Touched by a Killer (2001) - full transcript

An investigative reporter (Isabella Hoffman) works to free a man she believes was wrongly convicted of murder before his execution.

- [Priest] the lord
is my shepherd.

I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie
down in green pastures.

He leadeth me beside
the still waters.

He restoreth my soul.

Yea, though I walk
through the valley

of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,
for thou art with me.

Thy rod and thy staff,
they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me

in the presence of mine enemies.

Thou anointest my head with oil.

My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and
mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the
house of the lord forever.

The lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie
down in green pastures.

The lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.

He leadeth me beside
the still waters.

He maketh me to lie
down in green pastures.

He restoreth my soul.

He leadeth me beside
the still waters.

Yea, though I walk
through the valley

of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil.

Yea, though I walk
through the valley

of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil

for thou art with me.

Thou preparest a table before me

in the presence of mine enemies.

Thou anointest my head with oil.

Thou preparest a table before me

in the presence of mine enemies.

Surely goodness and
mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the
house of the lord forever.

The lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.

And I will dwell in the
house of the lord forever.

He maketh me to lie
down in green pastures.

(praying muffled
by water splashing)

He leadeth me beside
the still waters.

Yea, though I walk through
the valley of the shadow

of death, I will fear no evil.

(heavy breathing)

(prayer layered
on top of itself)

(intense music)

(door creaking)

(door slamming)

(electricity buzzing)

(phone ringing)


- Oh!



- Nicki, where the hell are you?

You're supposed to
be at the courthouse.

They're reading
the Valdez verdict.

- (sighs) What time is it?

- [Liza] It's 10:30.

- Oh, the alarm didn't...

Okay, am I in trouble?

- Well, Bernie's at the
courthouse covering for you.

But you better get down there.

- Yeah, coming.

(phone beeping)
(phone thudding)

(somber music)

- [Mitchell] And
sentencing will take place

on Tuesday the 16th.

The state expects
the maximum sentence.

- Sir!
- Excuse me!

- Mr. Clarke, Mr. Clarke?

- Yes?

- [Reporter] That could
mean the death penalty.

Do you not find that
kind of punishment harsh?

- Well, of course it's harsh.

But this is going to send
a clear message to those

who believe that
they can disregard

the laws of our community.

- Excuse me, sir.
- Sir.

- And then when do you proceed

with the trials of the
other two defendants?

- Within the next two weeks.

- Now, you'll have to excuse me.

Assistant district
attorney Warren Penn here

will be glad to answer
any further questions.

- How do you feel about
being called a mongoose?

- Fine by me.

As long as I get the snakes.

- Hey, sorry I'm
late, I overslept.

- We'll talk about it later.

Let's catch him
before he gets away.

- [Warren] We expect
the same results

from two other indictments.

- Mitch!

- Bernie, you old dog,
what are you doing here?

Well, you got a
big case coming up.

- One down, two to go.

- And just in time
for the election.

- It's got nothing
to do with that.

- Oh, that's not what your
campaign manager told me.

(laughs) Just kidding, Mitch.

- Har, har.

- This is my niece,
Nicki Barrington.

Nicki Barrington, this
is Mitchell Clarke,

our district attorney
and local mongoose.

- How do you do?
- Nice to meet you.

- Nicki grew up around here.

She's just come home
from New York City.

- Well, welcome back
to Marshall Falls.

We could use some
new blood around here

to liven up Bernie's
stodgy old paper.

So what do you think?

- Well, Bernie's
stodgy old paper

doesn't endorse politicians.

- You know, Bernie, that's
what I like about you.

You are one of the few
truly righteous people

left in the world.

- [Reporter] Penn, Mr.
Penn, Warren, Warren.

- He doesn't know
how right he is.

- [Reporter] Mr. Penn, the
people don't agree with this.

- [Reporter] Mr. Clarke!

(door clicking)

(keys jingling)

(somber music)

(door creaking)

- Can I come in?

- Yeah, sure, come on.

What is it?

- R.J. sent me a
package last night

and wants me to cover
a story for him.

- How's he doing?

- Not good.

- Well, that's too bad.

- Yeah.

- What's the story?

- There's this guy
over at Midvalley

who's scheduled to be
executed next month.

- Tyler Nash.

- R.J. doesn't want you to
cover the execution, does he?

- He's convinced that
the guy is innocent.

- Okay, you go ahead.

Just make sure it
doesn't interfere

with your work on this paper.

- Thank you.

(paper rustling)

(gentle, melancholy music)


- Nicki!



Hey, open the damn door,
it's cold out here.

- Coming.

(door creaking)

What the hell you
doing out here?

- Well, I've been knocking
at the front door forever.

(door thudding)

- Sorry.

- Oh, this is
totally unacceptable.

- I think I look stunning.

- Really?

Ooh, so what happened
here last night, huh?

- Wild research
party, very exciting.

- Yeah?

Well, you forgot to
sign off on the net

and I have been trying
to call you all morning.

- Oh, sorry.

- [Liza] Did you forget
our seminar this morning?

- I did, but I've got to go to
Midvalley penitentiary today.

- Oh Nicki, they
finally busted you.

- You're very funny
in the mornings.

- (laughs) Ooh, now this
is worth working late for.

- That is my
Midvalley lunch date.

- What?

- R.J. asked me to
interview him, do a story.

- [Liza] Oh.

(pills rattling)

- Having trouble
sleeping lately.

- So try a glass of warm
milk, anything but those.

- My doctor prescribed them.

- The dreams again.
- Yeah, since I moved back.

- So move, sell the place.

- I like the place.

- Yeah, but too
many bad memories.

- [Nicki] Oh, come on,
Liza, I'll get over it.

- Yeah, before or after
you get addicted to those?

- Honey, how long
have you known me?

- Oh, ever since second grade

when Jimmy Lane
stole your notebook

and I had to beat him
up to get it back.

- So, still worried?

- As a matter of fact-

- God, you're so annoying.

Please make me some coffee,
I'm taking a shower.

- I love you, too.
- Mm.

(apple crunching)

(somber music)

- So Wayne wants to ask you out.

- [Nicki] Oh, please.

- He's a nice guy.

- Oh, if he's so nice, why
don't you go out with him?

- Well, because I'm not the
stepmom type, and besides,

he likes you.

- Liza, you know
something, you're obsessed.

I mean, why are you so compelled
to set me up all the time?

- I just want my
best friend happy.

- I don't need a
man to be happy.

I like my independence,

and I like having
control of my life.

- Oh, I'd like to be out of
control just one last time

before I start
getting hot flashes.

- Thanks for the
coffee, by the way.

(sighs) You are a goddess.

Mm. (chuckles)

- "Debbie, you know who I am
if you remember this poem:

Passions drift amongst
the silken flesh,

beads of sweat drip slowly down

sunken and surrendered crevices

giving breath to
conscious rapture."


- It's the Midvalley guy again.

- So what's he in
for, bad poetry?

- Close, murder.

- Oh.

Well, for someone who
likes to be in control,

I think you picked an
interesting person to interview.

- I didn't pick
him, R.J. did, okay?

- Mm-hm.

(footsteps tapping)

(tense, eerie music)

(door creaking)

(door creaking)

- Thank you.

- Sit over there, please.

(door thudding)

(clock ticking)

(door buzzing)

(chains clinking)

- Where's Mr. Malone?

- He asked me to
come in his place.

- Who are you?

- I'm Nicki Barrington.

I'm also a journalist.

- He said he'd help me.

- [Nicki] He said he
would write a story.

- What does that mean?

- It means I'm going
to get to know you

over the next few weeks.

- What do you get out of it?

- The chance to write a piece

that might convince the state

to change its views
on capital punishment.

- So it doesn't matter
whether I'm innocent or not.

- Not here to pass judgment.

- So what do I get out of it?

I mean, you don't have a story

unless I'm executed, am I right?

- Mm.

So who exactly is this Debbie?

- She's my missing witness.

No, I don't know her last name,

and if she comes forward,
I would get an appeal.

- Well, this was
front-page news.

If she exists, why didn't
she just come forward?

- Oh, she exists.

Maybe she's scared.

Maybe she moved.

Maybe she doesn't care.

- The D.A. convinced the
jury you lied about her.


- You're beautiful.

- Let's just stick to
business, all right?

- Hey, I just meant
it as a compliment.

- Tell me about your lawyer.

- Nothing to say.

Look, I don't have time
to go a hundred miles

to get answers like
that, all right?

- What are you getting
mad at all of a sudden?

- I'm not getting mad, I just,

I don't have time to play games.

- I'm not playing games.

My attorney was court appointed.

He told me I should throw myself
at the mercy of the court.

I did.

Here I am.

- [Nicki] "A full moon
kindled the white beach

in front of a local
bar in Marshall Falls

the night Cecilia Flowers

decided to take a
peaceful midnight stroll,

but she was not alone.

(woman screaming)

Someone had followed her
out of the Blue Moon,

stalked her, and waited for
the perfect moment to attack.

The moment she was
most vulnerable.

The moment she
was totally alone.

Her killer sprang upon
his prey like a black cat.

He took her young life
with the slash of his blade

against the soft
flesh of her neck.

Cruel, cold-blooded,
no sympathy,

the animal drank
her fear like wine.

(woman screaming)

What happened to Cecilia
Flowers that night was inhuman.

No one should have to submit
to that kind of terror.

Marshall Falls, beware,
there's a bogeyman out there."

(man chattering)

- [Man] Needed to file half.

(man chattering)

(door thudding)

- [Man] I filed the
appellate brief,

but I'm still looking
to get a plea bargain.

- [Man] Well, the only plea
bargain they're gonna give you

is manslaughter mandatory eight.

- I don't think that's true.
- I think so.

(door creaking)

- [Man] Well, we'll see.

(men chattering)

- [Nicki] So you raced cars.

- [Tyler] Stock cars.

- [Nicki] Win much?

- I won my share.

- Okay, I'm sure this
is the last thing

you want to do again, but you
want to tell me what happened?

- (sighs) I was passing
through Marshall Falls.

I had a couple of days
before a race near Portland.

It got canceled, so
I decided to stay on.

- Several people
at the Blue Moon

saw you there with
Cecilia Flowers.

- That's right.

She was sitting at
the bar, so was I.

We had a couple of drinks.

That's all.

We left at the same time,

but we both went
our separate ways.

And then you went
to this other bar

where you picked up this Debbie.

- Yes, Deek's.

- Deek's.

Okay, so how come
no one at Deek's

remembered seeing you there?

- I don't know.

I guess we got outta
there pretty quick.

Then we drove to the beach.

- Did you sleep with her?

- No.

We talked for about
two or three hours.

- [Nicki] Then what happened?

- Then I took her back to Deek's
where she picked up her car

and that's the last
I ever saw of her.

- Tyler, why did you run

when you knew the
police were after you?

(somber music)

- I honestly don't know.

(thunder roaring)
(rain splattering)

- [Reporter On Television]
Today Mitchell Clarke,

county prosecutor, makes
his closing arguments

in the Tyler Nash trial.

He will most likely focus on
the fact that Nash had no alibi

And remind the jury that
an eyewitness placed Nash

at the scene-

(tape humming)

Flowers, a young
Marshall Falls resident.

Jury deliberations are
expected to be short.

We'll continue
coverage of this story

Once the jury has
reached its verdict.

And now, back to
our newsroom, Ted?

- [Hospital Announcer] Dr.
Henry, please report to I.C.U.

Dr. Henry, please
report to I.C.U.

- [Nicki] Dr. Vowers.

- Yes.

- [Nicki] Hi, hi,
I'm Nicki Barrington

from the Democrat and Sentinel.

- Ah, you said it was
important I see you.

- Yes, yes, it is.

Thank you so much
for taking the time.

Doctor, five years ago
you performed an autopsy

on Cecilia Flowers,
a murder victim.

- Flowers.

Flowers, yes.

- You might recall
that Tyler Nash

was convicted of that crime.

Now, in your testimony,

you concluded that
Ms. Flowers' throat

was slashed from right to left.

You're asking me to
recall a murder case

that took place
over five years ago?

- Oh, I read the court
transcripts, doctor.

You stated that the
killer slashed Ms. Flowers

from behind using a
right-to-left motion

and because of that, he
had to be left-handed.

- Yeah, so?

- All right, well,
isn't it possible

that the killer could have
slashed her from the front?

- I don't know, possible.

- Well, if the murderer
killed her from the front,

using your logic, he'd be
right-handed, isn't that so?

Now why wasn't that
mentioned in your testimony?

- What is your point,
Ms. Barrington?

- Tyler Nash is scheduled
to be executed next month.

He might be innocent.

- All I did was give
my professional opinion

and answer the questions
asked to me, now,

you have to excuse me,

I'm late and I've got
a lot of work to do.

Yes, of course, thank
you for your time.

- Now, why didn't your attorney

challenge the Flowers
autopsy report?

Tyler, you're left-handed.

What if the murderer

slashed the flowers
girl from the front?

My new attorney
used that argument

as part of an appeal
for my retrial.

- (sighs) All right.

Okay, another witness
for the prosecution,

Roger Walker, said that
he saw you with the victim

in your truck at the Blue Moon
just before she was killed.

- He lied.

- Okay, why do you say that?

- Because it didn't
happen, that's why.

How could he see something
that didn't happen?

- Sometimes witnesses have
completely different accounts

of the same event.

- Do you always do that?

(tense music)

- Do what?

- That little thing
with your hair?

- How can you be so cavalier?

(somber music)

- I'm not.

I just miss the simple things.

Like that little
thing with your hair.

(phone ringing)

- [Woman] Good afternoon,
Techway Corporation.

- Yes, Roger Walker, please.

- [Woman] Mr. Walker is
in Houston on business.

- When is he expected back?

- [Woman] The end of next week.

Is there someone else
that can help you?

- Is there a number
where I can reach him?

- [Woman] I'm sorry,
we're not permitted

to give out that information,

but if you leave
your name and number,

I'll relay the message.

- No thanks, I'll
just call back.

- Nicki, you got a minute?

- Sure.

What's up?

- I want you to go to Olympia

and cover the state
congressional runoff.


- Well, can't Wayne
or Liza do it?

- [Bernie] Why?

- I'm not up on
my state politics.

- What's going on, Nicki?

- It's that thing
I'm doing for R.J.

- Well, that thing
wasn't supposed

to interfere with your
work on the paper.

- I know.

- Ah, you better
sit down, Nicki.

This came in on the
wire this morning,

and I wasn't gonna give it to
you until after work, but...

(somber music)

- [Nicki] Newsman R.J. Malone
died early this morning.

Oh, my god.

- [Bernie] You okay?


- Oh heck, Wayne
is probably tired

of working on that fast-food
toy scandal anyway.

I heard his kids are
giving him hell about it.

- Thanks.

- You seem tense.

- Oh, well, um...

I've just had a
bad couple of days.

You know, I haven't slept well.

- What's going on, huh?

Hey, come on.

I've been honest with
you from the beginning.

You gotta be honest with me.

- R.J. Malone died.

- Oh man.


- Cancer.

- You two were close, huh?

- Hey, did this Debbie ever
tell you where she lived?

- (chuckles) No.

- [Nicki] Did you ever ask her?

- No.


What's going on?

Come on, you're in agony
here, what's happening?

- I'd worked with R.J.
for ten years, you know.

I mean, I knew it
was coming, but...

He was like a father to me.

- (sighs) I'm sorry.

- What was your father like?


- My dad,

he spent most of his
life beating the hell

out of me and my mom.

- Is your mother living?

- No, yours?

- No.

- You know, when my mom
died, I truly knew that

I was alone in the world.

Things wouldn't come easy.

- (laughs) Yeah, I guess I
know what that feels like.

- I got something for you.

(clears throat)

- "Drop a pebble in the lake
and watch the waters part

until the rings
reach every shore

and touch some other's heart.

I stand near the water's
edge, praying for a sign

that somewhere across
the mist of time,

there awaits a heart like mine."

You wrote this for me?

- Uh-huh.

- I like it.


In case I'm not here, and
you want somebody to talk to.

(door closing)

(tense music)

(woman screaming)

There were no traces of
blood, hair, or fiber

from the victim
found in his truck,

on his clothes or
in his motel room.

And there was only one
eyewitness, Roger Walker,

and his testimony
was circumstantial.

- Why, 'cause
Tyler Nash said so?

Oh, please.

- How about this?

You cannot condemn
a man to death

no matter what he
did, it's barbaric.

- Are you falling for this guy?

- No.

- Good, 'cause I wouldn't want
to have to identify your body

just because this
guy turns you on.

- [Nicki] Liza!

Well, why can't you admit
that you have hormones

just like the rest of us?

- Okay, you've hurt me
enough, I'm gonna go solo.

- And besides, I don't
believe his story

about the missing witness.

I mean, anyone can be found.

- Only if they want to be.

- Yeah, well, what if he
killed this Debbie, too?

- Okay, and what if this
Debbie was in on it?

What if the whole
thing was a setup?

- (sighs) This is starting to
sound like a soap opera to me.

- Liza, be serious
for one minute.

What if he's innocent?

- Everyone on death
row is innocent,

hasn't anyone ever told you?

I am so sorry.

I, I, oh, please.
- It's okay.

- Forgive me, Nicki.

- Liza, it's all right.
- I'm sorry, honey.

Sometimes I say the
stupidest things.

(somber music)

(phone ringing)

- Hello.


- [Tyler] Hey, it's Tyler.

- Hi.

- I hope you don't
mind me calling.

- [Nicki] No, no, I told you to.

- Look, we got five minutes
before they pull the plug here.

- Well, that doesn't seem fair.

(gentle jazz music)

- I hear music.

- [Nicki] Yes.

- Ha, that sounds nice.

Tell me about your home.

- You have five minutes and
you wanna make small talk?

- You know what?

Actually, that's
exactly what I'd like.

- Okay.

I live just outside
of Marshall Falls,

about a hundred
miles north of you.

I'm surrounded by trees
in the middle of nowhere.

- That's nice.

- Tell me, what's
inside your home?

- A lot of
knick-knacks, you know,

it's woodsy, cozy,
big fireplace.

- Wow.

So tell me about you.

- Me?

- Yeah, you.

Not much to say.

- [Tyler] Oh, sure there is.

- What do you wanna know?

- I wanna know everything.

- Wanna know everything
in five minutes?

- Yeah, it's a start.

- [Nicki] I used to
live in New York.

- So, why did you move back?

- I guess the city got to me.

At least in Marshall Falls,

everybody knows who you are.

- Ah boy, that is not
always a good thing.

- (sighs) Anyway
R.J. used to say that

writing doesn't come
from big cities,

writing comes from the heart.

- Like love.

- Tyler. (sighs)

- I can see you.

- What do you see?

- I see your loneliness.

I wanna see you.

- Tyler, Tyler?

(phone beeping)


(somber music)


(door buzzing)

- Wow, you look beautiful.

- What's that?

- These are...

I drew these for you.

(paper rustling)

- You really did this?

- Yeah.

Does it look like your place?

- Yeah.

Yeah, it's amazing.

Is there anything you can't do?

- Yeah.

Touch you.

Hold you close.

(paper rustling)


I'm gonna die.

I'm gonna die in two weeks.


(somber music)

(soft moaning)

(intense music)

(phone ringing)


- [Nicki] Tyler!


(paper rustling)

- You just happened
to be in town

on the night of the murder?

- I saw you on that
trip, too, remember?

- Nick, you don't know
anything about this guy.

- He is not a killer.

Believe me, I know this
trial inside and out.

Clarke, Clarke went
after Tyler, like-

- Like a mongoose after a snake?

- Nick, you're putting
me as well as yourself

in a very compromising
legal position.

I know you're about
to commit perjury.

That makes me an accessory.

We could both face
serious jail time.

- Liza, no one will
ever know that you know.

You have my word.

- Oh, that's great, just great.

- I thought you were my friend.

- Don't do this,
I am your friend.

I am your best friend,

which is why I'm trying to
talk some sense into you.

- This makes
perfect sense to me.

I have never been so sure
of anything in my life.

- (sighs) I don't know.

- Okay, Liza.

This conversation
never took place.

Now, it's either that
or you turn me in.

(dark, dramatic music)

- Judge Robertson
just ordered a stay

of execution for Tyler Nash.

- For what reason?

- Seems his missing
witness finally showed up.

Motion for a new trial
has been granted.

Scheduled for the 11th.

- Nicki Barrington.

- Works at the
Democrat And Sentinel.

- Bernie's niece.

Get me everything
you can find on her,

school, friends, sex
life, addictions.

- Gotcha.

- Tyler, I can do this, I can!

I know every aspect
of your trial.

I was in town visiting my mother
when the murder took place,

and there is nothing
about this Debbie

that couldn't apply
to me, it's perfect.

- I don't buy it, okay?

You don't know what you're
getting yourself into.

I can't let you do this-

- No, no, no, look, all right,

there is no law against
my visiting you.

All of our conversations
have been private.

And besides that, Tanaki
already deposed me

and filed another
motion to retry.

So, I'm sorry, but there
is no turning back.

(somber music)

- [Steve] Ms. Barrington,

How did you come
to meet Tyler Nash?

- I was living in New York.

Every year during August

I came back home to Marshall
Falls to see my mother.

I heard about this
place called Deek's.

I was there that night.

- What happened at Deek's?

Shortly after the band started,

Tyler Nash offered
to buy me a drink.

Now, had you ever
met the man before?

- No.

- [Steve] He told you
his name at this time?

- Yes.

- What did you tell
him your name was?

- Debbie.

- Debbie.

Why did you do that?

- I didn't want to
give out my real name

to a total stranger.

- [Steve] I understand.

Please, go on.

It was pretty crowded there.

Mr. Nash couldn't
get a waitress,

so then he suggested we leave
and go back to his hotel room.

- [Steve] And did you go?

- Of course not, not
with a man I just met.

- What did you do then?

- We went to the
beach and talked.

- For how long?

- A couple of hours.

- [Steve] Now, during the
time that you were parked,

did you see anyone?

- Just a few people
coming and going

from the bar across the way.

- The Blue Moon.
- Yeah.

- [Steve What happened
when you finished talking?

- He drove me back to Deek's.

I got in my car
and I drove home.

- Ms. Barrington, these events

took place over five years ago.

Why have you not come
forward until now?

- Well, like I said, I
didn't live here at the time.

I returned to New York,
never having heard

about the murder case or
Mr. Nash's indictment.

- [Steve] And what made you
come forward at this time?

- My mother recently
passed away.

I was packing some of her things

for storage with old newspaper,

and I came across one of
Mr. Nash's personal ads.

And it was then that I
realized he was looking for me.

- Now, the murder took place

between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.
on the night of the 20th.

Can you confirm to this court

that you were in fact with
Tyler Nash during that time?

- Yes, yes, I can.

- I have no further
questions, your honor.

- Mr. Clarke.

- Thank you, your honor.

You're a journalist,
is that correct?

- [Nicki] Yes.

- Therefore, one can assume
that you are street-smart,

that you understand
the ways of the world.

- I suppose.

- So, can you explain

why it is that you refused
to give your real name

but you agreed to park
on an isolated beach

with, in your own
words, a total stranger?

- I don't know.

I suppose it's not the
smartest thing I've ever done.

- When exactly were you
parked, Ms. Barrington?

Was it 9:30 to 11:30, 10:30
to 12:30, when was it?

- I believe it was
ten to midnight.

- Two hours, that's a long time.

Did you have sex with him?

- No.

- [Steve] Objection,
your honor, irrelevant.

- Sustained.

The jury will disregard the
question and the answer.

- What did you do all that time?

- We talked.

- [Mitchell] About what?

- Poetry, art, music, life.


- Do you recognize this girl?

The mutilated body
of Cecilia Flowers.

Pretty gruesome, I agree.

Have you seen her before?

- No.

- She was 21 years old.

- Objection, there
is no connection

between the victim
and Ms. Barrington.

- [Mitchell] your honor,
there most certainly

is a connection.

Ms. Barrington is trying to
undo the conviction of a killer.

- Objection, your honor!

- Objection sustained.

- Mr. Clarke, stick
to straightforward

and relevant questions.

- Ms. Barrington, I'm a
little puzzled by something.

We asked for a
sample of your hair.

We checked it against
the trace hairs

we found in Mr. Nash's
truck and on his clothes

and it was conclusive,
your hair did not match.

- Objection, the victim's
hair did not match either.

- Objection sustained.

The jury will disregard the
prosecution's last statement.

- Then there's the
matter of your father.

Isn't it true that he, like
Mr. Nash, was on death row?

That he in fact was executed
at Midvalley state penitentiary

in 1967 for the murder
of one J. Hollis Meyer?

- [Steve] Objection, your honor,

this is completely irrelevant.

- Your honor, it is
directly relevant!

It speaks to Ms.
Barrington's motive.

A very powerful
motive for wanting

to get back at
the justice system

for taking her father's life.

(crowd murmuring)

(gavel banging)


- Coming.

Hang on.

Uncle Bernie, hi.

- Can I come in?


Hey, I was just about to make
myself an egg salad sandwich.

You want one?

- Not unless you want
to watch me skywrite

all over your ceiling.

- What?

- Gas.


You haven't really changed
this place very much, have you?

- Nah, it's still Mom's place.

- You ever get the feeling
that she's still with us?

- Always.

Then she must be feeling like
I am right now, confused.

- Confused?

- Why are you doing this, Nicki?

You weren't in Marshall Falls

when the Flowers
murder happened.

That's when you drove
your mom to Portland

to start her breast
cancer treatments.

You called me every
day, remember?

So, why are you putting
yourself in this position?

- What position?

- Perjury.

- I'm not.

- Nicki!

Don't insult my intelligence.

- This is not your concern.

- Yes, it is.

One, I am your uncle.

Two, it implicates the paper.

- There is nothing that
ties you or the paper

or the staff to this.

- I know what you're doing.

How can I claim to have any
integrity and not expose that?

- Can't you see what
they're doing to him?

It's just like what
happened to my father.

- [Bernie] Your father
was found guilty.

- And he was innocent.

- Damn it, Nicki, no he wasn't.

(dark, dramatic music)

- How can you say that?

- Have you ever bothered
to investigate the facts

surrounding your father's case?

Or are you afraid to
find out something?

You gotta grow up, Nicki.

He was guilty.

I knew it, your mother knew it.

She just didn't have the
heart to tell you about it.

Your father had a temper!

And one day he just snapped,

and he killed his
boss in cold blood.

- No, he didn't!


- Please.

Don't throw your life
away for this guy.

We talk to Mitch,

we'll tell him this Nash
coerced you into lying for him.

- Oh.

I can't.


- You mean you won't.

- I believe him.

- Oh.



I've got a responsibility to
the people in this community

and to the people
who work for me.

If you proceed with
this charade tomorrow,

you can't come
back to the paper.

I promised your mother that
I would take care of you.

(door creaking)

- [Bailiff] Roger Walker,
do you solemnly swear

to tell the whole truth

and nothing but the
truth before this court?

- I do.

- Mr. Walker, in the
previous trial of Tyler Nash,

you testified that you
were at the Blue Moon

on the night of august the 20th.

- That is correct.

- And that at
approximately 10:30 p.m.,

you left the bar and you
saw a man and a woman seated

in a parked pickup truck.

Is that correct?

- Yes, sir.

- You went on to identify
the man in that truck

as the defendant, Tyler Nash.

- That is correct.

- Now, I'm gonna show you
a photograph, Mr. Walker.

I want you to examine
it very carefully.

Was that the woman that you
saw seated next to Tyler Nash

in that pickup truck on
the night of August 20th?

- No sir, it is not.

- [Mitchell] Are you sure?

- Positive.

- I've just shown mr. Walker
a photo of Nicki Barrington.

- Mr. Walker, is this
the woman that you saw

seated in the pickup
next to Mr. Nash?

- Objection, your honor,
leading the witness.

- Sustained, rephrase
the question, counselor.

- Do you recognize this woman?

- Yes, sir.

- This is the woman that
was seated in the truck.

Let the record show
that Mr. Walker

has clearly identified
Cecilia Flowers

as the woman who was sitting
in Tyler Nash's truck

on the night of the murder.

I have no further
questions, your honor.

Your witness.

- Mr. Walker.

What do you do
for a living, sir?

I'm a computer programmer.

I create networks, websites,
things of that nature.

- Would you consider your
powers of observation

to be above average?

- Yes, I would
say above average.

- Now, we're supposed to
accept your testimony.

Testimony that has to be based,

not only on your
powers of observation,

but on your memory as well.

So I'm sure you'll agree,

it is very important
to be certain.

- Yes, I understand.

- Good.

Now, where was the
pickup truck parked?

- It was in the parking
lot next to the bar.

- But was it parked, let's
say under a street lamp,

against a building,
under a tree?

- Uh...

It was just parked in the
lot, quite a few cars there.

- Mr. Walker, you don't
sound terribly convincing.

Does that mean you're not sure?

- I remember it was
quite cloudy that night.

- [Steve] Let the record show
that the night of August 20th

was clear and with a full moon.

- Mr. Walker.

Did you stop and look
into the pickup truck

as you passed by?

- I looked in and I-

- Did you stop, sir?

- I don't remember if I stopped,
but I did get a good look.

Your honor, I ask permission

to bring Nicki Barrington
before this witness.

- [Mitchell]
Objection, your honor.

- On what grounds, counselor?

- Mr. Walker has already
clearly established

that Nicki Barrington was not

in Tyler Nash's
truck that night.

- Your honor, is the
prosecution now gonna

try my case as well?

- Your objection is
overruled, Mr. Clarke.

You may continue, Mr. Tanaki,

but this better be
leading somewhere.

- [Steve] Thank you,
your honor, it will.

- [Bailiff] The court
calls Nicki Barrington.

- [Steve] Ms. Barrington,
would you kindly step forward

and stand before the
jury and witness?

- [Steve] Auburn
hair, shoulder length.

Brown eyes, 5 feet, 7 inches
tall, approximately 125 pounds.

Mr. Walker, was I just
describing Cecilia Flowers

or Nicki Barrington?

(tense music)


- Ah...

I don't know.

- Why?

What happened to your above
average powers of observation?

Could it be, sir,
that you don't know

because I am describing

both Cecilia Flowers
and Nicki Barrington?

Mr. Walker, your
testimony convinced a jury

beyond a reasonable doubt to
convict my client, Tyler Nash,

to be sentenced to death
at the hands of the state.

(crowd whispering)

- Has the jury
reached a verdict?

- We have, your honor.

- How do you find?

- In the matter of The
People vs. Tyler Nash,

we find the
defendant not guilty.

(crowd gasps)

- The court is
gratified that justice

has ultimately been
done in this case.

Mr. Nash, you are
released from custody.

Ladies and gentlemen of the
jury, thank you very much.

This court is adjourned.

(gavel banging)

- Thanks.
- Wait up, wait up.

(crowd chattering)

- Congratulations.

- Free man.

- There's just some
papers you have to sign

before you leave, if
you'd go with the bailiff.

- Yeah, okay.

- Thanks, counselor.

- Thank you.

- Oh, come on, Steve,
you were great.

You freed an innocent man today.

- I hope you're right.

Excuse me.

(dark, somber music)

(car clanking)

(gentle, peaceful music)

- This is it.

- This is great.

This is really nice.



- Look at that,
isn't that pretty?

- Yeah, it is.

(soft moaning)

(upbeat, jazzy music)



You okay?

- I forgot what it was like.

- What?

- To be free.

- You know something?

You're safe now.

(light, gentle music)

♪ Was the truth

♪ Left behind

♪ Was your heart
really all in my mind ♪

♪ Turn around

♪ Please don't leave

♪ I have found, found
someone to believe ♪

♪ Isn't love

♪ Hard to know

♪ Even fools can
tell when to let go ♪

♪ I have drowned every year

♪ But I've found, found
someone to believe ♪

♪ With every setting sun
I had begun to wonder if ♪

♪ There's anyone who
feels the way you do ♪

♪ A lied, I alibied that
I was only passing by ♪

♪ Deep inside, I always
searched for you ♪

♪ You don't know

♪ Who to trust

♪ What will last, what
is only stardust ♪

♪ Turn around

♪ Please don't leave

♪ You have found, found
someone to believe ♪

♪ You and I have found
someone to believe ♪

- [Tyler] Guess what?

- [Nicki] Hm?

- There's a job opening
for a mechanic down on 7th.

- Oh yeah?

- It ain't driving,
but it's a start.

- You're thinking about going
back to racing, aren't you?

- It's the only thing
I know how to do.

(dark, dramatic music)

(gun clicking)

- It's pretty remote
out here, you know.

(gun clicking)

- It's a good idea.

- What do you want?

- Five minutes of your time.

- Sorry.

- You're racing down a
dark stretch of highway

with no lights on.

- Nice metaphor,
you're in my way.

- That's one hell of an
act you and Tanaki put on.

- Isn't this called harassment?

- No, I'm just having
a conversation.

It's a free country,
last I checked.

In fact, anyone can say
anything, you should know.

- I'm afraid I don't know
what you're talking about.

- Oh, I think you do.

- May I go now?

- Nobody's stopping you.

(engine revving)

(tense music)

(heavy breathing)

- Now don't tucker
yourself out, darling,

save some energy for me.

- Tyler?
- Got you! (laughs)

- God, you scared me.
- Come here.

- Mm.

(soulful blues harmonica music)

♪ Stand by me now as I walk
down the fiery furnace ♪

♪ Stand by me now

Hey (laughs), how are you?

I'm writing a tune.

- Mm.

- Mm-hm.

- How do you like that guitar?

- Man.


This is an absolute beauty,
where did you get it?

- It belonged to my father.

- Oh, my god, I'm so
sorry, I shouldn't have--

- No, no, no, it's okay.

- Are you sure?

- Yeah, play.

- (sighs) Thanks, okay.

♪ Talk to me, now is the time


- You're playing right-handed.

- Yeah, that's how I learned.

♪ Walk with me now as I find

♪ Walk with me now as I walk
down the fiery furnace ♪

- [Mitchell] You get Nash's
racing itinerary for Florida?

- Right there.

He was there
approximately three months

before he was arrested.

Why are we looking into this?

- There's an unresolved
murder down there

similar to the Flowers case.

- Mitch, that case is over.

- No, it's not.

At the time of the
Florida murder,

Nash just happened to be
racing at Daytona Beach.

- Mitch, that's gotta be
a couple hundred miles

from where the
murder took place.

I need to know if the race was
before or after the murder.

(dramatic music)


- [Liza] I agree.

I just think we should
crop it about here.

- Unless you run it vertically.

- Ah, you're right.

Shows more of his character.

- That's a scratch
on the negative.

He's a slumlord, remember, he
doesn't have any character.


(dramatic music)

- It's an unresolved murder
near Tallahassee, Florida.

Happened before Nash
came to Marshall Falls.

- [Bernie] So?

- So he just happened to be
there around the same time.

- Shouldn't you be
out campaigning?

I hear votes are
scarce around here.

- Bernie, your niece
is playing with fire.

- If that were true,

what do you suppose that
I could do about it?

- Convince her to
come and see me.

I've got some new information

that might change her
opinion about Mr. Nash.

This one's on me.

- Our tax dollars at work.

(gentle, peaceful music)

(dramatic music)

- Are you okay?

- Yeah.

I just didn't hear
you sneak up on me.

- I didn't sneak up on you.

I just came to ask if you
wanted to go to town for lunch.

- Yeah.

Sure, just give
me a minute, okay?

- Okay.

- Ever been to Florida?

- Every winter.

- Why?

- Daytona Beach?

- Sure.

Racing season.

- Mitchell Clarke spoke
to Liza and my uncle.

He's trying to tie
you to a murder there.

- God, why doesn't
that surprise me?

Is he getting to you?

- No.

Are you sure?

- Hi, do you guys
know what you want?

Yeah, I'll have the
pasta special, please.

- I'm gonna have a
cheeseburger and fries, thanks.

- Great.

- They took five years of my
life, what more do they want?

I mean, I...

- You can't keep blaming the
world for what happened to you.

- You're right.

It's just...

(sighs) I wish it was that easy.

- I haven't held anything back,
I've never done that before.

- Nicki.

I would never, ever hurt you.

(dramatic music)

- You two got a lotta
nerve showing up here.

Cecilia Flowers was
a friend of mine.

- You know what?

Let's just get out of here.

(punch thudding)

(glass clattering)

- Tyler!


- [Woman] Stop it, please!



- Tyler, stop it!

Stop it, you're gonna kill him!


(siren blaring)

We've been here for
almost three hours.

If you want to
hold us any longer,

I'd like to call my lawyer.

Otherwise, let us go now.

- Your boyfriend put those
guys in the hospital.

- (chuckles) Those
guys started it,

and there's a room
full of witnesses

who'll testify to that.

- (chuckles) Testify,
you'd know all

about that, wouldn't you?

- My phone call?


- Follow me.

Free to go.

(door buzzing)

(door creaking)

(dramatic music)

(knife clicking)

(phone ringing)

- Hello.

- Nicki? Mitchell Clarke.

- I'm hanging up.

- Does the name Peg O'Neil
mean anything to you?

- No.

- What if I told you
this woman claims

to have been Tyler's girlfriend

at the same time as you
were visiting him in prison.

If you want more,

meet me at Largo,
3:00 this afternoon.

(phone beeping)

- Who's that on the phone?

- The paper.

They want me to
clean out my desk.

- [Mitchell] So, Nash
was charming other women

at the same time as
he was charming you,

as you can see by this.

The guy's a regular Shakespeare.

He worked on Peg O'Neil--

"Drop a pebble in the lake

and watch the waters part

until the rings
reach every shore

and touch some other's heart.

I stand near the water's
edge, praying for a sign

that somewhere across
the mist of time

there awaits a heart like mine.

You wrote this for me?

- Uh-huh.

- So you dig through
other people's garbage?

- Nash used you, Nicki.

He's still using you.

- Do you love anyone?

- What?

- Do you love anyone?

Is there anything in your life

that you care about
more than your career?

- I care about justice.

I care about truth.

- No, you don't.

You care about winning,
that's your truth.

(keys clinking)

- I called your work.

They said you
weren't there today.

- Yeah, I had some
thinking to do.

- Thinking about what?

- Peg O'Neil.

- Peg O'Neil.

Peg O'Neil responded to
an ad a couple of months

prior to you and I
ever becoming involved.

And we wrote to each
other a few times.

Nicki, you can't believe

that you were the only one
that I communicated with.

- What do you mean I can't
believe that I was the only one?

What am I, a mind reader, Tyler?

You know that Clarke had
a file full of that stuff

that you sent to Peg O'Neil?

Including that sweet poem
that you wrote to me.

You led me to believe that
that poem was written for me,

and you even tried to
get her to be your alibi.

But she wouldn't
do it, she refused.

And what did I do,
I believed you.

I lied for you!

I stood up in front of all
those people in the courtroom,

and I risked everything for you.

(dramatic music)

(phone beeping)

Come on, come on, Liza.

- [Liza] Hey, it's Liza,
you know the drill.

Leave a message and
I'll call you back.


(dog whining)

(dramatic music)


(glass clinking)

(water splashing)

(melancholy music)

- Were you here all night?


- I lied to you.

With Peg O'Neil, I know
you feel like I used you.

I'm sorry for that.

I've never had anyone in my
life care for me the way you do,

and I'm trying to learn
how to deal with that.

I love you, Nicki.

I love you with all my heart,

and I want to show you in a way

that you know and that
you can understand.

It's just...

It's just, I need a little help.

To learn how.

Want some?

- No.

I'm gonna take a bath.

(dramatic music)

(door creaking)

(door creaking)

(slow, jazzy music)

- [Tyler] Don't leave me.


- Coming!

Just a minute.

- Good morning.
- Excuse me, ma'am.

- [Officer] Pardon me.

- [Officer] Spread 'em,
spread 'em down here.

- What the hell
is going on here?

You have no right-

- This little piece of
paper gives us every right.

It's a search warrant.

- Why?

- A young girl was
murdered last night

on the beach near Canaan Point.

- Canaan Point is
three hours away.

- I told them I was
here last night.

- Oh, but of course you were.

- Look what I found.

- I have a permit for that.

- [Man] Check it out.

- How many more women are
gonna die because of him?

Because of you?

What is it anyway,
what's he got over you?

- Mitch.

- Just a minute, Sam.

- I really need
to speak with you.

Let him go.

You should put this where
your boyfriend can't find it.

- Don't leave town, Nash.

(chatter over police radio)

- [Woman On Radio] Suspect
described as a white male.

(cars revving)

(gun clicking)

(drawer slamming)

- Tyler!

What are you doing?

Where were you last night?

- I was out driving.

Clarke thinks that
I killed that girl.

Apparently you do, too.

- Running away isn't
going to solve anything.

It's just gonna
make matters worse.

- I'm not going back to jail!

- This is exactly what
they want you to do.

Don't do this!

- Can't you see that
I have no choice?

Nicki, come with me.

- What?

If we leave now,
we can be in Canada

in less than two hours, come on.

- This is crazy.

- God, every time
there's a crime

within a hundred miles of here,

Clarke is gonna be all over me!

I have no intention of
waiting for him to come back.

And he will come back.

- But he's got nothing on you!

- That didn't stop
him last time.

- If you run now,
everyone's going to be

convinced that you're guilty.

- Are you coming or not?

- No.

No, not like this.

(dramatic music)

Ty, I really wish
you wouldn't do this.

- Come on, pack your stuff.

- What?

- Pack!

- Who the hell do you
think you're talking to?

- Hey!
(table clattering)

I said pack.

(phone beeping)

- Yeah, hey, it's
Nicki for Liza.

All right, then let
me speak to my uncle.

Yes, it's urgent.

Oh, come on, come on.

All right, okay, would
you just tell him that-

- What are you doing?

- I'm not going with you.

- Oh, I get it.

The second I'm outta here,
you're on the phone to Clarke.

(suitcase unzipping)

- [Nicki] Okay,
come on, stop it.

- Hey!
- Hey!

Tyler, that's enough.

- Hey!
- Cut it out!

You're hurting me!
- Leave me alone!


(dramatic music)


(nervous murmuring)

(engine revving)

- [Tyler] Hey!


- I still think you
should call the cops.

- I can't.

- Yeah, yeah.

I know.

- Liza, what is wrong with me?

- Hey, you fell in love.

- I mean, I'm a reasonably
intelligent woman.

How could I be so stupid?

- No, no, naive is more like it.

Will you ever forgive me
for what I put you through?

- Are you kidding?

You've always been
there for me, always.

It's just my turn, that's all.

- Thanks.

- You know, with our
luck maybe we should

just give up on men.

Okay, bad suggestion. (laughs)

- I really appreciate
you letting me stay

at your place for a while.

- Are you kidding, it's
gonna be like old times.

You know, sleepovers, summer
camp, cheap white wine.

- Oh no.

- [Liza] What?

- I left my purse at the house.

My credit cards, my
driver's license,

everything is in that purse.

It's all right, we'll
get it in the morning.

- I don't wanna go back.

- Hey, don't worry, all right?

No one's gonna mess
with me. (laughs)

(thunder roaring)

- [Nicki] I don't
feel good about this,

let's just make it quick okay?

- [Liza] Oh, don't
worry about it.

(door creaking)


- Oh, my god.

- You know what, I don't know
if this was such a good idea.

Maybe we should just go.

- Oh, we'll be fine.

- All right, help
me find my bag.

- Sure.

Ah, here it is.

- Great, let's just go.

- Sure.

(door thudding)

- And look, I know you think
I'm paranoid, okay, but...

- What?

- It won't start.

My cell phone is gone.

- Oh, you probably
left it in the house.

- No, it was right
here, I know it.

- Well.

- Where are you going?

- [Liza] Oh, we'll
call from the house!

- [Nicki] Liza.


- I tell you what, you
make the call, I gotta pee.

Can't you just hold it?

- [Liza] How long
have you known me?

- Ah!

(phone beeping)

Ah, oh, oh great.

Great, there's something
wrong with the phone.

Hey, Liza, listen,
we're gonna have to

go to my neighbor's house, okay?

But it's only about a quarter
of a mile down the road.

We can use the phone there.


Liza, come on, I really
wanna get outta here, okay?

Not funny.

(tense music)


(door creaking)

(intense, dramatic music)




(keys jingling)


(gun clicking)

No, don't come in!

I swear to god!

- Stop it.

- Come any closer, I swear
to god, I'll shoot you.

- Nicki, give me the gun!

- Give me the gun!
- I swear I'll shoot!

- Nicki, take it easy.

Give me the gun.

Nicki, stop it.


It's all right, Nicki, just-

(gun firing)


- Why did you do that?

- Oh, what a tangled
web we weave.

(tense music)

I knew you weren't
there that night.

- Oh god!

Oh, dear God.

Oh, please!

- 'Cause I took care
of the real witness.

- [Tyler] Get out of here.

Go to the car and
get out of here.

- Don't, don't, don't do this.

Oh, but I want to.

Ty, don't worry, I'm
not gonna leave you.

- [Tyler] I said go.


- Besides, they
already know who I am.

You see, I kind of
slipped up the other night

at Canaan Point. (laughs)

- Oh my God.

(sobs) Don't.

- I am gonna enjoy you.



Do you like that,
does that hurt?

- [Nicki] Tyler!

Come on!



Get away from...




(gun firing)




(peaceful music)

- Tyler?

Don't die!

Honey, please, don't go.

I'm so sorry.

Come on, stay with me.

Goodbye, Liza, I love you.

(gentle, jazzy music)