Law & Order (1990) s07e11 Episode Script


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.
Hurry it up, I don't have all night.
That's it, just everybody get out of their car.
I think I left my compact in the restaurant.
What is that in your hand? My pantyhose.
My legs were itchy.
When did you take those off? In the ladies' room, before we left? Really? Did you take anything else off? You tell me.
Hey, you! You there! Did you hear that? Bobby, don't leave me here.
Hey, what the hell is going on up there? A girl just went over the side.
Oh, my God.
What did he say? Somebody jumped off the bridge.
No ID on her.
Did a Brodie from up there, landed on her face.
We sure she came from up there? My men found a VW abandoned on the ramp.
Fourteen years on the job, I still can't understand what makes them do it.
Hopelessness, for one.
Yeah, listen to him.
He went to college.
What happened to you? Hey, sorry I'm late.
I grabbed a ride.
First unit here found the car like this, traffic zipping by, nobody around.
So who called 911? We're working on tracing the call.
Car is registered to a Karen Whatney of Borough Park.
Handbag in the car had her driver's license.
Nice-looking girl.
Not anymore.
Detectives, we got a woman's blouse over here.
So, she's stoned on something, she runs her car into the guardrail, peels off her shirt, and jumps.
You sign off on that, we can all go back in.
The left sleeve is ripped.
There's three buttons missing.
She didn't take this off, somebody took it off for her.
Maybe this somebody also helped her off the bridge.
Break out your thermals, Wheeler.
We're not going anyplace.
Are you absolutely sure it's Karen? Not 100%.
Did Karen have any distinguishing marks or scars? A little angel tattooed on her right thigh.
Her boyfriend's idea.
Was she with him last night? They broke up three months ago.
Maybe she went out with her friend Shawna Gates.
She lives in the city.
I don't understand how my daughter fell off a bridge! We're not exactly sure either.
Um, when was the last time you spoke with her? Yesterday morning.
She went for an interview.
She lost her job at WalkRite Company about six months ago.
Whatney, did Karen ever say or do anything that would make you think she might try to hurt herself? No.
No, never.
Hey, no job, no boyfriend.
I'd be singing duets with Billie Holliday.
Yeah, I don't buy it.
I want to talk to her friends.
So, last night, where was everybody? One of your kids have a medical emergency? No, Deborah took the kids to her parents' for a few days.
Just like that? Yeah, just like that.
So, the girlfriend works on the West side.
We shot some pool, then she dropped me off at my place downtown on Henry Street.
Then she went home.
What time was that? Around 2:00.
I can't believe this.
Was she Was she drinking? Maybe three beers.
Any drugs? No.
Her blouse was torn.
Do you know how that happened? No.
It looked fine when she left.
What was her mood? Karen ever talk about suicide? No.
I mean, she was down about not being with somebody and about her money situation, but she said she was going to get help with that.
Oh? From who? Her old boss.
She used to work for some guy at some shoe factory in the Bronx.
But he's in real estate now.
Some guy Dorning.
She was expecting a call from him.
She was desperate.
She'd been looking for work for so long.
She had her mother to support.
She asked me for money.
I'd given her a couple of hundred dollars in the past.
Her girlfriend said she was expecting a call back from you.
Well, I don't know why.
I told Karen there wasn't anything I could do.
Believe me, I wanted to, but The Walerstein mortgage.
I need the title report now.
Sorry, Dad.
When you get a chance.
Robbie, these are detectives.
Karen Whatney committed suicide last night.
What? She jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge.
I'm sorry to hear about that.
Is there anything we can do? Your father is taking care of it.
All right.
Dorning, is it normal for your ex-employees to hit you up for money? Karen started working for me when she was just a kid.
For eight years she did our files, practically ran the office.
And then what? She quit? Or you fired her? No, no.
The factory burned down.
What are you guys trying to insinuate here? Maybe she left over some bad feelings, an affair.
That would explain her behavior.
Dorning wouldn't have to know.
My wife passed away two years ago.
And no, there wasn't anything romantic between Karen and me.
Tox report found a blood alcohol level consistent with what the friend told us.
No drugs, unless you count Midol.
That tells you something.
She jumped because it was her time of the month? I really hope you come up with a better reason before you go home to your cave tonight.
Found bruises on her left arm inconsistent with the fall.
Same arm the blouse was ripped.
Now that tells me something.
Van Buren.
Yeah, thanks.
They traced the 911 call.
I was with my wife.
I mean, we didn't feel like hanging around the bridge, in the cold, just to say we didn't see anything.
But I called 911.
I did my part.
And we appreciate that.
But how do you know a girl jumped if you didn't see it? There were cars stopped in front of me.
Some black guy said he saw a girl go over the side.
I just made an assumption.
So, you didn't actually see anything? I saw some people get out of their cars.
I heard some shouts.
And this guy, what kind of car was he driving? A maroon Volvo.
I didn't look at the license plate or anything like that.
And the other cars? You notice any of them? Yeah.
A newspaper truck.
I think it was the Daily News.
I was going to Brooklyn to deliver the Sports final.
Same as the night before, and same as tonight.
I lead a very eventful life.
Yeah, well, that night some girl took a header off the bridge ramp.
Yeah, I saw something about that on TV.
Yeah, somebody said your truck was right there when it happened.
Come on, look what I got to move in a night.
You think I got time to rubberneck.
So, your story is, you didn't see anything.
All these morons were stopping their cars.
I'm trying to get around them.
Well, you must have looked to see why they were stopping.
Because this loony chick was running around in a bra.
There's a lot of that at 2:00 in the morning.
Was anyone with her? Maybe a dozen people.
I couldn't make out what was going on.
Maybe they were trying to talk her out of jumping.
It never occurred to you to report this? Well, there were other people there knew more about it than me.
Well, if you know any of their names, by all means tell us.
There was this green 4x4 from the Parks department.
It stopped dead in front of me.
Guy and a girl in the front seat looked like they were enjoying the show.
Tuesday night? No, nothing special jumps out.
The guy who runs your motor pool says you brought the truck back three hours late, and you told him you were stuck in the mud on Randall's Island.
Oh, yeah, that's right.
That was a bitch.
You married, Mr.
Marsh? Yeah.
And you were at Randall's Island all by yourself? No.
It was me and an owl.
That's funny, because somebody said they saw you on the Brooklyn Bridge with a female human passenger right around the same time.
I wasn't on the bridge.
I was by myself.
You mean you weren't with your wife.
Hey, we don't need to pry into your private business, Mr.
What we do need to know is what you saw on the bridge.
I was on Randall's Island.
I don't have anything more to say about it.
Whoever was with him, it wasn't his grandmother.
Marsh was on the bridge all right, but proving it could cost him his job and his marriage.
What's with Rey? I don't know.
He's your partner.
Maybe you ought to remind him of that.
He doesn't say squat to me.
Everything okay? Yeah.
Deborah says hi.
So, what do you want to do? Put an ad in the newspaper, "Witnesses wanted, flexible hours"? The newspaper truck driver, he's on the bridge same time every night? Give or take.
How many more are regulars like him? We could throw up a roadblock and find out.
And let's get the truck driver and Mr.
Marsh in here.
We got an anesthesiologist from St.
She was on the bridge Tuesday night.
She says she drove right past the whole commotion.
And the other one? Maitre d' from Nora's.
Put them in Interrogation One.
Lieutenant, this is Mr.
He's a computer programmer, and he drives a maroon Volvo.
Welcome to our party, Mr.
I really didn't get a good look.
A girl was screaming, but I couldn't see what was going on.
You told someone she went over the side.
I don't know about that.
What is it, Mr.
Styles? Are you scared or ashamed you didn't do anything? As you can see, you're not the only one.
What about you? What did you see? Well, by the time I got there, it was over.
Everyone was gone.
Look, I have a busy schedule tomorrow.
If you don't let me leave, the Deputy Mayor is going to hear about it.
What about you, Romeo? You had ringside seats.
I was not there.
I told you that.
He was there.
In the green truck.
I recognize him.
I'm sorry, but you're wrong.
He had a Spanish girl in the seat next to him.
A Spanish girl? Back off.
He doesn't know what he's talking about.
Your wife's home cooking not good enough these days? You know, maybe we ought to break the news to her.
In fact, I think I've got your home number right here.
What are you doing? Hey! I bet your girlfriend can teach your wife some hot, new dishes.
He can't do this.
It's ringing.
Give me that.
You better start talking, or I swear I'm going to put your name out to the papers.
Everyone will know what kind of lowlife coward you are.
How you don't have the decency or the guts to be a witness for that girl.
Rey, let him go.
Come on, come on, come on.
What the hell is the matter with you? You think I'm just going to stand by, let these people lie to us.
That's not what this is about.
Oh, it's not? What's it about, then? You tell me.
She left me, Lennie.
She took the kids and split.
She wants me out of the house.
Why? What happened? I broke my vows with this girl in the park.
Just a one-time thing.
How did Deborah find out? I told her.
Your second mistake.
You know, my old man used to chase women all the time.
I swore I'd never be like him, but Listen, why don't you bag it for tonight, huh? No.
No, just give me a couple of minutes.
Hey, when you come back in there, you put that temper of yours in your pocket.
You got that? Dr.
Shamsky wants to know if we're serious about releasing their names to the media.
Well, the story is going to come out.
Just depends on how they want it to read.
Never mind your friends or what the D.
Thinks, do you want this hanging over your head for the rest of your life? She was being chased by this very big man.
A white man with dark hair.
He ripped her shirt off.
She was screaming.
It looked like they were fighting.
Did she know this man? I don't know.
She climbed over the side to get away.
She was terrified.
It all happened so fast.
I couldn't believe it.
She just jumped.
He didn't push her? No, sir.
I think she jumped to get away from him.
He was a lunatic.
He looked right at us after she jumped.
I thought he was going to come after me.
Who saw him leave? I did.
He drove off in a green LTD.
I don't know what year.
Did anyone see how it started? You don't need my friend's name, right? No, we don't.
They were in front of me.
The VW and the LTD.
She might have cut him off, I'm not sure, but they banged fenders.
The guy got out, real ticked off.
This was a traffic accident? Yeah.
The guy was screaming at her to get out of her car.
He got her door open and dragged her out by her hair.
She ran away from him, past my truck.
Used to be, you cut somebody off, they flipped you the bird.
Now they chase you, beat you up.
Why not? Who's going to stop them? You? From the looks of it, they consider driving a contact sport.
That's the damage from the guard rail, and over here, fresh green paint from the LTD.
'86, '87 model.
Yeah, I suppose there's more than one of those in the city.
the five boroughs.
What about this green paint here? Same vintage? Yeah.
She must have hit the LTD twice.
Our witnesses all said there was only one accident, on this side.
Maybe Whatney and the LTD traded paint before they got to the bridge.
Yeah, she dropped her friend off at Henry Street, That's a lot of doorbells.
What, you'd rather make 2,068 phone calls? I would have called it in myself, you see, but it was 2:00 in the morning.
I thought the best thing to do would be to leave a note on Mr.
Krutsky's car.
Well, you're a rare citizen, Mr.
Why don't you tell us what happened.
I work security, I was walking home when I heard the crash.
The LTD and the Volkswagen? That's it.
The little car rear-ended the Ford and slid off into Mr.
Krutsky's parked car.
Did the drivers get out? Just the one in the Ford.
Big white guy.
Scared the white girl in the little car a lot.
What did she do? Well, she cut around him and took a left at Madison Street.
He took off after her.
I tried to get their numbers, but I only could get the first three of the Ford.
I could have got the whole thing, but it all happened so fast.
Hey, I know a guy in the 83, lost an eye doing that.
You live in this building? Yeah.
You know a Mike McDugan? Who? Crazy Mike? Yeah, he drives a green LTD.
No, that's his old man's car.
Mike Senior.
He's a cripple.
He gets around seeing as nobody's home.
It's Thursday.
Crazy Mike usually takes him over to Manny's on Eastchester.
You guys going to put Crazy Mike away? Does he need putting away? Nobody around here would stop you.
You know, he chased my 14-year-old grandson up a flight of stairs, knocked him around.
A grown man.
He's a menace.
You Mike McDugan? If you're looking for Mike McDugan, that's me.
Yeah, thanks, Pop, but we want to talk to Sonny Boy here.
You guys got nothing better to do? Hey, shut up.
Is that your LTD out front? No, that's my car.
Yeah, sure it is, Mr.
Mike, we want you to come with us.
You don't got to do nothing, Mike.
Now, you're coming one way or another.
They say I don't have to.
And don't talk to them, Mike.
If they want to talk, you let them arrest you.
Fine, now you're under arrest.
I didn't do nothing.
You assaulted Karen Whatney.
Now what do I do? Now you want to keep your mouth shut.
"Docket number 454320.
People v.
Michael L.
"Charged with Murder in the Second Degree "and Assault in the First Degree.
" What, they're saying it's murder? Let's get your plea first, Mr.
I'm not guilty.
The People ask bail of half a million, Your Honor.
That's way out of line, Your Honor.
This is at best an assault case.
The defendant terrorized a 28-year-old woman in the dead of night on a bridge ramp and with depraved indifference caused her death.
The deceased jumped off a bridge on her own.
She jumped to get away from Mr.
He didn't have to push her.
She chose to die, Your Honor.
My client isn't accountable for the actions of a disturbed individual.
Ross, it sounds like you're conceding Mr.
McDugan didn't push her.
He may not have physically pushed her, Your Honor, but But what? He levitated her? Thank your lucky stars I'm not the trial judge.
Bail is $100,000.
Some choice, a 40-foot fall or a beating by a thug.
You certainly had the arraignment judge eating out of your hand.
Good luck with the Grand Jury.
Give them the chance to indict a public menace like Mike McDugan for murder, they'll jump at it.
Public menace? Five arrests for assault, two convictions.
He's a bully.
His neighbors have a book on him.
We picked him up in a known policy hangout.
I'm sure it's where he gets most of his work.
You know you can't mention prior bad acts or associates to the Grand Jury.
I'll amend the charges to reckless driving.
Then I'll sign us up for a 12-step program for underachievers.
Ross, this just came by messenger.
Thank you.
It's from McDugan's lawyer.
Cross notice.
He's putting his client in front of the Grand Jury.
Gutsy move.
It shows them he has nothing to hide.
I want them to see what Karen Whatney was running from.
Throw the book at him.
The Grand Jury throws it back, don't get hit in the head.
It was my father's car.
He was a longshoreman before he got crippled.
I was driving it downtown when this woman rear-ends me.
I go to get her insurance information.
She won't get out.
She won't even open a window.
So, I'm thinking, what the hell is my old man going to say when he sees his car? And then she drove off, she left the scene of the accident.
That really pissed me off, so I chased her to the bridge and I made her stop.
Now, I made her get out of the car.
She still wouldn't cooperate.
I thought she was drunk.
That's why she drove off, she didn't want to get in trouble for driving under the influence.
McDugan, please don't speculate as to her motives.
I'm sorry.
Now, I got to admit, I was mad.
I was yelling and cursing at her.
Who wouldn't? And then, when she ran off, I grabbed at her, but the shirt tore off in my hand.
She got up and climbed over the wall.
I tried to stop her.
McDugan, after you caught up to Miss Whatney, why didn't you just wait for the police? She was trying to run away from the scene of an accident.
I had to stop her.
Weren't you mad at her? Didn't you want to punish her for damaging your father's car? A bunch of people watching? What, do you think I'm nuts? I don't know you, Mr.
But don't your neighbors have a nickname for you? They call you Crazy Mike, isn't that right? Yeah, I've heard that.
Why do they call you Crazy Mike? I don't know why, Ms.
You'd have to ask them.
It's because you like to beat people up, isn't it? No.
In fact, that's why you pursued Miss Whatney onto the bridge, to beat her up, isn't that right? I would never do anything like that.
You wouldn't? In 1994, weren't you convicted of assault? You can't mention that.
You're out of line, Mr.
I instruct you to keep quiet.
You asked an improper question.
You open your mouth again, I'll have you removed.
You keep asking questions like that one and I'll have Take Mr.
DiMarco outside.
Make this quick.
She has no right to bring up his prior acts.
My question went to credibility, Your Honor.
DiMarco's client claimed he never assaulted anyone.
He said he never assaulted a complete stranger over a traffic accident.
There's nothing in his record that contradicts that.
Other than the fact he's a violent predicate felon.
And you want the Grand Jury to indict him for that reason? No, I want him indicted because he committed the crime he's charged with.
Well, then stick to the facts of that crime, and leave his priors out.
You'll instruct the Grand Jury to disregard your question.
McDugan was yelling at her to get out.
All of a sudden, the girl shoved the door open, right into him.
She got out and tried to hit him.
Marsh, you told the police Mr.
McDugan pulled her out of the car by her hair.
Actually, she fell out of the car right into him.
He must have grabbed her hair to keep her from falling down.
Really? Yes.
Then she wriggled away from him, ran right past my truck.
She looked to me like she was drunk.
I definitely smelled beer.
You told the police you never got out of your truck.
How could you smell anything? I had my window open.
She wasn't more than six inches away from me.
Marsh, I'm confused.
You never told any of this to the police.
Look, it was 2:00 in the morning when they interrogated me.
I told them what they wanted to hear so I could go home.
Do you know what perjury is, Mr.
Marsh? I'm not lying, Ms.
That girl was drunk.
Marsh changed his story.
All of a sudden, Karen Whatney is a drunk running from the scene of an accident.
McDugan got to him? They don't call him Crazy Mike because he sells discount stereos.
You can't keep a Grand Jury waiting while you investigate perjury.
I'm thinking about withdrawing it from their consideration.
We can always go back later.
You're aware that a judge can keep us from resubmitting the case? I know, but as it is, the Grand Jury could indict McDugan for simple assault.
Or not indict him at all.
I don't know what to do, Jack.
What? I'm enjoying the moment.
Fleeting as it is.
I'm serious.
Let them vote or withdraw the case.
Go with your gut.
Third Degree Assault.
A misdemeanor.
Marsh, did your husband discuss his testimony with anybody before he talked to the Grand Jury? Ms.
Ross at the District Attorney's office.
Is he in trouble? Not with us.
Did he get any unusual phone calls or visits? There were some hang-ups.
And he got a couple of calls at night.
Do you know what they were about? No.
He took the calls in the other room, and then he went out for a half hour.
For a walk, he said.
And what did you think? I thought it might be a woman, but it wasn't.
How could you be so sure? Because when he went out, I went to the phone and dialed star 69, to call the party back, and both times a man answered.
Do you remember when these calls occurred? During the 11:00 news.
George, they're from the police.
Yeah, I know who they are.
You can leave now.
Marsh, if someone is threatening you to change your testimony, we can protect you.
I've got nothing to say.
Phone company faxed the LUDs from Marsh's place.
Two calls to a number in Riverdale.
One at 11:17, the other one the next night at 11:06.
Nancy Leary? Maybe she's got a real deep voice.
This I got to see.
Whenever you're ready.
Hey, Lennie, I almost forgot.
It's my sister's number.
I'm going to staying there till I get my own place.
Rey, I'm sorry.
Nothing is carved in stone.
It's wait-and-see.
It'll work out.
Miss Leary is at work.
She works the front desk at the Meridien.
Does she live with a man? A boyfriend? No.
I tried to set her up with my nephew.
She told me she was celibate.
You'd never know from looking at her.
She lives in 304? That's right.
This is addressed to a Thomas Randall in 304.
Who's he? Tommy.
That's her 10-year-old.
Oh, Randall is the father's name? That's right.
Dave Randall.
He comes over, you know, just to look after the boy when she works nights.
Dave Randall, AKA Randall the Candle.
Gee, I wonder what he does for a living.
Hardly a success story.
Two convictions for arson and one for possession of an incendiary device.
In 1993, he used junk mail as kindling to set a Cadillac on fire.
I know the punchline.
They found his address in the ashes.
He served 18 months in Altona in a dorm with "Crazy" Mike McDugan.
An arsonist and an enforcer.
Quite a team.
Karen Whatney picked the wrong car to hit.
Didn't she used to work in a shoe factory? WalkRite, in the Bronx.
I think they closed down six months ago.
Do we know why? WalkRite stunk of arson for profit.
We went through their books with a tweezer.
They hadn't turned a profit in five years.
WalkRite was on the verge of bankruptcy? Past the verge.
The owner, Harold Dorning, had a choice, hand the keys over to the bank or sell his factory to the insurance company.
Did the name Dave Randall ever come up? Who? Randall the Candle? No, I never heard of him.
Hey, look, we had five fires on the same block this past year.
Kids and homeless trying to stay warm.
So you wrote it up as arson by vandalism.
Yeah, pending further evidence.
Is it true the man who killed her, that he might only spend a year in jail? Not if we have anything to do with it.
Whatney, did Karen ever say anything to you about the fire at the factory? Just that she was sorry that Mr.
Dorning lost his business.
Why? The police think it was arson.
I thought it was kids.
The police suspect Mr.
Dorning may have been mixed up with insurance fraud.
If Karen knew something and Mr.
Dorning found out Did she ever say anything to you? No.
No, but she may have known.
Why do you say that? I thought it was lucky that she brought it home.
Brought what home? The keepsake album.
For her grandmother.
She was working on it at work every day during her lunch hour.
I'm not sure I follow.
She brought it home the night before the factory burned down.
Karen Whatney had lunch with Dorning.
I think she threatened to go to the police unless he gave her money.
A few days later, she's dead.
Harold Dorning to Randall the Candle to Crazy Mike.
And who has evidence of this conspiracy? Mack the Knife? We have the phone calls from Randall's girlfriend's house to the witness who perjured himself.
We have the arson squad's informed opinion that the fire wasn't set In other words, nothing.
Better find a crack in the wall or nobody is going to jail.
This was Dorning's show.
He's the one we want.
Then start with the other two.
Offer them a deal.
The broad hit me.
It was an accident.
I don't know from arson, this guy Randall, or anything else.
It's all just a fluke.
Michael, sit down.
You're just a hat in the wind, is that it, Mr.
McDugan? You blow from one coincidence to another.
McCoy, I could throw a rock out that window and hit somebody who knows somebody who knows a friend of my client.
Doesn't add up to a conspiracy.
It'll add up to murder one once we represent the case to the Grand Jury.
I thought we were all done with that.
We are.
Not by a long shot.
I'm offering you and Randall the same deal.
You testify against Mr.
Dorning, you plead murder two, you get 15-to-life.
I knew coming here was a waste of time.
Come, Michael.
My offer is good for one customer only.
You or Randall.
I don't care which.
We'll talk about it outside.
My kid is 10.
So he makes crank calls? So what? Your kid made a 12-minute crank call to a City Parks worker? I can't watch him every second.
I'll tell you what, starting tonight, no video games for a week.
And no Daddy.
You and Mike McDugan killed a witness to an arson, Dave.
That puts you on a table with a needle in your arm.
Oh, really? I must have been out of the room when you charged me with murder.
That will happen as soon as your friend Crazy Mike rolls on you and Dorning.
First of all, I don't know this McDugan.
You were bunk-mates in Altona.
Him and 100 other tube steaks I don't invite to Christmas dinner.
Anyway, all you got on him is assault three.
A lousy misdemeanor.
Tomorrow I'm asking the Grand Jury to re-indict for murder one.
You ever hear of the domino theory, Dave? I'll tell you what I told him this morning.
First one to raise his hand gets to plead to murder two and serve 15-to-life.
Hey, plead this.
Get up.
He's fooling himself if he thinks we're bluffing.
The joke may be on us.
McDugan's lawyer just sent this over to the office.
He's moving to keep us from going back to the Grand Jury.
The Grand Jury already heard the evidence against my client.
They've already voted on a charge.
McCoy has nothing new to tell them.
Unless you count a new motive, new accomplices.
You peel back the theories, the conjectures, and the assumptions, and what you're left with is a sore loser.
Hey, put a lid on it, Mr.
McCoy, your Your affidavit is light on evidence.
I mean, the Grand Jury voted that Mr.
McDugan is not directly responsible for Miss Whatney's death.
We believe their decision was the result of collusion between the defendant and a witness.
Under People v.
Potter, that's grounds to resubmit the charges.
So you have evidence that we tampered with a witness? I must have a page missing.
I'm sorry, Mr.
I don't see how I can grant you leave to resubmit to the Grand Jury.
Your Honor, this conspiracy is shut tight.
The only way to pry anything loose is with an indictment.
I'm not here to help you make cases, Mr.
You're tying my hands.
I'm within my discretion.
The defense motion is granted.
We'll never make any headway with either McDugan or Randall without a murder indictment.
Maybe it's time you knocked on Dorning's door.
And ask him if he would please like to confess? I'm sure that Mr.
Randall the Candle doesn't work pro bono.
Dorning must have paid him something for his services.
The Arson Squad already looked into Dorning's finances.
They didn't find anything.
Six months ago.
Maybe these crooks work on a layaway plan.
You'll need more than this piece of paper to explain to me what the hell is going on here.
Does your father have signing authority over any of your company's accounts? There's the petty cash account.
We'll need your records, too.
I can't believe this bull.
I mean, why Robbie, what are they doing? I don't know, Dad.
You tell me, huh? Can someone answer the damn phones, please? What's this about? It's all in the warrant.
Now, would you please stay outside the room? Seems after Dorning paid off his creditors, he used every cent from the fire insurance to help his son buy the mortgage company.
Smart move.
Hey, here's something.
For the last four months, Dorning has been drawing a commission check every two weeks.
Then in the last month, he drew two checks within a few days of each other.
He could have had a good month.
Look at the dates on the checks.
Dad works hard.
He earned those commissions.
Any special reason he didn't wait for his regular pay date? He needed an advance.
What for? He's my father.
He had his ass handed to him a couple of months ago.
He says he needs money, I give it to him.
The first check, in the amount of $5,000, is dated the day before Karen Whatney went off the bridge.
The second check, in the same amount, is dated the day after.
I'll tell you, okay? Before the fire, Dad borrowed from a shylock.
The guy was leaning on him.
Dorning, stop lying for him.
He didn't have anything to do with Karen's death.
She knew about the arson.
There was nothing to know.
It was vandals.
Ask the fire marshal.
They've reopened the case.
They know who the arsonist was, and they'll prove your father was behind it.
You know what happens next? The insurance company comes looking for its money.
They'll seize this business.
This is my business.
They just can't take it away.
What they don't take, we will, as proceeds of a crime.
I have 35 employees here.
You cooperate, you just might save their jobs.
Here's my card.
Give us a call.
The underwriters agreed to a schedule allowing my client to pay back the insurance money.
The caveat being he testifies against his father.
I appreciate this wasn't an easy decision for you, Mr.
We have conditions of our own.
You waive prosecution of my client for any accessorial conduct after the fact, and you waive seizure of his mortgage company.
We can live with that.
That's not all.
I would like some consideration for my father.
I can't make any promises.
He was in deep trouble with his factory.
I'm sure he didn't mean for anyone to get hurt.
If he accepts a plea, I'll make a sentence recommendation.
Well, after Dad had lunch with Karen, he told me that she was trying to extort him.
She wanted $10,000 or she would tell the police about the fire.
I told him he was worried over nothing, that she was just shooting her mouth off.
Your father thought differently? He said she could hurt us.
He told me that he had hired someone to burn down the factory.
I was stunned, I You never suspected him? It crossed my mind, sure.
The business was circling the drain.
I warned Dad years ago to get out, but he's stubborn.
What did he decide to do about Karen? I told him he should pay her.
I didn't want to lose my mortgage business.
I cut him two checks.
He use the money to pay her off? I don't know.
He was afraid to go to jail.
When he told me she committed suicide, I I didn't know what to think.
Dorning? What do you want? You mind coming with us? What for? Harold Dorning, you're under arrest for arson and for the murder of Karen Whatney.
That's crazy.
Let go of me.
Stop moving.
What? You're hurting me.
Hey, we wouldn't want to do that, now would we? The police picked up Dorning and McDugan, but Randall is nowhere to be found.
They check his girlfriend's? She says she hasn't seen him.
They posted a car outside her house and put a tap on her phone.
Without Randall it'll be hard to connect Dorning to Karen Whatney's death.
Depends how much Mike McDugan knows.
So far, he hasn't been chatty.
We'll throw him a bone.
Another heart-to-heart with my favorite maniac.
Another day, another plea offer.
If it weren't for Ms.
Ross' charming presence, we wouldn't bother showing up.
This time it's a three-way race between your client, Dave Randall, and Harold Dorning.
Murder two, 15-to-life.
First come, first served.
You have them under arrest? I'm surprised you didn't run into them in the breakfast line.
Dorning confessed the arson to a witness.
Mike's not flipping on anyone for 15 years.
Eight and out.
He's the one who forced the girl off the bridge.
The other two can claim they just wanted him to scare her.
And I might be inclined to believe them.
Talk, Mr.
Randall said he needed some help to get a message to this broad, to shut her up.
You staged the accident on Rutgers Street? Yeah.
It was pretty good, actually.
After she dropped her friend off, I pulled ahead of her and stopped short.
But then she drove off, and things got out of hand.
But like I said, I never meant for her to jump.
Of course not.
Did Randall tell you why he wanted you to talk to her? He said she was making trouble for somebody Randall did some work for.
Did he say who? No, he didn't give me any of the particulars, except the girl's name and address.
He never mentioned Dorning or WalkRite? No.
I mean, I'm no dope.
They call Randall "The Candle.
" I figured it had to do with some torch job.
Unless he gives us Dorning, I'm taking the offer off the table.
He doesn't have Dorning to give you.
He gave you Randall.
Let him serve up Dorning.
That would be fine, if we had Randall in custody.
You just said that he was I just said I'm surprised you didn't see him at breakfast.
You tell us where we can find him, then we'll have a deal.
I don't know where he is.
Last time I saw him was a couple of nights ago, in Queens.
Why? He gave me 1,000 bucks.
He said I should split.
He said we had maybe a day before the bridge thing hit the fan.
He was right.
I got clicked the next afternoon going to the comer store.
What night did Randall tip you off? Tuesday.
I should have listened to him, but I couldn't leave my old man.
He's a cripple.
Where are you going? To verify his story.
I told you the God's honest truth.
That's what I'm afraid of.
I thought I was here to sign a statement.
Have a seat.
McCoy, if you think you can use him to extract a plea bargain out of us I'm not looking for bargains.
I'm sorry, Dad.
You're sorry? That's it? You're sorry? Harold, it's better you don't talk.
He's right, Mr.
You're better off listening very carefully to what I have to say.
At the time your factory burned down, your son's option to buy his mortgage company was about to expire.
He'd been turned down for a loan, and he was in danger of losing his $50,000 down-payment.
What's your point? His father's insurance money came just in the nick of time.
It's called luck.
Some people in our family have it.
Some people make their own luck.
Yes, unlucky at cards, unlucky in love.
Is any of this relevant? The day before your client came to see me, Dave Randall skipped town and advised Mike McDugan to do the same.
Was that also luck? There's only one person in this room who could have tipped them off.
Robbie, what are they saying? Who is Dave Randall? The man who set the fire at WalkRite.
The man to whom your son paid $10,000 to silence Karen Whatney.
We had a handwriting expert examine the two checks that were made out to you by your son.
Your endorsements had been forged.
You burned down my factory.
Dad You killed Karen.
That's not true.
Dorning, if you have anything to say to me about your son, now is the time.
Dad, please, don't say anything.
Dad, please, look at me.
Karen told me that she saw him at the factory the night before the fire, loading personal things out of his office, into his car.
She hadn't gone to the police out of loyalty to me.
But now she needed money, and she expected me to help her.
What did you tell her? I told her I wouldn't do it.
I thought she was making the whole thing up, just to blackmail me.
I told him.
I said I felt sorry for her.
I thought maybe we could give her a job.
He said no.
He didn't want her around, telling lies.
He said, "Don't worry, I'll handle it.
" When I heard how Karen died, I never put it together.
I never thought You said, "Trust me.
" You said, " I'll always take care of you.
" You're such a loser.
Such a damn loser.
Here's the pre-sentence report on Robert Dorning.
I'll read it tomorrow.
There's a letter from his father.
A plea for leniency.
I remember how I felt when I realized my father was a son of a bitch.
I can't imagine what it must be like to realize you raised one.