Deceiver (1997) - full transcript

Textile company heir Wayland is accused of murder of a prostitute named Elizabeth, whose body was found cut in two in the park. The murder is investigated by tough detective Kennesaw and his less experienced partner Braxton. Wayland is a heavy drinker and compulsive liar, he is prone to memory losses and periods of heavy violence. He is rich enough to access necessary information, and he gets the interrogators' own dark secrets - Kennesaw is angry about affairs his wife had and had let off steam with Elizabeth, and Braxton has gambling debts with Mook, who is demanding payment.

I'm cutting across the park,
just below the reservoir.

It was a nice night.
I felt like walking.

I met a girl
on the path I knew.

This way.

We had a brief conversation,
then I continued on.

I never saw her again.

Take a seat.

This is a polygraph test
for murder, Mr. Wayland.

Nerves are expected.

Do we have an understanding?

There's nothing,
nothing at all...

that should make you

What's he doing here?

He's my colleague.
Is he bothering you?

You didn't mention anyone else.

Do you want him to leave?

No. I'm fine.

If at anytime you feel like--

No, I--I'm fine.

Very well.

Take a second.
Clear your thoughts.

We'll start when
your readings normalize.

Are you known
to your friends...

as James Walter Wayland?

Most of them
just call me Wayland.

Yes or no to
the questions, please.

Are you known to your friends
as James Walter Wayland?


Between the ages
of fourteen and nineteen...

did you ever tell a lie?

I'm not talking about the kind
of lie like when you...

tell your wife
she's a good cook.

I'm talking about
malicious lies, devious lies...

lies that deliberately
conceal the truth.

Do you understand
the difference?


Between the ages
of fourteen and nineteen...

did you ever tell a lie?


On a written statement...

concerning the events
in question on March 18...

did you tell the truth?

Yes, I did.

A simple yes or no.


Did you lie on any part
of your written statement...

concerning the events
of March 18?

No, I did not.

You got a Princeton
education, right?

Pretty smart guy?

That's what they tell me.

Well, then how come
Braxton here's...

got to tell you three times,
you only answer yes or no?


Got it.

Here we go again.

Did you lie on any part
of your written statement...

concerning the events
of March 18?


-Is today Wednesday?

I said is today Wednesday?


Did you kill
Elizabeth Loftus?


OK, take a breather.
I got to grade this thing.

I'll be back in five minutes,
and we'll do it again.


You don't want
to get convicted...

on one test, do you?

I guess not.

Mind if I smoke?

I don't care what you do.

What do you think?

I don't know. Long shot.

I believe in me.

Hey, things happen.
Don't worry about it.

I just want you to know...

I've been thinking
about what you did.

Let's not mention it.

You know, it's true
what they say about you.

-What's that?
-You're a saint.

You're a fucking saint.

Well, I'm glad you're finally
starting to realize that.

I appreciate it, though.

You saved my ass.

Well, I was down, right...

so I bet a long shot,
a forty-to-one to show.

Goddamn horse pulled
out of the gates...

like a fucking hurricane.

So I'm a winner, right?
Well, I call my guy.

Son of a bitch
has the gall to tell me...

that's not the horse I bet on.

Don't pay him.

It's not that simple.

Can you believe that shit?

The bookie's saying
it's me owing them.

I argue, but the bitch
wouldn't budge.

So I went over.

We ain't even.

You want to know why?

Because I don't pay out rats,
and you're a rat, Brax.

You don't pay out
to winners, you're done.

Is that a fact?
Hold on a second.

Bring him in.

How are those girls
of yours doing?


You recognize this guy?

Jesus, Jebby.

I'm sorry, Brax.


You were going
to fuck me, Brax.

You know how I know?

Because you bet on
a fifty-to-one horse and won.

Guys like you don't bet
on long shots and win, Brax.

So I made a few calls.

Sure enough, Jebby tipped you.

Now, you either
pay me 20,000 by Monday...

or Auntie Mook
is going to take...

your little girls out
for some ice cream.

So Mook stiffed you, right?

I mean stiffed.

What then?

I told her we'd been
looking the other way...

for a long time.

You did?

Real smart.

Jesus, Ken,
you help me out here...

and I swear to God,
I'll never ask you...

for anything
as long as I live.

How much?


Ten now, ten later.
Twenty total.

But I'm only
asking you for ten.


Collect yourself, Wayland.
We're going to try it again.

You think I'm lying.

We've only done one test.
It's too early to tell.

But you think something's
wrong, don't you?

I can see it in your face.
Something's bothering you.

You're a little jumpy,
aren't you?

Look, there were some
inconsistencies in your test.

That's not uncommon
on the first run.

Just relax.

It's a lie detector test,

Everybody gets a little
nervous on these things.

My partner and I
have administered...

enough of these tests
to know the difference...

between a guy who's got
short nerves and a liar.

Do you consider
yourself intelligent?


Are you smart?

Do you think of yourself
as a smart man?

Well, as smart as
the next guy, I guess.


What makes you think this?

I mean, what gives
you the right...

to decide whether or not
I'm a truthful person?

You don't seem particularly
insightful to me.

Bet you didn't
even make it out...

of community college.

Look at it this way, Wayland--
you ain't got a choice.

Trust me, son, I'm qualified.

Well, that's comforting.

Hey, hon, listen, I'm going
to be late tonight.

Braxton's a little new
at this stuff.

Come on, you don't
have to bring that up.

He'll pay us back.

Look, the guy got himself
in a little jam...

and I helped him out,
that's all.

What do you mean
how do I know?

It's called trust,
remember that?

Now, like I mentioned before...

I got some strange readings
on the character questions...

but those questions were asked
at evenly spaced intervals...

so the disturbances
could have been caused...

by some rhythmic
function of the body...

such as blinking
or swallowing...

so this time, try not
to blink or swallow.

Got it?

No blinking, no swallowing.

Got it.

OK, James.

Are you known
to your friends...

as James Walter Wayland?


Between the ages of twenty
and your present age...

did you ever tell a lie?

-Excuse me?

Yes. I said yes.
I told lies at that age.

Between the ages
of fourteen and nineteen...

did you ever tell a lie?

So I was down
at the bank today...

and guess who I bumped into.

Your coach--Colston, right?

So I asked him, I said,
"How is my son's game coming?

"Is he hustling?"

He looked at me
with a blank stare.

So I asked him again.
"What I mean is...

"is he kind of fitting in
with his teammates?"

What do you think he told me?

I've never been so
goddamned embarrassed...

in my entire life.

Oh, you're something.

"Hey, how is practice
going, James?"

"Oh, great, Dad."
"Scoring a lot of points?"

"Oh, yeah, Dad, lots of points."

You get up when
I'm talking to you!

Don't you have
any self-respect?

What are you crying for?
You're the one who lied.

He knows what he did, James.


Wake up, Wayland.

Between the ages of
fourteen and nineteen...

did you ever tell a lie?


Did you lie on any part
of your written statement...

concerning the events
of March 18?

Yes. A small part, I guess.

-Yes or no?

Is today Wednesday?

Is today Wednesday?

You all right?

All right,
if you need a break...

take a minute, go to the john.

Phil, go with him.

Hey, Brax, need some help?

Shut up.

What are you going
to do, wipe my ass?

No, I'll let you
do that on your own.


What did you say?

Not a thing.

Make it quick.




I don't like this guy.

All right.

Let me take it for a minute.

Feeling better?

A little.

Good. Shake it off.
It happens sometimes.

You've done this
a lot, haven't you?

Yeah, I have.

See, everybody gets
nervous on these things.

It's just the nature
of the beast.

You're gonna get the shakes
whether you're a necrophiliac...

or a crossing guard.
I mean, who wouldn't?

Hell, I had a guy once
who was so jittery...

tests looked like
a damn Rorschach.

And his crime wasn't
even that serious.

Larceny. Maybe 1,000 cash.
But he failed every test.

Did he do it?

No. He was just nervous
as hell, that's all.

Turns out he had been
set up by his own cousin.

He went to prison
anyway, right?

Briefly. No, wait.

Yeah, he did go.

Every time he
came up for parole...

they'd give him
a new polygraph.

Poor bastard would
fail it every time.

Problem was, he didn't
have anything to do...

but sit in his cell
thinking about the next time...

they were going to
slap the wires on him.

No wonder he couldn't
pass the damn thing.

I guess he just...

outthought himself.

Why would you tell me
a story like that?

Like what?

That story's supposed to
make me feel nervous, right?

Nervous? Why would I want
to make you feel nervous?

Looks like you're doing
fine all by yourself.

So that's how
you want to play it.

Look, you're
an innocent man, right?

So what's there to
be nervous about?

Look, it'll be a few minutes
before you settle down.

We'd like to ask you
a few questions in the interim.

About what?

What you lied about
on your statement.

Would you like me to get it?

Well, what I told
those other guys...

was the truth, basically.

Met this girl in the park.
We knew some of the same people.

We had a brief conversation.
That was it.

What did you talk about?

Small talk, totally benign.

We exchanged numbers.
Haven't seen her since.

So what did you lie about?

Well, for one thing,
I was drunk.

-Yeah, drunk.

-How drunk?

And you still remember
what you did?

It's just that I thought...

if I admitted
that I was drunk...

you'd think
I was more of a liar.

It was stupid, I guess.

Why did you come clean?

Well, when you asked me
that question--

did I lie on any part
of my statement--

I got nervous.
It won't happen again.

You know what she
did for a living?

-Never came up.
-What if you had to guess?

No idea.

-What were you drunk on?

-What kind of liquor?
-Hard liquor. Absinthe.

Where did you get it?

How do you get anything
like that? You just do.

You sure that's what it was?

Of course I am.

I've only seen one man...

on an absinthe binge
in my whole career.

one in 20, 21 years.

And I'll tell you what,
it ain't pretty.

-That a fact?
-It is.

A few years back, we get
this call around 4 A.M.

Some artist downtown...

screaming bloody murder
in his apartment...

keeping the rest
of the tenants awake.

So we go there,
we knock. Nothing.

But we know he's in
because we can hear him--

this little whimpering noise.

Ends up we have
to kick in the door...

and there's this guy sitting
in the middle of his floor...

naked, surrounded by
a bunch of lousy paintings...

with no skin on his legs.

Zero. Totally flayed.

In fact, if you breathed funny,
the guy would start yelping.

And he had this little
paring knife in his hand.

And somehow this wacko...

got it in his head that he was
a big, fat Granny Smith apple.

That's right.
Sounds funny, I know...

but it's the God's truth.

Can you imagine, thinking
you're a six-foot apple?

Well, that's what
this moron thought...

and he had pared off
his own skin...

about an inch at a time...

but you know what
the fucked up thing was?

He only had about
a half a bottle...

so I'm not saying here that you
don't think you drank absinthe.

I'm just saying
that if you did...

you wouldn't be able
to finish the alphabet...

let alone sit here and tell me
what you did that night.

What can I say? The guy
can't hold his liquor.

Regular ironclad constitution,
huh, Wayland?

We'll see.

What are these?

Photos of the body.

Why would I want
to see those?

It may jog your memory.

I don't need my memory jogged.
I know what I did.

Look, I know what
you're trying to do.

You're trying to rattle me...

I already told you
everything I know.

No, you didn't.

You say you were
cutting across the park...

just below the reservoir.

It was a nice night,
you felt like walking.

You met a girl
on the path you knew.

You had a brief conversation.
you continued on.

You never saw her again.

That's all that happened.

Just because I got rattled
doesn't mean I--

Nobody's accusing you
of anything.

But you should know,
you're our only lead.

Now, you know your rights.

You got the right to
remain silent and all that.

But your Mirandas--

now, they ain't all
they're cracked up to be.

Talk now, we can help you.
Dick with us, who knows?

You know, this state's
got a gas chamber.

Big, ugly thing, not
twelve city blocks from here.

You lied about being drunk.
Anything else?

No. That's it.

But you also admitted
to telling lies in the past.

Malicious lies.

Well, I have.

But not about this.

About what?

Oh, a lot of stuff.

You know, for example...

I dated this girl
in junior high...

for a couple of years.

I could never get past
the kissing stage.

Used to drive me nuts.

One night, we get wasted.
She passes out on the bed.

I was drunk, I guess,
so I felt her up a little.

She never said anything,
so I just kept going.

Ended up fucking her.
She never remembered a thing.

She started having
these nightmares.

Terrible things.
Of course I knew why...

and I started feeling
really lousy about it...

so I decided to confess.

Only I really couldn't bring
myself to face the girl...

so I thought I'd just
tell her dad.

An incredibly stupid idea
in retrospect.

So I get right to the moment
where I was going to admit it...

and I blame it
on Eddie Givens...

this kid who'd been killed in
a car wreck earlier in the year.

Blamed the whole thing
on the dead guy.

So you're admitting
you're a habitual liar.

No, I'm admitting
I've lied in the past...

on numerous occasions.

What's the difference?

I've lied about a lot of things.
Who hasn't?

I haven't.

Cut the crap.

I'll bet you
a million bucks you have...

and I'm good
for it, trust me.

I'll bet you both have.
Why don't we hook...

one of you two up
to this machine here...

and ask a few
character questions?

Oh, you'd like that,
wouldn't you, Mr. Princeton?

Matter of fact, I would.
You married, Kennesaw?

What did you say?

I said are you married?

Yeah. Seventeen years.

But you've cheated
on her, haven't you?

More than once.

In fact, you've done it
since the very beginning...

even when you were still
in love with her.

I got a million bucks...

says you have sex with
women other than your wife.

What are you doing up so late?

How was Kyra's?


Y'all go out for supper?

Shrimp and grits.

We missed you.

What did you do then?

We just...

went over to her house.

She's thinking about
going back to school.

I called Kyra.

She told me you
left two hours ago.

I am not one of your little
polygraph tests.

I just went for a drive.

Took the top down,
on Bohicket.

Would you get me something
to drink, please?



Here you go.

What are you doing?

Clean that up.


Clean it up!

Right now!

Clean it up.

What are you doing?


Look at me.

What are you doing?

I don't need to listen to this.

You got some nerve.

Put your fucking
wallet up, kid.

What a joke.

You better pray
you're innocent, Wayland.

Yeah, whatever.

Here you go. Let me
get that for you.

Phil, let me see you
outside a minute.

What now?

He's on something.

How do you know?

His pupils aren't contracting.

No shit, because his readings
are flatter than Kansas.

Even when we started to argue?

Especially when he
started to argue.

The guy knows what he's doing.

I'm gonna be nice,
give him an out.

Only a moron wouldn't take it.

Well, Mr. Wayland, looks like...

we've gotten ourselves off
to a pretty rocky start.

So how about we just
clear the slate, OK?

You want to start over?
Christ, what time is it?

No. I'm going to
be honest with you.

We don't have any real reason
to suspect you here.

This is just a routine
interrogation brought on...

by an extremely mundane
piece of evidence.

But you're giving off
all the wrong signals.

You're making us think
you got something to hide.

How so?

Well, look at
your body language.

You're balled up there like you
got a grenade in your crotch.


Well, so, it means
you're defensive...

you're threatened.
It's an instinctual reaction.

I got a cramp.

I just want you
to think about this...

from our point of view
for a minute.

We got a young woman--dead...

murdered in a rather
grisly fashion.

Now, this isn't so uncommon
till you come to consider...

that half of her body was
stuffed in a carry-on bag...

at the train station...

and the other half was in
a trunk at the Harbor Authority.

Fairly uncommon,
don't you think?

Yes. Fairly.

You can imagine the pressure...

this sort of thing
brings about, can't you?

Boss is on my ass,
foaming at the mouth...

for me to slap
a felony murder warrant...

on somebody, anybody.

Yet, despite
our high-tech equipment...

and qualified personnel...

we have relatively
few leads at the moment...

except for a phone number
found in the dead girl's pocket.

Your phone number, Mr. Wayland.


we do a background check.

It turns out that you have
a spotlessly clean record...

that you come
from a good family...

that you graduated
from an Ivy League school.

Unemployed at the moment...

but hey, it happens
to the best of us.

Well, you can imagine our
surprise when it turns out...

that your readings
are a little funky.

Could be nerves,
we think--probably are--

but then you admit
that you're a liar...

almost proud of it.

Then my partner here
notices a funny thing.

Your eyes don't contract...

which can only mean
one thing, Mr. Wayland--

you're on drugs.

And the only time
someone takes drugs...

during a polygraph is
so that Mr. Braxton here...

can't get an accurate reading.

And the only reason
someone would do that...

Wayland, my friend...

is if they have
something to hide.

So help us out.
Help yourself out.

What are you not telling us?


there's a lot of things
I'm not telling you.

I'll tell you what--

you can plead the fifth
if you want to...

but once I walk
out of this room...

I'm going to write up
this interrogation...

the way it looks...

and it is starting to
stink just a little bit.

Now, you sure you want that?


That's what I took
in the bathroom.

That's why my pupils
don't react.

-What's it for?

I suffer from
temporal lobe epilepsy.

-I'm not a well man.
-No shit.

Either of you ever seen
an epileptic attack?

That's what I thought.

Even know what causes one?

It's OK.

I want you to.

You do want to, right?

Give me your hand.

What's wrong?

I mean, you're not even...
I'm sick of this.

You can't even fuck, can you?

Stop it.

You're scaring me!
Stop it!

Stress, Mr. Kennesaw
and Mr. Braxton.

Stress causes one,
and I'd say...

polygraph test for murder...

is a pretty goddamn
stressful situation...

especially with
Mr. Creepy over here.

So if I seem a little
off-kilter to you two...

it's par for the course.

Rather than have
a seizure right here...

in your interrogation room...

and soil myself and vomit
all over your machine here...

I decided to go to the bathroom,
take a few of these.

Prevents seizures.

Go look it up
in your Funk & Wagnalls.

-I'm leaving.
-Not finished.

You know,
it's ironic, isn't it...

that someone who tells
the truth about lying...

is more suspect than someone
who actually lies about it?

But the machine's foolproof.

I can guarantee you
ain't gonna fail it...

for being honest.

The machine only measures
how fast I breathe...

how much I sweat,
what my heart rate is.

What's that got to do
with the truth?

The real lie detectors,
that's you two...

which I find
pretty damn hypocritical.

This man's given thousands
of polygraphs, Wayland.


How many have you
given, Braxton? Ten?


Oh, Jesus Christ.

That's what I thought.

This thing, it ain't
some deus ex machina.

It can't give you the truth
wrapped up with a bow.

Truth, that's in here.

And it's going to take more
than a couple beat cops...

with a souped-up
blood pressure machine...

to crack that.

You know, if you're
telling the truth...

you want this machine to work.

You want to be
declared innocent.

But you're holding out
on us, Wayland, for now.

Have a nice day.

I'd be careful if I were you.

You come looking, you might
not like what you find.

Well, what do you think now?

I think maybe not
such a long shot.

Shitty physical evidence.

No witnesses. Just
a rich, weird spastic.



Have you had
a long day, honey?

Well, you seem
awfully distracted.

We'll have fun outside.

You know, we have...

the Triberian Society
function tonight...

and I know you think
it's silly, but...

it's a tradition, and I...

I know it would mean
a lot to Memaw.

You have to get presentable.

I'll wear the black jacket.

-I think the blue.
-The black.

I'm not allowed to have
an opinion anymore.


Can I get some more tea, please?

Yes, you may.

Well, Daddy?

Well, what, baby?

Do I get riding lessons or not?

I don't know.

I don't see why she should
get riding lessons...

when I don't even get football.

Hush up, all of you.

Sit at the table, please.

Your father's had a long day.

Probably busy
catching that man...

who cut that poor
woman in half.

Just let it ring
so maybe we can get...

some peace and quiet
in here for once.

Fine. Yeah. I'll be there.

Got to go.

Where are you going?

To Kyra's. Want to come?

Ever been
to a shrink before, Brax?

Shut up.

Maybe I should tell you
a little story...

so you have a better

of what you're dealing with.

Now, you do know who
Vincent van Gogh was?


Yes. Painter.

So you know the story
about his ear.


Van Gogh got snubbed
by a hooker...

so he whacks off his ear...

and gives it to her
as a valentine.


that's the usual
story they tell...

but that's not exactly
what happened.

You see, van Gogh
was an epileptic.

Like our friend Wayland, he had
a fondness for absinthe.

Not such a good combination
because, you see...

absinthe is an epileptogenic.

Just a few sips of that,
and a guy seizes in seconds.

Well, with temporal
lobe epilepsy...

which is what van Gogh had--

which is what
our friend Wayland has--

a seizure can be very subtle.

It's like a--just a simple
change in personality.

So in this state,
you could pass a polygraph...

black out what you know?

Yeah. Quite possibly, yeah.

How do you know what's going
to trigger an attack?

He might have a tic,
maybe a nervous twitch...

or blinking of the eyes.
But you never know.

-Finish the story.

Well, one bright early morning,
we find van Gogh...

standing in front
of his mirror, shaving.

Now, he's got an early start...

because it's after
his second toddy.

And his supposed lover,
fella by the name of Gauguin...

another painter...

informs Vincent that
he's leaving him.

Well, this
so enrages Vincent...

that he stumbles
down the stairs in a trance...

twirling his straight razor...

and he screams at the top
of his lungs...

"I'm going to kill you!"

Well, Gauguin just
looks at him and says...

"Why don't you kill
yourself instead?"

Whereupon Vincent
gives Gauguin...

a quizzical look and
slices his own ear off.

Now, Vincent's still in a daze,
picks the ear up...

and he gives it
to a prostitute.

He doesn't know her,
no explanation.

Just gives her an ear.

Now, that's the kind
of behavior...

a fellow with T.L.E.
jacked up on absinthe...

can distribute.


Just don't forget the feeling
this guy gives you.

People with temporal
lobe epilepsy...

make your skin crawl
for a reason.

If you think he's
being seized...

even if you suspect it...

you treat him
like you would a...

strange dog in an alley.

Don't initiate any
casual conversation...

and don't stare him
in the eye.

Don't touch him.

Whatever you do,
don't turn your back on him.


have you come
to a conclusion?

I'm not going
to take the position.

Not just yet.

I see.

James, what is it you want
to do with your life?

Well, I want to do good.

What kind of good?

For my fellow man.

I want to do good
for my fellow man...

leave this world a better place
than I found it.

Goddamn it, you pompous ass!

You've had every
advantage in life...

and all you've done
is take advantage.

I'll tell you what you can do--
you can get the hell...

out of my house,
and I mean that.

Look, you stop eating my food.

Get out of my house.

Martha, take his plate.

I said take his plate!

Hi, Mom.

What's the matter with you?

"When seizing,
temporal lobe epileptics...

"often carry out some
fairly complicated behavior...

"while unconscious
or in a trancelike state."

"They may stand on furniture
or try to undress...

"or seem frightened."

"Some become
uncharacteristically aggressive.

"Such actions are rarely,
if ever, recalled."

Come on, Will.

Come on.

Kids are asleep.

There's no one
here to bother us.



it's been weeks.

It's not my fault.


I want you to be rough.

What are you talking about?

I'm talking about
trying things.

Come on, Will.

I thought you were the one from
the wrong side of the tracks.

Who are you?

I want to feel alive.
I want to be fucked.

Anything. I want to wake up.

Ain't you woken up
enough already?

You in there?

Of course I am.
Good to see you, Phil.

Well, here it is, anyway.

There's only ten here, Phil.

That's half,
goddamn it, Frank.

Who do you think I am--
Donald fuckin' Trump?


Look, ten grand ain't
exactly chicken feed.

I know. I know.

It's a bad situation.
Look, I'll talk to Mook...

but I'm not making
any promises.

-She wants twenty.
-She knows I ain't got it.

Don't shoot the goddamn
messenger, for Christ's sakes.

These guys been around
this town a long time.

They're ingrown.
They sure as shit...

ain't gonna let some
penny-ante flatfoot...

deal them a card from
the bottom of the deck.

Mook wants her money.
You just got to get it to her.

There's no getting around it.

Who the hell does that
rich cunt think she is?

Easy! It's nothing
to get upset about.

Nothing to get
upset about, Frank?

I'm broke.

I don't know how I got
myself into this.

Will you pray for me?


You're still
a priest, ain't you?

Oh, yeah, right.

Anything. A Hail Mary or--

Whatever you want, Phil.
May God be with you.

You see this?

They broke it.

I'm surprised it
took them this long.

Did you talk to anybody?

Still nothing hard.

What did the chief say?

What do you think he's saying?

I'm in deep, Will.

Didn't you make the payment?

I did. They want the full thing.

Smashed my fucking
window last night.

Thank God my little
girls weren't home.

I'm not a rich man, Phil.

Oh, Jesus, Will, I know.
I'm not asking you.

You already done enough, man.

You really did.
And I appreciate it.

Maybe he can help you out.

He's our boy.

Now, here's what I
want you to do today.

If he looks like
he needs a friend...

you be his friend.

Crack a joke,
give him a cigarette.

If he starts talking
about his family...

I want you to put
your arm around him...

tell him the same shit...

went down on you,
you understand me?

You hear me?

Because he ain't
gonna roll on himself...

not without a little help.

Come on. Let's go.

Play cards, Wayland?


You want to?

Yeah. Let's.

I got a good game.
You pick a card.

Don't tell me what it is.
Remember it.

When I ask you
which one's your card...

I want you to say no every time.

Why are we doing this?

See what kind of liar you are.

-Got one.

Is this your card?


Is this your card?


Is this your card?


Is this your card?


Too obvious?


How about that one?


Sure, it is.

No, I'm serious.
That's not my card.

Mine was the ace of spades.

You picked the ace?

It was so crazy, I thought
it just might work.

Trying to put one
over on us, Wayland?

That's the point
of the game, isn't it?

Let's see if you
know this one, Wayland.

Cutting across the park
just below the reservoir.

It was a nice night,
and I felt like walking.

I met a girl
on the path I knew.

"I met a girl on
the path I knew."

Seams are starting
to show, Wayland.

The only thing showing...

is your desperation
for a suspect.

I didn't know her.

It says here that you did.

-Am I under arrest?
-Do you want to be?


But you said you knew her.

Slip of the tongue.
Fact is, I didn't.

I thought everyone read them.

Why? Don't you think it's
a little morbid?

Wilton Smith, father of four,
worked for 27 years...

cleaning lint from
various garments.

Loved by all.

The obituaries.
Are you kidding?

My favorite part of the paper.

You're kind of weird,
James, you know that?

I have been briefed, yes.

Reading the obituaries.
It's kind of weird.

Being a stripper
is kind of weird.

What choice did I ever have?

I've been trying to figure
that one out for years.

Are you the way you are
because you choose to be?

Can you choose?
Is there a providence...

in the fall of a sparrow?

Or does the nature
of consciousness...

trick you into believing
that there is free will...

when there is really not?

Buddhists don't even
believe in a soul.

No I, comma, Wayland.

No thinker behind the thought.

You always talk like
this, don't you?

No. I sometimes imitate people.

Really? Like who?

Like myself.

Watch. This is my best Wayland.

Like myself.

When you were little...

did you ever wish
you were invisible?

So I could look up
little girls'...

dresses and stuff
if I wanted to.

And so that I could steal
stuff if I wanted to.

You know, when you
said that just now...

when you admitted
to having those thoughts...

I looked in,
and you looked in...

and we could see each other.

We saw each other.

And you're good.

Hooker with a heart of gold.

You're weird, James.

Weird but not good.

No, you're good.
Yeah, you're good.

-I am?
-I think.

You're sure?

'Cause I don't know...

whether I'm good or bad.

How about that?

You're lying...

so there ain't but
one thing left to do--

go through the story
again, bit by bit.

I already told you the story.

Well, I want to hear it again.

Then I need to see
my statement.


What, I can't see
my statement?

No, you can't.

Then you can't hold me
to the thing...

if the stories don't match.

Why not?

Because I was drunk
when I gave it.

-You were drunk?
-I'm an alcoholic, Braxton.

Hadn't you figured that out
from your psych profile?

I'm an epileptic alcoholic,
but I'm not a liar.

I think you are.
I think you knew her, too.

Haven't seen you since
the Yale game, buddy.

Haven't seen you at all.

Who's your friend?

I know none of these people.

None of these people.

Out of my way.


This is Mrs. Elizabeth Loftus.

It's so nice of you to come.

I told you I didn't know her.

From the beginning, Wayland.

Never make a fool
of me again!

I was in my father's office.

We'd been in a heated argument.
I was pissed.

What kind of argument?

You are not my son!

The argument with my father
is not relevant.

Don't be stubborn.
I know what it's like.

Same shit went down on me.

You don't have
the slightest notion...

what I've been through,

You've been fighting for
table scraps your whole life.

How do you know?
You there?

I know he was
a goddamn security guard...

for Christ's sakes.


And I know that you're a slob
but that you mean well...

but you'll never
quite make the grade...

because you're too stupid.

And I know you got
a gambling problem.

Now, just who do you think
you're dealing with here?

You think I don't know
about both of you?

I am rich, loaded,
filthy with it.

What's the matter, Braxton?

10,000 bucks--I can
blow that on an afternoon...

but to you,
it's your whole career.

I mean, Jesus,
what would you have done...

if Kennesaw hadn't
bailed you out?

How the--how'd you know
about that?

You want to make
a deal, Braxton?

I'll give you some cash,
you get me off the hook.

Time to deal with the devil.

What a prick.

Shut up, Kennesaw.

You'll never
get your money back.

You really think that I
would need to bribe you?

I have nothing to hide.
I am innocent.

So, let's just
keep going, shall we?

How the fuck did you know that?!

Don't be paranoid, Braxton.
Just do your fucking job!

I entered the park.

But you met her
near the reservoir.

I walked a long way.
That a crime?

As I got nearer
the reservoir...

I saw this girl
beneath the street lamp.

She was well-dressed.

We spoke. She said she
was waiting for someone...

but that she thought
she'd been stood up.

She was a working girl.

Oh, really?
I didn't know.

She seemed more like
a debutante to me.

I want you to back up, tell me
the exact conversation.

I approached the girl.
She said...

Do you have the time?

"Yeah," I say. "It's 10:50."

Goddamn it.

...she says.
"What's wrong?" I ask.

Son of a bitch stood me up.

"You want me
to rough him up?" I say.

I'm a joker sometimes.

You don't know him.

...she says.
I laugh a little.

"I know a lot of people,"
I tell her.

Charles Warrington.

...she says.

Told you you didn't know him.

"But I do know him, see.

"He's a C.E.O. of a selective
investment firm...

"a firm that only handles
the accounts...

"of extremely wealthy
families, like mine.

Charles Warrington III," I say.
"I know his father, too."

So your wallet's fat.
So what?

...she says.
I shrug, playing it off.

Do you have a cigarette?

"You want to go
get a drink?" she says.

"I'll have to rain-check,"
I tell her.

"I'm not in the mood."

God, I'm dying for a cigarette.

"How can I reach you
to cash it?" she asks.

I pull out a piece of paper
and write down my number...

and then I hear
footsteps on the path.

Who was it?

I said I heard footsteps and
music coming from somewhere.

It was a song...

by that band.
What was their name?

What was their name?

Mr. Wayland.

Mr. Wayland,
we're not done yet.

Mr. Wayland.

Don't talk to him.

Don't touch him.

Don't touch him, Will.

All right, OK, now,
come on. Let's go.

We need some guys in here!

I've got him !

Get the cuffs on him !

Hold him !

Get his arm back!

Whoa. This is
classic stuff, Phil.

Now, you see that,
when he starts to seize?

You see that? Look.

The guy might
as well be on Mars.

Whoops. Shouldn't
have touched him.

Definitely not.

I warned you about that.

He bruised a rib,
cracked his cheekbone.

That "history of violence" slant
just won't fly, Phil.

I mean, when Wayland
starts to seize...

he might as well
be Joe Christmas.

Neurons are going berserk.

He'll imagine things
that he's never done...

fantasize that he's
the Queen of England...

and he hears voices.

It's all chemical, Phil.

Now, if you want
to lock him up...

you better find proof
he's done something wrong...

because right now,
all you have is...

a telephone number and this...

and this doesn't prove a thing,
except that...

he is what he told you he was.

It was spectacular,
a singular achievement.

I mean, the faces.

I thought the Tribernians
would go into labor.

Where'd you find that girl
with that stunning gown?

I mean, you weren't
actually with her, were you?

No, no. Of course not.

The ball scene
is just so disgusting.

They should be
exterminated, killed...

castrated, quartered,
hung up on meat hooks.

My God, I'm sick to death
of this place.

Why don't you
just kill yourself?

That would get me out of it,
but I would only do it...

if I could stick
around long enough...

to see their faces.
Can you imagine?

My mother reviling herself
for all the years of abuse.

My father throwing himself
prostrate on my grave.

I hate hymns, though,
organ music.

No, mi vita, we are trapped.
There is no exit...

Where'd you find that girl
in that stunning gown?

Hey, Boogie.

Well, if it isn't
God's lonely man.

A real high roller,
ladies and gentlemen.

Don't get me wrong.

I love a guy who's
willing to take a chance.

How are they treating you?

Braxton's the genius.

He bought the setup all the way?

Sucker born every minute.

Can I ask you a question
if it ain't too personal?

Well, if it is,
I won't answer it.

Why are you doing this?

You know the story...

about the Greek river
of death, the Lethe?

The story goes that if you
drank from this river...

your memory would be
completely annihilated...

no recollection at all...

and I like to forget.

Hey, you do what you got to.

You pop a couple
of these in your mouth...

you ain't gonna remember dick.

You be careful, though.

That shit will
put you into a coma.

Well, that's the idea.

We got a young woman...

murdered in a rather
grisly fashion.

Now, this isn't so uncommon
until you come to consider...

that half of her body was
stuffed in a carry-on bag

at the train station...

and the other half
was in a trunk...

at the Harbor Authority.

Fairly uncommon,
don't you think?

This is Mrs. Elizabeth Loftus.

Hey, you remember
when we were...

in the bathroom
at your folks'?

And then you introduced me
to your parents.

And then you
started laughing.

I've never seen you
laugh like that.

But it wasn't
real laughing, huh?

It wasn't real, huh?

And you kind of
surprised me...

because I'd never
seen you be cruel.

Do you know what
the worst thing is?


You hope that
the person you're with...

will make things better...

because you're with them,
and that's what love is.

But people are me.
When I go to bed at night...

I close my eyes and
go to sleep. I'm alone.

And when I die,
it'll be the same thing.

Just me.

See? It's hope that
makes you sad, Wayland.

It's hope that makes you sad.

You know, that's
the difference...

between you and me.

Because I don't hope.

Phil Braxton,
it's James Walter Wayland.

I think it's time
for a confession.

Monday at 6:00, the usual place.

Good evening, gentlemen.


I trust you're both well.

Sorry about what happened, Ken.

To tell you the truth...

I don't remember
a hell of a lot of it.

Today's the day, huh, Wayland?

Come again?

That we get the truth.

I agree.

I've been doing a lot
of thinking, gentlemen--

about myself, about who I am,
about what I am--

and I have
a confession to make.

Do you mind?

Not in the slightest.

Are you both comfortable?

Very well. I'll begin.

Not long ago, a 44-year-old
successful professional...

consulted a psychiatrist,
complaining of sleeplessness...

tension, headaches,
loss of appetite.

Why? Because this man--Ken.

Let's call him Ken--
was tormented day and night...

by the conviction
that his wife...

was having an affair
with her physician.

I don't follow.

What does this have
to do with anything?

Patience, Braxton.

Ken was soon convinced
of her infidelity...

and rightfully so.

The usual lies became apparent.

Her eyes grew shifty,
her touch less sincere.

Am I beginning to paint...

a recognizable picture,
Mr. Kennesaw?

You fuckin' bastard.

What's going on here?

Hang on, Braxton.
This gets better.

As you may know, Ken married
an extremely beautiful woman.

I mean, you have to
hand it to him...

he really traded up,
married way out of his league.

Poor son of an electrician--

it was an electrician,
wasn't it, Ken?--

bucks the odds and brings home
the beauty queen...

but deep down, I think Ken must
have been a little worried...

being outclassed and all.

Then the day Ken dreaded
finally came.

She had an affair
with one of her own...

an obstetrician, no less,

Ken's worst nightmare
come true...

but instead of throwing
the whore out onto the street...

Ken turned the other cheek
and forgave her.

That's very noble, I suppose.

Only it wasn't because Ken
was such a saint...

it was because he knew...

he would never get
someone like her again.

I mean, shit,
what's he gonna do?

So old Ken stews,
all full of hate--

at himself for being weak,
at her for being easy.

All that anger
with nowhere to go.

Sooner or later,
it had to pop...

and in Ken's case,
it manifested itself...

in his sexual conduct...

with prostitutes, no less.

A tape of such conduct
I have here.

What did you say?

I said, "A tape
of such conduct I have here."

Hey, baby, you ready to start?


Just stand up there a minute.

All right.
Hey, baby...

why am I wearing this
dress again, sweetie?

Never mind.
It's your money.

Now welcome me home.

Welcome home, darling.

Don't kid.
Do it.

Welcome home.

Do it right!

I'm trying.

Welcome home.

Did you hear me?!
I said do it right!

What do you want me to do?

Darling, you'll have to
get off me.

You're hurting me.

I'll do it right.

I ain't gonna tell you again.

I'll just be a second.


You know what?

I think our
little game is over.

No! You've got to do it!

No, you got to get out.





Get out!

You did it to him, didn't you?

Didn't you?!

Those mind games
never quite live up...

to one's expectations,
do they, Kennesaw?

Yeah, I did.

I'm sorry, sweetheart.
I'm sorry.

Stop the goddamn tape.

I ought to rip
your heart out!

You want it?

Stop the tape.

I'd say the pathology
involved is self-explanatory.

Did you recognize the woman?

Let me see that again.


I said, did you recognize
the woman, Kennesaw?


It was Elizabeth Loftus,
the girl from the park...

or don't you know
your hookers by name?

Jesus, knew her...

and you didn't say
a fucking thing.

I thought this was a confession.

Well, it is.

I just didn't say for whom.

No, no.

You had your partner here
pretty duped, Ken.

But then...he's so stupid...

I'd imagine it really
wasn't that difficult.

Child's play
for a guy like you.

Your wife, though...

that's a whole new ball of wax.

She seems pretty intuitive.

I bet she suspects you,
doesn't she, Ken?

That you lead a double life,
that you fuck whores.

I bet at home she
goes out of her way...

to be sweet to you...

because deep down,
she's afraid to confront...

the growing horror
that's inside her...

that she may have
married a monster...

and you hate her for it.

Sometimes I bet you even want
to kill her just to end it.

This is fucking absurd.

Luckily, there's an easy way
to find out the truth.

I'm not the one
under suspicion here.

I'd say you are, Ken.

Got some hard evidence,
as the saying goes.

What's on that tape
isn't a felony.

No, but I'd say it establishes
a certain state of mind.

Besides, like you told me,
you're an innocent guy.

So what do you have to lose?

The machine's foolproof,

I don't have anything
to prove to you.

Not to me you don't, no,
but maybe to Braxton.

Phil, you don't think that...

can't you see
what he's trying to do?

Clearly you're a man
who knows how to lie.

You fooled your wife.

Braxton here
actually admired you.

But you can't lie to me,

Not to me or to it.

You're not holding out, are you?

Of course I'm not.

Then what have you got to lose?


Hook me up.

Whenever you're ready.


Are you known to your friends
as Edward William Kennesaw?


Did you know Elizabeth Loftus?


Did you kill
Elizabeth Loftus?

Come on, Ken.
Help us out.

Help yourself out.

Did you kill
Elizabeth Loftus?

Get out!

No! Get away from me!

I'll repeat the question.

Did you kill
Elizabeth Loftus?

No, I did not.

Just answer yes or no
to the questions, please.

Did you kill
Elizabeth Loftus?


I'll rephrase the question.

Did you kill your wife?

Your wife's not dead, Will.

Yes. Well, Ken's
a little confused...

about who his wife
actually is.

Jesus Christ, Will.

It won't get up.
Enough already!

What did you do then?

We just went over to her house.

I'm not one of your
little polygraph tests.

Sometimes I bet you even
want to kill her.

I think you've got
your boy, Braxton.

Me, I'm out of it, permanently.

Am I being understood?

Mr. Kennesaw, I think your
motivation is fairly obvious.

And Mr. Braxton,
you needn't worry...

about your gambling debts,
which I believe were due today.

Sucker born every minute,
huh, Phil?

You got to be kidding me.

So there it is, gentlemen.

I'll take what I know
to the grave.

Things change.
Find a new suspect.

We have a deal?

Very well, then.

Good day, gentlemen.

You're not going anywhere.

Sit down.

I spent three days
in here with you...

and I ain't got
a straight answer yet.

That time is over now.

99% of this world...

isn't comfortable
with a lie, Mr. Wayland...

but you and me...

well, we fall into
that tiny fraction...

who can see beyond all that.

We're at home
with deceit, deception.

There aren't many of us.

I know you have
a secret, Wayland.

I want it.

I'm going to count to three.




Will, listen to me.

If you want to take
him in the alley...

and beat the shit out of him,
I'll look the other way.

Two down.

One, two, three!

Do it.

You're going to have to.




Stay there.

Feel one coming on,
do you, Wayland?

Let me go.

I guess now it's going
to look like self-defense.

Two left. That's 50/50.

It's either true,
or it's false, hmm?

Think about what
you're doing, Will.



-I'll talk.

If you're lying...

I'll kill you.

I will kill you.

Will you give me a minute?

Tell me this, Ken...

do you think
it's better to admit...

that you've done
a little wrong...

and face up
to the punishment...

or to hold a breath...

in hopes of not being
punished at all?

Get to it.

Or do you believe...

there are some people
who just got so fucked...

in the lottery of living...

who feel so offended
by their situation...

that anything
they do after that...

is payback?

You understand that a little,
don't you, Ken?

I knew the girl.

The escort service
that Elizabeth worked for...

was relatively well-to-do.

They weren't cheap girls,
so I'd seen her around.

In fact, I was surprised
Ken here could afford them...

but then, cops can use
their position...

for a lot of things,
I suppose, like gambling.

So I had met her.

I liked her...

liked to hear her talk...

tell stories...

like the one she told me
about Ken here.

She was a hell
of a storyteller, Ken.

But then, you probably
didn't talk to her much.

You see, I never fucked her.

So that's all we did, was talk.

I was with her
the night she was killed.

I'd just fought
with my father...

and I needed
someone to listen...

to feel sorry for me,
and she was good at that.

I went to her apartment,
and we drank the house dry.

I went out for more beer.

I heard a commotion inside...

like someone going out
the back way.

And I entered and...

there was Elizabeth.

There was no sign
of a struggle, so...

whoever it was, she knew him.

And I panicked.

My fingerprints
were everywhere.

I would have been implicated,
or so I thought.

At the very least,
my family humiliated...

the Wayland name ridiculed.

So I made a mistake.

You see, once you've
lied consistently...

you become immune to it.

It becomes second nature,

And being a veteran,
I knew there were...

a lot of ways
to pull off a lie...

and one of them is
to exaggerate a situation...

to such an extent that no one
in their right mind...

could possibly suspect you.

It would just seem
out of character.

You cut her in half.

Yes, I did.

I knew I'd be a suspect.

Forensics would have placed me
there sooner or later...

and it was believable
that a frustrated rich kid...

could strangle a hooker.
God knows, it's happened before.

But it wasn't so believable
that I would cut her in half...

and place the pieces
miles apart.

It would just seem
out of character.

You understand the logic.

So I picked her up,
and I laid her in the tub.

I went into the kitchen.

I got the biggest knife
I could find...

walked back into the bathroom.

I cut her in two.

After that, I don't remember
a hell of a lot.

I started drinking.

Before she was found,
I went back to her place...

and wiped it down.

I really thought
I'd pulled it off...

but I overlooked
my phone number...

which leads us
to our present situation.

Now, you wanted the truth,
and there it is.

I've got something on you...

and you've got
something on me.

The only difference is...

I didn't kill anyone.

-I'm an honest man.

As in you cheating
on your wife?

As in you trying to frame me?

Your whole life is a lie
from beginning to end!

Get a paramedic.


You son of a bitch.

What's the approximate
time of death?


OK, let's get him
out of here.

Coming through.

Son of a bitch was about to get
a goddamn promotion.

I mean, why up and ask
for a transfer now?

Couldn't get along
with Kennesaw, man.

That's what I heard.

Some people can't
get along with anybody.

Now, it is my understanding...

that the deceased
is to be cremated.

Whatever he wanted.

Of course.

We'll handle
all the arrangements.

I love you.

Come on, Ken. Help us out.

Help yourself out.

Did you kill
Elizabeth Loftus?

You lost?

Do I look lost?

Isn't it past your bedtime?

You can get into
a lot of trouble...

being out this late.

That's the idea.