Episode 1: Welcome To Paradise
Detective Robert Wilhelm in his office. He’s in his 50’s, white hair, stocky, rugged, determined. The kind of cop who’s seen too much of the wrong stuff. On his desk is a photo of his wife and daughter, a phone, a lamp, a calendar shows the year 1964. On the wall is a map of Tucson.
The door opens and a fresh-faced cop pokes his head in.
Cop: Hey, Wilhelm. I got this lady outside. Says her kid hasn’t come home in a couple of days. She’s worried, keeps going on about this gang of hoodlums says her kid has been running around with, and some sort of sex club. Want I should bring her through?
Wilhelm nods, the cop leaves and Wilhelm pulls the last cigarette from a crumpled pack. He slowly rolls it between his fingers. The door opens and Norma Rowe enters.
Wilhelm: Detective Wilhelm, Missing Persons. (He places the cigarette in his mouth but doesn’t light it) Please, take a seat Mrs…?
Norma Rowe: My name is Norma Rowe. My Daughter, Alleen hasn’t been home and I’m worried sick.
Wilhelm: When was the last time you saw her?
Norma: Two nights ago. I have the night shift and I was going to work. Alleen was putting curlers in, she has such pretty blonde hair, and was wearing a bathing suit. I asked if she was going out and she told me her friend Mary was calling and they were going for a swim to cool off.
Wilhelm: You have a surname for Mary?
Norma: Mary French.
Wilhelm writes in his notebook. He takes the cigarette and gently starts rolling it between his fingers.
Wilhelm: And that was the last time you saw her?
Norma: Yes. I told her to be careful, that girl Mary runs around with a bunch of creeps, and she told me once about a club they were members of. Said it was a ‘sex club’ and that all the ‘in’ kids were a part of it. I tell you, it’s all the fault of that terrible book by that Helen Gurley Brown woman, ‘Sexy Single Girl’! Shameful! I mean, what kind of a name is Gurley anyway?
Wilhelm: I think you mean ‘Sex and the Single Girl’ Mrs. Rowe. Now, tell me about these other people. You called them creeps…
Norma: Real creeps! Can’t say that I know too much, but I see Mary and another smaller guy who walks with a limp, I think those two might be dating, and there’s another taller guy, and I see them with drugs and I know they’re no good. You can just tell sometimes, Y’know?
Wilhelm: Did you ever catch any of the men’s names?
Norma: Don’t know the tall fella, but I think I hear the little one being called Smithy, or Smitty or something like that.
Wilhelm: (taking notes) Now, you mentioned some sort of sex club?
Wilhelm places the cigarette behind his ear.
Norma: Well, Alleen told me once that lots of the kids in town were going to these big parties and doing all kinds of wild things. Listening to all that music with all that long hair, doing drugs, sleeping with whoever they like! It’s not right, what these young people get up to these days. Just look at them, rioting at the colleges and in the streets, tearing up their draft cards, fighting with the police! It’s shameful. Goldwater better get elected President is all I can say. Oh, I do hope my precious Alleen hasn’t got herself mixed up with some of these Communists.
Wilhelm: Well, I don’t know much about much of that stuff, Mrs. Rowe. I do know we need to find your daughter. Is there anything else you can tell me that might help? Any idea where this sex club was, or where I might find any of these people you mentioned? Did you ever see them in a car?
Norma: Well, now you mention it I did see them pull up in a car. I don’t know what kind but I think it was a gold color, and I know that Norma had been to to that new restaurant on Broadway with Mary and some others. The one that’s done up all exotic-like inside. Pretty fancy from what I can tell.
Wilhelm: I think you must mean Kon Tiki, yes?
Norma: That’s the one!
Wilhelm: I do hear it’s a pretty swell place. (Writes in notebook) Do you have a recent picture of Alleen?
Norma produces the Yearbook she’s been holding, puts it on the desk and goes to the page with Alleen’s photo.
Wilhelm: Excellent. Do you mind if I hold on to this until we can make a copy of the picture?
Norma: Just so long as you take good care of it.
Wilhelm takes the cigarette from behind his ear and places it on the desk.
Wilhelm: I promise. I’ll call you when we’ve done with it. Probably a couple of days. Did you leave a number and address where I can find you if I get any news?
Norma: I left it with the other policeman.
Wilhelm: Well, unless there’s anything else you can tell me, I guess that wraps things up for now.
Norma: I do have a question. Do you ever light those things (pointing to the cigarette).
Wilhelm: (picking up the cigarette and returning it to the pack) Trying to quit. I read a story in a magazine that they’re bad for your health.
Title Sequence: Montage showing Newspaper headlines, images and footage from 1964: Race Riots, Demonstrations, Protests, Barry Goldwater, Civil Rights, KKK, Malcolm X, MLK, Vietnam, ‘Choices’ film. 1964 Was a turbulent year!