Call Northside 777 Script - Dialogue Transcript

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Call Northside 777 Script





In the year 1871...



The great fire

nearly destroyed Chicago.



But out of the ashes of that catastrophe

rose a new Chicago...



a city ofbrick and brawn,

concrete and guts...



with a short history of violence

beating in its pulse.



That history is on record, and the record

is kept by the newspapermen...



who have made

Chicago's papers great.



No period in Chicago's history

was more violent...



than the years of Prohibition.



The rise and fall

of the bootlegging empires...



was written

in blood and bullets.



In      there were     murders

committed in Chicago...



one for each day of the year.



Eight policemen were shot down

in the line of duty.



One of the most ruthless

of these murders...



occurred on December       

on South Ashland Avenue...



in a place operated

by a woman named Wanda Skutnik.



Wanda Skutnik's store

in the Polish district...



was the front for a speakeasy.



- You got change for   ?

- That's all right. Pay me next time.



Wanda, you're lookin' at a guy

that's comin' down with a cold.



- Sit down.

- Oh, thanks.



- Hi.

- Hi.



- For a cold, this is good.

- Thanks, Wanda.



The police, Wanda. Get the police. Quick.



Hello. Hello, Central.

Get me the police.



Yeah. Quick, please.



This cornered,

frightened bootlegger...



gave information that pointed suspicion

towards a man named Tomek Zaleska.



Tomek Zaleska couldn't be found.



But two weeks later,

a tip from another source...



revealed that Zaleska

had spent the night of the murder...



with his friend Frank Wiecek.



The police closed in on the home

of Helen and Frank Wiecek.



Helen and Frank were taken

into custody for questioning.



Frank Wiecek admitted

that Tomek Zaleska...



had spent the night

of the murder at his home...



but insisted he knew

nothing about the crime.



Why did Tomek want

to sleep at your house?



Well, he was having trouble with

his old man. He was afraid to go home.



When did you last report

to your probation officer?



- Last Friday.

- You're sure it wasn't Thursday?



No, I know it was Friday,

because that was the day...



my wife told me

she was gonna have a baby.



You went to the probation officer

on Thursday, not Friday.



- There's your report card.

- You're confused, son.



Try to be a little more accurate.



Where were you

at  :   on December  ?



I was... I was with my wife.



I remember because I was helping her

shell walnuts for a cake she was making.



You were wrong about the day

you saw the probation officer.



Maybe you're wrong about being home

shelling walnuts for your wife on December  .



L... I know I made a mistake

about the probation officer...



but I know I'm right

about the other thing.



This statement was signed

by your wife an hour ago.



"My husband was home with me

on the ninth of December.



I remember because he was helping me

pit dates for a cake."



You sure it was walnuts?



I don't know.



I'm sure she must be mistaken.



His wife, Helen,

was released.



But because of Frank's confused testimony

on insignificant points...



and his minor police record...



he was held as a suspect.



Eventually, after hiding out

for six weeks...



Tomek Zaleska, protesting his innocence,

surrendered to the police.



You knew we were lookin' for you.



You knew we'd picked up your good friends

Helen and Frank Wiecek.



Then why didn't you give yourself up

if you were innocent as you claimed?



I was- I was scared.



Sometimes I used to hang around

Wanda's place.



When I heard they were

picking up everybody she knew...



well, I figured nobody would miss me,

so I just beat it.



I know now I made a mistake.



But I came in

on my own hook, didn't I?



When you went

to Wiecek's house that night...



what reason did you give

for wanting to sleep there?



L-I didn't give any reason.

I used to spend the night there once in a while.



You didn't give them

any reason?



No, I just asked them to let

me stay there and they did.



And you're sure

you gave them no reason?






After identification

by an eyewitness...



Frank Wiecek and Tomek Zaleska...



were indicted for the murder

of Officer Bundy...



and swiftly brought to trial.



I will ask you, Mrs. Skutnik,

if you see in this courtroom...



the two men that murdered

Policeman John Bundy.



Yes, sir.



Him... and him.



Had you ever seen either

of these men prior to the time of shooting?



Oh, sure. Tomek used to come around

my place all the time.



The other fella,

I never saw before.



And the first time you saw

Frank Wiecek...



- was on the day of the murder?

- Yes, sir.



And the next time you saw him was the day

you picked him out of the police lineup.



Yes, sir.



Thank you, Your Honor.

The People rest.



Both men received

a sentence of    years...



to be served

in Stateville Penitentiary.



This happened

in November     .



Frank and Tomek went to prison.



The case was forgotten

for    years.



Forgotten until

October        ...



when a small advertisement appeared in

the classified section of the Chicago Times.






- Yes, sir?

- Get me the file on John W. Bundy...



- cop killed in '  .

- All right.



- And get at McNeal.

- Yes, sir.



Kelly wants you.



Check this.



- What do you make of it?

- Well, I want to know why it's worth      bucks...



to someone to find out

who killed a cop    years ago.




was open season for cops.



Over on the Northside, they were

shootin' 'em in pairs, like a brace of ducks.



This is all I could find on that cop

killed in     ... that Bundy guy, Mr. Kelly.



Now, you see what I mean?



- He didn't rate much.

- It wouldn't hurt to check it.



You might get your name

in the paper.



This is sucker bait!



Every grifter and mooch

in town'll be after that five grand.



They'll frame

their brothers to get it.



Maybe this is a frame.

There's a lot of angles in this city.



You see what I mean?



Just takes you longer

to catch on, that's all.



I was just thinkin' about it.



I'm lookin' for Tillie Wiecek.



- Uh, what you want?

- I called Northside    ...



- and they said I'd find her here.

- I'm Tillie.



You run this ad?



Yes. That's for me.



- You know something?

- No. No, no.



No, I'm a reporter

for the Chicago Times.



We'd like to know why you're so interested

in finding the killers of this cop.



Frank Wiecek is my son.



I his mother.



My son's in prison

for killing him.



He didn't do it.



My friends, they tell me

if I offer big money...



maybe somebody will tell

who killed the policeman.



Now, you mean, your son's in prison

for killin' the cop, that right?



Yes. But he don't do it.



My Frank's a good boy.

He don't do this thing.



L... About this $    ...



where'd you get it?



- Is that important?

- Oh, yeah. Yeah, it's very important.



Where he got it, where you got it,

might have a lot to do with the case.



He might have had it

hidden away someplace.



Maybe you got it from some mob

that's tryin' to spring him.



No. No.



I work. I scrub floors.



Eleven years,

I never miss a day's work.



I earned it, every penny.



Eleven years? That's a long time.



Yes. You just say it.



My boy, he lived it.



Believe me, mister.

You don't know my Frank.



- But me, I his mother.

- You mean, you got some new evidence...



- something that wasn't brought up at the trial?

- No.



Uh, no. That's why I try to buy

new evidence.



Oh, now, you're just... You're just wasting

your money. You'll get cheated out of it.



- No. Not me.

- Look. Look, lady.



He's in for    years.



Now, if you want to make

good use of that money...



send him lots of cigarettes and candy,

try and keep him happy.



You very kind.



But I not use my money

for candy or cigarettes.



If you not able to help...



I get my Frank out

someday, somehow.



I dream of this day.



$     is a lot for a dream.



Yes. Eleven years!



I dream and I work.



First, I try $    .



Nothing. Now I try $    !



- Suppose nothing happens?

- Then I work    more years.



I get $     !



But my boy, someday he get out.



Well, I got to hand it to ya, Mrs. Wiecek.

You got a lot of courage.



- You help me?

- No, I'm afraid I couldn't do that.



I'm only a reporter.

I just write the story.



Well, good luck to you.






- Great job, Mac.

- Thanks, Johnny.






Hey, this story on the scrub woman...

pretty good.



How'd you like to follow it up

by goin' out to Stateville...



- and interviewin' her son?

- Well, now, wait a minute.



I didn't write this story

to glorify the son. He's a cop-killer.



Well, you got any proof

he's a cop-killer?



Well, they didn't give him

   years for playin' hooky.



He had a record.



He was on probation

when he shot the cop.



Yeah, I know.

I read the record too.



He's Public Enemy Number One.



He and a couple of other kids

broke into a grocery store.



He got two bucks and a record.



But in this case,

an eyewitness...



identified him

as one of the killers.



The Supreme Court reviewed the trial.

The conviction was upheld.



Well, so what? It wouldn't hurt anything to

hear what the guy has to say, would it?



- Well, why... If you go out there...

- Well, look, Mac.



Let's put it this way...



maybe I'm interested

for personal reasons.



Maybe I'm interested

'cause my mother did the same thing.



She scrubbed floors on her hands and knees for

more than    years to send me through school.



Okay, I'll go out to the pen

tomorrow and see him.



How about expenses?



Here's a voucher. Take it to the cashier.



- Kelly?

- Hmm?



I happen to know

your mother had a small annuity.



She never scrubbed

a floor in her life.



You never got past

the fifth grade.



But I figure if you pull such a corny gag

as this, you must want me to go pretty bad.



So I'm going.



But l... I want you to know that

you didn't get away with it.



- Jim?

- Yeah.!



You're early tonight.

What happened?



Oh, I got to get up  :   in the morning,

go out to Stateville...



and see that scrub woman's boy.



- Got something to eat for me?

- Mm-hmm, it's all ready.






- Hi.

- Hi.



Hey! Got a new one, huh?



Isn't a beauty?

Five hundred pieces.



Say, I can't see how

a smart girl like you...



can spend so much time

on these things.



- Oh, I noticed you worked on the last one.

- Mmm.



You know, that was a marvelous yarn

you wrote about that Polish woman.



Had a lot of feeling.



What a magnificent thing

that old lady did.



Yeah. Everybody's touched.



Especially Kelly.



I was too. Makes you feel warm.



Well, I hit it pretty hard.



But don't start believin' it.



I read the files on the case.

That kid killed the cop.



He got what was comin' to him.



Now, I need a branch of a tree

right in there.



See one around?



No, that's sky. That's sky.



L-I wasn't thinking

about the boy.



I was thinking about his mother.



I hammer out a sob story,

and everybody's blubberin' all over me.



You know what it is?

It catches your imagination.



Nobody knows whether she's right

or not, but...



she's worked so hard...

she's had such faith... that...



well, I want her

to be right.



Honey, I love ya.



Wouldn't you scrub floors for me

if I shot old Kelly in the head?



- Oh, I don't know.

- You don't know. You don't...



- Jim...

- Oh, here's one. Here's one looks like it.



- No.

- Jim.



Look, I'm goin' out

to see him tomorrow.



Why you... You women are suckers

for sentimentality, aren't ya?



I guess that's how I got you.



All I had to do was

dangle an orange blossom in front of you.



Oh, it took a little more

than that, Mr. McNeal.



- It did, huh? Mm-hmm.

- Hmm.



- What kind of a guy is he, Warden?

- I like him.






Frank, this is McNeal

of the Chicago Times.



He wants to interview you.



Now, you don't have to consent

to this interview...



- or answer any questions if you don't want to.

- But I do want to.



- Sure, I want to.

- Okay.



That's fine. He's yours.

Sit down, Frank.



The Times has

taken an interest in your case.



- I came out to ask you some questions.

- Yes, sir.



I'd like more of your story,

your side of it.



I need an angle, something

to hit the public with. You understand?



- Yes, sir.

- Now, you knew about the ad

your mother ran in the papers...



- and the $     reward?

- Yeah.



Did ya know she was scrubbin' floors

to earn that money?



Yes, I did.



All she lives for

is to get me out.



I guess that's all

I've got to live for too.



Well, that's a very good

angle to play up...



your faith in your mother,

her faith in you.



You know, if you're guilty...



you're just letting her

slave her life away for nothing.



You're just letting her

slave her life away for nothing.



- She knows I'm not guilty.

- Uh-huh.



I read the news clips...



the transcript of the trial.



They don't whitewash you,

the way I see it.



But you only read

what convicted me.



All the true facts

didn't come out.



Even Judge Moulton

said I was innocent.



The judge that

gave you    years?



Well, the jury

said we were guilty. He had to.



But in his chambers,

he said he knew we were innocent.



- When was that?

- Well, after he sentenced us...



Oh, after. Well, maybe

we'd better duck that.



What else?



My lawyer was a drunk.



He wouldn't even let me take the stand.

He was afraid I'd get the chair.



Uh-huh. Go on.



Well, when they question you

hour after hour...



you're bound to get mixed up

on a lot of little things the way I did.



That's another good angle...

railroaded, huh?



Then they took me

from one police station to another...



every few hours...



taking me

"around the horn," they call it...



so my lawyer

couldn't get me out.



And this Wanda Skutnik...



the first two times she saw me,

she said I wasn't the man.



- Then, all of a sudden, she said I was.

- Finger woman, huh?



All right.

We'll play that up too.



I was home with my wife

the night the policeman was killed.



Does your wife

visit you regularly?



My wife? Yeah.



We're divorced.



Well, we... better duck

that angle too.



- You duck so many things.

You don't believe me, do you?

- Listen.



I talked to your mother.

She's a very fine old woman.



She believes you. I need proof.



- I got no proof.

- Yeah. Yeah, I know.



All right. Now, what we'll

do with this thing is this.



We'll play up this mother angle

and the finger woman...



- and maybe a little police

and political corruption too.

- I didn't say that.



Well, what difference

does that make? It's a good angle.



Probably true anyway.

See, you don't want a wishy-washy story.



This thing's

got to have sock... mass appeal.



It's the only way we'll

be able to help you...



get sympathy, public support.



You leave it to me.



Okay, Warden.



Thank you.



That's all, Frank.



Are there any guilty men out here?



Not if you hear them tell it.



They sure make

a hard pitch, don't they?



Ninety-nine years

is a long time.



Maybe he'd been better off

if he got the chair.



Mr. McNeal is busy. But I'll tell him

you liked the story. You're welcome.



Yes, the Times is going to continue

with the Wiecek case. You're welcome.






Yes. Well, thank you

very much for calling.



That's right, lady. I guess the Times

is gonna follow up the case.



Yes. Good-bye.



- Say, what are you gonna use for a follow-up?

- What follow-up?



Well, the thing is snowballing.

I want more of it.



Well, do you wanna

give me a raise, or do I just get...



the      from Wiecek's mother?



Look, Mac. My job's to print the news

that's fit to print.



Did it ever occur to you that we might be

sellin' this dead cop short?



Maybe he had a mother

that scrubbed floors too.



And another thing,

remember what Wiecek said...



about that judge that

promised him a new trial?



Well, the judge died

three weeks after the case was closed.



He's been dead for    years.

That Wiecek's a pretty smart cookie, you know.



He gives me a lead

and knows I can't check up on it.



Well, why don't you take

a different lead?



Look, Mac. You know we're getting more than

   phone calls per hour from our readers.



Yeah, and every time that phone rings,

you see those great big juicy headlines.



I know, "Chicago Times

Clears Innocent Man."



- Well, why not?

- Well, why not? It's impossible, Kelly.



- You can't do a thing like that.

- Listen, Mac.



If you don't like the story,

if you think he's guilty, end it.



- Write a finish piece, and kill it.

- I'll take that deal.



I'll interview his wife. She believed in him

so much, she divorced him.



That ought to kill it for good.



- I'm looking for Helen Rayska.

- Yes.



I'm McNeal of the Times.

I'm doing a series on the Wiecek case.



Oh, yes. I read them.



Please come in.



This way, please.



Oh, excuse me. Just a minute.



I got your address from

your former mother-in-law, Tillie Wiecek.



I haven't seen her

since the divorce.



I guess she doesn't feel

very kindly towards me.



- Uh-huh.

- Will you sit down, please?



Do you think there is a chance that

Frank will get free?



- Do you want him to?

- Sure, I want him to.



Would you be waiting for him?



No. No, I wouldn't.



- I married again.

- Oh.



But I'd be glad for Frank...



because he's a fine man.



And because he's innocent.



He was at home with me

when the policeman was killed.



Yeah. Yeah, I know.

You were bakin' a cake.



Uh... You loved him...

then, I mean.



I did... very much.



But the lonely nights

were too much for you.



- You couldn't go on that way. Was that it?

- Oh, no, no.



No, that's what

Tillie might think.



I loved him.

I would have stuck to him.



But Frank wanted me

to get the divorce.



Hmm. Did he pick out

your new husband for you too?



It's the truth.



Did you contribute to the reward money,

or did Tillie earn all that by herself?



No, I couldn't help.



I haven't anything.



My husband, Mr. Rayska...



takes care of me

and my boy... Frank's boy.



I can't ask more than that.



He is a good man, and he loves me

and he loves the boy.



We're lucky.



Yeah. You seemed to have

got out of it all right.



Mr. McNeal, I told you the truth about

the divorce. Frank wanted it.



Well, it's going to very hard

to make people believe it.



Frank's wife says he's innocent and shows

her faith by divorcing him, you know.



But that's just the way it was.



I went up to see him that day...



wanting him to keep up hope,

wanting to cheer him up.



He looked depressed, the way you do

when you're terribly worried.



- How have you been?

- Fine.



- How have you been?

- Fine.



- How's Ma?

- Fine.



And the boy... How's the boy?



Oh, he is fine.



Always fine.



Everything's fine.



We have nothing to say anymore.



- Oh, Frank, darling, please.

- I know. I know.



So many things you don't say.



You don't want to talk

about the outside, because I'm in here.



You don't want to remind me.



But I remind myself.



I think of lots of things.



Helen, tell me, how...

how's the boy doing in school?



He's doing very well, Frank.



But what about the other boys?



Kids can hurt him bad.



- They're only kids, Frank.

- Yeah.



- They do not know what they are saying.

- They know...



son of a jailbird,

cop-killer's son.



Oh, it's nothing, Frank.



I was thinking about moving

to a new neighborhood anyway.



- He'll go to a new school.

- No, it's no good.



A new school is no good, Helen.



A new name, that would be good.



- Frank!

- I'm... I'm just like dead, Helen.



In    years, maybe I can get a parole

if I'm lucky.



Thirty years.



Helen, you've...



You've got to divorce me, Helen.



- You can't mean that, Frank.

- Yes.



Love's not for us anymore, Helen.

It's finished.



Now we must think of the boy...



only the boy.



My boy must live for me.



But I couldn't do it, Frank.



I just couldn't.



And for over a year,

I wouldn't do it, Mr. McNeal.



But Frank kept begging me

and begging me.



Then I met Mr. Rayska.



He loved me, and he was fond

of little Frank.



He understood

everything about us.



Well, what about the boy?

Does he know?



Yes. He knows.



But now, everyone calls

his father Uncle Frank.



We've made a point of that.






Look, Mom! Brand-new...



He lost the other one.



This is Mr. McNeal

of the newspaper.



And that's my husband,

Mr. Rayska.



- Rayska.

- And that's my boy, Frank.



- Hello.

- How are you? Say, I'd like to get...



- a couple of shots of you and the boy.

- That's all right.



- Come on, son. Sit right there.

- Come over here, Frank.



Here you are.



Hey, Pete.



Mr. Rayska, you mind if I ask you

a couple of questions?



- Certainly not.

- Were you in Chicago in December of     ?



- Yes, why?

- Did you know Helen then?



What do you mean,

asking such a question?



- Any objections to answering?

- No. No objections.



He's got to ask

everything, dear. I know that.



I didn't meet Helen

till after she was divorced.



- This can be proved by our friends.

- I see. I see.



You understand

I have to ask a lot of questions.



L... Sorry.



What's he askin' all the questions for anyway?

What's the big idea?



- It's about your Uncle Frank.

- He's not my uncle! He's my father!



Well, thank you, folks.






Darling, wake up.



What's the matter?



- Huh?

- Hungry?



- Want a nice sandwich?

- No, no, no, no, no...



You've been gnashing

your teeth and making an awful noise.



I've never known you

to be like this, Jim.



Well, maybe it's

something I ate.



I ate the same things.



Well, maybe

it's something I wrote then.



Hey, you look nice.



Will you marry me?



- I did.

- Oh, yeah. Yeah, that's right.



- Thanks.

- You're welcome.



Just remember, I'm here.



Well, come on over here.

Maybe we can work this out together.



What's the matter?

Won't the pieces fit together?



Some of'em, but they make

the wrong picture.



Pieces never make

the wrong picture.



Maybe you're looking at them

from the wrong angle.



Sometimes it's mighty hard

to figure.



Why don't you let go?



You want him to be innocent.



You want him to be free.



- Admit it.

- Well, maybe you're right.



Maybe I do want him to be free, but that

doesn't make me believe he's innocent.



If you want to believe,

that's enough.



Believe it.



Will you marry me?

Oh, that's right. You did.



Will you fix me

that sandwich then?



Hey, hey, hey, hey.






Hey, Kelly? Have you seen this item

on the warehouse fire?



Might be a firebug, arson ring.



- You think there's anything to it?

- There might be.



Well, follow it up.



- Is that an assignment?

- Sure.






Oh, Mac. I know there's nothing more

to the Wiecek case.



It's all washed up, but before you tackle

this warehouse yarn...



The warden called me this morning.

Wiecek wants to see you again.



- Well, for what?

- I don't know. Maybe he wants to confess.



Well, I was just up there.

Don't I get time off for good behavior?



Wiecek's been up there

for    years, Mac.



That cop's been buried

longer than that.



Hello, Wiecek.



Mr. McNeal.



I sent for you

to tell you that...



I don't want you

to write anymore...



about me or my family.



I've read what you've written.



I've seen the pictures

of my mother...



my wife and my boy.



We've poured our hearts

out to you...



- unashamed.

- Well, you wanted help, didn't ya?



That's the only way you can get people

interested in the case.



Nobody's gonna read a little two-line ad

like your mother ran in the paper.



A half a million people

have been followin' this story.



Now somebody might know

the killers and get in touch with us.



I don't want that kind of help.



I'll stay here a thousand years.



But you must not

write anymore...



about my wife

and my mother and my boy.



My mother is doing this for me,

not to sell your papers.



- Oh, now, wait a minute. Wiecek.

- I made my wife divorce me...



so my boy has a new name.



Now you put his picture in the paper,

spoiled everything for him.



I don't know.

I thought I was doin' a good job.



No! This is writing

without heart...



without truth.



Before, I thought maybe

some crook lawyer...



would try to get the $    

from my mother.



But this, I never figured.



Yes, I say it.



I'll stay here. I'll stay here

a thousand years.



But never write anymore

about my family.



Leave them alone.



Leave alone my wife and my boy.



What do you make of that?



Well, I guess he figured

you pitched him some pretty low curves.



Why, it was a story.

I wrote what I saw.



You know, up here

every man claims to be innocent.



But the prisoners

are the harshest judges of themselves.



And they believe we have only two men

who don't belong here...



Tomek Zaleska

and Frank Wiecek.



All right, Warden. Say, l-I wonder if you'll

let me try something else?



I'd like to talk

to Tomek Zaleska.






- I'd like to talk to Zaleska.

- Yes, sir.



Tomek, this is McNeal

of the Times.



- He'd like to talk to you.

- Yes?



Warden, would it be stretchin' the rules too much

if I talk to him alone?



- Well, no. Oh, go right ahead.

- Thank you.



- Are you familiar with the work

the Times is doin' for Wiecek?

- Yes, sir.



Now, look, Tomek. We want to clear up

this Bundy case one way or the other.



We don't think Frank

was in it with ya.



Now, if you confess and name the man that was

really with you that night...



the Times will do

everything in its power...



to get ya a parole

for turning state's evidence.



The chances are

you'll be outta this place in a few years.



Now, wh-what have you got to lose?

You're in for life now.



Come on. Tell us the truth.



Sure. I could say I did it.



Then maybe have a chance

of getting out like you say.



But if I confessed...



who would I name

as my partner? Joe Doakes?



I couldn't make it stick

for one minute.



That's the trouble

with being innocent.



You don't know

what really happened.



I didn't do it.



Me and Frank

had nothin' to do with it.



Okay, Tomek.






You must run a nice jail.

This guy doesn't want to get out either.



I'm gonna get this outta

my system if I never write another line.



Warden, do you think

Wiecek'd talk to me again?



Yeah. Yeah,

I imagine he would.



I'll take you over to the hospital.

He works there.



Frank, Mr. McNeal would like to talk

to you again if it's all right with you.



Look, Frank. I've decided

to go on with this case.



I'll slant the story your way.



I also want you to know

I'm still not convinced you're innocent.



But I'm willin' to dig...

get the facts.



But remember this.

If I ever catch ya lyin'...



I'll blast you so hard, you won't even

get a parole when your    years are up.



Is it a deal?



I've nothing

to be afraid of. It's a deal.



Okay, Frank.



I want you to give me

some information.



This, uh... This judge

you told me about.



You know, the one that died?



Were there any witnesses when he told you

he'd try to get you a new trial?



- Yeah, there was a bailiff.

- Uh-huh.



- What was his name?

- I don't know.



Well, I'll find out. What was the name

of your lawyer?



- His name was Underwood.

- Underwood.



- Where does he practice?

- He's disbarred now.



That's great... a disbarred

lawyer and a dead judge.



- All right. What else?

- There's Wanda Skutnik.



It was she alone

who put me where I am.



She identified me.

But the other two witnesses...



Gruska and the mailman...

said no.



Then there was

the police captain.



He was the one who got

Skutnik to say I was the man.



He stood right alongside

of her when she picked me out.



- She was afraid of him.

- What was his name?



I never found out.

He wasn't at the trial.



- Well, where can I find this Skutnik dame?

- L-I don't know.



- That's nice material.

- That's all I got, but it's the truth.



Would you be willing

to take a lie-detector test?



Mr. McNeal, for    years...



I've been waiting for a chance

to get at that box.



You know what you're up against?



If it turns out bad,

you're cooked.



If it turns out good, it's only

Leonarde Keeler's professional opinion.



- Doesn't count legally.

- I'll take the test.



Okay, I'll fix it up for ya.



Listen, kid. Take it from me.



Keep away from Keeler

and that lie detector.



- Oh, I'm not afraid of it.

- That's what I said.



Why, I had the cops, the state's attorney,

even my own lawyer believin' in me.



I was a cinch. Then they talked me into

going up against that box.



- Well, what happened?

- What do you mean, what happened?



I'm doin' life, ain't I?



Well, the only thing

the machine is for...



is to record the emotional

reactions of an individual.



Uh, we place a blood pressure

cuff about the upper arm of the subject.



And then, through the impulses

to the timer system...



record the variations

in blood pressure and pulse on this stylus.



Then the pneumograph

is fastened about the subject's chest...



and we record the changes

in the respiration.



And the electrodes fasten on the palm

and the back of the hand...



to record the changes

in the electrical conductivity of the skin.



It's a very sensitive criteria

for emotional reaction, emotionality.



Mr. Keeler's

all ready for you, Frank.



Sit down, Frank.



Just take it easy and relax.



I'll do the best I can, Mr. Keeler.



Hello, Mac.



What are you doin' here?



I was drivin' out to Decatur

to see my brother and... thought I'd stop by.



I've never seen

a lie test before.



Decatur's out the other way.



Yeah, well, l-I took the detour,

the long way around.



Yeah. Yeah.



These are a pair of electrodes.



I've clipped them to the palm

and the back of your hand...



to pick up the electrical changes

in the nervous system.



I'm gonna try

an experimental test now.



I want you to take

one of these cards, look at it...



remember the card that you chose,

and then place it back in the group.



I'm going to ask you

one card at a time...



and I want you to say "no"

to each card that I ask...



including the chosen card.



- Do you understand?

- Yes, sir.



Now, just face forward.

Don't watch the machine...



and sit quietly as you can.



Hey, what's

he doin' that for?



Oh, he's forcing him to lie

so it'll show on the graph.



Gives a good basis

for judging Wiecek's reactions.



- Did you choose the seven of clubs?

- No.



Did you take

the three of spades?






Did you take

the queen of hearts?






- Did you take the ace ofhearts?

- No.



Did you take

the five of diamonds?






- Did you take the six of clubs?

- No.



You took

the five of diamonds, Frank.



- Did you?

- Yes, sir.



Now, I have a prepared list

of questions... I'll ask you.



And I want you to answer

all these questions now by "yes" or "no."



And if you have anything to explain,

do that after I ask you all the questions.



Just turn around

and face forward.



Sit as quietly as you can

all the way through the test.



Now, don't forget, just "yes" or "no"

all the way through.



- Yes.

- Is your name Frank Wiecek?






- Did you have breakfast this morning?

- Yes.



- Do you know Tomek Zaleska?

- Yes.



- You're   feet tall. Aren't you?

- I'm   foot  .



Just a minute now, Frank.

Just "yes" or "no" all the way through.



- I'm... I'm sorry, sir.

- And sit quietly.



- Yes, sir.

- I'll have to begin again now...



- and just ask you some of these questions.

- Yeah, I'm sorry.



- Is your name Frank Wiecek?

- Yes.



- Were you in Wanda Skutnik's

store on December  ?

- No.



Were you home

at the time of the robbery?






That's all I'm going to ask you.

Just sit quietly now for a few moments...



- and I'll take it off.

- Yes, sir.



Well, we're all through, Frank.



Good-bye, and I'll

probably see you later.



See you later, Frank.



- What's the verdict?

- Well, there's the record.



What was that?

What's that jump there?



Well, he reacted in all three curves...



uh, very specifically.



He lied to that question.



- Is that where you asked him if he killed Bundy?

- No.



"Are you married?"



Well, he... But he-he didn't lie.



- He-He isn't married. He's divorced.

- Yes, but he's-he's a Catholic.



And he still thinks

he's married.



And he feels within himself

that he's married.



And so, he reacted

in deception.



But do you think he lied

about anything else?



Well, we've run so many records today...

four or five of them...



and I'd like to take a little

time to go over them...



and compare one record

with another and the reactions.



And, well, I'll call you

later on this afternoon...



- and let you know.

- All right.



Hiya, McNeal.

What can I do for you?



Say, Larson, I'd like to check

on the date of arrest...



of a fellow by the name

of Frank Wiecek.



- You mean, the cop-killer?

- I'm just trying to do a job.



I'm afraid

I can't help you, McNeal.



Our arrest books for     

are in the warehouse.



They're not available.



What do you want me to do,

go to the commissioner?



You know where you can go,

as far as I'm concerned.



Here it is.



"Booked for murder December   ."



That make ya happy?



One of the things

I was lookin' for.



He was booked on the   rd.



Now, if I could just find out

if he was arrested before then.



What difference would that make?



Well, if he was arrested

before the   rd...



it'd prove that this Skutnik dame

could've seen him a couple of times...



before she identified him.



Captain Norris of the New City Precinct

handled the Skutnik identification.



He never operated that way.



Captain Norris, huh?



Say, let me see the arrest books for

December      will ya?



- I can't help you on that.

- Look, all I'm trying to do is to find out...



whether this fellow Wiecek

is a cop-killer or not.



Back during Prohibition, the police department

got tough when a cop got killed.



Now you're talkin'

like the guy in the street.



Always thinks we're runnin' around with

rubber hoses beatin' up innocent people.



Look. You seem to think

the cops framed Wiecek.



You're the one

that's doing the framing.



You're framing

the best police department in the country.



Bundy was a good cop

and a good man.



Why don't you write

about his wife and son?



And about the other     cops

killed in the last    years?



Back in     

they did a lot of things.



- Maybe they did, but they weren't always wrong.

- How do you know?



Were you in the division

at the time?



No. All I can say is...



it's awful hard for a man like me

to be fair to a cop-killer.



And supposing

he isn't a cop-killer?



Maybe I ought to help ya,

but I just can't.



You've helped me plenty.

Don't worry.



Captain Norris, huh?



Had charge of the Skutnik

identification, huh?



Well, it looks like

he's sort of mixed up in this himself.



Maybe I'd better go over

and talk to him.



You'd better take

a shovel with ya.



You'll have to dig him up.

He died in '  .



- Hi.

- Hi, Mac. Off your beat, ain't ya?



Yeah, yeah, sort of.

I need some help.



Nah. Lay off of me, Mac.

The word's gone out to keep away from you.



I've done you

a lot of favors, Matt.



Is there anyplace

I can find some records...



of people that come in here

and look at the police show-ups?



Material witnesses.

Somebody might have been subpoenaed...



to come in here

and identify Wiecek.



If we kept that kind of stuff,

the books would fill Soldier's Field.



Would there be any photographs,

anything like that?



We don't take no pictures

in station houses.



Press boys might get

a shot of the witnesses on the steps...



but never inside.



Now, look, Mac,

if I'm seen talking to you...



I'm gonna be back

walking my old beat.



Why not be a good guy

and don't be here when I get back.



- Can I use your phone?

- Yeah. Use that line. Don't touch those.



Uh, this is McNeal.

Give me Kelly.



Say, check through our files

and see if any of our boys took pictures...



at the Wiecek arrest in     .



Get someone to check the Tribune

and the rest of the papers. And listen, Kelly.



A photographer takes

maybe    shots, prints one of them.



I want to see the other nine.



And listen.

The Herald Examiner...



They were still

in business then, weren't they?



This is just

their kind of picture.



I'll check on that myself.



Hey, uh, I just

thought of something.



See ya later.



New City Precinct.



This is McNeal

over at headquarters.



You got the book

in the Wiecek arrest,     ?



Yeah. But we've been told

to pull it out of the files.



I'll drop over and see it.

Okay, be right over.






Yeah, I'm McNeal.

I just phoned you from headquarters.



You got that book

on the Wiecek arrest?



Come in.



Thank you.



What did you find?



Wiecek was arrested

in the morning of the   nd.



But he wasn't booked

until the afternoon of the   rd.



- Norris took his time, didn't he?

- What did you say your name was?



- McNeal.

- What division?



I'm McNeal of the Chicago Times.



This is confidential information.



This is public information,

and I'm entitled to use it.



We've got our orders. You got a beef,

you talk to the state's attorney's office.



That's a good idea.

I think I will. In the meantime...



I wouldn't let anything

happen to that book if I were you.



Mac. Hey, Mac.



Hey, this is hitting him

pretty hard, isn't it?



I haven't even started

on him yet.



I think this whole thing stinks.



Kelly speaking.



Yeah. Yes, sir.



Right away.



That's the boss.

He wants us both.



Let's go. Let's go.



Go right in, Mr. Kelly.

Mr. Palmer's waiting.



Mr. Kelly, Mr. McNeal,

I believe you know the commissioner.



- How do you do, sir?

- Mr. Faxon, from the state's attorney's office.



- And this is Robert Winston,

representing the governor.

- How do you do, sir?



Of course, you know Mr. Burns.



Mr. Kelly,

these gentlemen object...



to our handling

of the Wiecek story.



Mr. Kelly, we feel that the Times,

through you and Mr. McNeal...



is slinging mud on one of the finest

police departments in the United States.



And specifically,

we object to your efforts...



to arouse sympathy

for a man who killed a police officer.



We'd just like to

point out, gentlemen...



that Frank Wiecek was

convicted by a jury.



His case was reviewed

by the Supreme Court...



and the conviction was upheld.



All these legal authorities believed

in Frank Wiecek's guilt.



Well, a long time ago,

a lot of people believed the world was flat.



Well, at this late date,

do you wish to impugn...



the integrity of

the jury and the court?



If they were wrong, yes.



Back in     ...



a steady stream

of convictions made good publicity.






Frank Wiecek was found guilty,

and he belongs where he is.



Were you in the state's attorney's

office in     ?



Why, uh, yes, I was, but I didn't have

anything to do with the Wiecek case.



I have no ax

to grind, Mr. McNeal.



But I believe you're unnecessarily

discrediting this regime.



Furthermore, your stories

may be holding out false hope of a pardon...



to both Frank Wiecek

and his mother.



- I'm not so sure it's false.

- We are.



Look, up until now, what we've printed was based

on interview and investigation.



We've invented nothing,

and we don't intend to.



A great deal of emotion

and color can be lent to simple facts.



The governor feels this entire matter is

undermining law and order.



But Wiecek is innocent!

It'd be criminal for us to stop now!



Well, you must remember,

Mr. McNeal...



that another political party

was in power at that time.



We're not to blame,

but the public tars us with your brush.



You can't destroy the confidence we've built up

in this regime just to sell newspapers.



It may have started like that,

but it isn't that way anymore.



Now, look, gentlemen,

believe me, this man is not guilty.



I don't know

if he's guilty or not...



but we don't want this police force

persecuted anymore.



- What's the difference...

- Just a minute, gentlemen. The

governor wants this cleared up.



We're not asking you

to forget the man if he's innocent...



but we don't want this dragged on and on

just to promote circulation.



We have a proposition

to offer you to settle this once and for all.



I can suggest to the governor

that he set up a hearing in the Pardon Board.



If Wiecek is exonerated,

he'll get a pardon.



But if you can't clear him,

you're to drop this matter once and for all!



Is that a deal?



What do you say, Mac?



It's a deal

if Mr. Palmer says so.






It's a deal.



I'll ask the governor

to set up a special hearing next week.



- Are you ready to accept that?

- Yes, I am.



There's just one thing,

Mr. McNeal.



If you go before a pardon board

and they turn him down...



it'll go on Wiecek's record.



Then when he's eligible

for parole...



that record may

hurt his chances.



Now, mind you,

there's no regulation...



there's no law...



but the very fact that he was investigated

by the Pardon Board...



and turned down...



may have a prejudicial

effect upon his application.



What you're doing is gambling

with Wiecek's parole.



Well, that's a chance

we'll have to take.



Well, gentlemen,

that's settled, then. We're agreed.



Thank you very much, gentlemen.

We'll live up to our end of the bargain.



- Good-bye. Good-bye.

- Good-bye, sir.






Well, you two seem to be satisfied,

but Mr. Burns doesn't seem to be.



I'm not.



As your attorney,

I think you've made a bad deal.



While I have read

the transcript of this case...



and am familiar with some of the things

Mr. McNeal found...



I am not at all certain that we have

sufficient evidence to obtain a pardon.



But you haven't seen

all of the evidence yet, Mr. Burns.



- What, for instance?

- Well, in the first place...



I've talked to the bailiff

of the court.



He corroborated Frank's statement

that the judge promised him a new trial.



- What basis did the judge have

for making that promise?

- I don't know.



- If he made it.

- He made it, all right. Here's

an affidavit from the bailiff.



That's not proof.

It's inconclusive.



All right. All right.

Forget about that.



I have a lie-detector test and Keeler's

sworn statement that the fellow is innocent.






Gruska and Decker,

the other two witnesses in the crime...



maintain that Wiecek

is not the man.



And they also testified

that this Wanda Skutnik...



couldn't possible have

recognized anybody.



Well, have you found her?

What does she say?



Gruska and Decker contradict it.

But it's inconclusive evidence.



Now, what new admissible

evidence have you?



Well, there's a whole lot

of new stuff!



The state's attorney's office

tried to keep me out of the record books.



That's the reason they had

that fellow Faxon up here.



And another thing... Why is this

Wanda Skutnik dame keeping undercover?



A couple of mobsters

might have killed that cop...



and threatened her

for not playing ball...



or maybe she's trying

to keep in good with the law, I don't know.



- She ran a speakeasy.

- Now, look here, McNeal. I'm an attorney.



I know what it is to go

up before the Pardon Board. They go on facts.



Facts? Okay. I'll give you

something better than facts.



I'll give you a picture.

Take a look at that.



Now, Wanda Skutnik testified that she didn't

see Wiecek from the time of the murder...



until the time she identified him

on the   rd of December.



Now, Frank maintains that she did see him

several times on the   nd of December...



when the cops were taking him around

from station to station.



All right. That-That bears out

Frank's story right there.



There's a picture of Frank

and Wanda going in to one of the stations.



Where'd you get this, Mac?



I got it out of the files

of the old Herald Examiner.



Kinda figured they'd go

for a picture like that.



When was this taken?



- Well, obviously on the   nd.

- Oh, now look here, McNeal...



you can't just say that

obviously it was taken then.



- You have to prove it.

- Well, I have the photograph...



When you go before the Pardon Board,

the burden of proof is with you.



- But the picture...

- After all, it could have been

taken after she identified him.



McNeal, you've done

a wonderful job...



in assembling all this evidence.



But the law of the State of Illinois

requires only one eyewitness...



for an identification

and conviction.



So far, that witness

has not altered her statement...



and that fact still stands.



Mr. Palmer, in view of this,

I'm afraid I must recommend...



that you permit me to get in touch

with those gentlemen...



who were just here,

and ask for more time...



or until I've had

an opportunity to go over the case.



- Then your advice is to call the whole thing off.

- That's right.



Oh, now, Mr. Palmer,

I realize that Mr. Burns...



knows more about the law

than I do.



But I want to tell you

some things about this case you don't know.



I went into this thing

believing nothing. I was skeptical.



I'd figured Wiecek is using

his mother to spring him.



But I've changed my mind.



This man is innocent, Mr. Palmer.

I know that without any doubt.



Now, it's true I haven't found Wanda Skutnik,

but I want a chance to find her.



I want a chance

to get this guy out of jail.



Now, if you call off this hearing,

I'll never get that chance again.



The bargain stands.



Thank you, sir.



Just a minute, McNeal.



Let me give you

one last piece of advice.



Even if you do find

this Wanda Skutnik...



I don't believe

she'll ever change her testimony.



There's only one thing for you to do...

discredit her, prove she's a liar.



Otherwise, you're wasting your time.



Just great. Great speech, Mac.



Now you've really got to

find Wanda Skutnik.



Now, listen, Kelly.

I haven't been wasting my time.



I know a lot

about Wanda Skutnik.



She used to run a speakeasy.

She's probably still in the liquor business.



She's Polish, and she

used to run around...



with a guy that works

in the stockyards.



Don't let your enthusiasm

get you into trouble.



- The stockyard's a tough neighborhood.

- Don't scare me, Kelly.



- Can you speak Polish?

- No, I can't speak Polish.



But if I have to learn to speak Polish

to find her, I'm starting right now.



What'll you have?



Say, did you ever

see that woman before?



Her name's Wanda Skutnik.



- You a copper?

- No, no. No, no.



Her uncle died

and left her a little money.



I hear she's remarried.

I'm having a hard time finding her.



Money, huh?



I don't know. I'll see if the boys

in the back room know about her.



Wanda Skutnik?



Much obliged.



No problem.



McNeal divided

the district back of the yards...



into blocks and sections...



and for days and nights, systematically

combed every beer parlor and saloon.



- Give me a bourbon.

- Yes, sir.



- What'll ya have?

- Give me some rye, will you?



Say, did you ever see

that woman around here?



No, I don't think I have.



Her name's Skutnik...

Wanda Skutnik.



A lot of women come in here,

but I don't know 'em by name.



- Your name McNeal?

- Yeah. Why?



I've been wondering when

you'd hit this neighborhood.



I've been reading

your stories in the paper.



- About Wanda Skutnik?

- Yeah.



- You know her?

- Used to.



- Used to be good friends.

- You know where I could find her now?



- I might.

- Where?



- What's in it for me?

- What do you want?



I owe him a buck, seventy-five.






Where is she?



- I ought to have one to talk on.

- Yeah, yeah, yeah.



Hey. Couple of drinks here, huh?



What happens to Wanda

if you find her?



Oh, not a thing.

I'm just gonna ask her some questions.



- There ain't no warrant out

after her or nothin' like that?

- No, nothing like that.



Leave the bottle

here, too, will ya?



She hadn't ought to have

thrown them bricks at me.



- You know Honore Street?

- Yeah, yeah. Sure.



You go down there.



-    .

-    .



- What's her name now?

- Siskovich.



Wanda Siskovich.



But don't tell her I said so.



She's got a bad temper.



I don't want her throwin'

no more bricks at me.



Won't tell her a word.

There you are. Thanks.



Come in.



- Who are you?

- I'm from the Times.



- Get out of here!

- So you're Wanda Skutnik.






I've been wonderin'

when you'd show up.



Now, look, lady, l-I'm not gonna

give you any trouble.



I'd just like to ask you

a few questions.



You want to cry

in my beer?



All I want to know is this:



Is there any possibility

that you might have been mistaken...



when you identified Wiecek?






Well, if you're so positive, we can prove it.

Will you take a lie test?



A lie test? You think I'm crazy?



Look, will you give me

a sworn statement?



I did my swearin' in court.



How many times did you see Frank

before you identified him?



- Never.

- You didn't see him

before the police show up?



No. Only when he killed the cop.



Look, I said all I got to say.

That's all there is, see?



What do you mean, "That's all there is"?

There's a lot more than that.



This kid's been up

in the pen for    years.



Now, look. I got to go before

the Pardon Board day after tomorrow.



Frank's got a good chance

to get off if you help him.



I got no reason

to help Wiecek...



and I got no reason

to help you, neither.



You're the one that wrote them lies about me.

I've been thinking of suing for libel!



That's the reason I wrote 'em.

I called you a liar...



and a bootlegger

and a finger woman.



I insulted you every way

I could think of.



And I'm gonna keep on

doin' it, see?



Go ahead and sue us for libel.



I'd just like to get you

up on a witness stand under oath...



Yeah, and you still

wouldn't get nothin' out of me!



Why you bother her?



Put that down!



You want to go tojail?



Now, you get out of here!



Now, listen, maybe there's

something you didn't think of.



- There's a $     reward, you know.

- Five thousand dollars!



And what's more, you don't

have to do anything about it.



Just tell me enough to clear things up,

get Wiecek out, and you get the     .



- So what do I gotta do?

- Just tell the truth.



Who got you to identify him?

Who are you afraid of?



Nobody. Nothin'. Nobody.



I ain't afraid of nobody,

and I ain't got nothin' to say.



Wanda, it's $    .



Shut up!

Now, you get out of here!



You ain't gonna get




I identified him.

I told the truth. It's him!



I ain't never gonna change my mind.

It's him! Now, get out of here!






Well, Mr. Burns has given us

a clear picture of the situation.



If Wanda Skutnik can defy

the Pardon Board...



if the board has no authority

to subpoena her...



the power to make her talk,

then we're helpless.



What do we do now?



The thing for us to do now

is for me to appear...



before the Pardon Board

of Springfield this afternoon...



present our apologies,

and ask that the case be withdrawn.



Will that appear

on Frank's record?



Will it spoil his chances

when he becomes eligible for a parole?



No. His name simply

will not come before the board.



All right. That's it, then.



I'm sorry, Mr. Palmer.



I want to apologize

to you, too, Mr. Burns.



I thought if I found this woman, I could

make her talk, but I missed it. I'm sorry.



Okay, Mac. Kelly,

write a finish story...



on this Wanda Skutnik

and end the whole thing.



Get the paper off the hook.



I can get a train for Springfield

in about a half-hour.






Big day for the Wieceks.



"Write a finish story."



"Get the paper off the hook."



How do you end it?



First, you better go out

and see Wiecek's mother.



I couldn't do that.

I just couldn't do that, Kelly.



What do you want her to do,

read it in the paper?



- Mr. McNeal! Come in.

- Thank you.






I've got to excuse myself.

I was not expecting company.



Oh, you mustn't regard me

as company, Tillie.



I was baking a pie for Frank.



Please sit down.

I get you some coffee.



L-I really can't stay, Tillie.



I just came out to talk

to you about something.



About the Pardon Board, yes?



Oh, I pray for this day!



I want to tell you about it.

Come over here and sit down.



And now...

now it has come! It is here!



- Tillie, I must tell you this.

- Yeah?



We're going to

call off the hearings.



We don't have a chance in the world

of getting Frank his pardon.



- No chance?

- No.



But you work so hard.

You do everything.



Everything I could.



You got lawyers.

He tell Pardon Board.



We have the best.

But don't you see, Tillie?



If we go before

the Pardon Board now...



it'll just be hurting Frank's chances

for a parole later on.



We can't get a thing

out of Wanda Skutnik...



and without her,

we have nothing.



I saw her at the trial.



She will never tell.

Like a rock.



She will never tell.

But she knows.



Yes, she's afraid.

She will not talk. Never.



And without her,

we have no evidence.






They got no evidence

when they sent my Frank to prison...



for    years.



I got no evidence

when I scrub floors every night.



Go without supper.

Walk to work...



so I save a nickel for Frank.






What is this "evidence"?



I can't tell you

how sorry I am, Tillie.



You try to help.



You're a good man.



But if this thing happen...



then we fight some more.



We fight more and more. Yes?



No, Tillie.



We're calling off the hearing.



The Times is dropping the case.






But if you go,

I got no friend left.






No friends left.



No friends no more.



Big fool, me.



Sure I got a friend.



Where to?



Ah, the Chicago Times.



You're the fellow

that's writing those stories, ain't you?



Seen the paper?



Hey, change that, will ya? Get me down

to police headquarters fast as you can!



Right away!



McNeal of the Chicago Times.



First door on your left,

Mr. McNeal.



Say, uh, did you make the enlargement of

the photograph of this forged check here?



Yes. Why?



I got a picture here.

I just wondered...



could you blow that section

of the picture up right there?



- Sure.

- Would all the details come out on it?



- That depends. You got the negative?

- No, that's all I got.



- Well, then, I'd have to make a dupe.

- How long would that take?



- Oh, couple of hours.

- What do you think?



Could you get started

on it right away?






But you're McNeal

at the Times, aren't ya?



- Been working on that Wiecek case.

- That's right. I'm McNeal.



At first, I thought

this guy was guilty.



Now I don't know.

Let me take a look at it.



- Hey, could I use your phone?

- Sure. Right over there.



I want to put in a person-to-person call

to Mr. Martin J. Burns.



He's up at the state capitol

in Springfield, Illinois.



That's right. Yeah.



Sorry, gentlemen.



The Pardon Board

is in special session.



The case of Frank Wiecek.



Gentlemen, I feel

somewhat at a loss...



because I came here to ask that

the petition of Frank Wiecek be withdrawn.



However, about an hour ago,

I received a telephone call...



from James McNeal

of the Chicago Times...



who informs me he has uncovered

the evidence we have been seeking.



It is conclusive evidence...



that supports the petition

of Frank Wiecek.



You may present

the evidence, Mr. Burns.



Unfortunately, gentlemen...



my telephone conversation with Mr. McNeal

was necessarily brief.



He's flying down to Springfield.

He should be here at any moment.



What evidence does he have?



- I'm afraid I don't know.

- Mr. Chairman.



- Mr. Faxon.

- I object.



The state's attorney's office

has the right to demand...



orthodox conduct of this hearing.



If you have conclusive evidence,

present it.



Otherwise, we ask that the petition be

denied here and now.



Mr. Faxon, we certainly

intend to follow...



orthodox procedure in

this board of pardons.



Kelly's sending it

over the A.P. Wire.



- Have you got anything at all?

- I don't have a thing.

We'll just have to stall them.



- Let me talk to them.

- All right.



Mr. Chairman, gentlemen...



I'd like to ask your permission to have

Mr. McNeal of the Chicago Times...



address the board.



- Granted.

- Thank you, sir.



Mr. Chairman, gentlemen,

I'd like to apologize for being late...



but it was just impossible for me

to get here sooner.



I, uh... I don't know

how much Mr. Burns has told you.



Strictly from a reporter's

point of view, understand...



I've assembled what I feel

is a very solid case.



And of what does

this case consist?



Well, it consists of such debatable items

as a lie-detector test.



Now, I realize that you're unable

to accept that.



You want evidence.



But sometimes the weight of evidence,

just because it's in the record...



is heavy enough

to crush the truth.



We'll discuss the shortcomings of our

judicial system some other time, Mr. McNeal.



Yes, sir. I'm sorry.



I realize that at the present time

you want facts.



We have a notarized affidavit...



from the bailiff

ofJudge Moulton's court...



that the judge felt that Wiecek

did not receive a fair trial.



We have those documents

before us, Mr. McNeal.



They could hardly

be called conclusive.



Yes, sir. But as you probably know

from those documents...



Gruska and Decker contradicted Wanda Skutnik's

testimony, and those affidavits bear them out.



The board is aware

of that, too, Mr. McNeal.



But Wanda Skutnik has not altered

her testimony, has she?



Wanda Skutnik lied

from beginning to end!



She lied about everything!



You know, it's a very funny thing

about the statue ofjustice up there.



She has a sword in her hand.

It's a double-edged sword.



Cuts both ways.

It keeps cutting the ground out...



from under everything

in favor of Frank Wiecek...



but the other side of it,

that isn't so sharp.



It doesn't cut the ground

out from under Wanda Skutnik...



and she's the only one responsible

for Wiecek's conviction!



Now, I have a police record here

that proves that Wiecek was arrested...



on the   nd of December.



I have another one here...



that proves he wasn't booked

until the   rd of December, one day later.



Okay. Wanda Skutnik testified...



that she didn't see him

from the time of the murder...



until the time she identified him

in the police lineup.



Here's a photograph

of Frank Wiecek...



and Wanda Skutnik together...



going into a police station.



Now, take a look at that,

gentlemen. That's new.



And that's the basis

of my conclusive evidence.



The two photostats

of the police records...



merely indicate

that some time elapsed...



between Wiecek's arrest

and the time he was booked.



As a reporter, you know very well that this

is a common occurrence at police stations.



Yes, sir, but what about

that photograph?



It must be perfectly obvious to you,

Mr. McNeal...



that we have no way of knowing

when this picture was taken.



Was it on the   nd or the   rd?

Or during or after the trial?



Yes, sir. I know. Gentlemen,

that's what delayed me.



Now, if I do prove that that photograph

was taken on the   nd of December...



one day before Wanda Skutnik identified

Frank Wiecek in the police lineup...



How about that? What then?



In that event, Mr. McNeal...



we might be obliged

to render a favorable decision.



- But can you prove it?

- Yes, sir. I think I can.



I just need a little time.



Time? Do you mean to say that you

still have no corroborating evidence?



No, I'm not sure.



The police laboratory

down in Chicago is enlarging...



this section of the photograph.



- Now, if the enlarging process...

- Yes, I know.



But how long will this take?



As soon as the enlargement is developed,

they're gonna send it...



over the wire photo system

from the Chicago Times...



to the Illinois StateJournal,

which is just a few blocks down here.



Now, all I ask, gentlemen,

is that you go down there...



- and see that thing with me.

- I object!



The methods of publicity previously used

in behalf of the plaintiff...



indicate that this may

rightly be regarded as an attempt...



to make journalistic capital

of this hearing.



I am authorized by the state's attorney's

office to state categorically...



that in the opinion of our office,

the facts set forth in Wiecek's behalf...



do not indicate that he was a victim of

a miscarriage of justice.



We're here to protect the interests of

the people of this state...



- not to sell newspapers.

- Mr. Chairman...






the governor ordered this hearing

for the purpose...



of arriving at the truth.



If you fail to consider

every item of evidence...



no matter how

improperly presented...



you have defeated

the very purpose of this hearing.



What is your decision,

Mr. Chairman?



Gentlemen, we'll go.



- Are you clear to Springfield?

- Yes, sir. The wire's open.



Well, hold it open.

I'll have the picture in a minute.



- Which one's McNeal?

- Yeah, right here.



Here are a couple of prints that came in

a while ago from Kelly of the Times.



This one's blown up

a hundred times.



This one    .



- He said you'd understand.

- Okay. Thanks very much.



Excuse me.



Ask them if they're ready.



- Springfield, are you ready for this picture?

- We're ready.



- Okay. Here's the final lineup.

- Okay.



All ready, Mr. McNeal.



Gentlemen, let me explain

to you what's happening here.



As you remember,

this is the picture I showed you before.



And this is the area we're working on

right here... the newsboy.



All right. Now, this print

is that area...



enlarged a hundred times.



And this print

is that same area...



enlarged     times.



Now, the picture

coming in now...



is this area right in here...



blown up as big as possible.



Well, what do you expect

to find in the enlargement?



The date on the newspaper

held in the newsboy's hand.



Is that possible?



Frankly, I don't know, sir.



It depends on

a whole lot of things...



the condition of the dupe negative,

the density of the print, the...



I've been doing

a little praying too.



That's it, Mr. McNeal.



Excuse me, please.



- How long will this take?

- Oh, it's a positive print. Shouldn't take long.



You can come along

with me if you want.



This way, gentlemen.



Remember, this is the area

I showed you.



There. It's beginning

to come through.



Now, what's the date?



What's the date?






There it is.! "'December   . '"



Twenty-second of December!

There it is!



- Good-bye, Warden.

- Good luck, Frank.



Thank you.



A new suit and ten bucks.



Almost a dollar a year.



Oh, look, Frank.



It's a big thing

when a sovereign state admits an error.



Remember this... There aren't many

governments in the world that would do it.



That's my daddy! Daddy!



- Helen.

- Frank.



- Frank, this is...

- Yeah, I know.



I want to thank you for everything

you've done for Helen and the boy.



And I want you to know, you can have the boy

with you whenever you want him...



- and for as long as you like.

- Thanks.



It's a good world... outside.



Yes, it's a good world outside.



And Frank Wiecek is free...



free because of

a mother's faith...



the courage of a newspaper...



and one reporter's refusal

to accept defeat.


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