CSI: Miami s08e09 Episode Script

Kill Clause

I didn't hire you for aquarium security, Wolfe.
You know, those are box jellyfish? They can kill you.
Yeah, well, you're supposed to be looking for the killers in the crowd.
Yeah, I feel like at ten grand a plate, there aren't many, uh, murderers in the bunch.
Don't let the clothes fool you.
I know you're new to the security beat, but if you want to move your way up from temp, you need to learn to ID the bad guys no matter the camouflage.
Okay, all right.
Well, do you see any bad guys in the crowd? I do right there.
Why him? The way he moves.
Looks like he's stalking prey.
Yeah, that one's trouble.
I'll tell you what, boss.
I'll go follow that one.
May I have your attention, please? Hi.
Everyone, thank you.
Thank you.
Look, if you've had as much to drink as I've had, you're, you're probably not going to remember what I'm gonna say, so I'm gonna make this short.
You're welcome.
Miami Tomorrow couldn't provide textbooks to our city's neediest children without your support, but I would also like us all to thank Renovation Warehouse.
They've been our biggest contributor, and, they Excuse me, sir, I'm gonna need to see some ID.
What are you doing here? I'm, uh I'm moonlighting.
I need a little extra cash.
But you don't seem to.
Look at this tux.
You look gorgeous.
This thing is rented.
- I'm here as somebody's plus one.
- Is that right? Looks like you're, somebody's minus one now, pal.
I don't even know who that is.
You don't? No.
She sure seems to know who you are.
Help me! Help me! Help me! This is Wolfe! Call 911! I'm headed to the balcony! Sir, hold on! Hold on, sir.
Help me! Ladies and gentlemen, move over to that side of the room.
Let's go! Move! Move! Move! Help me! Help me! Oh, my God! All right, listen up.
I'm with MDPD.
I need everyone to gather next to the stage.
No one's leaving here until an officer takes your statement.
Understood? Let's go! Move! Careful, gentlemen.
We need to preserve his injuries.
So, our victim is Jeff Lofton.
I would say, based on his uniform, he's a custodian employee of Renovation Warehouse.
Must have been here working the party.
Look at all these welts.
He was stung hundreds of times.
This may be an obvious question, Tom, but is that what killed him? No doubt.
Chironex fleckeri are the most venomous beasts in the world.
Ryan said they swarmed him.
They would have.
Unlike most jellyfish, box jellies are predatory.
Once he hit the water, they hunted him down.
Their tentacles have over And nematocysts are stingers? And each one injected venom, causing immense pain.
With so much in his system, he had a cardiac arrest.
Would you excuse me? So, Horatio wanted me to get a statement from you about today.
Why don't we start with, um, who's the girl? What girl? The girl you were stalking.
Okay, you and Ryan really need to stop texting so much.
What's wrong? You were stung.
Yeah, it's nothing.
Well, they're poisonous.
We should get you to the ER.
No, we shouldn't.
I've been stung by jellies surfing before.
I just need to find some vinegar.
Acidic acid neutralizes the poison.
Will balsamic do it? Yeah.
Pour it on.
That's better.
I think somebody should look at that.
Tell you what, okay? I'll go home, I'll change, I'll put a bandage on it, and you stop asking me about the women in my life.
Cool? All right, tough guy.
It's your arm.
See what I mean? Something happened up here before Lofton went over, and this glass is pretty thick.
Someone had a full head of steam to get through it.
Walter, this railing is too high for somebody to fall on their own.
We've got blood here, here and there.
Bet it's from our vic's fingers.
That's probably why he couldn't hold on.
Help me! Help me! This railing- it's been wiped clean.
If we find any prints, they'll be fresh.
Gentlemen, may I help you? Hang on a second.
Excuse me.
You can't be up here.
I'm Max DeSalvo.
I'm the CEO.
I don't think I need clearance to be anywhere.
DeSalvo, this is an active crime scene.
It's also my building.
So then, Mr.
Lofton, our victim, worked for you.
Yeah, he was with our maintenance department for 15 years.
He always worked our parties.
Walter, would you hit those pants with the light, please? What are you doing? It smells like ammonia.
Maybe some kind of cleaner.
Maybe like this cleaner.
DeSalvo, were you up here today? Well, yeah, my office is just right here.
I was I was in a hurry to get downstairs.
My wife says it is rude of me to leave her alone.
It's a $1,000 tux.
Sorry, Mr.
But that was before the party, and I don't know what all this is.
- H? - Yeah.
I got a palm print here, sir.
- Well, if I can help you gentlemen.
- You can.
I need your palm print.
Walter? Left palm, please, sir.
You can place your hand firmly on the paper.
Thank you.
Now wait downstairs, please.
Baby wipe? You smell like a dinner salad.
Yeah, yeah.
So did you find anything other than jelly bites? I'm still in the prelim, but I can already see Mr.
Lofton has a lot more wear and tear than a Wore this brace on his right knee.
The man could barely walk.
Well, 15 years of maintenance work takes its toll.
I was just about to take a few infrared pictures to see if anything else did.
The welts obscured them, but he is covered with subdermal hematomas.
And this isn't high-velocity trauma from the fall.
More like the bar room brawl variety.
Okay, that confirms our theory that he was in a fight before he went over.
It's sloppy.
No vulnerable areas were targeted.
Whomever he was fighting didn't really know how to.
The only reason they had a leg up on Lofton was because he had a bad one.
So, basically you're saying that this could've been anyone.
Lofton? Hi, I'm Calleigh Duquesne.
I just wanted to come and see you and let you know that you don't have to worry about coming down.
We're gonna call you as soon as we know anything about what happened to your husband.
I came down to get Jeff's death certificate.
Lofton, your husband's only been gone a couple hours.
I know.
But-But I heard somewhere that you need it before you can get the money from the life insurance.
I- I was looking through his stuff and, I- I saw something about a policy.
I'm just going to be perfectly honest with you.
Life insurance companies sometimes take several months to pay out a claim, and this is not what you need to be worrying about right now.
And how am I supposed to pay for all the bills without his income? I have three kids.
Jeff took care of all this.
None of this makes sense to me.
Are these your insurance papers? Yeah.
Okay, why don't I take a look, see what's inside, and maybe I can expedite things.
You would do that? Yeah.
You should be with your children, not worrying about this right now.
Did you get a hit? No, not yet.
A couple names left to go.
Maybe I should get a print of your palm.
You were there, too.
Yeah, but I didn't lie about why I was there.
You told me you were a plus one.
You paid to be there.
You're a donor.
No wonder that tux looked so good on you.
It wasn't rented.
You owned it.
It was for a good cause.
$10,000 a plate on a cop's salary? I sure hope so.
You know what, Wolfe? If you were this curious about the case, you'd have solved it by now.
I haven't gotten a single hit off the list yet.
I'm going to go see what Calleigh's doing.
So, what angle are you working? Well, it's not really an angle.
I offered to look at Lofton's insurance policy for his widow, but it turns out the only thing I can find is a change of address form.
She's already asking for the insurance? She have an alibi? You know, I was wondering the same thing, but it really seems to me like she's just a stay-at-home mom who's in over her head.
Yeah, I bet an insurance policy payout would fix that.
Did she bring this in? She did.
Why? Because Mrs.
Lofton's palm print would be on it.
Where you going? Hey, you remember how she was holding it? - Was it like this? - Yeah, I guess.
Hey, Ryan.
Where's the ninhydrin? It's over there.
You know she wasn't on the guest list.
Doesn't mean she wasn't there.
Compare this with the, print you found on the balcony.
Well, they both have transverse palmar.
That's pretty rare.
The bifurcations and the crossovers match.
If I was in court I'd say she was on that balcony.
You want to call her, or should I? You think I pushed Jeff? Can you think of any other reason why your handprint would be there? Yeah.
Because I was.
But it was earlier, before anybody else was.
I was helping Jeff clean before the party.
And so, you left before the party started? We couldn't let anybody else know I was helping.
Warehouse would fire him if they knew he couldn't do his job.
He had a bad knee.
ACL (Anterior cruciate ligament) What about your health insurance? Their health plan doesn't cover anything.
We had to buy his brace out of our own pocket.
Lofton, is there anyone who can corroborate your story? Hate to say this, Mrs.
Lofton, but right now you're the only one who benefits from your husband's death.
I'm sorry, we're going to have to ask you to stay here with the officer.
Would you make a phone call for me? Hi.
I was wondering if I could talk to somebody regarding my Allied Pledge life insurance policy.
Uh, my name's Jeff Lofton.
Policy number Yeah.
It is C- F-10983.
Social is Yeah, yeah, no, I can hold.
Why am I pretending to be a dead guy? Because the insurance company will only talk to the policy holder.
Probably already know he's dead.
No, they don't.
Tom hasn't filed the death certificate yet.
Okay, look, if she took out the policy then for sure she's guilty.
But I don't think she knew anything about it until this morning.
Yeah, no problem.
No, I was just wondering, who originally took out the policy? Was it my wife Deedee? Really? And who's the beneficiary? No, no, that That's it.
She didn't take out the policy, did she? No, it was his company, Renovation Warehouse.
Lieutenant, Renovation Warehouse takes out life insurance policies on all of its employees.
I don't see what this has to do with Jeff's death.
The bottom line is, anybody who benefits from that policy is my suspect.
Well, then you're going to have to arrest the entire company.
It's a very common policy, Lieutenant.
They're called dead peasant policies.
It's an unfortunate name, but completely legal.
So why didn't you inform the employees? Lofton's wife didn't even know.
Why? 'Cause they-they're for the company's protection.
We've invested in Lofton.
This policy offsets our loss.
What you should've invested in was a decent healthcare plan.
- Do you have a point, Lieutenant? - As a matter of fact, I do.
If you have nothing to hide I want you to open your books to me.
Sure, you can see Lofton's employee files.
But other than that, everything's confidential.
That's a 5,000-gallon water tank.
Well, we're running out of evidence.
Where else do you suggest we look? We know that the killer was up on the balcony.
Yeah, when the body falls, the evidence falls with it.
So let's get to work.
So, I checked the filter.
Nothing out of the ordinary in it, except for about three dollars in change and a thong.
I think the thong would be considered out of the ordinary.
I agree.
But, I doubt it belongs to the killer.
Find anything in here? No, not yet.
What about inside the coral? Inside? What are you talking about? Breaking open the coral? They're little filters.
When the EPA comes after us I'm going to tell them it was your idea.
What is that, fish scales? Yeah, of the man-made variety.
Sequins off of a dress.
Don't know that that helps us much.
There were a lot of ladies in black sequin dresses at the party.
I guess we'll have to invite them to our own party.
All right, next.
It's what we're looking for.
Thank you.
Thank you, though.
Pretty dress.
Got a few black sequins missing there and there.
Can we keep this for our investigation? Really? Yeah.
You'll get it back.
I'll give you a receipt.
I better not see a picture of you wearing it in Ocean Drive.
Thank you.
Don't come between a girl and her dress.
In I mean, you know what I Next, please.
Thank you.
Excuse me.
Well, well.
When I saw you at the fund raiser, I couldn't believe it.
So, you followed me all the way from L.
? You probably put this whole thing together just so you could harass me again.
- I'm working a case, Anna.
- I know exactly what case you're working.
We called every woman who was at the party.
Look, if you'd like to talk to her instead of me, that's totally fine.
This isn't what we're looking for.
I'm not surprised.
It's always a dead end with you, isn't it? Got a little history there? Okay.
It's business, not personal.
It is for her.
If I promise to explain to you over drinks, will you please get everyone to stop giving me the third degree? Drinks? Yeah.
These appear to match.
Let's see.
That is a glossy octagon.
We are looking for a circle with a flat finish.
They look the same to me.
What, did you skip colors and shapes in kindergarten? Okay, fine.
That means we don't have the dress that these sequins came off of.
No, and it looks like we're missing one.
- A dress? - A girl.
Caroline Berston, she never came in, according to this file.
All right, well, I'll call patrol and have them bring her in.
There's the guy from Renovation Warehouse with the files.
Fastest I've seen a corporation respond to a warrant.
Maybe they're not trying to hide anything.
Maybe that's what they want us to think.
Hello, Officer.
I'm Garrett Yates.
I'm an actuary at Renovation Warehouse.
DeSalvo asked me to personally deliver this to you.
Appreciate that.
I think you'll find we're in full compliance with the warrant's orders.
You now have all of our records concerning employees, earnings and insurance claims.
All in one box? More like 102.
Three, counting that one.
I hope there's more than just you two.
There's over half a ton of paper that you guys asked for.
I don't know what you're looking for, but you're going to need help finding it.
I just wanted to make sure you had everything you need.
Horatio, take a look at the monitor.
I inputted all the life insurance claims filed by Renovation Warehouse in the past five years.
Now, this is countrywide.
Look at where it spikes every year.
Spikes every year in June.
When is the end of their fiscal year? Bingo! June.
Okay, so, let's focus on all the claims in June.
June Mitchell Kurwood, 39 Drowned in his own pool in Michigan.
I got two ladies here.
One's upstate New York.
Died in a car accident.
The other is in Vegas.
Fell down some stairs.
All right, you guys, get this.
security guard fell off the Renovation Warehouse parking structure.
And this one's a local.
Broward County.
A 23-year-old receptionist hanged herself by her pool.
All right, so we've got four accidents, one suicide.
That brings us to a total of a cool nine million easy profits for Renovation Warehouse.
All of them Renovation workers.
Certainly would put the company in the black, wouldn't it? Add 500 grand to that Jeff Lofton's death could easily have been made to look like an accident.
Yeah, but we know it wasn't, so maybe these others aren't as they appear to be, as well.
Here's what we do.
Let's start with the suicide, okay? Hannah Wilcox, Broward County.
Hold on here.
Are you guys saying this company is possibly killing its own employees to collect their insurance money? That's exactly what I'm saying.
Was this, Hannah Wilcox's residence? I'm Evan Wilcox, her brother.
- Who's asking? - MDPD.
Were you, uh, living with your sister when she passed? You mean killed herself.
Call it what it was.
This was our parents' house.
Hannah left it to me.
Finally getting around to moving in now.
What do you guys want? We're reopening the investigation.
It's a little north of your jurisdiction, isn't it? Do you know her employer took out an insurance policy on her? Look, I'm not interested in collecting any money, if that's what this is about.
Well, that's a good thing, because it turns out you're not the beneficiary.
Renovation Warehouse got the million dollars.
They made money when she died? That may have had something to do with her death.
Are you saying she was murdered? We need to exhume her body to determine that, and we need your permission.
That might be a problem.
Why is that? She donated her body to science.
Walter Simmons, MDPD.
We're here for Hannah Wilcox.
He means body #13349.
The dean said you'd be coming.
I'm afraid I'm not going to be of much help.
Our director of bequeathals handles the records.
Students aren't allowed to know anything about their cadavers.
In fact, they're encouraged to give them new names.
Good thing we brought a photo.
It's the lady in the picture.
Well, class is now in session.
Follow me.
It's Hannah.
I'll go get the gurney.
Why? We have everything right here.
- You want to do the autopsy now? - Gloves, please.
So, Broward's autopsy listed the cause of death as asphyxia by hanging.
Ligature marks are at an inverted V under the jaw, just above the thyroid cartilage.
Thyroid cartilage, also known as the Adam's apple in male anatomy, is still intact, as is the hyoid bone above it.
We learned in pathology that's consistent with a suicide by hanging.
Top marks.
But this this gives me pause.
Take a look at her eyes.
What do you see? Looks like hemorrhaging.
It's called petechial hemorrhaging.
Which is typical of manual strangulation, not a hanging.
That's a big miss, isn't it? I don't fault Broward's M.
Distinguishing a hanging from strangulation is very difficult.
So, there's a chance she was murdered.
"Chance" being the operative word.
It could be a strangulation made to look like a hanging, but as of now, the evidence is equivocal.
But there's no way to know for sure.
Too bad you can't travel back in time to the original crime scene.
You're a genius.
see you back at the lab.
I don't understand.
You got a look at her body.
Why are you doing this? We believe the autopsy may be inconclusive.
So, Broward PD was right about it being a suicide? Well, we have an open mind.
So, you're going to recreate her death? I would, I'd wait inside if I were you.
What do you see? I got a distinct rope burn up here, sir.
Lace it across the beam.
Wait a minute.
I got another rope burn across a different beam.
Which one did she hang from? That's a very good question, Walter Lace it across the second beam with the rope positioned at two points, it creates a mechanical advantage.
Should make it easier to lift up the body.
The rope burns were caused from someone pulling her up.
She didn't hang herself.
She was dead already.
She had ligature bruises on her neck.
The rope wouldn't have left a mark if she was already dead.
So, they used a rope to strangle her, Walter.
That means Broward County neglected to take epithelials, doesn't it? Sit down, Mr.
No, no, no, no.
You can't prove I didn't touch that rope somewhere else.
Someone could've stolen it from my shed.
No, we know that you strangled her, because we have DNA that proves it.
Okay, here's the thing : you're going to go away for Hannah Wilcox's murder, there's no doubt about it.
There isn't a jury in the world that is going to find any sympathy for a corporate executive who's killing for a profit sheet.
And you're not going to last one day in prison, because executives are right down there on the food chain with pedophiles.
You can make this smoother for yourself.
But you get one chance.
How? Have a sit.
If you tell us everything, we will offer you protection.
I have got a list of all of the policyholders who were employees that have died in the last five years.
Circle all the names you're responsible for.
Let me ask you a question, Mr.
You're just the numbers cruncher here, right? So you didn't come up with this plan on your own.
Who's behind this? You'll tell the judge that I helped you? Yes.
My CEO, DeSalvo.
He said, "We have the policies, why not use them?" He told me I'd have "lifetime employment" if I did this.
Do you have anything that can prove that? Like a little trail of bread crumbs? DeSalvo's not that stupid.
You forgot to circle Jeff Lofton.
Because I had nothing to do with that.
I swear.
Excuse us for a moment.
This guy just gave us half a dozen murders.
What's the problem? Here's the thing: if we don't have any hard evidence, it's going to be DeSalvo's word against his.
- Well, then our CEO walks.
- Exactly.
And we still have to figure out who killed Jeff Lofton.
- Hey, did you get my message? - Patrol found our missing girl.
They also picked up her dress.
They found it at her apartment.
Well, I'll take her.
I'll take the dress.
Do you know who I work for? I'm the executive assistant to the CEO of Renovation Warehouse.
They have a team of lawyers who will help me, because I haven't done anything wrong.
Well, why didn't you return our phone calls? I was busy.
I had errands to run.
Sequins match the dress.
You see, these sequins here were found with our murder victim.
They came off of your dress.
Just tell us what happened.
I don't want to lose my job.
I'm not saying any more, okay? Well, Caroline, you may want to rethink your company loyalty.
What's this? That is an insurance policy that your company took out on the guy who got murdered.
They also have one on you.
Your company killed Lofton so they could collect the insurance money.
Which means, you could've been the one in that aquarium.
No, it wasn't like that.
I was with Max.
And I'm guessing you weren't taking a memo.
Someone's going to catch us.
We should get back to the party.
So you don't want me to give you, uh, your year-end bonus? Are these actual diamonds? We had a very good year.
What the hell is this, DeSalvo? You say the company can't pay for decent health care.
But it can afford diamonds for a secretary? Go down and order me a drink.
I went downstairs after that.
Okay, how long after that did Lofton fall in the tank? Couple minutes, maybe.
But there's no way Max killed that janitor.
I think we'll let Mr.
DeSalvo speak for himself.
Step onto the butcher paper, please.
What is all this? If you pushed Jeff Lofton off the balcony, there will be evidence of him on you.
I told you that my run-in with him was before the party.
But a witness places you on the balcony before he was pushed.
And by "witness," you mean Caroline? We're going to start with your clothing, so take your jacket off.
Why don't I save you guys the trouble? I may have told a little lie.
I was up on the balcony with your witness when Lofton arrived.
I ask her to leave, and he went Christian Bale on me.
You guys won't pony up decent health care for me, but the new girl gets a diamond bracelet? That young lady works very hard, mister.
what? I've busted my ass for this company for 15 years, and you don't even know my name?! If you pushed him off the second floor, that's murder.
I had no choice.
He attacked me.
He did this to me.
The pattern of the bruising matches Lofton's knee brace.
So you're claiming self-defense? You know, all you've got is circumstantial evidence, Lieutenant.
And my story's just as good as yours.
We also believe that you are responsible for the insurance policy murders.
Really? It's my understanding that one of my actuaries confessed to that.
His word against mine.
And again, I like my story better.
Take him, please.
I'll be out before sunset.
He's right.
Everything we got could support self-defense, and we've got nothing connecting him to the other murders.
These things have a way of working themselves out.