Capturing The Friedmans Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Capturing The Friedmans script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Andrew Jarecki documentary movie about Arnold, Jesse, and Seth Friedman.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Capturing The Friedmans. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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Capturing The Friedmans Script



Hi. It's me.



Oh, we're not ready yet?






It's me, jesse.



Are we there?



Good. We're there.



Well, this afternoon,



after a very lousy sketch

about yo-yoing,



i figure we'ii, for lack of

anything better to do,



we'll take it towards a more

serious side right about now.



And we're going to conduct

an interview with



arnold friedman, my father.



I still feel like i knew

my father very well.



I don't think that just because

there were things in his life



that were private and

secret and shameful



that that means that

the father who i knew



and the things i knew about him

were in any way not real.



They're gonna put me

in the movies



they're gonna make

a big star out of me



we'll make a film about a man

that's sad and ionely



and all i got to do

is act naturally



well, i'll bet you i'm

a-gonna be a big star



might win an oscar,

you can't never tell



the movies gonna

make me a big star



'cause i can play

the part so well



well, i hope you come

to see me in the movies



then i know that you

will plainly see



the biggest fool that's

ever hit the big time



and all i got to do

is act naturally



arnold liked pictures.



I mean, that's, let's face it.



He liked pictures.



Well, we're here.



This is it, the whole

family assembled.



Everybody in

great neck, new york.



We had three sons.



David, being the oldest



had a lot of responsibilify

when he was young.



Seth was an outright rebel.



And somehow, jesse

was just like the



the one that keeps

trying to catch up



and doesn't quite make it.



I have very good memories

of the, of my, well,



i have very good memories

of my childhood.



I had a great time growing up.



I had a great time

because of my friends.



And my father was great.



I mean, he may not have

been the best father,



but he went to

columbia university.



And then when he graduated,

he went to the catskills



to play in his band.



The jazzbo mambo



with a boogie beat



is the newest dance

on   nd street



the band was called arnito rey

and his orchestra.



My father's name

was arnold friedman.



This was in the late

  's and early '  s.



So he played latin music.



It was very big at the time,



and so he changed

his name to arnito rey.



We'll do a jazzbo mambo

  to the bar



i don't know.



My dad was a cool guy, you know?



He was a schoolteacher.



And i think that the other kids

liked him, and he liked kids.



But he didn't like spending

a lot of time with his wife,



so he would teach high

school during the day



and then after school, he would

come home and teach



piano lessons and later computer

lessons in the house.



And that was, of course, more

time he didn't have to spend



with his wife.



I'm not that anxious to talk

about his father,



because, you know,

we were divorced, and



but his father, he would,



i don't really want

to talk about it.



In case anybody didn't know,

i'm the father of this family.



I'm never in the movies.



Never see me in any

of the pictures,



but i really am the father.



And we're all gathered




while david is messing up

the camera here.



Now he's taking a good movie

and zooming in and out.



When you see me on this,

you're gonna say



okay, shut it.



He died of a surprise heart

attack about   years ago.



And it was very, very sad.



He was, you know,



selfless, altruistic.



But in the end, he wasn't

together with your mom?



He wasn't together

with my mother at the end.



And when did they make

the decision not to be together?



Long before he died?



Couple years before his death.



There's a lot i,



well, whatever.



There's some things i don't

want to talk about.



Well, this is private,

so if you don't,



if you're not me,



then you really shouldn't

be watching this,



because this is supposed to be

a private situation



between me and me.



This is between me now

and me in the future.



So turn it off.



Don't watch this.



This is private.



If you're the fucking,

oh, god, the cops.



And if you're

the fucking cops,



go fuck yourselves,



because you're full of shit.



Back in      us customs had

seized some child pornography,



addressed from

the netherlands,



in the mail to arnold friedman.



Now, he never got that

piece of mail,



but his name was

forwarded on to us.



So what we would do then

would be to initiate



a correspondence with

arnold in the hopes



that we can determine if he is

in fact willing to violate



the statute again about mailing

or receiving child pornography.



"Dear stan, the book is

joe,    and his uncle.



I think i'd like you to send me

something, sort of good faith,



and i will forward this rather

precious book to you.



Thanks, arnie."



See, it's very hard

to believe that



this so-called "good

marriage" was so disturbed.



He sent him these pictures,

and he sent him a note



that i remember, because

the lawyer got the note.



And then he wrote, "enjoy."



Since he had sent

the magazine,



he was always asking

for it back.



So i asked the prosecutors,

"let's grant him his wish.



He wants his magazine back."



I dressed up as a mail carrier,

knocked on his door,



asked him if he was

arnold friedman.



He replied he was.



And i said, "i have

a package for you.



Sign right here."



He did.



About an hour later,

we went back.



We would give him some

time with the magazine.



I'm dressed now.



I just put a blue suit jacket

over the carrier's uniform.



And i told him, "i have a search

warrant for child pornography."



He says, "there's nothin'

like that here."



And i said,

"you don't recognize me?"



I'd just been at

his door an hour ago.



He goes, "no."



And i took off my jacket, and i

said, "now do you recognize me?"



"Oh, yeah. Oh, okay.

The magazine is upstairs."



So we went up to his bedroom.



In the top dresser door

was the open magazine.



Well, he thought we would take

the magazine and leave,



and i said, "no, we have

a search warrant.



We're gonna search the whole

house for child pornography."



And around that time

his wife showed up.



I thought they were

searching, like, for



marijuana or something.



I didn't know what they

were searching for,



to tell you the truth.



And i thought

it was a big mistake.



One of the first things

we went to was his office.



And i remember just as i was

about to pull out a drawer,



mr. Friedman came

rushing in and said,



"wait. I'll get that for you."



And said, "here.



This is all that's there."



And it was one piece of mail

from the netherlands,



but it was child pornography.



And he said, "that's it.



That's all there is."



And i said, "well, that's

great, mr. Friedman,



but we're still gonna search."



And he goes, "i don't

understand why you don't go



when i tell you

that's all there is?"



And i said, "well,

we don't believe you."



Well, it's not something he

sort of left lying around



on the kitchen table.



He wasn't proud of it,

and he kept it hidden.



He had his office downstairs.



It wasn't, like, right there.



You had to go downstairs



and around the corner

to get to his office.



We used to have

someone that cleaned.



He says, "don't let

her clean in here.



It's okay. I don't want

my things disturbed."



So all right.



I never went in there.



Then one of our inspectors

moved the piano



that was in that office.



And that's where his stash

of magazines were held,



behind the piano.



And this was arnold's secret.



He liked to look

at pictures of boys.



And it's not that he

acted on these things.



He just wanted to look at these

pictures and meditate or



and these are listings

of the magazines



that were found

behind the piano.



"Young boys & sodomy."



"Incest case histories."



Something called

"chicken pickin's magazine."



And in addition to that,

we found evidence



of a computer class being

taught there by mr. Friedman.



And we did seize

some list of names



that we thought

could be students.



I remember walking

in there saying,



"goddamn. We could

have a problem here."



Just when you think everything

is going to be dull,



something gets dropped

on your lap, you know,



and it turns out to be something

bigger than you ever thought.



What happened was one

of the detectives



from the vice squad

came in to see me.



And he had a list.



And it was at that point that

we were able to learn



that these were computer

classes that went on



literally every day of

the week and saturday.



And we drew a big map of the

whole village of great neck



sectioned it off, and started

sending detectives out



to do interviews.



She set us up in teams,



male/female teams.



And we got a list

of alleged victims.



Soon as we went

into the house,



we were usually approached

by the mothers.



And we explained why we're

there, what we're doing there,



and we'd really like to

talk to their children,



preferably alone.



The parents were

becoming impatient.



They wanted something

done immediately.



But you always want to be very

careful about how you proceed,



because the one thing

that you worry about



i know i worried about

it all the time, is



just charging somebody

with this kind of a crime



is enough to ruin their lives.



So you want to make sure that

you have enough evidence



and that you're convinced that

you're making a good charge.



And how much time was

there between the time



the postal inspector

searched the house



and the time that you went

in for the second search?



Well, it would have been

less than a month,



because we did that the day

before thanksgiving.



A prominent middle-aged




in a prosperous

long island town



is charged with sodomizing young

boys who were his students.



Police are charging that

sexual abuse went on



behind the doors of

   picadilly road in great neck.



We rang the doorbell.



As soon as he realized who it

was, he wasn't gonna let us in.



So one of the detectives

broke the door down.



And we went into

the premises at that point.



Arnold was by himself.



His wife was out shopping.



I was out to the store to

buy a thanksgiving turkey.



And i go up the front

walk to the house,



and there're people

all over the house.



And my husband is sitting,

looking very sheepishly



in the dining room, handcuffed.



By this time, just about

every news organization



you could name had

arrived on the scene.



I went home for thanksgiving.



Got to the house, and there's

cops and news trucks



all over the place.






i got worried, of course.



When david came to the house,



we were able to

ascertain eventually



the type of business he was in.



And we heard that he was

involved in children's



entertainment in the form of

some sort of clown activities.



I was there when

the clown came in.



He was ranting and raving.



We had words.



And i was going

through the folders.



We told him to take a hike.



And he kept trying

to come into the house,



and i kept telling him

that he couldn't,



that he had to leave.



He wasn't allowed

while we were searching.



And finally, he came in

for the last time.



He bent down.



I really thought he had

a weapon in that duffle bag.



Everybody kind of, you know,

reached for a gun at one point.



What he came out with



was a pair of fruit

of the loom underwear.



And he started prancing around,

flailing his arms in the air,



saying, "look at me.

I'm an asshole."



They're harassing my father

for no reason at all.



If i had had some kind of

arabian sand scarf



i would have wrapped

that around my face



and been lawrence of arabia.



Maybe that

would have been better.



But i took out underwear,

and i put it on my head



because i didn't want

to be on camera.



The first arrested

was arnold friedman,



a retired schoolteacher who was

charged with sodomizing boys



aged   to   .



The charges are that, while

running a computer school,



arnold friedman and his son

engaged in various forms



of sexual abuse

against minor children.



Jesse pulls up coming

home from school.



His friends dump him

out of the car.



David sort of grabbed me,

and we were sitting



a couple of houses down,

sort of on the sidewalk.



And he was saying

something to me.



And then one of the tv

cameras came over,



so we kind of ran

to the backyard.



And we went behind the house.



And we were in the backyard

of our house.



And the cops came back, and they

said, "what's going on here?"



And i said, "don't worry about

it. It's just me and jesse."



And they said,

"well, we want jesse.



We need jesse

in the house now."



Of course, we thought,

you know,



we didn't know why that was.



As we conducted more interviews

of the children,



jesse's name started to pop up.



And jesse was there.



What did jesse do?



And then eventually we were

able to ascertain



that jesse's role was not one

of, you know, helping his dad



conduct the computer class,



but basically abusing

the children himself.



We didn't have children

telling us



that arnold had

slapped them around.



But quite a number of the kids

reported incidents



of being slapped and having

their hair pulled



or their arms twisted by jesse.



He was, by far,

the more violent one.



All these policemen

said that jesse



was some kind of aggressor.



That even his father

was cowering,



and jesse was this sexual,

molesting tyrant.



I challenge anyone

to find anyone



who jesse had even teased

as a child or called a name.



Jesse was not an angry person.



He was not an upset person.



So we ended up spending

a lot of time together.



I was over his house   days

a week,   days a week.



And as far as i know him,

none of this ever happened,



not on my watch.



Eighteen-year-old jesse friedman

also stands accused



of sex abuse and using a child

in a sexual performance.



The only thought that i just

kept having the whole night



was, "we're gonna get bailed out

and then we'll go home



and we'll figure out

what's going on,



and the lawyers will

take care of this,



and they'll straighten

this out."



Because it was still

just a matter of,



"this is a big




But when the bail was set

at a million dollars,



instead of going out

with mom and david



like we were supposed to,

we went back the other way.



And that was the moment when



there was this whole new sense

that the problem was



much worse than i

originally thought.



The investigation didn't

end at that point.



That really was the arrest

and the search of the house.



And then we went on, because we

had literally, at that point



dozens more interviews to do.



Somewhere along the way, i think

it was the nassau county cops,



they showed me this magazine,

and they said,



"you see?

Look at this magazine."



And they showed me the magazine.



They were embarrassed

to show it to me



because of what

the pictures were.



And you know, i didn't see it.



My eyes were in

the right direction,



but my brain saw nothing.



Because when it was all over,



the lawyer showed me

the magazine, and then i saw it.



For the first time,

i really saw it.



I couldn't

believe what i saw.



I mean, i had no concept

that this



thing even exists

in the world,



that this magazine would

even be in the world.



I mean, we had

a middle-class home, educated.



I had a good family, right?



Where did this come from?



Mr. And mrs. Friedman's house



on this most beautiful

thanksgiving dinner.



For my daughter,

for my son-in-law,



and for my   grandsons.



I'm thankful that both my

brothers are home, and



i'm most thankful



to my husband, to arnie.



Anything you want

to say, mr. Friedman?



Are you guilty?



Did you do all they say you did?



No comment.



I was the first to visit

my brother in prison.



And that was a moment in

my life i'll never forget.



He came into the room.



I was sitting at this

table, a lot of tables,



and they were crowded.



Just awful surroundings.



And he didn't have

his glasses on.



Without his glasses,

he was blind as a bat.



They'd taken them off and

broken them, stepped on them.



He had a smell of urine.



They were throwing urine at him.



They were threatening to

throw him down the stairs.



They knew what

he was in there for.



It was all over the media.



And he was half-blind and

hadn't shaved in two days



and shivering and cold

and scared out of his wits.



The first words out

of his mouth were,



"howie, they're gonna kill me.

Get me out of here."



The people versus arnold

friedman and jesse friedman.



Indictment      .



Step up, please.



So began the very first time

cameras were permitted



in a nassau county courtroom.




arnold friedman



and his   -year-old son jesse



heard the court clerk read off

a   -count indictment



charging them with

sodomy and sexual abuse.



Arnold friedman, how do you

plead to this indictment?



Guilty or not guilty?



Not guilty.



And jesse friedman, how do you

plead to this indictment?



Not guilty.



My brother and jesse kept

saying they're innocent.



"This is trumped up charges."



And they got

a mcmartin's, you know?



They somehow got one kid to,



they got the police to be

able to convince the kids,



"well, all of your friends

said something happened.



Didn't something happen?



Something must have happened,"

et cetera, et cetera.



And they were convinced.



They kept saying

they were innocent.



And i just kept thinking,



"i have to believe them."



It's very hard for people to

accept him as a pedophile.



Arnold friedman was

an award-winning teacher.



All over the house

were plaques



and newspaper articles

written about him.



He had been given an award,

"computer teacher of the year."



He also taught piano.



David plays beautifully.



And his father taught him

how to play the piano.



It was when he died

that i realized



how much of an impact

he had on my life.



Take a bow.



He was very supportive of my

magic when i was a kid.



When i was about   my father

took me to a magic show.



And it's probably

my earliest memory.



You know when your son goes

to college and you say,



"go to college," and

"what are you going to be?



"Be a doctor. Be a lawyer."



I tried to make him into

a doctor or a lawyer.



You know, my mom would

always say, you know,



"get a job. Get a job."



But my dad would say to me,

"you know, david,



i can't tell you what to do,

because you know what i did



when i got out of college."



He blew off his chemical

engineering degree,



which he could have worked

for an oil company



and made tons of money.



Instead, he played

in the mountains,



which is a total blow-off,

follow your dream,



artistic thing.



And i totally love him for that.



Trust your children to somebody

who was a schoolteacher



for over       years,

a member of your community.



All you heard were accolades

about this person,



and now all of a sudden,

he's a monster.



And things that were

being said,



you know, upset the community,



because you don't

expect that here.



Great neck is a peninsula.



It's a very insulated community.



This was a certain kind of

person that lived in great neck.



It's on the north shore

of long island,



which is usually a

predominately wealthy area.



These are wealthy,

professional people



that have garnered a great deal

of income in their lives,



and they live accordingly.



Nice community.









Well-kept homes.



They get dressed up

to go shopping.



They want to be sure

they get seen by



the people they want to see,



and cars are important,



clothes are important.



There's a lot of

competition in great neck.



Everybody's kid's

a genius and the best,



and everybody's the best

in this and that,



and you just want your

kid to be happy



and to get an array

of experiences.



And this computer class was

one of those experiences.



You thought

you were doing right.



Most of the children

started out explaining



how mr. Friedman would try

to test them, i think,



in my opinion, as to whether

they'd be receptive



to some of his advances.



There'd be certain showings

on the computer



during computer class

of certain material



that was inappropriate

for children.



If you were going to be

the first one abused



on a particular day,



he would pull up a chair

and sit next to you.



Maybe it would start with his

arm around your shoulder



or on your leg and

gradually move it up,



touching private parts.



And then over the course of time

we developed a situation



where we found out that there

was not only sexual touching



of the genitals, but there

were acts of sodomy,



oral and anal sodomy,



that took place during

the course of the class.



So were the kids abused

in the computer room



in view of everyone else?



From what i saw

in my sessions,



none were raped

out on the floor.



The kids were raped in jesse's

room or the bathroom.



Just to change the subject

for a second,



there were these sexual

computer games



that were discussed during

the course of the case.



We'd basically do

the games where



there would be naked girls

and everything



in the computer class.



But i remember one time i

slipped one of the games out,



and i brought it home

and everything,



and i copied it,

and arnold found out.



Because of that, i was raped



by him and jesse at the same

time, as punishment to that.



I never did it again.



He made me format it.

I formatted it.



I had to bring my computer

in and show him



that i hadn't brought it home.



So he was absolutely positive,

   %, that it was not



touched at all in any way,

form, shape whatsoever.



And how did he know that

you brought it home?



He accounted for

all the disks that were there.



And since he flipped

through, he's like,



"who the fuck took this? Tell me

now, or i'm gonna kill you all!"



And he had a knife, and he

was waving a knife around.



I was like, "i did it!"



My general recollection

of the classes



is basically a positive one,

is a pleasant one.



The types of behaviors

which were described,



which were, well, just

downright satanic in nature.



I mean, they make him sound like

some kind of brutal sadist,



whereas, you know, i had just

always thought of him



as being kind of a nebbish.



I think, as someone

who took the classes,



it was just hard to picture

even that going on,



because i did have

a good experience.



And i didn't, you know,

see anything, you know,



remotely like,



you know, like child




or child abuse or any

child anything going on.



What took place in

arnold's classes



was pretty much just

straight computer lessons.



I mean, as ordinary

and as boring



as you could

possibly imagine it.



It was just generally

a free-for-all.



Everybody could see

what was going on,



and very often they

would participate



in these sort of mass games

in the classroom.



There was a game there

that was called "leapfrog."



And this one really got to me.



They would play

leapfrog in the class.



They'd actually have

their clothes off.



And we associate leapfrog like

you do when you were a kid,



one guy jumping over another

guy, but the fact is



it means everybody's butt's

up in the air, so to speak.



The very nature of these

charges is so absurd.



It seems almost like some

kind of grotesque fantasy.



Yeah. Leapfrog.



I remember about that.



It's kind of like twister,

where we would have to sit down.



Our asses would be in the air.



Arnold and jesse would leap

from one person to another,



sticking their dick

each in our ass.



But then i was confused,

because you said that



no kids were raped

in the computer room.



The leapfrog game, which

was not molestation,



was a leapfrog game, was not

considered molestation,



was done outside.



But that was a group game.



The actual molestation,

one-on-one contact,



happened in the bathroom.



The game happened

out on the floor.



One of the things,

you sit down there,



and i know i, you know, think

about this, and you know,



"how could this go on

in this home for so long



and not be,

you know, come out?"



But, you know,

that wasn't my province.



That wasn't what i had to decide

or the judge had to decide.



You know, that's up to someone

else to decide that.



But if i recall, you know,

the children were



pretty vivid in their




as to what arnold

and/or jesse did to them.



And judge boklan,

she's you know,



a pretty strong-willed judge.



And she's pretty unmovable

when she makes her decision.



There was never a doubt in

my mind as to their guilt.



And remember, i'd been

around for a while.



This wasn't, you know, the first

sex case that i had ever seen.



In fact, my previous law

secretary used to tease me



that we were the pervert part.



And having been, you know, head

of the sex crimes unit myself,



where, you know, i had young

boys who were sodomized,



in fact, one who

killed himself



you know, after the sentence

of the abuser.



I mean, some horrible




So for me to be so outraged,



i mean, this was really

very, very bad



what was going on there.



It was like someone's

worst nightmare.



Who would even think

of doing these things?



And to do them in a group

and with so many witnesses.



The scenario, as posted by

the media and the police



was so incredibly way out,



it was hard for me to

believe that it was true.



We now welcome, also in

los angeles, debbie nathan.



Debbie is an investigative

freelance journalist,



who has been covering

the mcmartin and other



abuse trials around the country.



All these parents

are bizarro, huh?



They're all whacked?



Well, it's not really fair,

i don't think



to deal simply with

these parents



or with this particular case.



You have to understand that

all over the country



there is a hysteria.



And i don't think that

it's a question



with most of these

kids of lying.



I think that they have been

brainwashed, if you will.



I was one of the first writers

for the mass media



to look at those cases

critically and question them.



So as a result of that, having

done a lot of that work,



i got a lot of letters

from people.



And my father wrote to debbie

and said, i don't know,



said, "help me."



And she has been the only

person outside the family



that said, "i believe you."



In the friedman case,



the basic charges were

completely implausible.



First of all, you'd have

to believe that blood



is coming out of these

children's orifices,



that they're screaming,



that they're crying,



that their clothes are soiled

from semen and from blood.



And yet their parents show up.



Sometimes they show up




Everything looks fine.



Was there any physical evidence

in the case that was relevant?



Or it was the case

really strictly based on



the statements of the kids?



It was more testimony.



There was a dearth

of physical evidence.



I don't even recall

whether there was



any physical evidence that

would have indicated



one way or another that

these events took place.



I don't think that they're

sitting around with any kind



of diabolical or

conspiratorial agenda



to go out and falsely

accuse arnold friedman



or railroad jesse friedman.



But nobody's critiquing them.



Nobody's telling them that

there's a right way



and a wrong way to do this.



Nobody's saying that we've got

a problem in this culture



with hysteria around this issue.



And so they're really free

to let their fantasies fly.



I think the most

overwhelming thing was



the enormous amount

of child pornography.



You would just have to walk

into the living room,



and it'd be piled

around the piano.



There were literally foot-high

stacks of pornography,



in plain view,

all around the house.



But photos taken

during the search



showed nothing of the kind.



But as far as the families were

concerned, i don't want to



use the word that they were

competitive with each other.



I don't know if it's

to that extent.



You know, sometimes it'd be some

idle conversation about,



you know, another boy, you know,

"he was sodomized   times,



but my son was sodomized

  times," you know,



as if that meant something in

the overall scheme of things.



There's a whole community

atmosphere that gets created



in a mass-abuse case

like this,



where the families are

talking to each other,



they're going to

community meetings,



or they're calling on

the phone all the time.



They're seeing each other

in group therapy.



And there is definitely

an element when a community



defines itself as

a victimized community,



that if you're not victimized



you don't fit into

that community.



The families that had

their child molested



or allegedly molested

became very involved



and took a greater part

of their life at that point.



I appreciated their call

in the beginning



telling me what happened.



And then when i told them

that we looked into it



and my wife and i both felt that

nothing happened to our son,



it got to be a little pushy

situation where they told us



that we were in denial, and it

absolutely happened to our son.



You fucking bitch!



I'm gonna kill you!



When jesse gets out of jail,

he's a dead motherfucker.



When arnold gets out of jail,

he's a dead motherfucker.



Fuck you! I'll fuck

your whole family!



Is there any one word or

phrase that you could use



to describe that

experience overall?



Chaos. Hysteria.



It was really crazy.



Am i dreaming?



Is this a nightmare?



This can't be happening

to my family.



My brother?



And a day doesn't go by

that i don't think of it.



It destroyed my family.



It tore us apart.



I don't know.



I can't say too much about it.



We were a family.



Mommy believes you did it



and she believes you

should go to jail,



and she believes that she

deserves everything



that's left and you shouldn't

have any part of it.



You have to hire

another lawyer?



All this woman does

is hire lawyers.



I honestly have to tell you,

anything that she decides



i can't trust.



She runs around, "arnie,

they don't trust me."



Well, we don't trust her.



We lived with her for   for  

months while you were in jail,



and we learned not to trust her.



David had just gotten a video

camera when this case broke,



and so he just started recording

the family falling apart.



And mommy believes them,

and i don't.



I tell them to get lost,



and mommy says, "you're right."



And "i've lived with him

for all my life."



And "look at all these horrible

things he's done for me



over    years," which

amounts to nothing,



except this.



At some point, david

making the videotapes



kind of springboarded to my

thoughts about audiotape.



And i began to make

audio recordings



of these family arguments.



Don't scream.



The family was screaming

at each other.



And everyone wanted me

to say, "he didn't do it."



Well, i wouldn't do that.



I said, "i don't know."



They wanted me

just to lie, you know,



and say, "he didn't do it,"

whether i believed it or not.



And i was so angry at arnold

and what he'd done



that i wouldn't do it, and i

said, "well, i don't know."



And i wanted just

to tell the truth.



That is the truth.

I didn't know.



My mother abandoned

him, pretty much,



wouldn't talk to him, fought

with him constantly,



made him sleep on the sofa.



And after    years of

marriage, when your wife,



when you've been accused of

a crime you didn't commit,



you spend   weeks in

jail for it,



you're trying to build

a defense,



and your wife leaves you,




my father fell apart.



You yelled and screamed about

what, that you ruined her life.



She's brainwashed you.

You didn't do anything.



The police have done it to you.



It's not your fault.



The police are

railroading you.



But it's not your fault.



Mommy doesn't believe you.



The police picked on you,



and that's who

they're going after.



It's not because

you deserved it.



You're taking the blame,

and you don't deserve the blame.



She's brainwashing you into

thinking that it's your fault,



and it's not your fault.



She thinks he did it.



And if he did it,

then she thinks



he's going to be

convicted of it.



And if he's convicted of it,

he's going to go away.



Yeah, but if, let's say he

goes away for    years.



He's still gonna come out.



No, i'm talking about    years.

I'm talking about     years.



She doesn't think

he's getting    years.



I don't think she thinks that

he's going to get    years.



Ok, so what is he gonna get?

Twenty years?



That's    years.



What's the difference, well,



if he goes to a state

institution on state charges,



you know he's not coming back.



In this case, there was




between both sides, the district

attorney's office,



the families,

the defense attorneys,



as to what to do with

arnold friedman.



We were trying to maintain

a sense of normalcy



in terms of having dinner

and paying the bills,



but it was almost surreal.



I mean, i don't think

any of us had any notion



of what was going on

or what we were doing



or where any of this

was leading.



Sir, would you like to

comment on the situation?



Yes, i think this is a kitchen.



I thought it was only

going to last a year



and that we would look back

and laugh about how



crazy we were and how we didn't

know what we were doing



and just sort of laugh.



What do you want?

My nose? My teeth?



Wait a minute. There it is.



- There's your nose.

- Oh that's great.



I feel like i'm

being dissected here.



And here's mommy and daddy



in a rare moment of affection.



What's the matter?



- Why?

- Why?



Why not?



That's not all.



You've gotten other things.



Lately but not all.



You're the one



who's stolen

my heart, dear



i think i was the first woman

that he ever really dated.



And he was very reluctant

to get married.



I sort of said, "we've got

to do this," you know.



I could be very



so he says, "well, all right."



Big mistake.



We were delighted.



She was effervescent, pretty.



They seemed to be

very much in love.



They seemed to be

very compatible.



It had been a long

time in coming.



My mother, "you're my oldest!



Get married! I want

a grandchild," you know.



My mother is sexually ignorant.



As far as i'm concerned, she had

sex, i mean everyone thinks



their parents only

had sex   times,



you know for each

of their siblings.



But with my mother,

i think it was true.



And it was like, you know,

you read in a book



how do you have sex,

and you start here,



and then you do step  

step   step  .



And that's somewhat like what

sex was like with arnold,



because i used to say to him,



"it's called foreplay.



It's supposed to be play.



It's supposed to be fun."



And he treated it like work.



Like this is what you're

supposed to do when you do it,



like washing the dishes.



If he was so much in the closet

and not living with her



and not attracted,

where was she for    years?



Why didn't she say, "honey,

you're not having sex with me.



I think i want a divorce."



Where was she?



I don't think that's the case.



Either they're

both crazy,



which is a possibility,






or he was perfectly normal,



based according to, you

know, by her standards.



You're the one for me



it was a difficult marriage

because of elaine.



She had her problems, and it

took a monumental amount



of patience and love

and caring to handle it.



It wasn't easy for him.



It wasn't easy for the kids.



But they were able

to live with it.



She was the best mother

she knew how.



She loved her kids,

and she loved her husband.



She wasn't the warmest,



most outgoing human being

in the world.



When i had the first child,

i was just ecstatic,



but i didn't know

how to do it.



And i wasn't the most



well-balanced person myself.



You know, we all have

hang-ups, and



that's my hang-up.



Good things can never

happen to me, only bad.



That's all the snapshots.



I know.



This whole thing is

all the snapshots.



Did they go and they

looked through each one?



They must have.



This is ancient film.



Holy shit.



- Dad, what is it?

- Oh, my god, it's amazing.



How did you get this?

This is great.



- This is my dad's.

- Who took it?



My father.



Dad, what's that a film of?



This is a film of my sister.



I had a sister.



She died a year

before i was born.



My brother knew her when

he was young, of course.



And she died of blood poisoning.



It was a horrible,

terrible, sudden death.



And it destroyed the family.



Arnold's parents divorced.



So arnold's mother

had these two boys,



and they were really on

welfare. I don't know.



They lived in

a basement apartment.



Evidently, there

was one bedroom,



and the boys slept in

the bedroom with the mother.



We shared, all   of us,

not in the same bed,



but we all shared

the same room, big rooms.



And rather than put a,




the living room

was the living room,



and then there was

the kitchen,



so we put all the beds

in the one room.



And that she dated a lot of men

and would bring the men



into the apartment, and they

would have sex in the bed



while arnold was

there listening.



And arnold said that,

because he saw his mother



in bed with a man, that

when he was adolescent,



he was experimenting,

as all children do,



and he had sex with his brother

in bed or something like that.



And to me,



that's not what all children do.



Arnold sent me this right around

when he started writing me,



and it's called "my story,"

and it was written in     .



And i think it was his attempt

to talk about the case



but also talk about the case

in the context of his life.



And it starts out, it says,



"this story goes back    years

to when i was a child."



He says, "when i

reached adolescence



i sought out partners for

my emerging sexuality.



My first partner, when i was

   was my  -year-old brother.



I had overt sexual

relations with him



over a period of a few years."



I know that my brother has said

that he messed around with me



when i was a kid.



And i don't remember any of it.



I don't remember anything.



I have nothing up here



that has me yelling or

screaming or crying



or trying to get away

or unhappy or i



there's nothing there that.



Maybe someday a door

will open,



but it better hurry up,

because i'm   .



And at this point in time,

i could care less.



Then he goes on and says,

"my next partners were boys



my own age, all of which

sexual relations,



probably being within

norms for my age.



However, the emotional

impact of these relations



was very pronounced and

lasted through my adult life.



A more normal situation,

as probably happened



with my partners, would

have been to outgrow



and forget these episodes.



However, i literally fell

in love with these boys,



and the relations were far

more significant to me



than they were to my partners."



And then he told me that when he

got to be an older teenager,



like maybe in his late teens,

he started worrying



that he was still attracted to

kids that were the same age



as his brother had been

when arnold was   



and that really started

bothering him.



And then after he had his own

children, he was worried.



He started worrying that

maybe he would molest



his own children.



And at that point,

he went to therapy,



and the therapist told him,

"no, don't worry.



You've got everything

under control."



The jazzbo mambo

with the boogie beat



is the newest dance

on   nd street



all the cats come running

from both near and far



to do the jazzbo mambo

  to the bar



come on, light fingers!



Light fingers, come on!



Jazzbo mambo



jazzbo mambo



jazzbo mambo,

  to the bar



you could see that

this wasn't exactly



fred macmurray and

"my three sons," right?



It always struck us as being



a very dysfunctional

family, obviously.



And we'd have to,



you would have to wonder,

wouldn't you,



what kind of a family

situation you would have



that could produce

this kind of crime.



What might it be like to grow up

in a household like this?



I don't know.

I can't even imagine.



Today is september        .



We just concluded a tour

of jungle safari.



Jungle habitat.



Jungle habitat in

west milford, new jersey.



Here are my   brothers.



Two brothers, you dummy.



All right, there are   children.



What happened was the  

sons were like a gang.



Like, "this is our gang



and mom."



"She's not part of our gang."



And we have, of course,



a pterodactyl.



A jewish pterodactyl.



Shmuck, shmuck, schmuck.



The   of us got along so well.



We had a very similar

kind of sense of humor.



You know, one guy would say

something, and then it would,



then the next person

would add to the joke.



And my mother, who has

no sense of humor,



and she just didn't

get that part of us.



And she resented that.



When this whole thing blew

apart, the men got together,



and arnold confided in them.



And me?



And i was a loyal wife.



People told me, "oh, why

don't you leave him?



He's a horrible person.



Just walk out and leave him."



And i didn't.



I went all over town.



I raised money for bail.



I called every relative i knew.



I begged.



And i did all this

for him, right?



He was my husband. I loved him.



And no one said,

"what do you want?" to me.






Ok, i think we can eat now.



So you're saying

what we have is



the people who we thought

would testify



and say that nothing happened.



And we are afraid to put them

on the witness stand,



even though we know

that nothing happened.



We think they will say

something happened.



The friedmans suggested that

we speak to various people



who may have been present

at the time.



And some of those people weren't

alleged victims at all.



And that the hope was that one

or more of these people



would say,

"this is just not true."



But that just didn't happen.



As far as i'm concerned

he's being, he's



so then nothing happened.



We begged him to tell us

that something happened,



to explain how this whole mess

could have happened.



That's the only way to explain

how it could have happened



other then the fact that the

police are out of their minds.



We begged him.

He told us nothing happened.



That's good enough for me.

Nothing happened.



If my father had the ability

to confess to me,



yeah, he had done

something one time,



and that's how this whole crazy

mess got started,



it would make a lot more sense.



Not that i wanted that

to be the case, but



you have to find a way

to explain the unexplainable.



Oh, my gosh.



Oh, look at that.



Happy birthday to you



happy birthday to you



is that a real ice cream?



That's what's so odd about it.



They had this idealized image



of this father as being this

saint-like person



this santa claus,

messiah, you know.



And professionals

in the field say that



oh, they have this idea

that children identify



with the abusive parent.



When i was about a year or two,

my parents separated.



And what did i do?



"My father is wonderful.



My mother is terrible."



The truth is

my father was a rat



just like david's father.



My father walked out.



This is not wonderful.



This is being a rat.



My mother was a nag.



Well, i mean, this is true



but look, she stayed with me,

she took care of me.



So people's visions

are distorted.



I never felt angry at my dad.



My dad had nothing

to do with this.



Someone knocks on the door



and accuses you for a crime

you didn't commit



you gotta attack



attack your attackers

and do what you can.



And that's all it was.



It had nothing to do with



there was nothing else

that was involved at all.



We were talking about

honoring and respecting.



Yeah, but, yeah,

talk about honor and



do you honor and respect

your husband?



That's why

i don't talk to you.



I said i did honor

and respect my husband.



Oh, okay.



But you don't like

that answer.



No i don't.

I don't believe it, no.



Ask your father.



Do i honor and respect you?



Do you object to my handling



do you have any objection

in my relationship with you?



Do you like it

when she calls you slime?



She did.



Did you like it

when she did?






Did you like it when



the other cases that

i've written about



those families

have been much stronger.



First of all,

they've started from



a monolithic feeling

of innocence



which didn't exist

in this family



because of arnold's pedophilia.



And they just buckled down



and everybody gets behind

the defendant



the accused family member.



People quit their jobs.



And, you know



people were all sitting around

the kitchen table



for the next   years with

staplers and xerox machines



and they're working on

the defense.



And then when the defendant

is convicted



they're working on the appeal



and all family conflict

is submerged.



Why don't you try once

to be supportive of me?



Well, i'll tell you why.



Because we all started at

the beginning of this thing



and i



well let's start

from right now.



Ok, let's start

from right now.



All right, let's start

from right now.



We'll all start brand new.



We have a decision making

process on the table.






All the past mistakes,

they were mistakes.



We're not gonna hold them

against anyone.



Great, great.



Now we're starting afresh.



Stop. Lower your voice,

and talk nicely to your sons.



Alright, now we're gonna do it,

starting now.



Seth, why don't you call me?



Do i bawl you out?



Seth is



...against me



and she can't hold it

against me.



Well, now it's time

to call it



'cause mommy's sad

and stuff.



I think there

was a recognition



that arnold's case was becoming

increasingly hopeless



because of the child

pornography problem



because of other people

coming out of the woodwork.



So the strategy evolved to



"what can we do to save jesse?"



Jesse's lawyer

very eloquently said to us



"if there's a rowboat

and it's sinking



and the rowboat

is tied to a rock



you have to disconnect

the rowboat from the rock



and save the rowboat



even though the rock

is sinking"



meaning you had to separate

arnold from jesse.



And arnold was going to plead



and jesse would

in some way benefit.



I was sitting there

potentially going to trial



with no pornographic magazines

admitted into evidence



without an adult pedophile

as a co-defendant



and i understood

that sort of reasoning



but it makes no sense

if my father pleads guilty



and then i go to trial and say,

"i didn't do it"



when all the jurors have already

read in the newspaper



that my father plead guilty.



And i did not want my father

to plead guilty.



I arranged for mr. Friedman

and his family



to get a jury room

where they could sit



and they could discuss

these plea options.



And while i didn't go

inside the room



except to knock on the door

and say where we're at



in terms of what mr. Friedman

wanted to do



there was a lot

of yelling and crying



and screaming going on,

coming out of that room.



God damn it!



When i screamed at arnold,

i screamed



"you must do it

because it'll help jesse.



Do it for jesse."



And my brothers were

just furious at this notion



that my father would go to court

and plead guilty.



And at one point

in all of the chaos



my father

just started screaming.



And there's

uncontrollable tears



and he picked up a chair.



I remember he threw a chair.



He was just screaming about how

he wasn't gonna plead guilty.



He didn't do anything,

he's not gonna plead guilty.



And he was furious

at my mother



and he was

just freaking out.



And i remember very clearly



sitting down with my father

in the corner.



My mother's over there,

brothers are over here.



I'm talking to

my father privately



and he asked me

what he should do.



And i could have said

to my father



"i want you just

to walk out of here



and go to trial

and not plead guilty."



Instead, i remember

very clearly saying to him



i wanted him

to make the decision.



And i remember feeling like

a really young kid.



Kind of looking up

to my dad and saying



"dad, i," you know

"i want you to be my daddy."



And i would have been really,

really proud of him



if he had just

stood up and said




i'm not pleading guilty.



We're going to trial."



But that's not what happened.



Former new york city

schoolteacher arnold friedman



had nothing to say

when he left



the nassau county courthouse

in mineola



but inside he pleaded guilty to

more then    counts of sodomy



sexual abuse, and endangering

the welfare of a child.



Attempted sexual abuse

in the first degree



an "e" felony, two counts



and endangering the welfare

of a child



a class "a" misdemeanor,

one count



in full satisfaction

of this indictment?






My mother manipulated him.



My mother is crazy



and my mother has control

over my father.



Some relationships have that



where the woman

controls the man.



It's called being pussy whipped.



My father and my mother



are not the only

two people in the world



who have that relationship.



My father and mother

had that relationship.



My mother and the lawyers said,

"take the plea."



They took the plea.



I sat there in disbelief.



Is this my brother?



My brother?



This isn't my brother,

he's not a monster.



He's a good loving brother



and husband, and son,

and citizen, and teacher



and this isn't happening.



This is a mistake.



Something as horrendous

as child molestation



you have to live with yourself.



If you didn't do it,

you don't plead guilty.



I never understood it.



We have elaine.



- Hi.

- We have teddy, arnie.



Number        .




Please don't film me.



David, i told you

i don't want to be on tape.



Why are you so



when we stop talking to her



she doesn't want



she doesn't want any record,

any record at all



as if they were



can you believe these kids,



that they have to persecute me?



David, if your mother

doesn't want to be filmed



don't film her.



- Ok.

- Come on.



When it was all over,

they said it was all my fault



because i wanted them

to take a plea and



it had been arranged before.



Arnold agreed

to take a plea



but they were very hurt.



I'm still here.






I may not be here

very much longer



but i'm still here.



That's disturbed.



The sentence:

   to    years.



The crime:

Sodomizing young boys.



Defendant arnold friedman

had pleaded guilty



to sexually abusing

more than a dozen youngsters,



but this does not end

the friedman case.



There are still numerous sodomy

and sex abuse charges



pending against arnold's son,

jesse friedman.



I mean we could try this case

in the media.



Who's gonna, who's gonna buy

that i sodomized boys?



Yeah, i agree with you.

I agree with you.



No, i really



well, i don't think

we have to try



well, all i want to do



we didn't make a deal

with arnold friedman



to spare his son.



So his son is facing

a multiple count indictment



he's facing a considerable

amount of jail time



and now he's confronted

with a situation



where long island knows



that his father admitted

his guilt



and there's a reasonable

human expectation



of some people that,

you know



where there's smoke,

there's fire.



And if he did it,

maybe his son did it.



We know he was

in the same class



and he was helping his father.



So i think that

was a difficult thing



for jesse to

have to overcome.



I always believed jesse.



How could this possibly

go on for   years



children repeatedly sodomized

and sexually abused



with brutality

if you believe the police.



And then their parents come

to pick them up



right after computer class

and not one kid is crying



not one kid tells

his mother or father



what happened in class



not one kid says anything?



I find that so incredible



that jesse's story

that nothing happened



to me was more believable

than the police version



of these horrific acts.



Jesse and i went



we flew in august of     



all the way

to madison, wisconsin



where we rented a car

and drove    miles



to some town that i couldn't

possibly give you the name of



to a federal prison.



Who knew more about this case

then arnold friedman?



He knew more about

it than jesse.



I had to wait    minutes



because arnie was either

playing tennis or golf



i don't remember what it was.



I was outraged.



It was a visiting room.



Jesse was out in the waiting

room at this point



and this man had this little boy

in there who was his son



or his stepson,

i don't know



but the child was about

  or   years old



and they were in the table

right next to us.



And i was interviewing arnie



and all of a sudden

he leaned over and asked me



if i could ask

the corrections officer



or whoever was in charge

in the room



if we could get another table.



And i asked him why,

and he said



"that little boy over there

bouncing on his father's lap



is getting me very excited."



It took me about    minutes

to regain my composure.



I remember that

like it was yesterday.



I was shocked



'cause even though i was

involved in the case now



for two months



and even though

i had studied pedophilia



and i knew what these men

did to little boys



i had never heard somebody

actually say it.



And i was absolutely disgusted.



We did change our table

and i spoke to arnie.



I interviewed him

for a very long time.



He was telling me

that the only reason



he pled guilty

and went to jail



was because he wanted

to save his son, jesse.



He told me that he was

a pedophile.



He told me that he had

had activity with boys



but not in great neck.



He told me that he had a house

in wading river



a beach resort



and that the family

enjoyed vacations there.



And he told me that

there were certain boys



he took liberties with



and i don't want

to go into it



while he was in that area.



"In my early   s,

during the summer



i did go 'over the line'



and did have sexually arousing

contact with two boys



short of sodomy.



One of the boys was the son

of a close friend



and i feared exposure

and loss of this friendship.



The boy might have

told his parents



but they said nothing



so i assumed that

he really had not told them."



That's what? It's one sentence.

What does that mean?



Do you fucking know

what that sentence means?



I don't even fucking know

what that sentence means.



I "sexually aroused?"



What the fuck

is he talking about?



Maybe he put his arm

around the kid.



Maybe he took him

in a sailboat



and he found that

sexually arousing?



Maybe he was leaning

against a tree.



That's called

sexually arousing contact



if you're sexually aroused

while you lean against a tree.



I don't know what that means.



I don't know

what that sentence means.



When arnold was first arrested,

he said



"i'm arrested because

of this magazine.



I sent one magazine

in the mail



and that's why i'm arrested,

and it's nothing.



It's just nothing.



It doesn't count,

it doesn't matter



it's nothing."



And you know, you live

as husband and wife



you share certain intimacies.



I said to him,

"tell me the truth.



What happened?"



He says, "that's it.

That's the truth."



So it came out that he had

in fact molested a young man.



And we were sitting

in the therapist's office



and he said,

"oh, i just molested two boys."



And i said, "two? Two?"



I said, "i thought

you told me only one."



"Well," you know, and he



"it didn't matter.

It's nothing," you know.



And then i went berserk.



And i felt betrayed.



Yeah, my father

had the magazines



and yes, my father admitted

that he was a pedophile



and had these fantasies



and yes, my father admitted

that he was no saint



and that there were times

that he slipped



but i was arrested, too



and i'm not a child molester.



And i don't think

it's appropriate



for me to have to answer

for the sins of my father.



This is what i walk around with.



It's just, every day.



It's just ridiculous.



All i think about is the case

and my career



and they're completely,

it's like oil and water.



With the case,

it's a question of research.



My brother's been in

the law library



researching his current plan



and i'm supposed to go out

and make people laugh.



It's unbelievably difficult

to deal with the case



and then go out

and entertain people.






Hi, everyone!



We carefully investigated

this case for trial.



Really get into the case,

examine, investigate



and try to build a defense.



While i was out on bail



i put all the charges

into a database



so that they could be

sorted by complainant



by time period,

by nature of charge.



For example,

there was one complainant



  -year-old boy



says he came to class

in the spring of     



and during

this   -week session



where he was

only over my house



for an hour and a half

once a week



he says that there were

   instances of sexual contact.



That's   times a week



every single week...



for    straight weeks



and then the course ends.



In the fall, he re-enrolled

for the advanced course



and says that he was subjected

to    more instances



of anal and oral sodomy

in the next   -week session



and nobody said anything.



Week after week,

month after month



year after year



until after the police

came knocking on doors



and asking questions.



I went to the doorbell.



There were two

nassau county detectives



and they said they'd like to

speak to our son



with regard to

the friedman matter.



They came in and said, "we know

something happened to him."



They didn't say, "we believe."



They said, "we know."



And they wanted

to speak to him.



I remember it was actually kind

of a frightening experience



because i remember

they're talking



to my parents about this

within earshot of me.



I remember actually




on what they said



and what they said

made my heart race



because they were saying



that actually quite

a few horrible things



had happened to

a lot of children



and i was one of them.



And quite honestly,

i didn't believe it



and i was very confused

and very angry about this,



thinking, well,

why are these people



going around

telling my parents



that all kinds of

things have happened



when i have simply no

recollection of anything?



Children want

to please very often.



They want to give you

the answers that you want.



Adults do that as well.



So you have to be

very mindful of the fact



that when you're

interviewing a child



if the child starts

to answer questions



your responses should be

somewhat in the framework of



"and then what happened?"



Or, "what happened next?"



Or, "what do you remember then?"



As opposed to



"he did this to you,

didn't he?"



Or "she did this to you,

didn't she?"



That's a very,

very dangerous type



of interview process to use.



If you talk to

a lot of children



you don't give them

an option, really.



You just, you be

pretty honest with them.



You have to tell them

pretty honestly that



"we know you went

to mr. Friedman's class.



We know how many times

you've been to the class."



You know, we go through

the whole routine.



"We know that there

was a good chance



that he touched you

or jesse touched you



or somebody in that family

touched you



in a very inappropriate way."



And i listened

to them talking to him



and it got to a point



where it wasn't

asking him what happened.



It was more of them

telling him what happened



and that when they didn't

like what he said



they kept repeating to him

that they know what happened



and that he should tell.



I believe that i remember saying

that i saw jesse, like



chase after a kid or hit a kid

or something like that



and that's what i testified to

to the grand jury.



And i remember saying

that because i felt



and i feel like

when i said that



that ended the questioning.



And so that might

have meant that



you could infer maybe

that they were asking me



a lot of questions,

trying to get something



and i just wanted

to give them something.



I mean i don't want to be



say i'm a perjurer

or anything



but i did not observe

anything like that happening.



What i do remember is



the detectives putting me under

a lot of pressure to speak up.



And at some point,

i kind of broke down.



I started crying.



And when i started

to tell them things



i was telling myself

that it's not true.



I was telling myself,

"just say this to them



in order to get them

off your back."



I came across a document



regarding a group of children

from the friedman case



who were in therapy



and it stated

that many of them



had absolutely no recollection

of the abuse



and there was some discussion



about whether hypnosis

would be a good idea now,



exactly what you're not

supposed to do.



It was the kind of therapy



that had a really good chance

of messing up kids' memories



and implanting false memories.



My parents put me

in therapy right away.



They put me in hypnosis



and tried to recall facts

that i had buried.



And that's how i first came out,

started talking about it,



just through being hypnotized

and everything



i recalled things

that i would bury.



I was able to talk about them.



For example, what would be

something that you recall?



The actual first time



i actually recalled

that i was actually molested.



Wow, i was actually molested.



I can deal with it now.



That was the first time.



And you recalled through

hypnosis the first episode?






So tell me about that,

if you remember.



I don't remember much about it.



It was so long ago.



I just remember that

i went through hypnosis



came out,

and it was in my mind.



  -year-old jesse friedman



was arraigned on more than

    additional counts



of child sexual abuse.



This brings the total number of

sexual abuse charges to    .



Jesse was grossly overcharged



and you're basically

terrorizing the defendant.



You're telling the defendant



"look, if you plead guilty



you know,

we'll give you a good deal



and, on,

you know,   charges.



But if you insist

on going to trial



we're going to put

     charges on you.



And if you're convicted

of all those charges



you're gonna rot in jail

the rest of your life."



I was told that

if he went to trial



the judge would give

  consecutive sentences.



Instead of concurrent



the sentencing

would be consecutive.



I said, "oh, my god."



She just kept telling me

over and over



"the only thing to do

is to plead guilty



and to get the

best deal you can.



You can't go to trial.



It doesn't matter

if you're guilty or innocent.



You can't go to trial,

because if you go to trial



you're gonna go to prison

for the rest of your life."



I said, "but ma,

i didn't do it."



She said,

"that doesn't matter.



You have to plead guilty."



You have to understand,

this is a   -year-old kid



and he is now facing the most

heinous charge known to man



and everyone in the world



slowly but surely,

was turning against him.



I don't care about my parents.



I wish it was just my brothers.



Oh, fuck.



I don't care about my mother,

that's for sure.



If my brothers were ok



then my mother could go

to fucking hell.



My father is not going

to survive



if my brother

gets incarcerated.






so when the guilty verdict

comes in on jesse



my father's

gonna kill himself.



Jesse's gonna go to jail

for the rest of his life.



Seth is gonna move west.



Fuck fuck.



I received a telephone call

from jesse asking to see me



and jesse told me

that he wanted to plead guilty.



In      there was no way

that a jury in nassau county



who had been reading

the newspaper headlines



in "newsday" for over a year



those people were never

going to listen



to anything

the defense had to say



and i was absolutely




of going to prison

for     years.



Jesse had always

maintained his innocence.



I don't work out deals

for people who are innocent.



And my first reaction was,

"i'm not gonna do it.



You're not guilty,

you're not pleading guilty."



And at that point,

he told me that



"i have something to tell you."



And with tears rolling down

his eyes, literally



he told me that he was abused by

his father growing up



and that while he never enjoyed

the sexual part of that



he did enjoy the attention

his father gave him



and being with his father



and that not everything

he had said



about nothing happened

was true.



Peter panaro

was personally convinced



that my father

had sexually abused me



and nothing i could say



could dissuade peter

from this notion.



Jesse felt that

if judge boklan knew



that he also was a victim

of his father



that she might consider

the plea negotiations



in a more favorable way.



He came up with this strategy.



It was peter panaro's

fictionalized story



that he fed to me



and said, "if you say this,

it's gonna look good for you."



I told him

i wouldn't do it.



I told him, "jesse, when you

plead guilty in open court



you're gonna have to admit



to this type

of anal sodomy    times.



And i'm not gonna

let you do that



unless you can admit it."



He looked me

right in the eye



always liked to call me

by my name



before he made a statement



and said,

"peter, i can admit it."



The only concern

that peter panaro had



was that ethically

as a lawyer



he couldn't let

his client go into court



and say something happened



that he knew his client

had told him was a lie.



The private investigator wasn't

coming up with anything helpful.



There was not gonna be

any defense witnesses.



There wasn't any money

to hire experts.



Mom was insistent upon

there not being a trial.



Peter panaro

wasn't believing me



no matter how many times

i told him nothing happened.



I just ran out of options.



Jesse was a very good baby.



I remember when we brought him

home from the hospital



and arnie looked at

that baby and he said



"that child is marvelous.



He's wonderful"



and he was so thrilled.



And david was the big brother



and he used to

take care of jesse.



We used to let

david watch him



and he was very protective

of his baby brother.



It's amazing.



Six months from now



i already don't have

a father or a mother.



Six months from now

i'm not gonna have my brother.



If i ever watch this



i don't know when it's gonna be.



I don't know where i'm gonna be.



I don't know what's

gonna happen to my family.



I'm so scared.



I don't want to have

to spend the next   hours



screaming with my sons

and fighting with them.



Then don't.



I want them out of this house

tomorrow morning.






i don't give a shit.



I want you out of this house

tomorrow morning.



You may not

give a shit about jesse



but we are here for jesse.



What are you all

talking about here?



Can't you put your anger aside

for one minute?



I cannot put my anger aside

about you.



You have been nothing but

hateful, hostile, and angry



ever since this began.



Ok, jess, we're on.



Ta da. I feel like shit.



What's today's date?



Today's the day

before i went to jail.



"Went" to jail?



- I'm going to jail.

- Because we're watching it.



We're gonna be watching this

after i'm already out of jail.



After     /  years



because the case gets reopened.



At this point in time,

my life is as good as over.



It is terminated at this point

only to resume at a later date.



This one'll go,

this one'll shatter.



The night before jesse's plea

we stayed up all night.



Maybe i shot the videotape



so that i wouldn't

have to remember it myself.



It's a possibility



because i don't really remember

it outside of the tape.



Like when your parents take

pictures of you



do you remember being there



or do you remember

just the photograph



hanging on the wall?



Even if i'm facing the worst

scenario possible tomorrow



and for every day

following it



i have to think tonight

that it's not gonna be that bad.



Goodness knows



i don't want to look

like my father.



Goodness knows,

i want to separate myself



from arnold friedman

as much as possible



and i'm not throwing

chairs tomorrow.






And if this trial

were postponed for   years



in   years, i would win.



But here today,

at this point



trying to start a trial

in two weeks



i would lose this trial.



We feel this way



and that is

what would happen.



So what are you thinking, jess?



I'm not.



You're avoiding?



Well, i gotta eat something.



I'm proud to say



i've managed to leave barely

any gas in the car.



See, just our luck



we'll be trapped

at the house.



We'll run out of gas

at the house.



- You a child molester, jess?

- Nope.



Did you ever do it?



Never touched a kid.



Did you do what

they said you did?



I never touched a kid.



I never saw my father

touch a kid.






Yeah, but still,

you must have done it.



Yeah, but surely

something has happened.



It must, something.



Because the police

say it's true.



Ok, you never

touched a kid, right?



Well, if something happened



it didn't happen

while i was there.



And it was a minimal incident



because the kid didn't

say anything about it.



But the police,

how could they be lying?



Shut up, seth.



The children



the    children in this case

are clearly victims.



No one could ever argue that.



The real culprit here

is arnold friedman.



The man is a monster.



He abused him

and he molested him.



This can't be overlooked.



I can't believe we live

in such a cold society



that no one could look at this

man and understand that.



My father raised me confused



about what was right

and what was wrong



and i realize now

how terribly wrong it all was.



I wish i could have done

something to stop it sooner.



I wish there was something

i could have done.



I'm very, i'm



i'm just so sorry it happened.



Judge boklan

sternly looked down



and said that she recommended

to the parole board



that he serve the maximum period

of time permitted by law



a statement which i felt

was harsh and unnecessary



to a   -year-old

under these circumstances.



Jesse was a victim.



There's no question,

jesse was a victim



but even when he was caught



jesse never expressed any kind

of sympathy for these kids



and as a matter of fact



on the day that

the plea was taken



jesse was dancing and singing on

the courthouse steps



while being videotaped by

his two brothers.



My brain hurts!



It'll have to come out.



My brain, but i'm using it!



But i'm using it!









They were taking pictures.



I remember someone

brought that to my attention.



We looked out the window.



Because i'm saying

to myself



"this is very bizarre."



I mean he's about to go to jail

for the next   to    years



and he's out on

the courtroom steps



in some sort of

theatrical performance.



That is so funny,

when they're all



i think it was about

distracting ourselves



not necessarily

distracting jesse.



Jesse was



i think he was

the most comfortable



about the whole situation.



You know



i don't know how

he has always been



the most comfortable about it,

but he has.



Ok, right about now



we've been waiting for

a good two hours or so now



because evidently the parents



stormed denis dillon's

office this morning



when they received

the news last night



that i was to plead guilty



and they were not aware

of this fact.



They were not even aware

that negotiations were underway.



They did not want me

to have less than    to   



and there are a lot of people



probably making all sorts of

angry statements



at this point in time.



I can imagine

what they're discussing.



The meeting must have,

just like our family.



Well, there wasn't really

much of them anyway



but that means

the meeting's over.



That means

the meeting's over.



Go ask them, jess.



You hold it.

I'm not holding it.



Should i do it, jess?



Oh, my god.



I can't believe this.



Oh, my god.



He raped my son!



Get them away from me!



They're animals.



Oh, my god,

i don't believe it.






After jesse went to jail



i know my friends

said to me



"don't you feel, like,

terrible being alone



in such a big house?"



I said, "no, i feel calm."



That's when i really started

becoming a person



and started to live.



Elaine divorced him

while he was in prison.



He settled into life there



you can't say

it was good in prison



but it was as good

as it could get for him.



But of course,

the torment continued



and got worse because of jesse.



My brother never

got over the guilt.



He had talked about

taking his life



because he had this insurance

policy he had taken out.



I think it was $      

 /  million



and jesse was the beneficiary.



He said, "this is the only thing

i have left to give jesse



so he has money

when he gets out



and he can make some kind of

life for himself



because i've screwed it up

otherwise for him."



By that time, that clause

in the insurance policy



where suicide was payable

had come into effect.



And this is

the coroner's report.



It describes the cause of death

as doxepin intoxication



which basically means

that arnold took



a massive overdose

of antidepressants.



I took a deep breath

and i said



"it's over, david.



He's out of his misery.



It's over."



I thought it was a blessing



because the guilt

he was carrying



he was so unhappy.



He was out

of his misery.



The rest of the family wasn't



but he was.



I found it a blessing.



Let me entertain you



let me make you smile.



It's unbelievably difficult.



I have to read

these horrible letters



about my brother being

almost killed in prison.



My friends call me,

i'm crying.



"Why are you crying?"

I can't tell them.



None of the people

that do what i do



know about this story.



Just the intimation

of something like this



can ruin someone's career.



And i'm always afraid

that's going to happen.



So let me entertain you



and we'll have

a real good time



i feel i will never

really know the truth.



But the one truthful thing



or the honest thing we know



howard loved his brother.



Howard loved his family.



Loves his family.



And i believed him

when he said



he didn't do

those terrible things.



I believed him.



Arnold had a need

to confess



and he had a need

to go to jail.



And the sad thing is

that he took his son with him.



What's the term about families?






Numero uno.



It was not the way

it was supposed to end.



People were supposed to realize

that all of this was nonsense



and we'd try to go back to

living our normal lives.



Hey! Hi, everyone!



I would have to stare at arnold

across the dinner table



and it was just

the two of us.



There was really

nothing between us



except these children

that we yelled at.



We named the cottage

"peaceful pond cottage"



because we were looking for

a place of healing and peace.



Any comment on

your personal life, sir?



It's personal.



Oh, my god.



Hey, how you doing?



Oh, my god.



Oh, my god.



Yes! Finally.



- Is that him?

- That could be he.






Oh, my god.



Oh, my god.



Room service.



Oh, god.



You order a son?

You looking for me?






Hi. Look at me.




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