G L U T T O N Y ~ W R A T H ~ G R E E D ~ E N V Y ~ S L O T H ~ P R I D E ~ L U S T

Andrew Kevin Walker

SOMERSET: Why always like this? Only after the fact... this sudden realization, that if you shoot someone, or stick a knife in them, that person will cease to exist.

TAYLOR: Crime of passion.

SOMERSET: What time did you confirm the death?

DAVIS: Like I said, I didn't touch him, but he's had his face in a plate of spaghetti for about forty-five minutes now.

MILLS: Hold on... you mean you didn't check for vital signs?

DAVIS: Did I stutter? Believe me, he ain't breathing, unless he's started breathing spaghetti sauce.

MILLS: The point is, whenever you find...

DAVIS: Begging your pardon, but the guy's sitting in pile of his own shit and piss. If he ain't dead, he would've stood up by now.

SOMERSET: What is it?

MILLS: It's vomit. It's a bucket of vomit.

SOMERSET: Is there any blood in it?

MILLS: I don't know. Feel free to look for yourself, okay?

MILLS: Yeah, well, all I want is... Just, just don't be jerking me off. That's all I ask. Don't jerk me off.

SOMERSET: We'll be spending every waking hour together till I leave. I'll show you who your friends are, and your enemies. I'll help you cut through the red tape and I will help you "integrate," as the captain puts it. However... No matter how much you beg or plead... jerking off is something you'll have to do for yourself.

SANTIAGO: Are you looking here? First... see how big this stomach is. And, see the strange thing. Stretches. And, here it is distended. Look at the size of that, because of all the foods.

MILLS: I can see what you're pointing at, but...

SANTIAGO: Lines of distention across the stomach, and parts have ripped open.

SOMERSET: Doctor, are you saying... this man ate till he burst?

SANTIAGO: Well, he didn't really burst. Not all the way.

SOMERSET: The bruises were caused by the muzzle of a forty-five. So, there was a gun against his head and he was given a choice. Eat, or get your brains blown out.

He ate his fill, and was forced to continue eating... till his body rejected the food. The killer held a bucket under him, and then kept serving. He took his time. The coroner says this might have gone on for more than twelve hours. The victim's throat was swollen from the effort, and there was probably a point where he passed out. That's when killer kicked him in the stomach. Popped him.

MILLS: This was one sadistic motherfucker.

CAPTAIN: That seems obvious.

SOMERSET: "Dear Detectives, Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light." It's the murderer's way of announcing himself.

CAPTAIN: Announcing what?

SOMERSET: There are seven deadly sins. Gluttony, wrath, greed, envy, sloth, pride and lust. Seven.

TRACY: Why aren't you married, William?

SOMERSET: I was close once. It just didn't happen.

TRACY: It surprises me. It really does.

SOMERSET: Any person who spends a significant amount of time with me finds me... disagreeable. Just ask your husband.

MILLS: Very true.

SOMERSET: "One pound of flesh, no more no less. No cartilage, no bone, but only flesh. This task done... and he would go free."

SOMERSET: The sins were used in medieval sermons. There were seven cardinal virtues, and then seven deadly sins, created as a learning tool, because they distract from true worship.

MILLS: Like in the Parson's Tale, and Dante.

SOMERSET: Did you read them?

MILLS: Yeah. Parts of them. Anyway, in Purgatory, Dante and his buddy are climbing up that big mountain... seeing all these other guys who sinned...

SOMERSET: Seven Terraces of Purgation.

MILLS: Right. But there, pride comes first, not gluttony. The sins are in a different order.

SOMERSET: For now, let's just consider the books as the murderer's inspiration. The books and sermons are about atonement for sin. And, these murders have been like forced attrition.

MILLS: Forced what?

SOMERSET: Attrition. When you regret your sins, but not because you love God.

MILLS: Like, because someone's holding a gun on you.

SOMERSET: In any major city, minding your own business is a perfected science. There's a public crime prevention course offered at the precinct house once a month. The first thing they teach is that you should never cry "help." Always scream "fire," because people don't want to get caught up in anything. But a fire... that's an evening's entertainment. They come running.

SOMERSET: I'm, sorry, but even the most promising clues usually lead only to other clues. I've seen so many corpses rolled away... unrevenged.

MILLS: I've seen the same. I'm not the country hick you seem to think I am.

SOMERSET: In this city, if all the skeletons came out of all the closets... if ever hidden bodies were to suddenly rise again, there'd be no more room for the living.

SOMERSET: I think Hemingway wrote somewhere... I can't remember where, but he wrote that in order to live in a place like this, you have to have the ability to kill. I think he meant you truly must be able to do it, not just faking it, to survive.

MILLS: Somerset, you... you better look here. All pictures of Victor tied to the bed. The last one is dated three days ago.

SOMERSET: The first one... it's dated one year ago. To the day.

DOCTOR: A year of immobility seems about right, judging by the deterioration of the muscles and the spine. Blood tests show a whole smorgasbord of drugs in his systems; from crack to heroin... even an antibiotic which must have been administered to keep the bed sores from infecting.

MILLS: He hasn't said anything, or tried to express himself in any way?

DOCTOR: Even if his brain were not mush, which it is... he chewed off his own tongue long ago.

SOMERSET: There's no way he'll survive?

DOCTOR: Detective, he'd die right how of shock if you were to shine a flashlight in his eyes. It's funny to think... he's experienced about as much pain and suffering as anyone I've encountered... give or take... and he still has hell to look forward to.

SOMERSET: Victor's landlord says an envelope of cash was in the office mailbox each month. He says, quote, "I never heard a single complaint from the tenant in apartment three-o-one, and nobody ever complained about him. He's the best tenant I've ever had.

MILLS: A landlord's dream tenant: a paralyzed man with no tongue.

SOMERSET: Who pays the rent on time.

MILLS: I'm sick of sitting around, waiting for him to kill again.

SOMERSET: This is the job. It's not an Easter egg hunt.

MILLS: There must be something in this pile of garbage we can follow. I mean, Christ... do we have to let this lunatic make all the moves.

SOMERSET: It's too dismissive to call him a lunatic. We can't make that mistake.

MILLS: Oh, blah, blah, blah. The guy's insane.

SOMERSET: It's a fine line between insane and inspired.

SOMERSET: This quote... his first words to us. I looked it up. It's from Milton's Paradise Lost. "Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light... "

MILLS: And so what?

SOMERSET: Well, he's been right so far, hasn't he?

MILLS: Just because the bastard has a library card, it doesn't make him Einstein.

SOMERSET: Just, realize... this is not some common lunatic. The type of intestinal fortitude it must take... to keep a man bound for a full year. To connect tubes to his genitals. To sever his hand and use it to plant fingerprints. He's methodical and exacting, and worst of all, he's patient.

SOMERSET: By telling you this, I'm trusting you more than I trust most people.

MILLS: It'd be best if you got to the point, cause I'm about ready to punch you in the face.

SOMERSET: For a long time, the F.B.I.'s been hooked into the library system, keeping accurate records.

MILLS: What? Assessing fines?

SOMERSET: They monitor reading habits. Not every book, but certain ones are flagged. Books about... let's say, how to build a nuclear bomb, or maybe Mein Kampf. Whoever takes out a flagged book has their library records fed to the F.B.I. from then on.

MILLS: You got to be kidding.

SOMERSET: Flagged books cover every topic the Bureau deems questionable... communism to violent crime.

MILLS: How is this legal?

SOMERSET: Legal... illegal. These terms don't apply. I don't applaud it. They can't use the information directly, but it's a useful guide. It might sound silly, but you can't get a library card without i.d. and a current phone bill.

MILLS: So they ran our list.

SOMERSET: If you want to know who's been reading Paradise Lost, Purgatory, and say... The Life and Time of Charlie Manson, the Bureau's computer will tell you. It might give us a name.

MILLS: Yeah. Some college student who's taking English 101 and just happens to be writing a paper on Twentieth Century Crime.

SOMERSET: Yeah, well... at least we're out of the office. We've got pizza.

MILLS: How do you know all about this?

SOMERSET: I don't. Neither do you.

SOMERSET: The Divine Comedy. A History of Catholicism. A book called Murderers and Madmen.

MILLS: Modern Homicide Investigation. In Cold Blood. Of Human Bondage. Human Bondage?

SOMERSET: It's not what you think it is.

MILLS: The Marquis de Sade and Origins of Sadism.

SOMERSET: That is.

MILLS: The Writings of Saint Thomas Aqu... Aquin...

SOMERSET: Saint Thomas Aquinas. He wrote about the seven deadly sins.

SOMERSET: "What sick, ridiculous, puppets we are, and what a gross, little stage we dance on. What fun we have, dancing and fucking, not a care in the world. Not knowing that we are nothing. We are not what was intended."

"On the subway today, a man came to me to start a conversation. He made small talk, this lonely man, talking about the weather and other things. I tried to be pleasant and accommodating, but my head began to hurt from his banality. I almost didn't notice it had happened, but I suddenly threw up all over him. He was not pleased, and I couldn't help laughing."

SOMERSET: If you're thinking... I had a relationship once, very much like a marriage. And, she was going to have our child. This is a long time ago. She and I had decided we were going to make the choice together... whether to keep the baby.

Well, I got up one morning and went to work... just like any other day, except it was my first since hearing about the baby. And, I... I felt this fear and anxiety washing over me. I looked around, and I thought, how can we raise a child surrounded by all this? How can a child grow up here? So, that night, I told her I didn't want us to have it, and over the next few weeks, I convinced her it was wrong. I mean... I wore her down, slowly.

TRACY: I want to have children. It's just...

SOMERSET: I can tell you now, I know... I'm positive I made the right decision. I'm positive. But, there's never a day that passes that I don't wish I had decided differently.

If you... don't keep the baby, if that's what you decide, then, never tell him you were pregnant. I mean that. Never. The relationship will whither and die.

But, if you do decide to have the baby, then, at that very moment, when you're absolutely sure, tell David. Tell him at that exact second, and then spoil that kid every chance you get. That's all the advice I can give you...

SOMERSET: You know... there's not going to be a happy ending to this. It's not possible anymore.

MILLS: If we get him, I'll be happy enough.

SOMERSET: No. Face it now. Stop thinking it's good guys against bad guys.

MILLS: How can you say that? Especially after today?

SOMERSET: Don't try to focus on things as black and white, because you'll go blind. There's no winning and losing here.

MILLS: You're the oldest man I know, Somerset.

SOMERSET: You tell me, then... you walk into an apartment, and a man has beaten his wife to death, or the wife murdered the husband, and you have to wash the blood off their children. You put the killer in jail. Who won?

MILLS: You do your job...

SOMERSET: Where's the victory?

MILLS: You follow the law and do the best you can. It's all there.

SOMERSET: Just know that in this case there's not going to be any satisfaction. If we caught John Doe and he were the devil himself, if it turned out he were actually Satan, then, that might live up to our expectations. No human being could do these things, right? But, this is not the devil. It's just a man.

SOMERSET: People don't want a champion. They just want to keep playing the lottery and eating hamburgers.

MILLS: What the fuck is wrong with you? What burnt you out?

SOMERSET: It wasn't one thing, if that's what you mean. I just... I can't live here anymore. I can't live where stupidity is embraced and nurtured as if it were a virtue.

MILLS: Oh, you're so much better than everyone, right? No one's worthy of you.

SOMERSET: Wrong! I sympathize completely, because if you can't win... then, if you don't ignore everything and everyone around you, you... you become like John Doe. It's easier to beat a child than it is to raise it, because it takes so much work to love. You just have to make sure you don't stop to think about the abuse, and the damage, because you'll risk being sad. Keep ignoring.

MILLS: You're talking about people who are mentally ill. You're...

SOMERSET: No I'm not! I'm talking about common, everyday life here. If you let yourself worry about one thing, you'll worry about the next, and the next, and it never ends. In this place, ignorance isn't just bliss, it's a matter of survival.

MILLS: If I were to accidentally cut off one of my nipple, would that be covered by workman's compensation?

SOMERSET: I suppose so. If you were man enough to actually file the claim, I'd buy you a new one out of my own pocket.

MILLS: We're not just going to pick up two more bodies, are we, Johnny? That wouldn't be... shocking enough. Wouldn't keep you on the front page of the newspapers.

JOHN DOE: Wanting people to pay attention, you can't just tap them on the shoulder. You have to hit them in the head with a sledgehammer. Then, you have their strict attention.

MILLS: What makes you so special that people should pay attention?

JOHN DOE: Not me. I'm not special. I'm not exceptional. This is, though. What I'm doing.

MILLS: I hate to burst your bubble, but other than the fact that you're especially sadistic, there's nothing unusual about these precious murders of yours.

JOHN DOE: You know that's not true.

JOHN DOE: I won't deny my own personal desire to turn each sin against the sinner. I only took their sins to logical conclusions.

MILLS: You only killed a bunch of innocent people so you could get your rocks off. That's all.

JOHN DOE: Innocent? Is that supposed to be funny? Look at the people I killed. An obese man, a disgusting man who could barely stand up... who if you saw him on the street, you'd point so your friends could mock him along with you. Who if you saw him while you were eating, you wouldn't be able to finish your meal. After him I picked the lawyer. And, you both must have been secretly thanking me for that one. This was a man who dedicated his life to making money by lying with every breath he could muster... to keeping rapists and murderers on the streets. A woman... so ugly on the inside that she couldn't bare to go on living if she couldn't be beautiful on the outside. A drug dealer... a drug dealing pederast, actually. And, don't forget the disease spreading whore.

Only in a world this shitty could you even try to say these were innocent people and keep a straight face. That's the point. You see a deadly sin on almost every street corner, and in every home, literally. And we tolerate it. Because it's common, it seems trivial, and we tolerate, all day long, morning, noon and night. Not anymore. I'm setting the example, and it's going to be puzzled over and studied and followed, from now on.

JOHN DOE: Don't ask me to pity the people I killed. I don't mourn them anymore than I mourn the thousands who died in Sodom and Gomorrah.

MILLS: You fuck. You really think what you did was God's good work?

JOHN DOE: The Lord works in mysterious ways.

JOHN DOE: Are you listening to me, Detective Mills? I'm trying to tell you how much I admire you... and your pretty wife Tracy. It's surprising how easily a member of the press can purchase information from the men in your precinct.

SOMERSET: David... please...

JOHN DOE: I visited your home this morning, after you left. I tried to play husband... tried to taste the life of a simple man, but it didn't work out. So, I took a souvenir.

SOMERSET: Give me the gun.

JOHN DOE: Her pretty head.

MILLS: Somerset...

JOHN DOE: Because I envy your normal life. Envy is my sin.