La Confidential

Question: Why did Exley appear so traumatised after killing the man in the elevator? He is, after all, a police officer in homicide, and he killed people before that. Also, did he kill him intentionally?

raph

Chosen answer: A 12g shotgun blast at that range would cause an incredibly bloody death, especially as there is a good chance it hit the man in the face. Exley has killed a person in the line of duty before this, but not in such a spectacular way. And while he may not have meant to kill him he chose to shoot over letting the man escape.

Grumpy Scot

Question: Ed Exley recommends that the LAPD shift the blame for Bloody Christmas to men whose pensions are secured, and he names Bud White and Richard Stensland as two such men. But when Dudley Smith later tells Bud White that Stensland has been forced to retire, White says "A year from his pension!" So was Stensland entitled to a pension or not?

Chosen answer: Exley is suggesting two things: to shift some blame to three officers with secured pensions and forcing them to retire; when he refers to White and Stensland though, he is saying "someone has to swing" and that they should be charged, tried and imprisoned - so Stensland is not entitled to a pension.

Sierra1

Question: How did the corpse Bud finds wind up in the woman's basement, and whose body was that?

Chosen answer: The corpse under the house is the ex-cop named Meeks. He was working with Dick Stensland to deal drugs - things turned sour and Stensland killed him, hiding the body under the house belonging to his girlfriend's mother.

Tailkinker

Question: What is up with the corpse in the woman's basement, and how did it get there?

Chosen answer: The corpse under the house is the ex-cop named Meeks. He was working with Dick Stensland to deal drugs - things turned sour and Stensland killed him, hiding the body under the house belonging to his girlfriend's mother.

Tailkinker

Question: What is Lynn's connection to the Nite Owl killings?

Chosen answer: She doesn't really have one - not directly, anyway. The only link is that Susan Lefferts died at the Night Owl, and Bud saw Lynn with Lefferts when he was buying the alcohol for the party. Lefferts had the bandage on her nose at the time, which sparked Bud's curiosity and prompted him to seek out Lynn after Lefferts was murdered.

Tailkinker

Question: Why did Dudley order the killings at the Nite Owl in the first place?

Chosen answer: To get rid of Stensland and take over the drug racket. Dudley knew if he killed Stensland seperately the police would start looking into why they would want to kill a cop. Killing him and everyone at the Nite Owl then making it look like a robbery would just make it look like Stensland was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but as we find out later it was set up to look like that and also could easily be placed on the black criminals.

Lummie

Question: Was Dudley Smith written as an Irishman, or was the accent something James Cromwell just did for kicks?

Cubs Fan

Chosen answer: Yes, Dudley Smith was Irish.

Mark English

Question: Sid Hudgens uses the phrase "Off the record, on the q.t., and very hush-hush." What does "q.t." stand for?

Cubs Fan

Chosen answer: "QT" is slang which literally means "quiet" and it is also used as a police radio term which means "secrecy required regarding location."

Super Grover

Question: About 3/4 of the way through the film, Vincennes finds the body of the actor he arrested early in the movie, with his throat slit. Who killed him and why?

Chosen answer: Reynolds has been sent by Sid Hudgens to sleep with Loew, the District Attorney. Dudley Smith and Pearce Patchett, who are trying to take over everything, have been threatening Loew, who initially refused to play along. They set Loew up, probably in much the same way that Hudgens tried to, with the intention of blackmailing him with photos so that he couldn't prosecute them. According to Loew, who spills the details while Bud's dangling him out of the window, Reynolds overheard all this - presumably Smith and/or Patchett followed Loew to the motel room to do the blackmailing - so they killed him.

Tailkinker

Question: Was the police force in the 50s really that corrupt and brutal?

raph

Chosen answer: Yes.

Question: How did Exley know about Leow and Reynolds when speaking to Leow?

Chosen answer: Vincennes, most likely. The condition under which Jack gives his help to Exley in solving the Nite Owl case is Exley's help in solving Reynolds' murder, so Jack must have filled him in on the case details.

Cubs Fan

Question: What made Vincennes and Exley think Smith was Rollo Tomasi? Surely it wasn't just because he was a criminal.

raph

Chosen answer: As he died, Vincennes mentioned the name "Rollo Tomasi" to Smith because he knew he would follow it up, which would reveal to Exley that he was with with Vincennes when he was killed. Exley did not really think Smith was Tomasi (the purse snatcher who shot his father), but when Smith asked him about the name, he knew he had killed Vincennes. The nickname also fit because Smith had been getting away with his crimes, as "Tomasi" had.

Sierra1

Question: Smith asks Exley if he'd be wiling to shoot a criminal in the back to prevent a lawyer getting him off. Were the police really allowed to play judge, jury and executioner in the 50s?

raph

Chosen answer: No they were not legally allowed to, but corrupt, rogue cops who brandished their own form of justice would do that type of thing.

raywest

Question: How was the Mexican girl connected to the story? The three Night Owl suspects abused her and then burned their blood-stained clothes. She is found tied up at a house (why?), and later she says "Would anyone care that they raped a Mexican girl if they hadn't killed those white people at the Night Owl? I did what I had to do for justice." What does she mean?

Neulwen

Chosen answer: Inez's statement that they left her at midnight meant the suspects had time to commit the Nite Owl massacre at 1am. However when Exley questions her about the time, she implies that she only said that so they would be in the frame for the Nite Owl and would be arrested (and likely killed) by the police. No one would care about her rape, so she indirectly accused them of the killings "for justice".

Sierra1

Question: Did Smith really kill Exley's father?

raph

Chosen answer: Possibly. Smith mentions that Exley's father was a straight cop, much to Exley's wish. Smith, being as corrupt as he is, may have killed Exley's father.

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