Written by Michael R Perry
Directed by Thomas J Wright
Edited by James Coblentz
Air date: 7 May 1999
Transcribed by Libby
[Night. A car is being driven down a rural road by a pretty young woman, Jan McCall. She's listening to music – A Perfect Day Elise, by PJ Harvey. She picks up a marijuana cigarette and lights it. She's happily driving along, smoking her cigarette and enjoying the music. Then she notices something in her rear view mirror.]
JAN: Oh, crap.
[It's a police car with a flashing light on its dashboard. She accidentally drops the cigarette on the floor and tries to retrieve it, unsuccessfully.]
[She stops the car and the police car draws up behind her. She quickly winds down the window and waves the smoke out of the car. The driver of the police car gets out and approaches. He knocks on the window with his flashlight. As Jan turns to look at him, he shines the light in her face.]
JAN: Is something wrong?
[The man doesn't answer, but slides the beam from the flashlight down Jan's body. She's wearing a low–cut blouse and shorts. On the outside of her left leg, just above the ankle, she has a tattoo, and she has rings on her toes. The flashlight illuminates the marijuana cigarette. The beam slowly travels back up her body. Jan now looks frightened.]
[Day. Outside a house. Two young girls, Alicia and a friend, are playing hopscotch on the driveway.]
ALICIA: Eight, seven, six. Five, four, three.
[She stops and bends down to pick up a stone in the '2' square. She hesitates when she hears a dog barking. A dog runs towards her, carrying something in his mouth.]
FRIEND: He's back.
[The dog runs past them towards the house.]
ALICIA: What you got, Bo? Come on, Bo!
[A woman comes out from the house. Bo has stopped in the middle of some bushes. He growls at the two girls.]
ALICIA'S MOM: Keep away from him when he's acting like that.
[She goes over to the bushes.]
ALICIA'S MOM: Yeah, Bo. What you got there?
[She crouches down, pulling the dog back a little. She sees what the dog has been trying to bury in the ground. It's a severed left foot, with rings on the toes.]
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
[A street with single storey houses, most with a white picket fence. Frank's jeep drives slowly along. Frank is driving, Hollis is with him.]
FRANK: You ever imagine you'd be coming back here as an FBI agent?
HOLLIS: Military dad. We moved just about every year. My basic assumption was I'd never come back here at all.
[She sees one house as they pass.]
HOLLIS: That's it. That's it. That was our house.
FRANK: You want to stop?
HOLLIS: No. No. I think that was the perfect amount of nostalgia for me. Actually, that's not true. I liked this place. I really did.
[She looks in the wing mirror.]
HOLLIS: So did my sister, Melissa. That was before – you know, when she was still alive.
[Now they are in the town, driving down the main street.]
HOLLIS: You know, it's hard to believe little Tommy Briggs is sheriff here now.
FRANK: You were friends?
HOLLIS: I think he had a crush on me. He broke two of my fingers.
[She holds up her right hand, her first and little fingers raised. She wiggles them, and Frank laughs.]
HOLLIS: Oh, we haven't spoken since third grade and now it's about this.
[Sheriff's office. A file with photos of the severed foot.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: So? Who is she?
HOLLIS: We don't know yet.
[It's a small office. As well as Frank, Hollis and the Sheriff Briggs is a deputy, Wayne Johnson.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: That's the whole reason I sent that foot to the Bureau. I didn't need a visit, necessarily, just an ID.
FRANK: We didn't feel it would be wise to wait.
HOLLIS: Slip scratch markings on the tibia indicate the amputation was postmortem.
[She points to one photograph.]
HOLLIS: This compression bruise and puncture wound occurred before death, from some kind of metal restraint.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: What does that mean?
HOLLIS: Highly evolved ritual. In all likelihood he's killed before.
FRANK: In his 30s. Intelligent. He's employed. And a local.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Whoa. Wait. You say he's done this before, but we've never had anything like this. Nothing. How do you know the foot didn't fall off some passing truck?
FRANK: Well, it was buried shallow enough for a dog to dig up. In our experience that means that the offender knew the area well.
DEPUTY JOHNSON: Experience? You see a lot of this?
[Hollis gives him a quick glance; Frank doesn't respond. Hollis continues.]
HOLLIS: The deceased was female, 16 to 23. Caucasian. Five–five to five–eight. Average weight. Type O positive blood. Marijuana traces were found in tissue samples. The tattoo on her ankle may be the Gator, mascot of Everglades University. It's less than a month old. She was college age, so we're polling tattoo parlours near that campus.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: So what do we do in the meantime?
FRANK: We extracted a finite amount of sand from under one of the toenails. It was a mixture of commercially quarried sand and river sediment.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Sounds like Alahela State Park.
[In the Alehela State Park, an attractive area by a lake. The Sheriff accompanied by another man, approaches Hollis.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Emma. This is Gerry Neilson. Runs the place. You've got question, he'll have the answers. Gerry, this is Emma Hollis and Frank Black.
NEILSON: Hi. I'm having a hard time with what Tom's telling me here.
HOLLIS: We'll need any records you may have. People who paid parking fees, admissions.
NEILSON: The problem is that we don't even officially open until Memorial Day, so I got nothing.
FRANK: The victim was probably by herself. The offender may have approached her here.
NIELSON: It's a very popular place.
[Frank looks up at a wooden shed built on stilts. He goes over to it and climbs the steps. The others follow, but Neilson stays at the bottom. Frank opens the door and enters. It's a basic lookout – a chair, a lifebelt. There are streaks of a dark–coloured liquid on the floor and one wall. Frank looks out through a gap in the wooden slats: a vision, a young woman – Jan – in a bikini sunbathing by the lakeside. Then Frank notices the streaks on the wall and goes over to Neilson.]
FRANK: I want this place cordoned off.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: What for?
FRANK: He watched her from here. Became aroused. There's genetic evidence.
[Hollis has also seen the stains. She leaves, pushing by Frank and Neilson who are standing in the doorway.]
HOLLIS: I learnt to swim here.
[Sheriff's office. Frank is sat at a desk, while Neilson and Hollis stand to one side.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: The FBI told me, but I didn't believe them.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: That you'd amaze me. You and your partner. I have to say, I don't like what I'm hearing, though.
HOLLIS: Welcome to the real world.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: It's not the real world. Not around here, it isn't.
FRANK: Emma, look at this.
[She goes over to Frank.]
FRANK: New listing in missing persons. Jan McCall, age 20.
[The computer screen shows a picture of three young women, sitting together, smiling.]
FRANK: Returning to Everglades University after Easter vacation in Michigan with her family.
HOLLIS: Distinguishing marks – alligator mascot tattoo, left ankle.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Damn.
FRANK: Driving a red 1975 Datsun 280Z, Michigan license 879 GMH.
[Sheriff Briggs has gone over to a filing cabinet and taken out a file which he brings over to Frank.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Found abandoned at Dewey's Market ten days ago.
[Dewey's Market – a car junkyard with cars piled three high. Dewey, accompanied by Frank, Hollis and Sheriff Briggs, walk up some steps to a shed where the abandoned car is.]
DEWEY: It came here late last week. Local expired plates didn't match the VIN.
FRANK: Was it in this condition?
DEWEY: Well, actually, we sold the battery, the radio. Took the seats out. The usual stuff.
FRANK: You need to check every car in this yard, looking back however many years, try to find mismatches between license plates and ID numbers.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Why?
FRANK: Because there may be others.
[Frank and Hollis look around the inside of the car. Frank attempts to wind up the driver's window. It sticks and he forces it. It comes up – covered in blood. Frank gets out and shines his flashlight on the outside of the window, which illuminates a fingerprint.]
[Sheriff's Office. Computer search of Sex Offenders Database on the fingerprint. The result is no match.]
FRANK: It's not a sex offender.
[He clicks on the Law Enforcement option.]
FRANK: It has to be law enforcement.
[The computer search ends with a match.]
[The record is Neilson's.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: You got something?
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Gerry?
FRANK: I'm sure we're going to get a match for the stains at the lifeguard station as well.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Yeah, well I'm not so sure. It sounds nothing like him. And, and if you're saying he killed that girl, you're barking up the wrong tree. Believe me. I know the guy.
[Later. Neilson holding a photograph of Jan.]
NEILSON: Yeah, I saw her down at the lake. She headed off south somewhere.
[He gives the photo back to Sheriff Briggs who hands it to Frank. They are talking with Neilson on the porch of his house.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Your fingerprints were on her car door, Gerry.
NEILSON: That's what this is about? She's the one?
SHERIFF BRIGGS: What did they tell you?
NEILSON: That I'm a suspect. That they want to search my house. And I've got nothing to hide, so I said fine. I saw her drinking beer down at the beach and I wanted to make sure that she could, um, still drive. So I went up to talk to her when she went to leave.
[Frank seems unimpressed with this explanation.]
NEILSON: This is crazy, Tom.
[He bangs on the window attracting the attention of Hollis and an FBI agent who are searching inside.]
NEILSON: Hey! I want it noted that I'm allowing you to search my house voluntarily.
FRANK: It's noted.
NEILSON: And I want an apology when this whole thing is over with. This is complete BS!
[Sheriff Briggs walks away and enters the house.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: He talked to the girl at her car. That's why his fingerprints are on the door.
HOLLIS: That's what he says.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: You sure you know what you're doing? You come busting in here, making allegations based on nothing.
HOLLIS: It's not nothing.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: You're ruining a man here. He's finished whether you find something or not.
HOLLIS: We'll find something.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: You'd better be right.
[He walks off. Hollis' phone rings.]
[Sheriff Briggs listens to Hollis talking on the phone, and watching FBI agents search the house.]
HOLLIS: Four? Beginning when? Send the photos to us. Thank you.
[Hollis walks over to Sheriff Briggs.]
HOLLIS: My office matched four cars in the wrecking yard to missing women. All in their 20's, all from out of state.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Four?
HOLLIS: Yeah. Over the past six years. He'd never get away with that many locals, so he preyed on outsiders.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: You don't know this guy. It's just – just not possible.
[An FBI agent comes up to them.]
AGENT: Bedroom's clean. There's nothing anywhere in the house.
HOLLIS: Check outside.
[Sheriff Briggs walks off and Hollis follows.]
[Neilson is smoking a cigarette.]
NEILSON: So what did you find?
NEILSON: Nothing. Just like I said.
FRANK: We'd like you to come down to the station with us.
NEILSON: Because you found nothing, so now I'm guilty?
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Simmer down, Gerry. Everything will be OK.
NEILSON: This is wrong! And why aren't you saying something about it!
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Look, I think whatever questions you have, you can ask here.
FRANK: No questions. We want a blood test. For a DNA match with the semen stains found at the lifeguard house.
[Briggs shakes his head. Neilson is perturbed and becomes hesitant.]
NEILSON: Uh, that – that has nothing to do with anything.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: What are you saying, Gerry?
NEILSON: Uh, look, um. In the wintertime, the girls, they're, they're all bundled up like guys. And, um, this was the first warm day of the year and the girls were wearing their summer clothes.
[He turns to look at Hollis.]
NEILSON: Are you enjoying this?
HOLLIS: No. Are you?
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Hey!
NEILSON: Look, I may live alone, but I'm a regular guy. Now, no–one saw and no–one was hurt. And I sure as hell didn't kill anybody!
[Frank looks at Hollis who walks off.]
NEILSON: Look, Tom. Tell them! Tell them I am not what they're saying!
[Sheriff Briggs seems uncomfortable.]
NEILSON: Look, I take care of people. I take care of people, especially people in my park. Check it out. Check it out! Everything has been fine. In my eight years there, there has not been one serious accident in my park. Check it out.
FRANK: Thank you for your time.
[Frank and Hollis turn to leave. Neilson turns to Briggs.]
NEILSON: That's it? Uh? That's it? You drag me through this and it's "Thank you for your time. "?
HOLLIS: Tom. We'll need you.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Sorry about this, Gerry.
NEILSON: "Sorry". That's my apology?
[Outside, Frank and Hollis are standing by Frank's jeep, when Neilson comes out of the house.]
NEILSON: Damn you people. Damn all you people!
[Frank and Hollis get into the jeep and Sheriff Briggs is about to get into his vehicle.]
[Sheriff Briggs doesn't answer and Neilson goes back into the house, slamming the door. They all drive away.]
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
[Sheriff's office. Frank and Sheriff Briggs talking in a briefing room.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. For Emma's sake. But you come storming in here and start harrassing this citizen. Based on what?
[Frank smiles slightly.]
FRANK: He did it. I don't know what you want me to tell you.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: If you really believe that, why is he out there free?
FRANK: We're watching him. He knows we're watching him. For now, it's a stalemate. Look. We're probably looking at half–a–dozen murders dating back over the same number of years. He's gone undetected until now. That speaks to the success of his MO. His attitude right now is cocky. He's certain. He knows he's covered his tracks well.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: So then, what are you looking for?
[Frank opens a file. It's stamped 'Accidental Deaths 1990–1995'.]
FRANK: Something that might have passed as an accident at the time. He's defensive about his park. If you listen to the language, he's clear. "There have been no serious accidents in my park. Check it out. " He's talking about somewhere outside his park. Possibly just near his park.
[Sheriff Briggs is listening intently.]
FRANK: Look, we're probably looking –
[Hollis comes in, interrupting them.]
HOLLIS: Victims' photos have arrived from Washington.
[She puts several files down on the table, fanning them out. Each has a photo of an attractive young woman pinned to the front.]
HOLLIS: Pretty obvious fixation. This one was first. Disappeared late summer '93. Another college–age girl passing through the state. If she was ground zero, I want to know everything about her.
[Frank picks up the photo.]
FRANK: Maybe she wasn't.
HOLLIS: Well, who, then?
[Frank puts down the photo. It's a young woman in a bar, glass in her hand, smoking a cigarette. Sheriff Briggs looks at it.]
[Police property bag. Hollis spills out the contents on to the table – hairbrush, hand mirror, car keys.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Her name was Liddy Hooper.
FRANK: There was no investigation?
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Right. She drowned. Local girl. She was – she was 24 when it happened.
[Frank and Hollis exchange a look.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: To tell you the truth, when I saw them fish her out, I wasn't that surprised.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: The girl was, uh, was very liberated, if you know what I mean. Druggie. Kind of a nut. She was – she was pretty lit up the night before we found her.
FRANK: No autopsy?
SHERIFF BRIGGS: I guess we're not as suspicious around here as people are in some other places.
HOLLIS: The manifest says her notebook should be in here.
[She point out the entry to Sheriff Briggs.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: If it's not, I don't know where it is. It's been six years. I thought you said that all the victims were from out of town, so they wouldn't be missed.
FRANK: Was Liddy Hooper missed?
[Sheriff Briggs shakes his head slightly.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: So how can you be so sure? I mean, that it wasn't an accidental drowning.
[Frank puts the file in front of him and points to the post–mortem photos.]
FRANK: The bruises on her feet are identical to Jan McCall's.
[Sheriff Briggs looks from one photo to the other.]
FRANK: We're going to need an exhumation order.
[Sheriff Briggs sighs.]
[A bath, almost full of water. Neilson turns off the tap then takes off his shirt. He drops it onto the floor alongside the rest of his clothing where there's also a piece of paper. He picks up the paper and puts it into the bath. Then, kneeling down by the side of the bath, he grips the edges and plunges his head under water.]
[Cemetery. Grave marker of Elizabeth Hooper, 1971 – 1993. The grave is being opened, watched by Frank and Hollis, and by a grim–faced Sheriff Briggs.]
[In Neilson's bathroom, he pulls his head back up, gasping for air. The paper at the bottom of the bath is a photo of Liddy Hooper. Again he plunges his head under the water, moaning.]
[In the cemetery, the coffin is hoisted up, but falls and smashes open on the ground, narrowly missing Hollis. A cemetery worker shouts to the hoist operator.]
GRAVEDIGGER: Whoa! Shut it down! Shut it down!
[Hollis pulls away part of the coffin lid. The coffin is full of earth. Frank takes a shovel and starts removing the earth. Then he turns to Sheriff Briggs.]
FRANK: What would you call this?
[Sheriff Briggs doesn't answer.]
[Sheriff's office. A notebook is put down on the table. It's embroidered with a rose and '1993'.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: One of my deputies found this sitting on the common–room table this morning.
[Hollis picks it up and opens it.]
HOLLIS: Liddy Hooper's notebook.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Gerry Neilson's name is in there. But so is mine. I know how that looks, so I'm telling you upfront.
HOLLIS: I don't suppose you'd also like to tell us why her body wasn't in that casket?
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Far as I know, she was in there when we buried her. And I don't like the implication.
[He's addressing this to Hollis.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Look, all of my cards are on the table.
FRANK: So you had a sexual relationship with Liddy Hooper?
SHERIFF BRIGGS: I wouldn't call it a relationship. And I wasn't the only one.
[Hollis gets up and walks away.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Like I said before, she – she was kind of a nut. She couldn't get enough, if you want to know the truth. I mean, look at that. She kept a list.
[Hollis has been standing with her back to the room; now she turns and looks at Briggs. Frank is looking through the notebook.]
FRANK: July 4th, 1993. Her last day on earth. What's Bar None?
SHERIFF BRIGGS: It's a roadhouse, just past city limits.
FRANK: I'm going out there. You can help Emma.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Do what?
[Frank leaves. Hollis picks up the notebook.]
HOLLIS: The names in here. I need to talk to them. All of them.
[Bar None. There are a few patrons, sitting at the bar, or at small table, or playing pool. Frank goes up to the bar and speaks to the bartender, Lana.]
LANA: What can I get you?
[Frank looks briefly around him.]
FRANK: Oh, nothing, thanks. I'd like to ask you a couple of questions about Liddy Hooper. My name is Frank Black. I'm investigating her death.
LANA: Why? She drowned six years ago.
FRANK: We think she was murdered. She was here the night she died. Anything you could remember would help. Who she was with.
LANA: Well, Liddy was never really with anyone. Well, I guess you could say she was with everybody.
[Lana looks over to a door in the far wall. Frank notices this.]
FRANK: What's back there?
[Lana unlocks the door and she and Frank go in.]
LANA: Private room. Everyone likes to feel exclusive.
FRANK: Did Liddy work this room?
LANA: Not pro, if that's what you mean. She was – I don't really know what she was. And I don't feel really right talking about her. It's just gossip. It's not like we were friends or anything.
FRANK: Who were her friends?
LANA: She had a thing for uniforms. Cops. Firemen.
FRANK: What about Gerry Neilson? The park ranger.
LANA: No. I mean, he comes by, but this isn't exactly his kind of place.
FRANK: Do you know who she left with that night?
LANA: Six years ago. I'm sorry, it could have been anyone.
[Frank looks around the room. Vision: screaming, Liddy, beer glasses.]
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
[Interview room. Liddy's book is on the table. Lee Smith, a paramedic, is being interviewed.]
SMITH: OK, so my name is in that book, along with everyone else. Including you, Tom.
[Also present is Hollis.]
SMITH: It was a long time ago. I'm a married man now. I just got my one year chip from AA, OK?
HOLLIS: Why are you talking to him?
[They both look at her.]
HOLLIS: I'm asking the questions.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: You know anything, tell her.
SMITH: That night, Liddy wanted some prescription painkillers. Migraine, she said. I got her some from the ambulance. I felt pretty bad fishing her out of the reservoir the next day.
HOLLIS: Did you have sex with her that night?
[Sheriff Briggs looks at Hollis. She's being very tough.]
SMITH: No. The way I remember, she was fooling around with pretty well everyone but me.
HOLLIS: What about Gerry Neilson, the ranger.
SMITH: What about him? I don't even remember if he was there.
[A map with an area circled on it, and marked 27.1 Mile Post. Frank is driving, then sees the mile post. He draws off the road and stops the car.]
[Interview room. Now the interviewee is Deputy Wayne Johnson.]
HOLLIS: So she drowned more than two miles upstream from where her car was found.
JOHNSON: Right. It's in my report.
HOLLIS: No, Wayne. It's not.
JOHNSON: It says right here.
HOLLIS: It says her car was found at mile marker 27.1. Which means nothing.
JOHNSON: Does to anyone from around here. Doesn't it, Tom.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Yeah. It does.
[Sheriff Briggs gets up and leaves the room.]
[Frank has gone down to the bank of the reservoir. Nearby is a dam with a bridge over it. He takes out a photo taken of Liddy's body when she was found, and looks around him.]
JOHNSON: Look, we've fished bodies out before. Seems self–evident.
HOLLIS: How? You tell me how an inebriated woman, abandoning her car and staggering two miles upstream, is self–evident.
JOHNSON: You never know what a drunk will do.
[Frank has walked some way upstream from the dam and continues his search.]
NEILSON: I knew this was going to happen. Yesterday you tell me I'm free to go, and today you're harrassing me again.
HOLLIS: We're not just talking to you, Gerry. And it's not about the girl with the tattoo. I want to ask you about Liddy Hooper.
[She puts the same photo of Liddy as she was found, in front of Neilson.]
NEILSON: She died six years ago.
HOLLIS: Her body's missing from her grave. Did you know that?
NEILSON: Why would I know that?
[Sheriff Briggs stands in the doorway, arms folded.]
HOLLIS: Just news seems to travel quickly around here.
[Neilson looks at Sheriff Briggs then back at Hollis.]
HOLLIS: Is there anything you can tell us about her?
NEILSON: I didn't know her very well. I mean, comparatively speaking.
[Again Neilson looks at Sheriff Briggs.]
HOLLIS: Really. Because you had a number of dates with her in the months before she died. Nearly every Saturday.
[Hollis reads from Liddy's notebook.]
HOLLIS: "Eight o'clock, Gerry Neilson".
NEILSON: It was eight o'clock in the morning. They were canooing lessons. It wasn't a date.
[Sheriff Briggs approaches Neilson and grabs hold of him.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: You did it, Gerry. Didn't you? You killed her, you killed all of them!
NEILSON: I didn't kill anybody.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: You whack at yourself in that little guard shed and then you head off... I believed you!
[Hollis has grabbed Sheriff Briggs and pulled him away from Neilson.]
HOLLIS: Get out of here now!
[Hollis pushes Sheriff Briggs out of the room and shuts the door. She catches her breath and turns to Neilson.]
HOLLIS: Let's continue.
NEILSON: You see what you've done? My life is ruined here! And you've no right to hold me.
[He opens the door and leaves.]
[In the woods, Frank has walked further along the bank and reaches a bridge. Vision: the bridge in monochrome, Liddy in the bar, smiling, Liddy with a man who's playing cards, Liddy's photo with drink and cigarette, the drinks glasses from the earlier vision, Liddy underwater, the bridge again, Liddy shouting "I won't tell! ".]
[Sheriff's office. Hollis enters Sheriff Briggs' office.]
HOLLIS: Don't you dare let your guilt ruin my investigation.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Hey, you blame it on that sack of crap in there. My conscience is clear.
HOLLIS: Yeah. That's why you held back her notebook.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: I gave you her notebook.
HOLLIS: Six years too late.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: I never thought Liddy was murdered! It seemed like an accident!
HOLLIS: Well, how hard did you look, huh? How hard? No autopsy. No inquiry. You looked the other way to avoid embarrassment and because Liddy Hooper was a throwaway. And that let Gerry Neilson know, loud and clear: "Hey, you want to kill someone? Just choose your victims carefully. "
[Sheriff Briggs looks stunned by this.]
HOLLIS: And here we are with zip evidence, six murders later.
[Frank has reached the bridge and goes down the side of the supporting concrete pillar on the bank. He sits down on a concrete slab and notices iron bolts in the side of the slab, each with an iron ring. He takes hold of one – it's about 10 or so inches in diameter. Vision: A woman's foot with a sling–back shoe being pushed through the ring by a man, the woman, Liddy, being pushed underwater, both feet, now without shoes, pushed through the rings, Liddy underwater again. Frank takes out the map and photo and sits, looking around him.]
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
[At the Bar None. Frank enters the bar. There are more customers than earlier. He goes over to the door to the back room. A man is standing there and Lana, the bartender, mouths a message to the man who nods and lets Frank in. There's a card game in progress and some people sitting at the bar. At one of the small side tables, Neilson is sat alone. Frank goes over and sits opposite him.]
NEILSON: Lana, the girl at the bar, she said that you were in here earlier today.
FRANK: That's right.
NEILSON: You asked her about me.
FRANK: About a lot of people.
NEILSON: And she told you that there's no way I could do what you're saying, didn't she?
FRANK: Gerry, you asked to meet me here. What do you want?
NEILSON: I want to let you know there is no way you're going to push me out of my town. [louder] And I want all of these people here to know that you found no evidence in those cars. No bodies, no nothing!
[The people sat at the bar briefly look around at Neilson's raised voice.]
NEILSON: You just keep turning people against me. [to the people at the bar] That's right.
[The people at the bar aren't interested.]
NEILSON: I'm the one who told you the truth.
FRANK: What happened? What happened to Liddy Hooper?
NEILSON: You want to know? You really want to know?
[The scene changes. A banner on the bar wall reads: Independence Day 1993. There are a lot of people in the bar.]
MAN: All right. Hey, OK! Now, ain't that beautiful, huh?
[Card players sat at a table: Sheriff Briggs, Deputy Wayne Johnson and paramedic Lee Smith. Liddy is standing by the table, next to Sheriff Briggs. They are all laughing, seeming to be slightly drunk.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: I'm betting on this.
LIDDY: Well, yeah.
[Neilson walks slowly in their direction. Another card player, Wayne Johnson, grabs Liddy's butt.]
JOHNSON: Well, this right here. That's my bet.
[Liddy smiles at him and walks away around the other side of Sheriff Briggs.]
JOHNSON: Right, Liddy?
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Lot of good that does me.
[He puts his arm around her waist and pulls her close.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: If I win – my wife's in the next room.
[They all laugh.]
JOHNSON: If you win – Liddy does Gerry!
[They all laugh at that except Liddy. Neilson does not look amused.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: I'd like to see that. I'm in.
NEILSON: Lay off her, huh?
NEILSON: I mean it, Wayne. Leave her alone.
[Johnson and Sheriff Briggs exchange a look, then both burst out laughing. Liddy doesn't seem to be reacting very much – seeming to be quite drunk – then laughs a little.]
NEILSON: That's exactly what happened and not one of them told you that. Not Tom, not Wayne, not Lee. I told you that. I told you the truth.
FRANK: You protected her.
NEILSON: You ask them.
FRANK: I believe you.
FRANK: Did you ever see her again?
NEILSON: I found her later on. She was passed out in her car on the side of the road.
[Frank slowly gets up.]
FRANK: Show me where.
FRANK: Gerry, you may be the last person that saw her alive. Come on. It's important.
[Neilson thinks, then briefly nods his head. Frank walks off and Neilson gets up and follows him.]
[At the 27.1 mile post, Frank gets out of his jeep. It's a dark night.]
FRANK: This is where her car was abandoned?
NEILSON: It wasn't abandoned when I came by. She was still in it, leaning on the steering wheel.
[Frank has gone round to the passenger side, where Neilson has opened the door.]
FRANK: She was passed out?
NEILSON: Close enough.
FRANK: What did she say?
NEILSON: Wanted to sleep it off in the car, so I left her. You can't help someone who doesn't want it.
FRANK: This is where the killer made contact with her. He saw her car stopped here.
[Frank continues as a voice–over while the scene is re–enacted. A car draws up behind Liddy's car.]
FRANK: [VO] Pulled to the side of the road.
[Liddy can be seen, slumped over the steering wheel, then sitting back.]
FRANK: [VO] Probably watched her a long time, not sure at first what he was going to do. Just thinking how vulnerable she was.
[A car door is opened. Liddy is resting her head against the car seat, asleep. The man has approached the car and shines a light in through the driver's closed window.]
NEILSON: [VO] Nothing around for miles.
[Liddy is woken by the light and turns her head, squinting into the bright light.]
NEILSON: [VO] He must have figured out that he could do whatever he wanted.
[Liddy holds up a hand to shield her from the light.]
NEILSON: [VO] Anything at all.
[The car door is opened.]
[Present time. Neilson lights a cigarette.]
FRANK: No–one here to stop him.
NEILSON: So he killed her.
FRANK: No. That's not what he wanted.
NEILSON: What, then?
FRANK: I can show you.
[Frank shuts the passenger door.]
[Sheriff's office. Hollis is sat at a desk, making notes. Sheriff Briggs comes in.]
HOLLIS: I've got a list of interviews I'd like to do tomorrow. I'd like to do them in this order.
[She pushes a piece of paper towards Sheriff Briggs.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Look, Emma.
[Hollis signals that she doesn't want to discuss it.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Hey. I should have ordered an autopsy on Liddy Hooper. No question about it.
[He sits on the edge of the desk.]
SHERIFF BRIGGS: But I keep asking myself, did I think it was a drowning? And the answer is yes. I mean, you come blasting in here and you see all kinds of things that I missed. OK, you were always the smart one, but – but you don't know everything. Not if you think this was some kind of cover–up.
[Hollis pauses for thought.]
HOLLIS: I don't think it was a cover–up. It's not that. [sighs] You've got to understand, South Mills was home.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: But you only lived here two years.
HOLLIS: I know. I mean, it was the last good place. A year after we moved away, my sister Melissa was murdered.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: I'm sorry.
HOLLIS: You know, coming back here, this crime – I'm just angry that it's no different here than what I see everywhere else.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Do you like what you do?
HOLLIS: What do you mean?
SHERIFF BRIGGS: Just seems like kind of an odd life. Lonely.
HOLLIS: It could be, I guess, but I do have kind of a partner.
SHERIFF BRIGGS: This guy Frank?
HOLLIS: He's taught me so much. You know, what I've learned from him, what I see. It's just: "How do I feel about it? " and "Do I like what I do? " really isn't that important.
[Frank and Neilson have reached the concrete bridge support and the slab with the two iron rings.]
FRANK: This is it.
[Frank shines the flashlight around.]
FRANK: This is where he drowned her. He passed these rings many times before. Thought about them. He knew just what he was doing.
[Neilson seems nervous.]
[Crime scene re–enactment. Liddy, screaming, her feet being forced into the rings. Her head being forced into the water. Then coming up and yelling.]
LIDDY: I won't tell! I won't tell! I promise! I won't tell!
[Her head is forced into the water again. Neilson undoes his belt buckle. Liddy stops struggling and drowns.]
FRANK: She would have. She would have told.
[Neilson stares at the rings.]
NEILSON: He must have hated her.
FRANK: Maybe. Maybe he was angry at her. For what she allowed herself to become.
[Frank moves closer to Neilson.]
FRANK: You know, there's something I still don't understand. Maybe you could help me.
FRANK: He mutilated the last victim. Cut off her foot. He carefully disposed of four previous victims. Then he left a foot, for everybody to find. Why would he do that?
[Neilson doesn't immediately respond, he's getting distressed. He walks slowly over to the rings and crouches down, looking at them.]
FRANK: After Liddy, I think he waited for them to come and get him. He thought that every knock on the door was the sheriff. But he never came. And one day he realised that they weren't going to come. So he went on to do it again. And again.
NEILSON: And they could have stopped him. And they had a chance, but they didn't do anything.
FRANK: I think he wanted them to know what he had done. What he carried around inside. Because they never stopped him. Show them, Gerry. Show them where the bodies are.
[Neilson doesn't respond.]
FRANK: You know, you called me. You asked me to meet you at the bar. We can do it together. So they know. Where are the bodies, Gerry.
[Neilson, almost crying, looks up at Frank.]
[Day. Headstone: Elizabeth Liddy Hooper. A minister reads the burial rites.]
MINISTER: Into the ground we commend the earthly remains of Elizabeth Liddy Hooper. A child of God whom we did not love as you have asked during her short time on earth.
[A dozen people are gathered around the coffin.]
MINISTER: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
[The people join in the prayer.]
ALL: Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread.
[In the car nearby, Frank and Hollis listen.]
HOLLIS: I know this town never was what I thought it was, or what the people here thought, but you know what it's like when you show up at some vacation spot that was sunny and suddenly it starts to rain, and you feel like you brought the bad weather with you?
FRANK: Do I know what that feels like? [laughs] Oh, yeah. [serious] Oh, yeah.
[Brief pause for thought, then Frank turns on the car engine and drives down the pleasant main street and away.]
[fade to black]
Lance Henriksen (Frank Black)
Klea Scott (Emma Hollis)
Ted Marcoux (Jerry Neilson)
David Barrera (Sheriff Tommy Briggs)
April Telek (Liddy Hooper)
Jenn Griffin (Lana)
Lisa Marie Caruk (Jan McCall)
Jim Shield (Lee Smith)
Blake Stovin (Deputy Wayne Johnson)
Ron Small (Ron Hauge)
Ian Brown (Minister)
Paul Chevreau (Gravedigger)
Madeleine Campbell (Cora)
Kaitlyn Burke (Alicia)
Linnea Sharples (Alicia's Mom)
R. David Stephens (Agent)
Tonja Kahlens (Dawn)
Music by Mark Snow
Editor: James Coblentz
Production Designer: Mark Freeborn
Director of Photography: Robert McLachlan
Executive Story Editors: Kay Reindl and Erin Maher
Production Manager: Kathy Gilroy–Sereda
Co–Producer: Patrick Harbinson
Co–Producer: Kathy Gilroy–Sereda
Co–Producer: Paul Rabwin
Producer: Michael R Perry
Producer: Thomas J Wright
Supervising Producer: Marjorie David
Co–Executive Producer: Frank Spotnitz
Co–Executive Producer: Ken Horton
Co–Executive Producer: John Peter Kousakis
Written by Michael R Perry
Directed by Thomas J Wright
Executive Producer: Chip Johannessen
Executive Producer: Chris Carter