Dragnet (1954) - full transcript
Saturday, April 9: A known bookie named Miller Starkie has been "cut in half" by a sawed-off, double-barrel shotgun. Working out of Intelligence Division, Sgt. Joe Friday and Off. Frank Smith piece together what little evidence they have, interview acquaintances, intimidate witnesses, interrogate suspects to the point of harassment, utilize a Minifon and a wiretap, and testify before the Grand Jury in a tireless effort to catch and convict Starkie's killers.
the story you are about to see is true.
The names have been
changed to protect the innocent.
It was Saturday, April 9.
We were working the day
watch out of Intelligence Division.
The boss is Captain Hamilton.
My partner's Frank Smith.
My name's Friday.
It was 7:29 pm. The second
floor of the old city jail building.
The crime lab.
That'll do it, Ray.
We know he's dead.
What have you got on him, Jim?
a gangland killing. Joe.
Miller Starkie. W.M.A. 44.
LA. Number 106484.
He's an ex-con.
"Bookmaker, gambler, procurer.
One of his last jobs was
collecting bad checks for Vegas.
It's not in the book yet. What have you got,
One impression... right foot,
size nine and a half.
Wide last, rubber heel,
what appears to be a metal cleat on the toe.
- Only got the one?
- The rest weren't good enough to lift. Ground was too hard.
- Can you make him on that?
- When you find the shoe.
- How about the shells? Anything on them?
- 12-gauge Western, four empties.
It's a double-barrel,
or two guns were used.
You can see by these blowups
that on two of the shells...
the firing pin hits
a little off center.
You can see a little better
in this one.
- That's about it, huh, Ray?
- All except the other man.
- You figure two?
- That's right.
What can you tell us about him? Nothing,
but he was there.
According to the physical evidence,
two men, one of them the victim,
entered the field near
Lorna Vista and Third Avenue.
They proceeded diagonally.
Another man entered from up
here... Wentworth and Rachel.
He proceeded in a straight path
to that small hill.
The victim had nice friends.
He was ambushed.
What about the stuff found
on the body? Anything there?
Fifty-seven dollars in cash.
Ticket to the Art Aragon fight.
Looks like a phone number
on the back.
We'll run it down.
What do you think, Jim?
These are his friends.
Bernard Wall. Reputed leader,
West Coast organization.
Answers only to the syndicate.
Narcotics and bookmaking.
No known legitimate occupation.
If it was for business reasons,
you can bet it cleared through him.
- Max Troy.
- High up in the West Coast operation.
Close associate of Bernard Wall.
Number one muscle man. A killer.
Claims he's a sick man.
No known legitimate occupation.
Think he pulled the
string? He knows how.
Here's some more
who might qualify.
Check it out.
The past five years... over 50 arrests,
Pick your charge.
C.C.W., bookmaking, procuring,
narcotics, murder, A.D.W.,
rape and extortion.
You think one of
these four? Maybe.
Unless Troy sent for
an out-of-state killer.
I've got a copy of your
book. Sixty-one men in here.
Most of them have been up
on the same charges.
What makes this half dozen
They're the first team. Anybody gets in trouble,
they squeeze 'em.
You run Intelligence. You
keep tabs on these boys. Yeah.
What about the victim? You
think Starkie was in trouble?
He was at 4:00
Saturday, April 9.7:48 pm.
An immediate meeting was
called by Chief of Police W.H. Parker.
It was over at 8:05.
Present at the meeting were District Attorney,
8. Ernest Roll.
Chief of Detectives, Thad Brown.
From the Division of Occurrence, Lieutenant Ruiz,
Commander, 77th Street Division.
Captain. RA. Lohrman, Homicide Division.
The working team out of Homicide...
Sergeants Jack Gotchand William Tilden.
Captain James E. Hamilton, Intelligence Division.
All days off were canceled.
All officers in the divisions
concerned were placed on standby.
Homicide Division was in
charge of the investigation.
It appeared to be a gangland killing.
Since procuring and cataloging of information
concerning this type of criminal subject...
is the sole responsibility of
the Intelligence division,
we were directed to work with Homicide.
8:55 pm. As a result of
our preliminary investigation,
it was decided that all suspects and their
known associates be brought in for questioning.
Arrests were made quickly in
order to avoid possible collusion.
To ensure maximum privacy,
one floor of an isolated wing of
one of the city's larger hotels...
was secured for interrogation purposes.
Frank and I were assigned to pick up Max Troy.
It was 9:07 when we arrived at the hotel.
The suspect was sullen and uncooperative.
Twice on the way in, he requested we
stop so he could make telephone calls.
Deputy District Attorney Adolph Alexander...
was assigned by the district attorney's office...
and placed in charge of the interrogation.
We were told to question Max Troy in Room 312.
I asked Alexander if there was any further word...
on the missing suspect, Chester Davitt.
Got his house staked. Bringing
his wife in for questioning.
About ready to have a go
at Lee Reinhard.
Want a match?
state your true name. Lee Reinhard.
1623 Fargo Place.
Belle, you all right,
honey? Yeah, I'm fine.
You're out of line draggin'
him up here. He's sick.
Did you see the X-rays
on Miller Starkie?
You know Maxie's only got half
a stomach. Draggin' him around?
How'd you like to be held
together with platinum wire?
- I can't afford it.
- You got a smart mouth.
Maxie's sick... trying to stay
alive on custard and baby food.
Don't worry, Belle.
Most babies do.
All right, Miss Davitt.
What do you got there? Letters,
tax reports. Got 'em at his place.
In here, Troy.
Yeah? What do you got?
Shotgun, extreme close range.
Recovered 28 pellets, double-O.
Starkie was hit four times.
First two cut him in half.
turned him into a crowd.
The fight ticket
found on the body.
On the back... it's the phone
number of the Red Spot Grill.
Starkie must've got out of
step somewhere along the line.
We're in the right neighborhood.
And if our theory's right, we know who.
Find out why,
and we're in business. Give it a try.
This gonna take
long? You got the time.
Mine's worth money.
Yours isn't. Send in a bill.
I asked you a question. You're here to answer 'em,
not ask 'em.
You listen to me, cop. I pay your
salary. Sit down. I'm gonna earn it!
You already have,
the kind of money you make.
What do they pay you to carry that
badge around... 40 cents an hour?
You sit down!
That badge pays $464 a month.
That's what the job's worth.
I knew that when I hired on.
67.40 comes out
I give 27.84 for pension and 12
bucks for widows and orphans.
That leaves me 356.76. That
badge is worth $1.82 an hour.
So, mister, you just
settle back in that chair...
'cause I'm gonna blow
about 20 bucks of it right now.
This is the statement taken from Max
Troy in Room 312 of the Crown Regent Hotel,
April 9, 9:55 pm.
Present are Frank Smith,
Put your own name in,
will you, Ken?
All right, state your true name.
- State your true name.
- You know my name.
- Tell us anyway.
- Max Troy.
- Your full name.
- That's it.
You got a middle name,
haven't you? Yeah, but I never use it.
- We do.
- Max Edward Troy.
- Where do you live?
- You've got it. You picked me up, didn't you?
You've been through all this
before. Just answer the questions.
Sure. Ask me something
you don't know. All right.
- Where's Miller Starkie?
- I heard he was dead.
You heard why? Bled to death,
- Starkie was a friend of yours.
- I got a lot of friends.
- Where are you working?
- You know I can't work.
How do you get by? I
make a dollar here and there.
- Pin it down.
- Look, I'm paying taxes.
sure you are. 1951... $48.00.1952... $74.28.
1953... $61.00. And you're
driving a Cadillac Fleetwood.
- Who's lying to who?
- I got a good tax man.
You listen. A man was murdered at 4:00
this afternoon. You're in it up to your ears.
Don't sit there and try to sell
us cute answers. Sit down.
I want to get the ashtray. You
already got one. Let's try it again.
What did Miller Starkie do
to get himself killed?
He must've run out of luck. Why?
We weren't that close.
Want to know what I think?
Yeah, we'd like to know.
You know about Starkie.
He had hound blood.
Ran with every dame in town.
Him married and a
lot of them married too.
Marie knew all about them other dames,
and her such a fine dame herself.
I'm gonna admit this to you. I called
Marie up right after I heard about this thing.
Poor dame came all unglued.
Must've cried for 10 minutes.
I didn't know what to tell her,
but I can tell you. Dig into it.
All those dames' husbands,
and Starkie taking part of the action.
Or one of the dames herself.
They get sore too, you know.
That's all there is about Starkie.
He knocked on a wrong door.
He was found dead in a field.
They could've dumped him there.
He said good-bye there. They
cut him apart with a shotgun.
- A lot of people know how to use a shotgun.
- You boys invented it.
- All right. Somebody wanted to make sure.
- Yeah, they killed him twice.
Keep your seat.
Tell me something,
Troy. Where'd you sleep last night?
- I'm a sick man. I'm always home.
- How about Miller Starkie?
- When's the last time you saw him?
- A couple of months ago.
- I don't know. The racetrack maybe.
- You haven't seen him, talked to him since?
You're sure? I saw him at
the track. That's all I know.
- I told you. A couple of months ago.
- Pin it down.
- All right.
I saw him at the track.
I saw him at the $10.00 window.
Third race. Dorothy B. Won.
That's the last I heard
of Miller Starkie.
You're a liar.
It's your machine.
Now listen, big money. Before you get out of here,
you're gonna pick a base.
You're gonna stop runnin' between
third and home. I'm trying to help.
You know that.
I know you're a liar.
You've been in touch with Starkie.
You've been in touch with him this week.
Why? Read it. Leave
it alone. Just read it.
All right, I read it.
What's it say?
What's it say?
It's a ticket.
A fight ticket.
When? How do I
know? It's on there.
Then you oughta be
able to read it. April 4.
- What's that on the back?
- Looks like a phone number.
- That's right. Whose?
- Not mine.
- Could be the Red Spot.
- Yeah, that's what it is.
- What was Starkie doin' with it?
- Maybe he liked to eat there.
So do you. The price is right.
You got half the place.
- Fred Kemp owns it.
- Yeah, it reads that way on the liquor license.
- But you got half the play.
- Sure. With the license in his name.
You're a loser. With your record,
they won't give you a license.
- You can't get a permit to breathe.
- You're full of rumors.
When's the last time
you talked to Miller Starkie?
- I told you. A couple of months ago.
- Explain the fight ticket.
- Why do I have to? It don't prove anything.
- You get all your calls there.
He called within
the last five days.
- That doesn't mean a thing.
- Puts you closer to him than 60 days.
- You say two months. We say five days.
- You got nothing to show.
Somebody was in that field
with Starkie this afternoon.
You're five days closer
than anybody in town.
Let me put you
on the right street, cop.
I came down here to help,
but you won't let me.
You won't get off my back,
so I'm gonna tell you.
You got nothing
to take to court.
You got a phone number.
It don't prove up.
I can write down Eisenhower
and it don't prove up for 20 cents.
That's all the evidence you got.
You take it downtown and they
won't let you in the washroom with it.
Now get off my back
and hand me that ashtray.
You got the Cadillac.
Drive over and get it.
10:00 pm. We stayed at it.
We asked him again about the Red Spot Grill.
We questioned him about Chester Davitt,
Walker Scott, Lee Reinhard,
the other hoodlums that
Troy was known to associate with.
It went slow.
2:00 a.m.The interrogation went on.
His answers became more evasive.
If you've gotta eat sardines,
why don't you find a closet?
- All right, Let's go over it again.
- No more.
You got all you're gonna get.
Type it up and go home.
You got no right
to keep me down here.
- You know I got trouble.
- We'll have the doctor look at you.
- No jail house quack's gonna look at me.
- He won't mind.
Why was Miller Starkie killed?
You two talk it over.
I've been here four hours.
I'm checkin' out.
I'm not talkin' to you anymore.
I don't mind talking to you guys,
but four hours is a long time.
Sorry I blew up.
I know it's your job.
But you lean on a guy,
you get him all mixed up.
I can't help you on this thing,
but I'll keep my ear to the ground.
If I hear any rumbles,
I'll pass 'em along.
Good night, boys. If you want me,
you know where to find me.
You called it. Down the hall...
Room 307. What do you mean?
We got your name and address.
They want to ask you some questions.
Suspect was turned over...
to the deputy district attorney
for further interrogation.
...how it strikes you! How about an answer, Scott?
You were a friend of Miller
Starkie's. Why can't you answer that?
I'm trying to answer. I want to be
friends with you fellas, help you out if I can.
Did you have a fight? No, sir, we didn't.
Starkie was a friend of mine.
I'm sorry he got himself killed.
Let's start again. Where'd you last see Starkie?
See how Reinhard's doing.
Let's get back to Starkie.
When's the last time
you saw him? I told you. Vegas.
When? I told you that too.
Four or five months ago. I don't remember.
Same play, different names.
Got a call from Jack
Yeah. They just found
an eyeball witness.
Frank went on to say that
McCreadie had told him...
that the eyeball witness
had been located on Rachel Street,
a block from the scene of the crime.
The Homicide team was taking him
back to the office to look at mug shots.
Captain Hamilton told us that
Starkie's wife had been notified...
and that she was in a near state of collapse.
She was under sedation and she
could not be questioned until a later time.
Still no word on the missing suspect,
All automobiles of the suspects in custody
were impounded at the police garage...
and gone over for physical evidence.
Other teams were searching their homes.
We had a shotgun to turn.
2:35 a.m.We arrived at the city hall.
McCreadie had checked in five
minutes before Frank and I.
The name of the eyewitness was Jesse Quinn.
Pleased to know you.
I was saying to these fellas the
African water hole is my favorite.
- How's that, sir?
- Quinn works for the museum out at Exposition Park.
Oh, I see.
What do you do there, Quinn?
I'm in custodian work,
but I'd like to be an intermediate museum guide,
Pulled the mugs, Joe. Mr. Quinn,
I wonder if you could help us.
I didn't say I was sure. Yes,
sir. What if you take a look at these pictures?
What happened out there...
some kind of ruckus? Yes, sir.
Would you look at the
pictures? Didn't say I wouldn't.
That looks like it
might be him. Yeah.
Quite a bit like this fellow
I saw getting into the car.
- Where was that?
- Out near the field. Lorna Vista near Third.
I was driving home,
driving slow. I always drive slow.
- Yes, sir. When was that?
- Today around 4:00.
- Was he alone?
- Yes, sir.
- You sure about that?
- I got good eyes.
One fella don't look
like two fellas.
- What was he doing? Do you remember?
- Just coming out of the field.
- Did you notice anything unusual about him?
- No, not that I recall.
Drove on past him.
Kept him in my rear view mirror.
Looked like he was carrying something
shiny in his hand. Piece of pipe.
- About how large was it?
- I don't know. About... so gross.
- Did it look like a gun?
- No, looked like a piece of pipe.
Could've been a gun, I suppose.
I'm not sure.
you got a stand-up mug on Davitt? Yeah.
Arrangements were made to
have the want on Chester Davitt...
broadcast every 30 minutes during
the rest of the night and hourly thereafter.
The mugs of Davitt were sent air mail
special to Las Vegas, San Francisco,
and to the San Diego police departments.
Sunday, April 10.11:30 am. We
began to check out Troy's alibi.
We knew what to expect at the Red Spot.
It was a standard stop for touts, past-posters...
and girls who couldn't keep an address.
It was early. They were just
getting ready to open up for the day.
The bar boy worked the morning
shift cleaning and stacking.
He got off at 1:15, so he could tell us
nothing about the previous afternoon.
The bartender identified himself as Fred Kemp.
His name was on the liquor
license. He said he was the boss.
He told us substantially the same
story we'd gotten from Max Troy...
That Troy was in the bar Saturday,
April 9, the day Miller Starkie was killed.
He couldn't be sure of the exact hours.
The waitress's name was Ethel Dawson.
She could add little to what the bartender told us.
She stated that Max Troy was in the place.
She wasn't sure of the time.
The chef told us his name was Emil Porter.
He remembered Max Troy being there.
He said Troy stuck to his usual diet...
Canned baby food,
half-and-half and vanilla custard.
He wasn't sure of the time. Saturday's a busy day.
Mug shots were shown to all of 'em.
They recognized Miller Starkie as having been
in the place, but they couldn't remember when.
They recognized most of the suspects.
They couldn't place them in the
Red Spot at any specified time.
They knew nothing of Chester Davitt's whereabouts.
A thorough search of the Red Spot was made...
in an effort to turn up anything which
might connect Max Troy with Starkie's death.
We found nothing.
12:03 pm. Sunday, April 10. By lunchtime,
the business office had
received writs of habeas corpus...
for the suspects we had in custody.
Unless we obtained a continuance,
the writs were returnable Tuesday
in Department 41 at 9:30 am.
We had 36 hours in which to build
some kind of a case against Max Troy.
We met with Captain Hamilton.
Since the Red Spot Grillwas
a known hoodlum hangout,
we felt we might possibly pick up a lead...
from conversations passed inside the place.
It was a job that could best be
performed by a policewoman.
She could pose as a customer and
her presence would go unnoticed.
1:15 p.m.We were working against time.
This is Grace Downey.
Sergeant Joe Friday.
He and his partner are heading
the investigation from our end. I see.
Friday will work out the meets.
He'll be your contact.
Want to wire her for sound? I'll
have to have your gear, Miss Downey.
What? Gun, handcuffs,
badge and ID.
And your cap device.
These will be returned when
you finish the assignment.
Want to step this way,
Frank Smith. Hello.
- This is a Minifon... a miniature wire recorder.
- I see.
This spool can handle two
and a half hours without a reload.
It's battery driven,
good for 20 hours.
To put it in operation,
you trip this little button. Like this.
Seems simple enough.
Just that one button, huh?
Sure is small and compact.
Must be good when you want to record
someone and not have them know it.
Seems simple enough. Just that one button, huh?
Sure is small and compact.
Must be good when you want to record
someone and not have them know it.
Here's the microphone.
Plugs in here.
The entire thing should
fit in your purse. I see.
You can't listen to what you've got
without a headset. The Wire's too fragile.
We listen on the transfer
to tape. Any questions?
No, I don't think so. I won't need
any other special equipment, will I?
Do you have any questions?
Skipper give you a complete rundown
on the Red Spot and what we're after?
Yeah. You two have been there.
What do the women wear?
I don't know. The usual
thing. Just don't hide yourself.
You know the sort of thing.
That weavey kind of cloth.
Puff sleeves. Some bead
work. You know what I mean.
A few spangles, maybe some lace
around the armholes.
- Something simple.
- Yeah, yeah. You've got the right idea.
A few pleats in the skirt
might look pretty good.
Maybe some kind of ribbon
or flower to set it off. Okay?
I better get going.
What time the skipper say
you ought to be there?
He said about 5:00,
but it looks like I'm gonna be a little late. Huh?
I'll need a Marcel, won't I?
We had 30 hours to try to turn up
some kind of substantial evidence...
or release all suspects.
We added up our findings. It wasn't much.
Part of Troy's alibi was a lie,
but we still couldn't place
him at the murder scene.
In an effort to locate the missing suspect,
we again questioned his wife.
You have no idea where your husband
might be? They asked me at the hotel.
I had the same answer for them
as I've got for you now.
Go sit in a hole.
Frank and I drove out to check with
Lieutenant Stevens and the sapper crew...
who were going over the area in an
effort to turn up the murder weapon.
How's it goin', Tex?
Can you use an old doorknob?
Rusty bicycle chain?
How about a 1934 license plate?
How much more
you got to go, Tex?
We've covered all this. We're
working on this section now.
We know Troy's lying. But
we don't know he's a killer.
Starkie, Chester Davitt,
Lee Reinhard... they all worked for Troy.
Sure they all worked together, but you haven't
given us enough to show they murdered him.
Gotta release him.
They dug half a pound of lead
out of Miller Starkie's chest.
One of those five put it there
or knows who did.
We let them walk now,
they'll take what we got.
They'll work it over,
twist it around. We'll never unwind it.
- Seems to me we've got enough.
I'll tell you what you've got.
You say Max Troy's a liar.
We know that. That still
doesn't make him a killer.
You say Miller Starkie
ran with him.
That doesn't put Troy
in that field last Saturday.
You keep telling us they killed
Starkie. Find a motive. Why'd he die?
I know this bunch.
I've dealt with 'em before.
I can give you
chapter and verse.
We can't hold 'em unless you
give us something to hang it on.
Grand jury's not buying our
opinions. They ask questions.
We gotta get
the answers from you.
You got an eyewitness. You
haven't got the man for him to identify.
You got a footprint.
It doesn't fit anyone.
Turn up Davitt. Maybe
he can give us something.
You heard it in there. We asked for a
continuance. Their lawyers turned us down.
We don't like it
any more than you do.
Ernie Roll told you. I'm
telling you. Release 'em.
Yeah. Why does the law always
work for the guilty?
Because the innocent
don't need it.
Hi, Joe. What do you say? Roy,
you know my partner Frank Smith.
Roy Cleaver, Frank. What do you say,
man? Let me get some timber.
Joe, last time I saw you was on
that Breslin thing. What'd he get?
Three counts. He
stood trial in Colorado.
One to 60,
terms to run consecutive.
Only 60 years?
Should've given him life.
What about that chick Ruth? She
still around? State hospital at Patton.
That's a drag.
Really flipped, huh?
Glad you got that guy.
He was really nowhere.
We're checking around, Roy. Wonder if you
might've heard any rumbles on Miller Starkie.
- Yeah, I've been diggin' it in the papers.
- You heard anything?
No. He was in about
a month or so ago.
Walked in with this big hunk of wallpaper,
his head wrapped for mailing.
- How's that?
- His head was bandaged up like somebody had worked him over.
Oh. When was that?
About a month ago. He was jumping
pretty steady with that Troy mob.
Yeah, Roy, we know.
Far as I know, he was vigorish
on six-for-five loans.
Used to ring the doorbell
with a piece of pipe.
I guess you heard he was
handling bad paper out of Vegas.
Some of the boys in the band
were down there,
hit the wheel heavy
and wrote out some checks.
They must've got back here
and stopped payment...
because Starkie was in a couple
days later for the "make good."
They paid up quick. Starkie
didn't want any cousins.
You say he had his head
in a sling.
- Any idea what that was all about?
I didn't ask any questions.
If you hear anything,
let us know, will ya?
Yeah. But I ain't gonna try.
You know Max Troy,
Walker Scott, Lee Reinhard...
The whole bunch.
Well, that's them,
and that's me.
Acting on Cleaver's information,
we made a canvass of all
metropolitan clinics and hospitals.
We asked if Miller Starkie had reported
in for treatment during the past 30 days.
On March 12,
we found that he'd checked into Fairfax Emergency...
with head lacerations and a slight concussion.
He was released two days later.
From the doctor,
we obtained a copy of the hospital record,
and we drove over to interrogate Ethel Starkie,
the wife of the murdered man.
You figure it was a warning?
It was a hint.
He got out of line.
Suppose Troy did handle the
beating. Does it mean much?
- I don't know.
- It didn't to Starkie.
What's the matter?
Did you wanna see someone?
Police officers. This is my partner,
My name's Friday.
I already talked to you once.
Sure I did.
Right after the funeral.
Or was it before?
It's the only funeral
Miller ever had.
No, ma'am, it wasn't us,
It was the men from Homicide.
What's the matter? Didn't
you believe what they told you?
We want to talk to you about something else,
You have to excuse the place.
We don't have all
our furniture yet.
This is modern.
We're gonna fix it up
Don't you think you've had
enough of that?
Is there enough?
I wanted Miller Starkie.
But nobody asked me.
I wanted to do his laundry,
wash his socks.
Cook his breakfast...
Fix his dinner...
Keep his clothes
to the cleaners...
so he'd always have
something nice to wear.
Keep him happy
and be a good wife.
But somebody threw Miller
Starkie away without askin'.
I wonder if you'd mind taking a look at this,
tell us what you know about it.
I'm gonna tell you something.
I never talk to police.
Miller don't either.
We didn't want
no truck with 'em.
I'm going to tell you something.
I've been right here
since he was buried.
People are the way they are
because... they are.
I've been married to Miller
for 17 years.
That's a long time.
I wanted him to leave me six
months after we were married.
"No, sir," he said.
I've been here since
he was buried.
And that's more than 17 years.
So I talk to police now.
I'm glad you came back.
I'll tell you this time.
Oh, thank you.
You're very kind.
What's the matter?
I didn't break it, did I?
There's a hole in the top.
Miss Starkie, on March 12,
your husband was treated at
Fairfax Emergency Hospital...
for injuries received
in a beating.
- You want to tell us about it?
- Max Troy.
- How do you know?
- Miller told me.
He came home so sick he threw up,
and then he told me.
- Why'd he have the fight with Troy?
- It wasn't a fight.
Three of 'em beat him.
Till he couldn't stand up.
Then you know what they did,
Max Troy and his two friends?
They drove him to the hospital.
They let him out
a block from there.
He had to walk
the rest of the way.
- Who were the other two men? Do you know, Miss Starkie?
- I don't know.
But one of 'em was Max Troy.
Miller told me.
- Why, Mrs. Starkie?
I say, why was he beaten?
Miller wouldn't tell me.
He said not to talk
to anybody about it,
and I never did till now.
One more thing.
When you were here before
and you searched the place,
well, you couldn't find it.
I put it in the mail,
sent it to myself.
It's all right.
Miller worked for Max Troy.
Ask Max Troy.
He'll tell you about it.
We'll have to take that book
along with us.
That's all right.
You can keep it.
- Is there anything else you can tell us?
- No. That's all I know.
You've been very kind.
If you will,
on the floor, please.
I'll see you to the door. That's all right,
Thursday, April 21.2:00 pm.
Starkie's workbook listed 55 names and addresses.
We began to check 'em out.
each of the people were gambling debtors.
Since Starkie's job working under
Troy was to make bad debts good,
these names represented his
clientele... his workbook.
After five hours of legwork and 22 names later,
we were no closer to
finding why Starkie was murdered.
We still felt that if we could find the why,
it would eventually lead us to the apprehension...
and conviction of Starkie's killers.
The 47th name in the book was Fabian Gerard,
a theatrical agent whose office was
located on Sunset Boulevard.
Yes, she'll be there at 4:00.
No, she doesn't sing.
I think so.
Well, I could ask her.
I'll see when she comes in.
Just take a seat, boys.
I'll be right with you.
What? Oh, yes, she can
get by in a chorus.
Ciro's in Norfolk, Virginia,
Now, you're the dance team.
Which one of you is Delcy?
ma'am. Police officers. Is Mr. Gerard in?
♪ Down, down, down
in Rio ♪
♪ Where things
are seldom free-O
♪ Oh, come along
♪ Way down south in... ♪
If Mr. Gerard, two gentlemen
out here to see you.
Delcy and Swift?
Have 'em wait.
No, Mr. Gerard. This is important. Okay,
be right out.
He'll be right out.
♪ In South America ♪
I'm gonna leave that record with you.
Fine. I'll take
good care of it.
♪ South America ♪
♪ A lovely cabana ♪
♪ You'll like the rhythm if you dig,
dig, dig me later ♪
Yeah, but she can't sing.
♪ Along the old equator ♪
♪ Where life
is much greater ♪
♪ Way down south ♪
♪ In South America ♪♪
Has maracas, will travel.
aren't you? Yes, sir.
My name's Smith.
Yeah. Not that many hats
You ever had any dealings
with a man named Miller Starkie?
- Once too often.
- Tell us about it, will you?
I got a little rich one night
and dropped $500 in a crap game.
The check was light, so they
sent Starkie around to collect.
- Did he?
- This says he did.
Pushed me around.
Pulled a tooth for me.
I had to phone my brother.
He went for me on the 500.
- I thought that was the end of it.
The money never reached
A week or so later, this fella comes in,
says when am I gonna make good?
I told him I was clean on it.
He didn't believe me.
Had me backed right into a
casket till I got my brother up here.
He showed a bank slip.
We finally convinced this fella.
When did all this happen?
Would you remember?
The week before
Starkie was killed.
That would make it around the first
of April. That right? Yeah, that's right.
- Say, there's no chance of this making the papers?
- No, sir.
Uh, I just wondered. Right
kind of mention never hurts.
Lets people know you're around.
April 23. We started to put together a pattern.
We felt sure we knew why Miller Starkie was killed.
In an effort to get sufficient
evidence to take before the grand jury,
we began to put together what small pieces we had.
9:00 pm. We talked to Sergeant Hank Wild,
who was on duty at the
international terminal on April 4.
That's right, Joe. April 4,
11:15. United Airlines.
Flight 649 from Vegas.
Wesley Cannon... one of the suspects.
Hoodlum and known associate of Max Troy.
Our guess was that he knew about
Miller Starkienot reporting his collections.
Monday, April 25.9:00 am.
A grand jury subpoena was served on the
Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company...
directing them to furnish a
record of all to" calls...
made from the telephones of known
suspects from April 1 to April 10.
We contacted the office of the chief special agent.
According to our records,
a long-distance call was placed on April 5...
from Hollywood 3-3449,
listed as the Red Spot Grill.
Person-to-person from a
Max Troy to a Myles Stricher...
at Superior 7-7599.
That's a Chicago, Illinois,
Length of the call was 20 minutes. All right,
How about that other call?
It was placed at 8:30
the morning of April 9...
from Hollywood 3-3449.
That's the Red Spot Grill.
from a Max Troy
to a Chester Davitt.
That was Skyline 5-1699.
Routed through San Diego, Del Mar,
California. The Turf-Royal Hotel.
Yes, Mr. Davitt
was with us a week.
Checked in on April 2.
Checked out April 9, 1:00 pm.
You sure about that time?
sir. 1:00 in the afternoon. Thank you.
Thank you very much.
we got the whole enchilada. April 9, 1:00.
Takes three hours to
drive up to LA. Yeah.
Starkie was murdered
Monday, April 25.4:00 pm.
Policewoman Grace Downey was
ready for her first report.
Kinda like opening a box of Cracker Jack,
You never know
what you're gonna get.
What'd you do,
slip it under Troy's plate? Almost, yeah.
1:00 this afternoon,
I was talking to Fred Kemp, the bartender.
Max Troy walked in.
First time I'd seen him in the
place. Ordered something to eat.
- Where was he sitting?
- Two stools away.
I reached in my bag for telephone
money. That's when I turned it on.
You on record?
I don't know. Maybe all we
got is eight miles of dirt road.
I left my purse on the bar,
started for the phone booth.
What's been goin' on?
Not much. Couple of boys from
downtown askin" a lot questions.
You heard from Chet? Davitt... you heard from him?
Cops wanted to know too.
No, I ain't seem him
for a couple of weeks.
Fred, I want you
to do something for me. Yeah?
In the glove compartment of your car,
there's a package. Get rid of it.
What is it? Get rid of it.
I'll take care of it
in a couple days. Better do it today.
I won't have the car back till
Wednesday. I loaned it to my nephew.
When did he take it? A week and a
half ago. Day or so after you borrowed it.
When's he coming back?
I told you. Wednesday.
Take care of that first thing,
Fred. Here's the money for the food.
I'll see you around.
All right, Max.
What do you think?
I don't know.
Let's get that package and
see. Car will be back Wednesday.
Think you can get to that glove
compartment before the bartender?
Any ideas? That's not too tough.
The car will be back Wednesday.
Find out what make it is,
where he parks it.
You know what hours he works.
Go right to it. You make it sound easy.
Sure. Like barbecuing
a chunk of ice.
Here's your Minifon.
See you later, Grace.
Yes? Be careful on this one.
I will, Joe.
Don't lose your way.
You sound concerned.
Line of duty?
I just want to see you
I'm not kidding,
Joe. I don't see how you do it. Hmm?
Fish and ice cream.
What's wrong with that?
Everybody knows it's the worse
combination you can put in your stomach.
You put away a real beauty,
didn't ya... tamales and sauerkraut.
But, Joe, I had lemon sherbet.
Keep your hats on. You got one to
roll on. Code 2. Here's the address.
What have you got? Part of
your first string. Chester Davitt.
They found him.
While a team of men remained
to thoroughly search the premises,
Chester Davitt was taken downtown where
he would be booked on suspicion of 187 RC.
The unlawful killing of a human
being with malice aforethought.
Tuesday, April 26.8:30 am.
We continued to question Davitt.
He stuck to his story of the night before.
He refused to admit complicity in
the killing of Miller Starkie.
We confronted him with the phone call from
Max Troy to Del Maron the day of the murder.
He said it was a social call.
We showed him the plaster impression of
the footprint taken at the scene of the crime.
We showed him the exemplar made
from his own right shoe.
They matched. Davitt had no comment.
He won't cop out.
He can smell the gas.
We've still got enough to
take to the grand jury. I think so.
Get that eyeball witness.
"An interesting fact
about the African lion...
is its love of family life.
Its habits are nocturnal.
It roams the veld of Kenya
and British East Africa."
The lion family after a kill.
huh, Joe? Yeah.
Sorry about being late. When the fella said
you was here, I was fixing up a Klipspringer.
That's all right,
Quinn. They're over there.
Klipspringer. That charming little
animal is called the chamois of Ethiopia.
Good thing for
Patterson too. Patterson?
New Jersey. That's where
they make leather goods.
Be flat broke if
it wasn't for Klipspringers.
Quinn, we've got Chester Davitt in
custody. I saw it in the morning papers.
See? That's what I was telling you
fellas about. The water hole at sundown.
There she is.
You can read it
right off the chart.
"A typical sand river in East
Africa during dry season...
formed by an underlying
strata of rock...
which causes the water
to rise in small pools.
In dry seasons, the animals gather
there at sunset for their daily drink."
we'd like you to come downtown for a show-up.
What's that like?
We stand up a group of men, see if you can
pick out the man you saw leaving that vacant lot.
- After that, we go to the grand jury.
- What happens there?
You testify under oath. Tell them where you
were on April 4, what you did and what you saw.
How's 1:00, Quinn?
- Yes, sir. For the show-up.
No, I don't think so.
When you finish work then.
Say around 5:00 or 6:00?
you'd just as well know now. I'm not gonna do it.
You already have.
You identified Chester Davitt.
- That was a picture. I'm not sure anymore.
- Come for a show-up at least.
No, that wouldn't do any good.
I just don't remember.
I don't see
what all the fuss is.
Papers said the dead fella was a
criminal. He don't seem worth the trouble.
I'm sorry you'd like a dead archbishop. We
don't have one. We've got a small-time hoodlum.
And a bunch of other hoodlums that
killed him. That's what the paper said.
All them fellas are criminals. No
telling what they'd do to somebody.
- You afraid to testify, Quinn?
- I just don't remember.
- What is it? Your family... your wife and children?
- I don't have no family.
The whole kit 'n' caboodle.
But I don't want to go downtown
and get mixed up in something.
You'll have to go before the
grand jury. They'll subpoena you.
Then I'll have to say I'm not
sure. I don't remember too good.
It's not fair to talk somebody
- You got no business doing that.
- No, sir.
I'd like to ask you a question.
If you was me, would you do it?
- Can I wait a while?
Before I'm you?
Wednesday, April 27.
We took the case before the grand jury.
All suspects were subpoenaed.
In spite of the reluctance of our only
face-to-facewitness, Jesse Quinn,
we had a halfway good chance of gaining
indictments on both Chester Davitt and Max Troy.
I was there to testify as
one of the investigating officers.
Forensic chemist Ray
Pinker took the stand at 9:23 am.
Raise your right hand.
Do you solemnly swear that the
testimony you're about to give...
in the matter now pending
before this body will be the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but the truth,
so help you God?
State your name.
You're employed by the city of
Los Angeles as a police officer.
You're assigned to Intelligence
Division and hold the rank of sergeant.
Is that correct?
Are you one of the investigating
officers in this matter...
A murder case,
the deceased being one Miller Starkie?
This is a list of telephone calls
subpoenaed by court order...
from the Pacific Telephone
and Telegraph Company.
A chart has been made up showing
these calls from point of origin to terminus.
This has been designated
as grand jury exhibit seven.
Sgt. Friday, will you explain the
significance of the chart? I will.
The next hour was spent acquainting the jurors...
with every detail of the case,
from the finding of the body up through
the apprehension of Chester Davitt.
Each phone call was pointed out.
Each individual placing a call or
receiving one was identified...
in an attempt to demonstrate to
the members of the grand jury...
that the various telephone
calls formed a probable pattern of murder.
It was 11:57 a.m.when I finished testifying.
Each suspect was called.
Each spent no more than five
minutes in the hearing room.
All of them threw away a
four-by-six inch scrap of yellow paper.
Be seated, Sergeant.
Let the record show this
witness has already been sworn.
you've been recalled for the purpose...
of clarifying certain details on
the matter pending before this body.
I have a point I'd like Sergeant
Friday to explain. Yes, ma'am.
- Uh, the phone calls you told us about.
- Yes, ma'am?
How do we know exactly what those
men said to each other when they talked?
- We don't.
- But you indicated what each of them said.
No, ma'am. I indicated the contacts
between the suspects and their association.
The point Mrs. Caldwell is trying to
make is the point that's troubling all of us.
The conversation you say these
men had is just guesswork, isn't it?
No, sir. All these calls are a
matter of telephone record.
We know all that,
but you can't say what was in those calls.
But we can be pretty sure from the sequence
of calls, the time, date and people involved.
Sgt. Friday, each of those men has a telephone,
each uses it. There's no crime in that.
Each one of those men
is a suspect in a murder case.
All of them have criminal
records dating as far back as 1933.
We know that, too,
but you're asking for a true bill.
You want this case tried
in a court of law.
I can't see
how that can be granted...
unless you're in a position to tell us
exactly what was in those phone calls.
I'm sorry. To do that,
we'd have to be able to wiretap.
You mean cut in on private telephone
conversations? That's an invasion of privacy.
How do we know all you policemen
wouldn't be listening to all our conversations?
We would if you talked murder.
As a police officer,
I can tell you...
that none of us would want the
responsibility of being able to wiretap at will.
- It'd have to be by court order.
- Doesn't make much difference in this case.
If you had the right to wiretap,
what good would it have done?
- You can't look the barn door after the horse is stolen.
- Yes, sir, in this case.
We'd have had a court order to
maintain constant telephone surveillance...
on every one of those hoodlums from the minute
he checked into Los Angeles and set up shop.
- We might have saved the horse.
- Not quite, Sgt. Friday.
Even if you could wiretap,
that system would never work.
Choke off their telephones, you'd have
'em plotting murder on every street corner.
That's all right.
There'd be a cop on it.
That's all, Sergeant.
How's it going? It's hard
to tell. I've been up twice.
They recalled you,
huh? Yeah, that's right.
We'll have a verdict
in a minute.
Want a match, Alex? No, thanks.
- Where do we stand?
- It's not easy. No murder weapon.
We made Davitt
on that footprint.
Put him at the scene of the
crime. We got him in that vacant lot.
They want to know when. That witness
of yours could've told them. He didn't.
Phone call pattern's
circumstance. Not enough.
must've been well-rehearsed.
If you clocked 'em,
you'll notice they stayed five minutes apiece.
We didn't get the necessary
12 votes. No indictment.
An original and three carbons.
Put 'em to bed at night and
get 'em up in the morning.
constant surveillance of criminal suspects...
maintained around the clock.
Other teams were assigned to Chester Davitt,
Lee Reinhard and Wesley Cannon.
We knew the men were
guilty. We still had to prove it.
Thursday, April 28.8:00 am.
We began the operation at Max Troy's front door.
I'm late. I've got an
You've got no right to...
Put your hands up on the car.
All right, take everything out of your pockets,
put it on the fender.
Put it back.
You think it's real funny,
do you, junior?
Hands up on the wall. Not this
time. I've got friends with me.
Would you rather do it
downtown? Get off my back.
You know I'm clean. Are
ya? Hands up on the wall.
All right, take everything
out of your pockets.
Where am I gonna put
it? The ground" hold it.
Your mother sure
didn't do much for a living.
That's all right.
She didn't bark.
Good night, Max.
That's gin, Carl.
Nine. Couldn't pick up
a nine last time.
This time, you got nine.
I can't play with them in here.
Come on, Carl.
It's your deal.
Did you hear me, fat gut?
Put that out.
Are you his keeper? You
and that toad get outta here.
We've got no beef with
you. Come on. I'll help you up.
Hold it! Hold it!
Don't worry. You and your
stomach can sit this one out.
Well, I called 'em.
I'm the manager here.
And you're all
gonna be arrested.
Close the door.
You look fine. Georgia Street called.
Said you were in for medical treatment.
Joe caught a cold.
Who's tailing Troy now? 2x59.
Keeler and Stevens. Anything new?
- Did you have to fight?
- It was a gin game. I tried to play Troy's hand.
While you were making a name for yourselves,
we finally got a bug in the Red Spot Grill.
- The back office.
Grace Downey covered while
the sound crew buried it.
- Where's the listening post?
- Basement right across the alley.
Get a pretty good view of the
office from there. Airport detail.
What's it say, Joe?
Chester Davitt. He left on Flight
516 for Cleveland. 10:00 am.
Too hot. Probably sent him
out of town to cool off.
- You notified Cleveland?
- Inspector MacArthur.
Talked to him a half hour ago.
You did, huh?
I'll wait till it's clear.
I didn't hear you.
No, sit tight.
Grace Downey. She turned a box of
shotgun shells in the bartender's car.
- As she hung up, she said Troy was moving toward the booth.
He was walkin' heavy. Keeler
and Stevens are out there.
If that place starts to jump, it's too big
for one team. Back them up. Get her out.
- Sounds like she's been burned.
2X50 to 2X59.
2X50 to 2X59.
Keeler, you and Stevens want
to cover the back? Right, Joe.
Take that somewhere. You know Sgt. Keeler,
don't you, Max?
Unless you're growing, sit down.
Ready to go home?
This is what caused all the trouble...
the package in the bartender's car.
The finding of the shotgun shells...
was another piece of corroborative evidence...
if we could overturn the murder weapon.
Policewoman Grace Downey was relieved of
her assignment and went back to regular duty.
Tuesday, May 3.
For the next four days, Frank and I,
along with the other teams of men assigned,
helped maintain the 24-hour
surveillance at the listening post.
Look at that, Joe. Huh?
It's a real waste. Somebody
will come up with an answer.
What are you talking
about? A use for old Kleenex.
Just make millions.
Hi, Gene, Phil.
Not much goin' on. Troy
must've dropped a stack.
The Burbank book's been trying to get in
touch with him. Called three times last hour.
They oughta try All Saints. Huh?
Keeler and Stevens tailed Troy
into the hospital 40 minutes ago.
Skipper said to fill you in.
It's Lee Reinhard.
The bartender's with him.
Talk up a little louder.
I can't hear you.
No, he's not here.
It's Fred. Fred Kemp.
I don't know.
Yeah. Well, Max is
due back any minute.
Yeah, this is Lee Reinhard.
I'll run him down.
You did, huh?
Max'll be glad to know that.
He did, huh?
Well, he had some good times.
Is that right?
sure. Max'll get back to you today.
What? Pretty good.
A little on the cool side. May
get a little rain today or tomorrow.
Any idea where Max is? No.
Called this morning,
said he'd drop by this afternoon.
You don't need to order
that German beer no more.
He ain't gonna be around to
drink it. What do you mean?
Davitt. He ran out of
breath this afternoon.
Somebody kill him?
4:00 Cleveland time.
Kind of funny at that. 'Course you
never know what a guy's gonna do.
Cried like a baby.
If Max comes in,
ask him to wait. All right.
I'll try to run him down.
Oh, forgot to tell you.
You remember that mouth of
Chet's? Guess what he said.
Just as he was goin' down,
"Jesus, Mary and Joseph."
That's what he said.
They sent him a long way to die,
It's always a long way.
Well, Davitt was hotter than we
thought. He must've made a mistake.
His mistake was being Davitt.
This is Friday.
Yeah, we know about that.
We know he's dead.
from Cleveland just now.
No. Used the name George.
Yeah, that's our guess too.
Every word of it. Yeah. No,
there's no doubt about the other end of the call.
Lee Reinhard laid it out for the
bartender. That's right. It's all there.
What's that address again?
Is that South Ardmore?
Can Phelps meet us out there
with playback equipment?
Just as he was goin' down
"Jesus, Mary and Joseph."
That's what he said.
We're sorry, Mrs. Davitt.
We didn't want to play it. You
wouldn't let us do it any other way.
I used up any favors.
You want Max Troy
to stand for this one?
And one more.
In the closet.
Behind the clothes.
Where the plumber
fixes the pipes.
In the bottom,
wrapped up in a piece of cloth.
Part of a shotgun. Troy
bought it in Albuquerque.
Do you remember
the name of the store?
Yeah. I can
give it to you.
Him and Chet sawed off
the barrel right in this room.
When was the gun purchased?
Do you remember, Mrs. Davitt?
Six, seven months ago.
We was travelin' back
Where is the gun?
Echo Park Lake.
You can get it. I'll show
you where they threw it in.
Max called Chet at Del Mar.
Told him where to be, what time.
You willing to come downtown,
give us a statement?
On my hands and knees.
Teletype from Albuquerque.
P.D. Los Angeles, California."
R-228, KMA-89 S-&-R double-barrel shotgun,
Serial 178365. Purchased Finney's
Hardware this city October 15 last.
Sold to Max Taylor, nonresident.
"P.D. Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Joe, take two. Right. Thank you.
This is Friday.
Yeah, Lee. Mm-hmm.
You can, huh?
How soon do you figure?
Thank you very much.
Lee Jones with the
crime lab. Anything?
Yeah. Says he can give us a positive
make on that missing barrel section.
Latent prints. Lifted several good partials
from that hacksaw. Good enough to make Troy.
That's an artificial lake at Echo Park. Salvage
crew will have the murder gun by morning.
You've got the signed statement
from Davitt's wife right there.
How about it, Alex?
You got him.
You'll need your raincoats.
Light that, will you, Alex?
Which room does Max Troy have?
Mr. Troy went in for major
surgery at 4:00 this afternoon.
- How's he doing?
- Gastric cancer.
He died on the table.
I'm sorry. Was Mr. Troy
a friend of yours?
We hardly knew him.