John Doe: Vigilante

Synopsis: Some call him a hero. Some call him a villain. He's "John Doe: Vigilante" - an ordinary man who decides to take the law into his own hands. Frustrated with a failing legal system that continues to allow violent criminals to go free, John Doe begins exacting justice the only way he knows how - by killing one criminal at a time. Soon he becomes a media sensation and inspires a group of copycat vigilantes, but who is the real John Doe - a pillar of justice or a cold-blooded murderer? You decide.
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Director(s): Kelly Dolen
Production: Main Street Films
Rotten Tomatoes:
93 min

I suppose I should, uh...

thank you... for the opportunity,

for choosing me above the others.

Can I ask why me?

With your reputation, your history,

you were clearly the only choice.

Are you the serial killer known as John Doe?

That's for the jury to decide.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,

have you reached a verdict?

Yes, we have, your honor.

Will the defendant please rise?

On the 33 counts of murder, how do you find?

We believe in you, John Doe!

We are standing here today

outside the Supreme Court,

where over 100,000 people have gathered

to await the verdict in the extraordinary trial

of John Doe.

The entire world is watching this bizarre trial,

and nobody knows which way the jury will vote.

But, one thing's for certain.

Whichever way the...


It looks like we may have a verdict.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience.

Not guilty!

This trial is unprecedented in our history.

It has sparked controversy and

evoked emotions worldwide.

We are now in a position to announce

that after many months of

trial and jury deliberation,

we finally have a verdict.

Good evening.

This afternoon we received brutal footage

from a masked man calling himself John Doe.

We must warn you that some viewers

may find the following footage disturbing.

Do you know me?

I'm just like you.

I'm just another face in the crowd.

I'm the guy next door.

Wife, child, mortgage...

a job I hate...

a life I hate...

a life without meaning.

I'm John Doe.

You just witnessed the brutal murder

of retired priest Xavier Edwards.

At this time, it remains a mystery

as to why this man calling himself John Doe

murdered Mr. Edwards.

So, that's the story you ran?



It's not unusual for us to edit footage.

We often do it to protect people.

Yeah, I'm familiar with

that concept, Matt, thanks.

But you were withholding

certain aspects of the story,

aspects that were quite clear and self-explanatory

on the footage John Doe supplied.

We were under orders.

From whom?

At that stage, what did you know about John Doe?

Well, nothing really...

only that he had a lot of

information about his victims.

Where do you think that information came from?

He was a very sophisticated

and intelligent predator.

And he seemed to have a wide network.

Exactly when was the task force formed?

I was brought in after the fifth killing.

And Task Force Swordfish was formed.

The pressure to catch him must have been immense.


We can't have someone running

around killing people, can we?

Justified or not.


You can cut that last bit out.

So, you were frustrated?

You could say that, yes.

Because you must have understood

that once you released the footage,

you would be fair game?

Of course.

But only half the story was being told.

Well, I think it's fair to say, though,

when you start killing people,

you can't reasonably expect the responsible media

to be on your side.

So media manipulation is something

we should all just accept?

I was aware of what was going

on before the phone call.

I mean, everybody was.

We were a fairly small operation back then,

and, consequently, we were only getting

slightly more information

than the mainstream media

were feeding Joe Public.

- Mm.

- And who did he contact?

He called our head reporter, Sam,

asked if we wanted copies of the murders.

Sam Foley?


And you jumped at that?

Not at first, no.

I'm... not in the habit of promoting murder.

Then why?

He offered us exclusive footage from there on out.

Ah. So you're happy to air murders

as long as you've got the exclusive, Bob?

Come on, Ken.

They werent just murders. You know that.

What, so he mentioned his story? His message?

Well, yeah, of course he did, but

I wasn't interested in that.

Why not?

Well, I mean, every nut out there's got his story,

you know, his version of how

the world owes him a living...

how his old man beat him up,

how he never had a choice,

you know, blah, blah, blah.

But John Doe was different?

Well, yeah.

I mean, once I saw the first

two tapes in their entirety,

I knew this was gonna be big.

Bob, clearly, you're motivated by ratings,

therefore money, correct?

Can I ask, was the truth ever a factor?

"The truth"?

Ken, the only truth is

that he killed a shitload of people.

Anything else is just somebody's opinion.

A few days ago John Doe claimed

yet another victim...

his ninth.

Now, people are being killed.

But John Doe has a story to tell.

He's a man on a mission.

And if you are a law-abiding citizen,

then let me tell you something.

You have nothing to fear.

Who the hell are you?

It's OK, Sally. Don't be scared.

Go next door and call your mother.

Good girl.

Do you know who I am?

Get the hell out of my house!


You see, Xavier?

I know who you are.

Xavier Edwards was an old man.

But he was the worst kind of old man...

a pedophile, who had been preying on our

innocent children for many, many years.

You've worked it out, right?

There is a method to John Doe's madness.

It isn't random. It isn't meaningless.

You can come out and party...

have a good time, enjoy the nightlife...

because there's nothing to fear,

unless you're on John Doe's list.

Well, it's a little over

the top, wouldn't you say?

Well, it got people watching.

After only a week,

that was viewed more times than

anything else we'd ever done combined.

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Stephen M. Coates

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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