Interrogation (2020) s01e04 Episode Script

L.A. County Psychologist Marjorie Thompson vs. Eric Fisher 1984

Keep in the dark to stay out of the light Keep in the dark to stay out of the light Keep in the dark to stay out of the light Just sleeping in the sunlight - [SIREN WAILING.]
- La ERIC: I need an ambulance.
My mom she's fucking dying, okay? Just get over here.
Fisher, how do you plead to the charge of second-degree murder of your mother Mary Fisher? Mr.
Fisher? Uh - Guilty, Your Honor.
- Very well.
WALSH: In order to determine if you can be rehabilitated by the California Youth Authority, I order the L.
County Probation Department to perform a psychological evaluation for a period - to last no longer than 90 days.
- Bullshit deal, counselor.
When the evaluation is complete, we will reconvene for sentencing.
Court is adjourned.
Seriously? No adult trial? A fucking youth sentence.
He look like a kid to you? You got a problem, talk to probation.
It's gonna be okay, son.
Big hairy spider.
- Need a break? - Not if those help you figure out that I'm not a hard-core criminal.
That the CYA can fix me.
Hey, I'm not a fan, either.
But it's required.
Did she always push you? Nothing I did was enough.
It was contentious, your relationship? It was like a war zone.
How old were you when that started? Around the time you started using drugs? And before that.
You know, I told you, it was the bicycle thing, it was the-the swimming thing.
What about later, after the drugs started you were around 12 years old? Eight.
She put me on that crazy kid speed.
So, when you started using drugs on your own, did the fighting get worse then? I mean, she didn't hit me as much.
You know, uh, but that could also just be because I was I was bigger.
Do you think maybe that's why she sent me away? Did you love her? I mean, she was she was my mother.
Of course I did.
Do you think she loved you? [DISTANT, INDISTINCT SHOUTING.]
ERIC: We went to Mexico, just the three of us.
I was about five? - Okay.
- Mm.
And you remember that trip? Yeah.
It's, uh it's me and my mom on the beach.
: I found this big-ass starfish, and I'm-I'm showing it to her, and we both look, um happy.
- Look happy? - Yeah.
My my dad he used to take all these home movies.
All those, uh, family movies, and-and he's, um He's not in 'em.
Well, that's it for today.
You sure? We just have one more thing we need to talk about.
What happened that morning.
March 10, 1983.
ERIC: The shrink, man.
I got to fucking walk her through it.
- Through what? - Everything, step by step.
How I did it, exactly.
I'm-I'm just supposed to fucking make up a story? Like, that story? But, uh, Eric, you-you already pleaded guilty.
Now I have to do this.
I can't.
I can't do it.
You have to.
You have to.
The youth sentence gets you out when you're 25.
I don't fucking care.
I fucking do.
You get tried as an adult that's state prison for God knows how long.
If I lose, yeah.
This woman sees right through me.
She's gonna know I'm lying.
- What about Chris? - Oh, Jesus.
Chris Keller? But even if we knew where he was, we're way past that now, Eric.
I'm talking to her, too.
And then you-you can be damn sure that I am gonna tell her everything she needs to know to make this deal happen.
And so will you.
And then, for the rest of my life, I'm just the kid who murdered his mom.
No, you are my kid, my son.
You can do this.
You have to.
I hear you got something for me? Yeah, for your probation package.
Paperwork on that unfiled assault.
So, Fisher filed the original complaint, but I looked into it, and the victim, his girlfriend, Kimberly Decker I can read, Detective.
Do that.
Tell me you want that punk out in the world.
Make sure his CYA headshrinker sees it.
I'll add it to the package.
What? You want him out at 25? ERIC: I didn't do it, you know.
- I didn't kill her.
- Whatever, man.
Nobody care about your shit.
They just want to get inside your melon.
What are you worried about? No witnesses.
- Your mama can't talk.
- Okay, I didn't do it.
: Shit, man, you're easy.
Yo, don't let no one inside, all right? Got some help for that.
Ten bucks, new-kid special.
Well, I don't know, uh, what more I can tell you.
Uh, bottom line Eric is a good kid, you know? Mary just had a way of pushing his buttons, and, uh And, you know, I was a an older dad and all.
You know, is there anything else, in your opinion, that could have precipitated this current offense? Well, as I said, he was going through a lot at the time.
- And there was a girl.
- Yeah.
There was a girl.
His, uh It was his girlfriend.
Well, actually, his-his first girlfriend.
And, uh, around that time, they they broke up.
And Eric is Well, you know, he was he was a wreck.
And that was, uh, Kimberly Decker? Kimberly? Uh, yeah, uh, could be.
Yeah, we-we never actually met.
Uh, but my-my point is that it-it was an extremely rough time for Eric, and Any do you have any idea why they broke up? Well, it was usual reasons, I suppose, you know? Um, teenagers and teenage, uh, heartbreak.
That can be pretty hard - on a kid.
Um - Hmm.
- You mind if I smoke? - Ah, please.
- Ah.
- I quit a year ago.
- I still love the smell.
- Yeah.
Thank you.
So, um, how was Eric as a baby? Uh, well, he-he was a baby.
: You know? He was a he was a real cute kid.
Were there any difficulties? You adopted him just after birth, right? How did that go? Well, like I said, my wife didn't exactly take to motherhood.
I'm asking about Eric, Mr.
Um well, he-he didn't sleep very much or very well when he was little.
Um, and when he started school, he just couldn't stop moving.
He was [LAUGHS.]
uh, hyperkinetic, the doctor said, so And then Mary put him on those pills, and And how would you describe your relationship with your son? - Is that a difficult question? - No.
No, he's, um Well, he-he's my son.
When I ask you to describe your relationship with your son, what's the first word that comes to your mind? Well, I'd say, um uh, solid.
Yeah, solid, yeah.
Eric and I, we're solid.
That's a good word, and a good place to end.
Uh, that's it? You-you don't need anything else? We're good.
Uh, you know, can I ask you a question? Uh, off the record.
Did you think Eric was capable of something like this? [CHUCKLING.]
: What? - No, of-of course not.
He - I'm-I'm-I'm sorry.
I-I take that back.
That was a completely unfair question.
RONALD REAGAN: There's someone else here tonight.
She lives in the inner city, where she cares for infants born of mothers who are heroin addicts.
The children, born in withdrawal, are sometimes even dropped on her doorstep.
She helps them with love.
Go to her house some night, and maybe you'll see her silhouette against the window as she walks the floor, talking softly, soothing a child - Oh, here's a condo.
- Hmm? Two bedrooms, so Eric can stay with us when he gets out.
Nice big pool.
No upkeep.
I'm not sure I helped him today.
Of course you did.
I don't know.
REAGAN: Jean, Mother Hale, your lives tell us that the oldest American saying is new again.
You are his rock.
- - It's hard to remember, okay? That whole day, it's just [SLAPS TABLE.]
it's all blurred up.
THOMPSON: Then you need to un-blur it for me.
It's the only way I can help you.
Look, I can't, okay? I don't You went to the house that morning.
About what time? Why did you go there? - You went there because ? - Because I needed money.
I needed a couple of bucks to fix my shocks, and I knew she had it.
The money your dad had given her the day before.
Were you high when you got there? [SNIFFLES.]
If you were altered in any way, I need to know.
I was on speed.
Okay? But I'm sober now.
What happened once you got there? - What do you want? - [SNIFFS.]
So, my rear shocks broke.
I can fix them, but I need, um, um - Money? - Yeah.
- I can't do that.
- I need, like, ten, 15 bucks for car parts.
- You need to leave.
- No, I need to fix my car.
Okay? I can't get a job if I don't have a car.
- That's your problem.
- Can I just can I come in? Can I come in and just have, like, a glass of water? - I'll be quick.
MARY: Goddamn it.
- Put that down.
- No.
- Put it back, Eric.
- Stop.
- Give it to me.
- Stop.
MARY: Give that to me.
Come on! Give that back! - Give it back! Give it - Mom, stop! Get off! [PANTING.]
- You need to leave now! - What, are you gonna hit me? Ow! Fuck! - Stop! - [THUD.]
What were you thinking when you hit her? I wasn't thinking.
I was too fucking angry to think.
15 bucks, you know? And what, she-she-she she hits me.
- And then you hit her? - It was all just happening on its own.
: Without me.
How did you feel when you knew you'd hurt her? She started it.
I mean, she didn't she she already didn't want me in her life she-she wanted she wanted nothing to nothing to do with me.
And then what happened next? [TREMBLING.]
: There was s-s-s so much blood.
: Oh, shit.
The exercise bar.
That's what you used.
I just wanted it to stop.
Yeah, the, uh, QuadroBow.
That's when I got the knives.
- Why? - Because I wanted to make it look like a maniac did it.
Like the Manson murders.
THOMPSON: And the story you told Detective Russell? That you found her that way.
Just a story.
And the living room window.
ERIC: That's how I always got in.
I made it look like a robbery.
I hid the money in my closet.
Hurry! Hurry! My mom my mom, she's been stabbed.
She's been stabbed.
She's-she's-she's bleeding.
I need somebody to come help her.
Please! She told me to get some towels to staunch the bleeding.
I took the knives out.
I took the cord off her neck.
Did you try to stop the bleeding? I tried, but she was too far gone.
You must have done something.
When the paramedics got there, she was still alive.
Look, I didn't know what I was doing, okay? I was high.
I was in shock.
It just happened.
And so the letters you wrote Detective Russell claiming that the real killer was your friend Chris Keller.
Chris knew my mom.
Okay? He was violent.
He loved knives.
Chris fit.
He made sense.
But you did it.
Not Chris Keller.
Did you hear my question? Yes.
I did it.
I killed her.
I need to ask you one more question, for the record.
Eric Fisher, did you fabricate your confession in order to receive the youthful offender sentence? No.
I know none of this was easy.
I want to thank you for your hard work, Eric.
All rise.
Department F of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County is now in session, the Honorable Edward Walsh presiding.
The gallery may be seated.
Fisher, I ordered the County Probation Department to determine your eligibility for sentencing under the Youth Authority, where, upon successful completion of a program of rehabilitation, you would be released at age 25.
Yes, Your Honor.
I have carefully reviewed your probation report, the results and conclusions of the psychiatric testing and evaluation, and I find they are all in agreement.
Unfortunately, Mr.
Fisher, due to the circumstances of the crime and your subsequent failure to show sufficient remorse or empathy for your victim N-No, that's-that's - that's not true, that's not true.
- the court finds that you are not eligible for commitment to the California Youth Authority.
Judge, my client has cooperated fully I hereby order your client to stand trial as an adult on the charge of second-degree murder.
Fisher do you choose to withdraw your guilty plea - at this time? - Yes, Your Honor.
- What is he talking about? - The trial is set for September 23.
- Court is adjourned.
- We made a deal.
Eric, just don't worry about it.
I'm-I'm gonna fix this.
- You're gonna fix this? Yeah? - Yeah.
How the fuck are you gonna fix this? - This was your idea! - Come, Faith.
WALTER: Second degree.
The fucking DA sold you out from the jump.
The less you let them know, the better.
Ellen called.
She said there's a part-time opening coming up in Labor and Delivery she says it's mine if I want it.
You having money trouble? The wife has to work? It's just a couple shifts a week, so it would be Here's an idea for you.
Why don't you clean the goddamn house? Hey, honey, why don't you get her ready for bed.
That's a great idea.
Let's go to bed, huh, hon? - DEBBIE: But I ain't sleepy.
- I know you ain't sleepy.
Good night, sweetheart.
Why don't you go with her? If you ask her nicely, maybe she'll give you back your balls.
You don't talk to me like that in my fucking house.
Look at you, huh? Big-time homicide detective - standing up to his old man.
- That's right.
Big-time murder cop, not some fucking pogue.
- What are we, in fucking sixth grade? Huh? - [LAUGHS.]
: Okay.
- Yeah, sixth grade.
I hate to eat and run.
Got a big morning.
Those audits don't audit themselves, you know.
Take care, kid.
You okay? Yeah, I'm fine.
You know, it's never a few shifts a week, by the way.
You go back, it's gonna be full time before you know it.
- Uh, she wants you to read.
You do it.
Okay, okay, okay, okay.
Hey, I'll do it.
I'll do it! FAITH: I'm going to bed.
You coming? No, I You really need to get some sleep, honey.
And you need to stop reading that.
Listen to this.
" "Callous, violent.
" "Psychosexual immaturity"? I mean, come on.
"Dangerous person.
" "Borderline personality.
" That woman doesn't know a damn thing.
I was there.
He's right.
You know, I made him take this deal.
It's all on me now.
And how do you even show remorse for something you didn't do? You really, really need to get some rest.
No, you go to bed.
I'll be in in a minute.
Hey, come on.
Hey, yourself.
- - HENRY: We withdrew your guilty plea.
They can't use anything you told that shrink.
SULLIVAN: Your dad's right.
We need to look at what's ahead of us.
I'll cross Russell with everything he ignored, point the finger at Keller in my closing, which could get us reasonable doubt.
ERIC: Fucking Chris, man.
He's got a bunch of cash on him.
He's got a bullshit alibi.
Detective Russell still doesn't think he's a fucking suspect.
Well, you-you were a much easier target than Chris Keller.
Right now we have a bigger problem.
Russell also spoke to a guy named Paul Manning.
So what? I mean, Paulie's on Paulie's on my side.
MANNING: Eric told me straight up he killed his mother.
Fuck, no.
This guy's fucking lying.
He bashed her head in with his baseball trophy.
Look, I didn't I didn't I didn't tell him anything.
That's a lie.
That's not true.
They sent me to County.
All right? And this guy played me.
A fucking snitch.
And I was stupid.
I I thought he was my friend.
How'd he get all this? ERIC: I told him I was 17, that I didn't belong in County.
He called bullshit, and so I gave him my face sheet to prove it.
But I didn't say anything.
You didn't have to.
Your face sheet, stapled to the LAPD follow-up report.
All the facts he needed.
Manning got a sweet deal with your confession.
- Traded it for an early release.
- Fuck.
I'm gonna do a deep dive on one Paul Manning.
I'll let you know what I find.
Look, I didn't tell him a thing.
Okay? I didn't.
You got to believe me.
Dad, he can't testify.
Well, uh, even if he does, Sullivan will - He'll tear him apart.
- Yeah.
And what if he doesn't? Look, you need to find him.
You need to talk to him.
You have to keep him away from my trial.
Eric, that's what's called tampering with a witness.
Is it? Detective Russell did the same thing to Chris Keller.
I'm a lawyer.
And I need your help.
: Angelenos can breathe a little easier following the capture of 25-year-old Richard Ramirez, identified yesterday as the Night Stalker.
For the last seven months, the Stalker has terrorized California - from Orange County - [ENGINE SHUTS OFF, RADIO STOPS.]
Uh, just regular - Yeah.
- Thanks.
: Yo, you got your ticket? Yeah.
Thank you.
Did you find Manning? Huh? Did you find Manning? I tried.
I tried real hard, but I'm sorry.
Me, too.
WALSH: Any preliminaries before we begin? Yes, Your Honor.
After his arrest, the defendant blamed the murder on Chris Keller, his former roommate.
Detective Russell investigated this claim.
He interviewed Mr.
Keller and eliminated him as a possible suspect.
The people move that the defense be prohibited from suggesting to the jury that Chris Keller in any way - was involved with this murder.
- SULLIVAN: Judge, this is the first I'm hearing of this motion in limine.
I'd like a chance to respond in writing.
It's the empty chair defense.
SULLIVAN: Chris Keller was in the Los Angeles area immediately prior to the crime By that standard, we could've all done it.
Judge, if you just listen to Detective Russell's interview Mr.
Sullivan, is there any evidence connecting Mr.
Keller to the murder of Mary Fisher? No direct evidence, Your Honor.
The defense is to make no mention of Chris Keller.
- Judge, please - That's the end of the matter.
The prosecution calls Henry Fisher.
I gave my wife $150 every Wednesday.
Was Eric aware of this practice? - Objection.
Cause for speculation.
- HENRY: Yes.
WALSH: Sustained.
The jury will disregard.
Fisher, I'm holding People's Exhibit 2.
Do you recognize it? Mr.
Fisher? Yes, it's [VOICE BREAKING.]
: It's my son's baseball trophy.
And where in the house was it kept? Uh, on a shelf in his bedroom.
He was very proud of it.
Uh, we all were.
: He's good for us.
Sympathetic as hell.
ECKERT: Is that an accurate diagram, Detective? - RUSSELL: Yes, sir.
- Did you attempt to verify the defendant's claim that he saw his mother's body on the floor through the living room window? Yes, I looked through the window myself.
- ECKERT: What did you see? - RUSSELL: Nothing.
There was too much sun.
So, with the planter bed and the broken awning, I couldn't get close enough to the window to see past the glare.
All I could see was my own reflection.
Did you check all the other windows, Detective? Mrs.
Fisher was here, behind a four-foot concrete planter, blocking the view of the body from all the windows except this one.
ECKERT: So, because of the glare, she couldn't be seen from here, either? No, she could not.
Straight up fucking lie.
There are three bloody shoe prints here, here and here.
ECKERT: Did you do a visual comparison on those footprints to the shoes that Eric Fisher was wearing on March 10? Yes, and I determined that the bloody shoe prints inside the house closely resembled the pattern on the soles of Eric Fisher's shoes.
Did you find any shoe prints in the house that did not closely resemble the defendant's shoes? No, I did not.
He said he discovered the money was missing after he found his mother.
So, while she was dying he took the time to look through her purse.
- ECKERT: This is the $150 in grocery money? - Yes, sir.
ECKERT: Did the defendant suggest who might have taken the money? He said he thought an intruder must have broken in and stolen it.
ECKERT: Besides the living room window, did you find any evidence of forced entry? - No.
- Find any evidence of ransacking, someone trying to search for valuables? No.
ECKERT: So, the only thing missing was the $150 from Mrs.
Fisher's purse, correct? Yeah, just the money from the purse.
SULLIVAN: This missing money, you never found it in Eric Fisher's possession, did you? A couple of hours went by before he was - Objection unresponsive.
- Sustained yes or no, Detective? No.
SULLIVAN: Well, he was handcuffed in the back of a patrol car when you arrived - on the scene, wasn't he? - Yes, sir.
Well, then, at the police station when you booked him, did you find the money on his person? No.
Did you find the money when you searched the residence on March 10, 1983? - No, I did not.
you have no idea where this missing money went? No, sir.
And you have no evidence whatsoever that Eric Fisher is the one who took this money.
No, I do not.
Thank you, Detective Russell.
WALTER: There he is.
Our new shoe print expert.
Everybody in S.
is talking about you, bud.
Thanks, Mitch.
You know, I got a question for you guys.
If that boy killed his mama for the money where's the money? That's what the jurors are gonna be thinking about tonight.
And what am I thinking? Hmm? Right now, Dad.
What am I thinking? [CHUCKLES.]
Have a good night, boys.
I hate to say anything bad about your father, but he is one jealous cocksucker.
Yeah, those who can, do.
Those who can't, administrate.
One more reason why I never got married.
- - ECKERT: Mr.
Manning, do you see Eric Fisher in the courtroom today? Yes, sir.
He's right over there.
Hey, Eric.
I'm praying for you, man.
- What did the defendant say next? He said he killed his mother, but he fucked up because he forgot to get rid of the clothes he was wearing when he did it.
Uh, he said "fucked up," not me.
ECKERT: Did the defendant say why he killed his mother? Uh, yes, sir.
When she wouldn't give him money for drugs, she caught him stealing from her purse.
ECKERT: Did he say where her purse was? MANNING: Uh, yeah, on-on the sofa.
He said she caught him and she started slapping him around.
And, um that's when he got the knives from the kitchen drawer.
ECKERT: What did he say he did - with the two knives? - He said he caught her in the hall and he stabbed her in the back with them.
ECKERT: What did he say happened next? MANNING: Sir, he said he got paranoid because she wasn't dead and he was scared she'd tell the police.
So he got the trophy, and he said and I'm quoting here "I smashed her head in with it.
" Ooh, and now I'm thinking to myself, "Damn, it's a good thing "I'm not in the same cell with this guy, - because he's a cold-blooded murderer.
" - I-I can't listen to this.
- Objection! - Yes, that will be stricken.
ECKERT: And what did he say next? MANNING: That she was still alive even with the knives in her, so he got this, um, metal exercise bar.
Uh a QuadroBow, he called it.
Sir, he said he whaled on her with that till she stopped moving.
Okay, you fucking liar! - Mr.
Fisher! - Why the fuck are you lying?! You will sit down, or I will have you shackled to your chair.
Manning, you've been convicted of felony burglary, felony receiving stolen property and felony attempted robbery is that correct? - Yes, sir.
- Is that before or after you found God? - Objection.
- Withdrawn.
Manning, when you met Eric, you were testifying against another inmate who had confessed to you, were you not? - Mm-hmm.
- Isn't it true that you've received detailed confessions in two other L.
County homicides? Yes, sir.
It's amazing how inmates just seem to open up to you.
- Objection! - Withdrawn.
In fact, you're what's called a jailhouse snitch, isn't that right? Look, sir, I don't know what people call me, all right? Someone who testifies against other inmates in order to receive a reduction in their sentence.
Yes, sometimes.
And the better story you tell, the bigger reduction ECKERT: Objection assumes facts that are not in evidence.
WALSH: Sustained.
Sullivan, don't make me admonish you again.
In return for your testimony in this case, the DA got nine months knocked off your sentence, right? - Yes.
- And you say you know the facts of this murder because Eric Fisher confessed to you.
Yes, sir, that's right.
He barely knew you, but he just had to get it off his chest.
- I'm sorry, is that a question, sir? - Isn't it true, Mr.
Manning, that you pieced together this confession from the police report that Eric Fisher gave you in the 7000 unit? - No, sir, I would not do that.
- Really? - No.
- Not even to get out of jail - nine months early? - No.
No, I would not.
I have nothing else for this witness.
Please rise.
In the matter of The People of the State of California versus Eric Henry Fisher, case number 279LA31, the jury, in the above-entitled action, finds the defendant guilty of the charge of murder in the second degree.
This court is adjourned.
- HENRY: This is wrong.
HENRY: Any they didn't prove anything! It's all circumstantial.
- You know it.
This is wrong.
This is wrong.
We're Eric, we are going to appeal this.
I promise you.
Eric! Don't worry.
I've got this.
We'll make this right.
Eric! [PANTING.]
Uh, sorry.
Hey, we're almost finished here, Mr.
Well, looks clean to me.
That's good.
Don't want to leave a mess for the new owners.
So, uh, the movers and Trey can finish this up, and, uh, we can get on the road, okay? Our new life.
That's the last of it.
Uh, thank you, Trey.
: Thanks a lot.
I got a call from a buddy of mine up north.
He said he saw Chris Keller walking out of a flophouse in the Haight.
Is that right? I was thinking of going up there, track him down, get him to tell me what happened on tape.
Oh, what do you mean? S-Some kind of admission? Eric didn't do it.
I wouldn't mind getting him out.
Any way you could front me a little cash? I can crash with friends when I get up there, but Bus fare.
Uh Uh, I don't know.
Why don't - Why don't you just take his car? - The pony? Nah.
I I couldn't.
No, it it's all right.
You sure? Here you go.
I'll take good care of her.
You're his friend, and he'd want you to have it.
Well thank you.
- I'm gonna find Chris Keller.
Swear to God.

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