Thanatos Script Character Highlights

Thanatos

FADE IN – INT – NIGHT
Cigarette smoking in ashtray. Empty glass with ice beside ashtray. Camera shot is close and eye level with nightstand. Liquor is poured into glass. Camera shot looking into stand up mirror. In the reflection, out of focus, is man taking drink from glass. Woman is sitting on bed with her back to camera. Camera shot returns to eye level with nightstand. One hundred dollars in twenties is laid on the nightstand and the empty glass is set on top of the cash. Beads of water run down the outside of the glass. Woman’s hand reaches for the burning cigarette. Camera does not follow her. Camera remains fixed on glass. Cigarette smoke exhaled by the woman blows across the glass and camera lens. Off camera you hear door open and close. Camera shot switches to floor level looking up at woman sitting on bed. She adjusts the strap on her pantyhose. Camera moves up and follows her as she opens drawer on night stand. She removes syringe from drawer and injects drug into her leg. Her eyes roll back in her head (runs hands thru hair) and she lays back on the bed. Camera shot switches back to floor. Her arm falls into view. Her hand slowly opens and the syringe falls on the floor. Camera focuses in on syringe until it goes out of focus.
SCENE CHANGE – EXT – NIGHT – OUTSIDE BEDROOM WINDOW
Camera shot at short distance looking at bedroom window. Phone begins to ring and light comes on.
MAN (O.C.)
Hello
WOMAN (O.C.)
I have a problem.
MAN (O.C.)
What kind of a problem?
WOMAN (O.C.)
I don’t want to talk about it over the phone. Just get over here…
MAN (O.C.)
I’ll be there in thirty minutes.

SCENE CHANGE – EXT – NIGHT – BUILDING PARKING LOT
Distance shot across parking lot as car pulls in thru gate. Camera shot from the front as car pulls up directly to camera and shuts off headlights. Camera shot from distance as MAN exits car.
SCENE CHANGE – INT – NIGHT – BUILDING
MAN enters building and walks down hallway. Light is showing thru gap at bottom of door. Man stops at door, removes pistol and turns his head, listening for sounds inside room.
SCENE CHANGE – INT – NIGHT – BEDROOM
Camera shot is across room. MAN out of focus, slowly pushes the door open and walks in. He walks towards camera and comes into focus. Camera follows him as he pulls the sheets back, exposing the dead prostitute. WOMAN appears on the other side of the bed. They are both looking down at the dead girl. Camera shot is on woman. Without looking at man she says.
WOMAN
Bobby says you can take care of this.
MAN looks over at WOMAN. She is still looking down at the dead girl.
MAN
Where’s her family?
WOMAN continues to stare at the body and doesn’t answer man.
MAN
Hey!
WOMAN looks up at man.
WOMAN
She doesn’t have any family.
MAN
You damn sure no one is gonna come looking for her?
WOMAN
I’m sure.
MAN starts to pick up the dead girl.
WOMAN
Let me put her clothes back on.
MAN
I’m going to put her in a hole, then shovel dirt on top of her.
WOMAN looks down at the dead girl and then back up at MAN.
WOMAN
I still want to put her clothes on…

SCENE CHANGE – EXT – DAY – CEMETERY
Dawn in cemetery. Distance shot of Man’s car driving down lane between tombstones. Car stops in front of freshly dug grave. Camera shot close of MAN as he exits car. Camera follows him to back of car, he removes body and carries it over to grave. Man walks back to car, looks around cemetery, then removes shovel from trunk. He places body in bottom of grave, then shovels dirt over the body. Low camera shot from distance watching man shovel dirt. Camera shot close showing him standing over grave. City vehicle pulls up behind man out of focus. MAN #2 exits and joins him at the grave. Man #2 looks down at bottom of grave.
MAN #2
You better hope hell is full before you draw your last breath.
MAN
This coming from a guy who lets me bury a prostitute under a widow woman.
MAN reaches into his pocket, removes cash and prepares to hand it to MAN #2. As he is counting out the money to man #2, he says.
MAN
When I die, I won’t go to hell and neither will you… We’re already there…
MAN walks back towards his car. MAN #2 watches him walk away, then turns back and stares down into grave. Shot switches to distance with flower vase close up. Shot fades out of focus.

SCENE CHANGE – INT – DAY – TATTOO SHOP
WOMAN sitting behind a desk, playing video games on a cell phone. MAN enters the shop. Woman looks up at him, then down at his shoes. She stares for a few seconds at the dirt on them.
WOMAN
You a farmer?
MAN
Do I look like a farmer?
WOMAN
There’s dirt on your boots.

MAN
I was burying something this morning… But I’m pretty sure it won’t grow anything… Bobby in the back?
WOMAN nods her head yes. MAN walks past her and towards the back of the shop and finds BOBBY.
BOBBY
Everything go alright?
MAN
Everything went ok for me. Can’t say the same thing for the hooker.
BOBBY
I told her to quit using that poison…
MAN
Was she high when you told her that?
BOBBY
Well, that don’t make a damn now, does it…?
MAN
No, it don’t make a damn…
BOBBY opens a drawer, takes out a business card and slides it across the desk to MAN. He leans forward and picks up the card.
BOBBY
Call that number, then go home, get some sleep.
MAN gets up and starts to leave the office.
BOBBY
Hey Lane…
LANE turns back to BOBBY.
BOBBY
And stay sober, you’re gonna have a busy night…

SCENE CHANGE – EXT – NIGHT – PARKING LOT
Lane’s car pulls up in parking lot. LANE and WOMAN exit car. Woman starts to walk towards building.
LANE
Hey.
WOMAN stops and turns back to Lane.
LANE
Before you go in there, I want your driver license.

WOMAN
Why?
LANE
Because I want to know who you are and where you live.
WOMAN
Bobby and I talked about this. We agreed to no names.
LANE
Bobby’s not here. I am. You go into that building and get caught, I want to know who you are.
WOMAN
I’m not giving it to you.
LANE
Then find someone else…
WOMAN hesitates for a moment, then digs into her bag, pulls out her license and throws it on the car hood. She turns and walks towards building. LANE picks up the license, looks at it, then gets back into his car. He starts watching the building. Camera picks up woman as she is leaving the building. She makes her way back to Lane waiting in the car. Lane sees her, gets out and opens the trunk.
WOMAN
The money stays with me.
LANE
So when a cop pulls us over and wants to know what’s in the bag…
WOMAN hesitates at the back of the car.
WOMAN
Don’t think about screwing me tough guy…
LANE
The thought never crossed my mind…
WOMAN gives LANE a look, then throws the bag in the trunk. Lane shuts the trunk lid…
SCENE CHANGE – INT – NIGHT – CAR
LANE and NICOLE are driving down a country road. It’s almost dawn.
LANE
How much further?
NICOLE
Two miles, maybe less.
LANE
You’re sure they dropped a car off for you?
NICOLE
It’ll be there… Why were you so hell bent on knowing who I was back at the car lot…
LANE gives her a look, but doesn’t answer. He turns his attention back to driving the car.
NICOLE
If I got caught and told anyone about you… You were going to track me down and kill me…
NICOLE waits for an answer, but LANE just stares out the windshield. Finally she looks down at the speedometer and then back to Lane.
NICOLE
You better slow down. There are deer everywhere out here…

Epilogue

                 The alarm was set for four in the morning. Of course if you are like me, anytime the alarm is set that early, you don’t get any sleep. One eye is closed and the other watches the hands turn on the face of the clock. Psychologists have a term for that, but I’ll be damned if I know what it is. What I did know, the day was about to dawn that we had all worked so hard for the last three years. The day was Tuesday, the date was 11/12/13. Some people may have taken that as a bad sign, an omen if you will. However, I embraced the strange date. This adventure had taken many twists and turns over the last couple of years. Why not have a once in a lifetime date to commemorate our final dig for the massacre victims. I’m sure some of the members on our team would disagree with what I have just written…. our final dig. Before I can explain why this was the last round in the chamber so to speak, I need to take you back six months from 11/12/13. We were dead in the water until early drafts of this book began to circulate. Let me tell you what happened when the right person read the story and then decided to make a call….
                  My cell phone rang just after noon on a brisk Sunday in late April. I was outside splitting firewood, the last of the year, or so I hoped. Looking down at the screen, I didn’t recognize the number. Generally (admit it, you do as well) I let those calls go to my voicemail. On that Sunday I broke my (general) rule and took the call. Herrin City Councilman Bill Sizemore was on the other end of our wireless connection. Scott, I have a copy of your book and I’ve read it…. Well, I thought to myself, we have reached the “event horizon” of our crusade. Up to this point in our journey I had always dealt with Mayor Vic Ritter. Professor DiNaso and Doctor Gutowski had met with Ritter as well. In fact, they had several meetings with Ritter over the winter and spring of the past year. All to no avail…. What was Councilman Sizemore going to say to me? What was the hand I was about to be dealt? Scott, I can’t speak for all the Council, however I think I can speak for the majority of them. None of us had any idea this was going on. Of course “this” was what I was hoping to hear. I’d always had a strong suspicion that Ritter had kept everything you have read in this book (and more) to himself. He had not shared what he had been told to the majority of the Council. Sizemore had just confirmed my long held suspicions. Now it was my turn. I had been dealt a full house, it was time to push all my chips into the pot. Before I could respond to the Councilman, Sizemore asked me what in the hell was going on and what could (he) the Council do about it. Now, I knew, if Steven and I could keep our wits about us and make our case to Sizemore and the rest of the Council, we would finish what we had started. And believe me, there were times that DiNaso and I had that very conversation. Would we be able to gain access to the cemetery? Find Molkovich and the rest of the massacre victims that had been lost to time, fading memories and apathy…. I spent an hour that day talking with Bill and ended by telling him to call Steven. I assured Sizemore that we (the team) could help the city thru their issues out at the cemetery. The phone call ended and I knew we had our foot in the door. Now, we needed to do two things. Shove the door the rest of the way open, then prove beyond any doubt what Steven and I had been saying (and writing) for the last three years was true.
                   Over the next few weeks after we had both spoken with Sizemore, Steven and I talked with other members of the Herrin City Council. To the credit of them all, they were very receptive to what course of action we laid out to them. In the summer DiNaso put a presentation on before the fully assembled City Council. He laid out in detail the problems in the cemetery and made the case that it was important (for many reasons) that the massacre victims be found. The Council agreed and voted unanimously to allow us to proceed.
                  There was a court order that Judge Eckiss had ruled on that had to be dealt with, before the Council would allow us to dig in the cemetery. It was actually a Writ of Mandamus and I knew it had no meaning to our project. However, the Council was taking city attorney Brewster’s advice and rightfully so. The summer passed as we waited on a hearing before the Judge. DiNaso asked me in the interim what I thought would happen in court. The Judge will ask us what the hell we are there for, I told him. Then he will tell the city the court has no opinion on the matter, one way or the other. I had been wrong and made mistakes during this “crusade”, but on this I would be proven one hundred percent correct. DiNaso lacked my confidence (maybe rightfully so) and started working on another route into the cemetery. He and I had discussed many times the need to locate family members of the massacre victims buried in the cemetery. We both knew if the Judge ruled against us, that we would still prevail, however that set back would just lead to more delays. And one thing that you can be sure of, Steven and I were both damned tired of delays…. Therefore, if we had a family that was related to one of the victims and we could convince them to claim their long lost kin…. Then we had another (quick) way into the cemetery. Of course as with almost everything on this project, that would be much easier said than done. Enter John Foster. The retired Sheriff was a well oiled machine when it came to tracking people down. We put our heads together and decided John should work his magic on Ignas Kubines. We had his death certificate and it had a few names on it. Granted, it wasn’t much, but it was enough for Foster…. The Sheriff located Kubines’s late sister’s grave in a cemetery in Chicago. From there he was able to track down living blood relatives of the murdered miner. Steven reached out to the family and told them the reason for his call. They agreed to sign the necessary paperwork, which put me on the road to Carterville. Williamson County Coroner Burke owned a funeral home in that quiet little town. I wanted to have a face to face conversation with him about a Disinterment/Reinterment permit. As always, Coroner Burke was helpful and took time to explain the process to me. I laid out what needed to be done to Steven and in no time we had our paperwork in order. Now, if we received a set back in court on Eckiss’s order, we had another way into the cemetery. Before I finish this Epilogue, now would be a good time to explain something. I had started out playing checkers with the Mayor of Herrin. I soon learned that if I was to have any hope of finding Molkovich, I’d better start thinking like a chess player. Checkers wasn’t going to get it done…. DiNaso and I , along with the rest of our team, spent a lot of time thinking two or three moves in advance. You may think that we suffered at times from paranoia. Maybe we did. But I firmly believe you wouldn’t be reading this, if we would have acted any other way…. at times.
                   The big day arrived. Our day in court. My confidence had not waned, but I could tell DiNaso was nervous. He hid it well, but I had worked with him long enough to know that he was happy we had worked out “Plan B”. I was the defendant in the case, so my attorney Bernie Paul and myself sat at one table. The city attorney (Brewster) and another lawyer sat at the other table. Long story short, the Judge spent thirty minutes or so asking the city what they thought they needed from the court. Nothing, I thought to myself, but I kept my mouth shut. I could tell from the first words the Judge spoke in court that day, I wasn’t going to have to say a damn thing…. The Judge told the city that he (the court) had no opinion one way or the other about the cemetery. The city could allow us to dig, or not. The court didn’t care. DiNaso was setting about ten feet from me in the jury box (the courtroom was packed) and he and I made eye contact. I gave him a slight nod of my head and he smiled. We were in business! Time to (finally) go to work….
                   I’m sure you have heard the phrase, “the third time is the charm”. Well, in a way, the third time we dug in the cemetery was a charm. However, it was the fourth dig that brings another phrase to mind…. “pay dirt”. The first couple of excavations brought mixed results. The first dig we uncovered an empty wood vault. The dirt above the vault had a glass embalming bottle that had been hidden from human eyes for at least eighty years. Foster (again) tracked down the origin of the bottle and came up with a date of 1932. Old, but not old enough. I wasn’t surprised by what we found. I was troubled by it, but not surprised. We were working in a potter’s field and it made perfect sense that someone would have been exhumed. A stranger dying (killed more likely) on the streets of Herrin and buried in the section of the cemetery “reserved for the poor and the unknown”. His friends or family (both) track him down and claim his body. What troubled me about this? How much of this history were we going to “uncover” before we found the massacre victims. We were in a mine field of old unmarked graves without city records to guide us….
                  Our second dig a few weeks later was a bust. Or as DiNaso had so famously told me three years earlier, at least you know where they aren’t. I’ll cut our team some slack on the second dig, the city had a funeral that day. Out of respect for the dead we quit work about ten in the morning and moved to the other end of the cemetery. We resumed later that afternoon, but produced no results in our search for the elusive Molkovich. Meanwhile, Ritter was doing everything in his power to get us out of the cemetery. The pressure that he was exerting was powerful enough that the City Council had to call for another vote for us to continue our work. The third dig put an end to the push back from Ritter…. Early in the morning we had uncovered another old unrecorded burial. This was the first (for us anyway) of finding a grave in a “sold” lot. A local television crew was filming our discovery. I wasn’t aware of it, but Ritter was standing about thirty feet away. I was down in the grave examining the vault, making sure that it wasn’t one of our “guys”. It wasn’t, it was a child’s grave. The owner of the lot had left this cruel world and was buried next to the child. I assume the space next to him was at some point going to be used by his widow. The problem, that space had a child buried there…. The media asked me what I had discovered and what I was going to do about it. Answering the first question wasn’t a problem. The second question was going to be a little tougher…. I told the television crew what they were looking at and what the ramifications were. That was all it took. Ritter (unknown to me) had witnessed that conversation between myself and the media. As we filled in the child’s grave, I noticed Ritter and DiNaso off to themselves. Ritter was doing all the talking and DiNaso was doing all the listening…. The one sided conversation ended and Ritter got into his automobile and left. I suppose he had seen (and heard) enough for the day. Steven came back over and joined us. I asked him what that was all about. DiNaso told me the Mayor of Herrin said we (probably not me) were doing good work and it needed to continue. As a matter of fact, the whole area needed to be checked…. Thanks Mayor. By the end of the day we had uncovered four more graves and another empty wooden vault. All in sold lots…. None of them our “guys”. Which brings me back full circle, to the beginning of this Epilogue.
                 Our three digs were in the southern end of block fifteen. There were only two areas in block fifteen large enough to hold the massacre victims. We had eliminated one of the two. About eighty feet north of where we were working was the other area. If that area did not contain the remains of the murdered men, well then it was time to face a horrible fact. They had been buried over and would never be found…. Grant Woods and Dr. Vincent Gutowski had done some probing and coring in that northern area of block fifteen a few weeks earlier. Based on what Grant and Vince had discovered that day, Grant made several more trips back down to Herrin from Charleston Illinois. Grant would work from daylight to dark coring and then spend the night in a local motel. After a few days he called and told me to come out to the cemetery. It was a cold windy Saturday morning in early November. I had worked with Grant on this project long enough to know that if he wanted me to come out, he had something worth sharing. I think I have found your “guys” he said…. He spent the next couple of hours walking block fifteen with me and explaining core samples he had collected. At the end of his presentation in the field, I will never forget what he told me next. I think this looks like the real deal, he said. He then went on to tell me something that I fully (painfully) understood. These guys have been so elusive over the years, that I hate to say its them, but if it isn’t them…. I don’t know where else to tell you to search. The morning of 11/12/13 we were going to find out if Grant Woods(and the rest of us) were right….

Herrin_Group_PhotoProf. Steven DiNaso, Geographer Grant Woods, Dr. Vincent Gutowski,  Scott Doody

dig 2Geographer Grant Woods holding an “At Rest” plate from one of the coffins of the massacre victims.

Professor Steven DiNaso in the background working on retrieving another plate.

??????????

 Massacre victims found on 11/12/13. They were indeed buried in the potter’s field of the Herrin city cemetery on the western side of the fence in the 1922 photographs. The lots they were interred in had been sold in 1998 to an unsuspecting public. The men were buried in Block 15, and occupied parts of lots 13,14,15 and 16. I thought I should include the lot information in this book, so that ninety or so years from now, someone doesn’t come along and ask….Where are the Herrin massacre victims buried? Looking back on this adventure, I wouldn’t change a thing….Mistakes I made and all. As it turns out Molkovich was about eighty feet further north than I thought he would be. But he (and the rest) were found and that my friends, is all that really matters to me….

 

 

 

 

 

                       

 

Eight Two Five

What do the numbers eight, two and five mean? Well, if this was the latest spy thriller (think Jason Bourne) analysts in a secret hidden bunker would start typing away on computer keyboards and shouting out possibilities to each other. Is it an area code, the first digits of someone’s social security number? Could it be a combination that would allow a terrorist access to secrets on a computer that would destroy America? No, nothing as exciting and heart pounding as that. The numbers simply mean one thing… poverty. You see, when you combine the numbers eight, two and five, what they add up to is the minimum wage in Illinois. Eight dollars and twenty five cents an hour is the minimum an employer can pay, because politicians are looking out for you… Otherwise, those evil business men and women would pay two or three dollars an hour. My goodness, who knows, they might even force you to pay them to work!
There has been a lot of discussion lately at the state and federal level about raising the wage for the poor (literally) working stiffs of America. Why all the talk? Because more and more people find themselves forced into taking jobs that pay minimum wage.
Thank God (or thank no one if your agnostic) that many Americans are making more than poverty wages. However, with the slump the economy has been in, millions of our fellow citizens are working for the bare minimum. So, the answer to this problem is to raise the wages, right? Governor Quinn over the next four years wants to see employers pay ten dollars an hour. President Obama has said nine dollars should be the minimum. Who am I to argue with great minds such as these… Of course in order to solve a problem, you must first ask the right question. And with all due deference to the aforementioned politicians, they don’t know what the right question is. Before we enlighten them, let us take a look back thru history to see what we can learn about the origins of the minimum wage.
Labor unions had sued in court in the early 1930’s trying to force employers to pay a minimum wage. In 1936 the Supreme Court of the United States said such a edict would be unconstitutional. Their reasoning was simple and straightforward. Passing such a law or court order would limit a “working man’s” ability to negotiate his own wages… Which is exactly the trap that working people find themselves in today. When you enter the work force and attempt to negotiate a wage, the deck is stacked against you. The negotiations take place around a number that is dictated by the federal government. And the government has no right to tell you, or the employer what wages will be. In a free society, that is to be determined by the individual, not the almighty government. So, how did we get a minimum wage you ask? After all, the Supreme Court ruled against it. In 1938, just two years after the decision, President Roosevelt had Congress pass a law making the minimum wage twenty five cents an hour. The Supreme Court did nothing (sound familiar) to stop the President. The last seventy five years, the American employer and employee have been stuck working with an edict that the court said wasn’t constitutional…
Something to ponder as we wrap up our history lesson on the origins of the minimum wage. In the two decades that preceded President Roosevelt’s new law, we fought World War One without his grand solution. In the 1920’s Americans bought more cars than Henry Ford could produce… folks bought appliances, wired their new homes with electricity and traveled the country on newly paved highways. All without the minimum wage. They didn’t call it the “Roaring Twenties” for nothing. So, when I wrote earlier that in order to solve a problem, you had to ask the right question… Well you see, in this particular case, the question is the problem. Why do we have a minimum wage…

What has taken place behind the scenes…

I have met with two of the Herrin city council members last week and again this week. The city attorney (Brewster) will not be at the city council meeting on June 24th. No action will be taken on vacating the court order until his return on the 26th of June. After the conversations that I have had with the local officials, I believe action will be taken to vacate the court order before the July 8th city council meeting. The council has been provided detailed maps of the problems in block 15 and 41 of the cemetery and understand the urgency of the matter at hand. Hopefully we will be cleared and ready to go before the 4th of July. I will post more on this blog as details emerge…stay tuned.