In The Valley Of Elah Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the In The Valley Of Elah script is here for all you fans of the Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron movie. This puppy is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of the movie to get the dialogue. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and all that jazz, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. At least you'll have some In The Valley Of Elah quotes (or even a monologue or two) to annoy your coworkers with in the meantime, right?

And swing on back to Drew's Script-O-Rama afterwards -- because reading is good for your noodle. Better than Farmville, anyway.

In The Valley Of Elah Script

What are you doing?

Get back in the fucking vehicle, Mike!

Mike, get back in the fucking vehicle.

Let's go, Mike, now!



I can hardly hear you.

I said your son has gone A WOL.

My son's in Iraq.

Your son was in Iraq, sir.
His unit arrived stateside four days ago.

Soldier, if my son were back,
I'd sure as hell know it.

He has until Sunday to get back
or he'll be listed as absent.

I'm sorry, I have another call.

You have no messages.

Hey, this is Mike. Leave a message. If
I ever get a signal, I'll call you back.

Mike, it's your old man. Heard you're
back. Give me a call when you get a chance.

Think about that. Freedom is on the march,
and we're safer because of it.

Iraq is still dangerous.

It is dangerous because that society
is becoming more free...

...and heading toward democracy.

Analysts say a broader strategy
is at work... that began with the offensive
in the Sunni Triangle city of Samarra...

...earlier this month.

There you go.

You sure that thing's gonna fit?

You gotta trust somebody
sometime, Hank.

- Anyone call?
- Nope.

Fort Rudd, how may I direct your call?

First Sergeant Arnold Bickman,
Criminal Investigations Division.

I'm sorry, sir. I have no one
by that name on base.

Thank you.

Anything you wanna tell me?

Why can't I go with you?

If he's someplace celebrating...

...last thing he needs is his mother
walking in on him.

- I'll call you when I get there tomorrow.
- It's a two-day drive.

For some people.

You don't wanna let it touch the ground.


- Where you from?
- El Salvador.

Do you know what it means
when a flag flies upside down?

- No.
- It's an international distress signal.

- No shit?
- No shit.

It means we're in a lot of trouble,
so come save our ass:::

...because we don't have a prayer in hell
of saving ourselves.

- It says a lot.
- Yes, it does.

You know how to do it now?

- Oh, yes.
- Good.

This whole concept of "vote or Die!"
To me the question is:

Are they gonna vote?

Are they gonna leave the bong
long enough to actually vote?

I don't know.






A strong low-pressure system will pass
southward across New Mexico tonight...

...bringing with it colder temperatures
and overcast skies.

Go ahead, sergeant.

Thank you, ma'am.

Sergeant Deerfield?

- Hi.
- Thanks. I know you're busy.

I wish you told me you were coming.
I could've made a little more time.

Bet the base has changed a lot
since your day.

- Thanks, corporal.
- Welcome.

What about his buddies?

We asked, of course.

The rest of my guys
just got back from a 72.

I don't wanna seem like
I'm not concerned.

Where they been, it's a miracle
more guys don't blow off for a few days.

Would you mind if I had a look
at his quarters?


- Penning.
- Yes, sarge.

- This is Specialist Deerfield's father.
- Good to meet you.

- Have you heard from Mike?
- No.

He wants to look at his son's quarters.

Certainly, sir. Shortcut's through here.

Me and Mike go back to Bosnia.

He's sure told me
enough stories about you.

- He hasn't called or anything?
- Does that surprise you?

You know better than me, but I recall
Mike showing up for roll call...

...with a collarbone
sticking through his skin.

Long, Ortiez. This is Doc's dad.

- Oh, honored to meet you, sir.
- Good to meet you.


A nickname we gave him.
Made no sense.

That's Mike's room there.

You boys have any idea
where Mike could be?

- No, sir.
- Sorry.

- Must be one hell of a woman.
- Yeah.

Good to meet you, sir.

When you hear from Mike, you tell him
to get his butt back here, okay?


This is Specialist Deerfield's dad.
We've come to look at his bunk.

Roger. I thought you were
someone trying to steal shit.

Is that your room?

Yeah. That's Mike's bunk there.

It was nice to meet you, sir.

Who's that?

We lost a man.

That's your duffel, right?


Tried to convince him to take the one he
was issued. It's like talking to a wall.

No photographs.


Mike's always taking pictures
and e-mailing them to me...

...and I don't see any photographs...

:::or a camera:

Property theft is a real problem.

- Guess it was the same during your stint.
- Yeah.

You mind if I take this? His mother
gave it to him and I left mine at home.

I'd like to, but I can't
let you remove anything.

I understand.


I think New Mexico is a very important
state, and I want to win New Mexico.

I think New Mexico has great
possibilities of better jobs...

...more jobs.
You've got those wonderful...

This phone's been around
some intense heat.

- It's been in Iraq.
- That could do it.

All right.

This is seriously fried.

Let's see. Okay.

Address book.

All right, there's numbers for barracks,
burgers, chicken, Mom..., TD's, Ted.

What's TD's?

That's a local joint. Could've been more,
but that's all that's left.

- Okay, thanks. How much?
- You want the media?


Yeah. Look.

Speed up!

No. This is trash.

Oh, yeah, here we go.

Bonner, take this.

Long, toss the ball!

Historical moment.

The first time one of these kids is gonna
get to touch a real American football.

- That's your son?
- That's Mike.

Yeah! No, you're going this way!
This way!

Hey, that's my ball, you little fuckers!

Hey! Shit.


What's wrong, man?

- Did Ali Baba take your football?
- Turn off the fucking phone.

Any more?

Yeah, but it looks like the rest
of the files are corrupted.

If you want, I have a program at home
that can pull them off.

It's slow, but I could charge you
a hundred flat.

- Can you e-mail them to me?
- Yeah, no problem.

- Thanks.
- Where's TD's?

I'm looking for my boy.

I'm looking for my son.

Good luck.

I need four tequila shots! Four!

What are you doing?

Just looking at some old photos
Mike sent me.

You gonna be okay?

It doesn't make sense.
He wouldn't leave without telling us.

I will find him.



Good night.

I can hardly hear you.

You gotta get me out of here.

Well, she should've known better.

Hold a sec.

- Your son is in the Army.
- Yes, ma'am.

Then you need to see the military police.

They're busy with the war.
I'm trying to check things out.

- You can file a missing person's report.
- Fine.

In which case, you'll need to see
the military police.

How about you let me talk to somebody
that does more than answer a phone?

Sir, I wondered if you could
help me with this...

I don't think you understand.
He loved that dog.

I'm sure he did, ma'am,
but the dog bit him.

- When a dog bites you, what do you do?
- I really don't know.

You tie it up, you give it away,
you might even shoot it.

You don't pick it up by the throat,
wrestle it into the bathroom...

...and drown it in the tub.

That doesn't sound
a little bit strange to you?

Maybe he thought it was more humane.

More humane? It's a Doberman.

He's drowning it right in front of our son
and it's biting him.

And I'm crying for him to stop.
That all sounds humane to you?

Your husband ever threaten you
or your child?

He'd never hurt us. He just needs help.

That's why you need to go to the VA.

You need to go to them
and ask them about counseling.

You think I haven't been down there?

He won't go. He's gonna hurt himself.
I know he is.

- Look, I'd really like to help you here.
- Really?

Oh, because it looks to me
like you don't give a crap.

You know, in fact, I do.

But I gotta tell you, crimes against dogs
are particularly hard to prosecute.

If you don't mind,
I have somebody waiting for me.

- Okay. Fuck you, lady.
- Okay.


That kind of morning, huh?

You gotta take that to military police.

I'm trying to keep my son
out of more trouble.

I know you're busy...

...but I need you to make one phone call
to his bank and find out...

...if he's made withdrawals or used
his credit card in the last week.

Retired cop, or just watch a lot of TV?

Military police, retired.

Then you should know. Army has
jurisdiction over its own personnel.

Sorry, I hope you find your son.

I don't know what you think your job is,
but if it's anything like mine was...'s to roll up drunks, twiddle your
thumbs, not ask too many questions.

But my son has spent the last 18 months
bringing democracy to a shithole...

...and serving his country.

He deserves better than this.

Because we have done the hard work,
we are entering a season of hope.

My God. Hank Deerfield.
I'll be a son of a bitch.

- What the hell you doing at home?
- Well, you almost missed us.

We're taking the camper
to see the grandkids.

- I called you at the base.
- Base?

Well, Christ, Hank.
I've been retired for 14 years.

- You have not.
- Yeah, going on 15.

How in the hell are you?

Fine. Oh, want coffee or a piece of pie?

No, no, I don't have time.
Helen's waiting in the camper.

What'd you do...

...bust an axle and call me for a tow?

No, I was hoping you were still at CID.
I'm looking for a friendly face.

- Neither one of your boys in trouble, I hope.
- No.

- What was that oldest one's name, Darren?
- David.

David, that's right.
Joined 82nd Airborne, didn't he?

- Yeah.
- Yeah, tough bunch of sons of bitches.

How's he liking it?

He died in a helicopter crash
on maneuvers at Fort Bragg 10 years ago.

Oh, God, I'm sorry to hear that, Hank.

Very sorry.

How about the younger one?

- Mike.
- Yeah.

Regular Army, just like his old man.
In Iraq, doing well.

I'm doing a favor for a neighbor lady.
One of her boys is in a little trouble.

Is there anybody we know still there?

No, no. They're all gone.

She got you on a short leash.

Well, you know.

Kids are waiting for us.

I found his old checkbook.

Is there anything written on it?
I need a password.

No, there's nothing on it.

You sure?

Which do you think it is, I'm blind
or I don't feel like telling you?

I'm worried, Hank. I'm truly worried.

He's a good boy. He'll have a reason.


I'll find him. Talk to you tomorrow.

What's going on?

Don't you worry, it's not animal-related.


They found body parts
out on Mesa Luna Road.

- I'll get the car.
- Okay.

Hey, Bonner. There's your family.

Stop fucking around.

- You could've fucking broken it!
- You're a fucking idiot.

Oh, fuck.

Oh, shit! What do I do?

Do not stop. Do not fucking stop!

- Speed up! Speed up!
- Bonner!

- Fuck.
- What are you doing?

Maybe go down there a little bit further.

Aaron, I need more evidence markers.

You got all we have.

Straighten out some wire hangers, and buy
Dixie cups to stick on the ends of them.

Come on.

And get me a receipt.



Tell me good news, Hodge.

Well, it looks like the victim
was killed by that fire site there...

...then the body was chopped up,
it was burned...

...and animals scattered the parts, so...

And you're smiling
like an idiot because?

Well, the base bought this field
from the city two months ago.

City property only extends 50 feet
from the center line of the road... I don't think it's our body, chief.

Well, hallelujah.

Let's go home.

Wrap it up, fellas!

Boys with the shiny buttons
are coming in.

It will necessarily break
the back of the insurgency.

It is not, though, the panacea.

Just by taking it out does not mean
the rest of the insurgency will fall.

More than half of Fallujah's
250,000 residents...

...have already fled
in anticipation of the offensive.

Insurgents believed to number in the
thousands have been preparing defenses...

...attacking U.S. Troops,
and rigging booby traps.

Mr. Deerfield?

Jim Osher. Could I get a word?

Yeah, come on in. I'll just be a minute.

Sir, I regret to inform you
that a body was found last night.

Upon investigation, we believe it to be
the remains of your son, Michael Deerfield.

Right. They'll need me
to identify the body?

No, sir. We've...

They've determined identity in other ways.
I believe partial fingerprints.

What do you mean "partial"?
What happened to him?

- I'm not at liberty to say, sir. Someone...
- I wanna see his body now!

Sergeant Deerfield, this isn't necessary.

It's not how you wanna
remember your son.

Maybe not...

...but it's the way he left this earth,
so I don't see as I have any choice.

Working backwards,
carbon patterns show the body...

...was dismembered
before it was burned.

It appears a large knife or tool
was used, but the blade was dull...

...which is why the bones are
shattered rather than severed.

Burn patterns show us
the dismembered parts were stacked...

...and doused with an accelerant in
an attempt to incinerate the body.

You'd need an oven
to approach an effective temperature...

...which means most tissue
would've been left intact.

So the damage is largely the result
of scavengers stripping the bones.

Cause of death will take
more time to determine...

...but there is evidence of stab wounds.

How many?

I'm sorry?

- How many stab wounds?
- Well, with much of the flesh missing...

...we can only count blows
that made impact with bone.

How many of those were there?


One knife, or several?


- Gonna turn these over to the Army?
- Tried to.

Said they took their own photos.
And they didn't say it in a nice way.

I'd like to give you
a call tomorrow before you go home.

I have a few questions.

Ask them now.

- Your son didn't own a green car?
- Mike doesn't own a car.

Motorist reported seeing a green sedan
parked on the shoulder near the field...

...that Saturday night.

One of the theories is that this is
a carjacking or a robbery gone wrong...

...and there's a big uptick
in gang activity lately.

I wanna see where he died.

I'm sorry. It's an active crime scene,
but I will let you know...

:as soon as you can:
- Okay.

What else you wanna ask?

A lot of the deaths like these
have been drug-related.

Are you asking if Mike was
a drug dealer or just an addict?

I don't wanna be asking anything.

You know the Army
does regular drug tests.

Not when they're in Iraq.

Now, we found this
under your son's mattress.

It's not gonna go in my report.

But why I ask is last month...

...we arrested three soldiers who were
trying to smuggle heroin in from Kuwait.

They'd made arrangements to sell it
to a local Mexican gang.

I understand Mike spoke a little Spanish?

And you think he could've been a drug mule
because he spoke Spanish?


...because somebody cut off
his hands and his head.

I'm really sorry about your son.

Show me.

I'm sorry?

I need to see where he died.

It's not our case.

The murder occurred on military property.

- You know where it is?
- There's nothing to see.

Then there shouldn't be any problem
with me seeing it.

You people sure as hell know how to
trample a crime scene, I'll give you that.

I suppose you thought
it was a good idea... have everybody you ever met
park on this shoulder.

If your boys knew
what they were doing...

...they'd have found traces of blood
in the gravel right here.

It's where he was killed.

So you don't see blood,
but you know it's there?


Just like I know his body
was dragged from here... there.

That's remarkable.

The ground is rock-hard,
but you see drag marks.

You go to the trouble to burn a body,
don't you think you'd cover your tracks?

I'm going to the restroom.

You might find it easier
to drive around that field.

You couldn't do any more damage.

Everybody knows everything.

- Hi.
- Hi.

- Can I help you?
- I suppose the MPs have been in here...

...asking questions about
what happened in that field.

- They sure have. Terrible thing.
- I'm checking it out for the family.

Mind if I ask if you saw anything?

I wish we had.
We would've liked to help.

We didn't know what it was
when we smelled it, did we?

- No.
- How's that?

That Sunday,
when we drove in the parking lot...

...we just thought somebody
had been barbecuing.

Smelled like burned meat.

Thank you.

Tell your MP friends they should be
looking for a blue car, not a green one.


Because a blue car under
a yellow light looks green.

Doesn't it?

It certainly does.

Thank you.

It's the least I could do.

I'd say that's accurate.

I'll get a plane ticket.


What do you mean, "No"?

I'll bring him home soon as I can.

I need to see him.
I need to be with Michael.

He's gone.

I need to be with my boy.

There is nothing left.

What the hell does that mean?

Joanie, for once in your life,
will you take my word for something?

For once? For once?

I seem to remember
me being the one saying no...

...and you saying it'd be good for his
character. Who won that argument, Hank?

Mike was the one who wanted to join.
I sure as hell didn't encourage it.

Living in this house, he never could've
felt like a man if he hadn't gone.

Both of my boys, Hank.
You could've left me one.


Joan, please.

Joanie, I can't sit here
and listen to you cry.

Well, then don't.



Night, sweetheart.


Another hallway left. Stacked, on me.
Ortiez, cover this door to the right.

To the right.
Penning, get this door with me. Long!

- Roger!
- Covering!

Got it.

Go, go.

- Clear. Clear.
- Clear.

Give me a status on that door!
Better not fuck around with that phone!

Absolutely not, Bonner!

See how the clothes aren't burnt?

It's really weird, Dad.

- All right, all clear. Let's move it out!
- Move it out.


Evie, chicken sandwich.

Mustard or mayonnaise?

No, thank you, ma'am.

A woman stands topless
in front of you...

..."ma'am" could be taken as an insult.

- This your son?
- Yes, ma'am.

I'm asking if anybody saw him.
It would've been a week ago Saturday.

I'm sorry. I don't recognize
anything but the uniform.

Thank you, ma'am. Miss.

Right here.

Stay here.

Excuse me, lieutenant?

I was just wondering how
I came to be assigned this case.

Which case?

Jacob Ronald Millard...

...slaughterhouse employee,
arrested for torturing chickens.

It's no big deal. Everybody does it.

Everybody doesn't poke
their eyes out, asshole.

- Sure, they do.
- Shut up!

Boss doesn't want me
humping his daughter.

Now we're shocked beyond words.

You see how you could draw
information out of people?

People just like you, Emily.

That is how you got promoted from
traffic to detective squad, am I right?

I'm sorry?

Oh, don't be.

If Wayne or Hodge could've fucked their
way into the squad, they would've too.

Well, Wayne would have.

One of us needs to know
what we're doing.

You see, that's what concerns me.
Having fucked my way into the job...

...I may not be qualified enough to piece
together this complex of a crime.

I mean, take that murder site.

I would've never concluded that
that soldier was killed on Army property.

I would've been fooled by the signs
of struggle on the side of the road.

And you know that little trail of broken
brush from there to where he was burned?

Well, that would've made me think he was
killed in our jurisdiction, and then moved.

Because the killers didn't think it smart
to chop him up under a bright streetlight.

Yeah. I would've totally
misread that crime scene.

No, no, no. It's good work.

I mean, we needed another homicide.

What, we've solved three
out of the last 10?

Another unsolved would cement
my standing with the mayor.

You have a problem with
your fellow detectives?

- You feel the need to show them up?
- No, sir.

So it's the military police?

You think they're boobs,
they'll bungle the investigation?

No, but let's not pretend we don't know the
real motives for the Army wanting this case.

Psychic powers.
When did you discover you had these?

You don't believe their primary concern will
be how this incident reflects on the Army?

This is a career move? Is that it?

I don't have a career, sir. I have a job.

I take care of my son
and do what I'm told.

This boy died in a ditch
beside one of our streets.

Someone burned him like a cord of wood,
leaving his remains for animals to chew on.

With respect, if that was your son
just back from Iraq...

...I don't think you'd be as happy
about tossing this case off... you look better come election time.

- That was with respect?
- That was my intent, sir.

Fine. I'll think about it
and I'll let you know.

Every second we lose in this...

Didn't you say that you would do
whatever you were told?

I sometimes exaggerate for effect.

How's David?


Your son.

He's fine, thanks for asking.

That deadbeat ex of yours ever
show up for any of his games?

David's pretty pathetic
at every sport he attempts... he wants as few people
to witness it as possible.

Well, that's a damn shame, isn't it?

It's not like he's the boy's father.

Anyway, way I see it...'s the oddballs and the misfits who go
on to do interesting things with their lives.

How many former
high school quarterbacks... we roll into the drunk tank
every Saturday night?

Little misery in school is a good thing.

You know, I was first-string quarterback
in my high school.

I seem to recall you
showing me pictures of such, sir.

You're gonna keep after me
about this Deerfield boy, aren't you?

I think you know what
the right thing to do is, sir.

Jesus H. Christ.

- Hilary.
- Yes, sir?

- Get me Captain Fenderman at the base.
- Yes, sir.

Would you like to sit down, ma'am?

Is that everything?

Is that all of him?

Yes, ma'am.

- You must have to keep that room cold.
- Yes, ma'am.

That looks cold.

I wanna go inside. Can I go inside?

No, ma'am. I'm sorry.

My deepest sympathies, ma'am.

You don't have a child, do you?

Do you?

- Mr. Deerfield?
- Hi.

I heard you ask if you
could have Mike's Bible...

...and I thought it might
bring you some comfort.

Anybody know you took this?

No, sir. I asked the visitors' center
where you were staying and they told me.

Can I buy you a coffee?

I really should get back.

How about a drink?

To Mike.

I need to ask you something.
And I want the truth.

Was Mike doing drugs?

Doc? I guess.

No more than the other guys.
He wasn't like a heavy doper or anything.

You ever see him hanging out
off the base with anyone?

Maybe Mexicans?

No, sir.

How you adjusting?

Being back?

Hasn't been that long.

Call your parents?

My mom. My dad and I aren't close.

- Did you guys talk much?
- Sure.

We could've talked more.

Did he ever say anything to you
that I should know?

No, sir.

I mean... see shit over there
you don't wanna talk about...

...even with your buddies.
- Yeah.

But he did all right, Mike?

He was a first-class soldier.

You know Mike. He loved the Army.

Couldn't wait to get there, save
the good guys and hurt the bad guys.

They shouldn't send heroes
to places like Iraq.

Everything there's fucked up.

Before I went, I'd never say this,
but you ask me now...

...they should just nuke it
and watch it all turn back to dust.


You okay?

Yeah, I was just about to call you.

A package came from Michael.

What kind of package?

I don't know, it's a package.
He sent it to himself. It's from overseas.

I'm gonna open it.


What do you mean, "No"?

Does it look like it's been opened
by customs or by the military?

How would I know? No, it doesn't.

Why can't I open it?

Just don't.


Just put it someplace safe.


- Night.
- Good night.

- Morning.
- Morning.

I wonder if I could ask you
a few questions about your son.

- I thought it wasn't your case.
- It sort of fell back to me.

Isn't that our good fortune?

I was wondering if you knew
if your son had any enemies.

You mean other than the thousands
of Iraqis and foreign fighters...

...trying to kill him
till a couple of weeks ago?

Yeah, that shirt looks like it's still wet.

It's dry enough.

Anything bothering him
that you know about?


You looking into the gang connection?

Why? You have reason to think your son
was involved in gangs or drugs?


- When did you last speak to him?
- Why?

Capital One faxed me a recent summary
of his credit-card charges.

After he got back,
he bought tube socks...

I told him a dozen times,
those are the worst socks.

They have no heel,
they wear right through.

And then he went out for some chicken.

Does it say what time?

And no more charges.

We assume your son was killed sometime
Saturday night or Sunday morning.

We haven't found his wallet,
but if it was stolen...

...we'd see a lot more charges on it,
like computers, stereos, what have you.

Have you been to the chicken place yet?

- Enjoy.
- How can I help you?

We're inquiring about a soldier
who was here a week ago.

You're kidding me, right?
We're a block from the base.

Can you tell what time he was here?

It's the last four digits.

1:03 a. m. Sunday morning.
We bill that as Saturday. Anything else?

- Can you tell us what he bought?
- Not without the actual receipt.

Okay. Thank you.

Your four-piece dinner is $6.79.
Is that what most people order?

That or the three-piece.

So with tax...

...$21.77 would be...

...three meals, three people.

Four, if it's the three-piece,
or one really hungry soldier.

There you are.
I just dropped something off for you.

- You did?
- We took statements from Mike's squad.

Thought you'd want them.

That's great. I was gonna call you
to arrange interviews.

Saved you the trouble.

How so?

Sworn statements on your desk.

What, you didn't think
I'd want to interview them myself?

Just trying to give you a leg up.

Thanks. I sort of like to do
my own detective work.

I'll tell you what.

Read the statements.

If you still wanna question them, I will
be glad to take the request to my C.O.

Perhaps you misunderstood me.

It's not a request.
I want the list of the men in his unit.

- On your desk.
- And I wanna interview them this afternoon.

You'll have to go to my C.O.
With that one.

- My chief already spoke to him.
- This one's a bit of a jurisdictional mess.

There is no mess. The murder was
committed in our jurisdiction.

That's where it gets murky. Read those.

I'd be glad to put the request in.

- You don't have the sworn statements?
- I have the statements...

Then they're cooperating.
I don't see the problem.

I have a right to interview
potential witnesses.

- Has the Army said you can't?
- They said they'd consider my request.

And that was 10 minutes ago.

And I'd like to talk to these men
before they've been coached...

...or debriefed so any inconsistencies
in their stories will have disappeared.

Being a former military man,
I'm sure you've seen that...

...perhaps when you served
with Lieutenant Kirklander?

I'll tell you what.

Skip upstairs and cry to your boyfriend.

Because I'm just not in the mood
to give a shit.

We're showing video that has
just come in to CNN from Fallujah.

You ordered yet?

Okay. Dig in, men.

- May I?
- Please.

- Okay. Out.
- No, I can do it.

You can. Now get ready for bed. Go on.

Is there anything I can do?

You're supposed to read it to me.

I don't understand one word of it.

Well, do you know any stories?

I'm not much of a storyteller.

Well, then read me the book.

You know where your name comes from?

- My mother?
- No, before that.

You're named after King David.
Your mother didn't tell you that?

That figures.

All right.

There were two great armies assembled,
the Israelites and the Philistines.

They were both up on hills,
the Valley of Elah in between.

It's in Palestine, you know where it is?

- No.
- Doesn't matter.

Anyway, the Philistines had a champion.

A huge giant...

...named Goliath.

Really? There's a robot named Goliath.

This is a different guy.

So every day, for 40 days...

...Goliath would stride down
into the valley...

...and challenge somebody from the
other side to fight, but nobody would.

All the bravest and strongest warriors
that the king had were all too scared.

- Why didn't they just shoot him?
- They didn't have guns.

They had arrows,
but there are rules to combat.

You don't shoot somebody that's
challenging you to fight with a sword.

So anyway... day this kid, not much bigger
than you, comes delivering bread.

He says to the king, "I'll fight Goliath. "

- Really? No way.
- True story.

So the king dresses David
in his own armor.

But it's much too big and heavy, so
David takes it off and he looks around...

...and he finds five smooth stones
about that big.

And he steps out into the valley,
with his slingshot in his hand.

Goliath comes running...

...yelling this horrible scream.

And David lets fly with that slingshot.

Hits him in the forehead,
cracks his skull open...

...Goliath falls down, dead.

So he shot him.

With a rock. Not the same thing.

- And you want to know how he beat him?
- How?

The first thing David had to fight
was his own fear.

He beat that, he beat Goliath.

Because when Goliath came running, David
planted his feet, took aim and waited.

You know how much courage that took?

Just a few more steps
and Goliath would've crushed him.

Then he let fly with that rock.

That's how you fight monsters.

You lure them in close to you,
you look them in the eye... smack them down.

You fight a lot of monsters?


You win?

If I didn't, I'd have been crushed, right?


Okay, then.

Good night.

He likes to sleep with that door open.

He'll be okay.


- Not that much.
- Okay.

That's good.

You know that story isn't true.

Of course it's true.

It's even in the Koran.

- May I read the men's statements?
- There is nothing in them that'll help.

The last time any of the men saw Mike was
Saturday afternoon, before he left base.

You're a good father.

You don't have to prove you loved him.

I'm sure he knew.



Something happened, Dad.

It's the second day
of what the U.S. Military... now calling
the "New Dawn" in Fallujah.

The operation is aimed at crushing
the insurgents in their strongholds.

But how many insurgents are still there?

We'll go live to the front lines
in a moment.


Evie, from the bar.



I'm sorry.


I saw the picture of your son
in the paper.

When you came in,
I thought he was just missing.

I'm sorry.

Thank you.

May I?

Nice eyes.

Him I remember.

I work in another bar on the weekends.
He was there.

Must've been Saturday night.

What's the name of that bar?

- Yeah, they were here.
- Both of them?

- Yeah, them and their buddies.
- Saturday night?

We had to throw them out. That one was
harassing one of the dancers, real asshole.

- This guy?
- Other one.

Get a lot of assholes in here,
but he was going for the prize.

- Shouting obscenities at the dancers.
- You got the wrong man.

You ask me to ID a guy,
and then you tell me that I'm wrong.

You two related?

What time they leave?

Fuck if I know.

They weren't happy about it. Two of them
got into it out in the parking lot.

Thought I was gonna have to
break it up myself.

Thank you.

Detective Nugent will stay
while you write out your statement.

I want the pen back, Nugent.


This is not Saigon. This is not 1967.
You do not question witnesses.

I figured somebody should.

It must be frustrating being
such a damn good investigator...

...surrounded by incompetent fools.
Remind me, what is it you do in Munro?

I haul gravel.

That's a shame.

Think of all the crime that could've
been solved if you'd been on the job.

This goes to trial, the defense
will say you poisoned the well.

- It won't go to trial.
- What?

- It wasn't them.
- I'm sorry?

I don't know why they lied about not
being with him, but they didn't do it.

- They were fighting in the parking lot.
- Blowing off steam.

You have not been to war
so you won't understand this.

You do not fight beside a man
and then do that to him.

That's quite the world you live in.

Find out why they lied.

There'll be a reason.

So you were there.


So why would you lie?

It's complicated.

Why don't you just tell me
what happened?

We were at this strip club.

Just hanging out, having a good time.
We were drinking, of course.

And Mike starts acting really weird.

Really angry,
throwing change at the stripper.

Then he started talking trash... she started talking trash,
and they tossed us out.

And we're getting in the car...

...and Bonner's all pissed
saying Mike can walk.

So Mike grabs him and they just
start going off on each other.

But it's the kind of shit
that happens all the time.

The whole macho-warrior crap.

Nobody got hurt.

So we got in the car,
we drove around for a while.

And then we stopped at the Chicken Shack,
across from the base.

Mike bought, for getting us kicked out.

- And what time was this?
- I don't know.

Around 1.

And then we came back here.

All of you?


Just the three of us.

Why would you leave him there?

Because we were wasted.

We had had enough,
but Mike wanted to find some meth.

He wanted to buy drugs?

Yeah, like he needed
to be more fucked up.

Pardon my language, ma'am.

You think that's what happened?

He went looking for drugs,
ran into the wrong people?

Who knows?
I mean, Mike always had secrets.

You know, over there,
he was always sneaking off by himself.

He really didn't get along
too well with people.

So you get kicked out of the strip club
at 11, show up at the Chicken Shack at 1.

What were you doing
for a whole two hours?

Driving around,
looking for a party, or women.

Did you stop anywhere?

Yes, ma'am.

Now you want me to guess?

We found a hooker
over on Ten Mile Road.

She blew all four of us.

Why didn't you say that
when you were questioned?

We didn't think Mike
wanted his parents to know.

You didn't want his father
to know he got a blow job?

And was buying drugs. I wouldn't
want somebody telling my parents.

So, what was the fight about?

Mike was in some dark mood.
I don't know why.

And then he started saying
nasty things to that stripper.

Like what?

Stuff I'm not gonna repeat. The woman's
a stripper, not something on your shoe.

Out in the parking lot, Penning
said Mike came at you swinging.

Might have, I don't recall.

What was different about that night?
That you had a knife?

I don't need a knife, ma'am.

I guess back in Iraq things are different.

Somebody makes you mad,
you can deal with it, right?

- You lost me.
- It's a whole different world.

- You got power.
- You've never been in the Army.

But I know that you've got
weapons and authority.

You put men facedown in the dirt,
step on their backs, kick in doors.

Somebody comes at you, you kill them.

You have to. The guy could have
bombs, guns, you don't know.

- Kill him first.
- You make the call.

React or die, isn't that what they say?
Ever stab someone?

- Lf I did, it wouldn't be your business.
- There one day, back here another.

I gotta tell you, somebody comes
charging at me, I'd reach for my weapon.

- The interview is over.
- I'm glad none of this bothered you.

I gotta tell you,
I saw my father come back from war.

Things he couldn't deal with
pretty much destroyed him.

- What was he, in Panama?
- Enough.

You have no idea what we did,
and we did it for you.

- For me?
- Lf I were you...

...I'd just say thanks, leave it at that,
and kiss my ass.

Walk away.

You happy now? You want to
convene a war-crimes tribunal?

I want the clothes they wore.

I want to take full-body photographs
for cuts and bruises.

Ma'am, you can have
all the undies you want.

But you might want to
take a glance at this.

You still want them?


Hey, you better hang up, Saddam could
be calling. "Mike, Mike, I give up. "

- Leave him alone!
- Fuck you, man.

- Leave him alone!
- Fuck you, man.

You were right.
They couldn't have done it.

They were with Mike
at the Chicken Shack at 1.

Bonner, Penning and Long
arrived back at base 20 minutes later.

The field where we found
Mike's remains is a half an hour away.

There's no way they
could've driven there in time.

Never mind...

So they left him there?

- They said Mike wanted to buy drugs.
- And that's why they lied?

And they had no idea where he went
when they left him, or who he met?

No. And I have statements
from every other man in the squad.

May I see those?

If they're telling the truth,
no one saw him after dinnertime.

Yeah. Lab says no traces of blood
on their clothes or their belongings.

Did you look at these clothes?

I mean, look at this shirt.

It has crease marks
where it came off the shelf.

Clothes are cheap on the base.

First thing you do when you get back
is toss every stitch you took with you.

There are nine soldiers
in an infantry squad.

- Yeah?
- They lost a man in Iraq.

There ought to be seven statements here
and there's only six.

So one of them's on leave.

When I got here, the sergeant told me
all of his men were back from liberty.

Read the names.

- Yeah.
- Hi, this is Fred Gainley... the Buxton sheriff's office.
Are you missing a man?

Because I have a Robert Ortiez here
on a drunk and disorderly...

...says he's one of yours.

- Thanks. I'll send someone over to get him.
- I appreciate it, thank you.

He's AWOL.

Check for priors and warrants.

And see if he owns a car.

Bad boy.

He's a local boy.

First arrested Bobby Ortiez
when he was 14, for drug trafficking.

Got bail and the witness disappeared.

A year and a half ago
we liked him for drug smuggling.

Suddenly he gets all patriotic
and joins up.

How did they let him in the Army?

No felony convictions.

They've lowered standards
every month since this started.

There's a 1999 Chevrolet Malibu
registered in his name.

What color?


- That's not enough for a warrant.
- He's AWOL.

The Army can go after him, we can't.

Well, he's got four
unpaid parking tickets.

Try Judge Osorio.

Any idea where our boy might be?

Finding Bobby's never the problem.

Go back to your motel. I'll call you.

Police! Open up!

He's on the roof!

I got him!

Take the street, not the alley.
Take the street, jackass.


Fucking wetbacks.
It's always knives, isn't it?

You like cutting people up?

What the hell are you doing?

Come here! Come on! Get off him.

Hey! I didn't do it!

Don't you move.

Don't you fucking move.

- Jesus.
- You okay?


Change him up.

All right.

Good. We'll take him from here.

What was it, chico? You wanted him
to carry drugs and he wouldn't do it?

Is that it, chico?

Afraid he was gonna tell on you?

Wouldn't it be funny if the devil
looked just like you?

Come back here, you wetback prick.
I'll show you what the devil looks like.

Fuck you, man!

- I see you cracked him wide open.
- Put your hand up.

He isn't pressing any charges.

And you're damn lucky I feel pity on you,
or I'd be doing it myself.

I didn't mean to hit you.

That's an apology in your world?

I'm sorry.

- Keep it.
- Won't anybody question him?

I questioned him! They questioned him!
We searched his house.

There's no evidence
he had anything to do with it.

Something's happened.

Found him hanging in his room.


- Did he leave a note?
- No.

My father gave it to me when
I went to Vietnam. I gave it to Mike.

It was in Bonner's pants pocket.

He was carrying it?

He didn't leave a note.
He put it in his pocket and hung himself?

I'm sorry.

But this is as close as we're
gonna get to a confession.


Bonner's car. What color is it?

Blue. Why?

You don't kill someone for no reason.
That watch doesn't prove anything.

Think your son would give him that?

- It could've been planted.
- Why did he kill himself?

I don't know. Tell me how he killed Mike.

He had an alibi, he was at the base.
Why'd he kill him? When?

I don't know.

- What?
- Hey.

You remember...? You remember
that woman with the dead dog?

We drained it.

Where's the boy?

He wasn't home, thank God.
He was at his grandparents'.

That's good.

That's good.

The remains will be shipped this afternoon.
Check the address of the funeral home.

That's correct.

If I can be of any other help,
just let me know.


You got any jumper cables?


I wanted to say how sorry I am
for what happened to Mike.

And I wanted to apologize for lying
about not seeing him that night.

I just thought that if I were Mike,
I wouldn't want my parents to know.

- You got a cigarette?
- Yeah.

You think Bonner killed him?


I don't know.

I don't understand any of this.

What would he have against my boy?


I'm sorry.

- Mike tell you much about Bosnia?
- Some.

We seemed to always pull sentry duty
together. Freezing our asses off.

He tried to convince me
of crazy things.

Try to get you to wear pantyhose?

- Did he tell you?
- No, I told him.

Cuts the cold like nothing else.

So he wasn't lying?

You don't want to get shot wearing a
pair of those. You'll never live it down.

It's fucked up, isn't it?


Let's get you to a good
American hospital.

Come on, speed this thing up!

It's okay. I'm gonna help you.

It's okay. Take it easy.

We're gonna take care of you, okay?

You okay? You all right?

Now, where does it hurt? Right there?

Easy. Right there?

We're gonna take care of you, okay?

Good night.

Tell me that's your son's signature
on his credit-card receipt.

No, it is not.

We always assumed Mike was there.

That's Penning's signature.

Three meals. Penning, Bonner and Long.

Penning and Long. I want them now.

- I can't give them to you.
- Oh, yes, you can. And you will.

Corporal Penning has come forward.

He's implicated Long and Bonner.

You son of a bitch.

You went to him with a fucking deal,
didn't you?

- He'll do serious time.
- Yeah? How serious, huh?

How serious? How much time?

As much as I could get.

Well, luckily for me, that means shit.

You see these? Those are warrants.

We have jurisdiction,
you're compelled to deliver those men.

I want them now.

I am not the only one who made a deal.

My C.O. Talked to yours.

It is just one less headache for them.

It's out of our hands now.

I'm sorry.

I bet you are.

I wanna hear the confession.

Long isn't speaking.
I'll get you Penning's statement.

No, I wanna hear it from his lips,
and I want him present.

That's not gonna happen.

How many soldiers
leave this base every night... go visit a bar, have a drink or two?

- I know you're feeling burned.
- I'm not burned, I'm fucking pissed off.

Take a guess. On an average weekend,
what, seven, eight thousand soldiers?

You know what? I'm gonna sit in my car
outside any of your entrances...

...and pull over every vehicle
that comes back to this base...

...and I will arrest every soldier whose
blood alcohol is 1/1000 over the legal limit.

- How many men would that be?
- And how long till you're fired?

I'll do it on my own time,
and we have a good union... I'm gonna say four to five weeks.

How many DUl's do you think
I could make in a month?

Should we find out?

Commander's office.

- Let me speak to Captain Henning, please.
- One moment, sir.

We were leaving the strip club.

And we thought that Mike and Bonner
have cooled down.

They could be like that,
laughing one minute and fighting the next.

Anyway, we're in the car,
and Mike's all pissy...

...and Bonner just starts needling him.

Just saying shit.

Like what?

I don't know.
Like what a good driver Mike is.

Stuff that makes no sense.

But Bonner has enough,
and he pulls over...

...and they just start
going off on each other.

And Long was yelling for them
to cut it out so we can go home.

And Mike starts cussing at him too...

...and then I look down,
and I'm stabbing him.

You...? You are?


And your friends didn't try and stop you?

I think they were sort of stunned.

They're yelling.

And Mike falls to the ground,
and he's dead.

And Long is screaming,
"Christ, what do we do now?"

It was Bonner's idea to chop him up.

He used to work for a butcher.

He knew how to work the knife
around the joints. Made it easier.

We would've buried the parts...

...but it was getting late
and we hadn't eaten.

You were hungry?


We stopped at the Chicken Shack.

I liked Mike, we all did.

But I think on another night that would've
been Mike with the knife and me in the field.

I think he was the smart one.

I think he could see.

I'm truly sorry, sir.

I'm sorry for your loss.

I saw a video Mike shot.

Him in the back of a Humvee.

Looked like he was
torturing a prisoner or...

We arrested some haji
who was wounded.

And we were riding along...

...and Mike was pretending
like he was a medic.

And he would stick his hand
in this guy's wound...

...and he says, "Does this hurt?"

And the haji screamed, "Yeah, yeah. "

And then Mike would stick his hand
in the exact same place...

...and say, "Does that hurt?"

It was pretty funny.

It became a thing with Mike.

That's how he got the name "Doc. "

It was just a way to cope.

We all did stupid things.

Excuse me, sir.

You know where Private Ortiez's room is?

You got a minute?

I need to apologize to you.

You got some real serious issues, man.


That's true.

I got a honorable discharge,
if you could believe it.

It's the Army, I'll believe anything.

I hated it over there.

Sleep in fucking tents.
No toilets, no showers.

No toilet paper, gotta use your hand.

I couldn't wait to get out.

After two weeks here...

...all I wanna do is go back.

How fucked is that?

You know what that is?

Mike took it and e-mailed it to me.

Why would he do that?

I don't know what anybody's told you.

There are standing orders.

You're in a convoy...

...someone or something gets in front
of you, you do not stop.

You stop, shitheads pop up
with RPG's and kill you all dead.

First week in Iraq...

...we're driving downrange.

Six of us in the back.

You can't see squat back there.

Doc hit something.

We hear it thump around underneath.

He stops.

Gets out.

Drives on.

Not a word.

Later, some guy said...

...we hit a kid.

I don't believe it.

You ask me...

...we hit a dog.

We killed a dog.

I don't know what that is.

No fucking idea.

Hey, Bonner, there's your family.

- Stop fucking around!
- It's a fucking phone.

- You could have broken it.
- You're a fucking idiot.

Oh, fuck.

- Oh, shit.
- Do not stop! Do not fucking stop!

- What do I do?
- Speed up! Speed up!

- What are you doing?
- Dad?

Get back in the fucking vehicle, Mike!

Mike, get back in the fucking vehicle!


Let's go, Mike, now!

Are you there, Daddy?

I can hardly hear you.

You gotta get me out of here.

Well, that's just nerves talking.

Something happened, Dad.

For Christ's sake.

Is anybody there with you?

No, I'm alone.

That's good.

Okay, Daddy, I gotta go.

You be safe, son.

Stay safe.

Yeah. You too.

You know, my son's been driving me crazy
ever since you came over.

He wants a slingshot.

Guess it could be worse.
Could be a BB gun.

Thank you.

So every day,
Goliath would walk into the valley... challenge someone, anyone.

But no one would fight him.

Until David showed up...

...and said, "You know what?
I'll do it. I'll fight him. "

So the king dressed David up
in his own armor, which was so big...

But why would he let him fight a giant?

He was just a boy.

I don't know, sweetheart.

Do you think he was scared?



I think he would have been really scared.

- Just like that?
- Just like that.

It looks really old.

It's been well used.

And I shouldn't take it down at night?


You leave it just like that.

That's a lot easier.

Special thanks to SergeiK.