Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 5, Episode 9 - Law & Order - full transcript

An attorney may have been killed for trying to further bilk people who have lost their life savings in an S&L scandal.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
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.

If you could raise
me $20 a week, then...

You know how my business is,
Bella. Has my phone been ringing?

Mr. Kopinsky said he'd
raise me $20 if you did.

If he's so flush, why do I have to match?
I haven't had a raise since I started here.

He can afford to raise you if
I can, but if I can't, he can't.

My son wants a computer.
Does that even make sense?

Hey, Mr. Rockefeller,
you're spoiling the help.

I'll make the coffee.

Bella, come here!


Call 911.

Doesn't look like a robbery.
There's no sign of a struggle here.

Yeah, except the bullet hole in
his head. You got a time of death?

Full rigor. Body's cool. Yesterday
afternoon, early last night.

Drive safely.

Gee, who'd wanna kill a lawyer?

Excuse me. Those
files are privileged.

You need a waiver from each of
Mr. Kopinsky's clients to look at them.

Are you Mr. Kopinsky's partner?
We just shared office space.

But I was his lawyer.
The lawyer's lawyer, huh?

Litigious times. Sir?

Don't tell me. His date
book's privileged, too?

Now, his last appointment
yesterday, 6:00 p.m. Mr. Tanaka.

Either one of you see him? I was
taking a deposition in White Plains.

I showed him in. When
I left he was still here.

How were he and
Mr. Kopinsky getting along?


Are you all right, ma'am?

Mr. Kopinsky was
going to give me a raise.

Thank you.

This cost her money.

When we find the shooter, she
can have the other lawyer sue him.

The foot traffic is here.

The city wants to move
me around the block.

There's nobody over there.

That's why you
hired Mr. Kopinsky?

His ad said if he doesn't
win your case, you don't pay.

Was he winning yours?

He hadn't started yet.
Yesterday was our first meeting.

Mr. Tanaka, as far as we know, you
were the last person to see him alive.

No, I wasn't. When I left his
office a man was coming in.

Did you get a good look at
him? Tall. Wearing glasses.

Give me a skinny cap. No lead.

Decaffeinated cappuccino.
With skimmed milk.

What's the point? $3.75.

Look, the tall guy with the glasses,
do you remember anything else?

I stopped at the
men's room in the hall.

When I came out he was still in
Mr. Kopinsky's office, shouting.

About what?

About what a son of a
bitch Mr. Kopinsky was.

Nicer than his office. Dead
people. They're full of surprises.

Who are you? How did you get
in? LOGAN: Police. Who are you?

I just got off the phone
with Arthur's secretary.

I was going to call you.

And you are? Arthur's
roommate. Frank Rosebrock.

Detective Logan.
Detective Briscoe.

Please, come in.

So you and Arthur
are... Live here. 19 years.

I can't believe he's gone.

He was shot? BRISCOE:
We're sorry for your loss.

You can't know. Arthur is a...

Arthur was a wonderful man.

Do you know what happened?

Mr. Rosebrock, were
you here yesterday?

No, I was in Phoenix. On
business. I just got back.

Look, we have to ask.

Can you think of anybody who
might have been angry at Arthur?

Oh, one man called
here several times.

Arthur was working on
his case day and night.

He sounded crazy. He threatened
Arthur. He threatened even me.

Do you remember his name?
How could I forget? Carl Piselli.

Cleans and Dirties. I
invented the product.

Magnets. You put
one on top of the other.

Clean pig, clean dishes.
Dirty pig, dirty dishes.


You put this on a
dishwasher, huh?

A husband's compulsive. He rinses
the dishes before he puts them in.

Wife comes along, takes a look,

thinks they're clean, puts
dirty dishes on the shelf.

With these, no problem.
And they're cute.

And these are why you
hired Mr. Kopinsky? Yes.

I submitted these six
months ago to Empire Gifts.

Big sales rep firm.

They could sell
a product like this.

I tried selling them
myself. It doesn't work.

Mr. Piselli, could be there's just
not a market for products like this.

Oh? Empire said, "No, thanks."

Three months later they come
out with Neats and Nasties.

Their pig wears a dress instead of
a suit. They sold 60,000. Thieves.

Yeah, we understand
that you weren't too happy

with the way Mr. Kopinsky
was handling your case.

He took my retainer and
didn't do a damn thing.

You wanna tell us,
just for the record,

where you were
last night about 7:00?

Listening to the Hudson Jazz
Orchestra. Summer stage. Central Park.

You got a ticket
stub? Free concert.

The only show in town
that doesn't rip you off.

Yes, Carl Piselli. He claimed
he invented Neats and Nasties.

Then last year he claimed that
he invented Killer Bee Honey.

The year before that it was
Singing Sam's Shower Songs.

I'm afraid I missed that one.

Oh, waterproof lyric cards
for singing in the shower.

It does very well
on Father's Day.

You know, all this stuff.

Ceramic kittens.
Flatulence, The Game.

This is a business?
Yes. It's a good one.

And so Piselli's claims are groundless?
You came up with all this stuff?

Detective, if Marconi and Tesla
can independently invent the radio,

is it so hard to
believe that two people

thought of putting
magnets on dishwashers?

But you did meet Mr. Piselli?

That buzzer on the
door. The security camera.

They are there because I
meet people like Carl Piselli.

He came in here.
He made threats.

Did you ever hear him
threaten Mr. Kopinsky?

Several times. I'm sure Kopinsky
was sorry he ever took the case.

Forget becoming president.

The real American dream
is inventing the next pet rock.

Yeah, well, Piselli fits the bill.
He wears glasses and he's mad.

One of my husband's customers
comes in the hardware store twice a week

to buy parts for an automatic
toilet-seat drop he's inventing.

Did he hire Kopinsky?

He says it'll reduce the
conflict between the sexes.

Yo, did you get anything
from the cappuccino king?

I showed him the
picture. He wasn't sure.

I say we bring
in Piselli anyway.

Show him some of
our new products.

Check his alibi first.

What, a free concert in Central Park?
You're talking about thousands of people.

One who might
have been Mr. Piselli.

There were thousands
of people here.

Humor us. We're
humoring a lieutenant.

Plus it was night
so it was dark.

Would you just
look at the picture?

Oh, I remember him. You do?

He had a blowup with the ushers.

They wouldn't let him
come in with his yapping dog.

So did he leave early?
No. He put a muzzle on it.

I wish we'd had
one for him. Thanks.

Maybe Piselli's telling the
truth about the magnets, too.



Since when are prosecutors
allowed to look at lawyers' files?

There are some
criminal cases in there.

I thought Kopinsky
only handled civil cases.

Arthur was a rarity.
A legal generalist.

Anything for a buck, huh? We
have a search warrant, Mr. Wiggins.

It specifies we can't use
privileged material about any crime

except the murder
of Mr. Kopinsky.

May I see it?

Did you stay on top of what
Kopinsky was working on?

He held things pretty close.

I was just his attorney for the
record, a matter of convenience.

This seems to be in
order. Happy hunting.

You think someone killed
him over a shoplifting beef?

He settled a medical
malpractice claim for $15,000.

His fee was one-third.
The doctor's insurance paid.

I never realized the law was
such an exciting profession.

I get to work with you guys.

"Piselli v. Empire Gifts."

BRISCOE: Yeah, we've
been down that road.

"Willard Tappan"?

That's the savings and loan
king who went down in flames.

Yeah, what'd he get? A couple
of years in the federal Club Med?

The guy should've got life
for all the people he swindled.

Kopinsky was
trying to help them.

Here's a letter to one
of Tappan's victims.

"I may be able to collect
your judgment," he says.

Kopinsky wrote this guy that he had a
lead on some money hidden by Tappan.

It says he just needs three grand
for research expenses to track it down.

There must be about
50 of these letters in here.

If Tappan hid some money
away and Kopinsky was on to it,

that gives Tappan a
nice motive for murder.

Willard Tappan's Savings and Loan
opened a branch in my neighborhood.

Borough president
cut the ribbon.

I had some friends who lost years'
worth of savings. It destroyed people.

Well, the question is,

do you think Tappan's the type of
guy to graduate from fraud to homicide?

If his money's at stake, yes.

Isn't he in federal prison?

He was moved to a halfway
house in Manhattan last month.

Make my day. Nail that
son of a bitch for murder.

Kopinsky? You know, I had a
racehorse named Prince Korinsky once.

The government took him,
along with everything else.

I suppose Chelsea's riding
him now. He was a lawyer.

He told people he had a lead
on some money you hid away.

My famous hidden
money. It doesn't exist.

You cost the taxpayers,
what, half a billion dollars?

Maybe you put some
away for a rainy day.

You know, that's what the
United States Government thought.

That's what my creditors'
attorneys thought.

They scoured the world
searching for my buried treasure.

They found nothing.

It was on the front page
of The Wall Street Journal.

Maybe Kopinsky
didn't read that issue.

Excuse me.

You know, last year, in Chicago,

a lawyer went to jail for telling
people he'd found my hidden money.

All he needed to get it was
a modest retainer up front.

You'll excuse me. I'm off to
rake leaves in Central Park.

Part of my rehabilitation.

When Willard Tappan's Savings
and Loan went in the crapper,

I represented its
major creditors.

We seized the
corporate lodge in Aspen

where Tappan took his
friends and prostitutes,

the corporate jet he
used for his golf outings,

the corporate apartments
in Miami and London.

Sounds like quite a haul.

Everything turned out to
be mortgaged elsewhere,

sometimes two or three times.

Did any of your clients ever
hear from Arthur Kopinsky?

Financial institutions.

They lose a few million,
it's not the end of the world.

It's people who
lost a few thousand,

who only had a few thousand, who'd
be vulnerable to that kind of thing.

Why'd they lose out?

I mean, weren't their
accounts insured?

Their accounts, yes, but a
lot of them went in to buy CDs,

and Tappan's people sold them
bonds in the Savings and Loan instead.

They became unsecured creditors.

They got nothing.

My husband worked 32
years for Con Edison on pipes.

Saved $60 a week.

He was going to buy us a place
in South Carolina when he retired.

But Tappan cleaned him
out? Tappan killed him.

Coronary. He was never
sick before. Just gave out.

The day after he
went down, so did I.

And Mr. Kopinsky told you
he'd get you your money back?

Right. If I gave him $3,000 to check
on some bank records in the Caribbean.

Where am I to get $3,000?

So you never got
involved with him?

I rounded up $600 from
my sister and her daughter.

He took it as a down payment.
Then he asked for $600 more.

He said he was this close
to tracking down my money.

But he never quite did. I know.

If I'm not the biggest fool
on earth, I don't know who is.

Some guy loses his
lifesavings to Tappan,

then Kopinsky comes
along and licks the plate.

I'd wanna kill him, too.

So, what, you wanna
be reassigned to a squad

that tracks down murderers
you don't sympathize with?

Same old cliché. The
little guy gets screwed.

That lawyer's rich clients
get some of their money back,

and I guarantee you
he collected his fee.

Listen, I've saved up some
money for my retirement.

I keep it split up between three
banks and two different mutual funds.

If you don't trust one that
much, then nobody can hurt you.

What's that, financial advice
or marriage counseling?

CURREN: You're here
about Mr. Kopinsky?

Your mother's name
was on a list of people

he solicited about
Willard Tappan.

Yeah, so was I. He was trying
to get our money back for us.

$830,000. Everything
my husband left me.

We lived on Beekman Place.

After my husband died,
Johnny used to visit me there

and we'd walk to Madison Avenue.



We don't even have privacy.

Do you think the Tappan business
had something to do with the murder?

BRISCOE: We don't know.
Poor man. He was our last hope.

We were just wondering, did Mr. Kopinsky
ever ask you for money for his expenses?

Yes, he asked for $3,000.

I didn't have that much,
so I just gave him $1,000.

I sent him a check
just the other day.

Do you know who's
taking over his cases?

We're not sure. Mr. Curren,
had you seen Kopinsky lately?

No. He said he'd call if
he had anything to report.

We talked to a dozen
people on Kopinsky's list.

It was a con all right, but half
of them don't even know it yet.

He collected tens of
thousands of dollars for research.

He never showed anyone any hard
evidence that he'd found Tappan's money.

What a guy. Swindling people
who'd already been swindled.

You gotta hand it to him. They all
had proven track records as victims.


Van Buren.

Does one of you have a
girlfriend in a nursing home?

No, that would be Lennie.

Mrs. Curren and her son lied
to you boys. I can't stand liars.

Well, we appreciate
your help, ma'am.

So what if she lived
on the East Side?

You'd think it was Buckingham
Palace, her attitude.

We don't get to choose our
roommates here, you know.

Mrs. Greenfield,
what was this lie?

Well, Johnny, her son, came to visit her
the night before that lawyer was killed.

She told him she had good news.

A surprise. A surprise?

She'd heard from that lawyer. He
was going to get her money back.

She'd sent him a check.
Johnny was furious.

He said the lawyer was a confidence
man. He'd taken Johnny's money, too.

And Johnny didn't tell his mother
this? He hadn't wanted to upset her.

But when he heard that his
mother had sent him her last $3,000,

Johnny said he would get it
back no matter what it took.

What do you think?

I think she enjoyed
double-dating with us

a lot more than some
nursing-home attendant,

and she doesn't like
Mrs. Curren much.

I don't think she's
making up a story like that.

It's making her life a lot
more interesting, isn't it?

What's interesting is
Kopinsky's phone log.

The day he was shot, John
Curren called three times.

Three messages.
"Please call. Urgent."

Kopinsky was ducking him.

Some people don't like that.


Okay, you guys, we
need the living room here.

Nintendo off.

What are you saying?
Mr. Kopinsky lied to us?

He was milking you and about
50 other people with a phony story

about finding Tappan's money.

Oh, my God. It's all
right. We'll be okay.

We're thinking maybe this didn't come
as a complete surprise to you, Mr. Curren.

Of course it does. We were counting
on him. We were going to move.

You didn't tell her?

Well, maybe I suspected he wasn't
doing everything he said he was.

I didn't see any reason
to worry everybody.

Maybe you were a little upset about
your mother sending him her last $3,000?

Your mother did? When?

You said you were waiting
for Mr. Kopinsky to call,

but you called him
three times the other day.

Yeah, well, my mother was involved. I
wanted to see how things were going.

Okay, then, you wouldn't mind
coming down to the precinct

for some identification
procedure, would you?

You don't think Johnny
might have killed that man?

If he didn't, he'll be
back here in an hour.

TANAKA: I didn't see him very long.
VAN BUREN: Take your time, Mr. Tanaka.

I'd think number
four. You think?

Number four.

you, Mr. Tanaka.

Curren didn't want a lawyer.

Yeah, I guess after
Kopinsky he had his fill.

Think that ID will hold up?
To get a search warrant, yeah.

When's my husband coming home?

He's just answering a few questions
for us. Does your husband own a gun?

A gun? I won't keep
one in the house.

Oh, Willard Tappan
on his 100-foot yacht.

Tappan rents the Temple of Dendur
for his daughter's debutante ball.

Tappan named to the
Businessman's Hall of Fame.

Your husband collect these?
That man stole all our money.

It was the same year Johnny lost his
job. He was unemployed for 14 months.

What's that?

Your mother-in-law's check
to Mr. Kopinsky for $3,000.

You really have to see it
from our point of view, Johnny.

You said you hadn't
seen Kopinsky for a while,

but our witness saw you go in.

Heard you shouting.

You know that
phone call I just had?

My partner found the check
your mother wrote to Kopinsky.

It was in your jacket pocket.

How'd it get there?

How did it get from Kopinsky's
office to your apartment?

What, did it fly?

Come on, Johnny.

You found out Kopinsky
was fleecing your mother

after he had already
fleeced you, and you got mad!

Hell, I would've gotten mad.

May I please call my wife?
As soon as we're finished here.

Let's just wrap this all up.

So you went downtown to
get your mother's money back.

What happened? Did
Kopinsky stall you?

No. Did he laugh at you?


I give up. What happened?

He gave me the check back.

You went down to Kopinsky's,
and he gave you the check, huh?

That's what happened.

Well, you know,

that's just not the kind of
fellow we heard he was, Johnny.

How ever did you persuade him?

He just gave it back to me.

I think...

I think I'd like to
see a lawyer now.

Do you believe it? No.

That's good enough for me.

VAN BUREN: John Curren, you're under
arrest for the murder of Arthur Kopinsky.

You have the right
to remain silent.

Anything you say or do can
or will be used against you...

"Docket number 65473.
People v. John Curren.

"Murder in the second degree."

Mr. Curren pleads not guilty. The
People seek high bail, Your Honor.

The crime was violent.

The defendant sought to elude
capture by lying to the police.

The victim is Arthur Kopinsky?

I knew Kopinsky.

Perhaps Your Honor
should recuse himself

from setting bail in this case?

If anything, Miss Bell, I'd be
biased in favor of your client.

Your Honor, this man
is charged with murder.

Don't worry, Counselor.
Bail, $100,000.

This won't even get to trial.

Mr. Curren was deprived of an
attorney at his lineup and interrogation.

The police have to offer him a
lawyer, not force one down his throat.

I'm sure I know how the police couched
their offer. You know how they operate.

Get off your soapbox, Sally.
You're blocking the view.

So what are you offering? A
fair trial by a jury of his peers.

Oh, a jury's gonna
feel sorry for him.

He was swindled by Tappan. He
was swindled again by Kopinsky.

Kopinsky needed to be
disbarred, not shot in the head.

Johnny's face turned red.
He paced around the room.

"Kopinsky, Kopinsky."
He kept saying the name.

What did he say
about Mr. Kopinsky?

He said he'd get his mother's
money back. He promised her.

Thank you. Nothing further.

So, Mr. Curren was
angry? Yes. Very angry.

You'd seen Mr. Curren angry
before, hadn't you, Mrs. Greenfield?

Yes, I have. I didn't
like it then, either.

This was when the nursing home
wanted to move his mother to another room.

He was sometimes
late paying her bill.

Well, he got very angry
at the director, didn't he?

I remember.

Did he kill the director?
No. Of course not.

Thank you.

And how did Mr. Curren sound

during his phone calls to
Mr. Kopinsky the day of the murder?

He was definitely upset.

Did he raise his voice?

He said my boss was a
crook and I was a crook, too.

Why were you a crook? I
don't know. He was upset.

What else did he say?

He said he wanted to know what
stop we were on the Broadway IRT.

Did you receive any other angry
phone calls for Mr. Kopinsky that day?

There was always somebody
upset about something.

Well, you'd heard other clients call
Mr. Kopinsky a crook, hadn't you?

He cut some corners.

In a typical week how many angry
phone calls would Mr. Kopinsky receive?

Maybe a dozen.

That's two or three
angry phone calls a day.

Oh, yeah. At least that.

BELL: Miss Huntley, your company, Empire
Gifts, was being sued by Arthur Kopinsky?

Yes. On behalf of a
man named Carl Piselli.

And the police
came to question you

during their investigation
of Mr. Kopinsky's death?


Did they indicate to you they
had a suspect in the murder?

Objection, Your
Honor. Relevance.

If someone other than
Mr. Curren killed Arthur Kopinsky,

I would say that's
highly relevant.

If Miss Bell wants to know
what the police thought

about this case at various
points in ancient history,

she ought to ask them.

Now? After they've circled
their wagons around Mr. Curren?

Your objection is
overruled, Mr. McCoy.

If you wish, you can
bring on the police to rebut.

Did the police indicate to you
they had a suspect, Miss Huntley?

Yes. Carl Piselli.

Not John Curren? No.
They didn't mention him.

Did you yourself ever hear Mr. Piselli
make any threats against Mr. Kopinsky?


He said that Mr. Kopinsky was
cheating him by taking his money

and not pursuing
his case against me.

Would you consider
Mr. Piselli a violent man?

Two times he came into my showroom
and yelled at my staff and smashed things.

Thank you.

Miss Huntley, you
don't know anything

that would indicate that Mr. Piselli
killed Mr. Kopinsky, do you?

No. And you don't know anything

that would indicate that
Mr. Curren didn't kill him, do you?


Thank you.

Miss Bell, if you have no
redirect, we'll recess until tomorrow.


Still won't give a girl a break,
huh, Jack? It's all smoke, Sally.

The jury won't buy any of it.

I think the jurors start with a
very reasonable reluctance

to believe anything you say.

Me personally? No,
the system, Jack.

It's wrong so often.
Which reminds me.

It's an addition
to my witness list.

What do you do, Miss Maney?

I'm an assistant manager
of Security Central Bank.

The branch in Inwood.

Where Mr. Curren and his
mother maintain checking accounts?

That's right. He has
power of attorney over hers.

Did you see Mr. Curren the morning
of the day Mr. Kopinsky was murdered?

Yes. He came in and stopped payment
on a check his mother had written.

This check,
People's exhibit four,

made out to Arthur
Kopinsky for $3,000.


He said the person had cheated his
mother and she didn't want to pay him.

So, Mr. Curren had no reason to
kill anyone to retrieve this check?

It was worthless.

Mr. Curren knew that? Of course.

I took care of the
paperwork while he waited.

No further questions.

Was Mr. Curren at all upset that
this person had cheated his mother?

Yes. Very. What did he say?

He said the man was dishonest
and he ought to be arrested.

I'm beginning to think the
defense case is rather convincing.

A smart lawyer can always
find holes. Holes, yeah.

You never found
the murder weapon.

You don't have a witness to this shooting.
You don't even have a motive anymore.

Even if the check was stopped, Curren
still had a grudge against Kopinsky.

A grudge? Yeah.

It sounds like everyone in New York
City had a grudge against this man.

Are you sure that that's the murderer
sitting there at the defense table?

Right. Get a continuance.
Start at square one.

Either prove you got the
right man or prove you don't.

Have a nice day.

Everything Kopinsky was
working on the last month of his life.

The Tappan stuff is there.

"Piselli v. Empire Gifts."

You go through this one already?

The police already investigated
Piselli and cleared him.

Pretty fat.

Wasn't Piselli complaining that
Kopinsky wasn't doing anything?


But Kopinsky's roommate told the
police he was working on it night and day.

Interrogatories, deposition
notices, subpoenas.

Why didn't he tell Piselli
what he was doing?

He hadn't even gone to
trial, let alone got a judgment.

He was already examining the
gift company's assets. Bank records.

And he hired a private
investigator to follow Alice Huntley.

Surveillance log. Circled in red.
Three visits to West End CCC.

Community Correction Center.
That's Willard Tappan's halfway house.

LEONARD: Kopinsky didn't tell
me his secret hopes and dreams.

He just asked me to follow
her. You have no idea why?

When I saw her bumping butts with
Willard Tappan at the halfway house,

the light began to dawn.

"Bumping butts"?
Pardon my French.

While I was pretending to look
for my brother in the guest book,

I saw Tappan sneak her upstairs.

I didn't think he was gonna
show her his stamp collection.

How long has this been going on?

I dug up some old personnel
files from Tappan's bank.

She was in his public
relations department. Cute, huh?

You heard my testimony.
I talked to the police.

They hadn't seen your bank
records. But Kopinsky had.

Your company's gross
profit is $300,000 a year.

But you have $5
million on deposit.

Most of it's a loan from a
bank in the Netherlands Antilles.

I'm planning on expanding.
It's a sound business loan.

You've never made
a single payment.

It comes from a place with
strict bank secrecy laws.

I file full tax returns. I have a
successful legitimate business.

You know what I
think, Miss Huntley?

I think Willard Tappan, your boyfriend,
stashed this money in the West Indies

in his good old days.

And this loan to your company
is just a way of laundering it.

I barely know Mr. Tappan.

Did he just use you for criminal
conspiracy, fraud and sex,

or did he also
involve you in murder?

I don't have time to play
games, Miss Huntley.

I'll just charge you and let
the chips fall where they may.

Did Tappan know Kopinsky
had found his money?

Willard said that it
would never be traced,

because no one knew
that we were involved.

Your bad luck. Kopinsky had
a nose for this kind of thing.

He said he would
stall his clients.

Willard had me give him
$50,000 out of the account.

Then $100,000. Kopinsky
came back for more?

And how did your boyfriend
enjoy being blackmailed?

Willard wouldn't shoot someone.

Are you sure about
that, Miss Huntley?

If I had a secret bank account,

don't you think I'd use
the Cayman Islands?

The laws are so much
more favorable there.

Mr. Tappan was required
to relinquish all his accounts

as a result of his plea bargain
five years ago, and he did so.

That's not what Alice Huntley
says. Miss Huntley is a spurned lover.

Mr. Tappan has recently become
engaged to another woman.

He met her in jail?

No, an old family friend
who has always stood by me.

This whole thing is very
confusing, Mr. McCoy.

Don't you have someone else on
trial for the murder of Arthur Kopinsky?

We got a continuance.

Mr. Tappan, would you
mind telling us where you were

the night Mr. Kopinsky was shot?

Not at all. I have no idea,

but I'm sure the office staff at
the halfway house can tell you.

They're very efficient at
monitoring our movements.

Every time they leave the halfway
house, they bring back a signed slip.

When Kopinsky was shot, Tappan
was at a prerelease Life Skills class.

Learning how to buy a bus
transfer and use a cash machine.

His alibi is solid.

So we've got Tappan with
motive but no opportunity,

and Curren with
opportunity but no motive.

But what if we
put them together?

A pay phone outside Curren's
office. 6:00 p.m. The day of the murder.

A 12-minute call to
the halfway house.

Good, Claire.

That day would be
in this book here.

This isn't my usual line
of work. I'm a surgeon.

Medicaid fraud.
Well, here it is.

I remember this call.
What did the caller say?

He was carrying on. I would
have prescribed sedation.

Said he was an old friend of
Tappan's, but he wouldn't give his name.

But you put the call
through? Yeah, why not?

Tappan was playing
ping-pong. I gave him the phone.

What did Tappan say
to him? I don't know.

He must have been
standing right here.

First thing I learned in prison,
miss. Don't eavesdrop on the phones.

The timing is perfect.

Curren talks to Tappan. An
hour later he's in Kopinsky's office.

And that includes a
half-hour ride on the subway.

You think that this call was
prearranged? CLAIRE: Not necessarily.

Curren knew where Tappan
was. It was in the papers.

Curren thought
Kopinsky was a fraud.

He'd lost his last hope of getting
his money back from Tappan.

Maybe he just decided to
go straight to the source.

And ask him for a refund?
Or beg him. Or scream at him.

Or lure him out to be killed. Or
maybe just cry into the phone.

But something Tappan said

sent Curren down to
Kopinsky's office with a gun.

What if Tappan told Curren that Kopinsky
wasn't lying about finding Tappan's money?

That he'd actually found it, but
that he was keeping it from Curren?

That would've set
him off. Yeah, sure.

And if that's what happened,
do you think he'd tell you?

He'd be hanging himself.
Tappan knows what he said.

And he can't tell this story without
including the part about his hidden money

which earns him a fresh charge of
fraud and a spanking new jail term.

Take a break, Julio.
All right, Mr. Tappan.

You know, they're talking
about privatizing the park.

A subway token to
enter or $30 a year.

Trump thinks he can run it
at a profit. That's fascinating.

We're here to... You're here
because you have a problem.

I'm talking to you
because I have a problem.

We'll prove you hid
that money, Mr. Tappan.

That'll prolong your
study of institutional dining.

Yes. That's my problem.

Meanwhile, Mr. Curren,
your murderer, will go free.

If you hadn't stolen his money that
murder would never have taken place.

I concede your point.

If things were different,
they wouldn't be the same.

Look, I know that
you've been asking

about a conversation I may
have had with Mr. Curren,

a conversation I may
not be able to recall.

I saw your testimony to the
House Banking Committee.

You couldn't seem to recall the
answers to more than 200 questions.

My memory is dreadful.

Especially when I'm
anxious about the future.

What do you want?
No prosecution on fraud.

We take your money.
You'll take it anyway.

And you would remember what?

It's possible that I spoke with
Mr. Curren, that he was semi-hysterical,

that, to amuse myself, I suggested that
he talk to my attorney, Arthur Kopinsky.

You told him you were
hooked up with Kopinsky?

Kopinsky hadn't exactly
endeared himself to me.

I thought he might
enjoy meeting Mr. Curren.

You hoped Curren would
kill him to end the blackmail.

Heavens to Betsy,
what a dreadful idea.

You think Tappan planned it?

Curren was dynamite.

Tappan mailed him to Kopinsky and
hoped somebody would light a match.

And we have to deal with a man
like that to convict a sap like Curren.

Tappan is responsible
for that murder.

Morally, not legally.
We can't arrest him.

I'm a DA. I can arrest anybody.

Well, Jack, I tell you, I dislike
Willard Tappan as much as you,

but charging him with murder?

Five people committed suicide
when Tappan destroyed their savings.

He's lucky we're only
charging him with one murder.

Well, how do you
propose to do this?

Curren calls Tappan.
He's raging. He's homicidal.

Maybe even says he's got a gun.

He tells Tappan he was
swindled by Kopinsky.

Tappan says, "No, no, no,
Mr. Kopinsky didn't double-cross you.

"He triple-crossed
you. He's got my money.

"Why don't you go see
him? And tell him I said hi."

That's evincing a depraved
indifference to Arthur Kopinsky's life.

And it led to his death.
It's statutory. I understand.

You think you can prove it?

I'd sure like to try.

You want me to testify
about that phone call?

Against Willard Tappan?

We arrested him for the
murder of Arthur Kopinsky.

Excellent. So when does
my client get out of here?

In eight-and-a-third years after he
serves his sentence for manslaughter.

Didn't you just say that
Tappan is your killer?

JACK: Curren pulled the trigger.

If he doesn't testify
against Willard Tappan,

Willard Tappan will
testify against him.

That's blackmail.
You would go that low?

Don't you know me by now, Sally?

I'll do it to get Tappan.

So what was that all about?
What was what all about?

"Don't you know me
by now?" Oh. Sally.

Yes. Sally. Miss Bell,
our opposing counsel?

She was my assistant.

CURREN: I don't even
know why I called him. I just...

I knew where he was, and
I blamed him for everything.

What was Mr. Tappan's
reaction to hearing from you?

He thought it was
funny at first. And then?

Well, I started talking about Kopinsky.
He said that he knew Kopinsky,

that Kopinsky had
found his money,

and now he was planning
to keep it all for himself.

So there'd be nothing left for
me. Nothing left for anybody.

What did you say? I was stunned.

I had assumed that Kopinsky
was lying about everything.

And what did Mr. Tappan say?

He said he was sorry
for what he'd done to us.

That he now understood how terrible
it was to steal somebody's lifesavings.

And then he said that he'd pay us
back, my mother and me. Every cent, if...

If what?

If I killed Kopinsky.

What did you do?

I did it.

I went downtown and I shot him.

Thank you.

You hate Willard
Tappan, don't you? Yes.

Wouldn't you lie to hurt him?

No. Oh, really?

You get off easy for a
murder that you committed,

and the man you hate goes
to jail for the rest of his life.

Isn't that perfect? Perfect?

Perfect would have been
if I'd never heard of him,

because, you see,
then I would be living

in a three-bedroom house
in a nice neighborhood,

and I would be able to watch my children
riding their bicycles in the driveway.

But Mr. Tappan took
all that away from you.

For him I guess it was just
another zero on a list of numbers.

For us...

it was everything.

He went on and on. I was
a thief. I was a monster.

I might have been the
devil himself, I'm not sure.

Did you offer to pay John
Curren to murder Arthur Kopinsky?

Absolutely not.

Did you in any way suggest
that he kill Arthur Kopinsky?


He was raving about
Kopinsky before I said a word.

Kopinsky'd just swindled
him. He'd swindled his mother.

He was deranged about it.

Then Mr. Curren is lying about
the content of your conversation?

He blames me for ruining his life
because he lost money in my institution.

What did you say to him?

His family had lost under a million
dollars. I lost over a hundred million.

I told him to grow up.

Thank you.

How many people have
you swindled, Mr. Tappan?


How many people have you
been convicted of swindling?


14,000 people you lied to

when they bought bonds in
North River Savings and Loan?

Objection. Argumentative.

credibility. Overruled.

Why should anyone believe
anything you tell them now

since you've been convicted
of lying 14,000 times?

I never lied to those people.

Those bondholders were
investors. Investors take risks.

Nobody complained when my
business was making them money.

John Curren lost
his lifesavings.

Because the real estate
market collapsed, Mr. McCoy.

That was beyond my control.

You didn't make this guy blink.

It doesn't matter. Willard
Tappan will be convicted.

Right. After the
judge reminds the jury

that he's not on trial for
anything he did in the past

and orders them to
put it out of their mind.

Adam, you haven't been in
a courtroom in a long time.

What the hell is that supposed to
mean? You didn't see their eyes.

When they get
into that jury room,

the only thing they'll
remember is the 14,000 lies.

Right, sure.

JUDGE MOONEY: And this is most
important. The defendant, Willard Tappan,

is on trial here for the murder of
Arthur Kopinsky, and that crime only.

Anything he did in the past,

anything you may have
heard about his past,

any feelings you may
have about his past activities

are absolutely irrelevant.

In making your decision, therefore,
you are instructed to give them no weight.

JUDGE MOONEY: Mr. Foreman,
has the jury reached a verdict?

We have, Your Honor. On
the sole count of the indictment,

murder in the second
degree, how do you find?

We find the defendant,
Willard Tappan, guilty.


Did you know we had it?

Well, between Curren and
Tappan, who's a jury gonna believe?

Who do you believe?

Me, too. Curren's story
was awfully convenient.

But under our original theory
Tappan is still guilty of murder.

He manipulated Curren.

Jack, we made it sound
like he hired Curren.

If you didn't believe that but let
it go on to strengthen our case...

Heavens to Betsy, Claire.
What a dreadful idea.