|Show||Black Jack Justice|
|Air Date||18 February 2006|
|Episode Length||25 min|
|Genre||Hard boiled Detective|
|Players|| Christopher Mott|
When Jack and Trixie are hired to solve a seven year old murder, they figure it's a fool's errand. But if this case is so cold, why all the heat from upstairs to lay off? Will they finally run into that brick wall that has their names on it... or will they deliver Justice Delayed?
The story opens with Jack explaining that a private detective's line of work is rarely as exciting as imagined. While many would imagine a life full of murder and mayhem, that is usually a policeman's line of work; if a P.I. is involved in a murder case, either his client has been murdered or committed a murder, or the P.I. himself is the body on the floor. (Jack, incidentally, is not fond of the third option.) So it is surprising when a client walks in and asks for Justice and Dixon to solve a murder.
The man asking about the murder is an average looking, honest-seeming, ex-working-class man, by the name of Leon Arbor. He wants them to solve the murder of Theodore Crandall, a man killed roughly seven years earlier. Jack explains that the case likely won't be easy to solve but nonetheless asks to hear the details.
Arbour owns a construction company, and is married to a woman named Helen. She was married to Crandall until his death, and Arbour believes solving the murder will bring his wife peace.
Jack and Trixie take the case. Trixie once again tells Arbour that the chances are very slim that the case can be solved, but heads off to the library to research while Jack draws up a contract.
The results of Trixie's library trawl are as follows: Theodore Crandall's body was found in a blind alley behind a factory that he owned. The body had a scratched face, bruised knuckles, and a seven-inch, jagged piece fo metal through his belly. The only suspect in the case, a wino found nearby, came up with an alibi that held up, once he sobered up. The trail went cold, the case disappeared from the newspapers, and the cops gave up.
Meanwhile, Jack, who had been sorting out the details of the contract with Leon Arbour, sends off a note to a friend in the precinct to get his hands on the coroner's report. Next, Jack gets in touch with Mike Rogers, a long-time newshound. Mike Rogers remembers the case; more importantly, he remembers the way the police acted. They pursued the 'robbery' angle for a while, but after that washed, they gave no further information to the papers. Rogers believes something was covered up - and he knows that, whatever the truth, the then-sargeant Sabien knows what it is. Mike suspects 'politics', and that Crandall's business partner, MacCready, was involved, but Jack doesn't know what to think.
After visitng the library, Trixie stopped by the scene of the crime. A narrow alley, used for deliveries only, with no parking. The crime was committed in the middle of the night, the murder weapon was scrap metal rather than something more conventional, and neither Jack nor Trixie could think of a reason for Crandall to be visiting the factory. Spinning theories along the way, and noticing that Jack had locked his keys inside the office, Trixie lets them back in, and they find themselves faced with John Law himself, Lieutenant Victor Sabien, who warns them to walk away from the case.
Jack and Trixie politely decline.
They visit the business partner, MacCready, the next day. He is confused as to the reason for their visit - Crandall had no business interests aside from himself and no family aside from Helen, and he is as sure that Helen didn't hire them as he is that he didn't hire them. He is cagey about the details, aside from the fact that he bought uot Helen Crandall's share of the company for twice what it was worth. Like Sabien, he asks that they drop the case, but adds that Helen has been through enough. However, he lets them see the shipping manifest from the night Crandall was killed in return for a promise that they would call Sabien. Jack promises, Scout's honour. Jack was never a Boy Scout.
Again, they spin theories on the murder. The "how" is pretty clear but they can't sort out the "who" or the "why". The wino? Alibied out, and likely dead by now. The partner? No clear motive. Leon Arbour? Met Helen two years after the murder. The wife? Well, neither Jack nor Trixie has managed to speak to the wife. And now, Lieutenant Sabien arrives with a personal file on the case, having given up on the chances of Jack and Trixie backing off without it.
Helen Crandall had been beaten. Theodore Crandall had been beating her for years. Thodore Crandall was a drinker, and when he drank, he got ideas. And the night he was murdered, Theodore Crandall had gotten the idea that she'd cheated on him.
After being faced with the truth, the dectectives can't help but agree that Sabien did the right thing. They decide to pass on the mugger myth to Leon Arbour, which disappoints him. He believes that Jack and Trixie did their best, of course, but he wished to do this for Helen, to bring her peace. Trixie tells him that the best way he can bring her peace is by focussing on the present and the future, not the past. Jack muses that although in a legal sense jusice was never served in the case of Arthur Crandall, more justice was handed out seven years ago than most cops get to bring in a lifetime. He agrees with Sabien - off all the things that kept him up at night, hiding the truth about the murder of Theodore Crandall would never be one of them.
Jack: I told her if she showed me hers I'd show her mine.
Trixie: The problem wasn't that he said it. The problem was that he said it as if he hadn't said it a million times before.
This episode introduces us to Trixie's love of the "book work" side of detecting.
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