Major Crimes s06e07 Episode Script

Conspiracy Theory Part 2

1 Previously on "Major Crimes" Last night, while traveling home from a work session, my mother, Bonnie Pearl, was assassinated in her car.
BUZZ: Our, uh, primary suspect was Erik Walsh.
You think I was involved because that bitch cost me everything I own.
Stan is Bonnie's sole heir.
My mother was a vicious, ruthless machine who'd destroy anything and everything in her path.
Aiden he fired me and said I couldn't use him as a reference.
If I leave here today without your signature and a check covering two months of Gus's pay, you have no idea how ugly this is going to get.
Craig Curtis is the one you should be investigating.
CURTIS: We have a new location opening in Hollywood tonight.
Consider yourselves invited.
For the past month, there have been dozens of incoming calls about Tackles designated by the cities "Burbank/Dallas SA" with no phone numbers listed.
I think we found our Dallas.
And her name is Vanessa.
[CAMERA SHUTTER CLICKING] [POLICE RADIO CHATTER] Okay, what happened? Front door was unlocked when we got here.
No sign of forced entry, but, as you can see, her place was trashed.
Another dead woman with links to Tackles.
Kendall? KENDALL: She has slight petechia and cyanosis.
See the bluing of her eyelids and lips? To me, that suggests asphyxiation.
Goes with this thin indentation around her neck.
SYKES: It was too thin for Vanessa to have been strangled by hand, but a plastic bag could have done it.
If someone were able to tie the bag around her head and hold it the - Commander! - Whoa! Are you okay? Yeah.
I just, uh I just needed to sit down.
Buzz, Buzz, uh, let's get her some water.
Uh, Nolan, uh, call Andy.
Tell him to come pick her up.
- Yes, sir.
- No, I don't need anyone to pick me up.
No, no, no, no, no.
I am the incident commander, and I will not have you collapsing in my crime scene.
Now, you are overdoing it.
I will call paramedics.
- They can be here in 10 minutes.
- T-This is nothing, Lieutenant.
This is a reaction to the new medication my doctor put me on.
Thank you, Buzz.
Now, there are two coasters here.
Are we thinking that Vanessa sat down with her killer? - You don't have to do - PAIGE: That's my theory.
And we found a blue stem from a broken glass near the couch.
As if her hand couldn't let go of what it was holding.
Shards of the same color blue are in the victim's fist.
BUZZ: Uh, she gripped the glass with her left hand and the couch with her right.
SHARON: Like she's glued in place.
There's two coasters here.
Where is the other blue glass? I'll check the kitchen.
Okay, okay.
If Vanessa, aka "Burbank/Dallas SA," was being suffocated, why didn't she just drop the drink and then try to protect herself? SANCHEZ: Uh, her muscles tensed up, sir.
Maybe another assailant held her down.
Another phantom accomplice, like Bonnie's second shooter? I don't believe that.
Well, she has a router, but no laptop, notebook, iPad.
The killer took her devices? PAIGE: Couldn't find her wallet, either, or her cell.
Someone may have grabbed her purse, too.
Again, just like Bonnie Pearl.
Add to that pattern Vanessa seemed unafraid of her killer.
I mean, she served her murderer a drink.
- Time of death? - The body's in full rigor.
Well, no shit, Sherlock.
She's stiff as a board.
Uh, with liver temp, I'd say earlier between 11:00 and 3:00.
TAO: Well, now we know why she wasn't protesting in front of Tackles this evening.
SHARON: If she died before the restaurant's grand opening, then everyone who attended it is still suspect.
Uh, sir, Lieutenant Flynn will be here in 10.
Uh, did someone mention the missing books? This table behind the sofa looks like it had a complete row of books on it until very recently.
Missing books? What was our killer trying to find? Or hide.
Vanessa has four purple glasses and four green glasses, just like these.
But I only found two blue ones in the cupboard.
Well, the third blue glass broke in Vanessa's hand.
The fourth one walked out the front door with our killer.
Your life is at stake, you put up a fight.
And Vanessa just sat there.
Why? Because she was stunned a lot.
There are 15 areas on the back of her body and neck where she was shocked by a stun gun.
- Stun gun? Why is there no - But there are no burn marks.
I was just about to say that, Cami.
Oh, go ahead.
Well, there's no reason to say it now, is there? Why is there no physical evidence of this stun gun? The newest stun guns don't leave marks above the skin's surface.
We don't have the newest stun guns? Ours are about 10 years out-of-date.
Technology advances faster than the L.
A.
P.
D.
's budget.
Also [CLEARS THROAT] when I magnified this area of the victim's neck, I found subcutaneous bruises, each exactly 1 1/2 inches apart the same distance between two prongs on a stun gun.
Now, watch this.
I got this from a deputy at County.
See? It fits.
And each time the stun gun was fired, the young lady's muscles contracted almost 20 times per second.
So our murderer attacked Vanessa from behind, managed to zap her while still getting a plastic bag over her head.
What a way to go, especially if the killer was someone she trusted enough to let in the house.
Well, the murderer may have contacted her before dropping by.
Her cellphone's missing, but we can still check her incoming calls.
Her texts, however Let me talk to our intel guys, see what they can find.
Oh, and the last person I want notified of Vanessa's death is her lawyer, Stan Pearl.
No more impromptu press conferences.
So, what now, Lieutenant? Well, we get the police in Dover, Delaware, to notify her relatives, find out if they know something that we don't and then we talk to the rest of the former Tackles employees.
ALEX: The last time I saw Vanessa was with you.
She said she was gonna protest with us at Tackles last night, but, not surprisingly, she never showed.
Why "not surprisingly"? Sh-She doesn't like that kind of attention.
We had to beg her to come to the press conference at Bonnie's office.
Also, it feels like she's taking Bonnie's death harder than the rest of us.
- She's not responding to our calls.
- Commander.
How are you feeling? Much better, Lieutenant.
The extra rest helped.
- Thank you.
- Yeah, you see? Sharon Raydor slept in, - and the world didn't implode.
- I mean, I get it, because her own family life was so screwed up, and Bonnie was like a mom to her.
- So, what does Alex have to say? - Very tough, but very loving.
Well, she doesn't know about Vanessa yet.
- Not sure how she'll take it.
- Of course, the murder was so horrible, and we're all having trouble wrapping our minds around it.
Did Vanessa go back home to Dover? Is she dropping out of the suit? Uh, no.
No, the reason why you haven't heard back from Vanessa is No.
No.
[VOICE BREAKING] No, no, wait.
We are very, very sorry.
[SOBBING] Vanessa died yesterday at home.
We found her last night around Oh, my God.
She finally did it? She killed herself? Why would assume she committed suicide, ma'am? Because a little bit before we were fired, she got really really depressed.
She had insomnia.
The doctor ended up prescribing her an antidepressant.
And this one night, she ended up taking all the pills at once.
Vanessa Blaine attempted suicide? Okay, this is not a good surprise.
We need to find out everything we can about what was going on in Vanessa's life right before she was fired.
Well, Chief Mason's still working on getting cloud backups on her devices.
Brin was living with her at the time and came home earlier than expected and ended up having to drag her all the way to the E.
R.
Brin was Vanessa's roommate? [VOICE BREAKING] Yeah.
Well, no, not exactly.
Brin couldn't afford a place of her own, so Vanessa agreed to put her up for a while.
Brin is Miss September.
From the Tackles calendar.
Right.
FLYNN: She's not a suspect, is she? Do you murder a good friend just because she kicks you off the sofa? Or shoot your attorney who's suing your ex-employer? Vanessa said she needed to be alone.
Brin was angry that she had to find someplace else to stay, but was even more worried that Vanessa would try and hurt herself again.
They had known each other before Tackles from this acting class that they had taken together.
TAO: Vanessa was an actress? Yeah, can you believe it A beautiful young girl moves to Los Angeles, seeking her fame and fortune.
Will wonders never cease? Vanessa worried it would damage Here she is, Commander.
Vanessa Blaine has one credit, a TV movie "Great White Shark Attack 4.
" They had to do number four because "Shark Attack 3" left so much of the story up in the air.
Vanessa was an aspiring Hollywood actress.
And who have we met in this case who has an interest in starlets? ERIK: I don't recognize her at all, but, you know, these girls start to blend together after a while.
Why, what did this Vanessa girl say about me? Well, not much these days.
She died yesterday afternoon after someone used a stun gun on her several times while holding a plastic bag over her head.
I g I get why Erik Walsh would kill Bonnie, but why Vanessa? You saw how he treated the actress in that viral video.
He's a monster.
Okay, so? So, we found your eBay account - with a list of movie props you sold.
- Yeah, to pay my damn rent.
And you know what we found on that list, Erik? Stun guns, just like the ones you used in your 2011 hit "Sudden Vengeance.
" Now, is it possible that you held on to one of those stun guns, you know, as a keepsake? Guys, those stun guns are props, fakes.
I would never let a live weapon on a set while I was directing.
Safety issues my safety in particular.
Yeah, well, since you're in the business of storytelling, - we should probably check that.
- Look! I don't know this girl Vanessa.
And you said she died when? Yesterday afternoon? Because I was working all day around maybe 300 people.
Working where? West Hollywood, off Sunset.
Can we get an address? Or a cross street? It's a Starbucks, okay? I can't afford an office.
So I go there every day, and I use their Wi-Fi to send e-mails to producers and studio executives begging for one more chance, even if it's just television.
My barista, Theo, can vouch for me.
He worked a double yesterday.
Well, we'll make sure that we chat with Theo.
In the meantime, why don't you, uh write it all down for us, Erik.
PAIGE: If our former movie director really was at the office, then aren't we left with our suspects from the grand opening of Tackles? Who each had time to murder Vanessa, clean up, and head to Hollywood.
Buzz, would you please review your film from the opening of Tackles last night? BUZZ: Sure.
[INDISTINCT SHOUTING] Other than a lot of chanting from the protestors and a lot of ogling from guys in the crowd, the only suspicious thing might be these holsters, which I didn't really notice - at the time.
- Is that a stun gun? Yeah, one of the new ones, too.
Doesn't leave a mark.
PAIGE: These security goons at Tackles work directly for Craig Curtis? Yes, and they're definitely over 30.
Amy and Cami, I think it's time to notify Mr.
Curtis about Vanessa Blaine's death and make sure he brings a little security with him.
Yes, Commander.
[ELEVATOR BELL DINGS] GUS: Rusty.
Hey, Andrea.
Long time no see.
- Were you expecting him? - Yeah.
Uh, this will only take a minute.
Good, because you're on the clock.
Excuse me.
Uh, is Andrea pissed at me? - Well, I told her that we broke up.
- Oh, I You told her why, too, I guess? Does everybody here just hate me now? No, not everyone.
Look, I have something for you.
This is yours.
Inside is a great reference from Aiden and two months' severance pay.
It's not as much as you could've gotten in a lawsuit, but the recommendation will help you to get a better job.
And in the event that a future employer calls, Aiden has agreed to speak about you in the most positive way possible.
You went to talk to Aiden? - About what? - This.
Gus, I talked to him about this, obviously.
- Oh, my God.
- Hey.
What Aiden did to us was immoral, but what he did to you was illegal.
No one can be fired for for not sleeping with the boss.
And I said leave it alone.
I don't want to get paid for Oh, man.
This is embarrassing.
Oh, so so you'd you'd rather be struggling to pay your bills and waiting tables at a diner, Gus? No, but I-I feel like I'm being bought off for for sex.
- It's gross.
- Gross? Okay, well, just so you know, - when I was being bought off for sex - Rusty, that is not what I meant.
I never made 10 grand, ever.
So if that's what this check is for, then that must've been some spectacular sex, Gus.
Look, if if you won't do it for yourself, do it for the other people that Aiden treated this way.
Other people? What other people? Oh, y-you think that you're the only guy that Aiden ever hired or promoted for reasons not related to job performance? Aiden agreed to give you the reference and the check because if you sued him, suddenly, a lot of other people just like you, Gus, would start coming forward, and that would not Stop.
Just stop! Stop.
I get it.
I was an idiot.
And the answer you were looking for before was twice.
I slept with Aiden twice.
And t-t-the second time was only because I I wasn't sure how to say "no.
" Yeah, well, it feels like you couldn't say "no" the first time, either.
I hope that recommendation helps to put your career back on track.
[SIGHS] I'm sorry it upset you.
I was never very good at making you happy.
[CHUCKLES] Anyway, I have to go.
Excuse me.
MASON: We hit the jackpot.
After my guys cracked Vanessa's six-digit pin on her phone, they cloned her disk image onto this device.
Now we have access to all the victim's texts, calls, and photos.
When did Vanessa last back up her phone? Three days before her murder.
PROVENZA: Three days? That means that we won't have any texts from the killer saying that he's gonna stop by Vanessa's house.
Probably not, but we got a lot of back and forth between Vanessa and Bonnie Pearl.
Sometimes Vanessa would even reach out to Bonnie in the middle of the night.
Vanessa had trouble sleeping.
So she texted her attorney? SANCHEZ: Well, Alex Snow said that out of all the women involved in the lawsuit that Vanessa was closest with Bonnie, even if they argued a little, ma'am.
No, I think that Bonnie Pearl was more of a - maternal figure.
- Exactly.
Every Wednesday morning for the last two months, Bonnie would send Vanessa a text reminding her of her 4:00 appointment.
"Don't forget about 4PM.
You're stronger than you think.
" And then a smiley-face emoji.
Wow.
Bonnie Pearl didn't seem like the emoji type.
"You're stronger than you think.
" Was Bonnie talking about the attempted suicide or the lawsuit, ma'am? It's hard to say, but where was Vanessa going every Wednesday at 4:00 p.
m.
? If her cell's location services was on - It was.
- Let's see what that tells us.
Amy, were you able to convince Craig Curtis to speak with us again? He's getting a visitor's badge downstairs with Cami and a massive security guy he calls Tick.
Tick? I assume Tick is his given name.
Unknown, but he was asked to surrender his stun gun before coming upstairs.
I held on to it for safety reasons.
We can call up morgue photos and see if this fits the profile of the weapon used on Vanessa, ma'am.
CURTIS: [SIGHS] This is beginning to feel like déjà vu, Detective Paige.
What am I doing here again? You know, there are easier ways to find out if a guy's into you.
Like, do you have a card or something? - You're not my type.
- Oh, no? Why's that? - You're too far over 30.
- [LAUGHS] And a sense of humor, too.
Ooh, I love it.
Hey.
Oh, sorry, Tick.
You need to wait outside.
But, uh, help yourself to the break room next door.
You have the right to remain silent Commander, this stun gun has a distance of 1 1/2 inches between prongs.
PROVENZA: That's just like one of the new stun guns that Morales showed us in the morgue.
We'll need more than matching stun guns to connect Curtis to Vanessa's murder.
- And Bonnie was shot in the head.
- Curtis could've hired this oversized dirt bag to off Vanessa.
You mind telling me what this is about? The Miranda Warning shouldn't make you feel special.
We have to give it to everyone who talks to us - in this building.
- RUSTY: Oh, my God.
You guys lie to people even when you don't need to.
It centers us.
We have bad news, and we, um, wanted to inform you in person.
Really? Bad news? What bad news? One of your former employees Vanessa died yesterday afternoon.
We found her after the grand opening of your new restaurant.
[SIGHS] Vanessa's d What, was it suicide? Murdered asphyxiated in her own home.
Not before the killer used a stun gun 15 times on Vanessa's body.
Guess who we know who has access to as many stun guns as he wants.
Oh, come o W-Why would I do something like that?! Because Stan Pearl told you that he would reach a much better financial arrangement with Tackles than his mother ever would.
And Vanessa refused to settle, so let's ask ourselves, who benefits from both these murders? Okay, and then let's ask ourselves, where was I yesterday afternoon? Oh, that's right.
The answer is here, with you guys.
Yeah, where were you before that, between 11:00 and 3:00? [SCOFFS] I I was working out in the morning, and then I was getting ready for my opening that night, so I had a two-hour pep talk with Bill Landon.
Dr.
Bill Landon one of your top investors? Yeah, well, he's also my life coach.
And yesterday, I needed a little help getting pumped up for the red carpet.
I don't know if this is the exact weapon, but it matches up with the one that attacked Vanessa.
HOBBS: It's a circumstantial step.
It's still a long way from murder.
We need to confirm your session with Dr.
Landon himself.
Yeah, well, good luck getting ahold of him.
He's doing a seminar in Salt Lake City.
Commander, I think we found Vanessa Blaine's weekly appointment.
Every Wednesday afternoon for the past two months, Vanessa shows up inside this circle 12 miles from her house.
Within here, we have a parking structure, a restaurant, a drug store, and a medical building.
Four stories of doctor's offices occupied by two dermatologists, an ENT specialist, an internist, a proctologist, a surgery/outpatient center, and Dr.
Jane Cross, a psychologist whose website says she specializes in the after effects of sexual assault.
Now, we checked with Dr.
Cross's office, and they would not confirm why Cross was seeing Vanessa.
Ye Gods.
She was raped.
Maybe that's why Vanessa tried to kill herself.
And why she said that no financial settlement would ever be enough.
So if we accept this theory, how does it fit with our pattern of facts? Well, it explains why Craig Curtis let a bunch of other women go from Tackles all at once to cover up what he'd done.
Is there a police report - of this supposed sexual assault? - Uh, no.
Vanessa Blaine could've been raped two years ago.
Curtis can't be arrested on a theory.
We just can't let this asshole walk out of here.
What other choice do we have? Craig Curtis might have raped and murdered Vanessa, but all we can prove is that he fired her.
SHARON: Which, in itself, is not an arrestable offense.
But what we can do, starting now, is protect everyone else involved in this lawsuit, including Vanessa's psychologist, who may very well know the name of our rapist.
SHARON: You sure I can't help? Not that you need any lessons.
All you need to do is relax.
[CELLPHONE VIBRATES] Why aren't you going to that new specialist until Friday? Because my symptoms have already gone away, - and it is less urgent - [CELLPHONE VIBRATES] than the dead body I have in the morgue.
What's going on there? Uh, well, uh, the prep is done.
Now the lasagna just needs to bake.
No, I mean your phone keeps ringing.
You keep declining.
Is it Gus? [SIGHS] You must be psychic.
Yeah.
I won my first settlement conference - [GASPS] - a severance pay and a letter of recommendation for Gus from Aiden.
And don't worry, I wasn't playing lawyer.
Just bluffing like crazy while Aiden took a moment to consider his past.
So Gus isn't the first person he's done this to? Well, what are the odds? Anyway, after considering his options, Aiden signed a fantastic letter of recommendation, written by me, and two months' severance.
When I gave it all to Gus, he got mad at me.
I'm sure that Gus will come around.
Who cares? Um look what came in the mail.
[GASPS] Your college diploma.
Your college diploma.
Oh, my God, Rusty.
- You did this in three years.
- [DOOR OPENS, CLOSES] I am [CHUCKLES] so proud of you.
I never could have done it without you, Mom.
Hey, what's going on? Look.
Oh, wow.
Congratulations, kid.
Thanks, Andy.
[SNIFFLES] - Hey, Mom.
- Yeah.
- Are you okay? - Yes, I am incredibly okay.
I'm, uh [VOICE BREAKING] I'm so happy.
This is everything that I wanted for you.
It's everything I dreamed about.
I'm so sorry.
I'm sorry.
Don't apologize, Mom.
I I almost cried myself there, so Hey, there's a lot going on.
Now if we could just keep you safe We'll keep him safe.
As safe as a future attorney can be.
Oh, my son, the lawyer.
After three more years of work.
Oh.
Oh! Oh, my gosh.
You know, I've never felt this challenged and this is the happiest I've [VOICE BREAKING] I've ever been in my entire life.
I have I have three children through college and a perfect husband.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Oh, Rusty.
STAN: You guys just totally screwed me.
Some of the girls are dropping out of the lawsuit because you told them they could be raped and killed? Are you deliberately trying to destroy my whole case? We are already investigating two murders related to Tackles.
These young women need to be warned.
Why the hell didn't you tell me Vanessa, my client for God's sake, had be murdered?! Why didn't you tell us that Vanessa was the victim of a sexual assault? Because I didn't know until you started asking all these girls about it! Your mom knew.
She was encouraging Vanessa to get support.
Well, Mom kept things from me.
Always too busy jetting off to God knows where to interview some nobody waitress.
Any girl let go from Tackles - Any girl? - These women were over 30.
- His mother didn't teach him very well.
- Wasn't enough to call and ask if they'd like to be included in the case.
No, she had to look them in the eye.
Stan, it is possible that Vanessa's rape caused her murder.
That's why it is so important that we read all of Bonnie's notes regarding Tackles.
You guys honestly think I'm gonna help you? [LAUGHS] A-After the way I've been treated? Buzz? - I have news reporters following - Julio, the commander wants us to turn up the heat a little.
asking me if I offed my mother! Oh, maybe they're on to something, Stanley.
Where were you before the protest at the Hollywood Tackles opening? - I'm sorry? - At your office? At lunch? Murdering Vanessa at her house? Where? Murdering Vanessa, what?! Why would I do that?! Because Vanessa would not come to terms with Craig, and Craig was not gonna pay anyone out until everyone agreed not to sue.
Your mother even had a nickname for her "Burbank/Dallas SA.
" SA as in settlement agreement? SANCHEZ: Vanessa blocked your big pay day.
She was never going to settle after being fired and then raped.
You hid that from us until you could kill her! That's bullshit, and you know it! I-I'm not a murderer or a rapist, either! Me, a rapist? [CHUCKLES] What happens to your civil case - Commander? - Yes? Dr.
Cross, the psychologist who was treating Vanessa, is downstairs.
Want me to go get her? Yes, please, Wes.
Bring her to my office.
in an illegible form of chicken scratch.
I'll go to the firm and get them, - but what I find - No, no, no, no, no.
PROVENZA: You're not leaving our sight.
Have your mother's notes brought over here.
Well, I need a phone.
Please? God.
It's so annoying.
Why didn't Mom tell me about the rape? CROSS: Vanessa didn't want anyone to know, and she had to be convinced to come see me.
Over the years, Bonnie used me to help with lots of sexual assault cases from her practice.
Bonnie Bonnie was a great voice for women, and silencing her like this is a tragedy.
It is.
It really is.
So, ordinarily, everything Vanessa told you would be privileged, but since her murder It's horrible.
Horrible, horrible.
If Vanessa opened up to you during her recovery process, especially if she said anything about her attacker, that could be extremely helpful.
Though not necessarily admissible.
You have to understand, the attack was not very long ago, and she was in my support group, not one-on-one therapy.
- [CELLPHONE VIBRATES] - Some women need time to fully absorb what happened, especially when they knew their attacker and feel that they're somehow partly to blame.
So she knew her rapist by name? Yes, but she never identified him.
Though she did finally agree to describe the details of her assault.
Which were? She accepted an invitation from this man to join him in his hotel room for a glass of wine, to watch the sunset.
To her, it was a spur-of-the-moment thing.
When you say "spur of the moment," did they just run into each other by accident, or was this someone she knew from Tackles, like a a customer or a supervisor? All she said about her rapist was that this was a guy that she trusted, and there was no hint of sexual advance beforehand.
So Vanessa went up to his room And before she finished her glass of wine, she started to feel woozy.
She was drugged? She didn't lose consciousness, but she had to lie down.
That's when he tied her up to the bed.
God.
He gagged her with a hand towel and kept saying "Trust me" over and over until he was done.
And then what? Then he ordered her a taxi.
And they say chivalry is dead.
- [CELLPHONE VIBRATES] - What is it, Buzz? Bonnie Pearl's assistants are here with her notes and files two mail carts full.
- I've heard enough.
- Yeah, me too.
I'll help.
[DOOR OPENS] Did Vanessa confide any of this to her friends after the fact or call the police? No.
She thought because she worked as a Tackles model, the police would think she was asking for it.
I tried to convince her that a work wardrobe never legitimizes rape, but like so many women who suffer sexual assault, she internalized the trauma.
So she didn't identify the guy, but what about a description? Height, weight, race, hair color? No.
The name of the hotel? I'm sorry.
All I can say for sure is that he was no stranger.
As for what Bonnie knew, I have no idea.
And we won't know, either, because Bonnie was shot in the face.
Unless Bonnie, the lawyer, wrote it all down somewhere.
He tied Vanessa up.
- He had rope with him in his hotel room.
- And drugs.
Doesn't sound spontaneous to me.
Well, we don't know the name of our rapist, but he did give us one identifying feature.
And that would be? He is definitely not a beginner.
I guess your phone is broken? I didn't answer your zillion texts and calls because I'm mad and I was at work.
Well, I just want to say I-I'm sorry and thank you, and and it's all clear now what happened.
And t-the recommendation and the money will help, - a-and you didn't have to do all that.
- No, I did, Gus! Aiden destroyed my relationship, which was incredibly important to me.
He backed me into a corner He didn't back you into a corner.
He fully explained to you why he was taking me to Napa.
Oh, what, he said that to you? When he fired me.
He said that you'd come by to pick me up at work and that he'd dare you to tell me that the promotion was only because he wanted to you know You just let me go knowing that? No, Gus Without even, like, a heads up? If I were that important to you - Was it, like, some kind of test? - No, no, it wasn't a test.
You were just You were so excited about Napa.
And I And yes, I-I behaved badly when you told me about the promotion.
I just I didn't want to hurt your feelings.
And this is better? Nothing? Nothing is better - than hurting my feeling? - No.
Gus - Now we have nothing! - Look, here's the problem.
The Gus that I knew I love that guy.
And And You look like him and you sound like him, but you are not him, because the guy that I knew that Rusty The guy that the guy that I thought I knew never would have hurt me like this.
Rusty, I am that guy that you knew.
And I love you, too.
I promise, you can trust me, but please please let's just try and fix this.
Was Aiden the first time you slept with someone else, or was it just the first time you decided to tell me? How do I know that there aren't 10 more Aidens out there? Or 20? Oh, my God.
See, I don't know how to trust you again.
And here is here is the whole truth, Gus.
If I could I would forgive you.
I just don't know how.
SYKES: I can't say this is the start of a pattern, but back when he was playing football in college, a cheerleader named Natalie Reed accused Curtis and four of his fellow teammates of gang rape.
So our famous restaurateur also has experience in sexual assault.
PAIGE: Natalie claimed the players slipped her some sort of drug before the attack.
Then how come we never heard of this previous rape before? SANCHEZ: Uh, because it wasn't prosecuted, sir, and it was kept out of the press.
Curtis was about to win the Heisman.
Which would make him not only an MVP, but, perhaps, a very famous alumnus, meaning millions of dollars in future donations.
NOLAN: I talked to the old defensive coordinator for Craig's team who had trouble with the way things went down back then.
And, according to Natalie's mom, who's still crying about it, by the way, her daughter ended up taking an $80,000 settlement from the school.
To keep her from reporting the assault to the police.
SYKES: And buy her silence, and it worked, too for a while.
Until Natalie jumped off the center of Tampa's Skyway Bridge three years later.
And, unlike Vanessa's, this suicide attempt was a success.
She did leave a note, though, accusing Craig Curtis and his friends of rape.
Her mother e-mailed us this.
Curtis is good for these murders.
He is.
But can we prove it? Well, we may not have the exact stun gun or the weapon that murdered Bonnie, but her files will help.
Bonnie had discovery requests from fired waitresses from all of Craig Curtis's restaurants.
And it turns out that Stan Pearl was telling the truth.
Bonnie Pearl traveled quite a bit over the last couple of months, visiting various cities with Tackles restaurants.
Yes, but was that for her Tackles lawsuit, or was she trying to find out who raped Vanessa Blaine? Curtis was notified of her murder.
Maybe we should see how he reacts to hearing about her sexual assault.
Oh, I agree.
But we may get more of an unguarded response if we surprise Mr.
Curtis in his natural habitat.
[MID-TEMPO ROCK MUSIC PLAYS] Aww.
Hey, cutie.
Welcome back to Tackles.
Uh, hello, ma'am.
"Ma'am"? So formal.
I like it.
You officers want the bar or a table? We are so not hungry.
Is Craig Curtis in? Oh, uh, Craig doesn't like to talk to people when he's We're L.
A.
P.
D.
We don't care if he wants to talk with us.
We want to talk with him.
Understand? Wow, okay.
[SCOFFS] No need to be rude.
CURTIS: You guys know about Vanessa's rape? That's That's a surprise, actually.
Oh, are we not supposed to know about that? Like we weren't supposed to know about Natalie Reed? Oh, come on.
That You have any idea how long ago that was? Yes, and in case you were wondering about Natalie, she's still dead.
You mention Natalie Reed again, this conversation is over.
You want to talk about Vanessa, fine.
Yeah, she called me right after it happened.
She was Well, she was drugged.
She was scared out of her mind.
Why would she contact you? Because I just told you, she was scared.
She wanted me to protect her.
You know that taking care of these girls is a serious part of my job.
Until they turn 30.
When'd you get this call from Vanessa? - Can you put a date to it? - [SCOFFS] Yeah.
Was part of taking care of Vanessa - firing her a month later? - Her contract expired.
I couldn't make an exception for her without causing a bigger headache.
- Who raped her? - You know, she wouldn't say.
Probably because she knew I would do something to the guy.
Here.
It was, uh, the 19th, 11:27 p.
m.
I'm sitting on the tarmac, flying back from Vegas, she calls me, she's crying so hard, - I could barely understand her.
- Mm, is that what you said after you and your friends gang-raped Natalie? All right, you know, shut your mouth, bitch! You don't know what the hell you're talking about! - Sit down right now.
- No, no, no, no, no.
It's okay, Wes.
Let the big man hit the girl.
Go for it, asshole.
You're gonna talk to me like that in my place, huh? For the last time, sit down.
Hey, what the hell's going on? Drop your weapon! You sit your ass down.
Back up.
Back it up.
I never raped anyone in my life! And I didn't kill Vanessa, either.
You know, I do have an alibi for that day.
Ask Bill Landon.
He'll back me up.
Mm, your friend Dr.
Landon's a little hard to get on the phone.
Yeah, maybe you could help us find him.
I'm sorry it's taken me a while to get back to you.
I was holding a seminar in Salt Lake, then a full-day retreat in Santa Barbara, and now we're off to one of Vicky's charity galas.
We fight for animal rights because they can't fight for themselves.
She'll be feeding us to a pack of rescue dogs if we're not done in five minutes.
We understand your time is precious, Dr.
Landon.
Oh, everyone's time is precious, Commander.
It's one of the things we teach in the Landon Method.
Do you have somewhere my wife and son can wait while we chat? Oh, right through here.
Dad, don't over-explain.
- We need to wrap this up in two minutes.
- I heard five.
Seth is right.
This is not a workshop, Bill.
[CHUCKLES] Sorry.
Oh! See, Seth, uh, manages my schedule.
And then Vicky makes sure that any attempts at being profound only occur in front of a paying audience.
It's wonderful, though, don't you think? Working with your family? Oh, yeah, mostly.
But, uh, this is one detail in which they can both remain uninvolved.
So, you'd like to know if Craig was really with me on the afternoon the young woman from Tackles was murdered? Yeah, that would be helpful.
Well, short answer is "yes.
" I had a roughly two-hour talk with Craig, helping him release expectations.
Let me explain.
See when Craig first came to me, he was depressed, suffering from an injury that not only ended his career, but destroyed the life he'd planned to live.
Oh, and this guy planned, practiced, sacrificed for a dream he'd cherished from childhood.
And this incredibly human ability to see beyond the curve, like, to look ahead of today, well, that can morph from one of our greatest strength into a debilitating weakness, and why? Well, because very often, we arrive at the future, only to discover that, uh, it just isn't there.
That instead, we've entered a space where no amount of planning, no sacrifice, no hope will manifest our expectations.
And in this situation, we must adapt, adapt, adapt, and find another way to love our lives.
There is no goal greater than this.
Love your life right now.
Which just happens to be the name of my new book.
I'm gonna leave a copy with you.
"Love Your Life Right Now.
" Available next week on Amazon and in bookstores.
PAIGE: So, after he lost his football career, you helped Craig love his life by opening a tits-and-ass restaurant? I don't create dreams, Detective.
I just turn them into reality.
You know, you'd be surprised how often people let unidentified, misdirected anger, resentment, and, yes, fear ruin their lives.
What did Craig have to be afraid of, if he's so innocent? Well, fear of the lawsuit, of course, fear of failure, fear of the harsh judgment of others.
Harsh judgment? From what? Letting young women go from a job just 'cause they hit 30, that's, uh it's right on Craig's brand, but from a human standpoint, it's hardly endearing.
[SIGHS] Bill! [CHUCKLES] Are you talking alibis or the Method? Those Galápagos penguins aren't gonna save themselves.
And part of loving my life is keeping my spouse happy right now.
[CHUCKLING] So anything else? Doctor, when's your next intensive seminar in Los Angeles? Later this week.
You can register on our website.
And feel free to pass those around if you want to.
We'll call you if we have any more questions, sir.
Lieutenant? Questions such as the long-term effects of guilt.
- Oh, I could talk about guilt for hours.
- Oh, no, no.
Well, I specialize a bit in guilt myself.
Oh, right through here.
Are you really gonna pay good money to hear this guy talk all day? No, I just want to make sure he'll be around if we need him.
We found something.
Buzz? I'm working on it.
I'm working on it.
- See? - Thank you.
Okay.
This is a map of all 15 Tackles locations.
Now, the receipts that Buzz and I found confirm that over the past two months, Bonnie traveled to every single one of these cities.
Looking through Bonnie's files, we didn't find any actual names of women she spoke to, but we did discover three more double cities with the initials "S.
A.
" scribbled by them.
As in "Burbank/Dallas SA," a.
k.
a.
Vanessa Blaine.
Yes, ma'am, but no real phone numbers or names.
But there is a San Diego/Miami SA, an Indianapolis/Tampa SA, and a Las Vegas/Atlanta SA.
"S.
A.
" doesn't stand for "settlement agreement.
" It stands for "sexual assault.
" That would explain why Bonnie didn't write down Vanessa's name or phone number in her call logs, too.
She wanted to keep the sexual assault quiet until she'd found other victims.
Because Vanessa's rapist was, - obviously, very experienced.
- Oh, my God.
Bonnie and Vanessa weren't killed because they were suing Craig Curtis for damages.
No, they were murdered to conceal a pattern of sexual assault.
And we need to identify all these other women before they end up dead, too.
[ELEVATOR BELL DINGS] Are you feeling light-headed again? No, I'm fine.
It's just I-It's just what? Y-You can tell me.
I-I can't believe I'm saying this, but And I know it's a lot to ask But if anything were to happen Sharon, nothing is gonna happen.
No, I know.
But I-I need to say this.
If anything were to happen, please, please look after my children.
Of course.
But y-you're gonna be here.
But if I'm not, if something bad were to happen Look, remember, my own ticker isn't what it used to be.
We'll be two injured hearts - beating as one.
- [LAUGHS] Oh, God.
That sounds like a a bad country-western song.
Look, the kids will be fine.
I promise.
- How did I get so lucky? - [LAUGHS] I think because you finally gave in, really.
What? I've been so happy in my life, but walking through that door to see yet another doctor could change everything.
Not everything.
Never everything.
[SOFTLY] Okay.