Murder by Numbers

Synopsis: Richard Haywood, a Californian high school's coolest kid, secretly teams up with another rich kid in his class, brilliant nerd Justin 'Bonaparte' Pendleton, whose erudition, specially in forensic matters, allows them to plan elaborately perfect murders, just for the kick, for which they set up Richard's marijuana supplier, their school's janitor Ray Feathers, as a psychotic serial killer. The case is assigned to detectives Cassie 'the hyena' Mayweather, who carries a sequoia-size chip on the shoulder from her previous life, and her brilliant new partner, Sam Kennedy, who just transferred from the vice squad; they can work together very well, and even fit romantically, but fall out over different professional attitudes towards the investigation, which Captain Rod Cody and her understandably vindictive abused ex, Assistant D.A. Al Swanson, soon ban her from when she disobeys instructions and hand to him. When the plotting boys both dig class-mate Lisa Mills, their unnatural bond comes un
Director(s): Barbet Schroeder
Production: Omega Entertainment
  2 nominations.
115 min

Should we say it one last time?

One cannot live fully

without embracing suicide and crime.

Say it.

A pact made with relentless fire

that requires that some live. . .

. . .others die.

On three.

One. . .

. . .two. . .

. . .three!

Each of us has within us

a weak aspect. . .

. . .eager to give up freedom

to be dominated.

But we also have a will that

desires freedom, that insists. . .

. . .on deciding for ourselves,

each of us individually. . .

. . .what is good. . .

. . .and what is evil.

Are there any questions?

Doesn't anyone

want to challenge Justin's thesis?

Do you all submit to this

Darwinian struggle of egos?

l got a question.

Mr. Haywood, you're awake!

Let's hear it.

What's a dork like you

know about power?

What would an ass

like you know about philosophy?

Keep it civil.

Are you talking about crime?

You should wake up more often.

-What about it?

-All freedom risks crime.

Freedom is crime. lt thinks of itself

and not of the group.

-Thank you, Justin. Very daring.

-Thank you.

For those of you interested

in the source of his report. . .

. . .take a look at Nietzsche.

You really need to get laid,


Hey, Justin.

-Remember me?

-What do you want?

l want to blow your brains out.

And l'll make it look like a suicide.

Everyone would believe that

you killed yourself.

You won't get away with it.

Your shoe prints are unique.

They'd be traced back to you.

The fibers on your shirt

are all over me.

Your hair too.

lt's called transference.

More importantly, your fingerprints. . .

. . .on my neck. . .

. . .where you touched me.

-You can't get them off skin.

-You can with a Magna-Brush. . .

. . .or a fingerprint cam or an iodine

gun and silver transfer sheets.

You don't have the discipline

to commit a murder.

ls that right?

Let's see.


You're dead.

What took you so long?

l've been waiting.

No, l have something better.

-What is it?

-Absinthe. Wormwood-infused alcohol.

The molecular structure is almost

identical to tetrahedral chlorine.

Tetra what?

The active ingredient in marijuana.

Where did you get it?

Poets drank it for inspiration.

lt's been illegal since

the turn of the century.

Even better.

To the systematic derangement

of our senses.

Forget the senses.

Let's derange the world.

We will.



What about tonight?

-What about right now?

-l have a biology--

F*** your biology!

You always have excuses.

Let's forget it.

We've been planning this for months.

l'm sick of planning.

That's all it is with you.

lt's talk and plans and dreams.

You're a jerk-off.

So jerk off.

Richard, wait.

Just be patient.

Here comes The Hyena.

Why can't l go inside the perimeter?

l told them not to let anybody in.

lt's your first homicide. l didn't

want you stepping on your tongue.

Take this.

-What is it?

-lmportant tool. Hey, boys!

Snack time! Set up a staging area.

This place will be crawling

with people. . .

. . .including our chief.


-Yeah, Rod is not a cop.

Darnell, get out of my crime scene!

Come on!

Sorry, Cassie.

There's only one way

into a crime scene.

Put your foot where mine goes

and nowhere else.


Ever do this in vice?


Right there.

Looks like some kind of boot.

What's that smell like?

Smells like vomit.

That's what l thought.

Bag some for the lab.

-What's the matter?


-Notice the hemorrhaging?

-She was strangled.

Finger-shaped marks around the neck.

Look at this.

Clean cut.


-That'd be my guess.

Defensive wounds.

She put up a fight.

Good for you.

This is a secondary crime scene. Why?

This wound would produce lots

of blood. There's very little here.

What about these?


-Pre or postmortem?

Post, no blood.

Not bad, vice.

Probably aced your detective's exam.

The wind is picking up,

we'll lose evidence.

Hold on to everything we find.

-Any idea who she is?

-No. No car, no l.D.

Jane Doe.

Hey, Bonaparte.

What's the matter?

Miss Mills?

Time's up. Put your pens down.

Exchange your test with a neighbor.

Number 20 is C. . .

. . . ""Burnt Norton. ""

l suppose you find it funny.


Me flunking a pop quiz.

You didn't flunk. You got 1 9 out of 20.

Please pass the tests forward.

Wait up, l want to talk to you.

-Why did you do that?

-l have motives.

Like what?

l need your help

for my physics midterm.

Why me?

Because you're a genius, okay?

l live at 1 1 08 Chandler.

Can you remember that?

Around 5?

Hi, Lisa.

-This friend--

-Turn right.

-lt's right here.

-A houseboat. Neat.

Neat indeed.

l like it out here.

Not too many people.

Thanks. See you tomorrow.

-You gonna see me to the door?

-Of course.

You made detective in four years?

-Must be smarter than you look.

-Thank you.

lt'll only get worse, l warn you.

-You been talking to the boys?

-l heard a few things.

They tell you why

l was called The Hyena?


-Female hyenas have a mock penis.

-Draw your own conclusions.

-Does that bother you?

l just wear loose slacks.

lt's really not a problem.

See you later.

No prints.

The killer must have worn gloves.

-So it's not a husband or boyfriend.


You don't use gloves

to kill your wife.

Unless you've thought about it.

Missing ring finger.

Ritual? Serial killer?

-Maybe a comment on matrimony.

-A negative one.

Maybe we should investigate

every bad marriage in the county.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Tony Gayton

Tony Gayton was born in 1959. He is a writer and producer, known for Faster (2010), Hell on Wheels (2011) and Murder by Numbers (2002). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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