|This page is a transcript for the Season Six episode The Worms Crawl in, the Worms Crawl Out.|
Sherlock Holmes: It's still not bloody hot enough.
Athena: Oh, no. I need to sneeze. Can I sneeze?
Holmes: Yes, if you must, but please no other movement for 40 minutes. Or until your paint runs. Whichever comes first. Please, resume your position.
Athena: So, you're sure this killer, this is how he got his jump on his victim?
Holmes: The victim was ambushed and strangled in the sweltering courtyard of a heavily secured Moroccan royal palace. A motion sensor was tripped an hour before, but the guards see nothing. They assumed it was a false alarm. But I believe that is when the killer entered, and something enabled him to hide in plain sight. And remember the paint smudges on the victim's neck.
Athena: They were the same color as the tiles in the courtyard.
Athena: So you think that the killer camouflaged himself with body paint.
Holmes: If we can identify which brand of paint he used, we might be able to determine where he procured it. If we do, we'll be one step closer to catching the killer. Sophia, your paint's streaking.
Sophia: Good. I have to pee.
Athena: So that rules Sophia's paint out, then. If it melts here, it would have totally melted in Morocco.
Sophia: That mean we're done?
Holmes (phone): Hello? Now? Yeah, okay. I'll be there shortly.
Dr. Amelia Furing: Sherlock, thanks for coming in.
Holmes: If you don't mind, Dr. Furing, I'd uh, just like to jump to the bad news.
Furing: Bad news?
Holmes: Yeah. Last month, during my follow-up exam, neither you nor Dr. Hanson seemed concerned about my post-concussion syndrome relapsing, so if that's changed...
Furing: No, no. Your tests were great. Better than great. Your recovery is going well. My temp didn't tell you why I needed to see you?
Furing: We were robbed. The office was closed for the last two weeks. Someone broke in while we were away. The thief stole our computers, exam equipment and a bunch of our medical files.
Holmes: Including mine.
Furing: Whoever did it has all of your personal information. We wanted you to know so you could take steps to protect yourself.
Holmes: I appreciate the verbal warning. So before I go, why don't I have a look around? I mean, I've seen my fair share of burglaries, so perhaps I can be of help with yours.
Tour Guide: I think you all know what entomology means, but this is the Department of Entomology and Nematology. Which means we also study worms. Roundworms, hookworms, flatworms and these guys, earthworms. This is our vermicomposter, where millions of earthworms turn organic waste into the world's best fertilizer. Worm poop. The tricky part is separating the worms from all that fertilizer. Which is why we have this bad boy, our worm harvester. Worms and castings go in one end. Clean worms fall out the other. I'll show you how it works, but I need a volunteer. Excellent. All you have to do is hold this bucket right here. Ready?
Sophomore Boy: Is that a hand?
Detective Bell: Best we can tell, this is Dr. William Velnik, Senior Professor of Invertebrate Zoology here at Millerton U. Also known in nematology circles as "the Worm Hunter." Apparently, he's one of the world's foremost experts on the little guys. Cause of death was a single stab wound to the throat. The puncture mark looks like it could be from a Flathead screwdriver, maybe from that work station over there. The university's been looking to expand this area. Good chance that saw served as the killer's carving station. After that, all the pieces went into the compost bin. They've been there for weeks.
Watson: So, are we sure about the I.D.?
Bell: Apparently, Velnik got this bone plug earring on one of his research trips. It's one of a kind, from some tribe in Botswana. There's a picture of him wearing it in here.
Bell: The Worm Hunter in his natural habitat.
Watson: This guy spent his life digging up worms?
Bell: Guess it's good for your abs. According to his coworkers, he was pretty popular with the ladies.
Watson: I wonder why. So, if he was so popular, then why didn't anyone report him missing?
Bell: Well, he was supposed to be off the grid in the Amazon, looking for new species of worms the last three weeks. Everyone here just thought he was knee-deep in rain forest.
Watson: Did you find his cell phone?
Bell: We think the killer took it. Also pulled the hard drive out of his computer.
Watson: Gotta think he knew the person, right? I mean, the cell phone and the hard drive would have pointed us in that person's direction.
Bell: Whoever they are, they're not just thorough. They're three weeks ahead of us.
Holmes: As you can see, Professor Velnik worked late into the night before his trip, and then left distinctly un-murdered. We found that a trifle odd. Odder still, he was wearing different clothing than was found at the scene. It's almost as if this footage came from an entirely different night.
Captain Gregson: That's why we asked you for footage going back a few months. We wanted to know, was this an anomaly or a pattern?
Watson: Turns out there were dozens of times when people's clothing from the lab footage did not match what they were wearing in other campus footage from the same day.
Zeke: You're kidding.
Watson: One time, someone even showed up inside and outside the lab simultaneously.
Holmes: So, either Velnik's lab has come unmoored from time and space, or someone doctored all that footage, swapping new for old several times a month, including the night of his murder.
Gregson: We think whoever did it could be our killer. So, as head of campus security, we were hoping that you could help us I.D. whoever tampered with the footage.
Holmes: Emphasis on "were hoping." 'Cause I've now got an idea who did it, you. You're stealing pesticides from Professor Velnik's lab, and then doctoring the footage to hide your crimes. So, why, why did you kill him? Did he catch you in the act?
Zeke: Whoa, hold on. Why would I want to steal pesticides, let alone kill someone over them? Holmes: Your yellow-stained fingers gave you away. You've been handling DNP. It's a pesticide employed by steroid abusers as a peerless, though often deadly, fat burner.
Zeke: Fine, I have been selling DNP, but I didn't steal it. Professor Velnik gave it to me.
Watson: Why would he do that?
Zeke: Looping the security footage. He's the one that wanted it doctored. He used his office for hooking up with students, faculty, research assistants, you name it. He knew, if the university found out, they'd fire him. So, whenever he needed some privacy, he'd text me, and I'd shut off the lab's cameras until dawn and fill in the gaps with footage from other days.
Holmes: Can you prove any of this?
Zeke: I've got texts from him going back almost a year. The last one is from the night you say he disappeared. Maybe the person he was meeting killed him.
Watson: Someone with that many lovers is bound to have a few jealous ones.
Gregson: I assume you didn't mess with any of the other cameras on campus. Good. We should check the footage again, see who Velnik was interacting with when he wasn't in his lab.
Watson: One of them could turn out to be our killer.
Watson: Looks like a nasty bunch. Think one of them killed Velnik?
Holmes: Not precisely. These are stand-ins for the women he was diddling, any one of whom could have murdered him.
Watson: And you had to make them into worms because?
Holmes: While you got our dinner, I went through the footage from the other cameras at the university. I identified at least one woman who almost certainly frequented Velnik's bed. A T.A. named Iris Hill. I noticed that she was wearing a pendant from the Andean Qu'e-chi tribe. Velnik was one of the few Westerners allowed to meet with them.
Watson: So it stands to reason he gave it to her.
Holmes: Then I remembered this. Velnik had a naming plaque at his office to commemorate the many new species that he had discovered, including this delightful specimen. Pulchralata collis iridescens. That's Latin for "beautiful Iris Hill."
Watson: He named an inchworm after her?
Holmes: It's not uncommon for scientists to name species after people they care for or admire. I named a honeybee after you. But I, of course, was honoring my work partner. The professor, I believe, was honoring his sex partners.
Watson: So you think these are all Latin versions of women's names. If you're right, all we have to do is translate them into English, and then cross-reference them against a list of his students and colleagues.
Holmes: The university sent over such a list a little while ago. Here.
Watson: Oh, speaking of sex partners, I ran into Athena and Sophia on their way out this morning. They said you were going to see Dr. Furing. Is everything okay?
Holmes: She wanted me to know that her office had been burglarized and that my patient file was among the items missing. In addition to securing my personal information, I've also decided to identify the culprit. I reached out to several pawnshops and fences, as well as a friend at a credit bureau who's agreed to flag any suspicious activity with my stolen data. In the meantime, shall we put some names to these beautiful faces?
Tara Keane: Will told me I was his Formosan termite. They mate for life.
Holmes: Tying Morpho aurora hortulana to your name, Sepi Chamanara, wasn't easy. Aurora means "dawn," but there wasn't a single Dawn in our list of William Velnik's known associates.
Watson: Sepi is short for "dawn" in Farsi, isn't that right, Professor?
Dr. Sepi Chamanara: And chamanara and hortulana both mean "gardener" in Farsi and in Latin respectively.
Holmes: Hence the "Brush-Footed Butterfly Sepi Chamanara." It's a good indication that you and Velnik were lovers.
Chamanara: Okay. Yes, Will and I had sex from time to time. But it wasn't anything serious.
Bell: When you say it wasn't serious, does that mean you knew he was hooking up with other women?
Chamanara: The way I see it, Will and I were just animals fulfilling a biological imperative. There was no reason to get emotional about it.
Holmes: Many animals have been known to kill their sexual rivals. Or mates.
Chamanara: Many. But not all. Will and I were more like bonobo chimps than, say, lions. When we were together we had fun. But when we weren't, we didn't think about it. In fact, I was with another lover the night you think Will died. I can get you her info.
Bell: All right, assuming that checks out, any idea who else might have done this?
Chamanara: I never kept track of who Will was sleeping with, but there is a woman out there, Becca Mainzer, I had her in a seminar last quarter. I didn't know that she and Will were hooking up at the time, but it definitely explains her behavior.
Watson: What behavior?
Chamanara: She'd snap at me in class. She'd complain about grades, deadlines. She even dinged my car once. At the time, I, I thought it was just an accident, but maybe underneath it all, Becca is a lioness.
Becca Mainzer: I'm married. Why would I care who Professor Velnik was sleeping with?
Watson: There is a reason we saved you for last, Becca. Three of his other lovers said they saw the two of you kissing on campus. He even named a velvet worm after you.
Becca Mainzer: Fine. Will and I were seeing each other. And yes, I get possessive. But I didn't kill him. I was at home with my husband that night.
Holmes: That seems unlikely, given that security feeds show your car entering the campus lot at 7:30 p.m. and leaving two hours later.
Bell: That puts you near the crime scene around the time Velnik was murdered. So tell us again, Were you home, or were you there?
Becca Mainzer: I was home.
Watson: Then who was driving your car?
Bell: Your wife spilled her guts, Donnie. The affair, you taking the car. As if that weren't enough, a crosswalk camera clocked you just a block from Millerton University's bio building around the time we think Velnik was killed. There's no good reason for you to be on campus at that hour.
Holmes: Apart from murdering your wife's lover, of course.
Donnie Mainzer: Don't call him that. He was a predator. He stole Becca from me. He deserved what he got.
Watson: So you admit to killing him?
Donnie Mainzer: Yeah. I do. I found their e-mails to each other. The crap he was telling her. Promises he was never gonna keep. The pictures. That night, I finally had it. I faked a story about having to fix my mom's water heater. My car was in the shop, so I took Becca's. Drove to the son of a bitch's lab and shot him in the chest.
Bell: You shot him?
Donnie Mainzer: Three times. Right here. I tossed the gun in the sewer, and I went home, and I went to bed. Best night's sleep I had in months.
Holmes: We'll be back in a minute.
Bell: I'm not crazy, right? The M.E. confirmed Velnik died from a severed carotid?
Watson: You're not crazy. There were no bullet wounds.
Bell: Velnik wasn't shot. He was stabbed. So why confess to a murder, and then lie about the method?
Holmes: I don't think he is lying. I think he did shoot Professor Velnik, but someone else killed him.
Watson: Hey. How'd it go with Hawes?
Holmes: Well, he wasn't happy to hear that he might have missed something, but he did agree to reexamine Velnik's body. Most notably the three hairline fractures on his ribs. Given Mainzer's confession, we both saw the fractures in a new light, and Eugene amended his findings to state that, prior to his death, Velnik was shot three times in the chest, but the bullets were probably stopped by some sort of body armor.
Watson: Was he wearing a vest? 'Cause CSU didn't find one at the scene.
Holmes: Nor did campus security footage capture one on his person.
Watson: That hoodie he's wearing is pretty thin. I mean, if he was wearing a vest, we would be able to see one underneath it.
Holmes: We would. So I submit that the garment itself stopped the bullets.
Watson: His hoodie?
Holmes: Mainzer confirmed that when he shot Velnik, all Velnik was wearing was, and I quote, "a fancy silvery sweatshirt."
Watson: Okay, but CSU didn't find that at the scene, either.
Holmes: If the hoodie is bulletproof, it was probably taken by whoever stabbed him. Why? Because, judging by that image, it would be the thinnest ballistic cloth in the world, an innovation worth potentially millions. The question then would be, where did the professor get it?
Watson: I think I might have an idea. The Captain sent over Velnik's financials. Looks like he was spending way more money than he made as a professor. When he was jetting around the world hunting worms, he stayed in high-end resorts, ate at the best restaurants.
Holmes: Did you look into how he was paying for it?
Watson: He was siphoning cash out of his research grants. I thought maybe one of the people who was funding him found out and then put a stop to it. But take a look at his biggest patron.
Holmes: Hoyt Armor Solutions.
Watson: They gave him $200,000 for an unspecified research project. Can't be a coincidence that he was wearing that hoodie while working for them, can it?
Holmes: No. And it would make sense, them being in business with a Worm Hunter. Natural fibers from worms, insect larvae and spiders are the cutting edge of ballistic textile research. They have the potential to be stronger and lighter than anything synthetic. You and Marcus should, uh, see what Hoyt Armor has to say.
Watson: Where are you going?
Holmes: This is from a friend of mine at the credit bureau. I have to go and see a man about a job.
P.A. Voice: Sherlock Holmes, report to the foreman's office.
Holmes: You're Sherlock Holmes?
Sherlock's Imposter: I am.
Holmes: What a coincidence. So am I.
Sherlock's Imposter: I don't want trouble. But you have to understand, I need this job.
Holmes: Yeah, you don't need to tell me your story, 'cause I've already deduced it. The rattle in your lungs indicates you spent some time working around coal. Given your accent, I'd say it was the Killroot Plant in Northern Ireland, which recently went through some massive layoffs. Post-Brexit, job prospects in the UK are grim. So you came here, but you decided to skip the rigmarole of getting a work visa or a Green Card. Am I right so far?
Sherlock's Imposter: Bang on.
Holmes: Unfortunately, you need an Alien Resident Number to obtain work in America, so you used mine. Don't worry. I have no interest in turning you over to ICE. I just want to know where you got my A-Number.
Sherlock's Imposter: I bought it on a Dark Web site. Here's the URL.
Holmes: Thank you. Look. The name "Sherlock Holmes," it comes with certain entanglements. I'd hate to see you assaulted, kidnapped or murdered 'cause of me. Get yourself a new identity as soon as possible.
John Hoyt: I'm sorry. You think I killed Will over some hoodie?
Watson: We know you paid him $200,000, probably for his help developing next-gen ballistic clothing from insect and worm fibers. We also know that you were not happy with his work.
Bell: According to Velnik's neighbors, few weeks before the murder, he got into a shouting match outside his place with a man matching your description. Something about "delays" and "broken promises."
Watson: We think that you found out that he made his own bulletproof garment. You thought that he was holding out on you. Maybe shopping it to other bidders.
Bell: Now the hoodie's missing, and Velnik is dead.
Hoyt: You said he was murdered three weeks ago, Friday night?
Bell: Or thereabouts.
Hoyt: That weekend, I was supposed to be at a trade show, The truth is, I was with a friend in Niagara Falls. A friend who is not my wife. We went over into Canada, hit a casino. Plenty of cameras over there, if you don't believe me.
Watson: Say we do believe you. You still could have hired someone to kill Velnik and take the hoodie.
Hoyt: I didn't even know about the hoodie, okay? Did I pay Will? Sure, but not to make anything. He's the Worm Hunter, and that's what I hired him for, a worm hunt.
Bell: What kind of worm hunt is worth 200 grand?
Hoyt: The kind that could save my company. You're right about bug fibers being the next big thing in protective clothing, but that's not the whole story. No one's been able to crack how to make them in commercial quantities. That's why I hired Will. To find bio-organic fibers we might be able to synthesize in bulk. And after I went boot-to-ass on him that night, he finally delivered. He got me some samples. My chemists are working on them right now.
Bell: If that's true, I'm assuming you had an agreement in writing? We'll want to see it and the research.
Hoyt: Be my guest. There's nothing about him making a prototype for us. Look, if he made one, it must have come from the sample fibers he collected. They're rare, but maybe he was able to pull together enough for one sweatshirt. You know, come to think of it, I may know why Will would have wanted to make himself bulletproof. Look, a month ago, he told me someone was e-mailing him anonymous death threats. I told him not to sweat it. Sounded like nonsense.
Watson: And now he's dead.
Hoyt: Obviously, I didn't take the threats seriously enough. But if I were you, I'd try to find the person who sent them.
Watson: You playing a video game?
Holmes: Worse than that. I'm watching a recording of a video game. Mason sent it. I'm solving a "crime" for him, in exchange for him solving two crimes for us.
Holmes: Plays this online game where he's part of a powerful starship alliance. As you can see, he and his friends engaged in, uh, all-out war with another armada days ago.
Watson: What was the crime?
Holmes: Just as the battle began, a cloaked torpedo was fired from behind Mason's flagship, blowing it up and triggering an utter rout of his side. He wants to know who fired the fatal shot.
Watson: You said, in exchange for solving this crime, he was gonna help us solve two crimes?
Holmes: Crime number one, the death threats issued to Velnik. When you texted me about them, I thought finding the source would be simple.
Watson: Dig into Velnik's e-mails. Back-trace the sender.
Holmes: Unfortunately, according to CCS, his university e-mail account was deleted right after his murder.
Watson: Oh, so you've got Mason restoring the information so you can find out who sent the threats. So, what's crime number two?
Holmes: Someone sold my A-Number on the Dark Net, and Mason is trying to uncover the name of the vendor. Lucky for him, I think I've solved his little mystery.
Watson: Who blew up his flagship?
Holmes: Oh, it's very complicated. I spotted a slight recoil in another ship in his fleet just seconds before the invisible torpedo struck.
Watson: Well, the recoil was from firing the torpedo. He was double-crossed. That's not so complicated.
Holmes: It was fired by his girlfriend.
Watson: Oh. Is that him?
Holmes: After a series of cry-face emojis, Mason reports that he has uncovered the source of Velnik's death threats.
Bell: Quinn we know you're the one who sent Velnik these death threats. Our expert traced them to your office computer at the private equity firm where you work.
Quinn: Okay. Fine. I sent Velnik the e-mails, but it is not what you think. I've sent death threats to dozens of people over the years.
Gregson: And that's supposed to make you look less guilty?
Quinn: These e-mails aren't just threats. They're a delivery system for a computer virus, technically a worm, that lets me download the data of anyone who opens one.
Bell: And you send them to anyone who might have information related to the buyouts and investments you're considering.
Gregson: Why disguise your worm as a death threat?
Quinn: People are pretty savvy these days when it comes to opening strange e-mails. But the one thing they'll never ignore is a threat.
Bell: Since you sent one to Velnik, I assume he had something to do with a company you're looking to buy?
Quinn: Velnik was consulting for Hoyt Armor. The tactical fiber industry is worth north of $100 billion. If Velnik had the inside track on a newer, better ballistic cloth, we wanted to buy Hoyt Armor before their valuation went supernova. Only it was a bust.
Gregson: You didn't get the information you needed.
Quinn: Oh, I got it. It just proved Hoyt Armor wasn't worth the effort. When I looked at Velnik's research logs, I saw that he and Hoyt weren't even close to commercial production of a new fiber. So we backed off of Hoyt Armor. End of story.
Bell: This data you stole, you wouldn't happen to still have it?
Bell: "Incorporated super-promoter in genome to ramp up levels of acetylcholinester" I can't make heads or tails of this stuff.
Watson: Velnik only cared about two things in life, sex and worms. I'm pretty sure this is all about worms.
Holmes: Specifically nematodes, also known as roundworms. As of late, they seemed to be the entire focus of his research. Cross-breeding of roundworms, pesticide resistance in roundworms. It's roundworms as far as the eye can see.
Watson: This looks like the fiber research that he did for Hoyt Armor.
Bell: Looks pretty thin.
Watson: Looks like there's only about a dozen or so fiber samples. I mean, I haven't done academic research since medical school, but if you ask me, Velnik really phoned it in.
Holmes: The woman who gave you these materials mined every last piece of data from Velnik's computer, and there's no indication that he gathered enough fibers to weave the bulletproof hoodie himself or that he researched design methods for ballistic cloth or body armor.
Watson: So you're thinking he wasn't the one who made it.
Bell: Well, if he didn't, who did?
Holmes: Someone who made off with it after he was dead.
Bell: So Velnik stole the hoodie from someone, then three weeks ago, that person stole it back? That what you're saying?
Holmes: He was taking the threats to his life seriously. The hoodie was meant to protect him.
Watson: Instead, it got him killed.
Gregson: You think Velnik was killed by the person he took the prototype from.
Bell: Or one of that person's competitors. They realized Velnik had the hoodie, so they went and got it. Sherlock's going through Velnik's research logs, hoping to I.D. the labs he might have visited when he was doing his research for Hoyt Armor. That's him. He says, "Meet me at Rodman's Neck. Bring Donnie Mainzer's gun."
Gregson: He wants you to bring the gun used to shoot Velnik to a firing range? Why?
Bell: I gotta say, this feels like cheating.
Holmes: Well, it would be if this had anything to do with marksmanship, but it doesn't. We're testing ballistic fiber. Donnie Mainzer fired at point-blank range. So must you. Even if it does give you an unfair advantage in your gentleman's duel with test dummies filled with fake blood.
Bell: Don't worry. I'm not throwing away my shot. Oh, that's the last of them. Three dead, two wounded. So, I never asked. Almost afraid to. But how did you get five samples of experimental ballistic cloth in less than a day?
Holmes: Well, while there are downsides to coming from a family with the wealth and influence of a small nation-state, when a Holmes walks into a lab and offers to invest millions in their next-gen, bio-organic fiber, they tend to deliver.
Bell: But how's it gonna look when you don't fund any of the labs?
Holmes: Who says I won't? This is life-saving technology. Or it's supposed to be. That one has severe internal bleeding.
Bell: Pretty sure this one would have made it. Hairline fractures, just like on Velnik. Well, guess it's time to pay Orb-Lite labs a visit.
Mason (voice mail): It's Mason. Hang up and text me.
Holmes: Mason, I've yet to receive the results of your second task, so imagine my annoyance when I logged on to your space game to see that you've started to rebuild your alliance with your treacherous girlfriend rather than finding my thief. Fulfill the terms of our deal, or I will join your game and I will lay your home world to ashes.
Bell: That's harsh.
Holmes: It's deserved, I assure you.
Dr. Vit Parnthong: Mr. Holmes, sorry to keep you waiting. I had to secure some of our free-range specimens before I could let you inside. Wait. Are you the police?
Bell: Detective Bell. We need to ask you some questions.
Parnthong: I gave you that ballistic cloth sample in good faith, and now you're accusing me of murder?
Holmes: Consider it additional vetting. I may well invest in your lab. But that would be contingent on whether or not you killed William Velnik.
Parnthong: This hoodie you think he stole, it's not possible. Because Orb-Lite didn't make it. We couldn't have.
Bell: You sent him a sample of ballistic cloth that behaved exactly like that hoodie. Same characteristics, same results.
Parnthong: Same spider. The hoodie you described must use the same base material we do. Silk from Darwin's bark spiders.
Holmes: That's how you make the cloth so thin. Darwin's bark spiders are from Madagascar. Their silk is ten times stronger than Kevlar. How did you get enough of them in one place to produce any sort of output?
Parnthong: That's what I'm trying to tell you. We didn't. So far, we haven't produced enough cloth to make a tank top, let alone a sweatshirt. Follow me. I'll show you.
Parnthong: Darwin's bark spider silk is ideal for tactical cloth. The problem is, they're cannibals. We've tried hormones, drugs, but nothing stops the killing. The only solution is an individual enclosure for each spider. But we'd need hundreds of thousands of spiders to make enough silk to go into production.
Bell: So you'd need the same number of enclosures and a facility the size of a football field.
Parnthong: The cost would be astronomical. Right now, we have 20 spiders. The sample we gave you was six months' worth of their production. Dr. Elke and I are trying to find a way to scale up, but so far, we've struck out. So, whoever made the hoodie you were talking about must have figured out how to mass-produce bark spider silk. It just wasn't us.
Bell: We'll need your research notes. And it'll help if you both provide an alibi for the time of the murder, but I think we're done here.
Holmes: Actually I, I see your enclosures are heavily fortified. Bark spiders, I know, are cannibals, but are they also escape artists?
Parnthong: Um, a few spiders got out last year, so we upgraded to more secure enclosures. Why?
Holmes: Perhaps someone helped them escape.
Parnthong: You think someone took them? Hmm. I mean, the spiders are valuable. But Dr. Elke and I are the only ones with access to this lab. No one else gets in unsupervised.
Holmes: Really? What about whoever was having sex in that chair?
Parnthong: I'm sorry. What?
Holmes: Well, the signs are quite clear to anyone with a keen eye and a sensitive nose. I mean, aside from the, uh, biological trace evidence, the scuff marks beneath the chair indicate a sort of rhythmic movement. I see no indication that you and Dr. Elke are partners, so perhaps one of you had help in making them.
Dr. Scott Elke: I, I've, uh, kind of been hooking up with someone on and off for the past year. I work long hours, so sometimes she, uh, visits.
Bell: Was she here the night your spiders got out?
Elke: She asked me to go get some wine. I was gone 15 minutes, tops. Afterwards I thought we bumped the enclosures, you know, during, and that's how the spiders escaped, but...
Bell: Now you think she stole them. She have a name?
Elke: Uh, Sepi. Sepi Chamanara. She's a professor at Millerton University.
Chamanara: Okay. Maybe I stole a few spiders. But come on, they're spiders. And we've been over this. I was with someone the night Will died.
Watson: Actually, I talked to her. After I explained what we think you did, she admitted that she didn't know exactly what time you showed up at her place the night of the murder.
Holmes: You recently bid on a lucrative contract to provide body armor to federal law enforcement.
Bell: The bid included photos of your prototype, which looks exactly like the one we saw Professor Velnik wearing. We figure Velnik found out about your prototype and stole it. For a while, you didn't know it was him. Then Donnie Mainzer entered the picture.
Watson: We know you were on campus that night. You heard shots. You ran to help him, but then you saw him wearing your missing hoodie. He'd violated your trust. You lost your temper. There was a screwdriver nearby.
Chamanara: You guys are really desperate to pin this on someone, aren't you? You are right about one thing, though. That is my hoodie. But Will didn't steal it. When he told me about the death threats he'd been getting, I was worried about him, so I gave him one.
Bell: You just handed over your prototype?
Chamanara: I have dozens of them. If you'd like, I can bring a boxful to the station.
Holmes: You've found a way to mass-produce Darwin's bark spider silk?
Chamanara: A way that no one else can duplicate. See for yourselves. It's a silkworm farm. I took the genes from a Darwin's bark spider and spliced them into silkworms. Now the worms spin their cocoons out of bulletproof spider silk. The process is proprietary, and it cannot be reverse-engineered. Which means that no one, not even if they got their hands on one of my prototypes, could steal it. So, if you're looking for motive to kill Will, I don't have one.
Holmes: Well, Sepi Chamanara is as talented a liar as she is a geneticist, but she's a liar nonetheless.
Bell: I don't trust her, either, but we still don't have any way to link her to Velnik's murder.
Holmes: You're wrong about that, and so is she. We have motive. In the photographs she showed us, did you notice the mulberry leaves that her silkworms were eating? They should be green and plump. Instead, they were jaundiced and brittle. That's why she killed Velnik.
Watson: Because of yellow mulberry leaves?
Holmes: Because he was a mass murderer. He'd figured out a way to kill tens of thousands of her silkworms, and she killed him to avenge them. Now we just have to prove it.
Gregson: You've been holding out on us, Mr. Hoyt. When my people spoke to you earlier, you failed to mention the little conspiracy you had cooking with William Velnik.
Watson: We spoke to Sepi Chamanara today. Does that name ring a bell? She told us that she's using transgenic silkworms to mass-produce spider silk. Apparently, it's going to revolutionize the body armor business.
Bell: When she showed us pictures of her silk farm, something caught our colleague's eye. Her silk farm is half empty. There were racks for twice as many worms as she had, and the worms that were in the pictures were feeding on wilted, yellow leaves.
Hoyt: I'm not following you. What does that have to do with me and Will?
Gregson: Those silkworms are potentially worth billions of dollars. Why feed them sick leaves unless she had no other choice?
Watson: Now, the funny thing about genetically engineered species, they often have highly specialized diets. Now, as far as we can tell, Sepi's silkworms could only eat the leaves of a very specific, very rare subspecies of mulberry.
Gregson: Probably why she planted an entire orchard of those trees at her silkworm farm. Only her special trees looked like they were dying.
Bell: That's where you come into the picture. Those dying trees. Our associate was able to tell from the look of those yellow leaves that Sepi's trees were being killed by something called root-knot roundworms.
Watson: Now, according to Velnik's research logs, he spent the better part of the past year breeding pesticide-resistant root-knot roundworms.
Bell: Sepi Chamanara is bidding for a huge body armor contract with the Feds. As it turns out, you're the current contract holder. You knew, if you lost it, your company would go under. So you had Velnik breed those worms for the express purpose of killing Sepi's trees. Her worms would starve, and Hoyt Armor would be saved.
Hoyt: It was Will's idea. He found out about Sepi's silkworms, said they were the next big thing. He told me he could sabotage them, for a price.
Gregson: An aggressive prosecutor could probably turn this into a RICO case. But lucky for you, we only want Sepi. You give us something we can use to nail her for Velnik's murder, and we're done here.
Hoyt: She saved her trees.
Watson: What does that mean?
Hoyt: I have a friend on the approval board for that body armor contract. After Will worked his magic, he told me Sepi's worms were starving and that her chance of landing that contract was nil. But a few weeks back, my friend e-mails me, tells me that Sepi's the frontrunner again. That somehow she saved her damn trees from Will's roundworms. This was five days after he was murdered. Call me crazy, but somehow that's gotta be connected, right?
Nick Agnes: What the hell, man? What are you doing in my place?
Holmes: It's not your place. Your name is Nick Agnes. You recently broke into a doctor's office, and you stole a bunch of patient files. You've been selling the information in those files online, hmm?
Agnes: God. It's you. The guy with the weird name. Sherlock, right? You're the one he wanted to know about.
Agnes: This guy. He, he called me a couple weeks ago. Said he knew all about me. Drug problem. Crimes I'd done. Things that would get me locked up unless I did exactly what he said.
Holmes: Which was?
Agnes: Rob the doctor's office. He said I could take whatever I wanted and sell it, but to make sure that I got your file. He said it was real important.
Holmes: What was his name?
Chamanara: This is outrageous. I came here because you said you had more questions about Will, and now you're, what, accusing me of stabbing him because he was killing my mulberry trees and starving my silkworms? My trees are fine. I can prove it.
Bell: So can we. We got these from your silkworm farm. You had your workers spraying your trees with them. One's a pesticide called Versacarb. The other is DBDP. It's funny. Normally, neither one is any good at killing roundworms.
Gregson: In spite of that, the day after Velnik died, you had your foreman spraying your orchard with both of them. And like magic, your trees started to recover.
Bell: Only it wasn't magic. It was Velnik's last ounce of scientific ethics. Before he turned his roundworms loose on your trees, he engineered a weakness into them. A failsafe in case they spread. He only wanted your trees dead, not every mulberry tree in the world. So he made his roundworms susceptible to a combination of Versacarb and DBDP.
Gregson: But he didn't tell anyone else how to kill them. Not even the man paying him, Jon Hoyt. So the only way you could have known was if you got your hands on his research.
Bell: We executed a search warrant on your home this morning. We found Professor Velnik's missing hard drive. There was even a little blood on it.
Chamanara: It was like you said yesterday. I was in my lab when I heard shots. I went to help. Somewhere along the way, I grabbed a screwdriver to protect myself. When I got to his office, I was so relieved. Will was alive. My hoodie had saved him. But just as I went to call 911, I saw what he'd been working on. Root-knot roundworms. The same kind that had been killing my trees. Rage is a biological impulse. Just like lust. It all comes from the same place. We have this drive. To survive and to destroy anything that gets in our way.
Watson: Hey. What are you doing down here?
Holmes: I found the person who stole my files from the neurologist.
Watson: That's great.
Holmes: Turns out he was blackmailed into his crimes. He's an addict who's made repeated stabs at recovery. Made the mistake of discussing some of his other crimes with a man he met at a meeting. A man who only seemed to want to help.
Holmes: He wanted a copy of my file, you see. He had his pawn text him pictures of it.
Watson: Did you get the number of the phone?
Holmes: It was a burner phone, deactivated two weeks ago. Completely untraceable. Michael only stopped killing in order to give me time to recover from my PCS. So we need to prepare ourselves, because now that he knows I'm better, he's going to be back.