Written by Mr. Mouseburger 2nd Dec 2006
At the beginning of the film we see some girl walking around in a drug induced stupor around a penthouse apartment in some skimpies. Not thinking straight, she balances on the ledge of the balcony, and is looking seriously depressed. It appears as if she is about to jump, as the director gives us subtle little clues, like camera shots of how far down it is, tears streaming down her cheeks and the like. She finally composes herself, and then releases her grip, falling backwards off of the balcony and onto the roof of a car below.
The reasons for this death forms the first part of the film, as Murtaugh finds out the girls name is Amanda Hunsaker, and she is the daughter of ex-Shadow Company member Michael Hunsaker. Hunsaker and Murtaugh were old buddies in 'Nam (like almost all long term male relationships in Hollywood films).
We find out that Michael Hunsaker has recently being having a crisis of conscience about laundering significant amounts of money made by his fellow Shadow Company colleagues who are shipping heroin into the United States.
For some reason, not explained, Shadow Company need his complicity, and so to bully him into working with them, they decide to target his daughter, Amanda. She is a bit of a wild child and, as Hunsaker explains retrospectively to Murtaugh, she has gotten involved in drugs and making "pornographic video tapes" - which is something of a lie as the clip we see is so tame that it could have appeared in the "American Pie" films. Anyway she has some of her drugs spiked by a fellow hooker Dixie, and this would have killed her anyway had she not jumped.