|This page is a transcript for the Season Six episode Bits and Pieces.|
Announcer: "Midnight Ranger: It's Always Midnight" will now take a 15-minute intermission. Please be back in your seats in 15 minutes.
Midnight Ranger: Ira. Ira! Don't move. I'm telling you for the last time, do something about these wires or find yourself a new Ranger. I almost collided with Dietrich out there. You're gonna kill somebody.
Ira Langstrom: Justin, you want to accuse me of murder, get in line. These folks over here just beat you to it. Go, go. I'll talk to you after the show.
Detective Bell: A lot of pressure for a big producer. A lot of money on the line.
Langstrom: You have no idea.
Joan Watson: Actually, we do. We looked it up. Your show's budget is around $30 million. If you don't turn a healthy profit, you're ruined.
Bell: A scathing review from a critic like Victoria Garvey could take a bite out of your box office.
Langstrom: What? I loved Victoria, okay? She was an institution. She was cranky, but that was her schtick.
Bell: Witnesses overheard the two of you having a heated conversation at Sardi's after Wednesday's matinee. Didn't sound to us like a talk with an "institution." Sounded more like you knew how her review was gonna go.
Watson: You could not afford to let her rip you to shreds in print, so you killed her and then you burned down her house.
Langstrom: Look I didn't kill Victoria. I didn't have to. Yeah, you're right, she told me her review was gonna be a bloodbath. But then she offered to bury it if I made it worth her while.
Bell: You're saying she solicited a bribe?
Langstrom: That's how she operated. You don't believe me, ask around. That "heated conversation," eh, that was just us haggling over the price.
Bell: You know admitting that she was squeezing you doesn't make you look less guilty of her murder?
Langstrom: You said it yourself. My ups and downs are measured in eight figures. What's $50 grand against that? Besides, I uh, wired her the money the morning after she was already dead. I hadn't heard yet. If I'm the one who killed her, why would I do that?
Watson: Hey. I hope your day was less of a dud than mine. So, Ira Langstrom may have single-handedly murdered the Broadway musical, but Marcus and I do not think that he killed Victoria Garvey. So that argument that people saw them having on the street? He says that they were negotiating the amount that he was gonna pay her for writing nice things about his show. Apparently, anyone could buy a good review from her, and you haven't heard a word I've said.
Sherlock Holmes: Dead critic took bribe. Have you and I spoken since lunch?
Watson: No, you don't remember?
Holmes: I've got no memory of the last six hours.
Watson: I'm calling Dr. Hanson.
Holmes: My head is the less urgent of our concerns at the moment. A short while ago, I arrived home carrying this bag. And I couldn't recall what was inside, so...well, I looked.
Watson: There is a head in there.
Holmes: Yes, there is. And I have no idea where I got it.
Watson: What's the last thing you remember?
Holmes: After you left to meet Marcus, I rang the fire marshal assigned to Ms. Garvey's investigation to see if he'd discovered anything I hadn't already concluded two days ago. He had not. After that, I recall planning another review of Ms. Garvey's personal life, and then nothing. Until the moment I was walking up our front steps carrying a head.
Watson: So the last thing we know, you were working the case.
Holmes: Naturally, I wondered whether the head might have something to do with Ms. Garvey's murder. But I see no obvious links. She had no children, and that man's facial structure suggests they are unrelated. We've seen no evidence that she had a lover, male in his 30s or otherwise. And no one fitting that description is missing a head at the newspaper she wrote for. I checked right before you came in.
Watson: Okay, well, I'm pretty sure that you didn't kill him. Looks like he's been dead for a while.
Holmes: And I'm sure you noticed the same smell I did when you opened the bag. Formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, methanol.
Watson: Embalming fluid. So, whoever he is, he was professionally preserved.
Holmes: Presumably before his head was removed. It could be I stole it from a funeral parlor whilst in the throes of a hallucination. Or, for all I know, I found the bag next to me on the back seat of a taxi. Possibilities are endless.
Watson: I know that you didn't want to talk to the Captain about your PCS, but I...
Holmes: You can stop there. My memory may be a shambles, but I'm well aware of the gravity of the situation. A man's head is in that bag. And I don't know where I got it from, which means I also don't know who might miss it. I mean, for all we know, the police are on their way here as we speak. I know what I have to do.
Captain Gregson: Hey. What are you doing here?
Holmes: We need to talk.
Gregson: Where is the head now?
Holmes: We notified the M.E.'s office, and a medicolegal investigator came to the house. Watson is accompanying it to the morgue.
Gregson: And you have no idea where you got it.
Holmes: I do not.
Gregson: And that's because of this, what do you call it?
Holmes: Post-concussion syndrome.
Gregson: Which you've been dealing with for how long now?
Holmes: I was diagnosed just over a month ago. Well, I didn't tell you because I didn't want to concern you.
Gregson: Bull. You weren't concerned about me or my feelings. You were concerned about yourself. You didn't tell me because you were afraid I'd bench you. And you were right. Because unlike you, I've got other people to worry about. I've got a whole squad under my command. I thought we were past all this.
Holmes: What's that supposed to mean?
Gregson: Six years ago, when you asked to work here, you left out the part about you just getting out of rehab.
Holmes: These situations are completely different.
Gregson: I know. But you are not in full control of your actions right now. What if you got confused and you tried to pull someone's gun?
Holmes: I get tired. I get headaches. I, uh, I, I've had a brief memory lapse.
Gregson: During which, you took a human head from God knows where and brought it back to your house.
Holmes: Look, you and I both know that even with my new deficiencies, that I'm still ten times more capable than...
Gregson: Oh, go ahead. Finish your thought. It's not like it's any secret, you think you're better than everyone else. And the truth is, too many times, I have treated you like you are. So some of this is my fault. But I'm done. Cops get injured on the job all the time. Cops get concussions all the time. You know what they do? They tell their C.O. And they get cleared by a department doctor before returning to duty. I am tired of giving you a pass. This time, you want to keep working here, you're gonna jump through the same hoops as the rest of us.
Watson: How'd it go with the Captain?
Holmes: About as well as can be expected.
Watson: Hmm. That bad?
Holmes: I'm to report to the NYPD's medical division first thing in the morning. I'm forbidden for working with the police in any capacity until I'm cleared by a department doctor.
Watson: And what if they don't clear you?
Holmes: Well, I hear Cape Town's awash with murder. I have contacts there. How did it go at the Morgue? Did Eugene find anything that might help us identify our John Doe?
Watson: Not yet. And there's a good chance that the embalming chemicals destroyed any DNA. And dental X-rays are useless until they have someone's records to compare them to. Marcus is gonna reach out to Missing Persons. Eugene did say that he thought the head was cut off with a Satterlee bone saw.
Holmes: As used by morticians and M.E.s.
Watson: And that the man's corneas were surgically removed.
Holmes: Suggesting that prior to embalming, our John Doe was a tissue and organ donor.
Watson: Which got me thinking, Victoria Garvey was in a car accident two weeks ago, remember?
Holmes: I lost six hours, not six days. Yes, it happened in the Hamptons. Her car hit a tree, burst into flames, and her leg was burned.
Watson: Bad enough that she needed a skin graft. Skin from a human donor.
Holmes: So our mystery head came from a tissue donor, and our victim was a tissue recipient.
Watson: Yeah, so it's possible that the skin graft came from our John Doe.
Holmes: That wouldn't explain why I had the head, or what it had to do with Ms. Garvey's murder, if anything.
Watson: Well, I was just looking up the surgical center where the skin graft was performed. Marcus is gonna meet me there in the morning. They should have a record of where the donor tissue came from.
Holmes: It could, at the very least, help us determine who John Doe was.
Watson: And maybe that'll tell us more.
Bell: Is your partner not here because he's running down another lead? Or is he actually taking his benching seriously?
Watson: Oh, the Captain told you? Sherlock went to the doctor.
Bell: He gonna be okay?
Watson: You know, brains are funny things.
Bell: The Captain, well, he's the captain. He's got to look at the big picture, but if you guys need anything from me, just say the word.
Maria: Someone else was in here yesterday, asking about the same patient.
Bell: Interesting. British guy? Short on social skills?
Maria: Mr. Holmes. He said he worked with the police, but his social skills were fine.
Bell: You caught him on a good day. He asked to see Ms. Garvey's files. Did you show him?
Maria: I wasn't supposed to. But I couldn't believe it when he told me she was murdered. Such a nice lady. I told Mr. Holmes I wanted to help, any way I could.
Watson: So you wouldn't mind showing us as well?
Maria: At first, your friend was wondering how the surgery went. Were there any complications, how did her surgeon seem after it was over?
Bell: Was he wondering if there was some sort of malpractice?
Maria: He thought maybe Ms. Garvey was killed to cover it up. But I told him that was crazy. Dr. Chopra is one of the sweetest people I've ever met. Plus, she was visiting family in India when Ms. Garvey died. So your friend lost interest in that. And then something in Ms. Garvey's donation documents caught his eye. He started asking questions about them instead.
Bell: Donation documents?
Watson: Donor tissue always comes with paperwork, vital stats about the donor and information about preparation and use.
Bell: Just so I'm clear, when we say "donor," we're talking about cadavers, right?
Maria: People who agreed to donate their organs and tissues after they died.
Watson: The donor for Victoria's skin was a white male, age 32. That matches our John Doe.
Bell: But no donor name. Just a number?
Maria: It's anonymous when we get it. But the tissue bank that sold us the skin should have the donor's name in their records.
Bell: Do you know what it was that interested Mr. Holmes?
Maria: He didn't say. He did ask if we had any other forms from the same tissue bank. I came in here to pull some, and when I went back out to the waiting room, he was gone.
Bell: Yeah, he does that.
Watson: I think I know what it was that Sherlock saw. So, these forms document all of the testing for diseases that the tissue bank performs on each donor. But these are all identical. They were not filled out separately. They're all copies of the same form. You see the ink flecks and the image degradation? That's from repeated photocopying.
Bell: Someone at the tissue bank's been rubber-stamping their work. This one has the same donor number as Victoria's. So, Kareem Ludlow got tissue from the same body?
Maria: I had that file out already, because the patient missed a follow-up. He was scheduled to have the cadaver skin removed yesterday and get a permanent autograft in its place.
Watson: Well, that's a pretty big appointment to miss. Were you able to reach him?
Maria: He didn't return my calls.
Bell: Kareem Ludlow, same home address, was killed in a fire in Hoboken on Monday. Fire marshal ruled it suspicious. That's two days before Victoria Garvey died.
Watson: So two people got skin grafts from the same donor and they were both killed in fires.
Bell: Whoever our John Doe was, someone wanted every last bit of him dead.
Bell: Both of those patients received skin grafts from the same cadaver, which came from your tissue bank. Earlier this week both those patients were murdered.
Dominic Voth: And you think I had something to do with that. I'm not in the business of taking lives, Detective. I'm in the business of saving them.
Bell: Operating a human chop shop has made you very rich, Mr. Voth. Your company pulled in close to $10 million last year, so how about you drop the phony altruism?
Watson: Those forms strongly suggest that your company has been cutting corners on disinfection and disease testing, in blatant violation of FDA regulations.
Bell: We think you realized that a contamination got through involving the cadaver those two people received tissue from. Now, if they'd gotten sick and it got traced back to you, you would have been hit with lawsuits, criminal charges. It would've shut you down.
Voth: I swear, it's like deja vu.
Bell: How's that?
Voth: Another guy was in here yesterday peddling the same garbage. A friend of yours? Because he broke into my facility after we talked and stole one of my products. The way I see it, you're the ones who should be worried about criminal charges.
Bell: This product you say he stole wouldn't happen to be a severed head, would it?
Voth: So you do know him.
Watson: Did you call the police?
Bell: Guess you didn't want us taking too close a look around. Mr. Voth, if you had nothing to do with the murders, why not cooperate? Give us access to your facility and your records and the names of anyone else who received tissue from that donor. Show us this wasn't you.
Voth: If you want my cooperation come back with a warrant.
Watson: What are you doing?
Holmes: I'm running. Have you also suffered a concussion?
Watson: I meant, why are you trying to break the land speed record?
Holmes: It was your research that informed me of the link between increased physical activity and quicker recovery from PCS.
Watson: I remember. I also remember that the study recommended moderate exercise. Not trying to outrun Usain Bolt.
Watson: Much. Also, now we can talk.
Holmes: I appreciate your texts, keeping me apprised of your progress with Marcus. At least now I can pretend I'm a contributing member of this investigation.
Watson: Are you kidding? So far, you'd been everywhere we went. All we did today was catch up.
Holmes: On the bright side, now that we know where I acquired John Doe's head, we might also know why. It stands to reason I took it to deny Dominic Voth the chance to destroy evidence and preserve our opportunity to identify the donor.
Watson: Unfortunately, he's gonna be a John Doe a bit longer. Marcus heard back from Missing Persons, and the head is not a match for any reported cases. I mean, that doesn't change the fact that we think that Voth, or someone from his company, killed two people.
Holmes: You're hoping that if you can prove John Doe's tissue was compromised, it'll help the police get a search warrant for the tissue bank. I'm guessing the head will be no help in that regard, given that the whole point of embalming chemicals is disinfection.
Watson: Yeah, and since we haven't heard anything about Victoria Garvey being sick, we're gonna focus on the other tissue recipient, Kareem Ludlow. Marcus is gonna reach out to his family in the morning.
Holmes: If you'll excuse me, my recovering brain needs hydration.
Watson: You still haven't told me how your day went.
Holmes: Oh. By and large, unmitigated boredom. But I do remember every second of it, so that's an improvement. I used some of my time to read up on the "tissue industrial complex" and the myriad ways that a human body can be monetized once broken down into parts. Including how a preserved head can be sold to educate dentists on the latest advances in titanium implants.
Watson: Well, that would explain why the tissue bank had John Doe's head in their inventory, but I was asking about your trip to the medical division.
Holmes: Well, there isn't much to tell. The police doctor had me perform a battery of neurological tests, standing on one leg, reciting the alphabet. I offered to juggle whilst riding a unicycle, but she had other patients to see. She's going to confer with my doctor and then issue a ruling, so I await my fate.
Watson: You're not gonna do any more running, are you?
Holmes: What if I am?
Watson: I know that you want to get back to work for the department as quickly as possible, but pushing yourself too hard isn't gonna make it go any faster. You can't get well in one day.
Holmes: Are you expecting anyone?
Michael Rowan: Hey, you do live here.
Holmes: I do. What are you doing here?
Rowan: Uh, sorry, I didn't mean to freak you out. Can I come in?
Rowan: Yeah, I had a rough sense of where you lived because of the meetings you went to. I knew I was gonna be in the neighborhood tonight, so I looked you up.
Holmes: I'm not listed.
Rowan: Yeah, but you know I, I work at an architecture firm. So we look up building records all the time, and I saw this was listed to a Morland Holmes and took a shot. I get you at a bad time?
Holmes: Well, I...sorry, it, it's been a weird day.
Rowan: Do you want to talk about it?
Holmes: No, I-I'm, I'm really all talked out.
Rowan: Well, look, I'm gonna go to the meeting at St. Augustine's if you change your mind. Are you working a case right now?
Holmes: Why do you ask?
Rowan: I know it's good for you. It keeps you focused.
Holmes: Michael, I appreciate you taking an interest in me, but I, I think you misunderstand my relationship with my work. It doesn't keep me sober. My commitment to the program keeps me sober, to the steps.
Rowan: Right, but you...
Holmes: Well, there's no buts. That's it.
Rowan: Oh. Um, before I go, have you heard anything...
Holmes: There have been no new leads in the disappearance of Polly Kenner. And I've uncovered no indication that she met with foul play.
Rowan: She's been missing for weeks now.
Holmes: I know. That concerns me. But she has an unfortunate history of dropping off the map. I've lodged inquiries with the law enforcement where she is most likely to turn up, but all we can do is wait.
Rowan: Well, thanks for your help. Sorry to bother you.
Dr. Nora Selsky: You had a question about a culture we handled?
Bell: We're investigating the murder of a man named Kareem Ludlow. His doctor told us he had developed flu-like symptoms after undergoing surgery, and the doctor sent a culture here for analysis. Long story, but the results could be pertinent to the case.
Selsky: I remember this. I'm happy to print you the results, but I have a hunch it's not going to be much use. This culture was corrupted here at the lab.
Watson: Corrupted how?
Selsky: It tested positive for H7N5.
Watson: That's a type of bird flu.
Selsky: An incredibly rare one. There was no way Mr. Ludlow could have caught it, so we chalked it up to cross-contamination. H7N5 is only found in one province in China. And when our investigator followed up with Mr. Ludlow, he said he'd never even been out of the country.
Watson: You said you thought there was cross-contamination. That means you have some sample of the virus in your lab. I remember reading about a bird flu case in New York about a month ago.
Bell: Thing is, we don't think Mr. Ludlow got sick traveling. We think he got sick from a tissue donation.
Selsky: We knew about Mr. Ludlow's surgery, and we considered that, but it didn't track. The case you're talking about involved three Chinese women who'd visited family outside Shanghai six weeks ago. A mother and daughter and the mother's first cousin. Soon after they had reentered the U.S., they were hospitalized and tested positive for H7N5. All three died within two weeks. They definitely were not tissue donors.
Bell: We're pretty sure our donor was a white male anyway.
Watson: And these women, you're sure they never infected anyone else?
Selsky: Our team traced everyone they came into contact with. No one else was contaminated. They never crossed paths with Kareem Ludlow.
Gregson: You wanted to show me something?
Bell: Yeah. I've been looking into the women that died from bird flu. The doc that Joan and I talked to at the Department of Health was positive they didn't give it to anyone.
Gregson: But you think she might have missed something.
Bell: I was thinking our tissue donor's a white guy. The three victims were from a traditional Chinese family. If the young one was dating our guy, she might have wanted to keep it a secret. Her name is Wu Meili. I found this on her social media. She was taking an ESL class at the time. Check out the numbers under the teacher's name.
Gregson: "520, 530." Mean anything?
Bell: They're SMS codes, only popular with young Chinese people, so it's unlikely Meili's parents would have understood them. They mean "I love you" and "I miss you."
Gregson: Do you think Meili and her teacher had a secret thing going?
Bell: This is a picture of the teacher, guy named Eric Russo. You tell me.
Gregson: Same guy. So our tissue donor has a name.
Bell: And if he was intimate with Meili after she got back to the States, he'd have the bird flu, too.
Gregson: So this all backs the theory you and Joan came up with, right? That the two tissue recipients got contaminated skin, and someone from the tissue bank killed them.
Bell: This proves motive.
Gregson: Then let's get a warrant.
Lawyer: In light of recent developments, Mr. Voth is willing to concede that Voth Biologics cut some corners in the processing of a handful of tissues.
Gregson: That's real big of him, admitting things we can already prove. But right now we care less about the regulations he broke than we do about the two murders he committed to cover it up.
Watson: The Department of Health briefly suspected that tissue from your facility infected a patient with H7N5, and they notified you at the time. They later believed that it was an error, but the truth is, they were right.
Gregson: The patient's name was Kareem Ludlow. Not long after, he and another recipient from the same donor, Victoria Garvey, were both murdered, and their bodies were destroyed in fires.
Watson: We think that you set those fires so that no one would find out how they had gotten sick.
Lawyer: I'm sorry. Are you seriously suggesting my client committed two murders over a call about a possible contamination?
Gregson: No. We're suggesting he did the murders after he confirmed the contamination. He had Eric Russo's body at his facility. And seeing as he sold tissue from it before it was embalmed, we can assume that he did the embalming. You got the call from D.O.H., you tested Russo's body, you found out it was indeed infected with bird flu, and you knew that could ruin you. So you embalmed him to destroy the evidence, and you killed the two people who received his tissue.
Lawyer: Mr. Voth's company routinely embalms cadavers. It's hardly proof of a cover-up.
Voth: You are right about the embalming. But you're wrong about the rest. And if you look at the records you seized, they'll prove it. I didn't test that body after the D.O.H. called. I didn't want to know if they were right. And I sure as hell didn't want a paper trail showing I knew. So I had the body embalmed right away. These are the only two people who received tissue from that donor. We took the rest of the tissues out of inventory and burned them.
Gregson: You realize you just confessed to tampering with evidence?
Lawyer: He did, but I think his larger point is that, with the evidence destroyed, he didn't have to kill anybody.
Voth: I did a lot of bad things, but I'm no murderer.
Bell: Speak to you a sec?
Gregson: Excuse us.
Watson: So, even if Voth's records don't show it, he could have tested the tissue. He could still be our killer.
Bell: Actually, I think the opposite's true. If Voth did test Eric Russo's tissue, he almost definitely isn't the killer. I just got off the phone with Eric's brother. Poor guy had no idea Eric was dead. He told me that Eric lived alone and wasn't teaching any classes this month.
Gregson: Explains why no one reported him missing.
Bell: Thing is, the last time the brother saw Eric was two days before his body arrived at the tissue bank. They went for drinks. Eric mentioned that a student he was dating had died.
Watson: So you were right about Wu Meili.
Bell: But the brother said that when he saw Eric, Eric didn't seem sick. So I did a little digging and called a CrossFit gym where Eric was a member. The manager checked the computers. Eric took a class there the same day he saw his brother.
Watson: That doesn't make any sense. By that point in his infection, Eric should have had pneumonia, even kidney failure. He should've been too sick to walk, let alone do CrossFit.
Gregson: You said his girlfriend was already dead. So when did Eric catch the flu?
Watson: That's just the thing. If he wasn't showing any symptoms, then Eric never had the flu at all.
Bell: And if Voth had tested Eric's tissue, he would have known that. Meaning he wouldn't have had any motive to commit the murders.
Watson: So our theory of the crime is wrong.
Bell: We're back to square one.
Watson: Are we having a barbecue?
Holmes: So, now, more than ever, given my diminished state, I find visual aids useful in holding onto complex thoughts. So I put together a flowchart of all the deceased individuals involved in the case.
Watson: And that explains the chicken decals how?
Holmes: We're faced with a paradox, and it needs resolving. According to the Department of Health, Wu Meili and her family contracted bird flu whilst visiting a Shanghainese poultry farm, so these seemed a fitting indicator of bird flu status. And, as an added bonus, we have dinner for a couple of weeks.
Watson: Because all this really puts me in the mood to eat chicken.
Holmes: Well, beginning where it began, the Chinese ladies, they all had bird flu, so they all get a sticker. Over here, we have our two murder victims, Kareem Ludlow, Victoria Garvey. Now, he received donor tissue from her boyfriend. He then showed symptoms himself and he tested positive.
Watson: The D.O.H. said that that test was contaminated.
Holmes: That's an unlikely coincidence to my mind. Especially since they reported no other contaminations. So, bird flu. Victoria Garvey, we don't know. This brings us to the man at the center of it all, Eric Russo, our tissue donor, and for a brief time, our travel-sized house guest. Now, on the one hand, our case only really makes sense if Eric had the bird flu. It's the only reasonable explanation for Kareem's positive test, and it would provide us theory of motive for both of these murders.
Watson: On the other hand, multiple witnesses said that Eric was asymptomatic at a time where he should've been close to death.
Holmes: Is there any way that he could have infected people whilst not showing symptoms himself?
Watson: He would have had to have been immune. But that would be impossible. This flu is a hundred percent fatal.
Holmes: Hence our paradox. By the dictates of logic, Eric simultaneously must have had the bird flu and not had it. It's Schrodinger's bird flu.
Watson: How long has that chicken been out of the fridge?
Watson: So, Marcus called earlier. The police are going through the records they seized from the tissue bank. CCS found e-mails between Voth and his execs. They were planning to pin all of the testing shortcuts on one lab tech in case it ever came out.
Holmes: Well, that would support Voth's innocence. It seems unlikely he would set up a scapegoat when he was committing two murders to cover his misdeeds.
Watson: But Voth's records also mentioned that they had bought Eric's body from a body broker.
Holmes: Another unsavory player in the supply chain of Big Tissue. Someone who procures dead bodies from hospitals and hospices and sells them to tissue banks.
Watson: Right, but this broker also forged Eric's donor consent forms, so he was obviously up to something shady, too. I mean, it's possible he heard about the contaminated tissue, and then committed the murders to protect his own racket.
Holmes: So our theory of the crime could be right, but we would have the wrong suspect.
Watson: The Captain is gonna have him brought down for questioning. Have the two of you talked since yesterday?
Holmes: We have not.
Watson: Well, maybe you should.
Holmes: There's a bush outside. Perhaps you'd physically like to beat around it?
Watson: I think you should apologize. You did keep something from him.
Holmes: A medical condition. A very private medical condition, which, I would remind you, has not affected the work I've done for him one iota.
Watson: I get all that. Okay, I'm not saying that you should've told him because he is your boss. I'm saying that you should have told him because he is your friend. Just think about it.
Gregson: We called around to a few of the tissue banks you supply, Mr. Petty. Turns out you've been selling a lot of bodies with phony papers. Our guys are combing through your place right now. How many missing persons are we gonna find in there?
Walter Petty: Wait, you think I killed those people?
Gregson: Crossed our mind that you might've killed some of them. But we also think you might've killed two other people to cover it up.
Bell: According to Dominic Voth, he called you when he thought you'd sold his tissue bank an infected cadaver. Guess he thought if he complained about it, you'd give him his money back. You knew if enough people started asking questions, eventually they'd look at you. So you killed the two patients who received the dead man's tissue.
Petty: You, you've got me all wrong. I'm not a killer. I'm just a grave robber. I don't mean that literally, but it's what everyone I know calls me. I've got backdoor deals with a bunch of funeral homes and crematoriums around the city. They slip me bodies no one's gonna miss, I slip them a little cash and then I forge the consent forms. It's the only way I can keep up with demand. People have all these hang-ups about donating their bodies these days.
Gregson: Gee. I wonder why.
Petty: The two people you were talking about, when were they murdered?
Bell: One was on Wednesday night. The other was two nights before that.
Petty: I was in Cancun with a lady friend. We flew back on Thursday.
Bell: We'll need your friend's name and number.
Bell: And assuming what you said checks out, we'll still need to find out how Eric Russo ended up dead, so also write down the name of the place where you got his body.
Gregson: The infected cadaver we've been talking about.
Petty: I, I just told you I'm doing something I shouldn't do. It's not like I keep a travel log and receipts. I, I don't know which bodies came from where. Hell, I do my best not to remember.
Gregson: Then write down all the places you have deals with.
Petty: That I can do. But it's, uh, it's gonna be a long list.
Rowan: Hi. My name is Michael. Uh, I'm an addict.
Group: Hey, Michael.
Rowan: So, well, I, uh, I have this friend in the program, guy I really admire. He, uh, works the steps, comes to meetings. But, uh, recently I can tell he's been struggling. So, a few weeks ago, I put him onto a project to keep him occupied. It didn't work. It's like there's nothing I can do to get his attention, to pull him back. You know, um, we come to these rooms to get help and to give help. Sometimes it doesn't work. I know you're thinking I should mind my side of the street, worry about myself, but I can't. Not yet. If I need to get louder, I'll get louder. But I'm going to make sure my friend hears me.
Watson: So, I brought you some tea.
Holmes: Thank you. It's late.
Watson: So, I let you sleep in, but I have been up for a while, working on a new theory.
Holmes: Yes, I am listening.
Watson: So, what if Eric Russo's body was able to fight off the H7N5 virus?
Holmes: I thought you said that was impossible.
Watson: I did because it's never happened before, but what if Eric was the first? If he was, it would make his body worth millions.
Holmes: Now I'm awake. Continue.
Watson: So, I've been doing some research into Eric's life and I noticed that he spent a couple of years in China, teaching English in the same province where H7N5 is found. So I called the school and they confirmed that he came down with a bad flu while he was there. Now, everyone just assumed it was a mild strain because he survived.
Holmes: But you think it was H7N5.
Watson: When you recover from a virus, your system develops antibodies to fight off future infections.
Holmes: So, if he had survived H7N5 once before, he would still have the antibodies to combat it. A second exposure in New York would not have hurt him 'cause he would have been immune.
Watson: Well, technically, he still would have caught the virus, but his symptoms could've been so mild that they would have gone unnoticed.
Holmes: Right. And yet the virus would still be in his system, eh, meaning he could still infect other people, even when dead. If you're right, that would resolve our paradox and restore our theory of motive for the two murders.
Watson: I think it does more than that. So, I've been reading some of the work they've been doing on flu vaccines. Now, there is a theory that antibodies from a survivor of a particularly deadly flu could be used to develop a universal flu vaccine, one capable of preventing all flus.
Holmes: Hence the millions of dollars you were talking about. Whoever developed such a vaccine would enjoy significant financial reward, and Eric Russo's antibodies would be quite the prize.
Watson: The thing is, getting access to his antibodies would have required his consent. It's not something you could do without his knowing. You would need too much blood.
Holmes: So, you think perhaps someone approached him and he refused to participate?
Watson: Or maybe they didn't feel like sharing all the money they were gonna make. Either way, they had to kill him to get what they wanted.
Holmes: Our suspect would have to have just the right combination of expertise and resources.
Watson: As it turns out, Marcus and I just met someone like that yesterday.
Watson: The author of that paper you're holding.
Bell: Dr. Selsky, the woman we talked to at the D.O.H.? You think she killed Eric Russo so she could take his blood and get rich off his antibodies?
Watson: In fact, she probably didn't even bother with his blood. The cells she would need, they're called B-cells. They're found in greatest abundance in the spleen. If it were me, and I was killing him anyway, that's what I would take.
Bell: Glad to know you thought it through. So, either way, she killed Kareem Ludlow and Victoria Garvey to cover up what she'd done. And there was no sign of struggle or forced entry at either of their homes. Any idea how she managed that?
Holmes: We know that Kareem Ludlow was sick. And as you two established, he'd been contacted by the Department of Health. If we're right about everything else, Victoria Garvey would also be feeling under the weather. Selsky had Department of Health credentials. It's possible she used those to gain access to their homes.
Watson: She might have even told them that she had something to make them feel better.
Holmes: A lethal dose of potassium chloride, for example, would have cleared their symptoms right up. After that, she would have had to burn the bodies to dispose of any evidence of the virus.
Bell: Well, I get everything you're saying, but between us and the fire department, we've been over those houses plenty. If you're right, she did a hell of a job.
Watson: True. But if I'm right about something else, we'll have more than enough evidence to make an arrest.
Selsky: What you're saying is insane. I've never even heard of Eric Russo.
Bell: We're pretty sure that's a lie. You interviewed Wu Meili and her family extensively. And we get that she wanted to keep her relationship with Eric secret, but on her deathbed? She would have been holding back information that could stop a pandemic.
Watson: We think it's more likely she did tell you about Eric. And when you checked him out and discovered that he was asymptomatic, you realized what a valuable find he was. As the only known survivor of H7N5, his antibodies would be like the holy grail. So you took them.
Bell: In addition to working here, we also know you're on staff at Hamilton Hospital. That's where you do your own research. We think that's also where you met with Eric. Would've been easy enough for you to use your privileges there to dispose of his body along with others that had been donated to science. The hospital sends those to a crematorium to be destroyed. We reached out to the crematorium that the hospital uses and they confirmed that they received a body matching Eric's description the day after he was last seen.
Watson: Unfortunately for you, someone at the crematorium made a deal with a body broker and sold Eric's body to a tissue bank.
Bell: Couple weeks after that, you receive the culture from Kareem Ludlow's doctor. When it came back positive for bird flu, you looked into it, found out about Kareem's skin graft, and put two and two together. You got the name of the other person who received Eric's tissue from the tissue bank, Victoria Garvey, and you killed them both.
Selsky: So you're accusing me of three murders. I'd like you both to leave, so I can call my lawyer.
Bell: You can call your lawyer from the precinct. We've already executed a search warrant on your lab at Hamilton Hospital. We found a spleen in your freezer. Go ahead. Tell us the DNA's not gonna come back as Eric Russo's.
Gregson: That'll be it. Okay? Thanks.
Holmes: You wanted to see me?
Gregson: Yes. In here.
Gregson: I wanted to let you know that I spoke to the department doctor. She's granted you provisional clearance to return to work.
Gregson: Yes. You go back to visit her once a week until further notice. That's in addition to your visits to your own neurologist, which you also have to do once a week. They'll be comparing notes. You miss an appointment, I hear about it. You don't follow their instructions, I hear about it. Otherwise, as long as there are no further incidents like the other day the doc's okay will stand.
Holmes: That's good.
Gregson: No. That's not good. Between you and me, I would prefer it if you were sidelined until you're fully recovered. Maybe longer. Maybe permanently. But I said I'd let the docs decide and I'm gonna stick to my word.
Holmes: Look, I, I want you to know...
Gregson: I'm not finished. I know you. I know you're perfectly capable of gaming them, telling them whatever they need to hear, whatever gets you a clean bill of health. So I'm putting you on notice, that if I get so much as a whiff of you not playing it straight, whether you stay or go won't be up to the doctors anymore.
Holmes: You can trust me.
Gregson: Prove it.