Screenplay by Hal Carter
Based on Hal Carter’s
creative memoir.

ACT I Scene 1-Latest Grissom Murders News

INT.Channel 6 News Studio–Night(Nov. 9, 1989)

Anchor Ginger Morgan is seated facing the screen anxiously reading Camera 1’s teleprompter.


The phantom killer who slipped into a nice upper-middle class home in Southern Hills last Saturday evening, brutally stabbed Tom, Julie and Sean Grissom to death, then slipped out without neighbors hearing or seeing anything has struck a fear and panic not seen before in Southern Hills and the surrounding Shreveport community. But there may be a break in the case! Good evening from KTAL Channel 6 Action News. I’m Ginger Morgan bringing you the latest ArkLaTex news, starting with the latest on the Grissom Murders investigation.

EXT.Grissom Crime Scene Video–Day

Video footage rolls showing the Grissom home as the Coroner and a plain clothed detective packing a shoulder holstered pistol look on at a white blanket covered body bag on a gurney being wheeled out of the Grissom front door. The anchor struggles to contain her emotions yet professionally delivers her news script.


Hal Carter gave an interview about his relationship with Julie Grissom saying they dated over a year until a couple of months ago. Offering that he couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to kill her, the controversial Shreveport criminal defense lawyer also said that he was awakened by a strange dream about Julie Grissom the night of the murders. Later


today a funeral service was held for Tom and Julie Grissom at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, not far from the murder scene. Hundreds turned out to mourn Tom and Julie Grissom. It was such a large crowd that many were forced to stand in Chapel aisles, its foyer and outside entrance to pay their last respects. Afterward, to help quell near panic in Southern Hills, Shreveport Police Department Homicide Task Force Detectives held a press conference at SPD Headquarters about the latest on the Grissom Murders Investigation. Describing the killer as very psychologically disturbed, Grissom Homicide Task Force Detectives said that they have very strong evidence tying the killer to the murders and a very strong lead to the killer! Detectives disclosed that the victims suffered multiple stab wounds and that the slayings appear to have happened pretty quickly in separate locations throughout the house. They said robbery was not a motive because nothing was missing. Saying there was no forced entry into the Grissom home, detectives said the killer knew at least two of his victims - and that Julie Grissom was his target. The Coroner is performing tests to determine whether she was bound and silenced with duct tape and sexually assaulted. Noting that the crime scene was neat and cleaned to eliminate evidence, detectives said the killer has experience with crime scenes and knows how to manipulate crime scene evidence. Detectives also said the killer knows they are looking at him and that SPD is closing in on him! Despite this, however, detectives would not say when they expect to make an arrest.

INT.Channel 6 News Studio–Night

Anchor Ginger Morgan is seated facing the screen reading Camera 1’s teleprompter.


Well, that’s all we have for now on the Grissom Murder Investigation. Things


seem to be moving in the investigation so we’ll air Breaking News Bulletin updates as warranted.

Scene 2-Dan’s Warning

INT.Hal Carter’s Bedroom–Night(Nov. 9, 1989)

The white telephone-answering machine sits on the nightstand in the neatly organized bedroom until lighting up to signal an incoming call.


Ring! Ring! Ring!

HAL CARTER (Recording)

Hi, this is Hal. I’m sorry I can’t answer your call right now. I you’ll leave a message after the beep, I’ll call you back as soon as I can.



DAN (O.S. Anxious)

Hal! It’s Dan! Pleaaaaaase pick-up! Pleaaaaaase pick-up if you’re there! Well, look, I just heard about this afternoon’s SPD press conference. Detectives sure seem to think they know who the Grissom killer is - and say they’re closing in on ‘em! Of course, they didn’t give a name, but THEY WERE DESCRIBING YOU, Hal! And guess who was asking about you? Your Monds case friend and his chief investigator! Man, they grilled me about you and the murders! The killer probably was pretty strong to manhandle three victims - so they made a big point of your working-out. And saying the murderer was an organized killer, they accusingly noted that you’re something of a neat freak. THEY ALSO THINK YOU’RE THE KILLER! Hal, we NEED TO TALK! No matter what happens, DO NOT TALK TO THE COPS! I’LL DEFEND YOU, buddy! SO CALL ME – IMMEDIATELY!!




Scene 3-Breaking News Bulletin

INT.Channel 6 News Screen–Night

The television screen flashes a bold “Breaking News Bulletin” superimposed over a still shot photo of the Coroner and a detective packing a shoulder holstered pistol looking on as a white blanket covered body bag on a gray gurney is wheeled out of the Grissom front door through two front porch columns.

INT.Channel 6 News Studio–Night

Anchor Ginger Morgan is seated facing the screen anxiously reading Camera 1’s teleprompter.


Good evening again from KTAL Channel 6 News with this Breaking News in the Grissom Murders Investigation! Things are moving in the investigation! The prime suspect in Tom, Julie and Sean Grissom’s ghastly murders is being interrogated right now by the Shreveport Police Department Grissom Murders Task Force! We do not have verification of who the prime suspect is or any information about how long the interrogation has been going on, how long it will go on or whether the prime suspect has been charged. We also do not know exactly where the interrogation is taking place, but we presume it is taking place at Shreveport Police Department Headquarters. Again, all we know now is that the prime suspect in the Grissom Murders is being interrogated now by the Shreveport Police Department Grissom Murders Task Force. This concludes the latest Breaking News Bulletin on the Grissom Murders. We will break into our scheduled programming with additional Grissom Murders Breaking News Bulletins as news develops. I’m Ginger Morgan for KTAL Channel 6 Action News. Now back to our scheduled programming.

Scene 4-Dan’s Second Warning


INT.Hal Carter’s Bedroom–Night

The white telephone-answering machine lights up.


Ring! Ring! Ring!

HAL CARTER (Recording)

Hi, this is Hal. I’m sorry I can’t answer your call right now. I you’ll leave a message after the beep, I’ll call you back as soon as I can.



DAN (O.S. Very anxious)

It’s me again - Dan! Haven’t heard from you, Hal! And now I’m really worried that you’re with SPD!

DAN (O.S. Sigh)

It’s been a while since we’ve gotten together. So, I don’t know what’s been goin’ on with you lately. Surely you didn’t have anything to do with these murders.

DAN (O.S. Long sigh)

But...But if, in some crazy way, you did-have anything to do with them-there must be some explanation! Maybe something happened, triggering something else that got way outta control. If so, as clever and meticulous as you are, I expect SPD will have a tough time establishing probable cause to arrest you any time soon, if ever! Sorry for my thinking out loud like a criminal defense lawyer. Just know that whatever happened, I’LL DEFEND YOU! SO PLEASE CALL ME!! And, one more thing, Hal. If SPD can’t show probable cause to arrest, the way things are going here...one day you may have to leave Shreveport.




Scene 5-Fade to Five Weeks Later

Fade to black with text.


Five weeks later...

Scene 6-Rolling Ole Blue

INT.1987 Bronco II Interior-Day(Cloudy)(Dec. 1989)

HAL (V.O. Narration)

While fleeing the murders and that eerie dream about Julie, rolling Ole Blue in Wyoming gave me the idea for making it look like an accident one day.

Hal is driving in light snow on I-90 in Wyoming as Hank Williams Jr.’s “Heaven Can’t Be Found” plays. The sky begins to darken as snow begins falling harder. Showing concern, Hal studies the clouds.

EXT.1987 Bronco II -Day(Snowy)(Dec. 1989)

Hal and his Bronco II are traveling on I-90.

INT.1987 Bronco II Interior-Day(Snowy)(Dec. 1989)


Ole Blue, we need to find out what this weather’s doing. Maybe I can still pick up that Sheridan station we passed.

Hal turns the cassette off, turns the radio on and finds the station as George Strait’s “Amarillo by Morning” is ending.


And that was up-and-coming, George Strait! Before getting to more music, I’m told we have a winter weather warning to tell you folks about. Let’s see, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Blizzard warning for Wyoming and Montana. The Weather Service says conditions will deteriorate pretty rapidly this afternoon and is predicting temperatures dropping into the low teens, heavy blizzard condition snow, with wind gusts up to 70 miles an hour!


And icing roads with visibility down to almost zero at times! That’s serious stuff-even for us here in Sheridan. So, folks, do whatever you have to and get off those roads! Now a nice little song for you from Wyoming’s own Chris LeDoux...

An exasperated Hal turns the radio off and clicks back on “Heaven Can’t Be Found” as it darkens and snow falls harder. Hal grips the steering wheel with both hands.


Greaaaaat. (Sarcastically) (Sigh) We do have 4-wheel drive. OK, Blue, we’re somewhere between Sheridan and Butte-and I sure wanna make Butte before we shut down today. Yeah, we could turn back to Sheridan, but I really wanna get on to Issaquah...

Anxiously re-gripping the steering wheel, Hal drives on pondering what to do. As Hal sees ice patches and the snow falls harder, he slows, struggling to see. Wind gusts begin buffeting Ole Blue.


Not good! This is not good, Blue!

As “Heaven Can’t Be Found” plays on, an increasingly anxious Hal grips the steering wheel tighter and slows more as he fights wind gusts. A strong gust pushes Ole Blue’s front end to the right as it hits an ice patch and begins sliding. Hal tries to straighten Blue but overcorrects and begins spinning counterclockwise while sliding down the highway.

HAL (Pleading)

Whoa, Blue! Whoa!!

Blue almost completes a 360 spin until it begins sliding off the right side of the highway. As Hal struggles to steer, he nervously mutters.

HAL (Nervously)

This might be our last ride, Blue!

EXT.1987 Bronco II -Day(Snowy)(Dec. 1989)

Blue slides off the highway and begins to roll down the highway shoulder.



Moonlight illuminates the upper body image of Julie Grissom. Her clothing is a light florescent green color. She is radiating an aura of the same light florescent green. Her background is a forest of vividly colored trees and plants at twilight.

INT.1987 Bronco II Interior-Day(Snowy)(Dec. 1989)

HAL (Calmly)

Looks like this is it, Blue.

EXT.1987 Bronco II -Day(Snowy)(Dec. 1989)

Blue rolls through the snow, ending upside down on its top in snow with wheels spinning.

INT.1987 Bronco II Interior-Day(Snowy)(Dec. 1989)

Hal is lifeless as he hangs upside down from his seatbelt, inches above the partially crushed in roof. Dazed, Hal slowly opens his eyes, and looks around.

HAL (Sad)

Darn. Wyoming would’ve been a nice place to die.

Hal slowly looks down at Blue’s partially crushed roof. He braces himself on the roof, unlocks his seatbelt, lowers himself down to the roof, rolls down the passenger window, and crawls out.

EXT.1987 Bronco II -Day(Snowy)(Dec. 1989)

Outside Hal surveys Blue and shakes his head.

HAL (Despondent)

Ohhhh, Blue!!

Hal walks toward the highway. A State Trooper patrol car pulls up as its flashing lights come on.

Scene 7-Sheridan Garage & Body Shop

INT.Sheridan Garage & Body Shop-Day(Next Day)

With worry showing on his face, Hal and an auto body repairman are looking a damaged Ole Blue.

REPAIRMAN (Chuckling)


That was some storm yesterday-and you made the front page.

HAL (Alarmed)



This morning’s headline story was the storm-and it mentioned everyone who slid off I-90 yesterday.

HAL (Relieved)

Oh. That’s a relief to just be front-page news for rolling Ole Blue.



HAL (Apologetically)

Sorry. Just talking to myself.


You’re lucky. The snow musta cushioned that roll-coulda been a lot worse.


It was strange. As I lost control, everything slowed down-like you see slow motion in movies-and this image appeared...


Image? What image?


Aw, it’s nothing. (Pauses in thought.) Well, we’re on the way to Washington State. Can you get Ole Blue back on the road pretty soon?


Ah, biggest problem’s the roof. But I can fix your Ole Blue enough to get her back on the road in 3, maybe 4, days. The way it’s snowing, probably won’t be able to get back on the road ‘til then anyway.



OK. (Sigh of relief). Fix her up as well as you can. I’m at the Holiday Inn. Just let me know how you’re coming along.


Will do.


Hey, since I’m gonna be here a few days, I’d sure like to get a new Garth Brooks song I’ve heard. Where’s...


There’s a music shop in the strip mall right next to your Holiday Inn.

Scene 8-Listening To When Tomorrow Never Comes

INT.Sheridan Holiday Inn Room-Evening

As snow falling can be seen through the window, Hal is looking at the song list on his new CD for the song.

HAL (Anxiously)

Let’s see. Track 3.

Hal loads the CD into his player, presses the Skip button three times, and presses Play.

GARTH BROOKS (Singing When Tomorrow Never Comes)

Sometimes late at night, I lie awake and watch her sleeping...


As the ballad plays, Hal stares through the window at the falling snow.

HAL (V.O. Narration)

I set that song on Repeat and listened to it over and over during those 4 days in Sheridan–and kinda wished I had died in that blizzard. But, even though I didn’t die rolling Ole Blue, it gave me the idea for making it look like an accident–to spare the few who might care about me from knowing how I really died.

Dream Creations