The Scorpion and the Frog
Warning: Contains Spoilers
Motive Case Report: #405
Victim: Dawn Richards, 22-year-old roller derby player
Killer: Dr. Henry Price, a psychiatrist
The Discovery: Det. Angie Flynn arrives at the scene and tells Det. Paula Mazur that she didn’t do anything last night, sounding suspiciously like maybe she did. And if you’re scoring at home, you’ll recall she ended the last episode heading out for drinks with Sgt. Mark “Hot” Cross (Buns).
The victim was stabbed repeatedly in the throat, possibly with scissors. She’s found in her own bedroom and it looks like there might have been a break-in.
The Investigation: Angie talks to Dawn’s roommate, Stacy, who says Dawn had a date the night before but she doesn’t know anything about the guy. She says Dawn started acting paranoid the last few weeks and accused her of stealing her things.
Dr. Henry Price comes by the station and sits down with Oscar Vega, saying he’s worried a patient of his might kill someone. Peter Carver has a history of stalking and Price says there’s a new woman in Peter’s neighborhood that he seems to be fixated on. He even broke into her house.
Vega does a background check on Price and finds he works at a respected clinic. He and Det. Brian Lucas head to Carver’s house and find a stalker wall of pictures of Dawn and the bloody murder weapon in the sink. They also find Dawn’s things and a watch and a scarf belonging to other women.
Brian talks to Peter’s boss, who says he had to fire him after getting multiple complaints about him, for being, essentially, super-creepy and awfully smelly.
In her autopsy, Dr. Rogers finds a pearl necklace stuffed down Dawn’s throat. It looks familiar to Paula, who pulls up a three-year-old case of hers. A young blonde college student named Britta Morris was killed the same way and found with a necklace stuffed in her neck.
Britta’s roommate Miranda Hurst claimed that a deranged man broke into their apartment and made her watch him kill Britta. Forensics proved the break-in was staged, there was no deranged man, and she tied herself up. Paula helped put Miranda in jail. She still thinks she got the right person, but Angie isn’t so sure.
Forensics find that the pearls found in each woman were from the same strand.
Det. Brian Lucas and Officer Lou Tarchuk find Peter hiding at a hockey ring he used to clean.
Paula goes to visit Miranda, who is still angry and insisting on her innocence.
Dr. Price observes the interrogation of Peter, warning Angie that Peter will play dumb but isn’t clinically insane. As she talks to him, Dr. Price feeds Oscar unsolicited suggestions. Peter says he never meant to hurt “them.” He confesses to killing Dawn and Britta.
Forensics matches a hair found on a scarf in Peter’s house to Miranda, but Paula still insists that Miranda is guilty and must have been working with Peter. Oscar gives her latitude to try to find some link between them, despite Angie’s misgivings.
Brian talks to Renee Birmingham, the owner of the watch found at Peter’s. She was attacked by a man in a mask in her apartment entryway. She recognizes Peter as a janitor from her office. She says she would have known if it was him because of his stink.
Angie goes back to Peter to try to get her questions answered. He says he took a watch from Renee but didn’t hurt her. He doesn’t remember why he took Britta’s scarf. When he says the pearls he left behind remind him of his mother, it sounds like more of a question.
Paula comes to believe that Miranda might actually be innocent. But now Angie has doubts about Peter’s guilt. When they realize that the only reason Peter was on their radar is because of Dr. Price, Angie and Paula go back to Dr. Price’s practice and find that he has quit.
They find drugs missing from the clinic -- a sedative and anti-anxiety med -- which, when combined, would cause the patient to go into a trance-like state.
Angie and Paula start to home in on Dr. Price as a very twisted suspect. They find that Dr. Price attended group sessions at the prison where Miranda is locked up -- except she was just released pending a new trial after Peter confessed.
Background: Peter asked Dawn out after one of her roller derby games and she laughed him off. In sessions, Dr. Price not only encouraged Peter’s dark fantasies, he walked him through Britta’s killing, feeding him details and letting him hold the scissors and pearls. Peter seemed to be in a trance.
Dr. Price even told Peter to go off his meds.
One day, Dr. Price chatted up Dawn at a bus stop, giving her a fake name and asking her out.
The Motive: Miranda is settling in at a cabin when Dr. Price creeps up outside. When she sees him standing inside, she runs to hug him.
Miranda caught Dr. Price’s eye in prison and he snuck her a cell phone so they could FaceTime each other. He promised to get her out.
On the road up to Dr. Price’s cabin, Angie and Paula piece together how Miranda and Dr. Price could have gotten together. Dr. Price knew if a second murder was committed the same way, the police would think it was a serial killer and Miranda would go free. All he had to do was find a similar victim that Peter was already obsessed with. He tried with Renee but botched his first attempt, so he went after Dawn.
In the cabin, together at last, Dr. Price pours Miranda a glass of wine. She notes that they’re so much alike. Then she stabs him in the throat with the corkscrew and stuffs the pearls down his throat.
When Angie and Paula bust in with back-up, Miranda briefly tries to pretend Dr. Price attacked her. But Paula has heard that routine before -- she’s not buying it.