Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–…): Season 5, Episode 16 - Home - full transcript

When a boy is found going through the garbage for food, it is discovered that the boy's mother has him on a strict diet and home schools him and she appears to be a bit paranoid. They sense that the woman's a bit off so they try to get social services to look into it. And when the boy is found dead, they learn that his brother killed him. They think his mother made him do it but he won't tell them.

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'm taking Rachel
to a dance audition,

so you'll have
to pick Eli up
from soccer.


The Westers asked
if we could come to
dinner Friday night.

Sounds great, hon.

And I'm going to run off
to Belize with the paperboy.

( clanging )

What the hell was that?

It's a miracle. He can hear.

Damn homeless
make a mess

with our garbage
and Sanitation fines me.

Not this time!


Who's there?

Get out of there right now!

Don't hurt me.

Homeowner found him
eating out of the trash.

The kid looks eight or nine.
Real skinny, no coat.

What's his story?

Won't talk.
Kid's pretty freaked out.

Well, no wonder.

You've got him locked up
in the back of your car.

Just keeping him safe
for you kiddie cops.

I figure he eats garbage,
he's abused.

What do you think,
homeless or runaway?

He looks pretty clean
for a street kid.

Hey, buddy.
How are you doing?

I'm Elliot.

This is Olivia.

What's your name?

Look, you're not
in trouble.

We just want
to talk with you.

Please tell me
your name?

Jacob Nesbit.

Hey, Jacob.
You live around here?

97th Street.

97th Street? That's
just a block away.

Who do you live with?

My mom and my brother.

Yeah? What about your dad?

He's dead.

Please don't tell
my mom I was eating.

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and NBC

You sure are hungry.

I never had pancakes before.

Your mom's never made
them for you?

No. She says
they're against the rules.

What rules?

About food and stuff.

What's good to eat, what's not,
how much food I can have...

Your brother
have rules, too?

But Adam never breaks them.

Well, what happens
when you do break them?

You get a punishment.

What's the punishment?

I don't want to talk about it.

Jacob, I'm just trying
to help you out here,

but I need for you
to trust me.

My mom says what happens
at home stays at home.

And what you and I talk
about in this room

stays in this room.

I can't tell you.

It's against the rules.

Can I finish my breakfast?

Yeah, sure.

We can't keep him here
unless there's some
allegation of abuse.

He's scared
out of his wits.

He doesn't want
his mother

to know that he was eating.

Something is going on here.

All right.
Check her out.

I'll call ACS

and see if they
got anything
on the family.

( knocking )

Can I help you?

I'm Detective Benson.
This is Detective Stabler.

Let me get my mom.

Please wait here.

Kid's awful polite.

Or just obeying
the rules.

Hi, I'm-I'm Marilyn Nesbit.

Is Jacob all right?

Actually, we have him
down at our station.

Can we come inside
and talk to you
for a sec?

What about?

Why you didn't
report your
son missing?

He runs away and comes home
all the time.

I wasn't really worried.

Mrs. Nesbit,
we found your son

eating chicken
out of a garbage can.

We'd really like
to talk to you about it.

I know my rights.

I don't have to let you in.

You bring my son home
or I'll call a lawyer.

Cops tell me
that my kid

is down at the station,
I'd be there right away.

What's she so afraid of?

I don't know,

but he's not coming
back here

until we get
some answers.

Maybe she has some.

Ma'am. Do you mind
if we have a word with you?


Marilyn Nesbit
is a lovely woman.

She brings me homemade muffins

and she sends her boys over
to help me do my chores.

Did you ever notice any marks
or bruises on the boys?

Oh, no.
They don't roughhouse.

Jacob ran away. Have you heard
any yelling or fighting?

He didn't run away.
He's just adventurous.

He's a handful.

I don't know how his mother
manages alone.

When did the boy's father die?

When Marilyn
was pregnant

with Jacob.

Went out for some milk,
walked into a store,

walked right into a holdup.

He was killed
by a 13-year-old boy.

Now Marilyn stays home
with the children all day.

Don't the boys go to school?

Didn't she tell you?

She homeschools Adam and Jacob.

Marilyn Nesbit has
homeschooled her children

for the past seven years.

She took Adam out of public
school after second grade.

Jacob's never
been enrolled.

Anyone check on the boys?

No one. The law requires
lesson plans,

status reports
every semester.

Marilyn's always
filed them on time.

These lesson plans
look pretty detailed.

They're downloaded
off the Internet

from the New York
Homeschool League.

So any parent
can yank their kid

out of school
just by filing forms

off a website?

We're lucky we even have
any regulations at all.

Some states
don't require parents

to notify the school board.

How many kids
are we talking about?

Nationwide, the closest estimate
is one million.

Sounds like you're
not a big fan of

I am when it works.

But going to school
provides kids

with more than an education.

It's a safety net
that catches medical,

developmental problems,

and child abuse.

You think
that Marilyn Nesbit

was using homeschooling
as a smoke screen for abuse?

There are no red flags on file.

Maybe you need to talk
to Adam's old school teachers.

I taught Adam
in second grade.

He was smart and sweet,

but he had some
emotional issues.

Like what?

Lots of fears,
more than most seven-year-olds.

It wasn't surprising
given his father's murder,

but he really needed counseling.

Didn't he get any counseling?

Mom wouldn't consent.

Said she could
help Adam herself.

Fat chance.

That woman was a fruitcake.

How so?

She had all these weird ideas
about food.

Adam would come
to school hungry,

but she wouldn't let him eat
school lunch.

She claimed it was full of
pesticides and preservatives.

So she packed nuts,
raw veggies, protein drinks.

He eat that?

Would any seven-year-old?

( phone rings )

Adam stole
other kids' food,
wolfed it down,

then threw up
from eating too
much too fast.


Didn't you discuss this
with his mother?

I kept making appointments,
but she never showed up.

Finally I said if she wouldn't
meet with me,

I'd report her for neglect.

The next day,
she pulled Adam from school.

It's Novak. She wants
to see us, now.

Thank you.

Are these the detectives
who've been harassing my client?

Detectives Benson and Stabler,
meet Denise Brockmorton--

legal counsel for the New York
Homeschool League.

And attorney
for Marilyn Nesbit,

whom you are persecuting

solely because
she exercises her right

to withdraw her children
from government schools.

Nobody's being persecuted.

We're just asking
a few questions.

While you're holding
Jacob hostage.

His mother wouldn't let us
in the door.

We had to investigate.

You mean go
on a witch hunt.

The detectives
are merely trying

to ensure that Jacob
is returned to a safe

and healthy
home environment.

Marilyn's a fine mother.

The home is more than adequate.

Prove it.

Marilyn, I don't know
how you keep this place

so neat with
two active boys.

It's never been a problem.

Where do the boys sleep?

Right in here.

Hey, Adam.


What you working on, Adam?

Trigonometry, ma'am.


Do you go online?

Just educational sites.

Do you got any hobbies?


That's their passion,
right, Adam?

You mind showing us the kitchen?

This way.

What about exercise?

Oh, we do morning

What, Sweating
to the Oldies?

You have two
active kids here;

that's not enough.

The Homeschool League runs
a weekly athletic event

in Central Park.

Adam seems pretty small
for his age.

I think he's
just perfect.

So he gets enough
to eat?

There's plenty of food.

Healthy food.

Why feed them
processed food

that's full of chemicals
that cause cancer

or beef that might have
that mad cow disease?

Detectives, I think
that's enough.

Unless a balanced diet
is a crime, we're done.

Jacob's mother and her
mouthpiece want

to take him home.

We've got to let them.

Who are you?

Steve Krause,
social worker from ACS.

We're not done investigating.

Can't you put him
in a foster home

Not without a significant

about abuse from Jacob.

Mr. Krause, you don't need
a statement. Turn around.

That kid is terrified
of his mother.

That's your interpretation.

I spoke to Jacob.

He told me
he wants to go home.

Did he tell you
that he was hungry?

Jacob's not malnourished.

His mother uses
food to control him.

A mother has a right
to her dietary beliefs,

even the kids who'd rather eat
junk food,

Just because she's different,

doesn't mean that she's guilty
of abuse.


Sounds like
she's emotionally abusive.

That's very hard to prove.

Best I can do is recommend
family counseling.

Is that it?

I'll make a follow-up visit

but tonight,
Jacob has to go home.

I don't like this.

I'm telling you, that mother
is wound way too tight.

This is my business card, okay?

On the back
is my cell phone number.

Call me anytime
if you need anything, okay?


Maybe we'll go out
and get some pancakes.

If my mom says
it's okay.

Let's go home.

I'll see you
in the morning.

What time?

9:00 A.M.

We'll be there.

Dad! No cheating!
Who's cheating?

Who are you calling
a cheater, huh?

( growling )

( laughing ):
Put me down, Dad.
( phone ringing )

I'm going
to put you down.


Hey, why don't you go
get us some cookies?



Jacob, is that you?

Is that the boy
from today?

Yeah, I think so.


Mrs. Nesbit?

It's Detective Stabler.

Is anyone home?

( sighs heavily )

Single gunshot
to the temple.

around the wound.

The gun was found
by Jacob's right hand.

Not a chance in hell.

The gun jammed
when someone tried

to chamber the second round.

Kind of tough to do that

when you've already
shot yourself
in the head.

When did this happen?

M.E. says between
8:00 and 10:00 p.m.

Jacob called me
at 9:07,

so it happened
after that.

Any word
from Marilyn or Adam?

No. They're
in the wind.

If Adam's not
already dead, too.

Elliot, this
is not your fault.

You didn't send
that boy home. ACS did.

Screw ACS.

I knew something was wrong.

I watched that boy
walk out that door.

Any idea where Marilyn Nesbit
might be headed?

No friends, no
close relatives,

no address book.

Why kill one kid
and not the other?

Abusive parents frequently
single out one child.

Adam obeys her, Jacob doesn't.

Maybe that's why
Adam gets enough to eat.

Or maybe she did
try to kill Adam,

but the gun jammed.

So, what?
She's on the run,

just dragging
this kid with her?

Or maybe she's
already killed him,

and she's out
dumping the body.

What is her motive
for killing
her children?

She destroys
the things she loves

so that no one else
can take them from her.

The archetype
is the Greek tragedy Medea.

Medea. She
killed her kids

to spite
their father.

Yeah. Or, in this case,
to spite ACS.

They were coming that morning.

If Marilyn Nesbit
wouldn't have her children,

no one would.

I dumped the phones.

Other than calls from
that shyster Brockmorton,

Marilyn hasn't spoken
to anybody in days.

And I got Marilyn's financials:
no income.

She's been living off her
husband's life insurance.

The money
is getting low.

Any activity
on her credit cards?

Still waiting
on the report.

I got it flagged,
just in case she uses them.

DMV's got a car
registered in her name.

May not have to.
Well, get it out
on the teletype.

That car comes standard
with Auto-Pilot.

You know, you're lost,
you need directions,

you push a button,
and it tells you
where to go.

No kidding? How do
they track the car?

Built-in GPS transponder.

It sends out a signal.

Thank God
for technology.

Now we just got
to get Auto-Pilot

to track Marilyn's car.

Well, let's encourage them
with a court order.

Are you sure this is legal?

Judge signed it.
You're in the clear.

Give me the car's VIN number.


Got it. Right here.

Car's not moving.

Can you zoom
in on that?


She's in the Bronx,
by the Westchester border.

Cross streets
are East Drive
and River Road.

Okay, can you call us

if the car
starts moving again?

Well, I can do better.

Track her with this.

I'll program in
her signal.

Okay, turn right here.

She hasn't moved yet.

We're close.

Westchester Mall.

Great place to dump a car.

Yeah. With a body
in the trunk.

I don't see any blood.


So where the hell
did they go?

Maybe they came up here
to meet someone.

Got no friends
or family.

Only contact is with
that Homeschool League.

That's it.

John, it's Olivia.

Call the Board
of Education.

Find out if any other
homeschool families

using the same curriculum
as Marilyn Nesbit

live near Westchester Mall.

Next house on the list
is Nancy Kester.

her daughter Polly.

How many we got left?

Three more
after this.

Can I help you?

Yeah. Police.

Do you know
a Marilyn Nesbit?

Of course. Why?

Have you talked
to her recently?

Actually, I just
picked her up from the mall.

She called me
when her car broke down.

Do you know
where she is now?

She's in the kitchen
baking cookies with the kids.

What kids?

Adam and my daughter.

What's going on?

Leave us alone.

just take it easy.

Mom, who are these people?

The police. Marilyn,
what happened?

They want to take
my kids away from me!

Step over here.

Adam, I need you
to come with me.

You can't take
my son! Go away!

Let her go!

Please come with me.

I love you, Adam.

Everything is going
to be fine.

Don't say a word.
Be a man. Be a man.

Marilyn Nesbit, you
are under arrest

for the murder
of Jacob Nesbit.

You have the right
to remain silent.

Anything you say can and will be
used against you

in a court of law.

Why are
you doing this?

My son is dead.

Now you're
persecuting me.

We're investigating a homicide.

Kids play with guns.

Accidents happen.

And that boy
was murdered.

You can't prove that.

Sure, we can.

Ballistics excludes
a self-inflicted injury.

I'm sure they also told you

my client's prints
weren't on the gun.

Textured grip.

They wouldn't be.

What possible motive
did she have?

Jacob called
Detective Stabler.

He was about to open up
about his mom.

I can't imagine
what he would
have told you.

Marilyn has nothing to hide.

Good. Where did she get the gun?

I bought it for protection.

Living alone in a house
with no man...

I'm afraid.

My client is aware
she broke the law

by having an unlicensed handgun,

and she'll take
full responsibility

for her actions,
but she did not

shoot her son.

Then why did you run
when he got shot?

How could you
just leave him there?

I wasn't even there
when it happened.

Where were you?

At the store.

When I came home, Jacob...

was dead on the floor.

Was Adam with you?

No. He was home.

Ask him.

He was so frightened,
he could barely speak to me.

Marilyn Nesbit was
at six different stores.

Clerks remember her.

She used a credit
card each time.

Transactions cover the whole
range for time of death?

Yeah. Some of the stores
even have her on videotape.

So there's no way
that she shot Jacob?

Liv, it could have
been an accident.

How's my mom?

She's fine.

Can I see her?

Not right now.

Have a seat.

She said that
we could talk with you.

Adam, we know
that your mom wasn't home

when your brother was shot.

So now
it's up to you

to tell us what
really happened.

I don't want to talk about it.

Your mom must have been
pretty mad when Jacob ran away.

She still loved him.

She loves me, too.

Jacob told you
lies about mom.

ACS was going
to take us away.

That's not true.

They just wanted
to check up on you guys.

Make sure you and your brother
were safe.

You're lying.

They were going to put us

in foster care.

Do you know
what happens
to those kids?

They get abused and molested.

I can protect myself,
but Jacob can't.

He's too little.

But the gun would protect him.

And that's why you
took your mom's gun--

to protect
your brother.

Adam, if it was an accident,

then you're not going
to get in trouble,

but you have to tell us
what happened.

I took the gun from the closet.

I told Jacob to shut his eyes,
and I shot him.

He's in a better place.

Docket ending 0050
People v. Adam Nesbit.

Murder in the 2nd Degree.

How does your
client plead?

Not guilty, by reason
of mental disease or defect.

Excuse me, ma'am,
but she's wrong.

I did it. I'm guilty.


Miss Jameau, please
explain to your client

that his statements
can be used against him.

I shot my brother.

I know I have
to go to jail.

Your Honor, I ask that
Adam's remarks be stricken

and a plea of not guilty
be entered.

Your client just confessed to
murdering his brother again.

Which shows that he is
clearly not competent

to assist
in his own defense.

The People will show Adam
knows right from wrong

and should be allowed to enter
the plea of his choice.

He's an emotionally
disturbed adolescent.

He can't make that choice.


( gavel bangs )

I'm ordering a 7:30 exam.

Until the shrinks weigh in,
he's not guilty.

So much bad stuff
happens to kids.

They get kidnapped
and molested all the time.

Oh. Is that why your
mom homeschools you?


We learned so much

and we don't have to be afraid
of getting hurt.

Like at Columbine.

Actually school shootings
are pretty rare, Adam.

That's not
what my mom says.

Plus, there's drugs
and gangs and bullies.

What do you think?

Same as my mom.

Kids get hurt or killed
for no reason.

Like your father?

After he died, Mom wanted
to keep us safe,

and we were...
till Jacob talked to the cops

and the government
tried to take us away

and put us in foster care.

People were concerned about
what was going on in your home.

Nothing was going on.

Everything was fine until
Jacob messed it all up.

So were you
mad at him?


He's just a kid.

He didn't know
what he was doing.

Then why did you shoot him?

To save him from something
horrible happening to him.

Do you think killing
your brother was wrong?

I broke God's law

and I should be punished,
but I had to do it.

Why did you
have to do it?

Jacob is better off dead

than being raped and abused
in some foster home.

Adam's competent
to stand trial,

but he's got some serious
emotional problems.

Clinically he's paranoid.

So Adam really did
kill Jacob to save him.

Adam didn't think
he had any choice.

It was the only
way to protect his
brother from harm.

His mother
convinced him

that danger lurks
around every corner

and the only
safe place is home.

You think Marilyn's
as guilty as Adam is?

They convicted that
mom in Connecticut

whose son hanged himself.

She'd been told repeatedly
to get her son

psychiatric treatment
long before his suicide.

So was Marilyn.

I think she's responsible
for Jacob's death.

But Adam didn't commit suicide,
he killed his brother.

He broke the law
and pled guilty.

I can't ignore that.

D.A.s cut deals with guilty
people all the time.

What makes Adam any different?

Thank you
for seeing me, Judge.

Oh, Casey, stop
calling me Judge.

I'm not on the
bench anymore.

It's a habit from when
I used to clerk for you.

And while we're having
drinks, call me Mary.

What should I call you

when I'm begging for advice?


So, why did you go
into private practice?

Three boys in college

and an ex-husband whose
checks were always late.

I could hardly get by
on a judge's salary.

So, tell me about
the Nesbit case.

Oh, the boy thought
he was doing the right thing

when he shot his brother.

He's willing to go
to jail for it.

You don't know what to do.


I don't think Adam Nesbit was
acting of his own volition.

You mean you don't
want to indict him.

I guess I don't.

It's weird, I never
used to feel this way.

It was simpler when
you did white collar.

An executive embezzles,
the motive is greed,

that's easy-- nail his ass.

SVU cases aren't
nearly as clear.

And this kid, he's like
a ventriloquist dummy.

Whatever mom says, he says.

Oh. So, mom's to blame.

Are parent's responsible
for their children's actions?

That's the question.

I don't have the answer.

Find it.

And while
you're at it,

figure out how you feel.

Do you feel this boy
deserves to be charged?

Do you feel the facts fit
the charge under the penal law?

Did the boy have intent?

I don't know what
he was thinking.

Well, find out.

And find out why
your defendant

isn't rebelling
against his mother,

like a normal teenage boy.

Adam was always serious.

A little intense
but very gentle.

Certainly not violent.

Did Adam ever talk to you
about his mother?

Not really.

Mom, can I go?

I really need to
review my French.

All the verbs
in section six.

I'll drill you later.

Polly is very confused
by what's happened.

She's known Adam for years.

Were they close?

Well, she had
a crush on him.

Marilyn noticed, didn't approve.

They stopped visiting us
after that.

Actually, I was surprised
when she called from the mall.

She didn't want Adam
to have a girlfriend.

She didn't want Adam
to have any friends.

She kept those boys a little
close for my comfort.

Made me wonder.

About abuse?

Nothing sexual.

I just wondered if homeschooling
was healthy for her kids.


Well, some families

for religious reasons.

Others, like us, we can't afford
private school tuition,

but we don't like the chaotic,
overcrowded public schools.

And Marilyn?

She wanted to control
those boys completely.

Maybe it was her way
of keeping them safe.

Miss Novak!


I... think I'd better
give you these.

"My mom keeps telling me
stuff that scares me.

I want to run away,
but I can't leave Jacob."

Those are my e-mails.

Where did you get those?

Polly Kester gave them to us.

You can't tell my mom.

I'm not supposed to do that.

Miss Novak won't
tell your mom.

She just wants to help you.

It's none of her business.

"Polly, do you think
there are things so bad,

you'd be better off dead

than living through them?"

Please, stop!

"Polly, why haven't
you answered me?

"My mom wants me
to do something.

I don't know what to do."

Adam, you wrote that
the night Jacob died.

Make her go away.

Adam, you have to
tell us what happened.

What did your mom
want you to do?

No, I won't talk about it.

You wanted Polly
Nester's help.
It's too late!

It's not.

Yes, it is.

I'm not supposed to be here.

I should be dead.

You shot Jacob, and you
tried to kill yourself...

but the gun jammed.

( sobbing quietly )

( sniffles )

That bitch is responsible,
but I can't touch her.

The e-mails don't implicate
Marilyn in Jacob's death.

She put crazy ideas in his head
that made him kill his brother.

Yeah, but it's tough
to prosecute a parent

for giving their kid warped
views on the world.

Even if it cripples them.

Bringing up Adam with paranoid
ideas isn't against the law.

I mean you can raise
your kid to be a racist

so long as
it doesn't cause harm.

Well, there's your
difference right there.

This is like vehicular homicide.

Adam is the car, Marilyn
is behind that wheel.

Her paranoia drove his actions.

Can you charge Marilyn
with causing Jacob's murder?

Her gun, her fears, her beliefs.

I could argue Marilyn
facilitated the murder,

but legally it's a long shot.

So we've got
nothing to lose.

If you have more questions,
call my attorney.

Make an appointment.

Call her yourself.
Have her meet you
down in arraignment.

What is this?

Marilyn Nesbit, you're under
arrest for criminal facilitation

in the murder
of Jacob Nesbit.

You have the right
to remain silent.

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

You have the right
to an attorney...

Who are you?

I'm George Huang.

I'm a psychiatrist.

I evaluated Adam.


You think he's crazy?

Not crazy.


He's smart.

He knows the danger
in this world.

Because you taught
them to him.

Look, I grew up without a home.

No mother, no safety.

I don't sugarcoat the truth.

How did Jacob respond
to the truth?

He thought I was
being unfair.

But life isn't fair, is it?

If it was, my husband would be
alive, my son would be alive.

None of this would
have happened

if Jacob had
listened to me.

How did Jacob
disobey you?

He would never accept
that I was right.

Always right?

About what was
right for him.

I am his mother.

Well, sometimes
even good parents make mistakes.

Do you have any children?

No, I don't.

I didn't think so.

You see, for me, you're
just a short little man

with a nasty little mind.

You're trying to
twist my words

and get me
to say things.

Think I'm stupid?

And you're right, I am,

for sitting here
and listening to you.

Now, will you please
call my lawyer?

What the hell was that?

Marilyn's response to stress.

How can she be
reading the paper

as if nothing happened.

Because she has a borderline
personality disorder.

She compartmentalizes
the world.

She's always right,
and anyone who challenges her

is not only wrong
but her enemy.

Including her children?


Adam always obeyed her
and so he was good.

Jacob didn't,
so that made him bad.

So she doesn't
really love them.

It's a twisted,
narcissistic kind of love.

As soon as her kids show
any individuality,

she perceives it as
rejection and an attack.

What made her this way?

Inadequate attachment
to her own mother,

maybe she was abused herself.

But her husband's murder
unleashed her paranoia.

He gets killed,
so the outside
world's dangerous.

Adam's teacher challenges
her parenting,

so school's a bad place.

Can you sell it to a jury?

Let's see if a judge
buys it first.

This is ludicrous,
Your Honor.

My client in no
way facilitated
her son's murder.

Adam Nesbit shot his brother

because their mother told him
they'd be better off dead

than in foster care.

After making these
inflammatory comments,

she left her
frightened children

home alone with a loaded gun.

What did she think
was going to happen?

So your psychic now?

You can read my client's mind?

All I had to read

were Adam's e-mails.

"My mom wants me
to do something."

But you had no idea what
Adam Nesbit meant by that.

No, but Marilyn Nesbit

made sure that Adam thinks

only what she wants
him to think.

Can't you see what's
going on here, Your Honor?

The People are
persecuting my client

because the government
doesn't approve

of her choice
to homeschool.

So this is a politically
motivated witch-hunt?

If Adam went
to a government school

and shot a fellow student there,

would Ms. Novak be
charging his mother?

The facilitation charge
is legally sufficient.

We'll see what
the grand jury has to say.

Cross one-90-50 notice.

My client will testify
at the grand jury,

and I'm sure they will find
a bereaved mother

very sympathetic.

Regarding last Tuesday,
Mrs. Nesbit,

you've stated
you had no idea

what Adam was planning to do
when you left the apartment

the night of Jacob's death?

Yes, ma'am.

And where did you go?

The grocery store...

the pharmacy and, um,
a couple of other shops.

The prescription you picked up

wasn't due
to be refilled for another week.


Jacob, uh... had
some stomach problems.

I always like to have
a full supply

of his medication on hand.

Or perhaps you wanted
an airtight alibi.

I'm just careful

about my son's health.

You were careful to stand

underneath the video cameras

and to pay with a credit card
for a five-dollar purchase.

I know how you people work.

If I had paid with cash and had
no record of buying his pills,

you'd be charging me
with medical neglect.

So everyone's

out to get you, Mrs. Nesbit?

I never said that.

But it's clear,

you don't approve of how
I'm raising my sons.

We're here today

in a matter of your son--
Jacob's death.

Nothing more.

You're trying to take my
children away from me.

I know how you people are.

Police, district attorneys,

you destroy families!

Be careful.

If you don't live
your lives by their rules,

they'll come after
your kids too.

I got your 911.
What's the emergency?

When Marilyn
was testifying,

she was talking
about social services

taking her kids away.

But she didn't call them ACS;
she said DYFS.

Division of Youth and Family
Services in New Jersey.

Why is a New Yorker calling
ACS by an out-of-state name?

Stall the grand jury.

Let's take a road trip.

There's no record
of a Marilyn Nesbit
in our system.

Nothing on Adam
or Jacob Nesbit either.

Maybe she used
a different name.

Is there any other way
that you can check?

You've got D.O.B.s
on the family?

Right here.

All right, let me try first
names and birth dates.

Here's something.

A Marilyn Chesterfield.

Same D.O.B., with a son Adam,

but no Jacob.

What's the allegation?

Happened back in 1995,

so it's archived here.

Give me a minute.

It's got to be her.

Adam was six, Jacob wouldn't
have been born yet.

Okay, so why's Marilyn
using a different name?

Here it is.

Child came to school
with welts and bruises.

States his mother beat him.

Child afraid to go home.
Placement requested.

She beat Adam.

No, the child's name is Daniel.

Who the hell is Daniel?

An older son.

Here, the narrative says
that the mother went back

to her maiden name,
but her married name

was Marilyn Chesterfield Nesbit.

Mom was always a little crazy,
you know?

With weird diets and stuff,

but Dad kept her from going
off the deep end.

When he got killed,
she just lost it.

How old were you?


Adam was, uh, six.

Mom was pregnant with Jacob.

I mean, she was pretty paranoid,
you know?

She moved us out here to Jersey.

She changed our name
to Chesterfield.

She said that they would kill us

if we stayed
in the city.

How did you wind up
in foster care?

When my dad got murdered...

He went to that store because
I wanted milk for my cereal.

My mother blamed me
for his death,

so she started
beating the crap out of me.

Finally, I couldn't take it
anymore and I told my teachers,

and they said
that she'd get help

and then I could go home.

But you didn't?

My mother never showed up
for family court.

She disappeared.

They couldn't find her.

So I stayed in the system
until I was 18.

Then I joined the Navy.

I got out last year.

You ever try
to contact your mother?

I thought about it.

I was mad at her
for a long time.

But things got better
once I was away from her.

Um, nobody hit me.

My foster parents
are good people.

And I thought

I was just better off.

What about Adam?

She never hit him.

I thought he would be fine.


( voice breaking ):
I should have gone back.

I could've stopped it.

You didn't know.

I left him there with her.

Look, he needs you now.

You're wasting
your time.

I won't talk
about my mom.

All you have
to do is listen.

Hello, Adam.

Who are you?

I'm your brother.

You can't be.

Daniel's dead.

He got killed in foster care.

Mom told me all about it.

She lied to you, Adam.

She wouldn't do that!

She loves me!

I never stopped
thinking about you, Adam.

I've always kept this.


Remember, I taught you
how to ride a bike.

You were so afraid

you were going to fall...

but I wouldn't let you.

She lied about you.

She lied about everything.

She lied about the night
Jacob died, didn't she?

Tell me what happened.

When Mom brought
Jacob home,

after he ran away,
she was so mad.

She kept yelling that
we were going to foster care

and that we were
going to be raped

and beaten to death,
just like Daniel.

She said if I was really brave,
I could stop it from happening.

She went to her room
and came back with the gun.

She said it was up to me.

She said
that we wouldn't suffer

and that we'd be
together in heaven.

Dad and Daniel...

I believed her...

and I shot him.

Oh, my God.

What have I done?

What did I...?

Ms. Novak. You could have sent
the indictment to my office.


Why did you tell me
all those lies, Mom?

Why did you tell me

to shoot Jacob?

What have you done to my son?

They told him the truth.

Hello, Mom.

What the hell is
going on here?

Ask your client.


Who is this?

It's a trick.

It's her son, Daniel.

Daniel's dead.

Thanks to you,
my whole family is gone.

And you're next.

You'll never be safe.

They'll kill you,

like they killed your father.

Don't listen to them.

Adam, I'm your mother!

I'm the only one
you can trust!

Captioning sponsored by

and NBC

( wolf howling )

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