19 Nocturne Boulevard - MURDER WARD - Reissue

33:48
 
Share
 

Manage episode 304620916 series 2034979
By Julie Hoverson. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

MURDER WARD

"Not guilty by reason of insanity" sounds like an easy out to murderer Edmund - but when he checks into Dr. Larson's mental hospital, he gets much more than he bargained for.

Cast List Edmund/Achilles - Kim Turner Preacher Ronald - Pat McNally Rose Connelly - Joy Jackson Hector - Cole Hornaday Dr. Larson - Marge Lutton Terrance - Greg Porter Lawyer - Sigmund Hoverson Ape man - Reynaud LeBoeuf District Attorney - Melinda Mains Also heard - Julie Hoverson

Music: Kevin MacLeod (Incompetech.com) Editing and Sound: Julie Hoverson Sound effects found on Soundsnap.com Cover Photos: Front - Witek Burkiewicz (courtesy of Stock Xchange.com)

Recorded with American Radio Theater

"What kind of a place is it? Why, it's an insane asylum - can't you tell? Where else would you find... a murderer?"

************************************************************

Murder Ward

This was another episode I wrote specifically in an Old Time Radio format and put together with American Radio Theater, a group that recreates old time radio shows.

Parts of this story were very loosely inspired by (of all things) The Seven Keys to Baldpate, a stage play by George M. Cohen (and a film inspired by it, "The House of Long Shadows"), as was at least one other episode of my show, though in a completely separate way.

Some stories just stick with me.... Or make me think of ways I could do it better....

A big part of this particular story comes from my love of old true crime and detective stories, and how often (in fiction at least) people claim to be temporarily insane in order to get an easier sentence.

I don't want to say more about this story, just will leave it up to the listener.

I want to talk about how I got into podcast audio dramas.

I was doing OTR re-creations with ART when Reynaud Leboeuf (one of my most reliable stock actors in 19 Nocturne Boulevard) said he'd been cast in this podcast Lovecraftian comedy soap opera called The Unspeakable and the Inhuman (which was hilarious), and that they were still looking for a female lead, and would I like to audition?

Well, of course I would!

I was cast, and we recorded in early 2008 at Neohoodoo Studios (Ryan's basement), and during one of these recordings, one of the other actors commented that this was so fun, they should make more shows so that we could record more....

...and I said I have some scripts!!!!

Of course, I still had to learn how to mix, and all that sort of thing, but that's basically where it started. For most of 2008, 19 Nocturne was recorded primarily at Neohoodoo, with the help and kind permission of Ryan - and that got me good sound to work with for my beginning efforts, which made a huge difference. Joy from ART and Ryan both showed me a few things and gave me some tips on mixing.

I have to admit to being a teensy bit smug when, after Unspeakable and Inhuman kind of fell apart, I ran into the main writer Derek at a convention a few years later, and he asked me "How did you make it to so many episodes, when we never got past 9?" and I replied "I'm not a committee."

I do wish Unspeakable and Inhuman was still available somewhere, but I don't think it is. Maybe I'll get in touch with Derek someday and get permission to post the episodes - for posterity.

For the first year of 19 Nocturne, episodes came out in the U&I feed - after the first 8 came out at Brokensea - which further muddies the waters as to what the original order of episodes might have been. It was late 2009 before I decided I was definitely going to keep making shows, and therefore it was worth getting my own page and RSS feed.

...Everything else, as they say, is history.

************************************************************

MURDER WARD

Cast:

  • OLIVIA, the host
  • EDMUND Rafelsen (M/30s) - evil alter ego "Achilles"
  • RUDY Horton, Esq. (M/50s) - Edmund's lawyer
  • TERRANCE (M/20s) - the guard
  • ROSE Connelly (F/20s) - paranoid, hears voices
  • HECTOR Wilson (M/20s) - phobic, fears women
  • RONALD Tomlinson (M/40s) - believes he's obeying god
  • VINCENT (M/any) - frightening, violently crazy
  • DOCTOR Sara LARSON (F/40s) - psychiatrist
  • CROWD, GIRL, MOM, KID - any voices
  • D-A. - District Attorney

OLIVIA Did you have any trouble finding it? What do you mean, what kind of a place is it? Why, it's an insane asylum, can't you tell? Where else would you find ...a murderer?

MUSIC

OLIVIA [voice over] "Not guilty by reason of insanity". A legal defense, often misused to try and get a lighter sentence for a heinous crime. And what does it really mean? In a nutshell--

SCENE 1. OFFICE

RUDY --it means at the time you did what you did, you didn't - couldn't - understand what you were doing was wrong. It's a tough sell, Ed. No matter what the movies make out, most juries just don't believe--

EDMUND [cultured voice] Mr. Horton, I would prefer that you address me directly when you speak to me.

RUDY Ed, this isn't funny.

EDMUND There is no "Ed" here. Edmund, however, is sleeping. Mr. Horton, if you cannot bring yourself to use my name, at least--

RUDY OK, look--

SOUND rustling paper

RUDY [disapproving] --Achilles - I--

EDMUND And I am not insane. Nor is Edmund. I knew perfectly well what I did was wrong. All those pretty little women. I was really doing them a favor. The world is so harsh.

RUDY I-- Look, Achilles, let me talk to Ed for a while. It's his name on the docket, after all.

EDMUND Very well. I shall rouse him for you. [voice changes to more lower class - after this, he speaks as Ed any time not otherwise noted] Yeah? What is it shyster? Hey! Why's my cigarette all burned down all of a sudden?

MUSIC

SCENE 2. COURTROOM

CROWD [MURMURS]

SOUND GAVEL

DOCTOR LARSON Ahem. As I said, after a thorough examination, I have concluded that while Edmund is nominally the dominant persona, his alter ego Achilles was the one who actually committed... [fade out]

MUSIC

SCENE 3. ASYLUM HALLWAY

SOUND FOOTSTEPS ON TILE. JINGLE OF KEYS

TERRANCE Guess you think you're lucky, eh?

SOUND DOOR UNLOCKS

EDMUND And why's that?

SOUND DOOR OPENS

INMATES [AD LIB, MURMURS "IN CHARACTER" see monologues at end]

EDMUND What the--?

TERRANCE Your new pals, bub. As I was saying, I guess you THINK you're lucky, getting off without the death penalty and all. Come on.

SOUND SLOW FOOTSTEPS

EDMUND Look mac, I thought I was gonna have a private room--

TERRANCE These are the induction cells. Once the Doc gets a handle on your syko-sees, she'll move you to someplace appropriate.

EDMUND She?

SOUND FOOTSTEPS STOP

TERRANCE Sure. You saw her at your trial - Doctor Larson. She's got some big-brain new ideas about how ta deal with luniacks like yourself.

SOUND KEYS JINGLE.

TERRANCE Your room, misshur.

SOUND CELL UNLOCKS, DOOR OPENS.

EDMUND But, but there's a DAME in here. Ain't we supposed to be--

TERRANCE Funny thing about that. Dames go off the pier too. And we're overbooked in that department. She probly won't be here long. Besides, she's waaaay over there. She can't hurt you.

SOUND FOOTSTEPS

HECTOR [fading in - urgent milktoast] --he's right. She shouldn't be in here. You don't understand the damage they can do. [fading] Women are--

RONALD [fading in, hissing whispers] ‑‑have new instructions. It is time for you to let me go. HE has declared it. [fading] My presence is required--

SOUND FOOTSTEPS END, JINGLE OF KEYS

ROSE [fading in] --staring at me. Are you sure they can't get out? Please, would you check the locks again? [fading] I'm so afraid--

SOUND DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS.

INMATES [MOMENT OF SILENCE]

ROSE [sigh]

RONALD [normal, husky voice] Hey. New guy. Got any smokes?

EDMUND What?

RONALD Smokes.

EDMUND Even if I did, they wouldn't let us have any matches, would they?

ROSE [hard dame] Who are you kidding? You can get pretty much anything in here, just as long as you know who to ask. And HOW to ask it.

EDMUND Funny, you sounded crazy a minute ago.

ROSE [snort] Yeah, well. We all have our bad days... [raising voice slightly] And some never have good days, right Heck?

HECTOR Wicked Jezebel. You shouldn't be here.

ROSE [to Edmund] We're pretty sure that Hector there is the real McCoy.

RONALD Now, now. We're ALL nuts. We must keep that in mind.

ROSE Yeah, but THAT guy - he just never lets up!

EDMUND But if you ain't crazy--

RONALD [chuckles] Court says we are. Even with moments of lucidity, well-- What can they do?

EDMUND What if they're listening? Recording, maybe?

ROSE I thought I was the one with the persecution complex.

RONALD I've been trying to catch them for over a month. Nothing doing. They're just not interested. Besides, once the jury brings down the verdict, the court has to keep you locked you up until they cure you.

ROSE OR you give up and confess.

RONALD Oh, sure. [sarcastic] I'll just admit it was all phony, take my lumps and go to the Chair!

EDMUND What if one of you decides to squeal?

ROSE [laughs] Who'd take the word of a head case?

HECTOR If you try and spit your fiendish poison at me, fiend, I shall find a way to defend myself!

ROSE [disgusted sigh] I am real sick of him.

RONALD He probably had a bad mother.

ROSE Yeah? Well who didn't?

EDMUND The guard said I'd only be in here for a little while--

RONALD Yeah. Us too. I've now been here for two months, and Rose--

ROSE Rose Connelly, p'raps you hearda me?

EDMUND YOU'RE Rose Connelly?

ROSE [pleased] Yeah. The one and only. My sister's got a scrapbook of clippings for me. She can't bring them, but she tells me all about them when she visits.

RONALD Rose's been here about three weeks. Since her sentencing.

EDMUND And Romeo over there?

ROSE Hah! Cute. Two incredibly long days.

EDMUND And...this is it?

RONALD What?

EDMUND This is what we get? I mean, in prison they at least get some kind of exercise and stuff. Geneva convention, and all that.

ROSE Ah, it's just temporary. I guess the loony bins are all booked up right now. [giggles] Say, maybe there's a convention in town.

RONALD Don't worry. We get to talk to the Doc each day, regular as clockwork. She's a sweetheart, but I bet Hector isn't making any improvements.

HECTOR [matter of fact] Doctor? She's the devil! I refuse to give her the satisfaction of a single word.

ROSE [derisive] "Doctor," hah! She's the one that let me get myself in here. I thought it would be real tough to fool a head shrinker, but boy was she a pushover. Always so sympathetic. So understanding. She don't deserve to be a nurse, let alone a doctor.

RONALD Funny, she testified at my trial too. Hmm. Guess we both got lucky.

EDMUND [absently] Yeah. Lucky.

MUSIC

SCENE 4. DOCTOR'S OFFICE

DOCTOR LARSON Edmund, I can't help you if you refuse to cooperate.

EDMUND [as Achilles] I am trying my utmost, madam, but he simply refuses to converse with you.

DOCTOR LARSON [not batting an eye] Then let's you and I talk, Achilles. You claim that the killing was--

EDMUND [as Achilles] Killings. Let us be precise. Mercy killings, actually. [fading] I felt so kindly‑‑

MUSIC

SCENE 5. CELL HALLWAY

SOUND SNORING FROM ALL INMATES

SOUND SCRITCHING, LIKE A MOUSE TRYING TO BORE THROUGH WOOD

EDMUND [snores, then wakes, frightened] Ah! ah! What?

[NOTE LOW VOICES]

RONALD Shh. You'll wake the neighbors.

EDMUND What was that? But that noise - it's--

RONALD I know. We call him Mortimer.

EDMUND This place has mice?

RONALD We haven't seen him, so we're not sure what particular type of rodentia he is, but we sure hear him. Particularly when it's quiet.

EDMUND But how can I get any sleep--?

RONALD You get used to it. We all get used to lots of things.

HECTOR [coming awake with a scream] Aaagh! Off me, you fiend from hell! No! No! [goes on incoherently]

ROSE [Wakes with a whimper]

[NOTE VOICES NORMAL]

EDMUND That'll take some getting used to.

RONALD Yeah.

MUSIC

SCENE 6. DOCTOR'S OFFICE

DOCTOR LARSON Edmund, why don't you tell me about your mother?

EDMUND [as Edmund] My mother? What - why? My mother's fine. She got nothing to do with this.

DOCTOR LARSON Do you love your mother?

EDMUND Well, o'course. I mean, you gotta - it's just nature, ain't it? [trailing off with] No matter... what... she does t'you.

DOCTOR LARSON What did your mother do, Edmund? [beat] Edmund?

EDMUND [as Achilles] It's no use, doctor. He has gone into retreat.

MUSIC

SCENE 7. CELL HALLWAY

SOUND CELL BLOCK DOOR OPENS

INMATES [begin their various muttering]

TERRANCE This way folks. Step lively now.

SOUND CROWD MURMURS, LOTS OF SHUFFLING FOOTSTEPS

HECTOR What is this? How dare you bring in more of THEM! Mischief! Mischief!

ROSE [aside, shocked, not pretending] What's a kid doing here?

MOM Tommy, now look at that - that's what crazy folks look like.

KID Gee.

TERRANCE [like a carnival barker] Not just any crazy folks, lady, these are all crazy murderers!

CROWD Ooh!

TERRANCE Each and every one of these... people... has committed the most heinous of crimes!

GIRL Wow, look at that one over there, he's kinda cute--!

HECTOR Harlot! Harlot! Do not approach, or I must smite thee down!

GIRL What's smite - is that bad?

TERRANCE Best to stay away from the bars. Now, this here is Rose Connolly, known throughout the entire state--

ROSE [seriously disturbed] Stop looking at me! How can you--? Get them outta here, wontcha?

TERRANCE --For killing her husband while under the inexorable compulsion of a persecution complex.

ROSE This isn't right!

GIRL What's inexcorable - is that bad?

MOM Killing your man - now, that ain't right!

RONALD Come, come, now - leave her, she is unimportant, aha! But I - I have a message to give unto you.

MUSIC - TIME PASSES

SCENE 8. CELL HALLWAY

SOUND CROWD WANDERS OUT, DOOR SHUTS

ROSE [Breaks down] Oh!

RONALD How mortifying.

ROSE [sobbing] Like animals in a zoo.

EDMUND I'm surprised they didn't start throwing us peanuts.

RONALD I tried to get them away from you, Rose, I really did. But big headlines trumps preaching, I guess.

HECTOR This should stand as a warning to you, woman! You are never alone! There is always a witness to the wicked things you do!

ROSE I have had just about enough out of you! You-- noisy little weasel! We girls, we're just folks just like everybody else - you have no right to--

RONALD Rose, calm down. Shh. It's not going to help.

EDMUND Yeah. For crying out loud, we've made it this far, how much worse can it get?

MUSIC

SCENE 9. DOCTOR'S OFFICE

EDMUND [as Achilles] It was mortifying for Edmund, Doctor. I think he may have suffered a terrible setback.

DOCTOR Now, the tours are conducted for very good reasons.

EDMUND What, pray tell?

DOCTOR It's really not something we should be discussing, but - since you are so concerned - First, it is to show the public that this facility is on the up and up - you've certainly heard of the old fashioned "asylums" where inmates were neglected and beaten? This way, nothing is hidden - so no abuses occur--

EDMUND [almost breaking character] No abuses?

DOCTOR Also, it helps to make insanity seem less frightening to the general public. Most people have seen insanity only in movies - where it is so inevitably terribly destructive and dangerous. This way, they see the human side of it.

EDMUND [as Achilles] I see that your intentions are admirable, but I can't help but think that a trip through the violent ward would merely reinforce the negative popular belief?

DOCTOR That's why the tour through the violent ward is only for serious students of psychology. [fading] You must have misunderstood.

MUSIC

SCENE 10. CELL HALLWAY

SOUND CELL BLOCK DOOR OPENS

RONALD And the lord said--

ROSE Can't you make them stop staring?

SOUND FOOTSTEPS, DOOR CLOSES

INMATES [CONTINUE MURMURS]

SOUND CELL DOOR OPENS

EDMUND [Achilles] Thank you, my good man.

SOUND CELL DOOR CLOSES, FOOTSTEPS. THEN A SCUFFLE!

HECTOR [struggling] Give it to me!

TERRANCE [struggling] Leave go, you ape!

HECTOR [struggling] I have to-- oof! [air knocked out of him]

SOUND TWO FOOTSTEPS. DUSTING OFF HANDS

TERRANCE That'll show you to tangle with me.

HECTOR [weak] Yes, but ... I have your gun.

ROSE [scream]

EDMUND Stop him Ron - you're closest!

SOUND GUN SHOT

TERRANCE Aargh!

ROSE Oh no! No!

HECTOR [calm and creepy] The next one is for you, Delilah! Salome!

ROSE Me? I didn't do anything-- [gasps]

INMATES [GASP]

SOUND CLICK

RONALD Who put out the lights?

HECTOR It was the monster - Lilith, devourer of infants!

SOUND PSSST OF GAS

EDMUND Do you... hear... [getting sleepy] Some...thing...?

MUSIC - TIME PASSES

SCENE 11. CELL HALLWAY

EDMUND [waking up] Hmm? Wha--?

RONALD [groans]

ROSE [wakes with a startled gasp]

EDMUND What happened?

RONALD At least the lights are back on.

ROSE But I don't wanna open my eyes.

EDMUND Look!

RONALD Where? [disgust] Oh!

ROSE Just ... just tell me, I don't wanna--

EDMUND Better you don't look, Rose. [muttered] That's a lot of blood.

RONALD [muttered back] You don't lose that much and walk away. Too bad. Terry was a right guy.

ROSE Blood? Oh, no! Hector? Where is he? He's going to shoot me!

RONALD Calm down, Rose. He's gone.

EDMUND So's the guard. There's just the... blood.

SOUND CLICK - LOUDSPEAKER ON

DOCTOR LARSON [filter/loudspeaker] We apologize for the inconvenience of using a psychotropic gas on you.

EDMUND Gas?

DOCTOR LARSON [filter] Rest assured there will be no long-term effects.

EDMUND That was what I heard.

DOCTOR LARSON [filter] If you are feeling groggy or your head aches, sit quietly, breath deeply, and it will pass.

SOUND CLICK - LOUDSPEAKER OFF

ROSE [breathing deeply but raggedly] It wasn't our fault - they haveta know that!

EDMUND It's not like we're a bunch of babes in the woods. They may know what happened and just not care.

ROSE So just because I killed my husband, I;m gonna - I'm gonna hurt a random stranger? That's silly.

RONALD [chuckles] No. Just insane, m'dear.

MUSIC

SCENE 12. OFFICE

RUDY I don't see any way to--

EDMUND What? This is cruel and inhumane--

RUDY You don't understand, Ed. [dry] It is Ed I'm talking to, isn't it?

EDMUND Yeah, yeah.

RUDY You are not a free citizen. You've been consigned to Dr. Larson's care, and--

EDMUND Now you don't understand, Horton. A guard was killed last night, in our block--

RUDY You didn't--?

EDMUND Nah, it was this loony who thinks women are all evil.

RUDY Which, of course, you don't--?

EDMUND This ain't the time for that, Rudy. I'm talking about a murder.

RUDY There's no record of--

EDMUND The corpse's name is Terry, Terrance, something like that. He is - was - a guard here. Come on, someone's gotta be doing something!

RUDY I haven't seen anything in the papers. These state-run facilities, though-- sometimes they're like a world in themselves.

EDMUND Well get me another world.

RUDY [chuckles] There's only ONE way to do that.

EDMUND Yes?

RUDY Admit that you're not insane... and go to the chair.

MUSIC

SCENE 13. CELL HALLWAY

SOUND CELL BLOCK DOOR OPENS, ROSE'S FOOTSTEPS AND A HEAVY SET OF MAN'S FOOTSTEPS, SLOW AND MEASURED.

ROSE Can't you please stop looking at me? I know why - I know why you're staring! You can read my mind!

SOUND KEYS JINGLE

EDMUND [Achilles] You are such a lovely young lady. And so frightened. Come to me and I shall cure you of all your fear.

SOUND DOOR UNLOCKS, OPENS

ROSE Stop! Don't say things like that. He never takes his eyes off of me, you know.

RONALD [quietly] And he said unto me, for I am the way--

SOUND ROSE'S QUICK FOOTSTEPS, DOOR SHUTS, LOCKS.

EDMUND Hey, buddy, don't you talk?

SOUND KEYS JINGLE. HEAVY FOOTSTEPS LEAVE

RONALD Justice is ever mute.

SOUND DOOR OPENS, CLOSES

INMATES [quiet for a moment]

EDMUND What's with that guy?

RONALD I hate being ignored like that.

ROSE He didn't say anything in the halls - going to the doc's office OR coming back, either. No matter what I did.

EDMUND Did the doc say anything about the dead guard?

ROSE Not a word, even though I asked. She just ignored the question.

RONALD She didn't ignore you completely, though?

ROSE No... But she didn't say much. Did she talk to you at all during your appointment?

RONALD I didn't have an appointment with her this morning.

EDMUND But you were gone--

RONALD I wasn't going to say anything, but the guard just took me out and walked me around the halls for an hour.

MUSIC

SCENE 14. OFFICE

EDMUND I got rights, Horton!

RUDY Well, technically, no. Actually, I could do more for you if you WERE in prison. Once you're committed to the doctor's care, you really can't complain. Particularly since you don't have any proof for any of your allegations--

EDMUND Allegations? Proof? How's this for proof - the others will back me up!

RUDY [condescending] Two other certified inmates? Oh, sure. That'll stand up in court.

MUSIC

SCENE 15.

EDMUND You guys ever wonder what they did with old Hector?

RONALD Solitary confinement, I guess. Killing a guard's pretty serious.

EDMUND [sarcastic] Oh, yeah, unlike whatever it was we did to get here.

ROSE Hey, I draw the line at killing strangers.

EDMUND Just your husband?

ROSE Looking back, I guess it wasn't such a great idea.

RONALD You guess? Hah! You--

EDMUND Why'd you do it, then? Did he push you around or something?

ROSE [snorts] Nah. If he'd'a beaten me, I woulda had a defense in court. Nah, it was just little things. Like the sounds he makes when he eats - ate - and the thing with his toenails. Us women have to put up with this kind of thing all the time, but... It just got to me.

EDMUND It just got to you?

ROSE Well, yeah!

RONALD There's a reason the marriage vows say until death do we part--

ROSE AND I wasn't going to the chair for something like that, so I started pulling the "he was out to get me" hash on my lawyer, and it worked. More or less. Not like this joint is anything to write home about.

RONALD It wasn't so bad up until that guy Hector showed up. Since then... well.

EDMUND So who'd you kill?

SOUND TINNY CHAMBER MUSIC BEGINS TO PIPE IN, VERY QUIETLY.

RONALD I don’t think so--

EDMUND [pushing] Go on. Who?

ROSE Oh, leave off. Hey, that's kind of nice.

RONALD What?

ROSE The music.

RONALD Hmm. And if I prefer to maintain my right to avoid self-incrimination?

EDMUND Geez. Don't take it that way, I was just curious. [pause] I killed four women.

ROSE Four? Maybe I SHOULD be worried.

SOUND MUSIC STARTS TO VERY SLOWLY GET LOUDER

EDMUND Oh, I put on a song and dance for the cops about how they needed to be killed to save them and all. Making up a Mr. Hyde personality to take all the blame. [beat] Three of em were mob snitches.

RONALD So what, you're a hit man?

EDMUND I owed some money. Shouldn't have got caught at all, seeing as how there was no connection between me and them, but the cops got something - fingerprints or something - and they tracked me down.

ROSE And ...the fourth?

EDMUND Huh? [offhanded] Oh, just some dame - I did her to throw off the connections and make myself look nuts. I'd already figured on being caught - and better a whacko than a torpedo, ya know?

SOUND MUSIC IS LOUD ENOUGH THAT THEY ARE RAISING THEIR VOICES OVER IT

RONALD You are some piece of work.

EDMUND Still casting stones, eh, preacher? Why don't you explain how you got here-- What in the name of --- What IS that MUSIC?

ROSE It was ok... to start with... but, now--!

SOUND MUSIC REACHES A CRESCENDO, THEN CUTS OUT WITH

MUSIC STING - TIME PASSES

SCENE 16. CELL HALLWAY

SOUND DOOR LOCK UNLOCKS, DOOR OPENS.

RONALD --said the offender must be plucked out!

SOUND SLOW FOOTSTEPS - ORDERLY BRINGING IN NEW INMATE, VICTOR

EDMUND I am so sick of this guy.

ROSE Are you taking me away? I know you've been watching me.

SOUND RATTLE OF LARGE CHAIN, STUMBLING FOOTSTEPS

VICTOR [growls and snaps]

SOUND KEYS, CELL DOOR OPENS.

ROSE [whispered] Ed? Ed? That guy - is he even human?

EDMUND [whispered] Shh. I dunno.

ROSE [whispered] But he's so... so huge!

SOUND SHUFFLING FOOTSTEPS, CHAIN RATTLING.

RONALD The beast! For I have seen--

VICTOR [growl - lunge]

SOUND SCUFFLE OF FEET, CHAINS CLANG AGAINST BARS.

RONALD Aah!

SOUND SCUFFLE AWAY.

VICTOR [snarling]

SOUND THUNK OF NIGHTSTICK ON FLESH, RATTLE OF CHAINS

ROSE He didn't-- it didn't even notice! The guard hit it and hit it-- [screaming] Get me out of here! Please! Please get me out of here!

sound cell door closes, locks, rattle of chains against bars

EDMUND Shh. He's not listening anyway.

ROSE Anything! Whatever you want! [collapsing into sobs] I can't take any more!

SOUND GUARD'S FOOTSTEPS, KEYS, CELL BLOCK DOOR UNLOCKED

ROSE Please! I'll admit everything! Take me to the doctor - the lawyer - the JUDGE! Anything!

SOUND [BEAT] FOOTSTEPS RETURN, KEYS, CELL DOOR UNLOCKS.

ROSE [Breaking down] Oh... thank you. Thank you...!

MUSIC

SCENE 17. OFFICE

RUDY --none of your business. She's not my case. Now, Ed, they can keep you locked up any way they want - with anyone they want - for as long as they want. You're getting three squares a day, right?

EDMUND Usually. Sometimes it comes pretty late, though. And there's been a couple of times it's been too salty to eat.

RUDY So they have a crummy cook - place like this? Go figure.

EDMUND You gotta get me out of here, Rudy.

RUDY I've told you, there's no place else to put you.

MUSIC

SCENE 18. CELL HALLWAY

RONALD I think he's asleep.

EDMUND It. Rose called it an it.

RONALD I asked the doctor about Rose. The doc said a whole lot of nothing, but I get the impression she - Rose - has revealed all, as they say, and is heading for a short vacation in a nice clean death row cell.

EDMUND Not so bad for her. Women get pardoned all the time, specially pretty ones.

RONALD Yeah. And you would know all about the pretty ones, eh?

EDMUND [remembering fondly] They were all lookers, yeah.

RONALD How can you sleep?

EDMUND Don't get high and mighty moral on me, bud, you're in here too.

RONALD I was only-- It WAS a moral choice. A decision that had to be made and no one was making it.

EDMUND Oh, so who'd you kill? Cripples?

RONALD I ended the suffering of several decrepit--

VINCENT [ROAR!]

SOUND CHAINS SMACK AGAINST CELL BARS

RONALD [half choking] Let go!

EDMUND Nobody's got arms that--!

RONALD [gasping] Get someone! You gotta-- [choking]

EDMUND Hey! Hey! over here, ugly!

SOUND RATTLE OF CHAINS

RONALD [gasps for breath]

SOUND THUMPING FOOTSTEPS, RATTLE OF CHAINS

EDMUND Hah! Gorilla! Even you can't reach this far, eh?

SOUND CELL DOOR BEING SHAKEN

VICTOR [growls]

RONALD [hoarse] Thanks, pal.

EDMUND Don't thank me yet - I think those hinges are coming loose!

SOUND CELL DOOR BREAKS OPEN, RATTLE OF CHAINS

RONALD Oh, god! No! Release the gas! Someone please release the gas!!! [choking]

VICTOR [growls]

SOUND CHAINS RATTLING AGAINST BARS

SOUND TINNY CHAMBER MUSIC PLAYS OVER THE FIGHT NOISES

EDMUND Not the music! The gas! He's dying, for crying out loud!

RONALD [expiring noise]

SOUND GAS

MUSIC

SCENE 19. OFFICE

EDMUND Horton, whatever I need to do, whatever I need to sign, just hand it over. I ain't spending another night in this place.

RUDY You understand the consequences? You won't have the slightest option of recanting again and going back to your original statement.

EDMUND Yeah, yeah. Anything - and I mean anything - is better than this freak show.

MUSIC

SCENE 20. RECEPTION PARTY

SOUND GLASSES TINKLE, DRINKS BEING POURED

DOCTOR LARSON I'm so glad you find my program effective, Mr. District Attorney.

D-A. Well, I admit I had my doubts, when you first outlined it--

DOCTOR LARSON You expressed concern about the danger of physical harm to the subject? As you now see, there is never any direct physical contact. Thus, there can be no allegations of physical harm or coersion.

ROSE He might have come close to dying with fright, though. [teasing] You were quite terrifying, darling.

VICTOR [growls jokingly, then fairly cultured voice] After fifteen movies as monsters

ROSE And an apeman...

VICTOR [chuckles] And one apemen, who wouldn't be?

HECTOR I'm rather glad I get to duck out early. Murderers just [shudders] give me the creeps.

TERRANCE Hey, we're out of sham-pane. Want me to go and get some more?

HECTOR Nah, I'll go. Be right back!

D-A. It seems like a lot of effort, though, for a single confession. A lot of manpower. [tip of the hat] And woman power.

DOCTOR LARSON Ah, but it's valuable work on a number of levels. We convince a murderer to confess, and we learn a great deal about the human psyche each time through the experiment.

D-A. Each time? How many--?

ROSE Hmm... [thinking] I've had the screaming meemies four times--

RONALD And I've nearly died... oh, three, I think.

DOCTOR LARSON Not all of them last as long as our good friend Edmund.

D-A. I'll drink to that.

MUSIC

CLOSER

OLIVIA Now that you know how to find us, you'll have to come back. Maybe next week? Don't be a stranger - we have enough of those already...

INDIVIDUAL SPEECHES FOR THE "INMATES" FOR "ad lib" SECTIONS

ROSE I can feel them, all the time, watching everything I do - always making sure. Always knowing. I never get a moment alone, never a smidgen of privacy. How can I live like this? It's always the same - at first, they seem so nice, so different, then they turn on you, controlling you, having to know everything you do, and then they just don't let you do anything. I couldn't even have a glass of water without getting permission.

HECTOR Sinner! Be penitent and god may be merciful and end your despicable life - hah, raise your head in the presence of your condemnation, will you? Created to sin, designed by Satan to tempt honest men from the path of righteousness. Daughters of Eve, you share her taint! You try and draw us into your web, to make us debase ourselves for your enjoyment! Wickedness! Temptress! Succubus!

RONALD God moves in mysterious ways, for his decisions are inscrutable and his calling ineffable. He has summoned me to his bidding, and I must obey. There is no evil in ending the suffering of those that god would have called home to his presence. He does not strike out in anger, but reaches forth to embrace his injured and damaged children, who need his solace.

159 episodes