Thursday, March 10, 2011

AUS Television: City Homicide, No Greater Honour, Part Three: "If It Bleeds, It Leads"

City Homicide
No Greater Honour
, Part Three, If It Bleeds, It Leads
Original Air Date:  March 9, 2011

The investigation into Juliette Gardiner's murder begins and Nick is quickly cleared as a suspect.  A new reporter takes her place at the Tribune on the Dean Major's story and it's clear things aren't going to stop with her death.  They only get worse.  Evidence points even more strongly to Nick's old mentor and friend, Bruce Dalton.  Could Dalton have planted the evidence against Dane Majors and, if he did, what will be the fallout of that information becoming known?

The homicide team arrives to the Juliette Gardiner scene.  Matt takes control ordering more officers to search every floor and the entrances be sealed off.  Nick tells Matt he's wasting his time as the shooter took off.  Matt wants them to work with uniforms as there isn't anything they can do until crime scene and pathology arrive.  Rhys leaves to speak with security as Nick is telling Matt the direction from which the shots came.  Jennifer asks Nick if he's alright.  He's been better then offers her his gun saying it hasn't been fired.  She puts the gun in an evidence bag as he offers information about Juliette meeting someone he believed to be a man (he didn't sight him) and there were shots (he says "a bunch"; four) as they started to talk.  The first shot took her down, a car door slammed, he ran down the ramp and he saw no one.  He tells them he wants his hands swabbed for residue.  He informs Matt that Juliette was working on a story that could have implicated him in corruption.

As Nick is telling Jennifer he should have seen this coming, Jarvis arrives and wants Nick to enlighten him.  Nick tells him he was following Juliette to find out who was feeding her information about the Dane Majors case.  Jarvis orders Jennifer to take Nick back to homicide and put him in an interview room.  No one is allowed to talk to him until Jarvis arrives.  Duncan gives Jarvis information that they have nothing to give them any real help other than Juliette's mobile phone which is locked and will require the techs getting into it.  He also says there were four shell casings found near the exit door proving the person she met with wasn't the shooter.  Jarvis asks if Nick's gun was clean.  Matt shakes his head and tells Jarvis Nick has already volunteered to have his hands swabbed.  Jarvis orders Duncan and Rhys to go to the newspaper office and take hold of Juliette's files, notebooks and computer while he and Matt conduct an interview.

Matt and Jarvis conduct a formal interview of Nick Buchanan.  Nick clearly states he hasn't fired his gun when Jarvis tells him they are awaiting the results of the residue test.  When asked by Jarvis why he was in the car park next to Gardiner's body, Nick tells them they were in a fling but he ended it because Juliette had an agenda.  She thought Majors has been set up by Nick and Dalton and refused to reveal her source.  He decided to conduct an unauthorized surveillance to find out who she was talking to.  He didn't find out who her source was.  Jarvis also adds "or if she was right" for which Nick has no reply.  Jarvis sits down in front of Nick and asks him point blank if the Majors investigation was tainted.  Nick shakes his head and admits he doesn't know.  Crime scene searched the house and the murder weapon wasn't found.  They were well into the trial when he was ordered to search again and he found the golf club in the crawl space of the roof.  He had no reason then to think the evidence wasn't kosher.  Now, he thinks Juliette was killed because she was getting too close to the truth.  Jennifer asks Bernice if Nick will be stood down and Bernice admits he will be suspended.

At the Tribune, Rhys and Duncan are not getting any help from Tim, a worker at the paper.  He gives them the run-around.  When Rhys threatens him with a warrant, Alan Sullivan enters the conversation telling them not to count on that.  He knows from the police radio that a female reporter has been shot and he wants to know if they are there for a shakedown or a death knock.  Sullivan has no idea who her meeting was with that night and wants Rhys and Duncan to confirm they are there because Juliette is the dead reporter he's heard about on the police radio.  He tells them to leave.  When Duncan promises they'll be back with the warrant he tells them "good luck with that".  Once Duncan and Rhys are gone, Sullivan orders Tim to get into Juliette's computer and find out what it was about the Dane Majors case that was worth killing for.  Sullivan is angry he's down a reporter and Tim wants to take her place, which Sullivan allows him to do.

Sullivan and Tim pay a visit to Bernice Waverly who refuses to give them any information.  Sullivan tells her the paper is a family and they are missing one of their family.  Bernice tells him as a courtesy to him, which leads him to send Tim from the office.  Once they are alone in the office, Bernice admits it is Juliette that was killed but she has only sketchy information.  She knows he's after a story and she won't give him one.  He informs her she's protecting one of her own, Nick Buchanan.  In the hall, Tim tells Rhys that Bernice and her position of power is kind of hot.  He goes on to say he and Jules were close and that Rhys probably doesn't know anything as he's a rookie.  Bernice asks Sullivan to leave but he warns her he will be noting in his editorial that she is closing ranks.  She comes back that she will issue an injunction to stop the paper from making any speculation about a murder investigation that has only just begun then orders Rhys to escort Sullivan and Tim from the building.  An angry Tim blurts out that the public has a right to know.  She coolly tells them the public does not have a right to know if what the paper is printing is speculation.  If she has something concrete to say, she will tell them.  In the lift, Sullivan tells Rhys he doesn't need to show them out as they know the way.  Rhys stops the lift at the 4th floor and gets out.  Tim is pleased with himself as he left his recorder on in his jacket pocket, which was left in Bernice's office the entire time, and the entire conversation was recorded.

In briefing, Matt asks what they have.  Rhys informs the team the CCTV footage is no good as the only useful bit shows Juliette driving in with Nick on her tail.  The shell casings are 9mm.  Nick's swab and gun turned up clean.  Matt takes Nick off the board as he's no longer a suspect.  Rhys asks why he's still on suspension and Matt skirts the issue to tell them there is a focus on a warrant for Juliette's computer and notes but he doesn't want them fixating on a news story.  He wants a professional and personal background check on Gardiner.  Rhys suggests that since the first of the four shots Nick heard took Juliette out the intended target might have been the source and the story should be their focus.  Duncan and Matt refer to the source as "Deep Throat".  Duncan feels Bruce Dalton has the strongest motive thus far for the murder.

Matt and Duncan pull Dalton into interview.  He is calm when they tell him Juliette Gardiner is dead and it's related to the Majors case and asks how she was killed.  Matt asks him to tell them about his day and he laughs.  He gives them a brief run-down of his day then tells them he's insulted they dragged him in and gets up to leave.  Matt asks him as a fellow member to please sit down.  With a smile, Dalton does.  Matt wants him to look at the case from their point of view with the information Gardiner had regarding the Majors murder weapon.  Dalton asks Matt and Duncan if they know for sure the reason Juliette was killed was because of her looking into the Majors case.  Matt asks him if he filled out his Day Book on the investigation he worked that day.  Dalton becomes angry and tells him he did, like he does every day and no one is going to get a look at it.  He told them what he did that day and what he did ten years ago so they are done.  He gets up and leaves the interview.

At his place, Nick wants to explain to Jennifer about he and Juliette but she tells him they don't need to talk about that.  She tells him although he feels guilty for Juliette's death, he shouldn't go rogue on the investigation and sit it out.  He promises he will as he's done enough stupid things.  He tells her he does have copies of all the Dane Majors trial transcripts, case notes and materials--all of which he got illegally.  He feels if Juliette's murder was about the story she thought she had the story is key and it had to be about the evidence that turned up during trial, which focuses on him and Dalton.  Jennifer points out he acted in good faith.  Nick tells her he can't believe Bruce would be bent as he was a Stanley Wolfe to him.  She agrees it's best he keep going after the truth, even if it is something he doesn't want to know.

Jarvis storms into Homicide with the latest edition of the Tribune which ran with the story about a reporter having been slain while investigating police corruption.  Jarvis knows from the word-for-word write-up that Sullivan and Tim were recording Bernice.  Jarvis sees this development as a declaration of war.  Matt wants the case put to bed ASAP in light of the newspaper story.  Rhys spoke to some of the assistants at the paper and learned Graham Proctor was there going nuts on Juliette for stirring up the Dane Majors case.  One of the assistants also said that on her way home, she saw Proctor a second time sitting in his car outside the newspaper office.

Proctor is brought in for interview where he admits he threatened to sue Juliette, not kill her.  He was waiting outside the paper wanting to talk to Alan Sullivan.  He waited around then went home, still angry.  He tells Rhys and Allie about Dane Majors being the biggest mistake his daughter ever made and the violence he exhibited towards his daughter, all of which came out at the trial.  When Allie questions if he owns a gun, he tells her no.  She asks where he was the day before from six o'clock on and he tells her he went home and got drunk, alone.

Duncan informs Matt there was no luck with Juliette's belongings.  They seized her computer but found no notebooks at her work or apartment.  They both agree Sullivan probably hid them if they were at the paper.  Matt notes it was her visits to Dane Majors that started everything so Duncan and Rhys go to the prison to interview him.  Majors knows Juliette is dead as Tim beat them to him.  Majors believes her death was related to his case because she was going to help him by exposing the crooked cops that framed him and someone stopped her.  He informs them that he told Tim to have a look at Bruce Dalton and Nick Buchanan.  Rhys asks if he knows who Juliette's source is and Dane tells them he has no idea and they'll have to play nice with her colleagues for that information.  He warns them they are making a mistake backing their mate.  Nick warned Juliette off the story and the next minute she's dead.

Rhys tells Allie he thinks it is worth the time to bring Tim in for an interview.  He asked around to her friends at the office and they all said Tim had the hots for her.  They went out for a drink, he made his move and she turned him down.  He has badmouthed her ever since by suggesting she got a let up at the paper by having sex with Alan Sullivan.  Rhys sees it that Juliette had the story, she's now dead and Tim now has the story.

They bring him in for interview and he tells them to be "very afraid" now that he's on the story.  When Rhys comments that he did well from Juliette's death, Tim replies that they will not stop the paper from exposing Nick Buchanan's behavior.  They ask him for any comment on murder rather than corruption and he tells them if they think trying to intimidate him will shut him down they can forget it.  Rhys notes Tim was jealous of Juliette and she rejected his advances.  He asks if the reason was because he was too short.  Tim tells them he was out for a little fun but she was at the age where girls start looking for "The One" implying he rejected her rather than she him.  Allie points out that lying to police is an offense and he tells them it was a mutual decision between he and Jules.  They sparred a lot and had a professional rivalry which can often generate chemistry between people.  When presented with statements from colleagues that Juliette didn't like him, Tim insists she respected his work and him.  He says nothing when Rhys asks if he murdered her then took her story.  Allie asks Tim to tell them about his day yesterday.

Rhys and Allie bring Matt up to speed on their interview with Tim.  He gave them entertainment but nothing as to what Juliette had.  When Matt suggests they are at a dead end, Rhys brings Deep Throat up again.  Techs pulled the contact list from Juliette's phone and they have call information from the memory.  There are several numbers on the phone without I.D.'s and one of them was an unanswered call right before the shooting which Allie suggests was probably the ready signal from her source.  However, the number was from a prepaid cellular so it couldn't be traced.  Rhys suggests calling the number and Allie agrees getting in touch with him will really narrow down the motive.  Matt notes the man won't talk to police and Rhys says he might talk to Juliette's replacement suggesting that he take that role.  Tim is a nobody at the paper and there's little to no chance Deep Throat knows him.  Allie and Rhys push Matt to give it a try and he reluctantly agrees.  Rhys dials the number on speaker and when it rings the man on the other end asks "who's this?".  Rhys identifies himself as Tim and says he worked with Juliette and the man knows what he's talking about.  He asks how come Tim has her phone and Rhys tells him the cops gave it to him with her belongings.  He tells the man he and Juliette were very close and she told him what she was working on.  The man declines a meeting saying it's too dangerous.  Rhys says they need to do it for Juliette.  When the man says he's just been shot at, Rhys comes back that she took the bullet for him.  After a moment, the man tells him to keep her phone with him then hangs up.

Bernice calls Jarvis to her office.  He starts off telling her he doesn't have an update but that isn't why she wanted to see him.  They have been summoned by the State Attorney General.  The two go to see the Attorney-General who starts off by wanting to know the status of the Juliette Gardiner investigation.  Bernice tells him they are early days but he wants her to be straight with him because of what information the Tribune is spinning.  They show her the article printed from her talk with Sullivan and he asks if Bernice knows about it.  Jarvis tells the AG what he reads in the paper is their take on the motive for the murder.  Bernice agrees it is speculation.  The AG asks if there's anything in the investigation to support it.  Jarvis admits there is but points out investigation is the key word.  There are no facts yet, only possibilities and just one line of inquiry.  Bernice cannot answer yet if there is police corruption or not.  The AG makes sure they know he was the prosecutor on the Dane Majors case.  He's worried not only about himself but about the integrity of the justice system.  He wants everything done swiftly and by the book.

In briefing, Rhys tells the team Deep Throat sent a message a few minutes ago.  He's agreeing to meet and they are just waiting on details.  Bernice asks who they are meeting.  When Matt tells him it is Juliette's source and Rhys is posing as Tim, she is surprised.  She isn't pleased that one of the detectives is impersonating a journalist even though Deep Throat himself believes he was the target and might know who the shooter was.  Matt stresses this is their only avenue of inquiry and they must use the paper to their advantage somehow.  Jennifer gets a call from Nick telling her he thought he found something and wanting to meet with her at the morgue.  She excuses herself saying there's a lead.  Bernice asks what the plan is.  Matt informs her once they establish the meeting place they will position people at the exit points.  Juliette's phone rings; it is Deep Throat.  Bernice gives her approval and Rhys answers the phone.  Deep Throat gives Rhys the time and location of the meeting then hangs up.

Jennifer and Nick meet in the morgue to look over the attendance logs for the entire year of the Majors murder.  A silverfish infestation problem caused the records to get muddled up so the logs for the week in question, the second week of July, are mixed with those from the entire year.  Dane Majors said the murder weapon was a setup.  The club Nick found wasn't his, so he said, despite the fact a club identical to it was missing from Dane's golf bag.  DNA and blood samples from Majors' wife's body were stored in the morgue's labs.  When Nick found the murder weapon he was careful to wear gloves, bag everything by the book and tagged properly.  He knew it wasn't tampered with.  There was a small bit of blood on the clubs head even though it looked like it had been vigorously cleaned.  If the club was a fix, someone had to access the blood samples and the morgue records should lead them to that someone.

Rhys arrives at the scheduled meeting place with Duncan, Allie and Matt watching and listening.  The phone rings and Rhys is given the orders to go to the next bench over.  He complies.  There is a bin in front of him and, in it, a plastic bag.  He tells Rhys he will be reading the next installment in the paper and will be in touch.  Deep Throat isn't going to show.  Matt calls Rhys to ask what was left.  Rhys pulls a blue bag that contains a yellow envelope from the bin.  At the office, they open the bag and then the envelope.  Inside the envelope is a police roster from 2001.  Both Bruce Dalton and Nick are listed on the roster.  The Name "Jack Enderby" is circled in blue.  Enderby would have worked the Majors case as well but according to the roster he was on leave when the case went to court.  Jennifer and Nick enter and Matt tells him he shouldn't be there.  Nick knows that but he hands Matt a paper he should see.  It is a copy of the morgue attendance log from July 2001, from the day before Nick found the murder weapon in the Majors case.  Jack Enderby signed into the morgue and Nick names him as a member of their team.  Nick and Jennifer believe Enderby accessed the blood samples at the lab, placed them on the club and planted the club.  Matt tells them it's a good theory but is contradicted by the roster.  Rhys learns that Enderby died in 2006 of a heart attack so they cannot talk to him to find out his story from July 2001.  There is also a copy of Enderby's retirement letter in the files Rhys pulls up on the computer.  The signature on the letter does not match the signature on the morgue attendance log.  Nick names Bruce Dalton as the likely suspect.  Matt orders Jennifer and Duncan to pick up Dalton and Nick to go home.

At home, while preparing something to eat, Nick listens to Graham Proctor telling a radio host that Dane Majors killed his daughter.  He turns off the radio and calls Matt to see how things are going.  Dalton wasn't at home and didn't show up for his shift that day.  While they are talking, there is a knock on Nick's door.  As he's going to the door, Nick asks if anyone knows where Dalton is.  No one does, but they're looking for him and he'll let Nick know when they find him.  They end their conversation and Nick opens the door to find Dalton standing there.  He asks Dalton in and he immediately asks Nick why his homicide buddies are knocking on his door and coming to his office asking questions about him.  Nick tells him he's been suspended so he can't be of help.  Dalton chuckles and says that's temporary but his buddies are after his skin permanently.  Nick tells him he knows someone signed into the morgue during the trial and he thinks whoever it was got some blood samples which were put on the club and it was planted for him to find.  Dalton tells Nick he can't be the scapegoat for Majors.  Nick asks why he'd be the scapegoat if he has nothing to hide.  Dalton wonders how many times Nick has seen a man walk on a technicality.  He says they all knew Majors killed his wife.  He was a lowlife hiding behind his celebrity.  Nick tells Dalton he's taking him in and he's already told his sergeant about the planted evidence.  He grabs Dalton and tells him he needs to know if he killed Juliette Gardiner.  Dalton doesn't answer and when Nick turns around, Dalton hits him, knocking him out then leaves Nick's house.

The next morning, Nick, Matt and Jarvis are in Bernice's office and she asks Nick if he deliberately let Dalton go.  Nick, sporting a busted lip, asks if it looks like he did.  Matt informs her Nick was unconscious for a short time and called Matt when he came to.  Cars were dispatched to the scene but Dalton was already gone.  Jarvis asks Nick if Dalton all but confessed to planting evidence in the Majors case which Nick confirms.  Bernice comments that isn't motive in the Juliette Gardiner killing.  Matt's phone rings and he leaves the office to take the call.  Bernice sits down and tells Nick she and Jarvis have been asked to keep the Attorney General abreast of any developments in the case, especially in relation to the Majors case.  She asks Nick if he colluded in the planting of the club.  Nick answers her quickly "no, ma'am, but if push comes to shove and Dalton wants to take me down with him, it'll be his word against mine".  Matt comes back into the office to let them know they found Dalton.

Matt and Duncan arrive to find Bruce Dalton sitting in his car.  Matt asks him if he wants to get out of the car to talk about things.  Dalton tells Matt he didn't mean to shoot the girl, he was aiming for "him".  He then raises his gun and shoots himself under the chin.

In the morgue, Jennifer brings in a bloody paper.  There was a note on the seat of the car where Dalton was sitting.  The note tells them to check the gun, it will be a match to the one that killed the reporter.  Her death was an accident, he was after her informer trying to stop the truth from coming out.  Dalton says he spent his life going after the truth and they were sure Majors killed his wife but "we" never should have planted the evidence and now it is time to pay the price.

Later, Nick questions Dalton's use of the word "we" in his note.  He feels he'll naturally be seen as a co-conspirator with the use of "we".  The papers are lining him up and he tells Jennifer he might well deserve it as he didn't even consider Dalton might have crossed the line.  He feels if he were half the cop he pretended to be, Majors would be free, Dalton would be in jail and Juliette Gardiner would be alive.

At the office, Matt asks Jennifer how Nick is doing and they both agree he will need a day or two to get over things.  Rhys receives a message from Deep Throat.  He texted to say he has more information on the planted evidence.  He said he just sent it to Tim at the newspaper.  Rhys goes to the Tribune and starts going through the papers on Tim's desk.  Tim walks up and asks if he can help him.  He tells Rhys if he's looking for a package, he can't have it.  Matt tells him that the package is related to their murder inquiry.  Alan Sullivan gets involved saying Tim has already read the contents and shown them to him so Matt and his squad will have a bit of explaining to do.

Alan pays Bernice another visit telling her he knows one of her detectives is impersonating Tim.  She tells him it was, and still is, a legitimate line of inquiry and they need the contents of the envelope.  He declines telling her what is in the envelope is personal correspondence, not evidence, and if she wants it, she needs a warrant.  For that, she will have to tell a judge how she knows what is in the envelope.  He tells her it would be easier to read tomorrow mornings edition.  As he's leaving, he off-handedly mentions to catch the television news that night because there will be a quite interesting press conference.

At the press conference, Michael Lombardi, the State Attorney-General tells the press he prosecuted the Majors case ten years ago.  He acted in good faith as did the men and women of the jury.  Given the revelation that Majors was convicted using false evidence, he has ordered a full inquiry in the matter and re-opened the Majors murder investigation.  He has also ordered the release of Dane Majors which should be effective first thing in the morning.  Sanctions against police are yet to be determined.  Lombardi believes more than one detective was involved, and they will be dealt with as there is no room for corruption in police ranks.  Nick is angry that everyone in homicide is going to be painted with the same brush.  He tells Jennifer, who is at his house, that everything he's done has been based on a lie.  She tells him he wasn't complicit and he maintains he was.  He says he knew deep down, somewhere.

Dalton's wife identifies him at the morgue as Nick looks on.  He stops by Bernice's office where she and Jarvis are sitting and drops an envelope containing his resignation on her desk.  They don't want to accept it but he tells them they must for everyone's sake because this is his mess and it's only going to get dirtier, then leaves.

This just gets more and more twisted as it goes on, doesn't it?  More complicated.  I love that.  We know now that the Dane Majors evidence was, in fact, planted and who did it.  We also know who killed Juliette Gardiner and why.  What we still don't know is who "Deep Throat" is, how he knows what he knows, where he's getting the paperwork from and how much more he knows.

Nick has resigned and things aren't looking good for him.  Alan Sullivan is pushing his authority of the press a bit hard, isn't he?  And that cocky little Tim is more than annoying.  It would really please me for Rhys to be able to put him in his place when everything here is all said and done.  I just don't like Tim at all (Alan Sullivan either, for that matter).

Three more shows to go and I can't wait to see just how much darker and worse things are going to get for our beloved homicide team and how they are going to claw their way up out of all this mess.

For more information:
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