The Postcard Killings (2020) | Transcript

A New York detective investigates the death of his daughter who was murdered while on her honeymoon in London; he recruits the help of a Scandinavian journalist when other couples throughout Europe suffer a similar fate
The Postcard Killings (2020)

The Postcard Killings, a 2020 American crime film directed by Danis Tanović, features Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Famke Janssen, and Cush Jumbo.

Based on the novel by James Patterson and Liza Marklund, the film follows New York detective Jacob Kanon, who investigates his daughter’s murder during her honeymoon in London. As similar murders occur across Europe, Kanon, with the assistance of journalist Dessie Lombard and a German policeman, uncovers the truth behind the killings.

* * *




The owner of the flat discovered them late Wednesday night.


It’s him.






PIERCE: The owner of the flat discovered them late Wednesday night.



Come on, it’s gonna go.

It’s a really good one.

MAC: Sylvia!




(WITH DUTCH ACCENT) So loud in there.

PIETER: Are these free?

They’re all yours.


Football fans on trains are the worst.

MAC: Yeah. I’m Pieter.

I’m Mac.

And this is Sylvia.

On a tight budget, huh?


MAC: Nice tats, man.


I’m almost done with both sleeves.

Like a living canvas.

They’re beautiful.

My wife appreciates art.



VALERIE: Oh, Jesus! Thank you.

Get up.

(SNIFFLES) I’ve been trying to call you.

I want to see Kimberly.


Hey, what time is it?

VALERIE: 9:00. You look like shit.

Oh, fuck.

Oh, I feel like shit.

VALERIE: Get ready, I’ll order you something to eat.

Oh, okay. God damn it, I’m not hungry. Stop.

Fine. I won’t get you anything to eat.

(SIGHS) Fuck. Valerie.

Get off! No!

It doesn’t help.

I need to see her. (SOBS)

You shouldn’t.

Okay? Just trust me.

Then I want to see where it happened.

Give me a minute.

This is highly unconventional.

I don’t give a damn.

I want to see it.

Just cut the tape.

It is still a crime scene.

Yeah. I’ve been a cop for 30 years.

I know how to walk through a crime scene.


I’m afraid you’ll have to wait downstairs.

PIERCE: We have dusted for prints, but…

JACOB: It’s been rented by hundreds of people.


You’ve questioned everyone in these buildings?


No one saw or heard anything.

There were two glasses in the sink, only the victims’ prints.

No one saw anything, no one heard anything, and there was no forced entry…

JACOB: My daughter knew the killer.

She’s a cop’s kid, she would never let some stranger in.

We need to check their credit cards, social media, everything. Find out where they were.

It’s all in motion.

Where’s the blood?

Their blood was completely drained.

PIERCE: The victims were on the bed.

The male victim’s eyes were held open with pins.

His lips had something attached to them.

The female victim was in his arms.

The arms were severed below the elbow. (MUFFLED SOBBING)

The left upper arm was inserted into the male victim’s mouth.

Why do you think he posed them?

Because he’s extremely sick, I’d imagine.

But he was saying something.

A highly organised crime scene like this is done for a specific reason.

The couple that was murdered in Madrid, are there similarities?

A few.

Were they staged, Inspector?

I can’t say.

At this stage, it’s not clear whether or not these are isolated incidents.

We both know this is not the MO of a random killer.


America’s an arrogant country.

I hope I don’t offend you.

MAC: No.

Where are you headed actually, man?

Working my way north.


Erm… Same. No real plans.

We should all hang out together.

Pick a place to get off.

Come on, it’ll be fun.

Venture into the unknown.

Let’s get some drinks and then we can discuss it. Vodka?

What else?

I can’t believe you almost invited him to come with us.

I just didn’t think, okay? I’m sorry.


Like obviously, I’d much rather spend every second with you.

You only. Hmm.

I just thought he was a bit strange, didn’t you, Mr Randolph?

You know what? I did, Mrs Randolph.

You remember when she was eight…

Karate class?

She loved that class.

Hmm. You mean she loved making you proud.

You couldn’t just let them go to Hawaii or the Caribbean for their honeymoon?


You had to be the hero, buy her the big Euro adventure.

That’s one of the reasons it didn’t work out, you always had to be the one she loved the most.

Why did you have to send her here? Hmm?


Why did you have to send her here?



(HYPERVENTILATING) I just… I feel like I’m going crazy.

I’m so sorry.

How did this happen to us?

One bottle of vodka, and three cups…

(SIGHS) I guess one cup then.


I… I feel like I’m abandoning her.

No. You’re not.

I’m here, okay?

This is what I do.



You’ll let me know everything, right, no matter what?

Of course I will.

No, you won’t.

I heard everything, Jacob.

Someone mutilated our daughter.

Find him.




NEWSCASTER: Over two weeks after the gruesome murder of a young American couple, the Metropolitan Police are refusing to confirm reports that a journalist, Charles Hardwick, received a postcardwith information on the killings days before…

Sir. Get your hands off me.

Give me half an hour, I’ll… I’ll call you back, thanks.

Would you get Mr Kanon a coffee?

Sorry about that.

I’m sure he’s just trying to do his job.


Well, we’re all trying to do that. Why don’t you take a seat?

It’s been over two goddamn weeks since my daughter’s murder.

You’ve been avoiding me, and I know that you have new leads.

Absolutely, we do, but nothing I can share with a member of the public, however close they are to the case.

How about a fellow cop?

This postcard that I hear about on the news, when I should be hearing from you… What does it say?

You know I can’t tell you that.

Is that it? Is that what you’re gonna tell me?

That’s everything.


The questions that I have that need to be answered?

I will find the answers myself.

I don’t recommend you do that.

You had your chance.

LIFT RECORDING: Floor minus three. Doors open.

Hey. Hi, can I help you?

I’m waiting for him actually.

Me? Charles Hardwick?

You received a postcard, right?

You’re on private property.

My daughter is dead.

And you received a postcard from the person that killed her.

I’m not at liberty to talk about this.

Look, sir, all I wanna know is if anyone in Madrid received a postcard?

Do you have kids?

It’s okay, I’m good.

I’ve been told that it’s breaking the law if I discuss the details.

How many kids do you have?

One… Baby girl.

There is nothing more special to a father than a daughter.

A Spanish reporter got a postcard of the Prado.

The victims, apparently, they had their lips…


I’m sorry, that was our last flight.

We have one leaving tomorrow at 6:00 a.m.

Yup, you have told me this now numerous times.

Listen to me. This is a police matter.

An emergency. You have to get me on a plane.

Sir, please, I’ve told you that was our last flight.

I know. It’s your job to be helpful, right?

Be helpful.

Do me a favour, and get on your computer and find me a connecting flight.

I don’t even care where it connects from, I just can’t have it be tomorrow. I need it to be now.

All other flights are full. I’m sorry.

I need to get to Madrid.

What part of that do you not understand?

Sir, you need to calm down.

I am calm! Can someone just get me a fucking flight?

Is everything okay, madam?


POLICEMAN: Sir, you need to come with us.


Thank you for your help.


Hi there. Can I see your passport? Yup.

Torturing yourself, Detective.

I do understand how hard this is.


Do you?

See, I don’t think you have any idea how hard this is.

Go home and mourn, sir.

“Go home”?

I’m not going anywhere without my little girl.

I am sympathetic, Mr Kanon, I assure you…

“Detective Kanon”.

It’s Detective Kanon. And the last thing I want is your sympathy.

Your daughter’s personal belongings.

Now please, think about what I said.




MALE REPORTER: Reports suggest the couple were backpacking through Europe.

They had been staying at the Cathedral youth hostel in Munich for a week.

Early speculation indicates that this is the third in a series of brutal murders.







Detective Kanon.

There’s still a restaurant in Munich where you can drink a cup of coffee and smoke a cigarette.

You look like you could use both.

This must be a very painful time.

Did you find her hands?


But there were…

There were body parts that didn’t belong?


JACOB: Let me guess, there were no liquor bottles at the scene, but the victims, they had high levels of alcohol in their system.

They were probably drugged.

We found traces of cyclopentolate.

It’s an agent in eye drops.

And they were a young… A young, married couple?

Crazy people often obsess about youth and beauty.

But they don’t all mutilate their victims.

This bastard, he’s very selective about his targets.

Certainly his actions don’t fit with existing profiles.

The postcard, then the photograph.

What photograph?

I wish I could tell you.

Is there a photograph of my daughter?


Is she alive?

I need to see it.


It’s already been marked as evidence.

It’s part of the London investigation.

I’m sorry.


The eyes. They don’t belong to the victims.



BUBLITZ: Detective Kanon, now I have someone to question.


You’re wasting your time.

He’s moved on.

Ms Lombard, you are now part of an ongoing investigation.

It is a criminal offense to reveal what is on the postcard.


Each day your mail will be opened by a police officer, morning and afternoon, starting tomorrow.

Okay. Okay?


FEMALE REPORTER: Police sources have confirmed that an American journalist living in Stockholm, received a postcard this morning.


MAN 1: Good night, Ms Lombard.

DESSIE: Night.


Ms Lombard. (GASPING)

What? What do you want?

My name is Detective Kanon, and I just want to ask you about the postcard.

If you’re a detective, talk to the detectives.

Please, they’re gonna send you something else, and by then, they’ll be dead!

Please, I just want to help.

I’m leaving you my card.


Er… Well…

Well, maybe it’s fate, running into him twice.

Well, he’s seen us now. So, we don’t have much choice.

Hey, man. How bizarre bumping into you!

And you thought you’d ditched me.

No, God, we just… We got off the train last minute.

You were at the bar. So… We left a note.

No note.

Mac, I assumed that you…

No, I left it to you.

You Americans crack me up.

Come, let’s go for drink, life’s for the living.

So, er, how long have you been here for, man?

PIETER: A couple of days.

Yeah? Us too. Where are you staying?

By the, er… Stortorget.


Oh… Just a place back there.

The Six, fancy.

How do you know that?

I’m stalking you.


MAC: Ah, the bag.


The first murders were eight days apart.

Munich was exactly 16 days after London.

It could be a pattern.

Which means there are undiscovered victims out there.

We’re working closely with the joint task force.

This is a Europe-wide investigation.

You do understand that this would explain why my daughter’s hands are still missing.

Detective Kanon… Did you hear what I just said?

All our units have been provided with the profile.

Your profile is wrong.

Look, this killer’s brand of murder is very specific, extremely hard to profile.

People like him can be charming, dynamic. I have worked cases that are…

I’m sure you are a hotshot detective, but we don’t conduct ourselves like the American police.

What the fuck does that mean?

(WITH SWEDISH ACCENT) Shoot first, ask questions later.

I don’t give a rat’s ass what either of you think.

You’ve got exactly four days to prevent a murder.

It’s not personal. I do sympathise, of course, but your objectivity has… Fuck!



Tilda, I have a human interest piece on the killings.

No. Wait, please.


The reporter I interned for in Chicago, he did a similar piece and it out-sold everything that year.

DESSIE: So, you found it okay?

JACOB: Yeah.

People are helpful and thank God they speak a little bit of English.

Why didn’t you tell me about your daughter last night?

Because it’s hard.

It’s not something I want to open with.

What do you want from me?

I want to know what was on the postcard.


What do you want from me?

I’ve been thrown into this mess, and nobody is telling me anything.

Look, I write a weekly piece at a newspaper about being an American living in a strange country.

Why would something like this happen to someone like me?

I’m sorry, I know it’s hard being on the outside.

And I feel like that too, and… And I want to help.


So, I, erm… I contacted this Spanish journalist and that guy Hardwick from The Guardian.

But you know, it doesn’t make much sense.

I mean, there seems to be no connection between what we do as journalists.

You know, one covers politics, one covers finance, one culture.

And the postcards?

Well, what do we have?

In Madrid, it said, “Till death do us part.”

In London, “Watch the innocent die,”

in Munich it said, “Feel the pain, see the truth.”

And here, “Love will never die.”

And every sentence is always followed by an ellipsis.

“Dot, dot, dot”.

A continuation. Yeah.

He announces his arrival in a city with the postcard.

Selects a couple…

Young, newly married, happy…

You like herring?

It’s the worst decision I’ve ever made.

I was trying to be polite.


SYLVIA: Why did he say she wasn’t with him?

They’re very independent people.

She likes to fly, and he likes trains.

SYLVIA: Here he comes.

Mac, Sylvia,

meet my wife and the artist behind my tattoos, Nienke.

It’s a pleasure meeting you both.

He kept your existence very quiet.

Well, in my husband’s defence, it sounds as if you two ditched him before he could reveal very much.



Would you like another drink?

Maybe something stronger?

Yes, we would. Absolutely. Yeah.

Okay, let’s go. Tequila!

Have you guys been to Bjorkskar yet?

Is that the island? Yes.

Part of the archipelago.

This time of year, it’s really something.

Desolate, moody.

It’s just a short ferry ride. You should come.


The finger in the wound I recognise,

but the woman’s hand…


The Incredulity of Saint Thomas.

It has been depicted by many artists.

This is by Caravaggio.

MATTS: Thomas the Apostle, sceptical of Jesus’ resurrection.

You see here, he is testing the wound to see if it bleeds.

“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

MATTS: Hence the phrase, “Doubting Thomas.”

JACOB: Saturn Devouring His Son, by Francisco Goya, exhibited in London.

Postcard said, “Watch the innocent die.”

This, The Incredulity of St Thomas, on display, right there in that building.

Why didn’t you bring this to the Stockholm task force?

Because they’re by the book, and you seem…

You seem open to possibilities.

JACOB: Whoa, stop.

I’ve seen him before.

BUBLITZ: This woman is moving off with him.

JACOB: That’s not a “him”. It’s a “them”.

Go back, to the day before.

Stop. There they are.

Come on.

Pick up your goddamn head!


Forty-odd cameras and not one of them picked up their faces!

(SIGHING) Seriously, you must take it easy on yourself.

You’ve gotten us somewhere, and that’s a good thing.

Detective Hoglund promised me she will include you in all intelligence going forward.

Big fucking deal.

Tomorrow, at this time, another couple will be dead.

Look, have them cross-reference passports.

Any couples that have been to Madrid, London, Stockholm, here, it can’t be that hard to find them.

The European Union operates a freedom of movement agreement.

We still have porous borders.

Are you telling me there’s no fool-proof way of registering people’s comings and goings?

With terrorism and the refugee crisis, some countries have reinstated temporary controls.

But generally speaking, no.

You have to let me see all the files.

You want me to retire immediately, huh?

No, I don’t.

I want to help you catch them.




Did you lose a little thing?

That’s my hat. Where did you get it?

It’s your so-called note.

Give it to me. Yeah.



You weirdo.

You know what? A gift.

You’re not gonna get it back though.

Going to keep it.

AGNETA: Twenty-six, and twenty-three. They’re Dutch.

He gave his passport information to rent an apartment on Kindstugatan.

According to the owner, they arrived separately from Germany.


At the airport, we have evidence she changed sterling into Swedish krona.

He has two recorded offences for drug possession.

She works at a tattoo parlour, and has spent two years at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.

What’s that?

It’s an art school.


WOMAN 1: Welcome. We got jobs to do.

MAN 1: The owner says they haven’t been here all day.


This hat…

It’s Kimberly’s.

AGNETA: Detective Kanon, I’m so sorry.

JACOB: The ears…

They’re from the Munich murders.

Yeah, you may be right.

Somewhere, there are undiscovered victims.

DESSIE: This is Antonio Canova, Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss.

Let me guess, exhibited at…

Here in the National Museum in Stockholm.

DESSIE: And it represents Cupid waking Psyche’s lifeless corpse, and reuniting the torn apart lovers.

“Love will never die.”


So do you think that the ears are supposed to represent the wings?

I guess so.

I also think that…

Madrid is a sculpture.

This one, Rodin’s The Kiss.

I mean, look at the lips.

They don’t actually touch, like they were interrupted…

“Till death do us part.”


Messages on the postcards…

Death, pain, I…

I get it, but…

But love? (STAMMERS) I just…

I don’t understand what they’re trying to say.

Er, that love is deadly, that love is painful?

I… I think they’re trying to destroy joy.

I’m… I’m sorry. I… I forgot for a moment.

It’s okay.

I just want to bring her home.

I fell asleep, God knows how. I feel like…

I haven’t slept in weeks.

I get dressed and go to the office,

just so that I don’t sit at home feeling useless.


I think that “useless” is exactly how we’re supposed to feel.

Hey, I got to go. I will keep you posted.

I promise, okay?


Okay, see, this is footage from a storefront security camera, one block away from the ferry terminal.

So, we slowed it down and had it enhanced.

Have you got the keys? No, you have the keys.

I have a key.

Erm, hi, we are checking out of room 418.

Let me get your bill ready.

Mr and Mrs Randolph.


“Mr and Mrs Randolph.”

I love the sound of that.




What is going on?

MAC: Can you tell us what’s happening?

Can somebody please tell me what’s going on?

Can you tell us who they are?

SYLVIA: Yeah, that’s Pieter and Nienke, from Amsterdam.

Wait, why? Did they do something?

Is that why you brought us here?

Fuck! Jesus Christ!

You took a ferry with them to Bjorkskar.


That happened there?

You were with them?

We have you on surveillance footage.

Yeah. Yeah, we were with them. We… We took a ferry, we planned to explore and stay over.

But then Mac wasn’t feeling well, so we left.

So you left on the next ferry?

There’s something about being sick in a foreign country, you know, it’s like, double worse.

You just want to be at home in your own bed, eating room service.

We went back to the hotel.

I had chicken soup and I barely touched it, and Sylvia had burger and fries.

Yeah, we got the ferry back. I have a receipt.

Mac always makes fun of me because I save everything for a memory book.

I can show you. It’s with my things.

We will check.

FERNANDEZ: She seems genuinely distressed.

BUBLITZ: I agree. He seems unsettled.

JACOB: Should just play along, empathise with her.

She is a clever girl.

I can see her wheels turning.

I wonder, how you liked Madrid?

(SCOFFS) Madrid? I don’t understand.

Are we making you nervous?

Well, I mean, yeah. You know, I’ve seen these movies.

You know, Americans thrown in jail in a foreign country for something they didn’t do.

There’s no way these kids are responsible for what I saw five weeks ago.

No. I’ve never even been to Spain.

Look, we landed in Rome. We spent a while there, then we got a train to Paris and rented a little apartment.

Do we have proof they were in Paris?

Anyone can rent an apartment and not stay in it.

He’s right.

What was that, Pierce?

He said you’re right.

Ask her about the details. Yes.

Ask her about the details. Make her be specific.

We ate at the same restaurant every day, Le Comptoir.

If you get me my bag, I can show you the receipts.

Like I said, I’m a bit of a collector.

RIDDERWALL: Yeah, we’ll have it checked.

JACOB: She is lying.

Perhaps… No.

She’s too polished, it’s rehearsed.

You’ve got to push her harder, trip her up.

Let me in there.

Detective Kanon, please, we have a process.

Your process sucks!


So where did you travel to from Paris?

Luxembourg, which I did not expect to like, but we did.

The exhibits, the museums, Notre-Dame…

Not the Notre-Dame, but, beautiful.

It is possible, I mean, maybe it is not them.

No. They would have you believing that up is down, that black is white.

That girl… That girl, she killed my daughter.

I will stake my life on it.

RIDDERWALL: Show me receipts from the museums you visited.

SYLVIA: I’m really tired.

Please, have a look.


I love museums.


Forum d’art in Luxembourg.

I still don’t know how any of this is relevant to what happened.

Hey, I am really trying to be helpful here, but can we please go now?

Once again, you arrived to London. And then?

From London, back to Luxembourg, then Czech Republic, and now we’re here.

And everywhere you went, you paid with cash?

You must admit that’s not common.

Do you know what credit card companies charge in fees?

It’s the only way to travel and not come back to a mound of debt.

A prepared answer for everything!

Each of us lost our parents young and we both got a small inheritance.

MAC: Being alone in this world,

it’s made us very, very close.

Can we go now?

Everything they say checks out.

Sylvia and Mac Randolph, 22 and 19, reside in Los Angeles.

They have proof of being in places far away from when and where the crimes took place.

They could’ve stopped in Paris on their way from Madrid.

But we can’t prove it.

Well, hold them until we can.

But why would they go to London, where passports are required, or book a hotel like the Six,

if they’re trying to stay under the radar?

To make it appear as if they’ve got nothing to hide.

RIDDERWALL: Their luggage contains no match for the clothes in the museum footage.

At least hold them overnight!

I can’t hold suspects more than 12 hours without a formal arrest, which I can’t make without sufficient evidence.


Best we can do is order them to remain in Stockholm as persons of interest, mark their passports and keep them under surveillance.

I mean, have you ever seen a file so thin?

It’s like until four years ago, they didn’t exist.

Interpol is coordinating with the US.

If there is something out there, they’ll find it.

Listen, I had this case once.

The beautiful daughter of the most celebrated architect in Germany, beaten to death.

Her father hunted down the guy who did it and shot him 12 times.

Later, after the whole thing calmed down, he shot himself.


I’m not real sure how you want me to respond to that.

Getting justice won’t be the end.

You see, the problem is every time I close my eyes, the image that I see is my daughter laying on a cold slab.

And that’s never gonna go away.

I have to go now.

Safe travels.


Think of her smiling.

How did you get this?

Don’t ask.

It is like I am bashing my face into a wall over and over again.

VALERIE: Hey, it’s okay.

No, Val.

It’s not okay. I am telling you, everyone has a history. Everyone.

But these two, there is just nothing.

It’s like they’re goddamn ghosts.

Maybe I can call in a favour.

Jacob? You still there?

Yeah. Yeah, I’m here.

I have some influence with the DA’s office.

Thanks for doing this, Bill.

People keep asking what they can do to help, and…

There really isn’t anything. But I thought, just maybe, you might.

Does the name Simon Haysmith mean anything to you?

You mean the guy who defrauded some of the richest men on Wall Street for, like, 300 million? Yeah, that’s him.

Yeah, the Feds spent a fortune in taxpayer dollars preparing to prosecute him.

They didn’t have the case they wanted, so they squeezed his employees, his accountants, attorneys…

But none of them said anything, so, one of the biggest white-collar criminals in history was about to walk away.

What does this have to do with Kimberly?

Well, they were just about to drop the charges when out of nowhere, the case was just given to them.

Bank account numbers in Brussels, Cayman Islands, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Somebody gave him up?


His son.

The son of a bitch’s son.

Kid detests him, wants him destroyed.

Are you telling me that Mac is Haysmith’s son?

Yes, I am.

Do you have any idea why he gave him up?

No, not from the little bit I’ve been able to access.

The real story is behind a shit-load of redactions in that file.

Witness protection.

Was he a minor at the time? Yup.

That’s why the Bureau has kept tight-lipped about everything.

And how old was he then?

Fifteen. And the wife?

No mention.

And where’s Haysmith?

Doing life at Osborn.

Well, can you get in to see him?

Oh, I’m trying.

Did you sleep at all?

You know when you look in someone’s eyes and you know they’re lying to you?

They’re guilty.

I’ve never been more sure about anything in 30 years.

BUBLITZ: They’ve discovered a fifth couple.

Outside Amsterdam.

Artist’s studio, a bit away from everything.

The targeted journalist was away on assignment.

You know what I’m gonna ask.


At least now you know.

Yeah, at least I know.

She collects them.

Receipts. She collects other people’s receipts!

Museums, ferries, restaurants.

Physical proof of places they were supposed to have been!

HAYSMITH: The artist must be prepared to sacrifice everything, even life itself.

No weakness!

“Art is a wound turned into light.”


MAID: Room service.

Come in.


How are we tonight?

Very well, thank you.

Okay, so they confirmed the room service order was placed from outside the hotel.

Apparently, it’s more common than you’d think.

I need to see a detailed map.

Use my computer. I got to pee.






Excuse me. Mac and Sylvia Randolph.

AGNETA: Detective Kanon, do not go to that room.

No, they crafted their own alibi.

You have no idea what’s staring you in the face.

Do you think he saw?

Not sure.

We’ll take care of it.




Police! Police!


They’re gone.

We’ve marked their passports. They can’t go far.

They can go anywhere they damn well please.




Jacob, I’m sorry.

I don’t know how much you read, but it’s not just some tabloid expose.

It’s about your loss and your strength in the face of it.

Do what you have to do.

I don’t have to do anything. I’m not going to submit it.

They got away.


Good night, Dessie.


I’m going to bed.

VALERIE: I mean, who knows if Haysmith will agree to see me.

I just can’t sit at home doing nothing anymore.

JACOB: Valerie… It’s probably locked.



Okay, should I try the back?


You know, breaking and entering, that is 10 to 15 minimum.

(SCOFFS) That’s all?

Wow, this place is massive.

Just another empty room.

JACOB: Wait, wait, wait, slow down. What is that?

I don’t know but there’s a lock on the outside. It’s weird.

Hello? Hello?

I have called the police!

Oh, shit, I got to call you back.

We’re always having trouble with squatters, what with the house being empty for nearly four years.

And if it’s not them, it’s the press…

You know, what with what happened here.

Will you forgive me? Please forgive me.

Of course. Let me make you a coffee.

Oh, you’re so sweet, thank you.

I’m your new neighbour, Nancy.

Oh, Valerie. So nice to meet you.

I didn’t really call the police, by the way.

Thank God. (LAUGHS)

The boy, Simon Jr, was friends with my son, Evan.

He was a sweet child. Very smart, good at sports.

He came over here sometimes, to do his homework.

And then something changed, around… (SIGHS) I don’t remember exactly, maybe when he was 10?

What changed?

He kind of went quiet.

I knew something was wrong, but it didn’t make any sense.

Not then, at least. What do you mean?

Well, Simon Sr was on two boards with my husband, a big philanthropist and an active member of the church.

His wife, Irina, was a stay-at-home mom.

Oh, she was beautiful.

She looked a bit like Melania Trump, with those big Slavic eyes.

She used to be a model, I think, from Russia originally.

Mmm, more wine?

Oh, I shouldn’t.

If you want the whole story, you most definitely should.

Thank you.

She loved to bake pies.

Around Thanksgiving, she would bake five different kinds.

They seemed to be the perfect couple.

And then she killed herself.

Oh, my God. How?

Hanging. The kids found her.

Oh, “kids.” Simon…

Simon had an older sister, Marina.


Their father was so strict, the kids were always, “Yes, please” and “Thank you, ma’am.”

He pushed them to be the best at everything, forever dragging them to some art exhibition or lecture.

Didn’t seem to want them to have any fun.

Never, ever went on holidays.

One time, Marina dripped ice cream on her top.

And Simon Sr took her inside the house.

And when they came out, she wouldn’t speak, wouldn’t say a word.

Did you find out what happened?

I found out later, he had beaten her so hard, she had welts on her backside.

My neighbour was cruel…

He demanded perfection from his family, especially his children, and if they didn’t achieve his high standards immediately, he would whip it out of them.

I told my husband I had suspicions, but he just told me to mind my own business.

Do you know where they are now?

Haven’t seen Marina since she left for boarding school, and I think Simon was taken by Child Protective Services.

BUBLITZ: It’s a break in the pattern.

Not a married couple, fewer days between murders, and no real signs of violence.

Actually, Mr Melitz and Mr Riniker were recently married.

Belgium was one of the first countries to allow same-sex marriage.

This is where it happened.



We found this postcard at the CNN offices.

Wait, was there a photograph with it?

No photo.

BUBLITZ: “It has come full circle.”

The handwriting looks different.

No photograph. No unconnected body parts.

Gay couple…

You think it’s a copycat?

(SIGHS) How could the Randolphs have left Stockholm undetected?


Bouguereau’s Dante and Virgil in Hell.

Bill’s got me in to see Haysmith. I got to run.

JACOB: Valerie… Yes, yes, I’ll be careful.

Bublitz sent the photos, and also the crime scene photos of Amsterdam.


Wait, wait, go… Go back.

(VOICE BREAKS) That’s my grandmother’s ring.

That’s my daughter’s hand!

I’m so sorry.

That’s my daughter’s hand.


I’m sorry.

My daughter’s hand…


GUARD 1: Got 15 minutes, ma’am.


Forgive me for staring.

You’re the first good-looking woman I’ve seen in a very long time.

Do you have a mind to match that face?

A mind brilliant enough to get me out of here?

We’re building a case to launch an appeal.

I found a number of inconsistencies in the evidence provided by your son.

Did they tell you he defiled a de Kooning?

Those two had everything. Everything!

You cannot buy the kind of education they had.

Respect for money is important to you, isn’t it?

Of course.

Listen to me very carefully.

The sins of the father this is not.

Care to elaborate?


We have 15 minutes together, Ms Kanon, can we please not spend it talking about these ungrateful bastards?

Let’s talk about politics, art.

Let’s talk about the late works of the Cubists, how the Expressionists were a reaction to fascism.

Or how being sent to boarding school affects your child?

What happened to your daughter?

There seems no trace of her.

We’re looking for cause. Why would Simon Jr make up stories about you?

Did you know your senses get heightened in this place?

I don’t know why.

Perhaps it’s all the noise, followed by the silence.

A father’s duty is to teach, and I did just that.

I taught them culture, ethics, morality, discipline.

Is that right?

Oh, you’re just like her.

Devious little bitch.

Young girls need to be just that.

Young girls.

You’ll find them together.

You can’t keep them apart…

Except by force.

That’s something you’re very good at.

Oh, are you judging me?

Oh, I think a court already did that.

Well, society is full of wrong decisions made by decent people. Take me, for example.

I met with you

because I actually thought you might be able to help me.

Well, that was a huge error of judgement on your part.

So I take it you won’t be handling my appeal.

Enchante, madame.


JACOB: It seems the majority of Haysmith’s rage was… Was focused on the girl.

So, Marina gets sent away to boarding school, and Simon stops at nothing to get her back.

That is one hell of a brother.


Unless it’s more than that.

What do you mean?

Valerie said that Haysmith called Marina “a devious bitch”, but he also said something about young girls needing to be young girls, and that it would take force to keep them apart.


Mac and Sylvia Randolph…

They are Marina and Simon Haysmith.


I mean, our suspects that we’ve been chasing across Europe, they’re not married, they’re not… They’re not husband and wife, they are brother and sister.

Head of Saint John the Baptist.


Head of Saint John the Baptist.

A fitting tribute to that sadistic bastard.

We have to make sure that everyone knows, and most importantly, why.

He took beauty and made it cruel and ugly.

Will they even let him see, do you think?

I want him to see the destruction, Marina.

I want him to hurt like we did. Hey, hey.

I’m here.

I’m right here.

We have fucked with his notion of perfection.

That’ll get inside his mind like no incarceration can.

I know I shouldn’t, but I almost feel…

They’re playing out their story.

Look, The Kiss, the pain of lovers torn apart.

Saturn Devouring His Son, the father that destroyed their lives.

It all makes horrible, twisted sense.

Love, pain, death…


Yeah, but the last postcard still had an ellipsis.

They’re not finished yet.

The message they’re sending is that their love is valid.

They are angry at the world for not accepting them.

I think the murders in Brussels were exact and purposeful, not random. Why?

Because other forms of love, for centuries forbidden, are now accepted by most, but not theirs.

To feel powerful in the face of powerlessness.

Yeah, exactly.

What if we took that away from them?

How do you mean?

That article you were going to write about me…



My name is Dave Bennings and I’m with my brothers, Brian and Jesse, and our partner, Peter.


Simon, babe, come here.

“Over the last two weeks, I’ve had a front-row seat to the investigation of the serial murders dubbed ‘The Postcard Killings’.

“They’ve dominated our headlines, but the media analysis is wrong. As odd as it sounds, these crimes are not driven by bloodlust or cruelty. Instead, they are a cry for understanding…”

“I’ve had a front-row seat via Detective Jacob Kanon, the American father of one of the victims. He’s an outsider here, like me, but he will not let the grimness of this world distract him from his commitment to find justice for his daughter. Because unlike the killers’ family, this father’s love is 100%…”

“It is obvious from the brutality of the crimes that the killers had a horribly abusive childhood. The words on their postcards have been kept guarded, but they reveal a rage and passionate commitment to the validity of their own struggle… And that struggle is their message. And that message is justice…”

“But now we have heard you, and you can stop. This has been difficult for me, and frightening, but Jacob has shown me what it means to be really good. A good detective, a good father, a good man.”

We make her our final piece.

She makes everything complete.

Maybe we should stop.

Get a car, disappear. No.

Maybe we should split up? We’re not splitting up!

I want to live a normal life.

That’s what we are doing, creating a chance for that.

Artists were judged in their lifetimes, just as we are.

My God, do you really care about this?

All I care about is losing you.


We shouldn’t have to hide anymore.

I went to the police so that we didn’t have to live like this.




“Thank you, Ms Lombard, for telling our story with the meaningful heart it deserves. The curtain is pulled back.”

I don’t understand.

Iron Curtain. Mother was Russian.

Irina Smirnova, she, erm, was born in St Petersburg.

She moved to the US with her parents after the Soviet Union collapsed.

My guess is they’re travelling under the name Simon and Marina Haysmith again, using their Russian passports.

Which would explain how they left Sweden.

And how they passed across borders.

If we checked, I’ll bet Haysmith is using a bank account in Brussels.

Or what if Brussels was not to throw us off, just to redirect our thinking.

No, look, we know that they’re heading northeast.

They cross the border on the other side of Helsinki, they’re damn near in St Petersburg.

If they make it to Russia, they’re virtually untouchable.

No extradition treaties.

Jesus. Why can’t we catch a break here?

A postcard turned up at a newspaper in Paris this morning, and in Hamburg, and in Budapest…

What did they say?

All the same.

“Now we are reborn.”

With a “dot, dot, dot”?

No, just a single dot.


I’ll loop in Hoglund and Interpol, see if we can trace the email.

There’s a manhunt across Europe.

In the meantime sit tight, my friend.

Not a chance in hell.

I’m going back to Munich.

JACOB: Understood.

You do what is expected.

I’m going to do what’s needed.

BUBLITZ: I know you know how to use this.

Only you can determine if you should.




JACOB: How far to the Russian border?

DESSIE: Around three hours. There’s only one road.







Is it them? Yeah, it’s them.









We knew you’d figure it out.

It was Mac’s idea to mention the curtain being pulled back.

Our mother was the one good thing in our lives.

She tried to protect us from him.

But monsters will remain monsters, no matter what you try to do to tame them.


For centuries, artists have killed things in a moment.

We reinvented that.

When you wrote about the intensity of our rage, it was so perceptive.

You were lucky to have each other.

My father wasn’t a good man either.

If I’d had a brother, it would have been easier.

That man deserves to rot in hell.

Who can say how we feel is “unacceptable”?

Love is love.

I like you.

So why don’t you let me go?


Hey, stop, stop!

I wouldn’t… Mac, this is good.

Mac, stop the car.

(STAMMERS) Listen…

DESSIE: Sylvia, listen, please… Let me go!



I’m so cold…

It won’t take very long. And I promise, you won’t feel any pain.


We good to go?


JACOB: There they are.

Modigilani’s Reclining Nude.

“Art is a wound turned into light.”


Look, you drink this, you won’t feel any pain. Okay?

Come on. Come on.



Christ! Fuck you!


Do you think that you can stop this?

Now, one more time.

(GUNSHOT) Step away from her.

JACOB: Hands where I can see them.

Your daughter was lovely.

Shut up.

She had the longest fingers, so graceful.

You didn’t know my daughter.

You don’t get to talk about her.

But she talked about you.

She talked about you a lot.

She said she wished kids had a say in their parents’ divorce.

Our father was nothing like you.

But your mother…

It must have really hurt when she died, huh?

He took everything from her, till there was nothing left.

Marina, we okay?




No! No!



You’re not gonna go after them?

Nowhere for them to go.


Marina, are we going home?

Yes. The sun never sets there. Never.

We’ll be accepted.

No one can hurt us again.






I was worried I wasn’t gonna get to see you again.

Ready to go?

Yes, I am. Let me carry that.

Your countrymen will be reading the salacious details over their cornflakes.

Somehow just compounds the tragedy of it all.

Haysmith has enormous amounts of blood on his hands.

And really, no family connection at all?

They were adopted at birth three years apart, from two different states.

According to press reports, he had this attorney on retainer.

Was very specific on what he wanted.

Sign, please. Looks, background…

Early genetic engineering at its finest.


Seemingly, he was impotent in more than just the emotional sense.

Damn, you know…

Simon and Marina, they could have gotten married, lived happily ever after, and my daughter and all those others…

They would still be alive.


Everything is arranged, car to the airport, a plane to take you to London so that you…

(SIGHS) Well, you know, bring her home.


You’re a good man.

Thank you for everything.

And you’ll let me know when they find their bodies?

It was nice to have you with me on my last case.

What will you do tomorrow?

Fire my dog walker.


Don’t end up like me.

Find a new beginning.

JACOB: We raised a great kid.

VALERIE: She was happy.

Well, at least we got something right.

I think we got it all right.

Till we didn’t.


You probably don’t want to, but, people are coming back to my place…

Oh… I will see you there in a bit.

Oh, kiddo.

I’m gonna miss you so much.



Haysmith? Yeah?

You got a call.


Hello? Hello?






Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More

Home (2015)

Home (2015) | Transcript

An alien on the run from his own people makes friends with a girl. He tries to help her on her quest, but can be an interference.

Wonder (2017)

Wonder (2017) | Transcript

Based on the New York Times bestseller, this movie tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters the fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.

Late Bloomers (2023)

Late Bloomers (2023) | Transcript

An aimless 28 year-old Brooklynite lands in the hospital after drunkenly breaking her hip. An encounter with a cranky elderly Polish woman who speaks no English leads to a job caring for her. Neither likes it, but it’s time to grow up.

Weekly Magazine

Get the best articles once a week directly to your inbox!