The Suspect (2006) - full transcript

Fenton, California is shocked when local lawyer Paul James, a model citizen and house-father considering to stand in municipal elections, is shot in his instantly torched car in front of his home. His second wife Beth is arrested and charged after cash and the murder weapon, Paul's own gun, are found. Insurance investigator Jerry Calhoun, a former cop, on the case because Paul had a life insurance since three weeks, realizes lazy police detective Rhodes's utter incompetence. When Beth escapes, even step-daughter Robin still reports her to the police. Calhoun however makes sure the truth is discovered starting from blackmail and embezzlement Paul was involved in.

Come on, now, folks.

This is the last item,

and we still need $3,000
to put us over the top.

Now, I know for a fact

that Linda and her mom
spent five months

working on this
beautiful quilt.

I'm telling you,
five months.

Look at this quilt.
It's beautiful.


We're going to start the bidding
at 1,000.

Who'll give me 1,000?

Come on.


$1,000 from miss Robin James.

Thank you kindly,


There you go, bill.

Who's next?

Come on.

Can I?


1,200 from Beth James.

Why do I have a feeling

you're behind this
somehow, Paul?



All right,
looks like we have

two members of the vestry

doing the bidding.

This is getting

We are at 1,300.

Who's next?





1,700, Paul.

Going once. Going twice.

Paul, let me just
remind you here

that your daughter

is a hardworking member
of our youth group.

Now, can you not
just imagine her

in andalusia,

painting a church?

I know I can.

Come on.

What do you say?

Okay. All right.


Going once.

Going twice.





Do we hear 25?

Paul? Going once.

Going twice.




All right, now, bill.

Just take a moment here.

The bidding is at 2,500.

Only $500 more

and we send our kids
to Alabama...

Keep your fingers

Where they can help build

the andalusia
all saints church.

Come on.

What do you say?

All right.
All right, Beth.

You just
bought yourself

a quilt.

2,500. Going once.

Going twice.Going twice.




Congratulations, Paul.

You are the proud owner
of a beautiful quilt.

You are something.

Thank you, everyone,
for supporting...

So sweet.

Everyone have
a safe drive home.

So have you given it
any thought, Paul?

Can we get you to run
for city council

this year?

It's been on my mind, bill.

I'll make sure all
your plants are watered

while you're gone, Jane.

We need your help
to run this town.

Thanks so much, Beth.
I owe you one.

Let me talk
to Beth and Robin

about it,

but the timing may be right.

Oh, that's great, Paul.

Good news for everyone
in fenton.

See you on sunday.

See you on sunday.

Good night.

Good night, Robin.
Good night, Beth.

Good night, bill.

Hey, nice quilt
you got there.

Bye, daddy.

Wait, where are you going?

Oh, she's sleeping
at Andrea's tonight.


Forgot to mention it.

You be
a good girl, now.


No sneaking out

and riding around
with the older boys.

Go have fun, sweetheart.

Bye, Beth.

I love you.

Love you, too.

So, "city councilman
Paul James"?

What do you think?

I love it.

So Jane gave me her keys.

She said thanks.

She'll watch our place

when we go to the mountains.

Three weeks
in a cruise ship.

I'd be bored
out of my mind.

Well, I think that's
what she's hoping for.

Open the door.


Nice quilt.

Thank you.

Oh, national geographic
loved the piece that I did

on camping
in the adirondacks.

They want me
to edit a piece

on deep-sea fishing
in islamorada.

That's wonderful.

You're wonderful.

We have the house to ourselves.


I... have to go
to the office.


There's a meeting on Monday.

It was supposed to be
next month.


There's a file I need.

Come on. Do you have to go?

It's the McGregor deposition.

I'm their lawyer.

Yes, I have to.


I have to go.

Yes, but you have
a stain on your jacket.

No one's
going to notice.

I noticed.

Future city councilmen

don't walk around town

with stains
on their jackets.

Let me see.

Oh, so handsome.

Not ones that are
married to me.

All right.

I'll see you later.

Hurry back.


Yes, my husband's been shot

in his car
in our driveway.

24 sheffield road.

Please, hurry up.

Beth James.

Please hurry!
Send the ambulance!

Send police!
Send the ambulance...





You got
everything here

printed up?

Man, that is brutal.

Any witnesses?

We're canvassing
the neighborhood.

So far, only Mrs. James.

I'll go talk to her.

Mrs. James?

I'm detective
Vanessa rhodes.

I'm in charge
of the investigation.

We found your husband's
dog tags on him.

I'll make sure
that we get them back to you

after they're processed.

I met your husband a few times.

I'm very sorry.

You saw it happen?

I was...

In the window.

I'd like you
to walk me through it,

if you feel that you can.

He had...

He had a hat on.

I couldn't
see his face...

And he went that way,

and he ran.

You have to go find him.

Mrs. James, look,
you know what?

We're all over the neighborhood.

We'll do everything we can,

I promise you that.

Come on.

It's okay.

Come on.


♪ ♪

I don't remember
my mother.

I was only two when she died.

All I remember is daddy,

laughing at my stupid jokes,

reading me books
before bed,

teaching me
how to throw like a boy.

You know, when I
met your dad,

he told me

that he was a lot of things
to a lot of people,

but what he was most proud of
was being your dad.

He loved you so much.

He was all I had
until you came.

Then I had both of you.


I love you, Beth.

Oh, baby. I love you, too.

So much.

Oh, I've known Paul for years.

You might find this

This goes back...


Oh, hi. Hi, Beth.

Hi, Bob.

How are you doing,
you and Robin?

One day at a time.

Come on in.

Beth, this is
Jerry Calhoun.

Jerry's a private investigator.

My condolences, Mrs. James.

Thank you.

I've been retained
by beneficial secura life

to conduct

a fraudulent claim

Fraudulent claim?


Standard procedure, Mrs. James.


After all,

you did take out
a $750,000 life insurance policy

on your husband

just three weeks
before he was murdered.

Yes, I did.

Paul told me to buy that,

because he didn't think
that he had enough insurance

and he wanted to make sure

that Robin and I
were taken care of.

I see.


beneficial secura's
withholding payment

until the matter
of your husband's murder

has been resolved.

Beth, why don't you
have a seat here.

Would you like
a coffee?

Uh, no...
No, thank you.

Beth, until this
insurance business

is taken care of,

I need to know
how you're planning

to make
the mortgage payments.

Um, sorry, Bob.


What are you
talking about?

Well, the house payments,
the credit cards...

Where do you plan
on getting the money?

From our savings accounts,
mine and Paul's,

and Paul took out
several retirement plans.

Bob, what's going on here?

You're the president
of the bank.

You don't know this?

Paul said everything was fine.

Why didn't you talk to him
about this before?

I did, Beth.

Several times

during the last
six months.

I'm sorry, Bob,

I can't even spare
10 minutes.

It's an arbitration.

You know how that goes.

You're three months
behind on the rent.

You're taking
advantage of me,

and I don't like it.

Bob... Bob, relax, okay?

Let's... let's meet for lunch
next week.

This can't wait
until next week.

I've had my office
in your bank building

for 12 years.

Paul, listen to me.

This is not my building.
This is not my bank.

Now, I have a board of directors
that I have to answer to.

I have always paid the rent.

It's not just
about the rent, Paul!

You're three months behind
on the mortgage.

What about my...

Your lines of credit
are fully extended.

There's nothing
in your savings account,

and your retirement accounts
are empty.

Now, this is serious business,

I need more time.

I can't give you any more time.

The board has directed me
to start proceedings,

and I can't put them off.

This whole mess

is going to get
very public

unless you
deal with it

right now.

Okay, detective,
I want this to stop.

I don't care
that you have a warrant.

This is my home.

My daughter and I,
we live here.

the man you're looking for

is still out on the street,

and you're ripping up my home.

Mrs. James, we have looked
and looked again.

We're still looking
for this man.

We can't seem
to find him anywhere.

No one saw him.

I saw him.

Okay, well,
we'll keep looking,

but right now,
we've got some issues

that we need to resolve.

What kind of issues?

Master bedroom is clean,

and there's nothing
in the living room.

Car keys?

Mrs. James?

Car keys.

Detective, what issues?

It was a gas fire.

We dug up the dirt
around your husband's car,

sent it off to the lab.

That's how we know.

They analyze the gas,

chemical composition,
the additives...

It's like
a fingerprint.

They can even tell me
what station it came from.

Anyway, that's why it
burned so hot and so fast.

Bullets ball up
in a fire that hot.

You can't do the ballistics.

That's what happened
to the bullets in my husband?

Two out of three,

but the one in the head

was protected from the heat
by the skull.

was able to read that one.

.45 caliber acp.

Came from a Colt 1911,

a semi-automatic sidearm
used by the army

for 40 years.

You know,
your husband owned one.

You think that the man
that shot my husband

used his own gun?

Well, we need to look
into that possibility.


my husband's gun
is not in my car.

Mrs. James, it's our

to make sure no stone
is left unturned.

Detective rhodes,
over here.


Let's get a picture
of this.

25 grand.

Mrs. James, can you tell me
why you have this much cash

in your desk?

And I would advise you

to think carefully
about your answer.

Paul James.

No, Dougie, Dougie...

I can't. I...



Doug zwick.
You know who he is?


No, but that was found
in my husband's jacket

the night
he was killed.

Friday, 10:15.

That's when
he was murdered.

You say you found it
in his jacket?

I don't say I found it.

I did find it.

Look, it could be anybody.

It could be nobody.


Or that could be the man
that murdered my husband,

or he might
know something about it.

Okay. We'll look into it.

All right?


I didn't do it, detective.

You're making a big mistake.

I'm trying not to, Mrs. James.

♪ ♪

Nice office.

What are you doing here?

That's a misplaced question.

I'm not the one who broke in.

I have a key, Mr. Calhoun.

This is my husband's office.

I have every right to be here.

Well, as a point of law,
Mrs. James,

this office became the property
of the fenton police department

the moment your husband
was murdered.

Well, you don't have to stay.

Why don't you tell me
a little bit about him.


All right.
I'll tell you what I know.

Born and raised
right here in fenton.

Joined the army
right out of high school.

his tour of duty,

and then he put himself
through college

and law school.

Came home a hero.

Marries a local girl,
has a kid,

hangs out a shingle,

and joins a church.

Life is good...

Till two years later.

His first wife dies
in a horrible car accident.

So he raises his daughter
on his own,

becomes a member
of the vestry,

little league coach,

pta co-chair,

finds the time

to rise to the rank
of major

in the fenton detachment
of the army reserve,

while at the same time,
expanding his law practice,

pillar of the community,

then he meets you.

I don't like you,
Mr. Calhoun.

Yeah, I get that a lot.

Four months into
a whirlwind relationship,

he decides to ask you
to marry him.

You say yes.

You honeymoon
in Martinique,

return to fenton,

and legally adopt
his daughter Robin

as your own.

You're arrogant,
and you're annoying.

A year after that,

you take out
a $750,000 life insurance policy

on him.

And you're unbearably smug.

Three weeks after that,
he's dead.

Well, you know everything,
don't you, Mr. Calhoun?

Not by a long shot, Mrs. James,
not yet...

But I will.

Everyone here
is very sorry

about the major's
death, ma'am.


Jack, I wanted to ask you
about another soldier here.

He might have been a friend
of my husband's.

Doug zwick.

Yes, ma'am.

They were friends.
They met in the army.

Oh, well, is he here?

May I talk with him?

No, ma'am.

He's on
extended leave.

He'll be gone
six months.

Well, is there somewhere
that I could reach him?

Jack, I wouldn't be
asking you this

if it wasn't important.

I don't know where he is,

This isn't the first time
he's taken extended leave,

and when he's gone, he's gone.

Listen, Beth,

as far as I know,

sergeant zwick manages
a used car dealership

in Warren county.

It's about an hour,
1:10 from here.

It's called hare auto.

Maybe they can help you out.

Thank you.


I need a number

for hare auto
in Warren county, please.


Thank you.

I wish he would've told us.

I guess he just thought
he was letting us down.

He never let me down.

I know, sweetheart. I know.

I'll get it.

Yes, hi. Is this hare auto?

I'm looking for Doug zwick,

Do you expect him back later?

Will he be coming in

Can you please
leave him a message...

Elizabeth James...

What are you doing?

We have a warrant
charging you

with the murder
of Paul James.

You're under arrest.

Are you kidding?

The gas in the can
started the fire.

The ballistics
of your husband's gun...

This is wrong!

The one we found in
the sewer across the street,

match the bullet in
your husband's head.

Your prints
are all over the gun.

I didn't kill my husband!

We found the gas can
in the garbage,

we put the murder weapon
in your hands...

It's no mistake.

Robin, listen to me.
I didn't do this, okay?

I did not do this!

Let's go.

Hey, Jerry.
How's it going?

Hey, Steve. How are you?

Nice tie.

This one? Really?

I was going to
throw it out.

My ex-wife
gave it to me.

I hear you.


Mrs. James.

Isn't this
over for you?

Wife murders husband
for insurance money.

Held without bail.

Case closed.

The way
I understand the system,

you're innocent
until proven guilty.

Unless, of course,

you're just telling me
that you are guilty.

That would make my job
a lot easier, you know.

I didn't do it, Mr. Calhoun.

I didn't do it.

Then who did?

I don't know...

But he was supposed to meet
a friend from the reserve

that night.

Doug zwick.

Yes, and somebody
needs to be talking to him.

Find out what he knows.

Baylor and rhodes
ran that one down.

It was a dead end.



I was talking
to the d.A.

He's getting ready
to file

an additional charge
against you.


Says he has
reason to believe

that you stole and hid $800,000.

You were with me at the bank,

Mr. Calhoun.

He told me
my accounts were empty.

I don't have $800,000.

You really don't know,
do you?

No, I don't...

Mr. Calhoun...

But you do,
don't you?

Your husband
had a client.

A real estate developer
with a problem.

My client
had every intention

of repairing
the property.

But he didn't do the work.

He was taking bids.

Show me
the list of contractors.

He was preparing to take bids.

And my client is
preparing to sue him.

My clients have suffered

financial damages, Paul.

We don't argue
that your client is owed money.

You want to discuss
a settlement...

I'm listening.

In return for your client
dropping the lawsuit,

my client will deposit $750,000
into my trust account

while we negotiate
in good faith.

Not enough, Paul.

One million, or we go forward
with the lawsuit.

900,000, and we meet next week
with the accountants.

I want written notification

when the money is deposited
into your trust account.

Hey, Ellen. It's Beth.

Not so good.

Listen, thanks
for taking care of Robin.


Can I please talk to her?

She's with Andrea where?

Can you just tell her
that I'm on the phone?

I don't have a lot of time.

Yeah, I know she's upset,
but just...

Just get her on the phone.
I just have...

I know.


Okay, well...

Um, I'll call her in a few days.

Ma'am, it's time
to wrap it up.

Can you tell her
that I love her?


Right this way,

I think
we should accept a plea.

If you plead guilty,

the d.A.
Will take the death penalty

off the table.

Look, Mrs. James,

your husband
grew up here.

Everybody loved him.

They don't know you.

I didn't kill my husband.

They have a murder weapon
with your fingerprints on it.

We went target shooting
five, six times.

His fingerprints are on it too.

They have a very strong case.

I don't care!

We can't win.

I didn't kill him,

and I'm not telling Robin
that I did.

All right. Okay.

I'm never
going to tell Robin that.

Hey, guys,

how many electricians
does it take

to change a lightbulb?

Very funny.

Guess you heard
that one, huh?

Look who's back.

You catch anything?

Just a bad cold.

Well, that'll teach you
to go camping when it's raining.

Next time,
I'll call you first,

and you can put in
a good word for me.

Oh, yeah,
me and mother nature...

Call an ambulance!
Peters, get over here!

Call an ambulance!

Don't move!

Ma'am, are you...

Call an ambulance!

Shut that power off!

Are you okay?

♪ ♪

Are you all right?

Son of a bitch.

Son of a bitch!
She's gone!

Call to secure
the area!

Get someone over here now.

Lock down the perimeter!

Move, move, move!

Does anyone have a visual
on the subject?


There's no sign
of the suspect here.

Where were you?

I was on my way
to the courthouse.

She was being arraigned
on the embezzlement charge.

I talked to
fugitive task force

in Sacramento.

They're going to handle it

State patrol's
got cars

on all highways
coming in and out.

I want this town sealed, okay?

Buses, trains...

I want the roads
shut down.

This is Paul James
we're talking about.

city council member,

local hero...

I don't want
any excuses.

I want to know
where Beth's at,

I want her in custody,

and I want her sitting
in this office...


Yeah, this is Calhoun.
Someone there paged me.

Hello? Hello?

Mr. Calhoun. It's Beth James.

I need to talk with you.

You're the only person
it seems might believe me.

Well, this isn't exactly
the best time,

but sure, go right ahead.

No, not on the phone.


I have a place in mind.

I had to make sure
you were alone.

It's my responsibility
to tell you

to go back
and give yourself up.

Anyone who had their doubts
before, Mrs. James,

well, you can
pretty much bet

they know
you're guilty now.

Well, then you
have to help me.

"Aiding and abetting."

That's what they call
helping a fugitive.

You put me at risk
just coming here, you know.

You put yourself
at risk.

I'm criminally liable
from this point on.


and I'm under arrest
for a murder.

If you really
didn't do it,

let the cops and the courts
handle it.

You're just making it
worse for yourself.

This is what
I cannot wrap my head around.


Mr. Calhoun...

Do you have
any children?

I was married once before...

And we wanted to have a child,
but it...

I worked too much,
he worked too much,

it didn't happen,

then the marriage

and then I met Paul...

And Robin.

She's my daughter.

That's why I'm doing this.


I have a daughter.

Her mother will tell you

that I was married
to the job

long before I was
married to her.



10 years.

Well, then
you have to believe me.

That's just it,
Mrs. James.

I don't believe anything,

not until I know for a fact
that it's true.

I'm a natural-born cynic
that way.

I'm counting on it.

I cannot be doing this.

All right.

This is
Doug zwick's address

in Warren county.

It's the grandview
trailer park.

And just in case
it slipped your mind,

every police official
within 500 miles

has your picture
on their desk right now,

so if I were you,
I would not think about running.

I'm not going to run.

♪ ♪


Uh, no, no, it's...

It's taggert.

My old lady
kicked me out last night.

Who the hell are you?

I'm Jane sweeney.

Uh, is Doug here?

No, no. He's...

He's out of town



I'm sort of
an old friend of his.


Yeah, well, he's...

He's probably on a bender.

You know Dougie.



That's what he's driving
these days?

Uh, yeah, yeah,
but he took his truck.

Ah. Yeah.

He didn't happen to say
when he was coming back...

Did he?

He didn't say nothing...

But you're welcome
to hang out here

if you want.

I got to go make peace
with the old lady, so...

I'm out of here.

Yeah, I was just...
I was concerned about him,

you know, on account
of that guy, Paul James,

getting murdered,

and, well,
I know that him and Doug

were buddies.



I guess
you could say that.

He'll take $400

off the silver one
for you, man.


Paul James!

What's the good word, man?

Let me guess.

You've come down here

to buy a car
for your daughter... Rachel.

Uh, Robin.

Well, you've come
to the right place, man.

I can help you out, pal.

Uh, that's...

That's not why I'm here.

No kidding.

So, what's up?

I'm in sort of
a tough spot, Dougie.


You once said...

I remember you once said
that if ever I...

You know, if I needed money...

I could come to you.


Is that really why you're here?

What's up?

Well, it's a long story.

I made some bad investments,

the bank called in my line...

You used
to gamble, right?

Is that the bad investment

we're talking about

I'm turning things around.

I just need a little help.

It's nothing
to be ashamed of, man.

I mean, it happens all the time.

Good people like yourself,
they make honest mistakes,

and get themselves
in the hole,

and then they have to
bet the house to get out.

Am I right?


It's nothing
to be ashamed of.


So, what kind of number
are we talking about here?




You got yourself
a number there, Paul James.

Well, you'll get it all back,

Oh, I'm sure I will.

I know...

But you see,
we've got a little problem here,

because it's not my money.

I mean, I just
run the lot.

I don't own it.

Know what I mean?


Let me talk to bronski.

I mean,
it'll be up to him.

Paulie, relax.

I will take care of this.

Tranquilo, amigo.

Well, come on.

Oh, god.

♪ ♪



Robin, I need
to talk to you.

I just have to tell you
something, Robin.


The police
are right outside.

I know they are.
Just listen to me, okay?

I'm going to
turn you in.

Let me go!

Not until you listen to me.

Your father
borrowed money

from some really bad men.

I know who they are,

and I think

they had something
to do with his murder.

You're lying.

I hate you.

I'm going to find out
what happened, okay?

But if they killed him,
they could kill me too.

You murdered my father.

I might not get
this opportunity again,

and I need to tell you
that I love you.

♪ ♪

She was here.

She dyed her hair red.

Walked right past

How long ago?

10 minutes.


You okay?


After she left, I came outside
and told the policeman.

You did a good thing
by doing that.

I know whose car she has.

I know where she's hiding.


She's housesitting
for her friend,

Jane Clark.

I can't promise you everything,

okay, guys?

Now, this one here,
you might like,

but it's more
of a ladies' car.

Now, this is
a guy's car right here,

and I've got
these two here.

They've got
very low mileage.

Good cars, okay? Good cars.

Now, this one here,

that's an excellent one
right here.

You're going to
like that one.

It's got very low...

Lady driver.

Lady driver
on this one,

and, uh...

This one here

is our special for the week,

It's a good deal,

so you might be interested
in that.

Hey, buddy,
how much for this one?

This one here,

well, this one
you're going to like.

Low mileage.

It's a big
gas guzzler.

This one here...

♪ ♪

Who is it?

I'm Diane Calhoun.

I'm an insurance

Mr. Bronski?

I'd like to ask you
a few questions.

So who's suing me now?

No one...


Then what the hell
do you want?

I'm trying to find out
what happened to Paul James

so a determination
can be made


a life insurance

to his family.

Who the hell is Paul James?

Well, he was an attorney
in fenton county.

He was murdered.

Oh, yeah.

I read about that.

Listen, Mr. Bronski,

I know that Doug zwick
worked here,

and I know that he
introduced him to you.

How much
for this one over here?

Whatever he tells you,

take 200 bucks
off of that.

Hey, that's
straight from the boss, pal.

Right off
the bottom line.

Listen, is Doug zwick here now?

If he was, do you think
I'd be doing his job?

I don't know.

Look, I have no idea
who it was.

I mean...

His wife did it.

That's what
the papers say.

I don't know
what else to tell you.

Mr. Bronski,
I'm just looking for information

about a claim.

The police don't know
that Paul James was here,

but that can change.


Paul James.


I remember him now.

Oh, here's a good one.

You let me know
when you're ready, Paulie.

Pontiac grand am.


I had a grand am once.

It was white
with tan seats.

God, I loved that car.

It was one of
the older ones.

I like the older ones
better than the newer ones.

The newer ones
got those round bodies.

I don't like them.

What do you think, Pete?

Do you like the new ones
or the old ones?

There's only one car
worth anything anymore.


Everything else is garbage.

Well, I think this one's
good enough for Paulie.

Oh. Chevy blazer.

55,000 miles.

Excellent condition.
"Like a rock."


Hey, Pete.

Did I ever tell you
Paulie's war story?


I first met this guy in Cairo
in '80.


I was a depot driver
back then.

Used to haul supplies and troops
all over the middle east.

Paulie here worked
in the motor pool,

gassing up the jeeps,
changing the oil.

I did more than that.

Oh, yeah.
Oh, he rotated the tires, too.


so that was when Carter
sent all the marines

over to Iran
to rescue the hostages.


got screwed up.

Helicopters crashing,
people dying...

Mission aborted.

You remember that?

Anyway, so that night,
there's a fire

back on the base
in Cairo,

and all the personnel files
got wiped out,

so Paulie goes in there

and writes up
his own file.

Oh, I swear to god it's true.

I was there.

He told me
all about it.

Made himself a war hero?

He made himself

a real cowboy.

He went in there,
guns blazing,

rescued a whole squad
of marines...

The way he puts it.

But the guy wasn't even there.


How much is that?


Chevy Van.


We just talked

to the janitor
at the bank.

You broke into his office?

No, she broke in.

I followed her.

It didn't occur to you
to tell us this?

Geez, I guess
it must have slipped my mind.

Did you say anything
to her?

I told her

that the police had custody
of her husband's office,

that she was
violating a crime scene

and she should leave right away.

But she didn't.

No, not right away.

Did she say anything to you?

Come on, guys.

I told you every...

Wait a second. You know what?

She did say something.

She told me that I was arrogant,
annoying, and unbearably smug.

Does that mean anything?

If anything else slips

that unbearably smug
mind of yours,

I'll just nail your ass
to the wall.

You know, you keep
grabbing me like that,

we're going to have to
get hitched.

Hey, come on, guys.

I haven't remembered anything

in the 15 seconds...

He bought $50,000
worth of used cars.

Bronski said it was
part of a fleet deal

of one of Paul's clients.

I don't know how many
checks he wrote.

Eight checks the first time.

What do you mean,
the first time?

Yeah, two weeks later,
he did it again.

He wrote nine checks,

bought nine cars
for another 50,000.

17 cars in all.

100 grand.

Every check made out to cash.

So he was paying bronski back
for the money that he borrowed.


Except he never takes possession
of any vehicles.

Bronski writes up
a phony bill of sale.

The bank cashes the checks,
no questions asked.

They're laundering the money,
Mrs. James.

The trust account.

That's where he got
all the money.

It's embezzlement.

He wouldn't do that.

He didn't.

Mrs. James, you did.


You're signatory
to the account, right?


All right. Sign this.

I want to show you something.

Paul did that
in case he was ill

or he was out of town.

I could still give clients
access to the money,

but I never
signed any checks.

Actually, Mrs. James...

You signed
every last one of them.

More or less.

Carbon copy.

You just trace
the signature.

It's an old trick,

but it still works

Two weeks later,
he writes check number 18.


Empties the account.

Why did he do that?

I don't know.

Maybe they threatened
to kill you

if he didn't cooperate.

Maybe they threatened Robin.

That's how they do things,
Mrs. James.

He was trapped.


Hi, this is Jackie Fisher.
I'm Robin's aunt.

Can I talk with her, please?

Yeah, just a sec.

For you.

It's your aunt Jackie.

Hey, aunt Jackie.

Robin, it's Beth.
Don't hang up.

They did it.

They killed him.

I know they did.

The men that your father
borrowed money from.

They stole his trust account,

and they killed him.

I don't believe you.

Robin, call Mr. Calhoun.

He'll explain this
to you.


Robin, I love you.


I am going to prove this to you.

Just call
Mr. Calhoun, okay?

He'll explain everything.

Please, Robin.

Just call him...

Here she comes.

I have to go.

Don't move, Mrs. James!
Don't move!

Stand down! Stand down!

Who the hell
are you?


Code four. Code four.

It's not her.
It's Jane Clark.

What are you doing
in my house?

Where's my car?

What's going on here?

Somebody talk to me.

Somebody tell me
what's going on here.

Get a statement
from the cab driver.


Be right there, sir.

Thank you very much.

It's not her.

You know, lady,

I could drop you off
at a motel instead.

No, I'm fine.


♪ ♪

Hurry back.

That's how
they do things, Mrs. James.

I hate you.

Yeah. Calhoun.

Mr. Calhoun,
this is Robin James.


Are you okay? What's wrong?

The cops are here.

They follow me everywhere.

They're watching me.

Listen, sweetheart,
it's not you that they're after.


It's Beth.

Where is she?

I don't know, Robin.

She called me
last night.

She sounded so scared.

Listen, they didn't get her,
Robin, okay?

I know she's
still out there.

Did she kill my father?

I don't think so.

The police say she did.

Listen to me, Robin.

Sometimes the police
can be wrong,

and sometimes...

it's just easier that way.

She was telling them
about this guy, Doug zwick.

Did he kill my father?

Yeah, he might have.

Listen, Robin,

your father got himself in
way over his head.

He borrowed a lot of money

from this zwick guy
and some of his friends.

a dangerous crowd

to run with.

I just...

I don't know who to believe.

where are you right now?

I'm at my school.

Okay, in about five minutes,

I'm going to be coming
around the back.

All right?

Okay, stay put.


Yeah, it's me.

♪ ♪

She loves you, kid...

A lot.

She said you were like

the daughter
she never had.

The daughter
she always wanted.

Why don't you
go talk to her.


For what?

All I did was give you
a ride to the park.

Get out of my car.

Are you okay?


Are you?

Been better.

I used to come here
when I was little.

Daddy took me.

My dad used to take me
to the park, too.

There was a duck pond.
You know...

We used to leave the bread out
so it got really stale, and...

I must have been five or six.

I told them

that you were staying
at the Clarks',

that you were driving
Jane's car.

I saw you leaving the school.
That's how I knew.

Yeah, but you called
Mr. Calhoun.


He said the police
didn't want to hear

about daddy borrowing money
from Doug zwick.

He said they called him,
couldn't find him,

and that was it.

They don't care.



If Doug zwick
really did murder my father,

someone has to find him.


I like your hair.

Oh. Huh.



I was so worried
about you.

I just wanted to
make sure you were okay.

I'm sure you're doing
all your homework.

Don't forget
to lock up, boss.

I'm out of here.


Yeah, it's taggert.

Ah, what did you forget
this time?

Sit your ass down.

Sit your ass down.

You guys are making
a big mistake.


What the hell
is going on here?

Who do you two idiots

think you are?

Hey, I know you.

You're that insurance lady.

Uh, Calhoun.

Actually, it's Beth James,
Mr. Bronski.

Yeah, Paul James' wife.

Oh, for god's...

Well, who the hell are you?

You don't ask the questions,
fat man.

My husband
owed you money.

He wrote you 17 checks

from our trust account
to pay you back.

That wasn't enough.

You had to murder him
for the rest of it?

I didn't kill anybody.


Maybe not.

This right here...

Looks like it's good
for a nickel stretch at chico,

fat man.

I guess...

We're just going to have to
take this to the police.

For Christ's sake, lady,

are you out of your mind?

You really want
to mess with me?

You murdered my husband,
you son of a bitch!


I am completely
out of my mind.

Talk to the lady.

All right!

All right.

It wasn't me.

It wasn't me.

I'm not
taking the heat

for this stupid idea.

It was Dougie,
for Christ's sake.

It was Dougie.

He's got a screw loose.

You never know
when he's going to go off.

There was no way
to talk him out of it.

Look at that
poor, stupid son of a bitch.

There's 800 grand
in that trust account.

I saw the statement.

As long as
it's there,

no one's going to miss
the hundred large

we skimmed off his ass


I'm going to do him.

You do the lawyer...

Someone's going to come
looking for you.

Go to hell.

I'll put it on his wife.

It's her signature
on the checks, Pete.

Yeah, so she'll take the hit
for the cash,

but not so you can kill him.

It's motive.

That's what it's all about.

The rest I will take care of.

By the time I'm done,

everybody's fingers

are going to be pointing
at Mrs. Paulie James.

Doug zwick is
the coldest, most calculated

con man
I've ever worked with.

I wouldn't put anything
past him.

He went by an alias

when I met him loansharking
six years ago.

Christopher curts.


He used it whenever he had to
lay low from the cops.

I'm guessing that's what
he's doing now.

Look, it wasn't me.
You know it wasn't me.

I don't know where he's
hiding out this time,

but if you find curts,

you find Doug zwick.

Curts... curts...

There's got to be
something here.

Christopher curts.

15 woodridge road.

Zwick, you should have
listened to bronski.


Yeah. Calhoun.

It's me.


I think we're going to have to
stop seeing each other.

The cops found out
I took Robin to the park.

They're all over me.

They've got a guy
outside my motel right now.

I know.

What did you tell rhodes?

You know, that she asked me
for a ride to the park,

I said yes,

we hung out for a while,
and I took her home.

It's basically
the truth of it,

if you look at it that way.

And what about Robin?

She's okay.

She didn't say anything.

I found him.



He's in the mountains,
about three and a half hours.

Indian lake.

I'm going.

I have to
confront him myself

if anyone's going to
know the truth.


The cops aren't
going to believe me.


That's great.

Well, you know, I don't know
if you knew this,

but right behind the hotel,
there's a little alley.

In about five minutes,

I'm going to be the guy

climbing out
the bathroom window.


You bet.

All right,
that should do it.

Try it again.


Doug zwick, I'm Beth James.

You murdered my husband.

All right.

You're not
going to say that.

He killed Paul
and he framed me.

All right, maybe,

but you're not
going to say that.

Listen, I have to get him
to admit something

that he most likely
won't admit,

and I think the truth
is going to shake him up.

The truth?

Doug zwick, I'm Beth James.

You murdered
my husband.



Mrs. James...


Just in case.


No one would blame you
if something happened, you know.

All right.

I'm right around the corner.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

Mr. Calhoun,
he's here.

All right, Mrs. James.

Stay cool.

Come on, talk to me.


What are you...



I was worried about you.



I read the papers...

Heard what happened...

I-I never wanted this
to happen.

I didn't...

I didn't want it
to be like this.

You have to believe me.

It was a mistake.

All a mistake.

Let me make it up to you...

But you killed zwick!


But let's make it earlier.

I have a church function
at 7:30.

6:00 it is.

I'll see you then.

There was no other way.

You burned him in the car.

He was going to kill me.

Then you put a gas can

in the garage

where you knew
they were going to find it.

Everyone wanted something.

Then you
dropped the gun

in the sewer

with my fingerprints on it.

They wouldn't leave me alone.

You planted the money
in my desk.

I had to get out.

You signed my name

on those checks.

I had nothing left to give.

Come on. Come on. Come on.

Everything was gone.

Everything I was.

My life... I...

This was all your idea.
All of it.

I had to get out.

My life was a lie,

and everyone
would know.

You set me up!

I had no choice!

Yes, you did!

Yes, you did!

Don't touch me!

Don't touch me!

Get off me! No!

Help! Help!

Mr. Calhoun!


Mr. Calhoun!

Help me!

No one can hear you
out here, Beth!

Help! No!


Let her go, Mr. Zwick!

Zwick, let her go!

I'm not going to
warn you again!

Mrs. James?
Are you all right?

Mrs. James,
are you okay?


It's Paul.

It was all Paul.

It's okay.

Mrs. James,
I'm sorry.

I'm really sorry.

Well, this looks like it'll be
all over the news.


It will.

You got what you wanted,
Mrs. James.

Everyone will know the truth.

Thank you.

Innocent until proven guilty.



Not too bad for
"arrogant and annoying."

Hey, don't forget
"unbearably smug."

I'm not going to
forget anything.

♪ If you count all my mistakes ♪

♪ I would have to walk away ♪

♪ I just could not take ♪

♪ another yesterday ♪

♪ I've not the strength... ♪



♪ Now, if I admit defeat ♪

♪ tell me what, then, will that mean? ♪

♪ Will I cease to be? ♪

♪ Or will I be redeemed? ♪

♪ Or will it be the end of me? ♪

♪ And you ought to know by now ♪

♪ to get out from under that cloud ♪

♪ that took all my power ♪

♪ and it's the only thing that counts ♪

♪ well, I smile as I stand here today ♪

♪ with all the mistakes I've made... ♪

♪ ♪

♪ fade away ♪

♪ fade away ♪

♪ and you ought to know by now ♪

♪ to get out from under that cloud ♪

♪ that took all my power ♪

♪ and it's the only thing that counts ♪

♪ well, I smile as I stand here today ♪

♪ with all the mistakes I've made ♪

♪ now, in my darkest night ♪

♪ they're the brightest stars in the sky ♪

♪ if you count all my mistakes ♪

♪ I would have to walk away ♪

♪ I just could not take ♪

♪ another yesterday ♪

♪ I've not the strength to fade away ♪

♪ hey, hey ♪