Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–…): Season 1, Episode 5 - Wanderlust - full transcript

When a travel writer is found dead, gagged by a pair of female underwear, suspicion first falls on his landlady, and then to her rebellious teenage daughter.

'In the criminal justice system,

'sexually based offences
are considered especially heinous.

'In New York City, the detectives
who investigate these vicious felonies

'are members of an elite squad
known as the Special Victims Unit.

'These are their stories.'

Elliot Stabler, Sex Crimes. What happened?

Vic is a Richard F Schiller, 42.

- First time?
- Who the hell is that?

Mrs Hayes, that's my partner,
Detective Stabler.

- Welcome to my house.
- You all right?

- She found the body.
- Wife, girlfriend, what?

Landlord. She lives here
with her daughter, Virginia.

- Where's the daughter?
- She's out.

He was the best tenant.

Clean. Quiet.
Always paid on time, early, even.

Take Mrs Hayes downstairs.

I'm here! Don't talk to me like
I'm not here. I'm not going anywhere.

Actually, Mrs Hayes,
I could really use a cup of coffee.

Anyone know what this guy's story is?

He was a writer, according to the landlady.

A writer, huh?

Travel book, according to the landlady.

Looks like he choked on his own words.

Vietnam, Bosnia and Peru.

- I heard Kosovo's beautiful.
- Look at this.

It's good to know the macho
Hemingway ideal isn't entirely dead.

- No. Still as toxic.
- On Schiller's last trip

he rode his motorcycle
through a Chiapas uprising.

That narrows down the reasons
for killing this accidental tourist.

He could have been running drugs
or written the wrong thing.

Don't think so.
'It was not the destination but the journey.'

'It is the drive to keep moving
forward that propels me.'

- One adverb shy of Robert James Waller.
- The Bridges Of Madison County?

- That was incredible.
- How about incredibly banal?

Short, muscular sentences
displaying absence of original thinking.

- I was talking about the movie.
- What've you got?

Clean record. No next of kin.
Divorced ten years.

- Ex runs a tea-importing business.
- He rented that room for two years.

He was an ideal tenant.
Never missed a payment.

Do you think he can do that now?

Time of death, early evening.

No sign of forced entry.

- COD from blunt-force trauma.
- And the weapon is where?

- Still missing.
- But we do have these.

Top of the line. Nice panties.
Schiller a he-she?

- He was a writer.
- And the tape over the vic's mouth?

No prints. No roll of the tape found.

Taping the mouth shut and the panties
suggest a personal agenda.

- To embarrass him!
- Or to shut him up.

- How well did he know Mrs Hayes?
- How well did she know him?

She was non compos mentis.
We'll talk to her today.

OK, Munch, Cassidy,
track down Schiller's ex-wife.

Mrs Hayes? We'd like to talk to you.

Durst Publishing. One moment.

- I can't leave this phone.
- It won't take very long.

- Are you OK?
- Why wouldn't I be?

- A lot happened last night.
- Huh! I'll say! Sorry.

I'm worried about Virginia.

- What time did she get home?
- She didn't.

- Your daughter's missing?
- No.

Durst Publishing. One moment.

Give us a recent photo,
and we'll circulate it around.

Whatever you want.

Durst Publishing. One moment.

- She's very pretty.
- Like mother, like daughter.

Durst Publishing. Yes.

Can you take us through
what happened last night?

- OK. I came home.
- From where?

From work.
And I was going through the mail.

I saw a bill for Richard,
and I thought I'd take it up to him.

So I went up there.

I knocked, but there was no answer.

Durst Publishing? One moment.

When there was no answer,

l-l opened the door,
and then I found him lying there.

- How long have you rented the room?
- It's coming up on 11 years now.

My ex-husband and I
bought it for our future.

The tenants help cover
the mortgage payments.

- Was Schiller dating anyone?
- He didn't bring anyone home.

What was your relationship with him?

- Did we sleep together?
- Yes.


He was my tenant.
It was a business relationship.

He had a fantastic credit rating.

Durst Publishing. One moment.

His editor is two floors up. John Freeman.

I always thought
it would be foreign officials

telling me all they'd found was a shoe.

A lion, the rebels, a volcano got the rest.

- The guy had a death wish?
- Please.

- Thank you.
- He loved uncharted territory.

He said, 'There's a shortage
of blank spaces on the map.'

We'd just extended his contract.

- What about Schiller and women?
- Honestly, he disliked baggage.

He met so many different women.

- Did you know him to solicit sex?
- No way. Nothing improper.

He poured every cent into his trips.

Any relationships that got out of hand?

I can't think of anyone.
We were very open with each other.

Richard had... This may sound corny,
but he had a real sense of honour.

His writing is heartfelt, as were
his relationships. They ended well.

His divorce ended in a hug.

I last saw him a few months back,
when he came in for a special blend

he'd had the last time he was in Morocco.

When we first married,
he decided to settle down.

No more travelling.

Then I'd catch him secretly running
his fingers over the world atlas,

like it was a Braille Penthouse.

I prefer the Story Of O,
but I take your point.

By the end, the very mention of a different
area code would spark a fight.

Now I deal with ten different countries.

Not all marriages end so well.

We were better friends than lovers.
I wasn't the great love of his life.

That's hard to believe.

To us he's a naked corpse
with lingerie down his throat.

Unnerving, isn't it?

A degrading death
overshadows a remarkable life.

Like Rockefeller dying
on top of his mistress.

- It's my preferred way to go.
- And now?

- We tackle his address book.
- Let's do it.

Yes, Richard Schiller.

Da, da. Schiller.

- Gracias. Muchas gracias.
- Anything from Belize?

A tamale maker who got a nice
mention in a book. Otherwise, nada.

- How about the police in Berlin?
- Big fat nein.

OK. Let's look at who's not in this book.

Travellers have brief relationships.

- He could have picked up a stranger.
- 27 got a call.

The owner of a newsstand caught
a shoplifter called Virginia Hayes.

- Santa Claus, there is a Virginia.
- Tell them we'll take it.

I already did.

She's all yours.

I lose business with these people!

Virginia Hayes? Come with us.

Kids imaginate their own rules!

- C'mon. Let's go.
- Hey! Who pays for my magazine?

Here. Keep the change.

I'm Detective Stabler
and this is Detective Benson.

So you're not truant officers.

- I'm looking for the Katonah train.
- I think it's the New Haven line.

- Try Information.
- North Brewster line.

Track 117. You got about five minutes.

- Thanks.
- Whatever.

Virginia, something happened
at home last night.


It's Schilly. Schilly died.

- My poor baby!
- You bitch!

- You couldn't leave him alone!
- Virginia, calm down.

Calm down.

My mother was only faithful to the bottle.

She drove my father away.
He didn't even have time to say goodbye.

- But you and he?
- We were meant to meet at weekends.

It's been his weekend for 10 years.

I'm still waiting to be picked up.

- Where were you last night?
- I went swimming.

On my way home I got on the wrong train,
so I rode around for a while.

You just decided to ride around?

- 'The adventure begins with you.'
- That a Schiller line?

- Did Schiller bring women home?
- No.

The only thing Schiller brought home
was a small suitcase.

- Did he get a break on the rent?
- No.

She provided all modern conveniences.

- So, they had a relationship?
- Do you mean with a capital 'R'

- or little 'r' relationship?
- One that involves sex.

Capital 'R' relationship.

No. Schilly drove her crazy
because he never refused her directly.

His manners kept her hopes up.
She's not used to polite men.

What was their relationship like?

Mom was jealous of Schilly,

jealous of his life, his freedom.

He wasn't saddled with a kid.

This underwear look familiar to you?

Mommy's. She wore the good stuff
when she wanted to get lucky.

Fat lot of good it did her this time.

Guys. This is Virginia.

- Hiya, Ginny.
- Virginia!

- The detectives will take you home.
- Can I drive?

- Same age as my partner. Why not?
- What?


She's tough.

She's like Maureen. Drama's a major
food group for teenage girls.

- Seven tenants in five years.
- Only one still left in Manhattan.

Constantly touching me. Even when
I asked to be alone, she bothered me.

Dropping off mail, leaving cookies
and milk. I'm lactose intolerant.

Were you ever involved with her?

No! No, no, no!

How did she react when you said no?

I had a friend come home,
pretend she was my girlfriend.

Mrs Hayes tore into us.

She threw my friend out and
then she literally read me the lease.

- 'No overnight guests.'
- Why did you stay?

I was in grad school. I was broke.

It's like when I travel.
I'd rather stay in a hotel

than one of those charming B&Bs.

I prefer anonymity. Solitude.
I hate making small talk

over tiny blueberry muffins.

Do you know how Mr Schiller died,
Mrs Hayes?

His mouth was taped shut,
and he looked ready to hit a home run.

When you came home,
no one else was here?

No. I told you no before.

What are you getting at?

When you found the body,
did you touch it in any way?

Oh, yeah! I collected next month's rent.
Of course I didn't.

Then explain how a pair of lacy
underwear was found in his mouth.

I have no idea. Maybe it was some
weird sex thing. I don't know.

- Did he ever take your underwear?
- Who said they were mine?

Not that I know of. But how well
do you ever really know someone?

The underpants didn't just
magically appear in his throat.

Maybe they crawled down.

You were angry
because Schiller wasn't interested.

- I wasn't.
- Angry he'd kept his hands off you.

- You wanted more.
- No.

There was a time, yes. But...

Now I have a boyfriend.
At least, I think I do.

- A boyfriend?
- Tom.

He works in a department store.
Gets me a great deal on underwear.

- When was the last time you saw Tom?
- Last night.

We er... we met for drinks.

Had a fight. About Schiller, of all things.

He thought that there was
something going on between us.

- Why didn't you say this before?
- Tom once told me he loved me.

That's worth a lot.

- You think he did this?
- I hope not.

- You two met for drinks, er, where?
- Julian's Bistro.

65 St Mark's. About six.

Can you give us Tom's full name?

Thomas Dayton.

Tom Dayton's a happy hour regular.
Nice guy, only he brought a date.

- Why's that memorable?
- They had a blow-up about my tip.

She wanted to leave more.
He wanted to leave less.

All of a sudden, she loved him more.
He loved her less. Anything else?

- I stayed out of it.
- Did they leave together?

No. She nursed some Manhattans.
She was better off without him.

Women are always better off
left to their own mechanical devices.

Sure you know what I mean.

Uh-huh. Yeah. That's him over there.
You're welcome.

- Tom Dayton?
- Do I know you?

Detectives Benson and Stabler,
Special Victims Unit.

- It's about Richard Schiller.
- How long have you dated Mrs Hayes?

- Seven months. She's really serious.
- And you?

Loving someone who expected more
of life is a big responsibility.

I'm not sure I'm ready
to be a father to a teenager.

- You never are.
- You have kids?

- Yeah.
- Lucky man. Teenagers.

I know their fashion sense.
I have to, it's my job.

But Virginia's hard to read.

Mrs Hayes said you and she
had a fight the night Schiller died.

It was about Schiller, like all our fights.

Do you think they had an affair?

Nah. He was packing for his next big trip.

She kept talking about him. I overreacted.

I don't have proof of anything.

- Where'd you go after that?
- I came home. Alone.

- Anybody see you?
- The doorman.

I was tired. I'm doing a lot of overtime.
Homecoming, you know.

Yeah, I know.

They have a fight. Dayton goes to
the Hayes house and kills Schiller.

It'd make more sense,
if Dayton's strong enough to take him on.

Why didn't Mrs Hayes
tell us about Tom Dayton before?

Haven't you ever tried
to protect someone you love?

Hey! That's mine.

- Dad? It's for you.
- Stabler.

Yeah. OK, I'll meet you there. Bye-bye.

- You go. I'll see you for dessert.
- Yeah.

- Sure you will.
- OK. You know the drill.

- Love you.
- Love you, too.

Have you washed your hands?
Good one. Love you. Love you!

- Love you.
- No, Dad. Not on the lips.

- When did that happen?
- When you were at work.

He's dead.

Thomas Dayton. Died in '87.

I wonder if Thomas had a sibling.

Right there, older brother Scott.

Scott seems to have borrowed
his brother's social security number.

Scott Dayton.

Convicted two counts child molestation.

October 1990, Seattle.

He liked to work with his hands.

It wasn't Mrs Hayes
he wanted to keep to himself.

It was Virginia.

All right now. See? We just pull this up,
take that in. See how it looks?

- Yeah.
- That's a great colour.

You know
where we might find Scott Dayton?

- You all right?
- Yeah! Get him.

- I was just trying to do my job.
- Exactly what we were afraid of.

- 'I hear you have quite an eye.'
- 'I enjoy my job.'

'I bet! Back to school's probably
your favourite time of year, huh?

'All those poodle skirts.'

I work hard to meet tight budgets,

to make an awkward teenager look her best.

I bet you suggest a lot of alterations.

- They're often needed.
- Please!

I was trained as a dressmaker.
It's what I'm good at.

You give it that personal touch, huh?

Yes. It involves touching.

Any touching at all, regardless of
my history, is taboo in this country.

I guess Mrs Hayes is
one of those crazy women

who doesn't run background checks
on boyfriends. Does she know?

- Know what? I didn't kill...
- That you're a convicted paedophile.


On my release, I wanted a clean start,

which, as a convicted sex offender,
you can never have.

And when I met Annabel,
I honestly thought we had a chance.

We have a normal sex life.
Three times a week.

Every time you thought of Annabel's
daughter. What d'you do to her?

I never touched Ginny.

- Virginia!
- I control my impulses.

- I had therapy.
- You touched her.

Even if I'd wanted to,
which I didn't, I never had the chance.

What do you mean?

I mean the two of them.

They'd sit at the dinner table,
flanking Schiller,

tossing their hair and gabbing at him.

An attention-getting contest.
Virginia and her mother.

And Virginia won.

What you're saying is
Schiller was the paedophile.

Yes. Definitely.


I saw the way he'd look at her.

And I know that look.

- And that made you jealous.
- And you did something about it.

He kept chatting her up
so you decided to shut his mouth.

I didn't touch Virginia or kill Schiller.

- You lied to Annabel!
- I'm different now!

Who gets jealous
of the affections of a little girl.

Why not ask Annabel to marry you?
Make Virginia Daddy's little girl!


- Sometimes enough is enough.
- No, it's not. It never is.

Dayton pulled his life around, got a job.

- In the juniors' department.
- It's hard to change career.

We have no hard evidence
Dayton did anything.

He steals his dead brother's
social security card,

he evades his parole officer.

This guy will lie to his last breath!

Why shift blame to Schiller?
It's for what he's feeling!

Y'know, I'm getting a headache.

We have a convicted paedophile
saying he didn't molest anybody,

and a dead guy, not a paedophile,
who might have.

Maybe Dayton told the truth.

Why? Cos paedophiles
are always so honest?

Ask the girl. Where is she now?

Over there.


Whenever Mr Dayton stayed with my mom,

he'd come into my room late at night,
when she'd fallen asleep,

or when she passed out,
whichever came first.

He would come to me... when
he didn't get what he wanted from her.

I'd pretend I was asleep.

But he always woke me up.

Virginia. I know this is hard,

but we need to know.

Did he force you to touch him?

That's not all, is it?

Oral sex?


I finally asked him to stop.
That's when Richard heard us.

And a few nights before he died,

Richard came into the room
and shoved him off of me and...

Richard said that if he caught him
in my room again, he'd kill him.

You came home that night, didn't you?


I found Richard
and I knew what had happened.

He died trying to protect me. I freaked out.

I ran to the train station
and I stayed there all night,

watching the board
that posts arrivals and departures.

I just wanted to leave so, so bad.

Why didn't you?

I didn't have anybody to go to.

Your mom says
sometimes you borrow her clothes.

Mm. The underwear.

- Were you wearing them that day?
- Hm.

Mom hates it when I do.

But I dunno. It's so nice.

- Why didn't you tell us?
- I didn't want to get in trouble.


I hid them in the hamper after my shower.

- When did you find Schiller's body?
- After my shower.

- Approximately what time?
- I don't know.


What position was the body in?

I always said hello after swimming.

I swim and I swim,

and I take 40-hour showers

and I never feel clean!

People like Dayton are habitual.
Ticking clocks.

- It was only a matter of time.
- I'm sorry it had to be Virginia.

We have enough to hold him.

After I make a new copy of this.

Uniformed officers checked the house.
Found no weapon.

He had plenty of time to get rid of it.

Why didn't Virginia tell us
upfront about the underwear?

- She said she didn't want trouble.
- She didn't remember the body.

She sees he's dead,
adrenaline rush kicks in.

You never forget! I ask about the body,
she starts up the tear factory.

- What did you expect?
- A straight answer?

What's going on?

Anyone who's seen a Tori Spelling movie

could have given the same performance.

I would think you of all people
would be on her side.

Every scenario
has different interpretations, OK?

Let's try this one on.
Virginia fled the scene of the crime.

- She was scared.
- And OJ Simpson likes an afternoon drive.

Same facts, different interpretation.

If you need more time with the menu,
I can come back.

Schiller had sex just before he was killed.

ME's found secretions on him.

- And what about on the underwear?
- A match.

Tom Dayton never touched her.

- Virginia and Schiller.
- 'Fraid so.

- He raped her.
- There's another possibility.

- Virginia was aroused.
- OK. A couple of scenarios.

One. Mother walked in,
flew into a rage, killed him.

Two. Mother's boyfriend walks in,
rage, kills him.

- Three. Virginia flew into a rage, killed him.
- No.

Everybody has their breaking point.

No way do you talk to her again.
Filling her head with garbage...

Fine. 8:00am tomorrow
we want to see you, your daughter,

and your lawyer down at the station.

Tell me, Virginia, does killing a man
make you feel all grown-up?

- Maureen has a boyfriend.
- Probably kisses him on the lips.

- Do we know who he is?
- Jim. Jim Delmonico.

- Little Jimmy?
- Little Jimmy is six foot

with a voice to match.

He's a junior. Fullback, first string.

And he's asked our daughter
to homecoming.

Little Jimmy's a junior!

Hm. You'll probably run into him.
They do a lot of studying together.

Oh, no, no, no.

El! Relax.

Has Maureen had sex yet, do you know?

God, I hope not.

I wonder how we will know.

If we'll know.

No. Hey, Munch, she's a child.

The appeal goes beyond a midlife crisis.

The way her top shows her flat stomach.

The mature discussions
about the Backstreet Boys.

Everyone knows
women mature faster than men.

True, a good Mrs Robinson is hard to find,
but women maturing faster? Conspiracy.

The government's been covering up
the side effects of RBGH,

a hormone that farmers use
to produce more milk.

Like, erm, McGuire taking creatine
to bulk up, right?

Farmers don't take it, Cassidy.
The cows do.

Is there anything you just accept?

- Yeah.
- Stabler.

- Compliments.
- No wonder you're so sceptical.

We'll be down. Virginia's in the hospital.

She tried to commit suicide.

- When was she admitted?
- About 7:00 this morning.

Luckily, she only cut one wrist.

- She gonna be OK?
- Yeah, she'll be fine.

Fortunately, she didn't lose much blood.

Doesn't sound like a serious attempt.

Serious enough.

In my experience, teenagers
wanting more than attention usually die.

It's your fault. I've lost
the most important thing in my life.

Mrs Hayes, Virginia will be fine.

I meant Thomas!

- You poisoned him against me.
- Easy!

You self-important bitch!

Mother's threatening to sue.

- Lost wages, hospital bills.
- Add a few zeros for a broken heart.

Mother's an alcoholic.

Which won't justify you tearing into a girl.
Where were the kid gloves?

- If she was a kid, I would have used them.
- She is a kid!

Chronologically. But Virginia Hayes
is no child. Probably not a victim.

- And Mrs Hayes?
- Drunks are victims in their minds.

There was a relationship
between Virginia and Schiller?

- Right?
- No.

- Yes.
- Come on!

- We don't know.
- They had sex!

She tried to kill herself. She's overwhelmed.

Or she was cornered!

- You think she killed him?
- I do!

- I'm not ready to take that leap.
- Do I hear self-defence?

Look, we're gonna
have to work this out, OK?

So, erm, once we get that
taken care of, we will call you.

I can't wait.

Neither can I.

The mom had a revolving door
of boyfriends.

Virginia learnt at an early age
that men were just a commodity.

That, and as arcane as it sounds,

there is truth in the notion
every girl wants to marry her father.

Most of them outgrow it.

When a father's absent,

it's not unusual for a younger girl
to be attracted to an older man.

That's what this is about?

It happens more than you think.

How old were you?

- Almost 17.
- And he was?

Older than 17.
About as old as I am now.

And I tell you,
I couldn't have loved him more.

However you view it,
it's an unequal relationship.

Being in love?
That does not absolve an affair.

I'm not saying that love is an excuse.

I'm saying that soul mates
come in all shapes and sizes and ages.

- Soul mates? Come on, Olivia.
- Elliot!

She didn't remember the position
of the body, Have you ever seen that?

- What are you trying to protect?
- Her. I'm trying to protect her.

No. It's your daughter. You can't.

Don't bring her into this.

Maureen! You look terrific.

You look great.

Just one more. One more.

- Hey!
- What's up?

- Nothing.
- For you.

Thank you. Mom?

OK. Let's have a picture
by the fireplace, you two.

Sweetheart, can you get out of the picture?

OK. One more.

- Mom, we do have to go. So, stop!
- Oh, yeah. OK.

Say good night to him.

You look great.

Right. Have fun.

- Night, Jimmy.
- You look beautiful, honey.

- Good night, Dad.
- Good night.

- Don't wait up for me.
- Yeah, right.

- Virginia?
- I'm upstairs.

You wanted to talk to us?

Thomas Dayton never touched you,
did he?

Tom. No. He didn't.

It was Schiller? He raped you?

Tell us. It changes everything
if Schiller sexually assaulted you.

I wouldn't call it assault.

We need to hear it in your words, Virginia.

How did it start?

Schiller would tell Mom and me
stories about his travels.

We'd sit up late at night in the kitchen,

listening about places
that had names like Kuala Lumpur

and Burkina Faso.

When did it get sexual, Virginia?

July 17th.

It was raining. Mom wasn't home.

Schiller and I ordered Ethiopian food.
It was delicious.

- And then what happened?
- I kissed him.

- That's how it started.
- He coerced you?

No. We couldn't help ourselves.

I had never felt that... pull before.

It's every man's fantasy, right?

Having some young girl want him?

But it was so much more than that.
For the first time in my life,

making love... felt natural.

Felt good.

For the first time, I felt safe.

- How long did it continue?
- Months.

When he was home,
he made this house bearable.

When he would leave,
I didn't think I'd make it without him.

I cried every night he was gone.

When he came back, he promised
he'd never leave me behind again.

When he was out, I would read his mail.

And saw that he was gonna leave again.
For Romania this time.

- And?
- I packed my bag.

I wanted him to take me with him.

He was sitting right there.

Tell me.

Tell me what happened.

I did

what he liked.

What's that?

I got on his lap. The chair leans back.

And when we were finished,

I leaned close
and asked him to take me away.

'You promised.'

What did he say?

He said he needed to travel light.

And I knew I couldn't stay
another day here without him.

Something broke inside me.

I didn't think. I put my knee on his throat
and I held it there.

He made this wet, hissing sound.
He couldn't talk.

And when he was still,

I picked up my underwear
from the floor and I put it in his mouth.

And I left.

He had this drive,

this... impulse to travel.

Like you.

He'd always promised to take me away,

to a place where he would love me.

And I just wanted so badly to leave this life.

Oh! I miss him!


- Tough day.
- Hm.

They're arraigning Virginia in the morning.

ADA's going for man two.

You OK with that?

Talk to me.

I have a child a little younger than Virginia.

When she was born,
I used to take her to the playground

and the grocery store, whatever.

But it wasn't her
that I would watch, obsessively.

It was the men. All around.
To protect her from what they might do.

- Elliot...
- The other night, erm,

her date comes to pick her up.

And all I'm thinking is,
what is this guy gonna do to her?

I know.

I made a mistake today.

I didn't see it.

Olivia saw it.

You got too wrapped up.

I saw that girl like I saw my daughter.

As a victim.

Not as someone capable of... acting,

or feeling,

loving on their own.

Your daughter caring for someone
doesn't mean she loves you any less.

- I know that.
- You wanna be the only man in her life.


Sort of.

Elliot, your feelings will always be
a part of your police work.

- Yeah. But...
- The more you try to deny that,

the more control they will have over you.

We work with different permutations
of sex all day, sometimes all night.

Don't worry when you feel something.

Worry when you don't.