Friday, March 4, 2011

AUS Television: City Homicide, No Greater Honour, Part 2: Go Down Swinging

City Homicide
No Greater Honour, Part Two, Go Down Swinging
Original Air Date:  March 2, 2011

A man comes into Homicide about his missing wife and the case takes on a surprising twist when he identifies the Jane Doe in the morgue as the woman who was the lover of him and his wife from swingers parties they attended.  His wife is later found dead and the investigation leads the team into the swinger scene.  Were the women murdered because of their lifestyle choices or could there have been another motive and who had motive to kill them?  Meanwhile, Juliette Gardiner's continued digging into the Dane Majors case takes a deadly turn.

A distraught man, Drew Preston, comes into Homicide looking for his missing wife, Rebecca.  Stanley takes him aside to speak with him and is told that the man's wife disappeared three days ago.  He filed a missing persons report but he has a feeling something bad has happened.  Allie and Nick are at the morgue and the description the man gave matches a Jane Doe that was found the night before by the freeway.  Preston is brought into the room with Nick and Allie.  Allie takes him into the room with Ronnie and the body where he identifies the body not as his wife but as Sophie Mayne, a woman who was a lover to Preston and his wife.

Preston tells Allie and Nick Sophie and Rebecca were often mistaken for sisters because of their similar appearances.  The Preston's met Sophie in Canberra in the swinging scene.  When Drew had to move to Melbourne from Canberra because of his work, Sophie on Rebecca's idea moved with them but had her own place.  He had no idea she was missing as well.  He last saw Rebecca on Saturday night, four nights ago, when she and Sophie went to a party together.  He fears that if they were together, his wife is also dead.

In briefing, Allie and Nick bring the team up to speed on Sophie's murder.  Her car is missing.  Allie thinks it wise to put out a picture of Rebecca Preston as a person of interest in the murder since she was the last person known to be with Sophie.  Rhys suggests Sophie and Rebecca might have been swinging a little too hard so Drew Preston killed them both.  Matt orders Jennifer and Duncan to follow up on Sophie's last movements including the party, Rhys is to check on next of kin and people at her workplace, Allie and Nick go to Sophie's apartment while he checks the Sexual Offenders Squad in the event there are any predators in the local swingers scene.

As Nick is getting ready to leave, Juliette Gardiner arrives wanting to talk with him.  He introduces her to Rhys, Allie and Jennifer and trades workloads with Rhys so he can talk with Juliette.  She tells him the truth about the phone call she received while at his place the night before.  The papers she was given the night before suggest there was a problem with the evidence that convicted Dane Majors; that it was planted by the police.  She asks if there's anything in it and he answers her squarely "no".  She can't ignore the information and must at least try to find out if it's credible.  She says his word is good enough for her but not for her boss.  When she leaves, he calls Bruce Dalton, the investigator he worked with on the Majors case.

Rhys and Allie look through Sophie's apartment and Rhys comments there are no knickknacks or girly things about the place.  It's almost like a display home with no personality.  There are no keys and the kitchen shows no signs of use and there's no food present.  They find one photo of Sophie.  Even the teddy bear on the bed is brand new.  Allie finds casual clothes in the closet and Rhys finds credit card statements in the drawer of the bedside table.  There are five cards from Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne and every one is maxed out on clothes, nice car and furniture.

When Duncan and Jennifer pay a visit to one of the couples, Steve and Olivia Ackerman, who host the swingers parties they are, at first, mistaken for swingers.  Once they identify themselves as police, they ask if the couple recognize the Prestons and Sophie, which they do.  They last saw Drew on Sunday when he visited their home wanting to know if his wife was there.  Rebecca and Sophie were at the party the couple hosted on Saturday night but the wife claims she cannot remember what time they left as it was a busy night.

Bruce Dalton comes into Homicide to speak with Nick who asks his former colleague if there was anything in the evidence or procedures that they need to worry about.  Dalton knows of none and assures Nick they are absolutely good on it and tells him if the journalist gives him grief to send him along to him.  Jennifer comes in and informs Nick of a briefing in two minutes.  Dalton introduces himself to Jennifer and the two men part with a handshake.

At briefing, Jennifer feels the Ackerman's were deliberately obstructing by refusing to give any information about the people who go to the parties, especially the husband, Steve.  Nick confirms that Sophie was absent from work that week.  Rhys has been researching the swinging scene and learns there is a fee, or donation, at the door to get in which can sometimes be quite substantial and it would be worth looking into the Ackerman's finances.  Matt learned that Sophie's car was at the mechanic for two days.  She paid the bill and picked it up on Saturday.  They speculate the car is now with Rebecca Preston.  Matt wants Drew Preston brought in and made aware that with Sophie dead and Rebecca missing he's the prime suspect.

In interview, Drew Preston tells Allie and Nick he knows of no reason his wife would have had to kill Sophie.  He wasn't the only connection between them, the scene was a connection and they were both at the party, a party he didn't want to attend.  The parties here weren't like those in Canberra.  His wife accused him of being boring which made him jealous but he maintains he didn't kill either woman.  He loved Rebecca.  He didn't love Sophie but he liked her.  Nick isn't getting any solid vibes off Drew Preston.  Rhys suggests there is one way to find out what happened the night of the party.  Matt agrees and sends Allie and Rhys to infiltrate the swingers scene.

Allie and Rhys arrive at the party using the names "Colleen" and "Jack".  They bring the $60 door fee with them and turn it over to Olivia Ackerman.  Allie is clearly uncomfortable but Olivia assures her there are plenty of newbies there.  The two move through the party and separate to mingle.  Rhys questions Olivia Ackerman if anyone ever gets jealous, which she says they don't.  A man, Tom Smith, comes up to Allie to ask if she's going to join them but she declines saying she and her boyfriend are there to watch as it's all a bit new to them.  Steven Ackerman takes interest in Allie.  She drops Sophie's name saying she (Sophie) works with her brother.  Steven leaves when Tom brings Allie a drink.  Tom knows she doesn't want to be there and he assures her there's no need to be scared as the choices are all hers.

Nick meets Majors' slain wife's father, Graham Proctor, at a pub to let him know questions have arisen in the case.  Graham is certain the evidence was solid against Majors and suggests it might be worth it to speak with Al Sullivan to let him know someone is taking Juliette for a fool.  That night, Nick and Juliette have a discussion about the case.  He informs her he's watching out for everyone, especially Graham.  He advises her to go back to the source and make him tell her exactly where he's getting his information from for her own sake, to cover herself.

At the party, Allie is approached by a woman who says her husband has had his eye on her.  Allie declines the second invitation of the night.  Olivia gives Rhys information that Rebecca was fine but there were rumours flying around that Sophie had been lifting wallets.  The door takings from last Wednesday went missing, a few months worth of takings.  When things begin getting too hot between Rhys and the woman, Allie rushes in and tells him they are leaving.

At briefing the next morning, Rhys informs the team of the suspected thefts at the parties.  The theory arises that Rebecca might have killed Sophie and took off with the bag of missing door takings or that they both could have been killed by Drew for the money.  Jennifer asks what Rhys was able to learn about Drew and Rebecca and he tells them they had to leave early to maintain their cover because things were getting heavy.  Olivia thought Rebecca was bubbly and sweet and completely infatuated with Sophie.  She also told Rhys Drew and the two girls were having a few problems.  Sophie was becoming possessive of Rebecca.  The three of them had a huge fight the last time they all attended a party and were asked to leave.  Rhys gets a call and when he steps away to answer it Allie tells the team she wants no part of anymore undercover work.  Rhys' call was about a female body found with no identification.  Matt sends Rhys and Allie to the scene while Nick and Jennifer look into the Ackerman's financials.

At the scene, they find the body of Rebecca Preston.  She had been hidden under some carpets.  As Drew Preston identifies his wife in the morgue, Allie gets a message from Duncan that the Ackermans have come in for an interview.  Allie and Jennifer take Olivia and Matt and Rhys, Steven.  Allie informs Olivia Ackerman that they are there because of a murder investigation and that both Sophie and Rebecca are dead.  Both interviews focus on the missing money.  Both of the Ackerman's give the amount of missing money at about $70,000-73,000.  Steven Ackerman says the theft wasn't reported because he works for the tax department and the money is undeclared income.  He admits they suspected Sophie about the missing wallets.  Olivia says she caught Sophie in the undressing room a couple of times.  When asked why the three weren't banned from the parties, Olivia says Sophie was very popular.  Both of the Ackermans are presented with the fact they have motive for killing the women because of the missing money.  Steven tells Matt and Rhys the girls didn't leave alone.  They left with Tom "Smith", aka Tom Anstey.

Uniforms are checking out Tom's address but Rhys feels Drew Preston shouldn't be taken out of the suspect line-up.  Allie definitely sees Tom as a viable suspect as she found him to be odd.  Jennifer has information that crime scene is still working the alleyway where Rebecca Preston was found.  They aren't sure if she was killed there or just dumped there.  Pathology found a particle in scratches on Sophie's back, nail polish which matches the polish Rebecca Preston is still wearing.  Matt sends Jennifer to re-interview Drew Preston and Allie and Rhys are to find Tom.

Tom tells Allie and Rhys he was having a sauna.  He uses the last name "Smith" at the parties to be discrete.  He denies having a relationship with Sophie or Rebecca outside of the Ackerman's parties.  He admits he left the Saturday party with them.  He says he walked them to Sophie's car two blocks away from the house and doesn't know where they went after that.  He can't recall anyone seeing him.  When Allie asks if he got along with Drew Preston he tells her he didn't know him too well but he claims he knew the girls were "sick" of Drew and were planning on running away together.  Rebecca told him.  She said the spark was gone.  Tom says he thinks Drew killed them out of jealousy and rage.

At briefing, Rhys presents the new information they received from Tom and Jennifer adds that Drew Preston admitted things had deteriorated in the relationship with him and the two women.  Rebecca's time of death could have been anywhere from Sunday morning up to Tuesday.  Matt brings information that Sophie's car has been found burnt out and it is believed the fire happened four or five days ago.  Part of a luggage tag with Rebecca Preston's name on it was found with the car.  The seats in the car were slashed before the fire.

Bruce Dalton pays a visit to Nick, calling him out of the briefing.  Dalton is angry because Gardiner caught him outside the station with two constables and tried to make him look like a joke.  Nick defends Gardiner saying she believes she has a smoking gun.  Dalton knows this as Graham Proctor came to see him as well.  Nick sits down in front of Dalton and asks him point blank to be straight with him if there's anything to tell.  Dalton gives him his word and that both men know their gut told them Majors was guilty.  He feels it all has come about because someone wants Majors out of jail.  Nick asks who it could be but Dalton has no idea.  Dalton insists the evidence was straight up and he has nothing to hide and that Juliette Gardiner is trouble for Nick.

Juliette goes to see Dane Majors in jail again who insists he was set up.  She tells him her source agrees with him which interests him.  She wants to know more and asks what he's basing his belief the evidence was planted on.  He tells her the golf club.  He felt the case against him, which she notes was strong even without the club, was all circumstantial.  Majors again implicates Nick as being the only officer at his place to find the golf club.  He feels both Dalton and Nick cooked the evidence up against him together.  At the new trial with the new jury his lawyer wouldn't let him take the stand to bring that point up in court.  He tells her he's been saying something ever since but no one has been listening until now.

Nick asks Jennifer if she's ever been on a case where something doesn't seem quite right but the evidence is overwhelming and everything points to the suspect.  He tells her he and Bruce put someone away but he ignored that thought of something not quite right and now Juliette Gardiner is convinced she has something and the worry is back again.  He tells her that someone thinks the evidence was planted and is feeding that information to Gardiner.  Jennifer advises him to talk to Gardiner and find out what she knows.  He takes Jennifer's advice but Gardiner wants him to be straight with her first.  He agrees, but when she pulls out a recorder he turns it off.  She tells him he either knowingly planted the golf club or someone used him and names Bruce Dalton.  Nick states that he knows of nothing that was done illegally in the Majors case and asks who is feeding her information.  She doesn't know.  He insists he didn't plant evidence.  She gets out of the car then tells him she'll give him a heads up before they go to press so he can tell his side of things.  He doesn't want her to bother as he doesn't need to see her again.

Allie brings the information that the autopsy showed Rebecca Preston was beaten for a period of time before she was strangled.  Jennifer and Rhys agree it sounds like the Ackerman's could have come back to claim their money as Tom didn't need the money and Drew wouldn't have tortured his wife before killing her.  Allie and Rhys go back to see the Ackerman's and find Tom running from the house followed by Steve and Olivia.  Steve had apparently caught Tom and his wife together.  Rhys and Allie bring the confrontation under control.  Olivia claims to be in love with Tom and the two are going to run off to Italy.  Steve goes back inside to get Olivia's bags.  He throws her suitcase down on the drive and throws Tom's briefcase down as well.  When it lands, it opens and money spills out.  Rhys and Allie place both Tom and Olivia under arrest.

In interview, Olivia admits it was Tom's idea to get the money back from Sophie and Rebecca.  She insists Tom wouldn't torture the girls and that he's a good man even though she knows next to nothing about him.  She claims he told her on Sunday he'd spoken with the girls and Sophie gave the money back when she realized she'd done the wrong thing.  Rhys lets her know that at the time Drew Preston was at the Ackerman home wanting to know about his wife, she might have still been alive.  Had she spoken up she could have possibly saved her life.

When Rhys and Allie question Tom, Rhys lays down their theory of how the murders took place.  He made his move when the girls went back for one last swingers party.  He convinced them to go back to his place for a threesome and killed Sophie from behind by strangling her with his belt.  When Rebecca refused to tell where the money was he held onto her and tortured her into telling then killed her.  Tom tells them he thinks the killer didn't intend to kill Sophie, only frighten her to find out what she had done with the money.  It was a sexual rush when her neck snapped.  Rebecca's fear was a buzz when he tied her up to dump Sophie's body.  He needed to hurt her to make her tell him where the money was.  It made it more enjoyable.  He felt nothing despite all the parties until that night.  Tom, in his confidence, tells Allie that without any proof, they can't have the killer.  Allie, informs him she remembered his story about going to the gym every Sunday and she checked on if he did go that day or go to the barbecue he claimed to have gone to.  The gym has no member named Tom Anstey so she showed a picture which was identified as Tom Brown.  He stopped in for five minutes to use the change room then leave.  From her case, she removes the keys to Sophie's car that he left in his gym locker.  He admits Olivia would have been next.  The parties are full of the most perfect victims.

That night, Nick watches Juliette Gardiner as she leaves work and follows her.  She drives to a car park where she once again meets with her mystery source.  Both the source and Gardiner are shot.  Nick enters with gun drawn but it's too late.  Juliette dies.

I never thought I'd see anything make Allie Kingston uncomfortable.  Then again, she's never been undercover in the swingers scene before, either.  I actually found her reaction to the party rather amusing.  She wanted out of there fast and was no doubt quite relieved things started getting out of hand with Rhys and Olivia Ackerman.

Tom Anstey was just plain creepy, wasn't he?  I thought it was quite nice how Allie ended up getting the upper hand on him in the end.  It would have been wrong on so many levels if he would have gotten away with killing Sophie and Rebecca.  His bragging about going to the gym got him in trouble.  His attitude got him caught.

I have to say I never saw it coming that Juliette was going to be shot.  I thought she would meet with her source again and Nick would be there to overhear something.  I don't believe for a second Nick killed either Juliette or her source.  Right now, I'm placing my bets on Dalton.  If he planted the golf club for Nick to find, he's got a lot to lose.  He'd definitely be willing to kill for it, I think.  Like I said last week, Nick is a stand-up guy.  He's genuinely troubled by the allegations Juliette raised.  Now that she's been murdered, he's going to want the truth even more than he does now.

For more information:
City Homicide Official Site:
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