|This page is a transcript for the Season Two episode Dead Clade Walking.|
Sherlock Holmes: Watson, I've just had an alarming conversation...I was expecting to find my housemate.
Gay: No problem. I'm Gay.
Holmes: I'm not.
Gay: It's my name.
Holmes: Yes, of course. I'm Sherlock.
Gay: Hello. I also am, gay. So, you know, saves time.
Holmes: How efficient. Welcome to my home.
Joan Watson: Oh. I see you've met Gay.
Holmes: Would you excuse us for a moment Gay? Randy is fighting off the urge to relapse, so I'm leaving to accompany him to a meeting.
Watson: Oh. I'm sorry to hear that. What's bothering him?
Holmes: He's a drug addict. Um, I, I see that you're uh, looking into my trunk of unsolved cases.
Watson: Yes. You told me to look into it in my spare time. I think I might have found something in the Doug Newberg file. You remember the case, right? He was shot in his home in Riverdale. Uh, the place was ransacked, police found the killer's DNA, but they never found a match.
Holmes: Yes. No, uh, I remember it well. Well, uh, fairly well. Vaguely.
Watson: Oh. I figured you were using, because your notes were really disorganized.
Holmes: Newberg was a philanderer. I was investigating the possibility that he had been murdered by a man he had cuckolded. What have you learned?
Watson: Well, you remember this?
Holmes: Yeah. I mean, don't expect me to translate. I wrote that, but I have no idea what I meant.
Watson: Oh, okay, well, I figured that your marker exploded right here. I wanted to see what was under the ink blotches, so I put some nail polish remover and then some black coffee over it.
Gay: You use black coffee to get rid of stains?
Holmes: Yes, of course. The acid in the coffee breaks down the marker. Have you never cleaned a whiteboard?
Watson: So, look at this wall. All of it is gray except for this big black stone. It stood out to me, so I tracked down Gay. She's a geology fellow at NYU. I asked her to take a look.
Gay: It's interesting. Tough to tell from the photo. But I think I see some striations on this rock, and that would mean that...
Holmes: It's dug up from well beneath the surface of the earth.
Gay: Yeah, well, can't say for sure without seeing it in person, so we're gonna go to Riverdale, see if it's still there.
Holmes: Fascinating. I'll join you.
Watson: Um, Randy?
Randy: I know you're my sponsor and not my shrink. It's just we have, like, before the meeting starts. Is it okay if I tell you what's going on? You know what? It's okay. You're right. This isn't about therapy.
Holmes: Your sobriety is important to me, and this is important to your sobriety, so...
Randy: So, it's Eve. We used to live together for, like, two years. First time I got high, it was with her. Last time I got high, it was with her. I couldn't get sober till she left town. Only, now she's back. Says she wants me to help her get clean. She wants to live with me while she kicks.
Holmes: So a, practicing drug addict wants to move in with you?
Randy: Look, I know it's a bad idea. Why do you think I'm so stressed?
Holmes: Oh. Sorry, you, you, you want my advice?
Randy: I don't know. We have some time before the meeting.
Holmes: Well, as it happens, I'm more familiar than I should be with the allure of a dangerous woman. So I'm qualified when I say uh, you must cut this Eve out of your life entirely.
Randy: I should just turn my back on her?
Holmes: Your sobriety is paramount. And it may be too fragile to withstand her influence.
Randy: Is that what you did with your woman?
Holmes: It's what's best.
Gay: You sure we can just prowl around in his backyard? People live here.
Watson: Nobody's home. Anyway, I'm sure they want us to catch whoever killed the guy who used to live here, right? Oh, still here.
Gay: You see these white layers here? That's chalk. This is marine limestone. If I had to guess, I'd say it's really old.
Watson: How old?
Gay: Chalk deposits are typical of the Cretaceous era. That's 65 million years ago.
Watson: Looks like it's part of this wall, huh?
Gay: Oh, no, these rocks are purely decorative. Somebody put this here. I'll tell you something else, it was cut out of the ground and field dressed for transport. They usually do that with archeological specimens.
Watson: So you think there's something in there?
Gay: Maybe. So now what?
Holmes: Well, you're not holding a large rock, so I take it you found someone to do the CT scan for us.
Watson: She bailed when I asked her to help me steal it. Randy?
Holmes: Still sober.
Watson: And you?
Holmes: You know, my life has been carefully constructed so I don't have to do things like talk to people about their former romantic partners. And yet here we are.
Emerson: I uh, I looked at your rock. I, I think you're gonna want to see this.
Holmes: I withdraw my earlier skepticism. The dinosaur in Doug Newberg's backyard did indeed escape my notice.
Jerome Thomas: Magnificent, isn't she? We pulled her out of the ground in the Wind River Range. Agnes here is the world's only complete Dimetrodon skeleton. I'm uh, Jerry Thomas. I'm the curator of the fossil collection here.
Holmes: Sherlock Holmes. This is my associate Joan Watson.
Thomas: Well, my assistant tells me you're with the NYPD, and you think you found a fossil. Okay. Is this real?
Holmes: We believe it is.
Thomas: Okay, this is amazing. This looks to me like a Nanotyrannus. Think of it like a miniature T.rex. It's incredibly rare. I think this is a full skeleton. It's an infant.
Watson: Where do you think it came from?
Thomas: You told my assistant there was a chalk striation on the rock you found it in?
Thomas: Okay, that's marine limestone. We haven't found any of that in a dig the States in quite some time. Most recent deposits come from Mongolia. Now, I can confirm that when I look at the rock, but if it was found there, then it belongs to them.
Holmes: So someone smuggled it into the States. How much would that be worth?
Thomas: I would say high seven figures. Low eight.
Watson: Person that killed Doug Newberg ransacked his place. Maybe they were looking for that.
Watson: So you're working on a new collage in honor of Doug Newberg?
Holmes: I had Detective Bell send me everything the NYPD has on the man. I've been through my original notes, most of their files. Doug Newberg, rest his soul, was a rather dull person. I can't find anything which connects him to smuggling.
Watson: Except for the dinosaur in his backyard.
Holmes: I'm trying to immerse myself in the particulars of Mr. Newberg's life. If he was not involved with the black market, perhaps someone in his orbit was.
Watson: Hey, how is it getting back into a case you were working on when you were using?
Holmes: Interesting. There were times before, I ended up in the gutter, where I functioned extremely well with my addiction. In spite of the fact that I accepted payment from Mr. Newberg's parents, this investigation is very clearly not one of those times. I failed to give the man my best efforts, and that is not a pleasant thing to consider.
Watson: Who is it?
Holmes: It's Randy. His gyno-difficulties persist. A man sits before me. His continued sobriety may or may not hang on whether I allow him to air his issues. I choose the decent path, distasteful as it may seem, and I hear him out. The Rubicon is crossed. I am now a confidante. If I cut him off now, do I not potentially put his recovery at risk?
Watson: What are you texting him? "You'll do better next time."
Holmes: This rock wall is very clearly not a random hiding place. It was very clearly chosen and very carefully...how on earth did you make a career dealing with addicts?
Watson: Well, it's pretty late. You could just call him.
Watson: Okay, well, I will work on the collage while you are out.
Holmes: It's not a collage. I don't do crafts.
Watson: What time did you get in last night?
Holmes: I was with Randy until well into the evening.
Watson: Well, you're gonna need those. After breakfast, we're gonna get ice cream.
Holmes: It's the dead of winter. Why would we want to go for ice cream?
Watson: That's Diego Salcedo. Doug Newberg was his best man at his wedding. Diego has a record. Convicted of small stuff, but eight years ago, he was convicted on three different counts of criminal possession of stolen property. Case ended in mistrial. I looked into what he's up to now. He owns a fleet of ice cream trucks that operate all over New York. I checked with the city, and the trucks have current permits.
Holmes: And this seems to mean something to you.
Watson: It's the middle of winter. Why would he be running a fleet of ice cream trucks? The guy that I spoke to said that most of the operators let their permits lapse during the winter. So why pay if you're not selling any sundaes? Half of the trucks are idle and half of them are permanent. And the ones that are running? They're licensed to cover routes that are mostly industrial areas.
Holmes: These industrial areas, do they include ports?
Holmes: You think Diego Salcedo is using ice cream trucks to move smuggled goods around the city?
Watson: Well, it could explain why Doug Newberg wound up with a fossil in his yard.
Captain Gregson: So you think this guy had something to do with Newberg's murder?
Holmes: We don't know. But if he knows where the fossil came from, then he can get us closer to a solution than we are now. Has anyone claimed responsibility for the Nanotyrannus yet?
Gregson: No. Why?
Watson: He wants to take it home.
Gregson: Sorry. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are stopping by later to uh, take custody. If it's really from Mongolia, they'll return it. Looks like we got a customer. A lot of money for a popsicle. All right, everybody stand by.
Units: Copy that, copy that. All units, all unit sight, everybody stand by.
Gregson: Okay, that's it, let's go!
Units: That's the order. All units move!
Diego Salcedo: Hey, guys. What gives? I was just returning some unsold inventory to my distributors.
Gregson: Oh, yeah? No customs stamp. Cuban?
Salcedo: I don't understand. You put a tail on me and you arrest me. All so you can ask me a bunch of questions about a T.rex you found at my buddy Doug's house?
Detective Bell: It's a Nanotyrannus. And we're pretty sure you put it there. The guys you were delivering those cigars to are ready to tell us about all the shipments you processed for them. The counts are gonna pile up. We say you're our lead suspect in the murder of Doug Newberg. Could mean the difference between making bail or not.
Salcedo: Wait, what are you nuts? I grew up with Doug. He was my best man. I didn't kill him.
Gregson: Do you have an alibi?
Salcedo: I don't know. That was what? Three years ago?
Uniform: Captain, sorry to interrupt. Two guys from Immigrations and Customs just got here. They say you were expecting them.
Gregson: Uh, tell them I need a few minutes. How did the fossil get in your friend Doug's backyard?
Salcedo: All right, look. Right before Doug got killed, I took a delivery of a rock. I don't even know what was inside it. But the buyer, he fell out at the last minute. And I was pretty sure somebody federal was watching my place, so I couldn't bring it there. So I asked Doug if I could keep it at his place, just for a couple of days. Next day, he gets killed. Did I think that the two events were connected? Yeah, of course, somebody must've been following me. But I always thought that whoever killed him took the rock, too.
Bell: You didn't know it was in his backyard?
Salcedo: I gave it to him in his garage. I mean, the guy must've stashed the thing in there himself. I didn't kill Doug. I didn't kill Doug, I mean, you can take my DNA. You can hook me up to a lie detector. Whatever you need.
Holmes: Volunteered his DNA rather cheerfully, didn't he? Whoever murdered Newberg wanted that skeleton, but they never found it. We did.
Watson: You want to put it on the black market, see who comes calling.
Detective Park: Captain, I got a guy from I.C.E. hovering around my desk. Something about a fossil.
Gregson: What's with these guys? I told them I need a few minutes.
Park: Uh, it's just one. And he just got here.
Officer Wolfe: Yeah, they uh, they signed for the thing, like, I don't know, like, ten minutes ago?
Gregson: You were supposed to wait until I got here.
Wolfe: These guys are federal. You know how they are about sitting around.
Gregson: Did you confirm their credentials? I'm guessing that you didn't, because I got another I.C.E. agent out in the bullpen, and Detective Bell says that he checks out.
Holmes: You just presided over the theft of a piece of evidence, which also happens to be a priceless archeological treasure.
Holmes: And off they go with their Nanotyrannus fossil. The whole affair does have a certain spirit of derring-do. One almost has to admire it.
Gregson: I just had a very long conversation with my counterpart at I.C.E. They're gonna help us with the investigation into the robbery. We've got forensics on the paperwork they left behind, and we put a BOLO out on the thieves.
Holmes: Well, whoever they are, they command extraordinary resources. Firstly, they had to know that we'd recovered the fossil. There's been no media coverage, so that implies that they've cultivated a source within Immigration and Customs. They created false documents that were convincing enough to fool a veteran policeman, and they timed their operation so that they arrived before the real I.C.E. agent.
Watson: What are they even gonna do with stolen dinosaur bones? It's not like you can unload it in some dark alley.
Holmes: Yeah, you have to be wired into a network of potential bidders. People who are willing to spend millions of dollars on illegal purchases. The question we need to ask is, who's the biggest game in town when it comes to smuggled antiquities? We find that person, we'll find the thieves. And I'll bet they're connected to murder of Doug Newberg.
Gregson: We've got Diego's list of people that knew he was driving the fossil around. Plus, I'll get the Port Authority to cough up their files on high-end smugglers.
Holmes: We shall see if C. has any thoughts on the matter.
Watson: Okay, so you only know her as C, and you've never actually met her, but you think she can help us?
Holmes: I know her only as C through choice. I could find out her real name if I wanted to, obviously. But uh, using initials is something of a convention of our mutual hobby.
Watson: Which is?
Holmes: C and I engage in prurient correspondence. We have done for quite some time.
Watson: You write each other dirty letters?
Holmes: That is a uniquely prudish way of putting it. But yes, we do.
Holmes: Erotica is a fascinating literary genre. I first encountered C on message boards dedicated to analyzing the correspondence of D.H. Lawrence. It turns out, she is a master of the form.
Watson: And so how exactly is your naughty pen pal supposed to help us?
Holmes: Well, we don't exchange much details about our private lives, but I do know that she's an executive at a top auction house. And like most high-end houses, they have a problem losing inventory at the ports when they're bringing merchandise into the country.
Watson: So what are we supposed to be looking for here? Someone carrying The Story of O?
Holmes: I'm not entirely sure.
Watson: You think that's her?
Holmes: She's described that scarf in one of her letters.
Holmes: Do I look as you'd imagined?
C.: Hard to say. The parts of you that keep my imagination occupied are fully clothed at the moment.
Holmes: You have a rare gift, madam. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance.
C.: Thanks for meeting me in person. I'm half-convinced my assistant listens to all my calls. But I don't know if I'll be able to help you. I'm an auctioneer, not a smuggler.
Holmes: Surely you've rubbed elbows with a few, after a lifetime in the trade.
C.: There is one name. Supposedly has a stranglehold on the trade. He's a bit of a myth actually. The employees at our warehouses always joke that if they wanted to make real money, they'd sell our goods over to him. I suspect a few of them have done it.
Holmes: You have a name?
C.: It's a bit silly. Apparently, he calls himself "The Magpie."
Holmes: Any idea how I might get in touch with him?
C.: As I understand it, you have to have something that he wants. Then he finds you.
Watson: Hey, you back there?
Holmes: Mind you don't disturb the ink.
Watson: Well, obviously, you're gonna make me ask.
Holmes: We require a shiny bauble to attract the attention of the Magpie. So I'm making one. In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, and so was born the Reformation.
Watson: Oh, yeah. I took history in college.
Holmes: Did you know he also mailed several handwritten copies to notable figures on the very same day? It's long been rumored that Luther labored over several rough drafts of the document. You can imagine what a copy might be worth.
Watson: Oh, so you're writing a fake 95 Theses. And then what?
Holmes: I'm going to pose as someone who has recently inherited it, and has no idea of what its worth. There are Web sites which track the availabilities of such things. I suppose eBay is always an option.
Watson: Is this written in English?
Holmes: The first few pages are in Latin. It doesn't have to withstand close scrutiny. It just needs to get us in the vicinity of the Magpie. "42 Thaddeus is hereby declared the best apostle and those who disagree shall be vigorously tickled." What's up?
Holmes: I found a solution for my Randy problem.
Watson: What? And that's upsetting you?
Holmes: He mentioned Eve's last name last night. She's been out of town for more than a year. She's a heroin addict. It's not difficult to track her movements, nor is it unreasonable to speculate that she may have broken the law during her sabbatical. I've just heard from my contact in Chicago, and it turns out that Eve Hurley has several open warrants there. All I need do is notify the relevant authorities, and voila, Randy's problem is solved.
Watson: You're just gonna pull her offstage with a hook?
Holmes: No, of course not. She's a drug addict, I can't very well make her my victim as well. I realized I couldn't follow through the moment I reached out to my contact. That is why I'm upset. A perfectly good solution has to be chucked on account of...
Holmes: Your expression, what does it mean?
Watson: There's no expression.
Holmes: Yes, there is, you're leaving something unsaid. I think I know what you're thinking.
Watson: That I'd like to make dinner in peace?
Holmes: If Randy's gonna stay sober, he needs to learn to deal with stressors. If outside parties are removing them from his life, then he's not developing that capacity. He needs to cut her off, that's blatantly obvious. Yet, I've indulged his desire to review the minutiae of their relationship.
Watson: You know, I know you hate this word, but you've already been nice. You heard him out. You gave him good advice. Why not just tell him you won't talk about it with him anymore?
Holmes: Because I fear that he will relapse if I'm firm with him. And I don't want that to happen, not to my sponsee. I'm being vain. It's obvious that I'm not in control of Randy's addiction any more than I'm in control of my own. Interesting discussion. Thank you.
Watson: Huh. I mostly just chopped shallots.
Randy: Hey, man, I'm sorry. I know this is getting old, but she asked me for money last night...
Holmes: Randall, this has got to stop!
Randy: I know, I know. I'm just trying to figure out...
Holmes: No, no, no. There's nothing to figure out, okay? Your ex-girlfriend is a practicing drug addict. She has absolutely no place in your life. I've tried to give you leeway to arrive at this conclusion on your own, but this doesn't seem to be happening. That is my assessment of the situation, okay? So there's nothing else for us to discuss!
Randy: Okay. Okay.
Holmes: Just consider what I have uh, suggested and know that it comes from a place of concern for you and your recovery.
Randy: No, I know. I'll be right back, okay? I'm gonna run to the bathroom.
Holmes (phone): Watson.
Watson (phone): Hey, what happened to you? You were gone before I woke up.
Holmes (phone): Randall.
Watson (phone): You have to get off the phone?
Holmes (phone): If I need to end the conversation, I will just hang up!
Watson (phone): Right. Listen, I checked that uh, dummy e-mail account you set up for your fake 95 Theses thing. Bunch of people have been in touch. Most of them seem like regular collectors. But one of them came in with no name attached. The guy says that he facilitates discreet transactions that may not be subject to taxes. Sounds like a black market sale. He also says that he's the only one who can hook us in to a network of truly high-end buyers. Seems like the Magpie guy to me.
Holmes (phone): Respond. Set up a meeting for him to inspect the theses.
Watson (phone): Okay. Do you want me to give Captain Gregson a heads-up? Hello?
Holmes: Could I have a cup of tea, please?
Waitress: Of course. Sorry. I thought you guys weren't ordering anything.
Holmes: Why would you think that?
Waitress: Your friend just left.
Watson: So he just left?
Holmes: Without so much as a "by your leave." It's a bit disconcerting. It's certainly the last time I take your advice.
Watson: Advice? I was chopping shallots. Did you call him?
Holmes: He's not answering.
Watson: Well, maybe he just needs some time. Okay, so what is our plan here? We're just gonna go there and ask him if he murdered Doug Newberg?
Holmes: We're gathering information.
Watson: Do you think he really goes by "Magpie"?
Holmes: Well, I suppose we'll find out.
Watson: Hello? Mr. Magpie?
Holmes: Look at this.
Watson: Look like chalk striations.
Holmes: They are. This is the rock that used to contain the nanotyrannus. Someone smashed it to pieces and destroyed the fossil.
Gregson: He may have called himself "The Magpie," but his real name was Malcolm Turner. The bullets didn't finish him off, so the murderer hit him in the back of the head with some kind of club, huh? M.E. thinks there's epithelial cells on Turner's back and at the dinosaur remains, so it looks like we got the killer's DNA.
Holmes: This person murders Malcolm Turner, and then takes the time to willfully destroy a fossil worth millions of dollars. Why would anyone do that?
Watson: Maybe it was one of Turner's competitors.
Holmes: But I can't see why anyone familiar with the invisible hand of the market would destroy something, obliterate something of such value. There's an interesting motive hidden here somewhere. We just need to root it out.
Watson: Gay? Why is Gay asleep on our couch?
Holmes: I worked her hard. Don't be territorial about your geologist, Watson. I was in need of one this evening.
Watson: I'm guessing that's why you're blasting "Marriage of Figaro" at 4:00 in the morning. You don't even like opera.
Holmes: No, of course I don't. All the tedious histrionics. I was using it to stay awake. I believe I have learned why the Magpie's killer destroyed the nanotyrannus.
Watson: "Dead Clade Walking."
Holmes: A "clade" is a term for a group of animals which has survived an extinction-level event. It's widely acknowledged in paleontological circles that the extinction of the dinosaurs was brought about by a comet striking the surface of the Earth approximately 66 million years ago. The foundation of this belief is a layer of rock beneath the surface of the Earth which has an abundance of rare metals thought to be common in comets and asteroids called the "KT Boundary."
Watson: Yeah, I read about that somewhere. They only find dinosaur fossils below the KT Boundary, right?
Holmes: Mmm. Apart from a few very rare exceptions, yes. Stands to reason, if the dinosaurs were rendered extinct by the comet which created the KT Boundary, you couldn't very well find their bones above it, right?
Watson: Right. Right?
Holmes: Maybe. A new generation of paleontologists have seized upon the few fossils found above the KT Boundary to suggest that some dinosaurs survived the comet's impact. Like Martin Luther before them, they have dared to challenge the orthodoxy of the institution which gives them their livelihood. They call their theory "Dead Clade Walking." And it's enormously controversial in the field.
Watson: Okay, so maybe dinosaurs lived longer than we thought. Why is that controversial?
Holmes: Well, why is anything controversial? These people need something to argue about, and "Dead Clade Walking" has yielded a bumper crop of conflict.
Watson: Well, sounds like a really good episode of Nova, but I'm not sure what it has to do with our investigation.
Holmes: Rock the nanotyrannus was found in. I decided to take a closer look at its composition. And Gay has confirmed that it seems to have certain geological features which would suggest it was buried above the KT Boundary. It would be the first complete skeleton found there.
Watson: So it could have proven the theory?
Holmes: Though we will never know. Whoever destroyed the sample has made sure of that.
Watson: You think someone was willing to kill just to keep "Dead Clade Walking" from being declared true?
Holmes: Murders have been committed on the basis of far less.
Watson: Who would do that?
Holmes: I don't know. Not yet. But I'm assembling a list of the city's most vocal opponents to "Dead Clade Walking." Seemed like a good place to start.
Watson: You've all been asked here today because you represent the most strident opposition to "Dead Clade Walking." You might be interested to know that we recently found a nanotyrannus skeleton that may have been buried well above the KT Layer. Unfortunately, the fossil was destroyed and the person in possession of it was killed. We believe someone with a vested interest in keeping "Dead Clade Walking" from being proven right was behind the murder.
Andrew Donnelly: You think one of us did it? Do I look like I'm running around planning murders?
Bell: We'd like each of you to volunteer a cheek swab, and we'll test it against some DNA we found at the crime scene. You don't have to agree, of course, although you would be assisting an active homicide investigation if you do.
Donnelly: Okay, whatever. This is silly.
Ivan Kershavin: With giving my DNA to the police? Yes. I do have a problem with that.
Bell: Guy takes his privacy seriously.
Holmes: Yeah. His name is Ivan Kershavin. And perhaps our investigation just found a bit of focus.
Watson: Let's say this guy really did kill the Magpie. He has to know we're watching him, right? I mean, even if we use his social media to track down where he'll be today, you really think he's gonna throw away a tissue so we can get a DNA sample?
Holmes: Well, he wouldn't if he was a competent criminal. But the good investigator never rules out the possibility that one's quarry is a fool.
Watson: Are you worried about Randy?
Holmes: No, I'm, I'm just checking to see if he's called, that's all. You know, if he has cut me off, it'll be a relief. Sponsorship is a risky investment of one's time and energy, quite frankly.
Bell: Well, you can back off that Kershavin guy. We got the preliminary results from the DNA samples we took. There is a match for what we found at the scene. It's Andrew Donnelly.
Watson: The guy in the wheelchair?
Gregson: Guy is smart enough to not talk until his lawyer gets here. I know DNA is DNA, but I'm having a hard time getting my head around that guy shooting a career criminal and then clubbing him to death. He gave us his DNA.
Holmes: He knew a refusal would make him a suspect. Perhaps he's hoping we were bluffing. I know the visual's incongruous, but Andrew Donnelly is a superstar of paleontology. He's also the leading opponent of "Dead Clade Walking." He's staked out a very public position, so he's got quite a bit to lose. Speaking fees, consulting jobs. The books that he writes would no doubt fall out of circulation.
Gregson: You like him for the Doug Newberg murder, too?
Bell: Actually, we just got the results comparing the DNA from both crime scenes, they don't match. We're looking for two different killers.
Watson: Maybe the Newberg murder was just a garden-variety burglary gone wrong.
Holmes: Seems unlikely. Well, let's see. Maybe he'll confess to the Magpie's murder.
Gregson: Oh. Oh, you can turn around, Counselor. We're ready to begin questioning your client.
Lawyer: There isn't gonna be an interrogation of Mr. Donnelly. My client is the victim of a frame-up. Malcolm Turner, this man who called himself "The Magpie", he was killed yesterday morning, right? Sometime between ten and twelve? Andrew Donnelly was leading a guided tour of the Triboro Museum of Natural History from 9:00 a.m. until 2:30. It's something he does every year for people who donate big money to his department. I've got Instagram photos posted during the tour itself, and more than a dozen millionaires who can vouch for his whereabouts. I take it you'll be issuing an apology along with Mr. Donnelly's release.
Holmes: Well, it appears she's correct. Mr. Donnelly could not have murdered the Magpie.
Gregson: Well, how the hell did his DNA get to the crime scene?
Watson: Why are you cutting up the Magpie case file?
Holmes: I am reducing it to digestible chunks. A 1953 study at the University of Michigan found that planarian worms could navigate a maze more successfully after ingesting the remains of other worms who had also run the same course. Perhaps if I ingest the file, it will offer fresh insights.
Watson: You're not really gonna eat that entire stack of paper, right?
Holmes: Andrew Donnelly's DNA was found at the scene of the Magpie's murder, but he did not commit the crime. Ivan Kershavin refused to give us a sample of his DNA, but two hours ago, a detective pulled a can of soda from his rubbish and got one for us anyway. Not a match. I'm at a loss. Hence, a new perspective on the problem.
Watson: Well, the Magpie kept records of all his transactions, right? Gregson pulled it from his studio. If we figure out who the customers were, maybe we can come up with a new list of suspects.
Holmes: Thank you for your insights. I would not have thought of that on my own. The Magpie identified his customers via pseudonyms. He sold a tapestry from a castle in Ireland to a "Bucky Wanderstick". A bracelet supposedly worn by Genghis Khan went to "Michael McBender," so on.
Watson: At least the guy has a bad sense of humor. "Snipes Houlihan", he's got his own separate column. Four different sales. "D-apostrophe-phalange." "D-apostrophe-humerus."
Holmes: "A toe, an arm, top of the spine." The transactions happened over a period of months, so I want to know why they're linked.
Watson: I'm guessing there's a good reason for all of this.
Holmes: I'm trying to attract the attention of "Snipes Houlihan."
Watson: You know who he is?
Holmes: I was curious as to why the sales were grouped under the heading "D-apostrophe-D." When I reasoned that the Magpie would only be trading in bones of species which were rare or extinct, I quickly developed a theory as to what it meant.
Watson: He sold three different Dimetrodon bones to the same buyer.
Holmes: Precisely. Three different bones from three wildly divergent locations on the body. Why would one need a toe, an arm, leg, and a piece of the spinal column?
Watson: Well, I can read. I'm guessing you think that he used it to fill out this display. A display which claims to be the only complete skeleton of its kind, but which is, in fact, augmented by bones which were purchased on the black market.
Watson: So that man we met, Jerome Thomas, he said that he supervised the dig himself.
Holmes: He did. He personally oversaw the cataloging of all the findings.
Watson: You think he faked finding a complete skeleton and then bought the missing pieces on the black market. But what does this have to do with the Magpie's murder?
Holmes: It's the link which connects the murders of Doug Newberg and the Magpie. Firstly, it establishes that Dr. Thomas knew and did business with the man. He would no doubt know what he had up for sale at any given moment. The textbook I gave you, did you notice who wrote it?
Watson: Andrew Donnelly. He's the man whose DNA was found at the scene of the Magpie's murder. And Jerome Thomas.
Holmes: They collaborated on that book, which is used as the introductory text for almost every entry-level course. Now, Andrew Donnelly's reputation would be ruined if "Dead Clade Walking" were proven correct. So, what do you think would happen to sales of his textbook?
Watson: I'm sure they would plummet.
Holmes: What do you suppose would happen to the reputation of his close associates?
Watson: They'd be tainted, too.
Donnelly: What one earth are you two doing?
Watson: You found out there was a fossil that could prove "Dead Clade Walking" and you killed Doug Newberg to get your hands on it.
Watson: You couldn't find it, so you thought it was lost, until the Magpie put it up for sale again. And then you planted Andrew Donnelly's DNA at the second murder.
Holmes: Actually, I think that was a mistake. I think you used a tool that you and Dr. Donnelly probably shared in the field. Maybe you brought it with you to destroy the fossil.
Donnelly: I don't know what you're talking about, but you two need to leave.
Holmes: Yeah, all right. If that's what you want. We don't have enough evidence to arrest you, anyway. But the police are drawing up a warrant for your DNA as we speak. And you and I both know it's going to match the material found at Doug Newberg's three years ago. They're also going to be able to search your home and your lab for the murder weapon. So, given all that, I thought I'd give you the opportunity to confess.
Reporter: The academic community was stunned today as Dr. Jerome Thomas, curator of the fossil collection at the Triboro Museum of Natural History, was charged with two separate murders...
Watson: Hey. This was at the front stoop for you.
Holmes: Ah. This would be the remains of the Nanotyrannus.
Watson: Oh. You mean a pile of dust?
Holmes: This creature survived the single greatest extinction-level event in history. It deserves a loftier resting place than someone's dustbin.
Watson: Do you feel good? You solved the case. Doug Newberg's parents finally know what happened to their son.
Holmes: Yes, I suppose I do.
Watson: You don't have to say it. I know what you're thinking.
Holmes: The odds are reasonably good that none of this would have happened without you. Allow me to return the favor by releasing the evil humours from your skull.
Watson: I'm good.
Randy: So um, I got high with Eve last night.
Holmes: I see.
Randy: I woke up this morning and I told her that I never wanted to see her again. It's over. I don't know if you're still my sponsor or not, but if you'd be willing to...
Holmes: So you want to go to a meeting?
Randy: Right now? Yeah.
Holmes: All right.