Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 7, Episode 11 - Menace - full transcript

Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate the death of Karen Marsh who, it seems, jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge. They soon establish that she had been in a fender bender and the driver of the other car forced her out of her car and chased her. She apparently leaped off the bridge to get away from him. Karen had been without a job since the shoe factory she worked in burned down some six months before. She had recently visited her old boss, Harold Dorning and he thought she was just fine. They eventually trace her attacker, "Crazy" Mike McDugan a man with a violent temper and a criminal record for assault. He admits to the road rage incident but insists that she jumped off the bridge on her own. The best the DA's office can get is an indictment for assault - until they learn that his one-time prison roommate was a professional arsonist which makes them look into the fire at the factory where she worked and her old boss.

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.


WOMAN: Hurry it up,
I don't have all night.

BOBBY: Great. That's it, just
everybody get out of their car.

I think I left my compact
in the restaurant.

What is that in your hand?

My pantyhose.
My legs were itchy.

(EXCLAIMS) When did
you take those off?

In the ladies' room,
before we left?

Did you take anything else off?

You tell me.

MAN: Hey, you! You there!


Did you hear that?

Bobby, don't leave me here.

Hey, what the hell
is going on up there?

A girl just went over the side.

Oh, my God.

What did he say?

Somebody jumped off the bridge.

No ID on her. Did a Brodie from
up there, landed on her face.

We sure she came from up there?

My men found a VW
abandoned on the ramp.

Fourteen years on the job, I still can't
understand what makes them do it.

Hopelessness, for one.

Yeah, listen to him.
He went to college.



What happened to you?

Hey, sorry I'm late.
I grabbed a ride.

First unit here
found the car like this,

traffic zipping by,
nobody around.

So who called 911?

We're working on
tracing the call.

Car is registered to a Karen
Whatney of Borough Park.

Handbag in the car had
her driver's license.

28 years old.
Nice-looking girl.

Not anymore.

Detectives, we got a
woman's blouse over here.

So, she's stoned on something, she
runs her car into the guardrail,

peels off her shirt, and jumps.

You sign off on that,
we can all go back in.

The left sleeve is ripped.
There's three buttons missing.

She didn't take this off,
somebody took it off for her.

911 call said she jumped.

Maybe this somebody also
helped her off the bridge.

Break out your thermals, Wheeler.
We're not going anyplace.

(WEEPING) Are you
absolutely sure it's Karen?

Not 100%. Did Karen have any
distinguishing marks or scars?

A little angel tattooed on her right thigh.
Her boyfriend's idea.

Was she with him last night?

They broke up three months ago.

Maybe she went out with her friend Shawna Gates.
She lives in the city.

I don't understand how my
daughter fell off a bridge!

We're not exactly sure either.

Um, when was the last
time you spoke with her?

Yesterday morning.
She went for an interview.

She lost her job at WalkRite
Company about six months ago.

Mrs. Whatney, did Karen
ever say or do anything

that would make you think she
might try to hurt herself?

No. No, never.

Hey, no job, no boyfriend.
I'd be singing duets with Billie Holliday.

Yeah, I don't buy it.
I want to talk to her friends.

Sure. So, last night,
where was everybody?

One of your kids have
a medical emergency?

No, Deborah took the kids to
her parents' for a few days.

Just like that?

Yeah, just like that.

So, the girlfriend
works on the West side.

We shot some pool,
then she dropped me off

at my place downtown
on Henry Street.

Then she went home.

What time was that?

Around 2:00.
I can't believe this.

Was she...
Was she drinking?

Maybe three beers.

Any drugs?

Her blouse was torn.
Do you know how that happened?

No. It looked fine
when she left.

What was her mood?
Karen ever talk about suicide?

No. I mean, she was down about
not being with somebody

and about her money situation,

but she said she was going
to get help with that.

Oh? From who?

Her old boss.

She used to work for some guy at
some shoe factory in the Bronx.

But he's in real estate
now. Some guy Dorning.

She was expecting
a call from him.

She was desperate.
She'd been looking for work for so long.

She had her mother to support.
She asked me for money.

I'd given her a couple of
hundred dollars in the past.

Her girlfriend said she was
expecting a call back from you.

Well, I don't know why.
I told Karen there wasn't anything I could do.

Believe me, I wanted to, but...

(DOOR OPENING) The Walerstein mortgage.
I need the title report now.

(STAMMERS) Sorry, Dad.
When you get a chance.

Robbie, these are detectives.
Karen Whatney committed suicide last night.


She jumped off
the Brooklyn Bridge.

God. I'm sorry to hear about that.
Is there anything we can do?

Your father is
taking care of it.

All right.


Mr. Dorning, is it normal for your
ex-employees to hit you up for money?

Karen started working for
me when she was just a kid.

For eight years she did our files,
practically ran the office.

And then what? She quit?
Or you fired her?

No, no.
The factory burned down.

What are you guys
trying to insinuate here?

Maybe she left over some
bad feelings, an affair.

That would explain
her behavior.

CURTIS: Mrs. Dorning
wouldn't have to know.

My wife passed
away two years ago.

And no, there wasn't anything
romantic between Karen and me.

Tox report found
a blood alcohol level

consistent with what
the friend told us.

No drugs,
unless you count Midol.

Midol. That tells
you something.

She jumped because it was
her time of the month?

I really hope you come up
with a better reason

before you go home
to your cave tonight.

M.E. Found bruises on her left
arm inconsistent with the fall.

the blouse was ripped.

Now that tells me
something. Van Buren.

Okay. Yeah, thanks.
They traced the 911 call.

BOBBY: I was
with my wife.

I mean, we didn't feel like hanging
around the bridge, in the cold,

just to say we
didn't see anything.

But I called 911.
I did my part.

And we appreciate that. But how do you
know a girl jumped if you didn't see it?

There were cars
stopped in front of me.

Some black guy said he saw a girl go over the side.
I just made an assumption.

So, you didn't
actually see anything?

I saw some people get out of their cars.
I heard some shouts.

And this guy, what kind
of car was he driving?

A maroon Volvo. I didn't look at the
license plate or anything like that.

And the other cars?
You notice any of them?

Yeah. A newspaper truck.
I think it was the Daily News.

I was going to Brooklyn
to deliver the Sports final.

Same as the night before,
and same as tonight.

I lead a very eventful life.

Yeah, well, that night some girl
took a header off the bridge ramp.

Yeah, I saw something
about that on TV.

Yeah, somebody said your truck was
right there when it happened.

Come on, look what
I got to move in a night.

You think I got
time to rubberneck.

So, your story is,
you didn't see anything.

Right. All these morons
were stopping their cars.

I'm trying to get around them.

Well, you must have looked to
see why they were stopping.

Because this loony chick
was running around in a bra.

There's a lot of that
at 2:00 in the morning.

Was anyone with her?

Maybe a dozen people.
I couldn't make out what was going on.

Maybe they were trying
to talk her out of jumping.

It never occurred to
you to report this?

Well, there were other people
there knew more about it than me.

Well, if you know any of their
names, by all means tell us.

There was this green 4x4
from the Parks department.

It stopped dead in front of me.

Guy and a girl
in the front seat

looked like they
were enjoying the show.

MARSH: Tuesday night?

No, nothing special jumps out.

The guy who runs
your motor pool says

you brought the truck
back three hours late,

and you told him you were stuck
in the mud on Randall's Island.

Oh, yeah, that's right.
That was a bitch.

You married, Mr. Marsh?


And you were at Randall's
Island all by yourself?

No. It was me
and an owl.

That's funny, because somebody said
they saw you on the Brooklyn Bridge

with a female human passenger
right around the same time.

I wasn't on the bridge.
I was by myself.

(CHUCKLES) You mean you
weren't with your wife.

Hey, we don't need to pry into
your private business, Mr. Marsh.

What we do need to know is
what you saw on the bridge.

I was on Randall's Island.
I don't have anything more to say about it.

Whoever was with him,
it wasn't his grandmother.

Marsh was on
the bridge all right,

but proving it could cost him
his job and his marriage.

What's with Rey?

VAN BUREN: I don't know.
He's your partner.

Maybe you ought to remind him of that.
He doesn't say squat to me.

Everything okay?

Yeah. Deborah says hi.
So, what do you want to do?

Put an ad in the newspaper,
"Witnesses wanted, flexible hours"?

The newspaper truck driver, he's on
the bridge same time every night?

BRISCOE: Give or take.

How many more are
regulars like him?

We could throw up
a roadblock and find out.

And let's get the truck driver and Mr.
Marsh in here.

We got an anesthesiologist
from St. Vincent's.

She was on the bridge
Tuesday night.

She says she drove right past
the whole commotion. Mmm-hmm.

And the other one?

Maitre d' from Nora's.

Put them in Interrogation One.

Lieutenant, this
is Mr. Styles.

He's a computer programmer,
and he drives a maroon Volvo.

Welcome to our
party, Mr. Styles.


I really didn't
get a good look.

A girl was screaming, but I
couldn't see what was going on.

CURTIS: You told someone
she went over the side.

I don't know about that.

What is it, Mr. Styles?

Are you scared or ashamed
you didn't do anything?

As you can see,
you're not the only one.

What about you?
What did you see?

Well, by the time I got there, it was over.
Everyone was gone.

Look, I have a busy
schedule tomorrow.

If you don't let me leave, the Deputy
Mayor is going to hear about it.

What about you, Romeo?
You had ringside seats.


I was not there.
I told you that.

He was there. In the green truck.
I recognize him.

I'm sorry, but you're wrong.

He had a Spanish girl
in the seat next to him.

A Spanish girl?

Back off. He doesn't know
what he's talking about.

Your wife's home cooking
not good enough these days?

You know, maybe we ought
to break the news to her.

In fact, I think I've got
your home number right here.

What are you doing?

CURTIS: 718 area, right?


I bet your girlfriend can teach
your wife some hot, new dishes.

He can't do this.

It's ringing.
Give me that.

CURTIS: You better start
talking, or I swear

I'm going to put your
name out to the papers.

Everyone will know

what kind of lowlife coward you are.

How you don't have the decency or the
guts to be a witness for that girl.

Rey, let him go.

Come on, come on, come on.

What the hell is
the matter with you?

You think I'm just going to stand
by, let these people lie to us.

That's not what this is about.

Oh, it's not?
What's it about, then?

You tell me.

She left me, Lennie.

She took the kids and split.
She wants me out of the house.


Why? What happened?

I broke my vows with this girl in the park.
Just a one-time thing.

How did Deborah find out?

I told her.

Your second mistake.


You know, my old man used to
chase women all the time.

I swore I'd never
be like him, but...

Listen, why don't you bag
it for tonight, huh?

No. No, just give me
a couple of minutes.

Hey, when you
come back in there,

you put that temper of
yours in your pocket.

You got that?

Dr. Shamsky wants to
know if we're serious

about releasing their
names to the media.

Well, the story is
going to come out.

Just depends on how
they want it to read.

Never mind your friends
or what the D.A. Thinks,

do you want this hanging over your
head for the rest of your life?

She was being chased
by this very big man.

A white man with dark hair.

He ripped her shirt off.
She was screaming.

It looked like
they were fighting.

Did she know this man?

I don't know. She climbed
over the side to get away.

She was terrified.

It all happened so fast.
I couldn't believe it. She just jumped.

He didn't push her?

No, sir. I think she jumped to get
away from him. He was a lunatic.

He looked right at
us after she jumped.

I thought he was
going to come after me.

Who saw him leave?

I did. He drove off in a green LTD.
I don't know what year.

Did anyone see how it started?

You don't need my
friend's name, right?

No, we don't.

They were in front of me.
The VW and the LTD.

She might have cut him off, I'm not
sure, but they banged fenders.

The guy got out,
real ticked off.

This was a traffic accident?

Yeah. The guy was screaming
at her to get out of her car.

He got her door open and
dragged her out by her hair.

She ran away from him,
past my truck.

Used to be, you cut somebody off,
they flipped you the bird.

Now they chase you,
beat you up.

Why not?
Who's going to stop them? You?

From the looks of it, they
consider driving a contact sport.

That's the damage from the
guard rail, and over here,

fresh green paint from the LTD.
'86, '87 model.

Yeah, I suppose there's more
than one of those in the city.

2,068. That's in
the five boroughs.

What about this green paint here?
Same vintage?

Yeah. She must have
hit the LTD twice.

Our witnesses all said there was
only one accident, on this side.

Maybe Whatney and
the LTD traded paint

before they got to the bridge.

Thanks. Yeah, she dropped her
friend off at Henry Street,

10 blocks from the bridge.

That's a lot of doorbells.

What, you'd rather
make 2,068 phone calls?

I would have called
it in myself, you see,

but it was 2:00
in the morning.

I thought the best
thing to do would be

to leave a note
on Mr. Krutsky's car.

Well, you're a rare
citizen, Mr. Cromwell.

Why don't you tell
us what happened.

I work security,
4:00 to midnight.

I was walking home
when I heard the crash.

The LTD and the Volkswagen?

That's it. The little
car rear-ended the Ford

and slid off into Mr.
Krutsky's parked car.

Did the drivers get out?

Just the one in the Ford.
Big white guy.

Scared the white girl
in the little car a lot.

What did she do?

Well, she cut around him and
took a left at Madison Street.

He took off after her.

I tried to get their numbers, but I only
could get the first three of the Ford.

T-P-6. I could have got the whole
thing, but it all happened so fast.



Hey, I know a guy in the 83,
lost an eye doing that.

You live in this building?

You know a Mike McDugan?

Who? Crazy Mike?

Yeah, he drives a green LTD.

No, that's his old man's car.
Mike Senior. He's a cripple.

He gets around seeing
as nobody's home.

It's Thursday. Crazy Mike usually takes
him over to Manny's on Eastchester.

You guys going to
put Crazy Mike away?

Does he need putting away?

Nobody around
here would stop you.

You know, he chased my 14-year-old
grandson up a flight of stairs,

knocked him around.
A grown man. He's a menace.

You Mike McDugan?

If you're looking for
Mike McDugan, that's me.

Yeah, thanks, Pop, but we want
to talk to Sonny Boy here.

You guys got nothing better to do?

Hey, shut up.
Is that your LTD out front?

that's my car.

Yeah, sure it
is, Mr. McDugan.

Mike, we want you
to come with us.

You don't got to
do nothing, Mike.

Now, you're coming
one way or another.

They say I don't have to.

And don't talk to them, Mike.
If they want to talk, you let them arrest you.

Fine, now you're under arrest.

I didn't do nothing.

You assaulted Karen Whatney.

Now what do I do?

Now you want to
keep your mouth shut.

"Docket number 454320.
People v. Michael L. McDugan.

"Charged with Murder
in the Second Degree

"and Assault in
the First Degree."

What, they're saying
it's murder?

Let's get your plea
first, Mr. McDugan.

I'm not guilty.

The People ask bail of
half a million, Your Honor.

That's way out
of line, Your Honor.

This is at best
an assault case.

The defendant terrorized a 28-year-old
woman in the dead of night

on a bridge ramp and with
depraved indifference

caused her death.

The deceased jumped off a
bridge on her own. Period.

She jumped to get away from Mr.
McDugan. He didn't have to push her.

She chose to die, Your Honor.

My client isn't accountable for the
actions of a disturbed individual.

Ms. Ross, it sounds like you're conceding Mr.
McDugan didn't push her.

He may not have physically
pushed her, Your Honor, but...

But what?
He levitated her?

Thank your lucky stars I'm not the trial judge.
Bail is $100,000.


Some choice, a 40-foot fall
or a beating by a thug.

You certainly had the arraignment
judge eating out of your hand.

Good luck with the Grand Jury.

Give them the chance to indict a public
menace like Mike McDugan for murder,

they'll jump at it.

Public menace?

Five arrests for assault,
two convictions.

He's a bully.
His neighbors have a book on him.

We picked him up in a
known policy hangout.

I'm sure it's where he
gets most of his work.

You know you can't
mention prior bad acts

or associates to
the Grand Jury.

Fine. I'll amend the charges
to reckless driving.

Then I'll sign us up for a 12-step
program for underachievers.


Ms. Ross, this just
came by messenger.

Thank you.

It's from McDugan's
lawyer. Cross notice.

He's putting his client
in front of the Grand Jury.

Gutsy move.
It shows them he has nothing to hide.

Fine. I want them to see what
Karen Whatney was running from.

Throw the book at him.

The Grand Jury throws it back,
don't get hit in the head.

MIKE: It was my father's car.
He was a longshoreman before he got crippled.

I was driving it downtown
when this woman rear-ends me.

I go to get her insurance information.
She won't get out.

She won't even open a window.

So, I'm thinking, what the hell is my old
man going to say when he sees his car?

And then she drove off, she
left the scene of the accident.

That really pissed me off,

so I chased her to the
bridge and I made her stop.

Now, I made her get out of the car.
She still wouldn't cooperate.

I thought she was drunk.
That's why she drove off,

she didn't want to get in trouble
for driving under the influence.

Mr. McDugan, please don't
speculate as to her motives.

I'm sorry.

Now, I got to admit, I was mad.

I was yelling
and cursing at her.

Who wouldn't? And then, when
she ran off, I grabbed at her,

but the shirt
tore off in my hand.

She got up and climbed over the wall.
I tried to stop her.

Mr. McDugan, after you
caught up to Miss Whatney,

why didn't you just
wait for the police?

She was trying to
run away from the scene

of an accident.
I had to stop her.

Weren't you mad at her?

Didn't you want to punish her
for damaging your father's car?

A bunch of people watching?
What, do you think I'm nuts?

I don't know you,
Mr. McDugan.

But don't your neighbors
have a nickname for you?

They call you Crazy Mike,
isn't that right?

Yeah, I've heard that.

Why do they call
you Crazy Mike?

I don't know why, Ms. Ross.
You'd have to ask them.

It's because you like to
beat people up, isn't it?


In fact, that's why you pursued
Miss Whatney onto the bridge,

to beat her up,
isn't that right?

I would never do
anything like that.

You wouldn't? In 1994, weren't
you convicted of assault?

You can't mention that.
You're out of line, Mr. DiMarco.

I instruct you to keep quiet.

You asked an improper question.

You open your mouth again,
I'll have you removed.

You keep asking
questions like that one

and I'll have...
Take Mr. DiMarco outside.

Make this quick.

She has no right to
bring up his prior acts.

My question went to
credibility, Your Honor.

Mr. DiMarco's client claimed
he never assaulted anyone.

He said he never assaulted a complete
stranger over a traffic accident.

There's nothing in his record
that contradicts that.

Other than the fact he's a
violent predicate felon.

And you want the Grand Jury to
indict him for that reason?

No, I want him indicted because he
committed the crime he's charged with.

Well, then stick to the facts of that
crime, and leave his priors out.

You'll instruct the Grand Jury
to disregard your question.

Mr. McDugan was yelling at her to get out.
All of a sudden,

the girl shoved the door
open, right into him.

She got out and tried to hit him.

Mr. Marsh, you told
the police Mr. McDugan

pulled her out of
the car by her hair.

Actually, she fell out
of the car right into him.

He must have grabbed her hair
to keep her from falling down.


Then she wriggled away from
him, ran right past my truck.

She looked to me like she was drunk.
I definitely smelled beer.

You told the police you never
got out of your truck.

How could you smell anything?

I had my window open.
She wasn't more than six inches away from me.

Mr. Marsh, I'm confused.
You never told any of this to the police.

Look, it was 2:00 in the morning
when they interrogated me.

I told them what they wanted
to hear so I could go home.

Do you know what
perjury is, Mr. Marsh?

I'm not lying, Ms. Ross.
That girl was drunk.

ROSS: Marsh changed his story.
All of a sudden,

Karen Whatney is a drunk running
from the scene of an accident.

McDugan got to him?

(SIGHS) They don't call him Crazy Mike
because he sells discount stereos.

You can't keep
a Grand Jury waiting

while you investigate perjury.

I'm thinking about withdrawing
it from their consideration.

We can always go back later.

You're aware that a judge can keep
us from resubmitting the case?

I know, but as it is,
the Grand Jury

could indict McDugan
for simple assault.

Or not indict him at all.

(SIGHS) I don't know
what to do, Jack.


I'm enjoying the moment.
Fleeting as it is.

I'm serious.

Let them vote or withdraw the case.
Go with your gut.


Third Degree Assault.
A misdemeanor.

Mrs. Marsh, did your husband
discuss his testimony with anybody

before he talked
to the Grand Jury?

Ms. Ross at the District Attorney's office.
Is he in trouble?

Not with us. Did he get any
unusual phone calls or visits?

There were some hang-ups.
And he got a couple of calls at night.

CURTIS: Do you know
what they were about?

No. He took the calls
in the other room,

and then he went
out for a half hour.

For a walk, he said.

And what did you think?

I thought it might be
a woman, but it wasn't.

How could you be so sure?

Because when he went out, I went
to the phone and dialed star 69,

to call the party back, and
both times a man answered.

Do you remember when
these calls occurred?

During the 11:00 news.

George, they're
from the police.

Yeah, I know who they are.
You can leave now.

Mr. Marsh, if someone is threatening
you to change your testimony,

we can protect you.

I've got nothing to say.

Phone company faxed the
LUDs from Marsh's place.

Two calls to a number in Riverdale.

One at 11:17, the other one
the next night at 11:06.

Nancy Leary?

Maybe she's got
a real deep voice.

This I got to see.

Whenever you're ready.

Hey, Lennie, I almost forgot.
It's my sister's number.

I'm going to staying there
till I get my own place.

(SIGHS) Rey, I'm sorry.

Yeah. Nothing is carved in stone.
It's wait-and-see.

Right. It'll work out.

Miss Leary is at work.
She works the front desk at the Meridien.

Does she live with
a man? A boyfriend?

No. I tried to set her up with my nephew.
She told me she was celibate.

You'd never know
from looking at her.

She lives in 304?
DOORMAN: That's right.

This is addressed to a Thomas
Randall in 304. Who's he?

Tommy. That's
her 10-year-old.

Oh, Randall is
the father's name?

That's right.
Dave Randall.

He comes over, you know, just to look
after the boy when she works nights.

Dave Randall,
AKA Randall the Candle.

Gee, I wonder what
he does for a living.

Hardly a success story.

Two convictions for arson and one for
possession of an incendiary device.

In 1993, he used junk mail as
kindling to set a Cadillac on fire.

I know the punchline.
They found his address in the ashes.

He served 18 months in Altona in a
dorm with "Crazy" Mike McDugan.

An arsonist and an enforcer.
Quite a team.

Karen Whatney picked
the wrong car to hit.

Didn't she used to
work in a shoe factory?

WalkRite, in the Bronx.
I think they closed down six months ago.

Do we know why?

MAN: WalkRite stunk
of arson for profit.

We went through their
books with a tweezer.

They hadn't turned
a profit in five years.

WalkRite was on the
verge of bankruptcy?

Past the verge.
The owner, Harold Dorning, had a choice,

hand the keys over to the bank

or sell his factory to
the insurance company.

Did the name Dave
Randall ever come up?

Randall the Candle?

No, I never heard of him.

Hey, look, we had five fires on
the same block this past year.

Kids and homeless
trying to stay warm.

So you wrote it up
as arson by vandalism.

Yeah, pending further evidence.

Is it true the man who killed her,

that he might only
spend a year in jail?

Not if we have anything
to do with it.

Mrs. Whatney, did Karen
ever say anything to you

about the fire at the factory?

Just that she was sorry that Mr.
Dorning lost his business. Why?

The police think it was arson.

I thought it was kids.

The police suspect
Mr. Dorning may have

been mixed up with
insurance fraud.

If Karen knew something
and Mr. Dorning found out...

Did she ever say
anything to you?

No. No, but she
may have known.

Why do you say that?

I thought it was lucky
that she brought it home.

Brought what home?

The keepsake album.
For her grandmother.

She was working on it at work
every day during her lunch hour.

I'm not sure I follow.

She brought it home the night
before the factory burned down.

Karen Whatney had
lunch with Dorning.

I think she threatened to go to the
police unless he gave her money.

A few days later, she's dead.

Harold Dorning to Randall
the Candle to Crazy Mike.

And who has evidence of this conspiracy?
Mack the Knife?

We have the phone calls from
Randall's girlfriend's house

to the witness who
perjured himself.

We have the arson squad's informed
opinion that the fire wasn't set...

In other words, nothing.

Better find a crack in the wall
or nobody is going to jail.

This was Dorning's show.
He's the one we want.

Then start with the other two.
Offer them a deal.

The broad hit me.
It was an accident.

I don't know from arson,
this guy Randall,

or anything else.
It's all just a fluke.

Michael, sit down.

You're just a hat in the wind,
is that it, Mr. McDugan?

You blow from one
coincidence to another.

Mr. McCoy, I could throw
a rock out that window

and hit somebody
who knows somebody

who knows a friend
of my client.

Doesn't add up to a conspiracy.

It'll add up to murder one

once we represent the
case to the Grand Jury.

I thought we were all done with that.
We are.

Not by a long shot.
I'm offering you and Randall the same deal.

You testify against
Mr. Dorning,

you plead murder two,
you get 15-to-life.

I knew coming here was a waste of time.
Come, Michael.

My offer is good
for one customer only.

You or Randall.
I don't care which.

We'll talk about it outside.

My kid is 10.
So he makes crank calls? So what?

Your kid made a 12-minute crank
call to a City Parks worker?

I can't watch him every second.

I'll tell you what, starting tonight,
no video games for a week.

And no Daddy.

You and Mike McDugan killed a
witness to an arson, Dave.

That puts you on a table
with a needle in your arm.

(SCOFFS) Oh, really?

I must have been out of the room
when you charged me with murder.

That will happen as
soon as your friend

Crazy Mike rolls
on you and Dorning.

First of all, I don't
know this McDugan.

You were bunk-mates
in Altona.

Him and 100 other tube steaks I
don't invite to Christmas dinner.

Anyway, all you got on him is assault three.
A lousy misdemeanor.

Tomorrow I'm asking the Grand
Jury to re-indict for murder one.

You ever hear of
the domino theory, Dave?

JACK: I'll tell you what
I told him this morning.

First one to raise
his hand gets to plead

to murder two and
serve 15-to-life.

Hey, plead this.

Get up.

He's fooling himself
if he thinks we're bluffing.

The joke may be on us.

McDugan's lawyer just sent
this over to the office.

He's moving to keep us from
going back to the Grand Jury.

The Grand Jury already heard the
evidence against my client.

They've already
voted on a charge.

Mr. McCoy has nothing
new to tell them.

Unless you count a new
motive, new accomplices.

You peel back the theories, the
conjectures, and the assumptions,

and what you're left
with is a sore loser.

Hey, put a lid on it,
Mr. DiMarco.

Mr. McCoy, your...
Your affidavit is light on evidence.

I mean, the Grand Jury
voted that Mr. McDugan

is not directly responsible
for Miss Whatney's death.

JACK: We believe their
decision was the result

of collusion between the
defendant and a witness.

Under People v. Potter, that's
grounds to resubmit the charges.

So you have evidence that
we tampered with a witness?

I must have a page missing.

I'm sorry, Mr. McCoy.

I don't see how
I can grant you leave

to resubmit to the Grand Jury.

Your Honor, this
conspiracy is shut tight.

The only way to pry anything
loose is with an indictment.

I'm not here to help you
make cases, Mr. McCoy.

You're tying my hands.

I'm within my discretion.
The defense motion is granted.

We'll never make any headway
with either McDugan or Randall

without a murder indictment.

Maybe it's time you
knocked on Dorning's door.

And ask him if he would
please like to confess?

I'm sure that Mr. Randall the Candle
doesn't work pro bono.

Dorning must have paid him
something for his services.

The Arson Squad already looked
into Dorning's finances.

They didn't find anything.

Six months ago. Maybe these
crooks work on a layaway plan.

You'll need more than
this piece of paper to

explain to me what the
hell is going on here.

Does your father
have signing authority

over any of your
company's accounts?

There's the petty cash account.

(SCOFFS) We'll need
your records, too.

(STAMMERS) I can't
believe this bull.

I mean, why...
Robbie, what are they doing?

I don't know, Dad.
You tell me, huh?


Can someone answer the
damn phones, please?

What's this about?
It's all in the warrant.

Now, would you please
stay outside the room?

ROSS: Seems after Dorning
paid off his creditors,

he used every cent
from the fire insurance

to help his son buy
the mortgage company.

Smart move.
Hey, here's something.

For the last four months,
Dorning has been drawing

a commission check
every two weeks.

Then in the last month,
he drew two checks

within a few days
of each other.

He could have had a good month.

Look at the dates
on the checks.

Dad works hard.
He earned those commissions.

Any special reason he didn't
wait for his regular pay date?

He needed an advance.

JACK: What for?

He's my father. He had his ass handed
to him a couple of months ago.

He says he needs money,
I give it to him.

The first check,
in the amount of $5,000,

is dated the day before Karen
Whatney went off the bridge.

The second check, in the same
amount, is dated the day after.


I'll tell you, okay?

Before the fire, Dad borrowed from a shylock.
The guy was leaning on him.

Mr. Dorning,
stop lying for him.

He didn't have anything
to do with Karen's death.

She knew about the arson.


There was nothing to know.
It was vandals. Ask the fire marshal.

They've reopened the case.
They know who the arsonist was,

and they'll prove your
father was behind it.

JACK: You know
what happens next?

The insurance company
comes looking for its money.

They'll seize this business.

This is my business.
They just can't take it away.

What they don't take, we will,
as proceeds of a crime.

I have 35 employees here.

You cooperate, you just
might save their jobs.

Here's my card.
Give us a call.

(SIGHS) The underwriters
agreed to a schedule

allowing my client to pay
back the insurance money.

The caveat being he testifies
against his father.

I appreciate this wasn't an easy
decision for you, Mr. Dorning.

We have conditions of our own.

You waive prosecution
of my client

for any accessorial
conduct after the fact,

and you waive seizure
of his mortgage company.

We can live with that.

That's not all. I would like some
consideration for my father.

I can't make any promises.

He was in deep trouble
with his factory.

I'm sure he didn't mean
for anyone to get hurt.

If he accepts a plea, I'll make
a sentence recommendation.

Well, after Dad
had lunch with Karen,

he told me that she was
trying to extort him.

She wanted $10,000 or she would
tell the police about the fire.

I told him he was
worried over nothing,

that she was just
shooting her mouth off.

Your father
thought differently?

He said she could hurt us.

He told me that he had hired
someone to burn down the factory.

I was stunned, I...

You never suspected him?

It crossed my mind, sure.

The business was
circling the drain.

I warned Dad years ago to get out,

but he's stubborn.

What did he decide
to do about Karen?

I told him he should pay her.
I didn't want to lose my mortgage business.

I cut him two checks.

He use the money
to pay her off?

I don't know.

He was afraid to go to jail.

When he told me she
committed suicide, I...

I didn't know what to think.

CURTIS: Mr. Dorning?
What do you want?

You mind coming with us?
What for?

Harold Dorning, you're
under arrest for arson

and for the murder
of Karen Whatney.

That's crazy. Let go of me.
Stop moving.

What? You're
hurting me.

Hey, we wouldn't want
to do that, now would we?

The police picked up
Dorning and McDugan,

but Randall is
nowhere to be found.

They check his girlfriend's?

She says she hasn't seen him.

They posted a car outside her
house and put a tap on her phone.

Without Randall it'll
be hard to connect

Dorning to Karen
Whatney's death.

Depends how much
Mike McDugan knows.

So far, he hasn't been chatty.

We'll throw him a bone.

Good. Another heart-to-heart
with my favorite maniac.


DIMARCO: Another day,
another plea offer.

If it weren't for Ms.
Ross' charming presence,

we wouldn't bother showing up.

This time it's
a three-way race

between your client, Dave
Randall, and Harold Dorning.

Murder two, 15-to-life.
First come, first served.

You have them under arrest?

I'm surprised you didn't run
into them in the breakfast line.

Dorning confessed
the arson to a witness.

Mike's not flipping on anyone for 15 years.
Eight and out.

He's the one who forced
the girl off the bridge.

The other two can claim they
just wanted him to scare her.

And I might be inclined
to believe them.


Talk, Mr. McDugan.

Randall said he
needed some help

to get a message to this
broad, to shut her up.

You staged the accident
on Rutgers Street?

It was pretty good, actually.

After she dropped
her friend off,

I pulled ahead of her
and stopped short.

But then she drove off,
and things got out of hand.

But like I said, I never
meant for her to jump.

Of course not.

Did Randall tell you why he
wanted you to talk to her?

He said she was making
trouble for somebody

Randall did some work for.

Did he say who?

No, he didn't give me
any of the particulars,

except the girl's
name and address.

He never mentioned
Dorning or WalkRite?

No. I mean,
I'm no dope.

They call Randall
"The Candle."

I figured it had to
do with some torch job.

Unless he gives us Dorning, I'm
taking the offer off the table.

He doesn't have Dorning to give you.
He gave you Randall.

Let him serve up Dorning.

That would be fine, if we
had Randall in custody.

You just said that he was...

I just said I'm surprised you
didn't see him at breakfast.

You tell us where we can find
him, then we'll have a deal.

I don't know where he is.

Last time I saw him was a couple
of nights ago, in Queens.


He gave me 1,000 bucks.
He said I should split.

He said we had maybe a day before
the bridge thing hit the fan.

He was right. I got clicked the next
afternoon going to the comer store.

What night did
Randall tip you off?

Tuesday. I should
have listened to him,

but I couldn't leave my old man.
He's a cripple.

Where are you going?

To verify his story.

I told you
the God's honest truth.

That's what I'm afraid of.


I thought I was here
to sign a statement.

Mr. McCoy.
Have a seat.

Mr. McCoy, if you
think you can use him

to extract a plea
bargain out of us...

I'm not looking for bargains.

I'm sorry, Dad.

You're sorry? That's it?
You're sorry?

Harold, it's better
you don't talk.

JACK: He's right,
Mr. Dorning.

You're better off listening very
carefully to what I have to say.

At the time your
factory burned down,

your son's option to buy his mortgage
company was about to expire.

He'd been turned
down for a loan,

and he was in danger of losing
his $50,000 down-payment.

WALSH: What's your point?

His father's insurance money
came just in the nick of time.

It's called luck.
Some people in our family have it.

Some people make
their own luck.

Yes, unlucky at cards, unlucky in love.
Is any of this relevant?

The day before your
client came to see me,

Dave Randall skipped town and advised
Mike McDugan to do the same.

Was that also luck?

There's only one person in this room
who could have tipped them off.

Robbie, what are they saying?
Who is Dave Randall?

The man who set
the fire at WalkRite.

The man to whom your son paid
$10,000 to silence Karen Whatney.

We had a handwriting expert
examine the two checks

that were made out
to you by your son.

Your endorsements
had been forged.

You burned down my factory.

You killed Karen.

(STAMMERS) That's not true.

Mr. Dorning, if you have anything to say
to me about your son, now is the time.

Dad, please,
don't say anything.

(SIGHS) Dad, please, look at me.

Karen told me that she saw him at the
factory the night before the fire,

loading personal things out
of his office, into his car.


She hadn't gone to the
police out of loyalty to me.

But now she needed money, and
she expected me to help her.

What did you tell her?

I told her I wouldn't do it.

I thought she was making the whole
thing up, just to blackmail me.

I told him.
I said I felt sorry for her.

I thought maybe we could give her a job.
He said no.

He didn't want her
around, telling lies.

Please. Stop.

He said, "Don't worry,
I'll handle it."

When I heard how Karen died, I never
put it together. I never thought...

You said, "Trust me.
" You said, " I'll always take care of you."


You're such a loser.

Such a damn loser.


Here's the pre-sentence
report on Robert Dorning.

I'll read it tomorrow.

There's a letter from his father.
A plea for leniency.

I remember how
I felt when I realized

my father was a son of a bitch.

I can't imagine what it must be
like to realize you raised one.