Chapter 6 Summary

Unlike most of the chapters in Monster, which depict Harmon’s fear, the sixth chapter describes O’Brien’s anger. Petrocelli has pulled a “cheap trick” in court, showing a series of photographs just before the trial was adjourned for the weekend. She explains that the jurors will all take those images home in their memories and dwell on them over the weekend. Harmon admits that the photos were terrible to look at, and he sees himself

just when Mr. Nesbitt knew he was going to die, walking down the street trying to make my mind a blank screen.

Life in prison continues to torment Harmon. He and four other inmates are taken to mop the floors while wearing orange jumpsuits. Harmon dislikes the smell and heat of the soapy water, but he starts to gag after he realizes that he looks just like the other four inmates as far as the guards are concerned. As he struggles to mop without vomiting, he recalls O’Brien’s efforts to make him look different in the eyes of the jury. He next recalls that he had “wanted to be tough” like the other inmates before his arrest.

In the courtroom, Harmon’s film shows a four-way split screen montage of witnesses. Only one voice is heard at a time, but the others can still be seen talking. City Clerk Allen Forbes explains that the gun that was used to kill Nesbitt was his own, presumably bought to defend his store against robbers. Detective Williams goes on to explain how the body was found in the store, clearly dead upon the arrival of the police. He explains that the police chalked the outline of the body on the ground before turning it over to look for additional evidence. An inspection of the drugstore revealed that money had been taken out of the cash register. He next explains how he came into contact with Sal Zinzi, who put the police on the trail of Richard “Bobo” Evans.

The final witness to testify in this chapter is Dr. Moody. Moody explains that the bullet entered Nesbitt’s body in the chest and that he died of trauma and shock as well as his lungs filling with blood. Petrocelli clarifies that Nesbitt died by drowning in blood in his lungs. The reaction shots of King and Steve show King’s disdain and Steve’s shock. Although Harmon’s film is able to show the difference between Steve and King, it remains to be seen whether the jury is seeing that difference.