Law & Order (1990) s20e13 Episode Script

Steel-Eyed Death

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.
Did you see that nose stud? - Mm -hmm.
- I mean, what happens when you sneeze? - I don't understand how they can walk around like that.
What now? - Zoe? Zoe? Whatever it is you're doing in there, stop it.
It's time to go to sleep.
[Indistinct chatter on police radio.]
- Down the hallway to the left.
- Mr.
Morgan's down here.
- Lupes.
- That's all of them.
- Hey.
Voucher this bag, Then she's all yours.
Shoot this joint before you bag it.
[Camera shutter clicks.]
Well, well, well.
It looks like our morgan girl was partying with a friend.
One joint, two bottles One with lipstick, one without.
- Well, there's five plates and five glasses.
I'm guessing the friend was here for dinner.
- Maybe the type to eat, kill, and run.
- So the dinner guest Might've been the daughter's boyfriend.
- The people downstairs never saw them with anybody.
They say the morgans kept a pretty tight leash On their kids.
- Except for the reefer and the malt liquor.
- Yeah, and the "tramp stamp" on the girl's back.
Looks like a work in progress.
- An angel.
- Yeah.
Where the parents would never see it.
- Well, find out who was seeing it.
Oh, and by the way, Without the beards, you guys look five years younger.
- [Scoffs.]
Which makes you about 12.
Black lipstick, black nail polish, Spike neck collar.
- Being goth never killed anybody.
- Condoms on the inside And this on the outside.
- Ah, a bartender Every parent's nightmare.
- Yeah.
Building site in the background.
"Hardy construction.
" - I saw it on the news.
I, uh I just can't get my head around it.
- It didn't occur to you to tell the police You were the victim's boyfriend? - Was I supposed to do that? We weren't that tight.
- Where were you last night? - I was right here.
We close at 4:00.
- All right, so we check zoe's phone records, We gonna find any calls or texts from you? - We were supposed to meet here, and she blew me off.
I wasn't too happy about it.
- She tell you why she stood you up? - She said she had to take care of some chick she met at a club.
- Did you know this girl? - No, but I guess that her and zoe are pretty tight.
They, uh they got inked together.
- No kidding.
The tattoo parlor your recommendation, yeah? - Yeah, I worked on her.
She said she was a friend of tommy's.
- We're gonna need the name And description of the girl she was with.
- She's hard to miss.
Uh, she had a green jacket And dark hair with racing stripes.
- The tattoo you did, this it? - This isn't representative of my work.
They wouldn't let me finish.
- What would this look like finished? A devil stabbing an angel? - It's their own design.
They brought it in.
- Why wouldn't they let you finish it? - The one in the green jacket Was worried about missing some curfew.
She said a guard wouldn't let her in past 11:00.
- This bloodstain, whose is it? - The friend, the green jacket.
It got on there when I was inking her.
- Hey, the blood from the sketch Matched an unidentified blood swab from zoe's bedroom.
- So her friend was there.
- Yeah, as a witness or an accomplice.
- A girl with an 11:00 p.
Curfew and a security guard.
You think a halfway house or a shelter for runaways? - No, I think we're gonna be ringing a lot of doorbells.
- Yeah.
Oh, b, is this tie on straight? I mean - You going to your first communion? - You heard the lieu.
I'm just trying to be more professional.
- Well, you look sharp, lupes.
Now can we go? - This girl's bonnie jones.
She stayed with us for three weeks.
I have a picture we took of her for an I.
The other girl I saw a few times out front with bonnie.
- Okay.
You know where we can find bonnie? - No.
She left about a week ago.
- Why do you need to talk to her? - Oh, this girl, zoe morgan, Her and her family were killed last Tuesday.
Bonnie might know something about it.
- Damn.
- Any idea why bonnie left the shelter? - Not sure.
The day before, she got into a fight With this pimp out front.
- His name's freddie.
Bonnie said he stole her pink backpack.
Freddie ran off before I could call the cops.
- Freddie tracked her down to the morgans.
If we wanted to find freddie - The beat cops have run him off the block a few times.
I'm sure they'd have his information.
[Pounding at door.]
- Freddie, it's me, the super, achmed.
L-I told you, he's away on a vacation or something.
- You smelling that? - Yeah.
- Hello! [Clears throat.]
You never noticed that smell? - I got allergies.
- I'm covered.
Stay here.
- Wow.
Well, to quote curtis mayfield Freddie's dead.
- At least a week Which takes takes him out of the running For killing the morgan family.
- Whoever killed them probably killed freddie.
Check that out.
A knife in the neck A killer who signs his work.
- Nothing from the canvass.
You? - There's eight kinds of nasty down here, but I got something.
Could be bonnie's backpack.
[Backpack unzipping.]
- Brush, dark hair Smokes - Bonnie in better days.
- And two ticket stubs to the horrorcore fest At the red bar.
This show was the night before bonnie Had her fight with freddie.
- Sorry, man, juggalos all look alike to me.
- Juggalos? - That's what those horrorcore rap psychos call themselves.
They put on clown make-up, dye their hair.
They're freaks, man.
- That's a matter of opinion, yeah? - Oh, a matter of fact.
Their music's all about how much they hate everybody And what they're gonna do about it.
Their promoter left these.
Help yourself to a horrorcore cd.
This is one of the rappers from the show.
aaah! murder! - You cater to this crowd? - No, they're not that popular.
I book the acts a few times a year.
- So where do the juggalos hang out? - In front of their computers.
They're losers.
[Glass shatters.]
- [Grunts.]
New barback.
[Man rapping in video.]
- If the killer was looking for inspiration, This'd be the place.
- Right down to his signature move.
- cut my head off, grow another - The band's website doesn't give a clue What this knife-in-neck thing's about.
- Well, kids tend to brag about their crimes.
Check with the message board.
- There's a lot of messages to the band.
- Search "knife in neck.
" [Keys clacking.]
- One hit it's a link.
- "Therealgore.
Com Photos of the grotesque for the disturbed.
" - That's nice.
They give you a choice.
You can choose car accidents, suicides, decapitations.
- "Knife in the neck.
" - That that's that's our victim, don morgan.
- Look Our photo has footprints that theirs doesn't have.
- Their picture was taken before the police got there By the perp.
- It was posted by "crazyj.
" - Finding crazyj is not gonna be so easy.
He uses proxies to hide his I.
Address, And he's been busy trading blood-and-guts photos With other people online.
Porno I get, but this stuff? - I used to know a couple of a.
S Who'd swap polaroids of crime scenes The bloodier the better.
- Yeah, when we were kids, my brother and I Used to collect civil war bubble gum cards Bodies blown to bits, Bellies gutted by bayonets, All in full color.
We loved them.
- I found some messages from crazyj On an anime and comic-book site.
He's a big fan of graphic novels.
- Yeah? Which ones? - Take a look.
His top ten of all time.
- The gore house mysteries It's okay.
I wouldn't put it on my top ten.
Shrieking lunatic is pretty good.
He posted some of his artwork.
Click that.
- Mm -hmm.
- Looks familiar.
- An artist who draws from reality.
- And he's working on another one called "black madonna.
" "With red and white dreadlocks Spread around her head like a halo.
" - What are you doing here? - Have you heard from bonnie? - No.
Can't we do this tomorrow? - We believe she's hooked up With a very dangerous individual.
- Is there some problem here? - They're looking for bonnie.
- Whose green jacket is that? It's bonnie's, isn't it? She's here.
- She says you've been harassing her.
[Door slams.]
- Hey, okay, I'm going.
- You got to let me in right now, please.
[Door opens.]
Where is she? - Playing with sasha.
[Door closes.]
- Aah! [Groaning.]
- Bonnie? It's okay.
It's okay.
Just relax.
Bonnie, put the knife down.
Let her go.
- Oh, my - Bonnie, let her go.
- [Breathing shakily.]
- It's gonna be all right.
It's okay.
Just put the knife down.
Come on.
- Sasha.
- Kill me, or I will kill myself.
- It's gonna snow tonight.
You can smell it in the air.
I remember when I was a kid How I'd look out the window before I went to bed, Waiting for the snow, hoping for a snow day.
And then I'd hear the snow falling on the window While I fell asleep.
And I'd wake up And the whole world Would be clean and white.
- [Breathing shakily.]
- Okay.
Good girl.
Stand up.
[Handcuffs rattle.]
- [Groaning.]
- "Justin sachs"19.
This address still good? - [Groans loudly.]
- I bet you didn't think a big man like me Could bust a move like that, did you? - Go screw yourself, okay? [Laughs.]
Screw the police! Screw the morgans! Screw all 53 states! - We're gonna need an address, Like where you lived before the shelter.
- Do your parents know you're in new york? - I'm not sure.
- Well, we can call them for you And let them know you're in trouble.
- Must be tough living in a shelter.
- It's not so bad.
- But better than home, right? - I don't know.
I guess.
- Was justin taking care of you? - Yeah, but not how you think.
- You mean he protected you from people like freddie? - I don't want to talk about that.
- Maybe you don't understand the situation.
You're about to be charged with five murders.
You don't want to get your parents involved, We can understand that.
But you need to explain yourself, bonnie.
The longer you wait - My name's not bonnie.
- Okay.
What's your name? - I don't know.
I don't I don't I don't remember.
I can't remember who I am or where I'm from.
Please help me.
I can't remember anything.
- My real name's not bonnie.
That's what justin called me.
- How did you meet justin? - I was in times square, And this creep, freddie, wanted me to come stay with him, And justin scared him away And told me that freddie was a pimp.
- Okay.
What did you do after that? Justin bought me a pizza, And then he took me to the shelter, And he told me that I'd be safe there.
- What else did you do with justin? - Um, we went to see a lot of these horrorcore bands.
We listened to a lot of that music.
- Do you remember how you got to new york? - On a bus.
But I don't know where it came from.
- Your parents are they alive? - I don't know.
I can't even picture them.
- You know, bonnie, The police put your photograph on the internet, In case anybody might recognize you.
Is that okay with you? - I mean, yeah.
Isn't it good if somebody recognizes me? - You had this photograph with you.
- Um, I found it in my backpack.
I think it might be me, but I'm not sure.
- Do you remember playing in the snow? - No.
Can you help me remember who I am? - Well, that's not why I'm here, bonnie.
I'm not here to help you remember.
You disappointed? Angry? Hmm? Here Slap me in the face.
Go ahead.
Take it out on me.
It's okay.
- No.
- Why not? Are you afraid? - No.
L -I don't want to hurt you.
That's wrong.
- Whatever else is ailing her, It hasn't affected her sense of right and wrong.
- Good enough for me.
- Not for me.
What about her amnesia? - Global dissociative amnesia, Which she's claiming to have, is beyond rare.
And there's usually some fubar brain injury to explain it, Which I didn't detect in this girl.
- So her claim is a crock.
She's acting.
- Absent a medical history and a full neurological workup, Yeah, it's a crock.
But I could be wrong.
- Ain't science grand? - What about justin's influence over her? I mean, he saved her from a pimp, Gave her food and shelter.
- She needed his approval to survive, no doubt.
She had to like what he liked.
- Horrorcore music and violence.
- Well, if we're all agreed she's competent to stand trial, We'll move ahead with the morgan homicides first.
[Cell phone beeps.]
- The police have bonnie's parents.
- This is what your daughter looked like When she was arrested.
- Oh, my god, amanda.
Is she all right? - She was examined by a doctor.
She's in good physical health.
- What was amanda arrested for? - She's charged as an accomplice in five murders.
- Oh, god.
That's impossible.
- Oh, my god.
- When was the last time you heard from your daughter? - 41 days ago.
She left home for choir practice, And she just disappeared.
And then my sister saw her picture on the internet.
- Look at her.
Amanda would never hurt anybody.
She sings in the minneapolis children's choir.
She tutors poor kids.
- We'd like to see her as soon as possible.
Does she have a lawyer? - A legal aid lawyer was appointed.
- Well, I think we can do better than that.
- Mr.
Evans, you should know That she's claiming to have amnesia.
She even told a court psychiatrist That she doesn't remember her parents.
- "Claiming"? Why do you think she disappeared in the first place? Come on, darlene.
- Amanda? It's mom.
- Amanda? We're your parents.
- We found you.
Oh, thank god we found you.
- Amanda? That's my name? - Amanda evans.
You're our baby girl.
- Look This is you.
This is last winter.
You had such beautiful hair.
- You're safe now, amanda.
We'll take care of you.
- [Crying.]
- Okay.
Show's over.
I'd like some privacy with my client and her parents.
- I think the show's just starting.
[Door opens, buzzer sounds.]
- Last spring amanda wiped out on a bike trail And was knocked unconscious.
They said it was only a concussion, But she started having episodes where she'd get disoriented.
- Can you give us some examples? - She left for school one day, And the police found her Wandering around a parking lot five miles away.
She couldn't remember how she got there.
- Has she received any medical care For this problem? - Her doctor thinks there's brain injury, But amanda's mris were normal.
I know she's in there somewhere.
We're sorry for the families of the victims, But the real amanda could never have done this.
- What parking lot was amanda found in? - The southdale shopping center.
- A shopping mall.
Isn't it possible She just ditched school to go to the mall? - The police said she was disoriented.
- Well, when she left home, the day she disappeared, How did she seem to you? - She seemed fine, Or else we wouldn't have let her leave home.
- We have a report here that says that she went To an atm and emptied her bank account of $130.
Do you know if she did that Before or after she was struck with amnesia? - Well, how do I know? - Before or after she bought a bus ticket to new york city? - Please, mr.
Cutter, there's something wrong With my daughter.
I know it.
- We have proof of a head injury, Of her disorientation, of memory loss.
- All before her arrival in new york.
And there's no dispute that she remembers her adventures With justin sachs.
- Which is irrelevant to the fact That she has no memory of who she is.
- She remembers her values.
She can tell right from wrong.
And that's more relevant here Than the details of her identity.
- All right.
All right.
I need a few days to rule on her fitness for trial.
But given the subjective nature of her psych evaluations, I am inclined to err on the side of caution here.
- Caution, there's never been a case in new york Of a defendant being found unfit based solely on amnesia.
- Forget the girl.
Start thinking about justin sachs.
- That's no slam dunk.
The hatchet was cleaned with bleach.
We can't tie him to the murder scenes.
- Well, we have his drawings of the murders.
- You're kidding, right? They'll have every artist from richard prince To jeff koons lining up in his defense.
You have one eyewitness to his crimes His co-defendant.
- Now you're kidding.
This girl was about to cut an eight-year-old's throat.
I'm not making her a deal.
- If the judge finds her unfit for trial, Who knows when you'll get your bite at her? - But if we let her take an insanity plea In exchange for testimony, She'll be locked up in a psychiatric facility.
- There you go.
- Let me see if I get this.
First, we agree to have her adjudicated legally insane, And then we make her our star witness.
- I'm not worried.
You've done more with less.
- Miss evans has agreed to plead not responsible By reason of mental defect.
In return, she'll be confined to a psychiatric facility Until it's determined that she's no longer a threat.
She has also agreed to testify against justin sachs.
- Your honor, in the event the court accepts this plea, We're moving to preclude miss evans' testimony.
The people can't, on one hand, assert she's legally insane, While on the other present her as a credible witness.
- The defense can cross -examine her.
The jury can make its own determination As to her credibility.
- I agree.
Your motion's denied, ms.
- Excuse me.
Your honor, we're serving a notice That we'll present a defense of extreme emotional disturbance, That mr.
Sachs committed these alleged crimes While suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
- So noted.
We're adjourned.
[Gavel bangs.]
- Trauma? We didn't find any trauma in his history.
The guy lives with his mother.
- Maybe his mother threw away his comic -book collection.
- Well, please keep digging.
I don't want to find out in the middle of the trial That he spent his childhood chained to a radiator.
- What are these? - We found those on his computer.
He downloaded them off different websites.
- Pink hippos jumping out of the twin towers? - Mm -hmm.
Big funny.
Look, this is one kid who needs locking up.
- If we come across the trauma he's stressing over, We'll get back to you.
- Yeah, boys will be boys.
- Justin met zoe on this horrorcore message board, And the three of us started hanging out And going to concerts together.
- What happened the Tuesday night That zoe and her family were killed? - Zoe invited me over to her house for a sleepover, And after dinner, We were hanging out in her room partying, Waiting for justin, 'cause we were gonna sneak him in After her parents went to sleep.
And then I saw that she was texting with somebody.
- Who was she texting? - This guy, tom, a bartender.
She made me swear not to tell justin.
- Did you tell him? - Yes, when he came over.
Justin was looking out for me, So I felt like I should look out for him.
He got really mad.
- What did he do? - He told me to keep pretending like everything was cool, And he went into the kitchen.
And then he came back, and he asked zoe About tom, and She lied.
And then he just took out this knife, And he started stabbing her, and he killed her.
- What happened next? - He said, "now we have to kill them all.
" And he went and he got this hatchet That he would keep in his backpack, And zoe's dad was walking out of the bathroom, And he just went crazy on him.
And then he went into the bedroom, And I could hear him killing zoe's mom, And then he he went into zoe's little brother's room, And he just he said that he couldn't find him, but - Go on, amanda.
- [Stammering.]
I could I could hear zoe's little brother Crying really soft.
So I told justin that he was hiding in the closet.
Justin killed him.
And then he went into the hallway, And he stuck his knife in zoe's dad's neck, And we left.
- Just to be clear, miss evans, You're saying that you didn't do any of the killing yourself? Is that right? - Yes, justin did it.
- Tell the jury where you live now.
- A psychiatric hospital.
- Because you've been found to be legally insane, Subject to disorientation And memory lapses, right? - Yes.
- No more questions.
- The photo on the left Was found on the defendant's laptop.
It was uploaded there from a camera found in his room.
If you compare this photo To the one taken by our crime scene unit, You can see there are fewer footprints.
This indicates his photo was taken at the murder scene.
- Thank you.
- Your honor, the defense reserves Our cross-examination of this witness Until after we've presented our case.
- Granted.
The witness will remain available for recall.
- Excuse me? - Yes, detective? - I know you, right? - Yes, you do.
I went by my maiden name back then.
Veronica palmer? Now you remember.
See you soon, detective.
- We could see the twin towers burn From our balcony in brooklyn.
Justin kept running from the balcony to the tv.
They they kept showing The planes going into the towers, The the people jumping, over and over again.
I'd turn it off, and he'd turn it back on.
He was just 11.
- And how did he react to those images? - For weeks, he'd wake up in the middle of the night.
A few times, he even wet his bed.
- And what can you tell us About justin's interest in music? - When he was 12, I had this boyfriend who took him To a death metal concert.
Um, and this singer onstage Bit off this bird's head.
Justin came home crying.
My boyfriend was laughing and calling him a-a sissy.
- And what happened to justin's musical tastes? - He started getting into metal And then horrorcore.
He blasted it in the house.
- Thank you.
- Mrs.
Sachs, did you ever take justin For a psychiatric evaluation? - No.
- Did his school ever call you with complaints About his behavior? - No, he was a -a good student.
- So a good student Whose behavior never aroused anyone's concerns? Thank you.
- The children who lived through the events of 9/11, Who came of age during two wars they could watch Every night in vivid high-def, Have been exposed to an unprecedented barrage Of horrific imagery.
The impact of this experience Is only now starting to be understood.
- From your examination of justin, What impact has this barrage had on him? - He exhibits signs Of being desensitized to violence And, at the same time, Being addicted to the thrill that he derives from it.
- Can you give us an example Of how justin has become desensitized to violence? - Well, for example, These images of the twin towers that justin has collected, While for us the twin towers represent a great tragedy, For justin, they're an icon being used as a punch line.
This callous humor is typically seen in soldiers Suffering from ptsd.
- Thank you.
- So you're equating the stress of seeing a gory picture To the stress of being in combat? - For a child of 11 or 12, The image of violence can be as upsetting as the real thing.
- Now, we heard testimony that justin flew into a rage When he found out his girlfriend was texting another boy.
Is jealousy a symptom of ptsd? - I'd have to say that it is not.
- And, doctor, jealousy is not a defense to murder, correct? - Correct.
It is not.
- Thank you.
- Nowadays with what the kids see, I shudder to think what effect it has.
- Growing up in rose -colored innocence Didn't keep us from creating the violent world Our kids are watching, did it? - Mr.
Cutter, may I speak to you, please? - Sure.
[Clears throat.]
- You got to keep that lawyer From calling me back to the stand.
- I can't.
She has the right to cross -examine you.
- Come on, you're a sharp guy.
There's got to be something you can do.
- Detective, what's the problem here? - Just help me out here, mike, please.
- Th -there's nothing I can do.
- [Sighs.]
okay, then you got to cover me.
I'll talk about the case, But if that lawyer veers off the subject by one comma, You got to jump in and stop it.
See you tomorrow.
- This is no way to treat your partner Partner.
Look, do you want me to beat it out of you? Because you know that I can.
- That lawyer knows me from an old case.
- And? - It was ten years ago, it was christmas morning, I got called out to a crime scene.
It was a triple.
Guy took out his whole family the wife, the two kids.
Cut their throats in their sleep While they were waiting for santa.
I was there for six hours standing in the blood.
And then I had to rush over to meet my girlfriend At her folks' place for christmas dinner.
It was the first time I was meeting them.
You know, the parents, the grandparents, The aunts and uncles the whole kit.
And I'm there.
I'm playing with the nephews, rolling around on the floor, And I'm doing pretty good Forgetting how I spent my morning.
And then I see that I got blood on on the cuff of my shirt, You know, blood from the crime scene Blood from those dead kids, And I freaked out.
I ran out of there.
I ended up at a bar.
On christmas night, I'm in a bar drinking Hey, hey.
So that was it for the girlfriend.
And that christmas morning Well, you work hard at it And you drink enough, You can pretty much forget anything eventually.
That lawyer represented the husband.
When I got called to testify I showed up drunk.
She knows what I went through.
She's gonna bring it up.
I do not want to go back there.
- I hear that.
What are you gonna do? I'll be there tomorrow.
And if you have to tell your story, lupes, Tell it to me.
[Seat belt unlatches, car door opens.]
[Car door closes.]
- I wouldn't say 17 stab wounds is indicative Of a deranged mental state.
I think it's indicative that he wanted to make sure Zoe morgan was dead.
- The morgan crime scene was particularly gruesome, Wouldn't you say? - Every crime scene has its own horror.
- Have you had nightmares Or unwanted thoughts about that crime scene? - No.
- But you have had problems in the past From your exposure to gruesome crime scenes, Isn't that right? - Objection, relevance.
- Ms.
Masters, where are you going with this? - It's okay.
I'll answer her question.
- Then I'll withdraw my objection.
- Yes, I had problems.
Ten years ago, I caught a case.
A man killed his wife and two kids On christmas morning.
You know.
You were his lawyer.
- Yes.
Can you please tell us How your problems manifested themselves? - [Sighs.]
I couldn't stop thinking about what I saw The smells Those little kids.
I couldn't shut it off.
I felt guilty And sad all the time.
And I couldn't sit still.
I felt out of control.
I was anxious.
I wasn't sleeping.
I drank Even on the job.
One time I fell asleep in the patrol car When my partner went to get us coffee.
He walked into a robbery in progress.
He was shot and killed.
- Did you seek counseling? - Uh, yeah, after that.
I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
I got treatment with the department psychiatrist For nine months.
- And how long were you in that crime scene? - Six hours.
- Were any of the victims known to you? - No.
- And still, you suffered from ptsd.
No more questions.
- In the time that you've suffered from ptsd, Have you attacked anyone? - No.
- Been cited for using excessive force on a suspect? - No.
- Used violence in an inappropriate way? - No.
- One more thing That ten-year-old case, Do you recall what defense ms.
Masters offered On behalf of her client? - She told the jury Her client was traumatized By witnessing the death of his parents In a house fire when he was a child.
- Do you remember what the verdict was? - Objection.
- She opened the door, your honor.
- I'll allow it.
The witness may answer the question.
- The jury found her client guilty.
- No more questions.
- How'd you know about her defense? - After you came to me, I cross-referenced you and ms.
I found the case.
Like you said, I'm a pretty sharp guy.
- Mr.
Cutter Can we talk? - Yes.
What can we do for you? - The kid took 30 to life, all in.
I told cutter we'd be at every parole hearing.
Evening, officers.
- Hey, it's ugly in there.
I hope you haven't had dinner yet.
- You okay?