Written by Robert Moresco & Patrick Harbinson
Directed by Winrich Kolbe
U.S. Air Date: May 02, 1997
[Transcribed by Maria Vitale
Edited by Libby]
LITTLE HOLLOW FARMS
WILLISTON, NORTH DAKOTA
[A golden sunset, as a woman, Sally Dumont, on horseback rides across an open field, headed towards the stables.]
[It is nightfall when she finally arrives. She rides up to the barn passing two other horses in a fenced area. She dismounts from the white horse and tries to lead it into the stable but the mare snorts and pulls back on the reins. She seems nervous as though she senses something's wrong.]
SALLY: Good girl. Shh, shh, shh! Come on, girl! Jumping at your own shadow.
[She calms her horse down and leads her into the stables past other horses already in their stalls.]
[She opens the door to one of the stalls, leads the horse inside.]
SALLY: Okay, girl. Good girl.
[She then undoes the leather strap and removes the saddle, placing it on the stall door. When the woman returns to pat the horse's neck, she's again edgy.]
SALLY: Hey. Shh, shh! Shh.
[She hears a sound behind her.]
[She continues to try to calm the horse... ]
SALLY: It's okay. It's okay.
[ ...as she removes the bridle... ]
[ ...and closes the stall door, hanging the bridle on a hook outside the stall.]
[She can hear another horse grunting and neighing. She walks over to check it out. She opens the door to another stall and finds the horse lying on the ground, grunting and panting heavily. There is a great deal of blood on the hay by the horse's side near her neck. The woman enters the stall and kneels by the horse.]
SALLY: Queenie? Oh, my God! What happened?
[She turns and sees a pair of boots in the next stall. She knows that someone is there. Quietly, she rises to her feet, backs up to the stall door. Nervous but in control, she walks over to the end of the barn where there is a phone. She picks it up and dials an extension: 7-5-2.]
[Meanwhile, the man's boots can again be seen as he begins to move.]
[POV shifts to the man. We see what he sees. He walks out of the stable, walks across and over to where the woman had hung her horse's bridle. The man looks at it and has a vision. The images flash in quick succession, most are quite blurred: a bright white light; alternating images of a horse and a woman. These are his fantasies about horses and women. He hears a mixture of horse screeches and human screams throughout. End of vision.]
[Meanwhile, the woman waits nervously as the phone continues to ring.]
[Man's POV. He walks slowly toward the woman. She cannot see him because her back is to him. We can see him coming up behind her as a man finally picks up the phone and says hello.]
[She turns, sees the man, and is knocked out cold by a stun gun. He then takes out a small knife and stands over her. From outside, the sounds of the horses whinnying in alarm can be heard.]
[fade to black]
"Man is the cruelest animal."
[polaroid fade up]
[Day, rain. A long stretch of road. Frank driving in a rented car, is flagged over to the side of the road by a sheriff, with siren squealing and lights flashing. Frank pulls over and meets Sheriff Falkner of Williston, ND.]
[Both the sheriff and Frank get out of their cars in order to talk.]
FALKNER: Mr. Black? I'm Sheriff Falkner.
FRANK: Oh, it's good to finally meet you.
[They shake hands.]
FALKNER: Sorry to flag you down on the road like this. Must have just missed you at your motel. And you caught your flight before getting my fax.
FRANK: I read your fax. Felt I should come anyway.
FALKNER: Oh, Mr. Black...
FALKNER: Frank, uh, this really doesn't warrant this kind of concern from you and your group. The woman's fine.
FRANK: I think the woman that was assaulted -- Mrs. Dumont -- I think she's lucky to be alive.
FALKNER: Like I told you, she startled some freak. He knocked her down. He ran away. Now, granted, there've have been a few other horse attacks in the area...
FRANK: Five in this county, counting this one. Sixteen in the surrounding counties in the last two and a half years. I'd like to have a look at the crime scene.
FALKNER: Mr. Black, he killed an animal.
FRANK: This time. My work normally begins with dead bodies, multiples of dead bodies. I came here because I think we have a chance to stop this killing before it starts. You're witnessing the birth of a psychosexual killer.
[Little Hollow Farms. The husband of the woman who was attacked in the barn, shows the crime scene to Frank and the sheriff. He pulls shut the barn door. Written in blood on the door is the word: 'HELP'.]
DUMONT: As soon as I got the call, I came running down.
[By the door, is a small table and the telephone his wife had used.]
DUMONT: This is where I found Sally.
[He points to the hay-covered ground near the table.]
DUMONT: She had a big bruise on her forehead where he hit her. I thought she was dead. It scared the hell out of me until she blinked her eyes.
[He points to the word 'HELP' on the door.]
DUMONT: She doesn't remember writing that.
FRANK: Because she didn't write it. What does she remember?
DUMONT: She remembers seeing this bastard's boots in the next stall.
FRANK: What kind of boots?
DUMONT: Gum boots.
FRANK: (to the sheriff) Did you check for blood?
FALKNER: It's being done now.
FRANK: What else did your wife tell you?
[He tries to reenact the events.]
DUMONT: Uh, she, uh, she led her horse in. She put it in the stall. She unsaddled it and then she heard something. And this is where she found Queenie. The horse wasn't dead yet.
[Frank walks over to look into the stall.]
DUMONT: This is where she saw him.
[Frank walks over to look into the next stall where the killer had stood.]
FRANK: (to the sheriff) You've taken samples here?
FALKNER: We're waiting for results.
DUMONT: What kind of samples?
FRANK: Blood. Semen.
DUMONT: What the hell does that mean? What are you saying?
FRANK: He killed the horse. It aroused him.
DUMONT: (repulsed) Oh, my God!
FALKNER: Now, take it easy, Pete. We don't know if that's true.
[Frank is standing inside the stall, trying to get a feel for what the killer must have experienced.]
FRANK: The killer stood in here. He watched Sally attend to her horse. She saw him. You have a very brave wife, Mr. Dumont. She didn't panic.
[Frank then completes the reenactment himself.]
FRANK: She made herself walk from here to the phone.
FALKNER: Frank. So, she's on the phone. He- he's standing there. He knows she's alone, helpless. He knocks her down and runs away. Eh, I mean, if this is the guy you think he is -- why didn't he do more?
FRANK: Maybe he was scared.
[Pause. Then to Dumont:]
FRANK: Was anything missing? Stolen?
DUMONT: There's a bridle missing. It was Phaeton's. Sally's horse.
[He shows Frank the hook where the bridle had been placed. Frank looks at it and it triggers a vision.]
[He sees: several images of bridles, bits, and harnesses intercut with bright flashes of white light. Frank shuts his eyes then opens them again to see: similar images to those which the killer had seen earlier of a horse; very blurred images with bright light; a close up of a horse's eye; cut to a close up of a woman's eye. Frank hears a horse grunt and neigh throughout. End of vision.]
FRANK: He took it.
FALKNER: Why? What would he want with that?
FRANK: He fantasizes using it on her.
DUMONT: (outraged) Now, you listen to me, mister! People may get up for that kind of thing in Los Angeles or San Francisco or wherever you come from, but not around here! Now, I don't care who the hell you are -- F.B.I. or whatever -- I'm telling you right now, you are not talking to my wife!!
[With that, he storms off, leaving them behind in the barn.]
FRANK: We don't need to talk to her.
[Outside the barn, Dumont can be seen leaving the structure and walking away. The POV belonged to Sally Dumont, who has been watching from her window in her home. A bruise is visible on her forehead. She still looks shaken.]
[Thunder can be heard. A storm is building. Nearby, there is another woman with a horse. She is leading the horse into a trailer. She ties the horse and begins to stroke its mane. Frank walks up to speak with her. As he tries to introduce himself, he startles the horse.]
FRANK: Excuse me. Oh...
WOMAN: Can I help you?
FRANK: I didn't mean to startle him. My name is Frank Black.
WOMAN: I'm Claudia Vaughn. I, uh, I saw you before with the sheriff.
FRANK: You're the veterinarian? I'd like to ask you a few questions about horses.
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: Well, it's a pity you can't talk to the horses themselves, huh?
FRANK: Well, maybe you can tell me, about the other attacks.
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: You know about them?
FRANK: (nods) Mm-hmm.
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: Well, it's not barbed wire or some damn coyote like everybody around here wants to think.
FRANK: I know. He always attacks mares.
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: No, not just attacks. It's at least a dozen horses that have been killed, that I know of.
FRANK: He kills here...
[He reaches over and cups the jugular vein of the horse, running his hand along it to demonstrate.]
FRANK: ...in the jugular?
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: Yes. Do you want to catch him, Mr. Black?
FRANK: I hope so.
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: But if Sally Dumont hadn't been attacked you wouldn't be here right now, would you?
[Resentful and angry, she leaves Frank in the trailer with the horse. The horse looks at Frank. He turns to watch the vet leave, then caresses the horse's face.]
[Later, at the sheriff's office, Peter Watts has arrived and is going over the information about the horse attacks in the area for Frank, the sheriff and two of his deputies. There is a large map of the area set up on a board.]
WATTS: The red dots represent reported attacks on horses over the past 29 months -- five in this county alone. We've tracked the attacks of the past two years.
[He picks up an envelope, begins to remove its contents and places them on the table before the assembled gathering.]
WATTS: The photos were taken for insurance purposes, not for forensics, but the M.O. is identical on the kill.
[The sheriff looks at two photos showing a huge gash cut into the necks of the horses where the jugular is located.]
1st DEPUTY: Shouldn't the A.S.P.C.A. be dealing with this?
[The other deputy chuckles.]
FALKNER: Stay with us, boys.
1st DEPUTY: No offense, mister, I mean, but, this is a hell of a fuss over a misdemeanor.
FRANK: Would you prefer to wait until he's killed someone? The man we're looking for is in his early 20s to mid 30s. His work in the area makes him able to travel unnoticed.
[Falkner is reading the forensics report.]
FALKNER: Well, you had a couple of things right. 'Help' was written in human blood. There was a fingerprint -- no matches -- but it definitely wasn't Sally Dumont's. (pause) And they found semen in the stall next to where the horse was killed.
FRANK: For a few brief moments, he'd had something he's never had before -- not a horse, but a woman in his power. The possibility excited and terrified him. That's why he wrote word 'Help' -- meaning 'Help me.'
WATTS: We've learned from past experience that an event like this -- a close call -- expands his sexual fantasy.
FRANK: His only source of feeling alive is his urge for sexual pleasure. His paraphilia has now defined it. It intoxicates and terrifies him. He's standing at an abyss and he's hesitating.
[Peter Watts and Frank are on the road, driving.]
WATTS: There will be another attack -- sooner than they think. He's vulnerable now.
FRANK: He's unstable and in tremendous pain. He hasn't felt the joys yet of what he's done.
WATTS: God help us when he does.
FRANK: There's only one thing to do. I have to talk to him; reach him on a personal level.
WATTS: It's risky. It could validate him; give him a sense of empowerment.
FRANK: He's empowering himself as we speak. We can't sit back and wait for the escalation. We've got to make contact with him now. It's the precise moment. He's tormented. He feels revulsion toward himself and his acts.
[The view then shifts to the killer while Frank continues to describe him in voice over. We first see the shadow of a meat hook on a bloody wall. Then we see the killer's shadow.]
FRANK: But the revulsion he's now feeling will diminish. The cooling-off stage will end. The killer will be thinking, rationalizing. He'll be learning to accept himself, and his need.
[We watch as the killer pulls on heavy large rubber gloves that stretch to his elbows.]
FRANK: His anger and resentment will be building up again, until he has no choice but to act out his fantasies.
[We see that he is wearing a yellow rubber apron, removes from a plastic sheath, clipped to a chain around his waist, a knife which he begins to sharpen.]
FRANK: But by then, he will be much harder to catch.
[We next see the killer walking, wearing gum boots, over blood-splattered floors.]
FRANK: Because he will have had time to refine not just how he kills, but also how he escapes detection.
[Finally we see the killer walks off to go to work -- at a slaughterhouse. Some meat can be seen hanging as another man hangs several hooks as he prepares for another day's work.]
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
[Night, outside Little Fats, a western bar.]
[Inside, country music is playing, various patrons are sitting at the bar, or playing pool, and a waitress brings another mug of beer over to a table. At that table, a man, the killer, sits reading a newspaper, the 'Williston County ECHO.']
[Meanwhile, at the bar, another man, reading the same paper, comments on the front page article about the horse killer to the bartender and another patron.]
TOM: Hear about that horse freak? Says here the guy's feeling 'disgust and remorse.' It's even got an 800 number for him.
[The killer is listening to the conversation, drinking his beer and reads the following quote from the article in a caption box: ...the thought of killing is torturing him. But it's not too late... he can get help. That's why I'm here. Frank Black]
LITTLE FATS: Yeah. 1-800-PONY-RIDE.
[All three men laugh but the killer's attention is drawn to the actual phone number listed in the article. He reads: ]
------------------------------------ TALK TO ME ------------------------------------
In fact, the Sheriff's department has set up a special toll free telephone line (1-800-555-0181) in the hopes that the perpetrator will attempt to make contact.
[Several close ups of the killer's eye as he reads, thinks about, bites his nails and finally decides to call the number.]
TOM: Man says he knows what he's going through.
LITTLE FATS: I know what he's going through -- sheep, cows, horses.
[They all laugh again as the killer finishes his beer. The complete headline now can be seen: 'Hunting the Horse Killer.' Then he folds the paper, rises from the table, and heads for the pay phone.]
TOM: Sounds like this guy's got a lot of your qualities, Little Fats.
LITTLE FATS: Hey, son-of-a-bitch is just lonely, that's his problem.
[They again laugh. The killer drops a coin in the pay phone and dials the number.]
LITTLE FATS: (to the killer) Hey, Willie! What do you reckon this guy's problem is?
[The killer/Willie turns to face the bartender.]
WILLIE: Well, he's a perv, ain't he?
TOM: I guess you'd know, Willie!
[Once more they all laugh, including Willie, as he listens to the phone ring.]
RECEPTIONIST: Williston Sheriff's Office. Hello? Hello?
[Willie slams down the phone without speaking. He then takes the newspaper, crumbles it up.]
[He leaves the bar and on the way to his truck, he passes a truck filled with grunting, squealing hogs. Willie stands there for a moment looking and listening to them before going to his truck, opening the door, moving a blanket on the floor of the cab and picking up a stun gun.]
[He walks back to the hog truck, again looks at the hogs, some of their snouts can be seen sticking out from the air holes, and stands there.]
[He envisions the following: an image blurred by bright white light; something that is indistinguishable under a pig's snout; Little Fats laughing with his mouth full of food and wide open; a horse's mouth, teeth visible, seems almost as though it were smiling; another blurred image (a horse?); several images of a white horse, including close ups of the head and eye; another blurred image (a woman?); two blurred images of a woman or two different women; two close ups of a brown horse's head; another close up of the white horse's eye ending in a bright white light. He hears the sound of Little Fats laughing mixed with a horse's neighing throughout. End of vision.]
[Then Willie takes the stun gun, inserts it into an air hole and zaps one of the hogs which screams in pain. The others begin to squeal loudly, out of fear. He again inserts it into another air hole and zaps another hog. Then stands there listening to their screams.]
[The owner of the truck, hearing the commotion, comes out to investigate.]
TRUCK DRIVER: Hey! What the hell are you doing?
[As the man approaches Willie, he turns and zaps him directly in the chest. The man falls down to the ground. The hogs continue to frantically squeal as Willie realizes what he's just done. Momentarily stunned by his own action, he then looks around to see if anyone else is around.]
[Seeing no one, he again returns to his truck, puts down the stun gun, picks up his gum boots, opens a tool box and picks up his knife. He then returns to the truck driver, and drags him by the wrists off through the mud.]
[Later that night, after the body has been discovered in the woods, some officers carry it over it to the coroner's wagon. Sheriff Falkner gives Frank and Watts a rundown of what he believes happened to the dead man.]
FALKNER: The driver of the hog hauler's beaten to death. Couple of cowboys dragged him off into the woods over there...
[Three officers can be seen, flashlights in hands, searching the area where the body was found.]
FALKNER: ...kicked the life out of him and then took a knife to him. Hell, that's nothing new. Friday night at Little Fats... three or four times a year, this parking lot turns into a killing field.
[He walks off to where some other officers have dragged out the dead hogs from the truck. Frank and Watts follow.]
FALKNER: They're not satisfied with just killing the driver -- they attack the hogs too.
FRANK: You said they used a knife?
FALKNER: Yeah, they cut a bit of flesh out of him. Well, that's the only thing that doesn't figure. They got a knife but they beat the poor bastard to death?
[Frank looks at the mud tracks between the hog truck and where Willie's truck was parked.]
FRANK: These tracks move back and forward between here, the truck and the woods where the driver was dragged.
FALKNER: We got three sets: a pair of work boots that match the ones that the driver was wearing; a pair of cowboy boots; and a pair of something with a flatter sole, the tread all worn down.
WATTS: Sally Dumont said her attacker wore boots.
FRANK: Gum boots.
FALKNER: You think this is him? The tracks say we got two killers here.
WATTS: He could have incapacitated the driver and gone back to his truck to change.
FALKNER: (shakes his head) Now, with no disrespect here, gentlemen -- it was a man that was killed, not a woman; these are hogs, not horses.
FRANK: I think it's the same man. He didn't plan this attack. He killed the driver out of rage, not sexual gratification. He's finally gone over the edge. He had a helpless human lying there -- he didn't cut his throat... he kicked him to death. Why?
WATTS: The driver wasn't a woman. He was the wrong gender.
FRANK: And something else is missing. No horses. It's part of the ritual, he just didn't know it until now. He's learned how to kill. He's still working on how to enjoy his kills. He's going to keep on trying.
[Inside Little Fats, Watts is at the bar talking to the owner as Frank sits on a stool, thinking. He then gets up and looks around the bar.]
LITTLE FATS: This guy, he's some kinda freak out on the highway. He ain't a regular. What am I supposed to do, huh?
WATTS: You get a lot of people on the highway?
LITTLE FATS: Sure we do. Truckers, hunters, tourists.
[Frank sees the crumbled up newspaper that Willie had left there, and picks it up. Looking up, Frank sees the pay phone.]
[Watts walks over to fill Frank in on what's he's learned from Little Fats.]
WATTS: The bar is used by both locals and long haulers on the highway.
FRANK: He was here. I think he was about to call or he did call.
[He shows Watts the newspaper.]
WATTS: I'll have the phones checked for prints and calls made.
[Watts leaves to make the arrangements as Claudia Vaughn, the veterinarian, enters the bar.]
FRANK: Excuse me.
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: Mm-hmm?
FRANK: Can I buy you a cup of coffee?
[She sits at the bar as Frank brings over some coffee for her.
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: Thanks.
[Then sits down beside her.]
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: I read that interview you did. It sounds like you feel sorry for him.
FRANK: I feel sorry for Sally Dumont and the man who died here tonight. I'm just working to find out why he does it.
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: Why he kills horses?
FRANK: Normally, I would say that they were used as a proxy for someone he hates -- mother or father, an abusive controlling figure...
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: Normally, huh?
FRANK: I just don't think that that's the case here. I think the horses are an end to themselves. Why do you think he does it?
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: Well, for a lot of girls, their first love was a horse.
FRANK: You're saying he's jealous -- that the horses cut him off from women -- from sexual intimacy? Were any of the horses drugged?
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: No. Why?
FRANK: They just stand there and let him do this to them. They could really damage him. They could kill him with a single kick. But they just stand there.
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: It's because they're reared to trust in man. I've seen horses trapped in the killing box at the slaughterhouse. They can smell the blood and the death of the animal that was in that box before them. But despite that, they trust in man. Their executioner standing above them with a bolt gun and they look to him for help and he fires a steel bolt straight into their heads.
[Frank suddenly gets up, puts on his jacket.]
FRANK: I know why they stand still for him.
[Outside of Little Fats, Watts stands by the Sheriff's truck. Frank walks up to join them.]
FRANK: (to the sheriff) That slice of flesh he cut from the driver -- what was it like?
FALKNER: Doc said it was a deep cut, real precise.
FRANK: (to Watts) He's using a stun gun. That's how he incapacitates the horses he's going to kill. That's how he knocked out Sally and the driver.
WATTS: That's why he cut the slice out. He knew the stun would leave subcutaneous bruising. He's covering his tracks.
FRANK: He knows where the jugular vein is. He knows how to cut it. He works in a slaughterhouse. That's where we'll find him.
WINDY KNOLL FARM
WHEELOCK, NORTH DAKOTA
[Night. A woman, Mary Ann, rides her horse across a field towards a barn, dismounts and leads her horse into the barn. Willie can be seen off to one side, watching her.]
[She caresses her horse and speaks to it.]
MARY ANN: Yeah, good girl! Huh? Good girl.
[Then she undoes the strap and removes the saddle, placing it on a rail in the barn. She continues softly speaking to her horse as she leads it toward its stall.]
[Along the way, she is startled by Willie.]
MARY ANN: (gasps) Oh! You scared me.
WILLIE: I'm sorry. I was just dropping off some stuff.
MARY ANN: (nods) Mr. Burke around?
WILLIE: (shakes his head) I haven't seen him.
[She again nods as she continues toward the stall.]
MARY ANN: There you are.
[She removes the bridle as Willie walks over to the stall and watches her.]
WILLIE: I was watching you ride. You looked happy.
MARY ANN: I'm always happy when I'm riding my girl. (to the horse) Aren't I, girl?
[She kisses the horse. Willie sees this and is disturbed by it.]
WILLIE: You kissed her. You kissed the horse.
MARY ANN: She's a great horse, isn't she?
[Willie watches as the woman brushes down her horse, caressing it at each pass of the brush. Willie is getting more excited, agitated but striving to maintain control of himself.]
MARY ANN: How you doing, Willie?
WILLIE: I'm holding on.
WILLIE: I got to go.
MARY ANN: You take care.
[Willie begins to walk away but turns, stops and listens to the horse neigh, snorting and to the woman speaking -- off camera.]
MARY ANN: Bet you're hungry, aren't you?
[We again see Mary Ann with her horse in the stall. As she turns, she finds that Willie has returned. He stands before her with a bridle and a chain in his right hand. He looks angry, determined and is breathing heavily. She sees these and is frightened.]
WILLIE: A man can't fight what he is, huh?
[Meanwhile, at the Sheriff's office, Frank, Watts, the Sheriff and the deputies are still trying to narrow down their search. It's been a long day and one of the deputies yawns.]
FALKNER: (to Frank) Three- four- five slaughterhouses in the state, not counting the unlicensed backyard places. We're checking them out now. I called in help from Minot and Dickinson.
[Another deputy opens the door with a message for the Sheriff.]
DEPUTY BILLY: Jeff...
DEPUTY BILLY: We did a check on the bar phone like you asked.
[He enters the room with a tape recorder and places it on the table before Frank and Falkner.]
DEPUTY BILLY: There was a call from the bar to the 800 number we put out. Caller hung up. There's something else. We got 16 other calls. 15 of them loonies. And this one.
[He presses the 'PLAY' button on the recorder.]
RECEPTIONIST: Williston County Hotline, Sheriff's Department.
WILLIE: (hesitantly) I want to talk to Frank Black.
RECEPTIONIST: Mr. Black is not in right now. Would you like to leave a message?
WILLIE: (angry) You tell me to call and there's no one home?!
[There is a close up of the cassette in the tape recorder. It is labeled: '...800-555-0181 RECORDINGS/MARCH...']
WILLIE: (more calm) Is that my fault? If you're as smart as you say you are, if you know my mind, then tell me, Frank: Where to? What next?
[He hangs up the phone and the dial tone can be heard as Frank presses the 'STOP' button on the recorder.]
FRANK: He did it. He killed again.
[Meanwhile, back at the farm, Willie is celebrating his kills with his shirt off, outside, on his knees and covered in blood.]
[Then we can still see Willie outside as we look out from inside the barn. He is far off in the background as the dead woman, naked, suspended from the rafters in chains by her feet, appears in the foreground.]
[Willie can be seen still on his knees in the dirt, panting and grunting like an animal, crawling around in circles.]
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
[The next morning, outside the Windy Knoll Farm in Wheelock. Several sheriff's department vehicles are on the scene.]
[Inside, the camera slowly pans across the interior of the barn, showing the rafters and the chains and rope pulleys hanging down from them. It continues to pan down across the hayloft and down towards the ground.]
[There we see two of the deputies lifting Mary Ann in a body bag onto a stretcher. Frank and Watts stand near the stretcher. Falkner is holding a plastic evidence bag in his hands and fills them in on what they've found thus far.]
FALKNER: Her name is Mary Ann Wright. She had an arrangement with the farmer to keep her horse here. He called it in an hour ago.
[Frank open the plastic bag to look at the woman. It triggers a brief vision.]
[He sees: close ups of a woman's eye; a white horse's head; several very blurred images; the white horse again; a brown horse's head; a woman's face, screaming, mouth wide open, resembling a horse's mouth. Sounds of a woman's scream and a horse neighing blended together throughout. End of vision.]
FALKNER: We found this on her body.
[He has removed the contents from the bag he has been holding. He shows it to Frank. It is a blood-soaked apron -- the kind Willie uses at work at the slaughterhouse.]
FALKNER: We'll get it tested.
[He folds it up and returns it to the evidence bag.]
[Claudia Vaughn shows up at the barn and calls out to Frank.]
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: Frank.
[He, Watts and Falkner walk over to speak with Claudia. They leave behind an attendant who straps Mary Ann's body securely to the stretcher.]
[Claudia stands by one of the stalls. She wants to show them something the killer has left behind.]
[On the wall of the stall, written in blood, are the words: 'THANK YOU.']
[In the stall, the horse lies on the ground, dead.]
FRANK: How was this horse killed?
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: Just like the others. Bled to death. No mutilation.
FRANK: He had her for that. Before he killed her, before he bled her -- he strung her up. He wanted it to be like a slaughterhouse. He did to this woman what he does at work.
FALKNER: Then there's this.
[He gestures with his head for the others to follow him outside to where they have marked off with tape the area where Willie was the night before on his knees. The ground is covered with blood.]
FALKNER: There are splashes of blood all around here. We found pieces of Mary Ann's clothing thrown about.
WATTS: (to Frank) You got it right this time. He was celebrating.
[Frank looks at the blood-filled footprints on the ground and envisions Willie's celebration.]
[He sees: several images of Mary Ann screaming; Willie covered in blood, sharpening his knife; Willie's gum boot soaked in blood; Willie dancing around during his celebration; several very dark blurred images of Mary Ann, screaming with what appears to be a couple of Willie screaming as well; Willie dancing again; and finally some images of Mary Ann again, screaming, bathed in a bright white light. Sound of Mary Ann and Willie screaming, intermixed throughout. End of vision.]
[A deputy walks up to Frank with a cell phone.]
DEPUTY BILLY: Mr. Black? Call for you. I patched it through from the office.
[He hands Frank the phone.]
WILLIE: Do you know how good I feel?
FRANK: Who is this?
[Willie then can be seen on his couch at home. The view alternates between the two during their conversation.]
WILLIE: What next, Frank? Tell me, does it get any better than this?
FRANK: I know you feel rotten right now. Wish you could wake up and find this never happened.
[View then switches to Willie as he crawls off the couch to the floor on his knees.]
FRANK: Whatever humanity kept you from doing this before...
[View switches back to Frank.]
FRANK: ...whatever good -- better listen to it now.
WILLIE: (breathing heavily) All gone, Frank. All gone.
FRANK: You wouldn't be calling me if it were.
[Willie doesn't reply but he seems to be laughing to himself.]
FRANK: You got the power to stop this.
WILLIE: (shouts) I know I've got the power! It felt good what I did!
[He slams down the phone. Frank shuts off the cell phone and tosses it to Sheriff Falkner.]
FALKNER: (to the deputy) We get anything?
DEPUTY BILLY: First three digits.
FALKNER: Damn it.
[Later, traveling back with the Sheriff in his car, Frank and Claudia talk in the rear while Watts rides in front.]
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: How do you live like this? You have a wife, don't you? Or do you just wear that ring to make yourself seem normal?
FRANK: I have a family.
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: Well, how do you explain to them what you do and what you see?
FRANK: I don't.
[The Sheriff stops the car at an intersection on the road as a truck with a load of hay passes before them followed by another truck with several young horses.]
FRANK: Where are they headed?
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: Slaughterhouse.
[Frank has a quick vision: several images of young horses, foals, being killed by a bolt gun. The sound of the bolt gun can be heard along with some screams. End of vision.]
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: Yeah. They're from the P.M.U. farms. We're the only state that still has them.
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: Pregnant Mares' Urine. It's rich in estrogen -- which is the main element in hormone replacement therapy. It's also the most prescribed pharmaceutical in the United States. In North America, up to 80,000 mares are kept pregnant and their urine collected so that women can stay healthier longer. But each time a mare gets pregnant, she has a foal and the quickest way to make money off of the 80,000 foals is to kill them and sell the meat to Japan and Europe.
FALKNER: The horses that were attacked -- they were usually mares.
FRANK: How many of these farms are in this state?
[Back at the Sheriff's Office, Frank gets his answer as Falkner illustrates by using the map Watts had previously used.]
FALKNER: As far as anybody can tell, we've got about 15 farms in the west end of the state. Many of them have shut down. There were four in our area. Haverly, July '94; Redner, October '95; Borgsen, December '94; and Sandberg, January '95.
[As he reads out the names, a close up of the map can be seen, each farm is labeled and tagged and each is located near four of the red dots which Watts explained earlier as the locations of past horse attacks.]
FALKNER: Forensics... on the apron, showed human sweat and horse urine and the urine was rich in estrogen.
DEPUTY BILLY: The guy could have worked on any one of these farms.
FRANK: I think he lived on one of these farms. Part of the ritual is wearing the clothes that bring him back to that time.
WATTS: If he grew up on a P.M.U. farm, his earliest memories would have been of horses held captive, foals slaughtered -- he would have learned that that's how food was put on his table, clothes on his back.
FRANK: The farm closes, he loses his livelihood. He loses the means to gratify his impulses.
FALKNER: Frank, a lot of people work on these farms. They're decent, ordinary people.
FRANK: I'm not talking about decent, ordinary people. I'm talking about one man with a twisted mind. The first horse attack was in February '95. Which one closed nearest that?
[Watts walks over to the map.]
WATTS: Borgsen, December '94. Sandberg would have been the nearest -- January '95, one month before the first attack.
FALKNER: The phone call to you, Frank, came from prefix 774. That's this area.
[He points to the tag labeled: 'BORGSEN DECEMBER 94' on the map. Frank goes to the map and reads: ]
FRANK: (to Watts) Borgsen.
[Day, a procession of police vehicles, no sirens but all have their lights flashing. Bringing up the rear are Frank and Watts in the rented car.]
[As they arrive at the Borgsen farm, all exit their vehicles and approach the house. The Sheriff's men check the house.]
[Frank turns and looks at the barn. The Sheriff calls out to Frank from behind the barn.]
[He gestures with his head for him and Watts to join him.]
[Inside the barn is a pregnant white mare, tied off to a rail and very nervous, uncomfortable and moving around quite a bit.]
FALKNER: Pregnant. Looks like she could drop a foal any day now.
[As Frank begins to move closer to the mare, she neighs and moves again.]
[But she allows Frank to come close to her. He reaches over and caresses the horse's forehead.]
FRANK: Get Claudia Vaughn over here.
[Falkner, Watts and Frank look through the house. Other deputies are still searching through it as well. The kitchen is a mess, table filled with bottles, plates of food, tools. Frank opens a hall closet and finds... a bridle placed over a horse's hood. The bridle has the name: 'PHAETON' on it.]
FRANK: What was the name of Sally Dumont's horse?
[Frank removes the bridle and hands it to Falkner.]
FRANK: Here's her bridle. He's just started collecting trophies.
[The phone rings, Falkner answers it.]
FALKNER: It's for you, Frank.
[He hands the phone to Frank.]
WILLIE: Looks like I'm going to be needing a new mare, don't it, Frank?
FRANK: What do you want?
[The view shifts to Willie, then alternates throughout their conversation.]
WILLIE: Well, I went through all that trouble and it wasn't good enough. I mean, don't get me wrong, she was better than the horses -- but it wasn't enough! Where to now? What's next?
FRANK: What's next is it's going to get worse.
WILLIE: I- I didn't say it was bad. It was damn good. It just wasn't enough.
[Back to Frank.]
WILLIE: Maybe... I need to see a doctor.
[Willie pauses before hanging up the phone. As Frank hangs up the phone, the deputy enters the house.]
FRANK: Claudia Vaughn?
DEPUTY BILLY: Her line's busy. We'll keep trying.
[Frank looks at Watts.]
[Meanwhile, at Claudia Vaughn's house, she has just entered, removes her jacket, hangs it up and is started by Willie.]
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
[Outside Claudia Vaughn's house. One of the deputies breaks open the front door using a sledgehammer. Frank, Watts, Falkner and his men enter and search the house. Frank and Watts are unarmed but the rest all have their guns drawn as they move through the house.]
[The deputies shout 'Clear!' as they check through the rooms of the house.]
[The house is very neat and Frank stops to look at a bronze reproduction of Frederic Remington's 'Bronco Buster.']
FALKNER: (to Frank) Nothing.
[He gestures with his hand for Frank to join him.]
[On the wall is a picture-framed selection of verse which reads:
A dog starved at his Master's Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
A horse misused upon the Road
Calls to heaven for human blood.]
FRANK: 'A horse misused upon the road calls to heaven for human blood.'
[The verse which Frank reads has been smeared with blood.]
FRANK: Blake's 'Auguries of Innocence.' That's where he's taken her -- his heaven, her hell.
WATTS: (to Falkner) Any results on the slaughter- houses?
FALKNER: No, we're still checking.
FRANK: Where do they slaughter horses?
[Meanwhile, at the slaughterhouse, a row of horse meat can be seen hanging from hooks as Willie is seen pulling something up near the sides of meat. A close up shows a woman's hands, Claudia's, bound by a leather strap, being lifted up on a hook that's lodged underneath the strap. Willie is pulling a chain on a pulley to suspend her with the rest of the meat.]
[Outside, all of the vehicles that had been at the Borgsen farm have made their way to the slaughterhouse, again all are silent and have their lights flashing.]
[The officers enter the structure first, guns drawn. Watts enters with a deputy. Several live horses can be seen moving around in small pens.]
[Then there is a close up of Willie's right eye. He doesn't move, not even as a fly walks across his open eye.]
[Elsewhere in the structure, Frank is with Falkner as they hear machinery being turned on somewhere.]
FALKNER: It's from in there.
[They head towards another room.]
[Inside, several carcasses hanging on hooks suspended from the ceiling can be seen as Frank and Falkner run along the corridor toward the source of the machinery sounds.]
[Frank crouches down to look beneath the hanging sides of meat and sees Willie's feet and apron as he runs off to their right. He gestures with his hand that he'll go for the left side of the room as Falkner nods, going to the right himself.]
[Elsewhere, Watts and the deputy continue their search. A white horse is in a pen with several others and becomes very edgy, grunting and neighing, stirring up the other horses.]
[Back in the other room, Falkner finds Claudia suspended on a hook. She is alive and moaning. But before Falkner can do anything to help her, Willie stuns him from behind and knocks him out cold.]
[Willie takes a quick look behind and in front of him for anyone else, then bends down, takes Falkner's head in his left hand, a knife in his right, ready to slash the man's throat when he hears the machinery stop.]
[Frank can be seen with his thumb on the button. He continues his search and finds Falkner, face down on the ground. Frank feels for a pulse. The man lets out a low groan.]
[Frank then sees something down the line -- some of the sides of meat are swaying back and forth and as they do, he catches a glimpse of some boots.]
[He runs over and finds Claudia.]
FRANK: (whispers) Hey!
[He picks her up and lifts her off the hook, lowering her to the ground.]
FRANK: Are you all right?
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: (weakly) Yeah.
[As Frank begins to undo the leather strap binding her hands together, he notices her staring wide-eyed over his shoulder. As she gasps, he figures that Willie is behind him and he moves out of the way, avoiding the stun gun.]
[Watts shouts from elsewhere in the room.]
[Willie hesitates for a moment, unsure of what to do next, then decides to run off between the sides of meat. Frank follows after him. Watts finds the Sheriff on the ground and runs to his side, also looking for a pulse. The deputy then joins Watts.]
WATTS: Call an ambulance! Frank!
[Using his radio, he calls dispatch for help.]
DEPUTY BILLY: This is Deputy Maxwell to base. We got a man down in the slaughterhouse. Request ambulance.
[Watts continues to search and finds Claudia, still bound and lying on the ground. He helps her to her feet.]
WATTS: Come on.
[Elsewhere, Frank has lost Willie. But Willie is watching Frank. He stands hidden behind a hanging side of meat, licking it. Then he moves. As he does, Frank must have seen some movement because he runs in the same direction where Willie had been standing.]
[Frank continues searching. He moves through an area, past a plastic vertical curtain covered with blood stains and goes into the area Watts and the deputy had been in earlier, where the live horses are kept.]
[Some of the horses are agitated. Frank looks down and sees the killing box. Blood is splattered on the walls inside the very small box.]
[Frank shuts his eyes for a moment and can envision what happens to the horses when they are slaughtered.]
[He sees: a hand holding the bolt gun; a brown horse's head, its eye open wide in terror -- zoom in on the eye; then several images of what looks like an extreme close up of the steel bolt being fired into the horse's head. There is the sound of screaming throughout. End of vision.]
[Frank looks down at the horses in the pen. The white one, which was nervous earlier, seems more calm, quiet.]
[Just then Willie stuns Frank from behind. He nails him in his right shoulder blade. Frank hits the ground but he isn't knocked out. He rolls over and into the killing box, his hand still on the railing above him.]
[Willie tries to zap his hand with the stun gun again but Frank moves it away in time.]
WILLIE: Ever see a bolt gun work, Frank?
[Willie takes one out of his pocket and reaches over to use it on Frank who manages to move out of the way in time. Willie ends up shooting a steel bolt through the wooden wall of the killing box.]
WILLIE: That'll make your eyes water, won't it?
[Frank continues to scramble, trying to avoid both the stun gun in Willie's left hand and the bolt gun in his right.]
WILLIE: You're wrong about me, Frank. You think I'm a loner, a loser. Well, I'm not.
[Willie continues to taunt Frank with the stun gun.]
[Meanwhile, Deputy Billy slowly moves toward Willie, gun drawn.]
WILLIE: I've got friends! Ask anybody around here! I'm a great guy. They'll all tell you.
[The deputy's movement has caused some restlessness among the horses. Willie notices that someone is approaching.]
WILLIE: (shouts) What's one more horse, what's one more human being on the face of the earth?! It's all just meat!
[As the deputy turns a corner, Willie fires the bolt gun into his chest.]
[The horses become very agitated now, grunting, neighing, running around the pen. Frank takes the opportunity to climb out and roll out from the killing box.]
WILLIE: Some meat's useful, some meat ain't.
[Frank, still weakened from the stun, rolls over the walkway and tries to get into the the horses' pen. Willie continues after him, trying to stun him again. Frank drops down to the floor of the pen hard. Willie climbs in after him.]
WILLIE: Once you figure that out, that's when you leave your mark on this world, Frank.
[Frank tries to throw some hay in Willie's face, but misses. He runs behind the white horse.]
FRANK: You're not going to make any marks on this earth. You don't even rate a footnote.
[Willie tries to reach him with the stun gun but misses.]
FRANK: You're going to be a joke for a couple of weeks in Little Fats.
[Willie finally succeeds in zapping Frank a second time in the stomach. Frank falls backwards, knocking open the pen gate. He's not out though and continues to struggle with Willie until the bolt gun is placed directly on his forehead.]
WILLIE: You ain't gonna know 'cause you're going to be hanging from a hook!
[As he's about to fire the bolt gun, the white horse begins neighing loudly and runs towards Willie. Frank rolls out of the way as the horse goes after Willie.]
[All of the horses are stirred up and begin running into one another. Frank is crouching in a corner. None of the horses come near him but they bump and knock down Willie. The white horse stands up on his hind legs and stomps Willie several times. Willie screams, his bones can be heard breaking. Then the white horse calmly looks down on the dead man.]
[All of the horses now are calm as Frank stands, walks over to the white horse and caresses it.]
[A glorious morning, clear blue sky, patches of white clouds and a golden field. A horse and rider can be seen far off in the distance running across the field. The rider is Claudia Vaughn.]
[On the road by the field, Frank drives up in his rented car. He's on his way home. He stops to speak with Claudia.]
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: You leaving?
[Frank nods. A bruise is visible on her forehead.]
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: Another monster, I suppose, huh?
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: You ride?
CLAUDIA VAUGHN: Thought so.
[She rides off and Frank drives on.]
[fade to black]
Lance Henriksen (Frank Black)
Megan Gallagher (Catherine Black)
Terry O'Quinn (Peter Watts)
Jo Anderson (Claudia Vaughn)
Van Quattro (Killer Willie)
John Dennis Johnston (Sheriff Falkner)
Donnelly Rhodes (Peter Dumont)
Ingrid Kavelaars (Sally Dumont)
P. Adrien Dorval (Fatso)
Michael Tayles (Deputy Billy Maxwell)
J.B. Bivens (First Deputy)
Tom Bougers (Tom)
Gillian Carfra (Mary Ann)
Music by Mark Snow
Editor: Stephen Mark
Production Designer: Mark Freeborn
Director of Photography: Robert McLachlan
Associate Producer: Jon-Michael Preece
Creative Consultant: Walon Green
Consulting Producer: Ted Mann
Co-Producer: Ken Dennis
Co-Producer: Robert Moresco
Producer: Chip Johannessen
Co-Executive Producer: Frank Spotnitz
Co-Executive Producer: Ken Horton
Co-Executive Producer: John Peter Kousakis
Written by Robert Moresco & Patrick Harbinson
Directed by Winrich Kolbe
Executive Producer: Chris Carter