Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 4, Episode 16 - Law & Order - full transcript

Detectives Briscoe and Logan investigate when Florence Manning is severely injured and later dies in hospital when a letter bomb explodes in her apartment. When trace evidence of a radioactive material is found among the debris, the police naturally suspect the dead woman's estranged husband Edward Manning, a renowned physicist. He denies having anything to do with the crime and the police continue their investigation of those who may have had access to nuclear material. The focus is on Max Weiss whose post-doctoral fellowship recently expired and is now working as an apartment building doorman. During questioning he claims that Manning hired him to build and send the bomb but ADA Stone uncovers a different motive: Manning had turned down Weiss' application for a research grant and intended to steal his idea leading Weiss to seek revenge. Getting Manning to testify in court to academic theft will not be easy however.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
In the criminal
justice system...

the people are represented by two
separate yet equally important groups:

the police who
investigate crime...

and the district attorneys
who prosecute the offenders.

These are their stories.

Where's the regular
guy? He sick? I don't know.

His mother didn't give me a note.
These boxes are not regulation.

He owes me $5 on the Knicks.
You have to replace them.

I do? I look like I
own the building?

Mailman. Package.
Tell your boss.

Be right there...

Sure. As soon as I tell him to replace
the lock, ten 40-year-old refrigerators...

a dozen faucets, and give
me that raise that he promised...

Yeah, tell him to repaint
the hall. Give it some color.

Here you go. Thanks.

So, what time you
finish? See you later.

You want to see the neighborhood?
I've seen the neighborhood.

Yeah, but have you
seen it with an Italian?

The victim is
Florence Manning, 48.

They took her to St.
Mary's in bad shape.

Burns? That's the least of it.

Looks like she opened up an
explosive package with a letter opener.

Blew into her neck.
What do we got?


Piece of the stamp.
A young Elvis.

That might be the postmark.

Yeah, Grand Central Station.
That's gonna be a big help.

She delivered the
package an hour ago.

You remember anything
about it? It didn't fit into the box.

I was bending it. It could've
gone off. A return address?

Do you know how
much mail I carry?



Yeah. Thanks.

Your route just got one stop shorter.
Florence Manning didn't make it.

One of the nurses called me at
work. She said Florence asked her to.

I figured if my
sister was talking...

She gave them my number.
She must've been awake.

Has anybody spoken to
you since you got here?

She's dead.

I mean, how can
things change so fast?

Look, I know it's not much
consolation, Mr. Rossi...

but we do want to
catch whoever did this.

I'll kill him. You
catch him, I'll kill him.

Him. You have some idea?

It's got to be some
psycho. I don't know.

Did anyone ever threaten
your sister? Harass her?

She taught third grade.
She collected recipes.

How about her personal
life? She live alone?

She got separated from her
husband about a year ago.

Where can we find
him? Hudson Polytech.

He's a big deal over
there. Edward Manning.

She was going to move out to...

the West when the
school year ended.

She hadn't wanted to come to New
York when I got this appointment.

When did you last speak to her?

Three weeks ago.

We spoke mostly through
lawyers. We were getting divorced.

And how was that going?

Divorce is painful. Ours was as
amicable as could be expected.

What do you do here.
Is it doctor or professor?

I'm a high-energy physicist.

Director of the nuclear
reactor laboratory here.

Reactor? Like in Chernobyl?

No, like a hundred safe
ones you never heard of.

Do you have any idea who
killed my wife? Do you, Professor?

I thought no one used regular
mail for packages anymore.

I guess the junk mailers are still
loyal. Yeah. So are the Mad Bombers.

What, you think it's a nut? How
about a scrambled egghead?

The husband?

Listen to this, courtesy of
the University Press Service:

"Prof. Edward Manning,
BA, Cornell, PhD, MIT...

"when he was 26, co-discovered
the omega-minus particle.

"Beginning in 1981...

"led an experiment seeking
evidence of proton decay...

"which, if established,
would demonstrate...

"that all matter in the universe
will eventually disintegrate."

Yeah, but who's that lady
I saw him with last night?

Guy like this could
commit a murder...

then jump in the time
machine to cover his tracks.

Let's start with our kind of
science. Go see Forensics.

The explosive was
plastique. RDX.

Military stuff?

Once upon a time. Now about
as hard to get as illegal guns.

From the radius of the damage,
I'd say it was a small charge.

A lot of smoke but
not much power.

Tell that to Florence Manning.
The letter opener was a fluke.

By rights, the bomb should
only have wounded her.

And scared the hell out of her.
So our bomber got lucky, huh?

Or unlucky, depending on
whether he felt like being a murderer.

Firing pin? Yeah. Opening
the package released it.

Allowing a spring to push
the nail against a metal plate...

completing an electrical
circuit, and Merry Christmas.

Classic design.
Handsomely executed.

Your man has some
technical sophistication.

Like maybe a physicist?

Experimental or theoretical?

I never liked the guy.

I mean, unless you could
talk about nuclear molecules...

he'd treat you like a moron.

Your sister keep up her
end of the conversation okay?

For the first 20 years, I guess.

You think Edward did it? He
said the divorce was amicable.

Sure. Like a weekend in Bosnia.

Florence was a little more open with
me than you, honey. Frank has a temper.

Open about what?
Edward's mid-life crisis.

He decided to recapture his
youth by sleeping with one.

Before they separated?

He told Florence he
wanted to marry the girl.

How did Florence like being
tossed out with the garbage?

After following him
around like an army wife?

This university, that
university. Son of a bitch.

He took her to Geneva
once for two years.

The scientists he worked with spoke
English, not the people in the stores.

She spent the whole time
feeling lonely and miserable.

So I guess she felt she deserved a
little more than an honorable discharge?

He wanted a divorce.

She made it as long, as
complicated, as expensive as possible.

There are no
secrets in a divorce.

My personal situation is documented
in a stack of court filings this high.

You did say it was amicable.

No, I said it was as amicable
as could be expected.

Your girlfriend, she
one of your students?

Does she have to
be involved in this?

No secrets in a murder
investigation, either, Professor.

She's a chemist. A very
bright young woman.

And your wife was keeping you
from this bright young woman?

Florence and I were
married 22 years.

Because I wanted a divorce
doesn't mean that I hated her.

And it certainly doesn't
mean I killed her.

Look at it from our side.
She was killed by a bomb.

Physicists make bombs.

Given enough time and money, I
could possibly build you an atomic bomb.

I know nothing of
conventional explosives.

Our reactor is behind this
wall. A shield is being lowered...

in order to conduct a diffraction
experiment on that target.

I'm going to leave before
I'm bombarded with neutrons.

I suggest you do the same.

We talked about
marriage at one point.

But I don't see him right now.

Did you change your mind when the
first Mrs. Manning went up in flames?

Please. Do you know
what kind of man Edward is?

The things that he's working on?

Well, we know he's working
on getting a new wife.

He's investigating the
fundamental nature of matter.

How the universe began.
How the universe will end.

Well, we're just a couple of
simple city boys, Miss Thomas...

but we know that you and Edward
were planning on getting married...

and Florence was standing in
the way. I told you that's on hold.

Yeah, that's because
Florence Manning put it on hold.

I didn't realize how
complicated divorce could be.

I thought it'd be
over a long time ago.

You give him a message,
"It's now or never"?

No, it wasn't that simple.

And the delay gave us some time
to think about what we really wanted.

He still gives the impression
of really wanting you.

Yeah, well...

I guess he thought if the
divorce went through...

You know, we did stop by Florence's
apartment a couple of weeks ago.

He had some papers
for her to sign...

and I waited in the car
and there was this man...

who was looking through
one of her windows.

A man? With a beard.

I don't know, maybe
she has a boyfriend.

Or maybe she had a peeping Tom.

He went to ring the bell as
Edward was coming out...

and I couldn't hear what they were saying,
but it looked as if they started to argue.

Did Edward tell you
who he was? No.

He just said he was some nut.

Now, if Florence Manning
did have a boyfriend...

it'd be the best news
her husband ever had.

He would've sent
champagne, not a bomb.

What's the matter, you hungry?

What's that guy working
on? The end of the universe?

Life. It's here, everything
falls apart, and it's over.

You actually think the
universe is gonna end?

Usually I'm just
hoping the week'll end.

Well, I mean, if it's all
just gonna disappear...

what does it matter if you make
Sergeant or what kind of car you drive?

I mean, all the things
we worry about?

You wanna tell Florence Manning's brother
it doesn't matter if we find her killer?

You think Van Buren will
buy it? Let's go see Manning.

A man with a beard?

I really don't remember.

Your girlfriend
remembers him pretty well.

And she's not the one
whose face he got in.

There might have been
someone. A street person.

You remember if he
said anything to you?

Spare change?

He didn't say anything
about your wife? Come on.

Your wife didn't mention that
she was expecting anybody?

A bum?

I'd help you if I could. This is the
first time you haven't accused me.

Nobody? Never?

Yeah. She would've
told you, right?

Okay, thank you.

Florence Manning never told her

sister-in-law about
any new man in her life.

No boyfriends, no
stalker, no psycho.

Yeah, Manning's girlfriend saw
the guy on the 21st about 10:00 a.m.

Florence Manning's datebook.

"Toast and coffee, 115 calories.

"9:30, manicure.

"Noon, lunch with Anna."
She kept a very neat diary.


She'd be upset to see what
a mess her place got into.

What now? Another insight into
the nature of time and matter?

Maybe. Look at that.

Is that on the negative?
Something twisted, like a spring.

Like the spring in that bomb.

It's radioactive.

When the spring was
collected at the crime scene...

it must've been placed in a
bag next to the unexposed film.


Its image was imprinted
before the picture was taken.

Is it safe to stand here?

If I was a man, I wouldn't carry
any of this in my front pocket.

What is it, uranium?
Nope. Steel.

My car is steel. It doesn't
set off a Geiger counter.

This stuff didn't start
off radioactive, either.

Some of its atoms must
have been converted...

to unstable isotopes by
exposure to high-energy particles.

Suppose the bomb was built or stored
in a room next to a nuclear reactor?

That could do it.

You got any suspects with
nuclear reactors in their basements?

As a matter of fact we do.

So now you suspect me
of murdering my wife...

because the bomb that
killed her was radioactive?

Our expert says it was stored near
a source of high-energy particles.

Like those things that chased
us out of here yesterday.

Can I assume that the
bomb components were steel?

See, our point is, Doc, maybe you
don't have to assume. Maybe you know.

I'm assuming.

If they're steel and
they're going radioactive...

then you're probably
talking about cobalt 56.

Did your expert take a
gamma ray spectrum?

Well, the Geiger counter
was pretty convincing.

I'll make it simple for you.

This reactor could
not irradiate that bomb.

I'm afraid that's a little
too simple, Professor.

The iron atoms in steel
are converted to cobalt 56...

by collision with
high-energy protons.

A reactor like this one
produces low-energy neutrons...

nothing above 2.5
million electron volts.

We're going to need some
documentation on that.

I'll lend you a freshman
physics textbook.

You didn't bother to run
the super-framistan test...

or whatever the hell it is, and
we end up looking like idiots.

It's a gamma-ray analysis,
and you didn't ask for it.

Since when do we tell
you how to do your job?

Since every time
you walk in here.

The energy signatures of
the isotopes in the bomb.

These are the spectrum lines
from cobalt 56. Multiple peaks.

Then there's no way Manning's
gizmo could make this stuff?


But a particle accelerator can.

There is one in the area,
at Manhattan University.

That's why we call it an accelerator,
Detective. It accelerates protons.

So when one of them slams into an iron
atom, it automatically becomes cobalt 56?

Sometimes. I didn't know the police
investigated particle interactions.

You know Edward Manning over at
Hudson Polytech? He ever come over here?

Dr. Manning? This is one of the
last places on Earth he'd set foot.

No scientific cooperation? He never
drops by to borrow a cup of protons?

Our director is Arthur Stedman.

Twenty years ago, he and Manning
were both chasing a new nuclear theory.

Manning proved it two
weeks after Stedman did.

Stedman got the Nobel
Prize. And Manning got sore.

There's no prize
for second place.

Where do these accelerated
protons run free around here?

In the accelerator chamber, where
the researchers set up the experiments.

These researchers, we're
gonna need a list of their names.

Well, I don't really like
going down there at night.

I mean, it's all locked up and
everything, but, you know...

Any other grad
students work late?

I don't know, Barry Ramsey.
He practically lives there.

He's always doing
something with the tools.

What tools are those?

Well, they're supposed to be
just for the experiments but...

Was something stolen?

Did Barry know a woman
named Florence Manning?

The woman that was
killed? Did he know her?

I don't think Barry Ramsey has
noticed that people come in two sexes.

He calls me "fella."

This is the way it is, fella.

If I don't finish my thesis
this year, I'm ruined.

The accelerator's a
quiet place to work.

Cocoa? No, thanks.

You need tools
to write a thesis?

No. I use a laptop
computer to write a thesis.

I use tools to fix
my VCR, my toaster.

Any other night owls at
the accelerator? Not really.

Except when it's running,
then everybody's there.

And Max Weiss.

Max Weiss. He's not on the list.

No. He's not on staff
anymore. His post-doc ran out.

But he still hangs around,
plays with the atoms?

He still has a desk.
He's a good scientist.

He just hasn't found a new job
yet. He's working on something.

Does he ever work alone? Sure.

Nights I play Mah Jongg, but I
haven't seen him in three or four days.

Maybe he got a job.

Maybe he finished one.

Okay, listen, you be good, okay?
And you go in there and watch TV...

and take your little sister,
all right? Okay, there you go.

And I promise I'll come
in and read you a story.

When Max is here, he likes to read
to them, but Max is always at work.

At the lab?

What is this about? It's just a
routine inquiry. He can tell you.

Is it a security check?

He applied for a job at Los
Alamos, and that would be...

I'm sorry, the FBI does those.

I see.

Is this your husband? Yes.

Well, I don't think they're
hiring, anyway. Budget cuts.

I think my husband was
born about 20 years too late.

For the arms race?

Well, to get the kind of
job doing the work he likes.

And you said he was
working now, right?

Yes, he is at work.
It's just in another field.

Can you excuse me
for a minute? I'm sorry.

Good night, Max.

Thank you.

You went to my apartment?

Well, we didn't know to look for you
here. We thought you were a scientist.

I am a scientist...

who has to support five people
without a permanent position.

Did you know Florence Manning?

I read about her. Yeah,
but did you know her?

I've heard of her husband.

Did you ever have words with
him in front of his wife's building?

- I don't think I can help you.
- Actually, you can.

If you don't mind, we'd like you
to come down to the precinct.

Take part in a line-up.

Do I have to? It really
might be in your best interest.

I don't think I have to.

Just keep your eye on the door.

Tell us if you see the man you saw
outside Mrs. Manning's apartment.

It was a couple of
weeks ago, you know.

Do the best you can. And
I didn't really get a close...

The man with the
beard. Is that him?

You're supposed
to tell us. I don't...

No, I don't know. Listen, I
got to get home by 5:00, okay?

Don't worry, we'll
give you a lift home.

Wait a minute. That's
him, the doorman.

Only he wasn't
dressed like that.

Excuse me, we're getting
ready to run an experiment here.

Hey, Ramsey. How's your toaster?

We have a warrant to search any
premises occupied by Max Weiss...

including any storage
areas pertaining thereto.

I think it would be in your best
interest to show us what's his.

I'm not sure I can do that.

Okay, we're going to have to
take this whole room apart...

including the accelerator and you can have
Gyro Gearloose here glue it back together.

He uses that drawer.


Wait, fella.



Recognize that wire?
Merry Christmas.

You think Max Weiss was planning
to re-grout his bathroom tiles?

I think we better
call the Bomb Squad.

I want you to run the scientific
method on these, Dr. Weiss.

The plastic explosive
found in your drawer...

matches the explosive in the
bomb that killed Florence Manning.

The wire in your drawer...

matches the wire in the bomb
that killed Florence Manning.

You were seen
acting a little strange...

outside Florence
Manning's apartment.

Am I under arrest?
We can't afford a lawyer.

If you want a lawyer and can't afford
it, one will be provided at no charge.

That is what they said at the college
clinic. There's a $20 deductible.

Do you want a lawyer, Dr. Weiss?

I don't know what to do.

I just don't know what to do.

Do you want a lawyer?

This guy plotted a bombing?
The evidence nails him.

But no motive.

Yeah, you want motive, the husband's
loaded with it, but no evidence.

What about putting the two
together? It's worth a shot.

Meanwhile, what do we
do with Albert Einstein here?

Arrest him.

We looked for connections.

Manning told us he
never heard of Weiss.

Weiss told us he read about
Manning in the newspaper.

But Weiss got his PhD at
the University of Wisconsin.

Until five years ago, Manning
taught there. It's a big campus.

Weiss called Manning's office
eight times in the last four months.

Before or after the bombing?
Before. And three weeks ago...

Weiss, who if he had a nickel,
it would die of loneliness...

deposited $3,500 in
his checking account.

Manning hired
Weiss to kill his wife?

I know of one way to find out.

I think it's clear...

Mr. Weiss does not
wish to make a statement.

Yeah? Well, we do.

You're nailed, Max.
You're going away.

No more bedtime
stories for the kids.

We know you made the bomb small, Max.
We don't think you were trying to kill her.

And that can work in your favor.
If you tell us what happened.

Did someone hire you to do
it? I would never kill anybody.

Is this train going somewhere?

Max, you told us you didn't
even know Edward Manning.

You called him 12 days ago,
you called him 10 days ago.

He was my thesis
advisor at Wisconsin.

Sure. Did he tell you about his problems?
Did he tell you about the divorce?

I didn't know about...

Max, you got one way to help yourself.
What did Manning ask you to do?

Wait a minute.
Just let me think.

Will you leave me
alone with my client?

You, too.

If I had a client charged with
murder who was willing to testify...

that someone hired
him to commit the crime...

what could be worked out
for this client? Manning?

I'm speaking
hypothetically here.

Hypothetically, if your client's
testimony was truthful and productive...

his charge might drop
to Manslaughter One.

Hypothetically, he might accept.

Manning? Hypothetically, yes.

I never meant to kill her. Max.

What's on the table,
Ben? You tell me.

We don't need a plea
to convict Mr. Weiss.

The FBI raised saliva
from the stamp on the bomb.

It matches his DNA.

I needed the money. I
only meant to scare her.

Let me get this straight.
Prof. Manning came to you?

I asked him for a job.

At Wisconsin, years ago,
he wanted to hire me...

as part of his
proton decay project.

I was up for a tenure-track
position at Oberlin, I said no.

Then they asked Manning for a
reference. He blackballed you?

He never answered the
letter. I found out about that.

I would have been an associate
professor by now, instead of a...

You know what
they pay post-docs?

Sir, there are other
ways of making a living.

I went to Manning. He knows
my work, he knows I'm good.

Good at what? Good at
physics? Good at murder?

He knew I was in the Army Reserve.
That is how I paid for Wisconsin.

So Prof. Manning hired
you to kill Florence Manning?

Kill. That's what he said.

Call off your dogs, Ben.

The police are turning Prof.
Manning's life upside down.

He's a murder suspect, Bill.

They're not going to invite
him to a dinner dance.

Max Weiss is looking at
25 years in Attica, cold.

Anyone would make
up a story to cut a deal.

The police won't find any evidence
to support it because there isn't any.

The $3,500 dollar deposit to Weiss's
account was a check from your client.

Give me some credit. I
almost won the Nobel Prize.

You think I'd pay a
hired killer by check?

With your attitude, sir, you might
think yourself too smart to get caught.

I know what's
going on here, Ben.

The law says you can't
convict a man on the

uncorroborated testimony
of an accomplice.

If you believe that check would
stand up as corroboration...

you'd have arrested
Prof. Manning by now.

I hired Weiss to do some
research. I knew him from Wisconsin.

He was a good man.
I thought he was.

If you knew him from Wisconsin,
why did you tell the police...

that you didn't recognize him when you
saw him outside your wife's apartment?

He also knew my wife from Wisconsin,
too, and I never thought he killed her.

It didn't seem right
to get him involved.

Awfully kind of Manning to
protect Weiss from the police.

I gather he's not
the kindly type?

His story might explain why he
told the police he didn't know Weiss...

but it doesn't explain why
he lied to his own girlfriend.

So, Ben, do you believe Weiss?

The check is the only evidence
he has to support his story...

aside from the fact that he had
no motive to do it on his own.

He had no motive, or
you haven't found it yet?

Max liked Florence Manning.

Her husband treated his grad students
like slaves. She baked them cookies.

How much did your
husband like her?

What do you mean?

Max and Mrs. Manning
in a lover's quarrel?

Oh, God, if you knew him at all.

He loves me, and the children,
and subatomic particles.

Mrs. Weiss...

he's admitted he sent the bomb.

Well, then he's lying. I
mean, he couldn't have.

He's covering up for someone.
I don't know, maybe Manning?

I know my husband.

We've talked to people
who worked with him.

They say he's
been erratic, moody.

A couple of months ago he got
an idea. A breakthrough idea...

I don't know, don't ask
me, I don't understand it.

He applied for a research
grant. He was so excited.

It was going to launch
him, it was going to save us.

I was just afraid.

Of being saved? No.
Of what happened.

Of what always happens.

He didn't get the grant.
He was devastated.

You say he's been moody lately.

He can't support his family doing
the work he loves. How would you feel?

Miss Kincaid, what's
gonna happen to him?

What's going to happen to us?

"Potential Super Symmetric
Models for Higgs Scattering...

"an Experimental
Overview by Max Weiss."

You know what I took for my science
requirement? Physics for Poets.

Geology 101, Rocks For Jocks.

Weiss's notebooks. His papers.

If he was doing research for
Manning, here's no indication.

That's good. That means
he's telling the truth.

Not according to his wife.

She swears the only thing on
Weiss's mind lately was this.

"An Alternative Mode
for Proton Decay."

His rejected grant
application. Proton decay?

That's Manning's field.

Edward Manning and his team
filled a vat with 1,000 tons of fluid...

containing 100 billion
quintillion protons.

They surrounded it with
detectors, computers.

They studied it for eight years
at a cost of three million dollars...

and they never
saw a proton decay.

Maybe they proved
that protons don't decay.

That's not what
they wanted to prove.

Manning was unfulfilled...


Last time I talked to him he had
some new idea, some new approach.

Could he be working
on it with Max Weiss?

Weiss has a reputation as a
murderer, but not as a physicist.

He has some new
idea about proton decay.

Applied for a grant from the
American Science Foundation.


No doubt deservedly. I served on
the Foundation's peer review panels.

You should see some of
the garbage that comes in.

Peer review. Did
Manning do that?

Of course. Especially in
a field like proton decay.

It's his specialty.

Weiss applied for a grant to look at
old data from Manning's experiment.

Weiss's theory was that protons
had decayed, but hadn't been detected.

Yeah. And if Weiss was
right, Manning'd look foolish.

Now, Manning headed the panel
that reviewed Weiss's proposal...

and he rejected it.

He's the expert in the field.
That's the way the system works.

The panel's confidential...

but I figure that Weiss put
this conflict of interest together...

and he starts calling Manning.

By that time, Manning was working
on his new idea about proton decay.

Now, these are
his laboratory logs.

Manning requested copies of the
same data Weiss wanted to look at.


First he torpedoes Weiss's
idea, then he steals it.

It still doesn't
link to the murder.

Weiss had reason to hate
Manning, not Mrs. Manning.

It's not unheard of to take
revenge on a man by killing his wife.

But Adam, it doesn't make sense.

This man and wife hated each
other. They were separated.

But maybe Weiss didn't know they were
separated. He hadn't seen them in years.

If Weiss didn't know that
they were separated...

maybe we're wrong about
this case from the beginning.

But then we found
this in your apartment.

Last year's Hudson
Polytech Faculty Directory.

Fascinating, Ben.

You find any old phone books?
Back issues of National Geographic?

It lists Prof.
Manning's old address.

The one he shared with
his wife before he moved.

You addressed the
bomb to Dr. Manning...

and you didn't know
that he'd moved.

Substitute carrier
didn't know that, either.

I've been to the Foundation.
We know what Manning did to you.

So you killed his
wife by mistake.

But then you realized that
you could still hurt him...

and help yourself by claiming
that he hired you, right?

This interview is over. Max.
We have an understanding.

We don't need his
testimony. Deal's off.

Fine. I prefer an
acquittal, anyway.

Cynthia Thomas's identification
of my client was bogus.

I'm going to get it thrown out,
and all the evidence it led you to.

The State's witness did not pick Dr. Weiss
out of a properly constituted line-up.

Your Honor, Dr. Weiss declined
to participate in that line-up.

So the police took Miss
Thomas to a place...

where she could see the
defendant among many other people.

Yes, but those many other
people wore business suits.

My client was dressed like
an organ grinder's monkey.

Does look conspicuous,
Ben. That's a posed photo.

In context, as a doorman, he
blends in with the background.

It's reasonable to assume...

that Miss Thomas would have
overlooked him because of that.

In a get-up like this?

There should be a door. In front
of a door he looks like a doorman...


How many men with
beards walked out that door?

At least one.

Wow. One.

The witness
identification is excluded.

The identification led to the search
warrant which led to the bomb materials.

It should all be excluded.

Your Honor, I'm
sure you realize...

that the police could have obtained
that warrant on other unrelated grounds.

But they didn't.
But they could have.

I would have issued one.

The identification is
out. The bomb is in.

Thank you.

So, what? Dr. Manning...

the link between
Dr. Weiss and your wife...

we lost it.

Now you're the only
person who can testify...

that you saw Dr. Weiss
at your wife's apartment.

And you're also the only
person who can supply a motive.

Can I? What motive is that?

I don't want to play games with
you, sir. Don't play games with me.

We know what you
did to Dr. Weiss.

I see.

So you want me to announce to the world
that I'm a scientific thief and a fraud.

No, sir, I want
you to tell the truth.

The truth, Mr. Stone, is that
I'm near the end of a career...

that I had the good fortune or
misfortune to begin very brightly.

I used to look around at
meetings in laboratories.

I was always the youngest
person in the room.

Then one day at a conference I looked
around, and I was the oldest person there.

Thirty years had slipped by.

People were gathered around
one of the stars. He was 29.

I was the fourth speaker
on the 5:00 panel.

I know I have something
more to contribute to physics.

Something you
stole from Max Weiss.

I'll not end my
career in disgrace.

I understand, sir, but the alternative
is letting your wife's murderer go free.

One single human life on
the time scale of the universe.

You and I have
different priorities.

He's an aging boy wonder,
and he wants the glory days back.

And it's no coincidence...

he picks up someone
else's hot idea...

and a young girlfriend
at the same time.

I sure thought he'd testify against
the murderer of his own wife.

We've threatened him with
a subpoena, with contempt...

he swears he'll stand mum.

Scientists have a star system...

makes Hollywood look
like a socialist love-in.

Only they don't keep score in
money or starlets. It's reputation.

If he's worried about his scientific
reputation, let's attack him there.

Aren't you being a
little inconsistent, Ben?

Unless your client testifies
fully and freely, he'll be indicted.

Haven't you just
finished proving...

Weiss lied about my client
hiring him to kill his wife?

I didn't say he'd be
indicted for murder.

I'm going to indict
him for larceny.


What larceny? Grand
Larceny in the 4th degree.

"Theft of secret
scientific material.

"Any article, device or substance
which constitutes, represents, evidences...

"reflects or records a
scientific or technical process...

"invention or formula."

And that's basically
what Prof. Manning did...

when he stole the idea
from Max Weiss's proposal.


You know that law applies
to computer programs.

Secret formulas.

Plagiarism isn't larceny.

I'll let a jury decide that.

But don't think I won't
show that jury every detail...

of Prof. Manning's deceit.

Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't
a charge of larceny presuppose...

that the thing allegedly
stolen have value?

Weiss's idea was flawed,
amateurish and worthless.

That's why I
rejected his proposal.

No serious physicist would
have wasted an hour on it.

That's awfully convenient
for you to say that, sir.

Yes, quite convenient.

I'll be happy to testify
about this at length.

I'm the leading
authority in the field.

Ask anyone.

If Manning swears that
the theory is worthless...

you gotta prove that it isn't.

Now, what the hell's the theory?

That protons
eventually fall apart.

Is this something I need
to be worried about?

It means all matter in the universe will
eventually disintegrate in a certain way.

Terrific. Now all we gotta
do to win a larceny trial...

is prove how the
universe will end.

No, all I do is get my own
group of expert witnesses.

Who you going to
get, the Almighty?

Physics professors. That's all
Manning is. Oh, physics professors.

Better get a jury of insomniacs.

We want an expert who'll
keep the jury awake?

We've already got one.

You got to be kidding.

You want Dr. Weiss to testify
that Manning stole his theory?

It's your decision, Dr. Weiss.

He'd be establishing a motive you'd
nail him with at his own murder trial.

He'll be convicted no
matter what he does.

He'd be out of his
mind to help you.

Doctor, you and I both know that no
one takes you seriously as a scientist.

Now, isn't this the only possible
chance you have to make your reputation?

You had an insight into proton
decay, and Edward Manning stole it.

Do you want the rest of the scientific
community to know this or not?

You don't understand.

I don't care about scientific
reputation. I care about science.

Max, this can't help
you. Nothing can help me.

Prof. Manning says your theory is
flawed. I don't care what he says.

- Amateurish, worthless.
- He has no imagination.

Do you know how he
set up his experiment?

Max. This room...

is about the size of the
vat he used to fill with fluid.

Manning put photomultiplier
tubes there, there, there...

linked to a computer programmed
to pick out signs of proton decay.

But do you know
what he looked for?

One mode only.


A positron track going
one way. The other way...

a neutral pion.

But what if protons don't decay
that way, but into a positron...

and two neutrinos?

Manning's computers never
would have found them...

because they weren't
looking for them.

Protons could have
been decaying every day.

Do you know what that means?

We can synthesize...

three of the basic
forces of the universe.

We would be on the verge...

of reading the mind of God.

He'll testify, won't he?
Yeah, I think he will.

He'll put a noose around his
own neck to defend a theory...

that maybe 500 people
in the world understand.

I don't know, I'm beginning
to think I understand it.

Our murderer is
one hell of a teacher.

Am I supposed to be impressed?

Go ahead. Tear down his theory.

Max Weiss will defend it.

And I'm sure the jury will
find it compelling. I know I did.

He's a scientific nobody.

He's not the only
one who'll testify, sir.

Prof. Stedman is a somebody.
We've been rivals for 30 years.

Jacob Munson at Princeton...

finds Weiss's
theory interesting.

So does Chadrasan at Michigan.
We're still sending the documents around.

You're flying in witnesses from all over
the country to prosecute a Class E felony?

If your client doesn't testify in a
trial involving the murder of his wife...

I'll fly them in from Jupiter.

And tell him he can't worry about his
reputation anymore. He doesn't have any.

You're ruining me
as a man of science.

Sir, you did that yourself.

I'm just asking you to
tell the jury how you did it.

I was close to the answer. I'd been
working on proton decay for 10 years.

Doctor, isn't that the reason...

that you were chosen
to chair the panel...

that actually reviewed
Dr. Weiss's research proposal?

I'm acknowledged as
the leading authority.

When I saw his idea,
everything snapped into place.

I believed, I still believe, I would have
seen the thing myself in a week or a day.

So what did you do about that?

I rejected his proposal.
There were some errors in it.

How did Dr. Weiss react?

He called me. He threatened to go
to the Office of Research Integrity.

I told him he'd be wasting his
time. I had status, he had none.

Did he believe
that? It was true.

I sweetened it by saying I'd put his name
on the paper I was writing as co-author.

He'd be able to get a job then. I
gave him some money to tide him over.

Sir, were you gonna put
his name on that paper?

His proposal was a guess.

I'd been working on
the problem for 10 years.

I told him I'd changed my mind.

So you told the man who
came up with the crucial idea...

that he was not going to get
any credit or any recognition.

I didn't think he earned it.
How did he react to that, sir?

He got very angry.

He said he would go to the Office of
Research Integrity and take his chances.

And what did you do?

I knew his post-doc was up.

He was being considered
for an assistant professorship.

I saw he didn't get the job. Someone
in the department owed me a favor.

If Weiss wasn't on the faculty, then
his complaint would carry no weight.

Did he know that
you'd done that?

He called me. It
was frightening.

What did he say?

That I was starving his children.
That he would make me pay.

Mr. Foreman, has the
jury reached a verdict?

We have, Your Honor.

On the sole count
of the indictment...

Murder in the 2nd degree...

how does the jury find?

We find the defendant,
Max Weiss, guilty.

The jury is excused with thanks.

Dr. Weiss is remanded
to Rikers Island...

pending sentencing.

This court is now adjourned.

Your Honor, my client wishes to make
a statement before sentence is imposed.

I want to apologize to
Mrs. Manning's family...

with all my heart.

I am so sorry.

All that's ever mattered to
me is my family and my work.

All I ever wanted
to do was physics.

When I saw I was
losing it, I couldn't stand it.

If I could do it over again...

I would be a bus driver...

an accountant, anything,
my whole life without science...

if I could take
that package back.

Yes, Dr. Weiss,
but it's too late.

Your actions were
callous and deadly.

I sentence you to an
indeterminate term of imprisonment...

of from 25 years to life...

to be served at a facility selected
by the Department of Corrections.

But on the other hand, he killed a
woman, so I had to play it by the book.

You feel bad about that?

Twenty-five years. He's
not your typical killer.

He is. He killed somebody.