|This page is a transcript for the Season Three episode The Adventure of the Nutmeg Concoction.|
Joan Watson: Kim, right?
Kim Holder: Kim Holder.
Watson: So how can I help you?
Holder: I'm looking for someone who does what you do. A detective. My sister, Jessica, she's missing.
Watson: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Um, tell me more.
Holder: Well, it's been five years since her disappearance. The anniversary just passed. Most days I feel like no one's even looking for her anymore.
Watson: Would you like some tea? So tell me what happened.
Holder: I don't know. The last time anyone saw Jess was inside her apartment. I uh, keep a file on it.
Watson: Do the police have any theories?
Holder: Ugh. The police, the FBI, they've all got ideas.
Watson: And how is the FBI involved?
Holder: There's a man in the New York office, Blake Tanner, he thinks Jess was abducted by a serial criminal. This sounds strange, I know. But when Jess' roommate got home the night she disappeared there was a smell in the apartment. It smelled like something was baking. Like nutmeg. The thing is, over the years, five other women have gone missing and never been heard from again and each time, the place where they disappeared from, it has the same smell. Like nutmeg. Tanner thinks the same person took all six women. He calls the guy "Pumpkin."
Watson: Are there any suspects?
Holder: Look, I'm a lawyer. I've worked criminal cases. I know the odds aren't good here. But even if Jess is, ugh, gone I just wanna know what happened to her.
Kitty Winter: Hi, Watson.
Watson: Good morning, Kitty. I don't know how you found me. I hope you're not following me.
Kitty: No, I just know that you like to come here to work sometimes. You know, from when I was following you. You weren't home, so I came here. He wants to know what you're working on.
Watson: Tell Sherlock I can't jump into anything with you.
Kitty: He wants to know if you got anything interesting going.
Watson: Oh, so he's bored. I just took on a missing person's case. Could be a serial element.
Kitty: Do you mind if I...
Watson: You're gonna text him the article?
Kitty: He said I was to forward him any particulars right away. Good news. Sherlock says that he'll help. First step is to go to the FBI's New York field office and get our hands on their profile.
Watson: Okay, tell him that I didn't ask for help. What did he say?
Kitty: It's not my phone.
Sherlock Holmes: Behavioral Science Unit. Even the name is pompous. Don't know why I subject myself to these people.
Watson: Nobody is subjecting you to anything. You butted in.
Holmes: That's the fourth time you've looked at your phone. You expecting some news?
Watson: No, Andrew and I just got cut off. Checking to see if he called.
Holmes: You're frustrated. It's difficult to maintain what has become a long-distance relationship. It's natural to wonder whether the difficulty in communicating is a symptom of being apart or the disease itself.
Watson: What? I didn't say that.
Holmes: Not with words.
Blake Tanner: You the PIs?
Holmes: Detectives, yes.
Tanner: Blake Tanner, right this way. I've only got a couple of minutes.
Tanner: So you consult with the N.Y.P.D., but your interest in this is private?
Watson: That's right. We were hired by one of the relatives of the potential victims...
Tanner: Victims? Full stop. Nothing "potential" about it.
Watson: I'm sure you're right.
Holmes: Sorry to interrupt. Agent Tanner, would you mind if I took some of your stationary?
Tanner: Go right ahead.
Holmes: Thank you.
Watson: We're not looking to second-guess. We just want a look at your profile. Sometimes it can be useful to get a set of fresh eyes.
Tanner: No offense, but we're not hunting squirrels here. Pumpkin is big game. He's been active for 10 years, hasn't left a hint of evidence behind. Just the olfactory signature.
Tanner: Something funny?
Kitty: No, sorry. It's just "olfactory signature" struck me as an ornate way to say "the smell of nutmeg."
Tanner: The official policy of the bureau is not to share information with private investigators.
Watson: We understand. We just wanna help.
Holmes: That's fine. I don't think we need to take up this special agent's time. He's got big game to catch. Thank you.
Watson: Why did you do that? He was just about to give us the file.
Holmes: You overestimate your charms. Blake Tanner is both arrogant and a fool. He's never gonna share his work with us. I decided within moments of meeting him to pursue the profile via alternative means. He's clearly a bully and a petty tyrant. And I suspect he's also a credit hog. I noted the way his colleagues were looking at him as he escorted us through his back office. There was no shortage of contempt. So I wrote short notes to a few of them. I'm quite confident that one of them will relish the chance to share the profile behind his back. See? Got a copy already.
Holmes: Two, actually. Make that three.
Watson: Wait, is that the profile? You're scrolling too fast.
Holmes: I'm speed-reading. You moved out before we got to that portion of your training. Wonderful. This should give us a good start.
Kitty: Is there something helpful in there?
Holmes: The report is full of sophistry and various instances of tautological thinking and is plagued by the kind of laziness and intellectual vanity which is native to the profiler profession.
Kitty: So why do you say it's a good start?
Holmes: Even a cursory glance at this document convinced me that there's no such person as "Pumpkin." He's a construct of Blake Tanner's mind. A product of a profession which is trained to look for bogeymen in every dark corner. No, it's clear to me that each of the abductees attributed to Pumpkin was in fact taken by different people. The crimes aren't connected.
Watson: What about the olfactory signature?
Holmes: I can't explain the nutmeg. Not yet. But I do know that Blake Tanner has seized on one detail to form a link and then woven a web of tortured psychology in an effort to connect seven crimes which are, in fact, quite separate. We're gonna discover what really happened to Jessica Holder. And then, just for sport, we're gonna explain the nutmeg connection. And then, gonna prove to anyone who cares to listen that Blake Tanner has been a fool these past five years.
Holmes: Have you considered correspondence? To alleviate your frustrations with Andrew, I recommend proper correspondence. Hand written letters, informed by deliberate and careful thought. It is the most direct route to meaningful communication.
Watson: I don't have frustrations that need alleviating. Andrew and I just had a hard time connecting this morning, that's all.
Watson: Please don't tell me you have another insight about my relationship.
Holmes: I'm looking through this box of Jessica Holder's belongings. She is a very organized person. Even her keychain is meticulously arranged. Each one is labeled. And here we have three keys of the exact same make and model. What does that indicate to you?
Watson: My apartment keys look identical.
Holmes: Precisely. You've got one key for your apartment building one key for your apartment proper. That's two. She has three identical keys. One is labeled "A" probably apartment building. "FD", front door. This one has no label. Wonder what it opens. We need to go to Jessica Holder's apartment building try every lock until we find what this opens and then divine her connection to whatever's inside. Let me know when you got it sorted.
Watson: You're not coming?
Holmes: I'm here to offer help. Trying one key in an ocean of doors, that's scut work. No, my spirit of volunteerism is not without its limits.
Kitty: No luck on the fifth floor.
Watson: What are you humming?
Kitty: Beethoven's "6th." Clarinet part.
Watson: I would not have pegged you as a classical music fan.
Kitty: My dad was the fan. Which meant I practiced four hours every day.
Watson: You still play?
Kitty: He sold my clarinet when I turned down a place at the Royal Academy of Music.
Watson: Hello? Middle-aged couple with a kid in college. Looks like one of them's a lawyer.
Kitty: Probably him. He looks boring.
Noah Kramer: Liz, I'm home.
Watson: Your wife's not here, Mr. Kramer.
Kramer: Who the hell are you?
Watson: We're looking into the disappearance of Jessica Holder.
Kramer: How did you get in here?
Kitty: This key, from Jessica's key ring.
Watson: Now, why did Jessica have a key to your apartment?
Kramer: I'm calling the police.
Watson: I wouldn't do that. You're a defense lawyer. We know because we had a look around.
Kitty: You have had some shady clients over the years.
Watson: We found some papers locked in your closet. Something about a criminal negligence case. Is there any reason you kept those hidden instead of turning them over for discovery? So tell us about your relationship with Jessica.
Kramer: I didn't wanna have an affair. Not again. Jessica was right downstairs. She was a sweet kid.
Kitty: Did you kill her?
Kramer: Of course not. Jessica disappeared in what, October that year?
Watson: October 17.
Kramer: I was out of state that whole fall. I worked a class-action thing in Oregon. I can show you my tax returns with the receipts from that year. If you do find out what happened to Jess, let me know, please. I miss her.
Watson: Ms. Hudson. What are you doing here?
Ms. Hudson: Hi. Um, Sherlock asked me to keep an ear on the police scanner and tell him if anybody mentions the word "nutmeg."
Watson: So you're on nutmeg duty?
Holmes: Not strictly nutmeg duty. We are casting a wide net. I've asked Ms. Hudson to notify me if she hears any mention of the aroma of pumpkin pie at the crime scene or any reference at all to the scent of baking.
Watson: You really expect the police to smell nutmeg?
Holmes: I expect nothing, which is why I'm such an exceptional detective. I don't know why the aroma has been present at six separate crime scenes. I also don't know that those six are the only scenes which smelled of baked goods. Those are just the ones that Tanner has lumped into his specious "Pumpkin Case." But I am curious. It's a detail I'd like to reconcile. So Kitty's gonna look through old records see if she can find any additional references to the smell while Ms. Hudson keeps an ear out for new appearances.
Watson: Seems like we're all set on the nutmeg front. The disappearance of Jessica Holder?
Holmes: Well, that's your territory. With my assistance, of course. Strictly on a voluntary basis. The defense attorney's alibi is sound so it seems to me your next step should be to look through belongings. Why don't you start with her laptop? Let me know if you find anything interesting.
Holmes: You know what, I'm not into this whole voluntary thing. You're either working the case with me or not. We'll divide up the box. You take the laptop. Let me know if you find anything interesting.
Chris Santos: Joan?
Watson: Chris. Hi. Well, it's been forever.
Santos: You look great.
Watson: Thanks. You too. Are you still practicing at White Peaks?
Santos: Fifteen years. I'm an old man now. Ha, ha. I heard you're a private investigator?
Santos: That's why I'm lingering outside your building. I've got a problem.
Watson: Nothing serious, I hope.
Santos: Not really. Someone stole my ID, my medical ID, actually. I didn't even know it happened until I went in for a physical and the doctor had the wrong blood type on file. Sometimes this stuff is hooked into a bigger scam. I thought if you had some time, maybe you can, you know, figure things out? I'd pay you your fee.
Watson: Oh, no, no, don't worry about that. You know, I'm a little busy, but I can get someone else started on it and then I'll jump on when I'm free.
Santos: You won't take any money?
Watson: No, no, don't be silly. You're a friend.
Santos: It's really good to see you again.
Watson: So, what are we doing at Sing Sing?
Holmes: All things in good time, Watson. Did you ask Kitty to look into the medical history of a man named Christopher Santos?
Watson: It's a favor. We're busy, so I thought she could look around.
Holmes: You've engaged in horizontal refreshment with this man?
Watson: We dated for two years. He bought me an engagement ring, so, yes, we engaged in horizontal refreshment. Does that matter?
Holmes: You turned down his proposal. That's interesting.
Watson: What are we doing at Sing Sing?
Holmes: I spent quite a bit of time with Jessica Holder's laptop last night. She had a rather interesting text file hidden away in a folder titled "November's Bills." Her lover, Noah Kramer, represented a rather notorious drug trafficker. Raymond Carpenter.
Watson: Hmm. I know that name.
Holmes: Apparently, Kramer divulged to Jessica that his client was guilty of several murders. Jessica could not live with what she knew. She details her plans to come forward in the document.
Watson: But disappeared before she could.
Holmes: I wonder, did Kramer glean his girlfriend's plan and then pass a warning on to his client?
Watson: So you think Carpenter had Holder killed. That's an interesting theory.
Holmes: Raymond Carpenter is doing hard time here for an unrelated matter. I thought we might have a word.
Raymond Carpenter: So, I'm sorry, you came here hoping I'd just tell you I killed someone named Jessica Holder?
Holmes: It's not an entirely outlandish request. You're serving life in prison with no chance of parole. Things can't get any worse for you. And if there's anything you covet here in prison, one phone call from our colleague, Captain Gregson at the N.Y.P.D., could go a very long way.
Watson: You'd be giving closure to Jessica Holder's family, if that means anything to you.
Carpenter: There's an inmate greens crew here. I've been trying to get on it for years but the Dominicans have got it wired.
Watson: That's what you want? A chance to plant flowers?
Carpenter: They get to go outside. A lot.
Holmes: Well, one phone call from our Captain Gregson and you'll be gardening amongst Dominicans in no time.
Carpenter: Kramer tipped me off. I had the girl taken care of. I don't know where she is, though. I outsourced the job.
Holmes: Where can we find the killer?
Carpenter: He's named Danny Tacelli. Last I heard certain parts of him were floating in the East River, certain parts were in the Hudson.
Watson: Did you tell Kramer what you did?
Carpenter: Not in so many words, but, I mean, the guy knew. Soon as he tipped me off, he issued that girl a death sentence.
Watson: So now what? Noah Kramer just gets away with what he did?
Holmes: I suppose a zealous prosecutor could try to make a case. But there are alternative means of punishment. I still maintain contact to some of your tabloids. "Married attorney betrays mistress to murderous client." We've solved the problem you were hired to address, but we still have work to do. We've had a spot of good luck. Ms. Hudson texted. Apparently, the custodian of a Harlem band shell arrived at work this morning to find that his structure had been marked up with bullet holes overnight.
Watson: How is that good luck?
Holmes: Custodian told police that the area smelled very strongly of nutmeg.
Custodian: Those bullet holes weren't here yesterday. This place is pretty much an open-air drug market after-hours. Guess it was some kind of deal gone wrong last night. Let me know if you need anything.
Watson: Thank you. Yeah, smells like nutmeg.
Holmes: But does it smell only of nutmeg? We need to plumb every nuance on this aroma and for that, we will need The Nose.
Watson: What nose? Your nose?
Holmes: The Nose. He's an Irregular I've used from time to time. His sense of smell outpaces even my own.
Watson: Does he have a real name?
Holmes: I don't know. I've never asked him.
Watson: How do adults have a relationship where one never calls the other anything but The Nose?
Holmes: If you must know, you can ask him yourself.
The Nose: I suppose I should be grateful, Holmes. Usually when you ask for my help, there's a decomposing body somewhere nearby.
Watson: Hi, I'm Joan Watson.
The Nose: Excuse the potpourri bag. I need coffee beans when I'm out and about. This city can be an assault on the senses. You said something about nutmeg?
The Nose: Is this the spot? The nutmeg is dominant, yes, but it's the olfactory equivalent of a burlesque dancer. The pretty lady in the spotlight meant to distract you from everything else that's going on.
Holmes: What else?
The Nose: Chemicals. Hints of bleach. Something metallic. Oh, there's one note that's stronger than the rest. Sodium hydroxide.
Holmes: A powerful base otherwise known as caustic soda. Suitable for the melting of murdered bodies. Jessica Holder's murder is connected to what happened here just as it's connected to every disappearance attributed to Pumpkin.
Watson: The man who killed Jessica Holder isn't responsible for this. He's dead. And I thought you said there was no serial element.
Holmes: There isn't. There are many different murders committed by many different killers but one man, the inventor of this nutmeg concoction, was brought in to clean up the mess every time. The crimes aren't connected by a common killer. They're connected by a common cleaner.
Captain Gregson: So somebody commits a murder, and you think there's a guy out there that they can call to clean it up?
Holmes: We have professional crime scene cleaners on our side of the law. Surely there'd be a thriving market for an illicit one.
Gregson: How do the killers find him? What does he got, a Yelp page?
Holmes: Well, obviously he or she Watson, I would never suggest a woman cannot melt corpses. He relies on word of mouth. I wager most of the work comes from organized crime. People for whom homicide is a semi-regular occurrence. Our cleaner has invented a solution which, as far as I can tell, cleans crime scenes and dissolves any inconvenient dead people.
Detective Bell: That's where the smell comes from?
Holmes: The spice conceals the harsher odors underneath. It's a nutmeg concoction suitable for erasing any and all signs of murder.
Bell: Nutmeg concoction. Sounds like something my aunt would give me for Christmas.
Holmes: Be thankful she didn't. You would've dissolved from the inside out. You see the opportunity we have here? The FBI profiler has unwittingly linked our cleaner to six separate murders but that could be just the tip of the iceberg. He could be connected to dozens, maybe hundreds of crimes. Imagine the information he could provide.
Gregson: If he exists, how do we find him?
Watson: Canvass contractors who hire out for crime-scene cleaning and check the schools that issue certificates in disposing biohazardous waste.
Watson: Something wrong with that plan?
Holmes: No, perfectly sensible. Just It sounds a bit dull.
Watson: Where would you start?
Watson: Oh, my God. What are you doing?
Kitty: Hello, Watson. I figured out who stole your friend's identity. It's in a file on the desk.
Holmes: Please stop talking. You're jostling the wound and I'd like the pigs' blood to coagulate a little bit. I'm taking out a wanted ad of sorts. We theorized that our cleaner works mostly by word of mouth but what if he has an alternative means of finding work? Some other way to pay bills when career criminals aren't murdering each other in sufficient quantity. You've heard of the Dark Internet, I assume?
Watson: Yeah, websites that are not visible to search engines. People buy drugs there. Didn't the FBI shut it down?
Holmes: They shut down the Silk Road. Others popped up in its place. Narcotics are not the only product bought and sold on the Dark Internet. Contracts for assassinations have been consummated there. Humans sold to the highest bidder. I am going to post photographs of Kitty in her current state and claim to be a desperate man who's committed a crime of passion.
Watson: And hopefully our cleaner gets in touch with you. Have fun with that.
Holmes: You're not gonna stay? We'll have our man by morning.
Watson: I'll stick to the dull stuff. Thanks for your help, Kitty.
Holmes: Ah. Pigs' blood, please.
Santos: That's the guy who stole my medical ID?
Watson: My colleague had a contact run this through facial recognition software. This guy's is all over social media. His name is Ermel Janic.
Santos: Wow. You work fast.
Watson: You can take this to police. Hopefully, it'll help clear things up with your insurance. But check all your records. Make sure he didn't change anything else.
Santos: Thanks so much for doing this. You were always efficient but it looks like you found another gear.
Watson: You always had an interesting way of describing my type-A tendencies.
Santos: Now I cringe when I think about how immature I was. I'm not sure there's a statute of limitation on apologies. But I'm sorry. I had a lot to learn about accepting people for who they are.
Watson: Did you? Learn?
Santos: I had to. Next time someone great comes along, I'd like to be better husband material. Thanks. It's great seeing you again, Joan.
Holmes: What tedium is this?
Watson: Oh, I stopped by the Spaulding Technical Institute this morning. Did you know they issue more cleaning certificates than anyone in New York? They agreed to let us go through their records.
Holmes: Hoping the apparent sociopaths would leap out of the pile?
Holmes: You ought to make a case against whoever acquired this mural. Can't learn a trade with that abomination looming over you, can you?
Watson: I'm surprised you even came down here. I thought this was too boring for you.
Holmes: After the events of last night, I could use the calm that a dose of routine drudgery provides.
Watson: What happened last night?
Holmes: We had a promising response to my ad. So photographs of the supposed mayhem were provided, a meeting set, and it was going well until the man revealed himself to be an undercover police officer. There was a bit of confusion, and some waving of guns.
Watson: Did you get arrested?
Holmes: The appearance of a living Kitty did help my cause. And a phone call to Captain Gregson secured my release. I still maintain that it was a sound tactic. You can't judge an idea just by the results it provides.
Watson: Oh, damn.
Holmes: Must I draw it out of you?
Watson: I met with my client last night. We talked. He got the wrong impression. He asked me out for a date.
Holmes: Did you mention that you were otherwise involved? Didn't come up naturally.
Watson: What you mean "naturally"?
Holmes: Given your history it's hardly surprising you've allowed this to happen. Your relationship with Andrew requires tending, effort. Naturally, you opened yourself up to other opportunities. Much like a female baboon broadcasts readiness with inflated genitals. You, Watson, are something of a romantic terrorist.
Watson: "Romantic terrorist."
Holmes: Your upbringing pushes you towards a conventional relationship. But your eccentric nature is repulsed by the reality of such arrangements. That's why you find yourself drawn to unsuitable partners. People like my brother. Of course chance will occasionally see to it that you do find an appropriate match. But on these occasions, you sabotage the relationship. It's connected to the conflict at your core. The tension between a conventional life and yearning to heed the call of adventure.
Watson: Okay, I do not yearn to heed the call of adventure. The only thing I yearn to do right now is to get some work done.
Holmes: Kitty should be done tidying up the scene of her staged murder. Between you, we should be through these stacks in no time.
Watson: Where are you going?
Holmes: This mural...not only is it ugly, it's incongruous. I shall not be able to volunteer effectively until I know how it came to be hanging here.
Kitty: Those six stand out.
Holmes: You may cease your drudgery. That mural, I knew it was significant the moment I laid eyes on its grotesque majesty. I called the director of the program and asked him all about it. It is called The Magical Myristica Tour. And painted by one of Spaulding's former students.
Kitty: Magical Myristica Tour?
Holmes: It's primarily a witless pun. But it also references the Myristica tree. A tree which is known for producing two spices. The first is mace. The second is nutmeg.
Watson: So one of their old students had a thing for nutmeg.
Watson: His name is Conrad Woodbine, and he's painted an entire series of paintings, which detail hallucinogenic effects of ingesting large quantities of the spice.
Kitty: You can get high off nutmeg?
Holmes: Can't say it's a particularly satisfying experience but yeah. Conrad Woodbine has subcontracted to the city as a crime-scene cleaner for a decade. Until five years ago when he quit and purchased a building full of art studios on Spring Street.
Watson: How does an ex-crime-scene cleaner afford real estate in SoHo?
Holmes: Perhaps he hasn't quit the trade after all.
Jeremy Carpenter: Mr. Woodbine?
Conrad Woodbine: I'm not to be disturbed while I'm working. This building doesn't need a superintendent who can't superintend.
Jeremy: I know, but they're police.
Woodbine: You three are cops?
Holmes: To varying degrees. We'd like to speak with you about your other job. The one which requires some actual artistry.
Woodbine: What are you talking about?
Holmes: You dissolve corpses for money.
Woodbine: I'm calling my lawyer.
Watson: Why did you just come out and accuse him like that? Now he's never gonna talk.
Holmes: I wanted him to step away. I'm curious what's in that cabinet. None of the others are locked. That one is.
Kitty: Smells like pumpkin pie.
Woodbine: My lawyer says you have to leave.
Holmes: Actually, you can have your attorney meet us at the police station. We found your nutmeg concoction.
Woodbine: I'm not answering any questions till my lawyer gets here. But I will tell you that supply cabinet was locked.
Bell: Our consultant said it was open.
Woodbine: Well, your consultant's lying.
Gregson: In 1997, you graduated from Spaulding Technical Institute you started your career as a crime-scene cleaner. And over the next 11 years, you took on dozens of cases for the city. You were liked, you were in demand.
Bell: A lot of guys like that would've taken on more employees, maybe even franchised. What did you do? You retired. Took up painting.
Watson: Is this interrogation bothering you?
Woodbine: You've been to your fair share of crime scenes. You know how difficult it is to see what we see. The blood, the viscera, the heartbreak.
Gregson: We know you didn't quit the clean-up business, Mr. Woodbine. You just switched sides. You started working for the criminals instead of the cops. And you helped disappear all of these people.
Bell: The bad guys pay more. We get that. That's why we're not looking at you for any of the murders, for now. But you give us names of the individuals who did kill these people, we'll recommend a deal to the DA.
Woodbine: I've broken no laws. You have no proof of any wrongdoing. Just some claims that some potential crime scenes smelled like nutmeg. My mother keeps nutmeg in her spice rack. Maybe you wanna question her too.
Watson: Well, so much for getting him to cooperate.
Holmes: Disappointing, but not surprising. Fortunately there are other ways to undo him.
Holmes: Conrad Woodbine is our cleaner. Of that we have no doubt. Problem is, of course, he's a cleaner.
Kitty: His MO is based on leaving no evidence behind. Right. But you said there was another way to get him.
Holmes: I submit that his undoing lies not in the physical evidence but in the necessary evil of every business in the service industry. Customers.
Kitty: He wouldn't give them up. But they might give him up. We figure out who wanted these people dead and then we offer them the same kind of deal that he turned down.
Watson: The only person we know has a connection with him is Raymond Carpenter.
Holmes: In point of fact, the connection lies between Carpenter's hired hand and Woodbine.
Kitty: You're talking about the man who killed Jessica Holder. But he's been dead for years.
Holmes: Lucky for us, though unlucky for the disappeared, Mr. Woodbine's career was prolific. So while he was being interrogated this afternoon, I began at where I believe to be the beginning. Six years ago, Conrad Woodbine retired from cleaning. At least, officially. At the same time, a group of Armenian criminals arrived in New York. They looked to establish themselves in Howard Beach. Much to the chagrin of the Costa Rican gang that already resided there. War ensued. But months later, the brain trust of that Costa Rican faction just disappeared.
Kitty: You think the Armenians killed them and Woodbine cleaned them.
Holmes: There was never any word of what happened, only rumor they'd been slaughtered in the backroom of a restaurant they frequented. A detective who went there reported an unusual smell. Like something from a bakery. Now, Artem Dedekian was the Armenian group's leader at the time. I think he's worth talking to, don't you? Is our investigation bothering you?
Holmes: Tomorrow, we will speak with Mr. Dedekian. You will continue to pour over the cases of the disappeared. In case he is not in a helpful mood, we will need backups.
Watson: Let me know when you have a time and a place for the meet. I have something I have to take care of.
Watson: So that's Dedekian?
Holmes: He looks hale. Retirement suits him. Captain Gregson is just finishing something up and then, we'll begin. Ahem.
Watson: I'm not a terrorist. I shut Chris down last night and I'm preparing a welcome-home dinner for Andrew tomorrow. I mean, maybe I do hear the call of adventure, whatever you said. But I can do that and have a life.
Holmes: Perhaps. You do realize I wasn't criticizing you yesterday?
Watson: You compared me to a baboon with inflated genitals and then called me a terrorist.
Holmes: I was using vivid imagery to illustrate a point. It was an attempt to be helpful. Your romantic inclinations are not a flaw to be corrected. They're a trait to be accepted. I know you, Watson. You'll never be happy within the confines of a quote, unquote, "traditional relationship." And I said what I said because it pains me to see you try to fit into one simply because it is the default mode of polite society.
Watson: There is no reason to feel pain because I'm happy with Andrew.
Holmes: Or would you be happier without him? Alternatively, with him as an occasional sex partner and confidant? Or with him when in the States and free to pursue other interests when not? There are any number of possible arrangements. All you need to do is find one which is true to your nature. It really is quite remarkable to me. All this time we've spent together and you remain a far more interesting person than you give yourself credit for.
Gregson: Thank you for coming in, Mr. Dedekian.
Artem Dedekian: I understand you have questions about someone named Conrad Woodbine? I don't know the name.
Holmes: The name might escape you, but the work left an impression.
Watson: It was six years ago. He helped turn a few Costa Rican gangsters into soup for you.
Dedekian: Sorry. Don't know what you're talking about.
Holmes: You're quite a unique case in the criminal underworld. A one-time kingpin who's managed to extract himself entirely from his past and lead a quieter existence. You're just one of Woodbine's clients. There were others. Many others. We've set to work identifying them so we might offer a deal.
Gregson: Tell us how you found Woodbine and what he did for you and I'm gonna help you work out an immunity agreement with the DA's office.
Holmes: One of Woodbine's customers is gonna be a lucky person indeed. Why? Because he or she will get away with murder. Perhaps even murders. Why? Because we desire Woodbine above all others. Why? Because he can, in turn, give us the names of dozens of killers. Including yours.
Watson: Someone's gonna talk to us, Mr. Dedekian. It may as well be you.
ESU Officers: Conrad Woodbine! Police! Clear. Clear. Clear. It's all clear.
Holmes: Do you smell that?
Holmes: He keeps his concoction hidden and sealed. There's really no reason that the aroma should overpower the room. Unless...did you notice how Conrad Woodbine walked with a limp yesterday?
Holmes: I think he might have had knee surgery recently.
Watson: And why do you say that?
Holmes: Because I've just found his artificial patella tendon in the grease trap. I don't think we're going to be hearing from Mr. Woodbine. Our cleaner's been cleaned.
Bell: Well the ME just confirmed that the piece of plastic you found is an artificial tendon. It's got Kevlar in it. That's why it didn't melt. She didn't know if there's any usable DNA on it. As for the rest of the scene, whoever took care of Woodbine left the place spotless. Seems like the killer's just as good at cleaning up a mess as Woodbine was.
Holmes: It doesn't make any sense. Woodbine was the cleaner. This was his livelihood. He wouldn't broadcast his methods. He'd make himself irrelevant.
Watson: Maybe he had a partner.
Bell: Let's hope so. Because it sure looks like Woodbine's gone. Whatever he knew about all those murders went down the drain with him.
Kitty: Maybe that man Artem Dedekian killed Woodbine. He could have changed his mind about the deal that you offered him.
Holmes: Watson and I went straight from interviewing Dedekian to Conrad Woodbine's studio. That's hardly enough time to arrange a murder and meticulous cleansing of the scene. Why am I doing this? Disassemble the crime board.
Kitty: I don't understand. You're just giving up. Maybe we can find someone else who hired Woodbine.
Holmes: Without a living cleaner, we have no leverage to make a deal with one of his former employers. And I'm not giving up. I'm retrenching. A clean environment stimulates fresh lines of thought.
Kitty: It's Raymond Carpenter, the guy who ordered Jessica Holder's murder. That's the day he was convicted of 18 different felonies. Friends and family with him. They took it pretty hard.
Kitty: So, we've seen him before.
Holmes: That's the superintendent of Conrad Woodbine's building. What's he doing at Raymond Carpenter's trial? Scan this. E-mail it to Watson. Tell her we've got work to do.
Holmes: Jessica Holder may have been killed by one of your paid assassins but her body was disposed of by Conrad Woodbine.
Raymond Carpenter: If you say so.
Holmes: You, Mr. Carpenter, have three sons. Now, your two oldest offspring, they've taken after you and flourish in their own fledgling criminal ventures helped along of course by your incarcerated hand.
Watson: But your youngest son, though, Jeremy, he's a different story.
Holmes: Flunked out of several schools. Fired from every job you managed to land for him. With all due respect, a wastrel. Now, what's a father to do with a boy like that? Send him to trade school of course.
Carpenter: I don't know what you're about.
Holmes: You apprenticed him to Conrad Woodbine. It was a convenient arrangement. Jeremy would earn a livelihood and Mr. Woodbine was only too happy to accommodate I'm sure one of his most valued clients. Jeremy even served as superintendent while the two of them waited for murder victims to dissolve.
Watson: Of course, when we went to see Woodbine at his studio and ask him questions, Jeremy told you. And you couldn't have that, could you? Woodbine knew all your secrets, your family's secrets. God knows what would happen if he told police everything that you had hired him to do. So you had Woodbine taken care of. Jeremy killed him and then cleaned up after himself.
Holmes: It must be said, he did a rather good job. You found him work he's taken to. I suppose congratulations are due.
Carpenter: What are you two doing here, anyway? Do you really expect me to admit to any of this nonsense? We're done.
Holmes: It's true, things can't get any worse for you. But for Jeremy? He must know some damning secrets about very dangerous people.
Watson: We know some of the names of the people who hired Woodbine. We'll get more. How do you think they'll react when they find out that your son was his apprentice and that police are pressing him to make a deal?
Holmes: If you care for your son, call him. If he issues a confession and agrees to testify against people who hired him, we'll see he's assigned to the safe environs of a white-collar prison. If not, he's about to make some very potent enemies. People who will find him wherever he hides.
Kitty: Too loud?
Holmes: I'm not here about the music.
News Reporter: Authorities were stunned today when 20-year-old Jeremy Carpenter confessed to killing Conrad Woodbine, a man Carpenter says trained him to clean up after murders. It's believed that...
Holmes: Your insights made that arrest possible. You are progressing. A pleasure to watch. Normally, I ask you to keep your music at a reasonable level during my reading hours, but tonight, feel free to enjoy it at whatever volume you wish.