The Staircase (2004) s01e01 Episode Script

Crime or Accident?

[theme music plays] [TV anchor] Durham Police this morning are investigating the death of a prominent city resident.
The officers were called early this morning to the home of Nortel executive Kathleen Peterson, who was found dead in her Forest Hills mansion, after apparently falling down the stairs.
Kathleen Peterson's husband is novelist Michael Peterson, well known for his books on the Vietnam War.
He is also a former columnist for the Durham Herald Sun, and ran an unsuccessful mayoral campaign in 1999.
Durham Police have refused additional comment on the death.
Kathleen and I were in here watching a movie.
I had gone to Blockbusters and rented a video, and we were watching American Sweethearts, and I think it was probably around 11 o'clock that the movie ended and we took our glasses, left the dinner plates, as a matter of fact, on there.
We would clean up the next day.
Went into the kitchen.
We would talk for hours.
Kathleen and I, at nighttime, would talk two, three hours.
Talk about the movie, or the kids or what we were going to do, and we came in here.
I think there was I'm not sure.
We probably had another bottle.
I know we were drinking two bottles that night.
It was a nice night.
I guess it was 55, 60 degrees.
Very nice night.
Uh and I had gone outside, and we were talking here for a fair amount of time.
And then what we would usually do on a nice night, we would go down to the pool, which I always, you know, think is about the nicest place on the property.
I don't know if the chairs were like this or not, but I mean, they were probably something like this, and she was We were both right here.
You know, the dogs would come over, and we were just talking, and finishing our drinks.
And then she said, "I got to go in, because I've got the conference call in the morning.
" And she started walking out that way, and I stayed right here.
Don't think I said anything special to her.
Certainly not thinking this was the last time I'm going to see her.
I said good night, and I'll be up a little bit later, and I stayed here, and she walked And the last I saw her was when I was sitting there, and she was just walking, walking here.
That's it.
That was the last I saw Kathleen.
She was alive when I found her, but barely.
[call handler] Durham 9-1-1, what is your emergency? - [Michael] 1810 Cedar Street, please! - What's wrong? [Michael] My wife's had an accident.
She's still breathing.
- What kind of accident? - She fell down the stairs.
- She's still breathing.
Please come.
- Is she conscious? - What? - Is she conscious? No, she's not conscious.
Please! - How many stairs did she fall down? - What? Huh? - How many stairs? - The back stairs! How many stairs? [panicked breathing] Calm down, sir.
- Calm down.
- 15, 20.
I don't know.
Please! Get somebody here right away! Okay, somebody's dispatching the ambulance while I ask you questions.
It's off of, uh It's in Forest Hills.
Okay? Please, please! It was just such a shock when I drove into the driveway.
Seeing ambulances, just like, "Oh my God.
Did somebody have a heart attack?" Never in your wildest dreams, would you think of anything You wouldn't know what to think.
My first thought, of course, was my dad had a heart attack.
He's a little older than Kathleen.
So when I ran in there, and I saw my dad alive, I was, quite honestly, a little relieved, thinking, "Oh, phew.
" And then he was able to mutter the word, something along the lines of, "Kathleen, Kathleen! Oh, my God, this this Oh, God, Kathleen.
" And he was motioning in the direction of the staircase.
[call handler] Sir, somebody else is dispatching the ambulance.
- [whimpering, crying] - Okay, is she awake now? Hello? [panicked muttering] Hello? [panicked muttering, whimpering continues] [Michael] Oh, God.
[heavy panting, muttering] I can vividly remember finding Kathleen, I can remember opening the door.
I can remember calling 9-1-1.
I can remember I particularly remember Todd just holding me as tight as possible, I think to contain me, and I can remember Heather, the doctor, Ben's girlfriend, taking my pulse.
And then I can remember, and it must have been very early, while I was still in the kitchen, that a cop was on me instantly, everywhere I went, a policeman was there.
I went outside with Ben, and a policeman was there, and I remember walking down there, and a policeman was there.
There was always a policeman with me.
I knew for a fact that no way in this world my father ever would have hurt Kathleen.
But the realism of their investigating it did seem real.
While it was completely unfounded in my mind, the way that they were behaving, the way that they were barking orders at us, restricting us from talking to one another, they truly drove home the point that they were investigating this as a crime.
We came up Sycamore, and you come up, and it kind of dead ends into our house, and you just see the yellow tape across the whole house, and it was horrible.
It's like, our house.
You want to go home, the yellow tape is right there, and you can't go home and It was the worst thing in the world and then, um I remember Dad actually explaining it to us, and he was just like, he was in shock, kind of, and he was kind of shaking, and he was like, "I didn't do it.
" You know, "You have to believe me.
" We're like, "Dad, we believe you," you know? "This is horrible, like, how can we not believe you," you know? It's We didn't even know any details yet and we were just like, "We believe you.
We know it's not true, and this is horrible," and it was just so upsetting.
I couldn't believe it, but it was so hard to think about that, because at the same time, we were thinking about our mother, you know? And it was It was like two bombshells, I guess, hitting us.
When I first entered the house, I noticed what appeared to be two legs, just kinda sticking out of a doorway or hallway to my left, and once I approached the victim, there was just a very abundant amount of blood on her, on the floor, on the walls, that just was not consistent with somebody falling down the steps.
[camera shutter clicks] Well, obviously we can't know exactly what happened.
We have to piece together what we believe happened, based on the circumstantial evidence that we've uncovered.
The only people that know are Mike Peterson and Kathleen Peterson, and obviously, Mr.
Peterson's not going to enlighten us about what he knows.
We believe the evidence, at least our evidence, is gonna show that she was beaten, that she was stunned, and was bleeding, that she probably recovered, and had And struggled, in the door frame with Mike Peterson to a degree, and that he then had to bludgeon her on multiple occasions after that, and that she basically bled to death.
Live, local, up to the minute.
This is ABC 11 Eyewitness News at six.
[reporter] Michael Peterson's supporters can't believe he's charged with the murder of his wife, Kathleen.
Kathleen was my life.
I whispered her name in my heart 1,000 times.
She is there, but I can't stop crying.
[reporter] But a special grand jury decided today there was sufficient evidence gathered by police to warrant a trial in this case.
The charge: First-degree murder.
Now, 11 days after frantically calling 9-1-1, seeking help for his wife, Michael Peterson must spend the night inside the Durham County Jail.
My mother and Mike had an absolutely loving relationship, and there is no way that either of them would ever wish any sort of harm on the other one.
[reporter] Kathleen Peterson's biological daughter, Caitlin Atwater, served as the main spokesperson for the Peterson family.
She stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Peterson's biological sons and their sisters, adopted by Kathleen and Mike Peterson.
This is going to be the most unbelievably heartbreaking Christmas we could ever imagine.
We've already lost one mother, now the state has taken away our father.
In my mind, you know, if Mike finds Kathleen at the bottom of the stairs, it's a reasonable assumption on his part that she fell down the stairs.
Peterson's attorney, David Rudolph, says the authorities seemed to have jumped to conclusions about Kathleen's death.
For us, if in fact the police are right, that this was not a fall, that should be the beginning of the investigation, not the end of the investigation.
So far you know, what I've been saying to the Press, basically, is we think it's an accident, but until our experts look at it, we really can't say whether it's an accident or an intruder.
What we know for sure is it has nothing to do with Michael.
The benefits of the Intruder theory is it's simpler.
There's no debate over the forensics, for the most part.
The real problem with the Intruder theory is lack of evidence that there was one.
The intruder would then have to have a weapon with them, capable inflicting these wounds, but not a knife or a gun - and take that weapon with them.
- Right.
Mike clearly came and reacted to the scene.
- Right.
- What we don't really seem to have is shoe prints leaving the scene that an intruder clearly wanted to get the hell out of there It seems to me what the intruder versus accident theory really boils down to is what caused the lacerations on the head? I agree.
I mean, injuries itself, to me, they're just not a rage type injuries in comparison to With a rage, you'd have skull fractures.
You'd have not only that.
You'd have a lot of major lacerations in her face.
You know, I've never met anybody that just stood still and waited to be hit on the head four times or seven times.
She'd have to stand still and let the back of her head get beaten by an intruder without moving around.
It would be bizarre.
Everything that I've heard about Kathleen and learned about her is she is a very feisty woman, and there's no way that she's going to allow anybody to beat her up without fighting back, and there are no signs whatsoever that she fought back.
I just don't see a crime of rage.
In all the experience I have, it's just not there.
- Ron Guerette.
- David Perlmutt.
- How are you doing? Good to see you.
- Come on in.
All right, thank you.
[Ron] You have breakfast already? [David] Would you like some bagels or orange juice? No.
Where's the coffee? - You didn't make any? - Coffee's not made.
Oh, well, that's all right.
Is this the book here? Yeah, that's the book that Mike and I co-wrote.
Charlie Two Shoes and the Marines of Love Company.
- Came out in the late 1998.
- Ninety-eight? My understanding is the last time that you spoke with Kathleen was a couple days before her death.
Tell me about that.
It was really the night before.
Essentially, the night before.
It was on the seventh of December, a Friday.
Friday evening, I had spoken with Stratton Leopold, who is a producer in Hollywood, and he We had been talking to him for about a year about the possibility of him optioning this book for a movie, and he calls me that day, that afternoon, and said that it was a done deal, everything was official, and so I called Mike just after that.
It was probably about six o'clock that evening, and Kathleen answered the phone, and we spent maybe ten minutes talking on the phone.
Now, that night, you spoke to her about ten minutes.
Did you talk to Mike too that evening? Yeah, she must have been talking in the kitchen, uh because I said, "Well, is the old man there?" Mike was Kathleen and I are the same age, and Mike was about ten years older, and she said, "Yeah, the old man is here, but he's going to have to empty the dryer and mop the kitchen floor before he comes to talk.
" They always had a very playful way with each other, and I could hear him chuckling in the background.
Did you hear any I mean, did there appear to be any pressure between each other? Frustration, anything like that, between Mike and Kathleen on this night? They were absolutely normal.
They were They were like I always saw them or heard them.
As I said, they were playful.
I heard I sensed no stress or tension between them.
Just absolutely normal.
And that's why it's such a stretch to think that they went from this normal, playful, back and forth between each other to something that is homicidal.
It just makes absolutely no sense to me.
It's inconceivable.
More autopsy photographs here.
That And it's impossible for me to believe, if that's the back of her head, that that could be caused from a series of missteps or fall down 15 flights I mean, 15 different stairs.
I just I can't see that happening.
This is Nor could the medical examiner.
And that's from my perspective, an impossibility.
As Mike indicates, the medical examiner doesn't believe that it was possible, either.
That this had to occur from multiple inflictions of blunt-force trauma.
[woman] And all that with no skull fractures.
If they have a witness who can say that she went down the stairs like a pogo stick, head-first GREG MEAD ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY bouncing along, that might fit, but somehow, I don't think that's the way people fall down stairs.
From my experience as an investigator and law enforcement officer, it was just not consistent with a fall down a flight of steps, and that's why I moved out and went to obtain an application for a search warrant so quick.
You can't look at that and think that it's an accident.
And especially when you couple it with the fact that the first I guess you've heard the 9-1-1 tape, but the first call in, she's supposedly still breathing.
Second call in, 15 minutes later or so, she's just quit breathing.
And yet, when the medical examiners or the EMTs arrived, the blood was so dry, that they didn't even get any on them.
They didn't have to wear protective garments, because the blood was already dry.
She'd been there for hours, probably.
It just never occurred to Michael Peterson that people wouldn't believe him when he said she fell down the stairs.
That's really what this is all about.
He thought he'd get away with it.
[news anchor] Live, local, up to the minute.
This is ABC 11 Eyewitness News at six.
Sir, quit being smart and answer the dadgum question.
[reporter] In an occasionally tense bond hearing today, Mike Peterson's son Todd verbally scuffled with the judge and District Attorney.
With shackled ankles and often with tears streaming down his face, Mike Peterson sat by, emotionally listening to character witnesses before the judge agreed to let him go on $850,000 bond.
Peterson left the Durham County Jail just after 6:00 p.
I really want to go home.
I wanna see my kids, and this is the first opportunity I've had now, to grieve for my wife, and I really would like to have that time.
[reporter] While his lawyers now turn to the facts of the case, Peterson turns to his remaining family, glancing at his first glimpse of sky outside the jail, chased by cameras.
Even back at home, where friends arrived with groceries, Mike Peterson won't have time alone.
It always seemed to me that the greatest threat to our freedoms came not from people whocommitted crimes, but from the way the government tends to respond to that, and the way the government tends to take on power for itself almost as though there's a vacuum that someone has to fill, and the government's going to fill it.
And so, for me, being in the role of a criminal defense lawyer is being in the role of a person who can do at least a little bit to hold back some of the government excesses, to make sure that we don't lose our freedoms, in an effort to protect them.
[David Rudolf] In Michael's case, there is no doubt in my mind that he is not guilty of this, and so for me, being able to help him establish his innocence is really what is moving me at this point.
[indistinct conversation] [indistinct conversation continues] [laughter] Let me ask a question.
In the experience that you've seen, whether somebody was hit with something versus falling on a blunt-type, in a blunt-type contact, are these very consistent, or are there aberrations here? I would tend to consider the lacerations as second choice in my thought of what occurred here.
The first choice is the presence of the bruises, not the presence of the lacerations.
The presence of the lacerations is misleading.
Because you see a whole lot of lacerations and you say, "Oh, my God!" I did that too at the beginning.
I looked at that, and I think, "Oh, my God, that is terrible!" This is boom, boom, boom, hit them on the head.
[man] Right.
But when you keep looking at it, then you see things you didn't see before.
That's why I keep telling people, you know, you should never look at a picture just one time.
You look at it on Monday, and then on Tuesday, and then on Friday and then on Monday.
And every time you look at it, you see new stuff.
[man] Yeah.
And so When, at the beginning, I thought this was an elongated object, I think I've changed my mind on that.
That's reasonably consistent with a flat object, meaning hitting the ground, because the curvature [Dr.
Spitz] Round, flat object.
This wound here had to have been at least two impacts.
This one here had to have been at least one impact.
This area here and this area here are split.
- Mm-hm.
- They did not make any contact at all.
- And the impact occurred here.
- Mm-hm.
And then it's like when you take a watermelon and you throw it on the ground, you get tears in places where it never touched the ground.
So we've got one impact here, you've got one impact maybe here, and you've got one here.
When you say several impacts, are you talking about several times, or could it be one point of contact? Single contact at the same time.
Single, yeah.
Single occurrence, three points of contact.
You take the watermelon and you throw it on the ground, and it's gonna be in a million pieces.
Okay, Werner here.
Faris, why don't you go in there? You need to be up close.
That's the place that we found the body.
What we didn't notice is in the moulding area, you see the contact.
Faris, can you see that? And dripping.
That which is indicative of a liquid source of blood coming down.
More so, we see some spatter in this corner here, which means active bleeding still.
The most interesting thing, we found hair tissue material on this moulding.
See some damage on the moulding.
Yeah, there's some fiber there.
I checked all the ceiling area.
No cast-off pattern.
Generally, if somebody beat up somebody, we see a cast-off pattern.
And here, it's not.
So, however, if this weapon is too confined in place, very small place [man] It would be very hard to It would be hard to have that energy level.
[man] Yeah.
How do you get your spatter coming up this wall here kind of behind this Okay, here, it could be a possibility of somebody coughing.
- Ah.
- [mimics coughing] So you're going to have a It's not inhaling, it's exhaling.
Spitz] But if she's coughing up pure blood, like here, wouldn't she have either a fracture of the base of the skull or an injury Maybe the blood comes from hair, face, comes onto nose or mouth.
[man] So it's all external? Just the wet head sponge thing.
It's not from internal bleeding.
- It's external getting into the system.
- I understand.
What about I mean, it could be anything there.
- It was in this position.
- Not much higher.
[David Rudolf] The autopsy photos are items one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, in terms of importance to the state.
And they're going to hit that really hard.
The power of those photos is, you know, they're visceral.
I mean, you look at them, and you know, you don't need expert testimony to say, "Oh, she must have been beaten.
" That's the thought that pops in your head.
Without explanation, it's hard to imagine, how does somebody fall down the steps and end up with these kind of blows? And you know, I think that really needs to be addressed in terms of you know finding out, you know, what how do people, what do people just think on their own? Then putting out the defense explanation of it.
Our experts are of the view that she probably fell and knocked herself out in a first fall.
And with lots of bleeding coming from the head.
[woman] Where do they say she fell? Probably on the second or third step going up.
You can see it here.
This is where the stair turns, and you can see how narrow the steps are here.
Plus, you're going from the light, a lighted hallway or a lighted kitchen, and this is very dark.
There's no lighting immediately over this.
There's only a light at the top of the stairs.
She had a .
07 blood alcohol.
She's going from light to dark, and you've got these stairs.
So Henry thinks she tripped on one of these stairs here, - and hit her head, - Fell backwards? fell backwards, and hit her head probably somewhere up here, and then there's a little bit of blood that looks like sort of her head slid down or something, and then hit her head again.
[woman] She fell backwards, hit her head against the doorframe Right, and then fell on the floor.
- Fell on the floor and hit her head again.
- Right.
- So you got two hits.
- That's what he thinks happened? Yeah, and she's unconscious then, bleeding on the floor for some period of time, and then she comes to after some period of time, and tries to get up and there's blood on the bottom of her feet.
And you know, in order for there to be blood on the bottom of her feet, there needs to be a fair amount of blood on the floor because it's not just a speck or two, it's - [woman] Right, it's completely coated? - Right.
And that she then fell again.
You know, obviously, if you're trying to get up in blood, it's incredibly slippery.
And fell again.
Fell right there? Right there.
Um [door closes] Dave, we need to stop doing this in front of him.
This is If today's his birthday, it's not the best day in the world to do it.
We really need to keep him out of this.
That's fine.
[exhales] When I think of Kathleen, what I remember, unfortunately, is her dying in my arms.
That's always the overwhelming image.
If I look at something, I think, "Yeah, God, there was this funny thing," or a picture on the refrigerator where she is in the Imperial Gardens in Tokyo or there's so many things that always, if I stop and think, not one thing comes up.
Never one thing.
Or I might think, "Oh, that's a shining moment," and then I'll see a picture of something else or another incident might occur, and I'll be like, "There's that one," so there's not one identifying thing with Kathleen, no.
Um The first people we have is Michael Peterson, and Patty.
What year did they - What year were they married? - They were married in 1966.
Do you know if they got married in the States? I think they're married in the States, because after they were married, Mike went to Vietnam, Patty went to Germany, she was a teacher in Germany.
So after Mike got out of Vietnam, then he went to Germany.
While they were in Germany, they had two sons, the oldest is Clayton.
And the next child was Todd.
So they had two boys of their marriage.
And both of the boys were born in Germany? Both boys born in Germany, and Clayton is the oldest one.
Mike was a retired Marine captain, and when he got to Germany, one of his better friends was George Ratliff, who was a captain in the Air Force.
And George Correction, Elizabeth worked with Patty at the college.
They both taught at the same college, and that's how Patty and Elizabeth got together as good friends, and then Mike and George, both being captains, became good friends.
After George and Liz were married, they had two children.
Margaret is the oldest daughter, and Martha the youngest.
Shortly after the birth of Martha, George died in 1983 in an invasion in Grenada.
Two years after George died, Liz dies in 1985 while living in Germany.
At this time the entire Peterson family and the Ratliff family are living in Germany.
During this period of time, after George and Liz die, After Liz dies, Martha and Margaret move in with Mike and Patty, Todd and Clayton, because George and Elizabeth in their wills, separate wills, wanted Mike and Patty to be the caretakers of their children.
Mike and Patty started having problems, and Mike came back to United States, in What year was it that he started That he met Kathleen? - He met Kathleen in 1986.
- So he met her in 1986.
Kathleen had a daughter named Caitlin.
What year did When did they move in together? That was in 1989.
And that's when Martha and Margaret became one family under the same roof with Mike.
So Mike and Kathleen living together, and they had the three girls, and there was moving back and forth, and eventually, Todd and Clayton moved in with Mike and Kathleen in Durham, North Carolina.
So how old were each one of the kids at the time of Kathleen's death in 2001? Her daughter, Caitlin, was 19.
Margaret, the oldest, was 20.
The baby, Martha, was 18.
Clayton was 27, and Todd was 25, when Kathleen died.
- And that was in the year 2001? - 2001.
[indistinct conversation] [loud sighing] After your mother died, your real mother died - who took care of you? - Um My dad right now, Michael Peterson and his wife, Patty.
Your dad died before your mother did, right? Yes.
And you were probably still a baby in your mother's womb, weren't you not, at that time? Or were you born? No, I was about six months old.
Six months old? How old were you and your mom died? I was 18.
Eighteen? Months? Oh, my birth mom.
I'm sorry.
Your birth mom.
I'm sorry.
I think I was - a little over a year.
- Okay.
So you have very little memory.
Yeah, the only memory I have is what people have told me.
- So I don't have memories.
- Okay, and How did you start referring to Kathleen when you moved in the house with her? Well, we called her Kathleen for a good while, and I started calling her mom when I would say it was about, I was in a freshman in high school.
So about five years ago.
And that's when I started to, because I realized how much she was doing for us.
Tell me about the relationship between Mike and Kathleen.
I mean, refer to them as Mom and Dad.
I don't want to discourage you in that, now that we know who you're talking about, you know? Just tell me about the relationship between your mom and dad.
Well, it was It was wonderful.
I mean, they were so happy that last year.
They were just, I don't know, there was It was beautiful.
They were just really happy.
They loved each other.
They didn't ever fight usually, and they just took so much joy in other's presence.
I mean, we would laugh all the time.
They would just come home and make dinner, and you know, drink some wine or something, and it was just beautiful because we would just end up laughing the whole night, and I would just talk to mom forever.
I don't know, it was really beautiful.
I never saw any problems.
Now, you say "usually.
" - Did I? - At one point, you did.
Did you ever see any any problems between the two of them? Any were there ever any discussions? No, the only problems were, Mom would get frustrated at Dad for not coming home from the gym on time, and that was just because of dinner, but that always ended with everybody Just, I mean that was the only problem, but it was really such a small problem that it was almost a joke.
[Ron Guerette] Do you think if there would have been any problems between her and your dad, that she would have maybe not necessarily told you the problems, but she would've let you know that Mike was doing something she doesn't appreciate? Yeah.
She definitely would have.
She was always straightforward with us.
I mean, if there was ever, like, a problem in the family, you know, between, like, any of us, or between like, Martha and Dad, you know, like, Dad hates Martha's haircut or something, or her hair color.
You know, I mean, we had family dinner every night, so it was really hard not to bring that up in conversation.
I mean no.
Like, we were a very open family.
I always felt like I could talk about anything, and I know that Mom talked about everything with us, too.
How about the relationship between Kathleen and your dad? It was always very strong.
I was kind of jealous of it and happy for him, because his relationship with my mom had never been romantic or intimate or anything like that, you know, very platonic.
And to see him happy with a woman, with Kathleen, the two of them were just really good together.
They just connected on a different plane.
And was there ever a time where your dad would get really, really mad at you to where he showed his temper, or anything like that? I mean that, to me, that'd have been probably the worst time.
That wasn't, actually.
I mean, it might have been for other things.
Lord knows, I've done stupid things.
Wrecked his car and things like that.
Did he ever hit you? Yeah.
- You know.
- Spank you or hit you? Um I guess mostly spanking.
You know, sometimes he'd crack my brother's head together.
I mean, this is when we were younger.
I don't know.
Not really crack your heads, just bang your heads together? Yeah.
Have you ever seen your dad violent towards anybody? Uh No, he disciplined us as children, but that's parental discipline.
Has he ever hit you? He spanked us when we were children, but I don't have a friend who wasn't spanked.
As far as actual aggressive behavior, never.
Never in his to another I'll say, non-child of his, meaning an adult, a partner a wife nothing, nothing.
Even when he and my birth mother would have disagreements, nothing.
It was always my dad to kind of chuckle and walk off.
He never, ever became aggressive in the slightest sense.
Mike? Probably about here.
- Around here? - I'm guessing about here.
This would be very close to where we were.
[indistinct conversation] Yeah, because she came over, she smoked cigarettes, she threw the cigarettes out in there.
- There may have been another chair here.
- That's alright.
- But right about here.
- Okay, that's fine.
- Alright, that's all I need.
- This is close enough.
Tell Todd to hold off until we can get the dogs out here, alright? Slow down, slow down.
And you know to forward this play button, and soon as you push it, step back out of the way.
- I can stand in the kitchen if you like.
- Okay.
'Cause I want to have a human witness in addition to the tape recording.
- Make sure everything else is closed up.
- Okay.
I can testify that his doors are well-fitted.
[cellphone ringtone plays] You ready? [recorded female voice plays] Hey! Help! Somebody, help! Help! Somebody, anybody! Help me! Help me! Please help me! Help! Help! [recording faintly audible in distance] [recording, becoming louder] Help! [conversation inaudible over sound of fountain] [recording] Help me! Help! Please, help me! Help! I need help! Anybody, help me! Help! Somebody, please! Help me! I need help! [theme music playing]