Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 8, Episode 13 - Castoff - full transcript

A popular social worker is gunned down on the street. She turns out to be heavily involved in kinky S&M sex. The investigation turns up more bodies in the same scene. The suspect who goes to trial says he enjoyed watching violent TV programs.

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.

You ain't got no J.
Come on. What you want?

I'm just warming up!

Hey, Ms. G,
check this out!

You want in? Slam dunk.

Yeah. Hey, you want to impress
me, next time you get a job,

show up five minutes before your
shift and not five minutes after.

Their clock was fast,
just like me.

The world is fast, Robert. Sometimes
you gotta run to keep up.


Anyway, check this...

Check this now, Jordan,
Jordan goes for the three.

He shoots.
He misses!

Come on, man. I made that!

(sun FIRING)


ROBERT: Call 911. Somebody!

Anybody in the neighborhood
have a beef with Ms. Gaylin?

No one mess with Ms. G.

You got a problem? She'd sit
with you long as it takes.

Like little Lee, when his
mama had the swollen ankles,

she straightened out what they needed
to get the prescription, you know.

Right. I think
it was a drive-by.

A drive-by?
Why, you hear a car?


All right. Thanks.

You didn't hear a car?


She walked on water.

And nobody saw anything.

Somebody that popular,

maybe one of the other
social workers was jealous.

I don't know. One of the
kids thought he heard a car.

Let's tell the uni's that
are doing the canvassing.

You in charge?

Detective Briscoe,
Detective Curtis.

Doug Gaylin, Jennifer's father.
I got a call.

What do we know so far?

Well, so far, not too
much, unfortunately.

Jennifer worked for three
years in that center.

After graduate school, she had offers
to teach at Columbia and Hunter.

She chose Harlem.

She ever talk about anyone
who was giving her trouble?

You're looking for a motive?

A white woman murdered
in a black neighborhood.

Doesn't make it a race crime.

Come on, Detective, she wasn't robbed.
They just shot her.

I tried to protect her.

Even set her up
in one of my own buildings.

The last time
you saw your daughter?

Last Sunday.
Dinner. Her apartment.

Just the two of you?

She got a phone call.
Took it in the other room.

It didn't last very long.

She came back,
she was white as a sheet.

She say what it was about?

CURTIS: So, she organized
these things, huh?

Harlem AIDS walk, winter
coat drive for the homeless.

Lot of good causes. Every week
she put up some new notices.

Do you have a list
of her clients?

Official, yeah.
But it won't help you.

Unofficial people were
in and out all the time.

There was never a problem
until three or four days ago.

One of her favorites came in.

She didn't want to see him.

Randy Johnson.

What do you mean,
"one of her favorites"?

Jennifer would walk down the hall,
trailing five, six kids, a real posse.

Pied Piper, huh?

So what was he? The kid
who got left behind?

Jennifer helped Randy
get a job with the PAL.

Had a crush on her, I think.

Too serious.

He must have become a nuisance
for her to avoid him like that.

She'd make you want to do better.
Make you want to please her.

Maybe you tried too hard.

We heard she didn't want to
talk to you down at the center.

You tried to call her.

Who says?

People said she was
trying to avoid you.

The afternoon she was killed, you
want to tell us where you were?

Hey, man, I was just
trying to help her.

What was she doing, Randy?


Two weeks ago, Saturday night,

I was up on Dyckman,
hanging out,

then this car pulls up.
It's a white Audi.

I didn't see the guy driving,

but the passenger door opens
up and out comes Ms. G.

What was she doing up there?

What're any white folks doing up there?
Copping drugs.

You sure?

A lot of kids using it for a party
drug, a sex drug, what I mean.

You know,
people ain't just one thing.

It's all there
in the tox report.

I spend my day
in a crisis center,

I might need some
medication, too.


Mixed with acetaminophen,

Well, at least you don't
wake up with a headache.

Liver damage.
Especially if you drink.

Yeah, given the state
of her liver,

she must have been gobbling
them down like cashews.

Sex drug, huh?

Second gunshot
was to her crotch.

You located her playmate?
The guy driving the Audi?

We searched her place.

And went through her address book.
So far, no luck.

Any other evidence
the girl liked to party?

Well, judging by what
we found in her apartment,

reading Vogue was about
as racy as she got.

Maybe that's what someone
wants you to think.

Her father owns the building?

He'd have a key, wouldn't he?

What time did Mr. Gaylin get
the news about his daughter?

12:30, a little after.

And where was he?

His office, on 56th.

How long you think it usually
takes to get from midtown

to the center that time of day?

About half hour?

Something like that.

You didn't get to the center until 2:30.
What took you so long?

I'll let Mr. Gaylin
know you're here.

Your job, Mr. Gaylin
pay you enough?

Enough for what?

Enough to go to jail
for obstruction of justice?

We made a stop first.

His daughter's place?

He come out carrying anything?

A duffel bag.

I took a few things. Silver
baby cup, some of her poems.

CURTIS: You mind
if we take a look?

Nothing important.

BRISCOE: Then you won't have any
objection to our going through it all?

People misinterpret things.

Like we might misinterpret
your reluctance.

People will forget all the good she
did and just remember the scandal.

And if her murder had
something to do with drugs...

When I first heard
Jennie had been murdered,

I thought I'd do anything
to find out who killed her.

After I cleaned
out her apartment,

I'm not so sure
I want to know who.

Or why.

CURTIS: Codeine,
percocet, dilaudid.

BRISCOE: She should've been a
chemist instead of a social worker.

Or a cop.

Sex toys from A to Z.

Everything you can't imagine.

They're all wearing masks.

You find out your
daughter's been murdered,

you go to her apartment...

Which means you know something.

Or suspect something.

And while you're looking
around, you find this stuff.

When you think of your daughter,
you think of her, what?

Six years old on a swing?

The Pleasure Quest. Fantasies and
role-playing, Lafayette and...

Great Jones Street.

I've never been there.
I swear on a stack.


Everything we do is legal. Closer
to theater than to prostitution.

Oh, somehow I don't think people
come here when Cats is sold out.

Before you condemn what we do,
maybe you should try it out.

I see enough
degradation on the job.

Okay, about Jennifer Gaylin?

I learned her real name when I
saw her picture in the papers.

She come here often?

She wasn't hardcore, but she
wasn't a tourist either.

A weekend player.

She come here alone?

I'm not a social worker
or a priest, Detective,

but I do have a
confidential relationship

with the people who come here.


Otherwise, it could be
a little embarrassing.

We come around here at playtime

and start questioning your
clients about Jennifer's death.

And what makes you think
what happened to her

had anything to do
with her harmless hobby?

What makes you think it didn't?

She used to come in with her
partner, that newscaster,

what's his name,
uh, Stu Steiner.

He wanted to get into a threesome.
She wasn't interested.

That guy got a little out of control.
We had to throw him out.

We don't like violence.


Steiner doesn't show up on TV,

that's how I figure
he's sick or out of town.

You don't see him
around the building?

Maybe 6:00, 6:30 in the
morning, he drives up.

In a white Audi?

He's going to bed when I'm
hosing down the sidewalk.

So when's the last
time you saw him?

Here? A week ago,
maybe two.

On the evening news?
Three days ago.

You ever see him with her?

Now and then.

Wanna open it up?

You smoke cigars?


Light one.

Always wear clean underwear,

you never know when you
might be in an accident.

Here it is. Three days ago. Last
time anybody came to see him.

What's that say?
Jane Wilson? Wilton?

You remember
what she looked like?

She was tall.
Dark hair. Blue dress.

Well, maybe it was a blue dress.
I wasn't paying attention.

In 4:15, out 4:45.

Hey, whatever they were doing, they
didn't waste any time on foreplay.

Guess what we found
in Stu's cupboard?

I bet it isn't Jurassic Park.

CURTIS: The one in high heels,
that's Jennifer Gaylin.

VAN BUREN: A social worker
with the emphasis on "social."

The other woman could be the
brunette the doorman saw.


I guess the one
in the middle is Steiner.

Be nice to find her.

It's not Gaylin's
place or Steiner's.

That sign outside the window...

Chelsea Piers.

Find someone who remembers
their trigonometry.

FULLER: We needed two reference
points visible through the window.

We used the upper northeast
corner of the sign

and the top of this
driving range post.

We project our line in this
direction and we get a plan view.

And that would narrow
it down to about, what?

20 buildings.

Then you did
a section view, right?

The sign is 63 feet off
the ground, the post is 96.

You're obviously seeing
them through the window

from a slightly
lower elevation,

so it's gotta be
this building here.

So you're hitting at about 40 or
50 feet off the sidewalk, then.

It's real easy to be off a story
or two, but I'd say, yeah.

You're talking about
the fourth or fifth floor.

How'd you know that?


Oh! Sorry,
it must be a mistake.

Oh! You must be looking
for my daughter, Debbie.

She's throwing me
a birthday party.

Can I help you?

like to ask you a few questions

about Jennifer Gaylin
and Stu Steiner.


We brought along a party tape.

Maybe your mother's friends
would like to look at it.

We can't talk in here.

I knew them from around
the scene, not very well.

If this is what you do with strangers,
what do you do with friends?

Everyone has a hobby.

How did you meet
Jennifer and Steiner?

Mutual friends.
I partied with them twice.

And the main feature?

That was the first time.
We didn't tape the second.

What, you got shy
all of a sudden?

Just more of the same.

We saw you getting some
pretty rough treatment

from two people
who ended up dead.

I didn't have anything
to do with that.

A witness saw a tall brunette at
Steiner's place the day of the murder.

I wasn't even
in town last week.

Anyway, I never saw them
again after the second time.

I wasn't a success with them.

Could've fooled us.

Stu was going
through the motions.

His real passion was other men.

Van Buren called Quantico to
check for leads through ViCAP.

Now, they had three other cases
with similar enough MOs.

Same caliber gun, knife
and torture before killing,

mutilation of genitals.

All the victims were active in
the alternative lifestyle scene.

San Francisco, Aspen, Chicago.

Worked his way east.

Yeah, maybe he was
coming back home.

He kills men, kills women, prefers a
knife, although a gun will do in a pinch.

No signs of forced entry.

In a couple of places,
Chicago, San Francisco,

he really made himself at home,

ate a sandwich, drank a
diet soda before splitting.

Picked up any cash that was laying
around, left the credit cards.

Pacific Heights, Beekman Place,

East Belleview,
fancy addresses.

Yeah. Jennifer's
wasn't too shabby, either.

So all our victims are
Caucasian, rich and unmarried.

Yeah. And educated. Kinderly
graduated Dartmouth in '88.

Dorsett, University
of Pennsylvania, '86.

Jennifer Gaylin,
Smith, also '88.

Ivy League.

Yeah, so when they called out in
pain, they had the right accents.

So let's assume our killer
travels in the same circles.

Where's Jennifer's
address book? It's here.

And Steiner's.

What do you got?


This one starts with
"artist," Spencer Lee.

Call San Francisco,
Aspen, Chicago.

Ask them to fax us any address
books they got off the victims.

We get a match,
maybe we get our killer.

I just got a call from the captain
handling the case in Chicago.

He wants to know what we got,
if we're holding out on him.

Well, we got the same phone number
in three different address books.

Chuck T. in Kinderly's, San
Francisco, Eddie in Densch's, Aspen,

and Charles in Steiner's.

Yep. And the number belongs to
Charles Thatcher, 353 West Broadway.


Don't shoot,
don't kill me, please!

CURTIS: No one's gonna kill you. Come on.
Step out of there. Let's go.

Stand up.

You got a permit
for this putter?

I thought you
were somebody else.

CURTIS: Take a seat.

What, somebody who knew Stu
Steiner and Jennifer Gaylin?

I thought I was next.

What do you mean, "next"?

When I read the papers, I knew
it had to be Eddie Chandler.

Who else? I knew Kinderly.
I knew Densch.

I knew Eddie knew them.

What made you think
he was coming after you?

He called me.
He, um, said he wanted money.

He said he'd call back today.
I was scared to death.

Why didn't you call the police?

You gotta be kidding.

And everybody at work see my face in
a story about kinky sex murders? No.

It's better than
seeing your dead body.

Okay, if Eddie shows up,
give us a call.

Don't go, please.

What do you need?

I knew Eddie when he first
came to New York,

before he got into the whole S&M crowd.
I took care of him.

If you felt like your life was in
danger, why didn't you just leave town?

I walk out the door, maybe he's
across the street, watching?

He follows me.

I go to Aspen, he kills me in Aspen.
I lose him, he finds me.

You could go to Omaha.

Are you nuts?
Who goes to Omaha?


Hello? Yeah.
Eddie, where you been?

Um... Yeah.
Yeah, I got it.

Sure. Yeah.
Come on up.

He's on the corner.

He's coming up from the
pay phone on the corner.

MAN ON RADIO: I see a white
male going into the lobby.

Does he have a key?

I don't know.



Uh, sure, sure.
Send him up.


He didn't come up! Secure the front!
I'm going out the back.


Police! Freeze! Right there!
CURTIS: Edward Chandler?

What do you want?
What happened?

Put your hands on the rail.

Spread your legs.

What's going on?
I wasn't doing anything.

Yeah? What's this?
.38 Special.

What's that?

You're under arrest for the murders
of Jennifer Gaylin and Stu Steiner.

You have the right
to remain silent.

Anything you say can and will be
used against you in a court of law.

I don't know why Charlie felt threatened.
What did he say?

He was afraid.


(LAUGHS) You know, Charlie always
had a sort of lurid imagination.

You're sure you want
to get into this?

Once we were coming
out of the movies,

and there must have been a robbery across
the street or something, a mugging,

and he literally dragged me across
the street to see what was going on.

But you deal mostly in
murders, don't you, Detective?

Two in particular, right now.

Right, um, Jennifer and Stu.

You don't have to talk to them.

I know.

Detective Curtis, is it?
Read me my rights.

You have a wonderful voice, Detective,
but you know that, don't you?

I'm glad you like it.

Have you ever
killed a man or woman?

ROSS: Mr. Chandler.

Eddie, like Eddie Munster.

You don't seem to be
taking this very seriously.

No, I'd like to get
this straightened out.

Believe me, I know
it's a serious offense,

carrying an unlicensed
gun in this town.


Guess that's why I panicked when I saw
Detective Curtis coming after me.

You think that's why you were arrested?
For unlicensed possession?

I'd have gotten myself
arrested a lot sooner

if I'd known there were D.A.'s
who look like you, Ms. Ross.

Remington .38
Special's from Jennifer.

Western .38
Special's from Stu.

All the slugs had five lands and
grooves with a right twist.

Same gun. Must have smacked
Steiner in the head, too.

We got his blood and hair
samples on the gun barrel.

Detective Briscoe, your partner
is being very cruel to me.

The last time someone had me in
cuffs, they were a lot nicer.

Where did you get
the gun, Mr. Chandler?

She sounds so serious.

A friend gave it to me.

So I could protect myself when
I brought new playmates home.

When I had a home.

And when was that?

Uh... Well, it was before I left New
York the last time, I know that.

And you've had it since then?

The bullets that killed both
Jennifer Gaylin and Stu Steiner

came from your gun.

Go get him arraigned.

It's kind of amazing,
Chandler's compulsion

to come on to
everyone in the room.

A kind of pathological charm.

Anything a jury
might respond to?

(SIGHS) I don't think so.

I'd be happier if we could
place him at either scene.

Wasn't there a brunette
at Steiner's apartment?

Yeah, and a witness
saw a brunette driving away

from the community center
where Gaylin worked.

WOMAN: Mr. McCoy?

So, Chandler has an accomplice?

Or he likes to
play dress-up.

Greenwald filed a motion
to suppress the gun.


GREENWALD: My client was chased
by the police and apprehended

because he was running
through the streets.

Running can't justify
stopping an alleged suspect.

People v. Sierra.


Don't you mean People v.
Martinez, Mr. Greenwald?

Sierra, Martinez. After 40 years,
they all start to sound alike.

Your Honor, the officers were not acting
solely in response to the running.

They stopped Mr. Chandler
because they believed

someone matching
his description

was involved in a criminal
activity, People v. Reid.

What exactly was the basis
for this belief, Mr. McCoy?

He showed up at the apartment of a
former acquaintance, Mr. Thatcher,

in an effort to extort
money from him.

To borrow money
from an old friend.

An old friend who felt it necessary
to arm himself with a golf club.

So the guy's paranoid. So what
else is new in this farkakte town?

we had the police taking off

after every suspicious-looking
runner in this city,

we'd all be in trouble.

Motion granted.
The gun is suppressed.

No weapon, no opportunity.

There's got to be something else
to tie this guy to the murders.

Where's Chandler been living
since he blew back into town?

He might've been
staying with a friend.

Assuming he still
has any. Alive.

(LAUGHING) Where's Eddie
been staying?

The time was, that would
have been an easy one.

In bed with whoever was
the most eligible that week.

Years ago, when he first
came to New York,

he was like this corn-fed
Adonis, to die for.

He had this
wonderful innocence.

He thought people were being nice to
him because they really loved him.

But you did?


Yeah. Nice clothes, fancy
meals, expensive vacations.

Eddie never realized that everything
had a price tag, even him.

Especially him.

How did you two break up?

I wasn't rich enough.
Nowhere near.

But he'd still come by?

Uh, up until about
two years ago.

He'd get lonely.
He'd come over.

We would microwave some popcorn,
and watch TV for hours.

And then he would just leave.

No kiss, no goodbye, just pick
up his jacket and wander off.


A house in East Hampton.
I drove him there once.

Do you have a name?

It was a big cape behind a picket
fence on Lily Pond Lane, I think.

It was painted
this God-awful blue.

God, Eddie's let himself go.

When you two were together,
did you know about his past?

His boyfriends?


Like Eddie, I'm not
fussy about beauty.

Eddie was drop-dead gorgeous,
but hardly naive.

By the time I got him, he was like a
waiter in a really good restaurant,

helping you
choose from the menu.

But he always let you know
the price, in advance.

And you could afford him?

You know, I was the one that first
introduced Steiner to Eddie.

At my summer place. The blue
house on Lily Pond Lane.

I could give you the number.

I like the mountains.

You should try the ocean
for a change. It's wetter.

How did you and Eddie end?

He started losing some
of that amazing beauty.

Why stick with a nine,
when you can afford a 10?

Then he dropped
completely out of sight.

You never heard from him?

Actually, I did receive a couple
of notes from him recently.

Written on, of all things,
history department stationary,

Hudson University.

I don't suppose he joined
the faculty, do you?

think I can help you.

Off the record?

I have two grown
children and an ex-wife.

She won't know we talked.

Off the record.

I first met Eddie about,
oh, let me think...

I guess it must be
three months ago now.

He was intelligent,
charming, lonely.

And you enjoyed his company?

Except when he drank.

Then all that charm curdled.

Eddie would rage at the people who had
"discarded" him, is the word he used.

How long did he stay,
Mr. Stevenson?

Three days, then he'd
disappear for four or five,

come back for a night,
then vanish again.

I had a pair of diamond cuff
links, belonged to my father.

I assumed Eddie stole them.

I can see him as a thief,
but as a killer, no.

I guess I might have
been next on his list.

Do you have any idea
where he'd go?

Uh, he said he stayed with
some friends in Westchester.

I let him use my car.

Otherwise it just
sits in the garage.

Is it there now?

Oh, I haven't been
down there in weeks.

STEVENSON: What a mess.

Looks like he just camped out
down here, eating, sleeping.

Whoa! Whoa!

I tell you one thing
he didn't do, bathe.

Why would Eddie
sleep down here?

He could have been more
comfortable upstairs with me.


Allow me to introduce you
to our mystery brunette.

We've got Chandler's
prints in the car.

He'll say Stevenson
gave him a ride.

JACK: We need Stevenson to say
he loaned the car to Chandler.

That connects Chandler
to the wig and dress.

Which puts him at
both the crime scenes.

And while you're at it,
get the weapon back in.

WOMAN: Mr. McCoy?

Notice of substitution.

Greenwald's been replaced
by Neil Pressman.

That Harvard opportunist.
How did Chandler manage that?

The question isn't how.
It's how come.

JACK: Professor Stevenson connects
your client to the Honda,

and that connects him
to the dress and wig.

And before I can
say "Antonin Scalia,"

you're arguing
inevitable discovery.

We get the gun back in, and your
client's going down for murder one.

PRESSMAN: That's on the theory
that the victims were tortured.

JACK: Very good,
Mr. Pressman.

Now try guessing
what offer we'll make.

Let's see, going on what my teaching
assistants told me about you,

you're going to take the
death penalty off the table

and then you're going to give my
client the opportunity to rot in jail

for the rest of his life without the
possibility of parole, am I right?

Took the words
right out of my mouth.


Don't waste your sympathies on
those people who died, Mr. McCoy.

You mean the ones you murdered?

The ones somebody murdered.

When I was a boy, I used to watch
On the Town over and over.

And But Not for Me. You
know that one, Mr. McCoy?

Clark Gable is a Broadway producer.
And Miracle on 34th Street.

Oh, I thought New York was filled with
colorful people, romantic people,

people who lived wonderful,
exciting, interesting lives.

You know what I found?

People who preyed
on the innocent,

corrupted them, destroyed them.

I was 17 years old.

(SCOFFS) Do you think
they carded me?

Do you think they cared
if I was 17,16,14?

I didn't kill them,
Mr. McCoy.

But they killed
the boy I used to be,

and if they hadn't been stopped,
they'd have killed other boys,

other girls,

as many as they
could get their hands on.

Those S&M games they played, they were
rehearsing what happened to them.

He's really something,
isn't he?

So was Ted Bundy.

You want to avoid his fate,
Mr. Chandler, you consider our offer.

PRESSMAN: Well, that's a no. So,
I guess we're going to trial.

A real trial, Mr. Pressman.
Not moot court.


Don't worry, Mr. McCoy, I won't
bump into the furniture. Let's go.

Off the record?
That's what you said.

The situation's changed.

And you want me to
testify to a grand jury

so my children will know I shared
my bed with a serial killer?

If you don't help us, there's
a good chance he'll go free.

That's your problem!

Without him, we can't get
the gun back in. (SIGHING)

The right judge might allow
my testimony of what he said.

The right brain-dead judge.
It would still be hearsay.

Unless we charge him
with aiding and abetting.

ROSS: Professor Stevenson
incriminated himself

when he told me he lent
Mr. Chandler his car.

His admission was a statement
against penal interest.

It's admissible as an exception
to the hearsay rule.

Okay. It's a dodge,
Your Honor.

The only reason that they charged
Professor Stevenson in the first place

was to get his statement in.
I guarantee you,

the minute this
hearing is over,

they're gonna drop
the charges against him.

Are you, Mr. McCoy?

Barring new information, no.

All right.
The statement's in.

Then, Your Honor, we'd like to
re-examine your suppression of the gun.

I told you, Your Honor.
He's bootstrapping.

(CHUCKLING) And doing
a damn good job at it.

We can now link his client to
evidence, the dress and the wig

that places him
at two crime scenes.

That gives us grounds
to search his client.

And that search would've
turned up the murder weapon.

Would've? Might've.

It's not called
probable discovery,

it's called
inevitable discovery.

People v. Fitzpatrick.

Don't you get the law journal up at Harvard?
People v. Ruff in.

Covers items that likely
would've been discovered

in the normal course
of an investigation.

And so it does.

All right, Mr. McCoy,
you got your gun back.

He cut Mr. Steiner over
30 times, some deep cuts,

some superficial,
before he shot him.

JACK: And what conclusion did
you draw from these injuries?

I'd say they were designed
to inflict maximum pain

while keeping the victim
alive and conscious.

Dr. Rodgers, is it fair to say
that the killer deliberately

caused the greatest possible
suffering in his victims?


Would you say this seems
like the work of a sociopath?

Psychopathology isn't
my field, Mr. Pressman.

But it's not something
that you see every day.


Thank you.


Eddie called me up and said
he wanted money, $20,000.

He said he'd come to my
apartment in two days.

Um, he said I'd better
have the money.

Did you take that as a threat?


Thank you.

Mr. Thatcher, what made you think
that Eddie Chandler threatened you?

Because I know him, intimately.

When you lived together, he was
preoccupied with violence, wasn't he?

Yes, um, he'd rent videos
with lots of gore in them.

What else did he watch?

TV shows, Road Runner cartoons.

He could watch
that stuff for hours.


Thank you.

He can't be going for an insanity defense.
It's too late.

There's something
we're not seeing.

We're not supposed to.

Not until it comes up
and bites us on the ass.

It's from Pressman. An
addition to his witness list.

US Representative Fred Maxwell.


I'd say you've just been bit.

Your Honor, this witness has
absolutely no relevance to this case.

I intend to argue mitigating
circumstances, Your Honor.

Prolonged exposure
to excessive TV violence

led to sociopathic behavior
on the part of my client.

He can say Moonbeams or
Twinkies made his client do it,

it's still not
appropriate testimony.

If I can show impact
on his behavior, why not?

Why not, indeed,
Mr. McCoy?

I'm not going to deny
Mr. Chandler a defense.

Your Honor, Mr. Pressman is using a
political hot button to confuse the jury.

Then unconfuse them. I'm
going to allow his witness.

I've been against
violence my entire life.

ADAM: I'm acquainted with
your career, Congressman.

Song lyrics,
movies, television shows.

You've been quite outspoken.

And now this clown, Pressman, wants me
testifying in defense of a serial killer.

A damn gay serial killer
into kinky sex.

Pressman's no clown.
He's a ringmaster.

And you're his star attraction.

Just get me off the hook.

Nothing I can do.

Look on the upside,
if Chandler's acquitted,

your movement gets
its very own Willie Horton.

I'm the chairman of the
National Advisory Committee

on Television Violence.

PRESSMAN: And you've sponsored bills to
regulate the content of primetime TV shows?


Now, isn't it true that
your committee believes

that there is a one-to-one correlation
between watching violent acts on TV

and aggressive, anti-social
behavior in real life?


And isn't it true that you
found among young people

who've been convicted
of violent acts,

an alarmingly high
percentage of them,

we're talking somewhere
in the neighborhood of 80%,

spent most of their leisure
time watching violent TV?


All right. Now, this is Defense's
exhibit 43, Your Honor.

It's a report by the US Advisory
Board on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Would you read
the marked passage, please?

"The dynamic visual image has
a unique psychological effect"

"that is not shared by the
written or spoken word"

"or still graphic image."

Do you agree with that?

Yes, sir, I do.

Your Honor, Defense's 44.

This is a copy of a speech Representative
Maxwell made in Denver last year.

Again, would you
read the marked passage?

"I blame violent TV shows for the epidemic
of violence among today's youth."

So, aren't you by implication,

comparing these TV
shows to a disease?

Something that
causes an epidemic.

You could say that.

Well, then, if these TV shows
are an equivalent to a disease,

aren't the people affected by
them in some sense victims?

I suppose in some sense, yes.

Congressman, you don't
like my client, do you?

No. And I think it would be a
serious miscarriage of justice

if he were not found guilty
of first-degree murder.

But this issue is so important, I would
rather see Mr. Chandler go free...


Your Honor, the Congressman
is an expert in this area.

His testimony is relevant to
the case that I'm presenting.

I'll let him
finish his thought,

but that's as far
as I'm going to go.

Thank you, Your Honor.

I would rather see
Mr. Chandler go free

if it would help stem the tide of violence
and depravity overwhelming our society.

Thank you, Congressman.


is there a difference between
a correlation and a cause?

How do you mean?

If 80% of juvenile
offenders chew gum,

are we to assume that
gum chewing causes crime?


So isn't it just as likely that these
juvenile criminals watch violent TV shows

because that's the kind of program
they're likely to be attracted to,

given their personalities?

I'm not sure.

Did you watch
television as a youngster?


Did you watch westerns?

Gunsmoke, Have Gun
- Will Travel, Bonanza.

Mr. McCoy, I've discussed this many times.
The violence on those shows

had a moral context, as do violent
scenes in Sophocles and Shakespeare.

I'm not arguing that we must
never see a part of reality

that undoubtedly exists
on television or in movies.

But I am arguing images of
gratuitous violence and sex

debase our culture.

And you decide
what is gratuitous?

A civilized society can
come to agree on that.

Do you believe that
we are a civilized society?

I believe we used to be.

And you think setting
Eddie Chandler free

to prove a political point
would make us more civilized?

PRESSMAN: Objection.

No more questions.

When I was a kid,
when I came home from school,

I'd turn the TV on and pretty
much, I guess, watch it

straight on,
right through till bedtime.

PRESSMAN: What kind
of shows did you watch?

Cop shows. Action shows.
The Mod Squad.

The A-Team,
Starsky and Hutch.

I used to pretend
I was one of the characters.

How'd that make you feel?


More intense, more real.

Did you ever get into a
fight when you were a kid?

Once, by accident,
I hit a friend in the face

and I broke his nose.

There was blood,
a lot of blood.

How'd that make you feel?


It gave me a rush.

Like seeing David Carradine
beat the bad guys on Kung-Fu.

Did you ever see any explicit
sadomasochistic acts on network television?


Did you ever see anybody
tortured with a knife

and shot in the groin
on primetime television?


So how did you come up with the
idea for torturing Stuart Steiner?

Did you see it on TV?

I don't know, yeah. Maybe.
Yeah, I think I did.

What show?

You never saw it
on TV, did you?

You thought it up on your own?

I don't know.

And you knew you were
breaking the law, didn't you?


And still you murdered
Mr. Steiner and Ms. Gaylin

because you thought
that they deserved to die?

Because you believed
that they were monsters?


No more questions.

If television didn't
influence our behavior,

why would advertisers spend millions of
dollars every year on TV commercials?

Of course,
TV has an effect on us.

You watch,
as I did 30 years ago,

you watch
the Vietnam War on TV,

you are changed.

Now, Mr. McCoy will no doubt tell you that
this is a matter of freedom of speech,

that this is
a First Amendment issue.

It is not. It is about what
you as parents already know.

That your children are
mesmerized when they watch TV.

How they copy what they see.

They act out karate fights
after watching Power Rangers.

And here we have Eddie Chandler
who was abused, exploited

and discarded by people
he thought were his friends.

Eddie Chandler,
who for 30 years,

was bombarded
with televised fantasies

of bloodshed and vengeance and cruelty
that turned him into a violence junkie.

Television told him it's okay to kill.

Now, the judge will instruct you that
if you find mitigating circumstances,

for example, if my client acted under an
irresistible compulsion to commit violence,

then you can acquit him of
the top count of murder one,

and find him guilty of
first-degree manslaughter.

I am not asking you to
absolve him of all blame,

just the blame
that properly belongs

to those who infected his mind.

JACK: Mr. Pressman is right. This
is not a First Amendment issue.

We can all agree that what we
see powerfully affects us.

But that doesn't excuse us
from being decent human beings

or from making moral choices.

What we choose to watch

and how we react is up to us.

The baby boom generation,

to which Congressman Maxwell
and I both belong,

grew up watching hundreds
of hours of violent TV.

We dressed up
like Davey Crockett

with his trusty rifle,
Old Betsy,

like Hopalong Cassidy, with his
pearl-handled six-shooters.

And what was the result of all this
make-believe, TV-inspired violence?

We grew up to be a generation that
marched against war, and preached peace,

love, and flower power,
and, yes,

Mr. Pressman watched the Vietnam War
on TV, and how did that change him?

I looked up his record. He
became a conscientious objector

and a Harvard Law professor.
Dangerous guy, huh?

We are creatures of free will
and moral choice.

No matter what we see,
read, or hear,

we still make choices.

Eddie Chandler,
a man who murdered

and tortured two
innocent people,

chose evil.


Come to offer a plea?

(CHUCKLING) Get a chicken
salad sandwich, actually.

Three days of jury
deliberations don't scare me.

I want to tell you, Jack,
I admire your passion.

I wish I could say
I admired your consistency.

"The founders put freedom of
speech in the First Amendment"

"because they understood
that democracy begins"

"with the most
basic freedom of all,"

"the freedom to think what we
want and to say what we think."

You were a champion
of the First Amendment,

and now you're
arguing for censorship.

Yeah, I wrote that.

And I still believe
in the First Amendment.

And your argument in this case?

I want to see
if the public does, too.

On the first count of the indictment
in the death of Jennifer Gaylin,

murder in the second degree,
how do you find?

We find the defendant,
Edward Chandler, guilty.

On the second count of the indictment
in the death of Stuart Steiner,

murder in the first degree,
how do you find?

We find the defendant,
Edward Chandler, guilty.

Have you seen
the Crimson Law Review?

There's a new article by Pressman on the
viability of TV violence as a defense.

Their lead-time
for articles is three months.

Pressman wrote and submitted this a
month before taking the Chandler case.

I guess he wanted to try out
his defense on a real jury.

This was just a lab
experiment for him.

He got his results, a vote
for personal responsibility.

I'm afraid some other defense lawyer
will take this and get a different vote.

Bedtime reading.