FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards (FISA)

The 14th Annual
FilmMakers International
Screenwriting Awards (FISA)

Winners - Synopsis




One Dead; One Dying


Laura Camien


Based on true events.

In Springfield, Missouri, 1931, the Young Brothers, Harry and Jennings, are both recently released from the Missouri State Penitentiary. Prohibition has created a booming bootlegging business and the boys intend to work the system to provide for their family.

When Harry is caught speeding, and moonshine is discovered, the gig is up. Confronted with the idea of another stint in the Pen, Harry panics and kills the beat officer who stopped him. Now on the lamb, Harry attempts to reach the only man who might hear his side – Sheriff Hendrix.

The two do not connect and a state-wide hunt for Harry Young ensues. Tension builds as time passes with no sight of him.

The Sheriff and his department move their focus to other criminals. But when one of the Young family members attempts to sell a stolen vehicle, word spreads that Harry Young may have returned for the holidays. The town is already amped up by the Sheriff’s successful takedown of the Ash Grove Gang, and the energy is palpable.

The Sheriff and team head to the Young farm for a simple look-see. What transpires shocks the town and the country. The Young brothers (and how many others?) catch the Sheriff’s team unguarded and gun down six lawmen on the spot.

The Young Brothers flee.

When the dusts clears, the town is without the very team they need to hunt the boys down. County, State and Federal officers arrive to assist. But it is Sheriff Hendrix’s wife, Mary, who is legally deemed in charge, as it is customary for the wife of a fallen Sheriff to fill his station until a new election is held.

The new Sheriff Hendrix vows to find the Young Brothers and give the town of Springfield the peace it so desperately needs.

Meanwhile, Harry and Jennings are on the road to Houston. Both determined to never see the inside of a jail cell again. Harry’s nightmares are gaining traction and we are privy to one of the reoccurring worst –stripped naked, hanging from his wrists and whipped within an inch of his life.

Ma Young sends a message to her boys through the press – do not come back to Springfield. The angry mobs are growing and demanding revenge. The brothers make a promise to each other – they won’t be taken alive.

Mary and her team get a line on the boys. As the Springfield police surround the brothers’ bungalow in Houston, another gunfight ensues. This time, Harry and Jennings see no way out, and point their weapons at each other.

Mary discovers the truth about Harry’s time in prison, and while she cannot forget, she is able to forgive. She allows the brothers to be buried together, in peace.

To this day, no one knows if the brothers acted alone at the farmhouse. Known as the deadliest single law enforcement gunfight in the 20th century, the Young Brothers Massacre on January 2nd, 1932 resulted in the death of 6 law enforcement officers.

As a result of the event, state and national law enforcement procedures regarding the capture and approach of known criminals were developed and mandated.

Those procedures are still used today.

The Missouri State Penitentiary was once known as “the bloodiest 47 acres in America”, rumors and claims of unique and brutal torture within its walls continued to circulate until the prison closed in 2004.

Copyright 2016 Laura Camien
All Rights Reserved