A Time for Rape

In this script I kept in mind that C and L is a drama. As such, it has to have dramatic elements, principally the interaction between the characters. I didn't want to go into gory details of crimes. I went into what is seldom, or poorly done, of the effects of the crimes on the families of the victims and their emotions, and the same for the police officers. I also recalled several crime novels using the puzzle of a murder committed in a locked room. I didn't want to use murder again, so I used rape, with the victim surviving. I defy everyone to solve the puzzle of how the crime was done till the last 4 pages, even though I carefully hid all the clues in the script.

Have fun. John.

CAGNEY AND LACEY

"A time for rape"

Written by John M. Riggle

First draft Sep. 14, 1986; Second draft Oct. 8, 1986; Final draft Oct. 9, 19&6

CAGNEY AND LACEY

"A time for rape"

Regular Cast: Cagney (Sharon Gless); Lacey (Tyne Daly); Bert Samuels (Al Waxrnan); Harvey (John Karlen); Victor Isbecki (Martin Kove); Marcus (Carl Lumbly); Officer Coleman ( Harvey Atkin)

Guest cast: Dorine Ebner; Miss Lewis; Helen Bernard; Radio (V.0.); David Keeler (Steven Macht); Henry Binks' Miss Bertelli'; Claudia Petrie; Gino Bertelli; Bertelli (brother); Bertelli's boyfriend (nameless); Perpetrator (nameless)

Sets: Exteriors: 14th precinct parking bay; Interiors: Samuel's office; Squadroom; Apartment building; Ebner apartment; Apartment building; Detective's car; Hospital room #1; Cagney's apartment; Keeler' s apartment; Lacey bedroom; Hospital room #2 ; Keeler's apartment kitchen; Petrie kitchen; Lacey living room; Apartment building; Bertelli apartment; Cagney's apartment bedroom; hallway #1; hallway #2; living room; hallway #3

CHRONOLOGY: Scenes 1 - 8 (Day); Scenes. 9 - 10 (Night); Scene 11 (Day); Scenes 12-14 (Night); Scenes 15-17 (Day); Scene 18 (Night); Scenes 19-21 (Day); Scenes 22-24 (Night); Scenes 25-29 (Day); Scenes 30-34 (Night); Scenes 35-36 (Day)

CAGNEY AND LACEY

"A TIME FOR RAPE"

ACT ONE

FADE IN

EXTERIOR-14TH PRECINCT STATION-ESTABLISHING-A RAINY DAY

INTERIOR-SAMUELS OFFICE-DAY

Samuels is behind his desk. Cagney, Lacey, Isbecki, and Petrie are in front of it. On the desk is a litter of reports.

SAMUELS

I've been going over these reports from the uniforms, and the back up reports the detectives filed. Rainy days are usually low crime days, so I had some time to kill. Take this report, for example. Dorine Ebner. White female. Assaulted and raped in her own bed. Unmarried. Lives alone. Did not see the perp. Nothing stolen from her apartment. Here's another one. Susan King. Black female. Assaulted and raped in her own bed. Unmarried. Lives alone. Did not see the perp. Nothing stolen from her apartment. Does anybody see a pattern here ?

PETRIE

How many do you have like that ?

SAMUELS

I haven't checked back very far, just a couple of months. So far I have fourteen. All identical except for the victim's names, ages, and races.

CAGNEY

How did he do so many without us getting wise ?

SAMUELS

That's what I want to know. You all handled at least one of these cases.

LACEY

We all had a shot at him ?

SAMUELS

That's right.

ISBECKI

Maybe we should take another look at some of those cases.

SAMUELS

Maybe you better take another look at all of them. Since you all had a shot I don't see how I can do anything but assign all four of you to it. Check the addresses and divide them between you. Get going.

SQUADROOM

The door to Samuels office opens and the four of them come out. They go to the desks of Cagney and Lacey where they divide the cases.

CAGNEY

15th and 8th Ave. 39th and 2nd Ave. 16th and 3rd Ave. 26th and 6th Ave. They're all over.

ISBECKI

How about if Marcus and I take all of them north of 15th and you two take the ones south of it.

LACEY

Sounds good to me.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

APARTMENT BUILDING HALLWAY-DAY

Cagney and Lacey approach a door with dripping umbrellas. They knock and a woman opens the door shortly to the length of the security chain.

CAGNEY

Miss Ebner ?

EBNER

Yes.

CAGNEY

I'm Sgt. Cagney and this is Det. Lacey.

LACEY

May we come in ?

Ebner looks at their badges, then opens the door. They enter and she shows them to a couch.

INTERIOR-EFFICIENCY APARTMENT

CAGNEY

We're investigating your report of being raped some time ago.

EBNER

I would just as soon forget it now, since it's been so long.

LACEY

We have other similar cases, ma'm, and any help you can give us will be appreciated.

EBNER

What do you want to know ?

CAGNEY

How did he get in ?

EBNER

I don't know. I have a dead bolt lock on the door, and the chain can't be taken off from the outside without damaging something. After it happened I checked and all the windows were locked. I know I locked the door and put the chain on before I went to bed. Later the door was open.

LACEY

Could he have been hiding in the apartment ?

EBNER

This is a one room efficiency. It has only this room and the bathroom. I took a shower before I went to bed. There's just no place to hide.

CAGNEY

Can you give us any description at all of the man ?

EBNER

I never saw him. I had all the lights out and was sleeping. Somebody pulled my hair and hit me very hard on the-side of my head. When I woke up, I found the door unlocked and called the police. They called for an ambulance. Paramedics came with the ambulance. They said I had been knocked unconscious and raped. They took me to the hospital where the Dr. took some samples of,,, you know. They kept me overnight for observation and I came home the next day.

LACEY

And according to our report, nothing was missing from your apartment.

EBNER

That's right. And he didn't leave any fingerprints, or anything.

CAGNEY

May we look around a little before we leave ?

EBNER

Of course. But you won't find anything. I've already looked several times.

Lacey rises and goes to check the door. Cagney goes to check the two windows. They open onto a fire escape and one is partially filled by an air conditioner. Both are securely nailed shut and have burglar bars attached to the sashes.

CAGNEY

He didn't get in by breaking the glass ?

EBNER

No. But I got scared so I nailed the windows closed after it happened.

CAGNEY

It's against the fire regulations to have your windows to the fire escape nailed shut this way. In case of fire you would have no way out but the door.

Cagney turns to go and meets Lacey at the door.

LACEY

If we have any more questions we'll come back later.

They leave.

FADE OUT

.

FADE IN

INTERIOR-ANOTHER APARTMENT BUILDING HALL-DAY

Again Cagney and Lacey approach a door with dripping umbrellas. The process at the door is repeated.

CAGNEY

Miss Lewis ?

LEWIS

Yes.

CAGNEY

I'm Sgt. Cagney and this is Det. Lacey. May we come in, please.

LEWIS

What do you want ?

LACEY

We want to talk to you about the rape...

LEWIS

(interrupts)

I don't want to. Go away.

Lewis shuts the door in their faces.

CAGNEY

That's the last one.

They leave.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INTERIOR-DETECTIVE"S CAR-ROLLING-RAINY DAY

Cagney is at the wheel. The windshield wipers are going.

LACEY

I'm not surprised that three of them wouldn't talk to us. It's hard for a woman to talk about that.

CAGNEY

It wouldn't be hard for me. I'd be so mad I'd talk my head off about it.

The radio comes to life.

RADIO (V.0.)

Detectives 14-2.

Mary Beth picks up the microphone and presses the button.

LACEY

Detectives 14-2

RADIO (V. 0.)

Detectives 14-2, go to St. Mary's hospital and interview a Helen Bernard.

LACEY

10-4.

She puts the microphone back.

CAGNEY

Do you suppose we've got another one ?

LACEY

Probably.

FADE OUT.

FADE IN

INTERIOR-HOSPITAL ROOM-DAY

Helen Bernard is just preparing to go home when Cagney and Lacey enter her room. She has a large bruise on the left side of her head.

CAGNEY

Well, you look to be in good shape. Helen manages a weak smile.

BERNARD

The Dr. says I'll be all right.

LACEY

You like to tell us what happened ?

BERNARD

There's not much to tell. I came home from a bar I like. My boyfriend and I just broke up. I went to bed and sometime in the night someone got into my apartment and raped me.

By now she is breaking down into tears.

LACEY

(to Cagney)

The boyfriend ?

CAGNEY

Cagney turns to Bernard. How did you and your boyfriend break up ?

BERNARD

The usual. Another woman.

Cagney and Lacey look at each other.

CAGNEY

We'll drive you home.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INTERIOR-14TH PRECINCT SQUADROOM-DAY

Cagney, Lacey, Isbecki, and Petrie are comparing notes.

CAGNEY

Looks like the same M.O. in every case.

ISBECKI

What's got me is how does he get in ?

PETRIE

We didn't find any sign of forced entry, and most of them have chains on the doors that have to be unhooked from the inside, or broken by force.

LACEY

They all said they had their windows locked, and nothing taken.

CAGNEY

This is bizarre. It's like magic, or something.

ISBECKI

That's an idea. Why don't we ask a magician how he did it.

CAGNEY

Come on, Victor, get serious.

ISBECKI

I am serious, and besides, it was your idea.

LACEY

Sounded like your idea to me too. And it might be a good one.

Cagney looks disgustedly from one to another.

CAGNEY

That's all I can take for one day. I've been rained on all day. I sweat myself half to death inside that raincoat. I got half soaked under that leaky umbrella. My feet are freezing. And I've had victims slam doors in my face. Now you all dump that garbage on me. I'm going home.

FADE OUT

END OF ACT ONE

ACT TWO

FADE IN

INTERIOR-CAGNEY'S APT.-NIGHT

Cagney arrives home and when she walks in the door, she receives an unpleasant surprise. Her air conditioner is out and the apartment is hot and damp from the high humidity. Like a steam bath. She goes to the air conditioner and twists the knobs. It stays dead. She throws up her hands and scowls. She turns and goes to the phone. She dials a number. We hear the phone ringing signal.

DAVID (V.0.)

Hello ?

CHRIS( tiredly)

Hi David. This is Chris.

DAVID (V.0.)

Hi Chris. What's going on?

CHRIS

I'm sorry to bother you, but I have a problem.

DAVID (V.0.)

What kind of problem ?

CHRIS

I just got home and my air conditioner has died completely. It's hot as hell and with all the rain it's like a steam bath in here.

DAVID (V.0.)

Bad news. You'll have a tough time sleeping there tonight.

CHRIS

Did you figure that out all by yourself ?

DAVID (V.0.)

Sure did.

CHRIS

Then I guess you're alone tonight.

DAVID (V.0.)

You guess right.

CHRIS

So can I sleep over ?

DAVID (V.0.)

Mi casa es su casa.

CHRIS

I'll be right over.

Moving slowly, she hangs up the phone, goes to her closet and picks out her clothes for tomorrow, and leaves.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INTERIOR-DAVID'S APT.-NIGHT

ON the door. The buzzer sounds, and David walks from out of camera range into range and opens the door. Chris is there.

DAVID

(with an elaborate bow and sweep of his hand)

Welcome to my hovel.

Chris puts her palms together by the right side of her jaw and tilts her head to the right. She smiles and says coquettishly,

CHRIS

Oh, thank you, kind sir.

Chris enters and sits on the couch, putting her things for tomorrow over the back of a chair. David goes to the refrigerator and comes back with glasses, already filled.

DAVID

Your favorite drink, madam.

CHRIS

The very thing I need.

David sits down.

DAVID

So how was your day.

CHRIS

Terrible. Samuels found fourteen rape cases so he put Marcus and Victor on them with me and Mary Beth. All day we've been interviewing them, getting doors slammed in our faces, and then I have to put up with their smart remarks about magicians.

DAVID

What do magicians have to do with rape cases ?

CHRIS

The doors and windows are locked from the inside. They go to bed. In the middle of the night the guy hits them up to the side of the head, knocks them unconscious, rapes them and leaves. When they come to, the door is open. There's no place in the apartment for the guy to hide, and no sign of forcible entry.

DAVID

So it's like he's a magician.

CHRIS

You got that right. Now they want to get a magician to tell us how he did it, and they've got the gall to say it's my idea. Then when I got home I found out my air conditioner has given up the ghost.

DAVID

Everybody and everything is ganging up on poor Chris.

CHRIS

It seems that way. Except you. I'm sweating all over except my feet are freezing.

DAVID

Well, hit the shower, and I'll wait for you in bed.

CHRIS

Best offer I've had all day.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INTERIOR-14TH PRECINCT SQUADROOM-DAY

ON Isbecki and Marcus. They have a large map and pins with colored heads. They are putting in pins of one color for each of the fourteen rapes, with the same colored threads connecting them. Enter Cagney and Lacey.

CAGNEY

What's this thing and why is it on my desk ?

ISBECKI

It's a map. We got the idea that maybe the paths of all the victims might cross somewhere.

PETRIE

If they do, maybe that's where the rapist waits. When he finds a victim, he follows her home.

LACEY

Sounds like it's worth a try.

CAGNEY

(sort of growling in disdain) Ahhhhhh. This guy's too smart to do something dumb like that.

PETRIE

Looks like you're right. Some of these victims never even came close each other at any time.

ISBECKI

Check the pins with the paper tabs. All the women live from 13th to 42nd streets, and from 2nd to 9th Ave.

LACEY

That's the most densely populated area in the whole U.S. At least a million other people live there too.

CAGNEY

Including me.

PETRIE

Well, if we can't figure out how he gets in, we thought maybe we could figure where he might try the next time.

CAGNEY

I wish we could figure out how to make him come to us.

ISBECKI

Set a trap, huh. Traps need bait. We don't know how he picks his victims. So how do we bait a trap ?

PETRIE

No matter which way we turn we end up in a blind alley.

ISBECKI

I live in that area too, so if we can bait him, maybe we can get him to try my apartment.

CAGNEY

Victor, you couldn't even bait a junkie prostitute with a hand full of hundred dollar bills.

ISBECKI

I don't want a junkie prostitute. I want a rapist.

A BEAT

CAGNEY

I'm sorry Victor. I didn't realize you were so serious.

PETRIE

I think we're all serious about this case.

LACEY

Yeah....Well....Where do we go from here ?

A man has entered and stood near during this exchange.

BINKS

Perhaps I can help.

LACEY

You must be The Great Zimbini.

BINKS

Correct. But you can call me by my. real name. Henry Binks.

LACEY

Mr. Binks is a professional escape artist and magician.

CAGNEY

Won't you people ever quit with the magician stuff. Next thing I know you'll want to bring in a mind reader.

BINKS

Mrs. Lacey has already told me of your problem. I've brought along something to show you which may help. This is a gaffed lock. It lacks and unlocks like any other lock, but any key will work it. And this small box has a gaffed panel. The screws look like they hold it together, but they have been cut off so they hold nothing at all. He may have gotten in during the day when he could be alone and gaffed something. When he left, he put back the originals.

CAGNEY

I can't believe anybody would be dumb enough to fall for a simple trick like that.

BINKS

Young lady, every magician since the first one has depended on it. And we all make a very good living because they do.

CAGNEY

There's got to be another answer. But I suppose it's worth checking out.

LACEY

If he put everything back, how do we check it out ?

PETRIE

Looks like we found another blind alley.

ISBECKI

I guess we go interview all of them again. Let's trade victims. Maybe we'll come up with something that way.

LACEY

Thank you Mr. Binks.

BINKS

You're very welcome.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

SAME HALLWAY AS IN SCENE 4-DAY

ISBECKI AND PETRIE approach the same door that Cagney and Lacey went to. They knock and Miss Ebner opens the door shortly to the length of the chain.

EBNER

Yes ?

ISBECKI

Miss Ebner, I'm Det. Isbecki, and This is Det. Petrie. We'd like to do some more examining of your apartment concerning the incident of a few weeks ago.

EBNER

Well.....

They show their badges and even their I.D. cards. Reluctantly she opens the door.

EBNER

I suppose you can look if you like, But I don't want to talk about it.

Marcus goes to the windows and begins examining the latches. Victor goes to the door and begins examining the lock and chain. Victor finds nothing, so he joins Marcus at the windows. Nothing is evident there either.

MARCUS

We didn't find anything, mam, but I do have one question. Was that air conditioner there when it happened ?

EBNER

Yes, it was.

VICTOR

Thank you. If we think of anything else, we'll contact you later.

They leave and she carefully locks the door behind them.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

SAME HALLWAY AS IN SCENE 5-DAY

Marcus and Victor approach the same door that was closed in the face of Cagney and Lacey. They knock and the woman opens the door a crack.

LEWIS

Yes ?

MARCUS

Miss Lewis, I'm Det. Petrie, and this is Det. Isbecki.

LEWIS

I already told the other two I don't want to talk about it. Why won't you leave me alone?

ISBECKI

We didn't come to talk. We want to examine the windows and the door of your apartment.

A BEAT

LEWIS

You just want to look ?

PETRIE

That's right.

A BEAT.

She opens the door and they enter. Again Marcus goes to the windows, and Victor takes the door. This apartment is almost identical to the first. After a careful examination, Marcus joins Victor at the door.

PETRIE

Just a few questions, main. Was that air conditioner there when it happened ?

LEWIS

Yes, it was.

PETRIE

Is it new?

LEWIS

Yes.

ISBECKI

When did you get it?

LEWIS

Just before it happened, I think.

PETRIE

Thank you mam. That's all.

They leave and she locks the door.

FADE OUT

INTERIOR-DETECTIVES CAR-ROLLING-LATE AFTERNOON

ISBECKI

You've got some sort of idea, haven't you ?

PETRIE

I think the rapes are somehow connected with the air conditioners, but I can't figure how.

ISBECKI

A repairman or installer ?

PETRIE

I don't know. Something just seems to be there, but we're missing it.. All of them had some problem with the air conditioner. They had it fixed or bought a new one just before they were attacked.

ISBECKI

I guess we'll have to go over it all again.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INTERIOR- LACEY BEDROOM-NIGHT

Harvey and Mary Beth are in bed. The lights are subdued and Mary Beth is sitting. Harvey has been lying down and he rises up onto one elbow.

HARV

Something's bothering you, Mary Beth.

MARY BETH

It's OK. Don't worry about it. It's just this rape case we're working on.

HARV

It must be an awfully tough case. I've seldom seen a case bother you like this.

MARY BETH

It is. But that's not what's bothering me. There's fourteen victims that we know about, and no telling how many we don't know about. In spite of that we haven't got even one clue.

HARV

I can't believe anyone could do all that and not leave even one clue. Nobody's that perfect.

MARY BETH

This one seems to be. Petrie feels like it's right there in front of us and somehow we're overlooking it.

HARV

I've had that problem myself, sometimes. It's called "can't see the forest for the trees'' Tell me all about it and maybe I can give you some ideas.

MARY BETH

You'd think it wouldn't bother them so much. They never even see him. He just knocks them unconscious and rapes them.

A BEAT

HARV

And ?

MARY BETH

That's all. Then they break up with their boyfriends, and some can't even stand to be hugged by their own fathers.

HARV

That bad, huh ?

MARY BETH

That bad.

HARV

What about fingerprints, footprints, hair samples, and so on ?

MARY BETH

We don't have a thing.

HARV

Witnesses, or weapons ?

MARY BETH

Nothing at all.

HARV

Could some of them be lying ?

MARY BETH

It wasn't in the papers and they don't know each other. But they all told identical stories.

HARV

I can't believe he left nothing at all behind.

MARY BETH

He left two things. Semen and syphilis.

FADE OUT

END OF ACT TWO

ACT THREE

FADE IN

INTERIOR-SQUADROOM-DAY

ON Cagney and Lacey at their desks. Lacey is writing, Cagney on the phone.

CAGNEY

Thank you, mam, I don't think we will be bothering you again. (pause) O.K., goodbye.

Cagney hangs up the phone, and frowns.

LACEY

What do you have ?

CAGNEY

7 victims. 3 repair companies. 3 sales companies. 1 TV repairman. What do you have ?

LACEY

The Same..7 victims, 5 repairmen, 2 installers.

Isbecki and Petrie enter.

MARCUS

Did you come up with anything ?

CAGNEY

Just garbage! But we have to agree with you guys. The only connection they have is a problem with the air conditioner, except one. I can't understand that TV repairman.

ISBECKI

The more we look at it, the less sense it makes.

SAMUELS APPROACHES.

SAMUELS

Make it fifteen victims. I just got this report from the uniforms.

CAGNEY (disgustedly)

Oh boy, just what we needed.

LACEY

I suppose we might as well all go.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INTERIOR-HOSPITAL ROOM-DAY

A young woman in the bed. The four detectives are gathered around. She has a large bruise on the left side of her head and her left eye is discolored.

CAGNEY

Please tell us what happened so we can help.

BERTELLI

I don't know. My head hurts. (A doctor then enters).

DOCTOR

Miss Bertelli has had a serious injury. I have to insist that you leave at once.

CAGNEY

Dr., we have fourteen others just like her. We have to have any information she can give us.

DOCTOR

Nevertheless, she can't talk to you now. Perhaps tomorrow.

Cagney rips a page from her notebook and hands it to the Dr.

CAGNEY

Here are the numbers of the others. You call them and tell them tomorrow!!

LACEY

We're all getting frustrated about this case.

DOCTOR

I can certainly understand you are just trying to do your job. But I have to consider my patient first, That's my job.

LACEY

We'll come back later.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INTERIOR-DETECTIVES CAR-ROLLING-DAY

Lacey at the wheel.

LACEY

Is that the last one ?

CAGNEY

Yeah. All those companies and repairmen, and not one could possibly be the one.

LACEY

While you were checking the men, I checked the repair tickets on the ones that were repaired, and the reason for failure on the ones where they bought a new one.

CAGNEY

And ?

LACEY

I thought he might have picked his victim and then sabotaged her air conditioner for some reason. But they were all legitimate failures.

CAGNEY

I'm still sure there's some connection, if only we could put our finger on it.

LACEY

Well, maybe we'll figure out something tomorrow.

She pulls the car to the curb.

CAGNEY

Didn't I tell you ?

LACEY

Tell me what ?

CAGNEY

My air conditioner went out too. I've been sleeping over at David's apartment till I get the money for a new one. They're installing it tomorrow.

LACEY

So you want me to drop you at David's ?

CAGNEY

You catch on fast.

The car pulls away from the curb.

FADE OUT

INTERIOR-DAVID'S APARTMENT-NIGHT

David and Chris are just finishing supper.

CHRIS

I'll sure be happy when they get my new air conditioner installed so I can go home.

DAVID

I won't. I'll miss you.

CHRIS

No you won't. We'll get together lots of times.

DAVID

It's not that. I'll miss having someone here when I come home, or having someone come in when I am waiting.

CHRIS

That's sweet, but I feel like I'm imposing on you, just moving in and taking over. Pushing you around in your on home. It isn't right, but that's the kind of person I am.

DAVID

You didn't do anything I wasn't happy to have you do. Just take a smell.

He sniffs strongly with his eyes closed and his nose elevated a bit.

DAVID

My apartment never smelled so good. And the food has been a definite improvement over TV Dinners. Did you ever try to have a conversation with a TV, or a radio ?

CAGNEY

I never promised you I'd be great company.

DAVID

No, but you beat talking to the walls, or my mother's picture. I always knew what you were. You're sometimes sort of rude, sometimes sort of overbearing, and sometimes sort of temperamental. But you're never stupid, or mean, or cold, or hateful. I never have to worry about coming home to find my most valuable possessions sold to buy some frivolous thing. I can respect you. The strongest passion in your life is love of your fellow human beings.

CHRIS

That's what it takes to be a cop.

DAVID

That's what it takes to be a real human being. Sometimes it helps to have a little forgiveness too, and you have that, as well.

CAGNEY

How did I get so lucky to find a fink like you.

DAVID

Us finks have to stick together.

She throws her cloth napkin in his face, then kisses him.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INTERIOR-PETRIE KITCHEN-SUPPER TIME

Claudia has prepared a fine supper for Marcus. Steak, green beans, etc. Marcus has cut his meat, but he just sits with one piece on his fork, staring off into space. Claudia reaches over and shakes him by the shoulder.

CLAUDIA

Hey.

Marcus suddenly seems to come awake.

MARCUS

What ?

CLAUDIA

I've been talking to you and you haven't answered, or even moved in the last five minutes.

MARCUS

Sorry about that.

CLAUDIA

Sorry my foot. You tell me going on right now.

MARCUS

You don't want to know. It's too ugly.

Claudia goes to the kitchen cabinets and comes back with a cast iron frying pan in her hand.

CLAUDI A

Marcus Petrie you tell me right now or I'll crown you good.

Marcus stares at her for a beat.

MARCUS

It's a rape case.

Claudia sits down and puts the frying pan on the table.

CLAUDIA

It happens, sometimes. A. woman gets raped.

MARCUS

It's fifteen women.

CLAUDIA

Oh my god. FIFTEEN ?

MARCUS

Yes. And we can't figure it out. We have no clues at all.

CLAUDIA

Nothing at all ?? No description ? No fingerprints No anything ?

MARCUS

No anything. We think it' s somehow connected in some way with some problem they have with their air conditioner, but we can't even figure out how.

CLAUDIA

What must their husbands think ?

MARCUS

None of them are married.

A BEAT

CLAUDIA

I hear you saying some man is going around raping unmarried women because they have their air conditioner repaired.

MARCUS

Or they buy a new one. Except for one. She had her TV repaired.

CLAUDIA

That makes no sense at all.

MARCUS

Somehow it has to.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INTERIOR-LACEY LIVING ROOM-NIGHT

Harvey is reading the newspaper and Mary Beth is knitting socks for baby Alice.

HARVEY

You're awfully quiet tonight.

MARY BETH

Yeah....Well....I just don't feel like making a lot of noise.

HARVEY

You don't have to make a lot of noise to talk to me.

MARY BETH

What do you want to talk about?

HARVEY

I don't know, anything, the boy's schoolwork, cooking, what your doin', sex...

Mary Beth winces.

HARVEY

(continuous)

AHA!! I hit a nerve there.

MARY BETH

I don't want to talk about it.

HARVEY

So what do you want to do ? Suffer in silence?

MARY BETH

Sounds good to me.

HARVEY

It's got something to do with work, doesn't it.

MARY BETH

Yes.

HARVEY

Mary Beth, I try just as hard as I can to leave all my work at work. Sometimes I just can't do it. We're partners, Mary Beth. I owe it to you to level with you at all times, and you owe it to me too.

She puts her knitting down in her lap.

MARY BETH

I don't hide anything from you Harv. It's just that this case is a tough one, and I really need time to think it out quietly. If I thought you could help me in any way, I'd ask you to. Just let me do my job in my own way.

A BEAT

HARVEY

O.K., but I'd like to see you look a little more cheerful. How about a movie and a pizza, like we used to do ?

MARY BETH

Not tonight. I'm sorry I'm so down. I don't want to burden you with my problems.

HARVEY

What's a husband for, then?

MARY BETH

A husband is for loving, not hurting.

HARVEY

I guess that's what a wife's for, too.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INTERIOR-SQUADROOM-DAY

All four detectives are at their desks as three men enter.

FATHER

I wanna know what you bums are doin about that punk that raped my daughter.

Chris turns to him.

CHRIS

Who the hell are you ?

FATHER

Gino Bertelli. MR. Bertelli to you.

CAGNEY

Well, I'm Det. Sgt. Cagney. Sgt. to you.

BROTHER

Very funny. Now, what have you done to catch that bum ??

ISBECKI

And who are you ??

BROTHER

I'm her brother, Gino Jr.

PETRIE

And you ?

BOYFRIEND

I'm her fiancÚ.

FATHER

Enough o' that. Who ya got locked up ?

CAGNEY

We're working on it.

BROTHER

So when ya figger on lockin him up ?

LACEY

When we catch him.

FATHER

Yer tellin us ya aint done nuttin yet ?

ISBECKI

We're doing everything we can, but it's a tough case.

BOYFRIEND

Maybe tough for you, but not for us.

CAGNEY

Don't try taking the law in your own hands!!

FATHER

The hands that can handle it best are the hands that will have to do the job. You do it or we will!!

They leave in great anger. With fire flying from her eyes, Chris heads for the Jane, followed by Mary Beth

CUT TO:

THE JANE

CAGNEY

Where do they get off with that garbage ?

MARY BETH

They're emotionally involved Christine.

CAGNEY

And I suppose we're not ?

LACEY

Of course we are, but she's not family to us. They feel like their whole family has been violated.

CAGNEY

Well I feel like I was violated for each one of those fifteen, and I'm not going off the deep end. I don't want to just "get" somebody for it.

LACEY

That's the difference. We're angry, but they're blinded by love.

A BEAT

CAGNEY

But they're not helping. Now we have to watch them and try to do our job at the same time.

LACEY

When we took this job nobody gave us any guarantees as to how easy it would be. Nobody promised us any help. They only promised us pride if we did it right.

CAGNEY calms down some now.

CAGNEY

Yeah. The pride does feel pretty good. So, let's go see if we can get some.

They leave.

FADE OUT

END OF ACT THREE

ACT FOUR

FADE IN

INTERIOR-3ARD APARTMENT BUILDING CORRIDOR-DAY

Cagney knocks on a door and Miss Bertelli opens it.

CAGNEY

May we come in Miss Bertelli ?

BERTELLI

I guess so.

She opens the door and they go in.

CUT TO;

APARTMENT INTERIOR.

CAGNEY

We already know what happened, Miss Bertelli. We just need to look around and ask a few questions.

Cagney goes to the windows and starts examining them while Lacey examines the door and chain.

LACEY

You're sure the door was locked and the chain was in place when you went to bed ?

BERTELLI

Yes. I always check it the last thing.

CAGNEY

Have you had trouble with your air conditioner in the last few weeks ?

Cagney is now picking up something from the floor by the bed.

BERTELLI

Yes. I had it fixed and they brought it back the day before it happened.

LACEY

(to Chris) What have you got there ?

CAGNEY

Looks like a little flake of rust.

LACEY

Where was it ?

CAGNEY

On the floor by the bed.

LACEY

The air conditioner isn't new. Maybe it came from that.

CAGNEY

Maybe.

They all turn as a key is put in the door. It opens and the boyfriend enters.

BOYFRIEND

So you are on the job after all. Looks like our little visit might have done some good.

CAGNEY

Your little visit had nothing to do with anything.

BOYFRIEND

(sarcastically) Oh, I'm sure it didn't.

LACEY

Mr. What-ever-your-name is, I seldom lose my temper. But I'm about to lose it with you. We work very hard to do our job and we don't appreciate you're butting in, so butt out.

BOYFRIEND

So when can we expect some action?

CAGNEY

When it happens, it happens.

She turns to Miss Bertelli.

CAGNEY

We'll talk to you later, Miss Bertelli.

As they leave,

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INTERIOR-DETECTIVES CAR- ROLLING-DAY LACEY DRIVING

CAGNEY

I wish there was some way we could jail those three till we solve this case.

LACEY

So do I. But the law doesn't provide any way for us to keep law abiding people in jail, even if they do make our job harder.

CAGNEY

This case is already tough enough. We don't need help from do-gooders like them.

The car pulls to the curb.

LACEY

See you in the morning.

Cagney looks around.

CAGNEY

Didn't I tell you ?

LACEY

Tell me what ?

CAGNEY

They installed my new air conditioner today. I'm not sleeping here at David's apartment. I'm back home again.

Mary Beth starts driving again.

LACEY (a bit peeved)

I don't remember you telling me about that at all.

CAGNEY

I guess I forgot. It doesn't make any difference though. You know now.

LACEY

You're right. This case has got us so turned around we're almost arguing about things that have no importance at all.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INTERIOR-CHRIS'S APARTMENT-NIGHT

The apartment is dark as the door opens. Chris is just a figure in the door as she reaches for the light switch. She turns on the light and enters to find the apartment pleasantly cool again. As she crosses the floor she leaves one shoe behind, then the other. She drops her purse on the couch and heads for the bedroom, unbuttoning her blouse as she goes. The camera stays behind in the living room. Shortly we hear the shower.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INTERIOR-CHRIS'S BEDROOM

Chris is sitting up in bed, her back propped up by pillows. She gets up and goes to turn off the TV, Then checks the door to see that the chain is in place and it is locked. She then checks the windows to see they are locked. She finds one is not locked. She locks it, then looks thoughtful, and unlocks it. The sash opens easily and quietly. Outside the window is a rusty fire escape. She reaches out and touches it. Flakes of rust come off on her fingers.

Insert a flashback of Chris with the rust flake in Miss Bertelli' s apartment.

Chris closes the window and goes to the couch. She takes her gun from her purse and goes to the phone. She dials. We hear the ringing signal.

ISBECKI (V.0.)

(sleepily) Hello ?

CAGNEY

Victor, wake up. This is Chris. Get your clothes on, bring your gun, and get over to my apartment right now.

ISBECKI (V.0.)

What's up ?

CAGNEY

I'll tell you when you get here. Hurry.

Chris hangs up.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INTERIOR-CHRIS'S LIVING ROOM-NIGHT

Chris is fully dressed, except for her shoes, when she opens the door for Isbecki.

ISBECKI

What's goin' on ?

CAGNEY

Just get your shoes off and come with me.

Chris locks the door as Victor pulls off his shoes. She grabs his arm and pulls him to the bedroom as quickly as she can.

CUT TO:

INTERIOR-CHRIS"S BEDROOM

ISBECKI

I thought you'd never ask.

CAGNEY

I'm still not asking. Sit down.

Chris sets Victor down at her dressing table and starts fitting him with one of her wigs.

ISEECKI

What kind of kooky thing are you up to.

CAGNEY

Mary Beth lives way over in Queens. Marcus lives up in the Bronx. You and I live in Manhattan. If we're lucky, we'll catch us a rapist tonight. Get in the bed and pull the sheet up under your chin.

Victor does as she tells him. Chris turns out all the lights and waits in the closet, sitting on a chair. The hours pass slowly as they wait. Chris consults her watch several times. Insert close-ups of watch to show the passage of time. Finally, a dark figure appears on the fire escape outside the unlocked window. The sash is quietly raised and the person enters. Silently he crosses to the bed. Gently he places one knee on the edge of the bed and poises. He takes his homemade blackjack out of his pocket. Suddenly he grabs the hair of Victor, which is really a wig, and jerks, expecting a woman to be raised away from the bed. Instead, the wig comes off in his hand, and he topples over backward to fall on the floor. At that moment Chris jumps out of the closet and turns on the light. Victor throws off the sheet. The man on the floor is dressed in black. Shoes, pants, socks, shirt, gloves, and ski mask, all in black. He looks at the two guns in their hands.

ISBECKI

Well, well, well. Look at what we have here.

CAGNEY

What do you suppose he had in mind for me ?

ISBECKI

Nothing good, I'll bet.

Chris speaks to the man on the floor.

CAGNEY

Hello there. What do you suppose we have in mind for you ?

MAN

Oh please. Just let me go. I wasn't going to hurt you.

They show their badges.

CAGNEY

We won't hurt you. But I can't make any promises for the other people where you're going.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

EXTERIOB-14TH PRECINCT PARKING BAY-ESTABLISHING-DAY

INTERIOR-SQUADROOM

ANGLE ON Cagney and Lacey at their desks.

LACEY

How did you get onto the guy ?

CAGNEY

It was the rust on Miss Bertelli's floor. We thought it came from the air conditioner, but it didn't. It came from the fire escape. When I got ready for bed last night, I checked the windows because I hadn't been home for a week. I found one unlocked. I remembered the rust, then I remembered that all the victims apartments had windows that opened onto fire escapes. The rest was easy.

PETRIE

It sounds so simple, now. But I still don't get the connection with the air conditioners. This guy is a wholesale grocery salesman.

ISBECKI

His customers are mom-and-pop stores. As he goes around he watches for air conditioner or TV repairman delivering heavy units alone. He helps them, supposedly out of friendliness. When he finds an apartment with a woman living alone, with a window on the fire escape, he leaves the window unlocked. If she doesn't find it, then he gets in later. When he leaves, he locks the window but leaves the door open.

LACEY

Just like the magician said.

CAGNEY

Will you never quit with that magician garbage ?

LACEY

The magician told us it was a simple trick. He made us think of repairmen, doors, door locks, keys, chains, building supers, everywhere but the window to the fire escape. Those windows looked so secure when we got there. All locked up so nice, and no sign of forcible entry. Just a simple trick.

CAGNEY

Well....yeah....I guess it wasn't such a bad idea to consult with a magician.... at least this time. You all think it was my idea ?

PETRIE

You solved the case, didn't you ??

CAGNEY

Yeah....I guess I did at that.

FADE OUT

THE END


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