Warning: Contains Spoilers
Motive Case Report: #311
The Killer: Charlie Monahan, a social worker with a guilty conscience
The Victim: Ken Leung, deputy leader of the Golden Tiger Triad, who runs a mahjong gambling ring.
The Discovery: Leung was shot twice with his own gun in his house. At the scene, Det. Oscar Vega is called away to another murder. Det. Brian Lucas is already at a third.
The Investigation: Ken’s phone records show that he called his ex-wife Terri at 3 a.m. the night he was killed. She doesn’t have anything nice to say about her ex and says he was rambling about making a mistake. The moment Det, Angie Flynn leaves, Terri calls Charlie. He’s racing around town getting fake passports for two people.
Angie goes to see the second person on Ken’s phone records, a degenerate gambler named Jesse Simon. He’s in the hospital in traction after being worked over by Ken. He tells Angie about a new player at the game matching Charlie’s description. Jesse owed Ken $25,000 but hit a hot streak and came up with the cash to repay him. When he did, Ken flipped out and demanded to know where “the rest” was.
Angie and Sgt. Mark Cross go to notify Ken’s brother George of his death. Cross knows George from his days undercover. George plays them a message Ken left him, telling him he’ll will make something right.
Meanwhile, Vega visits Dr. Betty Rogers about his murder – the victim was a dentist named Ronald Hanlon. He was badly beaten and left to die slowly. Rogers finds traces of pepper spray on him.
Dr. Rogers realizes Ken has days-old marks from a similar weapon, and also has traces of pepper spray. To top it off, Det. Brian Lucas has a third murder victim, Andrew Gorman, who died from pepper spray down his throat. The detectives realize their cases are related.
Forensics finds DNA from Ken and Ronald on a baseball bat from Ronald’s house. Ronald was beaten before Ken was shot, but Ken was attacked days before. The detectives conclude that Andrew and Ronald must have robbed Ken and beaten him up, but then he got his revenge and killed them.
They find an imprint of a license plate in Ken’s bumper and trace it back to Ronald. They presume that’s how Ken found Ronald to torture him for information leading to Andrew.
Lucas finds a common number in Andrew and Ronald’s phone records belonging to Charlie Monahan.
At Charlie’s work, Angie learns Charlie has been on leave for six months, but she can’t get details.
After Terri gets a visit from George’s goons, she goes to Charlie for help. It’s clear he cares about her. But later Terri goes to see George, assuring him she’s loyal to the family. She offers to turn Charlie over to him, and sends George and his goons to Charlie’s house. Charlie is waiting with a gun, but he’s quickly disarmed. As Ken is working him over, Charlie lectures him on being good to kids.
Angie and Vega arrive and interrupt the beating.
Background: Andrew Gorman had an extensive juvenile record and Ronald Hanlon needed money for fertility treatments for his wife. Charlie Monahan was the social worker who handled Andrew Gorman’s juvenile case and assessed the Hanlons when they applied to be foster parents. The three of them hatched the plan for the score. Terri told them how and when Ken would transport the money.
Andrew rear-ends Ken’s car after a mahjong game. When Ken gets out to inspect the damage, Andrew sucker punches him then pepper sprays him. Ronald beats Ken with the baseball bat and Charlie steals Ken’s mahjong take for the night and his gun. Charlie knows something has gone wrong when neither of them shows up to collect their share. Charlie confronts Ken at his house and shoots him with his own gun.
The Motive: At the station, Charlie waits six hours before he says a word, making the detectives wait. Then he checks his watch and confesses to robbing and killing Ken Leung. He did it for redemption; he was the social worker assigned to take Terri’s daughter from her. But he realized Ken had set her up.
He sent Andrew’s share to his mother and Ronald’s share to his wife. After Charlie buys her enough time, Terri and her daughter use the passports Charlie got them to leave the country.
Threat Assessment Unit: Angie thinks someone is trying to intimidate her. She assumes Neville Montgomery is still angry she accused him of murder. She also doesn’t want to deal with it, but Cross urges her to talk to the unit.
At the end of the case, she comes home to find her house has been broken into. Vega comes and stays to keep her company.