Town on Trial (1957) Movie Script

All right, Sergeant, I've
got a full statement from him. Start typing.
Oakley Park Police Station,
6:35 am, prisoner's statement:
"You asked me about last Friday.
I will tell you.
"I got up early in the morning.
I hadn't been able to sleep.
"I walked along the high street.
It was deserted.
"Everything was quiet,
and I was all alone.
"For the first time,
I felt afraid of what I was going to do.
"I wandered about, until I
found myself at the station.
"I watched them going to work,
"but I kept out of sight,
because a lot of them knew me.
"I spent the rest of the time
just walking, avoiding people,
"waiting for the day to end.
"Down by the river, I followed a girl
who reminded me of Molly.
"I found myself hating her,
just as I hated Molly.
"That evening, I returned home.
I took the stocking from my drawer.
"Then I walked over to the club.
"And, all the time, I kept remembering
that passage from the Bible,
"but I didn't feel afraid any more.
"I knew Molly was there,
because they were all watching.
"And I was glad, because this
was going to be the last time.
"I watched her at play,
her body brown from the sun,
"and I hated her.
"And as I watched, everyone else
was watching her too.
"Especially the men, and she knew it,
and she loved it.
"And all the time, I kept remembering
those words from the Bible:
"'And Aholah played the harlot
when she was mine,
"'and she doted on her lovers,
and they discovered her wickedness,
"'and they slew her with the sword. '"
- Oh, good shot!
- Very good play.
- I'm afraid they were too good for us.
- Afraid so.
You were wonderful.
Close game, Molly.
We'll beat you next time.
That's what you said the last time.
It's hot!
Thanks, Mark.
Well, I'm off for a swim.
"Good shot, Molly." "Well played, Molly."
I've had enough.
- Hello, Peter.
- Hello.
- I thought you'd be playing tennis.
- It's too hot for tennis.
- You all right?
- Cigarette?
No thanks, Peter.
That Stevens girl.
I wish men would
look at me like that.
Is that the way
you bring up your daughter?
Now, can you remember all this, George?
Two gins and tonics, a lager, a Coke,
another Coke... what about you, Mary?
I think I'll be going home, Mark.
Excuse me.
What's the matter, darling?
Well, can't I give
my friends a drink?
I'd like to see how many friends
you have the day you're broke, Mark.
- Coming?
- I can't. I've got to...
Give Molly Stevens a lift home?
Is she the next one
on your list, Mark?
"She knew.
"She knew how
the men watched her,
"and how the women hated her.
"She knew the petty
squabbles she caused,
"and it amused her.
"But she didn't know
she was going to die."
Well, hello!
What on earth are you doing here?
What do you want?
Look, I'm not standing here
all night talking to myself.
Will the public please keep
moving along the road.
All right, keep back, keep back.
Come on, back. Right back.
Keep back!
Good morning! My name's Hughes.
Sergeant Rogers, local CID.
Morning. Sergeant Beale.
- Well, let's get on with it, shall we?
- This way, sir.
We found some prints. By the looks of them,
the killer was waiting for her.
Here we are.
Both prints pause here.
They might have stood round
talking for a bit,
then the girl moved on,
and the man followed her.
Could have been someone she knew, then?
That's very likely, sir.
The body was found here.
Know where she was going?
Home, probably. She lived
the other side of the common.
She was coming from the sports club.
Taken any cast
of these footprints, Sergeant?
- Not yet, sir.
- Why not?
Well, sir, I thought we might...
- Beale! Get a cast of these footprints right away.
- Yes, sir.
- Who found her?
- A couple of kids, early this morning.
- Death certificate?
- John Fenner, a local GP.
He estimated the time of death
at around 10 pm last night.
- Who's doing the post mortem?
- County pathologist, over at the hospital now.
Here are some shots of the body.
Would you like to take a look at her?
Why? She's dead, isn't she?
I'd like to see where she lived.
- Attractive.
- Very popular with the men.
Hmm, not with the women, eh?
Tidy little girl.
- What school's that?
- Harrow.
The Morgue.
All good stuff.
Poems by Rupert Brooke.
Well, this one's a little out of place.
"With love from Peter Crowley."
Crowley? He's a member of the sports club.
He probably met her there.
What about this sports club?
Usual thing, dance every Monday,
a raffle at Christmas.
- Respectable?
- Very.
"And Aholah played the harlot
when she was mine,
"and she doted on her lovers,
and they discovered her wickedness,
"and slew her with the sword,
"And she became
famous among women
"for judgment had been
executed upon her."
- Who's the other girl?
- Looks like the Dixon girl.
- The men?
- I wouldn't know.
Dixon's a big noise in this town.
He's on the town council,
he'll probably be mayor next year.
Uh-huh. Know who he is?
That's Peter Crowley, sir.
- Peter, this gentleman's...
- I'm a police officer.
I'd like to ask you
a few questions.
- I hope you're not going to upset him.
- All right, Mrs Crowley.
- You see...
- Thank you.
- He's not himself today.
- Oh, Mother, please.
- What's this, a 350?
- Yes, that's right.
- What happened to the Triumph?
- I sold it.
Were you in love with Molly Stevens?
No point in beating
about the bush, is there?
Yes, I was.
- What happened? A row?
- Sort of.
- Were you at the club last night?
- Yes.
- Well, what time did you leave?
- I don't know. Oh, about nine.
- Where'd you go?
- I came home.
- Peter...
- Yes?
- You forgot the washer.
- Thanks.
- What sort of school do you go to?
- Oakley Grammar.
Do they give you a Rupert Brooke
at grammar school?
I shouldn't have thought Molly Stevens was
the kind of a girl who appreciated poetry.
No, she didn't.
Excuse me, I'll go and wash.
Why did you and Molly Stevens
break up, Peter?
Someone else?
- Who said we'd broken up?
- Her landlady.
Who did she go around with
after she dropped you?
- She didn't drop me.
- You had a row, didn't you?
- Yes, but...
- Why don't you tell him, Peter?
- Please keep out of this.
- He's too decent to tell you.
Because he knew she was
running about with a married man.
- Who was he?
- Mark Roper.
I'm asking the boy!
Who's Mark Roper, Peter?
The way she carried on,
it's no surprise what happened.
Don't talk like that.
All she cared about was having
a good time, fast cars and boyfriends.
- Stop it!
- It's the truth, and you know it.
And the sooner you forget
about her, the better!
What time did he get in
last night, Mrs Crowley?
About a quarter to ten.
I see. Thank you.
That's him all right.
He's going in to change.
See you back at the station.
Right, driver.
Hey, what do you say?
- Thank you.
- That's better.
- Come on, hurry up.
- Coming!
Come along!
Hello! I haven't seen you around before.
Are you a member?
I'm a police officer, Mr Roper.
Really? Chuck me that towel,
will you, there's a good chap.
- Well, what can I do for you?
- A girl was murdered last night.
I should think it might have something
to do with that, wouldn't you?
Excuse me.
Well, have you found anything out yet?
You chaps are usually pretty sharp.
She was a member here, wasn't she?
That's right.
I understand you
knew her pretty well.
What do you mean,
you understand I knew her?
Pretty difficult not to,
considering I'm the club secretary.
Didn't you ever, er...
take her out?
Ooh, I'm a married man! You can't
play around in a town like this.
Mr Roper, I get the impression this is
what you might call a high-class club.
Yes, I suppose you could call it that.
Not the sort of place you'd
expect to find a Molly Stevens.
No, she didn't quite fit in.
I can imagine.
How'd she get in?
Well, I suppose I...
used my influence.
I thought it was about time the club
had a bit of glamour around.
You get rather tired of
buck teeth and bow legs, you know.
That's a Harrow tie, isn't it?
That's right.
Why, did you go there?
No, I went to the London Polytechnic.
Well, suppose we go and have a drink,
and then I can...
Yes, I suppose it is.
Where'd you find it?
In Molly Stevens' room.
Where were you around
ten last night, Mr Roper?
Me? Now, you don't
suspect me, do you?
Depends where you were
around ten last night.
As a matter of fact, I was with
Elizabeth Fenner.
Dr Fenner's niece.
She was due on duty,
so I drove her to the hospital.
What time did you drop her off?
Oh, let me see...
We left here around nine thirty...
Ten fifteen or later?
Well, I'd better be getting along.
Lots of things to do.
Come this way, it's quicker.
I remember about this. I'd lent it
to Molly one evening to go home with.
She'd been playing tennis,
and it was a bit chilly.
Well, I'll, er...
I'll be running along.
Yes. Well, goodbye, old man.
- Dr Reese?
- Yes?
- I'm Halloran.
- Oh yes, we've met before.
Ah, no, better wait
till I've scrubbed off.
Contagious places,
these dissecting rooms.
Knew a chap once cut his finger
doing a job like this.
Lost an arm.
Nasty business, strangulation.
- Anything in particular?
- No, she was a perfectly healthy girl.
In fact, she was extremely healthy.
Pregnant women usually are.
Two months.
Thank you.
Will Sister Hilary please report to Ward B.
Sister Hilary to Ward B.
Come in.
- Dr Fenner?
- Yes, what is it?
You certified the death of Molly Stevens,
didn't you, Dr Fenner?
Yes. Yes, I did.
My name's Halloran.
Superintendent Halloran.
- Oh yes. Won't you sit down?
- Thanks.
You don't mind if I go on with this?
If I leave these cultures too long, they die.
You also examined
the body, didn't you?
In cases of sudden death,
isn't that usually a job
for the county pathologist?
It was twelve o'clock at night.
The county pathologist
lives fifteen miles away.
I see.
Was Molly Stevens a patient of yours?
No. No, she wasn't. Why?
I read your report, Doctor.
You couldn't have examined
the body very carefully.
What do you mean?
You overlooked the fact that
she was expecting a child.
I didn't take an autopsy,
A mere surface examination would
hardly reveal a two-months pregnancy.
Who said anything about two months?
Are you sure she never
came to you about it?
I resent the implication
behind your question.
And I resent the
withholding of information.
Now please, Doctor,
just tell me what you know.
Well, she was expecting a child.
Some man came to see me about her.
Who was he?
- I'm afraid I can't tell you that.
- And I'm afraid you'll have to.
What I hear in my consulting room
is strictly confidential.
Even in a murder case?
Excuse me.
His name is Mark Roper.
I see.
He came to you for help?
There was nothing I could do.
All right, Doc.
Now that we've sort of broken the ice,
can you tell me anything
about your other patients?
Young Peter Crowley,
for instance?
As far as I know, Peter Crowley
is a perfectly respectable boy.
I've met a few perfectly respectable
murderers in my time, Dr Fenner.
And I've met one or two
well-mannered policemen.
- Oh, sorry. I'll come back later.
- Just a moment.
- I've seen you before, haven't I?
- No, I don't think so.
My niece Elizabeth.
Superintendent Halloran.
- You, er... you know Mark Roper, don't you?
- Yes.
He tells me he was with you
around ten last night.
Yes, he gave me a lift
to the hospital.
Dropped you off here
round about, er... ten fifteen?
Yes, that's right. Now, if you'll
excuse me, I have work to do.
- Well, thanks for your help, Doc.
- That's all right.
Do you remember what time
Nurse Fenner got in last night?
She was in Casualty with me
at ten o'clock.
- A car accident case came in, and...
- I see. Well, could I talk to her now?
If you wish. She's in the sterilising room.
Second door on the left.
Thank you, Matron.
Nice to see everyone so busy.
If you feel like helping,
the floor needs scrubbing.
Are you going to ask me
some more questions?
Why, does it show?
You're holding up
the hospital, Inspector.
- Superintendent.
- Oh?
It took me ten years
to make that jump.
Why were you trying
to cover up for Roper?
You didn't just make a mistake
about the time, did you?
May I get past, please?
Is that why he called you
to his office? To fix an alibi?
I have work to do.
Why should you lie for Roper?
Got a special interest in him?
Hello, Inspector.
Still at it?
- Will you have a drink?
- No, thanks.
Oho! I know.
Not on duty, eh?
Quite a collection you have here.
Yes! Yes, they were
good days, in a way.
- Mmm. You fly?
- Yes. Meteors, mostly.
- And when was that?
- '42, '43.
Wonderful aircraft.
Well, happy landings.
And that?
Oh, that. That was taken
when I first joined up.
I hate to admit it, but I
ended up a Wing Commander.
Sounds rather grand now.
Why don't you come
to the point, Inspector?
Yes, what is this?
He wasn't asking about
your wartime experiences.
All right, old man.
Let's have it.
- Mrs Roper, perhaps you'd like to...
- I'm staying here.
- I wouldn't if I were you.
- I'm staying.
All right.
Molly Stevens was expecting
a child, Mr Roper.
Well, you don't say.
Your child.
You're leaving, Inspector.
Right now!
- Sure, let's go and talk to Dr Fenner.
- Fenner's a darned liar!
We can prove it.
Take blood tests.
- Go ahead and prove it.
- I will.
Just one more thing.
Where were you around ten last night?
I've told you.
I was with Elizabeth Fenner.
That isn't what she says.
Why should she cover up for you, Roper?
Are you having a fling
with her, too?
Get out. Go on, get out of here and take
your filthy insinuations somewhere else.
I'm sorry, Mrs Roper.
Make sure you're around
if we need you.
- Hello, Harry.
- We've got her clothes here, chief.
Mmm-hmm. By the way, Harry,
you were in the Air Force, weren't you?
That's right, chief.
When did they start using Meteors?
- Meteors? Early '44.
- '44, huh?
Yes, that's what I thought.
Check up on Crowley?
The hospital report's in front of you.
Hey, you've been awake.
What's the Hot Spot?
A road house on the bypass.
A rock 'n' roll joint.
Not quite up to the standard
of the sports club, huh?
They're due up on
a gambling charge, sir.
Gambling? Whatever next!
Time I was getting home.
- Sergeant?
- Sir?
Care to join us for a drink?
That's very kind of you, sir,
but my wife's expecting me home.
You know where the Hot Spot is,
don't you?
I should have been off duty
an hour ago, sir.
The murderer isn't off duty, Sergeant.
Who does he think he is?
Stick around,
you might learn something.
- Here, chief, what about that drink?
- Hmm? Oh, plenty of time, Harry.
We've got all evening.
- Is that the Dixon girl?
- It certainly is.
Look out, it's the cops!
- You the owner of this car?
- No, it's my father's car.
Well, he's going to love you.
Let's have your name and address.
Well, come on, let's have it.
- Miss Dixon? You all right?
- Yes.
I want to talk to you.
Come on.
Harry, get a wagon from the station.
I'll take the car.
- Right, sir.
- Come on.
- What was the address again?
- 15 Berry Lane, Oakley Park.
Where do you live?
I said, where do you live?
- Ferndale Road.
- Where's that?
Near the park.
- What's the idea of picking on me?
- You knew Molly Stevens, didn't you?
I knew her.
Everybody knew her.
- Yeah, but didn't you know her very well?
- No.
Can't a girl have a good time
once in a while?
I doubt if your parents
will see it that way.
If my father sees me like this...
Here, wipe some of that
muck off your face.
And when you get near your old man,
don't breathe on him too hard.
Mrs Dixon, there's
a gentleman to see you. He...
- What on earth?
- Fiona, what's happened?
What the devil have
you been up to?
I'm a police officer.
All right, Agnes.
Now, what's all this about?
We just picked your daughter up
in a car full of young hooligans.
There was an accident,
another girl was hurt.
The driver was drunk.
Is this true?
Well, come on! Answer me!
Yes, it's true.
- Fiona, I can't believe...
- All right, Helen.
Thank you for your trouble, officer.
I appreciate your discretion
in bringing her home.
- Perhaps...
- You can put that away, Mr Dixon.
I didn't bring your daughter home to
keep your name out of the local papers.
You're new around here, aren't you?
I'm not from around here.
I'm investigating a murder.
- And shouldn't you be out attending to it?
- I am.
Your daughter knew Molly Stevens.
Knew her? What on earth
would my daughter
have had in common
with a girl like that?
Youth, Mr Dixon.
Now, look,
all I want from her
are the names of the boys
Molly Stevens went around with.
I forbid you to question
her any further.
- You've caused enough trouble as it is.
- I've caused trouble?
Is it my fault you don't know
how to control your own daughter?
Are you telling me how to
run things in my own house?
Well, it's about time
somebody did.
I shall make a point of
reporting you to your superior.
He's used to that.
You come here,
upset my wife and myself,
make outrageous insinuations
against my daughter...
Look, a girl's been murdered,
and all you think about is
how it's going to affect you.
Well, I'm sorry if the
sordid little crimes of others have
stained your household linen.
Very sorry.
He's not going to be a police officer
much longer if I can help it.
You little fool. What do you think
people are going to say about this?
That's all you ever think about, isn't it?
What people are gonna say.
Well, I've got news for you.
I don't care what people say!
You go upstairs at once,
do you hear?
You've never bothered about
what I think, what I want.
All I ever hear is
"Don't do this, Fiona, don't do that."
Well, I liked Molly Stevens. She was
the only decent friend I ever had.
And I don't care whether
you liked her or not!
Do you know Wapping?
Know it?
I was born there.
Well, there's a place
you can see the dirt.
Here, you have to dig to find it.
When you get to it,
believe me, it's just as dirty.
Beale, get your notebook out.
Get Rogers in here, will you?
We're going to put out
a questionnaire.
- Bit early for that, isn't it, chief?
- Take this down, and head it "Confidential".
One. Were you on the common
around 10 pm, Friday the 21st?
If so, did you see
anyone you recognised?
If you did, please state his or
her name in the space below.
- Two...
- Is this wise, chief?
Two. Have you any information
of any description
which you consider is
of use to the police
in helping them solve this crime?
Good morning, boys.
Thank you, Agnes.
What is it, Charles?
Isn't that girl ready yet?
Good heavens,
aren't you even dressed?
I've lost my other nylon.
They were my best pair.
We're going to church,
not to a dance.
- But I left them over here.
- I'm just about fed up with you.
I'm sending you away. A few months in
the country might help to straighten you out.
Now hurry up.
Your mother and I are waiting.
"Were you on the common
around 10 pm Friday?
"If so, did you see
anyone you recognised?"
People around here
aren't going to like this.
Somehow, I don't think that's
going to worry Mr Halloran.
Elizabeth, why did you tell Halloran that
you were with Mark Roper on Friday night?
- Because you weren't, were you?
- No.
- You shouldn't lie to the police.
- Mark asked me to say I'd been with him.
I know it was wrong, but I...
I like Mary very much.
Did it ever occur to you that
Mark Roper might have killed this girl?
Mary, look...
About Molly Stevens...
I don't want to discuss it, Mark.
Well, for heaven's sake,
give me a chance to...
To what? Explain?
You really think you can explain
your way out of this, don't you?
Don't bother, Mark.
Just tell me one thing.
Did you kill her?
- Mary!
- Did you?
No, I didn't.
Eat your breakfast
before it gets cold, Peter.
Come on, Peter.
I will decide if I want to eat or not.
I'm not a child.
What is it?
What's the matter?
Don't you care that Molly's dead?
Well, naturally, I thought it was
a terrible thing to have happened.
But you don't care.
You know how I felt about her,
but you don't care, do you?
- I know you were fond of her.
- I was in love with her.
And that's why you hated her.
It'll be a nice day today, sir.
Mmm? Mmm!
Good morning, chief.
Morning, Ma.
- It's gonna be a nice day today.
- I just said that.
Well, you coming swimming, Ma?
I bet you look lovely in a bikini.
- One egg or two?
- Three, please.
"And Aholah played the harlot
when she was mine."
- "And they slew her with the sword."
- Slew who with the sword?
Well, anyway,
it wasn't in our division.
You know something, Harry?
I think we already know our man.
I think we've met him
and talked to him.
And the only reason we
can't put a finger on him
is we don't know
enough about him.
Could be.
If only someone in
this town would talk!
Hadn't you better go?
You might frighten the children.
I was pretty rude to you
yesterday, wasn't I?
- Yes, you were.
- Sorry.
I was, er... wondering if, er...
you could, er...
If we could, er...
My train won't go!
Hey, that's a smashing train, isn't it?
Where's the key?
- Don't know.
- Here you go.
Let's wind him up and
see what happens then.
I was, er... hoping that
you'd have some lunch with me.
- Who are you asking? Me or him?
- You. You're older.
Here we go. Now watch it.
Stand back. Mind the mallet.
Wooooooh! Crash!
Once he gets you on that,
he'll have you on it all day.
Got it!
- Well?
- Why?
Why? Well, er...
It's a Sunday,
the sun's shining...
Sorry I'm late.
I see you got the little terror to sleep.
What'd you do?
Bang him on the head?
- You off duty now?
- Until five.
Lunch, then.
Well, I have to be home for lunch,
but couldn't we just drive around?
It's not such a bad town,
when you get to know it.
- Bye, Joyce.
- Bye, Joyce.
Better give it back.
Oi, oi!
You see, erm...
what a policeman usually looks for
in a case like this is somebody who, er...
well, who knows everybody.
I was hoping that your uncle would
be able to help me there, but, er...
- I'd like to go out in the boat!
- Huh?
I haven't been out in a boat
since I was a kid.
- You haven't?
- Come on. It'll be fun.
What were you saying just now
about getting to know people?
Well, I...
There's a sort of... familiar ring
about this kind of murder, you know.
Nylon stocking, attractive young girl,
there's a...
psychological pattern to it all.
Oh, you mean the murderer
might be unbalanced?
Well, I... I dunno.
Maybe he just had a kink.
Now take...
take Mark Roper, for instance.
What does he have for breakfast?
Well, I've known Mark Roper
for a long time,
and I couldn't tell you
what he has for breakfast.
We don't seem to have
got very far, do we?
Maybe that's because you're
going against the current.
I see what you mean.
Did you really want to come rowing?
Shall we go back now?
It'll be easier going back.
Maybe you're right.
Mmm-hmm. Yup.
Look, how can I get hold of
that kind of money on a Sunday?
Well, maybe you do,
but you can't prove anything.
Wait a minute.
Hello? I can't talk now.
No, ring me later.
Sorry I'm late. You must
be starving. I'll fix some lunch.
Elizabeth, what were you doing
with Halloran? What did he want?
Information, I suppose.
That is his job.
- Did you tell him anything?
- What is there to tell him?
He seems to have the idea that
we're all sharing some common secret
and won't let him in on it.
Sounds like early stages
of paranoia.
He thinks whoever killed
Molly Stevens is insane.
Well, I'll fix you some lunch.
Uncle John, would a
chicken salad be all right?
Uncle John?
- Peter, dear, it's the doctor.
- Hello, doctor.
Now, would you mind
leaving us, Mrs Crowley?
All right.
- How are you feeling, son?
- All right. Bit tired, that's all.
- Headache?
- Not really.
- Are you sure?
- Well, a slight one, I suppose.
You haven't had a headache
for a long time, have you, Peter?
No, I haven't.
I did have a few drinks last night.
You shouldn't drink.
You know that, don't you?
They said at the hospital
it didn't matter.
I'm telling you
you shouldn't drink.
On your side, please.
- Why did you take a few drinks?
- I met some friends.
- Because you felt depressed?
- No, I don't think so.
On your back.
Didn't you take a few drinks
to try to forget something?
Forget something?
Or had you already forgotten?
You used to be pretty good at forgetting
unpleasant things, didn't you, Peter?
What do you mean,
unpleasant things?
When did you first get
this depressed feeling, Peter?
I didn't say I felt depressed.
Was it after Molly Stevens died?
- You were fond of her, weren't you, Peter?
- Yes, I was.
- Are you sorry she's dead?
- What are you getting at?
You had a row with her,
didn't you, Peter?
She hurt you deeply, didn't she?
Well, we quarrelled, but...
Look, Peter, I'm your doctor.
You can confide in me.
What do you mean, confide?
What is there to confide?
I told you, I had a few drinks.
That's all you can remember?
You had a few drinks?
You can't remember anything further
back, say, as far back as Friday night?
- Why Friday night?
- Because Molly Stevens was killed on Friday night.
But you don't remember
anything about it.
- What are you trying to make me say?
- You hated her, didn't you?
I don't hate anybody.
You hated her,
because she rejected you.
So you decided to kill her.
You're trying to make me
say something that isn't true!
- You killed her, didn't you?
- Leave me alone!
You murdered Molly Stevens, didn't you?
Didn't you?
What is it?
What have you been saying to him?
He'll be all right, Mrs Crowley.
Go away, and leave him alone.
Your son is ill, Mrs Crowley.
If he's ill, we can
send for another doctor.
Very well.
Fill this in, would you please, sir.
Thank you.
Here you are, sir.
We don't appear to be too popular.
That really worries me.
Hello, sir.
Mrs Crowley's at the station.
She says she's got to see you.
Here's the dope from the Air Ministry.
There's Roper's bank manager.
The one in the grey suit.
Look, you go and talk to him,
will you? I'll get back.
No thanks.
The boy is very upset
and frightened, Doctor.
He doesn't understand why you've made
these accusations against him.
They were not accusations,
they were merely suggestions.
Oh, really?
The boy has been
very sick in the past.
He's got a long history of depressive
headaches and lapses of memory.
You didn't tell me this when I first
came to see you, Doctor. Why not?
Well, I wasn't sure
about the boy myself.
To put it in a nutshell,
he's what is known as a schizophrenic.
Doctor, this is a report
from the Senior Psychiatrist
at the hospital where Crowley
was under observation.
Now, it certainly mentions
the symptoms you spoke of:
depressive headaches,
lapses of memory,
but it says nothing at all
about schizophrenia.
That was several months ago.
The boy's condition may have worsened.
Are you a qualified psychiatrist,
Dr Fenner?
Yet, in your opinion,
Crowley's a mental case
quite capable of murdering someone
and forgetting all about it?
I didn't say that exactly.
That's what you said to Peter Crowley.
Yes, but, er...
But what, Doctor?
- Come to see Dr Fenner?
- Yes.
- I thought I told you...
- I had to see you, old boy.
Come in.
My dear chap,
let's not get excited about this.
Everything else
you've said is a dirty lie.
Just the same,
you left Toronto in a hurry.
- I told you, the Medical Board...
- I know all about that.
People are getting jittery, Doctor.
- What are you doing here, Nurse?
- I, er... I was looking for the Matron.
- You won't find her here.
- No, she's probably in one of the wards.
- Night, Nurse!
- Good night, Nicky.
Hello. Care for a lift?
Well, thanks.
What's the matter?
Something on your mind?
Worried about your uncle?
The hospital secretary called me.
I could have saved you the trouble.
His records are locked up
in my office desk.
- Why are you checking up on him?
- Why are you?
Something I wanted to find out.
About what happened in Toronto?
A patient died.
Unfortunately, the doctor
made a wrong diagnosis.
There was an inquiry, he was cleared.
If people around here
got to know about this, it would...
These people? It would give them
something to talk about, wouldn't it?
- Unless they were being paid to...
- Paid to keep quiet?
Well, come on, let's have it.
He's being blackmailed
because of this.
Who by?
The doctor had a visitor this
afternoon, a Mr Mark Roper.
Any connection?
Well, is there?
Mrs Gerrard, I'm well aware that the
girl's funeral takes place tomorrow,
but that's no reason
to cancel the dance, is it?
It's a matter of taste, Mr Roper.
Most of the women members
of the club...
Most of the women members of this club
would have cheerfully strangled Molly Stevens
themselves, given half the chance.
I'd like to talk to you, Mr Roper.
Yes, of course. Anything to help.
Will you excuse me, ladies?
- Well, what is it now?
- Mr Roper,
I'm the last person in the world
to condemn a man
simply because he has
a bad character.
But it's my experience that men
who go through life lying and cheating,
often wind up...
- Who are you calling a liar and a cheat?
- You, Mr Roper.
I could sue you for that.
And I could throw a string of charges at you
that would knock you sideways,
including blackmail
and false pretences!
Wing Commander Roper!
To start at the beginning, you were
a Sergeant Fitter in the Air Force.
You were discharged in 1943 for
helping yourself to the mess funds.
If you've ever been in a plane,
it was probably a ten-bob trip over Margate!
You've an overdraft of
250 at the bank,
longstanding debts with
practically every store in town,
and to get yourself out of that mess,
you've been putting the black on Dr Fenner.
And just to finish the picture off,
you had an affair with Molly Stevens,
and now she's dead!
Are you saying I killed her?
No, I'm not.
Did you?
Are there any
real people in this town, I wonder?
Do you know the population of Oakley Park?
It's over fifty thousand.
And how many people have you
met so far? A dozen?
Sure, there's some real people here.
Up to the moment,
I've only met one.
What's your grudge, Mr Halloran?
The name's Mike.
Don't they pay you enough in your job?
That's the first thing that comes into
your mind, isn't it? Money, huh?
Is that how they rate a man
around here, by how much he makes?
Mike, I like you.
The way you're going on,
you're going to wind up by yourself.
But at least I try to be what I am.
How long have you been
in the force, Mike?
Oh, a long time.
Are you married?
I was. Had a daughter.
Just gone seven.
They were killed in an air-raid.
Where were you? In the Army?
No, at that particular moment, I was arresting
a man for being drunk and disorderly.
After it happened, I, er... tried to
join up, but they wouldn't let me go.
So I wasn't in the Army at all.
But at least I don't go around
saying I was a Major General.
Maybe that's your grudge.
You wanted to hit back
at someone and couldn't.
Well, er...
it's after twelve. Don't you think
you'd better go in?
It's late, I'd better go.
- When will I see you?
- Tomorrow night, at the dance.
- Shall I call for you?
- No, I'll see you there. Goodbye.
- Morning, sir.
- Morning.
- Here we are!
- Oh no, not more of them!
You wait till tomorrow, it'll be
like Election Day around here.
- Trouble, I think.
- What do you mean?
- The AC's here.
- Who, Beckett?
- Roll out the carpet.
- Hello, Mike. How's it going?
- Hello, sir.
- Can we, um... talk somewhere?
Sure, in here.
Well, what's on your mind, sir?
I hear you're having
a little trouble down here.
Oh, no more than usual.
Mike, the Commissioner isn't at all happy
about the way you've been running things.
There've been a lot of complaints.
- Well, that's nothing new, is it?
- That's just it.
Who, for instance?
You seem to have rubbed a chap
called Dixon up the wrong way.
Bad choice, Mike.
He has strings, and he pulled them.
Who else?
We've had a lot of letters and phone calls
about this questionnaire of yours.
Mike, you should know
better than this.
You can't ask a town full of decent citizens
to turn stool pigeon overnight.
They're bound to resent it.
Is that all?
It's enough to have sent the Commissioner's
blood pressure up a couple of points.
All right.
Now, let me say something.
This killer's going to strike again. I know
the pattern. I've seen it a dozen times.
If we handle this town
with kid gloves on,
there's going to be another funeral
within a week!
Maybe, but this questionnaire...
It was a questionnaire like that that
pulled in the man who did the Harwich job.
But that was three weeks after the murder!
By that time, we were in
dead trouble, we hadn't got a clue.
Remember the Shrewsbury case?
It wasn't until two more kids had been
done in, that I persuaded them
to let me fingerprint the whole town.
Within six hours, we had our man.
One tiny fingerprint would have saved
the lives of two children, but oh no!
We didn't want to upset the town.
It was a threat to the
freedom of the individual.
And it was!
The trouble with you, Mike, is
you don't like to play by the rules.
Well, I'm here to tell you to take
another look at the book.
You want me off the case?
Mike, you're a darned good cop. You must
be, or you wouldn't have got this far.
Why jeopardise your whole career
because of a grudge?
Who said anything about a grudge?
Just watch it.
That's all, Mike.
One, two, three, four...
Oh, what an awful noise!
Mr Goodhead,
have you seen Mr Roper?
Roper? I don't think we'll be
seeing him here tonight somehow.
They've just phoned.
They want me to resign from the club.
Mark, surely you're not going
to the dance tonight?
What does it look as if I'm doing?
Going to bed?
Oh, blast this tie!
- Everybody in the town's talking about us, Mark.
- That's exactly why we're going!
If anybody's got anything to say,
they can say it to my face!
- Mark...
- Shut up, and get dressed.
- Listen to me, Mark.
- Shut up, will you?
- Listen, I've had enough. I'm not going to stand...
- Will you shut up!
Mark! Mark! Mark!
Get dressed.
- Not going to the dance, Elizabeth?
- No.
Why not?
What really happened in Toronto?
Didn't Halloran tell you?
Good night.
Miss Fiona...
Have a good time.
- Agnes?
- Coming, ma'am.
- Goodbye, Peter. Have a good time.
- Bye.
Hello, doctor.
- Going to the club, Fiona?
- Yes, I am.
Hop in, then.
Well, all right.
- Good night, sir.
- Good night.
Harry, can you dance?
Well, I used to cut
a bit of a dash at the Palais.
- I bet you did.
- Why, are you thinking about going, chief?
I'm not, but you are.
Well, that'll make a change.
- Hello, Fiona.
- Hello.
Will you excuse me, Doctor?
How are you, Watson?
How are things in your neighbourhood?
- Have you got your ticket?
- Er... no, I haven't.
Then that will be one guinea, please.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Halloran here. If you want me,
I'll be at the Crown and Anchor.
Listen, try and give me time
for a few beers, will you?
Wait a minute...
Get me Elizabeth Fenner.
Yeah, I'll hold on.
Do you mind?
Ah, Norman, my dear fellow!
Have a drink.
I'm sorry, old chap, I'm...
with some people over there.
Large whisky.
Mary? Mary!
Oh, there you are.
Mark, everybody's looking at you.
Well, let 'em look.
- Here I am! Have a good look!
- Mark...
Come on. I'm sorry for her.
Excuse me. May I have the pleasure?
Glad I phoned you.
Couldn't make up my mind at first.
You sounded like
you were pretty depressed.
Oh, just one of those days.
Going badly?
Let's talk about something else, eh?
All right.
What's this?
Press it and see.
One... two... three...
- four... five... six...
- Watch it!
seven... eight...
- Hi, Mr Roper!
- Hello Leslie, how are you?
Shot down any Messerschmitts lately?
Well, I'm not taking
any cheap cracks from you!
- All right, old man. Take it easy now.
- Take your hands off me!
What's the matter?
Aren't I good enough for
your crummy little club any more?
You're all so fussy, aren't you?
Well, I could tell you a thing or two
about some of the people in this town.
You think I'm a phony.
- Well, you're all phonies! Every one of you!
- All right, old man, you've said your piece...
Don't you "old man" me!
OK, boys, let's go!
- Give me a scotch.
- Yes, sir.
- Nice work!
- Sign of a misspent youth.
- Thirsty?
- No, hungry.
- Cheese and pickles any good?
- Fine!
Well, um... we could
get some back at Mrs Wilson's.
- Mrs Wilson?
- My landlady.
Sounds good.
Let's go, then, huh?
Thanks for the game, boys.
Good night!
Good night, officer.
Just a minute.
Do you realise it's an offence to sound
the hooter of a stationary vehicle?
Er... yes, as a matter of fact,
I do, officer.
And do you know it's an offence to sound
a hooter after eleven o'clock at night?
Yes, I realise that too.
- People asleep in this town, you know.
- You're telling me.
There's no need for that.
May I see your driving licence, please?
MT2 to Able Four. MT2 to Able Four.
Here is a correction to message five-zero.
Stand by.
Thanks, officer.
Good night.
Good night, sir.
Who's he?
The late Mr Wilson.
Died with his boots on.
Backbone of the force,
the police constable.
Here we are.
Biscuits, butter, pickles, cheese...
Gorgonzola, Cheddar,
knives, forks, mustard.
I've had a wonderful time tonight.
Have you?
Everything's been... well, just right.
It's quite simple.
We just get on well together,
that's all.
Yes, we do.
- No!
- Come on!
You were wonderful!
- Let's go outside.
- Take care.
Play, Buster!
Isn't it beautiful?
You're beautiful, Fiona.
Oh, David, don't be silly.
I love you.
- Oh, David...
- No, no, I do. I mean it.
Then be a good boy
and go and get me a Coke.
I'll be back as quick as I can.
Oh hello. I didn't see you.
What is it?
Go away!
- What was that?
- Probably some dame out there saying no.
Okay, boys, let's go. Yes?
Yes, just a minute.
Sergeant Beale for you.
Yes, Beale?
All right, now listen.
Phone the Dixon home. If she's not there,
tell them to get to the station right away.
That's it.
- Good evening, Dr Fenner.
- Put in two, please.
Two gallons. Right, sir.
That'll be nine and fourpence, Doctor.
Oh, I'll get some change.
Get me the police. Quickly.
How long ago did you say he left?
Just a minute. Hold on.
- I think you'd better take this, sir.
- Yup?
Who? Yeah.
Now wait a minute. Are you quite
sure about this? Listen, if you...
The Circle Garage. Yeah, I've got that.
Now, stay by your phone, understand?
- Get an info man in here quick.
- Yes, sir.
Hello, get me the sports club,
and step on it.
Is there any news yet?
Have you found her?
This is a police call. I want to speak to
Sergeant Beale. You'd better sit down, Mr Dixon.
- Yes, sir.
- Alarm call. Top priority.
I insist on knowing
what has happened to my daughter.
Hello, Beale, is Fenner there?
Well, find him and hang on to him.
- Now look here, Halloran...
- You'd better sit tight, Mr Dixon.
We don't know anything for sure yet.
All right, Baker, get this.
All men, all cars, apprehend
and detain Dr John Fenner,
last seen heading north on B32 driving a
blue Humber Saloon. Registration number...
Save all that, Superintendent.
Fiona's dead.
- Where is she, Fenner?
- Outside, in my car.
- Oh!
- Helen!
Bring him along.
We found her. She's dead. Take Dr Fenner
into Roper's office. Don't lose him.
Quiet, please.
Quiet, please!
Now, listen everybody.
A girl has been murdered here tonight.
And no-one is allowed
to leave until I say so.
I'll repeat that. No-one is
allowed to leave until I say so.
Halloran! I've put a dozen men
in the grounds to see what they can find.
- Good. Sergeant, no-one leaves, right?
- Yes, sir.
- Where's Roper?
- Oh, he left, chief.
- Well, get him and bring him back, then!
- Right.
All right, Doc.
Let's get this straight.
You left the dance,
stopped for petrol,
found the body in your car, and came
straight to the police. Is that right?
- Yes, I keep telling you that.
- It won't wash, Fenner!
Would I go to the police
if I'd killed her?
It's been done before.
Why did you leave the dance so early?
When I heard Fiona was missing, I looked
around for Peter Crowley. He wasn't there.
Wait a minute. You're not going to try
and swing that Crowley gag again, are you?
Well, if you'd just let me finish!
Crowley was here all the time.
He never left the club.
I put it to you, Dr Fenner,
that you killed Fiona Dixon.
You put the body in the boot,
intending to dump it somewhere.
But when you saw the garage mechanic phone
the police, you decided to beat us to it.
That's fantastic!
What possible motive could I have
for killing Fiona Dixon?
That's what I'm going to find out.
- Sir?
- Yes, what is it?
Miss Fenner's here.
Mike, what's happening?
What's my uncle doing in there?
Now, look, he's, er...
he's in a pretty tight spot.
What do you mean?
The best thing you can do
is to go home and I'll phone you later.
But you don't seriously think
he killed her?
Now, please, just go home, will you?
No. You'll not get
rid of me that easily.
- Sergeant.
- Yes, sir.
You're going crazy, Mike. You're just
trying to pin this thing on anybody.
- This lady's leaving now.
- Yes, sir. Come along, miss.
Just a minute! How long are we going
to be kept hanging around like this?
I've an urgent appointment
in the morning.
Maybe Fiona Dixon
had an appointment too.
What is it, Rogers?
I found this in
the girl's handbag, sir.
- Take him outside.
- Come on, Doctor.
- The Bible quotation again?
- Yeah.
But this time it isn't torn out
of a Bible, it's typed out.
I've been waiting
for something like this.
Get Fenner back in here,
and Crowley and Roper.
Sit down, please, gentlemen.
Sergeant, give them paper and pencils.
What are we going to play,
Twenty Questions?
All right. Now put your name
at the top of the page.
What is this?
Now, write what I tell you.
"And Aholah played the harlot
when she was mine,
- "and she doted on her lovers."
- This is ridiculous.
What are we at, Sunday School?
"And they discovered her wickedness,
and slew her with the sword."
Am I going too fast, boys?
"and she became
famous among women,
"for judgment had been
executed upon her."
What part of the Bible
does that come from, Mr Roper?
Are you kidding?
Matthew, isn't it?
- From the Book of Ezekiel.
- Chapter 24.
Now pick up the papers, Beale.
- Rogers, take them outside.
- All right. Come on, this way.
Come on, come on.
- What's the gag, chief?
- How do you spell "judgment", Beale?
J- U-D-G-M-E-N-T.
Look, this is the typewritten copy
found in Fiona's handbag.
This one, Crowley just wrote.
In both cases, "judgment"
is spelled with two 'e's.
Now, it's not incorrect,
but most people spell it your way.
Well, what are we waiting for?
Let's pull him in.
What on? Because he's the only man in Oakley
Park that spells "judgment" with two 'e's?
But he's got no alibi,
he had a row with Molly Stevens,
and he's a bit of a mental case.
Roper has no alibi,
and he's got more reason to murder
Molly Stevens than anybody else in this town.
And he's certainly a mental case.
The Public Prosecutor would sling
evidence like that right out of the window.
But you're not going to let him go?
Send everybody else home.
Take Crowley to the station
All right, chief.
- But you were on the common? You admit that?
- Yes, but...
- What were you doing there?
- I was going for a walk.
At ten o'clock at night?
All right, son, now listen.
I know you killed Molly,
and I know you killed Fiona.
Why, is something only you know.
Now, why not save yourself a lot of trouble
and tell us all about it, eh?
I didn't kill Molly!
I loved her!
How could I kill someone I loved?
- Maybe you loved her too much, Crowley.
- I didn't do it. I didn't do it!
All right.
I'll give it to you again.
You were watching Fiona
at the dance tonight.
You thought she was making
an exhibition of herself.
- No.
- You disapprove of that sort of thing, don't you?
"And Aholah played the harlot
when she was mine."
- No! No!
- "And they slew her with the sword."
- I don't know what you mean!
- When she and another boy left the dance hall,
four people saw you follow them out.
- I didn't follow her.
- Then where were you going?
- I don't know.
- For another walk?
I went out... I wanted some air.
- You went out to kill her, Crowley!
- No!
You killed her because
you couldn't have her.
You followed her down to the boathouse,
and when she was alone, you strangled her
with her own stocking
which you stole from her room.
Then you dragged the body through the bushes
and put it in Dr Fenner's car, didn't you?
Answer me, Crowley!
Isn't that what you did?
Answer me!
Fenner's arrived.
Anything else you want, son?
Something to eat?
- You sent for me?
- Doc, I need your help.
You need my help?
- Now you need my help?
- All right, all right.
I know how you feel.
I'm sorry.
Well, don't say you're sorry.
What can I do for you?
Look, I can't hold Crowley any longer.
I haven't got a case against him.
Can we have him committed to a hospital,
or some place we can keep an eye on him?
- Is he willing to go?
- I shouldn't think so.
- Then I can't do anything about it.
- The boy's sick. He's not right.
I seem to remember telling you that.
Now, if you can prove that he's
a danger to himself or his...
He's murdered two girls.
How dangerous can you get?
Can you prove that?
We stripped his house from top to bottom.
No shoes, no Bible, nothing.
- Talked to his mother?
- Not a thing.
Well, it's your problem, Halloran.
All right, Crowley, you can go.
Can I drive you home?
- What have they done to him?
- Let's go home.
Six fifteen.
I've forgotten what a bed looks like.
Smith and Harris will be
taking over at eight o'clock.
John! Look!
Phone box! Quick!
Don't come up!
Don't come near me!
Yes, Sergeant, he's here.
You, sir.
I'll be right over.
- I'm going to St Anne's Church.
- Right, sir.
- And get Dr Fenner there, right away.
- Yes, sir.
I thought I told you to stay with him.
Well, we did, chief,
but he went into the church.
- Anyone gone up there?
- Yes, Harris and Rogers.
Get a fire ladder, ambulance,
and notify the Rescue Squad
Don't worry, they're on their way.
Keep away from me!
Keep away, or I'll jump!
- All right, keep back.
- Keep back there.
Come on, back. Right back.
Keep back.
Halloran, if that boy dies...
Rogers, Harris, come on down!
Can you hear me? Come on down.
You'll have to hold that.
You can't risk scaring him.
You won't
get him down any other way.
That's my business.
I hope for your sake
he's not innocent.
He isn't.
What are you going to do now, Mike?
I'm going up to talk to him.
Like you talked to me?
Like you talked
to Roper and my uncle?
Do you think that'll
persuade him to come down?
Let's face it, Mike.
Your way doesn't work,
except to frighten and upset people.
You're the last person
to go up there and talk to him,
unless you want him to jump.
You may have taught me
a lot of things.
But you'll never teach me my job.
- What's he going to do?
- He's going to talk to him.
Have you brought the jump sheets?
What, at that height?
He wouldn't stand a chance.
Well, never mind about that.
Get them out.
Right, jump sheets ready!
Get to work!
Well, go on!
What are you waiting for?
Go ahead, jump!
Everybody's watching you.
They're all looking at you now.
That's what you want, isn't it?
So go ahead.
Your mother.
Now you've got a real audience, Peter.
Is this the only way you can
draw attention to yourself?
Is this your way of showing the world
they don't understand you?
Because that's what you're
trying to do, isn't it?
"Listen to me. I've got a problem.
"Everybody's gotta listen."
Isn't that it?
Well, whatever your problem is, son,
you can solve it very easily
right now.
But you're afraid, aren't you?
You don't want to die, do you?
Well, those girls didn't
want to die either!
But you didn't think
about that, did you?
Just thinking about yourself.
I didn't want to kill them.
I just had to!
But you did kill them.
All right, Peter.
Now come down.
I can't! I can't!
Give me your hand!
- Get the ladder up, will you?
- Right! Get to work!
- Well, there's a job well done.
- Thanks, chum.
Right, bring her down!
- Right, Harry, let's go.
- Mike.
You're not coming back, are you?
Is there any point?
I think so.
I'll see you.
All right, Harry.