Balance Home Page Archive Home Page Adapted Scripts Original Scripts  Submission Guidelines

SCRIPT TITLE AND AUTHOR
"The Five W's of Murder" by Michael Giorgio
GENRE
Thriller
CHARACTERS
Narrator, 7 m, 4 f, 2 either
COMPLETE SCRIPT LENGTH
29 pages 8.5 x 11
INTEREST LEVEL
Adult

Copyright 1999, Michael Giorgio, all rights reserved

About the author:  

Michael Giorgio writes audio drama and short fiction, primarily in the thriller genre. He is a two-time honorable mention award winner at the Midwest Radio Theatre Workshop (1996 & 1997) and was the first winner of the Friends of Old Time Radio's Annual Scriptwriting Contest in 1994. His audio works have been produced by Shoestring Radio Theatre, WUSF, San Francisco; WCRS RadioStage, Akron; Don't Touch That Dial!, WETS, Bristol, Tennessee; Thirty Minutes to Curtain, KCSN, Northridge, California, and the Friends of Old Time Radio, Newark.

Author Comments:

"The Five W's of Murder" has a number of roles in it, but none of the vignettes have more than three speaking parts, allowing actors to double or triple in roles to showcase their versatility. A large acting company could also perform "Five W's" with parts for a number of performers.

For information regarding this script contact:

Michael Giorgio
1306 N Bel Ayr Dr
Waukesha, WI 53188
USA

 

Summary of Production Script

"The Five W's of Murder" is five plays in one. The keeper of a newspaper morgue shares stories of murder. The five stories illustrate the newspaper reporter's five w's of a good story; who, what, when, where, and why, with the morgue keeper linking the mini-dramas with appropriate comments. "Killed by Kindness" tells who is capable of murder. Leroy, a mugger, stalks an elderly woman, Lavinia, timing an 'accident' to get to know her so he can kill her and rob her house. What drives a person to kill? is answered in the vignette, "Natural Fury." John's wife, Marilyn, has been having an affair with Louis Barton and has helped Barton to ruin John financially. "The Shaft" goes back to the old west to illustrate the when, when murder was at its worst and life was cheap. Roy and Luke, two dishonest miners, have developed a plan to swindle their employer out of his gold, stopping at nothing to make their dreams come true. "Retribution" shows where murder can happen anywhere, at any time, by any methods. In a foreign land, Tatiania and her mother plot revenge when Tatiania's beloved husband is framed for thievery and allowed to die a shamed man. The final story, "Deaths Last Dance," tells why Charles Ridgeway, a mild mannered man, would murder his beloved wife, Ethel, and asks a few extra "why's" as well.

 

Excerpt from Production Script
(Author's Note: This is the first play of the program, "Killed by Kindness.")

 

ATTENDANT:
Any good newspaper report tries to answer the five W's. Who, what, when, where, and why.
Most important to answer first, is Who. The file here on my desk, marked "Killed By Kindness,"
answers the question of who--Who is capable of being a murderer?

MUSIC: STING, THEN BRIDGE

MUSIC: OUT

LEROY:
(WHISPERING, BREATHING HEAVILY) C'mon, old lady. You look like a sweet old thing.
C'mon, get up the hill. C'mon.

SFX: FOOTSTEPS ON SIDEWALK, DISTANT, APPROACHING, UNDER

LEROY:
(SOFTLY) C'mon, sweetheart. Come to Leroy.

SFX: FOOTSTEPS, MUCH CLOSER

SFX: HEAVIER FOOTSTEPS, RUSHING

SFX: COLLISION OF TWO BODIES

SFX: GROCERIES FALLING TO SIDEWALK

LEROY:
Oh, I am so sorry, ma'am. I didn't see you. Are you okay?

LAVINIA:
(SHAKEN) I'm all right, I guess. (GROANS) No major damage, I'm sure.

LEROY:
Still, I'm really sorry. Would you like a hand with these things?

LAVINIA:
That would be awfully kind of you. I can never seem to get groceries packed in the bag
correctly.

LEROY:
Well, I used to work at a grocery store, so I'll be lots of help. You just wait there, ma'am, and I'll
take care of it for you.

LAVINIA:
This is so nice of you. And, please, call me Lavinia. I haven't been called ma'am since I retired
from teaching, and Lord knows that's more years than I care to remember. (LAUGHS)

LEROY:
Oh, I'm sure a nice lady like yourself was the most popular teacher in the school.

LAVINIA:
I'm not so sure about that, but it's nice of you to say, Mr.--

LEROY:
I'm forgettin' my manners. I'm Leroy. Leroy Forrest, but you can just call me Leroy.

LAVINIA:
Leroy it is.

LEROY:
Good. (SHORT PAUSE) Lavinia. I don't think I've ever heard that name before. It's nice.

LAVINIA:
It's an old lady name, which is probably why a young man such as yourself never heard of it.
(PAUSE) Well, it looks like your work is done. Would you like a cup of coffee for your
troubles? I live just up the street.

LEROY:
That sounds good. There's just enough of a chill in the air to make hot coffee tempting. I think
I'll take you up on that.

MUSIC: BRIDGE

LAVINIA:
Here we are.

LEROY:
Nice house.

LAVINIA:
Yes it is, thank you. It was my parents' house before it was mine. I grew up here. Now, if I can
find my key, we'll be all set . . . Ah, here it is. Let's get in out of this chilly air and I'll get you
your coffee.

SFX: DOOR UNLOCKED

SFX: DOOR OPENING

SFX: DOOR CLOSING

LAVINIA:
You just make yourself comfortable in the living room, Leroy. It won't take me long to get the
coffee going.

LEROY:
Okay, Lavinia. . . . Oh, I picked up your newspaper as we were coming in. Here you go.

LAVINIA:
Thank you. (FADING) I'll be right back . . .

SFX: FOOTSTEPS, LEADING OFF

LEROY:
(TO HIMSELF) Nice place you got here, Lavinia. Very nice. I ought to make a good haul.
(CALLING OUT) You live in this big house all alone, Lavinia?

LAVINIA:
(OFF MIKE) Yes. It's just me now.

LEROY:
(SOFTLY) Perfect.

SFX: FOOTSTEPS

SFX: DOOR OPENING

LEROY:
I thought I might be able to give you a hand, Lavinia. Anything I can do?

LAVINIA:
No, everything is just about ready. I was just looking at the headlines. Shameful, isn't it?
People clubbed in their own homes . . . Poisoned bodies in basements . . . What's next?

LEROY:
(EXERTING) This is!

SFX: LAVINIA'S HEAD STRUCK BY HEAVY OBJECT

SFX: BODY FALLING TO FLOOR

LEROY:
(SOFTLY) Lavinia? . . . Lavinia? . . . You shouldn't take strangers into your home, Lavinia.
You never know who's going to clobber you. (LAUGHS)

SFX: COFFEE BEING POURED

LEROY:
I may as well have that cup of coffee, since you went through all the trouble to make it. After all,
you ain't goin' nowhere. I got time.

LEROY:
Sure you won't have a cup, Lavinia? (LAUGHS)

SFX: NEWSPAPER RUSTLED

LEROY:
See? Right here on the front page. Killer Clubs Elderly Woman. That's me, Lavinia. You'll be
in the paper tomorrow. You know, you're absolutely right about those headlines (LAUGHS)
Only I don't see anything about poisoned bodies in the basement on the front page. You were
reading ahead, weren't you, Lavinia? Oh, yeah, I forgot, you can't answer, can you? Oh, well,
guess I'll look around, see what's what while I finish my coffee.

SFX: CHAIR SCRAPING FLOOR

LEROY:
For a rich old lady, you don't got much in this kitchen. Nothing on the counter but cheap
canisters and--what's this bottle? Arsenic? (SLOWLY, WITH GROWING HORROR)
Poisoned bodies . . . found in basements--

SFX: COFFEE CUP DROPPED TO FLOOR

SFX: RUNNING FOOTSTEPS

SFX: DOOR FLUNG OPEN

SFX: FOOTSTEPS RUNNING DOWNSTAIRS, UNDER

LEROY:

Gotta get down to the basement. I've got to know if . . . (SCREAMS)

SFX: FOOTSTEPS OUT

LEROY:

Bodies! (CHOKING) All . . . over . . . the . . . basement--

SFX: BODY FALLING TO FLOOR

MUSIC: STING, THEN UNDER

ATTENDANT:
Pity poor Leroy. He didn't know that the cup of human kindness sometimes runs over with
poison.

 

Contact Information!

 
Send e mail to balance02@verizon.net
Copyright 2003
Last modified: June 04, 2015