Mindhunter (2017) s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

Miller? Is everyone okay in there? [CAR DOOR OPENS.]
Agent Ford, FBI.
Here, sir.
We want to know what's going on.
If you harm anyone, it will not end well for you! Special Agent Holden Ford.
- Ninkovich.
- Is he talking? Not making sense.
Been briefed? On the way over.
Five people still in there? A security guard, the secretary, three guys from the line.
Where is she? - [NINKOVICH.]
Take it easy, Mr.
I want my wife! Put the gun down, step away from Ms.
I have asked you - We need to see that everyone is unharmed.
You gonna shoot me? If you do not abide by our terms, and soon You can't see me! I'm warning you, our patience is wearing thin.
How can you shoot what you can't see? Mr.
Miller! - No, thank you.
Hey, Cody.
My name is Holden.
I'd like to help you.
- Tell me what's going on.
- I gotta talk to my wife.
All right.
- She's the only one.
I understand.
For the moment, is there anything else we can get you? Get these fucking people away.
If I can get them to back off, will you relax with Ms.
Curtwell? Give us some time to reach your wife.
Thank you.
Keep the snipers.
Back out the perimeter.
If he starts firing, we'll have to storm the place.
They're making me nervous.
Imagine what they're doing to him.
He has no criminal history.
He's clearly having an episode.
We need to keep him calm and wear him down.
Get rid of those reporters.
All right, guys.
Back it up! - [MAN.]
All right.
Let's go.
Back it up.
- [MAN 2.]
Move back.
How am I doing? [WOMAN GASPS.]
You see me? - Oh, God.
Yes, I can see you! - What do you see? - [HOLDEN.]
I can see that you're naked.
I can see that you're cold.
Is there a phone? Can we get him on the line? - He's got it off the hook.
- That was his demand, talk to his wife? Took all day to find her.
She's on her way.
- You're not bringing her.
- I want her to calm him.
Her presence might have the opposite effect.
Hi, Mrs.
Miller? Don't get out.
I'm Holden Ford from the FBI.
Do you understand the situation? - Cody's got some people in there? - What happened this morning? I don't know.
I tried to get him sectioned on Sunday, but I haven't seen him since.
They told me he stole a shotgun, robbed a liquor store? Was he delusional? Violent? He's not violent.
He's been saying that he's invisible for a while now.
Truly invisible.
He's been seeing a doctor.
Did the doctor diagnose him? Cody wouldn't tell me.
He's taking medication, but he might've stopped.
- What kind of medication? - I'm not sure.
Here's his doctor.
You tried to get him sectioned? He kept talking to people that weren't there, saying they could see him.
I told him I was gonna leave him if he didn't go to the hospital.
- You gave him an ultimatum? - [MRS.
I'm sorry.
- I feel awful.
- This is not your fault.
Has he hurt anyone? Not that we know about.
I'm sending you along for now.
Have someone call his doctor.
Get his wife to tell him she won't leave him.
We need more information.
Let's see if we can get him on the line.
Cody! Everything okay in there? I'd really like to know what's going on in there.
I promise you, we can work this out.
Where's my wife? [HOLDEN.]
It's a difficult situation.
Taking a while to get her here.
- She doesn't want to talk to me? - [HOLDEN.]
That's not it.
She is very worried about you.
- You talked to her? - [HOLDEN.]
On the phone.
- Maybe you could talk to her on the phone.
- No! She has to be here.
I understand your frustration.
What do you understand? [HOLDEN.]
Not being able to communicate with a trusted loved one.
What do you want to say to her? Why would I tell you? Maybe I can help.
I don't think so.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
You followed procedure.
You did your job.
You did everything by the book.
He took hostages.
He knew there'd be consequences.
- He thought he was invisible.
- You're not his shrink.
You're not responsible for diagnosing him.
That's not your remit.
These things happen in real time, and we are the last responders.
If an operation's gonna go south, this is not the worst outcome.
Stay focused on what we do.
If I did everything by the book, it begs the question This place is pretty much the benchmark for excellence in law enforcement.
In the rest of the world, hostage negotiation's on its way out.
You think the Israelis bothered to negotiate at Entebbe last year? You didn't lose one hostage or bystander.
That's how we measure success.
And your courses are a big hit in the summer.
I actually think you should be teaching more.
- You're putting me out to pasture.
- No.
I'm putting you to work where it really counts.
Despite what happened.
Because of what happened, Holden.
It seasoned you.
Thank you, sir but I'd rather not.
Well, this is awkward.
I'd like you to sleep on it over the weekend because you start full-time on Monday.
This is how we find ourselves completely out of control.
The fugitive has already killed a police officer that morning in Austin.
He's taken two nine-millimeter rounds in the ass, grabbed a ten-year-old boy as a hostage, and he's holed up in a suburban neighborhood crawling with women and small children.
Now we must focus on one thing: de-escalation.
San Antonio's chief of police arrives and starts using a bullhorn, which more than effectively intimidates our hostage-taker.
Coming at anyone with an attitude of "I'm right, you're wrong" assumes that they're of rational mind.
We must establish communication.
Non-threatening communication.
Ascertain demands, concede nothing, reject nothing, just listen.
Listen to what he has to say.
Try understanding him instead of trying to dominate him.
Look for common ground.
Find commonality.
And if it feels like you're buying time, well that's because you are.
But it's the key to making any perp feel heard.
Our goal is no body bags.
That is the hostage negotiator win-win.
And I'm in my office on Friday for anyone who has questions about the psychological strategies exam.
Wanton, indiscriminate murder.
Seemingly random, serendipitous.
Each one, extremely violent.
No explanation.
No apparent reason.
They weren't sexually assaulted, there was no attempt to relieve them of valuables, they didn't know their assailant.
Robert Violante and Stacy Moskowitz were making out in their car when David Berkowitz walked up and shot them both point-blank.
Berkowitz killed six people over two summers, wounding seven more.
Why? Because a dog told him to do it.
Now we can say that the guy's crazy, or that he's pretending that he's crazy.
But if we're looking for a motive we can understand, we suddenly find there is none.
It's a void.
It's a black hole.
Forty years ago, your FBI was founded hunting down John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly.
Criminals who thumbed their noses at society, but were basically in it for personal gain.
Now, we have extreme violence between strangers.
Where do we go when motive becomes elusive? Excuse me, Professor Rathman? Holden Ford, Hostage Negotiation.
I listened in on your class earlier.
What you were saying about crime today I don't know, it really resonates.
- Gets attention.
- Were you teaching this before Berkowitz? A version of it.
The headlines kind of fell into my lap.
What got you started? Starkweather.
Manson, of course.
But Son of Sam kind of epitomizes now.
It's as if we don't know anymore what moves people to kill one another.
Used to be you find a victim with 50 stab wounds, you look for the jilted lover, the ex-business partner.
Now it could be a random run-in with a disgruntled mailman.
It's a different era.
No more "Just the facts, ma'am.
" That's television.
And reruns.
- Crime has changed.
- Right.
Do you want to grab a beer? Yeah, okay.
Look at the unprecedented events that have occurred in the past decade and a half.
A president assassinated.
Fighting an unpopular war that we didn't win.
National Guard killing four college students.
- You can hardly wrap your mind around it.
- Watergate.
Our democracy is vanishing into what? Is that what all this is about? Just a response to turmoil? The government used to be, symbolically, a parental institution.
Now? It's a free-for-all.
The world barely makes any sense, so it follows that crime doesn't either.
You and I could theorize all night, but the truth is, I don't fucking know.
- I don't know either.
- No one does.
But we're supposed to, right? Sure, but here's the troubling thing: no one's even asking the questions.
We are.
We are.
Mm! Next time, let's discuss Lee Harvey Oswald as Oedipus.
- Thank you.
- Anytime.
- Hey.
- Hey.
What are you looking at? I like your outfit.
What is that, a jumpsuit? What do you call that? - This? I call it a jumpsuit.
- Stylish.
What do you call that? You look like a Mormon.
You look like my dad.
Is he a Mormon? No, but he looks like one.
So does mine.
He bought me this suit, as a matter of fact.
Did he buy you those nice shiny shoes? Yes.
I have one brown pair and one black pair.
I've got sneakers, but I had to buy those myself.
What kind of grown-up lets their parents choose their clothes for them? - Are you coming on to me? - How do you like my approach? You having a good time? - I will be.
- Huh! It's my birthday today.
Happy birthday.
How old are you? - Twenty-four.
- You don't look old enough to be in here.
- What are you, a narc? - FBI, actually.
Special Agent Holden Ford.
- Can you tell? - Everybody can tell.
You got a gun? I have one, but I'm not gonna show it to you.
I'm a teacher.
Right up the road at Quantico.
What do you teach? Hostage negotiation, such as it is.
- Holy cow.
- You really think I look like a narc? - Are you kidding? - I don't see it.
You stick out like a sore thumb.
Well, I'm not here to infiltrate the Black Panthers.
Those guys are hardly Black Panthers.
They're engineering students.
You should go talk to them.
I'm sure the FBI's in need of some great-looking black dudes.
- You've got the wrong idea about me.
- You gonna book me? Maybe.
Handcuffs? I'm here to see this really cool band from Detroit.
You ever been to Detroit? Yes, actually.
I was a I was a brick agent there for a couple of years.
I can't believe they're here.
They used to play PJ's in Corktown.
- You know Corktown? - Sure.
- It looked like a furniture store.
- They always sold liquor.
The whole furniture thing was just a front that started during Prohibition.
Where are you really from? [SIGHS.]
But the Midwest, right? I grew up in the Midwest, but I was born in Brooklyn.
You do not seem like a guy from New York.
You don't seem like a girl from Corktown.
Buy you a drink? - [ROCK MUSIC PLAYING.]
What's your name? - Debbie.
- You want some pot? - Is that a trick question? Come on.
Are you serious? No, that's completely inappropriate.
Come on, it's my birthday.
Oh, Jesus, you're not gonna drink and drive, are you? You've been plying me with booze.
Don't you think that's kind of a mixed message? You coming? [ENGINE STARTS.]
So what does a brick agent get up to in Detroit? Mostly corralling Army deserters.
Guys AWOL from Vietnam trying to get to Canada.
Too scared to go back.
Young guys.
Same age I was.
So you were a snitch? There's worse things than being a snitch.
Maybe this'll loosen you up.
God, you are making me nervous.
You are such a goody-goody.
What are you, some kind of honey trap? I've been warned to watch out for women like you.
You mean normal ones? [SIGHS.]
So just put your mouth over the hole [EXHALES.]
- And inhale.
I don't want to talk to somebody trying to calm me.
- Get somebody in charge.
- I am in charge! I don't want to talk to some flunky pig trying to calm me.
What's he doing? - Will you get back over there? - What are they there for? Will you get the fuck back? Get back there, will ya? - Look at him! - Get over there! - Go back there, man! - Get over there, will ya? He wants to kill me so bad, he can taste it! All right? Attica! Attica! Attica! - Attica! Attica! - [CROWD CHEERING.]
Attica! Attica! Attica! [MAN.]
I was so confused, I was doing insane things.
What sort of things, Leon? After the wedding I ran off for ten days to Atlantic City.
Sonny was frantic.
He knew I'd been drinking, he didn't know where I was, who I was with.
Well, I couldn't explain the things I did.
So I went to a psychiatrist who told me that I was a woman trapped in a man's body.
So they were both homosexuals, but he was married, and his boyfriend wanted to become a woman, which is confusing.
- You really gotta get out more, Holden.
- It was mixed up.
- You didn't like it? - No, I really liked it.
It was just so sad.
He was obviously very disturbed, but somehow I liked him.
- Yeah, you have empathy.
- Yeah.
I really liked the dialogue.
It was just very real.
When I started at the Academy, they would send women out of the room if there was any of that talk.
They called it "deviant terminology.
" We even had a list of words we had to memorize.
Really? Which words? You know fuck, shit, pussy blow job.
Oh, fuck.
Finger my pussy.
Finger my pussy, I'll give you a blow job.
All the bad words used in a sentence.
It's classic he said-she said.
He says she hit her head on the bedpost having consensual sexual intercourse.
She says he knocked her out and dragged her into this motel room to rape her.
We know she didn't hit her head on that bedpost because we've measured.
Where do you propose you would go? University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
Studying what? Contemporary Applied Criminal Psychology.
Ratchet things up a notch.
What exactly is it you think you're missing out on? We need to know the current academic thinking.
No, you don't want to rely on academics, Holden.
I'm not saying rely, just get updated.
We just got updated.
It's all in the library.
1972, everything was new.
That was five years ago.
What's the thinking now? Okay, look.
There have been some fine psychological studies over the years, but these are people who don't understand the criminal mind.
They understand their corner of the world, which is a very small corner.
Well, they must know something.
I'm going to level with you.
I'm going to tell you something I really don't want you to repeat.
As far as the Bureau is concerned, psychology is for backroom boys.
- You understand what I'm trying to say? No.
What's a "backroom boy"? It's just frowned upon.
We should be using every resource we can.
Talking to the smartest people we find from the broadest possible spectrum.
- And we do.
- Otherwise, it's like the military.
- Hey, we recruited Elvis.
- So did the military.
The King doesn't do it for you? Hoover died over five years ago, and we're still recruiting accountants and lawyers like it's 1946.
Actually, recruitment has tapered off.
- We can't get accountants.
- Well, then we're in trouble.
All right.
I'll scratch your back and recommend funding for you to audit a few classes, but you will be expected to use the opportunity for recruitment.
Speakers, lecturers, great minds.
- Are you sure you want me doing that? - You're smart, you're idealistic more than a little sensitive.
They're gonna love you.
- Hare Krishna.
- Hare Krishna.
- Hare Krishna.
- [MAN.]
And then, in 1872, Italian physician Cesare Lombroso drags us out of the Dark Ages and launches the scientific era in criminology by differentiating five criminal classes: the born criminal, insane criminal, criminal by passion, habitual criminal, and the occasional criminal.
In other words, there are those that are born that way and those who become that way.
And in 1965, there's this other breakthrough.
This criminal psychology research project at Bellevue psychiatric hospital in New York couched it like this: personality and character far outweigh the presence of psychotic or defective diagnoses.
In other words, by extrapolation are criminals born or are they formed? Do you mind if I sit? You're sitting.
You know, I wasn't aware of that project at Bellevue.
Well, you should be.
Where I come from, criminals are always born that way.
Some people will never stop believing that.
- It's too easy.
- It lets us off the hook.
Well, essentially we're a puritan nation.
We blame all our problems on a minority of bad apples.
What's your name again? I'm sorry.
Is it Leon? Buchanan.
- Holden Ford.
- I know who you are.
Everybody does.
I've noticed some of the looks I've been getting.
Funny looks isn't a federal offense yet.
Yeah, they're just curious.
Well, I'm not a spy.
This isn't some kind of cover.
Because that would have been a really pathetic cover.
I'm actually an instructor too, but I'm just here to learn.
And I'm here to talk to people like you.
What do you want to talk about? I want to start a dialogue with you.
Would be that okay? A dialogue about what? I'm an instructor in the Bureau's training and recruitment program out of Quantico.
And we really need to hear from people like you.
I'm sorry, are you trying to recruit me? Just to hear your perspectives and your insights.
I understand perfectly.
I'm sorry.
You call yourself a professor of criminal psychology.
But you won't even talk to the educational arm of the FBI? It's just a sign of the times, man.
Lost your appetite? - [HOLDEN.]
Do these fucking hippies seriously believe that they're worthy of an enormously costly, labor-intensive federal surveillance operation? It sounds like the contempt is mutual.
Don't you think that the traditional counterculture-law enforcement enmity is a little old hat by now? They'll never forgive you for putting a tail on John and Yoko.
Frankly, I'm surprised to have aroused such a degree of fucking neuroses amongst supposedly intelligent people.
Please, they're flattering themselves.
They think you're wearing a wire.
You're one of us now.
Okay, everything's all right.
Come on.
- Come on out, Sonny.
- They're too close! Come on, get back! What the fuck are you doing? Get back! Get them back.
- Get back, okay? - Come here.
Come on out.
Now take a look at this.
Come on.
Hey, look.
Look up here.
Look over here.
Huh? Over there.
You got everything here, okay? Okay.
So what are they doing wrong? - They're making him mad.
- They're making him scared.
- So? - We do not want him scared.
We want him calm.
Let me call and see what they say.
I'll talk to them and ask, all right? Then we'll see.
Anything else I can give you? Yeah, I want you to bring my wife down here.
Okay, what do you give us? What do you want? The guy is robbing a bank to pay for a sex change for his boyfriend.
He wants a helicopter with a piano.
But more than anything, he wants to talk to his wife.
- Complicated, right? - [MAN.]
Trust me on this.
Always expect complicated.
Okay, I need you to concentrate.
Think of an opening salvo, then think where it could lead.
No right or wrong answers, just use your imagination and see where it takes you.
Start whenever you like.
Go ahead.
All right.
I'm asking you to put the gun down, Mike.
No way.
Kiss my black ass, Mark.
Wait, what? For the purpose of this exercise, I'm imagining I'm Negro.
That's good.
That's fine.
Keep it going.
Just whatever comes into your head.
Then fuck you! I asked you to put that gun down.
No, fuck you, you dumb cracker motherfucker.
Wait, wait a minute.
What is all that? It's jive talk.
We don't need to get into that.
Forget vernacular.
In real life, people just press their demands.
All right? Um [CLEARS THROAT.]
Uh put the gun down, Steve.
We brought your children to see you.
You what? Oh, my God.
I lost custody.
I haven't seen my children in years.
Okay, good.
Important not to talk to a divorced man about his children.
Different tactic.
All right, I asked nicely.
Now put the fucking gun down.
- Why don't you make me, faggot? - [MARK.]
What?! I'm no faggot, motherfucker! Okay, let's dial it back a little.
Excuse me.
What is the point of this? [HOLDEN.]
Great question.
Psychologically preparing you for reality.
And the reality is, you have to talk to them.
Somebody demands the impossible, you can't just shoot him.
Then why have so much firearms training? Well, because that is a tactical response for when all else fails.
But if local law enforcement can't shut something down, then it has required a tactical response.
Okay, but wouldn't you like to try something different? Or would you rather use firearms all the time? - I'd kind of rather use firearms.
- Why? Seems safer? [INDISTINCT CHATTER.]
Holden, I enjoyed that immensely.
What do you call that? It's just role-playing in a simulated hostage situation.
- Stimulated? - Simulated.
All that profanity, is that an academic thing? They're improvising.
They're learning to create a dialogue.
How is all that cursing creating a dialogue? It's not really about the cursing.
I'm sure it's all quite modern and fashionable in academic circles, but it seems very theatrical to me.
Well, in criminal psych, role-playing exercises are considered a valuable tool, with or without the cursing.
I think we have enough exercises here at the Academy.
If you're going to start implementing new ones, talk to somebody in the Behavioral Science Unit.
They can help? They can go over the soundness of the psychology.
That's their thing.
Okay, good idea.
- Why don't I set that up? - Okay.
Thank you, yes.
Holden, right? Holden Ford? Hi.
Bill Tench.
Behavioral Science.
Oh, great to meet you.
- You had a beer with Peter Rathman? - Interesting guy.
I was kind of disturbed by what he said.
You were, huh? - Can we sit? - Yes.
- Smoke? - Oh, uh I don't smoke when I eat.
Want to go outside? I don't smoke when I don't eat either.
So did Shepard talk to you about my thing? He did his best.
What does that mean? - He can be pretty old school.
I call this place "the country club," because, you know, it can be a little starchy sometimes.
I hear that.
You went back to college, right? UVA.
How old are you, 26, 27? Twenty-nine.
That's interesting.
Lot of guys your age don't want to go back to school because they feel it undermines their authority.
I was hoping it would give me some authority.
He's got you doing recruitment, right? Yeah, well, I'm there, so I might as well make myself useful.
Most guys don't want to get stuck doing recruitment.
They're busy working their way upwards.
I guess I'm busy working my way sideways.
You are what they call a "blue flamer.
" You know what that is? No.
What does that mean? You're so eager to do good, you have a big, blue flame shooting out of your asshole.
Oh is that bad? Just take it slow.
You'll get there in the end.
I'm just trying to be a better instructor.
Well, I was thinking about that.
I started this thing a couple of years ago.
I go on the road and give classes in various police departments from Buffalo, New York to San Diego, California.
There's a million cops out there who want to know what we know.
So I go to them, give them a distillation of what we teach here, and they tell me what they've been doing.
They learn something, and I learn something firsthand by getting involved on their level.
But it's a big job, you know? I'm up to my neck in local law enforcement.
Would you want some help with that? Maybe we could help each other.
What? Nothing.
Don't be shy.
Did you orgasm? Did I orgasm? What? - I can't believe you're from New York.
- You could be faking, right? You can't tell if a woman is faking? I can't even tell if a woman is interested.
But you can tell if somebody's lying, like a suspect.
That is not the same thing.
- Pretend I'm a suspect.
Use your powers of deduction, Agent Ford.
How can you figure out the criminal mind if you can't figure out your girlfriend? Are you my girlfriend? Wait.
Is this another of those things you just can't tell? I don't know.
Are you? What do you need, an exchange of rings over milkshakes? I just didn't want to presume anything.
Really, Holden, sometimes you're like a monk.
Surely people in law enforcement shouldn't be so naive.
Does it make you uncomfortable sleeping with a federal agent? [LAUGHS.]
Where did that come from? Does it turn you on? Not at all.
Then why are you with me? You're smart.
You're nice.
What? Those are good things.
And you're devastating.
Well, thank you.
Oh, come on, you're not leaving.
I have to get up early.
Tomorrow's the first day of school.
Ninety-nine plus KFMH, Muscatine, Davenport in Iowa Central [CHANGING STATIONS.]
Hold the line [TENCH.]
Today might be a baptism of fire.
They're gonna be on edge.
- Just follow my lead.
- What happened? They caught a big case and they're spooked.
Don't talk to any reporters.
And please, for God's sake, don't say we're from the FBI.
It's not in the words That you told me, girl Excuse me, gentlemen.
I'm from the Fairfield Chronicle.
You gentlemen are from the FBI, is that right? How are things with the Jeffries case? No idea what you're talking about.
The Jeffries case.
Ada Jeffries.
- You can come back for the rest.
- The woman found behind the church.
- We're here for something else.
- The woman and her little boy.
We're instructors.
Are you from the Methodist church? Do we look like we're from the Methodist church? Yes.
Make a hole.
Good to see ya.
Motive, means, opportunity.
The three pillars of criminal investigation for the last century.
But it's 1977, and suddenly motive is elusive.
What, why, who.
"What happened?" "Why did it happen that way?" Which should lead to: "Who did it?" A person is murdered.
Not sexually assaulted, not robbed.
But the body is mutilated posthumously.
The question is not only why did the killer do it, but why did the killer do it this way? We are now talking about psychology.
When I'm involved in a hostage negotiation, the perpetrator is standing right in front of me, but I have to gauge how much destruction he's capable of, what in his background or personal life that could've triggered today's standoff.
Some people are just crazy, right? Crazy in that they have no reason for what they do? - Yeah.
But keep in mind, often, this crazy person has never done anything like this before.
Something just flips.
- Like a switch.
- Good, a switch.
Anybody know what flips it? - Getting fired? - Fired.
- Getting dumped.
A romantic breakup is a top trigger.
When we know who the criminal is, we can understand what set him off.
In a homicide situation, we do the inverse.
We ask, "What happened? Why did it happen that way?" Which narrows the search for who did it.
But what if our killer is someone who's not rational? Why do we behave the way we do? It's a question asked by poets, and philosophers, and theologians since time immemorial.
The playground of Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Freud.
The stuff of Crime and Punishment and Beyond the Pleasure Principal.
The greatest minds in history have been fascinated by the vagaries of behavior.
So, in a case where we can't immediately divine a motive, we shouldn't panic.
It's a riddle, but it can be solved.
It's complex, but it's human.
- Thank you, Holden.
That was very illuminating.
So what the hell's Beyond the Pleasure Principle? - By Freud? - [MAN.]
So this is about sex? Actually, it's where he looks for human impulses beyond sex, - specifically the death drive.
- [MAN 2.]
What's that? - Something my kid does with a stick shift.
Freud suggests that there's an innate desire for destruction, based on the propensity for matter to return - What does this have to do with motive? - [HOLDEN.]
Well we've always looked at motive as need or greed, right? - Guy steals a TV to sell it to buy drugs.
But let's say, while he's at it, he steals your wife's panties, too.
If he stole my wife's panties, I'd be amazed.
Well, he's not selling those.
So why does he do it? Is it merely prurient? He could be motivated by something he doesn't even understand.
Our new quest, like Freud, is to look beyond what we assume are obvious impulses.
So why didn't you just say that? [HOLDEN.]
They don't want to learn.
What are we even doing here? [TENCH.]
Don't make it too complicated.
What's wrong with complicated? There's complicated and there's too complicated, Holden.
We used to do this experiment in social psychology.
What was that? You get onto a crowded elevator, and you face the opposite direction, the back of the elevator, and everybody freaks out.
They're uncomfortable for reasons they can't even articulate.
But if you turn around and face the front, everybody relaxes.
Well, how do we do that? What do we have in common? What unites us? What keeps us all awake at night? - [ALL GROANING.]
- Monster.
Right? I think we can all agree.
But what do you really know about him? Did you know that his mother was a jailbird and a prostitute? Did you know when he was ten years old, she palmed him off onto his sadistic, Bible-thumping uncle who beat him within an inch of his life and taunted him to act like a man? Charles responded to that by becoming a pimp and an armed robber, and was incarcerated for over 20 years, where he continued to be brutalized.
In 1967, he was paroled, during the Summer of Love.
And our nightmare began.
- [MAN.]
Jesus! - [MAN 2.]
Come on! Here we have a child who was unwanted, unloved, regularly beaten, and repeatedly institutionalized.
Now, might this not have had some sort of an effect on him? - He was born that way.
- What way? - [MAN.]
Just bad.
- Can we be a little bit more specific? - Technically, he didn't kill anybody.
Look at those eyes.
How can you not say that dude's evil? That's a little bit Old Testament, don't you think? Good, evil, black, white, it's easy.
But who in this room has a life that's easy? Circumstances affect behavior.
When we look at Manson's background, the real question is, how could we not have seen this coming? We did.
I'm sorry? He was institutionalized because we could see it coming.
Okay, but I'm saying maybe, just maybe, locking him up his young life helped make him what he was.
- [MAN.]
- What the fuck? They locked him up because of what he did.
They already knew what he was.
Okay, guys, I'm not asking anybody to feel sorry for Charles Manson.
If he were here, I'd shoot him dead.
No one would stop me.
What Holden's trying to say is maybe it's both.
The one impacting on the other in a vicious circle.
Nobody has all the answers.
- We have some answers.
- We should be asking questions.
No shit.
Well, I'll just tell my buddies in Robbery-Homicide who were there when the corpses were found, that they may have overlooked a difficult upbringing.
You were LAPD? Twenty-two years.
You worked Manson? No, but I knew every single man who did.
How many homicides have you worked? [AUDIENCE MURMURING.]
Figure out who you're talking to before you tell a sob story about little Chuckie Manson.
They wrote "pigs" on the wall in their victims' blood.
They completely missed my point.
In the future, ask if anyone's worked a case before you bring it up.
- Know your fucking audience.
- Oh, shit.
It's okay, they always do this.
Just be a good listener.
Frank McGraw.
I didn't mean to embarrass anybody back there.
Not a problem.
We're all a little tense around here.
You must have heard about the mother and child who were murdered recently.
- Ada Jeffries and her boy.
- We've seen reporters.
She was bound, stabbed repeatedly about the chest and face.
The boy's throat was cut.
Rough one.
I don't understand entirely what you're talking about with psychology.
I don't understand much of anything anymore.
What's on your mind, Frank? - I hate to bother.
- No, by all means.
Bother us.
When I left Los Angeles, I thought I'd gone far enough.
Ada was the kind of woman who wouldn't say boo to a goose.
She came from a deeply religious family in Arkansas.
When they found out she was pregnant, they put her out.
She lived in a rooming house in Libertyville.
No drugs, no alcohol, never had a brush with the law.
The boy was polite and quiet.
She had him in Sunday school at the Methodist church.
She would sweep the steps every evening, just to be of service.
I never met Ada.
Every now and again, I'd see her and her son walk along the road into town.
They didn't have a car.
Landlady found the bodies.
They had been dead four days.
What people won't do to each other.
Nothing people won't do.
How can we help? [MCGRAW.]
She was found cuffed and lashed to the bed.
A broomstick perforated her rectum.
Whoever it was made the boy watch, then did the same thing to him.
How'd he get in? Bathroom window.
We think that's how he came and went.
There was no sign of forcible entry.
- No one heard a peep.
- In a rooming house? My assumption is, he held a knife to the boy to keep her quiet, and vice versa.
This falls clearly into the category of lust murder.
By that I mean it's sexually motivated.
That cannot be about horny.
It's more about sexual gratification through the annihilation of another.
- Did you find semen? - Found some on a throw cushion.
It was blood type O.
I know that's not much help.
- [TENCH.]
In the victims? - [MCGRAW.]
- He didn't rape them.
- He could have problems with sex.
That'd be a good bet.
Could narrow things with your suspects.
I don't have suspects.
I don't have fingerprints, shoe prints, not so much as a single hair.
Well The fact that the killer left nothing behind is interesting.
It must have been premeditated to a degree.
He had gloves, he cleaned up after himself.
You think he was stalking her? - Or she just caught his eye.
- What about the boy? He was a witness.
There are more expedient ways to get rid of a witness.
- Why make the boy watch? - And why sodomize him? [HOLDEN.]
That's a good point.
Is this crime about the woman or about the child? - You're asking me? - I was just posing questions.
I get that.
- The broomstick.
- Yeah? Is it the same broomstick she used to sweep the church steps? - What if it is? - He might not be a congregant, maybe someone just passing through, but the church could be significant.
Could be? [HOLDEN.]
With the idea of service.
I think that there's a passage in Mark.
Something about the "Son of Man.
" I don't follow.
All I'm saying is, the broom may mean something.
What? I don't know.
It's hard to tell from just the photos.
This woman was devoted to her child, tried hard, and some stranger came along and Come on, Agent Ford, you got fancy methods.
What does a broomstick in the ass of a dirt poor single mom mean? I don't know.
You're kidding me.
I don't understand it.
- We can't help you with this.
- We need more time to go over this.
We are in the dark here.
We don't know any more than you do.
How fucking dare you? I'm sorry we wasted your time.
- Can I get these back to you? - [SCOFFS.]
- Crying Crying It's hard to understand That the touch of your hand Can start me crying - In the dark, huh? - We are.
I have studied everything we have.
I've taken this ride here, listened to everything you've been kind enough to teach, but we're talking about something we don't understand in the slightest.
I was trying to help you.
If you don't like it, go back to your college kids and we'll forget about it.
Ada and her son were killed for reasons we are simply not equipped to understand.
It wasn't lust murder.
It wasn't some random thrill killer who was born bad, and it wasn't a pantie thief who wanted to change things up.
It was an aberration.
Let me tell you something about aberrant behavior.
It's fucking aberrant.
If we understood it, we'd be aberrant too.
Fortunately, it's not incumbent upon us to write a dissertation.
- Well, maybe we should.
- Why? Our job is to give him something he could not have figured out himself.
- I am sticking my neck out for you.
- No disrespect.
At the moment, I don't think we can say anything to McGraw with any certainty.
Let me ask you something.
Where are you from? I was born in New York, but it's kind of a mixed bag.
Well, that's what you are right now, a mixed bag.
A little college education, some experience on the street, some insight, a lot of horseshit.
I agree with you.
It's been one step forward, two steps back.
Let me ask you something else.
Do you have a girlfriend? - I do now, Bill, as it happens.
- Okay.
So next time you're a long way from home and you flip your shit, you find a pay phone and you tell it to your girlfriend.
- Okay? - Okay.
- How's that sound? - It sounds okay, Bill.
Crying Over You
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