Episode aired on November 23, 2020
The court case against Jonathan continues. His lawyer seeks to create reasonable doubt over Jonathan’s guilt and suggests that Fernando could be a suspect but that the police dismissed this possibility. When she cross examines Fernando she asks if his wife was seeing a psychiatrist, which she was, and also if he is seeing one, which he denies. She then questions the police officer who admits that he did not consider Fernando as a suspect and lies that there was no one else. The lawyer then shows the video of Grace. We also discover that Jonathan accidentally left the door open when he was 14 and his 4 year old sister died in a car accident. Grace calls his mother Janet, who says Jonathan never showed remorse or grief and estranged himself from his family when he grew up. Grace subsequently finds the hammer murder weapon in her son’s violin case.
(distant siren blaring)
Jonathan: Let’s not forget that, uh… that in all this… I lost someone I love.
Connie Chung: So you still say you didn’t kill her?
Jonathan: Well, I say, I say that because I did not kill her.
Connie: You loved this woman. You knew her. You knew her life. Do you have some idea who did?
I do. Yeah.
Connaver: How you doing, Henry?
Good, thanks, sir.
Why were you there that night? Outside her apartment? Because I was, I was walking. Like I always do. I didn’t know where I was. I’ve told you this many times.
It is just such a coincidence, isn’t it, that… I was having an affair with her, and, and, you were there. Just as I was, or just had been. -Oh, my God.
What are you asking me?
Were you following me?
Was I following you?
Were you? Were you following me?
Are you fucking kidding me?
Were you following me, Grace?
Don’t you dare say that–
Man: Are you Jonathan Fraser?
I’m sorry. Excuse me. Can we take a selfie with you?
(laughing): This is wild!
Johnny! Right here!
No. No. Come on.
(camera shutter clicking frantically)
(discordant music playing)
(doors open, shut)
Haley: How are we doing?
What’s going on?
Um… I think we’re both, um… A little pre-trial nerves, that’s all.
Look, they have a strong case. No question. But it’s circumstantial. Nobody saw anything. They don’t have a murder weapon, and some of the science actually helps us. Their case is vulnerable.
So you keep saying, um, although with a little more anxiety each time you say it. Here’s my question. What’s our case, Haley? Because I don’t really have clarity on that.
Our defense is wait and see.
I told you. It’s fluid.
Fluid. Okay, great. That gives me great confidence. Thank you.
Haley: It depends on what they throw at us. Okay. Let’s break it down. Our case is you. You say you didn’t do it. Explain why you ran. And our case is you. You say, “Believe what he just said.”
I can’t imagine that the word of a devoted wife would carry much weight.
Are you devoted, Grace?
I’m here. Under the circumstances, I think I deserve a medal.
We have seven women on the jury. These five… are educated, working professionals. Just like you. These two… have been cheated on by their husbands. Just like you. And then there’s this guy. He knows better than most that infidelity doesn’t mean murder. He’s having an affair, himself.
How could you possibly know that?
I know all these people. We piggyback on the algorithms of both Amazon and Google. I know where they go shopping. Where they go to eat. Where they go on vacation. We know it all. We’re already targeting their Instagram and Facebook accounts with pro-defense news feeds.
Is that legal?
It’s gray enough to get away with. We do have one little problem. The same question keeps coming up in all our focus trials. If you didn’t do it, then who did? We need to offer up another suspect.
Whoa. Well, what about his alibi?
Oh, it stinks. I can nick it. Take his hand, would you please? I mean, now.
Because I said so. Do it. Feel his hand. Feel hers. Feel together. If you two don’t feel it, neither will the jury. I’m not feeling that.
What is the point of this?
The point is that you two need to be one in the room. In effect, you’ll be giving testimony every single day. Every single minute of this trial. The jurors will be studying you for signs. Is he human? Does she believe him? Does she still love him? They will constantly be taking measure of you. Individually, and jointly.
Newscaster (on TV): Look, juries don’t like to convict good-looking people. They certainly don’t like to imprison doctors, and they don’t like to punish the wealthy. As much as we think we like to stick it to the rich, in the end, we don’t. We never do.
Newscaster 2 (on phone): The idea that jurors don’t come into this with preconceived notions, that’s just preposterous. This case has been so well-reported, I might go as far as to say that these jurors are liars.
Newscaster (on TV): I mean, to get on this panel, they would have had to have declared that they know nothing about this case. Does anybody–
It’s just entertainment.
Grace: Which you need to be a part of. The jury will know who you are. Haley says that they notice everything. Your presence. Your reactions. It all matters.
(exhales) You’re doing this for your grandson.
Franklin: I will be at your side, tomorrow and beyond. But the idea that this best serves Henry is absolute nonsense. Murderer or not, Jonathan must be kept as far away from your son as possible.
FiveThirtyEight is reporting an 83% chance of conviction this morning, down three points from just yesterday…
(camera shutters clicking)
Plans for a last-minute plea deal either never materialized, or were squashed.
(camera shutters clicking, commotion)
Reporter: How is Grace doing? Are you speaking to your son-in-law?
Security guard 1: Take all the metal out of your pockets, please.
Security guard 2: Thank you.
(wand beeping softly)
Security guard 1: Step up.
Take all the metal out of your pockets, please.
(metal detector beeping)
Murder is ugly business. I must warn you, whatever you’ve heard, whatever your predispositions, this one, it’s worse than you think. The evidence will show that Jonathan Fraser was having an affair with the victim. That he went to the victim’s studio on the night of January 8th, 2019. That he sexually penetrated her. That he then violently, savagely, beat her to death. He then fled the scene and went into hiding, before he was captured. Elena Alves was bludgeoned so badly, so viciously, she was unrecognizable to her own husband. She was first discovered by her 10-year-old son, Miguel. She was hit with a blunt instrument 11 times. The medical examiner found that the wounds inflicted were consistent with a sculpting hammer, which belonged to the victim. A hammer which was never found. It could have been a hammer like this one. He turned her skull into mush.
He just kept hitting.
He just kept hitting.
It’s worse than you think.
(footsteps, hammer clinks on table)
Such a beautiful, vibrant woman. When bad things happen to good people, we want answers. We want closure. We want a conviction. My client is the only option. That’s why the investigation was so limited. It wasn’t sloppy, or lazy, or negligent. It was specifically and intentionally narrow, precisely because evidence of other suspects would compromise their one shot at a conviction. My client made love to Elena Alves, on January 8th. His DNA. Semen at the scene. He guarantees reasonable doubt to any other defendant, so we’re not even gonna look for other possibilities. He’s the only one we can get. Somebody else hit Elena Alves with that sculpting hammer, 11 times, like the prosecutor said. It continued after she was dead. That’s rage. That’s hatred.
A lot of hatred. A crime of passion. Primal fury. We have to wonder. Fernando Alves had motive. He had opportunity. He was there.
Is he the killer? Can we know for sure? No. Why? In part, because he was never really investigated. Why? Because his semen was found inside the victim? He’s the only one we can get. It shall be him. It’s not.
(crowd clamoring, shouting)
(distant siren blaring)
Commentator (on TV): The problem is, once the defense comes up with its own theory, the jury expects that they’re gonna have some evidence behind it. And the idea that the husband did this, there’s no evidence for that, as far as I know.
(turns off TV)
(inhales slowly, exhales)
(light piano music playing)
(piano music continues)
(distant piano music)
(piano music continues)
How was your day? Anything interesting happen? I don’t really have anything to say. I’m… just sitting here in the quiet. It’s a bit oppressive. I’m a bit lonely. How’s the boy? Is he all right?
Yeah. I mean… I’m gonna have to take his iPhone away, because he’s… He’s devouring all the coverage, and I…
Well, good luck with that. I tried it once, and he turned into that kid from “The Exorcist.” I was so scared, I gave it straight back. (chuckles softly) Don’t suppose you’d like to… come over for a cup of tea? Boat of Frosties? I could rustle up some (with French accent): “oeuf à la Jonathan.”
I do realize how brutal today was. Um… Not least because, well, there you are, the most private person on the face of the Earth, who goes for walks to disappear, thrust into the middle of that God-awful circus. I’m sorry.
But I do think, I think we can get our anonymity back. Just a question of planning. I think we should, uh, let ourselves go, and get really alarmingly fat. Stop grooming. I think you should wear extremely frumpy tweed skirts. In fact, we both should. I, I think we could have a very peaceful old age.
Tragic, isn’t it? That was my biggest fantasy when we met.
Getting old with you. Doing all the, you know, old stuff. All the… puttering around the garden, and… being spiteful about young people. Joining a book club. But we did that. You got kicked out.
Jonathan: I was kicked out because I was honest. The book was crap.
Grace: You still there?
Yeah, yeah. Do you remember those long phone calls? Even when we had nothing to say, we just… We didn’t hang up. What was that about?
I’m gonna go to sleep now.
Yeah, okay. Bye. Wait. Um, hang on. I… I love you.
(phone clicks softly on table)
(piano music continues)
(clock ticking softly)
(piano music continues)
(distant construction noises)
(glass thuds loudly)
Henry. My God, you scared me.
What are you doing?
Sitting. Where were you?
Why are you sitting here?
What is it? I couldn’t sleep in my bed.
Were you thinking about it all?
We’ve survived so far. And we’ll survive the rest. We will.
(softly): What is it? What’s wrong? Something’s wrong. I can tell.
No. No. I’m fine.
(whispers): No, you’re not.
I saw them.
I saw them together. At school.
Henry: I should have told you. If I’d told you, maybe it wouldn’t have happened. Maybe Miguel’s father, or somebody else who was jealous, maybe if, if, maybe they found out. And maybe if I told you–
You had nothing to do– No. Henry.
Then they wouldn’t have–
Shh. Would you just listen for a minute? You had nothing to do with what happened to Miguel’s mother.
You can’t say that.
You could never have put–
No, but Mom, I saw them.
And that must have been very hard for you.
They weren’t doing anything. I mean, they weren’t kissing, or anything, but… I just knew, when I saw them. I knew. And when he saw me, he just smiled. Like it was nothing. He saw that I saw. He knew that I knew.
Well, he put you in a terrible position. A position no child should ever be in.
I wanted to tell you.
I wanted to tell you, but… I just… I felt like he trusted me.
(whispers): It’s all right.
(traffic noises, horn honking)
(distant siren wailing)
(sobbing) You let him see. You let him see you with her. At his school. And you know that he saw you. You know he did, and he fucking worships you.
He would do anything for you. Anything. You know that. (pounds on table) No more lies, Jonathan.
I got it. Yeah. Yeah.
Grace: (exhales) Jonathan.
Grace, Jonathan. We’re about to take on the lead detective. He needs to be my focus, and he needs to be yours.
What, I’m meant to go out there now? And sit out there like this?
Haley: Listen to me. Listen to me.
Jonathan, why? You did that to our son.
We got to the scene at 8:57 a.m. Nine minutes after the husband made the 911 call, and about 30 minutes after the body was discovered by the son.
Catherine Stamper: And what did you find?
Joe Mendoza: We discovered a woman, deceased. Her head badly lacerated, her skull crushed. Identified as Elena Alves by her husband. Though any facial recognition was difficult to discern.
Stamper: Yes. I’d like to show you a series of photographs.
(Fernando speaking Spanish)
(low hum of chatter)
Woman: I’m sorry, I can’t…
Stamper: Do these photographs fairly and accurately represent the crime scene as you found it?
Order in the court.
Fernando (whispering): It’s okay. It’s okay.
Haley: The forensic evidence you spoke of, Detective. My client’s sperm, saliva, and skin fragments. They could all be the product of Jonathan Fraser’s and Elena Alves’ having sex. True?
That would not explain her crushed skull.
No, it wouldn’t. And yet, when asked by Ms. Stamper to give evidence as to who crushed that skull, the evidence you gave to incriminate my client is… sperm, saliva, and skin fragments.
And his bloody footprints.
Which he could have left if he’d returned to the scene after she was killed.
And the fact that your client fled.
Yes, he fled. I suppose when we have two people come upon the scene, one flees, the other doesn’t, it’s usually the one who flees who gets put on trial.
It’s not as simple as that.
In this case, it is. There were no eyewitnesses to this crime. No security cameras in this building to monitor the comings and goings. To see if anybody else came or went.
There were not.
Haley: The footprints, fingerprints, and saliva found at the scene, belonging to two people. My client, and the husband.
Mendoza: Fernando Alves went to the scene after his son alerted him. He went to his wife’s aid. He tried–
Haley: His DNA. The DNA that belonged to the husband, Fernando Alves. You cannot scientifically exclude the possibility it was left the night before.
(Mendoza clears throat)
Did you not hear my question, Detective?
I did. I did hear your question. And I also heard your opening statement. It was offensive. We don’t stick our heads into sand in order to jam through quick convictions. An innocent person got slaughtered. Our intent was to find out who did it. Our only pursuit here was the truth. However much that disappoints you.
Haley: And the truth is… that man’s DNA–
Mendoza: He had an alibi.
Haley: A man with motive.
His son was with him. They were together at the family apartment over 10 blocks away.
His 10-year-old son. He was awake the whole time?
There are cameras in and outside the building that would have shown if Mr. Alves left.
Cameras in the back, as well as the front. He could have gone out the back.
There is no evidence, either by security cameras, street cameras, or eyewitness accounts, that place Mr. Alves on, or around the scene that night. Street cameras, however, did capture your client.
Where was this taken?
(Mendoza clears throat)
Mendoza: A full block away.
Haley: From the scene?
Haley: At what time?
Mendoza: A little past 9:30 p.m.
The night of the murder?
A block from the scene, and at the time of the murder. Who is this in the picture? Do you know?
Grace Fraser. The defendant’s wife.
Haley: The defendant’s wife. Near the scene, at around the time. Gee.
Are you suggesting she killed her?
I’m actually not. What I am suggesting is that you just lied. I’m suggesting that you had evidence of another person, one with a lot of motive, being at or near the scene around the time of death, and you never bothered to question her as a suspect.
We absolutely questioned her.
Haley: As a suspect? You gave her Miranda? Did you advise Grace Fraser of her Miranda rights before questioning her as a suspect?
We did not.
Wouldn’t that be the law if you considered her to be a suspect? To read her her rights?
Mendoza: It would be, if she was a suspect. But she wasn’t. We had security cameras capturing her walking. Continuing on. We had and still have no reason to believe she ever entered the dwelling, nor there was any of her DNA present.
If her DNA had been present, you would have considered her a suspect?
Mendoza: Of course. But it wasn’t.
His was. Did you ever read Fernando his rights? You made an exception for Fernando Alves. Was it because admitting your suspicions of him might weaken your chances of getting him?
Fernando Alves had an alibi.
Yes. His sleeping son.
Henry: They’re calling, uh, the detective a squirmy worm. They’re saying, like, “Can’t make the prosecutor feel good having your whole case ride on a squirmy worm.”
Turn the phone off. Turn the phone off. Just turn it off. Thank you. It’s not often that we get to eat together, the three of us.
Here we are.
He’ll pour it. Thank you.
Grace (softly): Thank you.
Did you know she was gonna do that? Pull up that picture?
And you’re okay being a suspect?
I’m not a suspect. That was Haley’s point. That– They should have taken a more serious look at me, just as they should have taken a more serious look at Mr. Alves. And they didn’t. They just had tunnel vision for your father.
So, Hen, uh, your mom told me that you saw me and– Me and Elena Alves at school. And I’m really sorry about that. I behaved incredibly badly. It was repugnant of me to allow you to witness anything.
I think we’re gonna win. Do you?
I, I don’t know.
I don’t– I don’t know, but I think we might have made a colossal mistake. I think Mr. Alves is obviously very sympathetic, and there’s no real evidence to show his guilt. So…
Did you mean what you said? If we survived this far, we can survive anything?
I said that?
If we can survive this trial, I think this family can survive.
Grace: All right, but–
Well, I– We need to talk about that another time.
Henry: No. I want to talk about it now.
No, we’re not talking about it now. It’s not the time.
You tell your patients that marriages can go on, even after somebody cheats.
Henry, come on.
You tell them that marriages can even sometimes grow stronger. Is that a lie?
I said it’s not the time.
Henry: Is that a lie, or do you believe that?
Henry, stop. Stop. Shh.
You would never cheat again. Would you?
Henry: You would never cheat– See? See?
We can still be a family. Uh, you know, we could even get a dog. Finally. I’ll take care of it, so you won’t have to worry about what happened before.
What do you mean? What do you mean? I asked you a question. What do you mean?
(softly): Mom told me about the dog thing. About your family blaming you.
Well, she shouldn’t have done that. Uh, you know, I’m gonna get some air.
What did I say? Mom, what did I say?
It’s all right. Just wait here.
I’m sorry. It was just the stress of it all. I, I… Taking its toll, I suppose. (sniffs)
I don’t believe you. What was that about? Jonathan, what… was that about?
I, I didn’t kill the family dog. We never had a dog. I had a sister. I, I… I, I killed the family sister.
Katie. Um, Katie the Kitten, we called her. Um, I was babysitting her. I was 14. She was, uh, four. And, uh, somehow she sneaked out of the house while I was in the kitchen making a… a cheese and tomato sandwich. I heard the sound of the brakes, and then, um, another sound that I will never… uh, get out of my head.
Your sister got hit by a car? It was your sister?
You should add that to my list of lies. Except I also tell myself this one. You know, that it wasn’t my fault. That, uh, it was just an unfortunate thing, but, of course, it was my fucking fault, because Katie– Katie the Kitten was put under my charge. And she… And she got hit by a car when I was making myself a snack.
How is it you have never told me this?
Because we don’t– we don’t talk of it. You know. Ever. Ever. It’s probably, uh… why I went into pediatric medicine. I don’t know. You’re, you’re the shrink. You know better than me, but, uh, I will tell you this. Every… every patient I treat, every s-single one… (exhales) (sobbing): is… is little Katie. (sobbing) Yeah.
(distant siren blaring)
All this time, he was carrying that burden, and I never saw.
In your professional opinion, is a past trauma like that likely to render a person more compassionate? Or more psychotic?
I tried calling his mother. A few times. And she never returned.
Even his family doesn’t want to have anything to do with him.
(camera shutters clicking frantically)
Security guard: Turn, please.
Security guard: Thank you.
Turn, please. Thank you, sir.
Security guard: Turn, please.
Fernando: After she hadn’t come home, or replied to any of my calls or texts, my son Miguel, he went to check on her. I, I thought he’d gone to school. I was just having a busy morning with the baby. She wasn’t there, so, I told him to just go on. See himself to the bus. And he didn’t. He went to see his mom.
Stamper: He went to the studio.
Stamper: And then you went there.
Fernando: Yes. After he’d come back. He was… crying, screaming.
And so you went there, and–
What did you find?
It’s… Elena. My wife. (sobbing softly): She was just lying there. There was just blood everywhere. Her face, head. They were like mush.
Stamper: So you called the police?
Fernando: Yeah. I called the police, and… ambulance.
Mr. Alves. I cannot imagine your pain, sir.
That’s a lie.
You feel nothing for me. Or my pain. You tried to blame me.
I actually didn’t. I simply tried to point out that you cannot be eliminated as a suspect. That others cannot be eliminated. For that, you should direct your contempt to the police. Not me.
Fernando: See, my wife is dead, and, and you’re just… playing games. That’s it. You disgust me.
I don’t mean to incite your rage. You spoke of your love of Elena. You loved her very much.
Fernando: She was everything to me.
I’m sensing that. But you weren’t everything to her.
And there were other men. Including my client.
No, no, no. There were no other men. He was the only one.
Haley: How can you know that, sir?
Fernando: Well, because I do.
Did you know that she was romantically involved with Jonathan? Elena was able to keep part of herself from you. Maybe that’s why she kept a separate apartment. To keep part of her separate.
Fernando: No, that’s not what that was. That was an apartment for her art, because she was an artist, and– And she needed to focus and she needed to work. That’s what that apartment was for.
Haley: It wasn’t just for her art. She’d been using it to have an affair with my client.
Did you know, sir? Did you know, sir?
Not at first.
Haley: But at some point? And at some point, you learned that your daughter… That my client was the biological father.
That must have been an awful thing to learn.
Forgive me, but I have to ask. Was your wife receiving any psychiatric treatment?
What for? Do you know?
You are vile.
My question only goes to who else could have possibly done this. We cannot rule out that she saw other men. That maybe one such man had the capacity for explosive jealousy, or violent rage.
Haley: These are the very questions you’d want the police asking. Am I right to find out who did this?
Stamper: Your honor–
He did this! He did this!
Stamper: Your, your honor, may I approach–
Haley: Mr. Alves, are you receiving any psychiatric help?
Haley: I don’t mean to be insensitive.
Well, you’re doing a great job of it.
You have put this witness on the stand.
Your honor, may I approach?
Mr. Alves, what you have to be going through, are you getting any help?
Stamper: Your honor…
How do you think it’s going? Your objective opinion?
Look, to, to me, it’s more likely than not that… that Jonathan did it. But more likely isn’t the standard. It’s beyond all reasonable doubt. That puts you ahead. That, and he has the best attorney money can buy. So… Grace, I– I probably shouldn’t ask you this, but– (exhales) What are you actually thinking?
Yeah. You shouldn’t ask that.
(distant bells chiming)
Another reason I couldn’t have done it. I loved her. Quite madly. Not something I could say to Grace, you see. It didn’t diminish my love for my wife. It was just, uh… different.
It’s going well, but you’ll need to testify. We need to account for why you fled. Only you can do that. Don’t pretend to be honest, because you’ve told too many lies. Don’t pretend to be a good husband, a decent father, because you are arguably neither. We don’t need to give them a good man. Just someone who didn’t commit murder.
(bleeping, jingle playing)
Grace: What time is it there?
It’s four a.m. I couldn’t sleep, so, I thought I would use the time to return your call.
Well, thank you. Thank you. I’m sorry it’s… been so long since we’ve…
Janet (on computer): Since the wedding, Grace. We haven’t seen each other since the wedding. Jonathan’s doing, I realize. How is he? I can’t imagine well.
No. None of us are doing great, so…
None of us is doing great. “None” is a contraction of “not one.” It’s singular. The verb is singular. And, um, Henry. He must be looking like a grown man by now?
He’s getting there. I’ve sent you some pictures, but, uh–
Grace, I don’t blame you. It was Jonathan’s decision to no longer be part of his family. A decision he made long before he met you.
Well, I’m just trying to piece everything together right now. You can probably understand.
Janet: Yes, I can.
I just… learned that Jonathan had a younger sister. Katie. And that he feels responsible for her death.
As he should. He was responsible. He allowed a four-year-old to wander out onto a busy street. Where she was struck dead.
That must have been unspeakably awful.
Janet: It was.
Janet, um… The grief and the guilt, and, and… Jonathan growing up with that. Did he ever get professional help?
He did not. He suffered from neither. No guilt, no grief. We kept waiting for it. We, uh, surrounded him with family support, certain that once the shock wore off, the suffering would begin. But, it never did. Jonathan doesn’t know how to suffer. After his sister was killed, he never even said he was sorry. After his sister was killed, he never said another word about it. He just went on living here, until he was old enough to leave, and never come back. Which is what he did.
Grace: Her name was Katie, and he was responsible…that he allowed her to wander out of the house…
(overlapping): She was four.
And that after, he suffered neither guilt nor grief.
Sylvia (on phone): Grace, I want to be very clear. I want to understand exactly what you’re telling me. You’re saying that Jonathan’s mother said he suffered from neither guilt, nor grief. In essence, his own mother identified him as a sociopath.
(tense music playing)
(soft instrumental music playing)