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Shadow of Despair

A Chicago homicide detective specializing in behavioral psychology and analytics, pursues a serial killer who extracts body parts from his victims.

Chicago homicide detective, Nathan Marrow, 35, a detailed intellectual and bit of a loner, specializes in behavioral psychology and analytics. He wakes up and heads to the precinct, where he spends most of his time behind the desk working juvenile psychological evaluation cases. He pays a visit to the juvenile detention center to evaluate Aaron Caldwell, a 17-year-old accused of first-degree murder. Detective Marrow has pieced together all the evidence and knows Aaron is covering for someone. Aaron sticks to his story and claims insanity. Detective Marrow meets Mary-Ann Hartley on the elevator as he enters his apartment building, and they have an instant connection.

The rain pours outside the precinct. Captain Ronan approaches Detective Marrow sitting at his desk and assigns him a murder investigation. All his other detectives are dispatched to crime scenes, and his expertise is needed.

Detective Marrow visits the crime scene at the Crestwood Luxury Apartments and finds a gorgeous blonde, Victoria Warren, murdered with her eyes gouged out. He sees "See No Evil," written in blood on her forehead. He sends an officer to question the neighbors to ask if they saw or heard anything unusual. The Crime Scene Investigator is surprised to find Detective Marrow because he usually works juvenile cases.

Katie Lawrence, a friend and co-worker of the deceased Victoria Warren meets Detective Marrow at the precinct to give a statement. He tells her that Victoria is the daughter of lumber tycoon, Mike Warren, and he's flying in from Atlanta, where he currently lives to identify his daughter. Katie informs Detective Marrow that Mike got Victoria the job at the Real-Estate firm where she works. She tells Detective Marrow that the only serious relationship Victoria had was with Todd Fleming, a bartender in the Crescent Drive party district. Detective Marrow visits Todd, and he denies being involved in the homicide and has a solid alibi.

A highly upset Mike Warren and his wife Caitlyn, identify Victoria's body. He tells Captain Ronan and Detective Marrow to find his daughter's killer, or he will use every resource imaginal to locate who's ever responsible. Captain Ronan instructs Detective Marrow to knock on every door he can to track down the killer. Meanwhile, the body of Ryan Sicilian is discovered with his lips and tongue removed and "Speak No Evil," written in blood on his forehead. Captain Ronan enlist the help of veteran Detective Frank O'Connell to assist Detective Marrow in tracking down the psychopath. They link Ryan Sicilian to a drug dealer and bring him to the precinct by force, where he denies knowing anything about the murder.

Detectives Marrow and O'Connell find a link between the two victims. They visit Mike Warren and question him about his daughter's past, angering him at the thought of his daughter dealing with a drug-user. Detective O'Connell, an old school detective, and the millennial behavioral analytics Detective Marrow clash over evidence, leads, and motives.

Anish Mishra, a 41-year-old, systems engineer body is found with his ears removed, and "Hear No Evil," written in blood on his forehead. Mike Warren makes a call to his good friend, Senator Ferguson, who gives the okay for the F.B.I. to take over the case. Captain Ronan receives the order to remove Detectives Marrow, and O'Connell from the case.

Detective Marrow visits Arron in the juvenile detention center. He confesses that he had nothing to do with the murder of Lewis' Lewey C' Collier, and points the finger at the neighborhood king snake, Reginald 'Do Right' Davis. Detective Marrow confronts 'Do Right' Davis and tells him that his time is coming to an end. 'Do Right' Davis proclaims his innocence and warns Detective Marrow what happened to Lewey C could happen to him.

Mary-Ann makes dinner for Detective Marrow, and the two get to know each other on an intimate level. Detective Marrow goes rogue and continues to investigate the crimes. 'Do Right' Davis is found murdered with his fingers removed and "Do No Evil," written in blood on his forehead. Detective Marrow becomes the lead suspect in the murders after it is discovered that he had been investigating Victoria Warren in the death of his father, and the threat to 'Do Right' Davis.

Captain Ronan advises Detective Marrow to find himself a good attorney and has two days to turn himself in. Detective Marrow visits the Medical Examiner, who gives him the autopsy report of all the victims. He goes off the grid with Mary-Ann as he tries to clear his name. Detective Marrow connects all the dots and realizes you can run, but you can't hide from your past.

Script Excerpt
Format:
Screenplay
Budget:
Modest
Starring Roles For:
Garrett Hedlund
Blake Lively
Dennis Quaid
In the Vein Of:
Se7en
The Silence of the Lambs
Kiss The Girls
Posted:
05/28/2020
Updated:
09/12/2021
Author Bio:
My name is Arthur Demetrius Glenn, and I am a screenwriter/producer/director currently living in the Washington, DC, metro area. I have written nine screenplays with four finishing Quarterfinals to Finals of screenwriting competitions. I plan to shoot my first feature film in the Washington, DC, metro area in the late fall of 2020 or early spring of 2021.

Contest Results:
Scriptapalooza Features/Shorts (Quarterfinalist) [2020]