Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–…): Season 2, Episode 21 - Scourge - full transcript

A disturbed man is arrested after a murder spree. Alexandra Cabot comes under fire for seeking the death penalty.

In the criminal
justice system...

sexually based offenses

are considered
especially heinous.

In New York City,
the dedicated detectives

who investigate
these vicious felonies...

are members of an elite squad

known as
the Special Victims Unit.

These are their stories.

I wish you'd stop dragging
me to these awful plays.

It was nominated for a Tony.
Yeah. Now I know why it didn't win.

I don't complain when you make me watch
those damn cooking shows with you...

Well, why should you?
They don't cost $75 a ticket.

Don't start with that...

Quentin! Honey!

Watch where
you're going!

Drunken fool!
You stupid bastard!

Honey, are you all right?
I'm okay.

What? What is it?

Look at your coat.

You smell something?

Oh, my God.

It's the perp's coat. Dumped it in
the garbage can around the corner.

There's blood all over it.

Make my night, tell me
you found the victim's I.D.

Either it's toast or...

the fire department washed it
away with the rest of our evidence.

About all I saw was his hood and his
beard. And what he did to my husband.

We're gonna need your coat
for evidence, Mr. Lindberg.

I'm due for
a new one anyway.

We'll have you work with a
sketch artist. Give me a minute?

No I.D.
on the victim.

One of the precinct cops recognized
her as a hooker who works...

9th and 10th Avenue.

My guess is she picked
up the wrong john.

Molloy. You Special Victims?
Yeah. Benson and Stabler.

Your perp piled a mound of
garbage on the victim, lit it up.

How much damage?
Her back is charred.

If our house wasn't
right around the corner...

she'd be well done,
both sides.

Thanks, Cap.

Her genitals are mutilated, fluids
present. Definitely one for you.

What else?

Full thickness burns to 50%
of her body, all post mortem.

How can you tell?

He slit her throat
to the spine...

and filleted her torso
from neck to genitals.

No way
she survived that.

And barbecued.

About 10:30,
guy comes down the block...

bouncing off garbage cans
like he's a pinball.

You see where he bounced to
after he dropped his coat?

Right into my cart.
Nearly knocked it over.

He starts preaching to me, I
say, "Tell your story walking."

What was he preaching?

I don't know. Some kind
of religious gibberish.

Once he was done with his
sermon, you see where he went?

He staggered to a cab parked on the
corner, got in. Cab headed downtown.

You ever
seen him before?

No, but his hooker's
a regular around here.

Cassie. Picked him up coming
out of that souvenir place.

Headed toward the alley
to do their business.

Okay. The cab he got into,
you catch the plate?

Only that it had a Y or
a V. I'll be right back.

Boss says you may need some help. Yeah.

Peanut man puts our perp outside that
souvenir shop, walks away with the victim.

We'll start there and work
our way down the block.


Yeah, weird guy with a beard. Asked
for a bottle of water, so I send...

him to the deli. Then he spots
my adult entertainment section.

What'd he do? Picks up a
magazine, looks it over...

and then rips it up. Then he
starts screaming about hell...

and flames and how he's gonna smite
me. Must have been drunk or high.

So I wave this at the wacko and say
that I'm gonna smite his sorry ass...

up and down 9th Avenue. Did he
take his sorry ass out of here?

He reaches for something in his
coat. I smack him a few times with...

Lady Liberty here, he runs out
that door whimpering like a bitch.

We're gonna need the magazine
and the statue for DNA and prints.

That's $30 plus tax.
Send the bill to the Mayor.

Victim's I.D.'d as
Cassie Horner, 23...

busted numerous times
for prostitution.

Anything more on the perp?
White, dark coat, about six feet.

Witness descriptions have
him under the influence.

That level of violence,
sounds like PCP.

What about the car that
almost ran him over?

Could have saved us
a lot of trouble.

Took off.
Nobody got his plate number.

That leaves four people who
got a good look at our perp.

Plus all the working girls who
saw Cassie pick this guy up.

What about the labs?

Prints from the magazine he
tore up and the peanut cart...

don't match
anyone in the system.

Autopsy? I'm on my way
to the M.E. to check.

Okay. Cassie Horner worked 9th and 10th
Avenues. Pay her colleagues a visit.

Calling on courtesans.
Our specialty.

Hey, we're just standing here.
We don't want no trouble, baby.

Then how about some coffee
after a hard night's work?

What's your name?
Honey, honey.

You giving handouts,
you must want something.

We're not Vice.
We're here about Cassie.

And since when you care
what happens to us?

Hey, we just spent $17 of our
own money on coffee and donuts...

for you and your friends. If that's
not respect, I don't know what is.

They're cool,
they wanna know about Cassie.

Isn't it past quitting time?
Slow night.

Well, someone ought to do that
sick bastard the way he did Cassie.

Anybody see Cassie
leave with her last trick?

Yeah. Beard. Crazy eyes. He walked
over to her, they talked a moment.

Hear what they said?
No. Just his name, Daniel.

I told Cassie I had a bad feeling
about him. She didn't heed your warning?

She laughed, said she
could take care of herself.

I wonder who's gonna
take care of her little girl.

Had a tough time with this one, the
way he ripped her up and burned her.

What'd you find?
Forty-two stab wounds...

plus the cut to the throat
and the incision to the torso.

Lab found one blood type
on the coat. The victim's.

What about
the knife?

Double-edge, serrated on
one side, 6 to 8 inches long.

Military souvenir,
or collector's blade?

A killer who's
a knife connoisseur.

Whatever he is, he was in a
frenzy, like some kind of fever.

Fever that spikes at night.

We got something.
What's up?

Lab got a DNA hit from
the sex offender database...

on the semen
found in Cassie Horner.

Norman Fredericks, 30,
on parole for rape...

possession with
intent to sell...

living on Staten Island.

Has a job now
with a contractor.

Palmieri's got the address of
the job he's working on now.

He grew a beard. Didn't have
that when he was arrested.

He got plenty of time
to grow one in prison.

Munch and Fin are almost done with
the sketch artist and the witnesses.

I'm gonna send them
as backup.

Can I help you?

Yeah. Police. We're looking
for Norman Fredericks.

Back there.

Norm, the cops are here.

I didn't do anything!

Innocent people always run.

Norman Fredericks, you're
under arrest for murder.

Murder? Yeah. That prostitute
you killed last night?

We found your DNA
inside her.

I picked up a whore, so what?

So it's a parole violation,

You're gonna send me
back upstate just for that?

We're gonna send you back
for slicing up a hooker...

when you were done with her.

I didn't slice up anybody.
What time did you get home?

In the door by 2:30 a. m.
And how'd you get there?

Number one train to the Staten
Island Ferry. Then my car.

We did our thing, I paid her
and left. I swear, I didn't...

Don't make yourself at home.
We'll be right back.

Fredericks is a busy guy.
What happened?

Another victim.
Murdered last night.

People passing by all day
and no one notices...

until the roommate
comes home and finds her.

Where's the roommate?
Bellevue Emergency.

She was in shock, so we
had a radio car take her in.

Fourteen years on the job, first
time I saw a body and puked.

Perp did
a real number on her.

Oh, man.
How long has she been dead?

At least twelve hours.

Handiwork's the same as
the last victim, only worse.

Another pro? Short
black skirt, high heels.

He slits their throats
so they can't scream.

Appears to be the same knife
used on the hooker last night.

What the hell's
wrong with this guy?

Thinks he's
Jack The Ripper.

You should have called me. We thought
we'd see if we had a case first.

When my bosses tell me
that you guys...

have a suspect and I don't already
know that, I look like an idiot.

Alex, you know better than to think
that I would keep you out of the loop.

I know. I'm sorry. It's just
two women ripped apart...

within 24 hours by the same
perp, and everybody's edgy.

We ready for a lineup yet? No,
it's premature until we're done...

canvassing the second murder scene.
Do you have an I.D. on that victim yet?

Theresa Folsom, 24, she's a
publicist for a publishing house.

This is for her roommate.
She give you anything?

You'll be the first to know.
Milk only, no sugar, right?

Thank you.

We know this is
difficult for you.

When's the last time
you saw Theresa?

Last night.
I mean, early this morning.

We were club-hopping
with some friends.

Terry got tired, so we...

Sorry, we put her in a cab
at 6th Street and Avenue B.

What time?

Around midnight. We partied
a little bit more, and...

I crashed at
my boyfriend's.

Book publicists
don't make a lot of money.

Do you know if Theresa
was doing any moonlighting?

What do you mean?

Well, maybe she made some
extra cash by entertaining men.

My best friend is dead. I
don't need to hear this crap.

No disrespect intended.
We have to ask.

It's part of our job.
Terry has a boyfriend...

Had a boyfriend in Boston.

She wasn't promiscuous,
and she'd never pick up a guy.

Theresa Folsom's squeaky clean. No
record, not even a traffic ticket.

Fredericks giving you trouble?

No, just keeping
an eye on him.

What did he tell you?

That he didn't get home
until 2:30 this morning.

M.E. says Folsom was killed sometime
between midnight and 1:00 a. m.

He picks up Cassie Horner, finishes her
off, cabs it down to the East Village...

kills Theresa, with plenty of
time to make the 1:30 ferry...

back to Staten Island.
Fredericks isn't our guy.

Based on what?

Lab found
two different blood types...

at the last murder scene, Terry
Folsom's and probably the killer's.

Neither matches Fredericks.

Okay. So we book him on the parole
violation for soliciting a prostitute.

And go back to
looking for the getaway cab.

If this guy's a serial killer, he
might have been active somewhere else.

for any similar M.O.s.

I'm gonna call Huang, see if
he can't give us a profile.

He comes out at night...

and focuses his rage at
prostitutes and women that he...

believes to be prostitutes.
Just like London, 1888.

Not Jack the Ripper

are convinced that...

his Royal Highness, Prince Albert
Victor, committed the deeds.

And I understand the royal family
is still smarting over that...

but could we please continue?
Actually, Captain, our guy...

may be a wannabe. Especially if
he's a paranoid-schizophrenic.

How do you explain the fire?

Well, your witnesses say that he
talked of hellfire and damnation.

Maybe he thought that
the victims were the devil.

He didn't torch
the second woman.

Well, maybe he heard
footsteps and ran off.

Some witnesses reported
that he seemed drunk or high.

Well, some schizophrenics
self-medicate with alcohol.

So who we
looking for, Doc?

A man mentally ill since
childhood or early adulthood.

Could possibly have been institutionalized.
Not able to keep a job. Lives alone.

Strong religious delusions. And he
might have command hallucinations.

Voices telling him to kill.

He's impulsive,
disorganized, unpredictable.

And he's not gonna stop
until you catch him.

Better make it soon. The press is
already calling him the "Night Ripper."

We've gotta release the
sketch. That would be a mistake.

If people are gonna panic, at least
give them something to panic about.

The publicity's
just gonna excite him more.

I think he's awful excited
right now without publicity.

We'll consider
releasing the sketch.

Meanwhile, I want every vice unit
out warning the working girls to be...

watching out for this guy.
Where are we on the cabs?

We've narrowed it down to 12 possibles,
before we got sidetracked with Fredericks.

Run them down.

Marcus, pick up line six.

No, there's nothing with a Y in
the number on the street last night.

Okay. How about your V cabs?
Well, we only have two.

Let me look here, wait.
Wait a minute. Here it is.

5- V-42.
Ran 9:00 p. m. to 9:00 a. m.

Driver didn't even make
enough to cover his lease.

Okay, any pickups
around 44th and 9th?

Uh, not according to his trip
sheet. Can I take a look at that?

Be my guest.

Take a look at this.

The driver put 82 miles on the car and
only logged jobs for maybe half of that.

So he didn't drop the meter
on all of his fares.

This driver. You have a
name and address for him?

Yeah. Sure. No problem.
I'll get it for you.

Last night when
you were driving your cab...

did you pick up a fare
on 44th and 9th Avenue?


You sure? You didn't log more than
half your jobs on your trip sheet.

What are you
talking about?

Maybe you forgot to drop
the meter...

keep a little more money
for your family?

I wasn't driving.
Okay. Who was?

My cousin. Nkrumah?

I pick up the cab,
let him drive.

Make some money for
his family back home.

He pick up the man
you're looking for.

What's your name?
Kabral Nkrumah.

Did you see his face?

And his bloody clothes.
He scared me.

Police car drove by, he lowered
his head so they would not see him.

Okay. Can you describe him?
Medium height...

wild eyes. Wild eyes.
Bushy beard.

Where did you take him?

3rd Street and Avenue D. Paid
me with a bloody $20 bill.

Didn't wait for change.
We're gonna need that bill.

Oh, I spent it.

We're gonna need to get that cab to
CSU before it goes out for the night.

Find anything? Yeah, we
vacuumed for hairs and fibers.

Just getting ready to look
for blood. Let me light it up.

If the guy had
victim's blood...

on his coat, he must've
gotten some on his hands.


Or he slipped and cut himself,
left us some evidence.

Look, blood. I'll lift it
and get it to the lab.

Yeah. We'll be right there,
gotta go.


Jack strikes again.

I'm washing my hands,
the kid is at the urinal.

Guy comes in and starts screaming about
the machines controlling the boy's mind...

pulls out a knife, slits
his throat. Just like that.

Did he go after you next?

I went after him, tried to grab
the knife. He got me in the stomach.

That's when the boy's father
comes in. What happened?

He never saw the guy with the knife. He
runs straight for his kid, starts screaming.

I'm yelling at him
about the knife...

then the guy slices his neck.
I couldn't do nothing!

You did plenty. Take it easy.
We're gonna ride with him.

Yeah. All right.

What took you so long?
We were in Queens.

We found the cab driver.

Huang is on his way.

Says he can profile more
accurately if he's on the scene.

Radio said two victims?
Well, almost three.

Good Samaritan got stabbed
in the gut trying to stop him.

Who's she?

This is Jean Weston. It's her
husband and son cut up in there.

Tourists. I thought
he was targeting pros.

How old's the kid?

Son of a bitch.

Mrs. Weston,
I'm Detective Stabler.

Josh just wanted
to play video games.

We're going back to Oregon
tomorrow morning. I have to go pack.

Okay, I'll tell you what. We're
gonna have the officer take you...

to the hospital first and
just have you checked out.


Got him in the left carotid.

He probably lived about two
minutes before he bled out.

Same knife?


Four victims within 24 hours.

Three in the theater district,
Times Square area...

one in the East Village.

And a serial killer we can't
profile because he strikes at random.

It doesn't get much worse
than this.

Nobody is safe until we collar
this guy. Chief Sullivan?

The city is terrified, and the public
doesn't give a rat's ass how much...

we brought crime down as
long as this guy is out there.

I want to thank all of you who
came in on your own time.

Clock in. We need all
the help we can get.

Captain Cragen runs the task
force and reports directly to me.

The phone bank is being set up,
with the reward up to $100,000.

We're gonna be flooded with
tips. We investigate every one.

You have your assignments.
Let's find this guy.

What'd you get?

Canvass, Avenue D.
Canvass on Avenue C.

I'm Avenue B.
You're Avenue A, I guess.

Palmieri's taking Avenue A.
Anything from VICAP?

Nobody active fitting our guy.

Yeah. That would've been
too easy.

John, before you hit the streets, I
want you to get an update from the M.E.

Okay, Boss. See you
guys later. All right.


I want you coordinating the
phone tips and the assignments.

Our case, then why
am I being benched?

I need somebody I can trust in charge
while I tap-dance for the bosses.

Nobody sweats the details
like you.

Okay. Go get him.

Detective Stabler. Missus
Weston. I said you were busy.

We're closing on our new house
next week. I have to get home.

Mrs. Weston, do you have any relatives
or friends in New York you can stay with?

I don't know anyone here.

I don't...
Elliott. Phone call.

Mrs. Weston, this is
Detective Palmieri. Right here.

He's gonna get you coffee,
food, whatever you want.

I'll be with you
in just a minute, okay?

See if you can find
a family member.

Okay. Why don't you
come with me?

Special Victims, Detective...
Hey, Kathy.

No. It's just good
to hear your voice.

The unidentified blood at the
second murder scene and the blood...

CSU got from the cab
are the same type. AB.

Which puts our man at the first
two scenes. We won the trifecta.

We found only the victim's blood at
the arcade, but take a look at these.

You know Locard's theory?

Transfer evidence.
Everywhere you go...

you pick something up and
leave something behind.

Seven years in Homicide,
I better know it.

CSU took this from inside the
perp's coat found in the garbage can.

This was on the body
of Terry Folsom...

and this was in the pooled blood
next to Josh and Jeremy Weston.

Consistent blends.
Some kind of spun fiber.

Ran it through the gas chromatograph.
It's a 60-40 cotton wool blend.

I'm a summer weight
wool-gabardine man myself.

Your perp wore the same piece of
clothing when he killed all four victims.


Forget the canvass. We got a
disturbance in Washington Square Park.

A suspect in the murders is being
held by civilians. Let's get there now.

Special Victims. Excuse me!
Police. Coming through. Excuse me.

Show's over!
Excuse me.

Bus is on the way along
with the rest of our backup.

What the hell happened here?

Someone heard this guy accost a
pro over on 4th Street, spouting...

something about Armageddon.
Next thing, a dozen people...

they chase him in here, and
they kick the crap out of him.

He's not even close.

Okay, people. Look at this.
This is our man. Beard and hair.

This man has no beard and no
hair. Bastard shaved it off!

Yeah! Tried to kill another
whore! Who's gonna be next?

Get outta here or both you are going
in for assault, all right? All of you.

Hang in there, all right? The ambulance
is on its way. Just take it easy, okay?

These people have a serious
problem. Yeah, they're scared.

Hey, you survived riot duty.

Hope you had better luck
than we did. How's it going?

Five hundred calls since 11:00,
more sightings than Elvis.

Anyone wanna trade places?

No thanks. We're just too busy
waiting for him to strike again.

Look, it's 4:00. Why don't
you guys catch some shut-eye?

Don't have to
ask me twice.

Not at home, in the crib.

You, too. Oh, no. I'm
too pissed to sleep.

You want some help?
I'm not gonna say no.

"Spotted on Broadway."

It looks like the subway
token clerk at 68th and Lex.

He's my night doorman.

I know you're working off
some nervous energy...

but you don't have to read
every one of them out loud.

Aren't we in a mood?

You know, it's the middle of the
night, and I'm sitting here...

realizing I spend more time with
you than I do with my own family.

No offense.
We both need a vacation.

You got that right.

Wait a minute.
Here's one with a guy...

says somebody gave him a check
with bloody fingerprints on it.


I didn't take it.
Counterman did.

Did you see who cashed it? I was
slicing prosciutto in the back.

I assumed it was Mrs. Varney.
It's her check.

Hold on. I'll get it.
It's in the top.

Check is issued out to Cash.
Name on the check, Paula Varney.

I gave this check
to my husband.

Did something happen to him? No,
we just want to speak with him.

Has he left for work?
Daniel doesn't live here.

Girls, run upstairs and get
dressed, okay? We're gonna be late.

When was the last time
you saw your husband?

The day before yesterday,
when I gave him the check.

I help support him.
You're divorced?

Separated, it's hard to explain.
Daniel's had some problems.

What kind of problems?

Three years ago, he started losing
it. He got fired from his job.

I had to start teaching again. We
didn't get divorced so Daniel could...

stay on my medical insurance.
Not that he would see a doctor.

Mrs. Varney,
is this your husband?

Oh, my God.

It is urgent
that we speak with him.

Our priest gave him a small
room in a rectory of our church.

What is this about?

Has he done something?
Hurt someone?

Well, we're not
quite sure yet.

He's a janitor at the church.
Our Lady of Lourdes.


Judge signed the warrant, Munch and Fin
are on their way to toss Varney's room.

Trimmed his beard.
Look at his hands.


Yes, I'm Daniel. Hi. Can
we talk to you a second?

Who are you?
We're the police.

His avenging angels cometh.

We just want to
ask you a question.

Presence of the Lord.
You cannot, you cannot hide.

You cannot hide in the presence of
the Lord. He sent you to judge me?

No, not to judge you.
To help you.

Why? I served him.

I saw that they were unclean and
I cleansed them in their own blood.

I saved a child,
a lamb that was pure.

Daniel, come with us.
Come with us.

Wasn't I good enough?

Wasn't I good enough? Why do
you send your angels for me?

Why do you want to destroy me
when I bring them your message?

I saw that
they were unclean.

Why do you send
your angels for me?

Why? Why do you want
to destroy me when I...

bring them your message?

No. Not to destroy you.
He wants to reward you.

He will judge me!

Our Father who art in Heaven,
hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done...

on earth as it is in Heaven.
As it is in Heaven.

Give us this day
our daily bread...

and forgive us
our trespasses...

Pray with me!

Got it.

And lead us not
into temptation...

but deliver us from evil.

Daniel Varney.
For thine is the kingdom...

the power and the glory
forever and ever.

You're under arrest
for murder.

You have the right to remain
silent. If you give up that right...

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

My God. You have the
right to an attorney.

Why did you do it?

Get back. Get in.

Are you sorry
for what you've done?

Who are you?

Detective Benson.

I need to ask you
a few questions.

About what?

About what you did
to those four people.

I was following orders.

From who?

From the Lord God almighty,
who is in heaven...

sent through his messenger.

What messenger, Daniel?
An angel who came to me...

and told me to cleanse them.

I have to ask you something.

Why didn't you shoot me?

Because I didn't want
to hurt you.

But you must.

I must what, Daniel?
I don't understand.

Kill me, please.

Please, I can't take
any more pain.

We better put him
on a suicide watch.

M.E. says Varney's knife matches
the wounds on all four victims.

Anything from John and Fin?

They're on their way to the lab with
bloody clothes from Varney's room.

Found them
hanging in the closet...

like he just brought them
back from the cleaners.

Good enough for me. Type up those
reports. Let's get him into court.

Docket number 3-5-2-1-4...

People vs.
Daniel Stephen Varney.

Charges are four counts
murder in the first degree...

one count assault
in the first degree.

I trust, Miss Cabot, the People
have met their burden for murder one?

Yes, Your Honor. The defendant
mutilated and killed...

four people
in under 48 hours.

Their blood was found on clothing
in Mr. Varney's apartment.

Very well.

Mr. Newvine, how does your
client plead? Are you God?

Just an overworked judge, Mr. Varney,
and I ask the questions, not you.

Guilty or not guilty? How can
you judge me if you're not God?

Mr. Newvine,
control your client.

We plead not guilty by reason of
mental disease or defect, Your Honor.

Daniel, please.
Miss Cabot?

Remand, Your Honor.
The defendant is clearly a...


You can't judge me.

You can't judge me!
Order! Order!

You don't sit
in judgment of me!


No, he can't help it,
he's sick.

You can't touch me!
He can't help it!

He can't help it, he's sick.
I'm sorry!

Miss Cabot...

you want to kill him. Mrs.
Varney, I can't talk to you.

Please, don't kill him.

Do you want justice or
are you just gonna swing...

whatever way
public opinion blows you?

Mrs. Varney, please.

He was a loving husband,
a good father...

He murdered four people. Taking
his life won't bring them back.

I know I have to live with what he
did, and our girls have to grow up...

knowing that
he killed those people...

But I have to speak
for the victims...

and for their families,
and follow the law.

Doesn't the law
protect Daniel, too?

He didn't know what he
was doing. He's sick.

Mrs. Varney, a terrible thing happened to
you and your family and I am sympathetic...

The hell you are!

You put murderers and rapists
back on the street every day...

he didn't even know he
was doing anything wrong.

Please, Miss Cabot.

I'm sorry.

We're seeking
the death penalty.

Daniel belongs in a psychiatric
hospital, not on death row.

That's for a jury to decide.
He's not competent to stand trial.

He attacked me.

All that proves
is that he's violent.

Spontaneously violent.
No impulse control.

Your client solicited
a prostitute...

and lured her into an alley
way before he mutilated her.

He threw
his bloody coat out.

He ducked down in the cab so
the police wouldn't see him.

He knew exactly
what he was doing.

How are you feeling, Daniel?
My head won't stop hurting.

We'll give you something
for the pain.

Were you angry at your attorney?
I don't have an attorney.

You hit him in court.

Why was I in court? Because of
what you did to those people.

I killed them.
God said I had to.

"You are my messenger.

"The unclean must be cleansed, or
I will serve my wrath upon you!"

But the Bible says,
"Thou shalt not kill."

He said I must
eliminate the evil.

That little boy was evil?

The video games put
evil thoughts in his head.

I had to save him.

I didn't want
to kill a little boy.

He said I had to.

I had to.

Alex, your office said
you were here.

D.A. just signed the papers to seek
the death penalty against Varney.

He can't stand trial.
What are you saying?

He's not competent. He
knows what he did was wrong.

The man is a serial killer.

Who doesn't fit any profile
that I can come up with.

You saw him at Bellevue. He doesn't
even remember slugging his attorney.

We've convicted schizophrenics
and psychotics before.

Schizophrenia usually strikes
young adults and teenagers.

Daniel Varney may appear
to be psychotic...

but his loss of memory suggests
something else is going on.

Organic dementia.

A disease
attacking his brain.

Mini-strokes, early onset
Alzheimer's, a brain tumor, something.

Do you know how much pressure
I am under to convict this man?

He butchers
four innocent people.

He scares the hell out of the
city. The public wants justice.

What can we do?
A complete workup.

Labs, MRI, LP. And I need your
detectives to get his medical records.

What is it you want?
Your help.

I'm not helping you
kill my husband.

Girls, go up to
your room and play.

Do you have children,
Detective Benson?

No, I don't.

Have you ever lost
anyone close to you?

Yes, I have. Earlier this
year, I lost my mother.

Then you know
how it feels.

When you lose a parent as
an adult, it's hard enough.

Can you imagine what
my girls are going through?

Mrs. Varney, please,
understand that...

we are not trying to make this
any worse than it already is...

You want to execute
my husband.

We already lost him once.
I can't face losing him again.

What did you come here for?
Your husband's medical records.


To see if there's anything that
can help explain what he did.

I'll never understand.

I'll never understand.

Daniel was the gentlest man
I'd ever known.

Then he started to change. I begged
him to see a doctor. He refused.

Even our priest couldn't
convince him to get help.

One night, I woke up.

I found Daniel
standing in the girls' room...

holding a knife. Crying.

He said
life was so hopeless...

he wanted to
spare them the pain.

Do you care about
any of this?

You have to trust me.

We finished going through
his records.

Varney's medical history
ends three years ago...

which is about the time that his
wife says his bizarre behavior began.

Anything noteworthy?

Aside from his high blood
pressure, this guy was healthy.

The labs are back.
What'd you find?

Advanced syphilis.

How advanced?

Tertiary stage. The MRI shows
cortical degeneration and atrophy.

Meaning what?
His brain is Swiss cheese.

The syphilis has eaten away
at his cerebral cortex.

The moral center of his brain is
long gone. We've got to tell his wife.

He's already been given
a death sentence, Alex.

We've given him penicillin,
but the damage is done.

He's not gonna recover.

They said I could see him. Have
the doctors talked to you yet?

What about?

You were right,
Mrs. Varney.

It wasn't
your husband's fault.

Mrs. Varney,
your husband has syphilis.

Oh, my God.
It's destroyed his brain.

Well, what does that mean?
What about my daughters?

What about me? We've been
married for ten years.

You'll have to be tested, but our
doctor says that it's only contagious...

in the early stages. Your
husband's case is so advanced...

that he probably picked it up
long before you even met.

I don't understand.
How could no one find this?

He's been to doctors,
he had an insurance physical...

Medical insurance?
Life insurance.

Seven years ago, when our
first daughter was born.

Was he approved?

Well, did the insurance
company ever tell you why?

We thought it had to
do with his hypertension.

Mrs. Varney, if you ask
the insurance company...

why your husband was rejected,
they have to tell you.

Does it really matter now?
Yes. It really matters.

You've got to request
those records.

I missed you.

Hi, honey. Me, too.

The girls miss their daddy.
How are they?

They're fine. How are you?

It hurts so much.

I'm sorry.

Paula Varney got an answer
from All-Atlantic Life.

They knew
that he had syphilis.

Bastards never informed him.

sexually transmitted...

disease, company's required to
report that to the health department.

And health department would have
notified Varney if they'd known.

One shot of penicillin back
then could have cured him.

And these four victims
would still be alive.

Yeah, if the insurance
company had told them!

I want their ass.

What is this?
Malcolm Hunt?

And who are you?

Come up from behind
the desk, please.

I don't take orders from you.

Malcolm Hunt, you're under
arrest for reckless endangerment.

Reckless endangerment?
For what?

For failing to notify the health
department about an applicant's...

communicable disease which
caused him to murder four people.

How dare you walk in here
and accuse me...

Your lawyer
can explain it to you.

No, you're the ones who can
explain. On whose authority?

We have a warrant,
signed by a judge.

And if you don't come with us
voluntarily, we'll take you.

Now please put your
hands behind your back.

Is this necessary?
Standard procedure.

You have the right
to remain silent.

If you give up that right,
anything you say...

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

You need a head
to mount on your wall...

so my client
becomes the scapegoat.

We checked with
the health department.

You never reported Daniel Varney's
syphilis as required by law...

It must have
slipped through the cracks.

It's the applicant's responsibility
to ask why he was rejected.

Who's responsible for the four people
he murdered because you didn't tell him?

We reject thousands of
applicants every year.

HIV, heart disease.

All poor risks.

Miss Cabot, we run a business.

We answer to our stockholders.

Providing explanations to
every applicant we turn down...

would require
hiring more staff...

premiums would go through
the roof, and fewer people...

could afford life insurance.

$1.50 worth of penicillin would
have cured Daniel Varney...

and prevented the carnage he
caused. You should have told him.

The Court of Appeals just ruled that we
are under no obligation to inform the...

The applicant. You still have to notify
the appropriate health department.

If we audit your records and
find a pattern of similar cases...

that have "slipped through
the cracks"...

with no effort
on the part of your company...

to rectify the situation...

not only will we charge Mr. Hunt
with reckless endangerment...

we will move to seize the profits of
your company as assets to the crime.

See how your stockholders
like that. You can't do that...

And Mr. Hunt can sit in prison
for seven years and think about it.

What do you want, Miss Cabot?

I want your company to begin reporting
all cases of communicable diseases.

And when the families of the murder
victims and Daniel Varney's wife sue...

you'll settle.

That's extortion. It would
cost the company millions.

It'll cost a lot less than going
bankrupt because of the publicity.

In the court of public
opinion, you're already guilty.

Do you want to take your
chances in a real court?

I've read the 37 report on
your client, Mr. Newvine.

Do you wish to introduce
any other evidence?

No, Your Honor.

Miss Cabot...

does the District Attorney
plan to contest the findings?

Not at this time, Your Honor. The People
are satisfied with the doctor's report.

Then I rule the defendant
Daniel Stephen Varney...

not competent to assist
in his own defense...

therefore unfit
to proceed to trial.

I order him remanded to the custody
of the Office of Mental Health...

to be placed in a secure psychiatric
facility until he is fit to proceed.

This court is adjourned.

Until he's fit to proceed.
Which is never.