Law & Order (1990) s02e21 Episode Script


Narrator: In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups the police who investigate crime, and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
Man: It doesn't bother you at all, does it? To you, it's like talking about a new pair of shoes.
For God's sake, she's family.
Do you think I would discuss this with my sister? - Sally's a therapist.
- The problem is not with the big head, Jesse.
You're being childish.
You folks hear Howard this morning? He was really goin' off on some poor broad.
You mind? Driver: Look out! Man: What the hell are you doing? Cop: All right, keep back, folks.
No see and no hear.
Eight million people and you die alone.
- What's the morning headline? - Man: Man kisses 10th Avenue.
Kiss of death.
But his face wasn't crushed from a knife wound.
He must have come from that bridge.
Let's see what we got.
And the winner is James Vogel.
Make that Councilman Vogel.
He's a long way from home.
and a full deck of plastic.
- Too busy to rob him.
- Disgruntled voter? Or a contributor who wasn't getting his money's worth.
It's a hell of a way to leave office.
Vogel attended a benefit for the New York Women's Foundation at the Democratic Club.
The doorman remembers him leaving, by himself, a little after 10:30.
Five minutes later, a half-gainer off the high dive.
Now if anybody saw this hit, they didn't stay around to tell us about it.
Word's out maybe some witness will show up.
Right, and maybe I'll grow wings and learn to fly.
I sat on a panel last year with Vogel.
Safe schools, juvenile violence, that kind of thing.
A lot of grandstanding, but not Vogel.
I'm telling you, this guy is one of the good ones.
Sometimes the good guys step on the wrong toes.
The family's been in politics a long time.
There's bound to be some sore losers.
Well, I want this one in the win column.
In addition to the impact wounds from the fall and the car, the victim had a number of blunt-force wounds across the front of his body.
Started out just wanting to hurt him.
In for a dime or a dollar, it doesn't make much difference now.
We have a dorsal wound beginning in the upper right quadrant.
One upward thrust.
The blade entered the abdominal cavity just under the ribcage, proceeded up through the kidney and transected the renal vein.
Logan: Two heartbeats and he's gone.
- Rodgers: The bleeding's all internal no pain, no stain.
- Cerreta: Mark of a craftsman.
Jim pushed for literacy programs, rights for elderly tenants hardly anything you would call controversial.
I know a couple of landlords who might beg to differ.
He built bridges, not walls.
I ran his constituent office for eight years.
I do not know a single enemy that he didn't win over.
What about allies? Did he owe any favors? He didn't practice that way.
He said, "Favors will get you in trouble.
" - Cerreta: Was he ambitious? - In right amounts, yes.
But nobody owned him.
Maybe they had a short-term lease.
Here are two deposits to his money market account.
One was eight months ago, this one three months ago.
It's a total of 50 grand.
Did he win the lotto? I wouldn't know where that came from.
Well, we've got the bank number.
If they're checks, we'll go to the issuing account.
My hunch? Wherever it's from, lotto would have been better.
I lent him the money.
A father is an easy touch.
In my family, we don't write blank checks.
He asked and I gave.
If he'd wanted me to know what it was for, he would have told me.
- Maybe he told your wife.
- Judith passed away six years ago.
Was there anyone else he might have confided in, maybe a girlfriend? James kept his own counsel.
I don't see what this money has to do with his death.
Some piece of filth held him up.
No, we don't think robbery was a motive.
You're looking for a motive? How about just for the hell of it? That's a popular one these days.
Someone just doesn't like the look on his face.
My family worked damn hard to improve the quality of life in this city.
And this this is how they pay us back.
Vogel wasn't exactly a tightwad.
Tapped into his stash every other Friday.
Except for the last couple of weeks.
Plenty of money left, but no cash withdrawals.
Well, whatever he was paying off, he changed his mind.
In hock to the bank of broken legs? I can't see how this guy was a monk.
He covered the basics with his salary.
He paid his credit cards every month like clockwork.
Maybe he's a sports nut.
No, bookies collect in cash, not bodies.
"Mullen's," in SoHo.
Charges every week.
Didn't Vice do a number on them a year ago? Your colleagues in the Vice Squad had the wrong impression.
People come here to feel safe, nothing more.
- And Vogel was a regular? - Who is and who isn't is nobody's business.
Unless it's a police matter, Mr.
Drotos, which this is.
He was already halfway there anyway.
How's that? The past few weeks James was talking about turning his life around.
- Taking the big step.
- The big step? He was thinking of coming out of the closet.
He was wondering how well he was going to handle it.
He was worried about his family, his career.
He never expected it would cost him his life.
What are you saying, that this is a gay bashing? In the past year, just the ones that were reported Staying in the closet isn't a matter of conceit.
Sometimes it can be a matter of life and death.
You said he had been thinking about coming out, but he hadn't actually hadn't done so.
Someone was going to do it for him.
Outing's a specialty.
James got a call from them last week.
They were preparing an article.
I'm sorry about what happened to James Vogel.
I'm even sorrier he didn't come out of the closet while he was still alive.
Stick around to watch you do it for him, Mr.
Barclay? Outing is an act of self-defense, Detective.
We're at war.
The more of us that come out, the stronger we are.
Well, who are you at war with? James Vogel could have been a role model.
Don't you think that should've been his decision? I didn't target the man, but when the information lands on my desk, I can't ignore it.
Are you so sure the information is reliable? There's documentation personal letters in Vogel's hand.
Good, do you mind if we see those letters? If I were running a public library, maybe.
The person who gave you those letters was probably trying to blackmail James Vogel.
Much as I'd like to believe you, the answer's still no.
I gotta protect my sources.
We'll probably have to get a material witness warrant and pull you in.
Which means you sit in a cell until we get a look at those letters.
Then I'd better pack my toothbrush.
As soon as you get your warrant, let me know.
I met with his colleagues on occasion, that's about it.
James moved out when he was 18.
I haven't kept track of his friends in a long time.
What about intimate friends did he ever talk about them? There was a girl or two at Columbia.
Vogel, the more open you are with us, the easier this is going to be.
What do you mean? We're already aware of your son's sexual orientation, sir.
Do you know how many years we've been subjected to rumors like that? Once you're in office, everyone takes shots at you.
So you're saying your son was not gay? Of course he wasn't.
Those freaks in the West Village would've liked nothing better than to have claimed James as one of their own.
Vogel, I don't know how close you were with your son, but our information does seem reliable.
Oh yes, I'm sure reliable political sources.
We also suspect that your son was being blackmailed.
- The $50,000.
- What about it? We find it hard to believe that you'd give him all that money without any questions.
- I told you, I trusted him.
- I understand that, but weren't you concerned? Vogel: I assumed he had some problem he had to take care of.
Cerreta: You didn't ask him any specifics? Vogel: He was 41 years old.
I respected his privacy.
Or maybe you just didn't want to know.
Your son ever mention anybody named Harold? No.
Addressed "James V.
," signed "Harold.
" Letters dating back a year and a half.
It's definitely not business.
Look at the return PO box Ossining.
State penitentiary.
Your son's pen-pal is a long-term resident.
Harold Dwyer served six years in Ossining for grand larceny and assault.
He was released two weeks ago.
Hobbies include mail fraud, forgery, receiving of stolen goods.
In 1983, Dwyer impersonated a police officer and stole two Porsches out of the impound.
Plenty of moxie.
Basic requirements for blackmail and murder.
Anything in the letters he wrote to Vogel? Nothing he'd lose sleep over.
Sounded like he was one of Vogel's rehab projects.
Do you think Mr.
Dwyer would think of himself as "a project"? Nickel and change is a long stretch.
Checkers and Oprah only eat up so much of it.
You look for things to do.
- Like pen-pals? - Like pen-pals.
How did you meet James Vogel? I put a personal in "The Advocate.
" He sent me a letter.
We started a little correspondence.
Casual correspondence? Conversation just like two guys sitting at a bar.
We got the idea you talked about more than just the latest scores.
So it went a little deeper than that.
Whose idea was it to take it in that direction, yours? Man gets lonely.
You got a problem with that? I got a problem when a man gets greedy.
What are you talking about? Vogel's money buys your silence.
Come on I didn't even know his last name.
You knew his mailing address.
You knew he was vulnerable.
Doesn't take long for a smart guy like you to figure that out.
So smart that I'm taking his shake-down money and living in a dump like this.
Guy said he'd help me get back on my feet.
I look stupid enough to blackmail him? Truth or Dare you ever play as a kid? Stakes keep going up until someone opens up their big mouth and steps right in.
The adult version starts with an ad in the personals.
Vogel bites.
Dwyer plays him till the prose turns purple.
And the trap slams shut.
You think Vogel's the only one who got caught? As I recall, prisons keep records of their prisoner's correspondence.
Aside from his family and legal representation, Harold Dwyer maintained a correspondence with several other people.
- Did you inspect his incoming mail? - Only for contraband.
What about outgoing letters? - Were the contents examined? - You mean read? Prisoners are required to submit outgoing mail to us unsealed, for inspection purposes.
We don't actually read every word they write.
But you would keep a record of the people he wrote to? As a matter of routine, along with his visitors, phone calls.
We'll take copies of everything you have.
Harold Dwyer was a model prisoner.
He even taught some of our high school equivalency classes.
Didn't expect him to get into trouble so soon.
Jeez, what a shock.
Six correspondents all male, all in the New York City area.
I saw his personal in "The Advocate.
" I felt sorry for him.
Every con has a sob story.
I was curious.
Dwyer's letters were very clever.
Not what I expected from someone in jail.
Cerreta: Being clever is what got him there.
Yeah, well, I told myself at least he's not a murderer.
So you wrote.
And he started sending me these raunchy letters.
Wanted me to respond.
I wasn't into it.
I stopped writing.
That it? A few weeks later, I get a call at home.
No name, just said he was a friend of Dwyer's.
I thought it might have been him, but - Cerreta: Was the call collect? - I don't does it matter? Inmates can only call collect.
No, I'm pretty sure it wasn't.
So what else did this person say, Mr.
Lingard? He told me that he had the letters that I wrote to Dwyer.
- Did he threaten you? - Not directly.
He was slick slick and kind of pushy.
He wanted money $5,000 a month.
He said he'd have a courier come by to pick it up.
So you agreed to pay him? Oh please! I told him to get lost.
Even though he had your letters? Hey, I'm gay.
If he wants to broadcast it, what do I care? Yeah, but this'll only take a couple minutes of your time yeah thank you.
Yes, sir, I do appreciate your situation.
Well, if you could help me, I cou hello? He Mr.
Harris makes Three of these guys are married.
You gotta love blackmail.
No one points the finger at you for the same reason they're paying you off.
Maybe we can get the blackmailers to point the finger at each other.
We know that Dwyer had somebody on the outside helping him out.
Yeah, would've had to talk to 'em before he got out of the pen.
- What do you want to do phones or visitors? - Phones.
Can't say Dwyer didn't make an effort.
Called his wife in Binghamton every Sunday night.
And twice a month he had visits from a Lisa Torres.
Even money on which one got the flowers on Valentine's.
Don't rule out his lawyer.
Dwyer saw him once a week.
He was already convicted.
And isn't six years kinda late for appeals? So why all the traffic? The architect said the guy on the phone was slick and pushy.
Lawyer, slick and pushy? Mr.
Dwyer has legal problems dating back 15 years.
It keeps me very busy.
Ossining is a good hour and a half away.
You never use the telephone? What, are you worried I'm overcharging him? You ever talk to a Jay Lingard? No, I never heard of him.
He's an architect.
He was one of Harold Dwyer's pen-pals while he was in prison.
Sorry, I don't get the connection.
What about James Vogel I'm sure you've heard of him.
Vogel? You mean the councilman who was mugged? So someone would like us to believe.
And you think, what, my client's somehow involved? He did exchange letters with Mr.
What a coincidence.
I'm sure Mr.
Vogel also wrote his congressman on occasion.
Is he a suspect, too? If there were indications of blackmail, mm-hmm.
And Dwyer did all this when, while he was in prison? He's been out less than two weeks.
We think he had an accomplice on the outside.
Clever boys.
Look, you want to play "I Got a Secret"? You play with my lawyer.
Name's Bowman.
She's in the phone book.
Vogel was paying out five grand a month.
Then one day he stops.
He wants out, starts making noise.
Dwyer and Colson look to shut him up.
Or they send the letters to the magazine.
The word starts getting out about Vogel.
The hit looks like a gay bashing.
Only we can't connect Colson to Vogel.
We could check his LUDs, but I don't think he'd be stupid enough to call somebody from his own office that he's blackmailing.
- What are you looking at? - Mailroom.
Lingard mentioned a courier.
I know the routine I blab to you, Mr.
Colson finds out, then what? I come work for you? You can can shoot a gun, you got a job.
Yeah? You know where I'd point it first? Look, we play this by the book, I gotta get a subpoena, you gotta spend the day in the precinct while I fill out forms.
Like I'd mind? Like you'd lose a day's pay.
This how you get dates, too? Mr.
Colson has a regular service.
Comes by once a week.
Bringing what? Packages.
What do you think, they're transparent? They go up to his office, he signs for them.
What's the name of the service? Yeah, sure, he has an account here.
Three or four pickups every other Friday or so.
Pickups from where? It depends.
Upper Manhattan, Brooklyn, Jersey.
What about a James Vogel in Park Slope? Is this guy Colson in some kind of trouble? Do you really care? He tips most don't.
No name on the pickup order, but we did do Park Slope every other week until last month.
Next time you get a pickup order from Colson, you call us but that's before you deliver the package.
You gotta find some other way.
I got I got a schedule here.
Come on, sweetheart, you're too busy to make one call? Or maybe we just have to get a warrant on every package that comes through here.
This isn't right.
I've cooperated plenty already.
Yeah, okay, then one more time won't kill ya.
Cragen: The official line is, Councilman Vogel was the unfortunate victim of a common street mugging.
Anything else is speculation we have no comment on.
If we make an arrest, this story's gonna come out.
As long as it doesn't come from us.
What are we hiding here, the fact that he was gay? - This comes from Division? - Right from the top.
Let me just guess Edward Vogel pays a little visit to the chief One five minute phone call.
What, he's doing his son a favor by being ashamed of him? How close are we on this? Oh, look, we get a hit on this delivery The courier service called this morning.
They have a delivery for Colson from an address in Kew Gardens.
Dwyer was writing to a George Harris there.
We're waiting for a callback on the delivery time.
We checked Dwyer's alibi the night of the murder.
He says he got tanked in some dive on Mulberry.
Barkeep remembers him stumbling out at half-past midnight, but he doesn't remember when he came in.
What? Yeah.
Okay, thanks.
Courier service will be at Colson's in 20 minutes.
Get going.
I'll cover the warrant for you.
Colson, did you just receive a package from B & C Couriers? - What is this all about? - Is that it right there? - The warrant first.
- Cerreta: It's on its way.
Do you want to wait, or do you want to open it yourself? Would you please accompany us to the precinct? I asked my client about a delinquent bill, he says send a messenger.
I have no idea There's nothing illegal about getting paid in cash, Detective.
That depends on the source, Counselor.
We'd like to help you with this investigation, but any communication between attorney and client, including payment practices, are confidential.
James Vogel did he pay you in cash, too? Sorry privileged.
Only if the payments were for legal fees.
Why the hell else would he pay me? I don't know blackmail comes to mind.
You obviously don't have enough evidence to arrest me.
Which means you don't have enough to insult me either.
Karla? He's right, you know.
We can't tie him to anything, ditto on Dwyer.
Somebody gave Vogel's letters to "Outword" magazine.
It's fair to cloudy.
The editor's on a high horse called the First Amendment.
His mouth is shut.
convince him to reconsider.
You think he's involved in the murder? No, but he doesn't know that.
Stone: We're not asking you not to publish, Mr.
We're asking for the sources of your material.
I don't see the difference.
No protection of sources equals no free press.
- The Supreme Court - Has never said that.
And I doubt if the present court ever will.
I'm not merely asserting my rights, Mr.
Freedom of the press is the public's right.
If sources were fair game, Anita Hill'd still be some unknown professor in Oklahoma.
You're looking at jail time, Mr.
For contempt, fine.
It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.
Stone: Not for contempt, sir.
For conspiracy to commit blackmail and murder.
You have got to be kidding.
I'm sorry, sir, I lost my sense of humor when I saw the photographs of James Vogel.
I had nothing to do with that.
Letters in your possession were used to blackmail Mr.
Stone: At a minimum, you're withholding crucial evidence to a murder investigation.
At a maximum, you're part of the conspiracy.
Principles go a long way, Mr.
Barclay, but if I were you, I'd ask myself, are they worth The letters showed up on my desk anonymously.
And you didn't verify them? Hey, I'm not about to get sued.
Experts compared Vogel's handwriting.
- I want those letters.
- Do I have a choice? If you want to avoid an indictment, no, Mr.
Barclay, you don't.
- Adam: How bad? - Bad enough to not want them published.
All written by Vogel? And all mailed to Dwyer in Ossining.
I figure Dwyer is the point man, he gave the letters to Colson, who then handled the blackmail.
What about the murder? Maybe Vogel got tired of paying him, threatened to turn him in.
Blackmail is thin.
Murder The letters to Dwyer, cash payments to Dwyer's attorney.
Still, unless one of the people making those payments talks, it all adds up to nothing.
His father, Ed Vogel, was the first one who asked that I run for this office.
It was a time when a nod from him carried weight.
Get someone to testify.
Man: I already told the police I paid a legal bill in cash.
What's the big deal? Stone: No big deal, if it had just been once.
The courier says you sent packages to Mr.
Colson every other week.
We spoke to Harold Dwyer, Mr.
I was in pro ball close to 11 years.
Nine of them in the bigs.
This company hired me for a reason.
They bought an image.
See I was not a Bobby Bonilla, Mr.
I need this job.
You paid Mr.
Dwyer and Mr.
Colson to keep your secret? I paid them to keep my life.
I have two sons.
Every year they come with me to the Cubs' alumni day.
How much did you pay him? It was supposed to stop at 50,000.
Colson came back for more? Colson, no I never heard of.
It was just a voice on the phone.
Said that it was gonna cost me another 25.
Would you recognize that voice? Well, there's no need I taped the call.
You know, just in case anything happened.
There's no way I'm gonna say any of this in public.
We can subpoena you, sir.
I'd rather go to jail, Mr.
You son was not the only victim of this blackmail scheme, Mr.
We've located one other.
And he'll testify? He's paid Colson a lot of money to keep his secret.
He doesn't plan on going public now.
In other words, without this witness, you can't go to trial? I'm sorry.
What if we closed the courtroom? No press, no cameras.
We assure him his identity remains secret.
Can you get a judge to agree to that? Typically, no, but this witness was a part of the same blackmail scheme.
And given what happened to your son We can certainly argue his life's in danger.
So have Colson and Dwyer arrested, and let's hope we draw a sympathetic judge.
Docket number 59422, People versus Peter Colson and Harold Dwyer, one count each murder in the second degree, one count each grand larceny in the second degree.
Parties ready to plead? Not guilty, Your Honor.
Not guilty.
Judge: Recommendation on bail, Mr.
Robinette? It's excessive, Your Honor.
In this economy, Your Honor, the State might as well ask for a million.
No way we can raise that kind of cash.
This is America, Counselor borrow.
Bail is set at 300,000 each.
Clerk: Docket number 60784 Tomorrow, 2:30.
Preliminary conference, Judge Strelzik's chambers.
Closed courtroom? You gotta be kidding, Paul.
I just got my hair done.
Keep the reporters out of the courtroom, fine.
I don't care.
But withholding the name of a witness, that's absurd.
Not when there's risk of retaliation.
One man is already dead, Your Honor.
How can I prepare a proper cross-examination when I don't know anything about the witness? Tomorrow morning, 10:30, in my chambers.
I want to hear what this witness has to say.
No way, Mr.
You told me complete anonymity.
Judge Strelzik will have to know who you are.
There is no way around that.
The judge we're not worried about.
It's Colson's lawyer.
She'll be there, right? So what's to prevent her from revealing George's identity? The gag order, for one.
He'll be a John Doe.
Do you want to go on paying for the rest of your life, Mr.
Harris? I answered an ad in a magazine "Prisoner lonely, please write.
" Stone: And that was Mr.
Dwyer? Yes.
At first, it was just a friendly correspondence about sports and current events and that sort of thing.
Stone: What happened then? He wanted me to get more graphic.
And did you? Yes.
He was a prisoner I felt sorry for him.
But it was all a con.
After about a half a dozen letters, they started asking me for money over five months.
And then they wanted more.
I have it recorded on tape.
Is this the tape? Yes.
Sir, did the persons blackmailing you ever threaten you with physical harm? No.
And the person who contacted you for money, did he have a name? He never used it.
So you were just assuming it was Peter Colson? Your Honor, the only issue relevant to this hearing is whether the witness is in physical danger.
He just said that he wasn't even threatened.
In any case, Your Honor, this witness has given no evidence whatsoever concerning my client.
The voice on this tape is clearly identifiable.
Well, fine, let's hear it.
That alone is enough to give the witness away, put him in jeopardy.
Is his name mentioned on the tape? No, it isn't but your client could easily recall the conversation.
For Godsakes, Ben.
Peter Colson is an upstanding member of the bar, he's not an animal.
Someone killed James Vogel, and I'm not willing to let it happen to another life.
I'll listen to the tape alone.
You'll have my decision tomorrow morning.
Closing a courtroom.
Congratulations, minor miracle.
It's hardly a burning bush.
Colson's lawyer didn't put up much of a fight.
I guess she didn't want the press feasting on his reputation.
Yeah, it's amazing a bunch of lawyers get together, toss the First Amendment's right to free press down the toilet.
Maybe it's the best way to protect the Sixth Amendment's right to a fair trial.
With Harris on the stand, at minimum, we get him on extortion.
If Harris takes the stand.
This just landed on my desk.
A writ of prohibition? Barclay, the editor of "Outword" magazine.
He's challenging the closed courtroom on behalf of the media.
How much con law do you remember? Not enough.
A 50-page brief written in support by Helen Murphy, Esquire.
The first lady of First Amendment law? Barclay's gotta have some pretty deep pockets.
The right to a public trial is guaranteed by both the Sixth and the 14th Amendments.
This is a balancing test, Your Honor.
That right weighed against the harm to this particular witness.
Murphy: And the people's right to know.
Does the First Amendment suddenly not exist, Mr.
Stone? This urgency to inform the public as to the facts of this particular case cannot outweigh the rights of a poten Of one overly paranoid witness? Please.
A real person's life is in jeopardy, Your Honor.
Surely that outweighs any intangible benefits to a general public which is in no way affected by this case.
So we rewrite the First Amendment, freedom of the press, but only when it affects the majority? - Your Honor - We are not asking that the 11:00 news be allowed to wheel in a camera crew, Your Honor.
Why the hell not? I empathize with your witness, Mr.
Stone, but there's a heavy burden you must meet to deprive the voyeuristic public of their God-given right to peek in on the woes of others.
- Your Honor - If your witness is in that much danger, don't put him on the stand.
I'm sorry, Counselor, but freedom abhors secret proceedings.
Your client may quote me on that, Ms.
Petitioner's motion is granted.
The trial will be open to the press.
I tried, Ben, I really did, but George will not testify in an open courtroom.
I can't win without him.
He wants to see Colson walk? No.
But he's entitled to be a little selfish.
And I'll tell you what, I don't know if I blame him.
What about the tape? You can offer that into evidence without his testimony.
Without authentication, it's worthless, right? He did give a sworn statement in Judge Strelzik's chambers.
And he was cross-examined by opposing counsel, but The transcripts never mentioned his name.
Are they admissible? "CPL, Section 670-10: Testimony given pursuant to a conditional examination is admissible when the witness is unable to attend the trial because of death, illness, incapacity, or is outside the state and cannot with due diligence be brought before the court.
" Interesting.
This is outrageous.
It's unethical, not to mention prejudicial.
And screaming doesn't make it inadmissible, Ms.
We subpoenaed the witness to testify, Your Honor, but it seems he's relocated, address unknown.
Attorney suspects that he's gone out of state.
And I suspect we got major-league manipulation goin' on here.
Strelzik: Then you're free to appeal.
As far as I can see, the requirements of CPL 670 have been satisfied.
The witness' prior sworn testimony can be read into evidence.
Harris's voice: I've already given you $50,000.
I can't afford any more.
Colson's voice: I don't really give a damn.
It's another 25, or that closet door swings wide open, my friend.
Now the messenger will be there tomorrow at 5:00.
First of all, you've got to get a jury to buy it.
After the judge instructs them about the weight this evidence should be given Your client will be convicted of several counts of larceny by extortion.
And it won't take a major leap of faith to construct a convincing argument for murder two.
You're dreaming.
Well, if you want something badly enough, dreams have a way of coming true.
Do you want to take that chance, Counselor? What are you offering? If he didn't know about the murder, and he gives us Dwyer, grand larceny three.
It was all Dwyer.
I never wanted to kill the guy.
You were part of the blackmail.
Colson: Dwyer's brainstorming.
I was desperate.
The economy went south, my business went with it.
I was in a hole mortgage, child support.
Stone: How much did you collect? Six guys, And you and Dwyer would split it when he got out? That was the plan.
My ex moved for an upward modification of our settlement agreement.
I needed cash I didn't expect Dwyer to be released until at least September.
I came up short.
So you went back to Vogel for more? But he wasn't buying.
He had enough.
- And Dwyer took care of him.
- Stone: You're still an accomplice.
I need more than your testimony to convict.
You want corroboration? You talk to the old man.
What? Dwyer made a house call.
He talked to Edward Vogel? Daddy paid the bill directly.
That's when junior went ballistic and said he'd turn us in.
Next thing I knew, I was reading about it in "The Post.
" That son of a bitch.
- And you believed him? - Any reason I shouldn't? He's admitted to blackmail, for one.
Robinette: We've checked your bank records.
We know you made a large cash withdrawal the day before Jim was killed.
Stone: You knew all along.
- With your testimony, we could've gone to trial three weeks ago.
- Watch your tone, sir.
I pick up the phone, and your license to be holier than everybody else on this planet can be used to wallpaper the sewer.
Your son is dead, sir, and you're protecting his killers.
That's my business, Mr.
Stone, and I intend to keep it that way.
Good day, gentlemen.
The bastard's done everything he can to stop us.
It's his son.
I can't believe He paid Helen Murphy's legal fees.
To open up a courtroom? Doesn't make sense.
Think it through, Adam.
With the press in the courtroom, there's no way George Harris testifies.
Without his testimony, we can't go to trial.
And no one ever knows that the boy was gay.
Vogel would rather see Dwyer and Colson go free than tarnish his good name.
Adam: Sure, political necessity.
You don't survive as long as he did without keeping your hamper closed.
It's about to open up.
I served him with a subpoena.
Ahh, that explains why he's got a call in to me.
A subpoena? Really, Adam.
Without your testimony, the murder case disappears.
I'm familiar with how city business is conducted.
Then you're probably also aware that my office doesn't service anyone's personal agenda.
Not anyone's? your name out of a hat.
Save the backroom marker crap.
It's too late for that.
What you did had nothing to do with my getting this office and nothing to do with my keeping it.
A favor then.
For a friend.
Call off the dogs.
I keep this picture of Jim on my desk graduation day, Columbia.
He's standing there with his arms around his mother.
Damn it, Adam, he looks just like everybody else.
I spent my life protecting him.
From what? Your shame put the knife into Dwyer's hand.
And there's no way I'm going to let that keep him out of jail.
I've known you for 25 years, Ed.
And I'm telling you now, you don't testify tomorrow, you're going to go to jail for contempt.
Vogel, when did you first make contact with the defendant, Harold Dwyer? Permission to treat this witness as hostile, Your Honor? Go ahead, Mr.
Vogel, isn't it true your son borrowed $50,000 from you? I can enter the bank statements as evidence Yes, he was my son.
I lent him money.
And did he tell you what it was for? This is ridiculous.
Your Honor, this witness has nothing to offer.
We can hold you in contempt, sir.
Did you love your son, Mr.
Vogel? Yes very much.
Were you proud of him? Jimmy could have been mayor.
He was smart, everybody liked him.
I thought it would be best if we kept it all quiet.
Quiet about what? That he was gay.
I would have paid any amount.
At first Jimmy went along with it.
He wanted me to be proud.
I mean he didn't want me to be embarr embarrassed.
After all the After all the years of pain, he didn't care anymore.
He told me it was his life, not mine.
And they they asked him for more money and Jimmy refused.
And then what happened? The defendant, Mr.
Dwyer, came to me.
all over the news.
And you paid him? Yes.
How did your son react to that? He was angry.
He called Mr.
Dwyer from my office and said he'd go to the police if Dwyer didn't return the money.
Then what did Mr.
Dwyer do? Vogel: He said he'd been in jail for six years and there was no way he was going back.
The next day, they found Jimmy.
Will the defendant please rise? On the first count of the indictment, grand larceny in the second degree, how do you find? We find the defendant guilty.
Strelzik: On the second count of the indictment, murder in the second degree, how do you find? We find the defendant guilty.
Deep down, Ed Vogel truly believes that he loved his son.
And you don't think he did? Acceptance before love, right? A son is not merely an extension of his father's ego.
It's a law of nature.
Sons go to extremes to please their fathers.
My father wanted me to be a doctor.
I went so far as to study organic chemistry.
- What happened? - I grew up.