"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"SUSPECT ZERO"

Screenplay by

Paul Schrader

1998 Draft Script

UNPRODUCED



CREDITS

Intercut male faces from all around America: mostly white,
mostly 20-35. These are the killers in our midst.

Varying film stocks and formats: video, telephoto, digitized --
some anecdotal, some subliminal.

Over the images a montage of speech synthesized voices from
Internet chat rooms: "Got a nice package," "...the look in
her eyes -- the wild look that says please, I'll do anything,"
"Friday is my day," "item's fingernails had cyanotic hue,"
"nylon sports pants," "screaming like a little piggie."

END CREDITS

EXT. NUEVO AMERICAN DINER MAGIC HOUR

A gas station/diner combo on a deserted stretch of US 54.
Bluish fluorescents over the pumps contrast with incandescent
light from within the diner interior. Cars and pickups with
Texas and New Mexico plates and bumper stickers ("I'm Texican
and Proud of It") parked outside.

CUT TO:

INT. NUEVO AMERICAN MAGIC HOUR

HAROLD SPECK, 35, a fleshy man in a tired brown suit, sits
in an orange vinyl booth sipping coffee, poking at a piece
of coffee cake. A large salesman's case rests on the seat
beside him.

Harold's POV: JANITA, a thirtiesh waitress stands by the
cash register, looks at her watch, looks at the clock (7:30),
looks back at her watch. An older couple sits in a booth
away from Speck; a solo trucker at the counter motions to
Janita. She refills his coffee.

A poster, "Rattlesnakes of the Southwest," hangs beside
community notices and "For Sale" advertisements.

A slouching man, 45-55, wearing soiled Sears work clothes
and an orange hard hat, slips into the seat across from Speck.
At the moment his name is unknown to us; later we will
discover he is RICHARD LOW.

Harold looks up, startled:

HAROLD
Jesus.

LOW
Hi. What's in the case?

Speck glances around; there are plenty of open tables.

HAROLD
You... surprised me.

LOW
Sorry. I've seen you in here. Always
lugging that case around.
(Harold nods)
Whatja sell?

HAROLD
Ah... restaurant supplies. I didn't
get your name.

LOW
You must travel a lot, huh?

HAROLD
Yeah.

LOW
Whole country or just hereabouts?

HAROLD
I don't mean to be rude, but...

LOW
Just gettin' a jolt of java before
headin' on home?
(beat)
How does your wife feel about it?

HAROLD
What?

LOW
About your being away all the time.
Must get lonely.

HAROLD
Look...

LOW
You must get lonely. You ever think
about, you know...
(winks)

HAROLD
Excuse me?

LOW
You know, you ever think about other
women?

Talking, Low reaches into his right pocket, pulls out 3x5
photographs, places them on the table. Low's fingertips have
a waxy sheen.

HAROLD
What are you...?

LOW
Fucking. I'm talking about fucking,
Harold. You ever think of fucking
other women?

Speck, fixed on the photos of naked women, glances up at the
sound of his name: how did he know that?

HAROLD
Look, mister...

LOW
Take a look, Harold. Tell me if you
see anything you want. You do like
to look, don't you?

Low points to a particularly explicit photo, all the while
reaching with his other hand into his left pocket.

LOW
You like? If not, I've got these.

Low places a second collection of snapshots on the table.
The top picture, difficult to make out, shows something far
more graphic than the others. Speck goes white:

HAROLD
My God.

LOW
Not bad, huh?

HAROLD
(eyes on photos)
You're a... you're sick.

LOW
What's wrong with me?

Low reaches for Speck's hand. Harold, pulling his arm back,
knocks over his coffee. Low quickly collects the pictures
(one falls to the seat), gets up, walks out. Harold, turning
his head, spots Janita.

She steps over, her eyes asking: "What's going on?"

HAROLD
(about coffee)
Sorry.
(looks back)
Could I have the check?

CUT TO:

EXT. NUEVO AMERICAN DINER MAGIC HOUR

Speck places his sales case into the front seat of a 1996
Riviera, slides in beside, starts the car and drives off.

CUT TO:

INT. HAROLD'S CAR NIGHT

Speck, back on the highway, breathes a sigh of relief.
Headlights hit a sign in the black landscape: "Texas Stateline
2 Miles."

Harold, reaching for the radio dial, looks into the rear-
view mirror:

HAROLD
OhmyGod...

In the mirror: Richard Low, hard hat exchanged for a full
head of graying hair, sits up in the back seat.

Harold involuntarily swerves the wheel; Low, reaching across
Speck, steadies the car. He wears latex gloves.

LOW
Calm down, Harold.
(Harold catches breath)
Okay, here's what we're going to do,
Harold: there's a pull off up ahead,
we're going to stop there.

HAROLD
Oh God, mister, please leave me alone.

LOW
(glancing out window)
You're going to miss it. Pay
attention.

HAROLD
What do you want from me?

Low reaches forward, grasps Harold's right eyelid between
his thumb and forefinger.

LOW
How'd you like it if I tore off your
eyelid, Harold?
(tugs at eyelid: Harold
winces)
You can't blink, you gotta keep your
eyes open all the time. You know how
painful that is?
(beat)
Here's the rest stop. Pull over.

Harold, panic-stricken, obeys.

CUT TO:

EXT. TURN-AROUND NIGHT

The "rest stop" is little more than an extended shoulder.
Speck pulls the Riviera to a stop, cuts the engine; the
headlights go dark.

CUT TO:

INT. HAROLD'S CAR NIGHT

Harold's hand is on the headlight switch when he feels a
nylon cord tighten around his neck. He tugs at it; Low chokes
tighter.

LOW
Relax, Harold.

Speck does; Low loosens the garrote.

LOW
I've been looking for you.

HAROLD
Why me? What do you want from me!?

Low tightens the noose, leans into Harold's ear, whispers:

LOW
Murman.

Speck's eyes widen as he gasps for air.

CUT TO:

EXT. FEDERAL BLDG/EL PASO DAY

A seven-story red-brick and glass building on East San Antonio
Avenue, home of the FBI Field Office.

CUT TO:

INT. FBI OFFICE DAY

The seventh floor elevator opens directly onto a large
bullpen. The FBI seal is featured prominently on a wall
leading to private offices.

THOMAS MACKELWAY, 28, sports jacket and tie, works at a
computer terminal in one of a half-dozen cubicles. The Bureau
is a button-down world, even in sun-drenched downtown El
Paso, a half mile from Mexico.

The elevator opens: CHUCK SALINAS, 40, the Supervisory Agent
in Charge, enters, carry-on bag over his shoulder. Seated
agents look up, stop what they're doing. AGENT JOHN DUNCAN
steps over:

DUNCAN
Welcome back, sir. How was the
vacation?

SALINAS
Takes four days to chill, then its
time to come back.
(looking around, spots
Mack)
Is that...?

DUNCAN
Yeah.

Mack stands as Salinas approaches. His voice and demeanor
reflect an East Coast upbringing:

MACKELWAY
Good morning, sir. Agent Salinas,
sir.

SALINAS
So you're the new meat?

MACKELWAY
Yes, sir.

SALINAS
What did you do to end up here?

MACKELWAY
I believe it's in my file, sir.

SALINAS
(to Duncan)
Johnny, get this man's file.
Mackelway, right?

MACKELWAY
Thomas Mackelway.

SALINAS
Hot enough for you, Agent Mackelway?
Hell's doorknob. What they got you
doing?

MACKELWAY
Updating the condition of all Bureau-
owned vehicles in the southwest
sector, sir.

SALINAS
Sounds like fun.

Duncan hands him a manila file; Salinas opens it.

SALINAS
"Computer Investigation and
Infrastructure Assessment Center."
Quantico out of MIT -- you're a
techie?
(Mack nods)
Okay, you screwed up once. So did
half the guys here. That's why they're
here.

MACKELWAY
I screwed up twice, sir.

SALINAS
I see that. Washington to Philadelphia
to here. Philly's a nice station.
How many agents?

MACKELWAY
Four hundred and sixty, sir.

SALINAS
"Attitude Adjustment Issues" -- what
the fuck is that supposed to mean?

MACKELWAY
I wished to be reinstated at Computer
Crimes. I was undiplomatic in my
request.

SALINAS
(reading)
This is a first. You criticized the
Deputy Director to his face and you
still have a badge? You must have
some one-of-a-kind skills.
(Mackelway doesn't
answer)
Why don't you just quit? I mean,
you're not going to get promoted,
not wearing this jacket.

MACKELWAY
I like working for the Bureau, sir.
I like catching bad guys. It's all I
care about.

SALINAS
Jesus, just what I need, another
blue flamer.
(turns to leave)
Johnny, get this boy some sun screen.

Salinas heads for his office. Mackelway, deflated, plops
down in his chair.

CUT TO:

INT. MACK'S CUBICLE DAY

TIMECUT: a list of FBI 4-wheel Arizona plate vehicles scrolls
on the screen.

Mackelway, bored, bored, bored, sips cold coffee, stretches
his shoulders, takes notes. His jacket is hung over his chair,
his sleeves rolled up. He glances at his watch.

Salinas enters the bullpen area, calls to Duncan:

SALINAS
Agent Duncan, there's an interstate
issue up on 54, run out there.

DUNCAN
I'm babysitting the DEA guys this
afternoon, Casio and I. You said
that was top priority.

Salinas nods, looks around. He spots Mack's eager eyes. Mack,
unrolling his sleeves, buttons his cuffs.

SALINAS
(calls)
Agent Mackelway, you want to get off
your ass and do something for a
change?

MACKELWAY
(stands)
Yes, sir.

SALINAS
(walks over)
Got a vehicle?
(Mack nods)
Head north on 54. When you get to
New Mexico you've gone too far.

Mack takes his gun and shoulder holster out of a drawer as
Salinas hands him a slip of paper.

SALINAS
And Mackelway, when you're dealing
with the locals, talk slow.

CUT TO:

EXT. US 54 AFTERNOON

Mackelway drives his Bureau-issue sedan past stretches of
sand and mobile homes. He fiddles with the radio dial, goes
from one Spanish language station to a second, turns it off.

How did he end up here?

CUT TO:

EXT. TURN-AROUND AFTERNOON

The same "rest stop" as earlier, except now filled with
Highway Patrol and Police cars from Texas and New Mexico.

Mack, flashing his FBI ID, walks to a cluster of cops. HARRY
DYLAN, 50, wearing cowboy boots and hat, steps over:

DYLAN
Agent Mackelway? Salinas said he was
sending someone new. Harry Dylan.
(they shake)
This is my county. This way...

They approach a tow truck backed up to an arroyo, passing,
as they go, a sign reading "Welcome to New Mexico."

MACKELWAY
You run the plates?

DYLAN
Fella's name is Harold Speck,
travelin' man out of Roswell.

MACKELWAY
Excuse me, a salesman gets done in
his car and you call the FBI?

DYLAN
Well, the victim was killed at the
turn-around over there, then his car
was pushed over here...
(points to sign)
...right across the state line. That
makes it Federal. This is Officer
Wallace, he's out of Alamogordo.

Mack shakes hands with New Mexico State Trooper WALLACE,
walks past the tow truck, looks into the steep ravine where
Speck's Riviera rests balanced precariously on its front
bumper. GRANGER, a New Mexico cop, sipping coffee from a
take-out cup, steps onto the tire tracks. Mack motions him
away; Granger doesn't budge.

MACKELWAY
Am I talking to myself? This is a
crime scene.

Granger looks down, steps back.

MACKELWAY
Thank you.

Trooper Wallace turns to JUMBO, the heavy-set tow-truck
operator:

WALLACE
All right, Jumbo, Feds are here.

The operator activates the winch.

MACKELWAY
Hold it, hold it!

Jumbo cuts off the winch. Mack removes his jacket, loosens
his tie:

MACKELWAY
I'd better have a look.

Dylan turns to his fellow cops:

DYLAN
Sure. I wouldn't trust those rednecks
either.

They snicker as Mackelway slips down the ravine.

SPECK'S CAR: in the bottom of the ravine, Mack, putting on
latex gloves, climbs through the passenger window. He braces
his foot against the dash, the force of which unbalances the
car: it suddenly SLIPS.

Mack tumbles forward, BANGING the rear view mirror, CUTTING
his forehead. Harold's body pitches forward against the
steering wheel: the horn lets out a continuous BLEAT.

AT THE TOW TRUCK: Jumbo, dropping his coffee, grabs for the
winch controls:

JUMBO
Shit!

Sheriff Dylan looks over the side:

DYLAN
You okay?

INSIDE SPECK'S CAR: Mackelway uprights himself, wipes blood
from his forehead.

MACKELWAY
Yeah, I'm --

The horn blots out his voice. Mackelway would have stopped
speaking in any case -- something has caught his attention.
He gingerly pulls back Harold's head.

Dried blood streaks from Speck's eye -- his eyelids have
been TORN OFF. His neck is striated by a black-and-blue welt.

MACKELWAY
Jesus.

Mack takes a deep breath, takes a quick look around. He spots
pocket change and a slip of paper by Harold's feet. Reaching
down, Mack retrieves it: it's a receipt from the Nuevo
American Diner.

CUT TO:

EXT. TURN-AROUND LATE DAY

TIMECUT: Mackelway leans against the tow truck. Speck's
Riviera rests upright on level ground.

Wallace smacks an instant ice pack against the side of the
truck, hands it to Mackelway.

JUMBO
Sorry about that. It's an old truck.

Mackelway presses the ice pack to his swelling forehead:

MACKELWAY
Where's the Nuevo American Diner?

DYLAN
Ten miles back on the Texas side.

WALLACE
I'd go to Pulski's. She makes this
fabulous fried chicken.

MACKELWAY
Speck had a coffee there last night.
7:40.
(to Dylan)
This is no robbery.

Mackelway takes the keys from the Riviera's ignition, walks
around the trunk, unlocks it.

GRANGER
(to Wallace)
What's he doing?

Mack pops the trunk, looks inside. Dylan, Wallace, Granger
and Jumbo join him. Mack notices white powder amid dark
stains. He judges the texture of the powder with a ball-point
pen.

Granger wets his finger, touches the white powder, puts his
finger to his lips.

MACKELWAY
(grabs Granger's arm)
Hey!

GRANGER
I was going to see if...

MACKELWAY
Don't put nothing in your mouth.
That's just for TV shows. It could
be poison for all you know.

GRANGER
(cowed)
It ain't cocaine.

MACKELWAY
I know. It's lime.

DYLAN
Lime?

GRANGER
What are those stains?

MACKELWAY
You say Speck lived in Roswell?

Dylan nods, Mack turns to Wallace:

MACKELWAY
You got a judge on the hook? We'll
need a search warrant pronto.

WALLACE
(nods)
In the morning.

CUT TO:

EXT. SPECK HOUSE DAY

Title card: "Roswell, New Mexico." A suburban ranch-style
home: all seems normal, even banal, until the front door
opens --

And TWO EMS WORKERS wearing facemasks emerge carrying a green
body bag. They navigate the front steps, step past a Huffy
bike with training wheels, place the body bag next to four
others on the front lawn.

Hudspeth County Police and EMS vehicles ring the house.
Onlookers and press are ringed off by a yellow crime scene
cordon.

A Honda Civic turns onto the street, glides past neighbors
on porches, police cars, drives up to the yellow tape.

A fortiesh WOMAN gets out of the front seat lugging a Wal-
Mart bag topped off with light bulbs. She walks toward the
house as though, with all this commotion, she's not even
sure it's hers.

Two CHILDREN, eight and four, trail behind her. They can
tell something is wrong -- a feeling exacerbated when the
Woman DROPS HER BAG, bulbs popping against the sidewalk, and
walks ever quicker to the front door.

She RUNS till she sees the body bags, slows, connections
filling her mind: the extra miles on the car, the strange
women's clothing, that strange smell downstairs...

WOMAN
Harold! Haarroolldd!

Trooper Wallace, approaching, motions to two cops who swoop
in, GRAB the kids, now screaming too, as the Woman runs
inside.

CUT TO:

INT. SPECK HOUSE DAY

The Woman, screaming all the while, runs past police and EMS
personnel, stopping at the cellar steps, looking down at the
shadowy figures amid work lights and seeing Harold's computer
bench, seeing partially uncovered graves, SEEING limed
desiccated bodies.

Something, some word gurgles in her throat, and then she
vomits, her stomach buckling. Tom Mackelway, RUSHING OVER,
grabs her.

CUT TO:

EXT. SPECK HOUSE DAY

Later. The last of the body bags is loaded into the EMS
vehicle. Mack stands watching with Agent Duncan and Trooper
Wallace. They turn as an unmarked government car is let
through the police cordon. Salinas cuts the engine, exits,
walks over to them:

SALINAS
Agents Duncan, Mackelway.
(they nod)
Anything new?

DUNCAN
Just mopping up. Nine bodies in all.

SALINAS
(looks at news crews)
Anybody talk to the press?

DUNCAN
No, sir.

SALINAS
(to Mack)
The diner?

MACKELWAY
(checks watch)
Headed there now. The same shift
will be on at noon.

SALINAS
This case has sent bells and alarms
ringing all the way to Washington.
Your old boss is coming out.

MACKELWAY
Koessler?

SALINAS
The same.

A muffled BOOM and YELP comes from inside the house.

SALINAS
Wha -- ?

They head over. An INJURED AGENT wearing blue "FBI" jacket
emerges holding a bloodied hand. The press reacts as a medic
rushes over to him.

SALINAS
What happened?

INJURED AGENT
The computer in the basement. It
musta been booby-trapped. I was
unplugging it, the hard drive
exploded.

The medic takes the Injured Agent's hand.

CUT TO:

INT. NUEVO AMERICAN DINER AFTERNOON

Mack and Dylan speak with Janita. A black mother and
hyperactive kids sit in the booth the older couple occupied
the night before.

JANITA
Harold, he was a regular. Came in
late nights. Didn't talk much.
Something happen to him?

DYLAN
Got himself killed, Jan.

JANITA
Sweet Jesus on the Cross.

MACKELWAY
The man who was with him, he was a
construction worker?

JANITA
Yes.

MACKELWAY
What did he look like?

JANITA
I didn't wait on him. Fifty or so,
white, regular build, needed a shave --
that's all I remember.

MACKELWAY
How did you know he was a construction
worker?

JANITA
He had an orange hat on.

Dylan chuckles.

MACKELWAY
I hope that wasn't a joke because I
can assure you, from personal
experience, the FBI does not have a
sense of humor.

DYLAN
That's right, Jan.

Mack smiles, gestures to a booth:

MACKELWAY
He was sitting here?

JANITA
It's been wiped down a hundred times
since then.

Mack walks over to the booth, crouches, runs his ball-point
along the floor.

JANITA
There was a car in the lot when we
closed. Gone today.

MACKELWAY
What kind?

JANITA
An old junker. Like a reservation
car. Blue, side door with brown, you
know, primer paint. New Mexico plates.
A Ford or ah, yeah, a Ford.

MACKELWAY
(to Dylan)
Put a BOLO out on that.

Mack reaches out, grabs the orange vinyl booth cushion, yanks
it out.

Looking under the seat, Mackelway finds a predictable
assortment of dustballs, coins, paper napkins, dead roaches --
and the snapshot.

JANITA
Yeah, I remember. He had some
pictures.

Mack turns the photo over: it shows, splayed on a concrete
floor, a nude female TORSO, minus head, hands and feet --
breasts excised.

JANITA
My God!

CUT TO:

EXT. DINER AFTERNOON

Mack and Sheriff Dylan walk to their cars.

DYLAN
Nine bodies in Roswell, now this --
it's getting a little hairy, huh?

MACKELWAY
I'd appreciate it if you kept this
to yourself.

DYLAN
I know how the Feds like to sit on
information. I got something in the
car to show you.

They step over to Dylan's police car. Dylan removes a folder,
hands it to Mack. It's a Missing Persons Report: a photo of
KAREN SUMPTER, 15, pretty young girl wearing a bright red T-
shirt with the South Park slogan, "Oh My God, They Killed
Kenny!"

DYLAN
Her name is Karen Sumpter, from near
Dell City. Just disappeared a couple
weeks back. Vanished.

MACKELWAY
You're thinking...?

DYLAN
Who knows.

MACKELWAY
This isn't in our database?

DYLAN
I just assumed she ran away. Happens
a lot around here. Look around. This
place is an invitation to run away.

CUT TO:

INT. EL PASO MORGUE EVENING

Harold Speck and his victims have transformed the autopsy
examination room into a ghoulish assembly line. M.E. personnel
work on the mixed-race female victims; some bodies retain
their features, some don't. The leg of a foreground victim
has been severed at the ankle; a single stem rose tattoo cut
in half.

In the distance Salinas and Mackelway stand with GEORGE
EAGLEFOOT, the Native American Medical Examiner. He motions
to the naked body of Harold Speck.

EAGLEFOOT
Ligature strangulation, just like
his victims. A cord, nylon, you can
tell by the indentation signature --
again, like his victims.
(points to Speck's
penis)
Look at that little thing and look
at all the trouble it got him in.
Should have cut it off.

SALINAS
I'm not in the mood for Native
American wisdom.

EAGLEFOOT
We had to bring staff in from the
whole county to handle this.

SALINAS
I appreciate it, doctor. You know
how it is, press screaming for
answers, Washington's all over me.
(to Mack)
Ever handle a serial case?

MACKELWAY
No.

SALINAS
Hope you never do. At first it feels
like a sauna, by the time you hit
victim four it's a fucking burning
shirt factory.

Eaglefoot looks up at the sound of an opening door. Deputy
Director DAVID KOESSLER, 50, and JAIME KULOK, 26, enter
exuding eau de FBI.

KOESSLER
Chuck, hello.
(shake hands)
This is Agent Kulok. She has a
background in medical forensics.

KULOK
(off Eaglefoot's
reaction)
Just an observer.

EAGLEFOOT
Be my guest, Agent Kulok, scrub suits
are in the back.

SALINAS
This is Agent Mackelway.

Mack's attempt to greet Koessler is cut short:

KOESSLER
I know who he is.
(to Kulok)
That's the guy who won't take "fuck
you" for an answer.
(to Eaglefoot)
This Speck?
(Eaglefoot grunts)
What we got?

Mack sneaks a second look at Kulok: she's the sort that
triggers a second look.

SALINAS
Speck's the killer all right. We got
box loads of evidence. Did 'em all
the same way: torture, strangulation.
Prostitutes. I don't think we'll be
able to write off any outstandings
on him -- this is probably the full
body count.

KOESSLER
What about his killer?

SALINAS
Nada. Vague description, that's all.
Fine-tooth-combed Speck's car, the
diner: no fingerprints, no trace
evidence.

KOESSLER
What's with the eyelids?

EAGLEFOOT
Ripped off. By hand, my guess.
Perimortal: victim was alive at the
time, there's blood on his throat.

SALINAS
That's the thing. Don't know if it
connects, but Harold here had a thing
about eyes. Two of the victims had
their eyes gouged out, another
punctured. Took polaroids after.

KOESSLER
You have the photo from the diner?

SALINAS
At the field office.

KOESSLER
Let's take a look at it.
(to Kulok)
Drop off my stuff at the hotel after
you're done here.

Koessler walks off with Salinas, shooting a look back at
Mackelway as he goes.

CUT TO:

EXT/INT MACK'S CAR DAY

Mackelway drives Agent Kulok through the downtown area. Her
and Koessler's carry-on bags flopped in back.

KULOK
Thanks for the ride.

MACKELWAY
They sort of got me on shit detail,
no offense.

KULOK
None taken.

MACKELWAY
Maybe I shouldn't put it that way.
I'm on my best behavior. I've got to
watch what I say.

KULOK
You used to be in the Behavioral
Science Unit, right?

MACKELWAY
(nods)
The Academy, then CIIAC.

KULOK
I read your white paper. It's sort
of like the Bible for what they're
trying to do in Computer Crime.

MACKELWAY
How long have you been downtown?

KULOK
Five months. I love it.

Beat.

MACKELWAY
You work with Koessler?

KULOK
Not especially.

MACKELWAY
Why did he come out here? What's
going on?

KULOK
Beats me. He just asked me to come
along, double-check the forensics.
(beat)
What did you do to piss him off?

He looks at Jaime, smiles -- better block that thought, he
thinks. So does she.

KULOK
This is a sexy case.

MACKELWAY
Yeah, you know the vic's car, he was
killed this side of the state line,
the car then pushed across the border.
This by an Unknown Subject, presumably
the killer, who left no fucking
evidence except the snapshot, which
may or may not have been accidental.

KULOK
Doesn't fit.

MACKELWAY
This is no random killing, no one
shot deal. The UNSUB has killed
before; he's good at it. So what do
we have?
(beat)
We have someone who has killed before
who kills someone who kills: a serial
killer of a serial killer -- and who
wants the FBI to know he exists.

KULOK
And who kills in the manner of his
victim.

MACKELWAY
That information's being withheld
from the media.

KULOK
(thinks)
A very sexy case.

CUT TO:

INT. MACK'S ROOM NIGHT

Mackelway, wearing jeans and a T-shirt, paces the spare condo.
Unopened Bekins boxes stacked against a wall. The furnishings
are uniformly rental, right down to the framed print of Van
Gogh's Sunflowers. Lou Reed plays on a newly unpacked stereo.

He has something on his mind, a thought keeps running around
his head. He looks out the window, looks over to the kitchen
table where his laptop sits open, resumes pacing.

On the computer screen: "Chat Room" folder icons listed by
time and date. Mack steps over, double clicks an icon: a
conversation from eight months before appears on the screen.
The chat room correspondents have screennames like "Troll,"
"MyDick," "Zin," "Murman."

Mack turns off the stereo, goes to the phone and dials. A
HOTEL OPERATOR answers:

OPERATOR (O.S.)
Marriott El Paso.

MACKELWAY
David Koessler, please.

OPERATOR (O.S.)
Just a moment.

Mack paces, phone in hand.

OPERATOR (O.S.)
There's a Do Not Disturb on that
line. Would you like voice mail?

MACKELWAY
Yes, please.

Mack waits for the tone, leave message:

MACKELWAY
Deputy Director Koessler, this is
Thomas Mackelway. I'm sorry to bother
you like this, I must speak with
you. I realize you may not be
comfortable with this, but it's
extremely important. I've become
aware of something and I must speak
to you about it. When you see the
red light on your phone, please call.

CUT TO:

EXT. SOMEWHERE NIGHT

Ominous music from previous scene plays over dark suburban
street.

A FIFTEEN YEAR-OLD GIRL, wearing a lacrosse shirt, rides her
bike around a corner, yellow headphones on her ears. She
bobs her head to an unheard beat.

Suddenly, without warning, her body is GRABBED in motion by
a dark figure (SUSPECT ZERO) wearing navy-colored vinyl. He
CONKS her on the head before she can scream.

CUT TO:

EXT. FEDERAL BUILDING DAY

A federal deputy stands watch -- a consequence of the Oklahoma
City bombing.

CUT TO:

INT. FBI OFFICES DAY

Mackelway, sports jacket and tie, exits the elevator carrying
his briefcase. He steps past the bullpen, walk toward Salinas'
office. Through the glass door he can see Salinas inside
speaking with Koessler and Kulok.

Their conversation can be faintly heard:

KOESSLER
We didn't know Speck was a serial,
the police didn't know, his wife
didn't know -- so how did the killer
know?

KULOK
Maybe cause he's smart.

KOESSLER
Smarter than us.

Mack hesitates, goes back to his cubicle, places his briefcase
on the desktop. He sits, activates his computer screen. He
cannot get the image of Koessler about to go to the airport
out of his mind.

He stands, determined, strides to Salinas' office. Steeling
himself, he twists the knob, opens the door --

CUT TO:

INT. SALINAS' OFFICE DAY

Koessler, Salinas and Kulok turn, stare as Mack enters. This
is a big no-no, a breach of protocol, not to mention
etiquette:

MACKELWAY
(eyes going to Koessler)
Look, sorry. Don't say a word.
(gathers breath)
I know this is improper. I've been
trying to speak with Deputy Director
Koessler. I left a message. I must
speak with you before you go back to
Washington.

KOESSLER
This better be important.

SALINAS
(to Mack)
Agent, return to your station.

Kulok looks at Mack, wishing somehow this wasn't happening.

MACKELWAY
I think I talked to him.

KOESSLER
Who?

MACKELWAY
Speck. Harold Speck.

KOESSLER
From the grave?

MACKELWAY
MyDick.

SALINAS
"MyDick?"

MACKELWAY
MyDick. As in my dick. That was his
screen name.

SALINAS
I don't...

MACKELWAY
Eight, nine months ago. When I was
at Computer Crime. I got into a chat
room with someone named MyDick. I'd
talked to him before. Everything I
saw yesterday, everything in the
autopsies, it's identical. The
forensics are dead on. MyDick's
fantasies involved a hog-tie rig,
nylon cord, torture with pliers, rip
the nipples -- when the "item"
screams, she chokes. He had a thing
about eyes, always the eyes -- stab
their eyes. It's the same guy. Speck
was MyDick.

SALINAS
Speck is dead.

MACKELWAY
I talked to him.

KOESSLER
I'll relay this to CIIAC.

MACKELWAY
They don't know how to crack these
secret chat rooms --

KOESSLER
I might point out, Agent Mackelway,
the reason we haven't been able to
crack those rooms is that you refused
to share that information with us --
which is also why you were reassigned.

MACKELWAY
I had gotten their trust. We were
sharing fantasies. I couldn't risk
it.

KOESSLER
The Federal Bureau of Investigation
is not based on personal preference.
We share information.

MACKELWAY
Let some by-the-book J. Edgar Agents
go into the chat room, spook these
guys with stupid questions, blow my
cover? -- no way.

KOESSLER
You refused to comply with a direct
order.

MACKELWAY
I was lucky to find, much less crack,
the address code -- no way to be
sure I could have done it again.

KOESSLER
Its called insubordination.

MACKELWAY
Then why do I still have a badge?

Koessler doesn't answer that question; Mack was too valuable
to be dismissed -- Koessler decided instead to teach him a
lesson, hoped he would come around.

KOESSLER
I appreciate the information, Agent
Mackelway -- but if you think this
is going to get you back to Computer
Crime, dream on.
(to Salinas)
Now, where were we?

Mack steps back. He has been dismissed.

CUT TO:

INT. MACK'S CUBICLE DAY

LATER. Mackelway, jacket off, absent-mindedly stares at his
computer screen. He looks up, sees Koessler and Kulok leaving
with carry-on bags. Jaime shrugs, shoots Mack a sympathetic
look as if to say: I wish I could have been of some help.

Mack's phone extension rings; he answers:

MACKELWAY
Agent Mackelway.

DYLAN (O.S.)
Mack, this is Sheriff Dylan.

MACKELWAY
Oh Jesus, Sheriff, I am sorry. I
meant to call you -- I got distracted --
the Sumpter girl was not one of
Speck's victims. That's the good
news.

DYLAN (O.S.)
What's the bad news?

MACKELWAY
You tell me.

DYLAN (O.S.)
No bad news. You know the Be On the
LookOut you asked me to send on the
diner car -- we got a hit on it. A
little town on the border, Socorro.
We got it staked out -- you
interested?

MACKELWAY
I'm on my way.

CUT TO:

EXT. SOCORRO DAIRY QUEEN LATE DAY

Mackelway's sedan pulls up beside Dylan's Sheriff vehicle.
The Dairy Queen being the town's most thriving enterprise.
In the distance, makeshift housing and dump zones.

Mack gets out, walks over to Dylan.

MACKELWAY
(sits)
Hey, Sheriff.

DYLAN
Down the road a piece is the Golden
Sunset, the no-tell motel, Socorro's
contribution to international
relations. The car's just sitting
there, no activity. I've had a couple
Hispanic officers casing it all day.
Want to take a look?

MACKELWAY
What does the Manager say?

DYLAN
I sent a female in. The room in
question was rented by an Anglo,
cash; since then, nothing -- no
activity, no phone response.

MACKELWAY
Let's take a look.

CUT TO:

EXT. GOLDEN SUNSET LATE DAY

The suspect vehicle sits outside Room 8: 1985 blue Ford,
brown primer door, New Mexico plates. One other vehicle, a
pickup, parked several spaces away.

Dylan parks a discreet distance from the motel. Mack turns
to the Sheriff:

MACKELWAY
(removing tie)
I'm going to take a little walk.

Mack tosses his jacket on the seat as he heads toward the
Golden Sunset. He stops at the soda machine, looks around,
continues. His trained eyes spot Dylan's undercover Hispanics --
one "sleeping" across the way, another "repairing" a flat
tire.

Mackelway, feigning nonchalance, walks past the parked Ford.
He looks inside: the motel room key lies on the front seat.

LONG LENS POV: someone is watching Mack as he looks inside
the parked Ford.

CUT TO:

EXT. DAIRY QUEEN EVENING

Mack rejoins Dylan:

MACKELWAY
The room key's in the car. On the
seat.

DYLAN
And it's getting dark. I'm not going
to run this into the night.
(clicks walkie)
Eddie, we're walking in. Everything
covered?

EDDIE (O.S.)
No problemo.

CUT TO:

EXT. GOLDEN SUNSET DUSK

Dylan and Mack, wearing latex gloves, approach the door.
Dylan's Hispanic undercover cops watch their backs. Dylan,
holding his pistol to his side, opens door #8 with a master
key. Music leads the way: he and Mack enter.

CUT TO:

INT. MOTEL ROOM DUSK

They step inside; the room is pristine. Nothing has been
used, nothing touched -- the aroma of disinfectant hangs in
the air.

Dylan edges to the bathroom, looks inside. He keys his walkie:

DYLAN
Show's over, boys. Nobody home.

MACKELWAY
Tape it off, we'll want to fine-tooth-
comb it. My guess is that the UNSUB
is having us on. He checks in, pays,
picks up the key, but never walks
inside. Tell me if I'm wrong.

DYLAN
(looks around)
Got a sister like this, what they
call it, anal? That's her.

LONG LENS POV THROUGH WINDOW: Mack answers Dylan.

CUT TO:

EXT. GOLDEN SUNSET NIGHT

Mack, scrounging his car keys from his pocket, walks to his
sedan. Music underscores the mood. Mack hears a CLANK from
the motel, turns abruptly to look: one of Dylan's deputies
has knocked over a metal barrier. Mack continues toward the
car.

He opens the door, plops inside. Placing the keys in the
ignition, he hears something behind him...

Turning to look, frightened: the last thing he sees, the
last thing he remembers, is a BLURRED FACE and the feel and
smell of a chloroform RAG pressed against his nose and mouth.

CUT TO:

INT. LIMBO NIGHT

Mackelway comes to in darkness, hog-tied and blindfolded. A
white nylon cord, tied around his neck, stretches across his
back, through his bound hands around his bent legs. It is a
painful position.

Smelling something rancid, Mack sniffs: where is he? A garbage
dump?

Richard Low, wearing a burgundy turtleneck, scrunches atop
Mack, speaks softly:

LOW
Scared, Agent Mackelway?
(Mack says nothing)
It's a terrible feeling, isn't it?
Alone. Trapped. Knowing you're going
to die. The terror of dying is much
worse than death itself.

Mackelway attempts to stretch his cramping muscles; the noose
tightens around his neck, choking him. Mack resumes the
original position.

LOW
This is how Speck tied his victims.
Imagine what that was like, for those
girls in his car. Imagine the ride
tied in his trunk. He's already raped
you. Maybe he's cut you. Maybe he's
cut you inside.

Mack struggles to turn his head in the direction of Low's
voice.

LOW
As you sit there listening to the
road, feeling all the places you're
bleeding, you wonder -- is it over?
Will he just kill me? Please?

Low reaches down, TWISTS Mack's nipple: Mackelway buckles in
pain, choking.

LOW
But he doesn't. He's only begun, he
rapes you again, twists your skin
with pliers, all the time looking at
your eyes, into your eyes like he's
never seen anything like them before,
holding a knife -- then, if you're
not dead already, only then does he
take those eyes out.

Low leans into Mack's ear, whispers darkly:

LOW
Tell me, Agent Mackelway, does that
man deserve to live? Does he have
the right to exist one more day, one
more hour? You have the temerity to
hunt me for killing such a man?

Mack, holding back his fear, asks in a steady voice:

MACKELWAY
How did you know Speck was a killer?

LOW
The little piggie speaks.

Low twists Mack's nipple again -- harder this time. Gagging,
Mack asks:

MACKELWAY
Who are you?

LOW
I'll give you a little hint. You're
a smart guy, figure it out.

Low unfolds a razor-sharp jack knife, cuts open the upper
arm of Mackelway's shirt, SLASHES three strokes across Mack's
bicep.

Reacting to the pain, Mack twists his torso, begins to
seriously choke; Low pulls at the nylon cord, exacerbating
Mack's condition.

As Mackelway passes out, Low cuts the nylon cord with his
knife. Screen goes black.

CUT TO:

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM DAY

Thomas Mackelway opens his eyes, sees the DOCTOR tapping his
shoulder:

DOCTOR
You've got company.

Mack, rubbing the rope marks on his neck, looks around:
Koessler, Salinas and Kulok stand around the bed.

KOESSLER
How do you feel, Agent

MACKELWAY
Pretty embarrassed, to be honest. I
had him.

KOESSLER
Agent Kulok and I were in O'Hare
when we heard.

MACKELWAY
He got away. I had him. He got away.

KOESSLER
Do you think he singled you out?

MACKELWAY
No, just coincidence. He knew who I
was, of course. He had my ID -- did
he keep it?

KULOK
(points)
It's here.

Mack opens his wallet, reacts to the aroma.

KULOK
Some kids found you in a garbage
dump.

MACKELWAY
Where's my watch? It's gone.

KOESSLER
The cut on your arm -- mind if we
remove the bandage?

MACKELWAY
Go ahead.

Koessler motions to the Doctor, who cuts the white gauze off
Mack's bicep, revealing three fresh congealed slashes forming
a "Z."

KOESSLER
Thank you, doctor.

The Doctor, taking the hint, excuses himself.

KOESSLER
He said it was a clue?

SALINAS
(looking closer)
Maybe something to do with Zorro.

KOESSLER
Don't say that. Don't even think
that. The next thing we'll be hearing
about "Zorro Killer" in the media --
this hasn't gotten out, has it?

SALINAS
Just hospital talk. Nothing that
connects to Speck.

KOESSLER
This could all be a coincidence,
but, you know something, I don't
believe in coincidences. That's why
I came back.
(to Mack)
Do you think the UNSUB -- we're not
going to mention the word Zorro --
met Harold Speck online?

MACKELWAY
Yes I do.

KULOK
It explains a lot.

SALINAS
But why attack an Agent?

MACKELWAY
He wants us to know he's out there,
what he's doing. It's not enough
just to kill somebody like Speck, he
wants us to know he did it.

KOESSLER
(thinks)
Agent Mackelway, you're going to get
your wish. You're going back to
Washington. I want you back in
Computer Crimes. Fire up those chat
rooms.

MACKELWAY
This time, sir, if I may be so bold,
would it be possible to set up my
equipment outside CIIAC, perhaps in
military housing at Quantico? I didn't
get along very well with the other
members of the Division. We thought
differently.

KOESSLER
You didn't like anyone looking over
your shoulder -- why was that? What
were you doing?

MACKELWAY
(ignoring question)
If my Reporting Agent could be someone
outside Computer Crimes, perhaps
Agent Kulok?

Koessler looks at Jaime, his mind running scenarios:

KOESSLER
I'll take it into consideration.

MACKELWAY
What I do requires confidentiality.

KOESSLER
I always meant to ask, what is it
that makes you so special? Why is it
you have this special rapport with
multiple killers? Why you?

MACKELWAY
They like my stories. They like the
way I think. They're into fantasy. I
turn them on.

All in all, quite an astounding statement -- it just hangs
there. No one responds.

CUT TO:

EXT. QUANTICO EVENING

Aerial view of a sprawl of office buildings and military
facilities in a green wooded landscape. Subtitle reads: "FBI
Academy, Quantico, Virginia."

CUT TO:

EXT. MACK'S APARTMENT EVENING

A van sits outside a red brick barracks-style Officers Housing
unit.

CUT TO:

MACK'S APARTMENT EVENING

Mackelway, dressed casually, instructs young FBI techies
installing a shitload of Dell computer equipment: computer
towers, mainframe, digital analyzers, scanners, printers,
voice actualizer, etc.

Mack has duct-taped the windows with aluminum foil, blocking
exterior light. The room is assuming a life of it's own. An
interior life. He flips lights on and off as the techies
work, testing light schemes.

MACKELWAY
Download whatever punters you find.

TECHIE #1
Don't worry, sir, we learned from
the best.

MACKELWAY
Who's that?

TECHIE #1
We learned from the people you taught.

MACKELWAY
They remember me?

TECHIE #2
Yes, sir, they do.

Jaime Kulok, passing the sterile living room, tiptoes into
the computer space. Mack turns:

MACKELWAY
Jaime. Boys, this is Agent Kulok.

The Techies deferentially greet her.

KULOK
Relax.
(to Mack)
J. Edgar's greatest fear: a female
with a badge.

MACKELWAY
The man knew how to dress.

KULOK
Don't even go there. What's up?

MACKELWAY
Setting up. Technically, anyone in a
chat room can be traced back to a
screen address. But, by using punters,
a correspondent literally punts his
address around the world, through
computers in countries that have no
communication treaties. The
correspondent becomes "ghosted,"
invisible.

KULOK
What about the chat rooms themselves?

MACKELWAY
That's the beauty of the system.
This is a fugitive chat room. It
moves from place to place, chat rooms
that are normally empty at certain
hours: a gardening website, Chaucer
buffs, a dating service. A pre-
arranged code shows up in one of
fifty porn rooms -- that's where I
stumbled across it -- notifying
"friends" to meet at a certain time,
usually midnight to three Eastern
Standard, at a certain website -- a
deserted chat room, say, "How to
Plant Perennials." Come Tuesday,
twelve a.m., bingo, these like-minded
deviates log on and start yakking it
up: explicit sex crime gossip, who
did what to whom, who wants to do
what, when, why and how.

KULOK
That's part of the reason I dropped
by. I need to learn this stuff.

MACKELWAY
The other reason?

KULOK
(looks at watch)
You want to have dinner?

CUT TO:

EXT. RED LOBSTER NIGHT

A chain restaurant with prices pegged to a government
employee's budget.

CUT TO:

INT. RED LOBSTER NIGHT

Mackelway and Kulok sit in a booth eating salads, sipping
white wine.

MACKELWAY
Working the net isn't that different
from ordinary undercover work. You
go into the community, walk their
walk, talk their talk, gain their
confidence.

KULOK
They're all criminals?

MACKELWAY
No, no, no, most of them -- I used
to think all of them -- are just
fantasists, guys who get off telling
degrading stories. When I came across
this fugitive chat room, listened
in, I started to think some might
actually be real, that they'd gone
live. The challenge was to figure
out which was which. Then I had my
disagreement with Koessler.

KULOK
"Gone live?"

MACKELWAY
Chat jargon for moving from fantasy
to real victims: "I went live last
month."

KULOK
This is some serious shit.

MACKELWAY
Taking a Stryker saw, cutting off
the top of someone's cranium, pulling
the brain out -- what's that, a day
in Spring?

KULOK
(laughs)
You got a point there.

MACKELWAY
People end up in occupations for a
reason. They may think not, but they
do: occupations define us.

KULOK
I was going to be a physician, I am
a physician, but I kept drifting
over to criminal psych. This seems
to be the best of both. My parents
still haven't forgiven me.

MACKELWAY
I was interested in two things:
computers and crime. They sort of
came together.

KULOK
And one other thing.

MACKELWAY
What's that?

KULOK
Sex.

He smiles; so does she. He likes this girl. A WAITRESS removes
their salad plates.

MACKELWAY
Once you get in the mind set, though,
it can take you over.

Mack motions to a young UPS DELIVERY MAN drinking coffee,
then to an OVERWEIGHT middle-aged man wearing a Tazmanian
Devil T-shirt, Chicago Bulls jacket and Disney World baseball
cap.

MACKELWAY
Look at this fellow... or this one.

KULOK
Grown man dressed like a clown. Does
he really think he looks good?

MACKELWAY
He thinks he looks young.

KULOK
What's this country coming to?

MACKELWAY
Take it to the next level. What are
his fantasies, what turns him on,
what kind of pornography does he
like? If he could act out his
fantasies, what would he do? Imagine
yourself one of his victims, realizing
your life is in his hands. What is
he thinking?

KULOK
My guess: he's wondering whether to
get more fries or go straight to the
chocolate sundae.

Mack laughs as the Waitress returns with two fish plates:

WAITRESS
(about wine glasses)
Another round?

MACKELWAY AND KULOK
Yes, please.

They smile at the synchronicity of their response. His smile
turns inward:

MACKELWAY
Every cop has a story and every story
has a girl. The girl in my story was
fifteen years-old. She wore a pink
angora sweater -- I can still see it --
one day, she disappeared. I told the
police she wouldn't run away, I told
them who to look for, but I was just
a kid. I sat in the police station
crying and crying. My parents took
me home. The girl was my cousin and
the man who abducted her was a teacher
I'd had. He kept her alive a week
before he killed her. The police
could have saved her. Every time I
see a photo of a victim I see her.
That's what I want to do. I want to
save her.

KULOK
Me too.
(sips from empty glass)
Make any headway with "Zorro"?

MACKELWAY
None. Can't find a thing. Nothing on
file, nothing online. It's not a
part of any known killer's signature.

KULOK
I was thinking, maybe we should ask
Professor Daitz. Nobody knows this
stuff better.

MACKELWAY
That's because he's a fucking wacko.
Never met a self-promotion scheme he
didn't like. What's he doing now?

KULOK
He's a consultant to a network TV
program on Profilers. He gets a check
every episode.

Mack shakes his head, looks at the Overweight Man: the
Waitress brings him a double scoop chocolate sundae.

CUT TO:

INT. MACK'S APARTMENT NIGHT

Late night: camera drifts through Mackelway's pre-furnished
Quantico apartment, approaches his computer room. Sound of a
modem dialing, connection grows LOUDER.

Mack has designed the room as an emotional as well as
functional environment: ambient blue light, white noise air
conditioner, scanner, printer, horizontal racks of hard drive
memory, modems, U-shaped table featuring three monitors, all
active. Wall clocks feature time zones around the world.
Pinned to the back wall are crime scene reports, VICAP forms,
and photos, among them, Harold Speck, his "Z" slash, Karen
Sumpter, the Dell City runaway in the South Park T-shirt.

Mackelway, enveloped in a womb of computer screen glow, types
a website address on the center keyboard. The monitor brings
up a "Fresh Water Fishing" chat room.

Atop the monitor sits a speech synthesizer. It allows Mack
to listen as well as read chat conversations: a metallic
voice "actualizes" the printed copy.

Mack looks at the East Coast time zone clock: the second
hand signals twelve a. m. The chat room comes ALIVE. One by
one correspondents log on: Troll, Ripper, BelaKiss, Murman,
Imelda, Lickme, Zin, Mack enters his name: "Lionheart."

Mack speaks into a voice box atop the computer. It transforms
his words into text.

Screenwriter's note: the metallic voices do not indicate the
name of the speaker. That can be indicated, if necessary, by
the computer screen. Metallic voices are indicated by [].

TROLL (O.S.)
[Hello, had to rush over. Was tying
up some loose ends.]

RIPPER (O.S.)
[You wish.]

TROLL (O.S.)
[Any word on Battick? He's a cool
dude.]

MURMAN (O.S.)
[Fantasy time, girls, give it up,
give it up.]

MACKELWAY
Lionheart here. I'm back. Sorry about
the absence. I had to do some therapy
at the crossbar hotel.

RIPPER (O.S.)
[What happened?]

MACKELWAY
Fucking cops can't take a joke.

ZIN (O.S.)
[Welcome back.]

TROLL (O.S.)
[How many times does thirty go into
nine?]

MURMAN (O.S.)
[What facility, Lionheart?]

TROLL (O.S.)
[Three, if she's tied up.]

MACKELWAY
I'd have to make the conversation
personal to divulge that.

IMEDLA (O.S.)
[Tee Hee.]

MURMAN (O.S.)
[I could have sent you some goodies.]

LICKME (O.S.)
[Battick declared sane as rain. He
goes to trial.]

RIPPER (O.S.)
[Boring, boring, boring.]

MURMAN (O.S.)
[Play time. Somebody turn me on.]

TROLL (O.S.)
[Okay: I come home from work, been
thinking about it all day long. Cute
little colored girl. She's still
there, in the basement, tied up.
She's shit all over herself...]

CUT TO:

INT. ZERO KILL SPACE NIGHT

Camera pans across a dark small space. The white fifteen
year-old abducted earlier lies unmoving, white-faced on some
sort of grid. Dried blood covers the front of her lacrosse
shirt.

Troll's metallic voice fantasy continues as camera pans to a
jackhammer whose drill has been welded to a shovel spade,
hung on a rough-hewn wall. Next to it hangs a conventional
shovel.

TROLL (O.S.)
[...Her eyes go wide when she sees
me. I've got an erection like a piece
of rebar -- I could stick it in her
mouth and crack open the back of her
head. I tell her I went to the
hardware store, picked up a little
present for her.]

CUT TO:

EXT. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA DAY

Red-bricked campus at Charlottesville.

CUT TO:

INT. DAITZ OFFICE DAY

A wall of framed (some signed) photos of Lloyd Daitz posing
with famous serial killers, national politicians, film
celebrities and talk show hosts. A nearby bookshelf features
multicopies of books authored by Daitz, books with titles
like "Index of Serial Killers," "In the Mind of the Multiple
Killer," "A Pictorial History of Serial Killers."

LLOYD DAITZ, 55, wears a tweed sports jacket, his university
look offset by accessories picked up in Hollywood: razor-cut
hair, tassled loafers, designer eyeglasses. A Mercedes
brochure lies on his desk. Mackelway and Kulok peruse his
photo wall with appropriate awe.

DAITZ
Of course I remember you. Pretty
girl fixated on extreme criminal
behavior. Always wondered, what were
the underlying factors?

KULOK
(to Mack)
That was the name of Professor Daitz's
course, "Underlying Factors in
Criminal Behavior." You still teach,
Professor?

DAITZ
(jokes)
You know the saying, those who can't
do, teach. Besides: it keeps me
honest.

MACKELWAY
Have you had a chance to think about --

DAITZ
Zorro. Yes, ran it through my files,
even asked around: came up completely
blank. Thought there might be a Mexico
connection, El Paso and all, but
nothing. Fooled around with the letter
"Z," turned it on it's side, got "N" --
there Ng, he's Vietnamese. The only
thing that came to mind was zero,
not Zorro. Remember Suspect Zero?

MACKELWAY
No.

DAITZ
Before your time. It was Richard
Low's brainchild, or, lack-of-brain
child. The Behavioral Sciences Unit
at Quantico is essentially the product
of three men: David Koessler, Dick
Low and myself. Low was a field agent,
Koessler administrative, I was
teaching criminology. Low came up
with the concept of a serial killer's
signature. He invented profiling.
Everything we know about profiling
started with Richard Low...

As he speaks, camera goes to photo of a younger Lloyd Daitz,
Richard Low and David Koessler, arm-in-arm at Bureau
Headquarters. (We realize the UNSUB and Low are one and the
same: screenwriters note: this is an optional reveal.)

DAITZ
...well, there was some friction: I
wanted to write up my work, educate
the public, but Koessler wouldn't
allow it. Low felt Koessler was more
interested in career advancement
than catching killers. Koessler had
Low reassigned to the Pacific
Northwest, Seattle. You know when
they say, stick it where the sun
don't shine? That's where they stuck
Dick Low.

MACKELWAY
Pacific Northwest is a hotbed for
serials.

DAITZ
You got that right. Low became
obsessed with the Green River murders,
the case had been inactive for ten
years at that point. He argued the
Green River Killer had actually become
Suspect Zero, this master murderer
who killed without pattern, killed
literally hundreds of victims --
male, female, old, young, straight,
gay -- and who was still killing,
even though there were no bodies. It
went against everything we knew. Low
became increasingly paranoid. Every
suspect was potentially Suspect Zero.
Anybody tried to talk sense into
him, he'd accuse them of being out
to get him. Deputy Director Koessler
was "out to get him." The decision
was made to relieve him.

KULOK
But they didn't.

DAITZ
Fortunately, from a Bureau point of
view, Richard Low was killed in a
small plane crash about that time. A
convenient conclusion. The end of
Low, the end of Zero.

MACKELWAY
Does Koessler know about the Suspect
Zero theory?

DAITZ
Of course. He knows everything about
Dick Low.

CUT TO:

EXT. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA DAY

Mack and Kulok stroll the bucolic campus toward their
government issue car. Two coeds pass, gossiping and laughing.

MACKELWAY
(about Daitz)
I ever get like that, just take me
out in back and shoot me.

KULOK
Don't be too harsh.

MACKELWAY
I saw him on a talk show once, talking
about these killers like they were
his friends. Not the victims, not
the families of the victims, he
doesn't talk about them. Blood money,
that's what it is.
(they walk a few steps)
Did he hit on you?

KULOK
Huh?

MACKELWAY
When you were his student? Did he
come on to you?

KULOK
Of course he did. He came on to every
attractive student. Which bothers
you most: that he exploits suffering
or that he came on to me?

MACKELWAY
You must really think I'm a square,
a computer nerd.

KULOK
No, Mack, I do not think you're a
square and definitely not a nerd.

She runs her hand along his back as she crosses to get in
the passenger seat. Her touch is electric.

CUT TO:

INT. MACK'S CAR DAY

Mack puts the key in the ignition, turns to Jaime:

MACKELWAY
Why did Koessler assign you as my
liaison?

KULOK
Because you asked him to, stupid.

MACKELWAY
(chuckles)
Oh yeah, I forgot.

Mackelway doesn't start the car. He just looks at Jaime. He
feels a desire to kiss her -- here and now. She feels a desire
to be kissed.

KULOK
There are Agency regulations about
this.

MACKELWAY
"Intra-Agency fraternizing."

KULOK
It's a no-no.

MACKELWAY
(touches her cheek)
I know.

KULOK
I've been thinking about this.

MACKELWAY
Does Koessler ask about me?

KULOK
He's called a couple times.

MACKELWAY
What did you tell him?

KULOK
Just routine stuff.

MACKELWAY
Not about coming to see Daitz?

KULOK
Not yet. Not about this, either.

She leans over and kisses him. He reaches over, kissing her,
holding her. Over their embrace the metallic voices of Mack's
chat pals pre-lap:

TROLL (O.S.)
[Roses are red, Violets are blue,
I'd love to jam a golf club, Inside
you.]

ZIN (O.S.)
[No time for poetry, no time for
images. Images deceive. Only reality
satisfies.]

MURMAN (O.S.)
[Reality very risky.]

MACKELWAY (O.S.)
Whatever happened to MyDick?

ZIN (O.S.)
[I want to be live. A live. Have a
package of my very own.]

CUT TO:

EXT. MAILBOXES USA DAY

Title: "Tampa, Florida." ROBERT TESTA, 26, scraggly beard
obscuring acne scars, jeans, lumberjack shirt with cut-off
sleeves, walks furtively into the P.O. Box outlet, looking
side to side.

We view him LONG LENS, from the POV of a hidden viewer.

Testa goes to a P.O. Box, unlocks it, retrieves a small
package. He looks around, tucks it into his waistband, walks
outside to his dinged-up blue van.

MURMAN (O.S.)
[MyDick's limp.]

LICKME (O.S.)
[I have WAV goodies.]

TROLL (O.S.)
[What are the three best things about
anal sex?]

MACKELWAY
What limped him?

TROLL (O.S.)
[Location, location, location.]

LICKME (O.S.)
[The crux of it all.]

ZIN (O.S.)
[Want to take it more personal?]

MURMAN (O.S.)
[Here's the lowdown: he was a fool.
MyDick didn't know dick.]

LICKME (O.S.)
[Free to all: a little recording I
made for my friends.]

CUT TO:

INT. MACK'S COMPUTER ROOM NIGHT

Mack, bathed in computer light, watches LickMe's audio
download complete. He clicks "Play."

MURMAN (O.S.)
[Didn't see it coming.]

A miniature digital polaroid of a naked girl tied to a bench
appears onscreen.

The recording downloads, then plays: a girl PLEADS for her
life, says her parents are expecting her, says the police
will come, says she'll do anything, begs that he not hurt
her again and screams, screams, screams.

Mackelway, shaking, sinks his head into his hands: this is
it, the black soul of humankind, the Pit, evil itself. The
audio recording may be real; it may be fake -- either way,
Mack is face to face with the reality of role playing.

Sickened, Mack logs off, rushes out of the room.

CUT TO:

INT. BATHROOM NIGHT

Tom Mackelway, ripping his clothes off as he enters, turns
on the shower faucets. Still wearing slacks and shoes, Mack
steps into the shower, THRUSTS his face into the water stream.
Grabs bath gel, rubs it all over him.

MACKELWAY
(to himself)
Damn you, goddamn you.

CUT TO:

EXT. FBI HEADQUARTERS DAY

The J. Edgar Hoover Building, brutalist architecture,
Pennsylvania Ave. at 10th.

CUT TO:

INT. KOESSLER'S OFFICE DAY

Deputy Director has assembled representatives of various
divisions to go over the Harold Speck case: Mackelway, Asst.
Deputy Director for CIIAC (aka Computer Crimes) LEMAR RYAN,
Special Agent SPIVAK, Agent DUNLEVY. Koessler's office
features the appurtenances of power, in an understated in-
your-face sort of way.

KOESSLER
You feeling okay, Agent Mackelway?

MACKELWAY
(nods)
Had trouble sleeping last night,
sir.

KOESSLER
Okay, Harold Speck: who goes first?

SPIVAK
The UNSUB's car, the Ford, and the
motel room, as expected, came up
empty. Whistle clean. The waitress
was right, it was a reservation car --
a stolen reservation car.

Koessler turns to Dunlevy.

DUNLEVY
VICAP kicked out the Ron "Slice and
Dice" Rice killing, another serial
killer killed in the manner of his
victims. Nothing else on Rice cross-
checks, weapon, timing, signature --
there is no signature. He uses the
M.O. of his victims.

KOESSLER
Think it's the same UNSUB?

DUNLEVY
Maybe. It's a stretch.

KOESSLER
Assistant Deputy Ryan?

RYAN
CIIAC has nothing. I can't speak for
Agent Mackelway, however, since he's
off campus.

KOESSLER
(reacts to Ryan's
implied criticism)
We've been over this.
(to Mack)
Agent Mackelway?

MACKELWAY
Nothing concrete. Nothing I'd...
well, nothing.

KOESSLER
I don't believe this.

MACKELWAY
I'm hesitant to...

KOESSLER
Mack the Mouth at a loss for words.

They wait.

MACKELWAY
Okay, here it is. I've been talking
in a ghosted chat room with someone
named Murman. This Murman seemed to
know MyDick -- Harold Speck -- was
out of the picture, he said MyDick
could no longer "see." Okay, but
here's where it gets squirrely.

Mackelway pulls out a piece of paper, reads:

MACKELWAY
"MyDick didn't know dick." "The
lowdown." "Lowballed." "Too rich for
me." "Lower than zero."

RYAN
I don't get it.

MACKELWAY
I think this guy, Murman, he seems
to have a thing about former Assistant
Deputy Director Richard Low. It would
explain the cutting; not Zorro, Zero.
Perhaps they once had contact. We
should go through Low's old cases.
It's almost like he is Richard Low.
(to Koessler: snide)
I mean, Assistant Deputy Director
Low is dead, isn't he?

Ryan and Dunlevy react to Mack's tone of voice. Koessler,
the disciplinarian, turns to the others:

KOESSLER
Would you excuse us? I'd like to
speak to Agent Mackelway.

The others file out giving Mack looks: he's gonna catch Hell
now.

Koessler closes the door, takes a deep breath, turns to Mack:

KOESSLER
He may not be.

CUT TO:

EXT. FT. MYERS DAY

Robert Testa's van slows to a halt in a warehouse district.
CANDY, nom de street, blond high school dropout in red vinyl
skirt, steps to the passenger window as he lowers it.

TESTA
Wanna ride?

CANDY
Where you going?

TESTA
Fifty dollars.

CANDY
Always wanted to go there.

Candy opens the door, gets in. The van drives away.

CUT TO:

INT. TESTA'S VAN DAY

Candy looking out the window as the van turns into an alley:

CANDY
Is this your --

POW! Testa reaches over, HITS the back of her head with a
short club. Candy bounces off the window.

Testa, jamming the van into park, reaching over, turning
Candy around, handcuffs her, opens a camouflaged door to the
rear of the van, DRAGS Candy by her wrists -- blond wig
falling from her head.

Candy, coming to, looking around, seeing Testa's mobile
chamber of horrors, SCREAMING:

CANDY
Please, please don't hurt me.

TESTA
That's exactly what I got in mind.
I'm gonna hurt you, little girl,
places you've never been hurt before.

Candy sees a crowbar and a chain saw in a wooden box. Testa
has soundproofed the van with furniture pads and styrofoam.

TESTA
Scream all you want. Get used to it.

An arm reaches over, grabs Testa's shoulder: Richard Low,
dressed like a homeless person.

LOW
Robert Testa?

TESTA
Wha -- ?

Low PUNCHES his face with steel knuckles; Testa's head jerks
back. Blood drips from his nose. Eyes on Testa, Low barks at
Candy:

LOW
Get out. Get out, now!

Candy, still handcuffed, awkwardly SCRAMBLES into the front
seat, out the passenger door. Low leaning over Testa, PINNING
him to the floor of the van, pulling out his own pair of
handcuffs, turning Testa over, shutting the soundproof door:

LOW
Scream all you want.

Robert Testa, face down now, handcuffed, scared shitless,
twists his head to see his attacker. Low, breathing heavy,
feeling good, reaches for the chainsaw. Knees on Testa's
back, Low prepares to start the chainsaw:

LOW
Welcome to my fantasy.

Richard Low jerk-starts the chain SAW and, holding it at
arm's length, leans over, whispers into Testa's ear:

LOW
Murman.

CUT TO:

INT. KOESSLER'S OFFICE DAY

Conversation between Mack and Koessler continues:

KOESSLER
"Murman" was the alter identity of
William Heirens, the original "Catch
Me Before I Kill Again" killer. Short
for "Murder Man." It was the case
that got Richard Low and I started
in this field.

MACKELWAY
I spoke with Lloyd Daitz.

KOESSLER
That gasbag. I can imagine what he
said. I'm not ashamed to admit that
most of what I know about criminal
profiling started with Richard Low.
I have also, over the years, I admit,
taken credit for many of his
accomplishments. He was the most
brilliant law enforcement individual
I ever met.

MACKELWAY
"Was?"

KOESSLER
We had every reason to believe he
was on that plane. He was supposed
to be on the plane. Everything was
incinerated, it was two weeks before
we reached the crash site. We, the
Director and I, decided it was in
everyone's best interest to declare
Dick Low dead. That way he could
exit a hero.

MACKELWAY
You suspected all along, suspected
he was alive. That's why you came to
El Paso.

KOESSLER
(nods)
Dunlevy said there was another case,
Ron Rice. In fact, there were two
earlier cases where serials were
murdered. The second was George
Sheldon. I didn't enter it into VICAP --
I'll get you the file.

MACKELWAY
How long ago?

KOESSLER
Both in the last year. I suspected
only someone as brilliant as Dick
Low could find these guys.
(beat)
Look, whatever Daitz told you, nobody
wanted to strip Richard of his badge.
You have to get close to be good at
what he did, the trick is not to get
too close.

MACKELWAY
You knew the arm slash was not
"Zorro."

KOESSLER
I suspected, but you were the one
Low contacted. That's why I brought
you back here.

MACKELWAY
What did you think of the Suspect
Zero theory?

KOESSLER
It was neither a valid concept nor a
valid fact. Suspect Zero came to
represent every killer Dick Low had
not caught. The idea took root in
his head like a wild irrational vine.
For someone like Low, there would
always be a Suspect Zero. We couldn't
let Richard go where that idea was
taking him.

KNOCK on the door; Koessler opens it -- Jaime Kulok sticks
her head in:

KULOK
Sorry to interrupt you, sir, but I
thought you'd like to know.

KOESSLER
What?

KULOK
We have another one.

KOESSLER
Another what?

KULOK
Serial killer killed. In Ft. Myers.
Cut up in his van. And this time we
got a witness.

CUT TO:

EXT. FT. MYERS POLICE STATION DAY

Florida patrol cars out front.

CUT TO:

INT. INTERROGATION ROOM DAY

Candy, dressed like a proper young lady, rubbing her sore
wrists, sits across from Mackelway and a local detective.

CANDY
I wasn't thinking about
identification. I got out of there
as fast as I could.

Mack shows her Richard Low's FBI file mug shot: a serious
man with a short haircut, dark suit and bad tie.

MACKELWAY
Was this him?

CANDY
(looks)
Um... he was older.

MACKELWAY
Besides that.

CANDY
To be honest, when I'm working, I
don't look at faces much. He knew
the guy's name.

MACKELWAY
Testa?

CANDY
The bearded guy, the creep. Oh, one
other thing. Testa, if that's his
name, he kept mentioning my feet.
Said I had very pretty feet.

CUT TO:

INT. FT. MYERS MORGUE DAY

Robert Testa's legs, now severed stumps, on the autopsy table.
His feet have been cut off at the ankles. Testa's throat is
ripped open like a bloody smile.

Jaime Kulok greets Mackelway as he steps over. The M.E. looks
up, goes back to work.

MACKELWAY
Find the feet?

KULOK
No. Cut off while he was still alive,
look at his wrists, damn near ripped
his hands off trying to get free.
Must have been screaming real loud
when the killer chain-sawed his
throat. Unfortunately, he'd
soundproofed his van.

MACKELWAY
We got an UNSUB walking around with
four feet?

KULOK
We did find these, however.

Kulok walks over to a refrigerated case, opens it: a row of
female feet in various stages of decay stand in a line.

MACKELWAY
Jesus.

KULOK
We're trying to match them with dump
site bodies.
(points out a foot)
This we know is Carol Delview from
Tampa, found her last Spring. This
one --

Mack looks at the next, a small, relatively fresh foot: a
long rose tattoo is severed in half.

MACKELWAY
The tattoo?

KULOK
Sue Ann Hanson.

MACKELWAY
You mean --

KULOK
You found the body. She was one of
Harold Speck's victims. In El Paso.
(lets this sink in)
They're not just talking to each
other, Mack, they're trading
souvenirs.

Mack closes the refrigerated case, walks several steps, turns:

MACKELWAY
Did they disconnect Testa's computer?

KULOK
Not yet. This time they're waiting
for you.

Jaime looks at the refrigerated case, thinks about the
victims. Her composure slips a little. Mack walks over,
discreetly, touches her hand:

MACKELWAY
I know.

Jaime nods.

CUT TO:

INT. KOESSLER'S OFFICE DAY

Deputy Director Koessler looks through a folder: Testa's
autopsy photos, crime scene diagrams and a montage of severed
feet. Mackelway and Kulok bring him up to speed:

MACKELWAY
I got a look in Testa's computer.
His screen name was "Imelda." Have
to give him that, had a sense of
humor.

KOESSLER
Collected shoes too?

KULOK
You should have seen the store manager
at Parade of Shoes. She was
inconsolable.

MACKELWAY
Murman and Imelda had been slipping
into a private chat room. Low had
poor old Testa drooling on the
keyboard. Abduction fantasies,
voyeurism, mutilation, teasing him
with fetish elements. He is very
good. I think it's safe to say Richard
Low is Murman.

KOESSLER
We're waiting for trace evidence
results on the Rice killing.

MACKELWAY
We need to put out an NCIC inquiry.

KOESSLER
How do you send out an APB on a dead
man?

MACKELWAY
Huh?, sir.

KOESSLER
I want to catch Dick Low, more than
you can imagine, but I cannot risk
going public. What happens when the
media finds out that a former FBI
Special Agent, a founder of the
Behavioral Sciences Unit, is not
dead, but instead alive and killing
people, not ordinary people, but,
even worse, serial killers, making
him some sort of white knight
vigilante?
(beat)
You keep at it. We'll find him, we'll
find him in our own way.

CUT TO:

INT. FBI PARKING STRUCTURE DAY

Mack and Jaime walk and talk past rows of similar cars. He
says something; she laughs. He waits for her to get in her
car, walks on.

Over we hear his voice pre-lap from a late night chat room
session:

MACKELWAY (O.S.)
There was something about her. She
was the one. She was checking at
WalMart, just going about her
business, giving everyone a big smile
in that cute I'm-so-perfect-and-you're-
such-a-loser way, her full titties
popping around in her bra...

CUT TO:

EXT. MALL PARKING LOT NIGHT

Night in a northern climate: snow falls on a HIGH SCHOOL
COUPLE, the last to leave the closing suburban mall. Carrying
shopping bags, they walk toward their parked car.

SUSPECT ZERO steps down into frame. We see his face: a square-
shouldered mid-thirtiesh white male in navy vinyl jacket. He
watches the couple. The BOY glances at him, looks away as if
seeing nothing unusual.

Zero's POV approaches:

ZERO (O.S.)
Is the mall closed already?

The GIRL senses something, sees something. She starts to
run. The Boy, dropping his bag, confronts Zero. HIT with a
heavy object, the Boy staggers back, FALLS to the ground,
his mouth bleeding.

The Girl runs. Zero's POV chases the screaming girl, looking
back as she runs, still carrying her shopping bag. Ahead,
through the snow, is a three-lane road; car lights flash
past. The Girl, screaming for attention, SLIPS in the snow,
falls. Gets up, FALLS again. Looks up.

Zero's POV: he has her.

Chat room dialogue continues over:

RIPPER (O.S.)
[Fuck her. Fuck her.]

MURMAN (O.S.)
[Shut up.]

MACKELWAY (O.S.)
Little Miss Perfect, clean hair,
clean teeth, clean mind, not a fucking
care in the world. Pink sweater with
her name on her WalMart tit. Cindy...

CUT TO:

INT. MACK'S COMPUTER ROOM NIGHT

Mack, aka Lionheart, seated, speaks into the microphone above
the computer screen. Murman, Zin, Ripper, All4You, BelaKiss,
Berzerkr and Daemon are logged on in an Incan Architecture
room. The Eastern Standard clock reads 12:45.

Mackelway has installed a corkboard featuring Missing Persons
reports of young females. Karen Sumpter smiles from a sea of
lost persons. Beneath, professional and pop books on the
criminal mind and serial killers are stacked beside assorted
violent pornography.

MACKELWAY
She never had to go without or beg
for anything, got whatever she wanted.
Well, she was begging now...

Agent Mackelway, seated, speaks, bathed in computer glow.
He's lost in the moment, given over to an escalating fantasy.
He's good at it.

MACKELWAY
I grabbed her from behind when she
walked in, put an arm lock on her
throat, double duct-taped her hands
and mouth. She actually put up a
good fight for someone so small.
When she saw the scissors, her eyes
just grew big. She couldn't breathe.
Let me help you, I said, cut open
her T-shirt and bra as her titties
came out. She was mine now. Cut off
her panties, little orange and blue
flowers, bought them right there, at
the department store...

CUT TO:

INT. MACKELWAY'S APT NIGHT

Jaime, dressed casually, pushes open the door, calls:

KULOK
Mack? Mack?

She hears his voice in the distance, sees light coming from
under the door to his computer room. He voice grows clearer:

MACKELWAY (O.S.)
I played with her awhile till I got
hard. Took myself out, played with
myself -- made her watch, put her
face in it. Afraid? -- I'll teach
you fear. Turn over, bitch. That
hurts, huh? Take the pain, take the
pain!...

Jaime silently opens the door to the computer room, SEES --

CUT TO:

INT. COMPUTER ROOM NIGHT

Mack, sweat glistening on the back of his neck, rapt in
cyberspace, deep in fantasy, speaking to the screen:

MACKELWAY
What am I gonna do? I'm gonna cut
you open, bitch. Kill you then cut
your titties off.

Mackelway senses Kulok's presence, turns and sees her. Livid,
frightened, trembling, he turns off the voice actualizer,
YELLS like Dr. Jekyll caught holding Hyde's vial:

MACKELWAY
Don't ever come in here! How dare
you come in here! Get out!

Jaime, speechless, bolts and runs away.

Mackelway, suddenly aware, overcome with remorse, calls:

MACKELWAY
Jaime, Jaime.

He YANKS out the voice actualizer, THROWS it to the floor,
switches off the mainframe: the screens go black.

Mack, alone, lit by blue glow, listens as the front door
closes.

CUT TO:

INT. KULOK'S APT NIGHT

Mackelway, wearing a sports jacket, rings apartment doorbell.

MACKELWAY
Jaime, open up. It's me, Mack.
(no response)
Jaime.

Kulok opens the door, stands by the jamb:

KULOK
Mack, I'm sorry. I apologize. I should
have called. I had no right to sneak
in on you like that.

MACKELWAY
No, Jaime, I apologize. I didn't...
I had no right to speak to you like
that.

KULOK
I came over because I couldn't sleep
and was lonely. I wanted to see you.
I thought I'd surprise you.

MACKELWAY
(sardonic)
You did.

He reaches for her waist. She reluctantly accepts his touch.

KULOK
Maybe we should back off a bit.

MACKELWAY
I can't. They trust me, they accept
me. I've got their confidence.

KULOK
No, I mean maybe we should back off
a bit, you and me.

MACKELWAY
Oh.

Mack withdraws his hands.

KULOK
There's the Agency issue. I think
Koessler may suspect something
already. We're not on the best footing
with him as it is.

MACKELWAY
That's true.

KULOK
Then there's the other issue.

MACKELWAY
What's that?

KULOK
You need time to think. About the
case, about you and me.

MACKELWAY
I found a peephole into Deviant World.
I'm gonna reach in and yank some of
those creeps out.

KULOK
And nobody else can do that?

MACKELWAY
Not the way I can.

KULOK
That's my point. Remember, you're a
cop pretending to be a deviant. It's
not the other way around.

MACKELWAY
Don't confuse what we do with who we
are.

KULOK
I just need to go a little slow.

He nods.

CUT TO:

EXT. CEMETERY DAY

Title: "Winona, Minnesota." Spring rains have sent the
Mississippi River over its banks.

Volunteer crews and Army Corps Engineers sandbag the river
at the base of a hill in the local cemetery.

A worker atop a backhoe spots something, calls to fellow
workers. The Supervisor walks over, followed by two
volunteers. The backhoe driver steps down. Together they
look at what the river has washed up:

The BODY of Karen Sumpter, Dell City, Texas, still wearing
her "Oh No, They Killed Kenny!" T-shirt, lies nude from the
waist down in muck. The remnants of her pantyhose are wrapped
around her neck. Maggots and their larvae crawl from her
mouth.

A chat room conversation plays over:

MURMAN (O.S.)
[Lionheart, what happened?]

MACKELWAY (O.S.)
Something came up, Murman, my man.

RIPPER (O.S.)
[But did something come out?]

MACKELWAY (O.S.)
It took both hands to handle it.

RIPPER (O.S.)
[I came just thinking about it.]

CUT TO:

INT. MACK'S COMPUTER ROOM NIGHT

Mack, back in his lair, paces in front of his computer screen.
He wears a white T-shirt and jeans, towel around his neck:

MACKELWAY
I'm on the move my friends, moving
here and there in this great land,
man with a mission, man with a
transmission, looking in your town,
looking all around: I want to go
live.

RIPPER (O.S.)
[I am the Ripper, you are the
Lipper.]

MURMAN (O.S.)
[You want to talk, Lionheart, or you
want to take this a little more
personal?]

MACKELWAY
Lead the way, Murman.

MURMAN (O.S.)
[Follow me.]

Mack moves his mouse, clicks, enters a private chat room.
Murman's waiting:

MURMAN (O.S.)
[Chicago's a lively town.]

CUT TO:

INT. LIBRARY DAY

Title: "Omaha, Nebraska." LONG LENS POV: LESLIE REICH, 25,
khaki slacks and a lavender polo shirt, wanders through a
local library, enters the stacks. One of those fellows who
looks absolutely ordinary -- at first glance.

Reich, running his eyes along Dewey Decimal codes, peruses a
row of art books. He finds the number he is looking for
("Fauvres"), takes the coffee table book from the shelf.

He opens it: there, inside, as promised, is a Polaroid of a
dead, partially dressed young woman and, around it, a
department store gold chain. Reich pockets the photo and
chain, replaces the illustrated book to the shelf.

Chat room conversation continues over:

MACKELWAY (O.S.)
I've been to Chicago.

MURMAN (O.S.)
[Not this way. Call it a little favor,
call it a little thing I'm going to
do for you. I'm going to make Chicago
come alive for you. You'll owe me
one.]

MACKELWAY (O.S.)
If I owe, I will go.

MURMAN (O.S.)
[The address is 147 South Rane. It's
a lively address. You got a problem
with dark meat?]

MACKELWAY (O.S.)
Haven't had any, but I'm willing to
try.

MURMAN (O.S.)
[Ask for Leslie. Eight days from
tonight, exactly one a.m. Be there
if you dare. You cannot fool the
Murman.]

CUT TO:

EXT. MOTEL 6 NIGHT

Title: "Chicago, Illinois." A budget two-story motel in a
less than desirable part of town. Letter sign reads: "Spend
a Night, Not a Fortune!"

CUT TO:

INT. MOTEL 6 NIGHT

Tom Mackelway, wearing a loose black leather jacket, jeans
and navy polo, opens his carry-on suitcase. A Chicago map
lies on the bed.

He places his FBI ID and wallet inside. He removes a snub-
nosed .38 and an ankle holster. He straps on the gun, checks
his pocket for folding cash.

Mack goes over to the desk and, placing his hands on it,
looks at himself in the mirror: he's crossing a line here.
He's come to Chicago undercover, without authorization, to
procure a criminal act.

CUT TO:

EXT. INNER CITY NIGHT

Quarter to one: Mack drives a rental car through Chicago's
decaying South Side. He looks at the street sign: "Rane."
Homeboys pass in a BMW, rap blasting over foreboding
underscore, give him the eye.

He parks the car at the curb, locks his phone and beeper in
the glove compartment, checks his gun, gets out.

Checking the house numbers, he walks to a single family
residence with chain-linked front yard and barred windows.

CUT TO:

EXT. CHICAGO HOUSE NIGHT

Mack cautiously opens the gate, walks toward the porch.
Discarded children's toys and junk are strewn in the
moonlight. He steps onto the porch, looks at the curtained
front window.

How did he get here?

He steels himself, presses the doorbell.

CUT TO:

REICH HOUSE NIGHT

Leslie Reich opens the door. Television plays in manicured
middle-class living room behind.

Richard Low, now clean shaven, wearing a dark suit and latex
gloves, speaks to Reich:

LOW
Leslie Reich?

REICH
What is it?

LOW
I'm from the FBI. My name is Murman.
Agent George Murman.

Reich, at the sound of Murman's name, turns and BOLTS through
the house.

Low charges after Reich, CHASES him through the living room
and dining area.

Low TACKLES Reich in the kitchen; they roll across the
linoleum into the cabinets. Low BANGS Reich's head against
the floor, pulling a pair of handcuffs from behind his back.
Low handcuffs Reich, flips him onto his back, stands over
him. Richard Low pulls up his pant leg, removes a lethal K-
bar knife strapped to his leg.

LOW
Now, Ripper, let's see those home
movies you've been talking about.
Where did you say you kept them, oh
yes, the broom closet.

REICH
What are you going to do to me?

Low snaps the broom closet lock with the K-bar knife: inside
are neatly arranged shoe box cubicles, each containing a
labeled VHS tape and some "souvenirs" -- panties, a purse,
necklace, etc.

LOW
My, my.

Low takes a tape, reads the label: "JEW-ith Gross." Reich
watches in growing fear as Low takes a plastic apron from
the refrigerator handle, puts it on.

REICH
(pleading)
I don't know how that got there. I
don't even live here.

LOW
(kneeling over him)
At least you could have spelled her
name right.

Low rips open Reich's shirt, raises the K-bar, thrusts
downward.

CUT TO:

EXT. CHICAGO HOUSE NIGHT

A LARGE BLACK WOMAN opens the door, looks at Mack:

BLACK WOMAN
What you want?

MACKELWAY
I want to speak to Leslie. Murman
sent me.

BLACK WOMAN
Are you crazy?

MACKELWAY
There's no Leslie here?

BLACK WOMAN
Does this look like a "Leslie" house
to you?

The Black Woman's HUSBAND approaches wearing his underwear:

HUSBAND
Who the fuck is this?

BLACK WOMAN
The white boy is looking for some
ho' called Leslie.

HUSBAND
Get the fuck out.

MACKELWAY
I'm sorry, there must have been a
mistake.

The Husband slams the door in his face. Mack looks around,
heads down the steps. He's been had, sent on a wild goose
chase.

CUT TO:

EXT. INNER CITY NIGHT

Mack unlocks his rental car, gets in. He removes his beeper
and phone from the glove compartment; there's a message.

He starts the engine, drives off. Riding through the empty
streets, he phones a 402 area code number. Kulok's sleepy
voice answers:

KULOK (O.S.)
Hello?

MACKELWAY
Jaime? Where are you?

KULOK (O.S.)
Where are you? Everybody's looking
for you.

MACKELWAY
What's up?

KULOK (O.S.)
I'm in Omaha. Get to the airport.
There's been another one.

CUT TO:

INT. OMAHA MORGUE DAY

Mackelway and Kulok walk down a corridor to the examination
room. She hands him an 8x10 of the Reich crime scene: Leslie
Reich, wearing only pants, lies face up on his bed. His upper
torso has been ripped open from sternum to pubis. Around
Reich's body are arranged VHS tapes and "souvenirs." One is
the gold chain he got in the library.

KULOK
The videos were home movies, kills
of girls that had been gutted, dumped
here, Iowa, Kansas.

They enter the examination room, step to the table where DR.
ZABRISKIE, the Medical Examiner, waits beside Reich's body.

KULOK
Dr. Zabriskie, this is Agent
Mackelway.

They greet.

ZABRISKIE
A fairly straightforward job. A clean
surgical incision to the heart, down
through the diaphragm.

MACKELWAY
In other words --

ZABRISKIE
The victim bled out. The heart at
some point was removed.

KULOK
But I can see it. It's still there.

ZABRISKIE
It was put back in.

MACKELWAY
Why?

ZABRISKIE
Good question. Maybe because of this.
We found it underneath the heart.

Dr. Zabriskie walks over to counter, picks up a red-stained
baggie, holds it up. Inside the baggie is a man's wristwatch.

Mack pales: it's his wristwatch, stolen by Low in Socorro.

MACKELWAY
That bastard.

Mack turns, walks a few steps.

ZABRISKIE
What?

KULOK
It's complicated.

She steps beside Mackelway.

MACKELWAY
My watch. He toyed with me. He sent
me to Chicago.

KULOK
You want to get him? Find something
he wants. Get him to come to you.

MACKELWAY
Start killing people for real?

KULOK
Suspect Zero.

MACKELWAY
That's a crackpot theory. Everybody
says so.

KULOK
But he believes in it. That's all
that matters. He toyed with you, you
toy with him. Convince him you've
got a lead on Suspect Zero. Use Zero,
you'll find Low.

Mack looks at Reich's body.

MURMAN (O.S.)
[Sorry about Chi-town, Lionheart...]

CUT TO:

INT. MACK'S COMPUTER ROOM NIGHT

A "Needlepoint" chat room: Mack back online with his cybersex
buddies--Zin, Murman, Troll, All4You, BelaKiss.

MURMAN (O.S.)
[If you wanted a good steak, you
should have gone to Omaha.]

MACKELWAY
Let's go someplace private, Murman,
I have something for you.

TROLL (O.S.)
[Haven't you forgotten something?]

ZIN (O.S.)
[Yeah, us.]

MURMAN (O.S.)
[Follow me, Lionheart.]

Mack moves his mouse, clicks it: he's alone in a PRIVATE
ROOM with Murman.

MACKELWAY
Let's talk about Zero.

MURMAN (O.S.)
[Hello, Agent Mackelway. How's the
watch? Maybe you can do one of those
TV commercials, I found my watch
under a serial killer's heart and it
was still ticking.]

MACKELWAY
I want to help you.

MURMAN (O.S.)
[Not the heart, the watch.]

Mack stands, looks at the corkboard as he speaks. He has
added an internal FBI evaluation of Low, old Green River
documents, a clipping about Low's plane crash.

MACKELWAY
I've located the Suspect Zero file.
Did you know there was one? Koessler
ordered it as part of your evaluation.

MURMAN (O.S.)
[Don't jerk a jerk-off. There's
nothing in the Bureau mainframe.]

MACKELWAY
Not everything is imputed to memory.
The most confidential stuff is kept
top secret hard copy. Why would the
Zero file be kept secret?

MURMAN (O.S.)
[You tell me.]

MACKELWAY
George Sheldon? The second serial
killer killed in the manner of his
killings. The crime scene profile
was never entered into VICAP. At
whose request? David Koessler.

MURMAN (O.S.)
[What does the file say?]

MACKELWAY
I want to go live with you.

MURMAN (O.S.)
[And I want to go back to
Needlepoint.]

MACKELWAY
Leave this room, I'll go back with
you, blow your cover.

MURMAN (O.S.)
[I don't think so. We want the same
thing. See ya.]

Murman types in a happy face [:-)], logs off private chat.
Mack's alone in the room.

CUT TO:

INT. KOESSLER'S OFFICE DAY

Mack, in suit and tie, has been "called on the carpet."

KOESSLER
Why did you go to Chicago?

MACKELWAY
I was visiting an old college friend.

KOESSLER
You didn't tell anyone where you
were?

MACKELWAY
An oversight, sir, I apologize. I
felt I needed to get away for a day.
The pressure. Paid for my own ticket.

KOESSLER
I'm told you've asked for a Bureau
cross-check of flight records to and
from El Paso, Ft. Myers, Omaha, the
Murman murder time frames.

MACKELWAY
I was looking for a pattern.

KOESSLER
That breaks my confidentiality
stipulation.

MACKELWAY
I didn't use Low's name.

KOESSLER
There was talk of a file photo.

MACKELWAY
In Ft. Myers before your instruction.
Nowhere else, sir.

Mack has violated no stipulations; Koessler knows this. What
Koessler has on his mind is less official, more personal:

KOESSLER
Watch out for Dick Low, he's a liar;
he has his own world. There was a
Junior Agent in Seattle, not unlike
you, an Agent who fell under Dick's
spell. He'd have done anything for
Agent Low. Richard got this Agent to
take a suspect to the crime scene,
beat him up, force a confession --
all unauthorized, all illegal.
(beat)
The Agent died that night, killed by
the suspect. Richard Low got him
killed. Worst of all, we had to hush
it up, let the suspect go. The suspect
was George Sheldon, the second man
Richard killed.

MACKELWAY
I understand.

KOESSLER
As far as the public knows, Richard
Low is dead. And he will stay dead
until we kill him.

CUT TO:

INT. PARKING STRUCTURE DAY

Mack's cell phone rings as he enters his car. He answers:

LOW (O.S.)
Agent Mackelway?

MACKELWAY
Yes.

LOW (O.S.)
This is Richard Low. Stay on the
phone. Do not disconnect. I'm watching
you. I will instruct you where to
drive.

MACKELWAY
(looking around)
Yes, sir.

LOW (O.S.)
When you exit, head east on 10th.

Mackelway pulls out, drives toward the parking attendant
booth.

CUT TO:

EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. DAY

Mackelway's sedan drives past the Jefferson Memorial, crosses
the George Mason Bridge headed south.

LOW (O.S.)
Follow the signs to Arlington.

CUT TO:

EXT. ARLINGTON DAY

Mack's sedan weaves its way along the asphalt roads. Low has
selected Arlington for an obvious reason: a 360 degree
panorama makes it possible to see anyone coming.

LOW (O.S.)
Pull to the side and wait.

Mack does as instructed.

LOW (O.S.)
Kill the engine. Drop the keys outside
the window.

He does.

LOW (O.S.)
All right, get out of the vehicle,
leave your weapon on the front seat.
Place your arms atop the vehicle,
spread your legs.

Mackelway complies. As he stands there, a green pickup drives
up. Low, wearing work clothes, stops, speaks out the open
passenger window:

LOW
Don't move.

Low gets out, frisks Mackelway: he's clean.

LOW
Get in.

Mack sits in the passenger seat; Low gets behind the wheel,
drives off.

CUT TO:

INT./EXT. LOW'S PICKUP DAY

Richard Low drives through rolling fields of white military
tombstones. An automatic weapon hangs in Low's side holster.

LOW
Dave Koessler must have you jumping
through hoops.

MACKELWAY
I believe it is you, sir, who has us
jumping through hoops.

LOW
How's the arm?

MACKELWAY
I've been reading, hearing about
you. I spoke to Koessler, Professor
Daitz.

LOW
He couldn't break an egg with a
hammer. He still writing those crime
porn books?

MACKELWAY
He's moved on to TV.

LOW
He always had a weakness in that
area. I saw it the first time I met
him. We all had our weaknesses, I
guess. Daitz wanted the money. With
Dave it was the glory. Koessler saw
the Behavioral Sciences Unit as a
stepping stone to bigger and better
bureaucratic things. He had his eye
on the Director's job, even then.
Catching killers was a means to an
end for them.

Low slows to a stop, parks the pickup under an oak tree.
Throughout the ensuing conversation, his eyes roam from the
rear view to the side mirrors.

MACKELWAY
What was your weakness, sir?

LOW
I'm not sure, exactly. I had monsters
on the brain. I wanted to get these
guys, every one of them. I got
obsessive.

MACKELWAY
Suspect Zero?

LOW
Deputy Director Koessler opposed the
theory because it meant pressing the
legal envelope, risking high-profile
failure. Better to get rid of me.
Then he could be Mr. Serial Killer,
Mr. Authority on Deviant Behavior --
no embarrassing questions about the
contribution of one Richard Low. Do
you really think that plane crashed
by accident? Do you really think I
wasn't on it by accident? I've always
had a good sense of intuition.

MACKELWAY
So you went underground?

LOW
Was I afraid of Dave Koessler? Not
likely. I told you, I'd gotten a bit
obsessive. It was an opportunity to
back off, think things through.
(beat)
Where's the file?

MACKELWAY
I don't carry it with me.

LOW
You're a smart guy. Tell me what it
says.

MACKELWAY
"Agent Low's theory of Suspect Zero,
the undetected serial killer, is
delusional, the product of good
intentions, paranoia and obsession..."

Low mimics playing a violin:

LOW
Hum a tune and I'll sing to it.

MACKELWAY
The file, however, was kept open
after your death. NPE disappearances,
No Plausible Explanation, were
sometimes filed there, deleted if
the bodies were found.

Low reaches under the seat, removes an 8x10 envelope, hands
it to Mack.

MACKELWAY
What's this?

Mack's hand reaches too far, almost bumps into Richard Low.
Low responds by SNAPPING out his automatic in an eye flash,
PRESSING the barrel against Mackelway's cheek. His head is
squeezed against the back of the truck. Mack is suddenly
reminded what a dangerous situation this is; he apologizes
with a nod. Low backs off.

Or is this just a manipulation on Low's part, playing Mack
like he does that imaginary violin?

LOW
(holsters pistol)
It's my master list of missing
persons: men, boys, girls, children
over the last ten years. Two hundred
and eighty-five names. A pool of
possible victims.

MACKELWAY
Zero killed them all?

LOW
Of course not. They're possibles.
I've checked them against Bureau
records, check them against your
file. How did you get it?

MACKELWAY
Daitz hinted it existed. It was a
matter of forming the request in the
proper terms.

Low smiles knowingly: Bureauese. Knows it well.

LOW
After my hiatus, after I got my
priorities readjusted, I drifted
online, started tracking porn chat
rooms, looking for Zero. Got accepted,
came across these boys swapping
stories, pictures, downloads. Never
found Zero, but I did come across
some Class A scumbags.

MACKELWAY
How do you know who's real and who's
not?

LOW
And who else did I find? Agent Thomas
Mackelway, crackerjack FBI techie. I
was greatly disappointed when you
were re-assigned.

MACKELWAY
You knew it was me all along?

LOW
Please. You can't hide from me, sonny.
I invented the questionnaire. I can
tell those who talk from those who
do it in the time it takes you to
fart.

Mack has opened Low's master list. He goes through the names
and the pictures. Some are those he has on his corkboard. In
the S's he finds Karen Sumpter, Dell City, Texas.

LOW
There's someone out there, Mack, I
know, some man killing for the fun
of it, sniffing human glue, without
regard to age or sex, without
predicable M.O. Someone who has a
way to dispose of the bodies. You
have access, you can call up local
authorities, check morgues, conduct
interviews. Be my man.

MACKELWAY
I already have an employer.

LOW
If you won't do it for me, do it for
your cousin, Nadine, right? The girl
in the pink sweater.

MACKELWAY
Who told you about her?

LOW
You did. You were with her when she
disappeared, right? She took you to
the mall or the movies, you turn
around and she's gone.

MACKELWAY
It was the mall.

LOW
I know you, Lionheart. I watched
your mind work, heard your dirty
thoughts --

MACKELWAY
(defensive)
Those were just fantasies.

Low smirks, as if to say: "My point exactly":

LOW
We're alike. We are hunters. We have
the gift. It's ancient times all
over again. We stand between order
and chaos. I need help. I can't carry
on alone.

MACKELWAY
Maybe you should back off.

LOW
This guy, Zero, he drifts around,
that's how they all start, drifting
around, their minds filling up with
fantasies. He thinks he's real smart,
laughs at us, laughs at his victims.
But he has left a trail, and the
trail is somewhere in those names.
You know how to reach me.
(starts engine)
Take my advice, when dealing with
these FBI tight-asses, go by the
book. That's what I did.

MACKELWAY
You? You went by the book?

LOW
Yeah, problem was, I had the only
copy. See ya.

Mack, holding the envelope, gets out. Richard Low drives
off.

CUT TO:

INT. MACK'S COMPUTER ROOM DAY

It's daytime in Mackelway's lair, but how would you know it?

Mack has reorganized his bulletin board. Low's master list
is tacked across the wall. Below, faxed photos of possible
victims correspond to Low's list. Karen Sumpter's "Oh No,
They Killed Kenny!" picture is tacked over her Missing Persons
form.

Mack thinks, dials phone. An official voice answers:

OFFICER (O.S.)
Hudspeth County Police.

MACKELWAY
Sheriff Dylan, please.

Mack, looking at the bulletin board, waits. Dylan picks up
the phone:

DYLAN (O.S.)
Dylan here.

MACKELWAY
Sheriff Dylan, this is FBI Agent
Thomas Mackelway. Remember me?

DYLAN (O.S.)
Hi there.

MACKELWAY
I want to talk about the Karen Sumpter
case.

DYLAN (O.S.)
You heard?

MACKELWAY
What?

DYLAN (O.S.)
Her body turned up. In a Minnesota
cemetery. They brought her back.

Mack looks at several newly received autopsy photos of
desiccated corpses. Their names match three of those on Low's
list.

MACKELWAY
You have the body?

DYLAN (O.S.)
She's buried.

MACKELWAY
I want the autopsy report, where is
it, Minnesota?

DYLAN (O.S.)
Winona.

CUT TO:

INT. SHOOTING RANGE DAY

BANG, BANG, BANG. Mack, wearing sound muffler earphones,
squeezes off a half-dozen rounds from an automatic pistol,
piercing a unisex cardboard target.

Setting the gun down, he turns, sees Kulok waiting for him.
Jaime starts to speak. He gestures for her to watch what she
says.

KULOK
This feels like something out of a
spy novel.

MACKELWAY
I guess I'm a little paranoid.

KULOK
What's going on?

He hands in his pistol and headset. They step outside.

CUT TO:

EXT. FBI ACADEMY/QUANTICO DAY

They exit the shooting range, walk through the campus-like
setting.

MACKELWAY
I met with Richard Low.
(hands her envelope)
These are names of missing persons
he has flagged. I'm double-checking
every case, but I don't want to be
too obvious about it. I marked the
ones I'd like you to work on.

KULOK
Slow down a second, you met with Low --

MACKELWAY
You were right. He found me.

KULOK
And you're working with him?

MACKELWAY
I need something tangible. To hook
him. I told him I'd found the
confidential file on the Suspect
Zero theory.

KULOK
Does one exist?

MACKELWAY
Probably. I told him Koessler had
ordered the report, kept it secret.

KULOK
Koessler doesn't know any of this?

MACKELWAY
I've decided to investigate Low's
plane crash. While I'm at it, I
thought I'd look at the cases Koessler
worked with Low.

Jaime lets out a long exhale:

KULOK
I'd be real careful if I were you.

MACKELWAY
It's too late for that. I've gone
ahead of the curve on this one.
There's no turning back. When this
is over, Koessler is going to be
right or Low is going to be right or
I'm going to be right, but not all
of us.

KULOK
It's okay to be wrong, just don't be
dead wrong.

MACKELWAY
They say Richard Low is wrong, but
because of him, women, innocent women,
are alive who would be dead.

KULOK
You're putting me in a difficult
position.

MACKELWAY
I got an autopsy report from El Paso
that doesn't seem right. A girl on
Low's list. Karen Sumpter. We're
getting a court order to exhume to
body. I'd like you to come and look
at it.
(off her look)
Don't worry, I've cleared it.

Kulok agrees.

MACKELWAY
Jaime, do you think, when this is
all over, when we're in different
divisions, you think maybe you and
me, we could try again?

KULOK
(touched but uncertain)
Mack, I'm just trying to keep up
with now.

He nods. They continue.

CUT TO:

INT. ZERO KILL SPACE NIGHT

Camera frame shakes as it approaches the Girl from the snowy
mall parking lot, partially nude, dead, eyes and mouth open,
lying on a metal box-like grid. Her skin is blue.

Camera continues: seated on the floor, also dead, is her
boyfriend. His head jumps; the body is yanked to the floor.

Suspect Zero stands over him.

Chat room conversation plays over -- with a difference.
Murman's voice is the natural voice of Richard Low;
Mackelway's voice is metallic.

TROLL (O.S.)
[Where is the Ripper? Maybe on a
tripper.]

MACKELWAY AKA LIONHEART (O.S.)
[Lionheart on a tripper. Something
dead has come up. Will return with
goodies.]

TROLL (O.S.)
[I feel the need, the need to bleed.]

MURMAN AKA LOW
I have come across some photos, photos
I have not seen before...

CUT TO:

INT. LOW'S COMPUTER ROOM NIGHT

We are in Richard Low's lair: dim, sinister. It vibes fear
and death.

Low hunches over a computer screen in what appears to be a
basement. A second screen permanently monitors communications
to and from the FBI's NCIC mainframe in Washington D.C. The
only light comes from the monitors. He types, speaks:

MURMAN AKA LOW
You will benefit from my many years
of selfless research into a subject
that interests us all...

Low double-clicks the scanner icon, places a photo into his
scanner. The first is a polaroid of a naked girl, face down,
her back cut open.

MURMAN AKA LOW
These pictures may even bring back
pleasant memories.

The image begins to download.

CUT TO:

INT. EL PASO MORGUE DAY

Title: "El Paso, Texas." George Eaglefoot, the El Paso M.E.,
stands with Mack and Kulok as an attendant wheels out Karen
Sumpter's body.

EAGLEFOOT
The family has gone through a lot.
Their daughter missing, the search,
her body found, the funeral -- then
this order to exhume the corpse.

MACKELWAY
I'm sorry. This won't take long.

EAGLEFOOT
The body was embalmed. I don't
understand --

MACKELWAY
Turn the body over. There was
something in the autopsy report,
yes, here.
(to Kulok)
These burn marks.

EAGLEFOOT
A grill pattern.

MACKELWAY
(growing excitement)
We need to run this through VICAP,
search for similar burns.

KULOK
That's not going to help. This
Minnesota autopsy report, either the
guy was in a hurry or he didn't know
his ass from his elbow. It's not a
regular burn. There's crystallization
in the capillaries. Blood didn't
clot --
(points to Sumpter's
thigh)
It's a freezer burn.

EAGLEFOOT
Must get pretty cold in Minnesota.

They look at him like he just wandered in from the
reservation.

MACKELWAY
But why this pattern?

KULOK
Could be a lot of things. Depends on
the freezer.
(snaps off gloves)
I'm sorry, Mack, but I don't think
this is the answer.

CUT TO:

INT. MCDONALDS DAY

Mackelway and Kulok sit in silence, sipping diet sodas,
nibbling at Chicken McNuggets. A gaggle of high school girls
gossip and laugh at nearby tables.

Outside the sky is overcast, threatening rain.

KULOK
Tom, you okay?

MACKELWAY
Hardly anyone calls me Tom. Everybody
calls me Mack. I always liked that.

KULOK
You okay?

MACKELWAY
Yeah, of course.

KULOK
What's going on?

Mack opens his briefcase on an adjoining table, hands her
several autopsy photos.

MACKELWAY
These two were on Low's lists, like
Karen Sumpter. Two bodies which had
been buried, discovered. North
Carolina, Utah. This victim...

Mack slips an autopsy photo of a skeletonized figure beneath
Kulok's fries.

MACKELWAY
...dead three years. They were digging
a basement. Disappears in Iowa, buried
in North Carolina.
(shows another photo)
This boy, Evans, like Sumpter, was
brought up by flooding -- the body's
better preserved.

Mack's eyes go from the grizzly photo to the nearby high
schoolers.

KULOK
It's quite advanced.

MACKELWAY
Burn marks. The original M.E. listed
it as "burn residue." Same place,
the outer thigh, as Karen Sumpter.
The UNSUB is able to abduct, kill,
transport and bury without detection.

KULOK
All the same killer?

MACKELWAY
Low calls him Suspect Zero.

KULOK
Suspect Zero is a crackpot theory.
You said so.

MACKELWAY
That's what Koessler wants us to
believe. To discredit Low.

KULOK
You're assigned, we're assigned, to
apprehend Richard Low, not Suspect
Zero. I have to tell you, Mack, I'm
not comfortable where you're going.

MACKELWAY
But it was your idea: "use Zero,"
you said, use Zero to get Low.

Kulok's voice is quiet, the implication clear:

KULOK
If you've changed the focus of this
investigation, I'll have to report
it.

Mack fidgets, upset:

MACKELWAY
I haven't changed anything.
(shoves photos into
briefcase)
Damn.

KULOK
I...

MACKELWAY
(stands)
I've got to take a piss.

She watches as he walks to the restrooms. Mack notices someone
watching from outside, someone SUSPICIOUS. Is he watching
the high school girls?

CUT TO:

INT. MEN'S ROOM DAY

A father speaks to his son in a stall as Mack zips, steps
away from the urinal, exits.

CUT TO:

INT. MCDONALDS DAY

Leaving the men's room, Mack again looks out the window. The
suspicious man has moved on. Across the parking area, a
REFRIGERATED TRACTOR-TRAILER is unloading crates of fruits
and vegetables at the rear of a supermarket.

Why hadn't he thought of it before?

He looks for Kulok: out of her seat, she stands by the window
watching the truck.

Excited, he joins her:

MACKELWAY
Jaime --

KULOK
(shares his excitement)
It's a truck. A refrigerated truck.

MACKELWAY
Zero abducts victims all over the
country, kills them, keeps them
refrigerated for days, weeks, even
months, then buries them hundreds,
thousands of miles away. Karen Sumpter
was buried, washed up in a flood.
Evans was buried. When we get Zero,
we'll find boneyards all across the
country.

KULOK
How are we going to find him?

MACKELWAY
Get the routes of all refrigerated
trucks over the last ten years. We've
got three disappearance cities and
dates, three parallel discovery
cities. Get into the mainframe, let
it crunch this information.

Mack, grabbing his briefcase, is already on the move. Kulok
hurries to catch up.

CUT TO:

EXT. INTERSTATE DAY

An enormous eighteen-wheeler. The Peterbuilt cab, belching
smoke, is all glistening chrome: wheels, grillwork, mirrors.

Coming up the side of the moving cab, past the "Ever Frost"
logo, Suspect Zero sits behind the wheel. Zero, a thirty-
plus white man with a blank expression and bad teeth, bobs
his head to a mixture of CB, police band and radio rock.

CUT TO:

INT. LOADING DOCK DAY

A side of BEEF shunts forward, smacking into another side of
beef. Then another one. A domino chain of frozen bloody
carcasses. Sides of beef are being loaded by dock workers
into the rear of Zero's semi. Cold steamy air pours from the
open truck, mixes with overcast sky.

Zero stands with the DOCK FOREMAN, female, 40. Watching the
workers, she checks the trucker's log:

FOREMAN
There seems to be a discrepancy.

ZERO
Not a discrepancy, an error. My
capacity is 5.5 tons, not 6.

FOREMAN
I have 6 tons.

ZERO
Mam, it's my truck. I know my own
capacity.

FOREMAN
You can't imagine how many men have
told me that.

ZERO
(toothy laugh)
It's been customized for sleeping
capacity.

FOREMAN
Oh yes, I see. You must get asked
this a lot.

ZERO
Not as much as you'd think.

CUT TO:

INT. FBI OFFICE DAY

The elevator opens directly onto the El Paso bullpen; an
Agent enters. Mackelway, Kulok and SAC Salinas stand around
a monitor in one of the cubicles. John Duncan and other Agents
watch from their work stations.

Thunder rolls in the distance; it has begun to rain.

Mack, intent, types his seven digit code followed by screen
commands. The computer responds.

Masses of information flash across the monitor screen. Mack
highlights the disappearance and discovery cities (and
accompanying dates) on a US road grid. He superimposes still
downloading delivery routes from every trucking company with
refrigerated trucks, then cross-checks the grids.

If he gets a sufficient number of hits from a certain company,
he goes back, isolates the refrigerated trucks. From there
he checks individual deliveries.

The room buzzes with word of mouth accounts of Mackelway's
search. Duncan, using his seven digit personal code, accesses
the information on Mack's screen -- APPEARS ON DUNCAN'S
SCREEN. Other Agents follow suit.

One company, one truck, one license plate, one driver comes
us repeatedly. Mack isolates the truck and driver, flips to
the road map grid. Mack gets a hit, then another, then
another, FASTER AND FASTER -- 37 in all. The driver's name
is Darryl Hawkins.

Hawkins has been in 37 of Low's disappearance cities on the
dates of disappearances. He has also been in the three body
recovery cities.

Mack requests a DMV search on Darryl Hawkins. His Nebraska
driver's license appears on the screen: Hawkins is Suspect
Zero. Hawkins' license simultaneously appears on other bullpen
monitors.

Mackelway speaks as he types:

MACKELWAY
All right, Mr. Hawkins, where are
you headed?

The computer brings up Hawkins' schedule. Tonight he will be
in Amarillo.

MACKELWAY
How far is Amarillo?

SALINAS
350 miles.

MACKELWAY
(to screen)
Now, Mr. Hawkins, when last in
Amarillo, where did you get gas?

Screen processes requests, returns with a refueling time and
date and amount at the Lone Star Truck Rest.

The date simultaneously appears on Duncan's screen.

CUT TO:

INT. LOW'S COMPUTER ROOM DAY

As it does on Richard Low's second monitor, the one
permanently connected to the FBI NCIC mainframe. The screen
indicates he's tracking requests made through Mack's seven
digit code.

Low, wearing a sleeveless T-shirt, scans the details of Darryl
Hawkins' Lone Star fueling stop.

On his second computer: Low enters a request for flight
schedules.

CUT TO:

INT. FBI OFFICE DAY

Mack turns to Salinas:

MACKELWAY
Locate a jet, we're going to Amarillo.

SALINAS
Excuse me, Agent Mackelway?

MACKELWAY
This man, Hawkins, has killed dozens
of people. Suspect Zero.

Salinas, walking toward his office, looks back:

SALINAS
First, the regional field Agent can
cover it. Second, it's highly
speculative. Third, I don't like
your tone of voice. Fourth, I need
authorization to commandeer a plane.

Mack, enthusiasm getting the better of his judgment, presses
on:

MACKELWAY
(calls)
You're the SAC. You pick up the phone,
you say I want a jet.

Mackelway starts to follow; Kulok tugs at his sleeve:

KULOK
Mack.

Duncan stands to impede Mack's path. Mack brushes past him,
enters Salinas' office. Salinas is speaking on the phone.

MACKELWAY
I don't think you understand.

SALINAS
(withering)
What is it exactly I don't understand,
Agent Mackelway?

MACKELWAY
Deputy Director Koessler doesn't
want Zero. All he cares about is
Low.

SALINAS
Perhaps you can explain it to him.
(into phone)
It's Agent Mackelway.

Salinas extends the phone. Mack puts the receiver to his
ear.

KOESSLER (O.S.)
He's got you believing in Zero now
too.

MACKELWAY
I need to get to Amarillo immediately.

KOESSLER (O.S.)
Have you told Richard Low about
Amarillo?

MACKELWAY
I can't. The chat room isn't open
for another five days.

KOESSLER (O.S.)
We'll wait. Get online with Low,
inform him of Zero's route -- we'll
set a trap for him.

MACKELWAY
What about Zero, Darryl Hawkins?

KOESSLER (O.S.)
Hawkins isn't the target, Richard
Low's the target.

MACKELWAY
There's a killer out there -- we
know who he is. He could be stalking
now.

KOESSLER
Dick Low's a killer too.

MACKELWAY
You're as crazy as he is! He's right!
You don't give a damn about saving
lives at all! Fuck you!

Mack slams down the phone, turns to Salinas:

MACKELWAY
You too.

Mackelway leaves Salinas' office, passes Kulok and Duncan as
he exits.

KULOK
What happened?

MACKELWAY
I'm going to Amarillo.

Mack walks to the elevator, intentionally not looking back.

CUT TO:

EXT. LONE STAR TRUCK REST NIGHT

Gusts of horizontal rain lash the truck stop. A lightning
FLASH silhouettes parked tractor-trailers.

The flash recedes, leaving an "Ever Frost" logo illuminated
by passing headlights. Zero's truck.

CUT TO:

INT. LONE STAR COFFEE SHOP NIGHT

Zero, aka Darryl Hawkins, sips coffee at a booth by the
window. He looks outside, turns his eyes back to the counter.
A THIRTIESH MOTHER sits with her TEN YEAR-OLD BOY wearing a
Bulls T-shirt.

WAITRESS stops at his table:

WAITRESS
More coffee?

ZERO
No thank you, I'm fine.

WAITRESS
(looking out the window)
I don't know how you fellas do it.

ZERO
Mam, just the way you do. One paycheck
at a time.

WAITRESS
(laughs)
You got that right.

She walks back to the kitchen. Her walk takes Zero's eyes
back to the Mother and Son.

MOTHER
Finish your sandwich.

BOY
Mom, I have to go.

MOTHER
(to Waitress)
Where are the toilets?

WAITRESS
Around the side. The door's open.

MOTHER
I'll take you.

BOY
I can go myself.
(softer, urgent)
I gotta do number two.

MOTHER
I'll walk you over. You can come
back by yourself.

The Boy grabs her hand, leads her out the front door.

Zero watches as they SCOOT around the covered corner of the
building. A second later, the Mother, alone, rushes back,
glad to be inside.

Zero, leaving a tip, passes the Mother on his way out.

CUT TO:

EXT. INTERSTATE 27 NIGHT

Rain shrouded headlights move slowly north.

Rain splashes against Mackelway's windshield, water drops
pelt the exterior. Mack, leaning forward, watches the road
between strokes of the overworked wipers. The police band
crackles with static.

Lightning flash illuminates a sign: "Amarillo 11 miles."

CUT TO:

INT. RESTROOM NIGHT

Floor level POV: two small feet, pants around the ankles,
dangle over the edge of the toilet.

Zero silently stands, looks around. The room is deserted. He
leans, looks down the hall past a sign reading
"Showers/Lockers." Nothing.

He touches his penis absent-mindedly, the way someone else
might bite his lip. He steps over to two wall-mounted hand
dryers, activates them. The dryers create white noise.

He steps toward the Boy's stall. Removes an eight-inch lead-
filled pipe from his pocket, slips it into waistband.

Zero pauses. Something, intuition, a sixth sense born of
experience, stops him.

Camera glides over stall partition to see what Zero suspects:
Richard Low, soaking wet, sits atop the toilet bowl. He has
one arm around the Boy's chest, the other clamped over his
mouth. He listens.

Outside the stall, Zero walks to the door, opens, closes it.

Inside the stall, Low, gun in hand, leans forward, unlocks
the stall door, sticks his head out --

CRACK! Zero whacks Low's protruding head with the lead pipe.
Low, astonished, spins as he falls, watching Zero wide-eyed.
His head BANGS against the tile floor. He's out cold.

Zero turns to the terrified Boy:

ZERO
Did that man scare you?

The Boy shakes his frightened head "yes."

ZERO
I ain't gonna hurt you. Let's go
back to your Momma.

The Boy nods as Zero takes his hand.

CUT TO:

INT. HELICOPTER NIGHT

Agents Salinas and Kulok, riding in back of a four seat
military chopper, look out the windows, straining to see
through the rainy night.

Salinas, speaking over the headset, points out something to
Kulok: another helicopter headed toward them.

The two choppers swing in line, head in the same direction.

CUT TO:

EXT. LONE STAR NIGHT

Mackelway, seeing the exit sign, activates his turn signal.
The eye of the thunderstorm has passed, leaving in its wake
heavy rain.

Mack, pulling off the interstate, sees the glowing Lone Star
Truck Rest sign.

Looking around, preparing to stop, he notices a refrigerated
tractor-trailer pulling away. He looks at the Nebraska license
plate: it's Hawkins' truck.

Mack follows.

CUT TO:

INT. MEN'S ROOM NIGHT

Richard Low, woozy, regains consciousness. He looks across
the bathroom floor, realizes where he is. He feels the cut
on his head, reaches for his pistol, gets up.

Low staggers from the stall, composes himself, looks around:
not a soul. That's odd.

He pushes open the door --

CUT TO:

EXT. MEN'S ROOM NIGHT

And is greeted by two patrol car SPOTLIGHTS. Squinting through
the glare and rain, he sees four Texas Rangers, their guns
aimed at him.

RANGER
Put down your weapon! Now!

Low complies.

RANGER
Raise your arms, get on the ground,
spread your arms and legs.

Low raises his arms. Hearing a sound, he looks up: two large
helicopters approach in the distance.

Turning to get on all fours, he sees the frantic Mother going
from one policeman to another:

MOTHER
Have you seen a boy, ten years old?
Wearing a Chicago Bulls T-shirt?

The police are too preoccupied with the arrest of Richard
Low to give her their full attention.

Low spread-eagles on the ground. Police rush over.

CUT TO:

INT. ZERO CAB NIGHT

Zero, riding high in his big rig, listens to the police band.

Reports of a successful apprehension at the truck stop crackle
from one walkie to the next.

CUT TO:

EXT. REST STOP NIGHT

Salinas and Kulok, wearing FBI rain slickers and plastic
covered caps, join up with David Koessler and a subordinate
Agent, also dressed for rain, walking from the second
helicopter.

They greet; Salinas points out the Rangers. They walk to
where Rangers hold Low, drenched, open cut on his head. Low
turns to Deputy Director Koessler:

LOW
Miss me, Dave?

KOESSLER
(to Rangers)
Thank you, Rangers.
(to Salinas and
subordinate Agent)
Put this man in the unmarked.

Salinas and the Agent escort Low. The frantic Mother, going
from officer to officer, catches Jaime's attention.

Salinas opens the rear door of the unmarked, prepares to put
Low inside. Low turns to Koessler:

LOW
I hope you're wearing a prophylactic,
Dave, cause you just fucked yourself.

Koessler grabs Low's head, BANGS it against the top of the
car, RAMS him inside, SLAMS the door.

KOESSLER
(to Kulok)
I'll drive.
(to Salinas)
Arrange a lead and follow car.

CUT TO:

INT. MACK'S CAR NIGHT

Mackelway, following Zero's eighteen wheeler, listens to the
police band: suspect taken into custody at rest stop, is
being transported to Amarillo.

CUT TO:

INT./EXT. UNMARKED CAR NIGHT

Three pairs of headlights drive a two-lane road toward
Amarillo; the unmarked car flanked by two police vehicles.

Inside, Koessler drives; Kulok rides shotgun. In the back,
Low, handcuffed, winces. Watery blood drips into his eyes.

LOW
(to Kulok)
Agent...

KULOK
Kulok.

LOW
Agent Kulok, could you wipe my face?

KOESSLER
(stern)
Don't you touch him.

LOW
(to Koessler)
You better hope the Director doesn't
stop abruptly one day, David, you
might break your nose.

KOESSLER
You're a disgrace to law enforcement,
to the Bureau -- and to me.

LOW
How did a girl like me end up in a
place like this?
(to Kulok)
The Deputy Director here, he believes
in Tough Love. A cop's cop. Shape up
or ship out, righto? Agent Kulok,
when you get a chance you might want
to check the victims of the recent
serials. You'll find that some of
them have been credited to other
killers, some years ago. That's a
Dave Koessler trick, find a pliant
sociopath, preferably a dead one,
attribute to him unsolved cases,
clean up the backlog-looks great in
the yearly report.

Koessler has to restrain himself to keep from reaching over
the seat and hitting Low again:

KOESSLER
You are so fucked up.

LOW
Suspect Zero, now there's an idea
that doesn't look good on paper --

Koessler speaks into the two-way:

KOESSLER
Agent Salinas, you can proceed to
Amarillo. Instruct the lead car to
follow you.

Kulok, concerned, looks at Koessler: what's going on? There's
a beat before Salinas responds:

SALINAS (O.S.)
Yes, sir.

LOW
Shot trying to escape. How convenient.

Koessler watches as the lead and follow cars pull out, proceed
ahead without them.

LOW
When I was at the rest stop, there
was a young boy, maybe ten, and his
mother. Darryl Hawkins, Zero, abducted
the boy in the men's room. I tried
to stop him. He cold-cocked me --

KOESSLER
Listen to this guy? Can you believe
this? He'll never change. Born a
liar, first word out of his mouth
was a lie. Make up a story, always a
story, any goddamn story, to save
his ass.

Low, realizing he has a more sympathetic listener in Jaime,
directs his comments to her:

LOW
Agent Kulok, that boy, as we speak,
is in Hawkins' truck, probably still
alive, in a dark refrigerated
compartment, shivering in just a T-
shirt: put yourself in his mind,
freezing, terrified, wanting his
mother. Put yourself in his mother's
place, desperate, imagining the worst
is happening as she pleads, back
there at the rest stop, for someone,
anyone, to listen to her. This is
not hypothetical, this is real. It
is happening now and you can do
something about it.

KOESSLER
Shut the fuck up or I'll shut you
up.

LOW
(to Kulok)
You have to save this boy. Good exists
in this world. I can prove it because
you can, in your life, save this one
person.

Koessler's had as much of this as he can take. He pulls to
the side of the road.

Koessler puts the car into park; his left hand opens the
jacket covering his shoulder holster. If Jaime is to act, it
must be now.

She removes her automatic, POINTS it at her boss:

KULOK
Deputy Director, get out, sir.

KOESSLER
What are you doing?

KULOK
Please.

Koessler looks at her gun, realizes she is serious:

KOESSLER
Mackelway, I could understand. He is
over-emotional by nature, but you,
Agent Kulok, you had a shining career
in front of you.

KULOK
Just step outside, sir. Now. Keep
your hands where I can see them.

Koessler looks from Low to Kulok to Low.

KULOK
If you're wondering, yes, I will use
this weapon if necessary.

Koessler has no choice. Keeping his hands visible, he opens
the door, steps out. He turns to Low:

KOESSLER
Dick, you may fool this girl here,
you may fool Mackelway, but you'll
never fool me.

Koessler exits. Jaime, sliding behind the wheel, locks the
door. She drops the car into gear, PULLS AWAY, leaving
Koessler alone in the rain.

Richard Low, watching Koessler, acting like he's suddenly in
charge:

LOW
Okay, swing this thing around. Put a
BOLO out on Hawkins. Peterbuilt 18
wheeler, Nebraska license number
TRV437. He'll be headed west on I-
40.

Kulok slows, does a 180. She turns on the red flashing dash
light, hits the siren.

LOW
Unlock these cuffs.

KULOK
Sit back.

She accelerates west.

CUT TO:

INT./EXT. ZERO AND MACK NIGHT

Zero, listening to the police band, listens to Kulok's "Be
On the LookOut" regarding his Peterbuilt. He decides to exit.

Mackelway watches as Zero's turn signals flash. He follows
the huge truck down the Exit 29 ramp.

Mack keys his walkie:

MACKELWAY
This is Officer Tom. Urgent
communication for Dr. Kulok: zero-x-
two-inner...

Zero, listening, doesn't pick up on the code.

CUT TO:

INT. ZERO KILL SPACE NIGHT

The Boy, hands bound, lies in a ball on the floor, trying to
conserve the little body heat that remains. He blue lips
tremble.

MACKELWAY (O.S.)
...repeat, zero-x-two-niner.

Across the dark space, barely visible, the frozen carcasses
of the High School Couple hang against the wall.

CUT TO:

INT./EXT. KULOK AND LOW NIGHT

Listening to Mack's message.

LOW
Zero's exiting at Exit 29.

Kulok responds on the radio:

KULOK
Ten four. En route with Low.

She puts down the radio mike.

KULOK
Mack must think Zero has a police
band.

LOW
Of course he does. Now get the key,
get these things off me.
(she ignores him)
Unhook me.

Jaime watches a passing sign: "Exit 28, 1 mile. Exit 29, 21
miles."

A flash of HOSTILITY colors Low's voice:

LOW
Uncuff me. What's wrong with you?
Don't you want to save the boy?

KULOK
I want to protect the boy. I also
want to protect Suspect Zero -- from
you.

CUT TO:

EXT. STATE ROAD NIGHT

Zero slows his truck on an empty highway, turns onto a
deserted access road. He climbs out of the cab carrying a
flashlight, walks through the rain to the back of the eighteen
wheeler.

Stretching the key from his belt, Zero unlocks the padlock,
opens the rear of the truck. Cold air flows into the humid
night.

He steps up between hung beef carcasses.

CUT TO:

EXT. MACK'S CAR NIGHT

Mackelway cuts the headlights, drives cautiously toward the
rear lights of Zero's truck.

He parks his sedan, cuts the engine.

CUT TO:

INT. ZERO'S KILL SPACE NIGHT

Pushing aside slabs of beef, Zero uses the flashlight to
illuminate a hidden entrance at the far end of the freezer
compartment. He unlocks it; the door opens to his kill space.

The terrified Boy looks into Zero's flashlight beam.

ZERO
You all right?

Zero pulls a killing knife from his boot.

ZERO
You ever cut up animals, son? Watch
'em bleed, watch the life flow out
of them?

CUT TO:

EXT. TRUCK NIGHT

Mackelway, gun in hand, walks toward the open rear doors of
Zero's Peterbuilt. A work light silhouettes the carcasses.

Mack wipes the rain from his eyes, approaches the truck.
Looking, listening, he climbs inside.

He steps between slabs of beef, inches forward. He can see a
moving shadow behind the partially open door at the far end.

He hears Zero's voice:

ZERO (O.S.)
This is gonna hurt.

Mack, gun leading the way, inches toward the kill space.
Bracing himself, he KICKS open the door, aims the gun at
Zero:

MACKELWAY
Put the knife down, Hawkins.
(Zero hesitates)
Put the knife down!

Zero reluctantly lowers the blade to the floor.

MACKELWAY
(to the Boy)
Son, can you hear me? Do you
understand what I'm saying?
(Boy nods)
Good. Come this way, past me, get
out of this truck.

The Boy seizes the opportunity. He RUNS away from Zero,
straight into Mack, BUMPING him as he struggles to exit the
kill space.

Mackelway, spun back by the Boy, doesn't see Zero coming.

Zero CHOPS Mack's wrist. His gun falls as the Boy escapes.

Zero powerfully wrenches Mack's hands behind him, yanks him
backward, reaches for his knife.

Mack breaks free, turns around. Zero, knife in hand, has him
CORNERED. Mack's gun is out of reach. Mack speaks to Zero:

MACKELWAY
I'm Agent Thomas Mackelway, FBI.
There is no way you will escape.
Assistant Deputy Director Richard
Low is en route with another Agent.
(Zero doesn't react)
You may know Low by another name.
You may know him by the name Murman.
I am Lionheart.

ZERO
(disdain)
Murman!

MACKELWAY
He's a brilliant man. Brilliant enough
to catch you.

ZERO
Brilliant? You think he caught any
of them because he was brilliant?
Hardboy? MyDick? Imelda? Ripper?
Think about it, how did he locate
them?
(Mack has no answer)
He found them as Murman. And how did
Murder Man find them? With sweet
talk and brains? No. He did it with
souvenirs. He took them into private
rooms, swapped goodies: pictures,
panties, jewelry, body parts. Snuff
downloads. As bait. That's why I
never exchanged with him. He killed
girls, oh yeah, harvested them. He
had the best stuff. Richard Low is
Murman and Murman is one of us.

The realization hits Mack: of course.

CUT TO:

EXT. STATE ROAD NIGHT

Low leans over Kulok's shoulder as she takes Exit 29, drives
down the dark road. They see something through the windshield:

The Boy stands in the center of the road, JUMPING up and
down in the rain.

Jaime stops beside the Boy, jumps out, embraces him, unties
him.

LOW
Where is he? Where is he?

The Boy POINTS to distant access road; red lights glow from
the back of Zero's truck.

KULOK
(to Boy)
Keep walking toward the highway.
Wait there.

She jumps behind the wheel, cuts the headlights, drives toward
the access road.

CUT TO:

EXT. INTERSTATE NIGHT

David Koessler, rain-soaked, manages to flag down a passing
patrol car.

Holding up his ID, he speaks to the patrolman.

CUT TO:

INT. ZERO'S KILL SPACE NIGHT

Zero, killing blade held high, approaches Mackelway:

ZERO
You want to get into my head,
Lionheart? Well, come on in!

Zero makes slow slicing motion; Mack tenses.

ZERO
You want to "profile" me? Find out
what makes me "tick"? Write about
me, go on a talk show, give me a
nickname?

MACKELWAY
It's over for you.

ZERO
Take your shirt off.

Mack, playing for time, loosens his tie.

CUT TO:

EXT. TRUCK NIGHT

Kulok pulls near Zero's Peterbuilt, puts the unmarked vehicle
in park.

Richard Low, sensing she is going to leave him in the car,
grows increasingly agitated:

LOW
Uncuff me! You can't go alone!

Kulok unholsters her weapon, checks it.

Low, so close to the quarry he has stalked for so long,
THRASHES like a dog in heat:

LOW
I'll do anything! I'll turn myself
in! You can't go without me!

Jaime, realizing he will break the windows if necessary to
get out, improvises a strategy:

KULOK
Okay, I'll unhook you. No weapon.

LOW
No weapon.

KULOK
Turn around. Stretch your arms over
the seat.

Low, turning, complies. He grimaces, thrusts his manacled
wrists over the seat.

KULOK
A little more.

Low grunts, pushes his arms. Jaime takes a second pair of
handcuffs from her belt, CLIPS one cuff to the steering wheel,
the other to the chain between Low's wrists. He's chained
back first to the steering wheel. The cuffs snap like an
echo inside Low's head:

LOW
Bitch! Cunt! Please, please, please
don't do this, Agent Kulok. You need
me.

KULOK
I'll be back.

She gets out, slams the door. Low, shackled inside, presses
his face to the window, watches her, like a caged animal.

CUT TO:

INT. ZERO'S KILL SPACE NIGHT

Mackelway, clammy in the freezing air, now bare-chested.
Zero presses the tip of his knife into Mack's nipple.

ZERO
Can you feel that? Good, huh? Make
your move. Make your fucking move,
Agent Mackelway.

Zero TIPS the blade in. Mack grimaces.

CUT TO:

INT. UNMARKED CAR NIGHT

Richard Low, watching Kulok walk away, cannot abide the
possibility that he will be a spectator to the event he has
pursued for so long.

Seeing the mounted shotgun, Low SWINGS his legs around,
presses the soles of his shoes against the windshield.

In pain, he positions himself so that the chain linking his
handcuffs together is flat against the opening of the shotgun
barrel.

Now all he has to do is contort his body, wheel his head
down, activate the trigger with his tongue and teeth.

He does: the ensuing BLAST rocks the car.

CUT TO:

EXT. TRUCK NIGHT

Kulok, hearing the shotgun blast, wheels around.

CUT TO:

INT. ZERO'S KILL SPACE NIGHT

Zero hears the shotgun blast.

CUT TO:

EXT. TRUCK NIGHT

Kulok is greeted by a horrific sight:

Richard Low tumbles out the passenger door, struggles to his
feet: his left hand is blown away, his arm a bleeding stump.
The handcuffs hang from his right hand. The shotgun blast
has seared his side and arm.

Low uses his bleeding stump to PUMP the shotgun.

Kulok, stunned, FIRES as she raises her automatic.

CUT TO:

ZERO'S KILL SPACE NIGHT

Simultaneous actions: Mack catches the distracted Zero by
surprise, WHIRLS him around, placing him in a CHOKE HOLD.
Wresting Zero's knife from his hand, Mack puts the knife to
Zero's throat.

CUT TO:

TRUCK NIGHT

Low's smile tells Kulok she missed. He fires the pump shotgun --

The BLAST hits her mid-chest, sends her flying backwards,
hitting the ground with a SPLASH.

CUT TO:

INT. TRUCK NIGHT

Pushing Zero forward betwixt the hung slabs of beef, Mack
reacts to the shotgun blast. Zero, trying to escape, THROWS
an elbow.

Mack squeezes Zero's neck tighter, the knife bringing a LINE
OF BLOOD above his collar bone.

CUT TO:

EXT. TRUCK NIGHT

Kulok, on her back, cranes her neck to view the rear of the
truck. Blurry figures move in the rain.

CUT TO:

EXT. TRUCK NIGHT

Appearing at the rear of the refrigerated truck, Mack and
Zero see the same sight:

Richard Low, bleeding profusely, stepping over Kulok's body,
pointing a shotgun at them with a manacled right hand. Low
steadies his aim.

MACKELWAY
No!

Low fires: blood BLOSSOMS across Zero's side, knocking both
him and Mack off the back of the truck. Arms flailing, they
SPLAT to the ground.

The blast knocks Low backward; he FALLS to the ground.

Zero, bleeding, struggles to his feet, staggers away. Mack
grabbing Zero's knife, steps to Jaime, checks her pulse:
she's alive.

Mack, picking up speed, tracks Zero.

Low, watching Zero stagger off, whines like a chained animal.
He attempts to stand, cannot.

Turning onto his side, he attempts to pump the shotgun.

Running now, Mack pursues Zero. About to be jumped from
behind, Zero turns, CHOP BLOCKS Mackelway to the ground,
climbs ATOP of him.

They wrestle in the muddy rocks. Mack, gaining the upper
hand, grabs Zero's hand and the knife it holds, FORCES IT
INTO THE SIDE OF HIS FACE. Zero is finally dead.

Mack pulls himself up, retraces his steps.

Reaching Jaime, he lifts her, carries her to shelter under
Zero's semi. He looks at her: he seems changed by these
events, changed in a way he cannot yet articulate.

Looking toward her headlights, he sees Richard Low attempting
to stand.

Mackelway stands, heads toward Low. Kulok's gun lies in the
mud where she fell; Mack stoops to pick it up.

Low, drenched through with blood and mud, has righted himself
on his knees. Mack approaches. They exchange looks.

Low slowly RAISES the pumped shotgun, points it at Thomas
Mackelway.

Mackelway FIRES Kulok's automatic. The bullet HITS Low in
the chest. He FALLS a final time. Mack walks over.

Low looks up at Mack:

LOW
You know what that's called?
(Mack doesn't answer)
Suicide by cop.

Mack kicks away the shotgun.

LOW
Is he dead?

MACKELWAY
Yeah.

LOW
The boy's okay. I saw him...

Low gestures with his head: come closer. Mack drops to his
knees, bends closer to Low.

LOW
Was it Zero?

MACKELWAY
Yeah.

Low tries to speak; his voice is barely audible. Mack leans
his ear closer:

LOW
(guttural)
I have something for you. Just for
you.

Mack, lifting Low's head, leans his ear to his mouth.

LOW
In my right pocket. 1242 East Storm
Street, Marshalltown, Iowa. Oh fuck,
it hurts.

Low, shivering, dies.

Mackelway reaches into Low's right pocket, retrieves house
keys.

Hearing a distant sound, Mack looks up: a HELICOPTER
approaches in the distance. Its spotlight rakes the landscape.

Mack, holding Jaime's gun, pocketing Low's keys, runs from
the scene -- past Zero's truck, past Zero's body, into the
dark Texas night.

The approaching helicopter finds nothing but bodies.

FADE TO BLACK:

EXT. MARSHALLTOWN DAY

FADE IN: another day, perhaps months hence.

Thomas Mackelway, beard growth on his face, wearing farm
clothes, steps out of a compact car.

He checks the address, walks up to 1242 East Storm. A normal
house on a normal street in as normal a town as one could
imagine.

Mack, looking side to side, uses Low's keys to open the front
door.

CUT TO:

INT. LOW'S HOUSE DAY

The house is, on the surface, unexceptional. Everything is
as one would expect.

Mack drifts from room to room until he finds a locked door.
Using a second key, he opens it.

It leads to a cellar.

CUT TO:

INT. LOW'S COMPUTER ROOM NIGHT

Mack flips on the light, steps down the stairs: Low's secret
life stands revealed. Mackelway crosses to Low's work station,
looks at the still active screen monitors.

Continuing on, he comes to the source, the soul, the core of
Richard Low's depravity: a killing table soaked dark red
with stains, photos of murder victims -- his own and others.
He opens a refrigerator: inside are body parts -- ears, eyes,
noses, breasts. Robert Testa's foot. Each identified by name
and date.

Mackelway approaches an extended bulletin board. There, under
the rubric "Suspect Zero," are Missing Persons reports and
photos of victims, among them Karen Sumpter.

Below this, yet ANOTHER lineup under the words "Suspect Zero
#2" -- more pictures, more Missing Persons.

And below: "Suspect Zero #3." More photos, more possibilities.

CUT TO:

INT. BUS STATION DAY

America: any town, anywhere.

Tom Mackelway, dressed as a security guard, watches travelers
come and go, all the while keeping track of one area, the
area of his attention: a bank of lockers.

A man, a white man, a furtive man, a fucking loser, enters,
checking a locker number on a piece of paper, looking this
way and that, all the while inching closer to a particular
locker.

Mack watches him, waits. Over we hear a metallic voice:

MACKELWAY (O.S.)
[This is Lionheart. Sorry for the
abrupt departure. Glad to be back. I
missed you guys.]

THE END

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