Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: How to Con a Con (2021) Movie Script

Misty? What's wrong?
This will sound weird,
but I can't get into
our home office.
The door is locked,
and Raymond won't answer
my knock.
I'm afraid something's wrong.
Okay, do you want me
to call the police,
or the fire department?
Actually, I was hoping
you could help me
break the door down.
Oh, uh...
of course.
[door crashes open]
Raymond! Raymond!
Oh, no!
[Nick] That was good.
Okay, let's move on
to the next one.
So good.
It's dark chocolate,
so you know I'll like it.
But you still have to try it.
Here, let's practice our form.
Turnabout is fair play,
you know?
Oh, don't worry,
I can take it
as good as I can dish it out.
I can't wait for the real day.
Only two months now...
although, we could just
cut to the chase and elope.
I hope you said that as a joke.
Yes, Mother,
of course I did.
She's not laughing.
No, not when
there are 120 guests
all excited
to help you celebrate.
you've sampled
all of the cake flavors.
What's the verdict?
My pick is
this dark-chocolate heaven
you just put in my mouth.
It's very good--
but I really like
the hazelnut almond.
Mother, you haven't tried
the chocolate.
See what you think.
You can break the tie.
No, no, I'd rather not
tip the scales.
Besides, I have a new listing
to set up and--
- [door entry bells jingle]
- Oh, here's your maid of honor.
Hi! Sorry I'm late!
You're just in time
to cast the deciding vote
on the wedding cake.
[Sally] Oh...
No. No, no.
That's way too much pressure.
[Aida laughs]
Just let me know
which one you chose.
Do you mind if I--
I don't want to vote,
but can I taste?
Because that chocolate
looks really good.
Oh, no, you have to vote.
We're at an impasse.
Or we could just ask them
to make one tier
dark chocolate
and one tier
hazelnut almond.
See how brilliant you are.
Totally genius.
We think the kitchen
is the house's best feature.
We had it remodeled
a few months ago.
It's wonderful.
You've made some excellent
design choices.
I would like to enjoy it
for another year or two.
But we will be looking out
on the ocean
through the kitchen window
on the island.
Retiring to Maui has been
a dream of ours for a long time.
Well, more Ben's dream
than mine.
My dream is to compete
in Seattle's triathlon
again next year.
[Ben] And you can train
on Maui.
And our daughter is here.
You remember Melissa?
She and her husband
are planning
to start a family soon--
And she will be
a non-stop flight away.
Although if Hal
ever earns enough
to support a family,
I will fly back myself
and throw him a parade.
Just ignore him, please.
Well, this is
a seller's market,
so we can expect
a quick sale
if we price it right.
I've pulled some comps
to show you.
- Oh, hi, Ms. Teagarden.
- Hi.
Mom, I found the box of pictures
you were looking for.
I knew you would.
Melissa is helping me
go through the junk in the attic
so I can start packing.
Well, these pictures
aren't junk.
There's a bunch of me
as a baby I've never seen.
Oh, do you want to sit down
and look at them together?
[Ben] No, no, no.
If you do that,
you're gonna get sidetracked
for the rest of the day.
Just transfer them
to one of those plastic bins
and keep sorting.
Dad, it won't take that long.
Come on.
I will join you
as soon as we finish up here.
Nothing like a daughter
to keep you humble.
Yes. Tell me about it.
This one...
I thought you were getting
this month's magazines
ready for display.
I know you have
a wedding to plan,
but you really must attend
to your duties.
The magazines are out, Lillian.
And I was just
printing out something
I was hoping you would read
in our ceremony.
You and Nick
want me to do a reading?
You want me to be
a part of the wedding?
We've worked side by side
for years.
It would mean a lot to me.
Shakespeare's Sonnet 116.
How apropos.
I would be honored to read it.
You raised
a fine daughter, Aida.
I must have misheard.
Did Lillian just pay you
a compliment?
It's the magic of weddings.
They bring people together.
[Aida chuckles]
That they do.
I forgot to give the bakery
the deposit for the cake...
...and I have
a check in here for them, but...
[cell phone buzzes]
My friend at the title company
just said he wants to see me
as soon as possible.
I wonder what that's about.
[Phillip] Now, Sante Kimes
and her son, Kenny,
didn't start with murder.
They began
their criminal career
as con artists.
They used other people's
personal information
to borrow money in their names.
So, basically, identity theft.
Only this was
before the Internet.
They had to use their charm
and elaborate storytelling
to get their marks
to hand over
their social security numbers.
From there, they'd use people
on their payroll,
notaries who'd sign off
on forged signatures,
things like that.
Wow. Pretty bold.
Oh, they had zero shame.
And if their marks
caught onto them...
...they killed them.
That was a pretty great
presentation, Phillip.
Yeah, I thought I knew
a lot about Sante Kimes,
but you knew things
that I did not know.
Yeah, I couldn't stop
reading about them.
Kenny Kimes was my age
when he was committing murder
for his mother.
[Nick] It's not that
I'm not interested.
The problem is the research.
The time it's gonna take.
Well, maybe I'll see
if Lynn can authorize
some overtime
for one of our officers
to do the legwork.
Hey, Arthur,
did I just hear you
talking about
the consulting job
you offered Nick?
Right, we're hoping
he can come up with
a criminal profile
for an embezzlement case--
But I told him,
with the wedding coming up,
I don't have the time
to pore through
all that research.
Well, you have
a great researcher
standing right here.
Really, you need help
with research?
Yeah, I'm all over it.
It's a lot of dry work--
Tedious stuff, really.
No problem.
I love that kind of stuff.
Like, I seriously think
I want to be a detective...
Well, I always wanted a protege.
All right.
We weren't expecting you
here today.
I know.
There's just...
an issue I need to discuss
with you and Ben...
[Ben] Lift that side.
[Bianca] Melissa and Hal
are taking Ben's desk.
There's no way
it'll fit in our Maui House.
Why aren't you lifting?
Because it'll topple over.
Just give me a second.
It didn't have to be
that hard, you know.
What's the problem?
It's loaded.
Let's go, Melissa.
You're welcome for the desk.
[Bianca] Don't mind them.
They would argue
whether the sky was blue.
Why, oh, why do we marry men
like our fathers?
Please come inside.
I'll pour you some coffee.
[Aida] Sure.
[Ben] Back up.
You're saying
there's an outstanding loan
on this house?
Our house.
The house that we paid off
five years ago.
That's what the title company
tells me.
There is a home-equity loan
in the amount of $500,000
against this property,
taken out
a little over two years ago.
Half a million dollars?
Isn't this a joke?
We haven't been
paying off a loan!
How is that even possible?
Well, someone's
been paying it off.
I mean, there hasn't even been
a late payment.
Okay, this makes no sense!
Somebody has made a mistake.
This is gross negligence.
I'm gonna make some calls.
[Aida] Ben, wait.
There's something else.
There's also an $18,000 lien
against the house,
taken out by a contractor
by the name of Tony Gulati.
We have to get this cleared
before we can proceed
with a sale.
that's not a surprise.
Ben hired Tony Gulati
to remodel the kitchen
when he started thinking
about selling the house.
He never paid
the final installment
because the work
wasn't finished on time.
[Arthur] All right.
And this is everything
the company gave us--
all their financials,
six years' worth.
So what we need you
to do, Phillip,
is take note of dates
the flagged bank withdrawals
were made.
Look for patterns.
Is the skimming methodical,
same amounts each time?
Or is it irregular, impulsive?
See what details pop out--
like this withdrawal here,
December 23rd.
Maybe someone wants
to go Christmas shopping?
There's a story
about our embezzler
in there somewhere.
Okay, guess I'll just dig in.
Welcome to the exciting world
of detecting.
Oh, hey, Nick,
I know your brother
is gonna be your best man,
but since he's out of town,
I thought I could get together
with your groomsman there
and help out--
throw a bachelor party?
The bowling alley
has this fun
bachelor party set-up--
Oh, yeah?
That sounds like
a pretty good time.
You know, I was gonna ask you
to be one of my groomsmen, too,
but Roe thought Lynn
might not be so keen
on the idea.
Oh, that's...
[Lynn clears her throat]
Roe didn't think
I would want my husband
to be in the wedding
of the woman he dated
before he married me?
Imagine that.
It's the thought that counts.
[Tony] Hello!
I could use some help here!
Excuse me.
[Officer Heard]
Sorry, Detective.
That's okay.
How can I help, Mr...?
Tony Gulati.
I'm here to file a complaint.
I just got a voicemail
from a former customer,
Ben Avery.
Threatening me.
I want him arrested
for intimidation or harassment,
whatever law that breaks.
Okay, so with your list,
and Nick's,
and yours, Aida...
that brings us up to
142 guests for the wedding.
That's... a lot.
Well, a lot of people
want to help you celebrate.
Yeah. Isn't that nice?
Mother, when will
the invitations be arriving?
Mother, what is it?
Is everything okay?
Oh... oh, yeah. Sorry.
You know my new clients,
the Averys?
Well, the title company
discovered a home-equity loan
on their house
that they have no idea existed.
I mean,
it's really quite a mystery.
A mystery?
I'd be glad to look into it
if it would help.
No, thank you,
I'm sure it will be
cleared up soon.
I asked the Averys
to meet me here--
Oh, and there's
Bianca Avery now.
We're just finishing up
a wedding-planning lunch.
You remember
my daughter, Aurora?
And this is her friend, Sally--
Sally Allison.
I read you in the paper
all the time.
And this is Amanda Gaines.
She owns this restaurant.
Well, co-owns.
Ben and Bianca are investors.
They have a piece of the pie.
[Bianca] And thank goodness,
because that piece of the pie
may be the only thing
feeding us soon!
Oh, I hope your loan snafu
isn't as bad as all that.
Oh, it's-- it's not.
I'm being dramatic.
I'm sure we'll figure it out.
Let me know if I can help.
Hope you ladies
enjoyed your lunch.
Oh, we loved it.
The chicken salad is so good.
Sorry, I just
have to get back to work.
[Aurora] Yeah, me too.
Mother, I hope you solve
your mystery.
Maybe we'll see you
at the library, Bianca?
At least one or twice more
before we head off to Maui.
Please, sit down.
How ironic the Averys
are dealing with a strange loan.
Fishy loans were at the bottom
of the Kimes' murder spree
Phillip talked about last night.
Well, I hope this story
has a happier ending.
Have you learned anything
from the bank?
And where's Ben?
He refused to come with me.
Aida, we are in the middle
of a terrible fight.
The loan seems to be legitimate.
It's being paid off monthly
by autopay
from an account number
that we don't recognize.
Well, you're going
to have to go to the police.
Exactly what I told Ben!
But he doesn't want to.
That got me thinking maybe...
he went behind my back
and did it himself.
Do you really think
that could be it?
I don't know,
but I had to ask,
and that did not go well.
He walked into his office,
slammed the door,
and he hasn't
talked to me since.
It just seems to be the way
that are going with us lately,
one blow up after another.
I'm sure it's all
going to be okay.
But going to the police
is an absolute necessity.
I know it and you know it.
Aida, maybe you could
come back to the house with me
and try to convince Ben?
Oh, of course.
[Bianca] Well, Ben may be able
to ignore me,
but I'm certain
he won't ignore you.
Hal, what are you do--
He's dead.
What did you do?
[Aurora] So Hal was standing
over Ben's body?
Do you think he killed
his father-in-law?
Oh, I hope not.
I mean, the police
are holding him for questioning,
but-- thank you.
But Hal swore that Ben was dead
when he got there...
Do you know if Hal and Ben
were at odds over anything?
Melissa did say
that they butted heads,
but I don't even know
what that means exactly.
What about the loan mystery?
Did you find out
anything more from Bianca?
Only that the loan
was being paid
from an account
that Bianca didn't recognize.
She have any guesses
who might have
taken out the loan?
Besides Ben?
So she thought
Ben applied for the loan
behind her back?
maybe later?
Mother, we'll let you rest.
You've had quite a shock.
[Aida] Okay.
[Nick] We'll check on you
in a little bit.
Okay. Thanks.
I can practically hear
your wheels turning.
Someone took out
a fraudulent loan
on the Averys' house.
My guess is that
when Ben Avery discovered it...
He was killed to cover it up.
My mother hasn't answered
my texts since we left.
I'm worried.
Why don't I head
back over there,
make sure she's all right?
Would you?
She seems to have
an easier time confiding in you
than she does me.
I don't know why.
It's because mothers
like to appear
strong for their daughters.
That makes me feel better.
See how good you are comforting?
While you're there,
maybe you could ask her
about Hal, see if he--
Roe, I'm going over there
to listen, not ask questions,
but if she wants
to talk about it, she can.
I'm very happy for her--
she's getting you
for a son-in-law.
Well, I'm happy for me
that I now have
two Teagarden women in my life.
- Text you when I'm with her.
- Okay.
[cell phone ringing]
Sally, hey.
Yeah, I know, it's terrible...
which is why we need to find out
what Arthur knows
about Hal Needham.
Were you able to narrow down
the time of death any further?
The coroner just gave me
the same time window.
So between 2:15 p.m.,
when neighbors saw Ben Avery
checking his mail,
and 2:50 p.m.,
when they found the body.
So Hal Needham
could have killed him
just before
Aida and Ben's wife walked in.
Too bad the neighbor didn't see
what time he got there.
Well, we're going to have to
keep him in custody for now.
In the meantime,
Bianca Avery finally turned over
her husband's cell phone.
Take a look at this.
So, what,
Ben Avery only made
two local calls that day?
Yes, one to his wife
in the morning,
and the other to Amanda Gaines
two hours before he died.
All right, well,
that's not so strange
if they owned
that restaurant together.
The texts are what interest me.
Whoa, look at that.
He and Hal Needham
had some testy exchanges.
[Lynn] Definitely not a lot
of love between those two.
Look at this.
Last text sent.
1:56 p.m.
Less than an hour
before he was killed.
To Tony Gulati.
The contractor
who was in here earlier
to complain
about Ben threatening him.
[Lynn] "I'd like you to stop by
so we can hash things out."
Okay, we need to get
Gulati in here ASAP.
Yes, we do.
This is Ben Avery's
daughter's place?
Hal and Melissa Needham's house.
Bianca can't receive
condolence calls
at her own home, of course.
Crime scene, right.
But, if Hal is a suspect,
kind of awkward...
Melissa insisted.
Said her husband was innocent,
and she wanted
to do this for her mom.
I don't see my mother's car.
I told her
she might want to stay home,
try to decompress today.
And my etiquette-loving mother
listened to you?
[Sally] Hey.
You're just in time
for the big showdown.
Between who?
It is crazy
you would even consider...
that Hal would kill my father.
It's like I'm living
in a nightmare.
I understand that
this is a rough time for you.
Which is why I need my husband!
I don't understand
why you're holding him
if you're not
going to charge him.
Which is why
I came to speak with you.
Until we have a chance
to gather all the facts--
Hal told you the facts.
He was trying to help my Dad.
This isn't helping.
You need to trust the police.
How? When they're ignoring
the one person
who probably did kill Dad?
Tony Gulati.
[Arthur] I assure you,
we are exploring
every possible suspect.
Then why isn't he in custody?
I heard him arguing
with my father.
He blamed him
for ruining his rating
with the business bureau.
He said it would cost him
clients and money...
I heard Tony Gulati
say the words,
"You're going to be sorry."
If that isn't a threat,
why don't you tell me what is?
Yes, Ben Avery
invited me over there,
but I'm not crazy enough
to take him up on it.
You're telling me
you just ignored his text?
Why wouldn't I?
It was a waste of effort
to talk to him.
So you didn't like him?
Doesn't mean I killed him.
Where were you between
2:15 and 2:50 p.m. yesterday?
2:15, I was on my way
to give a quote
to a potential customer.
Appointment was 2:30,
I usually try to show up
a little bit early.
Well, I would like
that customer's name.
No problem.
I'll tell you, though,
you're on the right track
with the daughter's husband.
And why would you say that,
Mr. Gulati?
When I was working on
the Averys' kitchen
a few months back,
this Hal guy...
would show up,
take food from the refrigerator,
shoot the breeze.
When Bianca and Ben
weren't home?
One time, I heard him
talking on the phone.
I heard him say--
I quote--
"The old man's getting too close
to the truth."
And, if he were to find out,
he'd probably drop dead
from a heart attack.
Hal was kinda laughing,
said it'd be just fine with him.
Hey, you're still here?
After that grilling
from Avery's daughter?
Oh, you heard that?
Excuse me.
There's someone else
I need to talk to.
Who does he need to...
[Arthur] Excuse me.
Amanda Gaines.
[whispers] I'm going
to find out what that's about.
[Arthur] Our understanding
is that you were the last person
that Ben Avery spoke to.
Yeah, well, he called me
at the restaurant yesterday.
It was still the lunch rush,
so... around 1:00 p.m.?
Right, and did he say
why he was calling?
Yeah, something about
a fraudulent loan
against his house.
He wanted to make sure
there was nothing borrowed
against the business.
And where were you yesterday
between 2:15 and 2:50 p.m.?
Hmm, well,
I was at the restaurant,
working on purchase orders.
Can anyone confirm that?
Any of my staff.
All right, well...
You're really good
at that whole
nonchalant eavesdropping thing.
It's a librarian skill.
They're quiet on their feet.
So I just heard Arthur say
Amanda was the last person
Ben called.
They owned
Raintree Restaurant together.
Wonder how that came about.
Well, Melissa told me
that she met Amanda
at a yoga class last year,
and then she introduced Amanda
to her parents...
Actually, they introduced
themselves to her.
After I told them
what amazing dinner parties
Amanda throws,
it was my Dad that talked Amanda
into opening a restaurant here.
He offered to invest,
even though
she didn't need his money.
Why is that?
Amanda's a trust-fund kid.
You should have seen
how much fun he had
working with her,
planning the menu.
We did taste tests
in my Mom and Dad's kitchen.
Dad said he wanted to open
a Raintree Restaurant
in Maui, too.
I don't think Bianca will be
moving to Maui anymore.
Aida told me she didn't want
to go in the first place.
She also told me Bianca wondered
if Ben originated that loan
behind her back.
That loan must be
the key to the murder.
Oh, I'd bet money on it.
I wonder if the police
know anything more about it.
[Nick] Well, now's
your chance to find out.
Officer Heard must have
something important
to tell Arthur.
Okay, your turn.
Go eavesdrop.
I don't have
silent librarian feet.
Well, okay, I'll do it.
To no one's surprise.
Forensics says there was
no sign of a break-in--
Which we knew already--
[Officer Heard]
Prints were everywhere
in that kitchen, though--
and quite a few of Hal's.
Well, no surprise there.
[Officer Heard]
Hal's prints showed up
all over the drawer,
where Bianca said
they kept extension cords.
And Gulati says
he overheard Hal
telling a friend
his father-in-law
couldn't die soon enough.
It's not looking good for Hal.
But Gulati isn't exactly
a reliable witness either.
I'm assuming his prints
were all over
that drawer as well?
Yeah, but you know whose prints
we didn't find on that drawer?
Prints that we would expect?
Bianca Avery's.
- Really?
- Yeah.
[Sally] So?
I've already heard enough.
Enough for what?
To call a Real Murders meeting.
So according to Lynn,
there were two sets
of fingerprints,
besides the victim's,
found on the drawer
in the Averys' kitchen,
where the extension cord
was kept...
Meaning the murder weapon?
And the prints belonged
to Hal Needham and Tony Gulati.
Both of whom
have legitimate reasons
for their prints
to be on that drawer.
[Sally] Yeah,
but, for all we know,
the killer
could have worn gloves
and not left
any prints behind at all.
[Aurora] True,
but what's strange is
Bianca Avery's prints
were not on that drawer.
A drawer in her kitchen.
Well, that could mean
she typically kept things
she didn't use in that drawer.
Or she put on gloves
to kill her husband.
Wait, Bianca Avery a suspect?
Would a woman her age
be able to strangle a man
who outweighs her?
Well, if she had the element
of surprise on her side, maybe.
I mean, she is a triathlete.
They're quite strong.
She also had Aida come with her
to find the body.
A smart killer
would not want to be the one
to call the police.
Bianca would have had
the easiest time
originating the loan.
What if she did,
and Ben figured it out?
Or Ben got the loan,
and Bianca figured it out.
Either way, a fight over it
could have turned deadly.
But aren't the Averys well off?
Why would either of them
need to borrow
half a million bucks?
Maybe one of them
had secret debts.
The police will pull
their financial records
and get an answer to that.
I'll be hanging
around the station
for the next few days
doing that research.
I can try and keep
my ears open?
Now, what about Hal Needham
and Tony Gulati?
Well, I'm supposed to interview
Melissa tomorrow for my story.
I can ask her
about her husband's
relationship with her father.
I'm thinking Gulati
is a good bet.
A contractor
could easily get ahold
of people's
personal information--
I don't know about easily.
Well, I mean,
if they're ordering
a bunch of expensive supplies
for a remodel,
they might ask to run
a credit check,
make sure you're able to pay up.
But if Gulati's
working in the house,
he could just snoop around
until he found what he wanted.
Says the world's
foremost snooper.
I also sound out
Ben's last phone call
was to Amanda Gaines.
What if she's the one
who procured the loan
and Ben figured it out?
But she was at the restaurant
at the time Ben was killed.
She could have had
an accomplice...
Amanda drives a Jaguar
and carries a $2000 purse.
And Melissa said
she lives off of
a big, fat trust fund.
I don't think she needs
the money from a fake loan.
I agree it's a long shot.
I like the Raintree Restaurant.
I can have
lunch there tomorrow,
get chatty with Amanda,
one trust-fund kid to another,
see what comes up.
What will you be
looking into tomorrow, Roe?
Nick and I have
some important wedding business
in the morning.
Now, what about
the format of the ceremony?
The Book of Common Prayer,
or something a little different?
I was thinking
traditional vows.
I thought we'd be
writing our own vows.
You did?
Well, 140 people are coming.
They're going
to expect to hear
"for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health..."
The wedding should be about us,
not about our guests.
But I don't want
to disappoint anyone.
Sometimes, I wish it was
just close friends and family.
Is that true?
We've been planning
a big wedding...
because I thought
that's what you wanted.
I do want to make
my mother happy.
But would you be happier
with a small wedding?
This is all so frustrating.
Why do you suppose
the police would think
that Hal would want to...
I mean...
I heard they found
some texts
on your father's phone--
Yeah, Hal and my Dad
bumped heads,
but that's only because
they were so alike.
In what way?
They both love to argue,
for one.
Yeah? About what?
Silly things, I bet.
My Dad likes to offer
unsolicited advice
to my cousin Lizzy's husband.
It drives him crazy.
My Dad meant well.
But he had no idea
what it was like to be laid off,
the way Hal was.
Hal's a computer programmer,
and his business went bust.
Oh, that's so hard.
He gave Hal no credit
when he started
his own consulting business.
Oh, he's a consultant?
What kind of consulting
does he do?
Yeah, he helps businesses
get their computer networks
up to date.
He was actually
doing really well.
He just bought a new truck.
I don't know what's going
to happen to the business now.
This whole thing
just feels like
the end of the world to me.
People don't get
how it can be a mixed blessing,
getting checks
from a trust fund.
It gives me freedom.
I don't have to work.
Sometimes, I do feel aimless.
You seem to have
solved that dilemma.
Yes, the restaurant
is my passion project.
That's what I need--
to choose a project.
it's not a matter of choice.
I didn't always have
a trust fund to fall back on.
It was only
when my father died,
five years ago,
that I started getting checks.
It was nice chatting with you.
Enjoy your lunch.
Alright, here's the latest.
Gulati's customer
says he wasn't early
for his appointment,
he was actually 15 minutes late,
meaning he didn't get there
till 2:45.
Enough time to commit murder.
[Arthur] Yes.
So did Gulati lie,
or is he just a busy guy
who lost track of time?
I finally heard back
from the bank
that issued the bogus loan
on the Avery house.
Payments weren't coming
from any account
owned by the Averys,
or their daughter,
or her husband.
Don't tell me it's Gulati.
Recognize that name
from anywhere?
Raymond Wagner?
So we haven't been planning
the wedding of your dreams?
It's hard to untangle
what my dreams are
from what
my mother's dreams are,
Sally's are...
what yours are.
How many people
would be at your dream wedding?
All I need is two.
You and me.
[text alert chimes]
I have a bunch of texts--
from Sally, Davis, and Phillip.
I'll tell them to meet us
at the library.
[Sally] Oh, good, you're here.
Okay, so Hal Needham
started a computer network
consulting business
that's done so well
he can afford
a brand-new truck--
but he doesn't even have
a website yet.
That doesn't make sense.
So is the consulting business
just a cover
for living off bogus loan money?
I'm wondering the same thing
about Amanda Gaines.
She told me her trust fund
started paying out
at her father's death.
But I looked
her father up online,
and he's alive and well
and living in a trailer park
in Mesa, Arizona.
She lied.
So she's not getting money
from a trust fund?
How does she pay
for those $2000 purses?
[Nick] Well, trust fund or not,
Amanda Gaines has an alibi.
Well, Tony Gulati
said he had an alibi--
turns out he doesn't.
Arthur thinks Gulati lied
about his alibi.
Well, exaggerated anyway.
So he wasn't with a customer
when Ben Avery was killed?
And I have more scoop.
Lynn says they got the info
on the account that was
paying off the Averys' loan.
It's in the name
of Raymond Wagner.
Anyone know who that is?
Roe? Where are you going?
To her computer.
I don't understand
what you're saying.
Money from an account
in the name of Raymond Wagner,
your husband,
is paying for a home-equity loan
in the name
of Ben and Bianca Avery.
That's impossible.
My husband is dead.
But his credit report
shows quite a bit
of recent activity.
Well, then someone
must have made a mistake.
Because my husband was killed.
Three years ago.
Did you notify
the credit bureau
of his passing?
I didn't know I had to.
Usually, the executor
of the estate does that.
That was me, but...
I guess I was just so upset.
The police here
have never figured out
who killed my husband.
Raymond Wagner was murdered?
- Click on that news report.
- Aurora.
What does library policy say
about allowing patrons
behind the desk?
- Shh, shh.
- [female reporter] Police say
this is likely the case
of a home invasion.
An unknown assailant
climbed up a trellis
at the back of the home
and gained access
into a home office.
Now, the owner of the home,
Raymond Wagner,
apparently scared the intruder,
and a struggle ensued.
Wagner was killed
by strangulation with a cord.
Strangled with a cord.
Like Ben Avery.
That could be a signature
that points to the same killer.
I'm sorry,
I'm just in shock right now.
Raymond was a really great guy.
If Raymond Wagner
was killed three years ago,
how could he have been paying
the Averys' mortgage?
Okay, these are
all the articles
about Raymond Wagner's murder.
Let's see if we can
piece together what happened.
[Lillian] This is not
your living room, Aurora.
If you want to meet
with your morbid little group,
take it home.
Or to the Veterans' Hall.
Anywhere but here.
We could try
that new restaurant
across the street.
[Arthur] What's next?
We've got Officer Heard
following up.
[Arthur] Hopefully,
he turns up something.
We'll just
go through the files again.
Just got the police report
on the Wagner homicide.
Thank you.
Raymond and Misty Wagner
were living in Seattle
when he was killed.
He was an insurance agent
and she was a schoolteacher.
So the night he was killed,
Raymond and Misty
had dinner in their dining room,
then Misty reports
she went out to run errands...
[Sally] Okay, Misty was
grocery shopping
when she got a text
from her husband
that made her hurry
to check out and drive home.
It said, quote,
"Weird stuff is going down.
Could be very bad for us."
[Lynn] Neighbor David Kotkin
noted that he heard
a crash sound
from the backyard next door
at 8:05 p.m...
Kotkin looked out back,
and the motion-detector light
from next door had turned on,
but the brick wall
prevented him
from seeing
into the Wagners' yard.
[Phillip] Misty Wagner says
she got home around 8:20,
and went looking
for her husband,
but found
the home-office door locked.
Her husband did not respond
to the repeated knocks,
he did not respond
to her phone calls.
She said she could hear
the phone ringing
on the other side of the door.
Okay, that just gave me chills.
Kotkin reports
that at 8:25 p.m.,
the victim's wife
knocked on his door,
concerned for her husband,
asked him to come help her
break down the door...
[Nick] With a neighbor's help,
Misty Wagner entered the office,
and found her husband's body
slumped at the desk,
the electric cord of the lamp
still wrapped around his neck.
Home-office window unlocked.
No other signs of a break-in.
Partial print on window
not belonging to the Wagners...
no match found.
A torn-open envelope
with a bank logo
was found on his desk.
[Aurora] Let me see that.
What do you want to bet
that envelope contained
a letter from the bank
that told him something
about a loan in his name?
[Arthur] Okay, so I checked,
and there was a second mortgage
on the Wagner house,
which Misty Wagner
claimed to know nothing about.
Taken out four months
before Wagner was killed.
Paid automatically
every month from an account
in a name that led nowhere.
So a fake name.
And another fake loan.
Okay, so we know
how the murders are similar.
[Nick] The method--
with a similar ligature--
which really points
to one killer.
But how are they different?
Well, there was no break-in
at the Avery house.
Still, it was someone
familiar enough with the house
to know there was
an extension cord
kept in
that one particular drawer.
If we could just figure out
if any of the suspects
in Ben Avery's murder
had a connection
to Raymond Wagner,
we'd know who originated
the fake loans.
And we'd have our killer.
[Bianca] Raymond Wagner?
I've never heard
of any such person.
Yeah, I don't understand.
You're saying a dead man
was paying for a loan
on my mom and dad's house?
Well, if someone stole
your parents' identity
in order to secure the loan,
it seems likely
that he or she
stole Raymond Wagner's
identity as well.
These days, to get a loan,
you no longer need
to meet with a loan officer
face to face.
All the paperwork
through the process
can now be signed
Well, except for
the final copies
of the loan documents.
They need a notarized signature.
I mean, ours did.
Yours did, too, right, Mom?
[Aurora] When I've closed
escrow on a house,
my signature
on the final loan documents
had to be notarized.
That's a good point.
How could any of our suspects
have pulled that off?
Well, remember how
Sante and Kenny Kimes did it?
They had a crooked notary
on their payroll.
So we should get a copy
of the Averys' loan documents
to see which notary
signed off on it.
Is that possible?
Well, Aida is
the Averys' real estate agent.
She should be able to get a copy
of any document
attached to the house.
She just needs to get
Bianca Avery to request it.
I'm gonna call her right now.
Okay, so the loan documents
on my parents' house?
Have you seen them?
No, we've got
a subpoena out to the bank,
but we're still waiting
for them to comply.
Unless you've asked the bank
for them already, Mrs. Avery?
No. That never occurred to me.
You know, we still need
to have a conversation
about what kind of wedding
we really want.
well, let's talk about it
over dinner.
I have some steaks
in the fridge.
I could make a salad,
you could fire up the grill.
Best idea I've heard all day.
[phone ringing]
Hello, Mother.
What's up?
Bianca Avery
still hasn't returned my call,
but I called my friend
at the title company
and asked him to check
on the files for the house,
and it just so happens
that he had a copy,
and he messengered them to me.
How nice you have friends
in just the right places.
Well, I've been doing this
a long time, darling.
And I will drop off
the documents tomorrow,
but I--
I trust that you will share them
with the police.
Yes, Mother.
I appreciate it.
And Nick appreciates it.
And I'm sure Lynn and Arthur
will appreciate it.
Good night, darling.
Good night.
Mother, can I get you anything?
[Phillip] I can't believe
this happened.
I'm just so angry,
I can't even...
[weakly] Oh, Phillip.
No, it's all right.
I'm going to be okay.
Do you know,
I would like some water.
- Okay.
- Thank you.
How long does it take
to read a CT scan?
Lynn said her officers
haven't been able
to locate anyone
who witnessed the attack.
But she's hoping to find
security footage
from one of the other houses
on the street.
She's sending an officer
down to speak with you
when you're feeling up for it...
...see if you can remember
anything about your attacker.
I don't, really.
It happened so fast...
I do remember
watching a hand pick up
the envelope I was carrying...
With the loan documents?
[Aida] Yeah.
Mother, I am so sorry
that I asked you to do something
that put you in danger.
No. Getting loan documents
is something that--
it's a typical part of my job.
You didn't ask me
to do anything
I haven't done
a million times, honey.
[Nick] The real question is,
is what was in those documents
worth hurting you to get them?
Whoever did this to you
clearly has something to hide.
it must be something
that would tell us
who killed Ben Avery, right?
[Arthur] Thank you
for agreeing to meet with me
after hours.
Again, I apologize
for not getting in touch
with you earlier,
but, of course,
our legal team
had to review the subpoena...
Right, I understand,
but I'm assuming
you've got the go-ahead now--
Uh, yes,
there is a problem.
I tried to download the document
for the Avery loan, but...
seems they're irretrievable.
The file's been corrupted.
I don't know what you mean.
There's gotta be
a backup file
in some archives,
or on the cloud?
That's the thing,
the corrupted file
overwrote any other version...
or maybe they were corrupted
from the beginning?
Or I suppose
there's an outside chance
there was a hack of some sort...
You don't know?
I've opened
an IT investigation, of course.
This is alarming, to be sure.
What about a hard copy?
We typically don't keep
paper files after a year.
Have you tried
the title company?
I just spoke to Arthur.
He said that there's no way
that even the police
could get a copy
of those loan documents?
That doesn't seem possible.
I guess anything's possible
if the culprit is clever enough.
Or knows a good hacker.
I'm friends with
some computer majors at school.
Maybe I could--
No, you could not.
Am I missing something here?
If Aida was able
to get a copy
from the title company,
why not go back to them?
Arthur tracked down
Aida's friend
when he was done at the bank,
and apparently,
he was in a hurry,
so he sent Aida
the only hard copies
they had on file,
thinking that he would easily
be able to download another.
Mother, who knew
you were trying to get
a copy of those loan docs?
The only person I'm sure of
is Bianca Avery.
I left her a voicemail
asking for them.
Does that mean Bianca's
the one that attacked you?
Is that plausible?
Could Bianca Avery
be tech-savvy enough
to plant a virus
on a digital file?
Or ruthless enough
to try and take down Aunt Aida?
Hal Needham is
a computer-network consultant.
I'm sure he could figure out
how to hack into
whatever network
that file lived on.
but Hal Needham is in custody.
There's no way
he could have attacked Aida.
[Sally] I still can't believe
there's no other way
for us to get a copy
of those documents.
I usually ask
Jan in my office
to make backup copies
of anything that comes in.
Aurora, why don't you try her?
Wait, Mother, are you saying
there might be another copy
in your office?
If Jan did her job--
and she always does her job.
[Phillip] Seriously, though.
If we need a guy
who can figure out
a digital footprint--
[Aida, croaking] Phillip.
Don't make me
get out of this bed.
[text alert chimes]
Jan made another copy
of the loan documents!
Aida, you're brilliant.
No, I'm just organized.
She said she'll scan it.
I'll have her email it to me.
I mean, I'll ask her
to email it to Lynn.
We hope you feel better
soon, Aida.
Bye. Thank you for coming.
Yes, Mother.
We all need you to feel better.
You just proved
how lost we'd be without you.
I know if it was up to you,
you'd keep him in custody.
Yeah, well...
...the DA was right,
without any physical evidence
on him,
or the body,
connecting him to the crime,
there's not enough
to charge him.
Plus, the fact
that we had him in a cell
when Aida was attacked
would seem to exonerate him.
Unless he had an accomplice.
True. He definitely had
the background
to pull off whatever hack
corrupted the file
with those loan documents.
I just--
I've been over every single page
of these documents
with a fine-tooth comb,
and I can't find
anything in here
that would be worth
nearly killing Aida Teagarden.
Eric Weiss...
Nope, no such notary
in this county or the state.
So it's another fake identity
and a fake notary.
That doesn't really
tell us anything.
It tells us we need to go see
Bianca Avery,
find out if she notices
anything off.
There has to be something else
in these documents
that someone wants
to stay hidden.
I don't think
we should go see Bianca, Roe.
What if she's the one
who attacked your mother?
No, I think we should stay
as far away from her
as we can.
No. No, no.
You see that face?
She thinks
she's going to talk me into it.
Not this time, Roe.
Not this time.
All this information
is accurate.
I wish I knew
how they got it.
You don't see anything
that raises any questions?
Oh! I forgot
the cream and sugar.
It's okay.
We don't need any.
Oh, I'd like cream, please.
What are you doing?
And how did you
talk me into this?
Bianca could be the killer!
She knew your mother
was getting those documents,
and here we are waving them
around in front of her,
letting her know
that we have them.
If she comes back in here
with a gun, Aurora--
Well, I'm glad to know
that your mother
wasn't seriously injured, Roe.
No, but she does have
a concussion.
They're gonna keep her
at the hospital a bit longer
just to be safe.
Well, I was worried
that she was borrowing trouble,
trying to get ahold
of those documents.
What makes you say that?
I just had a bad feeling
listening to her message,
and that's what exactly
what I told Melissa and Amanda.
Wait. Amanda Gaines
and your daughter
were with you
when you listened
to my mother's voicemail?
Did they hear it, too?
Yes, we had it on speaker.
You know what,
I would like some sugar, please.
Of course.
Did you hear that, Roe?
I'll talk to Davis,
see if he can find out
where Amanda Gaines was
when my mother was attacked.
Do you think you can find out
what Melissa Needham
was doing then?
I don't know, maybe...
Nick and I will go talk
to Raymond Wagner's widow.
See if she can connect
either Melissa or Amanda
to her husband.
I'll let Bianca know
I'm leaving.
Oh, no, you don't.
If you go, I go.
- Fine.
- Fine.
Everything okay?
- Fine.
- Fine.
She's not home.
Do you mind waiting a while?
You remember the news stories
about Raymond Wagner's murder?
The neighbor
who helped find the body?
Oh, David Kotkin.
Maybe we ask him
if he's seen any of our suspects
visiting next door?
Couldn't hurt.
We're looking for
a David Kotkin?
- Is he home?
- Who?
David Kotkin.
Oh! The former tenant here.
Sorry, he's long gone.
I've been here
a couple of years now.
Okay, thank you.
[car approaching]
Oh, look.
She's home.
[car door closing]
[Misty] No, sorry...
Your police detective
asked me about this guy before.
I don't recognize
his wife either.
What about her?
Wait, I think I do know her.
I can't remember her name...
This woman is Amanda Gaines.
Yes! Amanda!
She owned the restaurant
where I threw Raymond's
40th birthday party!
Cafe Angel
I think it was called.
So Misty Wagner told you
she knew Amanda Gaines
because she catered
Raymond Wagner's
birthday party?
And she gave Amanda
her social security number.
Well, why would a caterer
ask that?
She told Misty it was
part of her routine
to run a credit check
because she had been burned
by clients
not paying their final bill.
And Misty didn't think
that was odd?
She was so focused
on the party,
she didn't give it
much thought, she said.
But Roe and I have a theory.
Oh! And she's not here
to try and sell it?
Did pigs begin to fly
and I didn't notice?
She wanted to be here,
but she's picking up Aida
from the hospital.
Sorry, go ahead.
So, we think Amanda Gaines
is using the cover
of a restaurant
and catering business
to gain access to her clients'
personal information.
She then steals their identity
and applies for loans
against their houses.
And, why would she do this
in this theory of yours?
To finance a lavish lifestyle.
You've seen what she drives--
and Davis found out
that she lied
about her dad dying
and leaving her a trust fund.
Well, it would fit
with Ben's last call
going to Amanda.
If he told her something
to make her worry,
he was getting
too close to the truth.
That would be
motive for murder.
Okay, well,
speculation is not evidence.
I can see how the coincidence
is compelling,
and we will definitely
take a closer look
into Amanda,
but she does have an alibi
for Ben's murder.
[Nick] What if she was
working with someone?
Arthur, you remember
the last Real Murders meeting,
about Sante Kimes--
Sante wouldn't have been able
to pull off any of her schemes
without the help
of her son, Kenny.
Well, we are considering
the possibility
of co-conspirators--
But we do have to take it
one step at a time.
We need to go through
all the financial records
of the victims and the suspects
to get a better picture,
so, please, just leave it to us.
[Arthur] Look, thanks
for letting us know
what you learned,
and we'll follow up
with Misty Wagner.
Okay, I hope so,
because that's
a huge connection we found.
Yeah, I know.
Just leave it with me.
- Okay.
- Thanks.
I don't get
why Lynn isn't jumping
all over your theory.
Maybe I should go
give her my talk
on Sante and Kenny Kimes.
Nick said Arthur at least
seemed open to it,
but if he can't convince her...
He should tell her
how Sante worked her cons
like a pyramid scheme
that would fall apart without
a constant influx of cash.
That's what it was, wasn't it?
A pyramid scheme...
Half the money
from the loans she got
was used to pay off
the other loans.
The other half she used
to buy cars, to travel...
So, if Amanda Gaines
is living off fake loan money,
then, like Sante Kimes,
she'd always have to arrange
new loans...
Phillip, you've just
given me an idea...
Now, the question is,
will Nick go for it?
The customer you said you met
at 2:20
the day Ben Avery was killed
told us you didn't actually
arrive until 2:45.
[Lynn] Why did you lie, Tony?
What, you don't want
to talk about that?
Okay, why don't you tell us
if you've ever done
any work in Seattle?
Like, maybe for these people?
Raymond and Misty Wagner?
Oh, you recognize them?
I'm not talking anymore
without my lawyer.
Make the call.
[Lynn] Go ahead.
We'll resume this
when your lawyer is present.
You said to let you know
when I tracked down
the forwarding address
of Raymond Wagner's neighbor.
David Kotkin?
He moved to Corinth?
Well, then.
I have an assignment for you.
Okay, so we told you
why we think
it's most likely Amanda Gaines
who took out the fake loan
on the Avery House--
But it'll take a while
for the police
to build their case.
You really think
she got an accomplice
to kill Ben Avery?
Well, there's one way
to find out.
We're going to set a trap.
[knocking on door]
David Kotkin?
Officer Heard,
Lawrenceton P.D...
I have a few questions
regarding a murder in which
you're listed as a witness.
Yeah, you, uh...
you must be talking about
Raymond Wagner.
Such a shame.
Still gets to me.
A good man, a good neighbor.
And poor Misty...
Do you want to come in?
This will only take a minute.
We saw from the police report
that you heard the crash
of the window breaking,
but didn't actually see anyone
in the Wagner backyard
at the time.
That's correct.
But you did notice
someone walking down
the driveway
on the other side of the house
when you were with Mrs. Wagner
to break down the door.
Yeah, it was dark,
but I did see someone.
Just a flash of a face, really.
I'd like to ask you
if you recognize this person.
I'm pretty sure
the face I saw was male.
What about...
either one of these guys?
Yeah, actually...
That could be him.
So Roe and I will pretend
the caterer for our wedding
fell through,
and then we'll get Amanda
to offer to cater for us.
Misty Wagner told us
Amanda automatically asks
for a social security number,
but if she doesn't,
we'll ask her
to extend us credit
till after the wedding.
So you're thinking
if Amanda needs to keep
the money flowing,
she won't be able to resist
taking out a loan
against your house?
But she's met you guys.
How are you going
to con somebody
who already knows you?
Actually, that will
work in our favor.
Yeah, it will give Amanda
a feeling of safety with us.
It's why con artists
spend so much time
getting friendly
with their marks.
It lulls the mark
into a false sense of security.
Yeah, but isn't she too savvy
to fall into a trap like that?
[Nick] Maybe.
But people
with high intelligence
are often more easily tricked,
because they assume
they won't fall for it.
I read a book
about a con artist
who was so impressed
with his own intelligence,
he'd leave little clues behind,
you know, little things,
like inside jokes, anagrams.
I know who you're talking about.
He called himself T. Cortinas.
[Sally] Yes!
It's the words "con artist",
but just with
the letters rearranged.
[Nick] That's right.
He got a psychological reward
from outwitting people
in plain sight.
You're going to con a con?
I'm in.
So what's your plan?
Well, first,
we have to drop the bait--
And then we'll set the hook.
[Aurora] Davis and Phillip
will have drinks
at the Raintree Restaurant,
and make sure
Amanda can hear us talking about
me owning my home.
[Phillip] Ow!
Couldn't we come up
with a better signal?
No, I think
after they get married,
they'll live at Roe's house.
It's all paid for.
No mortgage.
[Davis] She's a librarian.
How'd she pay off her house?
A friend of hers
left her a house way back when,
and she's bought and sold
a few houses since.
Took her a while
to find one she loves.
[Davis] Hmm.
We can do that, right?
If Amanda needs to keep
a steady income from new loans
to keep
her pyramid scheme afloat,
a completely paid-off house
will be a very tempting target.
She can get a bigger loan
that way.
[Nick] And then later,
Roe and I will show up
to the restaurant for dinner.
[Aurora] And then we'll call
Amanda over to the table
and compliment her on her food,
and then Sally,
as maid of honor,
will join us and tell us
the caterer had to cancel.
[Sally] Wait!
You want me to go in there
with a made-up story?
Roe, you know I can't lie.
You're right.
You have the world's
worst poker face.
Okay, is there
another logical person?
[Davis] What about Aida?
The bride's mother?
Uh, no.
That's not gonna happen.
Sally, we need you.
You can do this.
All you have to do
is come over to our table
and tell us that there's
an issue with the caterer,
which there is,
so, technically, it's true.
[Aurora] On my signal,
Sally will come up
and inform us
of the caterer issue.
[indistinct conversation]
Hi. Excuse me.
Bad news.
There's a problem
with the caterer.
[Nick] When Amanda hears this,
that's the crucial moment.
As any good con artist
will tell you,
it helps to get the mark
to suggest the course of action
you want them to take.
Meaning we can't ask her
if she'll cater our wedding.
We need to get her to offer.
We might have to
postpone the wedding!
Your mother would be
very upset.
Well, all the good caterers
are booked up far in advance.
What are we going to do?
[Nick] Looks like we're just
going to have to go home
and do some research.
I don't know if you're aware,
but we cater here.
Would you like to see
our catering menu?
I don't know...
It wouldn't hurt
to take a look.
[Amanda] Yeah, no pressure.
I'll just go grab it,
and you can take it home
and think about it.
That would be nice.
Thank you.
the lure is in the water.
Let's hope she bites.
So, you actually
found a connection
between Hal Needham
and Raymond Wagner?
Both men worked
in the computer industry.
And six months
before Wagner was killed,
Hal Needham manned
his company's booth
at a trade show Wagner attended.
So it wouldn't be
too farfetched
to see how they would have
connected there.
- [knocking]
- All right.
David Kotkin's here.
Send in the lineup.
Mr. Kotkin.
I'm the Police Chief
here in Lawrenceton,
Lynn Liggett Smith.
And this is
Detective Arthur Smith.
Good to meet you.
So Officer Heard told us
that you thought
you recognized
one of our suspects
as being on the premises
of the Wagner house
the night that Raymond Wagner
was killed.
That's right.
[buzzer sounds]
And here comes our lineup now.
[Kotkin] Oh, wow.
It's just like on TV.
I feel nervous
all of a sudden.
Don't worry,
they can't see you.
I think you'll be very happy
with the butternut squash ravioli.
[Nick] That sounds good.
We really appreciate you
stepping in
on such short notice.
And right after
losing your business partner.
Must be such a stressful time.
Glad I could help.
Number of guests?
And we know
what that will cost per head
according to your quote,
We still haven't received
our deposit back
from our previous caterer yet.
[Nick] Yeah, and cash flow,
it's tight
with all the wedding expenses.
Are you sure
we can't ask your mother?
Nick, I told you,
we are not allowing my mother
to pay for this wedding.
[Nick] Okay.
I'll tell you what.
I can waive the deposit
and extend you credit.
Oh, that would be great.
- [Amanda] Okay.
- Thank you.
All I need now
is your social security number
for a credit check.
No problem.
It's very hard
to keep smiling at her
when I think she might have had
something to do
with putting my mother
in the hospital...
I agree, it is very hard.
You know, we still need
to finish that conversation
about the size of the wedding.
Yeah, I've been thinking
about that.
I know you think you need
to invite over a hundred people
to make your mother happy,
but all I want--
all I'll ever want--
is for you to be happy.
I think I told myself
a big wedding was for her,
really, I want those people
there for me.
I want them to all see
how lucky I am,
that I get to marry you.
Ah, Roe.
I'm the lucky one.
we'll get lucky enough
and catch Amanda trying to get
a loan in your name.
[Kotkin] Um...
I know number four
is the guy that I pointed to
in the photo that you showed me,
now that I see him in person,
I'm not so sure.
I mean, the guy that I saw
struck me as smaller.
I just--
I really don't want
to point the finger
at the wrong person.
How's that, Mother?
Darling, it's fine,
but I don't want to be resting.
I have work to do.
Sorry, doctor's orders.
Okay, so I found a vase
for the flowers.
You are so sweet, Sally,
but please stop making a fuss.
[phone ringing]
I'll turn your ringer off.
[Aida] No.
I can at least
talk to my clients.
So how's
Operation Con the Con going?
Oh, so far so good.
Amanda has
my social security number now.
I informed
all three credit bureaus
there might be an attempt
to block
my security-alert system--
Okay, why would you--
Well, I'm sure Amanda,
or whatever hacker helps her,
has probably figured out
how to block
identity-theft systems
for her marks,
so we have to stay
one step ahead of her.
That's smart.
But what if she figures out
that you're trying to trap her?
I mean, she could be
the killer, Roe!
And then you just went
and painted a target
on yourself.
- That's--
- Sally!
What is going on?
Did I just hear you say
that Aurora
is some kind of target?
Did you?
What is going on?
I don't know what you mean...
You are a terrible liar.
Actually, I'm getting better.
Sit down
and tell what is happening.
Mr. Needham.
Excuse me,
you were told specifically
to exit through
the rear of the building.
Yeah, well,
I'm parked out front.
Yes, well, we can't have you
running into our witness.
This is ridiculous.
Aida Teagarden
is on the phone for you,
says it's an emergency?
Stay with him.
Yes, Aida, what is this
about an emergency?
Are you okay?
Mother, please don't do this--
Lynn, I need you to talk
some sense into my daughter.
Apparently, she has set up
a sting operation
with the owner
of Raintree Restaurant--
Oh, don't you dare
try to leave!
You have to help me
clean up this mess!
What do you mean?
What sting operation?
I'm sorry
I couldn't be more certain.
I only got a glimpse
of the guy's face.
We appreciate you
driving out here.
[Lynn] Hey, hang on a second.
You let Roe turn herself
into bait for Amanda Gaines?
To try and lure her into
taking out a loan in Roe's name?
That's why I'm here,
to explain--
Explain why she's interfering
with a police investigation?
Thanks again, Mr. Kotkin.
We-- we'll be in touch.
You're David Kotkin?
Could you wait a minute?
I'd like to have a word.
No, no, no,
you don't need to wait.
You're free to go, Mr. Kotkin.
Thank you.
All right.
We will be there shortly, Aida.
If you think
I'm going to let you shield Roe
from the consequences
of her actions,
you can think again.
Arthur, let's go.
This won't be pretty.
- [Lynn] Arthur!
- Yep!
A sting operation?
Okay, that is going
too far, Roe,
even for you.
What better way to prove
she's in the business
of phony loans?
Yeah. We figured
it was worth a shot.
If she doesn't bite,
no harm no foul.
You don't know that!
If she's guilty,
you may have compromised
the case against her.
You know what,
I should arrest you both
for obstruction of justice.
I didn't call you
and tell you about it
to arrest them--
She didn't mean that literally.
- I wouldn't be so sure of that--
- [text alert chimes]
I always thought
I'd end up visiting you
in jail someday, Roe.
I just got a text alert
from the credit bureau.
A loan company
just pulled my credit report.
That means Amanda Gaines
is going for it.
She's trying to get a loan
in Roe's name.
Now that Amanda
has taken the bait,
why not let it play out,
see what we can learn
about her fake-loan racket?
Setting aside the legalities
of gathering evidence that way,
there's just too many variables
out of our control--
too many risks.
But what about the risks
to the other people
that Amanda may target
if she's not stopped?
All right.
We will take
a wait-and-see approach
with this sting operation.
That's not
what I was hoping to hear.
[Lynn] Don't worry, Aida.
Roe will solemnly swear
to run everything she does
in regards
to her little operation
through me.
[Aurora] No problem.
And the first thing
I'll tell you
is I just heard from Amanda.
She's asking Nick and me
to stop by her office again
to go over our menus.
Well, if David Kotkin
is in town,
I think
we should give him a call.
I'd love to know
what he was doing
at the police station,
what he has to say.
I doubt Lynn will cough up
his info.
[Aurora] I'm a librarian.
I have access
to an excellent
people-search database.
Bianca Avery.
There's her office.
[gasps] Nick!
I can't find a pulse.
She's dead.
Yeah, we'll stay right here.
The police are on their way.
How did this go so wrong?
I would have never wished
such a horrible end for Amanda.
She was strangled,
just like the other two victims.
I'll just be a minute.
Okay, just hurry,
before the police get here.
I know
what you're thinking, Roe,
but we don't know
that Amanda's murder
had anything to do with us
or what we were trying to do.
I think it did.
Seems like the restaurant
has security cameras
here in the dining room,
but none in the office area.
All right,
so we have to assume
the killer came through
the back delivery entrance
and bypassed the kitchen.
None of the staff
saw anything.
[Aurora] Okay, obviously,
Amanda had a co-conspirator
who turned on her.
Thought Amanda
was about to get caught
and would be pressured
to name her partner in crime...
Look at this.
It was on Amanda's desk.
It's a loan application
in my name,
with my signature
already forged and notarized.
And no, I didn't touch it.
Like I said...
no control over the variables.
All right, so who else
knew about this sting operation
of yours?
Just some Real Murders members
I trust.
And my mother found out
from Sally,
and she called you.
That's all I know of.
Actually, I know of someone
at the station
who might have overheard us
talking about it.
Hal Needham.
You're right.
I saw him, too,
watching and listening.
All right,
so we're going to have to
get him back to the station
for further questioning.
You two can come down later
and give us your statements.
Wait, Officer Heard.
We also saw Bianca Avery
here having lunch
when we arrived.
Just so you know...
Okay. Thanks.
I have a class in an hour,
but I'll get it covered.
I don't want you to be alone
until they catch Hal,
or Bianca, or whoever it was
who killed Amanda.
Thank you,
but I'm supposed to work
a shift at the library.
I won't be alone.
Why don't you go teach
your class,
and come pick me up
when my shift is done?
Okay, Aunt Aida.
What kind of tea
would you like?
We've got mint or--
Hey, what's going on?
Melissa's a little upset.
Well, of course I am!
Someone else was killed today,
and once again,
your daughter is pointing
the finger at my husband.
[Phillip] Wait, what?
Someone else was killed?
Yes! Amanda Gaines
was murdered at her restaurant.
Oh, no!
And now the police are looking
for my husband again,
which is ridiculous,
because he was with me today.
Okay, so...
where is he now?
Why don't you just tell Aurora
we have been through enough?
And if she doesn't stop trying
to make my husband look guilty,
I promise you,
I'll put an end to it.
Phillip, please call the police
and tell them
what just happened?
All right, thanks, Phillip.
We still don't know
where Hal Needham is?
Yeah. Well, his wife
just showed up at Aida's house
and threatened Roe.
So, I got the depressing basics
of Amanda Gaines' murder
from the police,
but I was kind of hoping
you could give me
some details for my story.
Roe? Hi?
Oh. Sally, hi.
What's that?
The loan application
on Amanda's desk.
She forged my signature on it.
And look,
it's the same fake notary,
Erik Weiss.
Those are just like
the documents
on Ben Avery's house.
Yeah, except this time,
Erik is spelled with "K"
and not a "C."
No notary in the state
under that spelling either.
[phone rings]
Hey, Phillip, what's up?
Just wanted to give you
a head's up
about what's going on,
make sure you're with Roe.
No, but I'm heading
to the library right now.
Because Melissa Needham
was just here,
and she has it out for Roe.
Just so you know, Sally,
we close in five minutes.
Ah, Erik Weiss?
I know that name.
You know an Erik Weiss?
No, I know the name.
It's the real name
for Harry Houdini,
only it's spelled with a "Z"
instead of an "S" at the end.
Wow, Lillian.
How did you know that?
There are lots of books
in this library.
Astonishingly, not all of them
are about true crime.
Some are actual biographies
about figures
important in popular culture.
Remember what Nick said
about con artists
using secret codes
in their fake identities
to make themselves
feel more clever?
I guess using the real names
of famous magicians
as fake names
is kind of clever.
We have to think
of other famous magicians.
I know one!
My Dad took me
to see David Blaine once.
David Blaine...
No, that's his real name.
Oh, there's also
Penn and Teller.
Also their real names.
Do you remember
when we were in high school?
There was that one magician
your mother loved--
he was always on TV.
Oh, yeah!
I know who you mean.
I think
we just found the killer.
David Copperfield's real name
is David Kotkin.
You mean...
like the guy who lived
next door to Raymond Wagner?
The one who helped his wife
break down the door
and find his body?
And Nick said he saw him
at the police station
when they were talking about
our sting operation
against Amanda!
He's got to be
her co-conspirator.
But that means
that David Kotkin--
Or whatever his real name is--
Is Ben Avery's killer.
And Raymond Wagner's...
and Amanda's...
I've got to print this.
We have to call Lynn.
- [printer whirring]
- Wait!
- [Sally] What?
- No, wait. Wait.
She's going to say
we don't have enough
to prove anything.
I can just hear her asking
how she's supposed to get
an arrest warrant
with an article
about David Copperfield.
Well, she'd have a point.
I mean, maybe we're wrong
about him being the killer.
We are not wrong.
But we do have to figure out
a way to find more proof.
It's him!
David Kotkin!
I recognize him
from that news video we watched
on Raymond Wagner's murder!
Okay, Sally, try to stay calm.
He doesn't know we know,
but one look at your face
and he will.
[Sally] I'm not looking at him.
But what is he doing here?
[Aurora] I left him
a voice message
about an hour ago,
telling him where I work.
He's probably here
to find out what I know.
Okay, what do we do now?
You're going to leave
and call Lynn.
And Nick.
Well, what are you going to do?
I'm going to con the con
into giving himself away.
I told this man
we were about to close,
but he's insisting
he needs to speak to you.
I'm David Kotkin.
You left me a message.
Yes, Mr. Kotkin.
I've been hoping
to speak with you.
- It's nice of you to come in.
- Sure.
I was in the area, so...
Lillian, we won't be long.
Why don't you go home
and let me lock up?
Oh, because it's my job,
not yours.
I'll give you 10 minutes,
no more.
So, my fianc told me
he saw you
at the police station today.
Did you happen to hear
what he was discussing
with the Chief?
Some of it.
It sounded pretty crazy.
Something about
a sting operation?
Yes, we figured out
a woman named Amanda Gaines
has been stealing
people's identities,
getting fake loans,
and when those people--
like your neighbor,
Raymond Wagner--
found out,
she had them killed.
That really is crazy.
But how can you be so sure
that's what was
really happening?
Well, the fact
that Amanda was murdered
earlier today
is pretty solid confirmation.
[Sally] Oh, Nick!
Roe's inside with the killer!
Hal Needham?
Or Melissa?
It's David Kotkin!
She figured it out
just before he came in.
Did you call Lynn?
- [Nick] Okay, stay here!
- Okay.
Who did the police think
might have killed
this Amanda person?
Well, her co-conspirator.
And who do they think that is?
Maybe it's that Hal Needham guy
that they were hoping
I could identify?
That's one theory.
I have another...
I'm all ears.
Aurora, how many times
have I asked you not to leave
your personal items
on the printer?
Stay back!
Stay back!
You do as I say
or I'll stop her breathing,
do you understand?
stay calm.
I'd rather not.
[Kotkin groans]
I have an idea.
Come on.
[Aurora] Now!
[Arthur] Freeze, Kotkin!
Let that serve as a warning
to any other criminals
who think they can make mischief
in my library.
[Sally] Roe, why don't you
give everyone an update?
Well, we now know
David Kotkin's real name.
We know he and Amanda
had been working together
the last five years,
and the police confirmed
at least nine phony loans.
Kotkin was very good
at leaving corrupted files
behind to obscure his trail.
The police think
he committed another murder,
besides the three
we know about,
this one in Tacoma.
Well, my new friend and I
are giving a heartfelt
thank you to the police
and to you, Aurora,
and to your fianc,
Professor Miller.
I know you had a few
other friends helping you out.
Yeah, like Lillian.
Yeah, don't mess
with librarians.
It was nothing, really.
All of you--
you never gave up.
You made sure we'd see justice
for our husbands,
made sure we could
sleep at night,
so thank you.
Excuse me.
I owe you a big thanks, too.
You found the person
who put me in the hospital,
and I don't know why
that man chose a life
of tricking people,
stealing from them,
harming them
in every way possible,
But it's good to know that
he won't harm anyone else again.
And now that you're about
to be married, Aurora,
I hope that you will be
less likely
to throw yourself
into such dangerous cases.
From now on,
it's gonna be all about love.