Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 11, Episode 5 - Return - full transcript

When a suspected murderer tries to seek shelter in Israel, the DA's office faces the difficult task of extraditing and trying him in New York while also satisfying the Jewish community.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
In the criminal justice system

the people are represented by two
separate yet equally important groups,

the police
who investigate crime

and the district attorneys
who prosecute the offenders.

These are their stories.

STUDENT 1: You think
she had diseases?

What do I care, man?

Duh. I don't know. Maybe 'cause if
you were with her, you'll catch one?

Hey, this is Mitchy Mitch.

I don't catch anythin' I don't
wanna catch, all right?

Yeah, why's that?

Hey, because, nitwit, I know
what I'm doin', all right?

Hey, are you okay?

Yeah. Too loose to break.
I'm fine.

All right, let's go.
Come on.

I wonder who left this open?

Look, I don't know, man, but I
don't think we should be here.

Well, I'm gonna check it out.

Dude, you're gonna get
eaten by a freakin' rat.

He's out of his mind.

Hey, we're leavin'!

Oh, my God.

CSU OFFICER: Two gunshots, one to the
shoulder, one to the back of the head.

He had a wallet on him,
$240 cash.

The name's Saul Caplan.

Becker & Caplan.

Anything missing
from the store?

Register's empty,

looks like there might be some
merchandise missing as well.

Forced entry?

We found a broken padlock
by the cellar doors.

There's an alarm
but it wasn't set.

Yeah, I guess he wouldn't
activate it until he left.

If you're through,
we'll send him to the M.E.

He was in the office, he heard
somethin', he grabbed a bat.

Yeah. Looks like
the pitcher blew one by him.


A man builds a business
brick by brick,

creates something
out of nothing.

For this he's
gunned down like a dog.

Had you been robbed
before, Mr. Becker?

Couple of years ago
we had a break-in.

Before that some junkie
came in to hold us up.

Between Saul and me
and Ronnie in the stockroom,

he's lucky he's still walking.

So, Saul just happened
to be here last night?

He was going over
the inventory lists.

He does it every Thursday.

Excuse me, one of the
ones who found the body

said he needs to
call his parents.

Tell him we'll be right there.

Is it possible to do this
another time?

I need to go be with
Saul's wife.


Okay, what were you guys doing at
Orchard Street at 4:00 in the morning?

Goin' back to the dorm.

ED: From where?
This bar.

What bar?

The Bowery Bar.

Orchard Street's not between
the bar and your dorm, fellas.

We were coming from
a hooker's apartment.

Oh, God!

ED: Where?

Orchard near Delancey.

I'm the only one who went
through with it, though.

Is it possible our parents
not be made aware of this?

Uh, my father
just had a by-pass.

Oh, sure. I'd hate
to see you get in trouble,

seein' as how you didn't even
get your hat knocked off.

Look, look, we found the body,

we called 911,
we stuck around...

What more do you want from us?

ED: What'd the hooker
look like?

You see anybody else last night

who looked like they might
have done a robbery?


Come on. We know you
were workin' last night.

I didn't say I wasn't
workin' last night.

But you didn't see anybody?

What kind of robbery?

A leather coat store.

Oh, I don't know
nothin' about that.

Okay. We find out
you're holdin' back,

you're gonna take
a collar a week for a year.

I ain't been doin nothin
but what I'm doin'.

Don't be takin' your
frustration out on me

just 'cause you guys
got nobody else.

Fine. Just remember
what I told you.

You guys know a tall drag queen

blonde hair, used to work
the trucks, named Toreador?

Toreador got herself a new
leather jacket last night.

And the reason I know

is it wasn't the same skanky
old thing she used to wear.

I said somethin'. She was like,
"Oh, I can't be bothered."

Go check her sorry ass
out, why don't you?

Where can we find her?


Can you give a girl
some privacy, please?

You know, they've had indoor
plumbing for 2,000 years.

Officers, I am so sorry.

Is it not permitted to relieve
one's self out of doors?

What kind of jacket is that,
Dolce & Gabbana?

Oh, my. Aren't we something
of a fashionista.

How much did you pay for it?

It was on sale. Drastically
reduced, don't you know.

Is that what you call
murdering the storekeeper?


You wanna have this
conversation here

or you wanna have it
down at the station?

All rights, all rights.
I found it.


By a dumpster.

You mind takin' it off so
we can take a look at it?

Not at all.

Ooh. Chilly morning, though,
not quite unpleasant.

The pills are female
hormone supplements

which are not,
I don't believe, illegal.

Becker & Caplan tag.

Where'd you get it?

There's only two possibilities
worth considering.

One has you committing
murder and robbery,

the other one has you
receiving stolen property.

I certainly did not
murder anyone.

Then where did you get it?

Where were you
last night, Ronnie?


Do you have anybody
that can confirm that?

My wife. My kids.
My neighbor.

Your wife know about
your friend, Jeffrey?

I don't know anybody
named Jeffrey.

Jeffrey who likes to dress up in women's
clothes and calls himself Toreador?

So... So,
what do you wanna know?

When did you take
the coat you gave her?

Last week.

You're sure
it wasn't last night?

Saul was like a second
father to me, all right?

I mean, I took a coat, yeah.
I took a coat.

But I don't kill this man.
I love this man, okay?

His alibi checks out. He might've
been stealin', but he's not our guy.

Street Crime Unit
come up with anything?

What about CSU?

No usable prints.

M.E.'s report
confirms two shots,

one from about eight feet,
hit him in the shoulder.

The other from
two to three feet,

hit him in the back
of the head.

Perp was probably standing
like right above him.

Mmm. An execution.

He died somewhere
between 11:00 and midnight.

Van Buren. Okay, thanks.

Forensics has somethin
they want to show you.

This is the lock that was
found near the cellar doors.


The lock appears to have
been chiseled, like this.

I know, it looks like
a lot of damage,

but this kind of lock
doesn't open that way.

You're sure?

We tried to replicate
the damage.

Remember that commercial where they
shoot a bullet through the lock?

Truth in advertising, huh?

The only way to break
one of these things

is to sever the shackle inside.

Otherwise, it's not gonna open.

So, whoever damaged the
lock already had it open.

This isn't a good time
to be doing this.

BRISCOE: We apologize.

Uh, there's just a couple of
things we need to ask you.

Well, we're sitting Shiva here

because Saul's wife is in no
condition to do it by her.

That's very nice of you.

It wasn't even a question.

There's some indication
that this is an inside job.

I don't believe it.

ED: Whoever accessed
the basement had a key.

It's possible the key
got lifted, no?

We know something?

Uh, this is my wife.

How do you do?

You okay here?

Would, uh,
would they like something?

ED: No, nothing.
Thank you.

If you could provide us with
a list of your employees,

that would give us
a starting point.

What, they think it was
someone from the store?

They don't think anything. They're
investigating, that's all.

Yeah, the bookkeeper was busted
for marijuana possession.

How long ago?

Hmm. Well, here s somethin
a little bit more promising.

Sal Bonafiglio,
arrested five times,

three times for burglary.
Did a pound at Dannemora.

So, you're sayin' you like him
better than the bookkeeper?

ED: See, Sal, whoever broke into
the store worked in the store.

Now, you work there
in the stock room,

and you have felonies
on your record.

It's been three years since
my last arrest, all right?

Mmm-hmm. Two of which
you were in jail.

Burglary three, burglary
three, burglary two,

and then just for variety,
there's mail fraud.

Excuse me, but that was
reversed on appeal.

Duly noted.

Look, I got nothin'
to do with this, you guys.

I never whacked
anybody in my life.

Hey, maybe you went
to rob the place,

and you didn't know
Saul was gonna be there.

Now, tell me the truth,

is this because my last
name ends in a vowel?

Maybe you didn't mean
to rob the place.

Maybe you went there
for legitimate reasons.

Caplan thinks you're gonna rob
him and he comes after you,

you defend yourself.

Hey, maybe I get drafted by the
Giants to play linebacker.

What is it with you guys
and the maybes?

Where were you Thursday night
between 10:00 and 1:00?

I was with my nephew
in Uniondale.

Whether this guy's alibi checks
out or not, he's involved.

Well, he never used
a gun before.

Why does he use one this time?

Well, maybe he didn't.

Well, check his
incident reports.

See who his
partners-in-crime were.

B and E in Westchester.

Perp had apparently
gained access to house

by searching for keys
under doormats.

Partner backed truck
into the garage door.

What's the partner's name?

Eddie Novello.

I just saw that name. Uh...

"Assaulted a security guard
with a crowbar"

"when he and an accomplice were
fleeing the scene of the burglary."

His gun must've
been in the shop.

Hey, Lennie. There he is.

Eddie, what's happenin', man?

I dunno.

We thought
you were still upstate.

I been back a while.
Do I know you?

You stayin' out of
trouble, Eddie?


What's in the bag?


Mind if we take a look?
My gym bag.

Uh, we can see it's your gym bag,
Eddie, we just want to look at it.

Why, you don't wanna let us?

I don't care.

Hmm. What you doin
with this?


Where'd you get it?

This guy...

Becker & Caplan.

Get in the car. See, Eddie,
the thing about evidence is,

you wanna get rid of it.

Here's the thing, Eddie. We got
Sal's version, now we need yours.

You wanna make somethin' up, start with
that coat we found in your gym bag.

Hey, what did I tell you?

You keep doin' that, we're
gonna put the cuffs back on.

Eddie, maybe you don't
understand what's goin' on here.

We don't need your confession.

We already got enough
to put you away.

We're just tryin' to let you help
us out so we could help you.

You know, I killed a guy
in the ring once.

With two punches, bang, boom!

All right.
Time. Time, Eddie.

what I don't understand is,

why a guy who could fight
like you needed a gun anyway?

You never seen me fight.

No, but I heard
about ya, though.

I heard you hit harder than any
middleweight since La Motta.

Somebody said that?


what I don't understand is,

why a guy who could hit like
you would need to use a gun.

I told Sal I don't need no gun.

I said I could take that son
of a bitch out with my hands.

But he said he wanted it clean
or he wouldn't pay.

What else did Sal say?

That I could take what I want.

Cash in the register,

Just make sure the guy's dead.

How much did he pay you?

Five grand.

I bought my girlfriend
a big screen television set.

It's over, Sal.
Eddie gave you up.

Now, unless you tell us
your version,

we're gonna have to
take his word for it.

You ever get the feelin',
when you're talkin' to him,

that Eddie maybe wasn't
quite right in his head?

He said you gave him
five grand to kill Caplan.

That's murder for hire, Sal.

First degree whether he's
right in the head or not.

Guy's got eyes
the size of meatballs.

He told you
what you wanted to hear

so he didn't have
to talk no more.

You had access to the lock,

plus you were arrested
with Eddie before.

How the hell
am I gonna get five grand?

I make eight dollars an hour.

And how did Eddie
wind up with the coat?

I hang out with him
at the gym sometimes.

He knows where I work. He knows
there's stuff in the basement.

Who left the lock open?

I don't know. You're the
friggin' detective.

I haven't been back here since
the night that Saul was killed,

I can't even offer you
a piece of cake.

We're actually all right. We just need
to ask you a couple of questions,

and we'll be out of here.


When your husband worked
on the inventory at night, uh,

was there anybody
who worked with him?

Boy, are you asking
the wrong person.

The only time that Saul would
talk about the store with me was

if he would bring home a coat that
he thought maybe I would like.

I was his duchess.


Oh, come here, tateleh.

You all right?

This is my grandson, David.


These gentlemen are the
detectives that are investigating

what happened with your zeyde.

Did you ever work with
your zeyde, David? No.

Did either of your parents?

His father worked
in the store one summer.

He's a very successful cardiologist
with a big practice in Los Angeles.

He was here for the funeral,
then he had to get back.

David interested
in the business?

I'm leaning toward
film school right now.

If that doesn't work out,

I'd think seriously about maybe
taking over the business.

He looks just like him,
this one.

We can hold 'em both for now,

but Sal's right about one
thing, we've got no motive.

You believe him?

Well, I didn't say that
but what do we have?

The testimony of a mentally
questionable co-conspirator.

That's it.

Well, if Eddie's
tellin' the truth,

Sal either had reasons of his
own to get rid of Caplan,

what they are, we don't know,

or he was doin' it
for somebody else.

Who that is, we don't know.

Yeah. What he said.

Go talk to the parole officer.

BELICHEK: Sal was always on
time for his appointments,

his urine tests came back clean,
he was holdin' down a job.

Anything to suggest
he had money problems?

Nah. The only time
I had to sit him down was

when I found out he was frequenting
this after-hours joint.

I said it once,
that was the end of it.

How'd you find out?

This goof ball Frank
works there.

He dropped a dime on him.

What did you say
the name of the place was?

Red's, I think he said. It's on
10th Street between A and B.

BRISCOE: And it's
an after-hours place, huh?

Yeah, doesn't open
until 2:00 in the morning.

Better get in a nap
this afternoon, Lennie.


We're lookin' for Frank.

Got me.

There wouldn't be
any illegal substances

being passed in this
establishment, would there?

He's in the bathroom.

You must be Frank.

You still got
a little right there.

Come here.

Sal Bonafiglio,
do you know him, Frank?

Is this a shakedown?

Listen to the question.

Sal Bonafiglio. Right.
What about him?

Do you know him?

Good. Now what can you
tell us about him?

Low-level coke dealer. Says
he's a wiseguy, but I doubt it.

Any idea who his friends are?

He was hangin' around
with this bald guy, Eli.

Something of a coke fiend,

comes in here periodically lookin' to
sell leather coats or somethin', just...

Says he owns a store,
but I doubt it.

(CHUCKLES) Most of the people in
here pretty much lie on spec.

Well, that must be pretty tough

on a straight arrow
like yourself.


We'd like to talk
to your son, Mrs. Becker.


Uh, if you don't mind, we'd
like to speak to him privately.

Sure. This way.

How well do you know Sal?

Uh, not well at all, really.

You ever go to an after-hours
club on 10th Street called Red's?

Yeah. I think I've been there
a couple of times. Yeah.

BRISCOE: You ever
been there with Sal?

Can I ask what this is about?

Well, we think he might know
more than he's telling us.

Well, um, like I said,

I really, I don't know
the guy all that well.

I mean, I... I just...
I couldn't really tell ya.

Did you ever sell
coats at the bar?


Somebody said
they thought you did that.

Well, people say
all kinds of things.

I mean, did I ever give some
chick a coat as a gift?

Maybe I did.

But, I mean,
that's my family's business.

I'm entitled to do that, right?

What's going on?

We're just asking your son
a few questions.

This is a house of
mourning, Detectives.

The store will be open
for business tomorrow.

Ask him or me or anyone else
questions there. Please.

I have to tell you, I don't feel right
doing this without Mr. Becker here.

This search warrant covers you.

You can tell him
you were legally bound.

Receipts, orders,
inventory lists.

Any way you could've
missed any stolen money?

Every night someone stays late to
check receipts against the register.

What about merchandise?

Not possible.

At the end of the week I check the
receipts against those inventory lists.

I would know
if anything was missing.

Who makes the lists?

We checked Eli's
inventory lists

against the orders placed by Becker
& Caplan to their distributors.

It turns out Eli was accounting
for coats that didn't exist.

Why hadn't anyone noticed?

Well, Eli was in charge
of orders, too.

As long as nobody questioned the
accuracy of the inventory lists,

it could have
gone on for months.

How much money
are we talkin' about?

Five thousand a month.

If Caplan exposed him,

it would have ruined his chance
to take over the business.

Pick him up.

Where is he, Mr. Becker?

Where's who?

Your son.

He doesn't get in
until 9:00.

The doorman in his building

saw him leave in the middle
of the night with suitcases.

Where is he, Mr. Becker?

Somewhere you can't get him.

The police pulled the LUD's
from Mr. Becker's apartment,

and found a phone call
to the Hoffman Travel Agency.

An agent confirmed Eli
was on a flight to Israel.

Are we sure this is our guy?

Eddie Novello says
Sal paid him to kill Caplan.

Sal didn't have the means or the motive.
No question Eli was behind it.

Where's Sal now?

He's being held at Rikers.

Once we get Eli back, we can
turn them against each other.

Has a formal request
for extradition been made?

Yeah. We submitted it
to the Israeli Consulate.

Let's see what they do.

Israeli law grants non-extradition
to a citizen of Israel

who is also a resident there.

How can Eli Becker be considered
a resident of Israel?

Well, he maintains
an apartment in Tel Aviv.

Wait a minute, Israel is violating
its reciprocity agreements

to harbor a murderer?

No. We intend
to cooperate fully

with your office and
conduct atrial in Israel.

That's unacceptable. This is murder
for hire committed on American soil.

The only reason
Eli Becker is in Israel

is to avoid prosecution
in an American court.

In 1935, the Nazis established
the Nuremburg Race Laws,

depriving German Jews of
their rights of citizenship.

It was the beginning
of the discrimination

that would lead
to the Holocaust.

Now, when Israel was founded,

we established laws
to protect Jews

from being judged
by non-Jews.

Uh, given the current
political climate in Israel,

the tenuousness of
Barak's coalition,

the power of
the religious parties,

it would not be a good time to stand
accused of violating these principles.

Even when it comes
to a murderer.

He completely
manipulated the system.

If we can poke holes
in his residency claim,

maybe the Israelis
will send him back.

Okay. Let me see what I
can get from the parents.

What was Eli doing
in Israel back in 1995?

Living in Tel Aviv,
same as now.

No, what was he doing?

Living, working,
what anyone does.

Who was his employer?

Do me a favor.
Talk to the lawyer.

He was working for himself, um,
trying to get established.

Established in what?

Um, jewelry exporting, I think,

and I think he was starting
to do some concert promotion.

Sylvia, we don't need to
be doing her work for her.

Can you tell me when he
applied for his travel visa?

I can't tell you anything.

Mr. Becker, after you purchased
Eli's plane ticket to Israel,

you refused to tell
the police where he was.

Now, that's obstruction
and it's a felony.

You're trying to send
my son to jail,

do you think
I'm going to help you?

Even though he had
your partner murdered?

That's what you say.

Are you aware your son
has a drug problem?

(SCOFFS) That was years ago.
It's over with.

We also have proof your son
was stealing from your store.

Now, if I have to,

I'll come back with detectives
and a search warrant.

I don't care if you come back
with the United States Army!

SYLVIA: Nathan.
That's it!

What's the matter, you people
don't have enough to do?

Oh, no, councilman,
we have plenty to do.


What is so terrible if this person
is tried in the state of Israel?

Everyone's equal
before the law.

You can't treat one
murderer like he's special.

I have a murder case starting next
month with a defendant who's Korean.

Shall I send him back to Korea?

Oh, so now I have to give a history
lesson on what it means to be a Jew?

JACK: I have a guy who's looking
at a lot of years in prison.

I imagine he could give you a pretty good
one about what it means to be Korean.

You might remind
your deputy here

this is not the Debating
Club at Dartmouth.

I have a great many people
living in my district

and all through
the City of New York

who understand full well
what it means to be a Jew.

And no, it is not the same as
what it means to be a Korean.

That a Jonathan Pollard
sits in an American prison

for tryin' to help the state
of Israel is a disgrace!

And whoever finally
manages to free him

will have themselves the undying
support of the Jewish people.

What about a Samuel Sheinbein?

What about him?

Did allowing him to be tried
and sentenced In Israel

when he murdered, dismembered and
burned his victim in Maryland

earn anyone the undying
support of the Jewish people?

His exercising his right
as a Jew to return to Israel

hasn't prevented him
from being punished.

As we speak,
he's in an Israeli prison.

Well, the way I see it, as
soon as you murder someone,

you lose your right to return
to Israel or anywhere else.

Not according to Israeli law.

Councilman, I uphold the law
of the State of New York.

I want Eli Becker extradited.

Becker, Eli.

Father helped him apply for a
travel visa on September 12, 1995.

What if he was working there? How long
could he stay in Israel on that visa?

Travel visa lasts three months.

If he wanted to stay longer,
or if he wanted a work visa,

he would apply in Israel.


What kind of documentation did
he show you to get this visa?

Birth certificate.

Born January 5, 1965.
New York Foundling Hospital.

In 1996, Eli Becker was
granted Israeli citizenship

based on the fact that he's Jewish.
But he was adopted.

His birth mother was a woman by
the name of Mary Elizabeth Kelly.

She's as Jewish as I am.

And given that the religion
of the mother is controlling,

we may have an opening.

Did he convert?

Well, he didn't belong
to a synagogue on his own.

And according to the rabbi
at his parents' synagogue,

he hasn't been seen or heard
from since his Bar Mitzvah.

Which means maybe he didn't
satisfy the requirements

for an orthodox conversion.

Well, the Israeli Attorney
General wants to extradite.

Now, if he can provide proof to the Ministry
of Religion that Becker's not a Jew,

it may do the trick.

So, we turn over the
information on the adoption,

and if the conversion is
defective, there's his proof.

No. Information from us won't
satisfy the religious parties.

What, it has to come
from a rabbi?

Exactly. There are rabbinical
courts in Brooklyn

that settle divorces,
contract disputes...

While the final say is with
the Ministry of Religion,

let's give it a shot that they'll take
the word of a few rabbis in Brooklyn.

Good morning, Rabbis.
My name is Abbie Carmichael.

I'm here representing the District
Attorney's Office of New York County.

Before you are copies of a birth
certificate attesting to the fact

that Eli Becker was born to a Mary
Elizabeth Kelly, a Roman Catholic.

He then was adopted by Nathan and Sylvia
Becker when he was six weeks old.

That is correct,
Mr. Feldman?

Yes, Rabbi.

Now, it's my understanding
of Halachic Law

that there are three
requirements for conversion.

Circumcision, Hebrew naming,

and a ritual bath known as a
mikvah performed by a rabbi.

Please forgive me if I've
mispronounced anything.

You're doing fine.

Having reviewed the documentation
provided by Mr. Becker's attorney,

it's our position that a conversion
did not, in fact, take place.

I don't know the basis
for Ms. Carmichael's

presumed expertise
in these matters.

All I'll say is that before you
is a physician's affidavit

attesting to
Mr. Becker's circumcision,

a rabbi's affidavit attesting
to his Hebrew naming.

As for the mikvah,
we don't have documentation,

we trust that won't be
held out as a fatal defect.

Mr. Becker,
while not exactly frum,

had Hebrew training
and was Bar Mitzvahed.

Rabbis, it's our position that
Mr. Becker's seeking refuge in Israel

is a cynical attempt
to avoid the consequences

of the murder
of his father's partner.

Except even a murderer is entitled
to return to Israel if he's Jewish.

With all due deference,
Rabbi, forgive me,

but was it ever the intention
of the Law of Return

to allow a criminal to avoid
having to answer for his crime?

Let him answer for his crime,
assuming he committed one,

in Eretz Yisrael
as is his right.

He committed this crime
in the City of New York.

It's the obligation
of my office

to the family of his victim
that he be tried here.

We offer no opinion on the
sincerity of Mr. Becker's beliefs.

Or on who's entitled to try
him where and for what.

This is not up to us.

All we can determine is whether the
standard for conversion has been met.

Without proof of a mikvah,
we have to say it has not.

Also, we see no evidence that to this
point Eli Becker has been living

what we would call
a Jewish lifestyle.

Accordingly, Eli Becker
is ruled not Jewish.

A shande!

Rabbis, Rabbis, can I be heard?

A ruling will be
put into writing

and made available to both
sides by the end of the day.

I had half my family
die in the ovens!

Who the hell are you to tell
me that my son is not Jewish?

SYLVIA: Nathan. Sorry, Mr. Becker,
this is not up to us.

A stinking technicality and these
monsters will hang him for it!

The Talmud has no
technicalities, Mr. Becker.

Only laws.

Drop dead!

Israel's sending him back. I'm willing
to make a deal if Sal agrees to testify.

Right now all you've got on my
client is the word of Eddie Novello.

In court that counts for zero.

You don't have time
for games, Sal.

You're bluffing. There's
no way you'd do all this

to get Becker back
then not go after him.

Then call my bluff.

You need Sal's testimony.

And Sal will never be in a better
position to negotiate than he is now.

Someone's gettin' life, Sal.

You get to choose
if it's gonna be you or Eli.


What's your deal?

Man one. 15-to-25.

Not much of a deal.

You want to take your chances
standing trial for murder?

The answer to that would be no.

Can you make it 10-to-20?

He's got to testify, and that means
truthfully with nothing left out.

You got it.

If the case depends on the jury
believing a career criminal

who's cut a deal,
I'd say we're in trouble.

We have a defendant who left the
country rather than stand trial.

Which the defense
will attribute

to a combination of
panic and religious fervor.

Well, we could also establish that
he was stealing from the business.

A business
his father half-owned.

Are you suggesting
that we offer him a deal?

After what we went through
to get him back here?

Not on your life.

Did your husband ever confront
Eli about his stealing?

He spoke to him
about it but not rough.

That was not the way
that Saul did things.

Just to let him know that
he wasn't fooling anybody.

Except for Nat.

Eli's father didn't know?

I'm sure Eli begged Saul
not to say anything

and my grandfather, being the
soft touch that he was, didn't.

He has a lot of problems,
Eli, he always has.

Most of his problems
of his own making.

You're talking about drugs?

Oh, not just the drugs.
Eli was adopted.

He knew he was adopted, so he was
all the time trying to make certain

that he wasn't being
treated different.

Did it seem to you that he was
being treated differently,

or was that just
something in his mind?

I know Eli a long time.

Probably the less
I say the better.

Do you think he might be responsible
for your grandfather's murder?

I don't know.

Do you want to know?

Mr. Ortega, you make up
the inventory lists?


And what do you do with them?

I give it to Eli.

He takes the numbers,
puts 'em in his computer,

then he prints out a list
to give to the manager.

Did you ever see the lists
after Eli printed them out?


What did you notice about them?

They were wrong.

We had all kinds of merchandise
that wasn't listed.

If someone were stealing,

would keeping merchandise out of the
inventory be a way of concealing it?

Objection. Speculative.

JUDGE: Overruled.

The witness can answer.

I guess it would.

Did you bring this discrepancy
to anyone's attention?

Yeah, I told Mr. Caplan.

JACK: I have nothing further.

You ever take any
merchandise, Mr. Ortega?

I squared whatever I did with
Mr. Becker and Mr. Caplan.

Let's try again. Did you
ever take any merchandise?


You give it to your wife?

Objection. Irrelevant.

JUDGE: Sustained.

Are you acquainted with a certain
transvestite prostitute,

that was he or she the recipient
of any of this merchandise?

JACK: Objection. Irrelevant.


The night Saul Caplan was
killed wasn't one of the nights

you were stealing, was it?


Nothing further.

It started out,
I'd get Eli coke.

Once in awhile
I'd set him up with a hooker

on account of he was afraid
to approach one on his own.

Did there come a point at which Eli
had you stealing from the store?

Right. At first, he'd throw
me somethin as a tip kinda.

When I told him
I could move some quantity,

he got hip to the money there
was to be made on the side.

How much was that?

Like 5,000 a month.

Would you describe the
conversation that took place

between yourself and Eli
on October 18th?

I saw him at the club.

He said Caplan found out
we were stealin'.

He asked if I knew someone
who could take him out.

What did you take that to mean?

Have him murdered.

Is that when you contacted
Eddie Novello?

Right. Eli gave me 10 grand,
I gave five to Eddie.

I told Eli to leave the basement doors
unlocked so Eddie could get in.

Nothing further.

You're not new to burglary,
are you, Mr. Bonafiglio?

Not really.

In fact, you've been
convicted, uh, three times.

Now, if Mr. Caplan found out

that someone was
stealing from the store,

doesn't it make sense
that he would accuse

the convicted burglar
workin' for him?

Only Eli had
a lot more to lose.

You had access
to the basement doors,

and being a three-time felon,
you had every reason

to make sure Caplan
never had you arrested.

The whole thing was Eli's idea.

I never would've done it
except for him.

Mr. Bonafiglio, did the D.A. offer
you a deal for your testimony?


No further questions.

I don't know that
he killed my grandfather.

Well, it sounded like you
suspected that he might have.

Not really.

Because it isn't in his nature?


What if he thought
your grandfather

was about to blow
the whistle on him stealing?

I don't know.

You'd rather we didn't put
you in this position.

You're right. I'd rather
just make my little film

and not have to think about it.

You think maybe your grandfather
deserves better than that?

Eli took me to clubs,
he introduced me to girls.

I was this wide-eyed doofus
and he showed me the ropes.

That was the old days.

He's the next
witness up, David.

We want you to tell us
what you know.

Are you saying you need me to?

We wouldn't be here
if we didn't.

FELDMAN: What's your relationship
with Sal Bonafiglio, Eli?

I know him from work.
That's pretty much it.

You ever see him
outside of work?

I ran into him at a club
called Red's one night.

And did you talk to him?

Yes, I did.

Would you tell us what
you talked to him about?

Well... (CHUCKLES) I'd had
a pretty bad day that day.

I was stressed, frustrated.

I had a couple of drinks.
I was lookin' to unload.

Sal was there,
so I unloaded on him.

What'd you say?

Something to the effect
of how I wished that

my father and Saul
would both retire,

so I could run the business
the way I wanted to.

Did you say you wanted
Saul Caplan dead?

Absolutely not.

Did you offer Sal Bonafiglio
money to kill him?

Absolutely not.

Did you pay Sal Bonafiglio
money to kill him.

No, I did not.

No further questions.

We've heard testimony that
together with Mr. Bonafiglio,

you were stealing merchandise from the
store and selling it on the side.

Is there any truth to that?

None whatsoever.

So when Ronnie Ortega testified
there were discrepancies

in the inventory attributable
to you, that was a lie.

Oh, there might've been

that doesn't mean
I was stealing.

Are bars and after-hours clubs
customary outlets

for leather coats that started
out at Becker & Caplan?

Look, sometimes,

the merchandise in the
store doesn't move, okay?

You order more than
you can sell,

a new shipment's coming in,
and you got to make room.

We've heard testimony from half a
dozen witnesses that you sold coats

to get money for coke.

We've heard from the individual
who sold you the coke,

who witnessed,
with his own eyes,

the transaction
from which you got the money.

Are you sure you want
to sit up here, under oath,

and tell us you were just
making room in the store?

What, am I the only person in
this room who's ever used drugs?

I've used drugs, okay?

On occasion,
I have bought cocaine.

I'll tell you what
I've never done.

I never murdered
anybody because I...

I was worried about getting caught stealing.
I mean, stealing from who?

The store's half mine.

Do you know the victim's
grandson, David Caplan?

Sure, I know him.

At some point,
did you offer to buy out

his interest in the store
with promissory notes?

Assume I did.

And when he declined to sell, did you
resort to physical intimidation?

Physical intimidation?
Come... Look...

We're like a family, okay?

We had a misunderstanding
and he got upset.

I ask that this be marked
into evidence, Your Honor,

as People's exhibit number 14,

a police report in which David
Caplan claimed that Eli Becker

threatened to have
his legs broken.

So ordered.

So what, is he
feeding you all this?

Did you threaten him?

No, I didn't threaten him
I mean...

(STUTTERING) The least little
argument, this kid, he overreacts.

You've led a very sheltered
life, tateleh, you know that?

Hey, let me ask you something.

Have you ever lifted a finger?

Have you ever tried unloading a truck?
Have you ever tried selling?

Have you ever worked
a day in your life?

The keys to the kingdom,
this kid, he gets

because he looks
like his grandfather.

Did you ever think that
if you were not adopted

that the keys to the kingdom
might have been yours?

No, I never thought that.

You're 35 years old, you've worked in
the store since you were a teenager.

It never struck you
as a little odd

that your adopted father
didn't see fit

to reward your efforts
with a piece of the pie?

If I'd ever asked, my father
would've given it to me.

Except that your father
had to answer to his partner,

and so you knew not to ask

because to them
you were just an employee,

like Sal Bonafiglio
or Ronnie Ortega.

Someone to be trusted
to an extent,

but never given
a birthright because

there was no birthright.


Don't say "them," all right?
There was no them.

If Caplan didn't want me as a
partner that was all on him.

It had nothing to do
with my parents.

My parents would do
anything for me.

Is that why you wanted
Mr. Caplan killed?

I did not
want him killed. I...


It was like I said before,
I was just...

I was unloading in a bar.

You were so adamant
he not be tried in Israel,

what I'm tryin' to see
if I can do is

broker an arrangement where at least
he serves his sentence in Israel.

Well, he hasn't been
convicted yet.

Assuming he's convicted.

Given that his conversion
was found defective,

why does Israel still want him?

Well, there are those
in the state of Israel

who would like to apply a more, uh,
expansive reading of the Law of Return.

If Mr. Becker has spent his entire
life believing himself to be a Jew,

and now wants to live in the
State of Israel as a Jew,

there are those who would say it
would be a mitzvah to allow it.

Only a mitzvah?

What do you mean
only a mitzvah?

I mean, there are
no elections riding on this?

The fate of nations
isn't hanging in the balance?

There are people
who would appreciate it.

In Israel. And in New York.

If that means something to you,

maybe you can help
bring it about, and, uh,

if it doesn't, it doesn't.

Lev Berenson is lobbying very hard to let
Becker serve his sentence in Israel.

And right now, it's a concession
I feel inclined to make.

All due respect, Nora,
I think this is dead wrong.

This is religious authority
superseding civil authority.

We shouldn't just roll over.

That's a bit of
an overstatement.

Tell that to the Iranians
who had to run for their lives

from the Ayatollah.

Or the Afghani girls who can't
go out of their houses anymore.

Except that Israel
is run by civil authority.

It's the civil authority
we're responding to.

CARMICHAEL: Excuse me.

If Becker knows he can
do his time in Israel,

it might serve
as an inducement to a plea.

What does it look like
for a verdict?

It could go either way.

Make a deal.

JACK: He pleads
to murder two.

No special circumstances,
no death penalty.

Twenty-to-life and he serves
it in an Israeli prison.

He must be under the
impression they're winning.

CARMICHAEL: That's a pretty
high-stakes gamble if we are.

Twenty-to-life isn't
exactly a generous offer.

Considering this is
a murder for hire,

I think
it's exceedingly generous.

It's only generous if he
committed a murder for hire,

and I say he did not!

What does he say?

He doesn't say anything and he
doesn't have to say anything!

What happens
if it goes to the jury?

They look at the evidence, they decide
he's not guilty, and they let him go home!

I'm asking them, Nat.

If they find your son
guilty of murder for hire,

they'll remand him to custody.

The next step
is the penalty phase

where they will try
to determine whether or not

the death penalty is warranted.

You want him to run that risk?

He's innocent, Sylvia.
He knew Saul his whole life.

You think he had him killed?
What's wrong with you?

Does Eli want to say anything?

Mom, Dad...

I don't know what to do.

If you're innocent, say
now that you're innocent,

and we'll fight for you
as long as we have breath.

But, Son, if you're not,

take their offer.



What your mother said.

By this time tomorrow night,
he'll be on his way to Tel Aviv.

The U.S. Marshal's service
asked if we had any objection

to him being accompanied
by a rabbi on the flight.

Did you?
No, we didn't.

Do you still think
he's getting away with it?

I think we treated him differently
because of political pressure

under the guise of
religious devotion.

Do I think he got away with it?

I think for the first time
in his life, he didn't.