|This page is a transcript for the Season Five episode The Ballad of Lady Frances.|
Reese Vennek: Where's the Lady Frances?
Darren Azoff: What?
Vennek: It's a simple question. What did you do with her?
Azoff: I don't know what you're talking about.
Vennek: That's a bad way to start.
Vennek: This thing I'm doing is called a "six-pack." Elbows, knees, ankles. When I run out of those, I'll improvise.
Azoff: Please, this is a mistake! You've got the wrong guy!
Vennek: No. We know you took her. You're keeping her somewhere, and the gentleman you took her from would like her back. So, I'll ask again. Where is Frances?
Azoff: Please, please don't kill me.
Vennek: Why not? She wasn't yours to take. Now you're facing the consequences.
Shinwell Johnson: I still don't see the point of all this. You know I know how to box, you know I know how to play chess. This isn't chess or boxing.
Sherlock Holmes: It's chess boxing. It's, its own sport. Admittedly, it's not as popular here as it is in other countries.
Shinwell: And this is supposed to help me be a C.I. how?
Holmes: The critical skill when alternating rounds of chess and boxing is not a mastery of either. It is the ability to quickly shift one's mental state. Adrenaline clouds higher cognitive function and, conversely, deep concentration slows reflexes. So imagine you've infiltrated a target's office, and you're in the middle of trying to decode their passwords and you're discovered and you have to defend yourself. Or you're running to evade capture, and you have to calm yourself and pick a lock.
Shinwell: Think you got me mixed up with James Bond.
Holmes: Remind me, which one of us wants to topple an organized-crime syndicate from the inside? Unfortunately, we're going to have to continue this another time.
Shinwell: So you're just gonna leave, just like that?
Holmes: As I said, shift quickly. Duty calls.
Captain Gregson: BulletPoint's still in the pilot phase. City's trying it out in a handful of neighborhoods.
Holmes: Sensors triangulate the gunshot to within 20 feet, and then notify the department within moments.
Gregson: An hour and a half ago, it picked up multiple shots from this corner. It also recorded the voice of the shooter. He was torturing someone for info. Wanted to know where the guy had taken a woman named Frances.
Joan Watson: Taken as in kidnapped?
Gregson: I'm not sure. That's why I called.
Holmes: So, if there's a woman in danger, we would have to find the shooter as quickly as possible.
Watson: Was the victim taken to the hospital or the Morgue?
Gregson: That's just the thing. Neither. According to BulletPoint, the shooting occurred right here, but when our guys arrived at the scene, there was no blood, no slugs, no body. CSU says these cracks are fresh, and that's about all we got.
Holmes: So you think perhaps the shooting took place inside the car? That would explain the complete lack of evidence.
Gregson: Well, the audio is all we got, so yes, that would fit with that theory.
Holmes: So we have a shooting to solve, and a woman's life potentially hanging in the balance.
Watson: And our crime scene has literally driven away.
Vennek (recording): You're keeping her somewhere, and the gentleman you took her from would like her back. So, I'll ask again. Where is Frances?
Azoff (recording): Please, please don't kill me.
Vennek (recording): Why not? She wasn't yours to take. Now you're facing the consequences. Last chance.
Azoff (recording): Aaaah! Please, no!
Michael: Do we know if he's dead? Do we know who he is, or who Frances is?
Gregson: It's still early in the investigation. We're asking the same questions. We've got people canvassing the neighborhood, checking the local hospitals, seeing if anyone was reported missing. But given what we just heard, it's hard to imagine that the victim survived.
Michael: Any chance you sent the police to the wrong street?
Emily Gray: The system's been tested a hundred times, Michael. And the mayor's office has the stats, so you know it works. Emily Gray, Councilman Slessinger's chief of staff.
Holmes: I can vouch that the shooting took place where BulletPoint said it did. I found a shell casing a little further down the block. It likely fell from the vehicle that drove the crime scene away. Its odor confirmed that it had been fired recently, and its caliber matched the system's analysis.
Watson: I'd like to ask more about how the system works, what it records and when.
Thea Moser: Our sensors listen for gunshots. Once one is detected, then it begins recording all the audio for an agreed period of time. That arrangement with the city is ten seconds before the first gunshot until 30 seconds after the last one.
Watson: How does the system know to record ten seconds before the gunshots? Are you saying that this thing is bugging the city 24/7?
Cosmo: Yeah. Sort of. Kind of like your phone, or any device that's voice-activated by saying "Siri" or "Alexa." They're all listening all the time, because they need to hear when we need them, but they don't start paying attention until we do. It kind of works the same way here, where instead of "Siri," the signal is gunfire, and by "paying attention," it means saving the audio.
Moser: The data that Cosmo's referring to goes into a buffer. So if there are no incidents, then it just gets deleted without anyone ever hearing it. And this is all done under the strict oversight of the city.
Holmes: Well, that's okay, then, 'cause governments never abuse the surveillance of their citizenry, do they? I would like copies of your data, all of it, for my own analysis.
Moser: Whatever you need.
Watson: It's a little odd having city hall looking over our shoulders.
Gregson: Well, get used to it on this one, it's a mayoral election year, and Miss Gray's boss, Councilman Slessinger, wants the job. He's running on a platform that His Honor isn't strong on law and order.
Holmes: Making initiatives like BulletPoint cannon fodder.
Gregson: If the headline turns out to be "BulletPoint rescued a battered woman," everyone's gonna race to take credit.
Watson: And if it fails, they'll all want someone to blame.
Gregson: That said, none of it's your problem. I'll play umbrella and catch whatever's falling. You two just work the case.
Watson (phone): Hello?
Detective Guzman (phone): Hey. I catch you at a bad time?
Watson (phone): No. What's up?
guzman (phone): Just wanted to let you and your partner know it doesn't look like Shinwell's cover was blown. Right now we're thinking the drive-by was retaliation for some SBK action.
Watson (phone): Wait, what drive-by? Are you saying Shinwell was shot?
Watson: Why didn't you tell us?
Shinwell: There was nothing to tell.
Watson: Nothing to tell? You were shot at.
Shinwell: You do get that I'm in a gang, right?
Watson: Well, that doesn't matter. Guzman said you were gonna talk to us about it, so talk.
Shinwell: It happened last night after me and Sherlock left the gym. Just a block from here. This car rolls up, the driver took a few shots, and he sped off.
Watson: Did you see what he looked like?
Shinwell: No, I was too busy getting my ass down a stoop. Green Chevy, maybe ten years old. That's all I know. Leave it alone.
Watson: We can't just do nothing.
Shinwell: Yeah, we can. And that's my point. A few days ago, some boys from SBK, they hit Los Espectros. We figure Los Espectros hit back. The streets are quiet ever since then, so we just gonna leave it alone. I'll be fine. I promise, Doc.
Watson: Whoa. Excuse me. Uh, what's all that about?
Holmes: Shh. Sorry, now you can speak.
Watson: You were listening to their truck?
Holmes: In BulletPoint's audio, the assailants, plural, can be heard arriving in one vehicle. A sports car or a small coupe. After torturing and probably killing their victim, two vehicles depart and the second one's much larger, a truck.
Watson: So the truck was driven there earlier by the victim, and then he was ambushed. So between the sports car and the truck, our mobile crime scene is probably the truck.
Holmes: I also heard a good deal of metal rattling. A ladder on the rear frame, tools in the back. I suspect that our victim was a manual laborer of some sort. I've passed that on to Marcus and he's checking to see if any such trucks have been reported missing. In the meantime, I've been summoning a variety of workers to see if I can narrow the field by the sounds I hear when they come and go.
Watson: Wait, you had work done while I was out?
Holmes: No. I've been a very fickle decorator. I have uh, ordered and then declined a new carpet, crown molding, new bathtub. You're just in time to pick out some new wallpaper for your bedroom.
Watson: You know, since you're gonna return it anyway, just surprise me.
Holmes: How's Shinwell?
Watson: Fine. But he and Guzman are less concerned about this drive-by than I'd like them to be. They think it's just gang business as usual, and that we should just leave it alone.
Holmes: To be fair, the perpetrator did shoot like a duck, drive like a duck, and Shinwell rarely hangs out with anyone other than ducks.
Watson: So, you think they're right? We should just leave it alone?
Holmes: No, but I do agree there's little point in trying to identifying the shooter.
Watson: He mentioned that the car was a mid-2000s green Chevy. So I thought I'd at least look into that.
Holmes: Speaking of mystery vehicles.
Holmes (phone): Marcus?
Detective Bell (phone): You called it. Contracting company in Astoria reported a stolen truck this morning. They said a drywaller had it out on a job yesterday, and never came back. Guy's name is Darren Azoff.
Reese Vennek (recording): Where's the Lady Frances?
Darren Azoff (recording): Aaaah! What?
Vennek (recording): It's a simple question. What did you do with her?
Azoff (recording): I don't know what you're talking about!
Bell: What do you think, Mrs. Azoff? Does that sound like your husband?
Ms. Azoff: Yeah. That's him. You say there's a chance he's alive?
Bell: A slim one, yeah.
Watson: Do you know who Frances is?
Ms. Azoff: Darren was cheating on me. I've known about it for months. When he didn't come home last night, I figured he ran off with his girlfriend.
Watson: Is her name is Frances?
Ms. Azoff: I couldn't tell you anything about her. It's not like Darren was bringing her around. But you want to know who that man was asking him about? She'd be my best guess.
Bell: Say you're right. It's possible the man on the tape was working for some old flame of hers. He made it sound like Darren was keeping her someplace. Do you have any idea where that might be?
Ms. Azoff: I'm sorry. No.
Holmes: Hi, um, did you husband leave this behind?
Ms. Azoff: Yeah. I yelled at him about that the other day. He's always tracking stuff from work into the house, ruining my towels.
Holmes: Right, yeah. This is, this is PVC solvent cement. It dissolves the surfaces of PVC pipes to form a weld. Now, Mr. Azoff is a drywaller. He'd have no reason to use PVC cement. Also, I looked around the apartment, and there's no recent work of this type been done here.
Watson: Maybe it's from work he did at a place he's got Frances.
Bell: I'll check with Con Ed and the cable company, see if he has any accounts in his name for another residence.
Marjorie: My name's not Frances. It's Marjorie. And I know what you're thinking, but no. Darren wasn't hiding some other woman named Frances from me. He loved me.
Holmes: You had a break-in recently, sometime in the last couple of days? There's a window been forced open in the back, and the scratches on the wood are still fresh.
Marjorie: I haven't noticed anything missing.
Watson: Do you mind if we take a look around?
Marjorie: You got a warrant?
Bell: No, but remember, Darren might still be alive. If he is, he needs help. If there's something inside that could help us help him, you really want us to waste time getting a warrant?
Watson: I can see how you couldn't tell there was a break-in. This is drywall dust. These are drips of paint. They don't match the walls.
Bell: Gonna take a wild guess here and say Darren was stealing valuables from his drywall jobs. Probably fencing them, too, which is why he could afford a second home. You sure nothing's missing?
Marjorie: I was telling the truth, I honestly don't know.
Holmes: I do. This looks like research that Azoff was doing on one of the items I assume he stole. He took a photograph of it in this room, presumably to help him sell it, but it's not here now. We've been working under a misconception, that the Lady Frances was a woman, but it's not. It's a stolen vintage guitar. Worth around $5 million.
Gregson: So Azoff was shot over a guitar?
Holmes: Uh, not just any guitar. According to Azoff's research, the guitar once belonged to someone named Eric Clapton. Have you heard of him?
Emily Gray: Yeah. We've heard of him.
Gregson: Still. Five million bucks?
Holmes: Apparently, she's the perfect storm of provenance, quality and legend. She's a 1957 Carfax Desperado, a year and make which has already become known the "Stradivarius of electric guitars." They fetch up to a million dollars on the collector's market, and that's without the celebrity pedigree. If you add to that the fact that apparently it went missing during Mr. Clapton's 1971 tour...
Gregson: Then you've got a piece of rock history worth killing over. And we're sure our shooter's the one who took it from Azoff's girlfriend's house?
Holmes: Detectives canvassed the block. A neighbor reported seeing a man leave the house with a guitar less than an hour after Azoff's shooting. "Sure" might be overstating it, but the timeline fits.
Michael: Will this development be made public? I'm asking because the mayor will want to express his relief that Frances isn't a woman in danger.
Gray: Yeah, at which point he'll blame BulletPoint for creating confusion, and suggest we scrap the whole thing.
Michael: I didn't say that.
Gray: Is he going to be adding that we're all still looking forward to a win here?
Michael: Obviously, yes.
Gregson: So, can I put you both down as "still wanting to catch the killer"? Because we're taking a vote.
Holmes: Thanks to BulletPoint's audio, we know that the shooter was in the employ of the last person to possess the guitar. Now, whoever he is, he never publicized having it. He might have derived his pleasure from it privately, but people like that, they rarely keep their prizes completely secret. So if we can identify him, obviously, we'll then have Azoff's shooter.
Gregson: Okay, so. We'll let you know if anything shakes out.
Gray: Thank you.
Gregson: Miss Gray.
Gregson: Your boss, Councilman Slessinger. Do you mind giving him a message?
Gregson: He's been making the cops his punching bag in a lot of his speeches. Now, we're smart, we get politics. But there's got to be a way for him to stump about cutting crime without making it sound like we can't do our jobs.
Gray: Captain, it's campaign talk.
Gregson: I know. But I'd still like you to remind him, if he wins, he's gonna have to work with us. I'd like that to go well. Wouldn't you?
Gray: I'll tell him we spoke.
Holmes: Yeah, if we're done?
Holmes: Detective Guzman.
Guzman: Hey. I've been trying to get in touch your partner. I keep getting her voice mail.
Holmes: Mm-hmm. Yeah, she's engaged in a private conversation with an expert in vintage guitars at the moment.
Guzman: 'Course she is.
Holmes: Can I be of assistance?
Guzman: Well, I was in the neighborhood, and I thought she'd like to see this. Ballistics came back on a slug C.S.U. pulled out of a wall after Shinwell's drive-by. And it was a match for bullets collected from an unsolved murder case 12 years ago. Name of the victim was Jameel Clark. Mid-level SBK guy. And this was before Shinwell got put away, so it's a good chance they knew each other.
Holmes: Have you shared any of this with him?
Guzman: No. And I'm not gonna. A gun used to kill one banger 12 years ago surfaces now, and is used to shoot at another? That sounds personal.
Holmes: And you don't want to risk him taking matters into his own hands until we've uh, got a better sense of what we're dealing with.
Guzman: That's right. I'll keep digging, and if, um, anything comes up, I'll let you know.
Watson: How do you know this isn't the Lady Frances?
Guitar Expert: Besides me not having a heart attack every time I drop it? You know, '57 Desperados, they may all look alike to you, but each one has a, a different piece of wood, a different stain. There's a history to every nick and scratch. Collectors, they'll pay for the feel of that history. Even my beater, that's worth about 600 thou.
Watson: I am not holding a $600,000 guitar right now.
Expert: Not holding it like you mean it, no.
Watson: So what do you think? You think that's the real Lady Frances?
Expert: Unless it's the best forgery I've ever seen. Yep. It's her.
Watson: Do you have any idea what happened to her after she disappeared? You said on the phone that you saw her in person once?
Expert: Yeah. In 2006, I went to the Bitter End to check out this guy Joshua Chris, some Stevie Ray wannabe. He walked out playing Frances. I mean, I stared at her for over an hour. I tried to track down the kid after the show, I, I mean, I even e-mailed him. He never got back to me.
Watson: Mmm, Joshua Chris, he lives in L.A. , he retired from music in 2010. But we think Frances was stolen from someone here in New York. Someone who had drywall work done recently. You don't think Chris would've sold it to someone else, do you?
Expert: I don't know. You could call his old producer, Herman Wolf. Now, there's a relic from another time. But he'd probably know more than anyone else.
Watson: I don't think I'm gonna have to ask him. Because he's the one who had it.
Damon Clark: Jameel and Shinwell, they were tight. Like, inseparable. But I haven't heard Shin's name since I was a kid. He got jumped by some other gang back then, and they shot him a bunch of times, then he got sent to Great Meadows.
Holmes: Yep, that's true, but he's out now and he's getting shot at again. Most recently, with the same weapon used to kill your brother.
Holmes: An attempt was made on his life last night and the bullets were a match for the ones used at your mother's apartment 12 years ago.
Clark: You think it's the same guy?
Holmes: I think the crimes are connected. Now, in this file, it says that, at the time of Jameel's murder, you were asleep in your bedroom, gunfire woke you up, but you didn't see anything.
Clark: Yeah. That's right.
Holmes: Well, I, I was wondering if you could remember anything that's not in this file, you know? Whether you heard more than one voice, whether you heard any snippets of conversation, the killers, did they linger or did they leave straightaway?
Clark: Sorry. I was ten, and scared. I stayed in my room until it was over. I didn't hear a thing. What?
Holmes: Well, I'm familiar with those projects where you and your family lived. Those apartments are too small not to hear anything. I think you're withholding something from me.
Clark: Something to keep you from finding the person that killed my brother?
Holmes: You tell me.
Clark: Yeah, go to hell.
Holmes: Look, if the killer strikes again, do you want Shinwell's death on your conscience?
Clark: Say I did know something, why would I tell you? I've seen what happened to people that talk, and I got my sister and my moms to think about. Yeah, Shin was Jameel's friend. But he's a banger. He chose that life, I didn't. I got to get to class.
Holmes (phone): Hello?
Herman Wolf: What do you guys want from me? And what makes you think I had the Lady Frances?
Watson: You lent it to Joshua Chris when you were courting him to sign with you.
Wolf: Oh. Where did you get that cock-and-bull story from?
Watson: Joshua Chris. He might've been willing to keep your secret back then, but I got the sense from the call with him that things did not end well between you.
Wolf: They didn't. And that's obviously why he's lying.
Bell: Mr. Wolf, we spoke with the contractor who built this studio, and he confirmed Darren Azoff did the drywall. And the hallway you just walked us through, with all your gold records, there's a pretty prominent empty guitar hook hanging on the wall.
Wolf: How old are you, kid?
Bell: Excuse me?
Wolf: I've been dealing with scarier people since before you were born. And I got good lawyers. Why you trying to intimidate me? Let's say you could prove that Azoff took Frances from me, that still doesn't tie me to the murder. And no court will ever punish me...
Azoff (recording): Aaaah!
Vennek (recording): This thing I'm doing is called a "six-pack." Elbows, knees, ankles. When I run out of those, I'll improvise.
Azoff (recording): Please, this is a mistake! You've got the wrong guy!
Vennek (recording): No. We know you took her. You're keeping her somewhere, and the gentleman you took her from would like her back.
Holmes: It's got a good beat. I think the jury's gonna dance to it.
Bell: Mr. Wolf, you want us to prove you were the last one to own Frances? No problem. You had her, Darren Azoff took her, and then he died an agonizing death. The people are gonna want someone to pay. Wouldn't you rather it be someone else?
Wolf: Okay, let's say, hypothetically, I hired someone to find Lady Frances. Not to kill anyone. What kind of maniac is gonna do that?
Bell: Hypothetically? You put us in touch with him, I'm sure the D.A. would be very grateful. So where's the guitar now?
Wolf: My guy hasn't been able to find it.
Watson: Wait, are you saying that he didn't take it from Azoff's house?
Wolf: Wasn't there when he got there. It could take me a while to get ahold of him.
Holmes: Well, let's hope you reach him before he kills again.
Cosmo: She is a beauty, isn't she? Look, I, I get why you're mad. But just see it from where I'm standing. I, I wasn't planning on stealing her. The shots came in and I heard the shooter say "the Lady Frances." I knew what it was. Poor guy who got shot, he said the address where they had it, and I saw on the screen where they were, I was a lot closer. So I just deleted the part of the audio where they said the address and then I got to her first. Look at her. She's worth millions. I wasn't planning on selling her, but we could. And we could split it. What do you think?
Councilman Slessinger (TV): The good people of New York will sleep easier in their beds tonight, knowing that Darren Azoff's vicious assassin has been caught thanks to BulletPoint a program the mayor and the police department have fought at every turn. Whereas, if I am elected mayor, I will keep pushing for programs just...
Holmes: Clearly your request that the councilman tone down his rhetoric fell on deaf ears. Doesn't bode well for his relationship with the force if he's elected.
Gregson: Guys like him come and go. We'll just keep doing our jobs. Speaking of, that vicious assassin Slessinger's taking credit for catching, they're setting him up in Interview One.
Gregson: Reese Vennek? I'm Captain Gregson, this is Ms. Watson, Mr. Holmes. I assume you've already gathered that Herman Wolf gave you up for the murder of Darren Azoff.
Vennek: I had a sense.
Gregson: Well, what you might not know is that we've also matched your prints to a partial that we lifted off a shell casing at the scene.
Watson: And we have an audio recording of everything you said and did.
Vennek: Yeah, right.
Watson: You explained "six-packing" to Azoff as you were shooting him.
Holmes: It's a long story, you'll have plenty of time to hear it.
Gregson: Our point is, you don't say another word in here, that's fine, we have everything we need. You're going away for a long time. Still, the D.A. always prefers confessions, and you do have some leverage to make things go easier.
Vennek: Such as?
Gregson: We know you had an accomplice, we'll want his name. We'll also want to know what you did with Azoff's body.
Holmes: This obviously isn't your first professional work, Mr. Vennek. Would I be right in thinking that your incarceration might worry some of your previous employers? So now would be a very good time to think about avoiding general population.
Vennek: My helper's name was D'Agostino. Mr. Azoff is at the bottom of Jamaica Bay. I bleached down his truck and had it dismantled at a chop shop. I'll give you their address, too. It's just business.
Watson: Didn't sound like it when you were killing Azoff.
Vennek: Hmm. Some customers ask you to go easy, others want you to make it hard.
Gregson: So Wolf did instruct you to kill Azoff?
Vennek: With expletives. Why? What'd he say?
Watson: That he only hired you to bring back the Lady Frances.
Vennek: That's funny. Seeing as how my resume doesn't include much in the way of guitar retrieval. I'll be sure to include Mr. Wolf's exact wording. I want to be clear, though. I'm only confessing to the murder of Azoff. The second man was dead when I got there.
Gregson: What second man?
Bell: Cosmo Dellis. This is the tech at BulletPoint who first heard the shooting. How the hell did he get the guitar?
Holmes: We didn't hear all the audio that he heard.
Watson: Wolf's hit man, Vennek, told us that Azoff gave him the location of the guitar before he died. That wasn't on the audio that we all heard. So Cosmo must have deleted that part before sending it to the police, then he stole the guitar before Vennek could get to it.
Bell: Okay. Then how did Vennek get here?
Watson: He reached out to music stores and guitar enthusiasts. Cosmo bought an authentic case for a '57 Desperado from a vintage guitar shop. So word got back to Vennek. But Vennek claimed by the time he got here, Cosmo was dead and the Lady Frances was gone.
Holmes: So who else knew that Cosmo had the guitar?
Watson: We could start by visiting the shop where Cosmo bought the case. It's where Vennek found out he had it, maybe someone else did, too.
CSU Tech: Found something.
Holmes: Well, I don't think a trip to the guitar shop's going to be be necessary. This is part of the pick guard of a 1957 Carfax Desperado. So unless two million-dollar guitars found their way into Cosmo's orbit, we're looking at what's left of the Lady Frances. Killer was smart enough to clean up, but they missed this bit.
Bell: That's blood. You don't think the guitar was the murder weapon?
Holmes: I do. Short of being set afire on stage, he's died the most rock-and-roll death imaginable.
Watson: But if the killer destroyed the Lady Frances by killing Cosmo with her...
Holmes: Then he obviously didn't kill him for it.
Watson: Then why?
Holmes: Oh, don't bother setting up, I'm not gonna stay. I need to ask you a couple of questions.
Shinwell: Let me guess. You and the doc didn't let the drive-by go like I asked.
Holmes: We did not.
Holmes: Well, ballistics matched the weapon to the same one used to kill a friend of yours 12 years ago. Jameel Clark.
Holmes: Detective Guzman, he didn't want to tell you. He thought you might tip to the culprit's identity and go after him yourself. Now, I've decided to risk it. Can you point us in anyone's direction?
Shinwell: No, I got nothing.
Holmes: Apparently, you and Jameel were quite close. Did you share an enemy back then? 'Cause that might be the person we're looking for. He killed Jameel in 2005. He wanted to kill you as well, but you went to prison. Now that you're out, he's just picking up where he left off.
Shinwell: A few weeks before Jameel got shot, we went down to Atlantic City, met up with some dudes he knew. The first night we needed some money, so we held up a liquor store. The owner killed one of the dudes, and that dude's brother blamed me and Jameel, said he was gonna kill us, so we got our asses out of there. We came home and we didn't think nothing else of it. And then Jameel got killed. What?
Holmes: Nothing. So, the man who threatened you, I mean, surely you considered him a suspect when Jameel died.
Shinwell: Thought crossed my mind, but I didn't get his name. I didn't think he got ours, either. I mean, me and Jameel was in SBK, I figured what happened was because of that. A rival banger got his address and that was that.
Holmes: And you're quite certain you can't identify the person from Atlantic City?
Shinwell: No. Sorry. You paid for the time?
Holmes: Yeah, I did.
Shinwell: If you're not gonna use it, I'm-a find somebody who will. Tell the doc I said hi.
Thea Moser: You think I killed Cosmo?
Bell: Right now we just want to know where you were last night.
Moser: Home with my husband all night.
Bell: Can anyone besides your husband verify that?
Moser: No. Why are you asking?
Watson: Well, right now BulletPoint is just a pilot program. We spoke to the mayor's office and found out that you've got some stiff competition. They're also looking at a company called ShotSpotter, and there are other similar technologies out there as well.
Bell: Whoever wins the contract to go citywide will make about $30 million a year. It's a lot of motive to make an embarrassing situation go away. Like when one of your techs exploits the system to steal a $5 million guitar.
Moser: Will you come with me?
Moser: Dave, these people are from the police department. I'm gonna show them what we found.
Bell: So, what are we looking at?
Moser: Evidence of fraud. When Cosmo didn't show up today, I had another tech cover his station. She found that he had installed editing software on his computer. Our techs aren't allowed to put anything on their computers.
Watson: That's what he must've used to delete parts of Azoff's shooting.
Moser: The thing is that the software wasn't a recent addition. It had been on there for months, and he didn't use it to just delete things.
Bell: What do you mean?
Moser: We've been digging into what he was doing all day, and it turns out that he was creating fake incidents. He was splicing prerecorded gunshots into the feed in order to make it look like they triggered the system. He was sending the police on wild goose chases.
Bell: You're saying all these incidents are reports of shots fired that the cops went out on that never happened?
Moser: Yeah. It's all in the report. I'm mortified.
Watson: This is addressed to the deputy commissioner for Information Technology. That's the bureau in charge of the contract, right?
Moser: We were just sending that over when you got here. I know it's gonna kill the bid, but I was a cop. I'm doing the right thing. Why would I kill Cosmo to cover up that he stole a guitar, and then turn around and admit to an even worse scandal?
Watson: You're right. You wouldn't. But I have a bigger question. Why would he add those gunshots? Why would anyone?
Watson: Could you turn that off, please?
Holmes: Oh, good. You're up.
Watson: Oh. I take it those are the gunshots that Cosmo edited into BulletPoint's feed.
Holmes: Gunshot, actually. Singular. The recording that Cosmo used for his deceit, I noticed that it was, in fact, a single recording of a single gunshot fired from a .45 caliber pistol. He just copied it over and over again. Spread out amongst the actual gunshots that BulletPoint captured, the preponderance of a single caliber didn't raise any eyebrows.
Watson: Okay, does that help us understand why he created fake incidents or who killed him?
Holmes: No, not in the slightest. It's just a detail that I observed while I was up all night working and thinking about another matter.
Watson: What is it?
Holmes: Well, there's been a development in Shinwell's near-shooting.
Watson: Like what?
Holmes: Like I've identified a culprit.
Watson: That's great. Did you tell Guzman?
Holmes: No, not yet. Before I involve the police, or you, even, I want to be sure of a few things.
Watson: Whatever you need.
Holmes: Yeah. My audio-ballistics analysis aside, I did solve Cosmo Dellis' murder. It's all in there and up there. You'll have to meet Marcus and the Captain at the precinct without me, however. They're expecting the killer in an hour.
Gregson: Appreciate you coming to see us instead of the other way around, Councilman. I know it's a busy time for you.
Councilman Slessinger: Please. You're helping me out by keeping me in the loop.
Gregson: This is Detective Marcus Bell, our consultant, Joan Watson. They've been working the Azoff case from the start.
Slessinger: Is that it? The famous guitar I've been hearing so much about?
Watson: No, but it is a '57 Desperado, same model and year. But you already knew that wasn't the Lady Frances because you destroyed it when you used it to kill Cosmo Dellis.
Slessinger: Excuse me? Is this a joke? Captain, I get you're sore about me throwing haymakers at the department, but...
Gregson: What makes me sore, Councilman, is elected officials committing fraud, and then trying to cover it up with murder.
Bell: For months, Cosmo Dellis had been creating fake gunfire incidents, which BulletPoint would then report to the police. The incidents would be investigated, but ultimately they'd be classified unsolved.
Watson: At first, we could not figure out why someone would do this, but then my partner discovered a pattern. See, those dots are all fake gunshot reports that Cosmo created. They're also all inside the two crime-ravaged neighborhoods that you've specifically been campaigning to clean up.
Bell: We also confirmed that you knew Cosmo, you did since he was a little kid. His father's one of your biggest contributors. So, you placed Cosmo at BulletPoint to do your hacking and audio editing, so that when the NYPD's unreported gun violence stats come out, those two neighborhoods would look like the Wild West.
Watson: Suddenly, your law and order campaign seems much more urgent and then the votes roll in.
Slessinger: So, it's not just fraud and murder you're accusing me of. I'm also rigging the election?
Gregson: We think your initial interest in Darren Azoff's murder was purely political, but then it turned out he was killed over a stolen guitar, and you knew that Cosmo had caught the incident, and you knew he was a guitar nut. You put two and two together.
Bell: You also knew that there was a manhunt underway to find whoever had the guitar before a hit man did. You couldn't let Cosmo live to enter police custody because he could give you up as leverage in a deal. So, you went to his place. You got rid of him and the Lady Frances at the same time.
Slessinger: Well, I hope this little fiction of yours keeps you warm when I'm mayor and you're all out on your asses.
Gregson: Do you mind showing us your hands, Councilman?
Bell: Cosmo's wasn't the only blood we found at the scene. We figured, someone beats a guy to death with an electric guitar, they're gonna cut their hands.
Gregson: Councilman Slessinger, this is a warrant for your DNA.
Clark: I told you I got nothing to say to you.
Holmes: So shut up and listen. You'd probably lie, anyway. I've been lied to quite enough of late. So, after you and I talked, I asked Shinwell what he and your brother might have done to inspire someone to want to kill them both. And he told me this story about a man who was killed robbing a liquor store, about how that man's sibling then came gunning for the fellow robbers who he blamed.
Clark: I don't know anything about that.
Holmes: Well, I believe that you don't, but the problem is I know about it. Now, all of those details were borrowed from an incident which took place in 2012. It made the headlines because both the liquor store owner and the surviving robber were both charged with murder at the same time. Now, I believe that Shinwell knew about it because he and the robber, they were inmates together at Great Meadow. I, I spent the best part of last night trying to work out why Shinwell wouldn't want me to identify the person that tried to kill him. But then I remembered. You withheld information from me, as well.
Clark: So, what does that prove?
Holmes: Doesn't prove anything, but it did cause me to revisit Shinwell's description of the car driven by the person who shot at him. It was a Chevy, about ten years old, green. Your sister has a 2006 Chevy Aveo, aqua green. You have access to it. I checked. I was wrong, looking for one person who shot at both your brother and Shinwell. You shot at Shinwell 'cause 12 years ago, he murdered your brother. Tell me I'm wrong.