Two boys and a girl are skinny dipping. She accuses first one, then the
other, of grabbing her butt. A hand pops out of the lake, followed by
the dead body it belongs to. She screams.
Brass recalls finding dead bodies in the quarry. They were wearing
cement shoes, and all of them were named Anthony. David says the water
isn't so bad, as they are lifting the body out. Ray says thanks to the
sulphur, anyone who bathes in the spring every day would wind up with a
really beautiful complexion. Ray starts examining the body. There's
blood coming from the right nostril which means there is probable head
trauma on that side. He has an L-shaped wound above his eye. Preliminary
tests indicate that he was dead either before he hit the water, or very
shortly after. Brass thinks either there was a struggle before they hit
the water or, Nick notes as he takes pictures, a possible body dump. The
victim's shirt is torn. His body temp is 97, the water temp is 107, and
liver temp is 106.5 so calculated time of death is 4-7 hours. The
question becomes how he got out there, and who was he with.
Ray takes some water from the pond. It's getting hot out there, so Nick
hands him some bottled water. He found a fresh motor oil deposit on the
ground. The color tells Nick it's been there awhile. It could be from
the vehicle responsible for getting the John Doe out there.
Al tells Catherine that Mrs. Robbins has a birthday. A big one. She
doesn't want to make much out of it, so that means he has to. Catherine
tells him that you can't go wrong with diamonds. She says it's a girl's
BFF, and AL counters that it's a man's worst enemy. He thinks he'd like
to opt for a nice pair of yellow metal earrings. Catherine is quite sure
he is capable of saying of the word 'gold'. She goes on to say that
would be fine, but he needs to add a few carats. He'll thank Catherine
for it later.
She asks him if he has any thoughts on the cause of death. He says they
can roll out the L-shaped laceration, as there was no damage to the
skull. The rest of his body is a sick mass his liver is swollen with
cirrhosis, and both his brain and kidneys are peppered with
pre-cancerous lesions. His gastrointestinal tract looks like it's been
scrubbed with steel wool. There was also nerve tissue degeneration.
Catherine asks how old the victim was, and Al answers "not old enough
for this". He was a very sick man with a seriously shortened life
expectancy. Catherine asks what did kill him, and Al tells her that he
drowned. The water that killed him was locked into his vocal folds.
First appearance would indicate that he did not drown in the spring
where he was found.
Catherine works on identifying fingerprints. She finds a positive match
in one Walter Burns. He was in the system for assault 25 years ago, a
bar fight over some girl. Nothing in the system since then. Ray notes
that he is not exactly a hardened criminal. According to the DMV, he
lived on a ranch in Cable Springs. He owned a pickup so Brass put a
call out on the plates. He sent a couple of uniforms out to the ranch.
The truck was not there. Burns had a wife, but she died last year.
Ryan tells them that he checked Burns phone records. Apparently, the
man does not have any friends, with the exception of maybe one. More
than a dozen calls have been made over the period of the past week.
Rosalind Johnson is the editor of their local paper. That's a sort of
glorified term, because she does it all herself, including sweeping the
place out at the end of the day.
When questioned, Rosalind tells Brass and Ray that Burns was her source.
She refuses to say what the story was about, they'll find out soon
enough. They tell her that her source was found dead last night. Phone
records indicate she was the last person to speak to him. She asks what
happened, and Brass tells her he's not at liberty to say. She indicates
that's fair enough. She wants to quid pro quo. They can help each other.
She asks how Walter died. Brass wants to go first. What were she and
Walter talking about last night. She says they talked about Cable
Springs, his ranch, his health. His turn. Ray says that Walter was a
very sick man. Rosalind asks if they did an autopsy and Ray responds
"yes". He was riddles with systemic lesions, among other things. She
asks to see the report. Brass asks to see the story. She asks if she
needs to remind Brass of her first amendment rights. He tells her they
can go to court and subpoena her notes and sources. She says she will
go to jail before she gives them up. They appear to be at an impasse.
She asks if she's free to go and Brass tells her not to go far. As
she's leaving she tells Ray that Walter's wife was ill as well. They
may want to look into that. That one is on the house.
Nick shows up in the shop after Archie texts him. He has a vehicle from
an empty lot near Fremont. There's blood on the door. Nick says they
can't work on this right now, as they are working on the Burns case.
Archie says this is from the Burns case. This vehicle has recently been
to Walter Burns' ranch. The vehicle belongs to a Richard Adams, also
from Cable Springs. The lovely tracking system in the Escalate indicates
that Mr. Adams has been to Walter's property six times. It's positive
for blood. Nick finds an expended 9 mm cartridge casing. If the gun was
fired inside the vehicle, why is the blood outside. There's also
bubbling, which would indicate the presence of saliva. This would be
consistent with a gunshot wound to the chest.
Nick hypothesizes that the shooter was in the passenger seat. He
ordered the driver to get out. Ryan says that if we're to assume that
Richard Adams is the victim, where's the body. Archie says cops
searched the area around the vehicle and found nothing. They don't know
where the crime occurred, but Archie is betting the vehicle's computer
system has the answer.
Frankie and Nick break up a hooker/john connection. She's kind to the
prostitute but tells the john that if she finds him out there again,
she's going to deliver him home to his wife. Adams never made it home
last night. He's an engineer with a local gas company, Conservo
Solutions. His office is in Cable Springs. Frankie notes that if they
grabbed him from Cable Springs and dragged him to hooker alley in Vegas?
that indicates premeditation. They look around, and Nick finds blood.
Based on evidence, it's Nick's guess that Adams was probably already
down when he was struck the second time. Frankie finds a spent casing
that matches the one Nick found in Adams' car. He's been shot at least
twice. The body can't be far. They find drag marks which lead them to
the garbage area. They find Adams there. Frankie grabs his cell phone
and calls the last number; it's Rosalind at the Courier. Nick figure's
with two dead bodies in 24 hours, that must be one hell of a story she's
Mrs. Adams says her husband had been on edge for weeks. Even her sister
had noticed. He was sure he was being followed, but refused to tell his
wife by who. She tells them that Richard was a safety inspector for
Conservo. He'd go around the ranches and make sure there were no
problems when Conservo was drilling for natural gas. She says that he
visited a lot of ranchers. Anybody who complained. Nick asks what they
complained about. She tells Nick he needs to ask the company. Nick
changes tack and asks her about Rosalind. Mrs. Adams knows about the
reporter. She says that Rosalind was calling her husband all the time.
She was working on some story. Nick asks if she is sure that was the
extent of their relationship. His wife says yes. He didn't even want to
talk to her. Nick asks what she was writing about, and the wife gets
angry. she says Rosalind had a bug up her ass about the drilling. She
stops talking and when Nick tries to get her talking, she tells him that
all the employees and their families are bound by confidentiality
agreements. If she violates that, she'll lose all of Richard's benefits.
She can't take that risk. She has a son in college. Nick tells her her
husband was murdered, and if she knows anything she needs to tell him.
She said she wasn't threatened by the company. Somebody left a goat head
on the front porch, the day before her husband was murdered.
Al and Ray examine the goat's head back the lab. There are dozens of
lesions on the goat's brain, just like those found on Walter Burns. Al,
having seen The Godfather 11 times, says the this was a message. They're
going to run some tests on both the rancher and the goat, and hope to
get some answers to this medical mystery.
Ryan, Nick and Archie are trying to put a few pieces together. There is
a picture of the goat on Richard Adams cell phone. Nick is going to go
to the ranch next to Walter's and see if they have the rest of the
goat, not to mention the 9mm. And the truck with the oil leak. 1903 Old
Ranch Road. Ryan has a print he's going to run while Nick is gone.
The owner's name is Bill Gibson. He's owned the place for 40 years. He
has no priors. They hear a gunshot, and Frankie says she's got point;
don't shoot her in the ass. She calls out to him, LVPD. He asks what
they're doing on his property. Frankie tells him to put the animal down
and show her his hands. They ask him about Walter and he says that
Walter was lucky he got put out of his misery. He said for 40 years
sweet water came out of his well. The gas company paid him $50,000 for
his mineral rights. He said that only paid for one round of his wife's
chemo. Yes his wife was sick, just like Walter's wife and a whole lot
of other people around here. He called the water district, the mayor,
the EPA; nobody cared. Ray tells him that they care. Bill says that
Walter was going to get proof that Conservo Solutions was poisoning
them. Then he turns up dead. Frankie says she's not going to tell him
again. He says she's going to have to because he has nothing left to
live for. Ray says they just want to understand what's going on. Bill
says he'll show them. There's a large explosion.
As Gibson's body is taken away, Nick regrets to inform Ray that water
isn't supposed to be explosive. He recalls a river in Ohio that was so
polluted that it caught on fire. Ray remembers. His cousin lived there.
He said that water didn't flow, it oozed. If you got in the water, you'd
probably dissolve. That river was what started the clean Water Act. Ray
grabs some water from the well, and notes that it is bubbling. Since
it's not Perrier, this is not okay. He grabs a blow torch, turns on the
water, and lights it. Mr. Gibson's water contains methane at the very
least. Who knows what else. Ray bets that it's the "what else" that has
everybody and all their animals around here sick.
Rosalind heard Bill Hicks is dead and wants to know what happened. Ray
says he can't tell her anything, she'll have to talk to the PIO. As
she's leaving, he tells her he is willing to talk off the record. What
he tells her about everybody and their animals getting sick, she says he
might want to tell her somethign she doesn't already know. So he tells
her about Richard Adams' GPS on the Escalade indicating that he visited
ranches in the surrounding area. He knew there was a problem with the
water. That means Conservo knew as well. Ray still isn't telling her
anything she didn't already know. He wants to know why she thinks the
three men are dead. She said because last year, they figured out what
Ray is just now figuring out. Convservo took short cuts. Gibson and
Burns tried to do something about it. Ray notices that she's painfully
thin and asks if she's seen her doctor. She tells him yes, and he can
read about it in her article. Which is coming out when? Well,
unfortunately - all her sources keep dying on her. She asks Ray if he's
ever heard of anything called Fracking. He says it sounds like a sci-fi
expletive. Rosalind tells him to look it up, and then give her a call.
Hodges arrives in Al's lab with the results from the water samples. As
Al is reading through, he finds a couple of names that Hodges identifies
as huge carcinogens. The bulk of the list has a direct correlation to
the medical issues Walter Burns and the goat showed up with. Al pulled
everybody's files. They all died from metastatic carcinomas.
Hodges shows Al the lab work on the water found in Walter's vocal
chords. All the same suspects, but much higher amounts. Walter may have
died at the source of the contamination.
Langston looks up Fracking. It's short for hydraulic fracturing, it's a
process used to get natural gas from shale rock. Conservo Solutions
pioneered the process in Nevada. They drill until they get gas-bearing
shale, then they pump millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals
into the hole. This creates miniature earthquakes which breaks up the
rock and release the gas. Conrad asks what happens to the chemicals they
pumped down there. Ray says half of it comes up with the gas and gets
pumped into an evaporation pool. If they don't follow protocol, it
enters the ground water. So when a farmer or rancher pumps water for his
well, gas comes up with it, mixing with the air and creating an
extremely combustible mixture. No study was done. Since 2005, the
natural gas companies haven't been bound by the Clean Water Act. He's
not getting anywhere with the man, so Ray goes to Plan B. The oil
droppings left at the scene. The composition means it came from a
commercial fleet vehicle. The only commercial fleet in Cable Springs
belongs to Conservo.
Richard Adams was an employee. Walter Burns and Bill Hicks both leased
their mineral rights to the company. Conrad is still not sure that's
enough for a warrant. Ray points out that whoever drowned Walter Burns
was driving a commercial diesel truck. The same person probably killed
Richard Adams. Catherine tells Conrad to get them the warrant.
Nick hands the warrant off to the foreman. Ray asks about the
condensation pool. He starts going over the trucks to see if he can
locate the one at Walter's crime scene. He sees a small piece of fabric
on the top of the fence and harvests the evidence. He thinks Walter may
have been there. Hicks says Walter was getting proof that the water was
bad. They think that probably somebody at the site saw him trying to get
the water sample, and hit him with the pistol, drowned him in the pool
and hauled his body out to the quarry.
They tell the foreman they need all the truck and driver info he has. He
tells them it's gonna take some time, he has to talk to his boss. Nick
tells him to take all the time he needs. Nothing is going to move until
he does. Ryan calls Ray to tell him he found his leaky truck, and
there's blood inside the cab. There's a Beretta 9mm by the driver's
seat. Ray tells him to hold the driver so they can talk to him. Ryan
says the drivers not going anywhere, and he won't have anything to say
either. The driver is a 401A, hit-and-run fatality.
Frankie arrives and Ryan fills her in. The tire was tampered with.
When the driver, Cody, got out to repair it, another truck came along
and hit him. That takes care of Conservo's only loose end. This wasn't
Nick runs ballistics on the Beretta found in Cody's truck. If the blood
on the gun makes a DNA match to Richard Adams, then they have the weapon
and the killer. The cartridge casings from the Escalade and the alley
are a match. Cody made their job easy. The butt of the pistol has blood
and some hair in it. Looks like Walter's hair. The way it all comes
together, it looks like a man with no criminal record killed two whistle
blowers before he was killed. Nick notes that this is some serious
company loyalty. It also doesn't make a lot of sense.
Conrad tells Catherine and Brass the case is closed. They react
angrily. Why is he letting some corporate lawyers tell them when their
case is over. He says he's not: HE is telling them the case is over.
They got their evidence, they got their bad guy; justice has been
served. Catherine says they still need a water sample from Conservo's
holding pool. Brass says somebody with deep pockets hired that trucker
to do their dirty work, and then disposed of him. Doesn't Conrad want to
know who that party was? Catherine becomes indignant. Bill Hicks blew
himself up because of what they did. They took his health, they took
his wife, they took everything that mattered. He's not the only one out
there in those shoes. Conservo needs to be stopped. Conrad tells
Catherine she is no Erin Brockovich, and leaves. As he's leaving, she
asks about the hit-and-run. He tells her to keep that case open and let
her know if anything else comes up.
Ray meets Rosalind and fills her in on things from their end. Richard
was going to whistle blow, but they got to him before he could follow
through. Now he's dead, Walter is dead; it's over. Conservo won. Ray
hopes to help Rosalind. He has a friend starting a clinical trial. She's
holding a slot for Rosalind, it's the least he could do. She accepts
the paper and nods, speechless. Tearing up, she walks away.
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