By DJWNaito

Here's an entire Story Idea that I wrote for a Screenwriting class last semester. I got the idea after watching the film Adaptation, which pokes fun at Cops and Thrillers being easy to write, so I thought I'd try my hand at one.

-- Premise
Corrupt Detective Harry Copperfield follows gruesome clues to find the beautiful missing daughter of a wealthy Mob boss. Who is innocent and who should survive?

-- Outline
Modern day Chicago. Harry Copperfield is a corrupt detective with strong connections to the Zona Mob. His girlfriend, Jessica Zona, daughter of Mafia leader Guido Zona, is kidnapped by a serial killer known as The Doctor. Harry must find her with the help of Laura Innocenti, his ex-lover who is also trying to expose Harry’s connections to the Mafia.
Guido lends Harry the support of the Mafia, including Brody, a young lad in love with Guido’s second daughter Luisa, Roman, ex-military selling the police information on Zona activities, and Stovitz, a drug addict stealing from the Zona coffers to fund his habit. Laura informs the police of the kidnap and those working in the mafia to find Jessica. After finding the body of Guido’s brother Andrea, killed brutally by The Doctor, the quintet is attacked. Roman is shot dead, and Harry is wounded trying to protect Laura. Brody runs after the Doctor and is knocked out.
As Laura treats Harry, they realise they still care for each other. The Doctor taunts the group by leaving a trail of body pieces that culminate with Brody’s head. When the trio arrive, the police have already gotten there, and Stovitz shoots at a lone officer thinking he is The Doctor. Harry finishes off the struggling officer when he is recognised and then kills Stovitz to cover himself. Laura sees this but stays quiet. When another officer informs them both of the latest development, that The Doctor is a woman, Harry remembers something and rushes away. Laura returns to Guido to inform him of the deaths of Brody, Roman and Stovitz. Luisa overhears this and runs away crying.
Harry arrives at a Zona Safe house and finds Jessica there. Harry confronts her and she admits that she is The Doctor. She and her father were working against Harry, who had been protecting himself more than the Zona family, and had decided to get rid of him, as well as the three henchmen. Jessica had previously dropped out of Medical school and so had some surgical knowledge. Jessica attacks Harry and he kills her. He rushes to Guido to kill him too, but he finds Laura there too. It is revealed that Guido had been working with the police to protect himself and avoid prosecution, and Laura had been working with him to gain evidence against Harry. It had been Laura who suggested to Guido that Harry follow ‘The Doctor’ case to begin with. Harry attempts to shoot them, but is killed by Laura.
Luisa goes to the police with evidence that linked her Father and Laura with The Doctor’s murders and Harry’s disappearance, spelling the end for the Zona Family.

-- Character Sketches
Harry Copperfield – A confident detective who believes he can get away with working with the Mafia and having the best of both worlds. He speaks directly when working on a case and speaks his mind when he believes he needs to, which often causes arguments. Having worked his way up the ranks of the Mafia as part of a case, he has admitted everything to Guido and is helping the Zona Family avoid prosecution.

Laura Innocenti – A sly femme fatale who has clear ideas of good and evil. As an ex-lover of Harry, she harbours some feelings toward him that are not all pleasant.

Jessica Zona/ The Doctor – Sophisticated and intelligent, she flunked Medical School but continues her studies under the pseudonym ‘The Doctor,’ a vindictive serial killer, who has a habit of dissecting people. She works with her Father to get rid of Harry.

Guido Zona – A wealthy mafia boss, who although he appears caring and loving to those who work with him, only cares about himself and making sure he is safe from prosecution, even to the expense of his own family.

Luisa Zona – A quiet girl who is madly in love with Brody. She is resentful of the family she has been brought up in, more concerned with themselves than supporting each other and turns against them in the end to teach them a lesson.

Brody – Boisterous and energetic, Brody is in love with Luisa Zona much to the disappointment of her Father. He wants to prove himself as a man and takes every opportunity to do so, including having a tattoo on his ankle.

Roman – A gruff retired soldier who although having fallen to the bad side and begun working with the Zona Family, still believes in doing what’s right and so is selling information to the authorities.

Stovitz – An immigrant who joined the Zona Family as a last resort but has come to enjoy it, he is calm and always in need of a fix. He uses Zona money and influence to acquire as many forms of drugs as he can.

-- Treatment
Chicago. A thief pushes through a crowd, being chased by Det. Harry Copperfield. The thief is caught in a back alley. Harry forcefully reminds him of the debt owed to the Zona Family before shooting his hand. Harry’s phone rings, its Jessica Zona checking Harry is still ok for their date later on. He smiles and walks away.
Later, Harry and Jessica are sitting in a restaurant with dinner and wine, making small talk about an old house he wanted to buy. Jessica seems a little distant. She inquires about ‘The Doctor’, a widely reported serial killer. Harry mentions characteristics and personality traits that the suspects are supposed to have. Jessica seems amused and finally interested in the conversation.
Harry drops Jessica off at home. As he leaves he receives a call from the chief of police. He argues briefly about a case he is working on, repeating that he doesn’t need any help before hanging up abruptly. A car pulls up and the door opens, Harry looks inside to see Roman, who smiles. Harry gets in.
The car pulls up at a large manor house, Zona Central. Andrea Zona storms out and Harry unsuccessfully tries to greet him. Luisa Zona happily greets Harry at the door before leading him to Guido, who is talking to someone sitting in a large chair. Guido greets Harry and introduces Laura to him, a new rookie to the Mob, who Harry is to guide round and train up. Harry and Laura leave together.
Harry turns on Laura once out of earshot of Zona Family members. They are both cops and he wants to know why she is covering his case, as she may blow his supposed cover. She argues with him that she’s on a different case and reminds him that their police lives should be kept secret, as should their history with each other. He leaves.
The next day Harry storms into the police office and demands to the Chief that Laura be removed from the Zona case, the chief reminds him that she isn’t working on the Zona case. Laura enters and announces a message from The Doctor. Jessica Zona has been kidnapped, which means they have only a short time before she is killed. Harry is shocked and the chief settles it that Laura’s case, revealed to be finding The Doctor, now coincides with Harry’s and so they must work together. Harry leaves and the chief tells Laura to keep an eye on him.
Harry and Laura arrive at Zona Central and try to ascertain why Jessica would have been chosen as a victim. Luisa breaks down crying and runs out. One of the henchmen, Brody, glances around before following her. Guido looks clearly angry at Brody for doing so. Laura, pretending to have gleaned knowledge from the news reports, tells them all that The Doctor’s victims all had some medical knowledge and came from wealthy families. Guido asks for Harry’s help in finding Jessica, proclaiming everything the Zona Family can offer to get her back.
Harry walks into the garden and has a cigarette. Stovitz, another henchman, is already there with his own. Harry comments on the smell of weed coming from the cigarette and Stovitz mentions how life was back in his own country. “Good, honest brutality” he says, “None of these lies and schemings.” Harry is a little confused and asks why Andrea was angry. Stovitz feigns ignorance and leaves Harry to smoke alone.
Laura is talking with Roman, who is preparing a selection of guns. They discuss Roman’s history as a soldier, and Brody and Luisa’s secret relationship. Laura goes out to Harry and tells him of a lead that the chief had dismissed but she believed held some worth. Harry decides to follow it with the help of the Zona family.
Harry and Laura go to Guido and say they are going to the murder site of another of The Doctor’s victims to look for any information. Guido tells them to take Roman, Stovitz and Brody with them to help. As they all leave, Guido picks up the phone and sits at his desk.
At the murder site, an abandoned housing estate, Laura is talking through the details and evidence with Harry. Whilst trying to help, Brody falls and breaks open a small desk, revealing a secret compartment. Inside is a sheet of hand written list of names, including Jessica Zona. Harry orders the henchmen to return to Guido and let him know.
Harry and Laura arrive at the police station with the new evidence to run a data check. The other victims appear on the list too. Harry makes a photocopy of the evidence and hands it over to analysts.
A package arrives at the Zona household. Luisa takes it and opens it up, finding a finger inside with Andrea Zona’s ring on it. She screams.
Harry, Laura and Guido read a letter that arrived with the finger in Guido’s office. It is from The Doctor and he has given specific instructions on where Andrea is. Harry worries that it is a trap but will lead them to Jessica. Roman enters with his guns saying that there is nothing to worry about with him there, and Guido sends the five out to Andrea’s location.
They arrive at a burnt out nightclub. As they cautiously enter, they hear a scream from further in. Brody calls out and runs ahead and the others follow him. They find Andrea hung up like a medical doll, with his chest cut open and his organs exposed. Laura recoils in horror. Andrea moans. He’s still alive.
As they approach, a shot from a balcony above kills Andrea and Roman turns and starts shooting. A single shot hits him in the head and Roman falls down dead. The others join in the shooting and as Laura edges out, Harry leaps to protect her and a bullet grazes his arm. The Doctor is heard running away and Brody gives chase. The others are too shocked and Harry calls for police back up.
Brody runs through some corridors and then out into some alley ways, chasing the suspect. He turns a corner and stops. He looks shocked and proclaims a confused “You!” before being shot.
As other policemen arrive, Laura wipes the blood from Harry’s arm and thanks him for protecting her. They look at each other and he leans in for a kiss. Stovitz returns from trying to find Brody but could not find him. Stovitz returns to Guido and the other two go to the Station.
At the police station, the analysts inform Harry and Laura that the names listed on the piece of paper were a class of medical students and it is likely that The Doctor is one of them. Guido arrives at the station for questioning to do with Jessica and Andrea. Harry hurriedly hides Laura. They leave before Guido sees either one of them, as Guido is not meant to know that Harry is a detective and Harry doesn’t want Guido to know that Laura is too.
As they run out down a fire escape, they laugh at the situation they are in and then kiss each other. Laura says she should never have broken up with him and he agrees. They walk out onto the street looking for somewhere to eat.
An old lady is walking her dog past an alley way. The dog starts straining the lead and rushes down the alley. After much calling, the old lady decides to go after it. She finds it chewing a human foot. Painted on the wall above where the foot was left are the words “A doctor is fascinated by death, and pain. And how much pain a man can endure.”
The foot is put on a police desk in an evidence bag. Laura looks at it and photos of the writing on the wall. Harry comes over and tries to help. Laura says that according to the analysts the writing on the wall and the list were done by the same person, clearly The Doctor. Harry notices a tattoo on the foot and realises its Brody’s. This means that The Doctor is now killing those different from his usual victims. And the latest victims are linked directly to the Zona Family.
A phone call to Zona Central is answered by Stovitz. An electronically disguised voice tells him to go to a warehouse owned by the Zona Family. After hanging up he calls Harry and lets him know.
As Harry and Laura go the leave, the chief tells them that a hotel maid reported another body piece and that policemen arrived moments ago. Harry asks to be kept informed but the chief tells him to concentrate on the Zona case. Harry argues that The Doctor case is the Zona case and storms out.
Policemen enter the hotel and go to the room reported. On the bed is a hand with the warehouse address written on it. An Officer calls the chief.
Harry and Laura pick Stovitz up at Zona Central. In the car, Laura shows him the pictures of Brody’s foot and the wall. He says he recognises the writing but isn’t sure where from. He rubs his eyes and has started sweating. Harry berates him that the drugs have damaged his head.
They arrive at the warehouse but there is already a police car there. As they are about to go in, Stovitz takes a pill to settle his fix. At the door is a piece of meat that they realise is human. They enter the dark warehouse and start to follow the trail of body pieces.
Laura decides to go a different route and stop following the trail, believing it will lead to a trap. Harry stays with Stovitz, who is starting to twitch as the drugs enter his system. As they enter an open space they find Brody’s head on a pedestal. A torch turns on them in the darkness. Stovitz reacts and starts shooting. Laura heads up some stairs and comes to a balcony above the open space when she hears the shooting. She watches as Stovitz shoots the man dead. The light falls to the ground and Harry rushes over with his gun drawn. He looks down at the police officer who reaches out for help and calls Harry’s name. Harry looks around and then shoots the officer dead. As another officer with a light enters the space, Harry shoots Stovitz shouting that Stovitz is The Doctor and back up is needed.
Laura comes down to assist the remaining officer who tells them that Stovitz isn’t The Doctor. Harry argues with him, asking for explanation. The officer then tells them that the analysts had realised the list had been written by a woman. Harry is shocked and the officer goes on to explain that of the two female names that were still alive, Jessica Zona had already been kidnapped and believed now to be dead, whilst the other was being arrested. Sirens sound outside as emergency services arrive.
Harry rushes out of the warehouse with Laura in tow. He orders her to go to Zona Central and protect Guido and Luisa. She asks where he’s going but he drives away, almost hitting a policeman. Harry thinks back to the conversation he’d had with Jessica about the old house he wanted. He keeps muttering how stupid he must have been to miss all of the clues and speeds off.
Harry arrives at a beautiful house for sale, hidden away by some trees. A car is parked outside and lights are on inside. He enters with his gun drawn. Inside is Jessica. She smiles when he walks in. Harry confronts her and accuses her of being The Doctor. She concurs and continues setting a table for dinner. Harry asks why she’d killed people and she explains that she’d flunked medical school and had felt bitter against her classmates. The family killing had been to help her father deal with Harry. Harry is confused and asks what she means. She reveals that her father wanted rid of Harry but knew they couldn’t kill him out right because of his being a policeman. They’d planned to kill him in the line of duty and so gotten him involved in The Doctor case so that they could have the opportunity to kill him themselves. As Harry tries to understand what had happened, Jessica pulls a gun from a cutlery draw, but Harry is faster and shoots her dead first. Without any remorse, he turns and leaves.
Guido walks into his office, where a waiting Laura greets him with the news that Stovitz is finally out of the way and that Guido can finally have Brody’s head on a platter. Luisa is passing in the corridor and hides at the mention of Brody’s name. She listens as Laura explains that Harry rushed away but that she’s got evidence against him to put him away. Guido laughs and they share a kiss.
Harry arrives at Zona Central, storming in and calling Guido’s name. He charges into Guido’s office and stops when he sees Laura there. Harry holds Guido at gun point whilst explaining to Laura that Jessica and Guido were behind the whole thing. Laura laughs though and then explains to Harry that it wasn’t just them. Harry falters and is clearly confused. Laura explains that The Doctor case was not the only one she was working on and that she’d also been watching Harry to get evidence on him for bad police behaviour, evidence to prove that his loyalties were more with the Mafia then they were with the Law. Harry demands to know why Guido would be helping the police and he replies saying that by helping the police get rid of Harry he was protecting himself against prosecution. At the realisation that everyone is against him Harry starts shooting, but Laura shoots him first, knocking the gun from his hand and in the chest, so that he collapses. As he is lying on the floor, Harry pleads his innocence but Laura replies “Nobody’s innocent.” She then shoots him dead. Laura and Guido laugh.
The chief is reading Laura’s report when an officer says someone had arrived and would speak to the chief only. It’s Luisa. She walks into the office, catching Laura’s eyes as she enters. The chief inquires why she had come. “To tell you the truth about the Zona Family.” She says. The Chief leans back in his chair and puts down Laura’s report.


Created: Jul 16, 2010


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