Warning: Contains Spoilers
Case Report #308: Reversal of Fortune
The Victim: Janelle Mercier, a Tarot card reading physic
The Killer: Joe Hillis, an overprotective big brother and struggling entrepreneur
The Discovery: The victim is found partially mummified inside the walls of a warehouse when it’s being cleared for asbestos. Janelle has been missing for a year. Dr. Rogers says the victim had defensive wounds from being stabbed and was also strangled. She also had a fungal infection in her respiratory track from exposure to yeast.
The Investigation: Det. Oscar Vega is initially primary on the case, but later asks to step aside for health reasons. Voicemails lead the detectives to a stockbroker client of Janelle’s who leads them to a rival psychic. Among Janelle’s things they find that one of her Tarot cards – the Ten of Cups – is missing.
They trace a pair of Janelle’s glasses to a woman who died six months ago and bring in her son, Frankie Samuelson, who thinks Janelle fleeced his mom. He remembers Janelle had an assistant named Liz.
Liz thinks Janelle left town and has a good-bye note from her – on the Ten of Cups card. When Det. Angie Flynn breaks the news that Janelle is dead, Liz freaks out and calls her big brother, Joe.
In a later interview with Angie, Liz tells her she dreamt Janelle was going to die. The interview is cut short when Joe arrives – although she’s an adult, he has guardianship of Liz. She has schizoaffective disorder and tried to kill herself after their mother died six years ago.
A realtor connects Joe to the warehouse where Janelle’s body was found and handwriting analysis connects Joe to the note on the tarot card.
Background: Joe and Liz, his younger sister by 15 years, are about to open a brewery together. Joe is anxious after a previous business partner pulled out. Liz meets Janelle at the tea shop where she Liz works and they quickly bond over Tarot cards.
Janelle, who is a clean living zealot, convinces Liz she has a gift. Joe is angry after Liz invites Janelle to tour a prospective location for their brewery and Janelle nixes it by saying it has dark energy. (It’s the warehouse where Joe later seals her body into the walls, so she wasn’t far off.)
The Motive: Janelle told Liz her medication was numbing her psychic gift so Liz went off her medication and unraveled. One night at home, Joe found Liz covered in blood and holding a knife. Liz hallucinated and attacked Janelle, who is OK physically, but upset and scared and wants to call the police. Joe tries to calm her down and convince her not to, but she becomes hysterical. As Joe tries to quiet her and hide the truth of what Liz has done from his baby sister, he strangles Janelle.
Internal Investigations: Angie is summoned to a meeting with Sgt. Saunders from Internal Investigations. She thinks it’s because of Neville Montgomery. Saunders is curious how Angie homed in on Janet Wong as part of the Derrick Caster investigation. When he asks why Angie ran Wong’s plates, Angie claims it was an accident after mixing up case notes.
Meanwhile, Neville interrogates Maria Snow about her interactions with Angie.
In the office: Vega is having a bad reaction to his medication and is acting withdrawn. His doctor sends him for more tests. Finally, he tells Angie that he was diagnosed with Graves disease but it could be a misdiagnosis. Whatever it is, he asks Angie for space. She knows she needs to give it to him, but she doesn’t like it.