The Streets of San Francisco (1972) s02e20 Episode Script


Here you go.
- Morning.
- Good morning.
- What will you have? - Chili and a lot of crackers.
- For breakfast? - Yeah, it gets the juices flowing.
It's your stomach.
- Where's Pop? - Gone fishing.
Be back tomorrow.
- Then you must be his son.
- That's why I'm here.
Well, you tell him Mike Stone came by, will you? I used to walk a beat out here.
When I got up and felt that breeze coming off the water good and cold, I thought of Pop's chili, good and hot.
Yeah, this chili got me through a lot of cold mornings, I can tell you that.
- Did you make it? - That's right.
Needs more onions.
No wonder cops are losing public support.
Unit 4, get a line on that staircase.
Engine 2, line on that stair pipe over there.
Stand clear on the left, fire crew's coming in.
- Harry, where do you need me? - Stand back, move the crowd.
All right, come on.
Everybody stand back, please.
Everybody, way back against the wall, come on.
Officer, bring the hoses right through here.
Come on.
Hey, Blue Hat.
What are you doing here? Hey, I was having breakfast.
What about you? I thought you were through wrestling hoses, strictly investigating now.
That's right, I am.
- Then this is arson? - Maybe.
Where's Harry? You seen him? He's over there.
All right.
Come on, everybody, please stand back.
- Harry, where did it start? - Second floor, near as we can tell.
But it's leaked up to the third and already burned through to the first.
- Did you get to three alarms yet? - Yeah.
But I'll bet we get to four pretty soon.
- What about the smoke? - White, then black.
One of the men thought he smelled combustibles.
Jacko, take over here.
I'm going in.
I'll let you know what I find inside.
Handi-talkies on the rig.
Get it going.
Here, give him to me.
I'll take him.
We're on the second floor now.
Looks like it's about to cave.
- See any hot spots, Harry? - Three of them.
And I can still smell the gasoline.
It's a torch job, Jacko.
Get out of there, Harry.
I'm trying, believe me.
One of our boys is hurt in here.
- Better go to four alarms.
- Harry, get out of there.
Hey, look out.
It's coming down.
All units, pull back.
It's caving, pull back.
Harry? Harry.
- Harry! - Hold it, Mike, hold it.
- But he's in there.
- I know.
It's too late.
Move those lines.
Open that roof.
Get those people out of here.
Six and 4, over here.
Division 2, tell them we got four alarms.
Get an ambulance.
How's that? - Well, is that even? - It's even.
How's the back? Get yourself out of that pin cushion.
We got work to do.
My one day off.
It was your day off.
Pick up your things.
Max, it's not sounding too good.
We'll have to do it another time.
It's your hurry, not mine.
- What do you got? - A fire.
- What, arson? - Looks that way.
- Somebody go up with it? - Two firemen.
- One of them was Harry Firpo.
- Firpo Is that your old-- Your poker buddy? My old poker buddy.
He was a good man.
I'm sorry, Mike.
Whoever lit that blaze is gonna be a lot sorrier, I can tell you that.
Come on.
Four fires in six weeks, all warehouses and heavily insured.
And the victims were all wide-eyed and innocent.
- Just one guy with a match? - That seems to be the theory.
- Anybody else get killed? - No, those were the first.
Hey, Mike.
Steve, Inspector Jack O'Moore, head of the Arson Division.
- Hi.
- Jacko for short.
- Steve Keller.
- What have you got? There's a guy who may have talked to our man a couple of days ago.
So we rounded up some tapes of known arsonists for him to listen to.
- But how did you get those tapes? - The hard way.
Some by court order, some from calls we get here, and some that you don't wanna know about.
Nothing illegal.
But we got our stoolies too.
- Hey, any luck? - I'm sorry.
This machine might be able to tell one voice from another, but I sure can't.
This is Gil Porter.
Lieutenant Stone and Inspector Keller from Homicide.
- Lieutenant.
- Hi.
I understand somebody offered you a fire? That's right.
They made it sound awful good too.
See, I own a chain of clothing stores.
Jeans, shirts, you know.
And we hit it pretty big a couple of years ago.
But then again, you know, times change.
And now I got a warehouse full of no-pleat flares.
See, everybody's wearing pleated baggies now.
Not everybody.
So you got stuck with a lot of clothes you couldn't sell, huh? - How did this guy know about it? - Well, it's no secret.
What did he say to you? Well, he said he could fix me up with a real good one.
Nobody would get hurt.
- But you never saw him? - No, no.
- Did he give you a name? - Yes, Jason.
That's all? Just Jason? That's it.
One name, no number.
Said he would call later for an answer.
Porter agreed to a tap.
So we got a court order and the phone company ran a line in here so that we can monitor all his calls.
What made you change your mind? Oh, wait just a minute, lieutenant.
I didn't change my mind.
I never even considered the offer.
See, I'm from Los Angeles.
And during the riots back there, I saw all the fires I ever wanted to see.
- Mr.
Porter, thank you very much.
- Thank you.
Go ahead.
- Got another one, huh? - Over 90 a day.
Thirty-three thousand a year.
You know, some part of San Francisco is always burning.
That's why we don't need any help from some firebug doing it for profit.
Mike, here's our list of the tenants in the building.
Insurance companies, coverage and inventory.
You can check those and I'll go over the ashes.
What makes you think the same man set all four fires? I remember the last thing Harry said was that he smelled gasoline.
And there were three hot spots.
The same pattern as all the others.
Couldn't that be a pyro? In my opinion, they all are.
Only this one's a pro.
Harry said it started on the second floor, right? Right.
"Wallick and Son.
Art supplies.
" I think I'll start there.
You stick with Jacko.
Look, Al, just tell me how much and stop the jokes, huh? What? We've never even made a claim.
Look, Al, if the premium's gonna go up that high, we'll just have to look around for another broker, that's all.
Okay, okay.
You get back to me as soon as you can.
I thought he was a friend of yours from the old neighborhood.
- Did you find those policies? - No, I guess they're at home.
- I'd better get them.
- Yes? Homicide? Well, send him right in, Julie.
Wallick? - Lieutenant Stone.
- How do you do, lieutenant? - Won't you sit down? - No, no, thank you.
I'd rather stand, if you don't mind.
I've been riding a desk an awful lot lately.
My son, Paul.
- Paul.
- Lieutenant.
We heard about the firemen.
We just couldn't believe someone losing their lives over a few rolls of canvas.
It wasn't only canvas.
They were trying to save other buildings, other lives.
Terrible thing.
Were you storing anything besides canvas and art supplies in that warehouse? There was no paints, gasoline? No, paints and thinners are kept here in a special vault.
We don't stock gasoline.
Why? One of the firemen said he smelled gasoline just before he died.
- On our floor? - That's where it started.
Oh, wait a minute.
Are you saying that we had something to do with setting the fire? No, no, I'm not saying that at all.
But I am saying that your records show that you carry an awful lot of insurance.
Oh, I don't believe this.
We lost money on that fire.
Check our inventory.
Sure, we have insurance, but not enough to even cover the loss.
It's all right there, lieutenant.
Look it over.
We only stored salable merchandise on that floor.
We figure to lose between 7 to $10,000.
Well, do you know of anyone who'd want to ruin your business? No.
What about Rockwell? Oh, come on, Paul.
Not Herb.
- Who's this? - Well, he's our biggest competitor.
Herb Rockwell.
He's been after our business for years.
He'd love to see us wiped out.
Come on, now, Paul.
I don't think Herb would do a thing like this.
Somebody did.
Now, who did you say? Herb Rockwell? - Well, thank you, Mr.
- Thank you.
- I'll keep in touch.
- Certainly, lieutenant.
- Goodbye.
- Bye.
He was actually accusing us of murder.
We don't have to worry about it.
We certainly didn't do it.
And I'm sure Herb had nothing to do with it.
He may be a barracuda when it comes to business, but a thing like this is crazy.
You have to be sick to do a thing like this.
Real sick.
Maybe you're right, Dad.
I'd better get those policies.
- Yes, sir.
- Julie, I'm going out.
- Painters Association is on the line.
- I'll get back.
And there's a Mr.
Jason on Line 2.
He called earlier.
Okay, I'll take that one.
Jason, what happened? You killed two men.
It's a high-risk business, Mr.
Accidents happen.
You gave me your word.
I gave you till Friday to have your final payment.
Same box number as before.
Look, I can't get it together.
You'll have to wait for the insurance.
I told you going in, I don't wait.
Unless you want another fire at that nice big house you live in.
Jason? - What are we looking for anyway? - Fingerprints.
- Oh, come on, you're kidding.
- No.
Takes a while to learn how, but you can read a fire by the ashes.
Each one is different, same as a fingerprint.
What do you got? Something new.
I mean, everything else around here fits the pattern of the other fires except this.
See? Cut a hole in the floor.
Oh, would that give it a better draft? Could be.
Could be.
Or making sure the gasoline poured into the first floor.
Who was downstairs? Just a bunch of crates full of sewing machines.
Were they insured? Hey, not bad.
You're thinking like a fireman now.
But I already checked it out.
- Doesn't figure.
- Why's that? Well, because the company that owned it was bankrupt.
The machines were just stored here by the court, you know, pending auction.
- Well, who gets the money? - Well, have to be creditors.
Could be a dozen people.
A couple of dozen, maybe.
Well, it's a shame, that's all I can say.
Man works hard, doesn't deserve setbacks like that.
Wallick's fire won't hurt your business any, will it? Okay, I guess not.
Anything bad happens to him is good for me.
Look, lieutenant, it's kind of hard to explain.
But Marty and I have fought it out for years, and in a funny kind of way, we've both won.
So competition forced you to be successful? Yeah.
Something like that, I guess.
- How long have you known him? - Over 30 years.
Tough fighter, got a lot of shark in him.
But deep down, he's a good man.
- How about his son? - He's no Marty.
Big Shot.
You see him yet? I just met him.
Married a society girl.
Big house in a fancy neighborhood.
Oh, take care of this customer, will you, please? Nobody could hurt Marty the way Paul has.
How do you mean? - You got a son, lieutenant? - No.
Well, if you did, you'd know.
You see, a father likes to believe that what he's done with his life counts for something with his boy.
Whatever it is.
With Marty and me, it's just this little business, maybe.
But it's something, you know what I mean? Something you hope your son can appreciate.
What it started with, how you got it here, and maybe keep it going for you.
And for him too, after you're gone.
But Paul, all he cares about is a buck.
How fast he can make it, how fast he can spend it.
That hurts.
Then you're saying that the old man is straight.
Straight as they come.
He told me he could go in the hole because of the fire.
- He's got records to prove it.
- So? So his competition could stand to gain by his loss.
Meaning me? - Possible.
- No, lieutenant.
I could never hate anything or anybody enough to use fire.
You see, 20 years ago, my house burned to the ground.
I lost my wife and my son.
Yeah, that's better, Al.
Much better, thank you.
Incidentally, I'm sorry I blew my stack at you before.
No, no, no, I'm not hurting.
Yeah, sure, Friday's fine.
Look, I got an idea.
Why don't you come over to the house, have some dinner? You don't have to talk to Paul.
You talk to me.
May God save us from our own children.
All right, Al.
I'll see you Friday.
Yeah? What does he want? All right, all right, send him in.
Hello, Mr.
Nick, I told you to stay away from here.
Hey, you've got business, I've got business.
Business? Somebody pass a law lately I haven't heard about saying that running book is legal? Now, now, no need to get nasty.
- Where's Paul? - He's out.
He's getting to be a tough man to reach lately.
He's finished, Nick.
He's got no more business with you so leave him alone.
- He owes me.
- You're lying.
I wish I was.
I've got expenses too, you know.
I gave him enough to pay you off.
I guess he saw it as a chance to get even with both of us.
What can I tell you? He lost.
- How much? - Fifteen big ones.
Now, where is he? I don't have to tell you anything.
Now, you get out of here.
Get out of here before I call the police.
I don't think you wanna play it that way, Mr.
I'm not playing it your way anymore, Nick.
You're sucking the blood out of my veins.
The well is dry.
I just want what's owed me.
You better tell your son to call me.
- Hi, hon.
- Hi, darling.
Your father's on the phone.
I told him you just drove up.
- Hey, that's a nice dress.
- Do you like it? Oh, I love it.
I just came home to get the policies.
- Yeah, Dad? - Paul, Nick Green was just here.
Really? Maybe he owes me some money.
He says you owe him $15,000.
What? Well, he's got his books scrambled.
Paul, don't lie to me.
That money I gave you to pay him off.
What did you do with it? Dad, I told you-- Yeah, you told me, and I believed you.
Come on, it's just a mix-up.
I'll straighten it out.
What's the use? The money's gone, and we've said it all before.
Paul, what's wrong? Nothing, honey.
Just business.
I better get those policies.
- I'll need a key, won't I? - You've already got it.
It's taped to the bottom of your locker in the garage of your apartment building.
How did you find out where I live? What have you got? Jason.
He called Porter about an hour ago.
- Can you match his voice? - Already tried.
We got a mailbox, though.
Could you run it back to that point, Norman? Good.
Right there.
- You wanna forget it? Okay.
- No, no, you're on.
All right.
You leave the first payment tomorrow at the Central Post Office.
Small bills in an envelope.
Go to Box Number 3098.
- You got it? - Box 3098.
- I'll need a key, won't I? - You already got it.
It's taped to the bottom of your locker in the garage of your apartment building.
- How did you find out where I live? - I know where all my clients live.
I suggest you prepare an alibi for next Sunday.
That's when you get well.
Final payment is due the day after.
Check out the post office box? Yeah, yes, called Butek Incorporated.
They got one other post office box.
It's 3182, right.
Butek? You check that out too? Yeah, called State Corporations Office.
They say there's no Butek listed.
Figures it would be a front for Jason.
Jacko, you call Porter and tell him to follow those directions.
We'll put a stakeout on that post office box around the clock.
Okay, Paul.
But next time you want this much in cold cash, give me a day's notice, okay? I really had to press.
Thanks, Doug.
I appreciate it.
Sure, I just told him you were cum laude in our class, so don't cross me up.
Put your John Henry on the dotted line.
I'm sorry about the fire.
That's tough.
Well, just one of those things, I guess.
Okay, the note's for six months, using the cash value of your life-insurance policy as collateral.
- Any questions? - Yeah, where's the money? Right here.
- Thanks again.
- I'm glad I could help.
- Take care, huh? - Right.
Hi, Paulie.
Hello, Nick.
Been looking for you.
No trouble, Nick.
No trouble, Paulie.
Just give us what you owe us.
You'll get it, Nick.
That's a promise.
Hey, I already got your promise.
Now what I want is my money.
I need time.
That's one thing you're out of, Paul.
Now, that was dumb, Paulie.
All this on you and you do a number on me anyway.
Nick, I can't give you that.
How much is here? Nick, I need it, please.
I said, how much? Ten thousand.
Leaves you 5 short.
Nick, please.
- Nick - Get this bum off me.
Police officer.
- Hey, get up.
- Let's go.
Get up.
All right, Jason.
It's all over.
Jason? I'm not Jason.
Morning, hon.
Good morning.
What time did you get in last night? Oh, a little after 1:30, I guess.
I didn't want to wake the two of you up.
I tried to stay awake.
Well, I'm sorry.
I should have called.
I just didn't check my watch.
And when I saw the time, I figured you'd be in bed already.
Who were you with? She said jealously.
I'm not jealous, Paul.
I'm scared.
What? I found your shirt.
You tried to rinse it out.
At first I thought it was lipstick, but it was blood.
How did it get there? Blood? Oh, yeah, I forgot about that.
- Sure, I just nicked myself yesterday-- - Stop it, Paul, just stop it.
- Honey - And look at me.
My God, Paul, what happened? Have you been gambling again? Don't shut me out, Paul.
Talk to me.
Please, talk to me.
I love you.
Don't you know that by now? Whatever it is, it's me too.
I love you.
I tried, honey.
- I really tried, but-- - Paul, you can't do it alone.
You can beat it.
You can control it, but you have to let somebody help you.
That's just great, isn't it? Forty-one years old, about to be a father, and I have to have that kind of help.
Who did this to you? Somebody you owe money to? - Yeah.
- Then call the police.
I can't.
- Paul.
- I can't.
Then nothing's ever gonna change.
Everything's changed.
You really wanna hear it all? Go ahead.
I was in heavy.
Dad gave me the money to cover it.
And I bet it.
I thought I could pay back what I owed and give Dad back what he'd given me.
- And you lost that too.
- Yeah.
I didn't know what I was gonna do.
I was going crazy.
They were pressing me for the money and I couldn't go back to Dad.
And then this guy called.
- He made it sound so easy.
- Made what sound easy? The fire.
Oh, no.
Well, he promised me no one would get hurt.
He wanted $10,000 up front and another 10 when he finished.
So I sold the last of my stocks for the first 10.
And borrowed on my life insurance for the rest of it.
I was gonna pay him, and then Nick Green cornered me and took it all.
- Two people died.
- I know, it's a nightmare.
But it isn't over yet.
I can't go to the police, or I'll stand trial for murder.
And if I don't come up with the rest of the money by Friday What? He's an arsonist, Katie.
He knows where we live.
Yeah, I got it.
Okay, thanks a lot.
Then you're a customer of Jason's.
Look, I told you, I'm a respectable citizen.
I never heard of any Jason.
Man's a magazine publisher.
Just like he says.
President, Lust Incorporated.
Hardcore pornography.
Well, it's legal.
The Supreme Court said you can print what you want as long as the public's buying.
No, Mr.
That's not exactly what the Supreme Court said.
According to the latest decision, the community has the right to decide what can be sold.
And if the community cracks down, like this town's doing, then it must be a rough times for the porno biz.
Is that right, Mr.
Carpenter? - I don't have to tell you anything.
- That's right, you don't.
But you do have a warehouse, don't you? It's filled with a lot of dirty books you can't unload, and you thought maybe you'd start a fire.
- I wanna talk to my lawyer.
- Sure, go right ahead.
He'll tell you the same thing I will.
If you just happen to have a fire after going to that arsonist's money drop, you're gonna serve time, a lot of it.
Listen, what if I cooperate? Does that go on the record? Everything goes on the record.
When's the fire? Today.
I was gonna drop the money and be on a plane before it happened.
- What time? - Well, there's still time to stop it.
- What time? - Twelve o'clock.
- Where? - Central Basin, Warehouse Number 7.
Art, take care of him.
Okay, we got about an hour.
I'll get on the horn with Jacko.
Yeah, tell him to stand by, but not to use the bell.
If Jason hears them coming, he'll just walk away and we'll really lose him.
All right.
Too late.
- I'll get Jacko.
- All right.
I'll be at the far end.
Police! Hold it! - Steve! - Mike, over here! - Steve! - Over here! - Steve! - Get me out of here! Come on.
Come on, get up.
I lost him.
I had him and I lost him.
Paul, you killed those two men.
You killed them just as much as the man who set the fire.
Then you tried to blame the whole thing on Herb Rockwell.
- Dad, please.
- Katherine, I feel sorry for you.
But I don't feel sorry for him.
Not anymore.
He didn't mean it to-- He swore before God Almighty that he'd never place another bet.
But you couldn't stop, could you? You're like some lousy wino, some no-good junkie.
You lie to your own family, you steal from your own family, to support your lousy habit.
And for what? Tell me, for what? - Dad.
- No, this I wanna hear.
I wanna know what he thinks is so important it's worth destroying everything I've ever had.
Worth destroying everything he could have had.
Worth destroying the lives of two brave, decent men.
Come on, you tell me.
I wish I could.
If I knew, I guess none of this would have happened.
That is no excuse.
I'm not making an excuse.
I'm asking you to help me.
- You just tell me what to do, I'll do it.
- He can't go to the police.
This fellow, this man, Jason.
Where did you find him? I didn't.
He found me.
- Through Nick? - Well, I don't know, maybe.
The IOUs I've had out, I guess a lot of people know I'm in trouble.
I'll get it.
What do you know about this man? Well, nothing, really.
I've never even seen him.
You've never even seen him? You mean? - Wallick.
- Jason? - I need my money.
- You said Friday.
I can't wait.
I don't have the money.
- When can you get it? - Not until the fire insurance pays off.
No good.
I need it now.
- Look, there's no way that l-- - Now, you look.
I can't stick around here.
The job I just did was staked out.
That means the guy I was working for talked.
That means that the mail drop is staked out too.
I need what's owed to me, and I need it now.
Will you listen to me? This house has two mortgages on it.
Everything I have was bought on credit.
I couldn't raise another nickel anywhere.
What are you doing? Paul.
You're crazy.
Put that gun away.
I'll get the money.
You got one hour.
Well, there's one thread we haven't pulled.
- What's that? - Porter.
That's right.
He's still on tap for a job.
Maybe we can still make a connection.
- Come in, sit down.
- Thanks.
I wanna tell you, I've alerted the hospitals in case our friend goes in for burn treatment.
There's no way he'd go to a hospital in this town.
Yeah, you're probably right.
Look, what do you guys know about bankruptcy? Oh, nothing much.
Why? You talking about that sewing machine outfit? Yeah, I was wondering about that hole that Jason cut in the floor.
Well, we ran a lab check on the plank, found some petroleum residue.
It's probably to burn the first floor as well.
Now, wait a minute.
Didn't you say the insurance money went to the creditors? It does.
And that's what I've been thinking about.
I mean, I think the creditors could get a lot more from a fire than a public auction.
Sure, that's right.
A court settlement would only bring a fraction of the real value.
So you think one of those creditors could have hired Jason? Ask me, I think it's worth checking.
Where do you get a list of creditors? Court.
Yeah, here they are: Foster, Rogers, Blanchard, Moorehouse.
You can copy the addresses from here.
Simms, have any of those people received their insurance checks yet? No, company isn't gonna issue any checks until the court hands down a decision.
But according to this, these creditors are not gonna receive any money anyway.
Why not? They had an offer to sell the sewing machines for 28 cents on the dollar.
Looks like they decided to take it instead of bothering with an auction.
Who bought them? Some pretty lucky guy, I'd say.
He puts down a $500 deposit, but it makes him the legal owner.
Does that mean he gets the insurance money? Forty-five thousand dollars.
- What's his name? - Wallick.
- Paul Wallick.
- That's it, that ties it.
Thanks a lot.
Looks like your old man still cares about you.
And you don't care about anybody, do you? It doesn't bother you to kill anybody.
It's just business.
- Katherine-- - Don't you have any feelings? Just like yours.
Number one comes first.
Or are you gonna turn him in as a public service? - Here's your money.
- Where did you get it? I was saving it for my grandson.
But my own son is still a child.
You'll find that's a little bit short.
There's only $7800 there.
But here's the canceled passbook.
It's all I had left in the world.
That's good enough.
That closes our account.
Except they'll be watching the airport.
You're gonna drive me.
- Drive where? - Sacramento.
Let's go.
I'm not gonna let you wipe him out.
- Let's go.
- No! Paul.
- Leave him alone.
- He's hurt.
He's lucky.
Come on, you're gonna drive me.
You're crazy.
She's in no condition to drive a car.
If you wanna see your grandson again, don't do anything stupid.
Come on.
- Katherine.
- I'll be all right, Dad.
- Why did you let him go? - I couldn't stop-- - Call the police.
- Go on-- Call them.
- Paul.
- Get in, get in.
Came from the back.
Don't move him.
Where's your phone? Living room.
It's all right, Kathy.
He's gonna be all right.
Inspectors 81 to Headquarters.
Request backup units.
He's not gonna make it.
What's that they say about poetic justice? Not my kind of poetry.
Stop by the hospital? Yeah, Wallick just got out of Intensive.
Family's with him right now.
He'll need them.
He's gonna be there a long time.
I'm sorry, I can't cry for him.
Now, what have we got here? Oh, I brought that.
That's from Gil Porter.
Remember those pants that he couldn't get rid of? Take a look.
These are for you? Yeah, they're for me.
What's wrong? I think I'll look good in them.
No pleats.
It takes a certain kind of man to wear them too, I'll tell you that.
Yeah, I think that's one of ours.
I better check in.
- Okay, good luck.
- See you, Jacko.
What did he say, 90 calls a day? Yeah.
Some part of San Francisco is always burning.
I don't know, Mike.
I just don't know.
- Have you had breakfast yet? - Oh, just some juice.
- Come on, treat's on me.
- You're kidding.
I'm gonna treat you to the best bowl of chili you ever had.
- Wait a minute, chili for breakfast? - Come on, you're gonna love it.
- Mike, Mike.
- You've never tried it, have you? - For breakfast? No.
- Well, then don't knock it.
When I used to walk the beat down in the Tenderloin, I used to have it every morning.
- Chili? - That's right, it's the healthiest thing.