Monthly Archives: October 2014

Snitch – Season 4, Show 7, 2014

Few of Lt. Joe’s shows have a bright spot.  This one does, at least off screen.

The victim, Jimmie Stevenson, is a police informant, a snitch.  “There is no more dangerous occupation,” Lt. Joe points out, “than being a police informant.”  But did Jimmie die because he was a snitch?

Most quoted lines:  “He [referring to Barney Davis] is a one-man crime wave.  If he’s awake, he’s doing something criminal.”

“A homicide investigation is not a sprint.  It’s a marathon.  Your guy is doing something.  You’d better be doing something.”

Summary:  It’s a summer night, 1993.  People are gathered in the parking lot of a convenience store when two police officers approach.  The crowd starts to disperse.  A shot rings out.  The two officers find a man lying dead on the ground.  They know him.  He’s Jimmie Stevenson, a police informant.

When the call comes in, Lt. Joe is at his office.  It’s 10 PM on a Friday night, & he is just finishing up for the weekend.  Now, as he says, “We’re gong to work until we run out of things to do, whether it’s four hours or four days.”

Jimmie Stevenson was one of Lt. Joe’s most valuable informants.  Police appreciate help from people like Jimmie, whose information can be critical.  Jimmie had a minor criminal record.  He had trouble holding his life together.  And there were those with a motive to kill him.

As Lt. Joe explains, “Snitching, as it is referred to on the street, is something that is frowned upon to the point of death.”

Jimmie is dead by one bullet to the heart.  It was a perfect shot.  The killer is either an expert marksman–or lucky.  One 9mm casing lies near the body.  The bullet is lodged in a hole in a fence behind.

Just two hours before, Jimmie had talked with police in the same parking lot.  He had told them he had information about drugs.  Could this conversation have led to murder?

A young woman has been standing by the public telephone.  She waited for a call that never came.  But she did see a car speeding away.

This leads to an interesting character.  The license plate of the car reads KINGPIN.  That certainly sounds like a criminal moniker.

Instead, Lt. Joe finds that the “king” is Marlin King, age 17.  He’s a teenager with no criminal record.  He lives in the suburbs with his mother.  But he likes to act like a tough guy, & sometimes he hangs out in the city’s worst neighborhoods.  His mother lights into him.  This kind of behavior is very much against her maternal rules.  He tells Lt. Joe he departed that parking lot scene in order to get home in time for his curfew.  Lt. Joe decides Marlin King is just a “want-a-be, hang-around kind of guy.”  Maybe the “king” gets a kick out of disobeying his mother.

In interviews back at the scene, police talk to an apartment building manager, who saw two men moving guns into one of the apartments.  It’s the middle of the night by now, & Lt. Joe & other officers make what could be a dangerous entry into Apartment 4-B.  But they find shotguns not handguns.  There’s no evidence of murder here.  But a woman who lives there does admit she had a call from a friend who was at the scene of the shooting.

This is Ebony Jones, who lives in an apartment one floor up.

Police move up for another potentially difficult entry.  They find Ebony Jones, asleep.  She doesn’t want to talk, even after they show her a disturbing photo of Jimmie Stevenson lying in a pool of blood.  She claims she ran away before the shooting started.  She is obviously afraid to snitch.  Lt. Joe can’t force her to talk, so he decides to leave her alone, temporarily.  “Let her stew in it for a while.  Sometimes the mind is its own worst enemy.”

Ebony Jones was a down-and-out teenager then.  Nearly twenty years later, as she appears in interviews for this show, she is good looking & articulate, with a competent & confident air.  She probably looks healthier now than she would have back then.

Next, Lt. Joe goes to talk with Jimmie’s parents.  They are distraught, as is Jimmie’s sister, Stephanie Riley.

Stephanie says she has spent the night conducting her own investigation.  She says that as she drove around the neighborhood, another car almost ran her off the road.  Driver shouted, “I killed that mother-f—er.”  She says this is Barney Davis. Lt. Joe describes Barney as a one-man crime wave.  He had been harassing Jimmie for the last few months, ever since Jimmie witnessed a murder outside a nightclub.

Lt. Joe decides not to talk with Barney Davis.  There’s no point.  As he puts it, “Somewhere between the ‘Barney’ & the ‘Davis,’ he tells you to drop dead.”  But, of course, he tracks down Barney.  Alas, Barney has an alibi.  At the time of this murder, he was in police custody, under arrest.  His other crimes provide an alibi for this crime.

Stephanie confesses she was not telling the truth about Barney Davis.  She is emotionally distressed & pleads with Lt. Joe to find her brother’s killer.  He promises he will.

In a surprising twist, a woman calls.  She tells Lt. Joe that she is concerned about her 15-year-old daughter.  Her daughter, she says, witnessed just enough to know something about who the killers are.  She says a woman is responsible, Michelle Shalazar, along with twin sisters, Shawna & Sheena.  “That girl,” she says about Michelle, “is crazy.”  According to this woman, Jimmie owed money to the twins.  There was reportedly an argument at school that day.  (These people go to school?)  She says that Michelle has a gun, a 9 mm. handgun, just what Lt. Joe is looking for.

This information is hearsay.  It is not sufficient evidence to arrest Michelle or the twins.  Lt. Joe needs an eyewitness.  He needs to go back to Ebony Jones.  “She is fearful for a reason,” he says. “She watched them kill somebody.”  This time, he takes Ebony for interrogation at the police station.  “The purpose,” he says, “is to take them away from their comfort zone.”  Before they reach the interrogation room, there are no fewer than six locked doors “between her & sunshine.”  He has her under psychological control.  He threatens to arrest her as an accessory.  But he also promises that, if she talks, he will protect her.

Ebony talks.  Shawna & Sheena have been dealing drugs.  Jimmie owes them $40.  On that night, Ebony was in one car with Shawna.  Michelle & Sheena were in a second car.  They were cruising around, when by chance, they come across Jimmie in that fateful parking lot.  They demand money.  He doesn’t have the money.  Michelle rants, calls him names, threatens him.  He still doesn’t have money.  Michelle works herself into a murderous rage.  She pulls the trigger because she is angry, not because it will get her the money.

Ebony recalls seeing Jimmie fall in slow motion.  She runs away.  The murder, she says, was “senseless & stupid.”  About the non-existent money, she says, “You can’t get blood from a turnip.”

With Ebony’s testimony, Lt. Joe issues three warrants for first-degree murder.  All three turn themselves in.  All three are 17 years old, & are charged as adults.

With a plea bargain, Michelle is convicted of second-degree murder & sentenced to twenty years in prison.  Sheena is sentenced to eight years’ probation.  In a jury trial, Shawna is acquitted.

Ebony Jones describes herself back then as “young & dumb & crazy.”  Under a witness protection program, she relocates & starts a new life.  She goes to church.  She works in the community.  She says she does her best to be a good person.

Lt. Joe summarizes this taking of a human life over a small amount of money & at the hands of a teenager.  It “doesn’t make much sense.”

The murderers:  You won’t be surprised to hear that Lt. Joe describes these three women as “scum of the earth.”  He figures the IQ level at 85.  One twin may have been acquitted on this case, but soon enough, she was in prison on other convictions.  Lt. Joe doesn’t know for sure, but he believes all three are now either dead or locked up.  That’s certainly how they were tending.

The sentences:  In this case, the plea bargain makes sense.  This actually was second-degree murder, an unplanned killing.  Michelle didn’t plan to find Jimmie that night.  She found him by happenstance.

The motive:  Killing Jimmie was not going to pay his debt.  So the killing wasn’t really about money.  It was about rage, Lt. Joe says, & because this young woman had the ability to kill.

A sort of happy ending:  When all this happened, Ebony Jones was 17 years old & alone.  She had no father, & as Lt. Joe puts it, her mother was “in the wind.”  She was hanging around with bad people.  Given the difficult decision about whether to talk to police, she had no one to advise or guide her.

Imagine where this life was taking her.  She was on a path toward prison or an early grave.  On the witness protection program, she moved to Arizona.  She started a new life.  She appears to be on an entirely different life path.

Lt. Joe says he could have moved her to the next block, & the dimwits of her neighborhood would never have found her.

But note that on screen, all these years later, she is wearing dark glasses & a large hat.

Blood Innocence – Season 4, Show 6, 2014

Carl Taylor was a veteran, & not just any veteran.  He was a hero of the Korean war.  He had rescued fellow combatants from a burning plane.  He had back to retrieve bodies of the fallen.  A grateful nation had presented him with awards for his courage.

He continued in the Air Force for another ten years after that.

And then, as Lt. Joe bitterly says, when he was used up, they threw him away.   Lt. Joe refers to a long history of the neglect of American veterans, back to the Revolutionary War, when no one bothered over much about paying salary due, & any injuries soldiers suffered were their own problem.  It was true in 1776, Lt. Joe says, & it’s too close to true now.  (This was in private conversation.  The show does not dwell on such issues.)

Carl ends up deeply underemployed & semi-homeless.  With poverty all too often comes danger.  It takes money to buy a safe place to sleep in a secure environment.  Carl could not afford such luxuries.  And so as he attempted to sleep in the back of a unlocked truck, Carl was murdered.

Most quoted lines:  “A murder case is like a spinning top on a table.  Put pressure on it, & it goes off the table, & you never get it back.”

Summary:  This is one of Lt. Joe’s early cases, 1978.  The murder happens in the wee hours of  a hot August night, just outside the South Hancock apartments, a Colorado Springs locale with a reputation for street crime.  Carl Taylor & his boss Jim are movers from Oklahoma who have been working on a job.  They’ve parked the truck for the night.  Jim is sleeping in the cab.  Carl is sleeping in the back.

About 1 AM, Jim hears a commotion.  He jumps from the cab & runs to the back of the truck, where he finds Carl beat up & bleeding, on the point of death from severe head injuries.

When the news comes, Lt. Joe is going through paperwork at his office.  He’s been working what he calls the “cocktail shift,” 6 PM to 2 AM.  Now he’ll be working the rest of the night & who knows how long after that.

He finds a gruesome scene inside the truck.  The scene is bloody, not only pooled blood from the body but also castoff blood.  The castoff blood tells of violence, the cruel repeat of a blunt instrument.  It seems that the perpetrators had in mind to steal from the truck.  But the truck was nearly empty.  In their panic to run, they left behind what little loot they did pick up.  Lying nearby is a cardboard box they dropped.  The box contains a few Christmas ornaments.  Lt. Joe also finds $43 in blood-stained cash.

Carl’s brother talks about what a good man Carl was, his courage in the Air Force, his family of a wife & two daughters, his post-military work as a long-haul trucker, a delivery & moving man.

First Lt. Joe talks with the boss Jim.  Then he interviews Everett, a local boy who had been working with them the previous day.  Everett reveals that Jim was a loud & argumentative boss, complaining & even threatening Carl, as in “I’m going to punch your lights out.”

Lt. Joe goes back to talk with Jim again.  This time, Jim is defensive.  He says he didn’t really mean his threats.  That was just talk.  More important, Jim’s hands are clean.  His clothes show no sign of blood.  He says that, just hours before, he had paid Carl $43 in cash for the day’s labor.  That accounts for the blood-stained cash.

Jim is no longer a suspect.  But people in the nearby apartment building are certainly suspects.  Lt. Joe knows many of them by their arrest records.  A number of them are soldiers living off base.  (The base has rules, Lt. Joe remarks, & these guys are not the type to obey rules.)

In an attempt to narrow down the suspects, Lt. Joe interviews Lois, who manages the apartment building.  Lois knows everyone who might or might not get involved in a crime of this magnitude.  Lt. Joe begins interviewing right & left.  One person doesn’t know everything, but everybody knows something.  It’s a early version of crowd sourcing.

One interview is with Joe White, a soldier with a minor criminal history.  He’s distressed, confused, & frightened during the interview.  (Yes, that does sound suspicious.  But people do tend to get that way when Lt. Joe is the interrogator.)  This man says he was with his girl friend all night, but he can’t remember where she lives. Lt. Joe tries a polygraph test on him. Joe White passes.  He seems to have nothing to confess.

Now comes the part where I become squeamish:  Lt. Joe attends the autopsy.  He does this routinely, he says, because he can learn something.  What he learns from this autopsy is that the head injuries show a pattern of ridges.  The weapon was heavy.  It had mass.  It imprinted a pattern into the injuries it inflicted.

Lt. Joe himself is no longer squeamish.  But the autopsy does impress him with “the sadness of it all, the uselessness of it all.”  All this violence was for what?  Just a box half full of old Christmas decorations & $43 cash?

Lt. Joe doesn’t know what type of weapon could have inflicted these patterns.  But he comes up with a good idea.  He takes the autopsy photos to those who very well may know, the employees of a local tool manufacturer.  Autopsy photographs are not for the uninitiated.  One of the tool experts throws up in a trash can.

But the tool experts, those who can bear to look, think the patterns look familiar.  They decide it’s the leg of a surveyor’s transit.  That makes no sense to Lt. Joe.  “Who’s going to have that in his pocket in a bad neighborhood in the middle of the night?  I don’t think I’m looking for Mason and Dixon.”

The tool experts think again.  Perhaps this is a bumper jack from a General Motors vehicle, 1972.  Now that makes sense.  Now police have something to look for.

Police also arrest a man for burglary.  He claims to have information.  In exchange, he wants a deal for a lighter sentence.  This is a necessary evil of police work.  Criminals know criminals.  Lt. Joe suggests this man talk first, think about a deal later.  Here’s Lt. Joe the interrogator again: “I’m going to beat him up psychologically to see what he knows.”

What he hears is that four men were involved in the crime.  They are Sonny Evans, Phil Brown, Eric Kendall, & “some other dude.”  The three named suspects all have criminal records.  All live in the apartment complex.  Best of all, a “lightning bolt,” as Lt. Joe puts it, is that Sonny drives a 1972 Cadillac.  Want to bet there’s a bumper jack in that car?

Lt. Joe gets a search warrant & impounds the car.  Sure enough, there’s the jack.  “I’ve seen these ridges before,” says Lt. Joe glumly.  He takes the jack to the crime lab.  Although wiped clean, the jack still shows a tiny bit of human hair, just about 3/8 inch.  Hidden inside the hollow center of the jack is dried blood, plenty of evidence.

Police arrest Sonny & Phil.  Eric has fled to Philadelphia.  Police find him there & extradite him back to Colorado.  Lt. Joe likes interviewing Eric. “It feels very good when you reach that point,” Lt. Joe declares. “You’re talking to a player–not one who knows them, one who IS them.”

Eric confesses “in complete order & in detail.”  He names that missing fourth man, the “some other dude” that the informant had mentioned.  That’s Rickie Dillon, a bad guy with a big swagger.  According to Eric, the other three men knock on his door that night.  They invite him to join them in a fun little theft.  That truck looks like easy pickings.  They consult on a plan to steal what they imagine to be valuable contents.  Why does Rickie carry the jack?  He assumes he will need it to pry open a lock.

But the truck is not locked.  Rickie is surprised when the victim jumps up.  Rickie panics.  He attacks.  He keeps on attacking.

Jim hears the noise & jumps out of the cab.  The would-be thieves drop the box & the cash.  They run off.

As Eric signs his confession, Lt. Joe goes looking for Rickie Dillon.  People around the apartment complex don’t like Rickie.  (Wonder why?)  They’re willing to talk.  And Rickie is not good at hiding.  Police find him virtually the first place they look, at his girl friend’s house.  While she’s saying he’s not there, they find him in the basement, hiding behind the furnace.

Eric, Sonny, & Phil are convicted of first-degree burglary.  They each get sentences of five to seven years.

Ricky Dillon is convicted of first-degree murder.  He gets a life sentence.

This was, as Lt. Joe says at the end, brutality without purpose.  The victim presented himself to the killer just seconds before the attack.  The attack came without thought or explanation.  Carl died at the hands of a man who didn’t even know his name.

Real life versus the TV version:  On TV, Lt. Joe leads the SWAT team into a building to find Rickie.  He is in front, seemingly dressed in just a suit & tie, no protective gear.  In real life, he tells me that, of course, he had protective gear.  On TV, the crime lab appears not to find dried blood on the jack.  Only Lt. Joe can spot it.  In real life, he & the manager of the crime lab lifted up the jack at the same time & peered in from each end–& guess what they saw?

Making a deal with a criminal, part one:  In the course of interrogation for burglary, a man offers information about this case.  He’d like to exchange his information for a lesser charge or lighter sentence than he might otherwise deserve.  Lt. Joe promises nothing, & in the end snarls, “No deal.”  Actually, Lt. Joe did not have the authority to make a deal.  He could tell prosecutors that the man has been helpful.  And indeed, this prolific & well-informed burglar did offer up the names of three of the perpetrators.  That’s something for prosecutors to think over.

Making a deal with a criminal, part two:  In the show, Rickie’s girl friend claims she doesn’t know where he is.  Lt. Joe threatens her with arrest as an accessory if she doesn’t tell the truth.  She continues to lie, even as police find Rickie hiding in the basement.  What happened next:  Lt. Joe did indeed arrest her.  She was convicted & served ten years.

Finding a criminal who’s hiding:  Lt. Joe tells me it’s common for criminals to be really dumb at hiding.  (Just read the current headlines.)  “You need to not sit still,” he says.  “If you sit still, I’ll find you.”   (Why is he telling me this?  Some sort of sibling thing?)

Judgments & sentences:  Compare Rickie Dillon with the killer Ronald Ball in “Death Grip,” the 4th show of this fourth season.  Rickie Dillon got a public defender.  He also got a life sentence.  In contrast, Ron Ball’s parents paid half a million dollars for an expert defense team & a bevy of expert witnesses.  A jury found Ron Ball to be temporarily insane.  He served about ten years in a state psychiatric hospital.  That’s a prison facility, & he left with a criminal record.  But it’s nothing like a life sentence.

Does money make all the difference?

Temporary insanity:  If you’re thinking about sudden impulsive killing, such as one might expect from a verdict involving “temporary insanity,” consider this further contrast.  Ron sought out his victim with a loaded gun.  Doesn’t that look as if he was demonstrating an ability to plan ahead?  The ability to premeditate a decision is a factor in the legal definition of insanity, even if not necessarily in a medical diagnosis of mental illness.  On the other hand, Rickie seems not to have planned ahead for murder.  He arrived with a car jack intending to pry open a lock.  He seems to have had no idea a human being was inside the truck.  Seconds later he uses the jack to kill, hitting again & again in a frenzied attack.  Doesn’t that seem like insanity, temporary or not?

Poker Face – Season 4, Show 5, 2014

This is a house with a lot of visitors.  People come & go, buying & selling, dealing & drinking–all day, all night.  The proprietor is a colorful character, bragging about his wealth.  So when the proprietor is murdered, there is an extraordinary range of suspects.  Lt. Joe’s metaphor keeps expanding, from a “Yankee stadium full of suspects,” then yet more suspects filling the stands, & then, when he sees the extent of drugs involved, two Yankee stadiums.

But, after all, the murderer turns out to be the girl friend.  Isn’t the significant other always the number one suspect?  Though it’s not clear in the show, in real life, Lt. Joe did zero in on the girl friend sooner rather than later.  Real life doesn’t have the cliff hangers of TV plots.

Most quoted line:  “I see dead people in my dreams.  Not from the movies.  Real dead people.”  In case you missed the source of the original line, “I see dead people,” or its many variations & parodies, it’s from the 1999 movie, Sixth Sense.

Summary:  It’s 1990, with a game of cards going on in a working class neighborhood of Colorado Springs.  The five card players let themselves in, & they go about their game, even though the man who lives there, Jamie Foster, isn’t at the door to welcome them.  This is a house where people cheerfully come & go, at all hours.  To the card-playing visitors, the only sign of a host is a blanket-covered person on the couch.  They assume that’s someone sleeping, most likely Jamie’s girl friend, Leona, known as Oni.

Card playing for money is only one of assorted businesses Jamie conducts in this house.  Another man, Charles Miller, appears looking for Jamie.  He wants to make a deal for car parts.  Since none of the card players knows where Jamie is, Charles goes to wake up Oni.

When he gets no response, he pulls back the blanket.  There, lying dead all this time, is the murdered body of Jamie Foster.

When the news comes in, Lt. Joe is attending the autopsy of a suicide victim.  (It’s rarely just another day at the office for a homicide detective.)

Lt. Joe finds the body shot twice in the stomach & once in the head.  Relaxed positioning makes it look as if Jamie was shot while he was asleep.  There is no sign of a fight.  There is no cover up other than the blanket.  One clue is scrape & drag marking on the porch & driveway, as if someone had recently removed something heavy.

Lt. Joe finds other indications of the various businesses that Jamie ran from his house, such as a large supply of alcohol & cigarettes.  Jamie was the neighborhood entrepreneur & purveyor.  He ran a sort of pawn shop.  He ran a home-based late-night club where he sold alcohol after hours.  He bought & sold cars.

Nevertheless, Lt. Joe notes, “Everything about this is vague, & one thing I don’t like is vague.”  As he interviews, he hears one story repeating, that Jamie bragged about having money.  But that leaves him with “a field of suspects that could fill Yankee stadium.”

He interviews the five card players first.  He finds that, with so many people going in & out of the house at all hours, it’s not unusual to find Jamie absent or sleeping.  Lt. Joe releases four of the card players, but decides to interrogate one of them, John Baker.  John Baker has a key to the house.  He arrived first for the card game & was alone in the house for some period of time before the others arrived.  He says it’s normal not to have a schedule in that house.  He often finds Jamie or Oni asleep, especially since they tended to have worked all night at the after-hours club.

John Baker reveals that Jamie had been fearful & angry lately.  He had complained of weird hang-up phone calls.  He had started carrying a 38 revolver.

This is progress.  A medical examination shows that 38 caliber bullets were what killed Jamie.  Could he have been killed with his own gun?  (No cliff hanger here:  The answer is yes.)

Furthermore, John Baker notices that a safe is missing from the closet.  Marks on the carpet show where the safe dragged across.  Those marks fit in with the scrapes & drag marks on the porch & driveway.  The difficulty of moving such a heavy object provides one more clue:  There may well have been more than one perpetrator.

But everyone knew about the safe.  Rumors abounded that it was full of cash, diamonds, & who knows what other valuables.  As far as the number of suspects, we’re “back in Yankee stadium, & the stands are full.”

Police search for Jamie’s missing car.  When they find it, they approach cautiously.  But instead of a dangerous killer driving it, they find a woman, terrified, unarmed.  Nothing inside the car or trunk is at all suspicious.  The woman says Jamie gave her the car to drive because she was thinking of buying it.  This turns out to be just a prolonged test drive.

At this point, Lt. Joe says, “Everything is complicated & confused.”

Jamie’s girl friend Oni is still missing, & that’s suspicious.  Police find a man who may be her second or would-be boy friend.  He is Fidel, a driver for UPS.  He tells them something that changes the case.  Oni, he says, is a major drug addict, with a habit that could cost more than $500 a day.  Drug involvement means “another stadium full of suspects, including her.”

Why is Oni missing?  Did she–or others in the drug world–have their eyes on Jamie’s money?

Lt. Joe is optimistic about finding Oni.  As he says, “People like this don’t know how to run.”  Police search motels that cater to the down & out.  They search pawn shops.

They find a pawn broker, Bob Smith.  He says a regular at the shop is sudden flush with money, buying back things he had pawned just shortly before.  His name is Michael Parsons, & his address is on an old receipt.

When police arrive, Michael is “all about denial.”  He says he doesn’t know Jamie.  He doesn’t know Oni.  He can’t keep eye contact.  He’s lying.  Finally, under classic Lt. Joe questioning, Michael confesses he had gone to Jamie’s house to help Oni move the safe.  Oni had told Michael that Jamie is not there, & as Lt. Joe points out, “In a way, she’s right.”  The safe was heavy, hard to move, & difficult to pry open.  When they did get it open, they found all too little money.  “That had to be a disappointment,” Lt. Joe says.  After that, Michael says he took Oni to the bus station.  He says he hasn’t heard from her since.

Police charge Michael as an accessory to murder, along with first-degree burglary.

Oni calls & says she wants to surrender.  “We accept surrender,” deadpans Lt. Joe.

Oni has quite a story.  She says she took the bus to Kansas City to escape the four men who barged in, knocked her down, & killed Jamie.  The men dragged the safe as far as the driveway & then found it was too heavy to take further.  The story becomes more & more convoluted.  “If she’s not the worst liar on the planet,” says Lt. Joe, “she’s in the top five.”

Police lock up Oni.  Eventually, she confesses.  She had heard Jamie bragging about the contents of the safe, & she decided on stealing what she thought would be a large amount of money.  She found Jamie asleep on the couch.  She shot him with his own gun.  She is convicted of second-degree murder & sentenced to 24 years in prison.

As Lt. Joe says, she was just looking for another hit–& willing to murder to get it.

Nicknames:  Leona Geraldine Jones went by the nickname Oni.  Often, in the underworld of drugs & crime, people are known only by nicknames–for them, a welcome anonymity.

The Safe:  Although there was someone willing to kill to possess it (not to mention that Yankee stadium full of suspects who probably thought about stealing from it), this was really just a cheap safe, intended as fire protection, not burglary proof.  Witness that a couple of non expert bumblers were able to pry it open.

The Accomplice:  Michael Parsons served twelve years in prison for his role in this crime.  Why is there always someone willing to go along as accessory to crime, no matter how heinous or dangerous?  That’s a question with no answer.

A Business Mentality:  Lt. Joe tells me there’s “always a Jamie,” in certain neighborhoods.  This Jamie served a useful function in his neighborhood.  People admired him.  In addition to his other enterprises, Jamie also sold drugs.  He fenced stolen property.  He had served three years in jail.  Producers for the show don’t mention quite all the illegal enterprises, as they wish to maintain our sympathy for Jamie.  But who doesn’t feel sympathy for a murder victim, no matter who he was?  No one deserves murder.

The Perpetrator:  Oni was so seriously addicted to crack cocaine that she would not have been able to function as a drug dealer, except on the outer fringes of that underworld.  Her physical health had begun to decline, too.  Lt. Joe does not know what happened to her, but doubt she survived her time in prison.

The Title: Oh, we could go for less snarky titles.  Show some respect!