Law & Order (1990) s14e06 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.
Mom, it was phat you know, so cool.
It was off the hizzim.
God! Don't you dare tell anyone that you're my brother.
Ever! You don't know everything.
You are so not my brother.
Mom! I told you guys to remind me to turn the lights off when we leave.
Hey, Isabelle.
What's up? No, I didn't ask her yet.
You don't have to.
My answer is no.
! Not to worry.
I'll work on her.
No way.
! Oh, God! Andy! Name's Andrew Hitchens.
Took one to the chest.
Married with two boy and girl.
The wife around? She's the one called it in.
Looks like a.
38, .
45, maybe.
Whatever, it was up close and personal.
Look at the powder burns.
How long? Couple hours, tops.
I finished work around 5:00, picked up the kids and came home.
Like I do every day.
What time does your husband usually get home from work, Mrs.
Hitchens? Around 8:00.
I don't know.
Always after me.
Was today special? He didn't tell me.
Ask the office.
Well, where does he work? At Systems Electronics.
Andy's the managing software designer.
He loved his work.
Look, I'm probably not making much sense right now.
I gotta Can I take the kids to my mom's? Sure.
That officer will drive you.
There's nothing missing.
No sign of a forced entry.
Both the front and back doors take keys.
No witnesses.
Nobody heard anything.
Everybody in the building was at work.
See? That's why I don't retire.
I didn't see Andy Hitchens yesterday.
He hasn't been here at all? No.
What? He called in sick? Why would he do that? Well, if I don't show up for work, my boss usually wants to know why.
She's funny that way.
And I'd want to know too, if Andy worked here.
He doesn't? No.
What kind of detectives are you? Homicide.
Oh, my God! But you did know him? Uh, sure, sure.
He-He worked here for years.
He was great.
They had to let him go about eight months ago.
- Why'd you let him go? - The economy sucks.
Our revenues suck even worse.
It was either me or Andy, and they pay me less.
Why wouldn't he tell me? With some men, it's an ego thing.
Your husband was let go because of the downturn in the economy.
We talked about everything.
There is one thing.
Didn't you notice no paycheck coming in? Why would I? Andy took care of the finances.
Well, the balance in your checkbook must have dropped.
I don't know.
That was Andy's department.
Maybe if we could see the bank statements, credit card bills, it might shed some light.
At least I know where Andy kept them.
Visa, MasterCard, brokerage account That was a joke.
Chase Manhattan checking, savings.
Bank of Lower Manhattan? I never heard of this one.
Oh, my God! He deposited $370,880 six months ago.
He has a bank account with almost $400,000 in it.
Which he opened three months after he was laid off.
And you really believe she didn't know? It looks like he was withdrawing his old weekly salary from his secret stash and putting it in their joint account.
And the wife was never the wiser.
And you figure the money plays into the murder? Well, outside of that, this Andy Hitchens is an Eagle Scout.
No weapon, no prints yet.
Well, I doubt if he went into the bank with 400 thou cash.
What's next? We figure we'd talk to the bank, see if we can get a lead on where the money came from.
All right.
I've seen less going on in an amusement park.
Welcome to the 21 st century.
We've got to compete with the big boys somehow.
I guess the free toaster thing don't cut it no more.
There are three rules of personal banking these days: Marketing, marketing, marketing.
I guess it was the free lattes that attracted Mr.
Ah, right.
Hitchens opened his account here with a cashier's check payable to "Cash.
" Issued by? Federated National Bank.
Another bank that wasn't on Mrs.
Hitchens's list.
Them? They're oatmeal next to us.
Is there a number or something on that check? You know, there are bank privacy laws.
Did we get off the subway in Switzerland? Ha, ha.
Be that as it may, this is private banking.
And we are public servants who can get a warrant to look through every transaction you've got on that computer.
Look, man, you issued a cashier's check to a Mr.
Andrew Hitchens for almost $400,000.
Wejust want to know why.
Well, obviously he must have an account with us.
And obviously we'd like to know about it.
Yes, he closed his account.
We issued him a Huh.
That's odd.
What? Mr.
Hitchens opened an account with us, but he closed it 48 hours later when the check he deposited cleared.
You didn't ask him why? What was the check he opened the account with? It was a business check.
Something called Mishaan Diamond Exchange.
You gotta understand.
I like the men in blue.
But for business, you're not that good.
Anyway, it's a nice day outside.
So what can I do you for? Yeah, you wrote a check I write a lot of checks.
Unfortunately, my suppliers they want to get paid.
Andy Hitchens What did he supply you with? That is a name with which I am not familiar.
All right.
Is this your company's check? Sure is.
Is that your signature? I cannot lie.
That's good.
So what's that on the memo line? That is the language of Abraham and Isaac.
I know what it is.
I want to know what it means.
That this Hitchens who I never met before, mind you he was looking for a buyer, and I was kind enough to offer a helping hand.
What did you buy from him, Zev? What are you? Meshuga? Does it look like I'm selling sporting goods? Diamonds! Two, perfectly matched.
Wait a minute.
You're telling us that you paid a total stranger who walks in off the street almost $400,000 for two diamonds? Emerald cuts.
He could've got a lot more.
What are you gonna do? Did it ever cross your mind that you might be purchasing stolen goods? You're talking to the diamond king.
I know every diamond on 47th Street.
So where did the two emerald cuts come from? They belonged to Shlomo Fineberg up the block.
Believe me, if someone stole them from him, it'd be up on that flashing thing in Times Square.
A man buys two of my best stones.
What? I'm gonna forget? How much he pay you for 'em? You know, this is a down economy.
People buy food, pay rent.
Diamonds they're not hopping off the shelves.
Was there an answer in there somewhere? It was bigger than a bread box.
You know what I think, Ed? I think Shlomo here and Mr.
Hitchens are in the laundering business.
Three hundred and eighty thousand and change.
Let me guess.
He paid you in cash.
Do I look like a putz? Cashier's check, money order, or no sale at all.
This Mr.
Hitchens was the former.
In my business I've learned, always make copies.
This is made out to "Cash.
" Yes.
Endorsed to me.
See? Here we go again.
Yes, we issued this cashier's check.
But you knew that.
When did Mr.
Hitchens open his account here? Who? Andrew Hitchens.
He's the one who endorsed the check.
No Hitchens does any banking here.
Well, is there some way you can tell us who the check was issued to? - Sure, but - Ms.
Gelman, that check may have been stolen, so the quicker we gather the facts Sure.
I understand.
It was the proceeds of a residential refi.
Whoa, whoa.
Baby steps, please.
LonnieJackson re-mortgaged his townhouse.
Who's Mr.
LonnieJackson? Obviously one of our clients.
He had us issue a cashier's check made out to "Cash.
" - And that's the address of the townhouse? - Yes.
11 West 121 st Street.
So this LonnieJackson character mortgages his house to pay off Andy Hitchens.
What you thinkin'? Blackmail? Gambling? Drugs? What? Hey, whatever it was, I doubt it was on the up and up, given the hoops Hitchens jumped through to hide it.
We still don't know this had anything to do with his murder.
Two guys up to no good, one of'em winds up with a couple of slugs in his chest.
The odds are the other one knows something about it.
You wanna go to Harlem? You drive.
Listen up, dude.
That drywall was supposed to be done last month, not next week.
I gotta go.
I said I gotta go.
! What are you gonna do? Contractors.
You LonnieJackson? No.
Russell Brown.
Call me Rusty.
You're working for LonnieJackson? Never heard of him.
That's funny, because the bank says he owns this property.
Guy stopped paying his bills.
Some mortgage company in Kansas City put it up for auction.
I buy it, fix it, flip it and forget about it.
Your guy let it go at this price, he's running from something.
So this LonnieJackson Who we haven't talked to yet.
Refinances his house up in the hinterlands Hey, man, Harlem real estate is up-and-coming.
You should see what a brownstone goes for up there.
Well, he takes the money he gets from the refi and turns it over to Andy Hitchens.
The dead guy? But before he ends up dead, he buys diamonds from a dude named Shlomo.
For his wife, I hope.
Oh, what fun would that be? No, he walks right across the street and sells them to another dealer named Zev.
And you don't think it was buyer's remorse? I think Hitchens went through a hell of a lot to keep his wife in the dark.
I don't think his wife was the only one he wanted to keep that money from.
Hitchens and Jackson were into some kind of bank fraud, or Hitchens was blackmailing Jackson.
Either way, the money's gotta be in the middle of this.
Well, what about this LonnieJackson? Nothing so far.
He's a solid citizen.
No yellows.
Hey, Rodgers says she's got something for us.
All right.
I'll talk to you guys later.
No signs of struggle, no drugs, no alcohol.
Gee, Rodgers, I'm really glad you called us.
At least tell us he ate something exotic.
Does coffee count? How's this for exotic? That's a bullet.
It comes from a gun.
Not from any gun I've ever seen.
I ran it past Ballistics, and it turns out it comes from something called a 7.
63 Mauser.
Weapon of choice for the Nazis.
It still doesn't help.
Well, it does if LonnieJackson is a collector.
And if we had the slightest clue as to where to look for him.
Nice thing about a neighborhood is, everybody knows everything about everybody else.
Sure, I know Lonnie, like my whole life.
Him and his buddies.
They regulars here? Eatin' donuts, drinkin' coffee, tellin' lies.
Every day? Not every day, but most.
That's gonna change now.
Why is that? Lonnie hasn't been around for a while.
Not since he sold his place to that white dude.
You know, it's wrong.
Black people should be buying up here.
What about his buddies? Talk to Horace.
More than likely, he's at the Veterans' Hall around the corner.
"Harlem Hell-Raisers.
" That's what they called us.
Most important thing I ever did was tojoin up.
Colonel Horace Worthington.
Not many of us left either.
Y'all throw those parties, right? For only the best and the brightest.
That's right.
My aunt used to tell me about them.
Sounds like quite a shindig.
But the reason we're here Oh, right.
We're looking for one of your friends.
LonnieJackson? Ah, the kid.
Always getting himself into some kind of jackpot.
What's he up to now? Well, we don't know, but we'd sure like to ask him.
So who's stopping you? We can't find him.
It turns out he don't own his house no more.
Oh, that can't be.
He bought that place after the war for 10 grand.
It was his pride and joy.
Turns out he took out another mortgage on the place.
No way.
He didn't believe in debt.
If he needed money, he'd have come to me.
When was the last time you saw Lonnie? Well, it's been a while.
I just figured he was visiting his grandkids in Charleston.
You get to be our age, grandchildren are about the only ones that want to see you.
- What about his kids? - Son.
He may be blood all right, but I don't know if I'd call him a son.
A real creep.
He has an office on East 63rd Street.
Horace Worthington? That man could talk through nine innings without missing a beat.
You put him together with my old man That's exactly what we're trying to do.
Excuse me? We're looking for your father.
And you think I would know because? Because you're his son.
Do your children know where you are every minute of the day? No, but I'd sure tell 'em if I lost my house.
What? There's no way he lost it.
He owned it outright.
He said he would die there.
His grandchildren would die there.
The point is that old piece of crap up in Harlem was like Pop's Plymouth Rock.
- He'd never sell it.
- The truth is, he mortgaged the house.
Then he defaulted on the payments.
The bank sold it to some Donald Trump wannabe.
Why? If he needed money, I You would've helped? Of course I would have helped.
He's my father.
Do you know somebody named Andrew Hitchens? No.
Why? Your father gave him all the money from the refi.
This is nuts.
My father saved every penny that he ever made.
- When's the last time you talked to him? - I don't know.
Maybe six months.
But we e-mail now and then.
I just bought him a computer last Father's Day.
Who says nothing lasts forever? But as you've told us so many times, cyberspace comes close.
How long did it take you this time, Myra? Two shakes of a lamb's tail.
That long? Not even.
Screen name "LonJack.
" Last logged on two months ago.
Now, if you could only tell us where he was when he used it.
What makes you think I can't? That's Harlem.
We can hear you in there.
! Open up, or we're gonna kick it in! One, two You should know better, Colonel.
You got no right to come here like this.
Actually, we've been trying to figure out what to arrest you for harboring a fugitive, obstruction of justice or just being a general pain in the ass.
- I'm doing nothing of the kind.
- You lie to us, Horace, you become an accomplice.
Kid, now what are you doing? - LonnieJackson? - Mm.
You're a tough guy to find, Mr.
It all depends on who's doing the looking, I suppose.
Why don't you come down to our place for coffee and a chat? You leave him be.
I was a porter atJ FK for 50 years.
Well, actually it was only 40 some odd since that young man was shot down in Dallas.
And before that it was Idlewild.
What a crying shame.
He was a good man, thatJohn Fitzgerald.
Pity is, he left two young kids behind a boy and a girl.
Just like Mr.
Who? That was your friend.
I don't recall anyone goes by that name.
You gave him almost $400,000, Mr.
Doesn't that ring a bell? Now, why would I do that? That's what we're trying to find out.
Well, you know, maybe I did meet him.
I don't remember.
Look, Mr.
Jackson, you were certainly sharp enough to get the money from the bank, give it to Mr.
Hitchens, kill him and then hide from us.
So this senility act, though it's fun, the longer you keep it up, the harder it's gonna be on you.
That's nice, Mr.
Jackson, but why don't you go on and sit back down? Always show a lady respect, especially one as pretty as you.
You might change your mind after you hear what I've got to say.
Here's the thing, Mr.
Jackson: J FK keeps all of its workers' fingerprints on file.
So I had Forensics compare your prints to the ones found at Mr.
Hitchens's apartment.
They match.
You want us to call your son? No.
Well, the court can appoint a lawyer for you.
I have my own counsel, Lieutenant.
I'll be just fine.
Docket 314812.
People v.
Jackson, Lonnie.
One count murder in the second degree.
It's good to see you're still alive, Aaron.
May I say the same for you, sir.
Tell me, Aaron.
What's the best thing about getting old? I forgot.
When you remember, Your Honor, please let me know.
So, what's his story? Not guilty, sir.
You know, in the past 40 years, your lawyer has yet to represent a guilty man.
Must be the luck of the draw, Your Honor.
The People request remand.
The defendant not only brutally murdered a man, leaving a widow and two children Have you looked at Mr.
Jackson? The only thing he's running toward is his oxygen tank.
Look, I've got a full calendar today.
Bail is set at $200,000, cash or bond.
Your Honor, my client lives on what he receives from Social Security.
Take that up with Senator What's-His-Name, not me.
Aaron Miller's an institution in these courtrooms.
He's been around longer than the sink in the men's room.
I'm just worried about an incompetent counsel claim.
Remember that lawyer in Texas who fell asleep during trial? The operative words being "during trial.
" Aaron Miller's been around long enough to know when to throw in the towel.
There's no way this gets anywhere near a judge or a jury.
Ah, such youth, such innocence, such nonsense.
It's good to see you too.
This is such a waste of time, money, energy.
Nobody I'd rather waste a couple of hours with than you, Aaron.
Well, then let's have at it.
You have no case.
You have no motive.
You have no idea what the hell happened.
Jack, you should dismiss this mess, and we should all go home, have a cognac and get a good night's sleep.
I'm all for it.
But first I'd like your client to explain why he gave all that money to the victim, Andrew Hitchens.
Giving is a crime? I call it charity.
Or why his prints match those found in the victim's apartment.
Perhaps Mr.
Hitchens invited him over for a cup of tea.
Then why did Mr.
Jackson pretend he'd never heard of Hitchens? He's old.
He's forgetful.
The victim was killed by a weapon used in World War II.
And if and when you find it, we'll talk.
I'm offering manslaughter one right now, Aaron.
That's 15, right? And the alternative being? Murder two.
Twenty-five to life.
Somehow I don't think it makes a difference either way to me.
Hmm? I guess that's the benefit of getting old that no one ever tells you about.
A life sentence is that much less painful.
It's all good to joke about, Arthur, but the fact is LonnieJackson might come off to the jury like the kindly grandfather everyone wishes they had.
Who killed someone's father.
He and Hitchens come from two different worlds.
It might give the jury pause.
I know it gives me pause.
Then find out what made these worlds collide.
After the police were poking around, I got curious and did a little poking of my own.
Curious enough to find out why Mr.
Jackson wanted to refinance his townhouse? Nothing too curious.
He wanted to fix up the plumbing and electric, new wallpaper.
After all these years? His app says he was planning on renting it out.
God, I tried living through a remodel once.
Oh, Mr.
Jackson wasn't going to live there.
I assume he was going to travel.
What makes you say that? He requested all his notices be sent to one of those private mailing places.
He has a box at Mailroom Plus on Third Avenue.
I've checked all the private mailbox places, and I'll tell you what.
I haven't felt all that secure at any of them.
Because you haven't talked to me yet.
That's cute.
Twenty-four-hour video surveillance.
Security gate.
Front door double locks.
Customer loses his key, we change the lock.
Oh, that's pretty good.
Actually, a friend of mine told me this is the best place around.
Oh, yeah? Who? LonnieJackson.
Oh, he's a nice guy.
I mean, he's a little nervous for my taste, but Well, you know how it is.
Those two little brats hanging over him all the time.
What are you talking about? Your friend, Lonnie.
He comes in once a month, pays his tab in cash, and the last time he was here he had his kids, whining like I don't know what.
- And he's about six feet tall? - I guess.
- About 80 years old? - Whoa.
Try dividing that by two.
And I guess if I asked you if he was black, you'd say Get a new pair of glasses.
That's LonnieJackson.
Or at least that's what he told the owner of the mailbox place.
But it's really Andrew Hitchens.
The guy behind the counter never saw the real LonnieJackson.
Hitchens stoleJackson's identity and mortgaged his house? I had the owner open the box.
It was jam-filled with overdue mortgage bills, foreclosure notices and, last but not least, a notice of sale.
Well, that makes motive.
But what I can't figure out is why Hitchens picked outJackson or how he found him.
Hitchens was some kind of computer guy.
He wouldn't do anything illegal.
I know Andy.
I'm sure he wouldn't.
He probably just got caught up with the wrong people.
You mean like loan sharks? Yeah, it could be.
If I could perhaps look through his laptop Will it help convict the man who killed him? It could.
Then fine.
I'll get it.
What we have here are lots and lots oflots and lots.
And you're gonna explain that to us mere mortals? Real estate lots.
These are the property maps that get registered in the county offices when you buy a piece of property.
- What does that "T" stand for? - My guess would be the title report.
What do they all have in common? All north of 96th Street.
All north of a half million in value.
And they're all owned free and clear? No.
That'd be just one.
That's LonnieJackson's house.
Or should I say former house? It's a shame, Mr.
No, it's despicable.
Hell, it's unconscionable.
Andrew Hitchens stole your name, your property, your life savings.
He should be sitting across the table right now.
But unfortunately you took the law into your own hands and made that impossible.
Where are you, Jack? Some fairy tale heaven again? It's all on Hitchens's computer.
That's crazy.
All your legal degrees, and you still don't know what's what.
No one stole anything from me.
I mortgaged the property.
Why? Because I felt like it.
Because after four decades of carrying other people's bags, I wanted to get on a plane myself and travel the world.
It's my money.
I earned it.
And there you have it.
Without a weapon, you're in no better place than you were the last time we met.
There's a Dr.
Jackson here.
He says he's Mr.
Jackson's son.
- Tell him to go to hell.
- No.
Show him in.
This meeting is over.
Who is this? Shambala Green.
Your son has hired me to represent you in this matter.
I've got Aaron.
The blind can only lead the blind so far, Dad.
I don't need your help, son! I don't want it! Now, take your next ex-wife and get the hell out of here.
Sorry, Shambala.
In America, a man can still choose his counsel.
Not always.
You see, while you people have been dilly-dallying, Dr.
Jackson has been in family court.
Based on the affidavits of respected members of the community and the testimony of his only living son, whojust so happens to be a medical professional, Judge Kamer has declared LonnieJackson incompetent over his person and property.
- Judge Kamer did what? - I'm his legal guardian now, Aaron.
What does this mean? It means that he's fired, Dad.
- She's your new lawyer.
- And just so you don't feel left out, Jack, this is the motion to have LonnieJackson declared incompetent to stand trial.
Got a call from my granddaughter last week.
She said, "Grandpa, I think you're gettin' too old to drive.
" I said, "Really, sweetie? You think I oughta pack in the old Chevy?" She said, "No.
The Chevy's okay.
It's the Porsche I'm worried about.
" Sweet thing gets her driver's license next week.
Well, that's a nice story, but let's not forget the poor man in Santa Monica who drove his car into a farmers market and killed 11 people.
And nobody spent a night in jail.
He was 86 years old, Jack.
He didn't have the requisite mens rea.
He wasn't legally culpable.
And if it were Arthur's granddaughter behind the wheel, we'd still be passing the hat for bail money.
It's different.
Teenage girls should know better.
The octogenarian knew better, but he forgot.
He was a danger to society and to himself.
Well, then let's lock him up and throw away the key.
Well, there's always door number three.
Put the burden on the family to take away the old guy's keys.
Only that flies in the face of centuries ofjurisprudence.
So does living past 80.
Which brings us back to Mr.
A civil court's already determined he's incapable of managing his own affairs.
A criminal court has different standards.
All we have to do is prove he's capable of assisting his attorney.
Which shouldn't be that hard, considering he found Hitchens in the first place.
Our computer experts can't figure out how he did it.
You want to prove he's competent? That'd do it.
Well, just in case, I've arranged for our shrink to sit with him.
Big difference in bein'old and bein'crazy.
Nobody is saying you're crazy, Mr.
You're a shrink, aren't you? I want to find out if you're competent to stand Stand trial, right? Same difference.
Not really.
It's not.
A crazy person can get his e-mail off his computer, only he thinks it's coming from men from outer space.
While the competent man knows the e-mail's from that ingrate they call a son.
You have problems with your son, Paul? Well, he's the one that sicced the psychiatric dogs on me in the first place.
Tell me about Mr.
You mean the one they say I shot? Well, I never heard of him.
So how could I have killed him? The prosecutors seem to think he stole your identity and used it to re-mortgage your house.
Now that would be incompetent on my part, letting something like that happen.
A man who would let that happen should be put in a home.
Sure, he's forgetful.
So am I.
Yeah, but you're not worried about being put away for forgetting your phone number.
I'm sure nobody was gonna do that.
Yeah, I'm sure you're right.
But this is more than just forgetting his phone number or his name.
He lost his house of 50 years.
It was stolen from him by some computer con artist.
You see it like that.
But to LonnieJackson, he sees it as a consequence of getting old, and that scares the hell out of him, Jack.
Is he competent enough to help his attorney? Absolutely, and I'm looking forward to watching Shambala Green try to prove otherwise.
It wasn'tjust one thing with Dad.
He screwed up a lot.
Screwed up? How so, Dr.
Jackson? At first, we would make plans for dinner, and he wouldn't show up or he'd go to the wrong restaurant.
Anything more significant? He forgot the names of my kids all the time.
Sometimes he'd forget my name or my wife's name.
Anything else? He started buying these stocks that were worthless because one of his senile friends at the V.
Told him they were gonna be hot.
Any physical signs? About a year ago, he passed out while driving his car.
Luckily, no one was hurt.
He hit an electric pole.
And I told him that I was gonna take his license away, and he said no one would take his freedom from him.
Thank you.
When was the last time your dad saw his grandchildren? Maybe a couple of years ago.
Did you send him photos of them? No.
Digital pictures over the Internet? No.
Then maybe it's not so surprising that he forgets their names every once in a while.
Now, these stocks he bought on recommendation ofhis friend do you remember what they were? The names? No.
But I can tell you this.
- He lost money on all of them.
- Really? How much? About $1,500.
But that's not the point.
- How much did you lose in the market, Dr.
Jackson? - Objection.
The point is, I'm trying to keep my father out of jail.
He's 79 years old, and he obviously did not know what he was doing when he killed that man.
Gee, I thought he was innocent until proven guilty.
! Withdrawn.
Answer my question, Dr.
How much money did you lose in the stock market last year? About $180,000.
Makes you wonder who the incompetent one is in this family.
Your Honor, objection! Withdrawn.
LonnieJackson has always been someone who cares about his family and other people.
Have you noticed any changes in Mr.
Jackson? Nah.
He still wears that same silly bow tie.
I think it went out of style in the '40s.
But what a man wears doesn't bear upon what kind of man he is.
LonnieJackson is a good man.
He treats people fairly, he minds his P's and Q's, says thank you, and he always opens the door for a lady.
And you've been friends for a long time? Since the war.
The big one.
Lonnie was a good soldier, was he? The best.
Medals for marksmanship.
You should have seen him shoot.
Like no one I've ever seen.
I bet he hasn't lost a step in all these years.
Hell, no.
Me and him, we go to the range and What do I know, anyway? Does Mr.
Jackson ever talk about his wife? Oh, yes.
He talks about her all the time.
He must love her very much.
Yes, he does.
Last time I saw him, he was telling me about a walk that he and Emma took just the other day on the Boardwalk at Atlantic City.
Wind blowin'through her hair.
Tell me, sir, when did Emma Jackson pass away? How did you find out that your house had been mortgaged, Mr.
Jackson? That's not so difficult.
I did it myself.
I should know.
I signed the papers.
Of course you did.
And what did you do with the money that you received? I was planning on taking a trip around the world.
Oh, that's nice.
What bank did you deposit it in? I forgot.
Isn't that a lie, sir? Isn't the truth that you were swindled out of your money? That someone you'd never met, let alone heard of, used your name, signed some papers and walked away with your life savings? No.
That is not true.
And isn't it also true that you didn't even know that you'd been evicted from your own house until the marshal dumped you and all of your belongings out onto the street corner in front of your friends and neighbors? - No! - And isn't it true that you didn't go to the bank or to the police to complain because you were humiliated? I'm ashamed of nothing I've done, young lady.
Do you know what a Pyrrhic victory is, Mr.
Jackson? I'm not really sure.
That's when you win, but you really lose.
Like this hearing.
If I win, I get to say that you're competent, in which case I get to go into another courtroom and try to prove that you did something I know you did but at the same time I can't prove.
So why don't we just call it a day? It's what they call going through the motions.
It's what I get paid for.
So you'll bear with me? Sure.
So, what do I know? I know that somehow Mr.
Hitchens picked you out of a grab bag as the perfect patsy.
That's easy.
Everything's on the Internet.
The fact that you were 79 years old, that you owned a piece of property, free and clear, worth nearly a million dollars.
But the best thing from Mr.
Hitchens's point of view was that someone like you could never track him down.
Because I'm old? You said it.
Our computer experts have worked on this for weeks.
- They came up empty.
- Maybe they aren't as sharp as me.
Let's be serious, Mr.
You forget your grandchildren's names.
How could you possibly figure Do you know how long it took me? Three days.
To find him, to kill him, to get rid of the gun.
- Objection, Your Honor.
- I am not incompetent! It's all of you who are incompetent.
Not me.
Not me.
Recess, Your Honor? It's fine with me.
All I know is hejust confessed on the record.
At a competency hearing, the subject of which obviously is still very much in dispute.
I'm an old man, you know.
I'm not dead.
Yeah, I forget what day of the week it is sometimes, but is that such an important thing? I've got a mind that works just fine.
Do you know why I didn't report this to the cops? Because my loving son, who sends me a Christmas card and maybe a call for my birthday, would have had me put away in some kind ofhome.
At least we'd still own the house.
It's not what you own, son.
It's what you are.
I'm just an old man who deserves to die in the bed he worked to pay for.
Do you realize what it's like to wake up one day and everything is gone? That I'm invisible? I've been erased? I've worked my whole life.
I bought that house.
I had no debt.
And this man, this monster, pushes a few buttons and poof, it's over, I'm gone.
That Hitchens robbed me of me.
He stole my soul.
We'll see what we can do about getting your property back, Mr.
What's the point? It's computers, you know.
Taking the place of human contact.
This all started because of the computer you gave me to keep me company so you wouldn't have to pay me no visits.
My first e-mail is from a company: "Do you want to win a million bucks?" So what the hell? I filled it out and returned it.
Dad, I warned you about those companies.
And you were right, son.
But I filled out the form, "Langford Lewis Jackson.
" Now, nobody knows me as Langford.
That's how Hitchens knew your real name to get your Social Security number.
And that's also how I knew the e-mail address of the S.
Who was ripping me off.
But you still didn't know Hitchens's name or where he lived.
There's something to be said for almost 80 years of charm, young lady.
I talked to the nice woman at the Internet carrier, and she was more than happy to help an old man find his granddaughter.
I told her I forgot my granddaughter's last name, but I had her e-mail address, and I wanted to give her a call.
She was sweet to help me out.
Did you know there's a reverse directory on the Internet? I got his address.
And you went there to kill him? I just wanted my money back.
So I took what's worth a whole hell of a lot more: My pride, my dignity, my self-respect.
I took back me! Me! Jack, we'll talk.
He'll do 10 in minimum security.
Not bad for a murderer.
If you ask me, I think his son should do some of that time.
You can't put this on PaulJackson.
He's just a 50-year-old man trying to live his own life as best he can.
Funny thing, Serena.
When I was your age, PaulJackson would have been considered one of the elderly.
And when the Framers were that age, they couldn't conceive of a population living past 80.

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