Woman Uses Job As Reporter To Get Close To An Accused Psychopath
Scene opens on the interior of a car. A young woman, Lois Brown (Whitney Wright), is the sole occupant and driver, and we watch over her shoulder as she pulls up to a house. She stops the car and turns it off. The camera pans down to see that her hands are shaking. She takes a deep breath, steadies herself. ‘You can do this,’ she says to herself and gets out of the car. She walks up the driveway to the door of the house and hesitates another moment before ringing the doorbell. After a second, the door opens and a man, James Stinson (Michael Vegas), stands there. He looks at her, appraising her in an almost predatory way. ‘You must be Lois?’ he asks with a tone of wary caution. Yes, and he must be Mr. Stinson, Lois says with a polite and professional smile. Oh, she can call him James, he says. A bit young for a reporter, no? She flashes him a polite, detached smile and says maybe, she’s 22 but people always say she has an old soul. He nods and then realizes he’s still blocking the doorway – But where are his manners? Please, come in, he says, waving her in. She follows him into the house, a modest, clean and well-kept abode.
So where does she want to do this? he asks, a hint of discomfort creeping into his voice. Wherever he feels comfortable, she says politely but not warmly… how about the living room?, she suggests. He agrees and they sit down in the living room. He takes a seat and she sits in a chair across from him with a table between them. She takes out her cell phone and opens up a voice recording app. Does he mind if she records this? Lois asks. No, please do, he doesn’t want to be misquoted, he’s had enough of that – he chuckles, not because it was funny but to fill the awkward silence following his comment. Great, she says after a pause, pressing the record button on the app and places the phone on the table between them. ‘So let’s start with the obvious: why now? Why grant your first face-to-face interview with a small college newspaper after all this time not speaking to the press?’ Lois asks. He considers the question. Well, it’s simple: in all this time, she’s not the first reporter to call him on the anniversary of the crime, but she IS the first reporter to call him and tell him that she believes he’s not guilty, and offer to tell his side of the story, he says. But he WAS acquitted of the crime he was accused of, so what guilt is he referring to? Lois probes. As she knows, the case was all over the news, day and night, and even though he was found not guilty, most people believe that he is guilty and the verdict was wrong, James says. Guilty until proven innocent in the public eye, he says bitterly. And he’s never been able to shake that stigma, people just don’t look at him in the same way since then, he adds resentfully. It’s a lonely existence. ‘Maybe we can try to dispel some of that stigma once the public hears your side of the story. So I ask you, on the record: Are you guilty?’ Lois asks. He smiles sadly back at her. ‘Am I guilty?’ he asks her. He takes a deep sigh. There is a tense moment of silence. Once again, something dark and predatory flashes across his face. ‘Yes…I am,’ he says, his smile gone.
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Resuming the interview, Lois looks stunned at James’s admission. ‘I am guilty…guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time,’ James clarifies. He happened to be at the club that night, and he happened to be the last person seen with… James says, trailing off, blanking at the victim’s name. ‘Darlene Davis,’ Lois says, enunciating the name carefully. Yes, that’s right, it was a long time ago…and he has tried to put the whole episode behind him, being at the club that night, being at the wrong place at the wrong time…that ruined his life, James says. So how does he explain Darlene’s DNA on his shirt? Lois probes, adding that the police claim that this happened during the crime. The same way he explained it to the police, with the truth: she had a nosebleed when she was dancing with him, James says. But the press got a hold of that and used that to assume his guilt, he continues. What they didn’t bother to report was that she was a known substance user prone to nosebleeds, he says.
‘When they came to interview you because they saw you on the club’s security footage, you consented to them searching your home, where they discovered the shirt with DNA evidence, which then led to your arrest and trial. If the DNA on the shirt was from an innocent nosebleed as you claim, why didn’t you just tell the police about it instead of hiding the shirt for them to find, and for that matter, why did you consent to the search in the first place if you had evidence hidden away that would incriminate you?’ Lois asks. Well, because he didn’t feel that he had anything to hide, James says smoothly, for example, why would he even think that shirt was evidence to a crime at the time unless he was the one who committed it? When he left the woman, she was still alive. But, she continues, if he had nothing to hide, why did he initially lie to the police about where he was after the club that night? Lois asks skeptically. He didn’t have an alibi that night, he just came home alone, and he’s seen enough movies to know that it’s really easy for cops to pin something on someone who can’t account for their whereabouts, so he told them he went to get a burger instead, James says. Stupid mistake, he says regretfully. A stupid mistake that he’s replayed over and over in his mind every day since then, he adds. But he can see why that story sounds a little thin right?, Lois asks. Especially since the route he claims to have taken home from the club that night is the least direct way to get home and HAPPENS to be one that doesn’t have traffic cams in that area of town, she adds. He looks at her silently. Can she turn off the recording for a moment please? he asks softly. Oh um, yes, sure, Lois stutters, caught off guard. She turns it off. Lois…he thought that this interview was going to give him the opportunity to shed some light on his innocence, so why does this feel like the same old assumption of guilt that he’s used to?, he asks, leaning close to her, resting his elbows on his knees in a vaguely threatening way. ‘Because if this is just about pushing my guilt if you’re hiding something from me…we’re going to have…a problem,’ James says, that same carnivorous look crossing his features again. Lois shifts in her chair nervously. No…it’s not about that at all, even though she believes in his innocence, she still has to do her job and ask all the tough questions, she says anxiously. There is a tense moment while he considers her answer. Ok..let’s keep going then, he says finally. Lois exhales sharply and resumes recording.
So getting back to the night of the crime: to help clear up any misconceptions, why doesn’t he recount that night for her?, Lois suggests gently. Well, he was in the mood to go out, but all of his friends were busy, so he decided to go to the club alone and that’s where he met Darlene; they danced for a little while, and then he went home, alone, James says quickly. There’s really not much more to explain other than that, he adds. And what was Darlene like?, asks Lois, He doesn’t really remember, he only danced with her for a short time and didn’t really get to know her, he answers. So he didn’t get a sense of her AT ALL? a sense of what…Darlene was like? Lois asks. Was she kind, did she seem happy? Why the great interest in Darlene? James asks, his brow furrowed in suspicion. Just trying to get a sense of the victim is all, Lois says quickly. Hmmm, well he can’t really help her there because like he said, he didn’t get to know her, James says. But she did have a reputation around the neighborhood, she was known as kind of…he doesn’t want to be rude here but…kind of a whore who would do ANYTHING for a fix, he says offhandedly. Upon hearing this, Lois looks a little rattled. At the time, some people were even saying that she…got what she deserved, James says softly. Lois looks a little sick when she hears his last answer and abruptly excuses herself, saying that she has to use the bathroom.
In the bathroom, she splashes water on her face and pats it down with a towel, regaining her composure. Keep it together, almost there, just this one last thing to do, she says to herself, breathing heavily. She takes another moment to steady herself, draws in a deep breath and exits the bathroom. Back in the living room, she goes to sit beside James on the couch. She apologizes for rushing out like that, adding that it must have been something she ate. He tells her not to worry about it. She smiles. What she would like to do now is shift gears and get…inside his head a bit, she says. Is that why she came to sit next to him because things are about to get…personal? he asks, with a slightly nervous edge as he looks away from her. Would that be ok? she asks. He’s not sure if getting personal is…a good idea, he says, looking back at her as a sinister expression invades his features for a moment. It passes quickly. Lois clears her throat. She’s sure that this is best for the interview, so…is it ok if she continues? she asks patiently. He nods. Ok, so when he was accused of this horrible crime, how did that make him feel? she asks. Well…he felt…scared…angry…alone, James says slowly. She can relate, her mother passed away when she was a little girl and she can remember the intense feelings of isolation like she was the only one in the world who felt these things, Lois says sympathetically. He is surprised to see her turn off the recording. And there were other feelings, other, more…disturbing thoughts that she had that made her feel even more alone, she continues. It was like a…darkness growing inside of her, and it scared her, but she didn’t want to run away from it, she wanted to run towards it, she continues. She looks at James in the eyes. ‘I think you know exactly what kind of…darkness I’m talking about,’ Lois continues softly. ‘You share that same darkness inside of you, don’t you James?’ she asks. And he acted on that darkness, Lois says. James finally catches on. Does she think that he IS guilty?!, he asks looking betrayed. He thought—James starts, but Lois cuts him off. She doesn’t THINK anything: she has ABSOLUTELY no doubt in her mind that he is guilty of this crime, Lois says.
What the fuck–he knew this had to be bullshit, she’s just like all the other reporters, James says, getting up from the couch in frustration. That’s just it, she’s NOT like all the other reporters, Lois says… in a sense, she became a reporter just to get to this moment. To speak with him. Sure, she lied to him about believing that he didn’t commit the crime, but she knew that was the only way he’d agree to meet her, and she NEEDED to meet him face to face, she feels that there is a connection, a…bond between them, Lois continues. He didn’t- he begins. She waves him off. There’s no need to put on any masks anymore, he can be his true self around her. She’s here because she wants him to tell her—no, SHOW her, everything about that night, Lois continues breathlessly. She seems to be getting turned on as she speaks, but she exhales sharply as she finishes her last sentence, betraying a nervousness underneath her bluster of passion. This nervousness passes almost immediately, and James is too distracted to notice the subtle inconsistencies in Lois’s demeanor. What kind of a sick fucking fantasy is this?! James asks incredulously. It’s no fantasy, it’s what she came here to share with him, Lois says. No, he can’t do that, James says, shaking his head. Please!, Lois says fiercely, grabbing at his shirt. She needs to know! Lois says feverishly, practically banging on his chest. He pulls her hands away from him. Stop this! he says, resisting. ‘SHOW. ME.’ she enunciates firmly, bringing her face inches away from his. He can’t resist anymore. ‘Is this what you want?! Is THIS WHAT YOU WANT?!’ James yells, ripping her blouse open roughly, the buttons hitting the floor. ‘Yes, oh god yes,’ gasps Lois.
As he tears her clothes off and buries his face hungrily in Lois’ pink pussy, Stinson unleashes his inner-maniac. Will Lois get more than she bargained for? Maybe…but what James doesn’t know is that Lois has a secret of her own…