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22 Rifle for Christmas

Dragnet

.22 Rifle for Christmas

Dec 22 1949





The Dragnet Team:

1ST ANNOUNCER

2ND ANNOUNCER

3RD ANNOUNCER

VOICE


Dramatis Personae:

SGT. JOE FRIDAY

SGT. BEN ROMERO, Texas accent

HARRY LEVINSON

LT. LEE JONES

MRS. RUTH JOHNSTONE

THAD BROWN, Chief of Detectives

MRS. EDITH MORHEIM

OPERATOR

RAY PINKER (2 lines)

STANLEY JOHNSTONE

JOHN MORHEIM





MUSIC: DRAGNET SIGNATURE ... THEN BEHIND 1ST ANNCR--

 

1ST ANNCR: Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.


2ND ANNCR: Fatima Cigarettes, best of all long cigarettes, brings you DRAGNET.


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN BEHIND--


1ST ANNCR: You're a detective sergeant. You're assigned to Homicide detail. A small boy is reported missing from his home. His age, nine years. Foul play is suspected. Your job ... find him.


MUSIC: DRAGNET SIGNATURE


2ND ANNCR: If you want a long cigarette, smoke the best of long cigarettes. Smoke Fatima. Fatima is the long cigarette, which contains the finest Turkish and domestic tobaccos, superbly blended to make Fatima extra mild. And that's why Fatima has a much different, much better flavor and aroma than any other long cigarette. That's why Fatima is doubling and redoubling its smokers. So if you want a long cigarette, smoke the best of all long cigarettes. Smoke Fatima.


MUSIC: MUTED THEME ... SNEAKS IN DURING ABOVE, THEN IN B. G.


1ST ANNCR: DRAGNET, the documented drama of an actual crime. For the next thirty minutes, in cooperation with the Los Angeles Police Department, you will travel step by step on the side of the law through an actual case from official police files. From beginning to end ... from crime to punishment ... DRAGNET is the story of your police force in action.


MUSIC: OUT BEHIND--

 

SOUND: JOE'S STEPS IN CORRIDOR. SLIGHT ECHO AND CORRIDOR B.G.


JOE: It was Thursday, December twenty-second. It was cold in Los Angeles. We were working the Night Watch out of Homicide. My partner's Ben Romero. The boss is Thad Brown, Chief of Detectives. My name's Friday. I was on the way into work and it was three fifty-five P.M. when I got to Room Forty-Two ... (SOUND: DOOR OPEN) ... Homicide. 


SOUND: JOE WALKS INTO THE ROOM. THE DOOR CLOSES BEHIND HIM. B.G. CHANGES. HE TAKES A COUPLE OF STEPS IN.


BEN: Hi, Joe.


JOE: Ben. What's doin'?


BEN: Oh, pretty quiet. How's your mother?


JOE: Oh, that cold's still hanging on. Bad cough. Doc says it's nothing serious.


BEN: My kid's got the same thing. Must be some kind of a virus goin' around.


SOUND: JOE'S STEPS TO LOCKER WHICH OPENS AND CLOSES DURING FOLLOWING--


JOE: (OFF) Yeah.


BEN: Is that a new suit you've got on?


JOE: (OFF) Oh, yeah. Ma figured I needed one.


BEN: Let me see.


SOUND: JOE'S STEPS TO BEN


BEN: Oh, yeah, that's a nice shade of blue. Where'd ya get it?


JOE: Quincy's, down on South Fig. Look okay?


BEN: Turn around.


JOE: All right.


SOUND: JOE'S STEPS AS HE TURNS AROUND


BEN: Oh, yeah, that's a good fit.


JOE: Did you get all the reports on the Webster case yet?


BEN: Yeah, all taken care of.


SOUND: PHONE RINGS 


JOE: Let me get it.


SOUND: JOE'S STEPS TO PHONE ... RECEIVER UP


JOE: Homicide. Friday.


HARRY: This is Levinson, Unit One-Thirteen-Jay. Got somethin' for ya.


JOE: Yeah, Harry. What's doin'?


HARRY: Doherty and I are out here on Collis Avenue. Four-six five-six. Tryin' to track down a nine-year-old boy.


JOE: What's the story?


HARRY: Kid's missin'. Suspicion of foul play.


JOE: How long has he been gone?


HARRY: 'Bout two hours. Looks like a job for Homicide.


JOE: How do you figure?


HARRY: Kid was last seen playin' in the backyard of his home.


JOE: Yeah?


HARRY: We checked over the yard.


JOE: Find anything?


HARRY: Bloodstains. Lots of 'em. They look new.


SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND JOE--


JOE: Ben and I left a message for Chief of Detectives Thad Brown. Then we went over to the crime lab, picked up Lieutenant Lee Jones, and drove out the Arroyo Seco Freeway to Collis Avenue. It was an average neighborhood. Number Forty-Six Fifty-Six was a one-story green stucco residence situated on the corner of Collis Avenue and Harrison Drive. Beyond the backyard was a tract of undeveloped land covered with scrub oak. Harry Levinson from Highland Park Juvenile was waiting for us in front of the house.


SOUND: OFFICERS' FOOTSTEPS IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


HARRY: Back this way, fellas.


BEN: Comin', Lee?


LEE: Wait'll I get my bag.


JOE: Okay.


SOUND: CAR DOOR CLOSES


JOE: Who notified you that the boy was missing, Harry?


HARRY: The mother. Said she went out to do some Christmas shopping about eleven this morning, left the boy home. She came back about two this afternoon; he was gone.


BEN: What's the name?


HARRY: Johnstone. Kid's name is Stanley. Nine years old.


JOE: Mm hm.


SOUND: SQUEAK OF GATE


JOE: Was this gate open like this when you got here?


HARRY: Oh, yeah. I haven't touched a thing. (UP) Uh, here are the stains over here, Lieutenant Jones. Along the edge of the walk, see?


LEE: Yeah. Let me see.


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS OUT


JOE: Quite a few stains, huh?


SOUND: LEE OPENS BAG, TAKES OUT BOTTLE


LEE: Looks like it might be blood. We'll try some benzidine on these spots here.


SOUND: UNSCREWS BOTTLE, TREATS STAIN


LEE: Yeah, there we are. See what happens.


BEN: Where's the kid's mother now, Harry?


HARRY: In the house. Doherty's talking to her.


JOE: You talk to any of the neighbors?


HARRY: People next door. Uh, ones on this side. They couldn't tell us anything.


LEE: There it is, fellas.


JOE: Yeah, Lee?


LEE: These spots I covered with benzidine. They're turning blue. Bloodstains all right. Can't say definitely whether it's human or animal blood.


JOE: Uh huh. You have to go back to the lab to run it through?


LEE: Yeah, biological precipitant test. Hand me one of those glass vials from my bag, will ya?


JOE: Yeah.


SOUND: JOE'S STEPS TO BAG, CLINK OF GLASS VIALS


JOE: Okay, here ya are.


LEE: Thanks.


SOUND: SCRAPE, ET CETERA, DURING FOLLOWING--


LEE: Scrape some of these flakes off for a test. There we are.


BEN: How soon can you type the blood for us, Lee?


LEE: Precipitant test won't run more than twenty minutes. It'll take three or four hours to run a blood grouping, though.


SOUND: LEE GATHERS GLASS VIALS


LEE: That's it. Anything else you wanna check?


JOE: Levinson? Anything else?


HARRY: Oh, uh, right here in my handkerchief. Empty shell. That marker over there by the rosebush? That's where I found it.


BEN: (EXAMINES IT) Uhh, from a twenty-two, huh?


HARRY: Yeah. Might tie in, might not.


LEE: Mark it and dump it in this envelope, will ya?


HARRY: Oh. Yeah.


SOUND: SHELL MARKED BEHIND--


HARRY: There. "Shell." There ya go.


SOUND: SHELL DUMPED IN ENVELOPE


JOE: Did you get out a "missing" broadcast on the boy, Harry?


HARRY: Doherty did, 'bout a half hour ago. Oh, here's a description, here.


SOUND: PAPER RUSTLES


BEN: Mm hm.


JOE: Thank you.


BEN: Mother know about the bloodstains?


HARRY: No, we didn't tell her. She's worried enough already.


JOE: And she has no idea what might have happened to her boy, huh?


HARRY: No more'n we do. She checked all her friends, relatives. We're covering the neighborhood. No trace so far.


BEN: Not much to go on. 


HARRY: Bloodstains, empty cartridge.


JOE: Could mean a hundred things.


HARRY: Mm. Any ideas, Friday?


JOE: Yeah. Just one and I don't like it.


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND JOE--


JOE: Four-thirty P. M., Thursday, December twenty-second. The neighborhood search for nine year old Stanley Johnstone continued. Lee Jones went back to the crime lab to start the precipitant test and the blood grouping. Levinson and his partner Doherty from Highland Juvenile stood by. We called Chief of Detectives Thad Brown and he ordered up a special detail to aid in the search for the missing boy. Ben and I questioned the boy's mother, Mrs. Ruth Johnstone, a woman in her early forties. She seemed fairly calm under the circumstances.


BEN: Miz Johnstone, um, is your boy Stan in the habit of wandering off without telling you where he's going?


RUTH: No, he's not in the habit of wandering off, but he has done it before.


JOE: When was the last time, Miz Johnstone?


RUTH: You don't have any children, do you, Sgt. Friday?


JOE: No, I'm not married.


RUTH: Well, there comes that time in every young boy's life when he feels that it's time to leave home, to go out on his own. Usually happens somewhere around eight to ten.


BEN: I think I know what you mean. I got a boy.


RUTH: Well, then you know how it is. My husband and I scolded Stanley one day after school and he was quite put out about it. He thought George and I were unfair. Packed a few of his things and left.


JOE: How long was he gone?


RUTH: Oh, no time at all. About two hours. I was worried about him, but my husband said to leave him alone. Said every boy had to go through that stage.


JOE: Well, then you think he's run away from home again this time?


RUTH: (UNCERTAIN) Yes, I think so. He's been gone about four hours now and I have a funny feeling about it.


BEN: Did you and his father have some misunderstanding with the boy recently?


RUTH: Well, that's just it. We haven't. I don't mind telling you now that we're talking about it, I - I am getting worried.


JOE: Any place around that he might like to visit -- hobby shop, playground -- where he might be?


RUTH: Yeah, there's Jensen's Model Shop and Little [shee-anna burros?], but I've already called there and he hasn't been seen all day. I called all his friends and they have no idea where he is either.


JOE: We'd like a list of all his friends and the places that he was known to frequent.


RUTH: Mm, yeah, all right, I'll give 'em to ya. (MYSTIFIED) Where do you suppose he is?


BEN: Where's your husband now, Miz Johnstone?


RUTH: Well, he's at work. George works for the city. He's a fireman.


BEN: What house is he stationed at?


RUTH: Engine Company Twelve. He's working the Eight Platoon. He'll be home tomorrow morning. I haven't told him that Stanley's gone.


JOE: Well, is there any chance the boy might be down at the firehouse with his father?


RUTH: No. No, he seldom goes down there any more. No, I don't think he's there. (BEAT) I'm awfully worried. May I call my husband?


JOE: Certainly. Go right ahead.


SOUND: RUTH'S FOOTSTEPS TO PHONE ... RECEIVER UP, DIALS


RUTH: I know George'll be worried. Stanley's been gone too long. (BEAT, INTO PHONE) Hello? May I speak with George Johnstone? This is Mrs. Johnstone. --- Thank you. (TO JOE AND BEN) I hate to call George at his work.


BEN: Yes, ma'am.


JOE: Does your husband own a gun?


RUTH: Yes, he does.


JOE: What caliber, do you know?


RUTH: Well, it's a forty-five automatic. He got it-- (INTO PHONE) George? This is Ruth. George, is Stanley down there with you by any chance? --- (DISAPPOINTED) Ohh. --- No, I can't find him anywhere. He wasn't here when I came home from my shopping. Uh, there are two policemen here. --- No, I said there are two policemen here. --- Oh, no, dear. I'll call you if we don't find him soon. --- All right, dear. --- Yes, you, too. Goodbye.


SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN ... RUTH'S STEPS TO JOE AND BEN


RUTH: I didn't think he'd be with George.


JOE: That forty-five -- is that the only gun in the household?


RUTH: Why, yes. Why are you asking about guns? Has - has anything happened that you're not telling me about?


BEN: No, ma'am, just routine checking. We'll have to take a look at that forty-five, though, if you don't mind.


RUTH: Maybe I should tell you, we - we do have another gun in the house, but it's all wrapped up. George bought it for Stanley's Christmas present.


JOE: May we see it, please?


RUTH: Well, yes. (MOVING OFF) Will you have to unwrap it?


SOUND: RUTH'S STEPS TO CLOSET DOOR, OFF


JOE: Yes, I'm afraid so.


SOUND: CLOSET DOOR OPENS


RUTH: (OFF) I think I can reach it. (STRETCHES) We - we had to hide it--


SOUND: RATTLE OF WRAPPING PAPER PULLED FROM HIGH SHELF


RUTH: (OFF, WORRIED) Ohhh. Here's the paper it was wrapped in. Stanley must have found it. It's gone!


SOUND: RATTLE OF WRAPPING PAPER ... RUTH'S STEPS TO JOE AND BEN


RUTH: See? Here's the gift card and the box the gun came in, the rifle.


JOE: Can I look at that box, ma'am?


SOUND: BOX HANDED OVER


JOE: Thank you.


BEN: (BEAT) How 'bout it, Joe?


JOE: Twenty-two caliber.


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND JOE--


JOE: Thursday, December twenty-second, five-fifteen P. M. It was getting dark. The search for the missing boy continued. We checked the list of Stanley Johnstone's friends. None of them or their parents had any idea of his whereabouts. We talked with Levinson again. He had been in touch with the detail combing the neighborhood. They had found nothing. We went down to Collis Avenue and Tenth Street; service station on the corner.


SOUND: JOE AND BEN'S STEPS TO STATION


BEN: Want a nickel, Joe?


JOE: No, I got one. You watch for Thad, huh?


BEN: Yeah, okay.


SOUND: JOE'S STEPS INTO PHONE BOOTH ... BOOTH DOOR CLOSES, RECEIVER UP, NICKEL DROPS, DIALS (ROTARY, SIX DIGITS), PHONE RINGS AND IS ANSWERED (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE) ... SLIGHT PHONE BOOTH ECHO ON JOE'S VOICE


OPERATOR: (FILTER) City Hall.


JOE: Two-six-six-seven, please.


OPERATOR: (FILTER) Two-six-six-seven.


SOUND: CALL CONNECTS AND IS ANSWERED (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)


LEE: (FILTER) Crime lab. Jones.


JOE: Hi, Lee. Joe Friday.


LEE: (FILTER) Yeah, Joe? Any sign of the Johnstone kid?


JOE: No, not yet. How are you coming?


LEE: (FILTER) Finished the precipitant test. It's human blood.


JOE: Yeah?


LEE: (FILTER) Working on the blood group now. Do you know what type the Johnstone boy has?


JOE: Well, we didn't want to upset his mother. Thought we'd wait till the last thing. We're still in the neighborhood.


LEE: (FILTER) Check with the family physician. That way you won't disturb her.


JOE: Yeah, we figured on that.


SOUND: BEN TAPS ON PHONE BOOTH GLASS


JOE: Oh, just a minute, Lee.


LEE: (FILTER) Yeah.


SOUND: BOOTH DOOR OPENS


JOE: Yeah, Ben?


BEN: Boss just pulled up.


JOE: Okay. (INTO PHONE) Uh, Thad Brown's out here now. I'll check ya later, Lee, huh?


LEE: (FILTER) Yeah, right, Joe.


JOE: All right, goodbye.


SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN ... JOE EXITS BOOTH, JOINS BEN AND THAD


THAD: Gentlemen, how's it going?


JOE: Just checked with Lee Jones.


THAD: Yeah, I know; it's human blood. What do you think?


BEN: We talked with the boy's mother, Miz Johnstone. Found a gun missing. 


THAD: Yeah?


BEN: Caliber's the same as the empty casing that Levinson found. Twenty-two.


THAD: You said the gun was missing?


JOE: Yeah, the Johnstones were gonna give it to the boy as a Christmas present. They had it hidden, but it's gone now.


THAD: Any idea who took it?


JOE: Well, they left the Christmas wrapping behind. I think it was the kid.


THAD: (WITH DISGUST) Twenty-two rifle, huh? Nine-year-old boy. When are they gonna learn? First, it's carbide cannons on the Fourth of July. The city issued ordinance after ordinance, but a few thousand kids around the country had to lose their eyes, fingers, hands, before the parents'd give us their full cooperation to outlaw 'em.


BEN: I know what you mean.


THAD: Sure you do. You and every other cop in the country became the heavies trying to clamp down on 'em. It's always the same story. This time it's guns for Christmas.


JOE: I know what you're thinking, but we're not sure yet.


THAD: Listen, Friday, there's a city ordinance against giving a gun to a kid, you know that.


JOE: Yes, I know that.


THAD: There's a missing boy and a missing gun. There's blood on the ground and an empty shell; that's enough for me.


BEN: We're gonna stay with it. Something's got to break.


THAD: Yeah. I hope it's not the hearts of that kid's parents.


SOUND: HARRY'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH


HARRY: Oh, hi, Chief. I've been looking for you, Friday.


JOE: What do you got, Harry?


HARRY: Found the gun. New twenty-two rifle. Strong smell of cordite. I'd say it's been recently fired.


THAD: Where'd you find it, Levinson?


HARRY: Back up there in that scrub oak. Up behind the Johnstone house. Mrs. Johnstone identified it. Buckley took it down to the crime lab.


JOE: Thanks, Harry. Is Miz Johnstone okay?


HARRY: She's pretty sick now. Killoughby came up with something else.


THAD: What's that?


HARRY: There's another one missing. An eight-year-old boy.


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND JOE--


JOE: Six-thirty P. M. We talked with Officer Killoughby about the other missing boy. He told us that his name was Steven Morheim, eight years old. His family had just moved into the neighborhood. Seemed that no one besides the Morheim family knew that the boys played together. Mrs. Morheim told us that Steven told her that he was going out to play and that he'd be home by six o'clock for dinner. She told us that he was an unusually prompt boy and almost never overstayed his playtime. We got a description of the Morheim boy and put out a "missing" broadcast. We called the Johnstones' family doctor. He told us that Stanley's blood was Type O. At seven P. M., we talked again with Mrs. John Morheim.


EDITH: (DISTRAUGHT) Are you sure Mrs. Johnstone doesn't know where the boys are?


BEN: She has no idea, Miz Morheim.


EDITH: This is terrible. Just awful. (BEAT) I feel there's more to this thing. Something you're not telling me.


JOE: Well, there's no use to upset you until we know a few things for sure.


EDITH: Then you are holding back something.


JOE: Now, please try not to worry, Miz Morheim. There are certain questions we'll have to ask -- routine questions in any kind of investigation.


EDITH: Is there anything else you want to know?


JOE: Yes, ma'am. What is your boy's blood type?


EDITH: (SUSPICIOUS) That's a funny question. Do you think anything's happened to him? Have you found him and you're not telling me?


BEN: No, ma'am, we haven't found him. We don't think anything's happened to him.


EDITH: His blood type?


BEN: Yes, ma'am.


SOUND: EDITH'S STEPS AWAY


EDITH: (OFF) I think I have it written down in Stevie's baby book.


SOUND: TURNS PAGE IN BOOK


EDITH: (OFF) Yes, here it is. It's Type O.


JOE: Thank you. I wonder if I might use your phone, please.


SOUND: EDITH'S STEPS TO JOE AND BEN


EDITH: (CLOSER) Yes, of course. It's in the hall.


JOE: Be right back, Ben.


BEN: Yeah, okay.


SOUND: JOE'S STEPS TO PHONE ... RECEIVER UP ... DIALS ... PHONE RINGS AND IS ANSWERED (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)


OPERATOR: (FILTER) City Hall.


JOE: Two-six-six-seven, please.


OPERATOR: (FILTER) Two-six-six-seven.


SOUND: CALL CONNECTS AND IS ANSWERED (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)


RAY: (FILTER) Crime lab. Pinker.


JOE: Hello, Ray. This is Friday. Lee there?


RAY: (FILTER) Ah, just a minute, Joe. (CALLS) Take two, Lee!


SOUND: LEE PICKS UP ON LINE TWO (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)


LEE: (FILTER) Jones speaking.


JOE: Checking back, Lee.


LEE: (FILTER) Did you get the blood types of the two missing boys?


JOE: Yeah. Both boys Type O.


LEE: (FILTER) So are the stains, Joe. Type O.


MUSIC: FIRST ACT CURTAIN


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MUSIC: DRAGNET SIGNATURE ... THEN BEHIND JOE--


JOE: Eight P. M., Thursday, December twenty-second. Still no sign of either of the missing boys. Chief of Detectives Thad Brown went back to headquarters to direct the search from there. He dispatched another detail of fifty men to aid in the hunt for the missing youngsters. Eight-thirty P. M. It was getting colder; the citrus growers were warned to expect a freeze. We went up the block to see Mrs. Johnstone. Her husband had quit work early and returned home. We talked with him. He could tell us nothing more than we already knew. 


We still had not informed either of the families about the bloodstains and the empty cartridge casing which had been discovered in the backyard of the Johnstone home. It was more than possible that they had a right to know about our findings, but Ben and I felt that there was no cause to add to the distress of the two families at this time. If the two missing boys were found alive and well, then the bloodstains and the cartridge case would be of no concern to the relieved parents.


At eight-forty P. M., Ben and I left the Johnstone house and went to the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Morheim.


BEN: Miz Morheim, you said your husband worked at a market?


EDITH: (MORE DISTRAUGHT THAN BEFORE) Yes. He telephoned about fifteen minutes ago and said he was closing up right away. He'll be here any minute. I do wish Stevie would call or come home. It's so cold out tonight. All he had on was a thin cotton jacket.


JOE: Please try not to worry. We're doing everything we can. It's gonna be all right.


EDITH: Stevie's father's such a sensitive man. He and the boy are so close. I know he's terribly upset.


BEN: Well, you're sure there's no place you might have forgotten? Some place where the boy might be?


EDITH: No. No place. No. (STARTS TO CRY) If anything's happened to the boy, it'll just kill John.


BEN: (SOOTHING) Now, now--


SOUND: MORHEIM DOORBELL RINGS


JOE: You sit still; I'll get it, Miz Morheim.


SOUND: JOE'S STEPS TO MORHEIM FRONT DOOR WHICH OPENS


HARRY: Joe?


JOE: Hi, Harry.


HARRY: The Johnstone kid. He's been found.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: JOHNSTONE DOORBELL RINGS ... FRONT DOOR OPENS


RUTH: (RELIEVED, BUT WORRIED) Oh, he's home, sergeant; he's come home. Thank God he's all right.


JOE: Where's he been? Did he tell ya?


SOUND: FRONT DOOR CLOSES ... STEPS IN


RUTH: No. No, he didn't. His clothes are all dirty and he's acting strange. I've never seen him like this.


BEN: How do you mean, Miz Johnstone?


RUTH: Well, he just came in the front door and said, "Hello, mom," and then he sat down in a chair and stared at the floor. He won't talk to his father or me.


JOE: Do you mind if I talk to him?


RUTH: No, go ahead. I asked him about the little Morheim boy and he wouldn't tell me a thing.


JOE: Where is he now?


RUTH: In the living room.


SOUND: JOE, BEN, AND RUTH'S STEPS TO LIVING ROOM


BEN: (BEAT) Looks all right.


RUTH: Yes. (BEAT, TO STANLEY) Son? (NO ANSWER) Son, this is a police officer. He - he wants to talk to you. (NO RESPONSE) Don't be afraid, dear. He only wants to ask you some questions. (NO RESPONSE) Son? (SIGHS, TO JOE) You see, sergeant?


JOE: Stanley? Come on, look at me, son. Get your head up, youngster. Come on, now; that's better. (BEAT) Had your mother pretty worried, you know that? (NO ANSWER) You wanna tell us where you been?


RUTH: I wish you'd try to get him to eat a little something.


JOE: Do you hear that, son? Want something to eat? (NO ANSWER) Stanley, there's another little boy up the street who hasn't come home. Do you know where he is? His father and mother are worried about him, too. Just like your folks were. You've got to help us find him, son.


STANLEY: (SLOWLY, TEARFULLY) I - I killed him. I killed Steve with the twenty-two. We were only playing, but I killed him. 


JOE: How do you know you killed him? Maybe he's only hurt. Now, isn't that it?


STANLEY: (WEEPS QUIETLY) No. He's dead. I know he's dead. The gun went off. We forgot we put bullets in there.


JOE: Where is he, Stanley?


STANLEY: I hid him. I was scared. I didn't want anybody to find him.


JOE: Where did you hide him, son?


STANLEY: In a cave, up on the hill. I didn't mean it. He was my pal.


JOE: Do you wanna show us where, son?


STANLEY: Yes. I'll show you. Please, don't send me to jail.


MUSIC: MOURNFUL ... THEN BEHIND JOE--


JOE: Nine-fifteen P. M., Thursday, December twenty-second. Nine-year-old Stanley Johnstone led the way up the hill behind the backyard of his home. He showed us the wagon he moved the body in. His father came along with us. About fifty feet from the crest of the hill, the boy pointed to a thicket of scrub oak. There we found a small cave holding the body of Steven Morheim. There was a single bullet wound in his chest, just below his heart. He was dead. We covered the body.


BEN: Stanley? Stanley, how did it happen?


STANLEY: I knew my folks were gonna give me the gun for Christmas. I knew where it was, and I got it. There was a box of bullets with it.


JOE: Were you pointing the gun at Steven?


STANLEY: No, sir. No, sir, I wasn't. It was Steve's turn to play with it. I was chasing him. He tripped over the stump there in our backyard, and fell. The gun hit him in the stomach. (SOBS) And it went off.


JOE: Why do you think you killed him if you're telling us the truth?


STANLEY: I'm telling the truth, honest! That's the truth.


JOE: All right, I believe you, son. But why do you think you killed him?


STANLEY: It was my gun. Steve'd still be alive if I didn't go and get it. I shoulda waited till Christmas. It's all my fault.


JOE: Where've you been all this time?


STANLEY: In the cave, with Steve.


JOE: What were you doing in there, son?


STANLEY: I was praying. I was praying for God to make him alive again.


MUSIC: GRIM ... THEN BEHIND JOE--


JOE: After a thorough investigation, Ben and I were convinced that the shooting of Steven Morheim was accidental. Lieutenant Lee Jones' findings substantiated the Johnstone boy's story even to the smallest detail. We put in a call to the coroner's office and acquainted him with the facts. He designated a local mortuary to handle the body, pending autopsy, and granted us permission to remove the body to the Morheim home. Mrs. Morheim collapsed. The family doctor was called. Ben and I sat in the living room to wait for John Morheim, the dead boy's father.


SOUND: KEY IN LOCK, MORHEIM FRONT DOOR UNLOCKED AND OPENED ... JOHN'S STEPS IN, DOOR CLOSES


JOHN: (CALLS) Edith?!


SOUND: A FEW MORE STEPS IN


JOHN: (CALLS) Edith?!


JOE: Mr. Morheim?


JOHN: Yes. You the police?


JOE: Yes, sir.


JOHN: Where's Edith? Where's my wife? (NO ANSWER) Has my boy come home? (NO ANSWER) Have you found him?


JOE: Yes, sir.


JOHN: Well, where is he? (CALLS) Steve?! Stevie?! (NO ANSWER, TO JOE) Where's Steve? (NO ANSWER, REALIZES) He's hurt, isn't he?


JOE: Yes, sir.


JOHN: Well, where is he? I want to see him.


JOE: He's hurt bad, Mr. Morheim.


JOHN: (INSISTS) Well, where is he? I want to see him.


JOE: He's in his room.


JOHN: (RELIEVED EXHALATION)


SOUND: JOHN TAKES A FEW STEPS, THEN STOPS SHORT


JOHN: How bad?


JOE: Pretty bad.


SOUND: JOHN TAKES A FEW STEPS, THEN STOPS 


JOHN: (REALIZES, LOW) He's - he's dead. (BREATHES) All right if I go in?


JOE: If you want to.


MUSIC: SENTIMENTAL ... SNEAKS IN ... CONTINUES IN B. G.


JOHN: Will you go with me?


JOE: Sure.


SOUND: THEIR STEPS TO BEDROOM


JOE: Don't make it any harder on yourself, Mr. Morheim.


JOHN: I want to see my boy. (BREAKS DOWN AND CRIES) Stevie.


JOE: Mr. Morheim--?


JOHN: (SLOWLY, TEARFULLY) Stevie, Stevie, Stevie-- (BEAT) Listen to me, son. We got you a lot of nice things for Christmas. Everything you wanted. I - I got you the three new cars for the train. The one with the searchlight really works. (SOBS) Son, you - you got that new switch you wanted, too, and - a lot more track. (SOBS) Oh, Stevie, now you can have a big layout. You know that - that new baseball that you saw? Well, I got it for you. Stevie, Stevie-- The cowboy outfit you wanted, I got it, too. (WEEPS UNCONTROLLABLY, MUTTERING "STEVIE" NOW AND THEN, IN B. G.)


JOE: Mr. Morheim--?


SOUND: BEN'S STEPS APPROACH


BEN: Come on, Joe.


JOHN: (SLOWLY REGAINS HIS COMPOSURE, BREATHES HEAVILY) What happened?


BEN: It was an accident. He was playing with the Johnstone boy up the street. Playing with a gun. It went off.


JOHN: (BEAT, TENSE) What was the other boy's name?


BEN: Stanley Johnstone. It was an accident.


JOHN: (EXHALES) 


MUSIC: UP, FOR AN ACCENT ... THEN IN B. G.


SOUND: JOHN'S STEPS AWAY


JOE: (WORRIED, SHARPLY) Mr. Morheim? Where are you going?


JOHN: (GRIMLY DETERMINED) I want to see that boy.


MUSIC: UP, FOR AN ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND JOE--


JOE: We had no idea what the dead boy's father had in mind. We didn't feel that we should try to restrain him. We went along with him up the street to the Johnstone home.


SOUND: JOHNSTONE DOORBELL RINGS ... FRONT DOOR OPENS


JOHN: (TENSE) I'm - Stevie's father. Where's your boy?


RUTH: (DEEPLY) I'm sorry--


JOHN: (INSISTS) Where's your boy?


RUTH: (UNCOMFORTABLY) He's right here. Won't you come in?


JOE: It's all right, Mrs. Johnstone.


SOUND: STEPS IN ... FRONT DOOR CLOSES ... STEPS TO LIVING ROOM ... FOLLOWING DIALOGUE EXCHANGE IS PLAYED SLOWLY


JOHN: (ACCUSINGLY) You-- You're the boy that was with Stevie?


STANLEY: Yes, sir.


JOHN: What's your name?


STANLEY: Stanley.


JOHN: Stanley. I know it wasn't your fault, Stanley. I wonder if you'd do something for me.


STANLEY: Yes, sir?


JOHN: I've got a lot of nice presents for Stevie. I know he'd want you to have them. I want to give them to you, Christmas Eve.


STANLEY: (UNCERTAINLY) Mom--?


RUTH: (OVERWHELMED) I - I think that would be a fine idea, son.


JOE: Come on, Ben.


SOUND: JOE AND BEN'S BRISK STEPS TO JOHNSTONE FRONT DOOR WHICH OPENS AND SHUTS ... STEPS ON FRONT WALK, THEN STOP


BEN: (SLOWLY, THOUGHTFULLY) Well-- What does it all prove, Joe?


JOE: You don't give a kid a gun for Christmas.


MUSIC: DRAGNET SIGNATURE ... THEN BEHIND 1ST ANNCR--


1ST ANNCR: The story you have just heard was true. Only the names were changed to protect the innocent.


2ND ANNCR: On December twenty-fourth, Nineteen Forty-Eight, a coroner's inquest was held in the County Morgue, City and County of Los Angeles, State of California. In a moment, the results of that inquest. 


3RD ANNCR: Now here are authentic reports from all over the country that tell the story of Fatima's sensational increase in popularity. New York Division--


VOICE: (FILTER) Fatima sales, up one hundred thirty-two percent!


3RD ANNCR: Chicago Division--


VOICE: (FILTER) Fatima sales, up four hundred fifty-three percent!


3RD ANNCR: Los Angeles Division--


VOICE: (FILTER) Fatima sales, up five hundred forty-five percent!


3RD ANNCR: More and more smokers agree, Fatima is the best of all long cigarettes. So enjoy Fatima yourself. And give extra-mild Fatimas for Christmas in the attractive golden yellow carton. Everyone who smokes Fatima says that this great new long cigarette is the best of all long cigarettes.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


1ST ANNCR: At the coroner's inquest, it was officially recorded that Steven Morheim's death was the result of an accident. Stanley Johnstone, age nine, was absolved of any legal responsibility for his friend's death.


MUSIC: MUTED THEME ... THEN BEHIND 2ND ANNCR-- 


2ND ANNCR: You have just heard DRAGNET -- a new series of authentic cases from official files. Technical advice for DRAGNET comes from the Office of Acting Chief of Police, W. A. Wharton, Los Angeles Police Department. 


1ST ANNCR: DRAGNET honors Hennepin County, Minneapolis, State of Minnesota, and the men of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, another of America's great law enforcement agencies. One of these men, Sheriff Ed Ryan, veteran police officer and department administrator, who dedicates his life to making yours more secure.


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN IN B. G. 


2ND ANNCR: Fatima Cigarettes, the best of all long cigarettes, has brought you DRAGNET, portion transcribed, from Los Angeles. 


NBC ANNCR: Be sure to hear songs by Morton Downey -- tonight on NBC.


MUSIC: NBC CHIMES

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