's dead ends
and it's pitch black in there
and it took me 45 minutes.
- That was easy to do.
- He would ask for cinder blocks
for his Christmas list
or his birthday list.
Then he started
building the main house,
it built from there.
He wanted more, so he
built another building
and then he connected
it with tunnels.
He would dig
basements underneath
and then connect basement
to basement by tunnel.
Ronald built everything by hand.
He does not have big machinery,
he does not have a workforce
that does these things for him,
he does it all himself.
And some of those
buildings he didn't build,
he would literally find
an abandoned building,
and like it, and take
it home with him.
- How's
you get this here?
- Everywhere I go
I tell everyone about him.
And I've drugged,
probably hundreds
of people through his house.
- You saw that?
- Mm-hmm.
- Where you going?
- She's panicked already.
- This is cool.
- You know him?
- No I don't, who's that?
- Oh look.
- Ron's right there.
- He's my cousin.
- Oh really?
- Mm-hmm.
- Ron do
you know Dale Fry?
- Oh yeah I know him.
- That's my cousin.
- Oh it is?
- Yeah.
- And his brother
is Chris and Matt.
- Mm-hmm,
those are all my cousins.
- Hmm.
- Oh gosh, I can't
wait to tell my mom.
That is cool.
- Dale used to live right
across the railroad tracks.
I don't know where
Dale lives now,
I don't know where any
of them are living.
When you see 'em tell
'em give me a call.
- Okay I will.
- Around six o'clock, 5:30.
- Okay.
- somewhere though.
- I will tell 'em.
- What
are they signing?
- How many?
- 380 what?
- Per year?
- Yeah.
When did
you get these made?
- What's up with the plunger?
- You collect
them, my gosh?
- Why do
you take the plunger?
- The
foreclosures in this area
are ridiculously high.
Butler has really been hard hit.
You can just drive through town
any given day and
see a fore sale sign
and it says
foreclosure at the top.
Years ago it was
a beautiful town.
People had great jobs.
There was coal mines,
there was Pullman-Standard,
but when Pullman-Standard
went out,
it was like a ghost town.
I mean that's where everybody
worked in this area.
And half the houses went empty.
Just within an hour
and a half drive,
there's whole abandoned towns.
There's all these
abandoned factories
and that's where Ron
gets all his stuff.
Some of the places
he has taken me to,
you can just hear
them bells ringing
and angels singing,
it's just.
I found a 1938 Wurlitzer
jukebox that was rare,
that is now in the Wurlitzer
museum in Houston, Texas.
We found a whole abandoned bar.
We had antique bar
lights, pool tables,
and a really neat
thing that we found
was some memorabilia
from the farmhouse
that was in the original
Night Of The Living Dead.
A lot of the good that
has happened in Ron's life
is because of Chuck
Heist, his dad.
I said, "Chuck why did
you let him do this?"
He said, "Well he didn't
speak until he was nine or 10.
"And when we started letting
him build, he opened up."
- Can we get a picture Ron?
You're already on
our sweatshirts.
- Yeah.
- Okay, come on.
- His house,
his adventures,
that is his connection
with everybody.
He loves being the Mole Man.
Chuck just gave
him that free reign
to do what he wanted to do.
- I can smell
paint down here.
- But Chuck,
unfortunately within
the last year he passed away.
- He fell
over in the bedroom.
We couldn't wake him up.
I said well maybe we can
put him back on the bed.
We just couldn't lift him up
to put him back on the bed.
And I said I'm gonna
call the ambulance.
The ambulance came, two or
three weeks later he was gone.
I miss Chuck a lot, yep.
I'm still sleeping in
that chair every night.
Every since he passed away I
been sleeping in that chair.
I thought, I can't
sleep in the bedroom,
it just seems different.
It's a big change, yeah.
I yeah, I really miss him.
I miss my car man.
- You can tell
just from the absence
of my dad that there is
a huge void in his life.
- I really thought she might
get really upset over it
and have a reaction.
- He wouldn't talk to me,
I've been friends with
him for most of my life.
When I was at the funeral,
Ron pretended like
he didn't even know who I was.
Somebody asked Ron who's that
and he said I don't
even know that name.
He had let his hair
grow real long,
it was down past his
shoulders, looked disheveled.
- And he just
started building constantly.
- Part of the glue that holds
Ron together, came apart.
- Did you give any more
thought about the future here?
You know do we keep the house,
don't we keep the house?
- Not really.
- Not really?
All that stuff
takes money, right?
- Yeah.
- Since my dad passed away,
I inherited a huge challenge.
How do we deal with the house?
How do we deal
with the property?
How do we deal with Ron?
You can't depend
that life is always
gonna be the same
from day to day Ron.
- But if something
happens, what happens then?
I mean you never know what's
going to happen tomorrow.
When our mother passes away,
the situation is
gonna totally change.
What are you waiting on?
The day to come?
- You hope, we hope.
If I don't do anything
then we're at risk
of losing everything down here.
And I don't want that to happen.
His routine, his environment,
that's his safety zone.
- To see that
taken away from him
is not something I wanna see,
but I fear that that's exactly
what's going to happen.
I'm hoping not.
I'm hoping that something
can be figured out.
- He thinks he's gonna
stay there period.
- I definitely would love to
get my mom out of that house.
You know number one, I
think she feels very much
a burden on herself that
she has to take care of Ron.
- I wish you would cook.
That would be better yet.
- You're a bag of pork.
- It'd probably hurt him
to move and do whatever,
it's a big deal.
- You want
to be able to tell Mom
that we have an
answer, and we don't.
- He doesn't have
a way of saying
well how do I afford this.
Does someone else have to pay
for this the rest of his life.
I mean, that's something
we're not prepared to do.
- To see Ron pulled
out of that place
I think would kill him.
Plain and simple,
I just don't think
he'd want to live anymore.
And I got a quote
done for my porch here
and I just didn't
like the number.
My wife was talking
about it at work
and the lady she
works with said,
"Hey why don't you see if
Ron would be interested."
So he came over and wants
to do it all himself,
and everything,
it's pretty amazing
'cause he's gonna have this
thing tore up in no time.
You trust me a lot with just how
you can look at
something and say
this is how many feet
long by whatever.
- That's right.
- Oh yeah?
- No.
- Ron, you gotta be kidding me.
- What are you gonna play?
I better put a pillow on there.
Okay, hey come on now, fix that.
- I'm awake.
Hey that's a blue one.
- Well, where was that?
- Ooh look at
that, got three in.
Ron says I'll live to be a
hundred so I don't have to worry.
No, you goofed me up.
- We are going to have
a therapist meet Ron.
- Ron's never been officially
diagnosed with Autism.
- He
has to be diagnosed
in order to get the
help that he needs.
Hopefully with that diagnosis,
we'll have a better direction
of where we need to go.
- I would like to learn
a lot more about Ron.
And half of how we answer
questions is through testing.
And that's what Dr.
Gastgeb's doing.
- We're going to be doing
all kinds of of different
activities okay.
And there's not
always a right answer.
We just need you to let me know
what you think the
answer is okay.
- Mm-hmm.
- We give the individual
something to do
and we try to learn about them
through watching
them solve problems.
- Mm-hmm.
- And so they're giving
the opportunities
to initiate and respond
to conversations,
and then it gives us an
algorithm for scoring
those behavior observations.
- Now we have a book
here and what's different
about this book than
books that you might read
is it only has a few words.
So we're actually gonna tell
the story from pictures.
So I'm gonna start so that
you get an idea how to do it.
Then I'm gonna let you tell
me the story for a while,
then I'm gonna finish the story.
So Tuesday evening around eight,
there was a turtle
sitting on a log.
And the sun came down
and the moon came up
and the turtle looked
up and all of a sudden
he saw these frogs
floating all over the sky.
Now I'm gonna let
you tell me the story
and then I'll finish
at the very end.
You can just tell me
whatever story you want.
There's no right
answers to any of this.
- They don't, I know.
- I have an understanding,
this is understanding
concrete versus abstract
cognitive skills.
And individuals with Autism
actually aren't so great at
the abstract and the pretend.
They're just much more concrete,
black and white thinking.
- Yeah, so you're gonna
have to suspend disbelief.
You're gonna have to pretend
this is like a
fiction story here.
Okay so make up a story
that doesn't really happen.
What is in the book?
What's happening on this page.
- Mm-hmm.
- Everybody describes
him as creative,
but yet when asked to
pretend, to make believe,
he actually wasn't
able to do it.
- So what's
happening on this page?
- So they're
flying, they're having fun.
- Yeah.
- They don't belong
there but that's okay.
- Okay,
I'll finish up for you.
Next Tuesday something
new was flying in the sky,
but it was not a
frog, they were pigs.
- A lot of things
he just wants to do
what he wants to do.
- Yeah.
- And otherwise he
just isn't interested.
I said, "Why don't
we go to a movie?"
"I don't want to go to a movie."
But when it's something
about building houses
or finding the way
to go someplace,
he's gonna do any of that.
He's really good, in fact
he could build a house,
he could put electric
in the house,
that's how good he is in that.
Do you want to go back there?
- I would like to if
he wants to invite me.
And he's great with numbers
and weights and measures
and mechanics and his skillset
because he's really fixated
on those narrow interests
and has learned as much
as he can about that.
- Wow,
you're really quick.
- People
of his generation
commonly did not get support.
And I think there are many
ways that his situation
could not have turned out
as positive as it did.
Some of those people
are in group homes.
And he's still not
out of the woods.
- You've thought about
the next 10 years,
like your plans, your
hopes, your dreams,
what would you
like to see happen?
What would you like to do?
- So pretty
much what you've been doing?
- Mm-hmm.
- Anything else you'd like
to do that you haven't done?
- Okay.
Most people have felt
sad at some point,
what makes you feel sad?
- Yeah, is that
a part of your life now?
- Mm-hmm.
- And how does
it feel when you're sad?
If you had to describe it.
- But for Ron, his
Autism also contributes
some pretty amazing qualities
that many people are drawn to.
I have actually have never seen
a collection so large as Ron's.
It's positive in a sense that
people find it interesting.
- You know what that thing is?
- It's a train signal light.
- No.
- I was
thinking astronaut helmet,
but I know that's
not right either.
- I think this allows
him to have connections
outside of his family that
he wouldn't naturally have
because he's not going out
there and seeking them.
- Yeah.
- What is that?
- We gotta get
out of this place.
- Sorry.
- When you say
town, you mean abandoned?
- Yeah.
- Okay, that's a
lot of adventure.
What do you say we get cracking?
My name's Sean Burke,
I live in Pennsylvania
and I work in a steel mill.
Ronald said to me,
"Sean, there's a place
"I want you to see
and it's in the woods
"and it's called Robinsville."
- He said, "It's this whole town
"that just was
consumed by the woods."
And I said, "Now
this I gotta see."
- Ronald knows
I can't help myself
and anytime there's an
adventure to be had,
he always ropes me into it.
It's a pretty neat
little area down there.
- Oh yeah.
- There must have been
some coal mining down there.
- He knows every
little nook and cranny
of Western Pennsylvania.
- Now this, what is this
road we're driving on here?
- This is a driveway?
- Yeah.
- We're going through quad
trails, downhill signs,
we're in the middle of nowhere.
You don't know where you are.
You don't know if you
were gonna find something.
You have no idea.
Whenever he tells you the
story or what to expect,
he's telling you the
truth in his mind.
His perception of
reality and your own
sometimes are two
different things.
We come to this valley
where three creeks meet.
Can't say you're wrong.
- Yeah.
- Up the creek valley he goes.
We get to the top
and sure enough,
just like he said.
It was a little village that
was consumed by the woods.
All these houses,
grand old houses,
a huge, huge barn,
and you're thinking
what happened here.
Why did they leave this?
Man they built this thing.
This is old worldy transplant,
this is outrageous.
- Yeah, the whole place.
- That's a lot
of money in boards here.
- Yeah.
- Five, six, 14.
- It's also not the sixth.
- He knows his cars.
Your dad had what?
- He had a 1924
Model T, 1928 Model A.
- The illustrious Piney Mansion.
- And it's kind of
this myth of a place.
- It's hard to get to,
and every year
it's getting worse.
- Anybody that's
familiar with cars knows
what a Duesenberg is,
it's the creme de la creme
of American classic cars.
It would be worth
a ton of money.
Just a super charger off
the Dusenberg's engine
would be worth five
figures at least.
Is it easy to find?
- No.
- He has the license plates
from all the cars in his place,
but I have never met
anybody that's been there
or saw it but Ron.
Where is this from?
How'd you get it out?
That's from Piney?
- So is
there anything left?
- Yes.
Where does Piney rank
in the houses you find?
- But that
one's got more stuff
in it than any of the others.
How'd you find Piney?
- And
how long ago was that?
- What
happened to the driveway?
- If it's
there, we have to find it.
- In going through the
diagnostic criteria for Autism,
it's very clear he's
on the spectrum.
That is what contributing
to that rigidty
that's been so difficult
for you guys as a family.
Sometimes we can help
them to be more flexible,
but he is not flexible.
- I often said to my
parents if they would
hold him accountable, it would
make him more functional.
- It's hard not to feel
frustrated with your parents
because part of you is
why didn't they get help,
but to be honest, your
mom did try to get help,
and then they didn't
know what else to do.
And so they just sort
of stopped reaching out.
So in a sense it was a
systemic problem I think.
So, the big question is,
does he stay there or not
if your mother's not there?
People in his generation, if
you ask where are they now,
some of them are just
living in group homes.
- That's one of the solutions,
however do we really
want to take him out
of that environment?
That's really not something
that we want to do
unless it actually
came down to his safety
or medical condition
would dictate that.
- My concern honestly
isn't for his safety there,
'cause I feel like it's
actually fairly safe for him,
but my concern is
about liability.
- Oh yeah.
- He's necessarily in
danger but he's not noticing
other people's safety and
he's dragging people through
who might get hurt and who
then might actually sue.
- Yes, the attorneys visited
the place, looked it over
and basically said
someone could sue you
and you could lose everything.
- Yeah, I'm not sure what
his monetary needs will be,
but if you wait to the
point where everyone
feels like there's an
emergency situation,
it might actually be
a little difficult
in order to get
him what he needs.
So the best time to
start moving forward
in terms of exploring
supports would be now.
- We do want the best for him,
but we all have our own lives
and we all have
our own families,
so trying to continually
focus on Ron,
it's a huge challenge
and there's no easy out.
We know we're not gonna
get his cooperation.
We're gonna have to force it.
- I live up by you.
- Oh you do?
- Yep, soon as I seen
you walking down I said,
"Oh, he wants to go
through something."
- Yeah.
- Oh yeah.
- I don't know, the guy's
been dead for 25 years.
- Oh, that long.
- Today, I'm reaching out
to an Autism expert at Yale.
I'm really hoping that
he has some ideas,
maybe he can even
give us more options
than what we are
aware of currently.
- Given his age there's
very few options
the kids that were seen by
doctors in the 50s and 60s,
Autism existed as a diagnosis
but there were no
experts on it really,
it was just a couple of people
who originally described it
and no one knew what
to do with those kids.
And so by in large they
got institutionalized,
even if they were
fairly intelligent.
So it was really brave
to not institutionalize.
- You're
running out of time.
- I mean in your
opinion, if he is to be
taken out of that environment,
what do you perceive
happening to him?
- I think it's predictable
that he would have
problems adjusting
because you take any
60 year old person,
take all their favorite things
away and put them somewhere,
they're gonna lash out.
Then you compound
that with Autism
where you have
emotional problems,
then yeah it's pretty cruel
to do that to somebody.
- Yeah we discussed
that quite a bit.
I mean I'm really scared
of what's going to happen.
There is nothing I can think of,
other than trying to
keep him in there,
that's going to be
beneficial to him.
I just cannot see
a positive outcome
unless he's allowed to
stay in that environment.
- My biggest
fear is that he'll lash out
outside of an institution
and then end up
in the legal system, 'cause
that's the only group
that won't refuse to take him.
- Right, and that's definitely
not the right place for Ronald.
- No, once that happens once
it's just a revolving door.
- I appreciate you
coming on here.
- Yeah, I wish I
could be of more help.
It's a tough
situation, take care.
- I don't know I'm
kind of depressed now.
I'm here talking to him,
what options do we have here?
If they wanted
somebody to come in
and look after Ron, state
funding does not exist for that.
Like he said, is he
gonna end up in prison?
I work at Butler
Memorial Hospital
in their behavioral
health program.
I see people from group
homes all the time,
they'll come in with
scabies, malnourished,
prison would be better
than some of these places.
I've seen neglected
people that have bed sores
down to their bone,
it's just unbelievable.
- They're a few good ones.
- I don't see another option.
I mean we have to find a
way to keep him in there.
It's just, what else is there?
- Why do you
have all the clocks back there?
- Any reason
why you set it up like that?
- Are
all the clocks on time?
- No.
- Barney Fife.
- Have
you seen that movie?
- Indiana
Jones, have you seen that?
- No.
- Do you know
who Steven Spielberg is?
- No.
- You never
heard him before this?
- No.
- How
'bout Brad Pitt?
- You know
who Michael Jordan is?
- No.
- LeBron James?
- No.
- Seinfeld?
- No.
- Titanic?
- That movie?
- Yeah.
- Okay.
- G-L-I-D-E.
- So
you try to write
all of the songs
in one group down?
- So
you don't forget 'em?
- Why do
you write 'em down then?
- When Amanda did
her evaluation,
she determined Ron is Autistic.
Did you or Dad ever
talk about Ron's future?
- No, we just seemed to go along
with what was going on at that
time, going to special ed.
- I remember telling
Dad what I thought,
he didn't want to
hear any of it.
- Yeah that's it.
- He didn't
agree with those.
- We should've even
thought about it
after he graduated
from high school.
- Yes.
- But Ron did try to get jobs
a couple of different places.
But every time he'd last about
one month and that was it.
- You know if something
had to be done tomorrow
it would be basically
relocating him.
- You mean to
live somewhere else?
- You almost have
to rule out the house
being one of the options?
- Where would he go,
would he want to--
- We need to talk about,
you know this house
and the land and how much
effort it took to maintain it
and you're always trying
to have to do something,
fix something, repair it.
You know that was Dad
talking about that,
let alone having Ron to try
to do any of that stuff.
- I know.
- I mean
unfortunately he created
his own worse
nightmare back there.
- Oh you're not kidding.
He just keeps on
building and building.
- What he has back there
is a huge safety
issues to begin with.
- That's true.
- Do you want him
to stay in that?
He's built structures
that really
don't allow anyone
really to live there.
Years ago my dad allowed
him to run his own wire
back to his house, that way
he can have electricity.
He built more and
more structures,
he runs more and more
wiring through it,
and he tries to heat all
those places in the winter.
The power bill has been over
a thousand dollars a month
and in fact, he's
burned out the meters
because he draws more
than what the meter's
capabilities are or capacity is.
- What
do you call them?
- So we know there's a lot
of safety issues there.
You know not only is it
putting his place at risk,
but it's putting the
main house at risk.
The filth, the safety, health,
all those things he's
gonna put in jeopardy
because he doesn't have
any desire to change it.
- You know it's not good
for him longterm wise,
but on the other hand, you
know that's the environment
that he has that comfort level.
- Mm-hmm.
- There are resources
out there that can help,
but he's gone have to learn
how to deal with the changes
that he can't say no to.
How much resistance he creates,
you know does he go into
hiding and that type of thing?
That's a whole nother issue.
But he can't let
his personal desire
block something that is
better for him longterm wise.
- But yet his friends just
love coming to visit him.
- Yeah you know, they
think all this is fun
and this is a great
environment you've got Ron,
but that's frustrating
because there's people
that are going to have to make
a commitment to make it work.
So far, I don't think
any of his friends
have signed up to
make that commitment.
- Any one of us could
move into that house,
but I've got four kids, you
know I've got a full time job.
- I'm like you, I've got
kids, I don't have the time.
- All the time, it's
hard to deal with.
- I had thought
having somebody
move in to Mary's place.
- Yeah.
- Would be perfect, to just
kind of look after Ron.
Do what they did.
- Yeah cook his meals.
- Keep an eye on him.
- I think that's a great idea.
- But you're gonna have to
have the finances to back it.
Obviously if he
lives 35 more years,
you're talking a lot of money.
- Yeah.
- What's I'd like to see
happen is some finances set up,
so whoever moves in there,
is gonna be able to
financially cover ...
- What did
Tim say the plan is?
- I would say a
million dollars plus.
- Even if
it's not a Dusenberg,
if the cars are in the shape
that he says they're in.
- Well he has plates that were
last registered in the 50s
for all these supposed
vehicles in his place,
he showed me these plates,
and they look like
through in good condition.
He's very convincing.
- He said these cars
were in beautiful shape.
He said you look like
you can just get in them
and drive them away.
- This is my one
possible theory.
You know whenever you
cross that bridge,
across the Clarion
River, there's a camp
or some sort of a
residence that the driveway
has been completely
consumed by grass.
And if you look on your map,
you'll see two buildings
beside each other.
And then if you look one
woods line beside it,
you'll see two buildings that
are roughly the same size
that are half
consumed by the woods,
but they're down in the valley.
It fits the description,
it's in the same location
of Ronald's original
map, and you just
come around that hillside and
you come done into the valley
and you're still in the woods,
but you're coming right
into the back side
of these two buildings.
I wonder if that's
what he was doing.
You know there's
little oil well roads
up on that hillside.
- They're everywhere.
- And one of them tapers down
and you can see it taper
down through the woods
and it leads right in
behind those two buildings
on the edge of that woods.
And that's my theory is what
he's talking about
is right there.
And the only way to
find out for sure,
you camo up, and you go
in, and you circle around
and you go and see for
yourself to see if it's there.
- Hi Joy.
I have my entourage
with me.
- I see, hi I'm
Joyce Cunningham,
I'm the administrator here.
- Tim Heist.
Good to meet you.
- This is our main dining area.
This is where we do a
lot of our activities
and things also.
- Yeah.
- We're actually going to
have a country kitchen here
where we'll be
serving their meals
and everything right out there.
The other day we started
making stuffed apple cookies,
they tuned into
little mini pies.
They love doing
things like that.
- All right.
- I'll take
you over this way.
- So where did we park when
we came up here the last time?
- It was right here.
- Right here.
- To his lower road?
- Yeah.
- The Piney Mansion is a place
that we've spent
a small fortune,
countless hours, trying to find.
One time he took
us through a tunnel
that had probably
caved in 50 years ago.
- There's a
giant mound of rubble.
Ron said, "This isn't good."
- Climbing over
rocks in this tunnel
and there's stuff falling
above us you know.
- I'm thinking to myself,
this is absolutely crazy,
what am I doing in here?
We exited the tunnel
and I'm like whew,
I'm glad that's over.
And now we're staring
at a 300 yard long
abandoned train bridge
that's just railroad ties
on rusty iron work, 300
feet off the Clarion River.
I made two steps on there,
and I'm looking at tree tops.
- You're side-stepping
across this thing.
I said, "Ron there
better be something good
"on the other side of it."
- We start walking
and we get halfway across
until we looking at a gap in
the ties, we're down 300 feet.
He walked over and he
walked on that steam beam,
got back on the railroad ties,
and then kept on walking.
So we crossed the bridge.
- When we got
there we found nothing.
- Oh there it is.
- Oh right there.
- Alrighty.
- If he would choose
to have a private room,
he would have a bed, a dresser,
a nightstand, a wardrobe.
And then if he's in a private
room, he has his own bath.
- Bath yeah.
- It's a private.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
- Okay.
- And there's no shower.
We have two shower rooms,
one on each end of the hall.
The TVs are included in
the room, which is nice.
- I'd come up three
or four times with him
and each time we'd go
in a different way.
You would think that
you can't miss it.
Well, you can, the
woods are so dense,
the pine trees are so dense.
Right here is where we
go off this little ridge.
You can be walking
through the Pine Forest
and fall right off
the face of this thing
and not even realize it.
- Holy Christ.
- It's a little tricky.
- We're in trouble.
- Give me your
hand, you got it.
- We've actually found houses
where the brush was so
thick, that you're standing
on the porch before you
know there's a house there.
And that's how thick
it is at Piney Mansion.
- Well how about he
gets there and you know,
like a week later
he wants to leave?
How do you deal with that?
'Cause that's one of
our biggest concerns.
He is very used to
getting his own way.
- This would be a
big change for him.
- Okay.
- Each home's gonna have rules
and he will have to follow them.
Some people they
can't do that do.
If he decides not
to follow the rules,
the home can give
him a 30 day notice.
- You guys ready?
- I think
we wore Mike out.
I'm probably just gonna sit here
for a half an hour
until I feel my chins.
Ron says we're not
even halfway there yet.
- You're gonna
miss that Dusenberg.
- I ain't carrying it back.
- Well, if you start
having a heart attack,
call my phone, we'll
come back for you.
- I don't think we
can get a helicopter in here.
- I kind of feel bad
leaving him there but ...
- We have more men
here than women,
by about a two to one ratio.
Our average age is 59
and all of our residents
carry a mental health diagnosis.
- Okay.
- That's the primary
reason they're here.
Everyone here has
lived on their own
and we're unsuccessful
at something.
Whether it be bathing,
dressing, medication management,
you know all of those things.
- I better check on him,
make sure he's still alive.
- He might
not have no signal.
- No service.
If we tried to call
9-1-1 we'd be in trouble.
You hear that?
- I hear it.
- Those voices sound
like they came from
right over there on the hill.
- I would say.
We better keep
quiet, sound travels.
- I got
that eerie feeling
of being in
someone's crosshairs.
That's what's gonna happen.
Told my wife that this morning.
If you see the top
of my head come off,
you just hit the ground.
- In this building here,
we have two bedrooms,
bathroom, bedroom, bedroom.
We have 4,000 in and out.
Same thing in this building.
The guys that are in here
are just like dug in.
Not a lot of turnover.
- looking for you.
- How was the dentist
this morning Howard?
- It was
good, he fixed me.
- Good.
- This almost
looks like a driveway.
I don't know.
- We've got
to be getting close.
- I got a good
feeling about this road.
- You find it steep?
- You guys see
that structure up there?
What the hell is that?
We have found something.
- I really wasn't sure
if we were moving forward
or what was happening, so.
- We, yeah, I can say Ron
can stay where he's at,
but is it really the
right thing to do.
I mean just from the
standpoint, it's an older home,
needs a lot of
maintenance and repair
and it's like he doesn't
want to do anything.
- Right.
- You know it's like you
know are we really just
prolonging something
that we should do.
- Right.
- Upfront.
- Okay.
- What is this?
- I don't know.
Some kind of a workshop.
It's pretty quiet in there.
- This is probably a
campsite, I would imagine.
- A campsite.
- The cabins
are pretty clean.
- Yeah.
- I don't think anybody's
been here recently,
but they're definitely
watched and maintained.
- Yeah, Ronald's
sitting up there.
- You think he's spooked
because of those voices?
- Yeah, let me collect
Ronald and we'll figure out-
- I twisted my ankle.
- You want to go back?
- I don't think we can go
back through the woods.
- What about Mike?
- He's probably already
found his way back.
The buzzards looking for us.
Boy does this suck.
I was really hoping
to find it today.
Just like Ron said it would.
But being that we have
been on every other inch
of this entire area,
this was the only spot
that we hadn't been in, this
was it, no Piney Mansion.
Now someone's gonna have
to lend us a million bucks.
Oh no.
- I don't know, I
just don't know.
I don't think Ron
would make it up,
but it's not here.
I hope it is still
up here, I really do.
It's that one story
that never goes away.
As long as he holds on to
it, then I'm going to too.
- It's got to
be somewhere else.
- Has to be.
- But we've
been everywhere.
You're sure it's in
this plot of land.
- When the warm weather
comes, we'll go back again.
- It's 2:11, let's get rolling.
- Yeah let's head back.
- Yep.
- I'm-
- We gave it a shot Ron.
- We can do that.
Now over there.
- Would he
have loved those cars?
- Oh yes.
- Gotcha.
- I understand the challenge
that my parents had
throughout their life
dealing with Ron.
They did what they had to do.
Once my mother passes
away, I don't expect that
we'll be able to support
him there beyond five years.
- So I am making the final
decision to say you have to move,
you have to transition to
a different environment.
- I hate the idea of him
being pulled out of that place.
But I don't have the
power to stop it.
I can't imagine going
into a group home
to hang out with Ron.
He's probably gonna be
withdrawn, he's not gonna talk,
and if he does talk,
what's he gonna talk about?
Memories, 'cause that's
all he have at that point.
- I wish I could give
Mom a solid plan.
She wants to know that
he's going to be okay.
- Take one day at a time
and hope for the best.
That's what I always say.
- There's no happy ending.
No, it is what it is.
- Ronald is a survivor.
He can't not be a
survivor, he'll find a way.
- What stories
would I tell people.
I wouldn't have 'em.
He's literally one of
God's masterpieces.
Why would you want
him to conform
when it's his nonconformity
that makes him who he is?
- Where
we going today Ron?