Warning: Contains Spoilers
Motive Case Report #309: Best Enemies
Victim: Nika Reed, a cutthroat photographer’s assistant
Killer: Stacy, a blogger and Nika’s best friend since ninth grade
The Discovery: Photographer Eric Sharpe wakes up in bed next to Nika, who has been stabbed to death. He has no idea what happened but has the wherewithal to shower and call his lawyer before calling 911.
The Investigation: The murder happens after a party at Eric’s loft, but he doesn’t remember most of it after taking a sleeping pill for its sexual side effects. Det. Angie Flynn arrests him.
Sharpe insists he’s innocent and cooperates, but a model named Tyler Carver tells Angie that Eric has once attacked her and she has the bruises to prove it.
Nika’s sister Danielle Reed comes to town after the murder and stays with Stacy. They’re irate when the police release Eric. DNA confirms Eric and Nika had sex and Eric’s prints are on the murder weapon, but in the wrong direction, indicating they were planted.
People close to Nika say that working for Eric had changed her and all she cared about was pleasing him to get ahead. She told Tyler to keep the assault to herself or Eric would ruin her career.
Danielle gets frustrated that Eric appears to be getting away with murder and confronts him on the street, shooting him in the crotch.
Angie looks into Stacy’s story that she took a cab from the party the night of the murder and finds a driver who remembers taking Stacy and her boyfriend, who couldn’t keep his hands off of her.
Backstory: Stacy covers the murder for her website and is fixated on bringing Eric to justice. Stacy seems particularly sensitive in the area of assaults against women. She writes a story about an anonymous woman who says Eric tried to kill her, but when her editor agrees to give Angie the interview tapes in exchange for a scoop on the arrest and Stacy refuses, he realizes Stacy made it up.
Nika is an aspiring photographer who sees Eric as her big break. She sees the way he treats women and has resisted his advances, but is ready to give in the night of his party. When Eric sees how drunk Stacy is, he hits on her and suggests a threesome.
The morning after the party, Eric is passed out cold and Stacy and Nika are flustered and disheveled. Stacy tries to talk to Nika about what happened the night before. Stacy takes emergency contraception.
The Motive: The night of the murder, Nika is annoyed with Stacy for getting too drunk and hates leaving Eric to put Stacy in a cab. When a man on the street asks to share Stacy’s cab, Nika lets him. He follows Stacy home and rapes her. When Stacy comes back to Eric’s in the morning and confronts Nika, telling her what happened, Nika blows her off. Stacy flies into a rage over the betrayal by her friend and grabs a nearby kitchen knife and plunges it into Nika’s back as she walks away.
Internal Investigation: When Sgt. Saunders wants to talk to Det. Brian Lucas and Oscar Vega, Angie warns Lucas that she had left Maria Snow out of her report because she worried about Deputy Chief Helford telling Neville Montgomery about her.
Saunders tries to get Vega to turn on Angie by intimidating him, but Vega is cool and unruffled.
Lucas refuses to play ball, accusing Saunders of doing Chamberlain’s dirty work. It seems like the case is closed, but a strange man is waiting for Angie after work.