A Knife’s Edge TV Script Two-Movie Script Part Two

Written by Myron Grace (Started 01-21-21), Book by Eliot Parker


Scene Seven Shot One/Action Shot One: Ty pointed the paramedics to where the wounded had huddled together. His first task after leaving Ronan was to quickly identify the dead, if possible, and then separate the critically injured from the seriously injured. With limited medical supplies, other than those from Ronan’s utility belt, Ty used napkins, ripped tablecloths, and anything else he could find to stop the blood loss from the deep cuts and lacerations suffered by the victims. Five people had been killed. Their bodies were crushed by falling debris from the ceiling and the collapsed metal staircase. Twelve people had serious injuries, while eighteen others suffered only minor cuts and abrasions. Miraculously, twenty-five of those present sustained only bruises and scrapes.

Scene Seven Shot Two/Action Shot Two: As Ty tried collecting himself, the gurneys pushed by frantic paramedics whirled around him. Ty knelt down and rested against an overturned table. He desperately wanted to give in to the soreness and exhaustion that plagued him. He closed his eyes for a moment, wanting to be numb to the horrific place he was in, this scene of carnage and death. At that moment, Ty knew that if he didn’t start moving again, he would collapse and become the next one hauled away on a gurney. When Ty opened his eyes, he felt the familiar sensation of hands upon his shoulders. He blinked to see Ronan, watery-eyed and covered in dust and soot, studying his face.

Ty: “Hey.”

Ronan: “It’s okay. It’s over. For now, anyway.”

Scene Seven Shot Three/Action Shot Three: Ty shook his head.

Ty: “It’s just beginning. All of these injured.”

Scene Seven Shot Four/Action Shot Four: He was struck by how incoherent

and inconsistent it was.

Ty: “Who drove the car?”

Ronan: “It was a man. His ID says Jacob Collier. He’s from Charleston.

Scene Seven Shot Five/Action Shot Five:” Ronan slipped his hands under each of Ty’s arms.

Ronan: “Come on. We need to get you looked at.”

Ty: No. Ronan I’m Okay.

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Scene Seven Shot Six/Action Shot Six:” Ty didn’t want to be examined, but he didn’t have the strength to resist. Before he could utter a word, Ronan had him up, steady and upright.

Ronan: “Damn. The tux is covered in blood. I need a medic over here!”

Scene Seven Shot Seven/Action Shot Seven:” Ty dropped his head to see crimson streaks and stains covering his tuxedo. The ornate black buttons had ripped away and a large hole in the middle of the fabric flapped back and forth with every movement. Ty felt like hell and apparently looked like it too. A short, baby-faced paramedic came over and said something to Ronan that Ty couldn’t make out amid the noise. Ronan nodded and pointed at Ty.

Paramedic One: Sir. Are you Okay!

Scene Seven Shot Eight/Action Shot Eight: Ty looking dazed di not respond to the Paramedic immediately.

Ty: I’m Sorry. Did you say something?

Ronan: “I don’t know about that wound, but he might have a concussion,” Ronan advised the paramedic. “Please check him over.”

Ty: “I don’t have a concussion,”

Scene Seven Shot Nine/Action Shot Nine: Ty protested, but before he could say anything more, the paramedic had led Ty over to a chair and sat him down. The younger man tossed a look at Ronan.

Ronan: “This man saved a lot of people today. Things could’ve been a lot worse if he hadn’t stepped in.”

Scene Seven Shot Ten/Action Shot Ten: Ty felt his face blush.

Ty: “I’m fine. I know the signs of concussion, and I don’t have one.”

The paramedic pulled on a pair of white nylon gloves.

Paramedic One: “Can you tell me your name?”

Ty: “Ty Andino.”

Paramedic One: “Where do you live, Ty?”

Ty: “Kanawha Avenue. In Charleston, West Virginia. I am an emergency room charge nurse at Charleston Mercy Hospital.”

Paramedic One: “Okay. We’re off to a good start.”

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Scene Seven Shot Eleven/Action Shot Eleven: He pried Ty’s left eye wide with a hand and shined a light on it. The white glare made Ty wince, but the paramedic didn’t pull away.

Ty: “This is ridiculous. I’m fine,”

Scene Seven Shot Twelve/Action Shot Twelve: Ty said, with more authority in his voice. He reached up and pushed the flashlight away.

Scene Seven Shot Thirteen/Action Shot Thirteen: The paramedic dropped to his knees and reached for the gash on Ty’s forehead. Ty recoiled in pain. The paramedic just nodded his head.

Paramedic One: “I’m going to need some bandages for that wound. Stay here. I’ll be right back.”

Ty: “I’d like some water, if possible,” Ty called out after him.

Scene Seven Shot Fourteen/Action Shot Fourteen: The paramedic looked back at Ty and nodded again. For some reason, Ty felt worse now that he was sitting. He pushed the chair back and pulled himself up. Once he steadied himself, he felt better. The wrecked scene was still awful, but with more people moving and the dead and injured taken away, Ty was able to meander through the room. Across the atrium, police scurried around the crushed Hummer. Two were taking pictures of the crash scene, while another officer was placing bright yellow tags in various places on the painted tile floor around the car. Ronan stood to the left of the vehicle, talking to another officer when he noticed Ty. Ronan raced over.

Ronan: “I thought that paramedic was examining you,” Ronan said, a catch of concern in his voice.

Ty: “He was,” Ty said, wiping a fresh bubble of blood from his head wound. “He went to get bandages.”

Scene Seven Shot Fifteen/Action Shot Fifteen: Ronan sighed.

Ronan: “And left you sitting there by yourself? Shit.”

Scene Seven Shot Sixteen/Action Shot Sixteen: Ty held up a hand.

Ty: “I’m fine, Ronan. Really. I have to get to the hospital. They are going to need assistance.”

Ronan: “No,” Ronan said, flatly. “Not until someone says you’re okay.”

Scene Seven Shot Seventeen/Action Shot Seventeen: Ronan started to search for another paramedic when he was interrupted.

Ronan: “Sergeant.” “Not now,” Ronan replied brusquely, still scanning the room for a medic.

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Officer Two: “Sir. It’s important,” an officer said. “There is something you need to see.”

Ronan: “Damnit, fine.”

Scene Seven Shot Eighteen/Action Shot Eighteen: Ronan locked his eyes on Ty.

Ronan: “Stay here. I’ll be right back.”

Scene Seven Shot Nineteen/Action Shot Nineteen: Ty watched as the officer led Ronan by the arm over to the Hummer. The tightness in his face and bulging veins in his forehead told Ty that something was wrong.

Scene Description One: At the rear of the car, the hatchback trunk had a large dent in the middle and several spiderweb cracks in the glass.

Scene Seven Shot Twenty/Action Shot Twenty: The officer reached up and put his hand against the door. Ty stepped closer until he could discern the words being spoken.

Officer Two: “…when we searched,” the officer said, “we noticed the door wasn’t tightly shut. At first, we thought the force of the collision knocked it loose.”

Scene Seven Shot Twenty-One/Action Shot Twenty-One: The officer paused. Ty could imagine the impatience crossing Ronan’s face.

Ronan: “And what about it?” Ronan asked.

Officer Two: “We opened it and found this.”

Scene Seven Shot Twenty-Two/Action Shot Twenty-Two: When the officer pulled the hatch open, activity around the vehicle ceased.

Ronan: “Oh, my God,” Ronan blurted out.

Scene Seven Shot Twenty-Three/Action Shot Twenty-Three: Ty took another step toward the open trunk. Inside, they saw the body of Sarah Gilmore. Ronan heard a gasp behind him. He turned to find Ty standing behind him, mouth agape, the color drained from his face.

Ronan: “Ty. Step back.”

Scene Seven Shot Twenty-Four/Action Shot Twenty-Four: Ty froze, unable to move or speak.

Ronan: “Ty. Step. Back. Please.”

Scene Seven Shot Twenty-Five/Action Shot Twenty-Five: Ty stumbled backward and Ronan found a cop standing nearby.

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Ronan: “Please take him,” Ronan said, sounding like a parent pawning off his child on someone in authority. “He needs medical treatment. I need him away from here. Now!”

Scene Seven Shot Twenty-Six/Action Shot Twenty-Six: The officer grabbed Ty by the arm and led him away. Ty resisted and tried looking back. Once Ty was out of sight, Ronan pulled the flashlight from his utility belt and shined it on the bed of the trunk. The scene was unimaginable.

Scene Description Two: Ronan recognized the face. He had seen her picture on Ty’s cell phone and his social media pages: pictures of the two of them goofing off during a shift or sharing food during a lunch break. But Sarah Gilmore looked very different now. Her body had been butchered. Her hands and ankles were bound with zip-ties. Two large pools of blood seeped around the body. She had been stabbed repeatedly. Her throat had been slashed, a dark, jagged cut that indicated the killer had done it quickly and without thought. Her blouse had been ripped and she had been stabbed through both breasts. Her panties had been removed and the inside crotch between her legs had been knifed repeatedly; gutted like a fish. There were so many stab wounds and so much blood and organ and tissue matter exposed that Ronan couldn’t tell where one knife wound ended and where another began. Sarah’s eyes were fixed, open and vacant. The blood vessels in one eye had all burst, coloring her pupils with the dark stain of blood. Ronan felt bile rise up in his throat. He spun around, bent over, and puked. He wiped his mouth with the back of his arm. The last time he’d seen Sarah, she was concerned for her life. Now, her life was over. The sting of seeing her body lying in that trunk like a slaughtered animal made Ronan roil with anger. Ronan placed his hands on his knees and took in a deep breath then exhaled slowly. He repeated this several times before standing and collecting himself. The trunk reeked of decayed tissue and death. A forensic technician began snapping pictures.

Ronan: Ronan murmured, “I’m sorry, Sarah. I’m so sorry.”

Scene Seven Shot Twenty-Seven/Action Shot Twenty-Seven: A hand tapped Ronan on the shoulder.

Police Two: “Sergeant.” Are you Okay?

Scene Seven Shot Twenty-Eight/Action Shot Twenty-Eight: Ronan glanced over to see the same officer that had escorted Ty to an ambulance now holding a cell phone inches from his face. Ronan took the phone and began to speak.

Ronan: Exasperated, Ronan managed an official greeting. “This is McCullough.”

Eric Bonamico: The voice on the other end was familiar. “What is going on over there?”Eric Bonamico’s words crackled through the phone.

Ronan: “I’d like an answer to the same question. Where are you?”

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Scene Description Three: “Just a second.” Eric’s voice was muffled on the phone as he spoke to someone. The volume returned to his voice.

Eric Bonamico: He said, “I’m over here on McCorkle Avenue in the Laury’s Restaurant building. An Amtrak engineer reported seeing a body on the walkway under the Southside Bridge ramp. A male, shot in the head, point-blank, probably at close range. No identification.”

Ronan: “Great,” Ronan said. “I’d offer some help, but I’m a little busy at the moment.”

Scene Seven Shot Twenty-Nine/Action Shot Twenty-Nine: Ronan turned to see a silver police Ford Explorer turning up from Leon Sullivan Way, driving right up into the plaza of the Clay Center.

Eric Bonamico: “Ashby’s here.” “Good.” Then a pause. “What in the hell happened over there? The police scanner has been going nuts all night.”

Scene Description Four: Ronan filled Eric in on the details, including Ty’s role and his concern for his boyfriend’s health.

Ronan: “Jesus. They found that Gilmore girl in the trunk, too.”

Eric Bonamico: “Yeah?

Ronan: It’s one of the worst bodies I’ve ever seen.”

Scene Seven Shot Thirty/Action Shot Thirty: Eric took in a deep breath and let the air wheeze out. It created more static on the line.

Eric Bonamico: “You okay?”

Scene Seven Shot Thirty-One/Action Shot Thirty-One: Ronan thought for a moment.

Ronan: “I’m alright. Just a little sore, but no broken bones.”

Eric Bonamico: “Good. Listen, Sean is over here, but once the scene is secure, he’ll want to head over to the Center.”

Scene Description Five: For once, the thought of Sean Carter’s presence at a crime scene brought comfort.

Ronan: “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but we need him.”

Eric Bonamico: “Keep me posted, okay?”

Ronan: “I will, Bonamico.”

Scene Seven Shot Thirty-Two/Action Shot Thirty-Two: Ronan ended the call and passed the cell phone back to the officer. He watched as Captain Ron Ashby, with his trademark gait, marched up the concrete plaza of the Clay Center. He also noted the location of the police Explorer.

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Scene Seven Shot Thirty-Three/Action Shot Thirty-Three: When he turned, he nearly collided with the guard that had assisted him with waiting on Coroner Althea Curtis and her team to arrive. The panel light on the ceiling of the car gave Ronan a clearer view. He studied the position of the victim’s hands and feet. His focus then moved to the shards of broken glass scattered throughout the interior, resembling pellets of ice. Ronan made a mental note of their position, then looked to the driver’s side window. It was free of shattered glass. With a gloved hand, Ronan reached into the console of the car and pushed a button. A slow, grinding sound emitted, just what Ronan wanted to hear. He spun on a heel and walked back to the hole in the Clay Center wall. Ronan nearly ran over Captain Ashby.

Captain Ashby: “McCullough…” Ashby blurted out in his gravelly voice.

Scene Seven Shot Thirty-Four/Action Shot Thirty-Four: Ronan ignored him and stared out onto the plaza.

Ronan: “I know how that car got here.”

Scene Seven Shot Thirty-Five/Action Shot Thirty-Five: Ronan gave Captain Ashby a look of curiosity.

Captain Ashby: Ronan. “Are you okay?”

Ronan: “I’m fine.”

Captain Ashby: “I think we need to get you looked at.

Scene Seven Shot Thirty-Six/Action Shot Thirty-Six:” Ronan shook his head.

Ronan: “Not necessary.”

Captain Ashby: “Fine, then. Now, explain the theory one more time.

Scene Seven Shot Thirty-Seven/Action Shot Thirty-Seven: Ronan put on latex gloves so he would not contaminate the crime scene with his fingerprints. He pointed to the position of Jacob Collier’s hands. “A cadaveric spasm,” Ronan explained. “It’s a spasm of death that occurs in a violent death under extreme physical circumstances. Ashby glanced at Ronan, then back to the body.

Captain Ashby: “Since we don’t know the exact time of death, then how can we be sure the position of this man’s hands and feet are not caused by rigor mortis?”

Scene Seven Shot Thirty-Eight/Action Shot Thirty-Eight: Ashby had asked a good question and Ronan had not considered it. In moments like these Ronan appreciated having Captain Ashby around. When Ronan first arrived as a patrolman on the Charleston Police Department 20 years ago, the previous Captain, Gene Frost, preferred to run operations and investigations from police headquarters. Ron Ashby was not afraid to go into the field with his officers, especially if a serious crime had taken place. Ronan was glad he was here.

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Scene Seven Shot Thirty- Nine/Action Shot Thirty-Nine: Captain Ashby was tall and broad-shouldered with dark, wiry hair and heavy, thick eyebrows offset by a stern chin, his long nose slightly crooked, like it had been broken several times and left to its imperfections.

Background Information: Ashby was a lifelong Charleston resident. After serving in Vietnam, he returned home and exchanged his army uniform for that of a patrol officer’s. Sharp and stern, but always fair, he rose quickly through the ranks to hold the position of Captain for the past ten years. Ronan didn’t always agree with Ashby, but he respected him for considering all sides of an issue before rendering a decision based on that. Although Captain Ashby signed off on the recommendation that Chief Toler suspend him for 90 days for violating Department Policies and protocols after the Krok murders in September, Ronan was glad to have his experience and insight now.

Captain Ashby: “When I investigated car accidents my first years on the force, I saw this a number of times. A car would swerve into another lane and hit an unsuspecting driver. That driver, overcome with fear and with no way out, would often tense up right before impact and the body would stay frozen in that position after the collision.”

Dr. Althea Curtis: “He’s right,” said the firm, calm voice of a woman. Ronan and Ashby turned together to see Kanawha County Corner, Dr. Althea Curtis.

Ronan: “What, no hello?”

Background Information: Althea Curtis had been the lead county coroner for over 25 years.

Ronan: “I thought you retired in December,” Ronan quipped.

Background Information: Dressed in dark black slacks, boots and a dark shirt, Althea Curtis seemed out of place as Kanawha County Coroner. She had a shapely figure, shiny dark skin, slender eyebrows, and a soothing voice. A spinster by choice, Althea was the type Ronan would want his best friend to marry.

Scene Seven Shot Forty/Action Shot Forty: Althea lowered her eyes to the black bag on the floor then raised them again. Three younger looking men, dressed in the same dark clothing, emerged from behind her and fanned out across the atrium.

Dr. Althea Curtis: “And miss out on all this fun? Not a chance. Ronan is right. When John F. Kennedy was assassinated, one of the reasons given for his head moving backward after the fatal shot was from a cadaveric spasm. Kurt Cobain also had a tight grip on the gun he used to kill himself when police arrived. This is known to happen.”

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Scene Seven Shot Forty-One/Action Shot Forty-One: Ronan took his gaze from Althea and swung it over to Ashby. Eyes the color of sea glass gleamed back behind square-framed glasses. An odd inner light had always filled his eyes as if to signal something important only he knew.

Dr. Althea Curtis: “So, what do we have here?”

Scene Seven Shot Forty-Two/Action Shot Forty-Two: Althea pointed to the body of Sarah Gilmore, still lying in the trunk of the Hummer in a heap. The stab wounds and lacerations on her skin had clotted, and the river of blood underneath her body was staunched. Ronan explained to Dr. Althea Curtis what happened up until now. Captain Ashby folded his arms and listened as he stared at the body.

Captain Ashby: “There was intent here,” the captain said. “A person isn’t cut up like this unless the killer wanted her to suffer.”

Scene Seven Shot Forty-Three/Action Shot Forty-Three: Althea removed a notebook from her case and began making notes. A beat passed before she spoke to Ronan.

Dr. Althea Curtis: “So, you were the first responder?”

Ronan: “Basically, yes.”

Scene Seven Shot Forty-Four/Action Shot Forty-Four: Ashby cut in.

Captain Ashby: “McCullough thinks the driver was shot before the crash. Althea stopped writing to look at Ronan.

Dr. Althea Curtis: “The driver was shot before the crash?”

Ronan: “In the side of the head. At close range, I think.”

Dr. Althea Curtis: “Does the body have a name?”

Ronan: “Jacob Collier. Age 38, according to his driver’s license.”

Scene Seven Shot Forty-Five/Action Shot Forty-Five: Althea’s attention left Ronan and returned to the notepad.

Ronan: “When I came upon Collier’s body,” Ronan continued, “the hands were still gripped tightly around the steering wheel and his foot was still pressed on the accelerator pedal.”

Captain Ashby: “What causes it, physically speaking?” Ashby asked.

Dr. Althea Curtis: “The cause is unknown,” Althea answered, “but intense emotion can trigger such a reaction. When it does happen, it occurs in violent deaths when the victim is under extreme physical and emotional strain.”

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Scene Seven Shot Forty-Six/Action Shot Forty-Six: Ronan stepped back to look up at the mangled ceiling that had been ripped apart after the wreck.

Dr. Althea Curtis: “I would call this situation extreme.” “Before we go any further,” Althea interjected, “I need to see his body.”

Scene Seven Shot Forty-Seven/Action Shot Forty-Seven: Dr. Althea Curtis paused and dropped her gaze to Sarah Gilmore’s mutilated body, then continued. “And we need to get this one secured and removed. The fact that there are scene hazards here, with a collapsing structure, crowd control and possible electrical problems and gas leaks, I am going to need the body removed before the investigation can continue.” She faced the captain. “As the lead commanding officer on the scene.

Dr. Althea Curtis: Is it okay to remove the body of Sarah Gilmore, Captain Ashby?

Captain Ashby: “Fine with me.” I will get right on it.

Scene Seven Shot Forty-Eight/Action Shot Forty-Eight: Althea gave a curt nod.

Dr. Althea Curtis: “Good. I’ll get to work.”

Scene Seven Shot Forty-Nine/Action Shot Forty-Nine: Dr. Althea Curtis motioned for the men to step aside.

Captain Ashby: “So, McCullough, how does your theory play into all of this?”

Scene Seven Shot Fifty/Action Shot Fifty: Ronan led the captain back to the gash in the wall. The air was bracing. The clear sky had taken on an inky darkness. Morning would come soon and the Dark of Night would proceed into the Dawn of another Day.

Background Information: He placed a hand on the captain’s shoulders. In the dim light, they could just make out the pavement on Leon Sullivan Way, but the police had blocked off all entry and exit points around the Clay Center and started diverting traffic.

Ronan: “I was standing in the middle of the atrium when that Hummer came up the Plaza. Based on the speed it was traveling and the straight path, I think the driver was shot when in front of the building, maybe at the stoplight where Leon Sullivan Way connects with Virginia Street.”

Scene Seven Shot Fifty-One/Action Shot Fifty-One: Ashby folded his arms again.

Captain Ashby: “Go on.”

Ronan: “If Jacob Collier had a cadaveric spasm, it likely occurred before the car came onto the property. But once it happened, the Hummer had a clear line into the building. Other than some light posts outside the atrium here, there are no strong barricades facing outward onto Leon Sullivan Way to keep a vehicle from traveling at high speed.”

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