Law & Order (1990) s17e05 Episode Script

Public Service Homicide

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.
(PROGRAM MUSIC PLAYING) NARRATOR ON TV: Each of these men expected to find a 12-year-old girl named Tiffany who they'd chatted with online.
It's clear what they came for.
”Are you as horny as I am?” I know they always catch the bad guys.
If they didn't, they'd be schlubs.
You wouldn't watch.
Ruben Pena thought an underage girl was home alone.
Little did he know Fine.
If you don't like it, change the channel.
While some of the predators tried to talk themselves out of the situation Ma.
like Manhattan resident, Carl Mullally.
She said she was 19.
Oh, my God.
We have copies of your onfine chat.
My neighbor's on TV.
I am so sorry.
I've never done anything like this before.
It was a terrible, terrible mistake.
(RINGS DOORBELL) Lemon chicken, brown rice? Lemon chicken? Carl Mullally.
44, 6'2", weighing in at 195.
He's a Leo with brown eyes.
All right, so they didn't lift his wallet? Or anything else worth taking.
Well, that ain't saying much.
No forced entry.
Doesn't look like there was a struggle, and this Mullally dude is big, so either he didn't see it coming, or Or he knew who was coming.
What time did the delivery guy find him? About 11:10.
What you smiling about? Novelty.
It's not every day you get one of these.
He's fresh.
I get it.
You got a window? Well, with multiple stab wounds, I'm counting three hours, tops.
Partner's calling for you.
All right.
I'll be right back.
Do you know that show Hard Focus? Yeah, on the 2417 News Network? Yeah, Miss Wallace was watching it tonight.
Detective Green.
Thank God for TiVo.
You're telling us that this is the first time you sought out a minor I was on the phone with my mother, watching one of those episodes outing pedophiles and look who pops up.
I've had urges in the past, but! knew they were wrong and I never acted on them.
What made this time different? I really felt like I connected to Tiffany, like we understood each other.
I know that's sick.
It's wrong, and I apologize from the bottom of my heart.
This aired just after 9:00 tonight.
No wonder Mr.
Mullally's dead.
What a dirtbag.
How many times you say he got stabbed? Please, sir, just answer the question.
How well did you know him? Well, he picked up our mail once when we were out of town.
He seemed pretty harmless.
But it's not like he's gonna wear a T-shirt with pedophile stamped across the front.
Were you seeing anybody coming in and out of his apartment on a regular basis? Not that we noticed.
Do you know of anyone with a beef with Mullally? Ever heard any arguments? No.
But have you checked with his next door neighbor, Evan Fleming? He's next on the list.
He wouldn't do this, David.
He's a doctor.
Why do you bring him up? His daughter's eight.
FLEMING: I was in the E.
until 10:00.
Home around 10:30.
GREEN: Where was your daughter? Here, in bed.
I got in, the babysitter left.
I checked in on Abigail and knocked off about two seconds later.
On your way in, did you see anyone in the hall, anyone out of place? No one.
Well, after you got home After you got home, did you hear anybody in Mr.
Mullally's apartment, or out here in the hallway? I was on my feet 12 hours yesterday.
I was out cold.
What about you, Abigail? Did you hear anything next door? She was asleep.
Were you, sweetie? Yeah.
Can I watch some TV? For 10 minutes.
How'd you get along with Mr.
Mullally? Barely saw him.
Abigail ever home alone? Never.
She's all I got.
Did you see this Hard Focus segment? It was on in the break room.
You're pretty calm about all this, Mr.
Fleming, considering you live next door to a child molester.
I don't work in an E.
'cause I'm prone to panic.
And Mr.
Mullally's not living next door anymore, is he? Carl Mullally had no record until Ulster County collared him after the Hard Focus segment.
So, what's Ulster know about him? No kiddie porn on his computer.
No threats in his emails.
How did the TV show dig him up? Mullally was trolling the chat rooms and took the bait on a decoy 12-year-old set up by this online vigilante group called Scum Watch.
Their motto is, "We fill the gap in law enforcement.
" And now there's a murder.
What about the delivery guy who found Mullally? Didn't see a soul in the hall.
And the babysitter confirms Fleming's timeline.
So that puts Fleming next door at the time of the homicide.
He have a record? Clean.
What about the little girl's mother? She hit the road six years ago.
So, we've got a single father who finds out he has a pedophile living next door.
And does the world a solid.
Public service homicide? Boss, have you seen the Hard Focus segments? I mean, one guy walked into that house naked, another perv brought his own kid along.
It's sick stuff.
Yeah, but it's trainwreck TV.
It's not an investigation.
Hey, the LUDs from Mullally's home phone show a whole bunch of short cell-phone calls from a woman named Hannah Welch.
Look at that, 15 seconds, and one of them was an hour before he was murdered.
Track her down.
WOMAN: Hannah's holed up in the bathroom.
She won't come out.
I'll talk to her.
Hey, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
How you gonna start? Ascertain her relationship with Mullally.
Then you're gonna dig for an alibi, right? Not ask her favorite color? Come on.
I can handle a girl locked in a bathroom.
How long had you and Carl been seeing each other? Maybe a month.
God, I can't believe this.
He ever mention anyone bothering him? Nothing like that.
When was the last time you saw him? A few days ago.
Not at all last night? No.
I went to a movie last night.
So when did you get wind of the Hard Focus segment? This morning.
It's being passed around online.
And a few days ago, that's the last contact you had with Carl? Yeah.
No phone calls? Um I'm sorry.
I'm not thinking real clear.
I tried getting in touch at his work earlier in the day and they said he'd been fired.
I called him to ask about it, and he wouldn't talk to me.
What, he was fired before the segment aired? Yeah.
Where'd he been working? A community center.
Around kids? Yeah.
Oh, my God.
MAN: Carl was our fix-it man.
GREEN: Why'd you fire him? It was time he moved on.
Did anything happen with the kids? No.
Program Director said she heard you and Carl screaming behind closed doors, and then he wasn't working here anymore.
I saw him on that show.
It made me sick to my stomach.
That was after you fired him.
Yeah, but a few weeks ago I got tipped off the guy was a molester.
By who? I didn't know him.
But he said that Carl was a bad guy.
So I sat Carl down about it and he went crazy.
This tip, did someone call you? No, they stopped in.
What'd the guy look like? He was white, 30s.
Said he was Carl's neighbor.
He said I should watch out for the kids.
Thank you.
GREEN: Why did you go to Mullally'sjob? You buried the lead, Fleming.
I mean, why not start with the guy's a scumbag pedophile? 'Cause it's over with.
Why do I have to get involved? You went to his job to get him fired.
Isn't that getting involved? That's keeping kids safe.
How'd you know Mullally was dangerous? I got an anonymous note under my door that said as much.
Do you have this note? I got rid of it.
So, maybe there wasn't really a note? Maybe there really was an incident between Mullally and your daughter? No.
After the note, I thought there might've been.
I had a friend, a psychiatrist, talk to Abigail.
(CELL PHONE RINGS) Everything seemed okay.
Mullally didn't do anything.
And why didn't you tell us this earlier? Look, I didn't kill him, okay? GREEN: Hello? But when you find out who did, let me know.
I'd like to buy him a steak.
Yeah? We'll be right there.
Don't move.
A guy named Greg Hightower.
Married, father of two.
And the other star of last night's Hard Focus.
Where'd you find him? At a bus stop on He gonna make it? Doc said he would.
We looking at a copycat? If we are, these dudes are walking around with targets on their backs.
The son of a bitch, attacked me from behind.
He wanted to kill me.
What'd he look like? Six foot, brown hair, driving a Chevy.
You know, I should sue.
This never would have happened if that show hadn't violated my civil rights! So you just walked into the Hard Focus sting to ask for directions? I wasn't there for anything sexual.
Anything else about this guy outside your building? License plate started with 1-2-3.
I made a mental note.
Just don't forget that I'm the victim here.
We won't.
LOWE: How bad is he? He's out of ICU.
You disappointed, Mr.
Lowe? I don't want to say too much, but yeah, a little.
Princeton grad.
A place up in lrvington.
No record.
How does a guy like you end up a vigilante? A week before my daughter's 13th birthday, she took a class trip into the city.
She got split off from her class.
A guy got her in his car.
Found her in a suitcase.
She'd been raped and sodomized and strangled.
Men who do that to children don't deserve to breathe.
Men like Carl Mullally? I had nothing to do with that, but I applaud whoever did.
Where were you on the night he was killed? In Boston on business.
That sicko's been flying under the radar for years.
You should see what he writes online to little girls.
You seem to know an awful lot about these guys.
How'd you track down the guy you clocked, Hightower? Scum Watch keeps tabs on all the men they're targeting.
They gave him up to you? Yeah, they're almost as impotent as you are All right, watch your mouth! What's the point? My daughter's dead.
There's nothing more that you can do to me.
Howard came here because he couldn't process his daughter's death.
Others are here because of personal experience.
But if we get any indication that a member desires physical retribution, then we ask them to leave, just like we did with Howard Lowe, a week after he got here.
Any of your other volunteers agree with Mr.
Lowe's approach? We keep close tabs on everyone.
We're going to need a list of your volunteers, all their contact information.
Anything to help.
Anyone else have access to your files? The addresses of guys you target? They're strictly confidential.
Except that Hard Focus gets copies of everything.
He looks like awounded puppy, not a menace to society.
Run it again from the beginning.
Look, I'm sorry, I have to get this locked by lunch.
This airs tomorrow.
Did Carl Mullally's murder raise interest in your segments? What happened to Mr.
Mullally was tragic, but I have a hard time believing that you have a problem putting pedophiles behind bars, Detective.
Be careful, Miss Harper.
What I have a problem with is your show inciting violence.
Whoa, we are well within our First Amendment rights.
This is a news program.
Journalists in Fallujah don't pull over roadside bombers and ask them to sign release forms.
They're breaking the law, you just film it? Carl Mullally was a sick man.
When he was online with a Scum Watch decoy, he talked about his penis size, and he asked if the decoy was on her period and he had all kinds of specific requests about the decoy's personal hygiene.
It's all in there.
I pulled it when you called.
That's his transcript, and most of that is too graphic to air.
Well, if I had to read this every day, I might be tempted to take justice into my own hands.
Look, we all knew Mr.
Mullally was a pervert weeks ago.
But if someone here wanted to cause him harm, they did not have to wait for his show to air.
Of the 75 people on this crew list that Ellie Harper gave us, the worst record of any is a shoplifting charge.
Same song for the Scum Watch folks.
Well, we need to check if any of these people pop on Evan Fleming's phone records.
Or Hannah Welch's.
Her movie alibi bothering you? No ticket stub, no one at the theater saw her.
Give me a reason to like her.
Can't yet.
No record.
Just started work at a temp agency.
New to New York.
Oh, damn.
I'm reading Fleming's LUDs.
He called the Chinese place that night.
For delivery to Mullally? Who orders dinner for a dead man? CASSADY: Your cell records show you made a call to the Red Dragon eight minutes before Mullally's body was discovered by the delivery guy.
I was hungry.
GREEN: Stop it.
Stop lying and stop wasting our time.
That food never came to your door.
CASSADY: The question is, how many years do you want to be away from your daughter? I didn't kill him.
You got a chance at light weight if you cop to it.
But you go to trial? That's 25 years.
GREEN: Your little girl will be 33 when you get out.
No, come on.
He was already dead when I got there.
I checked his pulse.
He was dead.
Why'd you order him dinner? So the delivery guy would find him and call it in, so I didn't have to get in the middle of it.
So what were you so worried about? I was protecting my daughter.
I was asleep.
I wake up, I see Abi standing in the door.
She said she'd heard a fight through her wall and went to look.
She saw someone run out of Mullally's apartment with a knife in her hand.
Her hand? A woman? That's what she said.
You've been changing your tune an awful lot, Mr.
That son of a bitch babysat her twice.
The shrink said nothing happened, but if it did I just don't want her traumatized.
I don't want her on the stand being cross-examined about it.
Okay? (KNOCKING ON WINDOW) All right, this is a third version of the story.
When does it end? We gotta bring the daughter in.
If Fleming's telling the truth now, that means he coached his daughter earlier to say that she didn't hear anything, so how reliable can she be? Still.
You're buying it? Why would he go to Mullally's work to get him fired and then kill him? He saw that Hard Focus segment, he lost his mind.
Then why call the delivery guy to find Mullally? Why not just shut the door and take a powder? Guilt! Look, I get it, there's a lot of reasons to doubt him, but my gut says pursue it.
Your gut, huh? Yeah.
All right.
Bring in the daughter.
But I'll talk to her, all right? I was asleep, and a noise next door woke me up.
It was Mr.
He yelled out.
And when you heard all this noise, where was your father? He was asleep in his chair in front of the TV.
And then what did you do? I went to go look out the door.
What did you see? The woman.
She has brown hair.
The woman? Had you seen her before? Two weeks ago, I was doing homework in the living room and an envelope got slid under the door.
I went to go look out the door and I saw the same woman who ran out of Mr.
Mullally's apartment.
Now, did you look in the envelope? No.
I gave it to my dad.
He talked to my babysitter about it.
He told her it said Mr.
Mullally was a bad man.
All right.
The woman you saw, tell me again what she looked like.
Her hair was different.
What do you mean? It was up in a ponytail.
Was this the night Mr.
Mullally was killed? Yeah.
Where did you see her? In front of Mr.
Mullally's apartment.
Then she ran down the hall.
Hannah Welch, you're under arrest for the murder of Carl Mullally.
You're kidding.
You have the right to remain silent.
He's a pedophile.
Anything you say He destroys lives.
He strips little girls of their youth, their innocence.
in a court of law.
He deserved to die! Don't you understand that! He's a monster! It's still murder.
If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided “Docket number 089238 People v.
Hannah Welch.
"Charge is murder in the second degree.
" How does the defendant plead? Not guilty.
The People request one million dollars bail.
The defendant, until recently, lived in Pittsburgh, has no ties to New York and, considering the gravity of the charges, is a flight risk.
Your Honor, 17 million viewers watched Mr.
Mullally outed as a pedophile.
Any one of them could have killed him.
We have an eyewitness who saw the defendant flee the victim's apartment moments after the murder.
Miss Welch was dating the victim.
There are thousands of reasons why she would have been in the vicinity of his apartment.
Furthermore, this so-called witness was an eight-year-old girl whose father was being investigated for the crime until my client was arrested.
She would have said it was the Tooth Fairy if it deflected blame from her father.
I'd work on your material before facing the cameras outside, Mr.
Especially since you went to such trouble getting them here.
Bail is set at $500,000.
(GAVEL STRIKES) You called.
We're listening.
Well, I saw the Hard Focus segment.
It was You can imagine what was going through my mind.
So, I went over to Carl's apartment to tell him that I'd seen it, let him know what I thought of him, what he'd done.
You did more than talk.
Well, he kept telling me it was a mistake.
He'd been online talking to a little girl about having sex.
I mean, they caught him on TV walking into her house.
How is that a mistake? So I called him a pervert.
He He lunged at me.
A terrified woman acting in self-defense when confronted by an enraged sexual predator.
No time served.
We might as well send out invitations to execute suspected pedophiles.
That man sexually assaulted children and was walking around free.
All I did was defend myself and you want to send me to jail? Whose side are you on? For the purposes of this trial, Mr.
Are we done here? Good luck, Mr.
You'll need it.
JACK: No way this plays as self-defense.
We have motive.
The defendant learns her boyfriend is a pedophile on national TV.
An eyewitness puts her at the scene.
The victim has no defensive or offensive wounds.
His blood is found on the defendant's shoes.
There were four stab wounds.
Have we recovered the murder weapon? Not yet.
And the stab wounds don't match any knives in the victim's apartment.
So Hannah brought her own? It looks that way.
The evidence is pretty solid, Arthur.
Well, solid gets watery pretty fast if your victim is a pedophile and your defendant is a sympathetic young woman claiming self-defense.
I mean, whether we like it or not, Hannah Welch fulfilled the fantasies of every person who watched that TV show the other night.
Television acting as judge and jury makes me a little queasy.
Well, if there wasn't a problem, there wouldn't be anything to watch.
I mean, we can't overlook the fact that they're helping get child predators off the street.
And helping defend anyone willing to kill them.
Hard Focus put up Hannah's bail.
Which I can only assume is in exchange for an exclusive interview once all is said and done.
Well, your arms are gonna get pretty tired swimming upstream.
People watch these shows because it makes them feel like they're doing something, like cleansing the community.
Are you suggesting that I plead this out, Arthur? I'm suggesting that the deck's stacked against you.
I'm moving forward.
Oh, fine.
But you'd better find some skeleton in Hannah Walsh's closet.
She moved here three months before the murder.
Not much time for skeletons.
In New York.
But what about Pittsburgh? Looks like I'm taking a road trip.
CONNIE: You and Hannah broke off your engagement five years ago.
Why? We were young.
We needed to figure out who we really were.
Do you two still talk? Yeah, sure.
The romance is over, but, uh, we managed to stay friends.
I know, it's not easy.
When was the last time you spoke to Hannah? In person? Three weeks ago.
Did she mention anything about her relationship with Carl Mullally? No.
Did she say anything strange? Mention any new guy she'd met? We only talked for a few minutes.
She had to meet her roommates for dinner.
Roommates? How many roommates? Five.
Your Upper West Side don't come cheap.
We searched Hannah's apartment.
It was a week-to-week dump in the East Village.
That's news to me.
I've got her address right here.
There were at least six of them sharing that apartment.
Were? Yeah.
Moved out.
They all did.
Building manager screamed bloody hell.
Now he's got a whole floor sitting empty.
I don't understand.
They all moved out at the same time? Yeah, when Hard Focus stopped paying the rent.
Hard Focus was paying their rent? Like any of those kids could afford this building.
Do you have any idea why? No clue.
Do you know where any of them might have moved to? One of them asked me to forward his mail to an address in Brooklyn.
I'm gonna need that address.
KYLE: I'd ask if you wanted to sit down but It's only temporary.
A friend of mine's letting me crash here until I find a place of my own.
Hard Focus gonna set you up with that? We signed non-disclosure agreements.
I'm really not supposed to talk about it.
I could subpoena you, Kyle, if you'd prefer.
What does that mean? It means I can force you to tell me the truth in court.
I just don't want to get in trouble, that's all.
You won't, I promise.
(SIGHS) All right, what do you want to know? Why was Hard Focus paying your rent? Because they wanted to hear my story.
Which is? I was molested by my soccer coach when I was 12 years old.
Really messed me up.
They interviewed you? A few months ago, I saw an ad online.
A reality show was looking for victims of sexual abuse who wanted to confront their abusers.
I answered it.
They flew me to New York, interviewed me on tape and I was in.
So Hannah's story about dating Mullally is a lie? She moved here to be a part of a TV show where victims of sexual abuse confront their abusers.
Are you saying Carl Mullally molested Hannah? He's from Pittsburgh, she's from Pittsburgh.
Big city.
He also worked in the same insurance company as her father.
So, victim seeks out victimizer years after the abuse and stabs him four times in the chest.
Sounds more like revenge than self-defense.
Whether he's my boyfriend or not, Carl Mullally came at me.
And you stabbed him.
With a knife you brought for what purpose exactly? Don't answer.
Then why are we here, Mr.
Depago? He raped me when I was 12.
He was a friend of my father's.
There's a system in place to handle that crime and it's not on prime time.
But I never would have confronted him if it weren't for the show.
The show made you do it? Please, Miss Welch.
They didn't force you to answer that ad.
But she sent me there that night with a knife and a camera.
You have tape of the murder? I never turned it on.
I got so scared.
And the knife? Ellie Harper gave it to me.
To give me confidence.
Why send you in for more footage if the show was already canceled? To try and get it back on track, prove how healing the confrontations could be.
It's creative, I'll give you that.
I have the knife.
I hid it.
When Ellie gave it to me, it was in an orange bag from a sporting goods store.
I can't remember the name.
JACK: We want to talk about your client's relationship with Hannah Welch.
Why? We just want to understand what happened the night of the murder.
Seems pretty straightforward to me.
Angry woman confronts the lunatic who raped her.
She flips out and kills the guy.
Yeah, that part we know.
What other part is there? The part where your client bought the angry woman the murder weapon and told her to get something explosive on tape.
That's crazy.
That knife was for her own Stop.
Let me do the talking.
Understand? Yeah.
The knife was given to Miss Welch for protection.
What you're describing is depraved indifference homicide.
That's insane.
I'm a TV producer, not a killer.
I create theater, and to do that, to create conflict, you have to put opposing forces together, so the drama can unfold.
You mean the murder? She means she's a respected member of the television community with a long list of awards for excellence.
We're done here.
You think the network knew what she was doing? Let's find out.
Miss Rubirosa.
I appreciate you coming uptown, but I oversee 24 hours of prime-time programming, as well as 400 or so different projects in development.
I can't keep track of every detail.
You pulled the plug on Confront and Heal.
Why? Lost interest in it.
Victims looking for closure, healing wounds, too soft for today's marketplace.
Yet you found it interesting enough to green light a pilot.
Well, you gotta sip the wine before you buy it.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR) Thank you for coming, Ken.
Ken Lesavoy, General Counsel.
Good to meet you.
And good timing.
We're gonna need copies of all the records and tapes pertaining to the show.
Why? It's relevant to our investigation.
Into what? Ellie Harper's role in Carl Mullally's murder.
Sounds like you're looking for headlines, Mr.
Just the truth.
Except those documents and tapes contain privileged correspondence, trade secrets.
You can't expect us to just roll out the red carpet.
Exactly why I brought a subpoena.
Gentlemen, we're not murderers, we're atelevision network.
So read what you like, Mr.
Watch our tapes.
I hope you find them entertaining.
H' you saw Carl Mullally again what would you do? I'd tell him that he ruined my life.
That I think about what he did to me every day, every night.
Then what? Then I'd like to cut his heart out and watch him bleed.
Ellie Harper knew Hannah was ready to kill.
I hope you've got more than that.
The psychiatrist considered her psychologically unfit for the purposes of the proposed TV show.
Do you really think that you can prove depraved indifference here? Ellie put two trains on a collision course and said go.
Well, if you prosecute the wrong defendant for the wrong crime, there's a chance that we're the ones who'll be flattened.
Ellie calls herself a journalist.
She arranged this disaster.
And Hannah is willing to take 15 years and testify.
Where is Ellie Harper? To quote her counsel, "if you want to talk to her again, "indict her and put her on trial.
" And you're prepared to do that? She bought Hannah Welch a knife.
Make it happen.
HANNAH: Carl Mullally worked with my dad.
They were friends.
He used to go camping with us in the summer and on the weekends.
He'd get me alone in the woods and then And what, Miss Welch? Rape me.
He said if I ever told my parents, he'd kill them.
It finally stopped when I was 12, when my dad got transferred.
Once you agreed to participate in the show Confront and Heal, did the producers do anything to prepare you to confront Mr.
Mullally? Ellie Harper was the one who ran everything.
She made me talk to atherapist about the abuse, and how I was going to confront the perpetrator.
We did role playing.
Ellie had me keep avideo diary.
She even brought in a Krav Magatrainer.
Krav Maga? It's likejudo, but it's Israeli.
Ellie wanted me to be able to defend myself.
From Carl? In case he got violent.
Was anything else done by Miss Harper to get you ready for this confrontation? She bought me a hunting knife for protection.
On the day you sought out Mr.
Mullally, what happened? Ellie gave me a camera for my purse, showed me how to use it.
Then she gave me a pep talk.
She said that by putting this on television for everyone to see, this was my chance to finally give Carl what he deserved.
And did you confront the man who raped you, Miss Welch? Carl opened the door.
He knew right away who I was.
His jaw almost hit the floor.
I asked him if I could come in and talk to him for a minute, just like I practiced with Ellie.
I asked him, "Why did you rape me?" He denied it.
He said I was crazy.
How did that make you feel? Angry- Really, really angry- I said I wasn't crazy, that he knew exactly what he did to me and all I wanted was for him to admit it.
And did he? He said it was my fault.
That I seduced him.
An eight-year-old girl.
What happened then, Miss Welch? I guess I just lost control.
I grabbed the knife from my bag and I went after him.
I started stabbing him.
Then I ran outside and walked around for hours.
Did you tell Miss Harper what happened in Mr.
Mullally's apartment? She said not to say anything to anyone, that she'd help me figure things out.
You answered the ad, correct? Yes.
And you went to the training, went to the therapy, went to the door of the man who raped you, all totally voluntarily? Yes, but it was like they were brainwashing me for their show.
And the doors weren't locked, you could have left at any time? Right, but they made me sign legal papers.
A waiver, Miss Welch, not a contract of indentured servitude.
And after you killed Carl Mullally, you hid the knife? Yes.
And you lied to the police? And then you made a deal with the prosecution for leniency? Because she was the one who made me do this for the television show.
None of it was for you? I recognize that a terrible thing happened to you when you were a child, Miss Welch, but does that give you the right to put the blame on somebody else for what you did? Objection.
I'm done with this witness.
Miss Harper, on the night that Hannah Welch confronted Carl Mullally, what were you hoping to capture on tape? A woman reclaiming her dignity.
Why did you give Hannah Welch a knife? So she could protect herself in case Mullally came at her.
Did you ask Hannah Welch to kill Carl Mullally? Of course not.
Were you pleased that Hannah Welch killed Carl Mullally? Pleased? I was devastated.
Absolutely, 100% devastated.
I'm a producer, for God's sake, a journalist.
Not acriminal.
Journalists report the news, but you create it, don't you? I consider informative entertainment akin to news.
Based on Hannah Welch's audition tape, you knew that she was predisposed to violence, correct? I knew she was angry and looking to heal.
When she was asked what she might do if given the opportunity to confront Mullally, Miss Welch said, and I quote, "I'd cut his heart out and watch him bleed.
" What part of that statement suggests a desire to heal? Well, we talked after the audition.
After the cameras stopped rolling, she But you turned Hannah Welch into a killing machine.
You gave her combat training.
You filled her with rage.
You put a knife in her hand, and told her to confront the man who molested her! Objection.
You have to wonder if your goal was to capture a murder on film.
Objection! Sustained.
If the sum result of Hannah Welch's going to Carl Mullally's home had been a polite conversation and healing, would that have reinvigorated the network's interest in the project? It may have.
Then why pick a woman who'd said on her audition tape that she wanted to kill? Nothing further.
So, it sounds like Hannah did pretty good on the stand.
She has conviction, I'll give her that.
And there's no part of us that's going after this woman because we're a couple of out-of-step old-timers? What's that supposed to mean? In my day, television was a different animal.
Husbands and wives in separate beds, picture postcard towns, where the teenagers drank only malteds and went to sock hops together.
So the crap that passes for entertainment now is okay because the programmers have caught up with the reality? You tell me.
Nothing's changed since Shakespeare's time.
People thronged to watch the bear-baiting.
You're right.
There's an appetite for this stuff and there always will be.
And you've got people on your jury who watch these shows.
And I'd be careful not to alienate them in some hope of bringing down a cultural phenomenon that you can't do anything about anyway.
If people want to watch a man crawl through a tunnel full of rats, I can only shake my head.
But nobody gets to sell tickets to a murder.
Last night 29 million people watched the most recent episode of Hard Focus, where a 55-year-old orthopedic surgeon, father of three, was arrested after showing up at what he thought was a 10-year-old girl's apartment.
The detective, posing as the little girl, asked the man to take his clothes off.
He did.
And put bunny ears on his head.
He did.
Moments later, he was arrested, naked, with bunny ears on his head.
This is what the public wants to see.
This is what you want Ellie Harper to deliver.
So why should she be blamed for attempting to create another show that deals with the exact same subject matter? My client may be guilty of being an ambitious producer, of pushing the entertainment envelope.
But she is certainly not guilty of murder.
So please pay attention to the facts and the law, and not the anti-reality-TV rhetoric and vitriol the prosecution is attempting to pass off as evidence.
Even reality TV's biggest fans know that 20 people on a desert island competing for a can of soup or drinking goat's urine for $50,000 is not that real.
Lots of people think it's fun, maybe some of you.
It's entertainment.
Ellie Harper claims she's ajournalist, and the motto of ajournalist used to be, "You two fight, and I'll write about it.
" But the reporter didn't set up the fight.
Nowadays, the distinction between the news and entertainment is not so clear.
Staging events for the news cameras, doctoring photographs, planting pseudo-news on the news without a disclaimer, that's not fun.
That does real harm.
Some of those situations are frustratingly unclear or beyond our reach to correct, but not this case.
Ellie Harper was looking for ratings.
She knew the danger.
But did she care? No.
Did she even care enough to send someone along with Hannah Welch in case this staged encounter got out of hand? No.
So tell her, and anyone tempted to follow in her footsteps, that an event where one of the participants is trained, paid and armed by the producer, it's not journalism.
And a man being stabbed to death is not entertainment.
It's murder.
Has the jury come to averdict? We have, Your Honor.
On the charge of murder in the second degree, how do you find? We find the defendant, Ellie Harper, guilty.
Heard someone from Hard Focus called.
They're doing a special on Carl Mullally's murder and Ellie Harper's trial.
They wanted to land an interview with Jack.
What did you tell them? Something they can't quote on TV.
Well, I hate to say this, Jack, but with or without you, it's gonna get a huge audience.
I'll be reading a book.