Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 8, Episode 3 - Law & Order - full transcript

When two patrolman find a dead body in a park Detectives Briscoe and Curtis think the man, Navy Chief Robert Stroud, is the fifth victim of a mugger who also kills his victims. They break the case rapidly but when ballistics confirms that Stroud was shot with a different gun, they still have a murder to solve. They soon learn that the married Stroud was having an affair with a pilot, Lt. Kirstin Blair. The DA's office soon finds itself in a tussle over jurisdiction with the Navy but manages to charge Blair with murder. She's a very cool customer and claims that Stroud was shot accidentally. Her lawyer bases her case on the defendant's character. So does ADA Jack McCoy.

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.

Officer, please, please,
my Bruno ran down there.

Don't worry, ma'am.
We'll take care of it.

This should put us on the
fast track for promotion.

Yeah. Tell me about it.

Take a look over there.
I'll look down here.

Yeah. Right.


I think I see him.

Here, Bruno, nice doggy.
Your mommy's looking for you.

Scroungy little rat.

Oh, man!

Why do these things always
happen at the end of a shift.

BRISCOE: Look at his
tan lines.

He's missing a ring
and a watch.

CURTIS: Got a wallet?

CURTIS: What do
you think? 9mm?


Victim number five, huh?


You think it's that mugger
who kills his victims?

I don't think.

No exit wound.


"Stroud, Robert J.
Blood type B negative."


Funny place for
a mugging.

CSU says that they saw
blood up on the roadway.

Probably rolled down.

So what happened
to the dog?

He's with my partner.

Where's your partner?

Lincoln Hospital.

The paramedics couldn't pry
the dog from his butt.

What kind of dog?


Let me know how they
word the commendation.

Anything from the scene?


We got a time
of death yet?

The same day
he left the ship.

The 4th, between
9:30 and 11:00 p.m.

Five victims in six weeks.

You get a description
of the missing property?

Yeah. Black leather wallet,

a Russian watch
he acquired in the Gulf

and a gold wedding ring,

We'll add the stuff to
the pawnshop bulletins.

Or we can get on the phones.


Hey, it's not
rocket science.

You check the bulletin, then
you check your inventory.

If anything matches,
you call us.

CURTIS: it's a Russian watch.

Soviet? Yeah, I'll hold.

Hi. This is Detective
Briscoe, the 27th Precinct.

We need to add a few items to
your stolen property bulletin.

Well, does anybody
there speak English?


Who you got?

A whiny guy named Palumbo.



Louis? Yeah, it's Briscoe.

Yeah, I know, I know.
You never fenced anything in your life.

Do me a favor
and look again.

No, you won't get back to me, you'll
do it now or I'm coming over there.

How many hock shops
in the five boroughs?

I've got Mets tickets next month.
Yeah? Yeah, what kind of an item?

Gold starburst with sapphire
and tourmalines?

Don't move.
We'll be right over.

And don't lose it,
and don't sell it.

We've got a hit.
Brooch from the third victim.

Hey, I read the papers.
I hear this guy whacks people.

Which one?

I'm watching you, Louis.
I saw that look. Which one?

I want protection.

You got 14 cousins that look like a
moose herd when they get together.

I think they can babysit you for a
few hours while we bag the guy.

Which one?

How about after
you bag the guy?

Five counts.

Murder one with special circumstances.
He ain't gonna make bail.

Which one?

Which one?

Lenny Travers.
Paroled from Attica eight weeks ago.

Armed robbery.

Guess they didn't explain the
terms of his parole real well.

Well, check with his PO to make
sure that's his current address

and move on him.


Last chance, Travers.


OFFICER 1: Go! Go! Go!


OFFICER 2: Clear in the back!

Yeah, you're a couple
of real heroes.

You hid behind ESU till the guy was dead.

Well, next time we'll let you
take the point, Anderson.

With that gut, you could stop a
whole clip and still keep charging.

We cleared five murders.
What'd you do today?


At least try to
look busy.

The Navy guy wasn't
shot with Travers' gun.

Maybe Travers
had two guns.

Well, let's go on
the assumption

that somebody else
killed Chief Stroud.

Here's the autopsy and
the ballistics report.

Open a new file,
start filling it up.

Healthy as a horse except
for one cracked rib, recent.

Yeah. And one bullet
to the brain. More recent.



Commander Billings?

I'm Detective Curtis,
this is Detective Briscoe.

Your captain said we should talk
to you about Stroud, Robert, J.

You find the killer yet?

BRISCOE: No. Not yet.

But we're looking.

When was he on
the ship last?

He had liberty on the 4th, and he
wasn't back for quarters at 0700.

CURTIS: What did you do?

We placed him on
unauthorized absence.

What was his rank?

He was a chief
aviation mechanics mate,

in charge of one of the crews that
refuels, maintains our aircraft.

Did he say anything about
his plans for liberty?

Museums? Walking tours?


He was married.

Well, so? He's here in the Big
Apple, she's not, you know...

BILLINGS: But she was.

She serves on
the supply ship Lambert,

which moored the
same day that we did.

She's a quartermaster.

I didn't see my husband
on the 4th.

You're in the same port at the same
time, you don't see each other?

What is this about?
I thought Bobby was shot by a mugger.

You know anybody who
would've wanted him dead?

You didn't answer
my question.

The mugger didn't do it,
so somebody else did.

Did Bobby have
any enemies?

Not that I know of.

But we were usually separated
by a continent or two.

Were you separated
by anything else?

Or somebody else?

What does that mean?
You don't know or you're not gonna say?

I'm the wrong
person to ask.

Well, who's the right
person to ask?

You should ask somebody who spent
more time with him than I did.

If you'll excuse me, I have
to change for the watch.

She have anybody in particular
to be jealous about?

There are 3,652 sailors
on this ship.

I don't monitor
their personal lives

unless they have problems
with Navy regs.

CURTIS: Anybody bring Stroud
to your attention?

Yes. He was decorated
during the Gulf War.

Pulled a pilot from
a burning plane on deck.

BRISCOE: You got any
women on board?

Sixty-four women.

Stroud hound dog
any of them?

Stroud's wife seems to think
he was fooling around,

so we just need to
follow up, you know.

BRISCOE: Could we talk to
his immediate superior?

That would be his pilot,
Lieutenant Blair.

He was the best crew chief
I've ever worked with.

There was nothing he didn't
know about the F-14.

He sleeping with
anybody on the ship?

Not that I know of.

You ever meet
Stroud's wife?

Is that the direction
this is pointing?

Well, the dial's still spinning.
Did you ever meet her?


She seem like
the jealous type?

I don't know her well enough
to have an opinion.

Did Stroud ever
come on to you?

I work hard to keep my professional
relationships professional.

Well, he must've
found you attractive.

It's a non-issue.

The Navy says I can't
fraternize, so I don't.

But you would
if you could?


You didn't find
him attractive?

I don't sleep
with married men.

The Navy has a rule about
that, too, and so do I.

If there's anything specific I
can do, please let me know.

Stroud was a fine sailor.

Everyone on the ship
wants to see justice done.

No, I don't know
who these kids are.

No, I don't want you to give
him a lecture and let him go.

Put him in a holding cell
and call his father.


My son.

Manhattan South caught him
tagging a truck.

Arrest report.
Stroud, Robert J.

Assault, 11-10-96.

Bar brawl. Hampton, Virginia.
it's where the broken rib came from.

The charges were dropped.

Turned out Stroud
wasn't the attacker.

Who was?
VAN BUREN: His wife.

Witnesses said that
she started the beef,

then he shoved her,
she threw a punch.

He had 60 pounds on her.
How'd he get a busted rib?

She flipped him over the bar.
Where's her arrest report?

He refused to
press charges.

Bet he'd like to
change his mind now.

I had the watch that night.
I never left the ship.

Can anybody
confirm that?

Lieutenant Slade, Ensign Blackledge,
Machinist's Mate Wilson.

You busted your husband's
ribs a couple of months back.

One rib.

I caught him
with another woman.

Caught him, how?

I knew he was fooling around
again, so I followed him.

She met him at a bar.

What'd they do?

They were all
over each other,

and she knew he was married.
She should've left him alone.

How am I supposed to compete with
the poster girl for the new Navy?

Who're we
talking about?

His pilot. Lieutenant
high-and-mighty Blair.

I wrote a letter of complaint to
the Bureau of Naval Personnel.

They said they'd

All they did was
sweep it under the rug.

Why would they do that?

Please. They spent
$5,000,000 training her.

And she's who they point to when anybody
starts screaming about discrimination.

We're gonna need
to run ballistics

on whatever 9mm guns you
have access to, all right?

You're sure we're talking about the 4th?
That was a Thursday.

Okay, thanks.

She never left
the ship on the 4th.

And if she killed him, she didn't
use any 9mm in the ship's locker.

Round and round we go.

The investigation was assigned
to Commander Halibert,

executive officer of the ship.

Now according to his report, both
Stroud and Blair denied the allegation.

And he just took
their word for it?


Blair said she was
involved with a civilian,

Halibert talked to him,
and it checked out.

How come you didn't tell us all this
stuff the last time we were here?

Look, I don't know where you people
think you're going with this,

but let me tell
you something.

Lieutenant Blair was one of the
first women in US Navy history

to qualify for
night carrier landings.

You think she's gonna screw that
up for some glorified deckhand?

Who's the civilian
she was seeing?

An engineer at GE.

Yeah, I dated her.

What kind of relationship
did you have?

A dating relationship.

Was it serious?

I thought so,
and then she broke it off.

You don't seem too
torn up about it.

I'm failing to see
what makes it your business.

Well, this is
the easy way.

If you'd like to
come downtown...


What is she,
some kind of spy?

The Navy was on
my back for weeks,

and now you guys.

Okay, and I'm not
doing this again.

I dated her for six months.
When she was in New York, we went out.

She broke up
with me last fall.

You told the Navy it was
still going hot and heavy.

She asked me to.

She asked you to lie?

Maybe stretch it
a little.

So why'd she
break it off?

She said she met
the man of her dreams.

She put it that way?
The "man of her dreams"?

She happen to
give you a name?

No. She said it was
somebody on her ship.

I assumed it was
another pilot.

BLAIR: I lied to him.

I didn't want to see him anymore.
He wouldn't leave me alone.

Sol made up a story.

I wasn't seeing
anybody else.

Including Stroud?

Including Stroud.

What'd you do on the 4th?

This is Lieutenant
Commander Mclntyre

from the Judge
Advocate General's office.

You don't have to
answer their questions.

I want to.

I had liberty on the
4th, starting at 1300.

I spent the afternoon
at the Cloisters.

I ate dinner in a cafe
on Bleecker Street.

No, I don't remember the name
of it, and I went to a movie.

CURTIS: What movie?

The Lost World.

At a multiplex
in Times Square.

What time?


Opposite ends of Manhattan,
that's a lot of traveling.

You get any
taxi receipts?

BLAIR: I used my car.

You keep a car
in the city?

At my parents' house.
In Connecticut.

Where is it now?

At a parking garage
on West 38th. Webber's.

CURTIS: You mind if
we examine it?

MCINTYRE: Not without
a warrant.

I think Lieutenant Blair
has cooperated enough.

You want to talk to her
again, go through me.

Looks like the grieving
widow was right

about the Navy protecting
their poster girl.

And about the affair.

You know,
we don't need a warrant

to look at the outside
of the car.

This is it here. She took it out last Thursday.
Yeah, here it is, the 4th.

1:36 p.m.

You remember her?

She's what I dream about.

When did she
bring it back?

Not while I was here.

This is one clean car.

MAN: It was a little dusty
when she took it out.

Here it is.
11:48, same day, p.m.

Hey, Lennie, the tint on this window
is different than the others.

New window?

CURTIS: "Heinrich Muller
Exotic Cars."

M?ller. There's an umlaut.
Heinrich's kind of a stickler for the umlaut.

She told me somebody smashed the
window when it was parked someplace.

She didn't get
any more specific?

You want the truth,
I stopped listening,

I was picturing how
she'd look in leather.

You come to
any conclusions?

There's Jerry.
He worked on the car.

What'd you do with
the broken glass?

I didn't find any
pieces in the track,

but some had fallen
in the panel.

They always do.

How do you know
those are from her car?

Custom tint job.

Now, there was one,
a corner piece,

with the DOT number,
there it is.

No blood?

You sound disappointed.

The bullet that
shattered her window

was fired from
inside the car.

Forensics found powder
residue on the glass.

How do we know
it was her car?

'Cause the mechanic says so.
'Cause the lab says so.

The DOT number matches.

What does she say about it?

JAG won't let us
near her.

Did you check
her alibi yet?

CURTIS: Nobody saw her
at the Cloisters.

We canvassed every eating
place on Bleecker, no result.

None of the employees at the
movie house ever saw her before.

Yeah. And this is a woman
people tend to remember.

CURTIS: She's in the Navy.
Here today, gone tomorrow.

If we don't move
on her now...

Talk to the D.A.
about a warrant.

JACK: I'm not looking for a
debate, Commander Mclntyre.

The court has issued
an arrest warrant,

and I'm giving you
the option of arranging

a time and place
for her to surrender.

Thank you for
your cooperation.

You can pick her up
2:30 p.m. Pier 88.

I've got 2:40.
What've you got?

I got bandits
at two o'clock.

Where's Lieutenant Blair?

I've been instructed
to tell you the Navy

is asserting jurisdiction
in this case.

We have a warrant.

We have Lieutenant Blair.
And we're keeping her.

I've got two Navy
lawyers in my office.

They want all the police and lab
reports for their investigation.

We're not thinking of ceding
jurisdiction, are we?

We're not ceding anything until
we know what We're dealing with.

Book some time
with the grand jury.

Get an indictment.
Murder two.

Cover the bases.

We realize your office has concurrent
jurisdiction with the Navy.

We don't want to get
into a shooting war.

Neither do I.

How do you intend to proceed
against Lieutenant Blair?

Based on her statement, we believe
the shooting was accidental.

She's admitted
shooting Stroud?

She explained the events
to our satisfaction.

Then you won't mind
if she explains them to us.

It will be off the record.

JACK: Absolutely not.

She makes it,
she lives with it.

So you want
a shooting war, after all.

ADAM: We're all
in the same boat.

We don't want to
look too accommodating,

you don't want to
look too secretive.

Lieutenant Blair will repeat the sworn
statement she made to the Navy.

She will answer
no questions.

Stroud told me he and his wife
were going to get a divorce.

The relationship was still
wrong under Navy regulations,

so I won't try to excuse it.

When I found out his wife was
still in the picture, I ended it.

I didn't want to wreck a
marriage or my career.

But he wouldn't
stop seeing me.

I agreed to meet him
one last time.

We had dinner in
Manhattan. Marlowe's.

I told him I wasn't
willing to risk my career

to be with someone
who'd lie to me.

I drove him back to drop
him off near the ship.

He wouldn't get
out of the car.

He said he wanted to keep on, I won't
use the word he used, seeing me.

Said he liked sleeping
with a pilot.

I tried to reason with him.

He drew a gun and
ordered me to drive on.

We stopped on the road above
where you found the body.

He said if I refused to have sex
with him right then and there,

he'd tell the CO
we'd lied about the affair.

I said go ahead.

He opened his door
and ordered me to get out.

I grabbed the gun.

Being forced to have sex is an
experience I don't need to have.

We struggled,
the gun went off,

the bullet zinged by my head
and shattered my window.

We kept struggling.
The second shot killed him.

I've never seen someone die
right in front of me.

His eyes went dead.
There was an awareness, then nothing.

He dropped the gun,
fell out of the car

and rolled down
the embankment.

And you just
left him there?

No questions.

We need to clarify
some points.

Talk to me.


So she climbed
down the embankment

and took his wallet
and his valuables?

The body was lying in the
bushes for quite some time.

Some bum must've
picked him clean.

Where's the weapon?

She threw it off the pier.

LOPEZ: Our divers
recovered it yesterday.

We confirmed it was Stroud's.
He bought it legally in Florida.

JACK: We're not done.
We are.

Lieutenant Blair
came here voluntarily.

One step ahead of
an arrest warrant.

Thank you for coming,

In a struggle with
a guy who's 6'1",

she's the one who's left
behind to tell the story?

Lieutenant Blair committed serious
infractions of military regulations.

She will be disciplined

When our investigation is complete,

we'll know better
where we stand.

Have the police
trace her steps.

Oh, yes, I remember them.

I wanted to go, "Ditch the date,
honey, and come with me."

Yeah, she is
a head-turner.

Not her. Him.

You got his phone number
in your little book?

They don't have
phones where he is.

Did you happen to overhear
any of their conversation?

Mmm. Not really.
My impression was that

she was upset,
he was very masterful.


What time did
they leave?

About 9:30, 9:45.

I offered to hail him a cab, but he
said he had a car across the street.

Do they have phones
where you live?

Yeah, if you want
to talk to my wife.

Hey, he's a fun guy.
You could do worse.

People in uniform all
look the same to me.

This guy was wearing chinos
and a polo shirt, blue,

maybe a tan windbreaker.

You know how many people
I see every day?

This would be between
9:30 and 10:00 on the 4th.

How many people
you see then?

Okay, hang on, that was
last Thursday, right?

I got off at 10:00 'cause I had
to go to the Port Authority,

and the last people
I saw were three drunks

that come from somewhere
they don't speak English

and don't know
what a tip is.

Oh, yeah, I remember them.

Z3, right?

He was saying, "What did you think,
sex has gotta be about love?"

She say anything back?

Don't know,
I went to get the car.

Guy's a real jerk,
but he tips good.

The passenger tipped you?

Well, he snatched the keys away
from her and got behind the wheel.

She was barely in the car

before he squealed out of here like
he was late for his last meal.

She lied again.

JACK: She had to say he was
in the passenger seat.

That's the only way he could've
rolled down the embankment.

ADAM: So he didn't.

She dragged him to the edge,
pushed him over.

This also means both shots
were fired in his direction.

The one that
shattered the window,

and the one that
stayed in his head.


Got our indictment.

ADAM: Good.

Now go arm wrestle
the Navy for jurisdiction.

WAXMAN: You're saying that
the United States Navy,

in order to protect a valuable
officer, would overlook murder.

I'm saying if I chose to, I could
charge Lieutenant Blair with perjury.

If Mr. McCoy has some
facts to share with us,

we'd be more than happy to consider
them in our investigation.

Their investigation amounts to taking
dictation from Lieutenant Blair.

That's ridiculous.

In any event, according
to Solorio v. the US,

the Navy can
assert jurisdiction

over cases involving
its personnel.

We're contending our concurrent
jurisdiction takes precedence.

We're ready to proceed
against Lieutenant Blair

while the Navy's
been dragging its feet.

That's completely inaccurate.
We've recovered Stroud's weapon.

And we've indicted Lieutenant
Blair for murder two.

This is dated
four days ago.

Your Honor,
this is bad faith.

While Mr. McCoy and Mr.
Schiff were stringing us along,

Ms. Ross was tap dancing
for the grand jury.

They must've liked
what they heard.

I'm afraid Lieutenant Blair is going
to have to have a civilian attorney.

"Docket number 77134,
People v. Kirstin Blair.

"Charge is murder in
the second degree."

I see a defendant,
I see a prosecutor,

why don't I see
the defense counsel?

MILLER: I'm right here,
Your Honor.

Though why I'm here and why my
client is here is a mystery to me.

TISDALE: Can we get a plea?

Not guilty, ma'am.

The People request
bail of $250,000.

My client has
a spotless record.

She is a commissioned officer
in the United States Navy.

Her word of honor
should suffice.

We ask that she be ROR'ed.

Her ship is about to
sail for Newport News.

COLEMAN: With your permission,
Your Honor,

I'm Lieutenant
Commander Coleman

of the Judge
Advocate General's office,

and I state for the record

that the Navy will not
remove Lieutenant Blair

from the jurisdiction
of this court.

These are the same people
who don't seem to feel

the Lieutenant's criminal
actions warrant prosecution.

This is a federal writ of
prohibition which bars the Navy

from transporting
or transferring

the defendant
outside the jurisdiction.

Has the D.A. declared war
on the US Navy, Ms. Ross?

Just making sure,
Your Honor.

So noted.

The defendant is ROR'ed

and will not leave
the jurisdiction

without permission
from the court.


Jamie, that writ of prohibition
was a little over the top.

We're finding we need a big stick
to get the Navy's attention.

Careful where you step.

I'm a Lieutenant
in the Reserves.

I was in the JAG office
in the '70s.

Then you know how ridiculous
the Navy's rules are.

I can see why she tried
to cover up the affair.

If she'll come clean now, we can discuss
dropping the charges to manslaughter.

She's not guilty.

(SCOFFS) Come on, Ruthie, every
time she opens her mouth,

another lie pops out.

Look at her statement
to the Navy.

What statement?

The statement
is inadmissible.

My client wasn't
properly Mirandized.

The spirit of
Miranda was adhered to,

the essence of the protection
is embodied in JAG rules.

Under the Uniform Code
of Military Justice,

there is no right
to remain silent,

there is no protection
against self-incrimination.

This is the spirit
of Miranda?

If she'd been arrested
and Mirandized by the NYPD,

she'd still have given the same
self-serving, untruthful statement.

If, if, if. Since that didn't
happen, we'll never know.

No matter how you
slice it, Mr. McCoy,

she was not
properly Mirandized.

The statement
is inadmissible.

Statement or not,
the facts are on our side.

Facts don't win cases.
Make a deal.

I'm not handing Blair
the keys to the city.

I'll give on sentencing, but she
has to plead to murder two.

Why play tough?
At most it's man one.

She acted under
extreme emotional distress.

That's a very
charitable spin.

The fact is, we don't know what
really happened in that car.

She really killed him.
She really lied.

If you weren't so starry-eyed
over the great Kirstin Blair...

What, because I think she committed
manslaughter instead of murder? Come on!

Adam, you want this plea, so
tell me, murder two or man one?

Kirstin Blair is the best thing
to happen to military aviation

since Eddie Rickenbacker.

Her picture is on every
little girl's bedroom wall

right next to Sally Ride.

Your case.

Murder two,

MILLER: Please.

She defends herself
against an armed attacker,

a gun, his gun,
accidentally discharges.

We might go to man one.

You're gonna have to go
all the way down to,

"Oops, sorry, we made a mistake,
we're dropping the charges."

Don't hold your breath.

MILLER: Have you looked at
Stroud's service record?

We've subpoenaed it.
We're still waiting.

The man was a pig.
Come on, Kirstin.

I see. We're going to try the defendant,
you're gonna try the victim.

The victim here is
Lieutenant Blair.

You don't just jump in with an
offer that we haven't discussed.

Excuse me, now I need permission
to join the conversation?

And besides, we did
discuss it, with Adam,

who doesn't seem to feel
we have much of a case.

We can support murder
two on the evidence.

The worst thing the woman did
was get pushed over the edge

by the Navy and
that bastard Stroud.

Every single piece
of evidence we have

contradicts her
version of events.

Damn it!

Here's Stroud's record.

And this is
a summary of Blair's.

Draft a new subpoena.
I want her entire record, warts and all.

Now you're getting paranoid.
Maybe they just believe her story.

Sure, it's a classic
she-said, he-said

except she made sure he wasn't
around to do the he-said.

So now it's a
she-said, you-said.

Lying does not
help her credibility.

If the Navy's rules
about adultery

and fraternization
weren't so medieval,

she wouldn't
have to lie.

Blair knew the rules!
She didn't have to join the Navy!

Don't you people have a murder
trial starting in 11 hours?

And remember,
it is a murder trial,

not a debate between Gloria
Steinem and George Patton.

JACK: You will hear
a fingerprint expert testify

that the defendant was
in control of the gun.

You will hear
ballistics evidence

that the shooting
was not accidental.

You will hear from witnesses
who overheard conversations

between Mr. Stroud
and Ms. Blair

on the night that
he was murdered.

At the conclusion of the People's
case, you will be convinced

that Lieutenant Blair is guilty
of murder in the second degree.

Lieutenant Blair made two mistakes.
She fell in love with a cad,

and she broke the Navy's
antediluvian rules

romantic involvements.

She knew the Navy applies
those rules capriciously,

different spanks
for different ranks.

A slap on the wrist
for adulterous admirals,

imprisonment for
philandering lieutenants.

She and Mr. Stroud tried
to cover up their affair.

And when Lieutenant Blair
tried to end the deception,

Mr. Stroud showed
his true colors.

He had a gun.
He threatened her with it.

Far from losing control,
she kept her cool

and was able to
withstand his attack.

Mr. Stroud's death
was an accident

for which he himself
bears the responsibility.

You will hear two
versions of this story.

The truth lies in
Kirstin Blair's character.

My parents taught me the essence of
good character isn't about perfection,

it's about owning your mistakes
and learning from them.

She's good.

Special media training.

Let me ask you, Kirstin,

what's it like landing an F-14
on a carrier deck at night?

I mean, that sounds
really scary.

A good pilot doesn't
even break a sweat.

If you're going to just
sit there and worry about

what all could go wrong,
you shouldn't be there.

CHUCK ON TV: Why did you want
to be a Navy pilot?

Where else could I
do what I love doing

while at the same time
defending liberty.

MILLER: This is the kind
of patriotism and dedication

the Navy is willing
to sacrifice, Chuck.

Well, they say they need their
rules about sexual conduct.

This is not about
military necessity.

This is about big government
trying to legislate morality.

Not just in sexual matters, but
in every area of our lives,

including what you can and
can't watch on television.

MAN: We'll continue our...

Get a gag order.

McNEIL: I take it you saw
the Chuck Baxter show.

Ms. Miller seems to favor the
court of public opinion.

MILLER: The jury is
sequestered, Jack.

They're allowed conjugal visits.
You think they don't talk?

They're forbidden
to discuss the case.

I'm going to issue
the gag order, Ms. Miller.

You and your client are
forbidden to discuss this case

with any non-party or non-witness
outside the courtroom.

let's bring in the jury.

She broke it off last fall, she
said she'd found real love,

"everlasting" was the word she
used, with someone on her ship.

No further questions.

Isn't it true you tried to break
off the relationship last summer?


She started getting
kind of possessive.

And it wasn't
that serious for me.

Are you saying that the relationship
meant more to her than to you?

Yes, it seemed that way.

Was she obsessed
with you?

I don't know
about obsessed.

Was she upset when you tried to break
off the relationship with her?


She didn't try to
kill you, did she?


Thank you.
No further questions.

MRS. STROUD: He always
came back to me.

I guess he was
just one of those men

who needed more than one
woman could give him.

At any time, did he talk to
you about Lieutenant Blair?

After I caught
them in the bar,

he told me that she was
the one who had it bad.

He said for him it was just
a fling like the others.

It wasn't serious.

Did you believe him?

Did you ask him to stop
seeing Lieutenant Blair?


Did he stop?


Did he tell you why?

Answer the question,
Mrs. Stroud.

He said that she was better in bed
than me, that she made him hotter.

And you didn't take this as a
serious threat to your marriage?

That's right. Then why did
you file a formal complaint?

Why did you risk publicly
humiliating yourself

and ruining his career
in order to stop the affair?

I don't know.
I was angry at him.

But he loved me. Not her.

I investigated
the alleged relationship

between Lieutenant Blair
and Chief Stroud.

They denied the allegations.

I reminded them both

that the Uniform Code
of Military Justice

prohibits adultery
and fraternization.

And what's the punishment for these kinds
of violations, Commander Halibert?

HALIBERT: The maximum?

Court-martial, dishonorable
discharge, possible prison term.

As a naval officer,

would Lieutenant Blair
have been aware

of these sanctions
prior to her affair?

The Uniform Code
of Military Justice

is required learning
for all naval officers.

And she had
the affair anyway.

Mr. Stroud must've
meant a great deal to her.


No further questions.

You put people in prison for
adultery, is that right?

Outside of the Middle East,

can you name any
civilized society

that puts adulterers
behind bars?

qualified to answer that.

Our rules exist to maintain good order
and discipline within the ranks.

You can't apply civilian
morality to military culture.

What about sexual harassment, is
that an infraction of the rules?

Yes. The punishment depends on
the severity of the offense.

Defense's eight, Chief
Stroud's service record.

Commander Halibert,

how many sexual harassment
complaints do you see in his file?


Does the file indicate

what punishment Stroud
received for his behavior?

I was the one who
imposed the penalty.

He was confined to his ship and ordered
to undergo gender-sensitivity training.

Touchy-feely classes?

Commander, isn't it true

that you were so busy
stamping out adultery,

you let a sexual predator like
Stroud fall between the cracks?

We're in a politically
mandated situation, ma'am.

It's new to us,

but we're making every effort to meet the
expectations of the civilian authorities.

You're doing
the best you can?


Thank you, Commander.

I'm just swatting
at an image.

Swat harder.

I don't have
enough ammunition.

Blair's service record,

Have a pleasant evening.
And good luck.

I love the Navy's idea of unabridged.
Most of it's classified.

Now I'm getting paranoid.

What seems to be missing
are her training records.

She trained at
Miramar Naval Air Station.

I called them, but all I
got was the run-around.

What are they hiding?

Beats me.

But I did get the names
of the training personnel

on the carrier
where she got qualified.

This one, Ottenberg, left the
service a few months ago.

He might talk.
I'm tracking him down.

I want him in my office.

OTTENBERG: I was landing signal
officer on the Minnesota.

I was there when Blair
trained for night landings.

If they'd left it up to me, I
wouldn't have qualified her.

Why not?
She had five downs.


Major mistakes. Everybody else,
it's two downs, you're out.

Two? They don't give you
much leeway, do they?

No, sir. You don't want a pilot
that can't land the damn plane.

Why'd they make
an exception for Blair?

They were under orders to qualify
some female pilots ASAP.

This stuff burns me up.

Qualifying female pilots?

No, ma'am.
Qualifying bad pilots.

She's that bad?

She got better,

but she's never
gonna be an F-14 pilot.

You think I'm wrong,
listen to this.

I kept it to cover my ass,
and I'm glad I did.

I felt I could no longer wear the
uniform while lying to my superiors.

MILLER: How did Mr. Stroud
take the rejection?

BLAIR: He got very angry.

He told me to take
the wheel and drive. I did.

Were you afraid of him?

I can take care of myself.
I just didn't want to pour salt in the wound.

MILLER: What happened next?

He pulled a gun
and had me stop on the road.

He told me to
get out of the car.

When he turned away to open
his door, I grabbed the gun.

We struggled.
The gun went off twice.

One bullet shattered the driver's
window and the other killed him.

Did you intend
to shoot him?


It was an accident.

The impact of the bullet had
knocked him out of the car.

I went to see if
he was badly hurt.

He was dead.

MILLER: What did you do then?

BLAIR: I drove off.

Why did you do that?

I left the scene to
report the accident.

I headed back towards the ship
but by the time I got there,

I started to see how unlikely
it was I'd be believed.

I've seen what happens to
women who try to fight back.

The system is stacked against
us, especially in the military.

That seems cold.

BLAIR: I've been trained to make
quick, calculated decisions.

In this case,
I made a very bad decision,

one I'll be sorry for
for the rest of my life.

I can't excuse it, but I truly
thought I would not be believed.

And, in fact, you were
right, weren't you?

Well, I'm here.

Thank you.

It is your contention,

on the night of
Mr. Stroud's death,

you were breaking
up with him?

The man you described
as your everlasting love?

The man of your dreams?

Yes, I broke up with him.

We've heard testimony
from a waiter

and a parking lot attendant that
contradicts your story. Were they wrong?

They didn't hear
the whole discussion.

Mr. Stroud humiliated you.
You must've been angry.

I have been trained
to control my emotions.

Under all circumstances?
They never break free?

No, they don't.

You never lose control?

You want to know
how I conduct myself,

take a look at
my service record.

When you do what I do, losing
control is not an option.

You lose control, you die.

People's 17.

This is a recording

of US Navy training
flight number 001954,

the carrier Minnesota.

Do you recall that
flight, Ms. Blair?

Your Honor, I renew my objection
to this so-called evidence.

So noted.
Go on, Mr. McCoy.

Do you know
what's on this tape?

I'll refresh your memory.

The voices you'll hear belong to
Lieutenant William Ottenberg,

landing signal officer
on the carrier Minnesota,

and to Lieutenant Blair

in an F-14 on approach
for a night landing

on the carrier
off of San Diego.

Blair, you're next in line.

BLAIR: Negative, I'm not.

OTTENBERG: Check your lineup, Blair.
Watch the meatball.

BLAIR: I can't do this!
I can barely see the deck lights.

Keep your scan moving.

I can't! I'm gonna crash!

OTTENBERG: Right for lineup.

BLAIR: I can't do it!

Wave off Wave off

BLAIR: Oh, my God!
OTTENBERG: Raise your gear, raise your gear.

BLAIR: I'm trying. Oh, God!

burner, burner.

OTTENBERG: Fifty-four, what's your status?

BLAIR: I can't do this,

Hand me off to Miramar.

OTTENBERG: Bring her
back around. You can do it.

BLAIR: No. Hand me off
Let me make a ground landing.

OTTENBERG: This is a
training flight, Lieutenant.

You already know how
to make ground landings.

BLAIR: Yeah, because I had good
trainers, not morons, like you.

Cool it, Lieutenant.

BLAIR: You screw me over,

I'm gonna rip you
a new one.

Did you rip him a new one?

I filed a report.

Was this your first attempt
at a night landing?

No, it was my third.

How many years have you been
in the Navy, Ms. Blair?


This recording was
made six months ago.

At what point did you learn

the steely control of your
emotions you alluded to earlier?

McNEIL: Ms. Blair?

She doesn't have to answer,
Your Honor.

No more questions.

This morning
Kirstin Blair allocuted

and pled guilty to the charge of
manslaughter in the first degree.

Judge McNeil imposed sentence
of twelve-and-a-half-to-25,

as agreed to by the district
attorney's office and Ms. Blair.

Did she admit she
killed him deliberately?

I think the guilty
plea speaks for itself.

Not necessarily.

Ms. Blair! Ms. Blair!
Kirstin! Kirstin!

why'd you cop a plea?

When you have the US Navy

and the authorities of the
New York State government

aligned against you in
pressing an unjust charge,

well, sometimes concession
is the better part of valor.

Our training methods
undergo constant evaluation,

but in any
large organizations,

things sometimes
fall through the cracks.


So, it's man one.
You were right.

If you're trying to make
me feel better, thanks.

It's like finding Amelia
Earhart flew to Bakersfield

and hid out
for 50 years.

I got over Pete Rose.