Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 16, Episode 13 - Heart of Darkness - full transcript

McCoy pursues murder charges against a woman in an assisted suicide case, but he finds out during the trial that a third party may have also been involved.

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.

Anna's got a new man,
a gringo banker.

Don't tell me
she dumped Enrique!

That was three boyfriends ago.

She said the sex
always gets boring.

Since when is that a reason
to break up with someone?

She's a passionate girl.

She's a sucia. A total puta.

Oh, how I envy her.

0:08 mio!

DOA checked in alone
around midnight.

No luggage.
Paid one night in cash.

Didn't make or receive
phone calls.

Neighbors hear any noise?


Kept things nice and tidy.

Thirteen bucks.


What the hell is this?

"Tah-dig"? "Too-dig"? "Tay..."

It's pronounced "Teague."
It's Gaelic for Timothy.

I knew a Tadhg in high school.

He threatened me when
I went out with his sister.

Let's have a look.

Temp's 88. He's been
dead about seven hours.

Looks like he had himself
a little party.

Is there any chance
this was an accident?

Hard to tell, not knowing what
or how much was in the vials.

But the goodbye note
there says otherwise.

"Now more than ever
seems it rich to die,"

"to cease upon the
midnight with no pain."

It's signed Tadhg, but it
was written by John Keats.

I happen to know
my Romantic poetry.

Doesn't all of this
seem strange to you?

A guy is about to kill himself,

but he keeps things very
orderly and he quotes poetry?

Yeah, but he could be just
a well-versed neat freak.

Maybe. But how many well-versed
neat freaks do you know

that spell their own name wrong?


His tank was close to full
on alcohol and alprazolam,

but he drowned before the
narcotic was fully absorbed.

The drugs put him to sleep,
and then he slid under water?

Or someone helped him. I found
skin scrapings under a fingernail.

And take a look.

Are those bruises? I didn't see
that when he was in the tub.

Abraded areas like this only
appear after the skin dries out.

Someone could have forced
him to take the plunge.

There wasn't much
evidence of a struggle.

Maybe that same someone
cleaned up the scene?

It doesn't even look
like Tadhg's handwriting.

I don't know. It's hard to say.

Do you know of anybody
that would want to harm him?


Do you know...
Did he have a girlfriend?

None I'd heard of.

He played the field.

Look, my brother had a mouth that
would get him a punch in a bar.

But someone phonying
up a suicide?

Maybe it was the article
he was working on.

He was a journalist.

Did he say what
the article was about?

I didn't ask. And he knew telling
me would get him an earful.

Earful for what?

Being reckless.
Going places he shouldn't.

He'd put his head in a
lion's mouth to get a story.

Ma, go lie down.
I'll bring you some tea.

Did you know where
your brother worked?

Oh, he bounced around freelance,

but the last I heard,
the Voice of the City.

Past year, he'd been on
an expose on gun dealers.

Thought it was gonna be his big
insider, win him a Pulitzer.

How did that work out?

First draft read like a
cheap conspiracy theory.

I told him so. He blew up.
Accused me of taking payoffs.

Do you know that he received any
threats because of that stuff?

None he told me about. Doesn't
mean it didn't happen.

Had he been threatened before?

He'd get angry calls from
rappers to city councilmen.

He liked to piss people off.

Well, did he piss off
anybody in particular?

Ah, no one I'd aim you to. In the
past, Tadhg did hard-hitting stuff,

from toxic waste to dirty cops.

But recently, it's been missed deadlines
and failing to corroborate facts.

Is that what got him fired?

Uh, bending some girl over
his desk at lunch did that.

Oh, man.

Well, that sounds
pretty erratic.

Yeah, he was
a talented kid. Sharp.

But he could go too far with a
story, an interview, personally.

You just couldn't live
with the mood swings.

But he did say he was gonna pursue
the gun story somewhere else.

Probably wound up
on someone's bad side.

Who was his main source
on that story?

Talk to Mike Wells at
Citizens Against Guns.

Thanks a lot.

Tadhg might've been
a little eccentric,

but his story had a chance of
getting guns off the street.


He was investigating a
salesman named Alfred Biso.

Biso had taken delivery
of 500 cheap guns

from a bargain manufacturer
in Nevada recently,

and promptly reported
463 of them stolen.

Tadhg figured Biso lied
about the robbery

so he could sell the guns black
market at a better price.

Could he prove any of that?

He tracked those guns to dozens of
shootings in Philly and New York.

You know if he ever
interviewed Biso?

He was going to, alone. Not
something I would've done.

Do you have any idea where
we can find this guy?

Tadhg left a box of
his research in my office.

You're free to dig through it.

Police! Get down! Get down!
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!

UP, up, up! Against the wall!
Against the wall!

Quite an arsenal
you got there, Biso.

Those are all legally
purchased firearms.

What are you two ladies doing
here, Christmas shopping?

Come on, let's go.

I understand, from a certain perspective,
all those guns doesn't look good.

It doesn't look good? The kids you
were selling to were barely 16.

Is that what happened? Tadhg Ruane found
out who you were selling guns to?

Who now? Tadhg Ruane.

The journalist. Did he confront
you about selling guns?

This is Tadhg's notebook.

"4:30, Wednesday, Tompkins
Square Park. Biso."

Unless there's some other Biso.

Dude was a journalist?
That nutcase?

What you mean, "nutcase"?

Talked a mile a minute about any damn
thing. Sports, food, getting laid.

And he was recommended
by a legit guy.

Recommended to you for what?
What did he need from you?

Said it's urgent, he needs a gun
'cause someone was after him.

Said he found a guy in
his closet. Crazy talk.

But you made the deal anyway?

He had the cash.

Did you get him a gun?
He didn't show up to get it.

When was that supposed
to happen?

Early yesterday, Tompkins
Square Park again.

So it wasn't two nights ago, around
midnight at the Athena Hotel?


See, we think you met him at that
hotel, you put a gun to his head,

you made him swallow some pills,
and then you drowned him.

Whoa, whoa, whoa...

No, no, no. Come on, man, you
had every reason to do it.

He was about to expose your
dirty little business deal.

I had no idea he was a reporter.

Look, bro, you sell guns to kids.
That's serious enough.

You add murder to that...

Dude carried a bottle
of booze in his pocket,

he took a leak in
a trash can at the park.

In the middle of the damn park!
What reporter does that?

Biso's handwriting does
not fit the suicide note.

Latent get prints off the note?

A partial, but it was too smudged
for any kind of a match.

Did the M.E. call back on the
skin under the DOA's nail?

Barely enough to test from, and it
could be the victim's own skin.

He scratched himself?

Well, the DOA did have scratches
that could be the source.

But it's not conclusive.

Biso come up with an alibi
on the time of death?

He said he was smoking
pot in his apartment,

and believe it or not,
his neighbors confirmed it.

Look, are we chasing our
tail on this gun angle?

We did get a lot of
guns off the street.

Yeah, but it sounds like this
DOA was pretty unstable.

Do we even have a murder?

The Medical Examiner says that
the bruises on his shoulder

are consistent with someone
holding him underwater.

Hey, check this out. I'm digging
through Tadhg's research, right?

Now, the handwriting on that
suicide note looks like it matches

the handwriting on these love
notes I found in his notebook,

and they're all signed "A.B."

On his cell phone, there are
calls to an Angela Burkett.

Go talk to her.

I slipped it in his coat pocket as
he was leaving for work last week.

I wanted him to know that even
in darkness there's beauty.

Why'd you sign his name to it?

Because I saw it as his portrait.
Dark, but beautiful.

Can you account for
yourself on the night he died?

You think I... I murdered Tadhg?

Were you anywhere near
the Athena Hotel?

I was with a girlfriend
in Williamsburg.

If you wouldn't mind giving
us her contact info?

If you want my opinion,
no one murdered Tadhg.

He was a beautiful madman
and a brilliant writer,

but he suffered from
horrible depression.

We heard he was eccentric,
nothing about depressed.

I was with him two years.
I think I'd know.

And you think he was suicidal?

He suffered from
dysphoric mania.

It's a mental illness with
extreme high-low states.

You mean, like bipolar?

Like one day he would
want to marry me

and buy a house with
a yard and a puppy,

and the next day
he wouldn't speak to me.

He was sick. You need to
speak with his psychiatrist.

Angela sent you to me?
That's surprising.

Why would you say that, Doctor?

I shouldn't be talking to
you without a subpoena,

but I'd lay Tadhg's death
at her doorstep.

She says he had dysphoric mania.

Crippling sadness, irritability,
euphoria, paranoia, promiscuity.

Did you see his tox
screen when he died?

Yeah, he had a whole
lot of tranquilizers.

But no SSRls or anti-psychotics.

It's because a couple of months
ago, Angela convinced him

that he'd be cured
with herbs and exercise.

And you weren't
buying into that.

Or Angela's motives.

Just before she convinced
him to quit the meds,

he'd confessed cheating on
her and fathering a son.

Did he say how Angela reacted?

Threatened the other woman.

And that other woman,

did he happen to mention her
name while he was in therapy?

Sarah Ridell.

She showed up at my door
one night a few months ago.

Said Tadhg was having problems and
it was best if I just stayed away.

Angela wanted to cut off contact
between Tadhg and his son?

More like Tadhg and me.

But I wasn't about to let Tadhg see
Sean alone, so, effectively, yeah.

Why wouldn't you let
Tadhg alone with Sean?

He was so unpredictable. You never
knew which Tadhg would show up.

When Angela came to your apartment, did
you feel that she was threatening you?

The point got across.

Did you tell Tadhg about that?

I mentioned it.

Were you two in contact a lot?

Just sometimes. Not like he
was around to be a father.

Nothing like that.

So how often did you see him?

When he'd call.

You mean to hook up?

When was the last time?

The day before he died.

We got a drink and
went back to my place.

It was all good until we'd
finished, and then he freaked out.

What do you mean by that?

He went nuts, started
blubbering like a baby.

Do you know
what that was all about?

He said when Angela found out
we did it, he was a dead man.

He didn't look like he was
killed in a jealous rage.

Angela was with
the guy for two years.

She knew all of his weaknesses.

So, what, she took
her time, set him up?

As susceptible as he was,

unemployed, off his
medication, in despair,

it wouldn't be hard to lube the guy with
booze and pills and drown the poor bastard.

We checked the LUDs on Angela's
place the night of the murder.

There were no calls
to or from the hotel.

But an hour before
Tadhg checked in,

she got a call from
the White Horse Tavern,

which is right around the
corner from Tadhg's apartment.

Well, didn't Angela have an alibi?
Some friend in Williamsburg?

She couldn't be reached. The super said
she just left for the Peace Corps.

She's lying.

Go to the tavern.

Tadhg Ruane? He was a regular.

Did a self-portrait
right there on the wall.

Was he in here three nights ago?

Yeah, he was. Posted up
right there on that stool,

talking some trash
about the Knicks.

Hey, how was his behavior?

Uh, real low-key. Real calm.

Doesn't sound like the guy
we've been hearing about.

Generally, he's loony tunes. I'd
never seen him so laid back.

Hey, do you know if he used
that payphone over there?

Yeah, he did, but I don't
know who he called.

Do you know what
time he left about?

- Around 11:00.
- You know where he went?

No clue.

You could ask the
limo driver, though.

He took a limo? LIRIANO:
Asked me to call him one.

Said tonight he wanted
to ride in style.

You got the number?

Yeah. I got the number
right here.

His limo driver dropped him right
outside and watched him walk in,

so he was definitely here.

I'm sorry, I don't remember him.

Listen, this might've been this guy's
last stop before he was murdered,

so if you wouldn't mind
taking a closer look...

If it's the same guy, he may be the one
that met up with one of my regulars.

Who was that?


Angela Burkett? Yeah.

Did she fill a prescription?

Listen, for your information, confidentiality
laws do not apply to pharmacists.

I'm well aware they do.

Well, then you're well aware that
we'll go get a subpoena, come back,

close this joint down for three days
and go through all your records.

What's your pleasure?

Last two months
she filled a few.

What were they for?


Are you sure they were
my pills he took?

We're sure.

Well, I keep them
in my nightstand.

He must've taken them
without me knowing.

You mind telling us why you've
been stockpiling so many pills?

What do you mean?

Your phone records indicate
calls to four psychiatrists

over the past couple of months.

I was trying to find
a new doctor for Tadhg.

Well, we think that you were getting him
all the right prescriptions for downers.

You don't know that.

We'll know soon enough. We're
gonna subpoena all their records.

When did you find out Tadhg was
sleeping with his son's mom again?

I didn't know.

You didn't know that he slept
with her the day before he died?

No, I didn't know.

And I wouldn't have cared.

When did you get
the enlightened attitude?

We know for a fact that you threatened her
to back off Tadhg a couple of months ago.

No, I told her that Tadhg needed to
simplify his life. I can't believe this.

Oh, God, stop lying.

He was screwing around, and that pissed
you off. That's a natural reaction.

Screwing around is a symptom of his
illness. It doesn't mean anything.

Oh, come on! He had a kid
with another woman.

You're the scorned woman.
You got revenge. Admit it!

No, Tadhg needed my help. He wanted to die.
All I did was help him!

You helped him die?

L think I need to speak
with an attorney now.

She helped him die. She's
going to plead not guilty?

Or her fallback will be assisted suicide.
Either way, it's man two.

Why not murder two?

How will we convict her for murder?
There's evidence he was suicidal.

He suffered depression. That's
no reason to put him to death.

Of course not,
but if he wanted to die,

should she do 25-to-life
for helping?

He was held underwater.

He had a gut full of pills. There's no
evidence she shoved them down his throat.

She was aware of his promiscuity
and she wrote his suicide note.

That's staging the crime scene,
which is consciousness of guilt.

I will write the indictment
for murder two,

but I'm sure her lawyer's going to
have something to say about it.

Tadhg was violently
depressed, suicidal.

He had tried every kind of therapy,
every drug. Nothing helped.

He begged Angela to help him die.
This was not murder.

Why did she pen
his suicide note?

After he took the pills,
his hands were shaking

and he asked me to write it.

How about the bruises
on his shoulders?

I don't know anything about
the bruises on his shoulders.

He was out drinking earlier.
Maybe he got into a fight.

So she simply assisted his suicide?
That's your contention?

I was trying to free
him from his pain.

Except that he didn't have
bone cancer or advanced AIDS.

Even Kevorkian limited himself
to terminally ill patients.

Mental illness can be every bit
as painful and intractable.

So why did you tell him to
stop taking his medication?

Because it wasn't working.
It made him more miserable.

A jury will understand
this was a merciful act.

Drowning a drunk,
sedated man is merciful?

My client might be willing to plead
to man two, assisted suicide,

if she stays out of prison.

No deal.

Then what are you after?

Man two, 15 years.

All right. I was hoping that we could
resolve this thing rationally,

but apparently we can't, so here's
our reciprocal discovery. Let's go.

My name is Tadhg Ruane.

I'm of sound body and mind.

And I'm making this,
uh, this recording

because I'm just tired.

I'm tired of the pain.

I'm tired of living.

I'm sorry, Ma.

Just can't do it anymore.

Please understand that.

I want to.

I need to, uh...

I need to die.

Makes it hard to prove murder.

What happened after the
camera was turned off?

I think Angela helped him commit suicide.
But she didn't pull a trigger.

I don't buy her explanation
for the bruises on his neck.

I say it's evidence
Tadhg changed his mind.

We can't rest the case
on some bruises.

They're an element. We'll argue
that Tadhg was mentally ill

and not in his right mind to decide
whether or not he could commit suicide.

I differentiate Tadhg as mentally
ill, not mentally incompetent.

That's kind of a nice
distinction for you, isn't it?

I thought where you came
from, suicide was suicide.

It is, but you can't fault a man for
something that he has no control over.

Exactly. A person with Tadhg's mental
illness who wants to commit suicide

is mentally incompetent.

A fact that she took advantage
of for her own purposes

and may even have engineered by encouraging
him to stop taking his medication.

Assisting his death is murder.

The cause of death was drowning.

So he was alive
prior to going underwater?

Yes. The post-mortem
buoyancy tests of his lungs

indicate he was sucking in,
trying to breathe.

People's exhibit two,
Your Honor.

Can you tell us
what you see here?

Bruises on the
victim's shoulders.

In your opinion,
how did they get there?

They are consistent with someone
grabbing the victim from above

and forcing him underwater.

Nothing further, Your Honor.

Ms. Rodgers, your report
said that Tadhg Ruane ingested

over 1,000 milligrams of
alprazolam, is that correct?


So, if he hadn't drowned,
he would've died anyway?

Unless someone
intervened in time.

But if nobody did,

and he had taken a walk, or
been alone, he would've died?


Now these bruises
in exhibit two,

your report states that they
happened within minutes of death?


But isn't it possible that the
bruises were inflicted post-mortem,

when the body was
moved from the tub?

Given their location,
it's unlikely.

But it's possible?


Thank you.

Those with dysphoric mania
typically cycle rapidly

between very depressed
and very manic.

During this cycling, did Tadhg
ever say he wanted to die?

Once or twice, but more often
he said he wanted to live.

Are you aware of any prior suicide
attempts by the victim, Doctor?


Do you know why he stopped
therapy and medication?

He said his girlfriend didn't
think it was working for him.

In your opinion, is Tadhg
Ruane's condition so bad

as to be beyond help,
beyond hope?

Objection. Speculative.

Sustained. Rephrase, Mr. McCoy.

Could Tadhg Ruane have benefited
from further treatment, Doctor?


Doctor, would you say someone
with dysphoric mania

can suffer as much pain as
a terminally ill person?

It's hard to quantify pain, but the
symptoms can feel excruciating.

Enough to make him
want to kill himself?

Yes, but wanting to die and acting
on it are two different things.

But Tadhg's illness
wasn't curable, was it?

It was manageable.

Had he stayed in therapy and on meds,
he could've lived another 50 years.

Have you ever had any other
patients commit suicide?


And did any of those patients kill
themselves while in treatment?

One patient.

Staying in therapy and on meds is really
no guarantee against suicide, is it?

Objection. Argumentative.

Withdrawn. Nothing further.

I'm starting to think the jury
won't buy murder two, Jack.

You'll understand if I disagree.

But why risk it if she'll
plead to assisted suicide,

maybe even a little jail time?

Revenge warrants more
than a slap on the wrist.

What if the jury
doesn't see revenge?

What if they just see her as helping
Tadhg free himself from pain?

Pain which might have
dissipated the next morning.

He may have got up and wanted to
take his son to the basketball game.

Or he could have woken up worse.

This is some thorough
devil's advocacy, Alex.

I have strong convictions
about suicide,

but assistance?

For someone who was
dedicated to dying?

I'm not gonna set the precedent

that depressives and
schizophrenics can take an exit

with the help of
overburdened loved ones

whose act of love may have been tempered
by frustration, anger, resentment...

He was suicidal.

What he did may have
been wrong, but her?

And strictly speaking,
look at her.

She's like a wounded
puppy, Jack.

Will a jury convict her?

Did you see that?


Right here.

Watch the mirror
in the background.

Just looks like a change in
light from one of them moving.

Watch it in slow motion.

Angela and Tadhg are here.

The shadow in the mirror
here is not from them.

Someone else is in the room.

Any idea who it might be?

Not from current evidence. The
detectives are looking for the camera.

She had an accomplice.

An assisted suicide doesn't
require this kind of secrecy.

I was a little shaky
on murder two before,

but an accomplice
changes the game.

Do we try for a continuance,

buy a little time to

Doubtful a judge would go for it, and
any delay could hurt us with the jury.

What if Angela was
forced into this?

She's had ample opportunity
to let us know.

Sounds to me like you need
to find your third man

before the case
goes to the jury,

unless Angela plans
on testifying.

Thurber said she was
going to in his opening.

That's a cross-examination
I'd like to see.

Sometimes Tadhg wouldn't sleep
for days and he'd get paranoid.

Any little setback could send him into
a rage, punching walls, wailing...

Did you try getting him help?

I was the one who first
suggested he see a therapist.

And how did the
therapy work out?

He went a lot, and he took a lot of
drugs that had bad side effects,

dry mouth, diarrhea, impotence.

A lot of the time he would
just lay on the floor.

He couldn't speak, or even cry.
He refused to eat.

He said that it was like somebody had
turned the light out in his soul,

it was so dark.

Did he tell you that he
wanted to kill himself?

After awhile
it's all he talked about.

He said he was gonna do it
whether I was there or not.

I chose to be with him.

Can you tell us exactly what
happened in that bathroom

after the camera shut off?

I held Tadhg's hand. He started to fade.
He thanked me.

He told me that he loved me.

And then?

His eyelids got heavy,
his head sagged,

and he went under the water.

Was he awake when he went under?

I don't think so.

You don't think so?


Should we ask the other person who was
in the bathroom with you, Ms. Burkett?

What do you mean?

Your Honor, I'd like the jury
to review defense exhibit B.

I'll make an offer of proof that an
expert from the NYPD audio laboratory

will testify that there is a
third party in that bathroom.

Your Honor...
Just a second, Counselor.

Who was with you, Ms. Burkett?

This is wrong. This is so wrong.

Please just answer the question.

He wanted to die.
This was an act of love.

Who is the other person?

I won't say.

Then you'll be held in contempt
and jailed until you do.

It was his brother Gerald.

After Tadhg made his decision,

I tried to get Gerald
to talk him out of it.

But he said that it was Tadhg's
choice and that we should respect it.

And Gerald helped you
plan it out?

He gave us the book
on self-deliverance

and told me we should
use the camera.

And he was there to tape it?

He got there just before
Tadhg took the drugs.

He set up the camera and
he told us when to start.

Then he mostly just watched
while I sat with Tadhg,

and I stroked his head
while he got drowsy.

You say Gerald mostly watched.
What does that mean?

Well, I don't know, because...

At one point
I left the bathroom.


The water was supposed
to be a fail-safe,

after the pills knocked Tadhg
out, so he could just...

Could drift under the
water and go to sleep.

But when he started to,

I left the room.
I couldn't watch anymore.

Did Gerald stay in
the bathroom with Tadhg?


Did Tadhg struggle to
get out of the water?

I heard the water
splashing, but...

I just put my hands over
my ears and I cried.

Because you knew what Gerald was doing?
Holding Tadhg down?

Because the man
that I loved was dying,

and I was so scared, and I...

I just wanted him
to be at peace.

She has to testify
against Gerald.

I won't do that.

Explain to your client that suddenly
admitting to a third party on cross

is gonna make the jury think
she has something to hide.

They're gonna wonder why you
didn't bring him up to begin with,

especially if he's innocent.

You're looking at
a murder conviction.

But if she testifies, man two.

You'll make a strong recommendation
for leniency in sentencing?

I'll recommend 10 years,
after she testifies.

We only wanted to help.

We'll see about that.

She could've pointed to
anybody in that courtroom.

But she pointed at you.

I wasn't in that hotel.

Where were you?

On Bowery, at O'Dwyers.
I barback there.

And your boss'll back you up?
You were there all night?

Some of the time I was in the
basement doing inventory.

So, he can't account
for you all night.

You drive to work? Yeah.

Where do you park the car?

Around the block.

You got a parking ticket at 1:00
that morning on 24th and 8th.

That's, what, like,
30 blocks away.

It just happens to be around the
corner from the Athena Hotel.

At the very same time your brother
was being pushed underwater.

Kind of strange.

Am I under arrest?

You're going to be.

You're gonna want that
story in perspective.

Well, if I'm not under arrest,
I got nothing else to say.

Gerald's got no record,
but his name popped up

on two rob-assault complaint
reports in the past year.

He was a suspect?

No. He was just interviewed
at the scene after the fact.

His mother was the victim.

Now, the perp was collared,
he's a heroin dealer,

and in Gerald's
statement to the police

he said that the dealer was there
to collect on his brother's debts.

How bad was his
mother assaulted?

Well, this second assault
put her in the hospital.


My arm was broke.
Healed, though.

How did Gerald react?

Well, he was upset.
As you can imagine.

Did he confront Tadhg about it?

He did. But Gerald understood how hard
Tadhg was struggling at the time.

It didn't create any
animosity between them?

Gerald loved his brother.

He cared for Tadhg
and protected him,

fought bullies all
through their childhood.

But what, Mrs. Ruane?

I always thought Gerald was capable
of taking care of himself.

While Tadhg was sensitive,
he needed looking after.

So I gave him money,
because he was an artist.

Maybe too much.

How much money did you give him?

L think we're done
talking, Ms. Borgia.

The police said around the
time of Tadhg's suicide,

Gerald had several cell calls
in to a realtor in Phoenix

and he'd applied for an
Arizona contractor's license.

He was living with mom because
he was broke from a divorce.

How was he gonna buy
a house in Phoenix?

He also had several calls
in to a realtor in Queens,

who said Mrs. Ruane planned
to sell her townhouse

and relocate with Gerald.
Then this guy showed up.

Leland McNeil. Long rap sheet.

Big-time bookmaker. Known to break
kneecaps. The cops spoke to him.

Before Tadhg died, he collected
a debt from him for $60,000.

Did you run Mrs. Ruane's

She refinanced her house right
around the time the debt was paid.

Scuttling Gerald's plans to
relocate and start a new life.

It's atheory. Arrest him.

Hey, Gerald, you got a minute?

What for?

Put that down.
You're coming with us.

You're under arrest, Gerald. You
have the right to remain silent.

You have the right
to an attorney.

When did you know of your brother
Tadhg's desire to end his life?

For years. I had begged
him to get help.

Which he did, many times,
but it didn't work.

And when did you decide
to help him end his life?

When I realized there
was no stopping him.

And that if he went
about it with a gun,

which is what he said he would,

that he may accidentally shoot off
half his face or shoot someone else.

I had nightmares about it.
So I did research into


Would you take us through events
on the night your brother died?

Angela Burkett called me at the
bar where I was barbacking.

Tadhg had told her,
"Tonight's the night."

And did you meet them
at the hotel?

With the video camera,
which I set up.

We, uh...

We all said our goodbyes to
Tadhg, which was very sad.

But at the same time, we all
knew it was what Tadhg wanted

and that he'd fought against his illness
his whole life and he deserved to rest.

So there was something
very positive about it.

Tell the jury
what happened then.

He, uh... He choked

and he flailed his arms.

What did you do?

I moved to sit at the
edge of the bathtub

and lifted him up, so his
head was out of the water.

And he calmed down,

and after a bit,
his breathing got very slow,

and so I took my hands
on his shoulders

and, as gently as I could,
eased him back under.

Is that how he got
the bruises on his shoulders?

He was taller than the tub, so I had to
press down until his head submerged.

Was it a violent act?


And what happened then?

My brother passed away.

And I'm very sad that he's gone,

but there is no reason
why I helped him die

beyond easing his pain.

He wanted to die
and he wanted my help.

And what did you want from
your brother, Mr. Ruane?

I just wanted him at peace.

You wanted peace from him,
didn't you?

That's the more accurate
statement, isn't it?

No, you're wrong.

He cost you your job

by appearing at construction sites
and demanding your attention.

That happened one time, and
he was very sick that day.

On numerous occasions he'd arrive
at your home at all hours,

screaming outside if
you didn't let him in.

Not numerous occasions.
Maybe twice.

He broke into your home and stole
electronics and silverware

to feed his drug
and gambling habits.

That happened one time.

A week later your wife filed
for divorce, didn't she?


And after you finally persuaded your
mother to relocate with you to Arizona

to buy a new 'name
and to stem a new 'gob,

your brother's debts forced you to
put your life on hold yet again.

Do you recall testimony
by the medical examiner

about the bruises on
your brother's shoulders?


Those bruises bore no
indication of gentle easing.

Isn't it true that you held him
under the water with brute force?


He was flailing his arms and
gasping for air, wasn't he?

Possibly trying to change his mind?


How can you be sure?

You can't.

And you never
entertained the notion

because you wanted
him dead, didn't you?

I loved my brother.

But his death didn't just
solve his problems, did it?

It solved them for both of you.

Isn't that correct, Mr. Ruane?

Yes or no?

You asked to see us?

L, uh, want to say something.

You're supposed to protect
your kid brother.

And I did that, his whole life.

And every second of
helping him plan his exit,

I swear that's what I was doing.

I was being an older brother.

But that last moment,

when he wanted to breathe...

God forgive me.

Man two, 15 years.

He'd take more if Angela's
sentence was reduced.

She didn't do anything
but love him.

Angela's lawyer called. They thanked
us for the reduction to three years.

They should.

She should have helped
him with his meds,

helped him stay in therapy.
She got off light.

Are you familiar with Mark Twain's
account of an incident on a riverboat,

where a man was trapped burning
underneath an exploded boiler,

begging his crewmates
to shoot him?

A crewman did sham him.

How much time
would you give him?

I'm not sure I'd prosecute.

And three years is light

for someone who thought they
were doing the same thing?

That exploded boiler
was real, Alex,

not just in the trapped man's mind.
There's a big difference.

You think Tadhg Ruane
would agree with that?

If he was around, I'd ask him.