Fade In: Jim Andrews is driving in his car to work. The radio is playing loud music and he changes the dial hearing this:
New Reporter: …The abandoned vehicle was found by the ravine on Bramble Road. Police Chief Adam Miller has verified that the vehicle belongs to a Barbara Lane, who is a private nurse employed by Judge Willard Brewster. Police are now searching for Miss Lane. If anyone knows of her whereabouts they are asked to contact the Briarwood Police as soon as possible.
(We flash to Jim killing Barbara and then his opening the letter which is blank.)
(We return to Jim in his vehicle as he slams his steering wheel in frustration.)
Jim: That bitch! She deserved it but what about the letter that I sent her? How could you be so stupid as to kill her and not get the letter back detailing our plans to take the Judge for his millions and run off to the Bahamas? Forget it. She probably doesn’t have the letter anymore but what if she does?
Announcer: What if dearly departed Barbara Lane actually kept the letter Jim Andrews sent her over two years ago that would prove she and Jim planned to bilk Judge Brewster of all his millions and if that letter does exist what will Jim do to get it? He’s already killed once. Will the eminent doctor claim another victim today in a town called Briarwood?
Fade In: Interior. The Brewster drawing-room. Robin is crying in the Judge’s chair as Paris is trying to console her and Roxann enters with a cup of coffee for Robin and hands it to her.
Roxann: Here. Drink this. You’re going to need it.
Paris: Mom, can you be a little nicer. She doesn’t know where her mother is.
Roxann: I thought I was being nice.
Robin: Thank you, Mrs. DuPres.
Roxann: See? At least she’s grateful.
Roxann: What? Back off. I didn’t sleep last night.
Paris: Me either. This house gives me the creeps.
Roxann: Go upstairs to my room and get me an Alleve. (Paris looks at her.) My arm is sore. It isn’t every day I take an ax to my Uncle’s locked bedroom door and chop it open to free him. Go on. It’s in my bag next to the nightstand. I’ll look after Robin. (Paris exits.) It’s all right, Robin. I’m sure your mother will be fine.
Robin: It just isn’t like her, that’s all. I mean my Mom and I weren’t exactly close but we did text each other if we were going to be late. But she never text me last night or even this morning.
Roxann: Well maybe she’s some place where she can’t text you. Maybe her phone died. Who knows?
Robin: Or maybe she’s laying somewhere hurt or even worse dead.
Roxann: (Comforting her): No. Who would want your Mother dead? (She looks up.) Hello, Aunt Amy.
Amy: What is all this?
Roxann: Robin’s mother is missing and she came here to be with Paris and I while we wait to hear about Barbara.
Amy: But why come here? We’re not her family.
Roxann: Paris and Robin have become friends so she came here for some comfort and consolation while the police look for her mother and, as for her not being part of our family, at least one thing is in her favor today.
Patsy: (Bursting in): Did you just see it on the news? The police found Barbara Lane’s body at the bottom of the ravine on Bramble Road. She was strangled to death.
(Robin screams and runs crying from the room as Paris enters with Roxann’s Alleve.)
Patsy: Who’s that?
Roxann: Robin Lane. Barbara’s daughter.
Patsy: Well I didn’t know she was here. Why didn’t someone tell me she was here? I wouldn’t have said anything if I knew she was here, would I have, Aunt Amy?
Amy: Be quiet, Patsy. You’ve said enough already. Take that wretched girl out of here. We can be no good to her now.
Roxann: Paris, take her upstairs. I’ll be up in a minute.
(Robin and Paris exit as Robin is sobbing.)
Roxann: Patsy, how can you be so heartless?
Patsy: I didn’t mean anything by it. I’m as shocked as everyone else. I mean she was Daddy’s private nurse. I knew her. So did Aunt Amy.
Amy: Yes, unfortunately, I did. Good riddance to her. She never belonged here at Briarcliff and now she won’t be.
Roxann: My God, every time I think you can’t get any lower you always surprise me. Barbara was strangled to death. Doesn’t that mean anything to you?
Amy: Who are you to come in here and lecture me about Barbara Lane? You knew her for a day. I had the miserable experience of knowing her for two years. The only reason she was here–
Roxann: I can guess why she was here. I might not have known her for very long but I do have a pair of eyes and the Judge is a very dirty old man and that’s why you hated her, isn’t it? You were jealous.
Amy: I would never stoop to be jealous of someone as insignificant as Barbara Lane.
Roxann: If she was so insignificant then why did the Judge want her and not you?
Amy: Patsy, tell your sister to go away. I haven’t time for her foolishness just now.
Roxann: Don’t treat Patsy like she’s one of your slaves and don’t try to interfere in my relationship with my sister.
Amy: You don’t care about your sister. If you had you wouldn’t have stayed away for eighteen years. Unless, of course, there was another reason.
Roxann: You know what, Patsy, please tell Aunt Amy I don’t time for her foolishness.
(As Roxann exits)
Patsy: Aunt Am—
Amy: Shut up, Patsy!
CUT-TO: Interior. Ted and Joanne Norris’s kitchen. Everything is in place. Jeff is on his phone as Ted enters.
Jeff: Okay, baby doll, I’m coming over right now.
(He hangs up and turns around and bangs into Ted.)
Ted: Whoa, were you going, Tiger?
Jeff: Dad, how can you even joke right now?
Ted: Jeff, what’s the matter?
Jeff: You didn’t hear about Robin’s mom?
Ted: What about her?
Jeff: She’s dead.
Ted: Dead? How? What? When?
Jeff: Her car was found abandoned on Bramble Road and her body was at the bottom of the ravine. She was strangled. (Ted staggers to a kitchen chair.) Dad, are you okay?
Ted: Yes, I’m all right. It’s just a shock that’s all. She was a fine nurse.
Jeff: I didn’t think you knew her.
Ted: I didn’t but when a member of the medical community dies we all suffer. Especially one as small as Briarwood.
Jeff: Yeah. Whatever. I have to go see Robin. Can I use Mom’s car? Mine’s outta gas.
Ted: Yes. The keys are in the cabinet above the stove. (Jeff gets the keys.) Robin shouldn’t be alone at a time like this. Tell her she can stay here.
Jeff: Thanks right now she’s at Briarcliff.
Ted: What is she doing there?
Jeff: I don’t know. She and Paris have become friends and I guess when she heard her Mom was missing she went there. Anyway, I gotta go. See ya. (He runs out.)
Ted: (Quietly): Oh, Barbara. What happened? I loved you so.
Jeff: (Off; Yelling): Dad, come here! Quick!
CUT-TO: Interior. The Norris’s garage. Jeff is standing beside his Mother’s car and looking at the dented left front fender. Ted comes running in.
Ted: Jeff, what is it?
Ted: (Looks at the fender): What the?
Jeff: Looks like Mom was in another fender bender, Dad. (Makes motion with his hand of putting his fingers up to his lips as if holding a glass.)
Dad: That’s enough of that. (Reaches into his pocket.) Here, take my car and don’t mention this to anyone, you understand?
Jeff: Yeah, Dad, sure. Thanks.
CUT-TO: Interior. Joan Norris’s bedroom. It is dark and her clothes are strewn all over the floor. Ted bursts in and Joan is out cold.
Ted: Joan! Wake up! Joan! (He grabs her and shakes her.) WAKE UP!
Joan: Stop! What? Oh my head!
Ted: For God sake! Drunk again or should I stay still.
Joan: Leave me alone.
Ted: I’d like to believe me. Where were you last night?
Joan: Let me alone so I can get back to sleep.
Ted: Never mind getting back to sleep. Now get your fat ass out of that bed. Put some clothes on and come downstairs. I want to show you the dent on the left front fender of your car and you better have a damn good excuse of how it got there.
Joan: I don’t know.
Ted: Well you’d better because Barbara Lane is dead.
Ted: Yes. She was found at the bottom of a ravine on Bramble Road and with that dent in your fender I’m not so sure you didn’t have something to do with it.
Close up of Joan
CUT-TO: Exterior. Small house in need of painting. Jim stands at the doorway and knocks on the door. Dissolve to interior. More knocking and we hear Jim quietly say Robin? Are you there, Robin? We see the front door open and that Jim has jimmed his way in. He quietly enters and closes the door. He hears a car pull up and seeing no way out he hides in a closet in the kitchen. The front door opens and Roxann enters cautiously.
Roxann: Hello? Is anyone here?
(Roxann moves over to where Jim is in the closet. As she moves closer to the closet Jim sees a heavy iron on the shelf and places it in his hand as if to strike when we
Fade to Black