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Blood Relatives

[MLM-106 (4C06)]

Written by Chip Johannessen

Directed by James Charleston

U.S. Air Date: December 06, 1996

[Transcribed by Maria Vitale

Edited by Libby]

[Outside of a church where memorial services for a young man have just concluded.]



[it is night and a young man is seen walking towards the church as people begin leaving. He enters the viewing room where the casket is located, as the last remaining friends of the deceased exit past him. He picks up the memorial notice, opens and reads the following: ]



Survived by his loving mother Geraldine, father Charles, and sister Greer and many school friends and team mates from the football team. Jeffrey was a freshman at W.S.U.

Born: November 12th, 1976 Seattle, Washington

[A young woman enters the room.]

GREER: Thank you for coming. I'm Greer, Jeff's sister.

MAN/RAY: Ray Bell. I was a friend of your brother's at W.S.U.

GREER: You just missed your classmates.

MAN/RAY: Oh, I ran into 'em. We're going to be getting together later. I- I just can't imagine the gang without Jeff.

GREER: Yeah, he was always talking about his college friends.

MAN/RAY: He, he was always telling us about his family.

GREER: Really?

MAN/RAY: Yeah.

GREER: It would be really nice for my mother to hear that right now. (She gets emotional.) She's kind of falling apart.

MAN/RAY: Of course.

[The girl wipes a tear away and goes to find her mother to introduce her to the young man.]

[The man stands at the open casket and looks at the deceased.]

[A woman can be heard sobbing behind him. He turns to meets the girl's mother.]

GREER: Mom? This is Ray Bell. He's a good friend of Jeff's from college.

[They shake hands.]

MAN/RAY: Mrs. Cort, I was just telling Greer how devoted Jeff was to all of you.

[The woman breaks down in tears and embraces the young man. He tries to comfort her.]

MAN/RAY: It's okay. It's okay. It's okay. It's okay.

[A little later on, the funeral director enters to find Mrs. Cort sitting alone with her dead son.]

DIRECTOR: I hate to do this to you. It'll be a beautiful ceremony tomorrow. Why not go home now and get some rest?

[He helps her with her coat and she leaves.]

[she's holding a calla lily as she walks past some headstones in the cemetery. She stands at the foot of the open grave where her son will be buried and tosses the flower into the hole. She looks around her at the deserted cemetery. All is silent except for an owl and some crickets.]

[suddenly, someone hiding in the grave grabs her feet and she is dragged screaming and clawing into the hole.]

[fade to black]

[main titles]

"This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign shall be given to it..."

Luke 11:29

[polaroid fade up]


[Outside, it's raining. Inside, Catherine gets off an elevator. Bletcher is there to meet her.]

BLETCHER: Thanks for getting here so fast.

CATHERINE: I hope I can help.

[He hands her a file as they walk together through the squad room.]

BLETCHER: You and me both. Son died three days ago in a car crash. The mother was found murdered after the kid's wake.

[she opens and looks through the file while still walking.]

BLETCHER: Can't get the father to stop yelling long enough to find out if he knows anything.

CATHERINE: Think what he's going through. Anger is a very appropriate response.

BLETCHER: Yeah, just not very helpful.

[They finally reach Bletcher's office.]

BLETCHER: Look, uh, Catherine, I know I've been skeptical about Victim Services in the past, but...

CATHERINE: I'll see what I can do.

[bletcher leaves and she goes to an interrogation room where Mr. Cort and his daughter Greer are waiting. And growing more and more impatient.]

MR. CORT: Who are you now?

CATHERINE: I'm Catherine Black from Victim Assistance.

MR. CORT: What, a counselor?

CATHERINE: That's part of what I do.

[she enters and closes the door behind her.]

MR. CORT: Get that lieutenant back here.


MR. CORT: Get him. Now!!

CATHERINE: Lt. Bletcher asked me to talk with you. He thought it might help.

MR. CORT: I don't need help. I need to see my wife.

CATHERINE: You haven't claimed the body?

MR. CORT: Don't they tell you anything?

GREER: Dad, please!

MR. CORT: Your mother's body is not government property.

CATHERINE: Mr. Cort, you're absolutely right. But when a crime like this occurs, the victim is considered evidence. Unfortunately, some people actually think about her that way.

MR. CORT: We were married for 27 years. They won't even let me see her.

[Catherine heads back to Bletcher's office to speak with him.]

CATHERINE: You've got to let him see his wife.

BLETCHER: (sighs) I'm not jerking him around here. She was cut up - viciously. All the evidence is under wraps until I get my game plan in order.

CATHERINE: It won't be real to him until he sees the body.

BLETCHER: I seriously doubt that that's the way he wants to remember his wife.

CATHERINE: Then don't expect his cooperation. It would help to have him on your side.

BLETCHER: Oh, I could definitely stand to have someone on my side.

[sensing his frustration, Catherine adds: ]

CATHERINE: Maybe someone else should have picked up the phone when you called our house this morning.

[Forest Glen Cemetery. Frank, Bletcher and Giebelhouse walk to the open grave's edge to view the crime scene. The area has been cordoned off with police yellow tags. A ladder is standing in the grave.]

BLETCHER: The coroner wanted the woman out of here before the bugs got any worse.

FRANK: Peter Watts is taking a look at her.

[Frank climbs down into the grave.]

BLETCHER: Made quite a few footprint castings. Mostly grave diggers. It'll take a while to sort them all out.

[Frank bends to take a close look at the ground. Chalk lines are visible on the ground.]

BLETCHER: The body was covered with a fair amount of soil and organic matter. Hair and Fiber bagged some samples.

GIEBELHOUSE: 50-year-old woman standing at her son's grave. Hurts just to think about it.

[Frank spots something in the dirt. He digs up the flower the woman had been holding when she was attacked.]

FRANK: Calla lily.

BLETCHER: She brought it here.

[it triggers a vision for Frank. He sees a man's hand with something, a razor, a knife, slashing, stabbing the woman through plastic. He sees the woman's face, drenched in white light, screaming.]

[Peter Watts arrives.]

WATTS: Frank.

[He steps up the edge of the grave site. Frank looks up but the vision isn't over yet. He sees the killer standing where Watts is, tossing the calla lily down on his victim in the grave, where Frank is now crouching. He also sees the woman's arms, reaching up, trying to escape. And more screams.]

WATTS: Nothing very useful off the body. Looks like she didn't have time to put up much of

a struggle.

[Frank has climbed out of the grave and joins the others. They continue talking about the case as they walk past headstones through the cemetery towards the church to speak with the husband and daughter of the victim.]

FRANK: What about the son?

BLETCHER: Run-of-the-mill tragedy. Star running back celebrates big win with a blood alcohol of .27. Hits a tree at 60 miles an hour.

FRANK: Anyone else in the car?

BLETCHER: No, he was solo. Look, I don't think the son's in the picture. It's a woman in a secluded place, at night, massive overkill. That says random crime of opportunity. That's why I asked you in, Frank.

[Frank stops walking.]

FRANK: He knew who she was.

BLETCHER: Not many housewives make that kind of enemy.

FRANK: It's not about her. Killer's rage is directed towards someone else.

WATTS: I agree. The stab wounds were brutal but impersonal, clustered well away from her face.

GIEBELHOUSE: So he knew who she was, but it wasn't about her? And he sliced her up, but it wasn't directed at her?

[bletcher shoots a stare at the detective.]

GIEBELHOUSE: Hey, I'm just trying to keep up.

[Watts smiles at Frank but he's still focused on the case.]

BLETCHER: Do you want to see the woman's body?

FRANK: No. The boy's.

[Frank continues walking towards the church while Bletcher looks puzzled.]

[inside the church, the funeral director is speaking with the family.]

DIRECTOR: I understand, Mr. Cort and we'll make all the arrangements.

MR. CORT: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

[bletcher and Frank approach the Cort family. Father and daughter are seated in the front row. Mr. Cort gets upset at the mere sight of Bletcher. Frank stands behind them.]

DIRECTOR: Mr. Cort has decided to bury Jeff back east, by his grandparents.

MR. CORT: (To Bletcher) Or do you have some claim on him too?

BLETCHER: Mr. Cort, Greer. I'm sorry we got off to such a bad start. I'd like you to meet Frank Black.

[Frank sits down behind them.]

BLETCHER: He's a special consultant on your case.

FRANK: I'm very sorry about your loss.

MR. CORT: We just want to find who did this to my wife.

FRANK: I'd like to talk to you about that when you're ready.

[Mr. Cort looks to his daughter, who's in tears and decides that the time is now.]

MR. CORT: We're ready now.

FRANK: I understand quite a few people came by yesterday to pay their respects.

MR. CORT: Yeah. Jeff was loved.

FRANK: Were there any strangers? People you didn't know?

MR. CORT: Group of his college friends came -

GREER: Dad, after they left there was this other guy from W.S.U., um, Ray Bell.

MR. CORT: I never heard of him.

[bletcher makes a note of the name.]

GREER: I introduced him to mom.

[she starts crying again.]

[The boy's coffin is brought into the room. The lid is opened so that Frank make take a look at the body. Frank stands near the coffin, at the boy's head.]

FRANK: This stranger - was he standing close to your brother?

GREER: (Nods.) At one point.

FRANK: Can you show me?

[she walks over to the coffin, standing near the middle section.]

GREER: Like this maybe.

[she becomes uncomfortable and tries to move away but Frank grabs her arm gently.]

FRANK: I know this is difficult but we're looking for something that's changed - something that wasn't here before or something missing.

[The camera pans across the boy's body up to his face.]

GREER: His pin. Someone stole his team pin.



[The same young man, aka Ray Bell, is in his room at the halfway house where he lives. He's looking at the contents of a cigar box strewn with various items: an ornate pocket watch, a neck-tie clip, cufflinks and, the dead boy's football team pin.]

[He picks up and looks at the pin as the door to his room opens. The center's trustee stands at the open doorway.]

TRUSTEE: You blew curfew last night.

[The young man ignores him. He fastens the pin to his sweatshirt.]


MAN: Does anyone around here ever knock?

TRUSTEE: Did you hear what I said?

MAN: Yeah, I'm sorry.

TRUSTEE: Yeah, you're always sorry. Who puts his butt on the line and checks you in, huh?

MAN: You do.

TRUSTEE: Who takes care of you?

MAN: I know. Look, I got hungry. I headed out.

[The trustee grabs the young man by his chin.]

TRUSTEE: You think I don't know what you're up to? You think it's not obvious, huh?

[The young man slaps the Trustee's hand away.]

MAN: Let go!

[Pointing to the football pin on his shirt.]

TRUSTEE: What's this? Where did this come from?

MAN: Someone gave it to me.

[The young man tries to walk away from the trustee.]

TRUSTEE: Nobody gave you anything. What are you even after out there? Do you ever even think of that? You're in bed tonight at lights-out or else. I'm not covering for you any more.

[The Black residence. The Black bedroom. Catherine is reading Jordan a bedtime story, 'Gator Roams from Home.']

CATHERINE: 'So it's nice to go far and it's nice to go wide, '

[Frank enters the bedroom.]

CATHERINE: 'But when gators are biting, you need someplace to hide. '

[Catherine looks up and sees Frank, as does the family dog, Ben, who lets out a small whimper and goes to greet him.]

CATHERINE: 'So whatever you do, girl, wherever you roam, your family still loves you.'

[Jordan is fast asleep.]

CATHERINE: 'You can always go home.' (smiles at Frank) She wanted to wait up for you.

[Frank carries Jordan down the stairs to her bedroom as he and Catherine talk about the case.]

FRANK: How's the Cort family holding up?

CATHERINE: (sighs) Oh, I don't know how to help them understand this. Son dead. Mom butchered. Like Job.

FRANK: Job endured.

CATHERINE: I'm expecting a collapse after they see the mother tomorrow. Anything I can tell them?

FRANK: Tell them we're still looking.

[They get to the bedroom, pull back the covers and Frank puts Jordan down.]

CATHERINE: Frank, I don't want to add to the pressure on you.

FRANK: You're not. Comes from the outside - the depravity. You two make it possible to go on.

[He tucks Jordan in but they then find out she's half-awake.]

JORDAN: Hi, Daddy.

FRANK: Hi, sweetheart.

[He kisses her on the forehead.]

JORDAN: What's -pravity?

[Neither of them can answer her.]

[The halfway center, late at night. The young man is in his room with a small flashlight and he's reading the obituary notices in the newspaper.]

[fade to black]

[polaroid fade up]

[The police station. Frank, Bletcher and Giebelhouse are looking over the Birth and Death Notices page of the Seattle Evening Post.]

[Frank points to a notice.]

FRANK: This is the obituary of the boy who died. It appeared two days ago.

[He points to another page from the same paper. It has an article about a fisherman named Ray Bell. The headline reads: 'Ray Bell Sets Record at Sammamish.']

FRANK: Here's Ray Bell.

BLETCHER: So he read the kid's obituary.

FRANK: It's his starting point. He's done it before.

GIEBELHOUSE: You mean he just picks one out of the paper and shows up?

BLETCHER: Why would anybody go to a funeral they didn't have to?

GIEBELHOUSE: Watch people suffer.

FRANK: He didn't watch, he participated.

BLETCHER: You got this from reading one obituary?

FRANK: Not the obituary. The lapel pin.

BLETCHER: What about the lapel pin?

FRANK: He takes souvenirs from each funeral. His performance with the mother was rehearsed. Skillful, honed by repetition.

BLETCHER: Frank, if anything ended like this last night, we'd have heard about it.

FRANK: Last night he crossed the line into murderous violence, possibly for the first time. Next time will be easier for him.

[Outside the Kohlman Funeral Home. Mourners are leaving another service. The young man is with them, walks up to a car and gets in. A young woman stares him as she too gets into a car. Their destination: the family home where the wake will be held.]

[At the wake, the young man walks up a flight of stairs to the bedrooms. He finds the deceased's room. Inside are various trophies for different sports. He slowly, carefully tries to open the top dresser drawer, looking for another 'trophy' to add to his collection.]

[The bedroom door opens slowly. It is the young woman who was staring at him earlier. The door creaks and the young man carefully shuts the drawer without drawing attention to himself. To further mask his actions, he starts to cry, pretending to be overcome with grief. It works.]

WOMAN: Oh, I- I'm sorry for intruding. I- I thought, uh, I don't know what I thought. Are you okay? Oh, right, it's a stupid question, um.

[The young man walks over and sits on the bed. She walks to him and introduces herself. He stops crying.]

WOMAN: I'm Tina. Um, David and I were friends at college.

[They shake hands.]


TINA: So I guess you knew David from around here, huh?

MAN/ERIC: Since the fourth grade.

TINA: Oh! Oh, you got to tell me what he was like as a kid.

MAN/ERIC: He, uh. (Begins crying again.)

TINA: Are you - are you really okay?

MAN/ERIC: Oh, when they say it hurts they - they really mean it.

TINA: Yeah, yeah. It's actual pain. It's like you've been stabbed or something.

MAN/ERIC: I think this house is getting to me.

[He stands up.]

TINA: Too many memories.

MAN/ERIC: Yeah, I'd better go.

TINA: Will you need a lift? Um, I- I was leaving soon anyway and, and the truth is I'm driving his mother crazy just being here, so...

[They both laugh.]

MAN/ERIC: I could show you where, uh, David and I went fishing when we were kids.

TINA: David fishing? No way.

[A riverbank. 'Eric' is skipping stones on the surface. Tina tries also but hers never skip, they only sink.]

MAN/ERIC: Oh, man! David could skip anything. You know, I remember one time we found this...

[Tina begins crying.]

MAN/ERIC: Tina? Oh, I'm- I'm sorry. I- I shouldn't have.

TINA: I can't believe that he's gone.

['Eric' embraces her, trying to comfort her.]

MAN/ERIC: It's okay. It's okay.

[He strokes her hair.]

MAN/ERIC: It's okay.

[He continues to stroke her hair. He must be holding her too closely because she senses that something doesn't feel right.]

TINA: Eric?

MAN/ERIC: It's okay.

TINA: Eric? Eric!

[she pulls away from him, staring at him.]

MAN/ERIC: I'm sorry, I, I'll leave you alone for a little bit. I...

[He walks away from her and towards the car, leaving her by the water's edge to regain her composure.]

[she crouches down, picks up a stone and throws it into the water. As she stands up she's pushed into the water from behind. She turns and faces her attacker. As she tries to scream she is stabbed. Blood comes out of her mouth as she loses consciousness.]

[same location. The police are on the scene. A man is giving a statement to Bletcher and Giebelhouse as Frank drives up in his Jeep. There is a lot of background conversation. Bits and pieces are audible.]

MAN: I was across the river in the shallows, when I heard a splash, I rushed over. Some colored gentleman caught a rainbow this big (gestures with his hands) just a few days back, so I figured maybe I was due.

[The coroner is already there, the stretcher has been prepared. Police radio transmission can also be heard in the background. Several local area law-enforcement officers are near the dead woman's body which is face down in the shallow water's edge. They turn her over and carry her to the shore. They place her on a board.]

2ND MAN: We've already got a call into a chopper, it's on its way.

[They get the woman over to the stretcher. Peter Watts is also on the scene.]

3RD MAN: I made a cast, Dick. Want to see it?

[Frank, Bletcher and Watts step over to the body. Her blouse has slash marks across it. Frank peels back the ends of the blouse to reveal a message carved into her abdomen.]


4TH MAN: I got some impressions over here. Take a look.

BLETCHER: Does he mean us?

[Frank and Watts look at one another. Frank looks at the woman's face. Her cheeks and forehead are covered with cuts. Frank envisions the attack. He hears her screams and sees her being stabbed in the water. He also sees her drenched in a white light. He has two such visions.]

[When they end, he gently touches the young woman's head. He senses that there is something out in the water still. He walks towards the edge of the bank, removes his jacket, tosses it over to Watts and wades into the water.]

[He reaches into the water to search the bottom, until he finds a hair clip in the shape of a bow, belonging to the dead girl.]

[Later, at the police station, Watts runs through what they've been able to learn from the bow. An overhead projector shows a picture of the hair bow.]

WATTS: We found two quality partials, the same index finger. Ester fuming developed the latent images which we composited into a single print. We're expediting it through AFIS.

GIEBELHOUSE: That bow was under water.

WATTS: We've lifted prints off bones buried fifty years.

[The phone rings.]

BLETCHER: Detective Bletcher.

[Watts speaks to Frank privately.]

WATTS: Communication - what is he trying to tell us?

FRANK: I don't know, but there's a message on the first body.

WATTS: They checked, there was nothing.

FRANK: The carving was too elaborate for first time out.

[He shows Watts photos of the second victim. They show the words: 'STOP LOOKING' - the 'S' in 'STOP' is drawn at with sharp distinct angles.]

FRANK: The acute angle of the 'S'. He's thought about it.

WATTS: Between the stab wounds and the autopsy, if there was a message, it may be gone.

FRANK: It's there, maybe done hastily - even an afterthought.

WATTS: I'll take a look.

[Watts leaves as Bletcher finishes with the phone call.]

BLETCHER: Great. Good work. (Hangs up the phone) I think we got a hit. James Dickerson. Paroled to the Diebstahl Group Home. It's a remand center for paroled convicts.

FRANK: What was he in for?

BLETCHER: Juvenile. Record's sealed.

[The group home. Connor, the trustee, storms into James Dickerson's room. James is the young man seen earlier, a.k.a. Ray, Eric.]

CONNOR: Get up! Get up, get up, get up!

JAMES: What, Connor? What are you doing, man?

CONNOR: You went too far this time, man!

[He looks through the window blinds. James gets out of bed to do the same. Outside are a number of police cars, with lights flashing.]

JAMES: This is insane.

CONNOR: I don't want to hear it, man, because then I'm an accomplice and they got me by the lips.

[He gestures for James to leave. The young man grabs some clothes off the bed and does so.]

[Outside, Bletcher is pounding on the door. Frank and several officers are waiting for someone to answer.]

CONNOR: (Shouting from upstairs) Hang on, I'm coming!

[A roster of the parolees who are living at the center is visible. It reads as follows: ]














[bletcher continues to pound. Connor finally comes downstairs.]

CONNOR: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!

BLETCHER: Open up. Police.

CONNOR: (Fumbles with keys.) Yeah, just a second. Just a second.

BLETCHER: Come on, open up!

[He continues to fumble with the keys, buying James time to get away.]

BLETCHER: Come on!

CONNOR: Just a second, I'm getting it.

FRANK: (To Bletcher) He's getting away.

BLETCHER: (To Connor) Move back from the door. (To the officers standing behind him) In on three.

CONNOR: I can't let anybody in or out after eight. Please, let me call the director.


[The officers use a battering ram to break open the door.]

BLETCHER: Dickerson, James Dickerson!

CONNOR: (Raises his hands.) Room three upstairs! Don't want any trouble!

MAN: You guys take the ground floor.

2ND MAN: Got it!

[The officers spread out and search the center. Bletcher, Giebelhouse and other officers head upstairs. The other parolees come out of their rooms to see what's happening.]

BLETCHER: All of you, back in your rooms.

[They reach Dickerson's room. Bletcher turns and holds the knob as Giebelhouse gets ready to kick it open.]


[The door is kicked open and they enter, looking around the empty room. The window is open, the blind is down.]

[Meanwhile, Frank stands at the head of some stairs leading to the basement. The sound of a cricket can be heard indicating that there must be an open window there. Frank goes down to investigate. He turns on a light and finds a partially open window. Connor appears.]

CONNOR: That goes to the alley.

[Frank turns to stare at him. Bletcher comes down the stairs.]

BLETCHER: I think he's gone.

[Frank pulls the window fully open to show Bletcher how the young man escaped.]

[fade to black]

[polaroid fade up]


[Giebelhouse is looking at a sign on the wall at the group home. It reads: 'No road Is Long With A Family By Your Side.']

GIEBELHOUSE: You scrape together 250 for a house. Spend your weekends trying to keep up with repairs. You got to wonder how the dozen convicts next door qualifies as a single-family residence.

CONNOR: Here's the bed-check.

[He hands Bletcher a clipboard.]

BLETCHER: He was here five minutes before we were.

CONNOR: So can I ask what he did?

BLETCHER: You can ask.

CONNOR: Must be pretty bad. You don't go storming the place over parking tickets.

BLETCHER: That's right.

CONNOR: Between you and me, James isn't programming. I think he's got a lot of anger.

FRANK: And what do you do about that?

CONNOR: Not much you can do. Ever heard of denial? 'I don't have the problem. You have the problem.' That's James.

[Frank looks around the room.]

BLETCHER: So, according to this, uh, bed-check, James is all tucked in every night this week?

CONNOR: Tucked in? Sure.

[Frank sees another sign on a wall.]

BLETCHER: You saying maybe he slips out?

[it reads as follows: Never. Never. Never . Never stop trying . Never stop feeling . Never stop looking . Never stop healing . Never stop believing . Never stop learning]

CONNOR: Anything's possible with that nut case.

[Frank focuses on the 'Never stop looking' line.]

BLETCHER: So, help us out here, Connor. Good deed time.

CONNOR: Okay, um, I don't go skeezing guys out.

[Frank turns his attention back to Connor.]

CONNOR: That's not me, but...

BLETCHER: Yeah... ?

[Connor shows them a hiding place behind a baseboard in Dickerson's room. Bletcher prises it open with a screwdriver. He's wearing rubber gloves. Behind the board he find several journals and the cigar box. He opens it, looks inside, then hands the box to Frank.]

BLETCHER: (To Connor) How'd you know about this?

CONNOR: Some junkie thief that we bounced out of here last year, hid his fix in there.

[Frank looks through the contents of the box. He is also wearing rubber gloves. Among the items he finds Jeffrey Cort's football pin. He picks it up and looks at Bletcher.]

CONNOR: I figure maybe James heard about it. I told ya, I'm here to help.

[The police station. A phone is ringing in the background. There is a board with a dozen crime scene photos that Frank is examining. Giebelhouse and Catherine are also present.]

BLETCHER: So, what he have here is a guy that goes to funerals for fun and kills people.

GIEBELHOUSE: Plus carves them up.

BLETCHER: (To Catherine) Does Social Service have a name for that?

CATHERINE: (Leafing through Dickerson's file) He's a classic lost child. And there's an army of them just like him.

[Frank starts to look at some things. First, some mail.]

CATHERINE: Put up for adoption at one and a half. Never placed.

[Then two of the crime scene photos showing the words: 'STOP LOOKING' carved into the woman's abdomen.]

CATHERINE: In and out of foster care, reform school, abuse. He essentially raised himself.

BLETCHER: Then he didn't do a very good job.

CATHERINE: They never do. No one showed him how to connect with the world. Odd as this may sound, going to funerals is his attempt.

GIEBELHOUSE: Attempt at what?

CATHERINE: Finding human contact. Family.

GIEBELHOUSE: Family? Please!

CATHERINE: Read his diary.

[Frank looks through a bundle of cards and letters, one at a time.]

CATHERINE: Decide for yourself, but I'm telling you, at some level, he wants what we all have.

GIEBELHOUSE: He wants to destroy what we have.

BLETCHER: I read once the first two weeks of a kitten's life seal its fate. If it has human contact, it's domestic. If it doesn't, it goes feral.

[Catherine gives up and walks over to join Frank.]

CATHERINE: Tough room.

FRANK: Do you make anything of these? All 'Return to Sender.'

[He hands her a number of envelopes. The bundle is bound by a rubber band. The face of several of them are shown. The addressee is: Peggy Dechant 4201 Glenmuir Dr. Redmond, Wa. 98052. The addresser is: James Dickerson 8611 Grand Rd. Seattle, Wa. 98020]

CATHERINE: Peggy Dechant.

BLETCHER: What have you got?

[Catherine checks Dickerson's file.]

CATHERINE: His mother. She contacted Victim's Assistance three years ago.

[in the file there is a copy of a police report, Dickerson's rap sheet as well as a copy of a letter. It reads, in part:

October 14, 1993

Dear Mrs. Dechant:

I am responding to your letter about your son James Dickerson. I understand he is now in the Washington State Prison, awaiting word on his parole. When a decision is made with regard to his status, I would be happy to inform you.

When an inmate is released from the Washington State Prison, they are placed in a State Group Home. There they receive counseling, and life skills guidance to help them with their assimilation back into the community.

Once again I would be happy to inform you of any change in status with respect James Dickerson. In the mean time, please do not hesitate to contact our department with any further questions or concerns.

Yours sincerely, {Signature} Kristin Spanski]

[it is late at night. A car has pulled up outside of a fenced-in area. Dogs can be heard barking.]

[Connor gets out of the car and climbs to the top of the fence, talking to the dogs and feeding them wieners from a bag.]

CONNOR: Hey! Come on, oh come on! You know me! Yeah, yeah, yeah! Shhh! Here, I got something for ya. Yeah, yeah, here ya go!

[He tosses the wieners at the guard dogs.]

CONNOR: Come on, come on! Here ya go! Yeah, here you go, doggies! Come on! Come on! Yeah, yeah, there ya go!

[He dumps the remainder of the bag over the fence and then jumps over into the grounds with another bag in hand. The dogs can still be heard growling as he runs through the junk yard.]

[A large sign on the fence can be seen. It reads: 'SCORPION SALVAGE 533 Industrial Ave.' Both 'S's have the same distinct angling that the message on the victim had.]

[Connor runs through a puddle and climbs up on a wrecked automobile that is piled on top of another wreck. This is James Dickerson's hiding place.]

JAMES: Connor, is that you? Where have you been?

CONNOR: Covering your ass with the cops. Move.

[He gets in the car beside Dickerson.]

CONNOR: Move over.

JAMES: I feel like I'm trapped in here.

CONNOR: Eh, what's the matter? You've got nowhere else to go, huh?

JAMES: Think I don't know that?

CONNOR: Hey, calm down. You gotta chill out a little bit. Here, eat something.

JAMES: I can't take this any more.

CONNOR: Hey, come on. It'll make you feel better.

[He holds out a french fry to James. Trying to make him eat it.]

CONNOR: Come on.


CONNOR: Come, please? Come on.

[James finally eats the food.]

CONNOR: There you go. Here. Here. Here. Here. Here. Burger.

[He hands him the rest of the food too. James hungrily digs in.]

CONNOR: 'Kay? Good, huh? Who takes care of you? Come on. Who's your friend?

[back at the police department, Frank and Bletcher are working late. Frank is on the phone.]

FRANK: Yeah, well. Thank you very much. Thank you for your time. Yes.

[He hangs up the phone.]

BLETCHER: Hey, like old times, huh? You're still here when everyone else has gone home.

FRANK: I just got off the phone with the Johnsons, one of the families in the journal. They lost a son about a year ago. James spent a week in their home.

BLETCHER: And they lived to tell?

FRANK: They describe him as a very loving person who sustained them through a very difficult time.

BLETCHER: Hmph. What pushed that kid over the edge?

FRANK: I'm not sure the kid was pushed.

[Watts enters.]

WATTS: Frank. You were right. I found something on the first victim.

[Frank and Bletcher follow him to another room where a lab is located.]

WATTS: Her skin was thoroughly distressed. No message of any subtlety would have survived. So I turned to clothing.

[The area where some transparencies are located is bathed in blue light.]

FRANK: What are we looking at here?

WATTS: Traces of pollen.

FRANK: Calla lily.

WATTS: There's a message.

[A very faint image is pointed to by Watts but it isn't legible.]

WATTS: I lifted the image electrostatically.

BLETCHER: It's only fragments.

WATTS: It's just too faint to see. So I started a time-exposure.

[He lays out three Polaroids before Frank.]

WATTS: After about 50 minutes, there it was.

[The final photo shows the message: 'STOP LOOKING' with the very same distinctive lettering as on the second victim.]

BLETCHER: Uh, not to rain on anyone's parade here but, uh, we already have this, right? 'Stop Looking?'

[Frank stares at the photo.]

WATTS: Yeah, it would appear so.

[Frank then blocks the second word, using his index finger, focusing attention on the 'S' of the first. He shows it to them but they don't make the same connection he has made.]

[Frank heads back out to the squad room with the others in tow. He picks up Dickerson's journal. In the spiral is the boy's pen. Frank takes it out and places it just above the Polaroid for comparison.]

FRANK: I thought I recognized this 'S.'

[it reads: 'SKORPION SALVAGE' - with the same type of 'S' used as in the messages on the victims.]

[Outside the junk yard. The dogs are barking loudly throughout. The commotion wakes James Dickerson.]

JAMES: Connor?

[He peeks out to see what's going on and finds that the police are just outside the fence, about to gain entry.]

[Dickerson climbs down from the wrecked auto and jumps to the ground. He begins running.]

[The police finally open the chained gates and enter the junk yard. James is still running but he ends up running right towards the police and the dogs.]

JAMES: Oh, man!

[He tries to run away from them but he runs into some of the dogs which start closing in on him. They finally corner him and begin their attack, biting his arms and legs, trying to rip him apart.]

[bletcher arrives on the scene, removes his gun from its holster and fires a single shot into the air, scaring the dogs off of Dickerson.]

BLETCHER: Call an ambulance!

MAN: Right away!

[Dickerson lies bleeding and in pain on the ground.]

[fade to black]

[polaroid fade up]

[Peggy Dechant's home. Catherine and an officer arrive to speak to James Dickerson's mother.]

[Catherine heads up the steps to the door, picking up a child's toy and placing it on the porch. She goes to knock on the door and finds that it has been left open.]

CATHERINE: Mrs. Dechant? Anybody home?

[There's no reply at first but then a woman can be heard calling down from upstairs.]

DECHANT: Yeah, hello?

[she rushes down the stairs to meet them.]

DECHANT: Sorry about that. I was just putting my baby down. (Looking at them both.) What is this?

CATHERINE: I'm Catherine Black from Social Services. It's about James Dickerson.

DECHANT: You people said I'd never hear from him.

CATHERINE: I know he sent you letters.

DECHANT: Letters. Three years ago he walked up that driveway - a complete stranger. He says nothing, just hugs me, and then he tells me 'I want to come home.' I'm still afraid to let Jason out of my sight.

CATHERINE: Well, he's in custody now.

DECHANT: Good. Keep him there.

CATHERINE: He's been asking for you.

DECHANT: No. I'm out of this.

CATHERINE: Mrs. Dechant, he's your son.

DECHANT: He's not my son! He's something that happened when I was a strung-out teenager. You people said you'd find him a good home - you never did! Now you deal with him!

CATHERINE: We are dealing with him but two people are dead.

DECHANT: He did that?

CATHERINE: I need your help.


4:33 PM

[Outside, it is raining. Inside, Bletcher and Giebelhouse interrogate James Dickerson. Thunder can be heard.]

BLETCHER: So you found her dead.

JAMES: I went- I went back to the car to get a coat. Um, it was cold. When- when I returned, well, there she was.

BLETCHER: Why didn't you try to revive her?

JAMES: She was cut up. I was scared.

BLETCHER: Too scared to come forward.

[Watts opens a door and enters a room where Frank has been watching and listening to the interrogation through a two-way mirror.]

[some of the interrogation can be heard in the background as Watts and Frank talk about Dickerson.]

JAMES: I told you I wanted to.

BLETCHER: Yeah, that's what...

GIEBELHOUSE: We're open 24-hours a day.

FRANK: He says he didn't do it.

WATTS: He may honestly believe that. Call me when you find out what 'STOP LOOKING' means. I got a 6:30 plane.

[Frank seems pensive, even troubled by the case and James Dickerson.]

GIEBELHOUSE: Yeah, you can say...

JAMES: How many times do I have to tell...

WATTS: Are you uncomfortable with this? I could stay.

FRANK: Not necessary.

WATTS: Is he capable?


WATTS: Does he fit the profile?

FRANK: (Thinks for a moment, then nods.) Yes. Have a safe flight, Peter. Thank you very much.

[They shake hands.]

FRANK: Thank you.

[And Watts leaves.]

GIEBELHOUSE: Are we annoying you? Because I'm detecting something in your voice that sounds like annoyance.

[The view shifts back to the interrogation room.]

BLETCHER: Let's go over this again. So when you left to find this coat she already knew that you'd never met her dead boyfriend. Is that right?

JAMES: Yeah, I guess. I- I guess.

BLETCHER: She didn't leave you much choice, did she?

JAMES: I didn't kill anybody, I swear I didn't.

GIEBELHOUSE: Yeah, well, James, Ray, Travis, Eric, you're kind of a professional liar, aren't you?

[The view jumps back to Frank's room.]

GIEBELHOUSE: Pathological prevarication - that's what they call it.

BLETCHER: Oh yeah, it's out there.

[Frank leaves the room and enters the hallway. There he finds Connor, from the group home.]

FRANK: Can I help you?

CONNOR: I came to get James. But maybe he's busy, huh?

FRANK: You might as well go home.

CONNOR: No hurry there. The director yanked my trustee privileges. Do you think I could talk to James?

FRANK: Family only.

CONNOR: That'll be the day.

[Catherine arrives with James' mother.]

CATHERINE: Frank. Hi. This is Peggy Dechant. (To Dechant) This is my husband Frank.

FRANK: Thanks for coming.

CATHERINE: Yeah. Should we go?

FRANK: Yeah.

[They walk past Connor and enter the interrogation room.]

JAMES: You came. I knew you would.

[Happy and smiling, he embraces his mother closely but she does not respond in kind.]

JAMES: Mom, please tell them that I didn't hurt anyone.

[The view shifts to the adjacent room. Connor is watching and listening to what James says to his mother.]

JAMES: Okay? Please? You know I wouldn't do that.

[Connor leaves as the view returns to the interrogation room.]

JAMES: Tell them. They'll listen to you.

[Dechant begins trying to free herself from her son's embrace. She finally does.]

DECHANT: Would you stop it!! (More composed.) Did you kill someone?

JAMES: No. Tell them. Please?

DECHANT: I can't do this. I don't even know him.

[she walks out of the room. Catherine follows her.]

CATHERINE: Mrs. Dechant! Mrs. Dechant.

[Out in the corridor.]

DECHANT: No. You people raised him. He's all yours.

[she turns and leaves. Catherine returns to the room. James begins crying.]

JAMES: You want a confession? (sighs) Okay. Okay. I killed them. I'd do it again.

GIEBELHOUSE: So, you did it?

JAMES: They're dead, aren't they?


JAMES: Stop looking. You found me.

[Frank frowns. He doesn't accept that answer.]

[Frank and Catherine head for home in their Jeep through a heavy downpour. As Frank drives, they discuss James.]

CATHERINE: How could anyone abandon a child? But millions of people do it. Millions. God, it's scary.

[Frank stops at an intersection - a red light. He watches a mother with an umbrella holding the hand of a small child, crossing the street before them, as he listens to Catherine continue.]

CATHERINE: We have home after home filled with kids like James. And we know they'll turn violent. How do I tell the survivors that no one saw it coming? They're out there, Frank.

FRANK: A thousand points of darkness.

CATHERINE: People full of holes. Like James. Living off the fantasy that his mother will somehow make everything better.

[Frank grows pensive.]


FRANK: It doesn't make any sense. James never gave up. He never stopped looking.

CATHERINE: It was fantasy.

[Frank looks straight ahead through his windshield and envisions the attacks again. He sees the second woman being attacked. He hears screams. And then he sees Mrs. Dechant beaten and bloodied. She looks unconscious. He sees the message: 'STOP LOOKING' that was carved on the second victim.]

[Frank finally realizes what the message means.]

FRANK: 'STOP LOOKING' was a message to James, a warning.

CATHERINE: Stop looking - for family?

FRANK: The trustee at the group home.


FRANK: Connor. He wanted James for himself.

[Frank immediately heads out toward Mrs. Dechant's home.]

[Meanwhile, at the Dechant residence, Peggy Dechant has just arrived home. It is still raining heavily and thunder can be heard.]

[she sighs, removes her coat and prepares to take a bath. As she removes her jewelry, she finds a note from her husband: 'Honey Will be back by 9:00 PM Love Fred']

[she turns on the tub's faucets and as it fills, she lights some candles on the bathroom wall.]

[The bathroom door slowly opens. Someone who is hiding behind the door can now see her standing naked before a mirror, brushing her hair.]

[she hears a noise somewhere in the house.]


[she takes a towel, wraps it around herself and goes to investigate the sound.]

DECHANT: Fred! Is that you? Honey are you home?

[she tries to turn on a light but it shorts out, frightening her. She gasps. But the flash of light reveals that it is Connor who is hiding in the darkness. As she takes another step: ]

DECHANT: Fred, hon, Ow!

[she cuts her foot on the broken light bulb on the floor. She looks at her foot, it's bleeding.]

[As she looks up, she sees Connor's reflection in a hallway mirror. She screams.]

[The water in the bathtub is overflowing.]

[Frank arrives at the house. He finds the glass pane of the front door has been smashed open. He opens it and enters the house. He cautiously moves through the house, making his way up towards the bathroom, following the sound of the running water.]

[He slowly pushes back the door. Inside he sees the water overflowing and flooding the floor, some debris from a struggle and Mrs. Dechant, sitting in a corner by the toilet - bleeding. There are blood smears on the walls and letters have been cut into her abdomen. A weapon that was used to stab the woman is on the toilet seat. She is sobbing.]

[Frank approaches her, kneels and tries to reach out his hand to touch her cheek, to comfort her. Then he's attacked from behind. Connor uses a cord to try and strangle him. Frank tries to kick himself off the walls in an effort to free himself from Connor's hold. He smashes a picture on the wall, the candles and they both crash through the shower glass door and Frank slams his head against the wall. Frank still cannot ease Connor's grip on the cord around his neck. They continue to struggle when Frank kicks and pushes himself backward off the bathroom wall, throwing Connor backwards into the water-filled tub.]

[Frank keeps his weight on top of Connor, forcing the man to remain underwater until his grip eases enough for Frank to free himself and get off him. He pulls Connor, who is drowning, out of the water and drops him on the floor.]

[Outside the Dechant residence, a short time later. The police have arrived and there's also an ambulance. Lots of background chatter and movement as Connor is taken from the house in cuffs by Bletcher. Frank is with them.]

RADIO: This is 3-3-5. We are on the scene. Suspect has been apprehended. Do you copy?

2ND MAN: Area is cordoned off, sir.

[bletcher takes Connor to a police car and opens the rear door.]

BLETCHER: Get in here!

CONNOR: Hey, easy!


[Connor spits twice at Bletcher and Frank from inside the car. Frank just stares at him.]

BLETCHER: That two-week window. Feral or tame. (To the driver of the car) Take him. (To Frank) You should have waited for us, damn it.

FRANK: She'd be dead now.

[The car with Connor leaves. The siren wails. Bletcher goes to try and make his point with Catherine, as they carry out Mrs. Dechant on a stretcher.]

BLETCHER: He should have waited. You tell him.

[Catherine walks over to Frank who is wrapping a bandage around his cut right hand.]

CATHERINE: I know. I know you had to go in there. (sighs) Because of who you are. Because you had no choice. Frank, I can't lose you.

FRANK: I'm not going anywhere.

CATHERINE: Promise me?

[Frank nods. The ambulance's siren wails.]

CATHERINE: I don't want to ask myself 'am I strong enough to be alone.'

FRANK: It's okay. Nobody is.

[At the group home, James Dickerson arrives back with a newspaper in hand. He goes up to his room, all the while talking softly to himself.]

JAMES: It's okay. It's okay. It's okay. It's okay.

[He finally makes it to his room and sighs. Closing the door and picking up a pen, he lies down on his bed and begins looking through the death notices in the paper. He circles the following:

PEYSON, MICHAEL JOHN Tragically passed away at the age of 23. He will be sadly missed by his loving family, father John, mother Allison, brother Lenkyn and sister Victoria. Michael John Peyson will also be missed by other relatives, friends and school mates. We will love you and cherish you with many wonderful memories. Your strength and great love will carry on forever. You will be deeply missed by all. A memorial service will be held at Lanner's Memorial Home on November 22, 1996. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Peyson Memorial Fund, care of Washington State Institute...]

[fade to black]

[end titles]

Terry O'Quinn (Peter Watts)

Brittany Tiplady (Jordan Black)


Bill Smitrovich (Lt. Bob Bletcher)

Guest Starring

John Fleck (Connor)

Sean Six (James Dickerson)

Brian Markinson (Detective Teeple)

Stephen James Lang (Detective Giebelhouse)

Lynda Boyd (Mrs. Dechant)


Nicole Parker (Greer Cort)

Diana Stevan (Mrs. Cort)

Bob Morrisey (Mr. [Charles] Cort)

Deanna Milligan (Tina)

Story Editor: Charles Holland

Music by Mark Snow

Editor: George Potter

Production Designer: Sheila Haley

Director of Photography: Robert McLachlan

Associate Producer: Jon-Michael Preece

Consulting Producer: Ted Mann

Consulting Producers: James Wong & Glen Morgan

Co-Producer: Ken Dennis

Co-Producer: Chip Johannessen

Co-Producer: Frank Spotnitz

Co-Executive Producer: Jorge Zamacona

Co-Executive Producer: Ken Horton

Co-Executive Producer: John Peter Kousakis

Written by Chip Johannessen

Directed by James Charleston

Executive Producer: Chris Carter

Edited by Libby
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