Heather Vanowen is a graduate of the Harrington School of Business. In 1994, she founded Vanowen Strategic Communications (SC), a public relations firm which handles image relations for companies including those in the Fortune 500.
|After a bomb is detonated in an air vent at a web design company, Holmes deduces that the bomb was planted four years previously and didn’t detonate in 2008 because the pager used as the trigger couldn't be activated remotely then. He and Watson visit Vanowen SC as they were the tenants in 2008. They question Heather Vanowen and her CFO, Earl Wheeler, and Vanowen recalls that they received threatening letters in 2008 from the Earth Liberty Militia (ELM), an eco-terrorist group which had set off bombs at other companies. She provides them with the letters and as they leave, Holmes gives her the answers to a crossword puzzle he notices Vanowen is doing on her computer. Later, Holmes notices that a piece of packing paper used in the bomb has an impression of the word "Novocaine" written on it.
|Since the threats against Vanowen SC were never made public, Holmes believes one of their employees is behind the bombing. With Vanowen's co-operation, Holmes is able to examine the employee files in one of their meeting rooms. Vanowen checks in on him and discusses her obsession with crosswords. Holmes thinks Vanowen is flirting with him and bluntly expresses his interest, but that he's currently busy. They are interrupted by Watson and Vanowen leaves, bewildered by Holmes' behaviour. Holmes believes a disgruntled employee, Pradeep Singh, who disappeared in 2008 may be the culprit and after visiting his wife's home, he discovers Singh's corpse wrapped in plastic in a wall of the home. Killed by a gunshot blast, they also find a security deposit box key on him. The box contains a VCR tape which has footage of Singh and Vanowen from years before Singh's employment at Vanowen SC in which Vanowen is seen working as a prostitute at a hotel room with Singh.
|Called into the 11th Precinct, Vanowen fills out a release form. In Captain Gregson's office, she's shown the VCR footage which Holmes says gave Vanowen motive to kill Singh as he was blackmailing her for promotions. She built the pipe bomb knowing that blame would be attributed to the ELM. When it didn’t go off, she killed Singh in his home when his wife was in India and hid him behind a wall, a skill she'd learned from her father who was a drywaller. Vanowen calls Holmes' accusation "creative" and prepares to leave to seek an attorney. However Detective Bell arrives with an analysis of Vanowen's hand writing. Holmes shows that it matches the written impression of the word "Novocaine" on a piece of newspaper used in the bomb. This was an answer to a New York Times crossword puzzle from October 13, 2008, near the time the bomb was planted. Bell arrests Vanowen. ("The Long Fuse")
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