Law & Order (1990) s15e08 Episode Script

Cry Wolf

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.
Just think what a disaster it would be if the Cubs ever won the Series.
You mean for the fans? What would they talk about? The whole Cub culture's based on failure.
Like the Red Sox.
But look at the success they've had last couple of years winning the wild card.
They're flirting with disaster.
Well, now that Boston's actually won the whole enchilada? Catastrophe.
Beantown implodes Watch it.
(CRASHING) ED: Looks like everybody came out for this one.
FONTANA: Keep this area clean and try and remember it's a crime scene, okay? Shot once in the left love handle.
Was he a likely? He was still running his mouth pretty good when they took him away in the bus.
While he was shooting his mouth off, did he happen to mention who shot him? On that point, he was not forthcoming.
Witnesses? Those two over there.
Said he fell or was dumped out of the back of a black Lincoln Town Car.
A car service? Maybe, but we got no plate number.
FONTANA: Well, do we at least have a name on the victim? You're gonna love this.
Is that a first name or a last name? And only.
Cristof? The shock jock? Cristof from the Ministers of Justice? You ever listen to his show? No,you? You couldn't pay me.
Too bad he's not likely, you know what I'm saying? I'd love to see Homicide catch this case.
I guess he don't like Cristof.
Ministers of Justice.
The subway vigilantes? The ones with the hats? Yeah, you remember them? Yeah, they had a branch in Chicago.
Pains in the asses.
Always getting in the way of the real police.
Some people thought they were angels.
Yeah, angels with dirty records.
Guy has his own talk show? Yeah.
Now he gets paid to shoot his mouth off.
Well, looks like somebody finally shot back.
So, we called the hospital.
They already patched him up and they're gonna send him home tomorrow.
Go talk to him.
See if he's got any idea who might've done this.
Excuse me, Lieutenant, but why? Unless this guy dies, and it doesn't look like he's gonna, don't we send this one back to the squad? Not yet.
He's got a history of this.
Okay, history of what? Am I missing something here? That's right.
Back in the day, he staged an attack on himself as a publicity stunt.
He had himself shot as a publicity stunt? Jumped.
Happened a couple of times.
This was, like, before I was on.
Like 15, 20 years ago, in the height of the Ministers of Justice craze.
They were on the news every single day.
Cristof was on the news every single day.
Yeah, fighting crime in the subways.
Protecting the public because the police couldn't.
Made us look bad.
And of course there was always a cameraman on the scene and it always ended up on the 10:00 news.
So Cristof had himself mugged and the muggings were staged? We all thought so.
Well, a mugging is one thing.
But even for a publicity whore, you'd have to be pretty desperate to have somebody shoot a hole through you.
That's why I want you guys to investigate this like it's a genuine attempted murder, and if it's not Put a stop to it.
All right.
All right.
Detective Green, Detective Fontana.
We're here to talk to Cristof.
Oh, he's in the day room having a press conference.
Press conference? Thank you.
Nothing like a speedy recovery, right? I guess.
(REPORTERS CLAMORING) All right, listen.
Listen! I've been walking the walk and talking the talk in this town for two decades.
If they think they're gonna back me down now, they don't know Cristof.
REPORTER 1: Who's the "they" you're talking about, Cristof? REPORTER 2: Who shot you? Back down from who? REPORTER 3: The mob? You listen to my show.
You know who I been ragging on recently.
Michael Ruffino.
The Zircon Don himself.
REPORTER 4: Police have any suspects? Not yet.
But we're working on it.
So if you will excuse us, ladies and gentlemen, we have a shooting to investigate.
Thank you very much.
Have a nice day.
Excuse me.
Please excuse us, ma'am.
That's my wife, Liz.
We'd like to talk to Cristof alone, if you don't mind.
It's okay, honey.
I'm right outside if you need me.
Is it something we said? She doesn't like cops.
Really? We heard it runs in the family.
I get the feeling the feeling is mutual.
But while you're here Yeah, since we're here, why don't you tell us what went down? Why don't you buy me a cup of coffee? Sure.
I finish my show.
I jump in the car to go home, everything's like normal, right? Then the guy riding shotgun turns around, pulls out a piece, points it right at me.
(LAUGHS) I nearly browned out in my Bermudas.
There were two guys in the front seat? Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, the second one said he was, like, a limo trainee.
So what'd you do? I dropped my cell phone and grabbed the gun.
ED: Damn.
That was pretty gutsy.
Let me tell ya, if I hadn't, we'd be down at the morgue and you'd be doing all the talking, I guarantee.
Can you describe these guys? White.
You know, heavyset.
You know, mugs.
The driver guy had a scar behind his right ear.
Ajag, kind of like a blade makes.
You mentioned Michael Ruffino.
Now, what would the last big mob boss in New York wanna hit you for? 'Cause I tell it like it is on my show, and frankly, he can't handle the truth.
Which is what? That he's a heavyweight drug dealer.
Scum of the earth.
Not fit to breathe other people's air.
Well, did Ruffino ever threaten you directly? He tried to have his punk kid come around the studio to brace me one time while I was doing the show.
Michael Jr.
? Mmm.
What'd he say? He said, "You better watch your mouth, you know what's good for you.
" I said, "Hey, Mikey, you're on the air.
You wanna take some calls?" Sent him home to daddy with his tail between his legs.
Well, is there anybody else beside Ruffino that we should be looking at? I rubbed a lot of important people the wrong way over the years.
So let's start with the name of that limo company.
We usually pick him up every afternoon, drive him home.
Anytime between 2:00 and 6:00.
Someone from the studio gives us a call when he's good to go.
What time were you supposed to pick him up the day he got shot? Uh, 3:15.
So what happened that day? Why didn't you pick him up? Somebody called back at 3:20.
Canceled the ride.
Who? Doesn't say.
"Something came up.
Client to make other arrangements.
" Thanks a lot.
Yeah, I called the limo service that day.
Told them Cristof was ready to roll.
But I didn't cancel it.
Any idea who did? You mean who set him up to get shot? No.
Do you think the shooting was legit? I think Cristof would do just about anything to get his name in the papers.
Promote his show.
Cristof said that there were two big white dudes in a black Lincoln Town Car.
Whitestone might've seen them.
He and Cristof walked up outta here together.
Wait, Whitestone? Yep.
Jarret Whitestone.
Jarret Whitestone, the martial arts dude? The Lethal Muscle man himself.
Lethal Muscle? I saw that movie.
It was a stinker.
The man done lost it.
He was Cristof's guest on the show that day.
The two of them were on a roll, ripping and riffing the whole hour.
Who were they ripping and riffing on? Michael Ruffino, mostly.
They tore him a new one.
We sent out a Finest message on the driver, the shooter and a banged up Lincoln Town Car.
We wanna talk to Whitestone so he can give us a better description of the two guys, but his PR person keeps giving us the run around.
Well, what's your gut so far? Well, he could have set it up.
It was minimal tissue damage, through and through wound.
So it was probably a full jacket.
Well, a hollow-point would've stayed in the body.
On the other hand, he's not the most popular guy in New York City, either.
Loudmouth, obnoxious shockjock.
What's not to like? Well, he's definitely back in the news.
He was in the tabloids again this morning.
Yeah, I saw it.
Look, before you talk to Ruffino or Whitestone, see if you can find any of Cristof's old running buddies.
Maybe they have a line on what went down the other day.
Us and C, we ran together, what, eight, nine years? Yeah.
First it felt good, like we were doing some good.
Giving people without some hope.
Getting kids protecting the community instead of ripping it off.
So what changed? Cristof changed.
He started getting a big head.
Yeah, all he wanted to see was his name in the papers and his face on the news.
You're talking about the muggings? Those were a setup, man.
We were trying to get some publicity for the Ministers.
His idea.
But y'all were in on it? PEDRO: Oh, yeah.
Start to finish.
I broke his nose the first time.
(LAUG HS) Man, was he pissed! "Why'd you have to hit me so hard?" I thought he was gonna cry.
So when we heard he got shot We figured he did it to get back in the limelight.
See, Cristof.
Yeah, he wants to take his show national, like that Rush Limbaugh.
All he talks about.
Well, a mugging is one thing, but a shooting? I could see it.
Flesh wound? Only somebody who's never been shot can talk about a flesh wound like it's no big deal, which it definitely is when it's your flesh.
Yeah, well, see, you're a cop.
You know about these things.
But Cristof? What does he know? All he knows is what he got off TV and the movies and stuff.
The whole Ministers of Justice thing, that was straight outta the comic books.
Hey, those muggings were on the square, man.
I got beat.
I got the scars to prove it, all right? The Gonzalez brothers, they say that you staged those muggings for publicity.
Sour grapes.
Cristof made it, they didn't.
Oh, come on.
You take a bullet at close range and all you lose is some fat on one of your love handles? What is that all about, anyway? I think it's a little homemade liposuction myself.
He got shot, for God's sake.
You've always had it in for him.
Since the day he started the Ministers of Justice.
It's all right, it's all right, honey.
Next time they try and I'm dead, then they'll believe me.
The day you got shot, you left the studio and went straight to your car? That's right.
Now, your assistant said that you were walking with Jarret Whitestone? He was a guest on my show that day.
Yeah, we're gonna wanna talk to him.
Talk to him.
Who do you want me to make it out to? How about to all the boys down at the Homicide Unit? I never killed anyone.
Except on film, of course.
Hey, you were at Cristof's studio the day he got shot? I do his show now and then.
A local talk show? Big-shot movie star such as yourself? It may be local, but believe me, people talk about it the next day.
Did you see the two dudes that picked him up? Couple of palookas in suits.
They didn't ask you for your autograph? Trust me, these guys, not star-struck.
All they do is drive celebrities all day long.
It's unbelievable.
We heard that you and Cristof were raking Michael Ruffino over the coals.
Ah, Ruffino was Cristof's hobbyhorse.
I didn't go there.
We have to make sure we ask Ruffino if he caught the show that day.
No need to mention my name.
You're not worried, are you? I mean, you could always pull one of those, um, really groovy kung fu moves that you use in the pictures.
Yeah, that's gonna go over real well with Ruffino's soldiers with them semiautomatics.
I love your work, man.
Ruffino? Don't bother, gentlemen.
No need.
I can spot New York's finest a mile away.
Take a shower.
What can I do for you? Yeah, we need to talk to you about Cristof.
Yeah, I heard he was spreading it around that I had something to do with that mess.
Well, did you? (SCOFFS) Please.
What do I care about him? We heard he was busting your onions pretty good on that radio show of his.
You know, I listen to Howard Stern.
What about your son? Cristof told us he came by the studio one day.
You know, Mikey Jr.
took offense to something the jerk said about me.
I told him forget about it.
Yeah? We still need to talk to him.
You knock yourself out.
He lives in Miami.
I'll give you his number, huh? Look, if I wanted that fat little mozzarella off the air, you really think I would arrange something as half-assed as what went down the other day? Did you? (CHUCKLES) Man, I hate to admit it, but the old man's right.
That ain't really his style.
Michael Ruffino's enemies have a history of just disappearing off the face of the earth.
Although, if you could get DNA from skyscrapers, I'm sure you could find a few of them in Midtown, (CELL PHONE RINGS) mixed in with a little concrete.
Hello? Yeah? Okay.
We'll check it out.
Speaking of the mob, we got a shooting at a mob pizzeria.
Why call us? The detective on the scene heard our Finest message.
The victim's got ajagged scar behind his right ear.
Could it be this little bastard is telling us the truth? Frank Tourno.
He's the owner? Yeah.
Not that he ever twirled any dough.
He's a made guy, member of the Ruffino family.
What happened here? Witnesses say a couple of white guys walked in, ordered a calzone, then told everybody to freeze, double-tapped Frankie twice in the back of the head.
See that scar? Mmm, that could definitely be Cristof's driver.
That doesn't necessarily mean that this is connected to that, does it? But if it is, and this is payback for Tourno and his friend messing up the Cristofjob Then we're waiting for the other shoe to drop? Exactly.
Looks like one of those days.
Now what? Same MO downtown, by the university.
That noise you hear, by the way, is the other shoe.
I'll meet you down there.
All right, man.
Witness said two guys walked up to him on the sidewalk, popped him twice, jumped in awaiting car.
You got a make and a model on the car? And a plate number.
Oh, rock on.
Good work, bro.
Great work.
Car's stolen, plates are stolen and it's being stripped for parts in a chop shop in the Bronx as we speak.
No doubt.
What'd you find out, bro? Victim's name is Angelo Simonetti.
I called my ex-partner, works Organized Crime, said Simonetti is not a made guy, but he is a known Ruffino associate.
He doesn't look like an outfit guy to me.
Guess Cristof was telling the truth.
They were trying to whack him, they blew it, now Ruffino's cleaning house.
I've known plenty of mobsters, and I haven't met one yet who carried around a copy oi A History of Western Civilization.
In a backpack, no less.
The phone call to the car service that canceled Cristof's pick-up was made from a payphone on Elizabeth Street.
Hey, that's not so far from the Ruffino Social Club.
We also got the number of the woman who called Cristof's cell just before he was shot.
You're thinking she was part of the setup? Well, she may have been a distraction or a signal.
Anyway, her name's Tina Reese.
She owns a gallery.
TINA: I don't know Cristof.
You called him on his cell.
You were talking to him when he got shot.
Look, Miss Reese, if you were having an affair with Cristof, that's your business.
All we're looking for is any help that we can get on who shot him.
I'm not having an affair.
I must've dialed awrong number.
Now, if you'll excuse me.
ED: Okay, Tina, stop! Come here.
Over the last month, you dialed the same wrong number 36 times, so you have been talking to Cristof at length.
And he's called you numerous times also.
Now, I can understand you wanting to be discreet.
He's a married man and all.
(slsl-ls) It's It's not his wife I'm worried about.
It's my boyfriend.
Well, who's your boyfriend? Man, of all the women in New York City you could've stepped out on your wife with, you chose a mob boss's mistress? I met her first.
About eight years ago at her gallery.
I fell for her hard.
We've been seeing each other off and on ever since.
Must've thrilled your wife to no end.
She thinks it ended a few years ago.
You know Tina was seeing Ruffino, too, right? I didn't like it.
But I was in no position to tell her what to do.
Does he know about you? I don't think so.
Wait a minute.
You don't think that's why he might've tried to bump me off, do you? Hmm, let me take a guess.
Yeah, it's a thought.
Well, no way.
She would never do that.
This is about what I said about him on my radio show, all right? All right.
Anyway, take a look at this.
That's the driver.
ED: You sure? You kidding me? Where you gonna see a scar like that? Who is he? That's Frank Tourno.
He's one of Ruffino's soldiers.
Ruffino's soldier? They put two in his cod.
Why? I'm just spitballing here, but I'm thinking maybe it's because they botched the job on you.
ED: Look at this one.
Nah, sorry.
ED: He's not the shooter? The guy who shot me was bigger, older, fatter.
This guy, I never laid eyes on before.
Then who the hell is this? Angelo was a good boy.
Everybody liked him.
He was kind, thoughtful.
(SOBBING) My Angelo had a head for books.
He was gonna make something of himself.
Simonetti, we're very sorry.
And I don't mean any disrespect by this, but Say what you have to say.
We have some information that your son, Angelo, was somehow involved with the Ruffino crime family.
So that's what this is about.
I was afraid of this.
Soon as I heard.
So you know something about this, ma'am? They shot the wrong Angelo! His older second cousin is the one they were after! His name is Angelo Simonetti also.
He runs with the Ruffinos.
He's the gangster! Not my Angelo.
Simonetti? Do you know where this other Angelo Simonetti lives? Oh, no.
Sorry, no.
Excuse me, ma'am, if you don't mind me asking, where'd you get this photo? Oh.
His Uncle Carlo gave it to him.
Angelo loved that man's movies.
Uncle Carlo? Carlo Tresca.
He's a producer.
He and Mr.
Whitestone did a movie together.
The mob produced Whitestone's last picture? Uh-huh.
Pinochle Pictures, owned by Carlo Tresca.
One of Michael Ruffino's capos.
So, was Whitestone aware of who he was in business with? Well, he had to be.
His telephone records indicate hundreds of calls to Tresca and other Ruffino associates during the last year.
There was one more call to that Elizabeth Street payphone the day that Cristof got shot.
The one where the car service was canceled? Mmm-hmm.
The timeline works, too.
The studio called the car service, and then Whitestone called the payphone.
After they hung up, somebody from the payphone calls the car service, cancels Cristof's ride.
And then they tried to cancel Cristof.
So they were smart enough to use the payphone, but Whitestone uses his own cell? He's an actor.
Well, Mr.
Whitestone's got some explaining to do.
The Ruffinos financed the picture.
The movie tanked.
lowed them money, a lot more than I could ever pay back.
ED: So what did Tresca ask you to do to repay the debt? Get close to Cristof.
Fill him in on his comings and goings.
So, then on that day? I called Tourno at the payphone.
Tourno canceled his car and picked Cristof up himself.
You knew what he was gonna do? (SIGHS) I had an idea.
Did Tourno tell you why he wanted him hurt? He was sleeping with Michael Ruffino's mistress.
Oh, so you knew that, too? Everybody knew.
Worst kept secret in New York.
Page 6.
"What New York radio personality is seeing which goodfella's girlfriend?" Who ordered the hit? Had to be Ruffino.
Come on, things like that don't happen without the boss signing off on them.
Whitestone, I hope you got a whole lot of scripts to read because you're looking at some serious jail time.
You think so, huh? Think of it as research for your next part.
Only, if I were you, lwouldn't write any roles for women.
What now? Michael Ruffino, you're under arrest for attempted murder.
For whom? Whom? Cristof, that's whom.
I had nothing to do with that.
I'll make bail before youse get home tonight.
Don't sleep too easy, 'cause we're still looking at you for the murders of Angelo Simonetti and Frank Tourno.
You know those knuckleheads you hired killed the wrong Angelo Simonetti? What? Yeah.
Now you're gonna have to hire some more to fix that one.
Just can't find good help these days, can ya, Mikey boy? Charge? Conspiracy to commit murder, Your Honor.
JUDGE: Plea? Mr.
Ruffino enters a plea of not guilty and requests bail, YourHonoL The People seek remand, Your Honor.
Ruffino has dual citizenship with Italy and the resources not only to flee, but to finish off what he started with Mr.
Ruffino had absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with shooting Cristof.
He's a mob boss Alleged.
who's currently under investigation for two murders related to this case.
Charge him with an actual murder or two, Miss Southerlyn, and I'll be happy to remand.
You got your bail, Counselor, but it's gonna cost ya.
Million bucks.
Your Honor, that's no deterrent to flight.
What about house arrest or an electronic bracelet? Now that's a little extreme, Miss Southerlyn.
How about Mr.
Ruffino surrenders his passports? Both of them.
(GAVEL BANGS) You weren't gonna get remand on a conspiracy charge.
Well, I had to try.
At least I got his passports pulled.
You have time for lunch? No, I'm actually on my way to prep Jarret Whitestone for trial.
Remind him that part of his plea agreement is that he be forthcoming about all his dealings with the Ruffinos.
You don't trust him? Gone? What do you mean gone? Left this morning.
Said he had a movie to shoot overseas, gone for a few months, would I hold the mail.
Where overseas? Asia, somewhere.
Or maybe it was Taiwan.
I googled him.
According to the trade papers, he's making a movie about Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Whitestone is the link that connects the victim to Ruffino? Yes.
He's the one who placed the call to Tourno to set Cristof up.
Tourno being the dead driver who botched the Cristofjob? And a known Ruffino associate.
And the whereabouts of this other mobster, the one who shot Cristof? Angelo Simonetti? He's disappeared.
We don't know if he's in hiding or if he's dead.
Will Miss Reese testify? Against Ruffino? (PHONE RINGS) Branch.
I don't need her to testify against Ruffino.
If she talks about how wonderful he is and how long they've been seeing each other She makes our case for us.
Michael Ruffino found out that Cristof was having an affair with her and tried to eliminate him.
But what if she won't cooperate? Well, you don't need to worry about Tina Reese's testimony anymore.
Who found her? Her assistant, about 9:00 this morning.
Cause of death? Plastic bag over her head, empty bottles of pills, couple shots of bourbon.
Hmm, that'll do it.
She leave a note? Still in the printer.
Hey, this morning, was the door locked or unlocked? According to the assistant, locked.
How about the victim's keys? In her purse.
Hmm, sounds open and shut to me.
Picture perfect.
See for yourselves.
What do we got here? Well, I'll tell you what it looks like.
Looks like she dissolved most of a bottle of tranquilizers in a glass of bourbon, chugged it, put a bag over her head, suffocated herself to death.
Well, you're right.
That's what it looks like.
Well, we won't know for certain until we get her on the table, run a tox screen, etcetera, etcetera.
Ah, here's the note.
Let's see.
"I don't deserve to live.
I hurt the only man who ever truly loved me.
"I'm sorry.
" Anything here that says this isn't a suicide? Well, bruise on her forehead.
But that's consistent with passing out, hitting her head on the desk.
You got a time of death? Between rigor, lividity and body temp, I'd say about Thank you.
FONTANA: All right, thanks.
We're not gonna find anyone else's prints on that note.
Like the man said, picture perfect.
You don't believe that, do you? Oh, hell no.
Neither do I.
I met her at the gallery about five years ago.
When was the last time you saw her? Jesus, last weekend.
We had dinner.
What'd you talk about? I don't know.
This and that.
How can you remember? You have a fight? Nah, hardly.
Uh, after dinner, I took her home.
Her assistant said that you two were having some problems.
No, no, never.
No, it's news to me.
Uh, on the other hand, you know broads.
They get mad at you, half the time, you're the last to know.
I mean, she was always breaking up with me.
Mmm, why? I knew I'd never leave my wife.
Just for the record, where were you last night? I had dinner at Chanterelle with Shirley and another couple.
All evening.
I thought this was a suicide.
Well, it's an apparent suicide.
There's nothing official yet.
Not until we say it's official.
You don't like me for this, do you? I don't like you, period.
But for this, you tell me, who else should we like? I don't know.
I really don't.
Do you think she could've done this to herself? No.
I never would've thought so, no.
Hey, you know she was seeing Cristof, too? That's a lie! Uh-huh.
The same time you were.
I'm telling you, I thought the guy was gonna have an aneurysm.
If he already knew about Cristof and Tina, he's a pretty good actor.
Look, I'm notjumping to any conclusions, but I'm not buying his act right off the rack, either.
ED: Hey, Miss Southerlyn, Doctor.
What do we got? Miss Reese had enough Valium in her system, combined with the alcohol, to kill her.
Certainly would have rendered her unconscious.
So what was the cause of death? Suffocation.
Before the pills and alcohol could take full effect.
You mean it was suicide? The bruise on her forehead? As you might expect, she has a corresponding injury to her frontal lobe.
So she passed out, fell forward and hit her head.
No, her head was thrown forward into the desk.
How do you know that? The brain bounced inside the skull, and left a corresponding injury to the occipital lobe.
It's what we call a contrecoup injury.
So, somebody comes up from behind, grabs her by the hair.
Yeah, bang, the light goes out, and then somebody pours a booze and pill cocktail down her throat.
I'm calling it a homicide.
I think that's a very good call.
Ruffino's the only one who could benefit from her death.
I hate these mob cases.
Collateral damage, like Tina Reese and the young Simonetti.
If we can put Ruffino away, he's just about the last don standing.
Maybe we're worried about the wrong missing witness.
Forget Jarret Whitestone.
The man who shot Cristof, the right Angelo Simonetti, is still out there someplace.
Assuming he's not in that mob graveyard over in Queens.
You know, I think the only person we haven't interviewed about Angelo Simonetti yet is his grandmother in Bay Ridge.
Have Fontana and Green check it out.
(SPEAKING ITALIAN) Do I need to translate that for you? No, I think I caught the gist of that.
Tell her that it would be better if we found her grandson first before Ruffino does.
(CURSING IN ITALIAN) (SPITS) Don Ruffi no, sf.
(SPEAKING ITALIAN) And don't think for one second that I buy into this "I don't speak English" routine.
(BOTH SPEAKING ITALIAN) Excuse me, ma'am, but who do you know in Washington Heights? No offense, grandma, but I'm sure you ain't got a whole lot of Dominican friends.
Look at that name and that zip code.
And how about that? No return address.
She know that word, don't she? Yeah, and here's two more.
No problem.
Because I'm staying right here while my friend goes and gets a warrant, just in case you get the urge to talk to your grandson.
(SPEAKING ITALIAN) ANGELO: Yeah? Who is it? Angelo Simonetti? What do you want? NYPD, open the door.
Show me a badge.
Coming out.
Nice and easy, Angelo, with your hands up.
I'm gonna open the door now.
Don't shoot.
I ain't armed.
We been wanting to talk to you, Angelo.
Pleasure would be mine.
Thank God you're cops.
(SIGHS IN RELIEF) For a minute there, thought I was a dead man.
All right, come on.
Let's go.
Son of a bitch tries to kill me and the morons he hires kill my little cousin instead? You want us to help you put Ruffino away? What are you looking for? Full immunity and protection.
Your client shot Cristof.
He's got to plead to something.
Second Degree.
He gets probation, you get Michael Ruffino.
I'll talk to the US Attorney about witness protection.
Frankie Tourno and I were supposed to take out Cristof.
What went wrong? ANGELO: What didn't? Cristof was on his cell, totally distracted.
I pulled my piece, I turned around to plug him, just at that moment, Frank hits a pothole, my first shot goes into the roof.
So that's when Cristof grabbed the gun.
We wrestle around, I fire a few more times, I hit him once.
Frankie slams into some parked cars, the door flies open, Cristof falls out.
Complete fiasco.
Who wanted him hit? Don Ruffino.
He found out Tina was stepping out on him with Cristof.
He told you that? Nah.
He never tells nobody nothing directly.
I got my marching orders from Tourno, who got his from Mikey Jr.
Tourno's dead.
There's no way to tie Michael Ruffino Jr.
to the conspiracy.
Ruffino didn't get to be such a ripe old age by being stupid.
WOLCHESKY: So, Michael Ruffino Jr.
told Frank Tourno to tell you to kill Mr.
Do I have that right? Yeah.
Not my client, Mr.
That's correct.
Tourno say he got the orders from my client? He didn't have to.
We knew where they came from.
But you never got the alleged orders from Mr.
Ruffino himself? That's what I been saying.
Did Mr.
Ruffino ever express to you personally, at any time, that he wanted to see Mr.
Cristof shot or injured in any way? No.
You shot Cristof at close range.
Pretty close, yeah.
It was deafening.
You tried your best to kill him.
Didn't work out.
Yet you weren't charged with attempted murder, were you? No.
What were you charged with, Mr.
Simonetti? Assault.
In the Second Degree.
A Class D felony.
Isn't that right? I guess.
So, Mr.
Simonetti, you were able to plead out to a Class D felony in exchange for your testimony against my client? Insinuate all you want.
But I ain't lying.
Of course you're not.
What reason would you have to lie? L--- I tried to fight the guy off, and the next thing I know, I'm in the hospital.
JACK: Angelo Simonetti has testified that he shot you.
Did you meet with detectives after his arrest? They did a lineup.
And did you identify him then as the man who shot you? I said he was the guy.
Well, I thought about it, and now I'm not so sure.
Not sure? Yeah.
I thought about it, (SIGHS) and I think I might havejumped to a conclusion.
You also identified the late Frank Tourno as the driver from a photo array.
Like I said, I had some time to think about it, and I thought about it, and I think the driver might've been a different guy.
In the past, you positively identified Frank Tourno as the driver and Angelo Simonetti as the shooter.
Was your memory better then, or is it clearer now that time has passed? Like I said, I think I made a mistake.
Did Mr.
Ruffino or one of his associates threaten you to change your testimony? WOLCHESKY: Objection.
JUDGE: Sustained.
Make sure you have a good faith basis for your questions, Mr.
Would a pattern of witness intimidation and elimination be enough of a basis? Objection.
YourHonon this witness has clearly been compromised.
Unless you have evidence to support that allegation, I suggest you move on, Counselor.
So, where are we on the Cristof case? Did you see the news? Satellite radio's picked up Cristof's show.
He's going national.
You think the mob arranged that somehow? I think it's possible somebody called in a favor.
Or someone scared him or bought him off.
I don't think we can win with the witnesses we have.
Well, we can't get to Michael Ruffino Jr.
, who wouldn't testify against his father, anyway.
And if Cristof won't identify Simonetti and Tourno as the guys who attacked him We may need Jarret Whitestone after all.
And why would he come back to testify? I doubt that he wants to make movies in Mongolia for the rest of his life.
We can offer him immunity and protection from the mob if he cooperates.
That's all well and good, but how do you intend to find him? That's easy.
Call his agent.
Ask for a continuance.
Just for the record, lwasn't making a movie in Mongolia.
I was meditating in a monastery.
We'll alert the media.
He'll testify to everything that he knows, but he'll need immunity and protection, God knows.
As long as he allocutes to his role.
So, what more can you tell us about the conspiracy on Mr.
Cristof's life? I've already told you everything I know about that.
But I can tell you who killed Tina Reese.
Ruffino knew that Tina was cheating on him.
He said he could make it look like a suicide.
He said that? He had this book, from the Hemlock Society? Tells you how to off yourself using pills and booze and a plastic bag.
The head of a crime family confided in you? He liked me.
He trusted me.
That's what he told me.
Hand to God.
That actor is a lying rat bastard! I never touched Tina.
I loved her, McCoy! Come on, come on, come on.
So, you couldn't nail my client for one crime, so you charged him with another? You knew Tina Reese was having an affair with Cristof.
Not until after she was dead.
You feared she'd be a damaging witness in your conspiracy trial.
She would've never said a word that would've hurt me.
If you didn't know they were having an affair, why'd you put the contract out on Cristof? Because I was sick of the trash he was talking about me on that crummy radio show.
He called me a drug dealer! You are a drug dealer.
Hey! Hey! WOLCH ES KY: Easy.
It was not his business to put my business in the street! I'm afraid I don't believe you, Mr.
There was no sign of forced entry at Tina Reese's gallery.
So she must have known her assailant and let him in.
I loved that girl with all my heart.
Unless, of course, he had a key.
What's that supposed to be? JACK: The key to the front door of Tina Reese's gallery, found in a search of your country house in the Catskills.
(sums) You got it all figured out, huh? People can show through witness testimony that the defendant was angry at the victim, that he intended to make her murder look like a suicide, and that this is consistent with his history of violence.
Isn't Mr.
Ruffino currently being tried on a conspiracy charge? The People have dismissed that case.
And now your client wants to plead to the homicide? An Alford plea, yes, Your Honor.
He won't admit guilt? WOLCHESKY: No, Your Honor.
JUDGE: Unusual.
What difference does an Alford plea make to a mobster? The People are willing to take an Alford plea on a murder charge? The People are best served with Mr.
Ruffino in prison.
Prosecution doesn't care about his allocution.
If all parties are agreed, I won't disrupt the plea.
Put it on the record, Counselor.
My client has asked to make the statement, YourHonoL JUDGE: Go ahead, Mr.
I'm aware the D.
's office has certain evidence they will use to try to prove that I killed Tina Reese.
Now, I know this evidence is strong enough to convict me and will result in more severe punishment if I go to trial.
So, I'll take this plea without admitting guilt.
(RUFFINO SIGHING) All I want to say I loved Tina Reese.
I loved Tina Reese.
That's it.
JUDGE: The plea is accepted.
On the date of sentence, the defendant will be transferred to Ossining Prison, where he will serve a sentence of 20 years without possibility of parole.
Congratulations, Counselor.
You got me for the one I didn't commit.
(KNOCKING AT DOOR) You're still here? I just got off the phone with the State Police.
Michael Ruffino Jr.
was cited for speeding on the Thruway near Newburgh the night Tina Reese was murdered.
I don't understand.
He was on his way to his father's house in Greene County.
I also called the airlines.
He flew up from Florida that morning.
He killed Tina? The old man knew it as soon as he saw the key.
So he took the plea to protect his son? And that's why he insisted on the Alford plea.
He was willing to take the weight.
He couldn't bring himself to say that he did it.
That's love.
Every which way you look at it.